I’m generally not interested in military FPS games. I’ve never owned a single Call of Duty and my first foray into the genre was with Battlefield 3. I enjoyed it, largely due to the fact that it seemed a lot more open than CoD and the inclusion of vehicles was an important part of the equation for me.
I wasn’t particularly good at tracking my crosshair on moving targets and generally lacked the tactics and skills that many have honed over years of shooting things in the face. To remedy this, I found a new way to contribute to matches; in the larger maps I drove around in a C4 strapped jeep, taking out tanks and assisting point captures as a medic. I was quite successful when I adopted a play style that was more a natural extension of my own strategy. Playing to my strengths instead of stumbling around with my weakness made for a much more enjoyable experience, which is what it’s all about for me.
Given my strengths, choosing to play the Logistics Class in DUST 514 was a no brainer. Logibros (as they are affectionately known) are the support mercenaries of the battlefield. They have more equipment slots than the other classes and this makes them extremely versatile. If FPS games are not your usual cup of tea but you are curious to see what DUST 514 is all about, consider becoming an angel of the battlefield, consider becoming a LOGIBRO.
There are many reasons why this role rocks but it’s not all good news; there are two drawbacks from the logistics class dropsuit.
Firstly, to make room for the extra equipment slots, the logistics class was robbed of its side-arm slot meaning you can only have one weapon equipped. This becomes an important factor when you are deciding on which weapon to wield. Many logistics players like the Mass Driver--DUST 514’s grenade launcher. This weapon is able to lay down a barrage of support fire to flush enemies out of cover or to try and halt them advancing. Without a side-arm slot however, you are restricted to just 18 grenade rounds before your weapon is empty. SMGs and shotguns will put you too close to the frontline and sniper rifles leave you almost defenceless if you get rushed.
Secondly, it’s slower than the scout and assault dropsuits, so don’t expect to be keeping up with the more agile mercs.
With the disadvantages out of the way, what are the advantages? The aforementioned additional equipment slots mean that a support minded gamer can really branch out and get creative and flexible in how they choose to operate. The following are some ways that a less skilled FPS gamer can contribute in a meaningful, fun and lucrative way in DUST 514--starting off with four ‘R’s of support: Revive, Repair, Restock and Rally--then we’ll look at additional strategies.
Repair- In DUST 514 there are two types of protection technology available; shield and armour, both with their own pros and cons. In a nutshell, shields are more expensive to upgrade and make you show up on the enemy's radar easier, but they regenerate at a fast rate without the use of modules and have no speed penalty. Armour is easier and less expensive to upgrade, but it makes you slower and doesn’t regenerate without the aid of modules or a teammate with a repair tool. A shield user needs only a brief moment of respite before it starts to regenerate but for those who chose the latter, a logibro is a godsend in battle.
Repair tools are able to heal armour at a rate of 25-105HP/s and vehicles at a rate of 75-145 HP/s at distances between 10-40ft depending on how deep you train. The level 5 tools can even heal two targets simultaneously. Healing the armor of your squad or other mercs unlucky enough to be playing without a logi not only increases the likelihood of your team's victory, but also grants you a 25 war point ‘Triage’ reward up to a total of about 125 WP at a time. For this reason in particular, Logistics and Heavy class mercs make a great team. Hiding out of sight, you can help mitigate the incoming damage trying to eat its way through the Heavy’s armor plates. If you are actively healing a mercenary who gets a kill, you will earn an additional 35 WP ‘Guardian’ reward. It is not uncommon to to earn over 250 WP in a confrontation acting as a Heavy’s guardian. The other cool thing with repair is that you are able to look 360 degrees without breaking your repair lock-on, so you can also watch out for incoming confrontations.
Revive - Also pretty straight forward. The nanite injector is an infinite use revive tool used to bring back players who are bleeding out. Pressing O by a downed ally will bring him back--you don’t need to select it from the equipment wheel. For this reason, have your repair tool equipped before you revive someone so that you can start healing their armour immediately. Level 5 injectors get a merc back on his feet with 80% of his total armour restored.
Restock - This one isn’t revolutionary either, most FPS games have ammo packs that replenish the reserves of those in its area of effect. Still, it is an important undertaking for logis and isn’t all about ammo at higher levels of training. Choosing to lay down these hives at common choke-points will help keep your team’s magazines full while your enemy is retreating and looking for their own hive or supply depot. As a side note, Uprising brought a host of new hive variations at level 5. These include a hive that is purely for healing and one that heals and refills ammo at the same time.
Rally- This one is very important. DUST 514 doesn’t use a “spawn on squad” feature found in the Battlefield series. When you die, you can respawn at the four following locations:
The Mobile Command Center- this is the big spaceship that’s docked above your base in Skirmish mode. Spawning here puts you the furthest away from the action.
Captured Null Cannons- Maps have 3-5 objectives each, labeled A-E. Only when they are held by your team are you able to spawn at these locations.
Clone Reanimation Units (CRU) - These are hackable respawn nodes located around the maps.
Vehicles with mobile CRU module - Vehicles can be fitted with modules that allow your squad to spawn directly into your buggy, tank or dropship.
The use of Null cannons and CRU’s is dependant on them being under your control and the MCC is usually too far away to enable a speedy redeployment into battle. The best tactic is to use Drop Uplinks. Uplinks are limited use, deployable spawn points that can be used strategically to give your squad advantageous spawn points on the map, additional to what your team has secured in the field. By placing one in an area sheltered from the gunfire of opposing players, your squad mates can jump right back into the fray when they die. You get a 25 WP reward each time your uplink gets used and its not uncommon to earn an easy 250 WP from respawns alone.
With the basics out the way, logistics class still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Hacking - While your team is enaged in a dialog of bullets with your enemy, sneak off quickly to hack that nearby turret to give your side an added firepower boost. Hacking a Clone Reanimation Unit (CRU) gives your allies another place to spawn and supply depots allow them to switch dropsuit fittings and get ammo. While there is no item for hacking, you can increase your hack speed through skill training, dropsuit modules and the Minmatar logistics dropsuit can get upto 25% additional hack speed with training.
Active Scanner - Scanning was first introduced briefly during closed beta but wasn’t quite ready for deployment and was quickly removed. Back in Uprising, the Active Scanner item lets you send out a sonar wave that picks up the scan signature of enemies within the range and relays that info back to your squad's minimap. The scan profiles of dropsuits have been greatly reduced so that enemies are harder to detect, encouraging the use of the scanner. There is currently no War Point bonus for scanning but this will be implemented this year.
Remote Explosives/Proximity mines - Who says your equipment slots have to be filled with life preserving tools? Equip some of DUST 514’s explosive goodies and lay waste to unsuspecting tanks and jeeps as they approach your location or protect a controlled Null Cannon with a sneakily laid remote explosive.
I am a dedicated Logibro, if what you read here sounds like your cup of tea as well, then come join PSU’s corporation by clicking below. I will personally help anyone with advice on dropsuit fittings and skill progression for this class either in DUST 514 (THE GREY CARDINAL) or in the DUST section of our forums (Ghost-Rhayne).
Incase you have no idea what you've just read, DUST 514 is PS3's exclusive free-to-play FPSRPGMMO which launched yesterday. Along with EVE Online, it is the first real cross platform, cross genre game that has console and PC interacting like never before. Look out for PSU's DUST 514 review coming in the near future.