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Guide to Freeze
From the paralysis of the CTF to the sneak attacker of DM mode, Freeze is a deadly threat against any without the knowledge of how to counter it. One of the three short-ranged weapons that don't fire projectiles, Freeze instead ejects a cone of rime to engulf their opponents and ultimately force their momentum to come to a grinding halt. Who doesn't fancy the idea of rendering their enemies unable to retaliate?
According to an old and forgotten description, Freeze is a heavily modified refrigerator mounted onto a tank. Initially, the idea seems foolish, since metal isn't greatly effected by standard low temperatures. However, a controlled injection of liquid nitrogen can quickly constrict the gears of a machine, causing them to slow down drastically. During this time, the rime begins to slowly bend the metal, dealing low but frequent damage. When Freeze halts its attack, the enemy remains frozen for a considerable time, but slowly warms up after a second or two. Keep in mind that being sprayed by a Firebird, Freeze's direct rival can also reverse the 'frozen' effect, as its high heat counteracts the icy coating and melts it.
Properly Pairing Freeze
Chances are, you'll most likely see Freeze on some of the faster or moderate hulls, while the slower hulls like Titan or Mammoth are usually disregarded as an effective combination. This is thanks to Freeze's short proximity of damage requiring it to move around often and chase opponents, and... well, your grandmother can beat Mammoth in a race. So, consequentially, Wasp and Hornet are some of the most popular hulls to use with Freeze, since their decent manoeuvrability and high speed allow them to encompass their opponents entirely without staying in front of their turret for too long. Another excellent medium hull combination is Viking/Freeze, as it combines a decent health stat, respectable speed and a low profile excellent for keeping enemies from ducking beneath them and staying out of sight for longer than both Hunter and Dictator. Titan and Mammoth only work well with Freeze on really small maps, such as Island or Ping-Pong, but they're also effective on single-point CPs for commandeering a point. (That is, if you can reach it before death with speeds that would bore a turtle.)
Freeze is an interesting weapon, as it fares better than its other two proximity siblings (Firebird and Isida) in Deathmatch with its invaluable ability to paralyse opponents. While this is debatable in circumstances such as smaller maps not allowing much maneuverability for hulls to squeeze between other players to gain kills, Freeze gains an interesting attribute of usefulness in large DM maps, such as Berlin or Dusseldorf, where prop density is high and ranged weapons, of which Wasp/Freeze is exceptional at tackling thanks to their uniformly low turret rotation speed, are quite common.
This niche also grants Freeze the ability to be incredibly threatening in CTF matches as well, crippling flag-thieves and allowing you to slow defenders should you become one yourself. TDMs are still a useful environment for them, but they lack the potential to break through a well-defended base single-handedly due to their lower cumulative damage output. It suffers the same fate in CPs, not being able to top Firebird in terms of crowd control. Don't be alarmed, though -- Freeze will always be a threat to players unprepared.
Playing with Freeze results in very fluid combat. The short range compels you to continue moving and hunt down enemies, which is why lighter hulls are nigh perfect. In action, freezing them on the spot and encircling them to avoid their turret is recommended so you can survive for as long as possible. Staying in one place works rarely with this turret, unless you're defending a choke point in CTF mode, such as the paths to the blue base in Silence.
Also, if you don't know how to turn your turret and you use Freeze... don't.
The prices for the coldest weapon don't stagger very well, admittedly, and neither do the ranks. M0 is purchased with 600 crystals at Recruit and M1 appears well placed beyond this at Warrant Officer 1, but then Freeze M2 throws a wrench through the heart of this at being available only four ranks later at Warrant Officer 5. At this stage, it's almost pointless to purchase M1 Freeze, as it's only a crystal deficit and can leave you stranded with it for a ridiculous amount of time.
To make matters worse, if you become a die-hard Freeze fanatic in that brief period of time, you'll have to wait a whopping 12 ranks -- that's about 844,000 experience points -- to pick up the M3 variant. That's equivalent to starting from Recruit again and nearly ranking up to General. You're forced to micro-upgrade this if you wish to use it indefinitely.
Tactics and Strategy
Using Freeze is very simple: point the turret in the general direction of your opponent and hold down the spacebar. When you let go of the spacebar or run out of charge, the turret will immediately start reloading. However, reloading takes a reasonable amount of time, approximately eight seconds. Freeze has a very limited range, which means you must be fairly close to your opponent before firing, or they will not be harmed. An easy identifier for a frozen tank is an overall light blue hue and unnaturally slowed movement.
Freeze might look like the ultimate weapon with its constricting capabilities, but several less apparent drawbacks come into play upon use. First of all, Freeze only has a tad over seven seconds of charge to use at once. This may seem like heaps if you only have one enemy in your sights, but it runs out quickly when you have many enemies to kill. To get around this disadvantage, take advantage of the freezing effect and stay on the backside of crippled opponents, allowing you to focus on other attacks and potentially use their crippled hull as a buffer for incoming attacks.
The first method works best with Wasp but can be used with Hornet, Hunter or Viking when attacking heavy hulls. The concept is simple: you drive around your enemy while blasting him with a torrential onslaught of rime. Always trying to stay behind his turret to receive as little damage as possible. Remember to have your turret facing the tank at all times, as one slip can cost damage and freezing time.
Dealing With Multi-Leveled Maps
When you are a level above or below an opponent, rock your tank back or forth to aim your turret slightly up or down. Rock your tank by driving in one direction, then swiftly changing direction. This will tilt your hull upwards or downwards, depending on which direction you moved last, allowing you to change the angle of your turret's fire for a short period of time. Much practice is required before this technique becomes effective. Spraying an opponent in this way may not destroy them, but it'll sometimes connect for long enough to freeze them slightly and deal a small bit of free damage.
Another way to change the aim of your turret is to make use of inclined surfaces. If your foe is above you, drive the front of your hull onto the bottom of the ramp. Vary how far you drive up the ramp to adjust the vertical aim of Freeze. Opponents catch on to this trick very quickly, though, and will back away. You must be able to aim quickly before this tactic becomes effective! You can likewise attack from above by placing your entire tank onto the ramp's surface, allowing you to spray everything below.
When you have mastered the previous tactics, try incorporating some of these tactics into your gameplay:
- Corpse shield - use the corpse of a destroyed tank as a temporary shield. This will prevent all weapons spare Railgun from damaging you for a brief period of time, allowing you to focus on other targets.
- Surprise! - use the icy blue spray to surprise Railguns and Shafts lying in wait, then duck back into cover. Often, they will shoot where you were previously standing, giving you plenty of time to attack them for free.