The Bothan Brawler’s Rebel Pilot Guide – Tier 1 through 4 - Updated v1.3
Listen up farm-boy, I’m not trying to get you down but I’ve seen you up there buzzing around the planetary space station with your lender Z-95 shooting at civilian transports, and frankly, I’m not impressed. You burn your capacitor out before you’ve lined up a shot, your throttle control appears random, and your flying is nothing short of lunacy.
Yeah okay, the tools do make up for lack of talent too often for the ‘experienced’ fighters, but lets make the most of what we have. This way when you’re competent enough for a transfer by your trainer, you’ll be ready – and not be like all the others grinding their way to certain death (and chassis decay).
Okay, before we launch lets cover some basics that will save your hide. Take a moment to set up your toolbar. As you advance and learn special tricks as well as droid commands, you’ll want to fill your toolbar up with a logical setup you have memorized.
Make F1 - /iffscramble
Why? Because as a Rebel this button will safe you and your ship more often than you’ll care to remember – and besides, there are NO BUFFS IN SPACE farm boy. Careful lad, you won’t be able to use this on the same enemy twice.
Make F2 – /eshields
You shouldn’t use this when you’re solo, because if you’re getting splattered with blaster fire and your shields are nearly breached, it’s best to fall back on /iffscramble. You would use this however if you’re grouped and pulling away from a hairy bombing run OR your bogey is dead but left you with no shields – a bad state indeed. This boost will quickly replenish your shields but disable your weapons for about 1 minute. That’s perfect to disengage, rally, and get back in there.
Make F3 – /jumpstart(1-3)
Target your friendly that appears to be low on shield coverage. You have to have friendly targeted and be almost at point blank range. If the dogfight is still on, boost him and get on with the dogfight. If the coast is clear, try this trick:
*Target each other at point blank then boost his shields after which he will immediately boost you back. This is called ‘scratch my back’ maneuver.
If you're using a keyboard and mouse . . .
In Options > Keymap
Map the 'F' button to cycle ship systems. The 'F' button should act just like the '[ ]' buttons now. Why? Because you're going to use this almost everytime you go to work and you shouldn't have to reach across the keyboard to hit it.
Map the 'Spacebar' to 'match target speed'. Why? Below I'll describe why this button will become your best new friend in a dogfight.
A little about shields:
Shields cover your ship in an egg shaped arch. Front shields cover top and nose of your ship's hitbox. Rear shields cover tail and bottom of your ship's hitbox.
Your droid or flight computer can toy with the values and put the energy where the threat is. Let us be clear about this: LOWER DROID COMMAND SPEED IS BETTER. Equip a 15 second droid command interface, and you’ll have to wait 15 sec before you can tell the droid any further commands. A lot of people are confused because some high-end loot is dropping with 36 droid command speeds, but that actually stinks.
The remaining top row should be used for droid commands. My keyboard is split at F5 and F6 by about 1 inch of plastic. This makes it easy for my fingers to easily distinguish between the two buttons without having to look.
F5 – shield normalization
This will reset shield energy distribution to factory default, usually even steven.
F6 – adjust shield rear (light-extreme)
Are you someone else’s wingman and getting continually hit from behind? Use this command to add some extra-stacked protection to the rear and bottom hit box of your ship. This is a good command to use if you’re juggling multiple bogeys as well – one of them lines up on you from behind while you chase another bogey. The extra protection in the rear gives you a little added insurance and extra time to line up your shot.
F7 – adjust shield front (light-extreme)
If you find yourself running down a TIE aggressor, performing a bombing run on a Corvette, or jousting with an ultra fast ship, this command should be your first choice.
Shift+F6 – reinforce shield rear (light-extreme)
This will dump all remaining shield energy to the rear and bottom box of your ship. I suggest you only use this if you’re in a world of hurt and boosting away from an enemy you can’t iffscramble or destroy. Bug out and hope your last defense holds!
Shift+F7 – reinforce shield front (light-extreme)
This will dump all remaining shield energy to the front and top hit box of your ship. This is called the ‘kamikaze’ and should only be used if you’re finishing a gunship or capital ship OR you’re in a life and death jousting match with fighter.
*All the other special maneuvers like emergency repair are self-explanatory and you should place them in the bottom row of your toolbar. This is to prevent any accidental presses of a quick key, which might initialize an unnecessary repair or other stunt.
**Remember, for every 10 points of repair, you lose 1 hit point to that component, including chassis. This goes for armor too, so when something blasts through your shields and starts decaying your armor, it’s bad news and bloody expensive, even if you live.
Lining up shots is the key here, but I’m afraid it’s not as easy as lining up your target in that silly tracking cursor. You’re going to have to use your instincts and experience but here are a few tips and facts that you should be aware of:
Fire Divergence. Ever notice that when blasting a disabled fighter at point blank you can’t seem to register a hit? Recently chased a TIE Aggressor and couldn’t manage to hit it twice before your front armor was trashed? Well my friends, you’ve fallen victim to the X-wing curse.
See, when you have 4 fire-linked blasters spread out on your ‘X’ wings, your blaster bolts fly forward but do not diverge to a single point of impact, as you would assume. This is why it’s so hard to hit fast moving smaller targets like the Aggressor, or even strike a disabled fighter at point blank.
There is some remote advantage to this, however. A Medium range dogfight (150-250m) and perhaps even a dodgy jousting duel would afford some bonus: the spread of fire acts like a shotgun buckshot, insuring you’ll nick something.
You’re going to hate me, but the B-wing suffers from some of the same fire divergence issues the X-wing does. You won’t notice as much because if you can fly a B-wing that means you’re a master pilot and probably have that mother loaded with 4x 4k blasters doing 6-16k a volley. Even a graze would be lethal.
The Ugly Truth About Y-wings:
Believe it not, the Y-wing Long Probe is the fighter of choice for most established master aces in PvE combat. Why? I mean, Y? Because the last time you flew the Long Probe you were Tier 2 farm boy, and your memory of it was distorted by your limited equipment certification.
Try loading up your 140k chassis with looted elite Cert Level 8-9-10 equipment. Here’s the best part: No fire divergence issues! It’s point and click with both blaster slots positioned at your nose and above your cockpit centerline. You can load this killer with 2k+ shields, 2x 4k blasters, Mk1 Space Bomb Launcher, and a fast (read fat) engine. The Long Probe handles 200% better than B-wing, has more mass than X-wing, and lining up targets is extremely easy.
*It would be suggested you load your nose slot with the weapon that ‘flairs’ the brightest upon firing - that way the effect won’t obscure your view.
Okay, here is a basic list of dogfight tactics you probably already execute in some form or another.
Turn – Point your fighter away from a Space Station and set throttle to 100%. Activate autopilot towards the Space Station and watch how the AI automatically drops your throttle to about 50%, turns, and then resumes full throttle. The key to turning is your engine’s yaw/pitch speed and your throttle control. Cutting your throttle to 75% will afford you a decent 90-degree turn without sacrificing too much speed.
Hard Turn – Quickly throttle from 100% to 40% then rip your mouse or joystick to one side to complete a hard 90-degree turn.
Slip – You’ll execute this move the same as a normal turn, only after turning 90-degrees, you’ll quickly execute a follow up 90-degree turn in the opposite direction. With proper throttle control, you can shake a bogey on your tail and ‘slip’ behind him. This tactic’s path looks like a flat ‘S’.
Immelman – This is the traditional name for the classic ‘Turn and Burn’ maneuver. This is as simple as throttle down, turn 180-degrees, and throttle up. If you’re in a ‘jousting’ match with a fighter, you’re both pulling ‘Immelmans’.
Gentlemen, welcome to flight club . . .
Okay, now it's time to put our basic moves into application. I'm going to show you some dirty tricks that might save your tail one day. The more you practice these, the better you'll get. Who knows, maybe they'll name a move after you someday - nah.
Burning Immelman - This is a very effective variation of the traditional Immelman (turning 180-degrees). This is especially designed to turn a the worm on a losing jousting match OR go for the quick death blow. As your opponent approaches cut throttle to 50%. Head straight for them, as if you wanted to continue to joust. The second your target passes you execute your Immelmen (180-degree turn) and tap 'match speed' button at same time. Upon completion of your 180-degree turn, center yourself on your bogey's six as quickly as you can. Once he's lined up hit your booster and let fly all your blasters. This should all happen nearly at the same instant and will take some practice. If you did it right you'll be literally on top of even the fastest opponent for just enough time to turn them to dust.
Dirty Immelman - Same as 'Immelmen' except you lock and launch a missile at opponent as you joust each other, preform quick 'Immelmen' then lock second missile and launch again. - both missiles striking your bogey's six. Rinse and repeat. Remember missiles fired at approaching close range enemies will usually zip past them, quickly turn about, and fly up their exhaust.
Slip and Rip - This is a risky move that is designed to shake a bogey from your six and turn the worm. You preform this maneuver just like a traditional 'Slip' except upon your second 90-degree turn you cut your throttle to 0%. If you did it right AND your opponent doesn't throttle down in time, they'll 'Slip' right in front of you and you can proceed to 'Rip' them apart. If they didn't fall for it - you're a sitting duck farm boy.
Force Joust - No this isn't a new Jedi Power. This is move that can be used to turn the worm on a faster and more agile opponent. This is not recommended, however, if you're being attacked by more than one opponent. If a superior fighter is blazing towards you cut throttle to 50% and head straight for him. Line him up and do as much damage to the bogey before he blazes past you. Keeping your throttle at 50%, preform an 'Immelmen' 180-degree and line up your enemy again. If he took the bait, he'll stupidly turn about and head straight for you to joust. Take advantage of your 'speedy delivery' and go for the quick D&D (disable and destroy).
PvP Tip: Bobble your nose (wiggle your mouse or joystick up and down) often during a dogfight. Even a little wiggle can help. This will cause the targeting cursor to appear erratic and throw off their aim.
If you're in a PvP zone, keep tapping 'Z' button to target closest Player Enemy ship. If it looks like they're trying to charge in and gank you. Surprise them and turn about and face them head on. Start firing well before he's in range - he'll run into your fire and you might get a kill before your cursor pops up.
*I suggest you bind ‘F’ button to cycle target systems if you’re using the keyboard and mouse for control. It’s much easier to reach and you’ll be using it a lot.
Have everyone disable fighters first and clean up later once all the ‘hot’ fighters are down. If you’re mission is to disable a ship, make sure to knock out it’s weapon system, then engines, otherwise it will continue to fire on your group until the NPC takes control of it, which might take a minute or two.
Use the ‘R’ button to target craft firing on you, pull slip maneuvers, use throttle control, and other tricks to stay alive. Try to aggro only one fighter to you at a time. If you’re getting double teamed, request assistance, normalize shields, and try to get both bogey’s in front of you at once then adjust shields to front so you can joust them until they’re blasted or help arrives.
**Having a hard time chasing a superior fighter? Can’t seem to line up a shot before they’re screaming past you? Cut throttle to 50%, adjust shields front, and keep your blasters pointing at them. This will force them to joust you, and you’ll probably win if you’re shields are holding and you’ve got decent blasters.
*If you’ve been blasting a target from the rear and the shields and armor read 50%, guess what? The rear protection is now gone. You can target their weapons, engine, reactor, or just chassis now and your blasters do their full damage amount. Try to concentrate your attacks on same hit box location of a target. Nothing sucks more than beating up a fighter's tail then suddenly having to joust them and wear down their front defenses as well.
A Word About Weapon Range - Live by the Meter Stick
Missiles will lock at approximately 0-585m but that doesn't mean the missle itself is in range. Space Bombs, for example, are close range missiles and you have to be much closer to be able to launch them even with a sucessful missle lock.
The blaster cursor will show up at around 550m, but guess what? Most blasters have an effective range of 589m. That means if you're sneaking up on a large target, you can starting firing even before you see a cursor. Your jaw will drop when you see your blaster fire take a bite out of its shields at 585m.
*Careful though farm boy, get within 575m and that 'big target' will start to shoot back.
Terrible Tiers Guide
Tier 1 – This is very straightforward and can be soloed easily. I suggest you take escort duty missions to gain experience. Escorts take the focus off you and your ship and put it on the NPC escort while you get to practice your aim and flying.
Tier 2 – Get the Long Probe Cert first. Y? Because you’ll finally be able to fire link both blasters on your ship and won’t require a turret operator. The added firepower will speed things up considerably. Next get Equipment certification, and so on. Once again, escort duty missions are your friends. With a properly equipped ship, you can stay solo for tier 2.
Tier 3 – The entire Tier 3 is quest based – which translates into 4 free trains, no experience grind required! Tier 3 does require a small but effective group of 3-4 descent pilots. If you can take a master ace to escort you, you’ll be fine just the two of you. What makes Tier 3 difficult is some of the Quest missions are stacked on top of Tier 4 static spawns. Beware the TIE Aggressors - you’re not ready. If you get aggro’d by non-mission critical craft, iffscramble and move on to your next waypoint.
Tier 4 – This is a big grind – 1 million per box. Also, Tier 4 features some of the most difficult missions (but bloody fun) if you’re not in a decent group. You’ll need 4-7 wingmen who can hold their own. Unless you have a group of 7+, avoid engaging Imperial Gun ships until everyone can coordinate a unified bombing run. In Tier 4 you’re going to have to learn to target ship’s systems for the quick disable, specifically the engine of fighters and weapon systems of larger craft. Use the ‘[ ]’ button to cycle between your target’s systems by default (I do suggest you rebind 'F').
*Contrary to popular belief, taking out a ship’s reactors don’t disable the ship’s weapons (probably because capacitor still has juice in it).
How to Blast a . . . :
TIE – No shields means easy pickings. Hold you fire until you’ve got a good line and range then let them have it.
TIE Interceptor – If you’ve got the speed and skills to keep this bugger lined up, work its rear shields and armor then go for the engines (disable). Otherwise, cut your throttle to 50% and force these dodgy insects to joust with you (don’t forget to adjust shields front).
TIE Bomber – Get behind them, close to within 100m, match speed, and let fly. Do not allow these behind you unless you brought a chaff launcher.
TIE Advanced – Fast and furious, I suggest you adjust your throttle to 50% and let the kill come to you. Go for disable or you’ll be jousting all night.
TIE Oppressor – Try to tail these buggers and work their rear. Jousting Oppressors can get dangerous because they have a nasty habit of cheating (launching missiles at you at point blank). Remember, most missiles will fly past you, turn about, and fly up your engine exhaust – but that gives you a critical second to deploy counter measure …
TIE Aggressor – They are no threat once Weapon system 1 is disabled, but getting that knocked out is an art form. X-wings have a hard time hitting these small and fast monsters, and the rear turret will rip your ship apart in seconds. It's hard to trick these buggers to joust with you. They like to blaze past you and trick you into trying to catch them while their turrets makes short work of you. Don't let these turkeys trick you, here's how you beat them:
Method 1: Adjust shields to front. If you’re not aggro’d by Aggressor, get on its tail, pace it, and close to nearly point blank range while targeting Weapon 1. When it turns and starts to pull away on a straight path, line up your cursor and fire. Let fly until weapon 1 is dead. Boost if you have to, just don't let it escape until Weapon 1 is dead. It can’t escape you while you’re boosting and you can’t miss if you’re at point blank.
Method 2: The rear turret is the real threat here, so if you’re not confident you can line a shot up, boost, and fire at same time then change your approach entirely. Normalize shields and head straight at it while targeting weapon 1. Play chicken while firing away dead center. As soon as you both blaze past each other your rear shields will start to feel the turret – stay steady! Boost and roll – but keep going straight. When the fire stops, cut throttle 50% and turn 180-degree until you have the Aggressor lined up again. Hopefully you would have tricked the little devil to joust with you. Two passes or so will leave your rear shields slightly damaged but the Aggressor’s turret and front defenses should be fried. Once turret is dead, turn and kill it properly.
Imperial Gun Ship – Everyone is scared of these but once you understand the location of its weapons and its blind spot, you can solo these all night – just watch for fighters spawning on your six.
Most people say ‘Take out weapon 0 man, it’s the rear gun!’. Listen up farm boy, here is the actual weapon listings and locations:
Weapon 0 – Front Left Blaster
Weapon 1 – Front Right Blaster
Weapon 2 – Rear Turret (Take this out first)
Weapon 3 – Rear Top Dome Turret Left
Weapon 4 – Rear Top Dome Turret Right
Weapon 5 – Front Bottom Nose Turret
Weapon 6 – Front Facing Launcher? (I disable all weapons and leave this one and the gun ship doesn’t seem to fire anything)
*Only Weapon 2, 3, and 4 can shoot to the rear 180 arc.
With a group of 6 pilots, taking these down is fun, dangerous, but rewarding. Adjust shields to front and have everyone form up. The action starts at 550m. If your group comes in very low and from behind, taking out rear shields and armor is the only real work. Once she’s exposed, stay low and target weapon system 2 – that’s the rear turret. If you’re low and behind and weapon 2 is disabled, the all mighty Imperial gun ship can’t hit you anymore.
*Careful, they tend to turn and roll, which will make weapon 3-4 blasters (rear facing) a threat and rip your group to pieces. As soon as weapon 2 is dead, kill weapon 3 and 4 as well. Now you’re all clear from the rear and can go for her engines before she jumps.
Yes you can solo gun ships by engaging them at point blank from below and behind (but in front of weapon 2). I like shooting the hit box location where the bottom fin connects to ventral surface of ship. If you’re alone it takes some fancy flying and some venerable time. The real danger are fighters that will appear out of nowhere after you’ve been working the gun ship for 5 minutes and blast you to hell – this is an especially common event in Kessel.
Believe it or not, but a Y-wing with turret operator can fire up at the belly of gun ship while you focus on flying in the blind spot. With this method the gun ship doesn’t last long at all.
How to do a group Rebel strike package (bombing run):
(Example Imperial Gun Ship)
When you fly in on a bombing run have everyone spread out in any haphazard formation as long as everyone is matching speed of wing commander’s ship (group leader).
If time isn't critical, wait for the gun ship to stop any heading changes and stabilize.
The entire group should go in very low and from the rear.
Everyone should go ahead and target Weapon 2. Light fighters should normalize shields while everyone else should adjust front (I’ll explain why shortly).
Once you close to 650m, have the light fighters throttle to 100% and get a missile lock. Once they do, have them deploy payload if they got them and fire blasters.
At this time the gun ship will start to light the fighter’s front shields up while the rest of the group throttles to attack speed and enters range. As soon as the fighter’s shields are 25-40% front, immediately do a clean 180-degree hard ‘Immelman’ turn and boost away. ‘Clean’ means 180-degree away from target. Their rear shields will have the responsibility of covering their escape, which is why they went in with them balanced. If anyone gets in trouble, they should immediately iffscramble and continue to escape.
Remember, if you're group came in low and from the rear, only Weapon 2 will be firing. In a group of 5, that leaves 4 of you to do your worst while the 'bait' bugs out of range.
The rest of the group should then deploy payloads and fire away until they get targeted. If the group is of a reasonable size, the gun ship should be quickly exposed (shields and armor reading 50%).
The group should immediately target weapons 2, 3, and 4 until they are disabled. If it’s a smaller group, the remaining ships also pull an ‘Immelmen’, boost to a safe range, or iffscramble. Rinse and repeat until weapons 2, 3, and 4 are dead. Once this is accomplished, go for the engine sub-system to prevent the gun ship from jumping out of the sector to safety OR from turning on group.
The mistake I commonly see is chicken groups not going in together while one or two heroes try to blow up the gun ship in 1 strafe, but sometimes that’s unnecessary and way too dangerous. If everyone concentrates on getting in a few hits, staying behind and below, launching missiles, and doing a clean 180 escape, nobody should get really banged up.
Okay, that’s it for my basic Rebel Pilot Guide. Keep up the good work farm boy, maybe I’ll see you in space.
Message Edited by Ludo4Real on 11-26-2004 07:53 PM
Message Edited by Ludo4Real on 11-28-2004 01:33 AM
Message Edited by Ludo4Real on 11-28-2004 01:34 AM
Message Edited by Ludo4Real on 11-28-2004 01:41 AM