Home Strategy Assassin’s Creed 3 multiplayer for beginners: WiNG deconstructs Xiant’s gameplay

If you’ve been following Xiant’s exploits in Assassin’s Creed 3 multiplayer, you know he’s on a personal mission to up his game. You could say he wants to be the very best like noone ever was. Of course, you’d be quoting Herman Cain, but that’s beside the point.

So, in the most regrettable decision he’s ever made, Xiant gave me access to nine minutes of his somewhat recent gameplay footage. While that speaks to his terrible lack of judgment, I decided to go easy on him and only spend the video critiquing his actual gameplay.

It was an excellent opportunity to see Assassin’s Creed 3 multiplayer through the eyes of a (relatively) inexperienced person and explain exactly how his pursuers got the better of him. Or, more frequently, how Xiant could have maximized his score when he was on the hunt.

If I’m lucky, this footage will be as educational to other new players as it will hopefully be for my esteemed colleague. Let us know what you think!

 

14 replies to this post
  1. Here’s a question for you – as an experienced player, how do you deal with beginners? Not in the sense of taking advantage of their mistakes, but how do you adapt from say the tournament to an average lobby?
    From watching your and other youtubers’ vids I get all these cool strategies and I want to try them out, but then I get a lobby where none of that matters because everyone’s running around getting 150 point kills so doing any kind of stalking just loses your contract. (bit of a run-on sentence there)
    Assassinate is the worst for this – all the high level players (on pc at least) are just running around like lunatics with their little fucking osb/poisons; meanwhile im standing in a blend group, not dying because they can’t find me, but also not getting any points because, well, they can’t find me, so they just run away.
    I guess in general, and I think this would be a good topic for an article beyond just AC, how do you adapt optimal strategy to sub-optimal gameplay?

    PS. I love that you can hit random players with throwing knives – if I see someone running and my knives are up, they’re getting hit, without hesitation. Sometimes you hit the first guy in a 5-man train and just watch it pile up, like a car crash.

    • (Also PC player) Well, since you aren’t asking about taking advantage of mistakes, I’ll try address the issue with people running in high profile.

      Offensively, ranged abilities (barring Disruption) are pretty handy counters to runaways. Pistol, as blunt and unstealthy as it is, the base kill adds to variety and the other two variety bonuses it gives requires the target to be running or climbing. In other words you are rewarded for gunning down an unstealthy target. I won’t go further, WiNG already wrote a lot on this subject.

      For your other options, Dart changes range for extra points upfront and less noise, and knives exchange kill power for wide utility.

      Defensively against a pursuer who decides to eschew stealth and run at you, Smoke Bomb is the best for on-reaction defense (and can be used Offensively if you can throw it well), followed by smart use of Firecrackers/Money Bomb and a good escape plan. If all else fails, just trigger a chase; at worst they only get 100 points and at best you get an escape (which counts to variety!)

      Assassinate is probably the least stealthy and most opportunistic of the FFA modes; take a look at Rainin, he’s pretty aggressive (though not reckless) overall. Deathmatch plays slowly, as small maps means high-profile immediately blows your cover. Wanted forces you to balance things; most people run until they get LOS on target or hear whispers.

      MM has been pretty good to me so far; lots of people my level and grade so runaways are pretty rare. Sure, you’ll get the annoying roofer or baiter, but you have tools for that.

      For beyond AC, one of the things to note about players resorting to well-known and sub-optimal strategies is that they become predictable, and predictable means exploitable. Don’t necessarily force your old strategies onto new situations and instead. At this point, you don’t need to do any risk-reward thinking or prediction as you already know what will happen. For example instead of thinking “should I stalk for the incog-hidden-focus or should I rush?”, just spook the target and shoot/knife/poison dart them because you know they’ll run once they hear whispers.

      • Please don’t advise towards SB. The least thing the world needs is another one of those people running around.

        What I mean is that Smoke Bomb is STILL clearly one of the best skills in the game, especially when you double up on crafting its cooldown. CoD’s makers at least had the decency to remove Stopping Power when they saw that it was strictly better than any other perk, why didn’t Ubisoft?

        So, some people, me included, have taken to the goal that if Ubi won’t remove SB from the game, we will. No Smoke Bomb, don’t even unlock it, you don’t need it.

        They removed Mute, which was used as a much more lag dependant Smoke 90% of the cases anyway, but kept in the bloody bomb. I just don’t get it, I tell you.

        Concerning winning in Assassinate, the only winning move is to quit the session as soon as you get assigned into one and go back to DM. It worked somewhat in Brotherhood, I’m told, because you were still very vulnerable there even with the ability to pick your own targets. Since then however, it’s become simply a competition for who knows the most abuses and whose offensive SB recharges fastest.

        Let’s do the math. Say a random experienced player who’s much too full of himself, let’s call him the evil Assassin, lures a level 7 into locking him and climbing onto a box to get him. Bam, Smoke Bomb out of the killing animation, stun, followed by Silent Grounded Grab Focus Chain kill. That in itself is already (2+2.5+1+4.5+1.5)*100 = 1150 points, in addition to guaranteeing you get a Variety. Now let’s say he does it with two at the same time.

        (2+2.5+1+4.5+1.5+2+2.5+1+4.5)*100 = 2150 points. With a single Smoke Bomb.

        Granted, that is an optimal case, but it’s very likely in Assassinate, and while such bull gets less likely as competition grows even, it just gets more and more ridiculous until it eventually dissolves into a mating dance-like ritual of locking back and forth until one comes into range for oSB. No, I say, I’ll prefer modes which actually place an emphasis on stealth, as this game is technically supposed to have as literally its core gameplay mechanic in all games’ single and multiplayer.

        Basically what I’m saying is Smoke is unnecessary and simply using it demonstrates to me that you lack the creativity to play without it. Bodyguard is a very strong skill, so strong actually that I’ve seen it punch completely unrelated players, just because.

        Or just go nuts without any abilities. Make sure they don’t have a lock on you anymore, climb a building, drop behind them and punch. If you can get the drop on them, you’d be surprised at how often this works. People never look up or behind them. Use that fact. Even if they do notice you, the horrid lock system usually does its best to help you out.

        Y’know, that or Ubi’s decision that it should be the safest thing to do when standing on a rooftop to drop right in front of them, though I’m not sure if the immunity to getting dropstunned also extends to getting killed.

        Be creative! Outwit your opponents! And don’t you dare pull out that bomb when Doctor Awesome is around!

      • While I agree that Assassinate often degenerates into certain patterns of play, I find your comparison to Stopping Power is faulty. Stopping Power is a static perk, whereas Smoke Bomb is an activate ability with attributes that can be tweaked for balance.

        In Assassinate, it’s only unbalanced because people are dumb. I took Animus Shield into ASN and got tons of hilarious kills because people were crutching on Smoke Bomb. But the reality is if anyone is tricked into using Smoke, they are basically defenseless for 80 to 100 seconds. And crafting Smoke for double cooldown isn’t a given, because it guarantees you will lose to anyone who has crafted for range or duration in any encounter.

        So I haven’t told people to use smoke, but it’s also bad form to tell people not to use smoke. It’s like telling Ryu players not to use Hadouken. It’s a good skill, but it has vulnerabilities. I’d rather teach people up than teach them down.

      • I didn’t realize people where _that_ sensitive to the mention Smoke Bomb. It’s starting to get that Voldemort effect. That said, I’m not contesting your points in any way.

      • What’s with the smoke bomb hate? It’s an awesome skill that is one of the few skills straight out of the single player campaigns.

        It’s much more balanced now, there are more tools to fight it and better options. Yes, it can score crazy amounts of points in assassinate, but that doesn’t mean we should take it out. Hell, the fact that we get knives or hidden gun as an extra ability helps counter.

        Anecdotal evidence, I haven’t actual seen many people running smoke. Definitely far less than Over powered, god-mode revelations smoke. (or even worse, the mute smoke combo, lol)

        The only thing worse than running smoke 100% of the time is people who say you shouldn’t run smoke ever for chivalry reasons.

      • I’m guessing you’re a shenmue fan toraka, but yeah, i totally agree – all my assassinate matches have been exactly as you describe. Personally I’m only level 30 so I’m going to use it for now, but once I get all my abilities unlocked and crafted I’ll stop using it.

      • Doesn’t necessarily have to be a Shenmue fan. I am, but I hated and got rid of SB back in ACR. I’e used it only a few times in AC3, and always against obvious pursuers in MH who do nothing but run at you.

        I really do see SB as a crutch, and one that far too many people rely on. They made it a tiny bit weaker in AC3, but ignored the points that made it so OP to begin with – its throwability, and it’s instant-ness. Seriously – SB is a friggin’ time-traveling machine, taking away stuns and giving cute little uncontested kills instead. It’s ridiculous. But it’s something I blame Ubi for, more then the players. Of course they’ll go for the obvious and use SB. Sadly, it’s often difficult to find anyone NOT using the ability, and that alone shows how powerful it still is.

      • Oh boy, I started something…

        @publius: Yeah. It was originally Squiddish who came up with the no SB pledge as far as I know, though.

        @Wing: Yes, SB is more balanced than it has ever been in the most regards, mostly its CD, but when you DO use it, it’s still top tier. It can block literally every action possible at point blank range, with even some room into the bloody kill animation when combined with latency.

        Yes, now there are Shield and Wipe to counter it, as well as the ranged slot, but all of those abilities need to be used before your foe even means to drop Smoke. In the process, you may expose yourself to a target who hasn’t identified or even seen you yet or you could also waste an ability where it wasn’t necessary. Plus, none of those abilities stops running away or initiating a contested kill, UNLIKE SMOKE.

        I like playing Blue as much as the next man, but I think that something goes wrong if you pick your abilities and/or strategy just to counter out on that your opponents may not even be playing.

        Yes, there are ways to counter it, some without even using an ability, but about anything other than using Animus Shield or gunning/running them down after baiting Smoke will just leave them with their Smoke charged while your strategy is still cooling down. I’d call that ability disadvantage, to keep up the pointless Magic analogies.

        Also, all of those ways require some degree of prediction and/or skill while SB is a braindead LB-to-win skill that can be used at least somewhat effectively by a level 1 who just picked up the game. Which it also is thanks to Ubisoft’s greed.

        So that delivers us with a situation where playing around an ability requires significantly more effort than using it, rather than being able to counter it using almost any ability and the same skill level.

        Basically what I was trying to say in both of these posts is that I don’t approve of people praising SB for the go-to strategy that it is. I can accept if it is used, but telling new players to just use Smoke simply takes creativity out of the game as they’ll likely never switch it out again since there is no situation where a Smoke Bomb can not serve you well.

        Perhaps ‘learn to play’, as much as I dislike this phrase, without it, then start using it so that it’s a new strategy rather than a given to you.

        Oh yeah, almost forgot. Firstly, I was just too lazy to think of something else that was removed for balance (High Templar Energy upgrade? Warhound?), and secondly, I think it does serve rather well.

        Stopping Power makes your guns have more bang. Smoke Bomb gives you a few seconds of doing whatever you want every 100 seconds basetime, and you’ll often use it as closely to on cooldown as possible. As such, while it’s not the same exactly, it can be compared to being a static ability.

      • The problem is that players cannot learn to beat Smoke Bomb if they don’t use it. They have to see its limitations, its range, and get a sense of its cooldown through use. Just telling people not to use it, they are going to be less prepared to face Smoke down. And, when the time comes, they are gonna rage harder when they lose to it, since it will seem more magical to them.

        If/when players learn to counter Smoke better, it will force Smoke users to throw Smoke more often. But throwing Smoke will also increase their notoriety and decrease their odds of success. Smoke is also significantly less useful on maps like Boston Harbor with so much elevation. Essentially, taking Smoke precludes a player from top performance in large sections of the map, particularly the downtown market area and all of the alleys that lead to it.

        It may feel like it’s boring to have a specifically anti-smoke strategy, but most established competitive games are like this. In chess, you must have defenses against certain common (strong) openings and strategies. In Starcraft, you must be able to defend against certain types of rushes and harassment, including building specific units you may or may not like to counter them. In Street Fighter, good players need to learn option selects to punish defenders for using “no skill” backdash invulnerability. In football, coaches must always keep in mind how the clock affects what the team with possession will do, including various metagame stall tactics.

        I don’t think that just because something is the “best” that it’s broken, as long as its best-ness comes with a cost. In Starcraft, the Nuke is the “best” single strike attack, but it costs a ton of resources, which take a long time, and is difficult to get into position stealthily. Perhaps Smoke could use slightly more “cost” but removing it would just encourage players to blindly rush all their targets. Its very existence (aside from Assassinate) encourages stealth and/or acrobatics, which are the mainstays of AC multiplayer.

    • I did forget to note: Yes, cooldowns. You only have 1 ranged ability slot and if you’re constantly having to hunt down runaways, then you’ll need to be a bit more opportunistic.

    • In general, remember that new players fall for stupid tricks. If you want to rack up tons of points versus new players, just use Decoy. Works perfectly in DM, Wanted, or ASN. Especially in Assassinate, since everyone is already running in high profile as-is. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can trick people into really stupid stuns.

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