NOTE: the guide is unfinished now. I'll gradually add more content and remove this block once it's done. I may also do a replay video with commentary, but don't promise.
This guide describes strategies I used to get solo records as Predator. It describes important perks, masteries, talents, as well as strategies and tricks in order as they are or can be used. They are remarks on using them on all 4 difficulties. After this, there is a summary of the routes separately for each difficulty level. The route can be used for a casual playthrough as well, just avoid risky strats.
The description is based on Americas version 6.10 from Dec 17. Some of the tricks and parts of the route may be not as good in future versions.
Thanks to Folk, Tankz, cmalcolmc and others who contributed to finding route and tricks ideas.
Strengths and weaknesses Edit
- Extreme tankiness thanks to Block Mastery and Adaptive Armor with enhancements. At the endgame Predator will be practically unkillable. But beware - going Rambo in early and even mid game can be deadly. Many of the strats used rely on his tankiness.
- Big area of effect damage with Irradiate and Corona. They deal lots of damage. Irradiate help a lot with smaller enemies, especially slow roaches, compensating for his melee range. Also, it helps to get big Massacre bonuses. Corona deals up to thousands of damage, but should be used with care if you want point damage with it.
- Absence of strong point damage. Killing bosses and Hives takes longer time, though Corona gives decent point damage if used properly.
The important part of the playthrough is nuking. Without Mercenary, there simply won't be enough money to build enough nukes. I'll describe nuking in more details later.
It's essential for its detection ability, which Predator lacks until his ultimate mastery "Unstoppable force". Without detection you won't be able to destroy the Hive in the Sector 3 (Island) and may have a harder time dealing with Omegalisk and Hive Guardians. Also, route variations involving early Hive kills or fight with bosses outside the base will be impossible.
Also, the battlecruiser deals tons of damage, making clean up faster and safer. Though its targeting often could use improvement.
It boosts one of his strengths - Irradiate. Also, it increases nuke damage by a lot, which is essential in mid and late game.
Basic tier Edit
I take almost all of these talents. Shields are probably not that important, but take Parity Checks, as it's unconditional regular shield restore. Don't take Battlecry until you have enough energy regen. Demoralize and Phalanx can wait to around level 20, but take them if other options are bad.
Take it as soon as possible. It's one of the base Predator's talents, but getting it late can loose you 1-2 minutes.
Armor and adaptive armor Edit
There is rarely such thing as too much armor for Predator. Take Compound Plates when available, as it effectively give +15 armor when in battle. The best non-basic flat armor talent is Impenetrable Armor, increasing armor by +9. Shield armor skills aren't that important, as in the battle shields wear off quickly.
Health and health regen Edit
Same logic with armor applies here. Except Battlecry, take all health and health regen talents available, unless you are super-tanky. Aim for getting both health and armor talents, as being one-armed bandit is not good enough.
Energy regen Edit
It's important to be able to spam Corona by cooldown and have energy for Demoralize and Phalanx. Best regen talents with immediate effect are Power Crystals and Highpower Capacitators. Take Aftermath and Field Research to benefit from Massacre Bonuses.
Chain-nuke skills Edit
Fast late game requires to chain nukes, i.e. launching next nuke when previous one lands. This helps to eliminate a lot of unpleasant buildings and enemies fast and safely, speeding up and simplifying the game significantly. Chain nukes require Nuke Mastery and any two of the three talents: 2 x Improved Silos and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Without the required talents nukes won't be rebuilt fast enough. Take all three talents if available, as they reduce nuke cost significantly and allow to be flexible in nuking two locations at once. Ability to chain nuke starts to matter a lot in the route parts after destroying the Hive at Leviathan's base.
Other nuke enhancements Edit
Take nuke damage enhancements like Radical Restructuring and Massive Blast. When nuking hybrids, Electrostatic Fallout is very helpful. Also, take Surgical Bombs and Nuclear Winter when playing on Mental or Insane, as it will allow to fire substantially more nukes. On Normal or Hard nukes are cheap and it's unlikely to run out of money with Mercenary perk. Some of the nuke enhancements are essential to have on Mental or Insane, otherwise you are likely to run out of nukes too early.
Damage enhancements Edit
Demolition Expert and Boss Killer are essential for killing Hatcheries, Lairs and Hives faster, as they increase the damage against those by roughly 3x. The difference over the game can be several minutes. Demolition Expert is also helpful for cleaning rocks and other building faster, so getting it early game can yield an amazing run (if other important skills will come).