Jul 21

Skidded Attacks Revisited

Using the Skidded Attack to Counter Drift and Overshoots in Star Citizen Alpha v1.1.5

Hello and welcome to a special edition of “Training Tuesday”, hosted by INN and put together by the folks over at Legacy Instructional Series! Our purpose here is to present some previous topics in a new light to help people cope with the significant changes to ship performance in the recent patch.

This week we’ve taken a closer look on two topics we’ve covered before – pursuit angles and skidded attacks. Why these two? Well, quite simply, combined they can help you counter some of the drift that you’ve probably been experiencing, stay closer in to your target, and better control your ship.

First, we’ll quickly explain the drift issue. This noticeable impact on gameplay is a result of the mass adjustments to ships and the (undescribed by CIG) changes to maneuvering thrusters. The changes are undeniably prevalent for all ships, except for (perhaps) the Mustang. This quick guide won’t help Hornet and Gladius pilots with the adjustments to rotational acceleration – though it may help. What it will help with are the drifting overshoots that many of you are experiencing. Gone are the days of just commanding skids or circle strafes in any direction with near-instantaneous accelerative responsive – you will open up distance if you don’t think about your comparative vector with your target due to the increased drift. This patch reduced the knife-fighting capabilities of many ships. But, know this: in this patch, you must plan where you want to go earlier than before, as the ship simply doesn’t have the thruster power to meet you demands as quickly as it did previously.

 

Description

So, here’s the quick and dirty – set up your skid so that you are using it to pull lead pursuit on your target while maintaining a firing solution. This means that your Total Velocity Inidicator (TVI) will initially be in the direction you are pitching or yawing, opposite the lag pips. Now, as a result of the drift, the TVI may wander while you maneuver to keep up with target movement. This as fine. Just maintain your strafe inputs.

 What this does is. . .

  1. Shorten your Time of Flight (TOF) and help you get closer (lead pursuit), but it also reduces the severity of overshoots.
  2. It better utilizes your main thrusters as opposed to your maneuvering thrusters as a result of the angle.
  3. Skidding toward your target’s direction will cause it to move across your screen slower, resulting in less pitch or yaw required, which means you can avoid some of the rotational inertia issues that ships like the Hornet and Gladius are having.
  4. Finally, this will usually allow you to manipulate an angular offset to take advantage of a better “profile” for the target – meaning the ship will be more perpendicular to you than if you were just following directly behind it, allowing for better shots of critical areas.

 

Execution

So, here is the maneuver, step-by-step. . .

  1. Find your target. Point in its general direction.
  2. Strafe forward or go to 100% throttle.
  3. Strafe left, right, up, or down. Which way is up to you, depends on your ship, g-safe usage, etc.
  4. Roll to put your TVI in the direction that you are rotating to keep up with the target as it moves across the screen. If it isn’t moving across the screen noticeably, just keep a slow roll as in a skidded roll.
  5. As the enemy changes its vector, roll to keep up so that its direction of movement stays aligned with the direction of your TVI.
  6. If it looks like you are going to overshoot, executed a lag roll and expeditiously set up your skidded attack again.
  7. If your enemy turns into you, transition to a skidded roll, then execute a lead roll as you pass. The idea is to minimize overshoot. The good news is that everyone is overshooting like crazy now, so any maneuvers you know will be a massive advantage.

Below is a video walking you through step-by-step in-game. An exercise video for this is coming (it will replace the older Skidded Attacks video and will feature more footage and third-person perspective – unfortunately, we weren’t able to get as much as we’d like as a result of the recent server issues.

 

Moving Forward

The explanation behind this maneuvering is pretty simplified to make it easy to apply within minutes of practice. This isn’t the end of skidded attacks, however – you can get even more creative for some really interesting maneuvering, some of which you may have seen toward the end of the video. For example, although putting the strafe direction opposite the lag pips works, the ideal position is actually usually a little offset from exactly opposite. You could do this by mixing in vertical strafe, or by rolling to have the lag pips pointing more toward the outer corners of the screen. What this will do is allow a pilot to actually spiral around the target’s flight path. Spirals are good because (unlike pure skidded attacks) they are three-dimensional maneuvers rather than planar maneuvers. Additionally, you don’t have to hold the same strafe input and roll – you can do a “Tim Twist” and reverse your strafe every half roll, for instance. But, we’ll leave all this for a more advanced lesson.

We at the LIS and INN hope you are able to easily apply and benefit from these techniques in Star Citizen! As always, feel free to ask any questions – and fly safe.

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