Stealth Assassin -- Skillset Strategy
The aim of this character skill track is to create a character that's capable of sneaking into places unseen and killing those who never knew you were there.
Start the progression at Battle Rank 2 as that extra certification point gives you a total of five and lets you pick a two and a three point cert. There's no good reason not to start at Battle Rank 2. All you have to do is go in to the VR Training rooms and examine a few vehicles and weapons to get the experience needed for that first level.
Battle Rank 2
Infiltration Suit (2), Hacking (3)
Walk, Don't Run
Normally in PlanetSide, running is the best way to go. With a Infiltration Suit, the slower you move the harder you are to spot. Get used to holding down the walk key and edging along. Done well you can walk right up to a lot of people without them ever knowing you're there.
Your Infiltration Suit won't let you carry many weapons. What pistols you can carry won't do much damage and rarely do that damage fast enough to avoid your target turning around and squishing your unarmored self. The secret is to use grenades.
A couple of well placed frag grenades will knock out just about any infantry threat. Using your Infiltration Suit, you should always get the first shot in before they even know you're there. Your second shot should usually come in while they are turning. If they are still alive, by the time they are just opening up, a third grenade is pretty much guaranteed to finish them.
If you are facing a lot of other guys in Infiltration Suits, plasma grenades are a beautiful tool. Even if you miss and just splash your target, he will burn with a green flame for a while. Apart from the damage it causes over an extended time, this is of little threat to a visible opponent. Against invisible opponents, however, causes them to become a very visible moving green glow.
The great thing is grenades take up almost no space. In a single Infiltration Suit, you can carry ten grenades, giving you potentially as many kills as the same volume of guns and ammo, but much faster.
When It All Goes Wrong
If you do mess up an attack, run. Put your grenades away so you run faster and get around a corner or two, and then stand still. Once you are not moving, unless they have the darklight implant, they'll have no idea where you are. Get a couple of twists and turns away and just about everyone will give up the search and find someone easier.
The Jammer Grenade
The jammer grenade is your friend. It lets you deal with almost every major threat to your stealth-suited self.
If a turret locks on to you, a jammer grenade will knock it out. An entry way mined? A jammer grenade will clear it. A Mosquito hovering using its radar? A jammer grenade can cause it to crash. A motion sensor showing everyone where you are? A jammer grenade will knock it out.
Even better, jammers reset implants and MAX abilities for fifteen minutes. You notice someone is a little too good at seeing you while cloaked? They probably have a darklight implant. Hit them with a jammer grenade and they lose it for fifteen minutes. If you are having trouble losing that Vanu MAX that keeps jumping or the Terran MAX that is anchored and doing way too much harm, a jammer grenade takes away their special abilities.
In short, always pack a jammer or two for emergencies.
The main weakness of the Infiltration Suit is that you have no real armor and every shot hurts. With hacking, every enemy medical terminal is yours to use. Just wait until the room is empty, pull out your remote electronics kit, hack the terminal and heal away every stray shot you've taken. If you're careful, you can stay healthy and stay killing for as long as your ammo lasts.
Getting basic hacking also lets you get doors open faster. While you hack, you are vulnerable. The better your hacking skills, the shorter the length of time you are exposed.
Battle Rank 4
Hacker: Infiltration Suit (2), Hacking (3), Advanced Hacking (2)
Engineer: Infiltration Suit (2), Engineering (3), Combat Engineering (2)
The extra two cert' points you gain by Battle Rank 4 give you one of your first main choices: Are you enjoying the hacking approach or do you want to play with the bigger bangs of engineering?
The Advanced Hacker
On a simple level, advanced hacking makes everything go faster. Faster means you are exposed less.
Advanced hacking also gives you access to the full range of terminals.
After your lack of armor, one of the other main weaknesses of the Infiltration Suit is that you can't carry much. Advanced hacking solves that problem. Now every enemy equipment terminal is yours to use. As with the medical terminals, wait until the room is empty, pull out your remote electronics kit, hack the terminal and then reequip with a full inventory. Now you can run around inside enemy bases for as long as you like.
With control of the terminals, you can lead a friend with an AMS cert into a base, take over a vehicle terminal and let him spawn an AMS right in the heart of their compound.
Finally, advanced hacking lets you start taking over enemy vehicles. You find an enemy AMS parked near your base? Don't waste time trying to blow it up. It can take too much damage. Just hack it, make it useless to them and useful to you.
If you find an enemy tank or flier, even better. Once you hack it, you can send members of your team in to heavy concentrations of the enemy in a vehicle that looks like a friendly. Once they are surrounded by infantry, accidentally reverse over a few and knock out the other vehicles with the main guns.
The Combat Engineer
Combat Engineering is for those of us that enjoy the big bangs. In a Infiltration Suit, we never get to carry the big guns that can blow things up in a single shot or two. ACEs let us reassert ourselves.
In its primary setting, the ACE creates a boomer. Now MAXs are scarily vulnerable to you. While running around an enemy base, if you find a MAX, step back around a corner, plant the boomer, then go get its attention. A little movement, or quickly cycling your stealth on and off will leave them thinking they've caught you and give chase. Run back around the corner, wait for them to step over the boomer, pop the trigger and you just killed yourself a MAX.
Other Engineering Roles
It is worth setting up additional equipment profiles that don't use the Infiltration Suit. Use the agile suit here for additional carrying space. This lets you carry out three additional valuable tasks:
If you are respawning from an AMS, it becomes your lifeline. Having a profile with a repair tool lets you heal your AMS far faster than just about anything else can damage it. Once your AMS is back to full strength, grab your stealth gear again and go back to playing normally.
If you are part of a team that's hacking a base, the repair tool can greatly add to your team's abilities. Set a MAX or two blocking a corridor and hide behind them with your repair tool and an inventory full of repair cells. Now you should be able to heal them faster than they can get hurt while their bulk and heavy weapons block you from getting hit and mow down all comers.
If you end up defending a base, ACEs become a godsend.
Place mines at the top and bottom of every wall stairwell and outside the side doors. If you watch, most Infiltration Suited attackers run along the walls to avoid fire from above. They also run straight in to a base, along the side of a wall and dive into a stairwell to get some cover before running along the tops of the walls. Your mines will sit there collecting XP for you.
Spitfire Turrets, wherever you place them, are a great way of taking out the unwary. Placing them behind trees or just inside entrances keeps those who are trying to sneak in to a base from see them until it's too late.
Motion sensors become hugely valuable in base defenses. Place as many as you can and you will always know where the action is, where the Infiltration Suits are running in and which sides the squads of MAXs are approaching from so you can go set up a boomer or two.
Once you have set up all of your defenses, drop back to your Infiltration Suit, play as normal and collect the extra XP your automated kills gain you.
Battle Rank 6
Spend your certifications as above but use the extra two points for a vehicle or maybe even a MAX suit for those times you want some variety.
You finally get your first implant at Battle Rank 6. The three that I would most recommend are:
As I've mentioned before, getting out of trouble fast is an essential trick when using a Infiltration Suit. Being able to run through corridors faster than anyone can train a weapon on you, then hide, is very valuable.
No matter what, you always carry a knife (weapon slot five). On its own, it's not that deadly. With this implant, two slashes will kill most basic infantry.
This implant lets you check the health of a target. This lets you only attack those you can kill with a single blow, ensuring you survive (and conserve ammo). It also lets you tell how a fight is going you now know how deadly your first blows were and whether it's worth finishing the attack or abandoning it in order to fight another day.
Battle Rank 7
Infiltration Suit (2), Engineering (3), Combat Engineering (2), Hacking (3)
By Battle Rank 7 you can merge the two skill tracks. You can still have all the large explosions of a Combat Engineer, but now you get your hacking back again. Alternatively, if you stuck with hacking, you trade in a little hacking ability and get ACEs.
Battle Rank 9
Infiltration Suit (2), Engineering (3), Combat Engineering (2), Hacking (3), Combat Engineering (2)
Now, you can hack or blow up just about anything.
Battle Rank 10 And Beyond
By this point you should have a really good feel for where you want to go. If you want more suggestions though:
The same three mentioned above will let you max out your character. As always, it's a case of picking what works best for you. You may also want to look at adding in darklight so you can see enemy Infiltration Suits.
The medical cert's path is worth taking. It gives you the ability to raise the dead inside enemy bases yet doesn't clash too much with what you have already taken. If you are the kind of person who enjoys surprising the enemy, fighting the person they just killed will definitely do it. It also means your squad is vastly more efficient and so you will collect XP from them even quicker.
Weapons and Armor Certs
By and large, you probably want to stay away from weapons and armor certs as much as possible. Change armor, you lose all of your stealth abilities. The big guns, while fun, aren't your strength and you can't carry them while keeping your Infiltration Suit.
The Wraith lets you travel around quickly while staying largely invisible. Remember though that fast flying can cause you to be seen, and a MAX can still hit you pretty easily, so pick your routes for maximum cover.
The AMS is always worth knowing how to control as it saves you a huge amount of walking.
The Mosquito can be a quick way into battles that are a long way away.