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The goald of this guide is to give beginners some pointers in the right direction when they start with Dirty Bomb as well some Dos and Don’ts. The main focus is not to tell you what to do to become the top scorer with a K/D of 50/0 but to contribute to the team while not being a burden and having fun. So without further ado, let’s begin:
1. The starter mercs
Congratulations, by downloading and installing the game you automatically got 2 absolute great mercs that are completely viable on every skill level. Meet Aura and Skyhammer:
Aura the medic
If you play this merc right, everybody in your team will love you. So let’s take a closer look:
Aura is fast and squishy and this combination is also the trap most new players walk into. Because she is faster than her complete team it is very tempting to rush ahead and be the first to engage the enemy team. DON’T DO THAT!
Auras greatest asset is not her killing but her healing potential. Stay behind your team and place the healing station somewhere behind them, where the enemy line of sight is blocked (so they can’t destroy it by shooting at it) and that all in a distance in which your team mates are ideally standing in the healing radius or at least only have to walk a few steps to be healed. During the match the attackers will push the defenders back. Always make sure your healing station moves accordingly with the front line. Some players like to jump on a stationary MG and place the healing station for themselves right next to them. DON'T DO THAT! As Aura your task is to keep the team alive. And don’t worry, as soon as you got a bit used to the game and know where to expect an enemy attack and where to put your healing station, you will start to wreck whole teams with her.
If you have another Aura in your team don’t put your healing station next to hers. Find another spot you think it could be useful for your team. Observe other Auras. If you have the feeling their spots are the better ones, remember them and use them the next time you are the only Aura.
You should mostly stay close to your healing station (and by that I don’t mean being glued to it) and revive fallen team mates around you. Assist them taking out enemies, and keep an eye on the health of your team. Talking about reviving: If your healing station is close by a tap revive is ok. Otherwise, please charge your paddles a bit. There are only a few mistakes beginners can make that will draw immediately the wrath of the entire team on them, and one is a medic that does not revive. So please, keep an eye out and listen to the “Medic” calls. You can also see on the mini map where you are needed. But don’t run to the other side of the map to revive a lonely player. The healing station is most of the time the center of a defensive position. If it gets destroyed the defensive position is lost. If you are not on cool down and your healing station is not placed somewhere, you are doing it wrong.
Skyhammer the fire support
Skyhammer is an excellent all-rounder, but some rules that apply to Aura also apply to him (and a lot of other mercs too). Don’t be the first to engage. You most likely will get killed and then your team will be one member short. As a general rule, always stick with some other team members and don’t lone wolf. Try to help out from the second line. Skyhammer has 2 abilities. An airstrike which causes enormous damage and he can throw ammo packs.
There is not much to say about the airstrike. It is the best way to destroy an EV in one hit. So if you are on defense on an EV map, don’t waste your airstrike on anything else. Just use it to destroy the EV. Make sure it is repaired before throwing the marker. The best spot for the marker is slightly ahead of the EV or exactly on the height of its front bumper. That way it will get the full blast, when the enemy team keeps pushing it. Throw it on the left or right of the EV, because if the EV is on top of the marker before it explodes, it won’t call in the air strike. If you throw the marker indoors or with no direct line of sight to the sky it will act as a small grenade with a short cool down. It’s a fun little gimmick, but don’t count too much on it for getting kills.
Like with Aura you can play Skyhammer as a beginner and your whole team will love you. The key to that is throwing ammo packs. Dirty Bomb is a First Person Shooter and without ammo your team won’t be able to shoot anything. So from the beginning you should make a habit of it to throw ammo packs immediately after you spawn onto your team mates. During the match, don’t wait till they call for ammo or are low on ammo (displayed by a small icon above their head). Just pass ammo out as soon as somebody is close by. Throwing ammo on the ground next to them is ok, but you should try to hit them directly with the packs. It will shorten cooldowns. A fire support that doesn’t give out ammo is sadly pretty common and it is one of the most rage inducing errors a beginner can make. So, pass out ammo and destroy the EV when you can.
2. General Dos and Don’ts
Like already mentioned in the merc section, there are some general things you should do/shouldn’t do.
-As a medic: Focus on healing and reviving, shooting people comes second. If you obey this, you will not bottom score, everybody will like you and nobody in his right mind will give you crap for a bad K/D
-As a fire support: Focus on passing out ammo and destroying the EV, shooting people comes second. If you obey this, you will not bottom score, everybody will like you and nobody in his right mind will give you crap for a bad K/D
Spawn timer: The spawn timer is next to the game clock. It counts down from around 20-ish seconds to zero. This tells you, how long you have to wait until you can respawn after you died. So if you die with 15 seconds on the spawn timer you have to wait 15 seconds until you are back in the fight. So try to avoid risky moves when you have a long spawn time and save them to when you have a short spawn time. This is already an advanced tactic but the earlier you start to use it the better for you. Just have it in the back of your mind.
Stack repairs: This means basically that 2 players repairing something doesn’t make the repair go faster. The hierarchy is: Engineer is faster than a non-engineer with mechanic perk, a non-engineer with mechanic perk is faster than a non-engineer without mechanic. So if you see an engineer repairing something, no matter what class you play, don’t start repairing as well! If you are unsure, a message will pop up that someone faster is repairing. Pay attention to it and better guard the repairing merc.
First mercs: DON’T BUY A SNIPER. Seriously, you are maybe that great sniper in that one other game and you no scoped 5 enemies in 10 seconds. We have all heard it. With a certainty of 99.9999999% you will suck as a sniper in Dirty Bomb. Please do yourself and especially your team the favor and wait a while with buying a sniper until you understand the game and you know the angles. Otherwise you will be just dead weight for your team, you will get a lot of verbal abuse and you will be probably kicked from servers. I repeat, DON’T BUY A SNIPER!
3. First merc
So, after a while you have enough credits to get yourself a new merc, the big question is, which one should you get. You are still in a stage, in which you have a lot to learn and so the merc you buy first should enable you to learn the ropes of the game, be useful and on top of that, be fun to play. To recommend a first merc is always difficult, because it is a very subjective thing. Somebody who just likes to kill needs another first merc than somebody who likes to support. So, best case scenario is, you found a merc in the free merc rotation you liked. Go buy that one. If this isn’t the case, here are some subjective recommendations:
Medics: Phoenix and Sawbonez. Both are absolutely viable. I personally find Phoenix a bit easier and fun to play. If your goal is to become a competitive player, pick Sawbonez.
Assault: Nader and Fragger: Same as for medics Nader = easier/more fun. Fragger = more for competitive.
Engineers: Turtle, Proxy, Fletcher: Turtle, if you want to play defensive. Proxy, she is just easy and fun, lots of new players tend to play her. Just FYI, she is really disliked by a lot of players due to her ability of getting cheap kills and you will run into a dead end with her as soon as you play against more skilled players who communicate with each other. But if you just want to run around like a maniac, get some kills, doing fast repairs and have fun. Buy Proxy. Fletcher is the most difficult engineer to learn, but he has the most killing potential. I would have also recommended Bushwacker, but as he is going to become the third starter merc, don’t waste your money on him.
Fire support: Arty, Stoker (Kira, Javelin): If you like to play Skyhammer but want to try out burst weapons, buy Arty. If you like Skyhammer but want an indoor ability, buy Stoker. If you like the speed of Aura and the killing potential of Skyhammer, buy Kira (FYI, she is probably the most difficult fire support to learn, so just buy her, if you really know you want her and you are willing to eat dirt for a while). Javelin is atm still pretty new and still gets changed. I guess she is a fun merc to play, but her status is a bit uncertain atm.
Recon: None. Seriously, don’t buy a recon as your first merc. I know, this is the cool class, but just don’t do it. (This includes Phantom).