Home Shopping Steam Holiday Sale 2013: DayZ Standalone, Splinter Cell: Blacklist strategies and tips

I might have missed a day, but that won’t stop me know. As the holiday season comes to a head around the 25th (and the subsequent return-fest that is the 26th), it seems Steam is waiting. Like a lion in the long, PC grass, it waits, ready to pounce on all that delicious, juicy holiday money. In the meantime, here are a couple neat tricks about ARMA 3 and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

DayZ Standalone strategies

Oh, DayZ Standalone isn’t on sale yet? Well, too bad, I’m covering it here, and will again if it goes on sale, which it probably will. Regardless, Standalone is both a new and old game. On the one hand, it’s much the same as Vanilla DayZ was back before the source code got in the hands of the community. On the other, there’s a ton of new and cool features to make the experience fresh. Two small tips for newcomers: 1. pants matter. 2. Condition is everything.

  1. Pants matter: DayZ Standalone has overhauled the clothing system. While you certainly can run around with nothing but your underclothes on, it’s far better, and effective, to spend some time scrounging for a new pair of pants and a (sometimes) fashionable vest. By default, you spawn with jeans and a T-shirt, giving you four blocks of pocket space. Food and tool items take anywhere from 1-6 spaces, and weapons take up much more. You can store some things on your back, sure, but you’ll want to invest in a pair of cargo pants and a tactical vest. Even without a backpack, just those two upgrades give you access to so much more space your head’ll spin. And when it comes to gearing up for major, long-term battles, all those extra pockets come in mighty handy.
  2. Condition is everything: Also new to the DayZ franchise is the idea of item condition. If you’re familiar with the Fallout system, you won’t be in for much in the way of surprises, as Rocket took quite a few tips from Bethesda on that front. DayZ does take it a bit farther, though, in that condition affects spawn rate and, in the increasing scarcity, well maintained items tend to get you shot a lot more. Everything from scopes to weapons, tools and sometimes clothing items have a condition assigned to them. A bad scope might be cracked and almost unusable, where a good one is completely clear of blemishes. Using items affects condition, as do outside sources of wear, such as weather and people shooting at you. There’s an article about DayZ item condition trolling in here somewhere, but I’ll get back to you on that.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist strategies

Let me start this section by referring you to the Multiplayer Strategy Guide me and WiNG wrote. Most of the tips I could give here are covered in greater detail there. It’s a fully laid out PDF filled with top tier strategies on how to make Spies dead and open Mercenary necks. That bit of shameless self-promotion aside, here’s a little something for sticking with me.

The double-mantle-stab is a tactic WiNG developed on the fly as we were playing on night. As a Spy, it can be an invaluable tool for surprising your Merc foes. The tactic is simple: hide in spot you can mantle over and hang onto either side, then wait and watch the entrance to the hack zone. When the lug gets close, sees you, or begins throwing nades in your direction, flip over the ledge a couple times to draw him out, then wait again. When he’s just below you, flip one last time and get yourself a nice death-from-above kill.

Alternatively, you could go for the run-climb-stab. The execution requires less patience and more panache, but it’s a great way to thwart a Merc’s precise aiming techniques. To pull one of these off, you need to be running, preferably at an angle compared to the Merc shooting at you. Mantle up a wall and snap your aim towards your foe and press the “Kill” button. You’ll probably move so fast he won’t be able to hit unless he had a good long while to fire in your direction. With judicious use of your tactical nades (also in the Multiplayer Strategy Guide), this maneuver is a quick death and effective no matter when it’s used.

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