I am an Assassin’s Creed multiplayer noob. And I will be one long into Black Flag. As you read this, I’m either already in-game trying to not get my face pushed in or I am sitting in a lobby waiting to get my face pushed in. AC’s multiplayer has such a large skill gap, however, that sometimes the best players forget what new players don’t know. That is to say, the simple basics. To my noob friends, let me give you two important tips to help you decrease your murder-to-D’oh ratio.
Stunning, isn’t he?
I’ve mentioned my difficulty with the stun mechanic in an earlier article, but it’s a skill that all new players should develop through trial, error, and death. You will, time and again, go for what looks like a surefire stun and end up with 100 points, a death, and that lovely “Honorable Death” message. Frustrating? Sure it is, and it gets more so the more often you fail. Still, Assassin’s Creed multiplayer is dynamic enough that no two fail-stuns will occur the same way in the same location.
Sometimes learning from a free for all is more important than winning one. For this reason, among others, experiment with the angles of the map and the movement of the camera. Take a few matches and chalk them up as losses from the start. Worry only about how you navigate the map, and try to get as high a score as possible going “stun only.” Approach your targets obviously, with caution, or not at all and see if you can get them to start a stun on you. If they succeed, your technique needs work. If you can grab a kill, don’t worry too much about why, but see where the contested kill came from.
You might also consider taking a few matches and going all out aggressive and straight passive for the full ten minutes. Run straight at your pursuers, and just watch your targets walk by. The goal here is to learn how different approaches work, which prompt stuns and which don’t. How does being Reckless actually affect your target’s ability to stun, and how does doing nothing improve your own chances of a haymaker? You won’t earn a circle of super-assassin friends using these methods, of course, but at this early stage of your game, that shouldn’t be your goal. The first hurdle is always the hardest to jump, and people will only clap after clearing it.
Break it down
Your job, as a new player, is to analyze your failures – first in the immediate context of the game as you’re playing.
Such a thing isn’t impossible. There’s a respawn screen for a reason, and you have a memory for a reason. Take the five seconds or so you spend outside the game breaking down what went wrong. If you need more time, find an out of the way blend group and join it. Take your hands off the controls and breathe, talking it out if you have to. Was your killer already locked onto you, and moving in your direction? Were you moving at all towards him? Were there any other Templars anywhere close to the engagement? Could you have used an item but didn’t? Did you use an item but shouldn’t have? If you can answer just one of these questions with something satisfying, you’re ready to jump back into the game. You’ll find, as you collect these little bits of information, you’ll discover patterns in how you play. Analysis method two is best used to break down these patterns.
I know for some people it isn’t possible, but recording and then watching your own gameplay is one of the best ways to improve. While I’m endlessly appreciative of WiNG’s in-depth look at my own gameplay, he can’t get in my head they way that, well, I can. And the same could be said for anyone, even you. Moment by moment decisions, especially split-second ones, can’t truly be understood except by the person who made them. My advice, to myself and to you, is watch back your gameplay in real time, not at half speed as WiNG did. Watch it twice, three or four times. Watch it over a period of several days, even as you continue to play. Some mistakes will fall away and others will rear their heads. Watch for both, and watch for your successes. Use those as markers to shoot for.