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Thread: On Boot training

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    On Boot training

    1. Intro & Disclamer

    For those of you that don't know me, I play Vanessa 'Pocket' Miller, platinum medal SEA, and the first SEA to serve in the Almayer. Throughout the years, I can say that I've easily trained over a hundred boots inside and outside the SEA role, with more or less success.
    During this time, I developed what I consider a good routine, that guides the boots through the UI and the controls, and builds up on that knowdlege with practical training to reinforce it. As always, it's not perfect, it doesn't cover all the niches in the game, and I don't claim to have the absolute truth, but it's here as a guide for anyone, SEA or not, that wishes to help the community by training a boot, or even for a boot to learn, from another perspective, the basics, and some intermediate concepts of the game.
    At some point I may expand it to more entry level roles, but it's not all so different, really. You just swap the gun part with their job specific machinery, and maybe some memes, cause they have less to learn, and not a lot to do.

    2. Prep work

    As a SEA, get your gloves, armor, large mag pouch, fill your mag pouch with rubber M41 mags (they'll come in handy later), and get whatever else you want. if you aren't maybe ahelp for rubber mags once you reach the shooting range
    While you hunt for boots in the preps, restock the shooting range by bringing over a flechette box and a pack of flares to each shooting range. Try to keep them, and cryo clean of garbage, so boots don't grab random shit from the ground.

    3. Approaching a boot

    First of all, approach a boot and ask them if they need help. Here, 3 things can happen:
    • They are too bald to even speak: In that case, tell them to use T to talk. If you are a SEA, you can do this OOCly, if you are not... In my experience, the guy is 99% never gonna read the chat, so just embrace the LRP and say it to him. It's for a good cause!
    • They refuse: Some people do NOT want help, and that is OK, it's their decision. Just check on them from time to time if you're free, and be happy to offer tips if they struggle, but don't be pushy. I'd say about 10-15% of them actually ask for training after they hit a wall.
      Others refuse out of politeness, because they don't want to inconvenience you, so DO remind them that you are here to train new marines, and that it's your job.
    • They Accept: First of all, ask them if they're new to spess, or just the marines. That will let you skip the basic UI and controls, and make a spess veteran's training faster and more focused.

    4. Basic training
    At any point, encourage them to ask questions, and be happy to solve any doubts they have, even if it's unrelated to the subject. And after each complicated segment, ask them if they are good to continue.
    • Cryo (where they get their bearings): Wherever you are, get them to cryo, and introduce the room, it's where people wake up. Make them notice their bottom left HUD, and in there, their ID (shift click to examine). Make sure they notice the chat. Once they know their squad, tell them their assigned color and note that they speak the color of the line they are supposed to follow (WASD to move). Get them moving!
    • Cafeteria (where they learn hands and vendors): The cafeteria is the place where you get your first bite. Make them notice their hands on the bottom HUD, and explain that the ACTIVE hand is the highlighted one. They do things with that hand. The main exercise here is to vend 2 food rations, and hold one on each hand (X to switch active hand), drop them (Q to drop what's in the active hand), and eat them(Z to activate an item in the active hand). Once they have eaten, keep following the line
    • Prep (where they get dressed): They already know how vendors work, so tell them to grab everything up to the armor (armor included), and explain the basic differences between armors (the heavier it is, the more it protects, but the more it slows you down). Let the boot make his choice. They may choose something you disagree with, but it's the best way to learn. The boot will catch up with the meta soon enough if he keeps playing, and won't feel like you're railroading him too much. Once he got his armor, and before he starts vending random shit, drag him off, and get him to the shooting range.
    • Shooting range (Where they learn about mag guns!): Tell them to stay at the shooting line, and go grab an L42. Be sure to not give him a mag yet. Give them the carbine, and make him 1 and 2 hand it (again, by pressing Z). Once they are comfortable, put the mag on the table, and see if they manage to load it, they learnt all they needed at the cafeteria. After it's loaded, tell the boot to one hand it, and take the mag out (By touching the gun with an empty hand). Let them spam load and reload a bunch, and get to shooting:

      * Tip: NEVER stand directly south of a private while he has a loaded gun. Most of them try to click the bottom HUD, and miss, thus shooting southwards. Trust me, this will save you some scars

      Here we introduce the guns, I keep them generic enough, and don't overwhelm the boots with stats. Of course if they ask, I'll tell them about falloff and all that, but for now keep it simple.
      * L42 carbine: "The L42 carbine, great damage and accuracy, but low ammo and fire speed. Great at long range". Show the difference between shooting one and two handed, and stress how bad the recoil is. Get them to shoot the whole mag, as fast as they can, and at different targets, and point at the sound of the mag running out. Also point out that the empty mag drops at their feet.
      * M39 SMG: "Low damage and accuracy at range, but high ammo and fire speed. Great at short range range". The boot will notice the change of fire speed and accuracy loss on far away targets. Here, you should also make them notice the cluster of buttons right of the pouches. Make them test the burst fire mode, which increases RPM at the cost of accuracy, and the eject mag button, which is an alternative of taking the mag by hand.
      * M41 Pulse rifle: "A good middleground. Versatile, and has great accuracy while bursting. Great at midrange" Not much here, just tell the boot to observe the gun to check the remaining ammo (works for all mag weapons) and let em shoot the whole mag. During these drills, disguised as presentations, the boot has learnt how to switch hands, reload, two hand and shoot consistently!
      * Target practice: Teach them how to vault over the table (Middle click), and play a game: Each of you go to a corner of the room, and the boot has to shoot you down with rubber bullets (Make sure his pulse rifle is empty), before you stun him with your flash.
      Throughout the rounds, iron out their mistakes: Teach them how to click your sprite, that single fire is better against fast targets, teach them to calm down and focus, to keep their range, to ACTUALLY shoot(a good bunch of them only shoot if they have the perfect shot, and even then, they miss), and how moving one handed is faster than 2 handed(You're using the pulse rifle, so it should be noticeable, maybe drop that the SMG has no slowdown, and is a good chase weapon). You'd be surprised how much this helps them, and how much improvement you see after each round. If they struggle switch roles for a round to let them see how it's done. BONUS POINTS: This gives admemes a nice FF log spam! ; )
    • Deploying (Where you bet with medbay if the boot is gonna live more than 10 minutes, and watch the crew console):
      That's what I consider the really barebones training. If they are robust enough, I will ask them if they want to deploy or if they want to keep learning (It's usually like a 50-50 split) If they struggle, I just deploy them, so they practice what they've learnt. Even if they want to deploy, I'll get them to finish loading up, get them to req, show them the armor light and whatever attachment they got, and then deploy them with a few tips on the way, while we wait for the DS, like how to use comms, the SL tracker, and to never go alone. I hopefully find someone trustworthy, and tell them to look after the boot, and finally, I welcome them to the marines, and deploy their asses.

    5. Advanced training
    A fresh boot probably has a lot on his head, and now he is going to have a much harder time assimilating all of this, while an SS13 vet will breeze through all of this in minutes, so use your judgement when teaching him the mechanics in this list.
    • Attachments & Grenades: Take out the UGL out of the M41, and make them install it. Make them notice the top left HUD for activatables, and get them to load a couple of training nades. Show them how it shoots over people's heads.
      Also show them how to throw nades by hand, with a HUGE emphasis on their dangers (doesn't throw above people, and getting stunned while cooking the nades, hopefully with practical examples) Finally tell them to stick to the UGL if they want to use nades, at least until they know what xenos do.
    • Lighting: Hop back into the shooting range with the boot, and take out the lightbulbs in the room (That's why you take the gloves in your prep). Tell them how xenos sense you in the dark and through walls, and make him toggle his armor light on. Show him how multiple marines make a comfortable lit zone, and finally, get out of the room, and hand him a flare box. Teach him how to open containers (clicking with an empty hand or middle clicking), and let him light up the room. Finally, don't be lazy, and put the lights back on!
    • :Intents and battle formation
      * Intents (hotkeys 1 to 4): Teach him about all intents, the dangers of disarming someone with a wielded gun, and the DREADED help intent shuffle (Make them hold a direction key pressed, and walk into his tile, also in help intent. Make him notice how that kills marines
      * Battle formation: Teach them about fire lines, and how you should stick to yours and not walk sideways, how not to fire if you're not on the frontline, and about chokepoint protocol (You should stay in help intent while in the back line, and once the guy in front goes back to heal or reload, and you get to the frontline, you switch to harm intent, 2 hand the gun, and start blasting)
      * Corner practice: Teach them the dangers of doors and corners. If you can, get another marine or shipside crew to help you on this one, usually in the cafeteria hallway. The drill is easy, you give the helping marine a pulse with rubber ammo, and tell him to stay behind the boot and be his battle buddy. You will play as the woyer behind the corner. If you drag him behind a nearby door, he's capped, if the battle buddy shoots you down, he's safe.

      * WARNING: Rubber bullets DO kill if they PB, so warn the helping guy.

      For the first drill, tell the boot to hug the wall and facecheck the corner. As soon as you see the boot, flash him and drag him to Brazil. His battle buddy won't be fast enough to save him. Show him how his battle buddy couldn't react in time
      Now make him do the same, but from a safe distance, avoiding being near the wall. The battle buddy should shred you before you can get to safety.
      Same deal with doors, tell him to shoot xeno doors, and not be near them without significant marine protection.
      This drill is very instructive, and makes a big difference in how they move through the battlefield, and when they inevitably get near a corner, and die, they'll understand why they died. ALSO, MORE FF LOGS, AND FROM A DIFFERENT PERSON! At this point the admemes probably want to murder you!
    • Shotgun training:
      Shotguns are a pain, because you have to teach them how to do macros, and more people than you'd think have quite a bit of trouble with it. If they get too stuck, skip this lesson.
      As for the training, show them the different shell types (slugs do little damage but stun and daze small xenos, buckshot also stuns and does massive damage to unarmored(small) xenos, but has an effective range of 3-4 tiles, and 4 is pushing it, and flechette doesn't stun, but goes through armor(big xenos))
      Unlike mag weapons, you can't see how many shells you have left, and you have to take a mental note. You also have to use the eject mag button to unload it. They hold 10 shells, that can be mixed.
      * PB training: For robust boots, or if they REALLY like shotguns. Order a surgical DUMMY, and get him in the shooting range. teach the boot how to PB (Click the tile next to him in harm intent), how it doesn't fire if there's no targets there, and how he doesn't need to two hand the shotgun for that.
      Now pretend that the DUMMY is a lurker that just jumped his battle buddy, and get him to somewhat reliably PB it on the move. Very fun exercise, and EVEN MORE FF LOGS! The only bad side is that admins stopped caring about FF logs a long time ago, oh well!
    • Loadout & First aid:
      Get back to prep, ask him which gun did he like the most, and get him the corresponding belt and the two first aid pouches (gauze and injectors).
      now, my favourite part of the training: Revenge for all the frustration!. Take out your bayonet and slash the boot in the arm.
      Here he should learn how to examine himself(touch his sprite in help intent), how to aim using the targetting dummy on the bottom right HUD, how to use gauze to stop bleeding, and what the chems in the injectors do, as well as OD levels(2 stabs). He should also learn about dragging injured marines to a medic(grab intent, or ctrl click)
      Then drag him to the armory, and make him grab a gun, load it, and fill his belt with extra ammo.
    • Req:
      Show him how to stand in line, and tell him what can he find in req (special ammo, special weapons, grenades, attachments...) Make sure that he orders attachments for his gun. He doesn't know what kind of attachments there are, and ther's too many to explain, but he can always ask his friendly neighbourhood CT for advice!
    • Deploying:
      Finally, walk towards the DS while you explain the SL tracker, and give him random tips, like never go alone, stick to your SL, and whatnot. While you wait for the DS to pick him up, teach him about comms (prefacing something you say with ; ).
      It is very possible that by this time, there is a hijack. In that case keep him as your battle buddy, and scream at him in all caps to stay on you and correct their mistakes (and there will be lots of them)

      And that's pretty much it. The extended training is long, and after each exercise block, remember to ask them how they're doing, and if they want to continue.
      For the last words, I'll say this: The guys that went through the full training, or most of it, are the ones I keep seeing logging on more frequently, so I feel that there's some virtue to it. Have a CM day!
    Last edited by RNGPriest; 10-11-2022 at 07:18 PM.
    Vanessa 'Pocket' Miller

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