Melee locking is the art of keeping the patriarch in place so he doesn't move while you and/or your team bring down his HP. It's worth noting this can be done as a non-berserker, but results will be far less reliable without the medic & berserker's speed.
The basic idea is to:
1. Be as close to the patriarch as possible when he begins his attack
2. Back off out of his reach before his attack lands
3. Get up next to him again before his attack ends, and repeat
Below is an example of melee locking in action, used to solo the Patriarch on Hell on Earth.
Pulling this off can vary with latency. It's not too difficult to understand, but it's seldom discussed (if at all), so hardly anyone knows about it, or how it's done. If you're going to practice this, it's imperative you visit the workshop and subscribe to a test map (which allows you to spawn the patriarch, instead of waiting until after wave 4, 7, or 10, to fight him). While practicing, press ` to enable the console and type in the following commands:enablecheatsgod
This will give you invulnerability (and prevent you from being knocked back) so you can just focus on getting your technique down.
Initiating the melee locking is far harder than keeping him locked in place. There are only really two ways to get this started:
- Run up to him, or
- Backpedal while he charges you
I prefer waiting for him to charge, and then backpedal. Sometimes he'll hit you with his claw for reasons I do not know. I surmise this is because his charging speed is slightly randomized, and that his claw attack has a longer reach than his tentacle. Most of the time, he'll miss, but sometimes his claw will send you flying.
Running up to him can work (even when he's charging) but is less reliable than the former option, because sometimes he will continue to move as he's attacking you. You'll have to spend some time an experiment to determine what works best for you.
Whichever way you decide, move as close to his body as possible after his attack has missed you. This next part will require a lot of practice to get your timing down, and to memorize when his attacks begin and end.
To begin the melee locking process, you must be as close to him as possible (touching him) when he begins his attack. If there is any space between you, no matter how small, he will move forward while attacking, and you're gonna have a bad time
. Put your body up against his (wink
), back away out of his reach so his attack misses, and then get up close to him again before his next attack begins, and there you have it: the melee lock.
If you've got your timing figured out, you can use this to prevent him from running off and healing. As he rises from his kneeling position, if you position yourself up next to him when he would normally start to run off, he'll start to attack you, and then you can lock him. Sometimes he'll get away anyway, but not usually.
If he manages to hit you, he will almost always pull this thing out. If you're close enough to him, run up to his right side and do your best to stay behind him, moving in a counter-clockwise motion until he stops.
When he does stop, you can stay next to him to begin the lock again, or you can backpedal and wait for him to charge. The latter option is less reliable due to the way he can at times hit you with his claw swipe attack, so I recommend going for the lock immediately afterwards, since that's more of a solid plan. Memorize the timing for when his chain-gun attack ends so you can more accurately anticipate when to dodge his melee attack.
Like the chain-gun, he'll want to use this after he hits you (rarely, will usually pick the chain-gun) or when he's a good distance away from you. If you happen to be right up next to him when he uses this, jump right before he fires it, and it should miss (similar to the way the husk's fireball works). Note: it should
miss; I've never had him hit me with one unless the rocket hits the ground or some kind of adjacent object. Actually, I'm not even sure jumping is required. I've never had the rocket hit me directly, but it could possibly happen.
With Your Team
In multiplayer is when it can start to get iffy, depending on your latency. Anything over 75 seems to screw with my game. When you're on a team, you'll want to announce your intentions to lock the patriarch, so your team can bring him down. During this time you should make it clear that no one should be using explosives, as this can cause him to flinch or move unexpectedly. Melee locking is a delicate process.
Additionally, you should tell them not to touch the patty until he's locked in place, and also that they should not get close to the patriarch, as that could trigger the patty's AoE melee attack.
Reminders & Tips
- Mind your weight and HP; it affects your speed.
- Make sure there is NO SPACE between you and the patty, otherwise he will move and you'll get hit.
- If your team aren't doing their jobs, it's every zerker for himself. Even if your whole team dies, you can always potentially solo him. Better that you live as long as possible rather than die needlessly trying to save a member of your team who couldn't follow directions.
- When learning how to lock, just start out with a knife and concentrate on getting your technique down, without attacking him. When you feel comfortable enough, start attacking him.
- Ensure you always have some cover to run behind in an emergency when he switches to guns or rockets.