Updated Thu, Apr 26, 2012 by Stow
Probably the biggest challenge in playing a Light class is to learn to accept death. Everyone is lethal in Tribes: Ascend and running around with less than 1000 HP when most direct hits deal 800+ is definitely an uphill battle if you don’t play to the strengths of your class. To play a light class well, you have to set up your offense more than any other class. You can’t just barrel across the midfield directly and expect to get the flag. You can’t just bum rush the generator from the most direct route.
As a Light, the golden rule is to strike without the enemy having the opportunity to strike back, and this guide will emphasize that.
Offensive Capper Tactics
A capper is defined by his ability to ski more so than any other class in Tribes. Your goal is to grab the flag going as fast as humanly possible, and maintain that speed to get back to your stand in as little time as possible, while avoiding any threat by outrunning your foes.
Step one in improving your flagging game is to practice your routes alone on a map. Maps in Ascend are large enough that even in 16v16 gameplay, you’ll almost never run into someone as you setup your approach. Routes that take~20 seconds are ideal, as you’ll be able to use a Disc + Nitron grenade to get going super fast, and still have time to regenerate to full hp right before your final approach.
Step two is knowing when to commit to an approach or to abort and restart. Times to abort a high speed attempt are things like generators coming back online with forcefields in play, having a route that makes you unlikely/unable to clear mines, or when a DMB sees you coming and has Super Heavy maxed out. A PTH can pull 200+ speeds out of nowhere with nothing more than a Thrust pack + disc jump, so don’t be afraid to abort your route and improvise. It’s faster than the 30 seconds you’d lose with a suicide.
To be a defensive Pathfinder is about two things—positioning and the thrust pack. You have to know both the popular approaches, and what your defense is actually doing to cover those approaches so you can expect flag cappers to come from a specific route and be ready to intercept. If you’re on the wrong hill or point when someone picks up the flag going 250+, you’re going to be hard pressed to get that flag back.
Most cappers will not fight back, and will pay attention strictly to perfect skiing. Do not be afraid to pull a disc + grenade jump to catch up or surpass them! A typical interception will start with an immediate thrust pack on an interception path, jetting to the first hill, and disc jumping at the bottom of it. This becomes a problematic approach once enemies begin escorting their carrier, but for most public games you’ll be a complete terror to the flag carriers.
Sniping and You
The biggest thing I can tell most starting SENs is to never stand still. Too many times I see people sitting in their spawn towers, engaging in a futile war from afar against enemy JUGs circling the flag stand. Stop it. You’re not using half of your arsenal!
You can scope while moving, and even build damage on your scoped shot while skiing even if you’re aiming at the damn ground. SENs are actually decent chasers for this reason once they develop good aim, and being mobile allows you to make use of their absolutely fantastic Claymores and Jammer packs. Do NOT mine the flag though, that is the DMB’s job. Your claymores are better used at the bottom of popular approach hills near your flag. Eating a mine will not only make some PTHs die or abort their route, but also notify you of their position if you’re paying attention and be a one hit kill from there. Win/win, so very much worth your time.
Sentinels that stay moving and on the offensive are far more dangerous than those that put up a tent and start camping a position. They're excellent at harassing heavies on defense if your Juggernauts aren't getting it done!
Being a Menace
I don’t understand when infiltrators engage people in drawn out fights. You are more durable than the other lights, but you are fighting indoors with likely a Jackal or an inferior Spinfusor and a less than ideal grenade for the job. More often than not, once the generator is down, you are better off backing off and staying quiet for a bit. If people are hunting for you, they’re not defending the flag or generator. That means you’re doing your job.
The most recent patch buffed the Mines, which makes them considerably more dangerous and a real option now. The downside is that you’ll need someone else to handle the real generator destruction, since without Stickys, you’ll need half an hour to take down an upgraded gen. If it is down though, a mines INF with Looter perks to obtain more on death can terrorize several gen room designs easily and rack up kills on lone lights and mediums that attempt to repair until a heavy or two joins the party.