Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Using the Battlefield 3 EOD effectively

Do you play Battlefield 3? Well then have you noticed the funny robot that Engineers unlock which nobody seems to use? That, my friends, is the EOD BOT.

The EOD BOT is a very underrated tool in BF3. The following is a little writeup on some of its features and limitations, and why you should give it another try.

The EOD isn't just for repairs. It is also a destructive powerhouse! Due to its robust nature,small size and repair tool it can do many things that can't otherwise be done.

The EOD repair tool is also a weapon, not unlike the Engineer torch. It can be used to destroy vehicles, arm / disarm MCOMs and burn players.
When attacking a vehicle it can actually be driven underneath. most easily by the front or rear. Once there it is very hard for the enemy to attack it, so you can continue on your merry way, burning their tankto oblivion. Be mindful of the enemy making a hasty retreat though, as when the tank is empty the EOD starts to repair, usually leading to the enemy hopping back into their freshly repaired tank and dispatching your poor 'bot. Alternately they can also still shoot you. It's just a bit harder.

The repair tool can burn infantry. Glancing damage with the fire from the torch, or an instant kill from the tip of the torch. It's a bit tricky to steer so plan ahead for that attack.
The repair tool can also be used to set off some explosive items in the map, causing incidental damage to a nearby enemy. Don't worry too much about damaging it. It's really very tough!

Because the EOD is a vehicle, it can perform "Roadkill" kills. The movement speed is roughly running pace on flat ground which can be enough if the enemy is stationary. If you like, extra speed can be picked up by going down hill.

It also has the ability to push players / smaller objects around. There are many possibilities there, like pushing a sniper off a ledge or infantry out in front of a tank. Use your imagination! Your EOD is there to help you WIN!

*Moving around*
The EOD BOT deters people because of its quirky controls. Stick with it, and read along for a better understanding.
As mentioned it moves at roughly sprint speed. Faster downhill and slower uphill.
Because it is small, you have to bemindful of obstacles. It can get caught up on fallen trees, in craters, on kerbs and between rocks. It also gets stuck on the white tiled area near the hole in the ground going into the subway tunnel in Metro. That last one is a bug, I'm sure so be careful not to try crossing that with your robot friend.

With a good runoff, the EOD can climb stairs. It can also go down stairs. Just stay off the throttle and try to keep it pointing downhill.
Gutters can be a problem. Try to hit them at full speed at an angle.

Steering can be difficult at first. just try to think of it as a really light, tiny tank. If you try to steer while accelerating froma stop it can start spinning, so be careful of takeoffs.
Getting it going after an impact can also be a bit hard. It tends to spin round a lot and not really go anywhere. Its behaviour is much like the post-sudden-stop behaviour of other vehicles. Either wait a couple of seconds, or go easy accelerating and try not to steer.

the camera / torch direction control can be difficult as there is no easy way to tell which direction the camera is facing in relation to the bot. So only move it when you need to.

This is a brief look at what makes the EOD unique which hasn't already been covered.

The EOD is very tough and it takes direct fire to destroy it. It is possible for the EOD to survive repeated glancing attacks from a tank, which mostly just sends it flying every time. It also recovers very quickly from damage and doesn't seem to have a minimum threshold between minimum self repair and destruction, so if it hasn't been destroyed, you're good to go again in a few seconds.

The EOD is a vessel for your players soul. like many player controlled things, it leaves your actual player a zombie, and vulnerable. Be careful of where you decide to park to use your EOD, as anyone can walk up and kill you. You can also push your lifeless body around with the 'bot. If you are prone, the 'bot will become ensnared and you will be able to lead your living corpse around prone crawling. Your player will still be controlling the EOD even when you are falling.
If you drive your EOD through water, you will be abruptly disconnected. I believe this is the same mechanic at work as being ejected from a vehicle when the water is too deep.

It doesn't take any fall damage. Driving it off Damavand Peak helipad a few times proved this. The HMMWV on the other hand does take fall damage. The gunner in the HMMWV also did not take fall damage well. Honestly I had far too much fun driving it off the peak. I have also played through a few rush maps end to end as an attacker using nothing but the EOD.

The EOD can also do line of sight spotting. Not as useful as a MAV perhaps, but at teh same time people don't tend to notice the EOD. Happy Hunting!

The HUD visible while using the EOD miscalculates the objective distances. Possibly based on the position of the Engineer controlling it. The headings are still correct.

The EOD can pick up enemy mines just like a real live Engineer. Go ahead and give it a try.

*Reactions to the EOD BOT*

People react strangely to the EOD. Use this to your advantage. One of the following will happen:

  • You will be ignored. Go ahead and kill some enemies, burn some tanks and take those MCOMs!

  • You will be the life of the party! Enemies come out in the open, trying to shoot the wildly weaving, flamethrower wielding, tough as nails robot. In the mantime your friends should dispatch them summarily.

  • You will be feared. The confused and scared enemy will run backwards, grappling with their weapons and firing wildly all over the place as the robotic menace steadily advances on them.

I hope you enjoyed my little writeup on a tool which I believe should be used far more in Battlefield 3.

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