Hunting the Hive
This page is intended to provide links to information about the Hive as well as anti-Hive tactics.
- 1 Hive Skirmish Missions
- 2 Hive Queens
- 3 Anti-Hive Tactics
- 4 Links To Information About The Hive
Hive Skirmish Missions
Almost every faction has its own hive skirmishes. What changes is the size of the skirmish, and the location. It is beyond the scope of this article to detail the locations of the skirmishes and factions. It should be noted that Hive Skirmish missions pay a base of 1,500 cr per hive bot killed. Combat experience is also awarded for each bot killed and for successful completion of the mission. the weapon last used by you that damages a hive bot will gain experience according to the individual bot when it is destroyed. (For example if you fire a damaging shot with a light weapon at an Artemis Collector and another entity kills the Artemis Collector you get +5 to your light weapon license).
Ion Storms - 400% XP Bonus
All hive skirmish missions where ion storms are present will give a 400% bonus to all weapons/combat XP gained throughout the mission. Also, ion storms only last for an hour.
These are pretty simple. You will have two numbers on your screen, indicating how many people must be killed from either faction before the mission ends. Obviously, you want to bring the Hive to 0, before your faction reaches 0.
These missions will have a Hive Queen. To complete the mission, you must destroy the Hive Queen before your Faction loses too many people. If there are still small, common and large skirmishes in the area the Queen's shields will be much stronger and almost impossible to beat. Defeating the supporting hive skirmishes before engaging the Queen is recommended.
These missions with have a Leviathan that must be destroyed to complete the mission. Completion of this will destroy all of the hive's presence in that area for a period of time. The Leviathan will be much stronger if you have not destroyed the supporting Queens in the Critical skirmish. You should only attack the Leviathan after defeating its supporting hive skirmishes.
Tracking down a Hive Queen, without a Hive Skirmish Mission
Find some collector bots in any sector, and stalk them closely. They will lead you to a hive queen. Their typical pattern is: they warp into the zone, go to an asteroid and mine for about 5 to 10 minutes, then warp back out. You want to be within ~500m of them when they warp, so that you will be able to see what sector they warped to in your chat bar. The sector that they warp to will contain a hive queen.
Preparing to attack a hive queen
Now when you enter the sector with the hive queen, you will first want to take out all of the extra bots guarding it. These usually contain a few Assault drones, Transport drones, Guardian drones, and Overseers.
Taking out the Hive Queen
First you will need to take down the queen's shield. The key is to inflict as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time. This is easier in a group, but there are techniques for doing it solo.
Once the shield is down, the rest is straightforward. The queen doesn't fire back, so attack with whatever weapon you want until it's dead. Be careful not to be too close (~500m) when it explodes.
Basic Group Technique
Load everyone up on rockets, and preferred energy weapons. Make sure everyone is in position, and have everyone spam the queen with rockets/energy at the same time until the shield drops.
Basic Solo Technique
Load out a Rag with 3 Gemini tubes, and 2 Chaos Swarm Launchers. Aproach the queen (we are assuming all of the queens retinue is destroyed by this point), at 2000m, being turbo tapping around 80-81 m/s. At 1600m, begin firing all weapons, while not stopping your turbo tap. When your ammo is depleted, get out of there before the queens shields go down. Reload and Repeat.
Unless aiming for specific types of bots, it is best to try and position yourself so that you can jump easily. Either stay 3000 m away from large objects or get near the storm exit point in ion storms. If necessary, jump away as soon as you have sustained too much damage. Disable your "flight assist" and always strafe and move fowards/backwards.
Pirren's hunting tip. Keyboard/Mouse offending tactics. Enable your flight assist mode, pick up light fighter (Marauder, vult, valk, raptor, Rev C), and make them burst in your attackroll (press roll key and two or one strafe keys). Nowadays mobs do backrolling often in HS, so attackroll will anyways get all of them. P.S. You can still strafe successfull with F/A mode on.
Hunting A Queen
The first step to hunting a Queen is to find it. Wait in a sector full of collector bots for them to fill up (this will take a while - don't attack any of them and dodge the ones attacking you) and then tail a bot as it attempts to warp away. Select it as a target and if you are close (1000 m or less) you should be able to see where it warps too. (In this regard, the Vulture and Centurion are very good for this role.) Then once you have located the Queen, attack it! Be aware that in some sectors there may be two Queens in the same place at the same time.
The Queen is usually surrounded by a dozen or so escorts but are pretty defenseless themselves. They are slow, lumbering targets, making them easy prey for missiles. Your goal once you warp into the sector is to immediately plot a way out on your nav map and are ready to jump (fast charge power cells help). The Queens are mainly in empty space making it easy to jump away if you are heavily damaged. Quickly approach the Queen and dodge the escorts, either by barrelling through them and ignoring them or luring them away from the Queen then turn around and then make a run for the Queen. Be aware that it is rather easy to crash into a Queen! Avoid this as it causes heavy damage to yourself. Be prepared for a heavy concussion to your ship after the Queen explodes.
It is best to work in groups in attacking the Queen - some can lure the escorts away while others make an attack run. Others can also provide medical support. Once the Queen is destroyed, the XP points will be divided amongst the group, with the one who killed the Queen receiving the most points. You will all get credit for killing the Queen.
It is also quite possible to hunt a Queen by yourself. There are two ways to do this.
The first is with energy weapons. In this method, you will want an extremely thin-profile ship (such as the Corvus Vulturius), and you must be able to strafe well. It is recommended that you purchase two Mk.II Neutron Blasters, as they have the highest damage-to-energy ratio among commonly available small-port weapons. When you enter the system containing the Queen, you will want to position the Queen between you, and the mindless swarm of Hive bots. There are two reasons for this: Firstly, you will not have to dodge as much energy fire from the bots. Secondly, the bots are capable of, and often do, hit with fire, and bump the Queen in attempting to get at you. If you can position the Queen in this way, you should be able to pour your Neutron fire into the huge target, while avoiding its Positron and Gatling Turret fire. If you are damaged, jump to a nearby station, and jump back, within a reasonable amount of time. Once the Queen is extremely damaged, on its last sliver of health, you have two options. You can sacrifice your ship by dying in the explosion, or you can get a ship with some missiles to finish it off from a distance further than 500 meters. Keep in mind that when you destroy the Queen, you may not be able to find the weapons it dropped (Hive Positron Blaster, Hive Gatling Turret), especially if you die, or leave, and have to re-enter the system. My name is Daggoth Korronoth, and I endorse this system.
The second way is much simpler, and involves mainly huge masses of missiles. A Ragnarok is best. Enter the system, set an escape route, target the Queen, boost towards the Queen while spamming it with missiles. As soon as you've emptied your missile tubes, jump out of there, and return to a station to restock missiles. Rinse, and repeat. Make sure that you are more than 500 meters away from the Queen when it explodes.
Remember, the most frustrating part of hunting Queens by yourself is finding the Hive weapons afterward. But when you do pull a Hive Positron Blaster out of your own kill, it's very rewarding.
NOTE: The previous strategies apply to hunting queens before they were equipped with regenerative shields, and had their weapons disabled. The following tactic is now seen as the generally accepted way to hunt Hive Queens:
In a group, destroy the hive bots guarding the queen. Do not pursue the queen itself until all the other bots are destroyed. Once the other bots have been destroyed, if you are in a large enough group with energy weapons, approach the queen, and begin firing on it all at the same time. If you time it right and empty each of your batteries, the shields will usually drop. Another method is to all spam the queen with missiles, although in a large group this is often seen as overkill. Once the shields have dropped, grab energy weapons and begin pelting away at the hull.
You must destroy all the hive bots guarding the queen, all by your lonesome. Grab a vulture or centurion fighter, and start learning how to dodge 10 angry bots at a time. Strafing towards the outside of the group while moving backwards, and rolling out of AGT fire can keep you alive without having to repair for the whole fight. If you are unable to fight large groups of bots, it is recommended that you spam the guard bots with missiles, and run away to reload and repeat.
SOLO TIP: Use flares to cause splash damage to all the escort bots in range. Fly in with a triflare valk or triflare maud, back roll away from the escorts till they are all in front and let loose. A round or 2 of flares will kill all/most of the smaller bots and damage the larger guardian bots. Then you can come clean up with an energy fighter.
Once all the guard bots are dead, you will need a ship with at least 2 large-port weapon slots, preferably a Ragnarok, as it has 3 small-port weapon slots as well.
Here are a few recommended loadouts for taking down a queen's shield by yourself:
3 Sunflare Rocket Launchers
2 Megapositron Blasters (If you have not already killed 10 queens, you will need to purchase these from someone who has)
Approach closely, then let loose with sunflares, and as they start hitting, megaposi. The queen may try to dodge, keep it in your sights.
Fast Charge Battery
3 Gemini Missile Launchers
2 Chaos Swarm Missile Launchers
Fire the missiles away from the queen first, slowly (~80 m/s) getting closer with your volleys, so that they all make impact at approximately the same time.
3 Plasma Cannons HX
2 Megapositron Blasters (see above)
Since you need to land as much energy as possible in the shortest time while your battery dries up, you cannot simply follow the Queen and fire: you wouldn't be able to drop its autoregenerating shield fast enough; by the time your battery runs out, the Queen will still have enough shield left. So you need to fire at the Queen while it flies toward you, thus increasing the damage/time ratio.
This will need some practice and some observation of its movement patterns. Suffice to say that when it goes in a straight line, you have enough time to turbo past the bot, do a 180°, wait for your battery to be full again, and fire all your weapons at your incoming prey, vaporizing the shield. Once the shield is depleted, it's easy to destroy the massive ship from a safe distance (~500m) with the megaposi autoaim.
Hive Skirmish missions are good for developing all three combat-related skills quickly. Currently avaliable at stations across the universe, they offer enough monetary reward to keep your ship flying while you are doing the missions, and are short enough to allow you to go away to do something else should you need to take a break from botting.
Before taking a mission, scout out the asteroid sectors for storms. That way you can avoid taking a mission in a storm. When taking a mission, take one that has 4-8 bots in it. Such sectors are wiped out with relative ease in one go. Sectors with many bots in them are likely to have a Queen or a Leviathan, so avoid them unless you want to kill one of those.
Once in the target sector it can sometimes be a bit difficult to find the hive, as they may be positioned outside your radar range. Usually flying straight in the direction you were pointing in when you entered the sector for 1000-2000m will put you into radar range of the hive. Another way of finding the hive is to go in the direction the first bot to attack you came from - bots can see beyond your radar range, and as soon as you enter the sector one bot is dispatched to take care of you.
Using a Warthog allows you to carry a heavy weapon as well as a light weapon, hence gaining experience in both light and heavy weapons. Neutron blaster and a megapositron offer a good combination. If you don't have access to a megapositron, plasma devastator will do a fine job.
During the shootup, the bots will come at you one at a time. Holding down Q and A will prevent most of the damage they will deal (they will only hit you if they are shooting at you from the side, so facing the attacking bot will prevent all damage dealt to your ship). To kill a bot in one go, fire a concentrated long burst as they come towards you and pass the 100m mark. If the bot survives the burst, it will adopt one of two tactics: hug you, or hold its distance. If the bot proceeds to hug you, strafe to the side and kill it, minding the blast wave that might damage your ship. If the bot decides to hold distance, do not shoot at it until it closes to within 100m again, and shoot another burst at it, which should kill it. If the bot does not close to 100m, instead preferring to hover at around 150m, let go of Q and A, and use ADRF keys to do short strafes whilst firing at it. As the bot attempts to follow, it will end up standing almost still, whilst your dodging will be enough to throw its aim off.
If you have a fast enough ship, and enough firepower, there is another way to complete hive skirmish missions. When you enter a hive skirmish system, you may notice that some of the Xang Xi and hive ships are stationary. Use this to your advantage, and while avoiding the hive ship chasing you, approach a stationary hive ship, and blast it before it has a chance to react. Quickly head to the next stationary hive ship, and repeat. In this way, you can complete most hive skirmish missions extremely quickly.
At the end of the mission the bots will start running away. This is a perfect opportunity to earn an easy extra thousand experience points. Position your ship at their exit point, and blast them as they come at you, or chase them down and blast them as they jump. Firing at a remaining bot may still provoke it, so kill quickly.
If you must take a mission in a storm, use the radar extender addons. Small-port extenders are available from Xang Xi stations, and large-port extenders are offered by Ineubis. Another excellent ship for hunting the hive in storms is the TPG Raptor, which comes with a built-in 1500m storm extender.
Attacking A Queen's Bastion
The same tactics as for a solo queen apply, but for one important fact. For a Hive Skirmish queen, all the Hive Skirmish sectors around it (excepting the Levi sector) contribute to its shields. To properly drop a Skirmish queen's shields, you must take out its supporting sectors (the nearby sectors). Then you will be able to drop the shields as described above.