How to play a MAX (or MAX is Pyro)

Discussion in 'MAX' started by Cryptek, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Cryptek

    okay so, I cannot honestly feel justified whining about buffing the MAX anymore, considering the mad killing streaks I've had since launch.. when running solo without support. I will still whine plenty about the lack of customization and side grades though! don't worry. I'll also whine endlessly about the cost of guns for the MAX :p (even if I just payed for them all and could care less)

    So the MAX is pretty beefy when he has an engineer behind him and when he has people using him as cover, usually **** dies unless your horribly outnumbered. So yeah he's a pretty darn good line breaker when supported.

    But that's not what people are whining about, it's running a MAX solo and without support.. The problem as I see it, is that people keep thinking in the same mindset, despite the fact that the MAX has a very different play style when you're without an engineer: First, get regeneration, trust me it'll save your behind, second get a dual quaser/cycler/scattercannon, you aren't gonna fight anything but infantry where you're going. (Because you really do need support if your gonna play AA or AV, since you run out of ammo so darn fast)

    so your a big heavy indoor tank right? WRONG.. You are Pyro from TF2 with a larger healthpool, you are an ambush bastard that will straight up murder people when you get the jump on 'em.

    Start thinking of your healthpool as a resource, if it's below 60%, you should avoid engagements that arn't heavily in your favor.

    Pick your firefights with care and know when to run:

    They spotted you first! Damnation, it happens to us all, especially MAXes with their huge bodies, if theres 1 or 2 of them, decide if you can stand RIGHT in their face with 1 charge, if they're so far away that a charge won't bring you just about behind them if they stand still, don't charge them, use the charge to run away instead, there's always some cover, keep in mind they'll probably chase you because 'OMG MAX, WANT TO KILL' but you should be able to get far enough away to take some cover. That'll force a CQC engagement with them if they pursue.

    You spotted them first: Alright if you are behind them, they are distracted or you can somehow make sure that you can kill at least one of them before the others can react, then you can easily clear a room of 3 guys, charge in there and stop right next to one of 'em and unload bullets into 'em, the first one will die before the others even have time to turn their guns at you, preferably kill the HA first since he's the beefiest and has the best CQC, if it's a room of 3 heavies, you might want to hold off though.

    In small bases: Skirmish between buildings, always stay mobile and try and make sure you always fire first, just because you have a large health pool, doesn't mean that standard infantry tactics go out the window, especially considering that a firefight gone bad will take you several minutes to recover from with only 1 rank in regeneration.

    In large bases: You'd be surprised how often you can circle around a base and find a completely undefended generator because: Hey we'll just run over there and kill that 1 LA or infiltrator if someone overloads it. Usually people don't expect a MAX in there, people will happily walk in 1 by 1 as lemmings, the best part is that they expect to just shoot back at whoever is in there, so usually they'll be delayed in their reaction before bailing, this should mean you can finish off anyone going in there. Once the generator is going critical, people get straight up suicidal and you can just reap the rewards and kill whoever thinks they're going to be a hero. (tip: Crouch and don't move your mouse, you'd be surprised how often people just walk past a motionless MAX, since you don't really have idle animations when crouching and sitting still.

    In bio labs: If you need help here.. please.. stop playing MAX, your embarresing yourself.

    Outside: Okay this is tricky, requires more work and patience and some vigorous use of cover. After all you're meant for indoor combat, not outdoor! But you can make it work, preferably wait a little for other infantry to advance, take note of where enemy snipers are and then circle around to that location, snipers are delicious little meals for a MAX because they look in exactly 1 direction (usually at least) they almost never have all that much support and well, if they spot you? Snipers are the least of your worries, you can easily eat several headshots from a bolt action without caring. Anyway, get as close as possible (preferably save your charge if they don't spot you) and then just butcher them all, go hide somewhere, get HP up and then look for your next target.

    Circling around the battle is also effective against other entrenched units, but more dangerous since being spotted can be a lot more fatal in those cases.

    Disclaimer: I know a lot of people want the MAX to be something different than what it is, I know that a lot of people want to feel like unstoppable bad ***** and probably don't like sneaking around, but let's face facts.. we got a huge buff when compared to earlier in beta, it doesn't make us immortal bullet resistant beasts.. But we can still do something competently now, you might say 'but the LA is much better at ambushes!' not really.. sure he can get to better positions, but the thing about the MAX is, if you can get a 1v1 or 1v2 CQC fight with infantry where you aren't badly damaged.. YOU CANNOT LOSE (unless of course... the game bugs out and your bullets pass through them :mad:)

    After all, if you're a dedicated tanker, you also play it smart and safe to compensate for your cooldown (otherwise you won't be in the tank for long) and the same is true for the MAX.

    (Btw fun fact: MAXes don't make that much noise when moving, You may yourself hear it, but your enemy actually can't unless they're almost next to you, especially during a firefight :p)

    TL: DR The MAXes role isn't what you want it to be when left without support, but there is definitely a role there. You may hate that you have to sneak around and ambush people, but you cannot deny that the MAX is the most effective thing in the game for it now.

    Feel free to offer your own tips, discuss why or why not these tactics work but please.. Keep it constructive.
    The sooner people learn how to utilize what we've ended up with, the sooner we'll see more MAXes running around.. the sooner we see more MAXes, well let's just say that just 5 MAXes skulking around a base can really ruin anyones day ;) But for that to happen, people have to learn to play smart and stay alive. after all, how often do you see more than 2 MAXes from the same faction (who arn't going AA on a hill somewhere :p)
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  2. Fafnir

    If MAXes have to be viable solo, I still think that Nanite Armor Accelerator needs to be buffed. It should have long cooldown or very slow regen, not both.

    As for tactics - exploiting draw distance during massive infantry battles for tech plants and biolabs is a funny thing to do. I charged once up the stairs in Mekala and it took a moment for the game to render all enemies that were there. It took a moment for them to render my MAX too, so it looked like I appeared out of nowhere and managed to take them completely by suprise. Killed 9 enemies, including 2 melee kills.

    Sometimes I really dislike the whole "LOOK MAX, KILL IT" thing. I almost feel pity for all enemies who just stand in front of me and try to gun down a dual Mercy MAX with any peashooter they have. Perhaps my gun names are misleading...:oops:

    I know why the devs fear comeback of MAX crashes, why they are very carefull with balancing them. A group of MAXes is already a force to be reckoned with, however I've never experienced organized MAX crash in PS2. In my small outfit (we have average 1 squad online at a time) I'm the only dedicated MAX player. Perhaps I should join a zergfit for some time, just to see how good running in a group of MAXes is.

    I think that's just our empire-specifc advantage. I hear other MAXes just fine. ;)
  3. James161324

    The max unit will never be viable solo, the max is basically the same as the tf2 heavy, its only as good as the play supporting it. Its for balance reasons, if a player can go on a 20 to 30 kill streak, without support the max unit would be to op
  4. Josh1140

    I can agree on the biolab thing and nobody guarding the generators so my tanks can roll in.
    Biolab : My whole "public" squad rolls in with maxes in a biolab, they get ambushed, and stuck in all the doors.
    Non-Guarded Generator : People need to start defending these. Without the shields, my sundies, lightlings, magriders, and ATV's can roll in YOUR base, nobody wants to see the end of that, especially amp stations. The Metagame for Vanu is, when your down to low HP in a sytche, and have no chance of escaping(Last Resort), We go kamikazi.
  5. Goldy

    The problem I have is that it's too vulnerable to bullets.

    It's very vulnerable to grenades and rockets. Rockets are 2 hit. Considering that HA is the most popular and everyone is running around with grenades I don't see why they couldn't make them more resistant to bullets.
  6. Darzok

    The Max has no role or use atm you can try to say other wise but a HA can do the same but better most of the time and only lacking some HP.

    The HA LMG is as good as a 1 gun AI max so to be worth using over the HA you need to dual AI gun then the HA is still the better choice as it can still fight armor/air. The AI guns all so have poor accy any thing past short range is a waste of time unlike with the LMG.

    The AV rocket is better than a single gun AV max and if you pick up the lock on its much better since it has range.

    The AA rocket is better than a single AA gun max and it can scare off aircraft much better than a dual AA max since they spot lock and run away.

    Over all apart form having around double the HP roughly its worse to take a Max than it is to take the HA.

    Max need some kind of buff there big and slow only work well in short range and to be worth using you need to have 2 of the same gun add in the timer and cost to use its just to weak.

    There armor needs to be much tougher and i am 100% sure the gun resist certs 5% is hardly going to make them any harder to kill.

    I would double there HP and give them some buff to accy for the AI guns and buff the damage and flight speed for the AV guns and leave the dual AA alone for now.
  7. ghnurbles

    I play a lot of solo MAX, and pretty much agree with OP.

    That was my initial reaction to NAA when I first played with it in beta (I maxed it one of those times when we got 1000 certs). After a lot more use, I realised how strong it actually is - the 1000 certs put into it felt completely worth it.
  8. Spectral Haze

    So I hold down Mouse1+W?
  9. Cryptek

    you are avoiding what I said.
    Yes, the HA is way too versatile at the moment, that's a problem with the HA not the MAX, if they (hopefully very soon) get split into two parts, one being AI the other AV, then that will cease to be a problem. It's not a matter of the MAX needing a buff, rather the HA needing a nerf in the versatility department.

    Second, a HA cannot play pyro anywhere near as effective as a dual AI MAX, nor will he ever be able to, he does not have charge, neither is his one LMG as effective as 2 AI weapons, especially in the CQC of an ambush.

    Third a HA does not become an invulnerable bullet sponge when a medic is behind him, in anywhere near the scope that MAX does with an engineer behind him.

    Yes the certs for the MAX right now are quite lackluster, especially lacking in any real choice or side grade options, considering it's pretty much a linear upgrade progression for everything, beyond picking your flavor of AI weapons.

    Also yes as I already stated, a MAX need dual of AI, AV or AA to be competent at one role, which is why it's downright exploitative to not give them the basic option for dual wielding much cheaper and then keep the side grade versions as expensive ones.
  10. RobotNinja

    Let's be honest...for the TR, how to play a MAX consists solely of:


    If you have unlocked the right arm then of course:


    Vanu MAX is pretty similar.

    The NC MAX however, requires a bit more finess, skill and strategy:

    Press LMB repeatedly when enemy is within 10 feet. Wait half an hour to reload. If you're still alive...repeat.

    Also, the NC's Falcon has no certs for it whatsoever. Can we get a cert like "MAKE PARTIALLY USEFUL" or something?
  11. ghnurbles

    Also worth bearing in mind:
    • You walk too slowly to be able to side-step HA rockets, so it's worth keeping your charge off cooldown if you think you're going to get some rockets pointed at you. Generally speaking, in heavy fights you should save your charge and use it only as an escape mechanism.
    • If you're camping a choke-point or otherwise, crouch is your friend. The MAX is a large target, and crouch helps reduce that.
    The Falcon is the weakest of the 3 AV variants against vehicles, but if I recall correctly it is the most useful of the AV variants against infantry, which isn't a terrible trade-off.
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  12. Sifer2

    Meh anything can kill stuff if you sneak up on the enemy. Hell sneak up on 3 or 4 guys an throw a grenade at them. Boom you just solo'ed the whole group without needing to pay 100 resources to be a MAX. It's also hilarious to me they never fixed the bug where MAX weapons don't hit the target at point blank range. Smart people run towards the MAX an start circling him unloading into his back lol.
  13. Discopotato

    +1 in general for this guide.

    Infantry tactics are important when playing an INFANTRY max.

    What about AV and AA? These things seem horribly underpowered.
  14. Cryptek

    If that is your play style, then no wonder if your doing terrible as a MAX, is your infantry play style similar? ;)

    Stubbornly refusing to use tactics is the same as actively giving the enemy certs.

    well if you're TR then I'm sorry.. your AV weapon is the worst in the game.. if you're NC well it's slightly less bad, but you have to either aim at the sky to hit or stand right next to the tank. If you're VS, well congratulations! you picked the only faction with a useful AV weapon! Because these actually shoot in a straight line, meaning you can actually look at what you're aiming at. :D
    Enjoy standing on a hill somewhere doing more DPS to a deployed sunderer than a HA can ever pull off, especially if your caught without an engineer ;) That is assuming you have dual AV weapons.. Everything I write assumes you have dual (insert role), because the MAX is balanced around using dual AI/AV/AA to do stuff.

    The things about the MAX with dual AV guns is that if you're 1 HA, you find a deployed sunderer and you start firing, you'll run out of ammo if just 1 engineer is repairing it. If you're a dual AV MAX, then you'll keep firing until the engineers gun overheats and eventually just blow the sunderer up and still come out with ammo enough to kill a couple of lightnings.

    As for AA well, they nerfed it pretty hard, but on the other hand it was a little ridiculous earlier in beta and flyboys are the biggest cry babies this forum has ever seen (joke). However all the nerf really did was increase the amount of MAXes you need to lock down an area, if you want kills/assists then roll with 3-4 other MAXes and you'll blow everything within render distance out of the sky. If you're solo.. then you might be able to scare ESF away after a couple of clips <_<. But yes, all the nerf really did was deter people from just rolling AA MAX for kills, which leads to it being very hard to find 3-4 other MAXes, because if you have a group of bursters then it's still damn effective. (bonus points if you 8+ dual burster MAXes and deploy right next to the warp gate, it's hilarious how long it takes people to do anything about you denying air)

    However as I mentioned, AA and AV run out of ammo really quick, so you pretty much only have 3 options: 1 stand near a terminal and run back and forth all the time, get an AMS sunderer, drive up to a hill, change to MAX and resupply yourself indefinitely.
    Or the only sensible option: Run with a squad/outfit/a friend, because you will need an engineer to resupply you, you will also need infantry to protect you, because killing something with AA or AV relies solely on your opponent being terrible, not your skill.

    The only mayor problem with AV right now in my opinion is that you're very easily out shined by a HA, since he is well, too versatile to be considered balanced. However if they bring back SKEP launchers for the MAX, that might very well change, considering how quickly those things fire.
  15. Cryptek

    No that cost you 45 resources and can only be used once, relies on your enemy being terrible or the server lagging so they don't run away.

    Sure you're an infantry, you can throw that 1 'nade and get some kills, if your a MAX however, you have a guaranteed to win any CQC 1v1 where the game doesn't bug out and with regeneration or just a random engineer now and then, you can pull several room clearing stunts (especially if your enemy is standing as close together as 3-4 guys would need to be to die to a single 'nade.)

    and finally: when has ANYONE ever run out of infantry resources? Except if they're spamming mines/C4 or some such? Because if you're running MAX, it is straight up impossible to run out of infantry resources, your only limiting factor is the timer.

    It's also a very important fact to keep in mind that you can be resurrected, a 'nade can't be refunded by having a buddy run into the room after it.

    And finally if we look beyond your single use grenade that relies on terrible enemies/server lag (unless your rolling grenade bandolier, but hey, then you're using more resources on 'nades than I am on my MAX :p) then you still cannot deny that the MAX is the best sustainable ambush class in the game.

    PS: if people circle around you as a MAX you can do 2 things, which people seem to forget, (especially when they start circling me) I can either A: use sprint to get enough range between us to murder you horrible or B: just use the melee function, unless I'm badly damaged I'll still win. The MAX doesn't have the limited turn rate it did in PS1, so it's player skill whether or not you'll be consistently flanked by someone running circles around you.
  16. RobotNinja

    Who said anything about tactics. I just said for NC MAX all you can really do against Infantry is:

    "Press LMB repeatedly when enemy is within 10 feet. Wait half an hour to reload. If you're still alive...repeat."

    Both VS and TR MAX units can provide cover and suppressive fire quite admirably for teammates. Try providing cover fire with a short range shotgun. Both VS and TR MAX units can lay down sustained fire as well. A NC MAX in the open and reloading is a free kill...and he has to reload after 6 shots so uh...yeah. NC MAX's other unlockable weapon options? More short range, low clip shotguns. Just stating the facts.
  17. JackOfClubs

    And corner camping and baiting don't?
    In your OP you outline almost exactly how I use a MAX, and I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that I've only ever outright won against stupid people. The kind of people who stand perfectly still in extreme CQC, who don't even know which button is for grenades. No sane person dies to one MAX more than once without taking out at least 75% of it's health the second time.

    And there's only one situation in the game that actually forces you into CQC with a MAX, and that's clearing out a teleporter room after capturing it's outpost. Any other door that a MAX is behind, close enough to be a threat, you can just throw a grenade then blast it with a shotgun. Or wait for it to try to get to more reliable cover and shoot it from the door with anything.

    Charge is actually only slightly faster than an infantry sprinting, and MAXs sprint slower than infantry. If you run away, by the time you turn around they can already be in your face again. Or maybe they just stayed over there and kept shooting you. Corner between you? Cut it wide. And the melee requires two hits and has an obscene cooldown time. Even if you manage land both hit's you'll be so close to death a gentle autumn breeze would end you.
  18. Cryptek

    the only people you'll lose 75% to is heavies, because that LMG has so much darn ammo and they can survive to empty a lot of it into your face with that overshield on. Anyone else should not be capable of dealing such severer amounts of damage, especially considering how low the TTK is with dual AI weapons.

    Corner camping and baiting where two examples I used because they're the most reliably easy ones to pull off. It doesn't change that of all the classes you might want to use for an ambush, the MAX is the most survivable, since your have a get-out-of-jail-free card in the shape of sprint and a very large healthpool, which while not as sustainable as a regenerating shield, lends itself very nicely to the sudden bursts of activity from skulking around.

    As for only one situation? What?.. have you ever been in a bio lab? not to mention many bases are chucked full of places that are forced CQC, Yes.. You cannot engage people reliably in an open field, no that is not a problem. Because either you're running solo and have to pick your targets with care (after all, do you rush into the enemy tank column alone when your driving a MBT?) or you're with a team who will deal with them for you, which is worth it as having you as a meat shield in front of them is a huge boon when charging any building or point.

    I have to absolutely disagree on the MAX sprint being only slightly faster than normal infantry, especially considered I've run a lot in line formations where everyone are constantly holding down shift. You can cover a LOT of ground compared to normal infantry, definitely enough to get you to safety or optimal firing position. Secondly if people are shooting you, they cannot run after you because they are a lot slower than you, if they arn't shooting you.. what is the problem again? you'll win a melee fight. If you (as you should have been able to) stripped away their shield with your guns before they started circling around you, you'll 1HK them with your melee attack.

    I said something about tactics, the NC MAX is no less capable of ambushing people than the other MAXes, if you're not using tactics to get you into CQC then you are doing it wrong.
  19. Darzok

    The HA will not be split as there is NO need the role is what it should be and it is.

    The Max on the other hand just has no role and even if you did split the HA you would still not give the Max a role as the HA would still do every thing better need to kill players HA LMG need to take out a tank grab rocket HA need to shoot down aircraft lock on rocket HA.

    The Max should be dam deadly and be able to tank damage and it is doing both badly there no danger to any one able to out smart a rock the range is poor due to the laughable accy at range.

    Medic HA is just as good as Eng Max it can not stand in front and take as much damage but the over all effect is much better since the HA is a danger to people past 5ft the Max will just slightly annoy them.

    The Max has become worthless and as such you all most only ever see the rare few as dual gun AA and even that is becoming less common since the AA lock on rocket just fills the AA need much better.

    The Max is to big to slow and greatly under gunned to be of any real use.
  20. therah

    Im pretty sure the tf2 pyro can do damage with his weapons at point blank range, cheers OP

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