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Dark Front Tips and Tricks

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death_stryker #1 Posted Oct 20 2018 - 21:58

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Having ground out the 4000 Matter mission, I felt it would be helpful to share some of the things I learned along the way. This post will be split into 3 sections: General Play, AI Abuse, and Anomalies and Essences. I'll be sticking to the official terminology (Green Matter, Lights/Mediums/Heavies, etc.), I'll call the activation of the enemies "triggering" and I'll call the locations where they are triggered "spawns". Some of what I talk about will be difficult to do in randoms, but can be easily achieved in platoons.


General Play

In Dark Front, autoaim is your friend. If you are not confident in your mechanical skill, I would go as far as to recommend using autoaim almost all the time in this mode. In the ideal team composition, there should be two "spotters", who trigger the spawns, two "flankers", who set up the crossfires, and a designated Matter carrier, who should carry as much Matter as possible. The exception is after the last fight before repairing/dumping Matter, when obviously anyone can grab the matter. 

In general, the optimal play is to make two pushes to Heavy spawns, with a repair in between. I find the E0 heavy spawn to be the easiest, as it is wide open, with houses right by it for the spotters to hide behind. The F1 spawn is the second-easiest, but only if the heavies are baited out of the spawn area, which is very easy as the spotter can easily run down the slope into the E2 area for safety. Heavy spawns that should not be attempted are any spawns in confined/isolated areas: any city spawns, any spawns along the G1-J4 diagonal, A5, C8 unless the heavies can be baited all the way out, which isn't worth it anyway. To be honest, just don't go city. There are two heavy spawns in the back, and people tend to trigger both of them while trying to flank one. Even the mediums are lethal because the walls really restrict your movement.


AI Abuse

The AI in Dark Front is...baffling as usual. However, its quirks can be exploited by the keen-eyed.

Hiding parts of your tank by sidescraping or going hull-down really messes with their aim; they'll miss almost every time, and even when they don't the chances of them bouncing are high. Hiding behind a corpse is ideal, I suspect because tiny bits of your tank are sticking out, and the bots try to shoot at them, in effect giving you free shots between their reloads (i.e. all the time).

However, the bots are incredibly good at leading shots; if you are driving in a straight line, expect to be pummeled. Snaking (driving in an S-shaped pattern) counteracts this very well. Interestingly, the bots appear to lead their shots regardless of the circumstances, which, unexpectedly (for me at least) can be abused—if you are behind cover, and you accelerate towards the edge of the cover and suddenly stop, the AI will fire off their shot anyways, missing you. With practice, this can be done extremely consistently, rendering you nearly invincible. I shall now brag (as a proof of concept, I swear): using this method, I soloed the F1 heavy spawn without taking a single hit. 

Here's my explanation for this phenomenon: the bots aim not at your actual tank, but at the position your tank will have reached in the time it takes for their shot to fly that distance, should your tank continue at the speed it is currently at. In other words, the bots do exactly what we try to do when leading shots. Think about it as if they are aiming at a target ahead of your tank, basically like in WoWP and similar plane shooters. If that target is in the open, logically, they should shoot at it, since by the time their shot gets there you'll be in the open, right? That's exactly what the bots do. However, that target is only taking into consideration your speed at the time; by the time you brake, it's already too late for the bot, as it's already fired its shot. Thus, as long as you are going fast enough that your "shot-leading target" makes it out into the open, the AI will shoot. Actually doing this is a lot easier than it sounds, trust me. With practice, anyone can become a heavy-slaying wizard of no-life.


Anomalies and Essences

Anomalies are powerups that randomly appear, and immediately begin providing their benefit. Essences can be powerups or large globs of Matter, and need to be collected by the player first—their locations are usually guarded by multiple heavy and medium spawns, and they appear as huge yellow globs. Only one type of Anomaly or Essence can appear per game. Here's a list of these that I can remember off the top of my head; stuff I'm unsure about and/or haven't verified myself will have a (?) by it. 


- Essence of Swiftness: Massive speed boost, tank becomes difficult to control, shooting on the move becomes nearly impossible, turning too sharply results in fishtailing or a spin-out; makes fighting mediums and lights harder in return for making getting back to base from a heavy spawn faster

- Essence of Agony: Gives 50 matter but sets your HP to 1 (presumably; when I grabbed it, I was full health)

- Essence of Life (name?): Collecting Matter heals HP

Not sure what many of these do, as they are really tough to collect. It seems some of these just give lots of Matter, which makes them not that worth it (you usually can't get out of the mess you make trying to get to it, unless your whole team is supporting you).


- Lovecraft: Increases vehicle speed as HP decreases; at ~30% HP becomes comparable to Essence of Swiftness

- Poe: Increases rate of fire as time remaining decreases; almost no effect initially, <1 sec reload at 1 min left

- Stoker: Increases rate of fire as HP decreases; almost no effect initially, <1 sec reload at ~20% HP (before a heavy fight, get a light to shoot you up)

- I shall call this "Fun Mode": Increases vehicle speed as Matter delivered increases; at 100 matter, becomes comparable to Essence of Swiftness, at 160 Matter, game turns into Initial D

Most Anomalies follow this pattern; I can't remember the names of the others, but these sum up the mechanic pretty well.



Anyways, I hope you've learned something new in this wall of text, and I hope I was able to shorten your mission grind and/or make the admittedly boring mode a bit more interesting. 

RF_Van #2 Posted Oct 20 2018 - 23:03


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Good info, thanks for posting. I want to try and "abuse the AI" as you put it, next game. Sudden stops when the bot is obviously already tracking you should lead the bot to fire into the location where you would be if you kept going. We'll see how it works.


Team play is definitely helping imo. The best games I have been in so far are the ones where groups of players focus fire the bots and then clean up the goo in that area. The most challenging so far have been those in which players with 30 to 40 don't go to unload and then get killed. We had a guy lose 62 in one game because he just kept fighting and wouldn't turn around. He had tons of time and people were telling him in chat while trying to protect him, but he never got back and we lost the 62. So my advice would be that if you just respawned or unloaded, and have zero or a small number while somebody else is out in the field with a high number, then please try to get out there and protect them as much as possible.

Cementx #3 Posted Oct 28 2018 - 09:45


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Thanks for sharing. Team work is a rare and good thing in Dark Front. Leadership though is as usual  tenuous and it's hard to organise roles during countdown though. I follow guys and try to do basically what Death Stryker suggests. Funny some players still resent you taking their kills in a team event. Can sense some etiquette is developing. Note that hunting in packs of Meds and Lts is rewarding but HT (BDR) gets you bogged down even for the bigger bag.

The anomalies are a challenge. Blowed if I can find half of them even with multiple searches. One is N in the city though so you have to search there behing the buildings S of the HTs. One I got allowed team mates to retrieve Green Matter off my corpse.

Players who lose more then 30 Green are NOOBs!

dooght #4 Posted Oct 29 2018 - 02:56


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Anyone know what essence of transcience does? 


Rocker_Box #5 Posted Oct 29 2018 - 16:28


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Dude I'm circling these heavies you woke up with zero essence on board, to get to get their focus off you carrying 83... RUN FOR BASE NOW!!!!

Edited by Rocker_Box, Oct 29 2018 - 16:29.

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