Guide to playing in Highland effectively
Overview: Highland is quite a complicated map - it has various height levels, is quite cramped at certain places and requires a specific set of skills to play in. It is a medium-sized map and an excellent training place for mastering close-defensive and offensive tactics. It offers a nice experience in the fast-paced gameplay which only minority of players notice and take for good. It is also a nice and popular place for parkouring. Small to medium ranged turrets will thrive here, but due to the vast space between both the bases, longer-ranged turrets such as Railguns or Shafts can sometimes pop up too.
Battle Modes: DM, TDM, CTF, CP
Size: 8v8, 16 Players
Camping in Highland is a good tactic, as long as you're using Shaft, Railgun or Magnum. See, the thing is, if you're using something else than these turrets, you'd be better doing mid-fielding rather than sniping; mainly because of the map's very own size. For instance, if you want to snipe with something like Thunder or Smoky, I'd suggest you ditch your spot and go all out in the middle.
Furthermore, sniping requires some basic sense of picking targets and making sure they die before they do what their role is in the battle. For example, if you get the dilemma of shooting between a tank that's coming for you and a tank that weaker, but far away, shoot the one that's weaker first. You'll steal the kill, decreasing the chance of that person to win while simultaneously taking out the person that's coming for you.
As for supplies, I recommend using Double Damages to increase your damage output; though you should keep some Double Armors in case the whole battle decides to end you once and for all.
Additionally, you can choose between a wide array of camping spots in Highland, be it behind the house in the blue base or this area in the red.
Basically, if you got a nice equipment, such as Twins/Smoky/Thunder/Ricochet paired with Viking/Titan, you can take a beat with the most of the enemies right in the center of the map. Either if it is a 'drug-battle' or 'non-drug-battle', you have to keep with others - use supplies efficiently paired with dropped supply boxes, the Repair Kit in the middle and Double Damage and Armor boxes dropping right behind the fence of the red base (according to team modes in this map) are the key for the best benefit. Do not hesitate to leave the 'stadium' if you are going to be destroyed and try to make as many as possible kills before dying and losing the supplies. Not recommended for players low-on-supplies and with weaker equipment.
"Sneak & Steal" Tactic
This is a tactic where you, with the right equipment, have to predict which enemies you should aim for. A Railgun/Thunder/Hammer and sometimes Freeze/Firebird with Hornet/Wasp is a perfect combination for this role. You have to have a fast mettle and fingers, much knowledge of the statistics of the enemies' equipment. Sneak and run around in the areas with fewer enemies, hit, run, kill, repeat. It's recommended hunting enemies with weaker equipment and low health, watch for which enemy is under other enemy's fire and is going to die, stay away and jump to steal in the right moment. The result depends on how good you use this tactic.
It is suggested to exchange between tactics as it all depends on the enemies faced.
"Going All Out" Tactic
Going all out on an attack is one of the best tactics used by people in a Highland DM. Basically, the way it works is that you choose a turret that has high damage, but a lower reload time. Prime examples of such turrets are Smoky, Striker and Twins. Just grab a heavy hull, such as Titan and wreck everyone you see in your path.
Do note that if you want this tactic to work, you'll have to use your supplies. You'll face a lot of people while doing this tactic, so changing positions every now and then is also a strategical recommendation.
For example, here I am with Hammer - using it's pellets to shoot a tank on the opposite side of the wall. After this, I'll quickly change positions and carry on with my spree.
In a TDM, the biggest objective is to kill without getting killed. This means that there should be enough Isidas in your team to fill up even the slightest of lost health. Most people tend to go all out in this format, trying to end the game as early and quickly as possible; but that doesn't work all the time. You need three basic things to win a Highland TDM: cover, bigger damage output than the enemy and Isidas. Although, as in DM, it is suggested to use one of more efficient equipment. The best tactic here is to surround and conquer enemy's base and to just keep firing at them. Aside from suggested equipment for DM, a good team-player should wear Isida/Smoky/Hammer with Viking/Hunter. As every good team out there, your team has to work together for the guaranteed win.
Let's see which tactics can help you in this mode:
Most people do not know this, but there is no self-destruction zone on the first cliff in the red base. You can easily utilize this fact by getting onto the cliff alone with Wasp and Thunder/Ricochet/Magnum, or ask someone in your team to get you up as a Titan or a Mammoth. If you quickly arrange a set-up that could potentially get you up there as a blue team member, you'll have the biggest vantage point in the map - meaning that your team will have no problem taking over the other one. However, going up there will only give you a pillar of cover, so having a few Double Armors and Repair Kits is highly recommended.
"Swarming Isidas" Tactic
This tactic works well, and a lot of teams that use it, win most of the time. Most of the people in the team get Isida. This opens room for two things:
- A heavy hull suddenly becomes invincible for the enemy team, as three-four Isidas are healing him/her and each other at the same time. This tactic can take out the whole enemy team.
- The whole team becomes deadly - with Isidas keep healing other players, death loss of that team drops greatly, making it easier for them to take people in the other team out.
Red side --- Playing on this side offers a better defense. There are only 2 ways to get into the red base area where the flag is placed - through the passage and jumping off from the cliff placed right on the left side from the flag, looking from the view of red-blue flag line. Fences, walls and many other objects are very helpful which also offer nice spots for camping. Example; the holes on the fence (especially one on the left side near the small box-like white building, which also offers the defender to help his team himself apart from defending. If offensive defense more suits you, driving around the red and blue base areas and taking-down the players that are coming in, blocking the most dangerous attackers and flag holders and placing some mines to support your defense is a perfect solution for you.
Defenders on this side shall put on a turret of any range (suggested: Shaft/Firebird/Twins/Freeze), depending on the specific role and spot they pick, with a decently armored hull like Hunter, Viking or Mammoth. Supporters and offensive defenders shall pick offensive combinations like Thunder/Railgun/Striker/Thunder/Ricochet or Isida, in the role of a healer, with Viking/Titan/Hornet.
Blue side --- Playing on this side offers more camping spots and better views on the battleground but also offers more paths and ways to enter its base by the attackers of the red side. Defense on this side can be a bit harder than the opponents', but it doesn't lack in the aspect of 'enough good spots'. Just like for the other side, it is suggested to deal with the enemies by using the tactic 'camping defense'. Instead of staying and waiting for enemy attackers to appear, with help of the other defenders who wear the close/mid-range weapons, take long-range weapon and support the attackers by shooting on the offensive enemies that come in your view while also playing the original role of a defender if the serious attack comes on your defense, or play as a normal defender and use all advantages that the area can offer. Keep in the eye the key drop zones of the three at the blue team area and try to control them, together with the suburb area and the middle of the map.
If you think you are ready to take the harder role on this side and to defend well, you may like combinations like Freeze with Wasp/Hunter, Shaft-Viking, Twins-Mammoth, Hammer-Hunter and similar to these. Supporters and offensive defenders can pick any turret with a steady hull like Viking or Hunter.
Here is a map of suggested spots and potential views for the current spots (defenders) (darker points = spots for defenders, lighter points = spots for offensive defenders/supporters):
Red side --- Attacking on the red side may be harder than on the opposite side, and to do well and bring the win for your team, attackers have to play harder than the defense of the enemies. Though possible, if attack lacks in its full power, it mostly means that enemies will start attacking harder and players on your team may have to change their roles which leads to the defeat. To avoid it all, a solution comes from planning attacks, routes and right timings. While under the support of offensive defenders and supporters, an attacker can start influencing to bring the flag for the safe capture. Well suited attacker should have a fast and healthy hull with a mid-to-long-range turret.
Blue side --- Attacking on the blue side may be easier than on the opposite side, but bringing the flag alive from the enemy's base can be a lot harder and nearly impossible if their defense is very good. However, if the right force and numerous waves of attack are dealt in before the main attack, with much help from the team (and aid), a flag can be taken and captured. Using the tactic earlier mentioned for TDM may be useful in doing so. An attacker should have more healthy than swift hull with a medium-range turrret.
Nice combinations for an attacker: Twins or Ricochet with Viking, Railgun-Wasp, Hammer with Hunter or Hornet; Nice combinations for an offensive supporter: Isida or Thunder with Hornet or Viking, Railgun or Striker with Viking.
Here is a map of suggested routes for planning the attack (dark parts = behind/under obstacle, point with a letter on it = where attacker starts from (unnecessarily); B can end in any of the rest of the points (blue side) and A should end using the route to the point without the letter (original end-point for the same)):
To grant a win in the last of team modes that Highland offers, also often the mode with the most brutal gameplay, the team has to hold three points with the spots shown in the picture to the right.
Talking about tactics, some should be included. It is often suggested to capture the point closest to the base, so it is not wrong if your team do so. One player on the team (the closest one to the point) should capture the point in your base and stay there to defend it - both of the points B and C are placed at good spots for camping and near supply drop zones, or should capture it and help the team to conquer the rest if the help is unavoidable if you plan to conquer other two points. The points B and C should always be watched and captured at first by the respective teams and the teams should start fighting for the point A, which is in the middle of the map. Although, while the rest are fighting, one or two players from the same teams should be supporting each other to capture the points in (their) enemy base areas.
A good player for a Highland CP battle could wear turret of any range, depending on hull, which should be healthy and steady enough to stay around as longer as possible to keep the points in the color of his team. Out of many, here is a list of good combinations for a such player: Twins with Mammoth or Viking, Thunder-Dictator, Railgun or Isida with Viking, Magnum with any Medium hull.
Both Firebird and Freeze with come in very useful, since they can take out a bunch of tanks in very little amount of time; and can counter enemy Repair Kits very well. This will make it easier for other people to capture points. Additionally, you need to wait it out. Patience is necessary to win a CP game. Most people do go all out alone and all it does is make their team weak.
- Previously, there were two versions of Highland - Highland and Highland II!
- This guide was compiled from the winning entries of the Wikimania contest.