Spawning fun at the structure entrance

Posted November 22nd 2017

Associated movies

  • BCM259 - Heroic; Spawning fun at the structure entrance (7:55)
What's the big panic fellas?

After reaching the top of the first map via Pelican, there's plenty of fun you can have by dropping down to the structure entrance area to see Grunts and Jackals spawn, and to attack them. The spawning occurs when you enter a certain trigger zone and remain in it long enough - a short period which is a bit random but typically under a second. The zone is quite expansive and includes most of the depression. In normal play you wouldn't see the spawning of course; but dropping down lets you reach places the game wasn't expecting you to be.

Aha! Floating guns!

A large main group spawns near the front of the ramp, along with three floating ARs (slightly later and one by one) which subsequently fire while rotating a lttle (after which they vanish). A few seconds later, a few covies spawn further down the ramp, plus a few outside among the trees.

All covies are initially panicking, which gives you a good opportunity to do some amusing tagging, though they don't seem to exhibit the usual reactions to being tagged (it seems like the scripted panicking takes precedence for a while).

On Heroic you get a total of 11 covies (somewhat randomized) and they make for some good casual fun. On Legendary you get 14 and they're much more aggressive of course, which is better for serious combat.

Triggering the spawning also also causes the creepy music to soon end, if it was still playing. As mentioned in my earlier article though, the music only lasts about six and half minutes; so by waiting you could get rid of it before your start checkpoint if you want.

Checkpointed, ready for action

Setting things up for replaying

For having fun replaying the spawning and fighting, delay the arrival checkpoint (originally due when you reached the top of the map), until you're in position ready to trigger the covies. It will then become your battle start checkpoint. Preferably have a fully charged flashlight on; and I also recommend having four plasmas ready, because the tagging opportunties are so good. To have four plasmas, you'll need to've used a frag for the trick of staying aboard the Pelican.

As for positioning, I suggest dropping down to the entrance roof (avoid the very front though, which impinges into the trigger zone), then down to the right so you end up to the left of the entrance as you face it. That's what you see me doing in BCM259. Triggering can then be done by just moving right a bit.

Newly minted Jackal at the back

However, bear in mind that when the covies spawn, a new checkpoint is triggered. That 'spawning checkpoint' will be delayed while the game considers you under enemy threat - which you certainly will be if they're spawning in front of you - and you can potentially keep it delayed throughout the battle (largely by enemy threat), so that at the end you can still revert to your start checkpoint. For safety though, be sure to save your start checkpoint, so that if you ever get the spawning checkpoint (unwanted), at least you'll be able to get back to the start checkpoint by ejecting the disc and reloading.

Note: If you've set things up as suggested, and then want to see one of the outside covies spawn (e.g. a Jackal at the back; see pic), the thing to do is get part way towards the spawning location (you can soon learn the locations) before entering the trigger zone. You can potentially get right up close to the spawning.

Using the lift checkpoint instead

Instead of delaying the arrival checkpoint, there's another checkpoint you can use if you want. Namely the lift checkpoint, as follows. If you've reached the structure entrance, go down the ramp. The lift will be triggered near the bottom. As soon as it rises into view, start jumping to delay the checkpoint which has now been triggered. Delay it until back in position ready to trigger the covies; then get it. Of course, you need to stay out of the trigger zone while doing all this; but that's no problem.

You spawn, you die!

Grenade ambushing

There are various ways you can have fun with the spawning using grenades, and I showed some of this in BCM259. At the entrance, obviously one idea is to just get busy throwing grenades as soon as the first covies appear. You could try to wipe out all the ramp troops with grenading, so they never reach the trees.

But there are some more inventive things you can do too. You can throw a grenade before the covies have been triggered, then trigger them, so they spawn and immediately get blasted. On rare occasions you may see the covies jump in shock at the grenade. In all the examples I've seen, their reaction occurs on the frame following their spawning; never later. I think what may be happening is this. When they spawn, there's a 1-frame period before the game puts them into panic mode; and if the covies happen to notice the grenade immediately (which I think is random), a shock animation is initiated - after which the panic mode takes over.

Yes grunty, that's a plasma grenade stuck to your forehead

Also you can throw a plasma at where you hope a covie will appear, trying to make it so he gets tagged instantly. It takes a bit of luck because the spawn locations are a bit randomized, but it shouldn't take many tries. You can do this stuff with the individual covies who spawn among the trees too.

Post-spawn checkpointing

Another checkpointing strategy is to actually use the spawning checkpoint for your battle start checkpoint. You can do this by triggering the covies then getting clear of enemy threat (if not already clear), so the game will give you the checkpoint.

Backed off down the ramp to get the spawning checkpoint

The advantage of this strategy is that you won't have to subsequently worry about getting an unwanted checkpoint which prevents you reverting to your start checkpoint. But the disadvantage is that the spawning happens only once, after which you'll just be dealing with the resulting situation repeatedly. In addition, the covies may've recovered from their initial panicking (depends how quickly you were able to get the checkpoint), in which case you wouldn't be able to have fun with a panicking phase. If you're just interested in serious combat though, that wouldn't matter; in fact you wouldn't want the covies to be panicking.

If triggering the covies from near the entrance, you can get clear of enemy threat by briefly backing off down the ramp a good way. Going behind the big obstruction will probably get you the checkpoint quickest - but only by a few seconds.