Alien Commander functions quite a bit differently from Marine.
The commander does not require any player to help build structures, but Gorges with their heal spray do reduce build times.
All Alien structures the Commander builds aside from a Hive are built on infestation and infestation spreads from Cysts
. Simply place a cyst at the location you want to expand to and the rest will autoplace and build. You do not need to place each cyst individually.
The Hive is the source of Alien power. They are important, expensive and completely defenseless. Only placable on Tech Points. You lose your last Hive and the game is over.
Just as Marines harvest resources from their resource towers, Aliens have Harvesters
to do the same thing. Place a Harvester on a resource nozzle that has infestation and it will commence building. Build a Drifter
and move it towards the Harvester to speed up the growth. All Alien buildings take a long time to build on their own.
When you start the game, you have an option at the Hive
to which type of Hive you want a specific Hive to be. Crag, Shade
are options. Every new Hive can be selected to be one of the options you previously did not select until all three options are selected. You can only have 1 Shade/Crag/Shift Hive at a time. Crag grants the construction of Shells
which allow Aliens to upgrade their armor or healing abilities. Shade allows Veils
which give Aliens the ability to see enemy health, run and attack silently and to go invisible. Shift produces Spurs
which greatly increases Alien speed or gives them more energy. Ask your team which you want, but generally Shift
is a good reliable first Hive choice. You need three of each Shell, Veil or Spur to get the full benefits offered. Hide these structures as losing them reduces their effectiveness. Similar to the Marine Arms Lab, NEVER place these structures out in the open.
Other structures avaliable are Crags,
[/b]Shades[/b] and Shifts
as individual buildings. Crags are healing structures that greatly increase health regeneration. If you have a Crag Hive, Crags have the ability to Heal Wave
which sends out of wave of rapid healing. Shades cloak structures and aliens who aren't moving quickly or attacking. If you have a Shade Hive, Shades can use the ability Ink
which fill a room full of dark ink making it hard for Marines to see. Shifts rapidly rebuild Alien energy and if a Shift Hive is in operation, they can teleport non-Hive structures around the map to infested areas via Echo
Species upgrades are also researched at Crags, Shades, Shifts and Whips. The Onos upgrades are researched at the Crag, Fade upgrades at the Shade, Lerk at the Shift and Skulk at the Whip. The Gorge upgrades are researched at the Hive. Each upgrade allows each class to access to more abilities like Bile Bomb, Charge, and Spore (toxic gas).
Whips are defensive (or offensive depending how you use them) structures. They initially can only melee enemy units from a short distance, but upon maturation can launch bile bomb at marine players and structures. Whips, like Crags, Shifts and Shades can move across the map, but Whips are the only Alien Structures that do not take damage when moving across non-infested areas. Whips only attack if they are on infestation.
Drifters are the second controllable unit for the Alien Commander. Drifter help build strutures and have special abilities to help players. If you have a Shift Hive, a Drifter can Enzyme
players to make them move faster and attack faster. A Crag Hive gives them the ability to restore armor via Mucous Membrane
to Aliens and a Shade Hive lets you use Hallucination
which when cast on Aliens creates fake versions of them that do no damage, but look exactly like real players. Use them to fool Marines and make them waste ammo.
Now, the most complex part of Alien: Each of these species upgrades is dictated part by specific research and part by Biomass
. Biomass is researched at each Hive and each species ability is dependent on how much Biomass you have. Each Hive can have at most three biomass each. To get all upgrades avaliable once researched requires three hives with full biomass on each. Furthermore, every Biomass level grants more health to Aliens making them harder to kill. In the top left of your screen, as Alien Commander (on stock HUD), you will see little empty ovals with little icons under each one. As you get more Biomass and research more species upgrades, these icons and ovals will light up signling that they are avaliable.
Gorge Babblers are avaliable at Biomass Level 1 with Gorge Upgrade
Fade Shadowstep comes with Biomass 2 with Fade Upgrade
Gorge Bilebomb is at Level 3 along with Onos Charge with Onos Upgrade
Leap comes at Level 4 as does Umbra for Lerks with Lerk Upgrade
Vortex and Boneshield come at Level 5
Spores at Level 6,
Xenocide at Level 7
Stab at Level 9
Stomp at Level 9
Furthermore, the more biomass you have, the higher lifeform eggs you can drop. Alien Commander can change a generic egg into a specific species by clicking on it and if they have the right amount of biomass and resource, turn it into a gorge/lerk/fade/onos egg that can be used by an Alien player. The highest level of Biomass is 12, requiring 4 Hives. But to get all upgrades, only level 9 requiring three hives is necessary.
Other abilities access from the Hive are Bonewall
which must be cast on infestation but creates a temporary wall of bone to block off an area. Players can be trapped and isolated by this so use it against Marines and to help defend your team. Nutrient Mist
speeds up player evolution and building growth. Cast on infestation. If a player is going Fade or Onos, cast it on them to reduce the time it takes to evolve into those lifeforms.
on a Cyst causes it to explode doing damage to Marines. Contamination
: This may be one of the hardest things for a new player to use if they even know about it at all. Taking a full Level 9 biomass to become avaliable, it casts a temporary plot of infestation at the desired location. This alone isn't very useful, but when paired with the Echo
ability of Shift and a handful of mature whips, an Alien Commander can launch a surprise attack on Marine bases. To do this successfully requires a safe area, several drifters, a crag and a shift or two. Build a large number of whips (with the Drifters and Crag helping build) and wait for them to mature. Then from the Hive select Contamination
and select an area in a marine base. Then immediately select your Shift and start Echoing in Whips to the infestation. You will have to keep contaminating the area to keep the whips attacking. If you're lucky, you can take down the power or the chair itself.
Be aware that certain items like Whips and Drifters eats up supply. You have a set 200 supply and once you hit that, you're restricted on what you can build.
Constantly getting the spam message of "Mist Requested?" Press space and you'll instantly move your view to it. Then mist the user requesting it if you feel the request is valid and if you have the resources.