Quite a few people watching my Assassin’s Creed Revelations multiplayer videos have been asking me to post some information about the ability sets I use, and what better medium than this
pretentiously aptly named web site?
Instead of dumping all my Revelations ability sets into one post, I’d prefer to take the time to not only list what I use, but explain why. I’m also going to offer suggestions for alternatives and additional considerations.
Got a better suggestion? Lay it on me in the comments below. Otherwise, just shut up and enjoy.
Ability set context overview – Deathmatch gameplay
For the uninitiated, the Deathmatch gameplay mode in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is probably how most people believe Wanted works before they’ve actually played the game. Each player chooses a unique persona, is dropped into a relatively small area, and given contracts on the heads of other players. Unlike in Wanted, there are no natural duplicates of player-controlled personas, and each Templar agent receives no indication of where they’ll find their victim-to-be.
Essentially, the entire system relies on your ability to keenly observe your target among the dozens of other characters roaming around. You’ll rely almost completely on eyesight, though proximity and line of sight indicators help you hone in once you’re relatively close. Although there aren’t clones by default, you must be perceptive of potential ruses like Disguised targets.
Ability #1: Smoke Bomb
I’ve said it many times, and I doubt any other players would argue there’s a skill as powerful and as versatile as Smoke Bomb. Hell, it was already the best ability in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Ubisoft decided to make it better by giving players the ability to throw it.
The most obvious use of Smoke Bomb is to drop it when a pursuer/suspected pursuer is near, protecting you from death and giving you a free stun. Smoke Bomb can also be used to hold your target still, allowing you to set up a Focus Bonus, Aerial Bonus, Hidden Bonus, or whatever else you can manage in your 3-4 second window.
Since Smoke Bomb can now be thrown (hold the ability button down and use your movement control to aim), it can also be used in a variety of other circumstances. You can throw a Smoke Bomb at a pursuer you suspect is about to Mute/Hidden Gun/Smoke Bomb you. You can slow down a target from across the map. The point is, Smoke Bomb is so good there isn’t a reason not to use it, especially on small maps with little roof-running.
Ability #2: Throwing Knives
While I’ve ragged on Throwing Knives in the past, many commenters pointed out that in Revelations, the ability’s power has been greatly expanded. Upon completing my own experiments, I now understand it to be a highly versatile skill.
The most obvious use for Throwing Knives is to cause opponents who are climbing a wall or balancing on an overhang to fall, making for an easy kill, stun, or escape. What I didn’t know until recently is that during the duration of Throwing Knives, your victim’s stun and kill radius is greatly decreased. You won’t gain an edge at point blank range, but a foe crippled by these knives can be executed or knocked out from about 3 feet away while they’re helpless to stop you or score a Contested Kill/Honorable Death.
This essentially guarantees Silent+ bonuses on contracts (since your kills can’t be contested), and guarantees stuns, providing you can identify your pursuer correctly. The short cooldown and additional ability to knock would-be climbers from their perches make it an all-around winning skill for a free-for-all game mode like Deathmatch.
Perk #1: Blender
The biggest threat to a player in Deathmatch is that you’re on your own with absolutely no lookalike NPCs to take the fall for you. Luckily, Blender can produce them automatically without using up a skill slot. In addition to forcing opponents to use abilities/spend time/appear obvious in order to oust you, Blender can throw off your targets. Since they know who the 3-7 other Templar are, they’re more likely to be wary of you approaching by yourself – but if they don’t know who you are within a moving crowd, stunning you might not be so easy.
Perk #2: Overall Cooldowns
In general, this is my favorite perk, since it makes your all-too-important multiplayer abilities available more often, from 11% to 19% more frequently. It’s always advantageous to have your skills usable a little sooner, especially in dog-eat-dog games where you could go from hunter to hunted at any moment. Keep in mind that Overall Cooldowns offers a straight cooldown reduction, so it’s more powerful with abilities that already have shorter recharge times.
Win Streak: +250 3-streak (silent)
Deathmatch is a much more slowly paced game than Assassinate or Manhunt, so getting Silent/Incognito kills is much easier. Hell, sometimes it takes you so long to physically view your contracted victim, you’ve already filled your meter before you were aware where he or she was! Keep in mind that you can always use Smoke Bomb to buy you a few seconds in case you approach a target at just under the Silent bonus. And remember: since all streaks now include stuns and you have two abilities equipped that enable easier face-punching, scoring this bonus frequently should be no problem. If you feel ambitious you can try the +550 5-streak (silent) or Animus Hack 7-streak (silent) bonus, but those are all larger gambles.
Loss Streak: Score x2
The score doubler is almost always the best free-for-all loss streak choice, since it is the only one capable of getting you back in the running for a podium spot with just one kill. With a well-timed Incognito, Focused, Kill Streak murder, you can easily score over 2,000 points. If you can’t make a difference from there, you needed more than a loss streak bonus to help your sorry ass out.
While this profile has worked well for me, I’ve seen other players put several other combinations to good use. Disguise can lead to easy stuns against players who aren’t prepared, though I personally find the lack of offensive power makes it a tough tradeoff. Poison, as always, is great for boosting your score and getting variety bonuses. Hell, even the Hidden Gun can grant two types of bonus (though selecting it would warrant switching out the silent-only kill streak). Mute and Charge are always strong contenders for secondary defensive skills, and Mute in particular is perfect for shutting down high-level players who you suspect are holding a Smoke Bomb with your name on it. Finally, Decoy, Morph and Bodyguard can throw off pursuers, though whether or not they work is pretty much a matter of luck.
As far as perks go, being able to preserve part of your momentum with Kill Buffer is great if you want to use a 5+ streak. Sentry and Hot Pursuit could give you an edge during tense stalking sessions, while Resistance and Resilience can protect you from unforeseen circumstances. Fast Getaway is useless (since there are no chases in Deathmatch) and Enhance Autobash remains the most useless perk/icon/thing in Assassin’s Creed Revelations multiplayer, period.
Kill streaks are all trades-off of risk versus reward, and while you can choose any kill streak you want, the Animus Hacks usually don’t pay off. Yes, they’re more powerful in Deathmatch than any other mode (since you can easily tell who the real players are and the map is small enough that you can see all of them), but it usually only nets 3-4 kills. That’s only 400 points, and you’d get 550 points if you took the easier-to-achieve 5-streak (silent) option instead. As far as failure goes, I can’t recommend a loss streak other than the score doubler. Almost every other loss bonus will grant you, at best, 200 extra points for a stun or a slightly better kill bonus (from your increased awareness), yet Score x2 can grant you thousands of points instantly.
So, what do you use in Deathmatch gameplay, and why? I’m genuinely interested in knowing, so spill the fucking beans.