Wednesday, November 30, 2011

StarHawk Corner - Holy Updates Batman


Yesterday brought the first patch to StarHawk based on direct feedback from the Warhawk group. It also brought 5000 new players from Warhawk in. Full details on the patch are here but the main thing people seem to like is the hawks fly faster. Other things to note the grenades have been beefed up, so use them, and give your feedback.

Did You Know?

  • Did you know swarm missiles lock on to more than other hawks? They'll lock on to air mines, and even troops with jet packs.
  • Did you know you can dismantle an auto turret? Get close and hit R3.
  • Did you know hitting the red light on an auto turret does more damage? You can even use a rifle, just be careful to burst your fire.
  • Did you know there are 4 speeds in a hawk? Normal speed, slow speed, fast speed (light press R2) and boost (fully press R2).

What do I do?

This is a new section dedicated to helping out various scenarios. Today's case was presented by OverlordSpike.

Given the other team has made it into your base, has 3 auto turrets up and 2 pod beacons, how do you handle this?

The first target is the auto turrets. Land on them (use the map zoom if need be) and hit R3 to disable them before they lock on to you. Next throw all 3 grenades at the pod beacon. If they hit, this will weaken the tower substantially. Wash, rinse and repeat, you'll have all 3 turrets gone and both pod beacons in 3 spawns or less. Given to spawn all of that requires 14 rift pips and they can no longer spawn in your base, expect them to start spawning near barrels. On the plus side, all those buildings you destroyed gave you rift, you should be able to spawn a bunker by now.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

StarHawk Corner - Being a SeaHawk

Acid Sea

So today we'll finish up the map series for now. Let's get right to it:


This map has the same legend as the last one, red H for health, yellow H for homing missile, purple S for swarm missiles and green M for mines. Not shown is the second group of homing missiles, but the map is symmetrical.

Did you know?

  • Did you know you can zoom in on the spawn map. Press up on the right stick to zoom in, down to zoom out.
  • Did you know that a beam turret links to the walls? Works great for filling in those gaps.
  • Did you know you can't use a jet pack if you have the flag? Drop a garage or you might be walking back home.
  • Did you know the walls have ladders, but upgraded walls don't? Be careful in placement, otherwise they are useless against troops. The side towards you during placement always has the ladder.
  • Did you know that walls have a place for auto turrets but upgraded walls do not? Use care in upgrading.

RSS Feed and Yahoo Alerts

I've been informed that Yahoo alerts won't work on the main site's RSS feed. As such, the URL you should use for all the latest FFG StarHawk News is:

Monday, November 28, 2011

StarHawk Corner - Hawks in Space

Flying in Space

Since I started with Acid Sea for the ground, I'll start with space for the air. As such I present the Space Air Map.


The red H is health, yellow H is homing missile, purple S is swarm missiles and green M is mines.

Did you know?

Today's did you know comes from LeatherHeart.
  • Did you know you can use a jetpack to knife a mech driver? Sweetest kill in the game.
  • Did you know you have a suicide option? Hit start and select respawn.
  • Did you know that the bunker has 3 spots for auto turrets? Place them on the roof to keep people from getting the drop on you.
  • Did you know that you're safe in the bunker? Shots go out, they don't go in. Watch that top entry though.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

StarHawk Corner - Armed to the Wings

Weapon Pickups

So far we've focused on the ground game, and while this post will include a screen shot or two from the ground combat, today we'll be focusing on the hawk.

So let's talk about flight, or more appropriately hawks. The hawk is a mech that can transform into a plane and it can be devastating. It comes with a load of swarm missiles and a gun with unlimited ammo. In mech form you can jump, stomp, walk and shoot your gun and missiles. It appears to be basically impervious to rifle fire and the driver appears to be mostly protected when in mech form. (I've tried shooting the driver specifically, either it isn't possible to get a clean shot while they're moving or they were protected.)

The rocket launcher will lock on to it when in plane mode, but not in mech mode. Grenades do reasonable damage against it, but using rocket launchers is really key. It can transform quickly and boost away when in trouble.

So as for health, there is no bar or anything showing your health, however the screen appears to be cracked the more damage you take and if you're flying you can sometimes see your own wings on fire.

The movement in mech form is slow; however, you can grab the flag and then board a hawk. Trying to run the flag back in mech mode is kind of like running the flag in a tank in Warhawk. It is big, it is slow, and you feel like a sitting duck.

Just a side note, like the hawk, you cannot fly a jet pack with the flag. Keep that in mind when you grab it.

As for weapons there are air mines, swarm missiles, homing missiles and the gun as mentioned above. While you can attempt to collect barrels while flying, transforming into the mech does help a lot.

The transformation from plane to mech conserves your momentum so take that into account, or you'll over shoot and end up in the drink. Also hitting things while boosting is bad. Your hawk will go boom. Gone are the days of collision damage, best I can tell. If you hit something hard enough to damage your hawk it'll just blow up.

On acid sea, you can land on the pipes and in space you can land on the asteroids. What's truly frighting about landing on the pipes in acid sea (other than missing) is you can build some structures on those pipes, provide they are small enough.

The energy shield appears to only prevent incoming shots, hawks can fly/walk right through it.

The air mines come in packs of 4, but launch in packs of 4. They don't appear to be as powerful as they were in Warhawk; however, just like Warhawk you can keep pooping them out. They are also much smaller and harder (as there's now 4 of them) for ground troops to clear. DeadSpider points out they are magnetic now but can be removed by using the automatic scrub.

Power Ups

So how do you get these fantastic weapons? Simply fly through the appropriate floating hologram. Here's what they look like:

Swarm Missiles

Homing Missiles

Air Mines


Did you know?

Today we have a couple of did you know tips, the first from @MonkeyJoe315 and the second from Seventy_X_Seven
  • Did you know until there are at least 6 players no one gets rift energy from the pod beacons or home base? If you're trying to play around in pre-game, hit up those barrels.
  • Did you know the proximity mines will jump from where ever you place them and attach to the enemy vehicles? Place them on the Razorback and drive by a hawk to watch it go boom. Note the mines have a 3 second delay on them so you can get away.
  • Did you know during the pre-game you can't capture the flag? You can't even drop it, so don't even bother picking it up.

One final note, for those who are still wondering what the mine pickup looks like, here's a picture for you:


changed a few details based on updates from DeadSpider

Friday, November 25, 2011

StarHawk Corner - Spacing Out


So this is the second in the series of maps for ground combat. While Acid Sea has a few places to harvest rift, right now space has the mother lode.


So here's the map:

So here I've shown:
  1. The repair tool
  2. Rifle ammo
  3. More rifle ammo
  4. Still more rifle ammo (bottom level and top level)
  5. Mines (top level only)
  6. 2 barrels
  7. 2 barrels
  8. 3 barrels (top level)
  9. 2 barrels (top level)
  10. 2 barrels (top level)
  11. 3 barrels (top level)
  12. 3 barrels


Spawn at point A and hit those two barrels. You'll be up to 4 pips of rift energy if you get both of them. Run to point B and climb up the ladder. Try to drop a pod beacon (aka outpost) at point C grabbing the mines.

If you fail to take C use points 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 to get rift energy and drop a pod beacon on point D. Use the aim on the rifle for points 11 and 12, and slow down your fire. Attempt to take point C as it a key to victory here. Once you have C hit up points 8, 9, 10, 11 for a total of 5 pips of rift each time. They respawn fast enough you won't have to wait long to fill your bar up. Place a bunker, etc at point C.

If/when you die at point C (with the pod beacon still up, attempt to land at point E. Place a pod beacon between the two towers for protection. This will allow you to basically spawn on the enemies flag. Because the map is symmetrical, this works for both teams.

Did you know

Today's did you know comes from @DeadSpider.
  • Did you know that the sniper rifle has two levels of zoom? Hit L1 to use the scope and R3 to zoom in further

Thursday, November 24, 2011

StarHawk Corner - No Swimming


Today in the US this is Thanksgiving, or as the rest of the world knows it, Thursday. In the US it is customary to have a huge meal with friends and family followed by some kind of entertainment, American football for example. Increasingly Thanksgiving has also been a day of video games, as everyone has the day off.

So in the spirit of the holiday, I'm going to fill you up with a huge article. And stay tuned for dessert, you don't want to miss it.

Acid Sea

That's right folks, I'm doing a map analysis, at least from the ground. That means weapon locations and my own strategy.

So let's start with the map:

The Map

So let's start off with weapons. I'm not claiming this is all of them, and this is just for the ground game, but here's where you find:
  1. The repair tool
  2. Rifle ammo
  3. Mines
  4. 2 barrels
  5. 3 barrels
  6. 3 more barrels

Note, the map is basically symmetrical, with the exception of the mines so only 1 side is shown.


So what I like to do on this map, is to spawn as close as possible to point A. In fact as the drop pod is coming down I'll steer it as close to A as possible. Next, I'll grab the repair tool and drop a garage at point A. Jump in the jeep and get moving, time is of the essence.

As you go past point 4, take out the two barrels, as you'll be down to 1 pip of rift energy. Keep driving up to point B and shoot all of the six barrels between point 5 and point 6. Now that you have 3 pips of rift energy, drop an outpost, aka spawn beacon. This gives you rift energy as you continue to blast away at the barrels. Now you'll be spent on rift energy, but your outpost will start feeding you some.

Wait for the barrels to respawn and shoot all 6 again. Place 3 walls at the mouth of point B and upgrade one to be a gate wall. You're now somewhat protected. Keep hitting those barrels and in no time you'll have your launch pad up, second garage, bunker, beam turret, auto turret or two and energy shield. Take care when placing these items that they do not obstruct your line of fire for the barrels or driving though this place. I usually wait till the end to put down the launching pad or garage. From here you have a great striking point to attack the enemy.

During this time having a team mate or two stay at home and build up walls around your flag is a very good idea.


So, here's a set of did you know tips.
  • Did you know you can change positions in the Razorback 4x4? Simply hold X and select the position just like you would have done in Warhawk. Why the change? Well, in Warhawk the game had to delay a dismount to see if you were pressing the button or holding it to change seats. By moving the change seats button, you can dismount as fast as you can mount.
  • Did you know you can start driving or firing while still changing seats? While the animation is going you can simply start doing things instantly.
  • Did you know the passenger in the Razorback can also fire? They can throw grenades and shoot, so riding shotgun isn't so bad any more.
  • Did you know the pulse rifle has a scope on it? Hit L1 and it'll zoom in a little. This makes the gun a whole lot more accurate, just don't practice spray and pray.
  • Did you know you can control the beam turret? Try it out, feels bad ass!
  • Did you know you the auto turret has a weak spot? Look for the center of the auto turret and hit it with a sniper rifle for a 1 shot kill, or aim carefully with your rifle to take it down quickly
  • Did you know you can mount a turret on a wall? Makes the wall into an offensive weapon.
  • Did you know you can spawn a building while in flight in the hawk? Takes practice but if you fly low enough you can drop an auto turret in the middle of the enemy's base.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stats Explained

The Rifle and Other Weapons

As noted the rifle appears to have way more kills than pickups. This is due to the rifle being a weapon when spawning. In addition the player gets a set of grenades. And indeed the hawk mech comes with swarm missles.

While I can normailze the graph (approximately) for these spawned weapons, I cannot do the same for the hawk weapons. The resulting graph is:

So there's a couple of things to note. First, as I said above the swarm stat is biased and should not be trusted. Second, the rifle drops in effectivness when compared to the previous graphs. This is because you spawn with it, so I've counted every kill as a pickup. The same with the grenade which is now in the sub 1% range.

What I don't have is how effective each weapon has been in total. For example, I often use up my grenades on structures instead of people. Also combination attacks are not taken into account (for example attacking with a rocket launcher to finish the player off with a rifle). As a result these stats should be taken with a nice helping of salt.

The source for these numbers comes from the Lighbox Interactive StarHawk Beta News page

Announcing StarHawk Corner

What is StarHawk Corner?

So starting today I'll be posting tricks, tips and general information about StarHawk, based on my own game play in the private beta.

Tip of the Day

Hit square as a troop to reload. As any fan of Warhawk knows, reloading in the middle of a fire fight is a good way to die. Find some cover, hit square to make sure your pulse rifle has a full clip.

Rift in a Barrel

As many players have already figured out, rift energy is important. You get some from your base, killing people or from a spawn beacon. But did you know it is just lying around the map as well? Look for those glowing barrels and shoot them to get half a pip worth of rift energy each.

After destroying the barrels they will respawn after some time. Here's what it looks like while you're waiting for them to respawn.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More StarHawk Stats

New Numbers

Last night Lightbox Interactive updated their kill and pickup numbers. They now include everything from 11/15/11 to 11/21/11. I've updated my chart to show these new stats:

The first thing that jumps out, swarm missles have bested rifles. While it is not clear if troops or other hawks are being destroyed, it is clear that people are having a blast.

The new numbers show a total of 3029 kills using just the weapons above and 17514 pickups. That translates into a pickup to kill average of approximately 17.2% which is down from the last set of stats.

Mines jump out a clear winner as well as the shotgun, where as homing missles, grenades, rocket launchers and sniper rifles have a below average pickup to kill rate. As Warhawk players flood the private beta today it will be interesting to see how these numbers change.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sweet Starhawk Stats

StarHawk Stats

In a sheer stroke of dumb luck, I stumbled across some of the first data from StarHawk's private beta. As a result I've compiled this graph for you.

Now I know you're asking what does it all mean. Good question. First let's start with the source data (which I'm not linking to, it should be out to everyone soon.) This is based on play data from November 15th to November 18th of 2011. In that time there were 5286 weapon pickups (excluding repair tool pickups) and 950 deaths (excluding 4x4, knife, etc). That means for every pickup the players had an ~18% chance of killing another player with it.

From there it is broken down further, every time a rifle was picked up there was a staggering 45% chance of a kill. Compare that to homing missiles at about 5% and you can see that StarHawk has a thriving ground game. Absent from the data was any pistol kills, which may mean the player doesn't get one, or it is so weak that no one uses it. Also the grenade numbers may be skewed as the player may spawn with a couple of grenades like in Warhawk (similarly with the swarm missiles).

Just based on this data, grab your rifle, shotgun or mines early, they are well worth it. The rocket launcher just doesn't kill as often, which may indicate that breaking locks is easy in StarHawk or they simply are hard to handle against your fellow troops.

There appears to be a few other secrets in the stats, I'll keep mining away.
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