Oblivious muster bay covies

Posted May 3rd 2016

Associated movies

  • BCM179 - Normal; Oblivious muster bay covies, Grunts on the prowl (5:00)
Nice and peaceful… for now

This activity utilizes the Grunt-Jackal spawning trick but the actual fun itself doesn't involve those guys, so I'm covering it in this separate article.

When I was exploring the Grunt-Jackal spawning trick, I noticed something interesting with some of the resulting saves in which I'd built up a good-sized horde. Sometimes when I went to the muster bay without having thinned out my horde much if at all, the covies who spawn there were oblivious to me. Not just the initial covies there - if there were any - but also the subsequent reinforcement waves. This glitched behaviour was already occurring in the horde itself (although usually not every covie in the horde was oblivious to me), and it's a phenomenon I've encountered in a few other places in the game too.

Looking for anyone in particular?

The main interest of this situation is that you can spend all the time you like watching the covies - if you like that sort of thing. For example check out BCM179, in which I showcase Grunts on the prowl. But you could also enjoy some mischief of course, such as tagging covies up close, like you might when cloaked.

Further oddities

Depending on how overloaded the game is, you may encounter weaponless Grunts, Jackals, and Elites. Here are some other oddities you may notice (I'm not sure if these things will always happen). (1) You can't spook covies with gunfire unless you actually score a hit; they don't seem to hear it (they do notice a thrown grenade however). (2) Being in contact with a covie doesn't alert him to your presence - even if you stand on his head! (3) When a Grunt panics, his usual cries are missing. (4) When you kill a covie there's no reaction from the others.

Something missing here?

Setting things up

As to the specifics of how to set things up, I haven't tried to investigate the workings (it would be rather time consuming), but one thing I can say right away is that you don't have to be close to the maximum horde size. I've had muster bay obliviousness with a horde of only 63 for example.

If you have a significantly larger horde, up towards 130, you may find that if you go the bay immediately, it's empty and also no reinforcement waves arrive (the exit doors quickly open); obviously no good. The game just didn't have enough capacity to do any spawning. However, if you quickly advance and kill one or more horde members first, it can free up enough capacity for the game to do some spawning. Your reinforcement waves may not all be at full strength though; it depends on how overloaded the game is.

Welcome to the party guys!

Once you've triggered the muster bay, the usual next checkpoint trigger is for the reinforcement waves. To initiate that, I think the number of lower-level covies needs to be under 3 and the music needs to've been triggered. Interestingly, you can get the checkpoint even in the close presence of oblivious covies. Normally any covie close to you would cause checkpoint delay, but oblivious guys apparently don't.

In regard to the music, there's an optional trigger line for that. On the upper level, it's just after the start of the first container on the left. If you drop down before then, you can easily avoid triggering it for now, if you want. Looks like the trigger line continues across most of the room. If you get the music started, it can be ended by using the switch to open the muster bay door. As such you can watch your covies in silence, which is certainly better for hearing their sounds.

I think they've found a spider

Further remarks

Using obliviousness to watch covies has a couple of advantages over using active camo in normal gameplay: you can do it as long as you like, and you can have your flashlight on to see them better.

The obliviousness can extend to the troops in the passage leading from the muster bay to the hangar, so you can watch those guys too. But that seems to be as far as it goes. There's a loading point near the end of that passage, and at that point the game returns to normal.

Warning: if you go into the passage leading between the lower and upper levels of the muster bay, covies may start to see you at last.