Alright then ladies and gentlemen.
Instead of addressing another post, i'll just make this a topic. I've been adjusting my particular loadout since the bow became available to me 100 levels ago...
I've had quite a good bit of experience with min/maxing, and that certain set of skills, has been applied to this Bow Loadout.
Don't worry, all will be explained. A thorough understanding will help make this loadout shine above the rest.
Unfortunately, I do not have the setup to record or stream games, otherwise I would be presenting quite the treat.
This build makes it easy to on average, complete both the shiv / headshot missions completely and successfully. Talking about an average of 15-25 downs in Interrogation, 6 or more shivs, 8 or more headshots. I generally only play Interrogation, because at my k/d survivors is too easy and supply raid is too short. I rarely crack the safe outside of 2 minutes remaining (fair chance for both teams to earn kills /etc.)
First of all. Your Bow. This weapon is your friend. Compared to the other weapons I hold the belief it's packing the most bang your buck. Let's state a few points. At a cheaper cost you'll be quiet...ghost quiet, often you'll find your enemies completely oblivious to any missed arrows that fly in front of their face. It has the perk of having a delayed aiming sway, generally bypassed if you relax your aim quickly and re-aim. When possibly surrounded and outnumbered, nothing is more valuable than a full field of vision. When you spawn you have a capability, of 3-4 kills, assuming one headshot, and no misses (quite possible with practice.) I generally rush to +1 attack, Terrans in the house say what! It's only to ensure those co-op kills go even faster. Corner Peak A LOT! It's one of the bows strongs points. Also I mention how the bow has a build in range finder of sorts. If you pay careful attention to the reticule dot, enemies in smoke will be revealed because the bow will adjust it's distance (as if you had just aimed at a wall.)
-Accurate (Delayed gun sway)
-Full field of vision (no scope, distance identifing dot)
-7 shots (capable of bodyshot downs in 2 shots, Armored downs in 3)
Enough about why we are here, how about why this is unique.
The 9 mm.
Now, don't go jumping all over my spud-gun. I understand you enjoy the 3 shot downs of the revolver, but the truth is. Clip capacity is important. When you run a bow, your teammates will rarely know you're in battle until your character hollers, "Look at That!" Taking a silencer for the 9mm prevents you from certain perks, as well as giving you no way of alarming your team to potential threats. I often switch to my sidearm when i've dropped an enemy, it almost functions as a bird call to those in my flock. My allies know to come to my aid if they hear me blast through a clip. This is upgraded at leisure, and I recommend keeping almost 2 full clips at all times. Though the greatest advantage of this weapon is that it offers something that a bow doesn't have...
What?! Why yes. If you've ever been shot with the assault rifle you've felt the stun. It can stop you dead in your tracks, even midpunch / onehit. The bow does not do this at all. Also it's common that the bow will not shoot under cars, truck, etc... this 9mm will easily. Synergy attained.
-Not Silent (Allows your 9mm to function as an alarm.)
-High clip capacity
-Great at suppressing larger groups in chokes.
Well now that you've had your meat, let's get to the pudding!
The sweet, sweet perks!
Covert 2. You need to be a ghost, and ghosts don't leave trails. This perk comes with a shiv on everyspawn, seriously don't craft one-hitters... I CANNOT stress that enough. They are crutches and easily exploited by an seasoned shiv veteran. You get tape... make more shivs! Once you get adapted to mind**bleep**ing your opponent. you've find it quite easy to burn through them. The importance of the covert 2 though is to remain hidden while ducked... Seriously... who wants to stand still...i'm trying to get to my next shiv / headshot.
Do you hear that?! OMG that's my song! The SHIV DANCE. It's not imbalanced, it's just taking advantage of button mashers and an enemy's panic. I used to have the most insane amount of anxiety when it was time to shiv an opponent. Like anything, it's just that first step. Once you get yourself a pattern of sidesteps and turn arounds, you'll find you can get that camera turned just enough to see that.... oh so sexy "Δ" show up. It does require a little bit of dexterity but, practice grasshoper.
Remember this game. Is pretty reasonable. It's much more grounded in reality than you may understand. When in a high-tension situation... well let's just list a few scenarios.
- You've found yourself facing and opponent at close range (under 10 yards) You can conserve ammunition in this situation, they will likely not. Let McHammer speak to you... "Can't touch this" playing in your head as you step side-to-side, ducking and standing until you close the gap. 60 percent of the time they panic 100% of the time. Perhaps they waste an entire clip into dead air around you, or perhaps they start to punch.
You are looking to force the punch. (unmodded 2x4's are EXTREMELY hard to do this against) More than likely you'll be hit square in the face, but that's what you want. When they go for the second punch, it's a different animation and it's quite a drastic swing. That is your window, where you are trying to peek at their shoulder and get the shiv access. (Generally the 2nd punch can be dodged, if not the 3rd then.) Keep in mind you are downed at 4 punches.
A lot of people run brawler and they WANT to punch you... which just opens them up for an easy shiv.
The Second MOST important perk in my opinion would be Sharp Ears 2. The increase in your ability to listen mode is nice, though that comes second to the removal of the speed debuff. When you go into listen mode you'll move at your regular speed. And remember, you are invisible while crouched. So you are able to slip and slide around wary enemies until you can smell their sweat and fear.
Combine Covert 2 and Sharp Ears 2, for the ultimate covert experience.
Quick, invisible, alert, crouched movement.
Then there are my two special friends that have their individual purposes. Marathon 1 gives you just enough of a boost to get into an aggressive position at the spawn on all maps. Allows you to cover ground quickly and get the jump on any guessed spawn locations. Coupled with your ability to go stealth, they might know you are around.... but of course you are on the map... the question is where?
Finally to draw this all together I toss on First Aid 1. There is just simply nothing better. You can literally duck a corner or a box and heal to full in the time it takes your opponent to make up their minds. Which just gives you a chance to dodge some more punches and land that shiv. (Oh he's low health i'll just punch him and finish.... what the argha.s.s. gurgle gurgles....how... the f.....)
Of course, this is considered a dirty way to play... but it's easily countered... stay calm and make your shots count. Walk backwards and keep your eyes on him. And the BIGGEST tip to my potential victims... don't follow me with your crosshairs. Unless you run a ridiculous sensitivity (in which case i've probaly head shot you already) you'll just be too slow to turn and end up with a shiv in your fleshy parts.
I'm pretty much done exposing my playstyle, I've used if for over a hundred levels, it's pretty unstoppable with that much practice. Practice with the bow... remember it's excellent at shooting hands and fingers and faces. If they rush, put 2 arrows in the body or one shiv in their neck.
Quick extra things...
I generally don't worry about getting more than +1 on large firearms because the bow is sick. Get armor, upgraded pistol, pistol ammo. In that order. (You'll find PLENTY of arrows on the map if you are getting any bow kills.) BE EXTREMELY cautious around shotguns (closer aim, harder to circle/dodge) and Assault rifles (yeah... turns out lots of bullets hurt no matter what) Obviously you have a bow, attempt to take those targets quietly at range.
Okay that's all, You'll get no more secrets from me! Let me know what you all think though. Hope this gets some love.
I wish you... Exceptional Luck... you'll need it.
Just takes some solid practice. Like i mentioned, i've got almost 130 levels with it, and nothing else. In my hands it feels very overpowered. Though it has it's troubles, and i just avoid the situations where i'm at a disadvantage. (read: burst rifle in open ground)
I generally go through 2 modes. Where i'll either take my time to line up a head shot, familiarity with maps helps a lot. Some insane leading shots are absolutely possible. Other times i'm ready to let the arrows fly, i'm not shy to put down supressive fire considering the arrows returned from a kill. Best rule of thumb against a bow, is that if you get hit once, stay the hell down and **bleep**.
Movement is life. Sometimes though you just need to hope for a teammate to come unpin you.
It's a more intuitive weapon. Experience with halo/cod/etc and "feeling" the auto aim helps. With larger groups its a detriment to aim too much... because you end up fighting the auto aim... GOD i wish i could turn it off!
I don't like using 9mm for it's lack of armor dealing capability, low damage and big clip size and rate of fire, which make me want to spam it. But I still prefer it over the Revolver, because the Revolver looks like a child's toy to me.
I'll try using 9mm from now on.
The rest of the loadout, I use Covert 3, because I don't want to be marked. FAT is indeed essential. Lastly, I use either Marathon Runner 1 and Flamethrower for groups of enemies, or Sharp Ears 2.
Listen Mode is great way to detect enemies, but especially in Survivors and Interrogation people like to use Covert 2, or camp motionless.
I find the Bow to be good as a CQC weapon as well. One hit from the Bow and two punches to down. It's a great way to deal with melee players in cases when you can't Shiv them. Lack of space, or Shiv itself. Or, just burn them with Flamethrower.