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Main => The Classroom => Guides => Topic started by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:46:40 pm

Title: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:46:40 pm
Notes on this guide:
While making this guide and really thinking about how I flew, I felt that my level of piloting went down. This is meant as a guide, not a rulebook. Pyramidions must be flown on instinct. This will help you train your instincts towards the right responses, but you will fly best when it comes naturally. Don’t think too much.
23 Pages in a word document. Over 12000 words. I *almost* feel like I got everything I wanted to say into this.

Arcs - The space where a gun can aim, shoot, and hit a target
Breaking Arcs - Repositioning your ship such that guns that could previously land shots on you can no longer shoot you in any way.
Goomba Stomp - Lowering your ship down directly above another ship and pressing them into the ground until they are destroyed

redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
In my time I have flown across the lands of our great world: skimming over the frigid waters of the north fjords, through the great dust storms of the dunes, in between the wreckage of abandoned buildings. If there is anything my experiences have taught me, its that Yesha got it right with at least one of their ship designs: the Pyramidion.
After keeping logs and analyzing previous engagements for over 1000 battles, I feel prepared to release a journal, for those pilots yet to come, on how to best utilize the strongest traits of our favorite ship, and how to cover up its few weaknesses. To you brave reader, I hope you are strong of will, quick of wit, and already tested in the flames of battle. For this will not be a beginner’s lesson, but an adventure into the smaller details of what it means to pilot the Pyramidion.
Welcome to redria’s crash course in… crashing.
To the one who reads, I want to help you move from being just another Pyramidion pilot to being one of *those* pyra pilots: the ones that crewmembers follow between lobbies, and that enemies curse as their ship falls to the ground in flames. You will fall, and you will make mistakes, and you will lose engagements, but in the process you will learn to truly fly, to hunt, and to laugh.
This journal will be long. It tries to put most of the things I have learned about flying Pyramidions over nearly 1000 matches into words and tries to guide you into how to use the strengths of the Pyramidion to cover the weaknesses. It is not the end-all-be-all guide of how to fly a Pyramidion. It will not let you start wrecking well coordinated teams with a random crew. It won’t give you the experience to get the timings right on everything. It won’t include every strategy involved in flying a Pyramidion simply because I don’t enjoy employing said tactics. But it will help you start moving forwards and teach you how, with this play style, you can start taking over almost any public engagement. So grab a drink, make a sandwich, let go of the wheel, and hold on to your butts. Let’s go smash some ships together.

Part Zero: 10 Rules to Follow when using this Guide
Repeat after me.
1. I will not gloat if I win, no matter how much I may win by. My opponents fought, and no matter how well they fought, they allowed me to play the game, and for this I am thankful.
2. I will not pout if I lose. It doesn’t matter if my crew spent the whole match jumping off my ship while I died again and again, or if my ally suicided into walls the entire match. I have given my all to the match and have gained experience.
3. I will not abandon my match. My opponent may be winning, but they deserve a good fight, and I have not lost yet. My team may be full of trolls, but I have not given up. If need be, I will leave the lobby after the match, but not until I have given everything I have to my current fight.
4. Every time I destroy a ship by ramming, I will laugh maniacally.
5. Every time I destroy a ship by goomba stomping them into the ground, I will laugh twice as hard. My crew will join in.
6. If I team kill an ally by ramming them into a wall, I will apologize profusely to them and my crew. I will laugh hysterically, but I will not repeat the act. My powers should be used only for good.
7. I will attempt to communicate with both my crew and my copilot through both text and voice. If they do not respond, I will do my best to support them.
8. I will achievement whore as hard as possible within the confines of still flying a competitive ship. I wish to level up, but I will do so with honor while winning matches.
9. I will keep an open ear to suggestions and requests in the lobby. I may not use ships modification suggestions from crew or teammates, but I will respect their judgements and try to convince them through my play that I have made the right decision.
10. I will have fun. This is a game first and foremost, and if I am no longer enjoying some aspect of the game, I will respectfully avoid that aspect if possible. This applies to, but is not limited to people, maps, ships, builds, and my own play style. I will not make a fuss about these things but will simply avoid them and move on.
We here in Guns of Icarus Online have an amazing community. I am making and posting this because I haven’t seen much in the way of intermediate-high level guides. A lot of guides go into the basics of something. I want to touch in depth on a specific style of play and help aspiring pilots grow in this area. Simultaneously, it gives those haunted by people like me an insight into how we move and play. I want to see what happens in game if non-pyra pilots read this guide and come up with ways to foil my strategies. I want the challenge of figuring out a new way to fight within my play style. Let’s get out there and grow up together.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:48:18 pm
Part One: Know Your Ship
My Pyramidion is a brawler. I feel that the true spirit of the Pyramidion is to be a brawler. Get into a fight, deal out tons of damage, make everyone hate you, and still have hull left over. A Pyramidion should be able to close in and solo kill any other ship. In order to do so, your front guns need to be on the enemy AT ALL TIMES. If you can’t train both front guns on the enemy then you aren’t doing your job as a pilot. There will be moments where you will sacrifice that tactic to gain a positioning advantage, but 95% of the time, your bow should be pointed at the enemy. It follows then that you, the pilot, are the most important piece of the puzzle. If you can’t keep the front guns on the enemy, then your strongest source of firepower is sitting useless. We will go more into your job later. First, covering the rest of the crew.
Main Engineer: This will be the second most important person on your ship. They are responsible for your engines and hull. 99% of the time, they should be repairing your engines and hull. In rare circumstances, they may be allowed to fire one of your side guns. This is generally not to be encouraged. If your main engineer is on your side guns, your engines will die and you won’t be able to keep your front guns on the enemy anymore, causing swift death.
Top Engineer: Front left gun emplacement and balloon. They will be responsible for firing a single gun and topping off your balloon when it needs the help. You will have to communicate more with this engineer than your main engineer. In circumstances where you go into full flight mode, this engineer will need to go below and help make sure no engines die while running away.
Gunner/Extra Engineer: Top right gun emplacement. Gunners shoot things. You will make their job extra easy. Point the gun forwards and shoot. If you have the extra engineer, they can help make panic repairs in dire circumstances.
If your crew starts to deviate from their positions, you will have to relax your use of piloting tools and ask them to return to position. The Pyramidion is strongest in such a crew formation and is (in my mind) unique in the explicit roles it allows you to assign to your crew.
I suggest you let your crew determine for themselves what position they want to take. Certain roles are much more demanding and it will wear some people out. More on this soon.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:48:50 pm
Part Two: Know Your Tools
You will need to be a pilot and you will need all 3 tools. The Pyramidion is a beautiful creature, a ballerina if treated right, but without the right tools, she maneuvers as well as a sky whale skates on ice.
You get 3 tools. Let’s make them count.
Remember that bit about your engines dying and crew members getting worn out? This is part one of the explanation. Pyramidions have poor acceleration. Kerosene allows you to accelerate and decelerate faster. You can reach a higher top speed. It slows down unwanted turns and keeps you pointed mostly straight during rams. And the best part is that you can literally use it constantly. Your main engineer can keep your engines and hull in tip top shape by themselves. It is constant abuse of the engines and constant repairing work for your main engineer though, so be wary of who you let take this role. If they fail, your ship will flounder and die. Without engines, you are already dead.
Phoenix Claw:
Pyramidions can barely turn on their own. It’s sort of embarrassing how poorly they turn really. Luckily, you have a tool for that. Phoenix claw will allow you to turn significantly faster than regular engines. They damage the engines, yes, but at the same rate as kerosene. Your main engineer won’t even notice! You will need phoenix claw for any mildly complicated maneuvering, so it is a must. Some people may prefer to use moonshine over kerosene, but never leave the claw behind.
Pyramidions are strong and have good firepower. Their weaknesses are turning, acceleration, and vertical movement. We have already covered 2 of those weaknesses with tools, so let’s fix up the last one to make the perfect ship. Hydrogen lets you move upwards much more easily. It nearly prevents downward movement for a time, and it wrecks your balloon, so use it sparingly, but in a pinch, it will keep your front guns on the enemy or keep you on target for a ram.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:49:43 pm
Part Three: Pick a Build
Your build, the ship loadout, will determine what type of role you play with your teammates and which ships you will try to target first. I will suggest my personal favorite 3 loadouts along with the tactics I use with them.
Bottom Deck:
As an introduction to my ships, I will tell you now, all my ships have a flame thrower in slot 3, and an artemis rocket launcher in slot 4. The flame thrower gives the main engineer a nice close range weapon to use to cause panic aboard an enemy ship if they get the opportunity, and the artemis can be used on the fly to take pot shots at enemies if you aren’t charging forwards already. Your side guns often won’t matter, so feel free to load them out however you like, though the flamer in slot 3 seems to be the best choice for the slot as a brawling ship.
Build One: Metamidion
When you observe other pilots flying a Pyramidion, you will often see them equip their ships with 2 specific guns: a gatling gun and a mortar. This is currently viewed as one of the most common and powerful loadouts for a Pyramidion.
Using this build, your 2 front guns will be a gatling gun and a mortar. I usually put the gatling gun in the top left slot (2) and the mortar in the top right (1) so my gunner can use multiple ammo types on the mortar, but it is a preference thing.
The concept behind the design is to charge forwards, start firing the gatling gun once in range to tear through the hull armor, then combine mortar fire with a ram to destroy the permahull of your opponent in a single pass. When used correctly, this build is very powerful, and can cause some of the fastest kills in the game.
-Very quick kills with coordinated firing from the front guns
-Both guns fire upwards respectably, allowing for a low altitude charge followed by rising up at the last moment with a burst of hydrogen to deliver an uppercut ram while firing both guns
-Heavily dependent on the gatling gun not being destroyed and on the gatling gunner landing enough bullets to destroy the hull armor
-Requires the Pyramidion be close enough to engage, sometimes causing you to charge a firing line of multiple sniper ships
-Performs poorly against junkers: junkers have a very thin hull. It is easy to miss gatling and mortar shots or to have the shots hit the balloon instead. If the shots are not landing on the hull, this build is almost completely ineffective.
-Fails to provide you with a positional advantage: this build only kills, and does not disable. If you fail to kill quickly, your opponent may have the opportunity to gain a positional advantage over you and maintain it.
Good against:
Spires: You will literally fly through spires 9 times out of 10. The gatling shreds their armor too fast and if the mortar doesn’t kill them by the time you reach it, your ram will obliterate it.
Almost as weak as spires against solid charges. Try to give your gunners a shot at the Mobula’s hull instead of just the balloon. A single kerosene ram will destroy 100% of the permahull, but the hull has to be down first.
The gatling fire shreds their armor as they charge straight at you. Whoever lands more hits wins the ramming contest and breaks through the armor first, dealing more damage.
Your ram should knock their main gun off angle, giving you time to rain down death upon their hull, giving you a respectably quick kill.
Neutral against:
Ramming squids is a challenge. You will need to employ fancier flying and depend more on keeping your firing arcs on the squid. If you can keep fire on it, it will die.
Galleons have a lot of hull to shoot at, which is good, but in most positions being able to shoot a galleon’s hull means you are open to a broadside, which will leave you helpless most games. This is the best build to tear through all of the galleon’s ample armor and permahull, so fancy flying is needed to keep you safe.
Poor against:
As mentioned before, you must fire at the hull. Junkers have small hulls and big balloons. You will find it more difficult than with any other ship to keep your arcs on the junker hull and have shots land. Additionally, ramming junkers bounces them around, but rarely actually deals hull damage, so ramming is rarely an option when approaching junkers. You just have to get in close and hope you kill it before it starts disabling your guns.
Build Two: Urz’s Flamer
This build, lifted off of the legendary Urz during a fight I had the pleasure of flying with him (thanks Urz! I love this one!), consists of a carronade on the top right slot and a flamer on the top left slot. It is much more of a disabling build than the classic metamidion, similar to a blenderfish or a Squid, but you are in a Pyramidion. You can still kill with it. Your ship is your weapon.
My game plan is to charge in similarly to the meta build and get close, then open up on the balloon and components with both front guns. Your opponents balloon will be destroyed rapidly, and the engines and guns should follow shortly. Nothing will cause more panic in a crew than everything being on fire, the balloon being destroyed, and the hull armor dropping fast. Except what you are about to do next.
The key to this build is to have the enemy spotted. Once their balloon dies, position yourself over them, so you can look down and see the white box of the enemy spot, and so you can see part of their ship through the grate under the helm. Your job as pilot is to maintain your position above your opponent and just drop. Push your ship down and use all the kerosene and phoenix claw you need to keep the nose of your ship over the opponent. Every time they get the balloon up and start to rise, you will smack down on top of them. Both flamers should be able to get arcs downwards and can continue lighting things on fire. Ride your opponent to the ground and sit on them: grind them into the ground until they shatter beneath you. Once you have your opponent under you, there should be no escape. If they get out from under you, your carronade will pop their balloon again and you can once again sit atop them.
This build is sadistic, hilarious, and probably one of the meanest builds I run. If your opponent doesn’t get serious help from an ally, there is no way for them to escape if you do your job right. The only challenge is the galleon due to its mass. It takes a little bit of patience and a lot of hull armor repairs on your own ship to grind them into the dirt enough for them to die.
Sniping out one of the front guns doesn’t cripple this build like the meta: both front guns can destroy balloons and components.
Ultimately, this is one of the best counters to junkers. When a balloon is destroyed, it effectively becomes hull armor. You suddenly get a very large target to ram and shoot at.
-Your gunners can aim at almost anything and be effective
-The side flamer can be used in tandem with the front guns to deliver a trifecta at the right angle
-Allows one shot ram kills of junkers
-Allows you to effectively keep any one ship out of the fight while your partner(s) fight.
-Gives you the opportunity to laugh maniacally while goomba stomping every ship
-Seriously close range: needs you to close in with the enemy which still may require you to charge firing lines
-Kills slowly until you can get your opponent on the ground: meta build kills much faster which allows you to assist your teammate much sooner
-Long killing time can allow you to get disabled by the free opponent while stomping your target. You must be wary of how your teammate is doing
-A gunner firing the carronade at anything but your enemy’s balloon while said balloon is alive can cause you to lose positional advantage. If you can’t regain positional advantage, you can die quickly
Good against:
Almost all ships. Once you begin opening fire, ram as necessary to keep gun arcs off of you until their balloon is down and you can stomp.
Neutral Against:
Part of what makes Spire pilots fear Pyramidions is the ramming power that a Pyramidion has. A single ram can destroy all of a Spires armor or all of a Spires permahull. However, it will not destroy both. This build fails to provide quality hull damage to a Spire before and after rams. A spire’s balloon is small and much harder to attack. You should still win almost every engagement with a spire, but it will take longer than expected.
Build Three: Sir Yosh’s Hades Build
This one was hatched mostly by the great Sir Yosh (thanks!) in an effort to give me something to use at longer range while still giving me effective weapons for my style of flight. The top left gun is an artemis and top right is a hades manned by a gunner.
Tactics involve closing to midrange. The artemis aims for opponents weapons and tries to snipe them out, leaving them with no attacking power. The hades aims for balloon and hull, setting both on fire and taking out armor, balloon, and permahull. Once the hades destroys the hull armor, artemis shots start taking out permahull.
The trick to this build is to have a respectable gunner for your hades gun. These shots need to land as they deal the actual damage of the build. If your hades isn’t landing, you can’t close in and finish working them over.
Determine the appropriate range to the enemy by watching the hades fire. Hades shots have an arming time. You need to be at such a distance that when your hades shots land, they explode visibly. This means you are dealing maximum damage with the hades.
A note from Sir Yosh himself on why we choose a gunner to fire the hades: on long range maps you need both lesmok and greased ammo. Hades is surprisingly precise with lesmok at long range - you can start shooting early, destroying armor and balloon, while your secondary engineer disables their guns using the artemis. While getting close to enemy, your gunner should switch to greased ammo, which makes hades work pretty much like a mortar that deals more damage to balloon and hull. Since greased decreases the projectile speed, its shots arm earlier and you're able to shoot a closer target. Greased has provides an accelerated fire rate.
This build is new to me and needs practice, but when you feel that our opponent is properly disabled, approach and begin ramming/stomping. Our artemis will continue to work fine. Your hades will lose a lot of effectiveness, but it is not completely ineffective. Your gunner can also switch to your side flamer. Similar to the flamer build, you want to position yourself above your opponent and begin stomping them towards the ground. When done right they can’t escape. You are less effective at this close range that with the flamer build, but patience will let you finish them off on the ground.
-Allows for the approach of sniper bulds by taking out their guns with the artemis
-Can begin disabling ships at range giving you safer charging lines
-Can kill ships at range, keeping your hull safer from damage (mostly self inflicted) and giving you an opportunity to support your ally more readily if needed
-Less killing raw killing power than the meta build, and less panic inducing than the flamer build
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:50:25 pm
Part Four: Fly Dumb
This is the one of the most important parts of running one of these builds. You will have to pursue and flee enemies. They will do everything they can to get away from you. This includes using the fact that your ship is less maneuverable than anything else but the galleon. They will be ducking behind buildings and cliff walls. They will be trying to back out and go under you to get behind you. They will do whatever it takes to not be in your arcs. So you need to be better.
Your task is going to be to take risks when you fly. See how close you can get to the ground at top speed burning kerosene. Find a small gap between 2 cliffs and see if you fit (at top speed). See how quickly you can circle the bottom of the globe using kerosene and phoenix claw on labyrinth/paritan rumble. See how close you can skirt around cliff walls on canyon ambush. Take risks and fly dumb. And do it all as fast as you can go. For one thing, flying will never have been as much fun. Second, you will start to get used to dancing in the Pyramidion. No corner is too sharp. No gap is too skinny. You can make every maneuver, and you can make it faster than anyone will expect. Your opponent can’t escape you if you can follow their “maneuverable” ship along the most complicated path through wreckage that they can find.
This is one thing I can’t teach. You have to learn the feel of the ship. The size of it. Where you will clip the scenery and where you won’t. If your crew is terrified then you are doing it right.
You will crash. You will instantly destroy your balloon or hull armor. You will probably kill yourself a few times. But you will come out of it with a better understanding of the map and what you are capable of. Just flying is more than worth it. I don’t even need things to kill. I could fly through canyon ambush for hours at max speed just skimming over the bottom of the canyons.
Learn to appreciate what your ship has to offer you, and you can get more out of it than you even expected. She is a beautiful creature.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:51:00 pm
Part Five: Relearning to Ram
Odds are, when you ram, you are probably doing it wrong. Not a lot mind you, but enough to where someone better will kill you 9 times out of 10. Let’s start easy.
Probably the best way to ram a spire is right on the armor plate on its front side. Naturally, if you can ram from any other side, try to do so, but the key is to hit dead center. This will bounce the spire straight away from you without turning you aside. Keep kerosene on until you hit, then instantly evaluate the trajectory of the spire and your self. If you knocked it straight backwards, leave the kerosene at full burst and keep going. If not…
-You stayed straight but the spire bounced at an angle
    Pop phoenix claw and pull back throttle to around 0 while you turn your ship towards the spire’s center again. Just as you are almost pointing towards center, switch back to kerosene and finish turning as you close in again. You want to push your advantage as quickly as possible and every second counts.
-You glanced off and are now going past the spire
    Pop phoenix claw and throw your ship in full reverse and turn hard the direction you glanced out to. Occasionally pop a burst of kerosene to help you stop your forward momentum and get going in reverse. About halfway through your turn back towards the spire, keep phoenix claw on and go full forwards. This should give you time to nearly finish your turn as you stop moving backwards. Then throw kerosene back on to finish the turn and ram again.
Keep ramming into the spire till you get the kill or die. You won’t be able to flee a decent spire build, so fleeing is not an option. If you die trying to ram one, then odds are he got assistance from a friendly or you didn’t approach correctly with your ally. More on team tactics later.
Mobulas are notoriously squishy as well. If you are approaching from directly behind, hit dead center. If from behind at an angle, hit the back on the side closest to you. This is to try to prevent the mobula from turning and getting arcs on you. If you approach from the side, angle slightly towards the front of the mobula so you again turn the front of the mobula away from yourself. When approaching the front, you will use the same tactics as the back. As scary as the front side of a mobula is, you don’t want to hit the mobula and glance past it while turning it around with you. You can survive the combined arcs of a mobula while ramming better than they can.
If you get misaligned from a ram, use a small burst of phoenix claw and low thrust to angle yourself back towards its center before kerosening again. This phoenix claw tactic will show up again and again in my ramming. Be careful using it and keep an eye on your nose, your surroundings, and your target. Any glancing blow will knock you completely off target. If it happens, don’t panic. Throw kerosene to stop your spin instantly, throw it into reverse to get a small bit of space, claw back to the right angle, and kerosene in again. You have the advantage. Don’t let them take it away.
Goldfish can take a while to finish off, so be careful when you chase down a goldfish. If you are flying meta and your gunners don’t time their shots well, you can end up putting mortar shots into newly rebuilt hull armor time after time. With any build, you want to maintain a positional advantage on a goldfish. Blenderfish will make you pay for giving up position by popping your balloon and sitting on you, and hwachafish will just repeatedly take out your front guns, making you completely ineffective. Use your rams to get on the side of the goldfish.
Ramming a goldfish from behind is difficult. When you strike the goldfish, you will launch them forwards, which they can use to get distance on you and possibly maneuver in time to unload their heavy weapon in your face. Pay close attention to the direction the fish is pushed so you can start taking control. Ramming head on from the front will work if you catch them off guard or follow up with nudging rams to turn them. A good goldfish pilot will use kerosene or moonshine to prevent being turned by your initial strike, but usually the initial strike will impart some angle between your bow and the fish’s bow, allowing you to ram their bow at a slight angle, which will turn their nose away from you. Follow this up by keeping yourself on their side.
Toying with a goldfish from the side will take a couple tries of practice to get used to, but your main objective is to keep pushing the fish and not let it get its front gun arc on you. If you are perpendicular to your target, ram the center of the ship. This should just push it away from you, which is acceptable. If the fish tries to move forwards or backwards without turning, ram the trailing edge of the ship (if he moves forwards, you ram the tail, if he moves backwards, ram the nose). This will again turn the side of the fish towards you. You will glance off and start to lose gun arcs, which is acceptable if you reestablish them immediately. As soon as you hit, go full reverse with kerosene for a moment to prevent you from drifting past the fish. Then maintain your reverse thrust while phoenix clawing to turn your prow back towards the center of the goldfish. About halfway through that turn push your throttle back forwards as you want to be constantly ramming the goldfish. The more strikes you get on the fish, the more disoriented the pilot will be, leaving him not knowing where to go since he doesn’t know where he is about to be pushed.
If the fish tries to turn, ram at the side that is turning towards you. You will prevent them from getting their front gun on you, or prevent them from being able to turn tail and flee. Learn the balance between getting a forceful, damaging ram, and trying too hard to ram and losing your positioning. Ramming is powerful but if you lose your gun arcs, you are giving your opponent the opportunity they need to get out and kill you.
If the fish moves forwards or backwards while turning towards you (in a circling motion around you), you will have to let go of ramming until they change their tactic. All you need to do is keep your front guns pointed at your target. Phoenix claw as needed to keep arcs and, if the opportunity presents itself, close in slowly. We need gun arcs, but ramming is our power over our opponent and we want to see if we can use it further.
If the fish turns away from you while moving backwards or forwards (like flying in a circle where the edge passes in front of you), then you need to close in and prevent their turn. Ram the side that is angling towards you. You will need to be paying attention and move quickly because this is their opportunity to keep a distance from you by retreating and possibly bringing their heavy weapon to bear.
Be aware that many goldfish will have flamers on their side guns to prevent you from using this tactic. My meta build will allow you to kill them before the fire disables you too much. My flamer build will allow you to disable their gun and destroy their balloon, which will put you in a position of greater control. My hades build gives you the artemis which can be used to snipe out the flamer and remove it from consideration. Done correctly, you can keep a goldfish pinned to your nose until it dies.
But really, you have a couple different approaches you can take. The key is to never sit in a galleon’s actual broadside. Being there will get you killed faster than nearly anything else. Ideally you want to sit in front of the galleon or behind it. However, you are using your front guns. You can’t circle the galleon with your front guns on target. This gives the galleon pilot the opportunity to simply turn and have arcs on you. In response to this, I usually take one of 2 tactics:
Attack the spike jutting out of the bottom of the galleon. At the bottom of the galleon, there are extra sails (why? what’s the point?) that have a metal pole running straight down to maintain them. This metal pole is, you guessed it, part of the hull. Get in stupid close to the galleon extra low so that your gunners must fire slightly up and crosseyed together to hit the spike. Hold that position by turning with the galleon and letting it circle you if he tries to move out. Pay attention to his vertical movement. He won’t want you there because his guns are either long range and hardly damage you at that arc, or are short range and can’t aim that low. He will probably try to drop low to bring you into his gun’s arcs. Drop with him as long as you can, but if you have no space to move down…
Attack the top of the deck from balloon height. You can approach from this angle if the galleon is already low. If moving to balloon height because the galleon is dropping, you will want to hit hydrogen and rocket up past the broadside to get to the right height. This will prevent him from hitting you with a full broadside, and you should live. From the height of the galleon’s balloons, you can fire down onto the deck of the galleon and deal hull damage from another relatively safe position.If he moves up to counter, we don’t have a tool to drop fast, so we have to counter a different way. This will be discussed later.
When the galleon’s hull armor is down you can try ramming gently. The galleon out-masses you. Dont try to bully it around like you can other ships. Just poke it and back up a bit to get in some extra permahull damage while you can. Galleons are big and tough and more maneuverable than you may think, but they have large hitboxes and can be attacked from many relatively safe positions.
Ramming squids is a glorious achievement, and immensely gratifying when successful, but don’t try too hard. Squids are going to try to get in your blind spots. They are very good at it. Don’t let them. It will take practice, but you can keep your front guns on a squid at all times. If a squid is being shot at, the squid is in trouble. If the squid is moving towards you, you generally want to be moving backwards to give yourself reaction space. When they try to fly past to one side, go full reverse phoenix claw and turn hard to follow it with your front guns. You may lose arcs for a second, but if they try to turn in on your tail, you will get the opportunity to regain arcs as long as you commit early and completely to focusing solely on keeping arcs.
In special circumstances where a squid doesn’t see you or they are particularly disabled, you may get a chance to ram. Take it. Even if you don’t kill the squid, a decent speed ram will mess up a squid and entertain you and your crew.
Junkers offer some of the best training on how to keep gun arcs while flying a ramming ship. The moment you ram a junker, 9 times out of 10 they will slide away to one side and you will be left pointed at empty air with a junker’s broadside on your broadside. Bad day. Don’t let it happen.
Feel free to charge junkers. If you are going to ram, see if you can’t get the point of your ship to hit their hull instead of their balloon. It will be much more effective that way. However, be careful about how you ram. At the last moment, kerosene at full reverse so as you hit the junker, you will stop instead of continuing to move past the junker. Depending on how the junker bounces, switch immediately to phoenix claw and start tracing it. You will want to move forwards or backwards situationally depending on whether they bounced forwards from your or sideways. In certain circumstances, the junker will spin and you will hit it multiple times as you ram. Be wary and watch for this happening. If you get caught like this with phoenix claw on, you will be knocked completely out of arcs.
Junkers tend to be an exercise in patience similar to goldfish, however they are much happier circling you than a goldfish is. Your goal is always to nose in and poke them again, but never sacrifice your gun arcs. Remember, they have 2 guns on you right now too, so you don’t want to lose arcs.
Possibly one of the most challenging ships to ram right, but one of the more gratifying.
You understand the Pyramidion a little better at this point. You recognize that you want your front guns on him and you don’t care which side you are facing as long as he doesn’t have front guns on you too. It is hard to say side guns are useless, but using them presents a significantly larger target while also exposing engines. Pyramidion’s front guns will beat out the side guns nearly every time. You just have to put yourself in right position while they try to do the same to you. Here is where it gets fun.
For head on collisions, you must be perfectly aligned with the center of your opponent. If you lose alignment, their initial ram will turn you slightly sideways. Additionally, they will push harder than you will and will have the opportunity to get a second turning ram in similar to what you do to a goldfish. You can’t let this happen. It is certain death. Ram straight and true directly into them and keep a close watch for any hint of an angle. If they present you with any angle, take the opportunity and get in and nudge their nose. Use it as a lever to turn their ship away and gain control of the fight.
If you can ever approach from the side, try to hit towards the front of the ship. This will turn their front guns away from you and ensure you get the time you need to kill/disable them.
Approaching from behind it is almost better to just sit behind them and rain down fire. Ramming them will push them away from you and slow you down. It can be used, but you must be careful using it and be aware of the risks.
Walls are overpowered. Not by a little either. Walls are the most powerful weapon in the game. You can instantly destroy anything but a galleon (and it doesn’t take too long on a galleon) by using walls.
Pay attention to the location of your opponents. If you ever see an opportunity, even if it means turning your back to one ship, take it. If a ship drifts too close to a wall and you have a direct path, go for a straight ram to push them up against the wall and keep pouring on the kerosene. If you see an enemy hitch up against a small edge in a scenery hitbox. If an opponent rams a friendly galleon, you can treat your ally as a wall. Any time your enemy cannot move backwards if you push them, you can almost instantly destroy them with a well placed ram. The one exception is galleons. Since they out-mass you, they resist wall rams much better. It is, however, still a golden opportunity to take them out. Keep pushing unless you notice your hull armor getting extra low. If it gets too low, back off slightly and let your engineer get a mallet hit in on it before trying another push.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:51:33 pm
Part Six: Practicing Maneuvers
The best pilots can outmaneuver their opponent to gain the upper hand in positioning. This is especially effective if you have a mix of maneuvers that involve both contact and no contact with enemy ships. Being able to use the opponent to help yourself or avoid them to protect your permahull will help give you an advantage when facing down experienced captains.
Wall Turns:
Sometimes you find yourself facing a wall with an enemy at your back. Usually this happens when you have just crushed someone up against said wall. Keep moving forwards, turn slightly to one side, and turn phoenix claw on. When you hit the wall, it should turn your ship. With claw on, you will turn absurdly fast. Turn with it until you have arcs on the enemy and hit kerosene and burn your way towards them. This is a risky trick that damages your hull and risks getting yourself knocked the wrong way by the bounce. However it lets you align yourself instantly and get your guns back on an enemy. Play around with it when you get the opportunity and you may be surprised by how effective it can be.
Terrain Shadowing:
This mostly has to do with closing on an enemy unnoticed, or escaping from an enemy at close range.
Stay low to the ground and turn on kerosene. Watch the terrain ahead of you along with your opponents, or where you think they are. You want to make sure that you don’t hit any terrain while flying low, and you also don’t want to have to use hydrogen to avoid terrain because you didn’t see it sooner and react. We want to save the balloon health for later when we upper cut into the enemy. When you close in on an enemy, you either want to go for a ram, which will need your guns firing to work best, or you will try to get behind them.
If you are ramming, you have to know how fast you rise using kerosene, along with what your gun arcs are. Stay low as long as possible to hide from detection and avoid enemy gun arcs, then go hard upwards with a burst of hydrogen to rise up swiftly while dishing out damage.
If you want to be behind the enemy, keep close to the ground until you are under your opponent. Use your spot on the enemy to keep track of where they are. Once you are under them, pop hydrogen for a split second, then switch to phoenix claw and turn hard in one direction while in full reverse. This will carry you slightly past where your opponent was while turning towards them and rising up behind them. You can quickly gain a positional advantage in this way. You will not have momentum, but can start ramming their backside just to keep them disoriented.
There are times when your hull is damaged enough, your ally is not around to help, you are turned away, and all you need to do is get the hell outta dodge. If you are in dunes, good luck. Start figuring out where you want to respawn. If you are in canyon ambush or paritan rumble, or in certain places on northern fjords, you have a chance to cheat death.
The tactic here depends on you having trained on flying dumb. Basically, you need to have all of your crew focused on keeping your balloon, hull, and engines (especially engines) alive and functioning. You do not need to shoot, just run. Pick the nearest large piece of scenery that you can get behind. For example, you can get behind a building in paritan rumble, but you can’t get behind the edge wall of the map on canyon ambush. A building would give you an opportunity while all you could do with the edge wall is follow it in a straight line.
Kerosene at max speed for the edge corner of your scenery. You want to space it so you will come within inches of hitting the side of your ship on the wall of your scenery. Burn as fast as you can as close as you can along the wall. If you find yourself drifting to an almost normally comfortable distance away from the wall, use phoenix claw to turn yourself back in towards it. This is most important in places like canyon ambush where most objects are more circular so if you can follow the curve at max speed, you will break your enemy’s arcs faster. If you are in paritan rumble and are tracing the edge of a building, burn to the corner of it and phoenix claw hard into the turn, scooting around the corner to get behind it. Depending on how much room you have around the turn, you may need to claw while reversing engines to make sure you make the turn. As soon as you might be able to make the fit, turn kerosene back on. If successful, you should be breaking arcs.
While doing all of this, I like to go as low to the ground as i can. This forces your opponent to follow you down low. Since you have lots of experience flying dumb, they are more likely to get caught on scenery than you are, and are unlikely to keep up with you making stupid turns through dangerous alleys. This maneuver is about speed and risk. If you push hard enough, you pursuit won’t take the same risks and will lose ground.
Follow this up by judging the position of your opponent. If your ally still has a spot on your pursuit, you can tell where they are in relation to you. If they are about to turn the corner and reestablish arcs, continue, make another turn, keep flying dumb and keep getting away. Do so until you have space and repairs are made. Then…
Hit max phoenix claw backwards and turn hard. Partway through your turn, switch throttle to forwards. You should be able to kill your momentum and execute almost a 180 degree turn without much in the way of sideways motion, as if you were sitting still and did a 180. It will take practice to do this right , and such a maneuver will help you in many situations, so practice every opportunity you get.
We have gotten space, made repairs, and are now ready to turn back and surprise our opponent. They lost us. We are now the hunter. We know that they should be trying to trace our path and the should be low. Gain a little bit of height and start backtracking your path. If you find them, they will want to gain height to engage you. Let them get enough to think they are on their way to a strong engagement, but maintain your height advantage, even if you need to use hydrogen. This is now a normal engagement, and it should be in clogged passageways, which gives you an advantage. You have flown dumb more and are more comfortable with tight spaces. Your ship probably out masses theirs and any collisions are more likely to knock them into walls. Press your advantage and finish them off before help shows up.
The alternative here is to try to get behind your opponent, or to get back to your ally. If you are being double teamed and you just escaped, you may want to take the opportunity to escape to assistance so you can fight as a team. If you think you have a path to get behind the enemy, it may be to your advantage to pursue that route. Just keep in mind that the longer that they haven’t seen you, the more likely it is that they will break off and return to their own ally, in which case you may not be able to engage in close quarters as desired.
Floating Above:
Sometimes you will find that by using hydrogen, you are left floating too high to really engage your target, or maybe they can descend faster than you naturally. This will leave you with nothing to shoot at, and a difficult time determining where to descend and turn to. You don’t want to let them get on your blind sides, so you have to pay close attention to what they are doing.
The key to using floating above as a tactic is to have a spot on your target. If you have a spot, pay close attention to the shape of the brackets around your enemy. Right now, you should be almost directly above your enemy. Use the map to determine which direction they are facing and the brackets as more of an instantaneous determination of which directions they can accelerate in. Your goal is to maintain positions such that when your ships are again at the same altitude, your nose is pointed directly at the enemy. They are trying to do the same, except with whatever side is their strongest.
Outside of the galleon, you are going to be pretty unconcerned with what they are bringing to bear on you. Your firepower and defenses will let you get the kill if you both come out of the maneuvering with ideal gun arcs on. Because of this, your sole focus should just be on maintaining your arcs. To do this, you want to be able to look down at the grate beneath the helm and hold your enemy in that position as you descend. If they are aligned with your ship and are moving forwards or backwards, be prepared to kerosene backwards or forwards to maintain position. The risk here is that they will move faster underneath you than you can move backwards. If you notice this happening, switch to phoenix claw and, while maintaining backwards throttle, swing hard in one direction so that as they pass under where you were, you track your nose along their path and maintain potential arcs. When they are perpendicular to your ship and back in the original position, you will treat them as if they are…
Aligned perpendicular to your ship. Positionally, you don’t need to move forwards or backwards to maintain potential arcs. However, they can move side to side in front of you and you can’t move side to side. You will have to treat this similarly to ramming a goldfish, junker, or squid. Use phoenix claw and kerosene to keep your nose pointed at the enemy as they maneuver themselves.
You never want your enemy to be directly below you. You always want them slightly in front of you so you have a slight buffer in case they move into you and try to get behind you. This maneuver takes practice, but it will make sure you are never left with an enemy in your blindside, ever. Almost every other ship you face is going to go up against you thinking all they have to do is get in your blindside and they can take you out. Playing smart will take that maneuverability away from them and leave them looking weak against your front guns.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:52:05 pm
Part Seven: Generating “Teamwork”
Both fortunately and unfortunately, this is a team battle. It makes it more fun. It also weakens the fact that you can solo kill anyone. If you aren’t supported/supporting your friendly(s) then you will lose 9 times out of 10. You need to be able to work with your ally even if you don’t know them, don’t trust them, or can’t communicate with them. Luckily, the Pyramidion is versatile enough to let you do just that.
Starting a death match:
Look at your map, find your partner, and go where they are. I don’t care what map you are playing, where they are, or anything else. You need to be at your partner’s side or you will get the both of you killed. The only exception is if you have already communicated a strategy to your copilot and have a plan to meet up at a certain point on the map. Teamwork is overpowered. If you fail to stay near your ally, don’t be surprised when you get double teamed and killed.
If your ally is taken out while you are in a dogfight together, make a decision quick: can you kill your target this instant? If the answer is yes, do so then either turn tail and book it out of the engagement, or turn on the other opponent. We know you can take them on solo, so you now have one respawn timer and some quantity of travel before you are double teamed. Make your decision based on nearby scenery and whether you are closer to your own spawn or the enemy spawn. If there is no scenery, you probably won’t be able to run away anyway. If there is, and you have practiced flying dumb, you can outrace anyone around scenery. Get distance and make repairs while your ally gets back to you.
Starting a capture point match:
Get to the point. You are fast, durable, and strong. Go straight to the point and sit on it, with all eyes up and out for enemy ships. I like to sit low at points so i am less likely to be spotted as an enemy closes in. That split second of knowing where your target is before they know where you are gives you an advantage. Try to use it to get in the sweet spots previously mentioned for ramming and get the kill quick so you can continue capping the point.
Never leave the point in a serious match unless you have to. If your opponent is not on the point, you can capture it. Wait for them to close on it, don’t let them lure you out. Once you capture the point, all you have to do is live. Don’t be afraid to use scenery and hide if you are double teamed. If you can live until your ally returns, that gives you an opportunity to maintain your hold on the point. Remember: You can die as much as needed and not kill a single ship in capture point, yet still win. Take one for the team if necessary and abuse the point blocking system.
Shield and Spear:
This is a teamwork tactic that you can use either in communication with your copilot, or without any communication at all. The idea behind it is to use your ally as a shield. When engaging the enemy, your opponent will almost invariably focus the ship in front. This depletes hull armor, destroys weapons, pops balloons, and positions the enemy to take out the leading ship before the trailing ship can lay down fire to help. If you try to take the lead, there is a significant chance that without good support from your ally you will be left without hull armor by the time you get close enough to the enemy to ram them. Ramming without hull armor will only kill you. With you dead, your ally will be focused down and taken out giving your opponent a 2-0 advantage. We want to avoid that.
Start out by trailing close behind your ally. Feel free to burn kerosene and phoenix claw as needed to maintain position. You want to be very close to your ally to allow him to be both a shield for you, and to potentially block your opponent from spotting both of you. If they spot only your leading ally and you remain hidden behind, the next phase will work better. I like to trail at a lower altitude than my ally. This gives me a clear vision ahead, along with positioning me lower, which allows me to use hydrogen to my advantage. If you start high, an enemy will be able to drop below you to avoid you a lot easier since you have no tools letting you drop quickly.
Phase 2 involves the actual engagement. Trail behind your ally as long as possible. You will gain familiarity with the timing of the maneuver as you play and use it more. When you judge the timing is right, you will turn on max speed plus kerosene and burn forwards past your now damaged ally. If you have done it correctly, you will have moved closer to your enemy without taking any damage yourself. You are now taking the lead of the charge. This means that their focus should switch to you if they are smart. However, this gives your ally time to repair and space to begin firing in support of you. The key to this is that you are the killing ship. You used your ally as a shield to get close. Use your advantage to press in and get a quick kill on the more threatening of the ships. With this done, you will be able to turn a 2v1 advantage on the last ship and finish the encounter.
This works especially well with ally galleons. You both have high amounts of attack power. You have a large shield to hide behind and your ally galleon has a lot of health to handle tanking. Your ally doesn’t have to be particularly experienced to take advantage of this. Just follow them until the opportunity presents itself.
Note that you can run this with almost any allied ship, except the squid. Squids will not provide adequate cover to shield or hide you, and they can’t take enough damage to work well as a meat shield. I will run this ploy with allied mobulas and spires, forcing some of the weakest ships to take the lead in charges. This ends up working surprisingly well because I get an opportunity to close in and take advantage of my strengths, while my ally, who is usually packing long range weapons, gets fire drawn away from them and gets to snipe past me.
Team Turning:
Similar to wall turns, you are going to use physical objects to turn yourself or an ally. The physical object will be yourself or your ally. In certain situations, you will notice that one or both of you are facing away from an enemy. As the ship with the second greatest mass in the game, you can help fix this, whether your ally wants you to or not. If you can coordinate it, this could be extremely powerful. I haven’t managed to yet.
One ship will activate kerosene and the other should turn on phoenix claw. Use a turning ram on the claw ship to spin the rapidly. When the claw ship gains arcs on the enemy, they can pop kerosene to stop their spin and blast into battle instantly. The original kerosene ship should be the one with the better angle on the opponent. The kerosene will help prevent them from losing their angle of attack while turning their opponent. Potentially, both ships could hit each other using phoenix claw and help do simultaneous opposite turns.
You can employ this with uncommunicative copilots as well. If they don’t seem to have noticed an enemy ship or are turning slowly and don’t seem to use piloting tools, give them a nudge to help them turn and hope that they take advantage of it.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:52:41 pm
Part Eight: Learn Your Maps
Dunes is my least favorite map by a long shot. It is wide open, there is a dust storm that tracks through the center of the map, there is sparse wreckage good for cover at the edges of the map, and the floor has small hills.
Let’s be honest, being the attacking team in dunes is the worst. Your opponent probably brought sniper weapons and will be backing up to the edge of the map shooting out your hull and components the entire way you are charging. If you take the center route, you will inevitably get mobbed by the dust cloud part way across and have no components left by the time you get out of it. If you go along one of the side, you have a chance of getting on your opponent’s side of the map without them noticing, but they will have camped up well away from any cover and will be able to see you coming before you get close enough to do the damage you want to do. You can try shadowing just over the top of the ground, ducking down in the dune trenches and trying to close in that way, but often times your ally won’t be able to support you or follow your charge, and you opponent will probably still be able to spot you well before you are in range of your guns.
My suggestions is to bring the hades build. Stick close to your ally and and see what they and the enemy do. If your teammate is moving forwards, try to snipe out some guns using the artemis and cause some hull/balloon panic on the opposing team with the hades. Drop in behind your ally when closing for a shield/spear maneuver and strike out quickly with greased rounds in your hades to try to get the full burst effect in during close quarters combat. If your opponent is the attacking party, still use a shield/spear maneuver while letting them charge, but maintain position to still be able to get shots off while they advance. Lance out when they are close enough and head them off to prevent them from getting too close to your ally.
Canyon Ambush:
One of the most fun piloting maps. I will try to update this guide with some pictures of places that you can, in fact, fit through in a pinch. There is a large vertical space between narrow canyons, along with several thin gaps that can potentially be used as shortcuts for the brave. Each side spawns in a large open area. Some teams will camp their own spawn point so you are forced to attack in the open inside their spawn area, leaving you open to their allies re-spawning on top of you.
This map is different in that the shield/spear maneuver can work if you simply maintain a relatively close proximity to your ally. You want to engage in the canyons. You know how to fly dumb. If you are ambushed, you can break arcs and repair up before reengaging on your terms. You know how to ram and can crush your opponent into walls. This should be one of your strongest maps. Learn to abuse the canyons when you get the opportunity to fight inside of them
Personally, I like to stalk through the lower portions of the canyon. I try to act as a ground-level shadow of my ally and wait for an enemy to show up. At that point I can pop hydrogen and almost certainly reach my target before my ally is killed. You should have a complete element of surprise over your target and can get in a solid first ram. Using proper ramming techniques, this initial ram will set you up to hold your opponent in a position of weakness until you or your ally finish the kill.
In situations where the enemy is camping a point, you have to charge them. Often times, due to the cloud cover and the height that people like to snipe from, you can keep shadowing the floor til the last moment and keep the element of surprise on the enemy. If you can get in close to an enemy running a sniper build, you should be able to finish them off before their ally can return to help them. Don’t be afraid of taking a shortcut out one of the side passes, and always be wary of places you could get blindsided from. The map allows you to set up actual ambushes exceedingly well and if you are ambushed properly, you won’t get a chance to turn the tide.
Paritan Rumble/Labyrinth:
This map has probably the most small bits of scenery that stick out into normal airspace. Keep your eyes open and watching what’s coming up ahead and around you. The area is littered with buildings and tight spaces between and under  buildings. There are spaces that act as shortcuts that can be terrifying to try to take at speed.
   Paritan Rumble:
Paritan rumble offers one of the best opportunities to get your ram on with some walls. Stay close to your ally. If you can, draw the enemy down between the buildings. In close situations, you have the advantage due to your mass. Catch enemies on small bits of protruding building and give them a shove to shatter them instantly. Press them down into the ground and grind them into it. Use the scenery as a weapon.
If your enemy takes the fight high, teamwork will be more important since it will be harder to get that insta-kill on the side of a building. Work with your partner to either focus down one enemy at a time, or get him to distract one while you wreck the other. With experience you will learn to judge whether you should be supporting a team kill or ganking your singled out opponent depending on the skill and communicativeness of your copilot.
Be wary of being smashed into walls yourself and try to avoid hitting too much in the way of debris. You don’t have sight lines for very far and it is easy to be ambushed. If you get ambushed just after you have destroyed half of your own hull armor on a wall, you are gonna have a bad time. This is a wonderful map to practice flying dumb, but it is also most likely to punish you for it. Enjoy.
Labyrinth presents the same map as Paritan, but with the added bonus of a point to capture. Red team has the advantage on spawns! Red team initially spawns at 2 points: the bottom right and bottom left of the map. From both positions, a Pyramidion can make a direct max speed charge towards the point. Blue team usually has to go around at least one building, giving red the opportunity to start capping first in most cases. HOWEVER. You fly dumb. So you are going to get to the point first anyway.
As discussed in the capture point section, your goal is to sit on the point and prevent the enemy from capturing it. One of the best ways to lose the point is to pursue a fleeing enemy. This is unfortunate, because pursuing an enemy is always more fun than letting them go. However, due to the rules around how CP works, capture point can be easier than a straight up death match. If your ally dies, do your best to not engage the enemy. Sit on the point and hold as long as you can so your ally can return and assist. On Labyrinth, there is a fantastic opportunity to avoid your opponents and still hold the point. The point in Labyrinth is the globe at the center of the map. It is a full globe lifted above the ground. Due to this, there is a small space underneath the side of the globe where you can circle at full speed by alternating kerosene and phoenix claw. There is only one piece of wreckage that blocks the full loop. When you have captured the point, I prefer to begin circling as low in and close as possible to the globe. This gives me the opportunity to reach the other side of the globe quickly if they arrive on that side, or to duck around behind the globe if they show up behind me. You should be able to circle faster than most anybody else, so maintain position and keep eyes out for attackers. If you ally dies, try to put the globe between yourself and the opposition til you get help. 2v1 on capture point is not your friend.
If you have lost the point, spawn in one of the bottom 2 spots. From the bottom left, go full speed forwards and down. There is a building toppled over and an open path underneath it. Take the path and rise up out of it so you miss the wreckage. This is a straight shot to the point. In the bottom right, go high and there is a gap between 2 building parts that you can squeeze between. I will post a specific picture later. Take one of paths to reach the point ASAP.
Fjords is a mostly open map with a high cloud level that you can rise above, along with low valleys and a water ground instead of a fully solid ground. There are several mountainous formations and a couple bits of wreckage. Starting from the south end of the map, there is candy mountain to the west, a large single spire rising out of the water with a single branch that arcs out and creates an archway you can fly through. There is wreckage to the east. In the northwest, there is a mountain range that displays as sort of an awning with several archways. You can fly around the back side of this mountain range as well as in front of it. The most noticeable feature is a single arch that runs east/west close to the midpoint of the map. It is usually approximately between the 2 teams when you spawn in.
Fjords has a lot of potential for both sniper and brawling builds. As a sniper, you can range high and keep an eye out for incoming ships and take them out before they can reach you. If an enemy approaches at your altitude, there is little in the way of cover to hide behind. As a brawler, there is a lot of cover you can find by approaching outside your opponent’s altitude. If you go high, you can fly through or above the clouds to close in with your enemy and drop down on them. If you go low, you can trace through bits of wreckage and under archways to rise up on an unsuspecting prey.
Typically I fly this map heavily dependent on my copilot. You don’t want to be caught alone and double teamed on this map since outside of the arches there is little opportunity to break arcs by flying dumb. Stay close to your ally and support them in whatever tactical decisions they make.
The point to be wary of on this map is that the ground is both water and solid. When you try to lower your ship down yourself, the map seems to resist, trying to keep you out of the water. However, if your balloon is popped, this does not apply and you will drop through the water onto hard ice below it. The ice is solid ground and will damage you. This combination means that goomba stomping is particularly difficult on this map as you will find yourself struggling to lower yourself on top of a downed opponent. If you are running a disabling build, try to focus more on keeping their balloon out, let the ground do the damage, and hope your ally runs cover for you.
Duel at Dawn:
Duel is a fairly open map in the center with 2 wrecked ships on the east and west side, along with large wreckage to the south. Most battles avoid the wreckage to the south, but you will recognize it from desert scrap and dunes. The east and west wrecks have ribs rising into the air along with horizontal spars running along between the spars.
After meeting up with your teammate, usually you will do one of 2 things: head towards the northwest corner of the map to snipe, or sit in the wreckage and wait to spot an enemy. Sitting in the wreckage provides you an opportunity to play shield/spear using wreckage instead of your ally. Hide behind one of the horizontal spars and be ready to charge out between 2 spars. You should have space to fit and you will have the element of surprise for a moment.
In the open area to the northwest, the fight is a lot more focused around working with your teammate and either separating your enemies and working them down individually, or teaming up on one at a time. Play to your preference.
The only point of note for the map is that there is a spawn point at the northwest corner accessible to both teams (last I checked). Be wary both of enemies spawning there, and trying to spawn there yourself to get back in the fight. It is easy to get blindsided by a newly spawned enemy, and to have an enemy camp that spawn and wait for you to spawn in front of them. If you have to spawn at a distance, do so.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:53:13 pm
Part Nine: Notes from fellow Pilots
This part is a work in progress and will try to incorporate new information gleaned from fellow pilots eager to pass on knowledge of alternate tactics, different builds, and any new information in general.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 07:58:13 pm
To everyone seeing this: Thank you! I wrote this as an intermediate-high level guide to how to fly a pyramidion. I tried to incorporate facets of everything I do while flying to give growing pilots an insight into how to handle certain situations. I recognize that my way is not the only way. I hope me posting this will lead to some high level guides for other ships. I personally want to know how the best pilots fly a squid, and how they build it. I also hope it will lead to some interesting new changes in tactics, and I hope to see some people find ways to counter everything I do in a 1vs1 fight.
I recognize that this guide won't help as much in competitive battles, since a much higher level of teamwork is on display. However, I hope to help intermediate pyramidion pilots get a foot in the door on what we are doing. Let's all grow together. Any feedback anyone has is appreciated and will be credited.  :)
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: GreyTea on January 12, 2014, 11:04:17 pm
This Guide is awesome 10/10, i think i found out the reason why i can not kill the rainbow crash, haha very good job :) also no salutes :O
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 12, 2014, 11:26:19 pm
I've never posted before. Heh. Seriously though, this was a lot of fun to write. I stopped thinking so much after I got it all down and I've been feeling better about how I've been piloting too. It ended up being stupid long, but I like it.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Richard LeMoon on January 12, 2014, 11:42:39 pm
I almost never fly a Pyramidian, but as an almost exclusive Galleon or Mobula pilot, I can agree with your advice that ramming a well-crewed Galleon is rarely a good idea. So many Pyras have broken against Jeeves in this feeble attempt. Also, beware the Moonshine Galleon charge. The initial impact will severely damage your ship, and turn one broadside or the other on you. The gunner has a pretty itchy finger at this point.

As a Mobula pilot, I will advise you to closely watch what the Mob captain packs for tools. If one of them is impact bumpers, avoid frontal rams. You will be outgunned and do critical damage to your own ship in the ram.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Coldcurse on January 13, 2014, 02:21:02 am
I salute you.

This guide is so great and well explained that i need to take my time reading it.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 13, 2014, 12:50:26 pm
Richard LeMoon,
You raise valid points, and if you don't mind I will include them (with credit) in my first update to the guide.  :) I would argue that oftentimes, just due to the layout of a Mobula and Pyramidion, and the fact that once a Mobula starts taking damage it tends to either stop dealing damage to repair, or die quickly, I would contend that you can usually get away with ramming a Mobula even if the pilot brings bumpers. The only Mobula build I've really seen out damage a Pyramidion mid-ram is the double-gat-mortar combo. You get shredded almost too fast to start responding as a pilot, let alone as an engineer. But that should be mentioned in the guide at the very least with a note about impact bumpers.

Although most Mobula pilots get fancy with their altitude when I charge them, and I end up being more maneuverable and getting behind them anyway. It's all a game we play of damage vs positional advantage.  :P
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: GeoRmr on January 13, 2014, 12:58:30 pm
Wow this guide is really comprehensive! I learnt a lot from the section on ramming, thanks redria!  =)

I think the forums have bugged out on you levels btw 0_o
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 13, 2014, 01:11:05 pm
I think the forums have bugged out on you levels btw 0_o
Heh. Yeah. I sent an email to Muse and they said they would look into it ASAP. Looks silly having a "level 1 pilot" post a 10 post guide on piloting...

I am more and more treating ramming more as a tool to get positional advantage instead of as a way to deal damage. It is wonderful for damage, but so is being in complete control of a duel.  8)
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: HamsterIV on January 14, 2014, 02:02:51 pm
I have never tried the "Urz’s Flamer" build before, it sounds like fun. Also I submit for your approval the double front merc build in This post (,3035.msg54654.html#msg54654).

It is effective on dune matches against Artemis junkers and Mobulas.

I really like your "flying stupid" section. Any one can pilot when things are going well but it is when the crap hits the fan that the great pilots shine. I have uttered the phrase "I wonder if I can fit through that" many a time during my piloting career.

For captain tools I prefer tar over helium. Gassing a squid who thinks he is on your blind spot and providing a bit of soft cover in open sky is worth the loss of vertical mobility to me. I used to run helium a lot before the mass changes, and the memory of dodging manticoe volleys still makes me smile.

One of the most important tools a pyra captain should carry is a spanner. When you are forced into a toe to toe brawl, put your ship in neutral and go to double team the hull with your main engineer. The faster the armor gets repaired the less chance you have of sustaining fatal perma hull damage.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 14, 2014, 03:14:09 pm
You would be surprised at how much fun you can have using carronade-flamer on the front of your ship. I don't think I had ever successfully one-shot ram killed a junker without some sort of backstop until I tried it. And goomba stomping is the greatest feeling in the world after suffering so long as a young pilot facing blenderfish and squids.

I will mention the double merc build in my extras section, though it doesn't often support the way I fly. You have to be at the same altitude as your opponent, which makes it harder to take positional advantage and still be effective, and I am really not a fan of sniper ships. You rarely get the chance to just evade and escape and/or kill the enemy with about 2% permahull left and no armor while shouting at your crew "I'm not dead yet!". And really, it's hard to get more exhilarating than that.  :P

However as a ram-kill ship, double merc front is really powerful if you get the timing right, and having the option to support a sniper friend against a sniping team is nice. Like I said, I will add it in as an extra if you don't mind.  :)

Mostly I like hydrogen just to cover a little bit of how weak pyramidions are at moving up and down. I like to pop up over metamidions and slide over the top of their hull while pulling a quick 180 to get on their tail. Sure my armor is down, but now I have time to repair while easing them into death. It's not often I actually let someone get behind me.

Spanner is a definite yes. I only hop off for the hull if I have no engines and I think I may make a difference, but it can save you. I don't like to leave the helm in a firefight though because kerosene preventing turning still works even if your engines are dead. You can knock enemy pyra's guns off arcs by turning on kerosene when they try to ram your almost dead ship.

Sheesh. Why do I type so much when I try to explain things? Anyway, I will mention your comments next update. :)
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Mizhir Starsurge on January 14, 2014, 04:54:45 pm
Awesome guide. I have both flown against and with you (just not on your ship) and you are truely a great pilot.

And the 10 rules are great. They are exactly the same mindset that I strive to play with and they will generally make a match so much better if everyone followed them.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 14, 2014, 06:41:42 pm
Thanks! You are always welcome on my ship.  :) I will have a flamethrower set up just for you.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Sammy B. T. on January 15, 2014, 12:34:42 am
I originally flew Junkers to counter the insane amount of Pyra usage that went on last year. For me the Junker is the ultimate counter to the Pyra and I generally laugh at most Pyras I engage in this game.

That being said, in a recent Duck/OVW match on Labyrinth I was put through a ringer by this pilot's Pyramidion. Constantly appearing out of nowhere, my balloon has rarely been so shredded and my ship rarely has been knocked around so much. It was a fantastic match. Basically I would like to say there is definitely authority in calling this a High Level Guide.

My one thing I would like to mention concerns the ramming of Junkers. I know I just praised your ability to ram my junker, but we were playing CP, and I was forced to mvoe close to you in low visibility. All things being equal, so no surprise (you were great at getting the drop on me btw) and equal piloting skills, a Junker will be able to dodge your ram 4 out of 5 times and you will be in the most unfavorable position of never having left the Junker's arc and needing a 90 degree turn just to face where the Junker was by the time of the ram. While a ram to a Junker balloon is beautiful, and you can make us spin like a top, unless you've removed the ability for a Junker to react (surprise, dead engines, terrain, etc) ramming a Junker is risky and if its my Junker, it is exactly what I am hoping you do.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 15, 2014, 06:08:14 am
Really the best way to ram junkers is to just nudge them. Make their gunners realign their arcs, damage something on their ship a little bit, but keep your own arcs on. It becomes a lot more effective once their balloon is down. Running a carronade on the front of your ship helps a lot in that regard.

I was certainly a lot more excited for our CP match. I knew you'd have to come in close to compete, so I knew that would be my opportunity. The death match just before it I had a couple chances, but every time either you or your ally immediately turned and took me out while I started riding one of you to the ground, and my ally wasn't able to distract enough to let me get a finish. Both excellent matches.

That said, Junkers really are one of the best counters to a Pyramidion, and your crew made my ship a lot less effective by somehow always having everything chem sprayed at all times...
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Mizhir Starsurge on January 15, 2014, 09:36:15 am
Thanks! You are always welcome on my ship.  :) I will have a flamethrower set up just for you.

Lovely. Would be nice to get a chance to observe some masterful dumb flying.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: HamsterIV on January 15, 2014, 01:52:11 pm
Just because the 2x merc ship behaves like a sniper doesn't mean it can't get into a brawl. The gat morter side is very important for finishing ships and surviving 2v1's.

One of my favorite maneuvers is to kite for a while, then jam the throttle full forward and tell my crew to get to the side guns. I let the target pass on my right side (where they think it is safe) but start turning left. By the time my crew has reached their guns the target is just coming into the side gun arcs from the aft.  If the other pilot fell for the maneuver they will be flying into my gun arcs instead of flying ring around the roses away from them.

This move can be countered if the other pilot hits reverse at the wrong moment. However I still have a chance of tarring them or turning the front guns back on them. Also most pilots are so taken with the thrill of closing on a sniper ship they are more than happy to get too close to me.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 15, 2014, 02:45:44 pm
Interesting tactic Hamster. I honestly never use my side guns unless there is absolutely no chance that I will be taking damage, then my engineer may get to shoot a flame thrower for a bit.

Double merc front pyramidion is viable as a brawling ship, and it does give you the option of fighting close or short range if you use the side guns effectively.

I just don't like someone being on my side. It's not somewhere I feel I have a position of power. I can't bully them into a spot where I can shoot but they can't. You have to trust that you can keep them on your side, and that they don't have the power to bully you in such a way. If an opponent did that to me, I would be trying as hard as I could to knock their nose and turn them away from me while raising up to try to go up and over your ship, before turning and hitting reverse and settling in on your back/right/top side.

Assuming I can get in close enough that is.  :P

Puppy Fur actually runs a mean double merc pyramidion. There are too many times where all I can do is just try to go over him and hope I get my armor back up in time to use rams to keep him under me. I may try your build at some point. Do you prefer gat on 3 or 4 slot? Also, who handles your balloon during this engagement?
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Kitty.Hawk on January 15, 2014, 09:25:16 pm
I prefer a double artemis side personally, as they give me a choice in what range I engage at. With a good crew, I can have my gunners soften up a target, forcing the enemy into a repair mode, before making my charge.
Good guide though, I learned a trick or two from it. ;)
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 15, 2014, 10:29:07 pm
Kitty! I will admit fully that side guns are the weakest aspect of my piloting. I basically pretend I have none. I abuse my engines so much that my main engineer doesn't even have time to use one if they wanted to. It always just feels like I'm giving up too much reactionary power by trying to use side guns.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: HamsterIV on January 16, 2014, 01:14:05 am
I put the gat on the hard point closest to the helm. When the crap really hits the fan I take the gat as pilot. I expect both my normal engineers to be fixing stuff. The buff engineer should be shooting the morter, and if he is on his game, will have started the run to the mortar before the merc gunners leave their post.

I normally let the balloon burn when using my side guns. If everything goes right we can fix it after we make the kill, if it doesn't we are dead anyway. Even with the balloon popped the ground takes a long time to kill a Pyra. The ground damage depends on the speed at which you hit the ground. If you settle so that your hull is just touching the ground, the damage will be manageable.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Djinn on January 16, 2014, 11:10:42 am
This guide explains so much of why your Pyra was so irritating in that epic battle 'twixt us the other day. It's an absolutely great resource.

That said, some thoughts (coming from another pilot who loves the Pyra).

1 -- I'd recommend adding a note to the Build section suggesting that Gat/Mortar builds keep the mortar on the left side, and the gat on the right. You have it mentioned, but fail to point out the benefits of either set-up. I feel this one is superior, because while both gun have a 400m maximum range these days (and thus you might love Lesmok on both) the fact of the matter is that it's far more important to have the Gat firing first to shred the armor, while the ship itself can substitute for a finisher if the mortar isn't 100% ready. Hence I typically put my top right Gunner on the Gatling with Greased and Lesmok: he gets a clip off with Lesmok as we close in (allowing him to hit well outside the 400m typical range of the Gatling), then switches to Greased. The top left Engineer carries Greased for the mortar kill, which is good because he actually has more time to repair the balloon and/or run belowdecks any time the enemy has their armor up.

2 -- Definitely include Moonshine as a possibility under the Tools section. While it has less utility than Kerosene (as it burns a little to hot to just keep on all the time), it's really good for ramming and/or sudden shifts in acceleration/deceleration. This can allow for maneuvers your enemies don't anticipate (shooting past a ship that's evaded your ram, just to hit Moonshine in reverse and then Phoenix Claw for an insanely fast turn), as well as really giving you the advantage in ramming battles, especially against other Pyramidions that don't have Moonshine. The 1000% reduction in angular drag effectively means that no matter where you hit the enemy ship they go spinning and you remain stationary.

I'd also include a mention of Impact Bumpers. Although I don't often take them, Impact Bumpers + Moonshine can be a great tool set to bring when up against other ramming Pyramidions. It gives you a huge advantage, and even lets you head-on them with relative impunity. They'll spin like crazy, you'll keep your gun arcs, and you'd take reduced damage.

In short, give us a small write-up of the other useful options (including Chute Vent, as the Pyra's high forward guns mean that Chute Vent can sometimes buy you enough time to disable a popping ship), as Phoenix Claw is the only tool I'd say is basically mandatory on the Pyramidion. Your suggestions are great (and typically what I bring myself), but people should be aware of the other useful options.

3 -- In the Builds section, you've neglected the more support-style Double Merc and Double Artemis, as well as the Merc/Artemis build. You've also forgotten Hades/Flak, which is at least worth a passing mention.

I'd also recommend taking more time to talk about the side guns. Flare rear + Flamer mid (with the Engineer on Lesmok, which you should mention) gives you some great brawling power, plus the ability to gain vision. An Artemis or Banshee in the 3 spot can actually give the Pyra a trifecta if you fly close at the right angle: that alone is really worth mentioning. Sniping and/or disabling builds can benefit from a Gatling + Mortar combination and turning the side for the kill (especially good when paired with the Flamethrower + Carronade disable, for example). Double Artemis, Double Merc, and Artemis/Merc can offer some nice long-range harass against other snipers, possibly disabling key guns and letting you turn into them and close the distance. In short, you should *really* delve into those side guns more, as far to many Pyra pilots tend to forget they even have them. A high-level guide should definitely assume that the pilot knows the guns exist and wants to get the most out of every part of his/her ship.

4 -- I'd change Fly Dumb to Fly Dumb, Fly Smart, and include a bit about the tactical use of the Pyra. I fully agree that testing a ship to its limits is a good way to learn it, but you should also talk about how to fly the Pyra effectively. Mention burning Kero/Moonshine to negate forward momentum for a failed ram, mention how the ship is amazing at interception and ramming enemies off your allies, mention that if you can't ram head-on you want to aim so you spin towards your left side recommend flying like a madman, which works. But I'd love to see some bits about how to be a smart madman, if that makes sense.  :D

5 -- Your section on Ramming is excellent. I notice, however, that you don't have a "General Ramming" section, which I feel you should have. You don't mention how bouncing your enemy into a building can double the ramming damage (you mention walls, but not why this works so well), nor how ramming a ship fleeing at high speed can actually knock them forward and how, if this throws off your gun arcs, you can actually lose kills as a result of this lost time. The specific advice is great...but definitely don't forget to offer general ramming tips as well.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 16, 2014, 12:20:47 pm
Djinn... and everyone else posting comments here.

I appreciate it. The feedback is wonderful, and will help make a much more complete guide for someone wanting to learn those few tricks that help a pilot make the next step.

That said... Everyone's feedback has made me realize how self-limiting I am on myself. I have a very particular playing style, and everything on my ships match that play style exceptionally well. I don't use side guns... like, at all. I feel much more in control if I keep everything on my front guns. I won't change piloting tools because I am so used to the way my current ones work that trying to change leaves me feeling helpless in matches. I tend away from sniper builds because I want to be in the thick of things. Sure I can get a kill sitting at a decent range with hades/artemis, but It just feels like waiting. I'd rather get in and impose myself rather than wait for a ship to die.

With this in mind, much of the feedback that people are offering I can add to the guide, but I can't speak on it from experience. I just don't play any other way than how I've already posted. My point being, would anyone like to collaborate with me to compile a complete top level guide to every aspect of flying a Pyramidion? The bones are there, and I feel like the pyramidion mostly follows my play style, but there is a lot more to it that I just can't expand on. With a couple people helping me, we could really flesh this out into a complete compendium on the pyramidion. Then we just need to pester other people to start grouping together to write up other ships.

Message me here or pester me at some point when I'm on GoIO if you are interested. We can set up a google doc and start fleshing out the areas I missed out on.

Thank you everyone.  :) I was really excited when I posted this guide, but I think we can do better collectively.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Djinn on January 16, 2014, 12:30:55 pm
With this in mind, much of the feedback that people are offering I can add to the guide, but I can't speak on it from experience. I just don't play any other way than how I've already posted. My point being, would anyone like to collaborate with me to compile a complete top level guide to every aspect of flying a Pyramidion? The bones are there, and I feel like the pyramidion mostly follows my play style, but there is a lot more to it that I just can't expand on. With a couple people helping me, we could really flesh this out into a complete compendium on the pyramidion. Then we just need to pester other people to start grouping together to write up other ships.

Message me here or pester me at some point when I'm on GoIO if you are interested. We can set up a google doc and start fleshing out the areas I missed out on.

Absolutely. I'll be away in NYC for the next few days, but I would DEFINITELY be up for something like this. You have an amazing start here, but I think this could be better organized and fleshed out to provide a comprehensive guide for novices and veterans alike...something that I'd eventually love to have for every ship, so we can use it as a tool to help new players (and experienced players) get up to speed and/or hone their skills to an art.

I'll drop you a message with my e-mail so we can get a Google Doc going.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: HamsterIV on January 16, 2014, 12:49:57 pm
Redria there is nothing wrong with your guide. It is how you play and it contains perfectly valid advice. I have been chipping in my own play style because I like to talk about it, and your guide's thread seemed like as valid a place as any. Having written several guides, I know the mods are more than happy to edit your first posts as you refine your guides. PM any mod who is active with the changes you want to add. N-Sunderland helped me, but I don't see him on too much.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 16, 2014, 12:59:53 pm
Hamster - I know.  :) Don't worry. I'm proud of what I made. But now I want more. Haha. I don't like having people suggest things and not being able to address it other than to say "ew. I'd never play that way". Plus the example of collaboration might lead someone else to spearhead a group to make guides for another ship. Part of why I only fly Pyra is it's the only ship I really know how to fly, and there's nothing telling the finer details of how to use other ships well. I don't have the patience to learn them on my own when I do pyramidion so well.

I am very proud of what I have here, but I want to see how far we can push forwards if we work together in the design phase of a guide, not just the revision phase.

Regardless, I like the idea of having a single complete guide for each ship, not bits and pieces for each ship spread across several guides, each with their own addendum referencing each other. Then each complete guide can have a note from each contributor on what parts they employ to give an idea to readers what facets of the guide mesh well with each other, and what parts are at odds. For example, a spire guide might describe how to fly long range and short range, along with how to build short range and long range. The contributor notes would include one author mentioning using short range + short range, while another would discuss long range + long range.
Basically, here is a guide telling you everything you need to know about this ship. At the end, here are the viewpoints of each author on what facets of the ship work best when used together.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Cheesy Crackers on January 17, 2014, 09:44:41 pm
Awesome guide! I really want to try out Urzs' Flamethrower now :3
Right now I'm mainly running a Metamidion with Artemis/flamer on the side. I usually only ram ships to mess up their weapon arcs and tilt my ship (When they don't have arcs) to fire the gat, mortar and flamethrower at the same time. But now I'm thinking to practice my ram uppercuts because I like trying out different builds and experimenting a little (Usually ending in death xD)
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 17, 2014, 10:12:34 pm
I don't think I've ever even tried to get gat-mortar-flamethrower. That actually sounds pretty fun. Probably best against a galleon when you don't think you can get the kill in a single mortar clip.

Thanks. :) the flamethrower- carronade setup is basically like running a blenderfish or classic disabling squid, but with the added bonus of not being squishy or dependent on a single gun. You get to use yourself as the killing weapon. Lots of fun for a pilot.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Wundsalz on January 20, 2014, 08:00:20 am
I definitely agree with Djinn that Moonshine and Bumpers should be added to the list of Helm tools. Chute Vent and Drogue Chute might be viable situational picks as well.
Moonshine is definitely the most interesting one and should be covered in more detail as it allows fancy, new maneuvers that aren't possible with kerosene. The fact that you can always stop the ships rotation almost instantly in any situations comes in handy very often. E.g. one can turn more rapidly towards foes - just keep the claw running and tap shine for a brief moment to stabilize the ship when it's in position. Without shine the turn takes longer as you need more time to decelerate your angular velocity. Shine is also very handy when it comes to crashes as bounces - again due to the stabilizing effect. E.g. it's way easier to ram Junkers if you use shine at the moment of impact.
"The moment you ram a junker, 9 times out of 10 they will slide away to one side and you will be left pointed at empty air with a junker’s broadside on your broadside." this is barely ever the case if you use moonshine and hit the junker more or less in the center. As the Junker is usually relatively stationary compared to a charging pyramideon the impulse will push the Junker right into the direction where you want it - in front of your guns, often letting the ship spinning around at a ridiculous pace, while your shine-stabilized ship stays pointed to the target.
Last but not least shine allows situational finishing blows which are harder to pull of with kerosene due to the lower acceleration. E.g. if the enemy ship steers into an unfortunate place which allows you to slam them into structure during a brawl encounter.

What I think is missing here:
repair routines
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Skrimskraw on January 20, 2014, 08:18:51 pm
a few things i like to do on my pyramidion.

I run 3 engineers.

top left engineer uses buff hammer, spanner and mallet. He will be fireing the explisive damage.
He buffs balloon, hull and engines outside of combat. His own gun in combat. During combat he can be called down to repair engines.

top right engineer is the dedicated gungineer, he brings wrench, fire extinguisher and buff hammer. He buffs his own gun. (a buffed gatling with greased will take down a pyramidion hull in 1 clip)
he buffs balloon, engines outside combat, his own gun during combat.
Rarely there is time in combat to extinguish you own balloon, this makes it a weakness of this build, as the gungineer has to extinguish the balloon, during combat or after. all depending on captains orders.

hull engineer brings spanner mallet and chem spray. he chemsprays all components but most importantly balloon and engines. He is glued to the hull.
What i personally like to do here during combat when our hull breaks, is go in reverse, make sure my guns keep target and help the hull engie rebuild with my spanner, then back to the helm. This usually makes me win 1v1 situations with minimal losses.

the pilot brings moonshine, drogue chute and claw.
claw to turn
moonshine to ram and keep your ship from getting knocked off target. (moonshine negates impact "rustling" thing where your ship turns off target).
moonshine also make it easy to go from 0 speed to ramming kill speed.
drogue chute is used because I like to go just slightly above my enemy, so when i eventually lose my balloon, drogue chute makes it possible for my gunners to keep gunning, as the pyras greatest defense is its offense.

the tactic works great on metamidions and hades pyramidions.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Wundsalz on January 21, 2014, 06:07:23 am
I usually run my pyras with a different crew loadout:
top left: wrench, chem, buff or spanner, mallet, chem if the enemies are in balloon popping mood
top right: spanner, mallet, buff - if shit hits the fans/balloon he can help out with repairs efficiently
main: spanner, mallet, extinguisher/chem
as for the spraying priorities: I usually neglect the engines as they're rarely targeted by flamers and flame charges are rather inefficient on components - from my experience they can be kept up sufficiently by simple mallet/spanner hits during combat situations.

here's some random input for the guide (note that I've had a metamideon in mind while writing this):

general notes regarding engineering on a pyra:
- when whacking the hull with a mallet, utilize the cooldown time to take care of the engines.
- when under attack use the spanner on the hull to REPAIR until the mallet can be fully utilized.
- repair/rebuild side engines before the main engine. A pyra that can't turn is a dead pyra
- repair before rebuild! - if a side engine gets blown out and the other one is damaged, hit the damaged one before you repair the broken one. half the steering power is sufficient to keep the guns in arc in most cases - 1/8-1/4 is not.
- don't get sucked into engine repairs. If an engine gets shot out in a combat situation, your hull most likely takes damage as well and that's the most important component on your ship after all. repair the engines during the mallet cool-down time and head back to the hull for the next hit - even if it means that you leave a half repaired engine behind you!
- if one of the top deck engineers heads down it should be the mortar gunineer.
- there's barely any situation where one of the top deck engineers should head down to the lower deck. Rule of thumb for front deck engineers on a metamideon: if and only if the hull is (about to go) down AND both steering engines are down AND you can't point your gun at an enemy it's time for the mortar gunineer to head down to the lower deck.
- the captain can (and should) help out with hull rebuilds. Common exceptions are: You've almost dodged your enemy but need to stay on the steering wheel a little longer to get out of your enemies gun arcs. Or you've just lost your gun arcs and hull during a ram. In that case you should either try to dodge or to quickly give your ship a turning impulse towards the enemy before helping out with the repairs.
- when it comes to repairs a pyra captain doesn't have to take care of anything but hull rebuilds - so bring a spanner as a captain.
- try to stand next to the hull slightly before it goes down (this applies to both - main engie and captain)
- as a captain repair coordinated with your main engineer - make sure the hull gets hit by a mallet and not by a mallet once the repair is finished! Especially on public matches I try to let the engineer perform the last spanner hit so he does not get confused by own spanner hits as a captain.
- the player on the top left should utilize idle times (like reloads or in case of a metamideon waiting for enemy hull to be striped by the gat) to repair/chemspray/buff the ballon/weapon.

std. repair routes:
A) mallet claps on hull -> side engine -> main engine (which can be hit from below) -> side engines -> the remaining cooldown time for the next mallet whack on the hull can be used to shoot the side guns or to simply watch out for enemies.
B) for excessive moon shining (eg. for fast travel on cps): spanner left engine -> spanner main engine -> spanner right engine -> spanner main engine, repeat. This keeps the main engine in excellent shape while the side engines will burn down slowly. Once the side engines have been damaged sufficiently to fully utilize a mallet hit, alter the route to mallet left engine -> spanner main engine -> mallet right engine -> spanner main engine.

Crew Routines for certain maneuvers:
- Direct 1v1 approach in outgunning situation (very common on crazy king matches and also unavoidable in certain dm situations):
In some cases gat/mortar vs gat/mortar encounters are very close and you can't really tell who has got the upper hand in the fight. In these cases you might not want to dodge out of the situation but try to simply outgun your enemy. steer the ship towards the enemy and decelerate it to ensure that it'll float in front of your enemy with your guns pointed at it. Let your gunners and main engie do their business and once your hull is about to go down leave the steering wheel and head to the hull so you're ready to instantly spanner it with your engineer while your gunners keep shooting. If your hull hasn't been stripped before you will most likely survive a hull strip if only one mortar is pointed at you.
- Escape:
Often you find yourself in unfortunate situations where there's nothing to gain for you but certain death. Early team mate deaths in 2vs2 encounters, traps, unfortunate approaches, your powder monkey on the gat jumps off the ship because an object on the ground is more interesting than the enemy dead ahead, etc. That's when you want to get the fuck out of there ASAP. A trait of good pilots is to know when to disengage and re-position yourself rather than to maximize the gain for an encounter the enemy has already won.
While you're burning the shit out of your engines with shine/claw/kerosene, let one of your engineers jump on the lower deck. One of the engineers on the main deck can do repair route B elaborated above while the other engie takes care of the hull and fireing the side weapons. the 3rd engie stays on the upper deck to take care of the balloon and to distract the enemy with gat fire.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Mizhir Starsurge on January 29, 2014, 06:40:02 am
Just a question. What ammo should the gunner bring for Urz's flamer?

Also confirming that goomba stomping stuff is highly addictive.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on January 29, 2014, 07:01:37 am
Just a question. What ammo should the gunner bring for Urz's flamer?

Also confirming that goomba stomping stuff is highly addictive.
Good question. I'm trying out being a gunner right now. Previously I just said lesmok on the flamers and heavy in the carronade, but I think you lose a lot of  damage from the flamer that way. I'm starting to like sticking burst in a flame thrower, just due to how much ammo you get (you can just keep shooting forever!) but I don't know if it's actually a good decision.
Best answer: let your crew decide. Talk to high level gunners and see what they bring.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Djinn on January 29, 2014, 02:18:48 pm
Good question. I'm trying out being a gunner right now. Previously I just said lesmok on the flamers and heavy in the carronade, but I think you lose a lot of  damage from the flamer that way. I'm starting to like sticking burst in a flame thrower, just due to how much ammo you get (you can just keep shooting forever!) but I don't know if it's actually a good decision.
Best answer: let your crew decide. Talk to high level gunners and see what they bring.

I've been running the Urz build on Paritan for a while now (after that incredible match we had alerted me to it), and I've been using a Flamer gunner with Lesmok/Burst/Greased. Lesmok gives me some closing range, Burst allows for constant firing and a ton of disabling, and Greased gives you the highest DPS overall. Having all three gives you some nice variety in how you approach the fight.

Then your Deck Engie takes Lesmok for an easier forward Trifecta with the Carronade/Flamer/Flamer.

Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Thomas on January 29, 2014, 03:17:09 pm
Heatsink might actually be a good choice for a flamer. You lose some range and damage, but you make it up in the largest clip size; along with a faster turning speed. Might be a bit better if starting fires and continuous damage is your goal. Heavy clip is also an interesting choice if you want to take out specific components like guns, as you can focus the stream a lot more directly at them; although you do lose damage overall.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Omniraptor on January 29, 2014, 06:12:31 pm
If you run a standard gat/mortar pyra and don't want to think about the side guns, just put a flare in slot 3. When the engineer has a spare moment, they can just put 15 stacks of fire onto the enemy ship. The flare gun's arcs mean you don't need to adjust at all, just fly normally and they main engi will be able to shoot. Because the gun fires so quickly, it works well with the main engi's time-consuming job.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Mizhir Starsurge on January 30, 2014, 10:02:10 am
Good question. I'm trying out being a gunner right now. Previously I just said lesmok on the flamers and heavy in the carronade, but I think you lose a lot of  damage from the flamer that way. I'm starting to like sticking burst in a flame thrower, just due to how much ammo you get (you can just keep shooting forever!) but I don't know if it's actually a good decision.
Best answer: let your crew decide. Talk to high level gunners and see what they bring.

I've been running the Urz build on Paritan for a while now (after that incredible match we had alerted me to it), and I've been using a Flamer gunner with Lesmok/Burst/Greased. Lesmok gives me some closing range, Burst allows for constant firing and a ton of disabling, and Greased gives you the highest DPS overall. Having all three gives you some nice variety in how you approach the fight.

What ammo for the carronade engineer?

Then your Deck Engie takes Lesmok for an easier forward Trifecta with the Carronade/Flamer/Flamer.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Djinn on January 30, 2014, 10:17:24 am
Mizhir: I normally have my top-deck Engie run Greased rounds on the Carronade.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Wundsalz on October 15, 2014, 04:45:25 am
Bump. Yup, this gem doesn't deserve to be hidden on the second page.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: MightyKeb on September 11, 2015, 02:04:47 pm
Bump. An ancient relic from the Pyramidion age, this guide's been extremely helpful when I started taking my baby steps into GOIO. May our beloved Pyra rest in peace. Now I want to cry.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: redria on December 07, 2015, 05:33:09 pm
An ancient relic
Who are you calling an ancient relic?
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Velvet on December 07, 2015, 08:11:16 pm
the glory days of the Pyra were honestly GOIO's golden age

why Muse felt the need to subvert that ship for the sake of a mobula+goldfish meta I have no idea.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Dementio on December 07, 2015, 08:45:33 pm
why Muse felt the need to subvert that ship for the sake of a mobula+goldfish meta I have no idea.

I shall take the bait and counter with my opinion of that it always was like that. It was the players, not the developers (and then the developers).
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Mann on December 08, 2015, 03:57:34 am
Thou shalt complain,

However! A new age of Pyra is anew.

Thy Muse lords never nerfed thou Pyra.

They gave me a challenge!  8)
Come at thee :P
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Disqus on June 29, 2016, 02:30:55 am
Aye Aye!

I'm new to the game and I was wondering what is the current status of the Pyramidion compared to other ships? Is it still a viable ship? I suppose yes if it's in the hands of a good pilot.

Last question : What kind of « nerf » has suffured the Pyramidion in the past updates?

Cheers ;D
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Mann on June 29, 2016, 03:33:37 am
Personally, I feel all ships are fairly balanced now,

Although if you've got the experience, you can still pretty much kill any ship with a pyra

Originally, the Pyra received a massive nerf to mass, speed and overall hull health, since the last major update, they have upped the speed and the mass of the ship to make it more balanced, its lovely to fly now
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Dementio on June 29, 2016, 05:35:29 am
It got more mass than it had originally and got its hull health back. It is really lacking speed, less top speed than originally and acceleration, since that didn't get affected by the last buff.

Its lack of speed means it is vulnerable to mobile Hwachafishes. Being able to keep your front guns pointed towards an enemy ship will usually always keep your engines safe.

It is still the only ship that can effectively use Gatling and Mortar and some rams with the new mass can even throw of a Galleon these days. If you manage to ambush with it, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a kill. Don't get ram happy though, that always fails on all ships.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Disqus on July 05, 2016, 05:18:57 am
Thanks for the answers  ;)

I've been able to pilot a Pyramidion for two weeks, me and my crew really enjoyed it.

We tested the following front guns combinations :
I'm currently planning to test the Hades & Echidna combo, and two Phobos Mine Launchers... yes mine launchers in front :P
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: The Mann on July 05, 2016, 05:26:26 am
My personal favorite Pyramidion Loadout currently is Gatling + Banshee

It is a fairly effective weapon against ships such as Spire and Mobula - a Third Banshee can also be used to provide extra firepower against ships such as Junkers, Goldfish and Galleons. Squids are also at risk as the banshees make quick work of balloons and can set engines and hull on fire.
Title: Re: redria’s Journal - A High Level Guide to Flying Pyramidions
Post by: Solidusbucket on July 05, 2016, 10:51:15 am
Yes, i like double banshee with gat. However it is not as powerful as gat mortar. its nice against squids and mobula though - two ships that are difficult to ram and can easily dodge mortars