By nature, I am generally not an early adopter in PS2. I wait for things to settle, balances to be made and feedback from other people before spending certs. A good recent example would be the phoenix. On day one, you could launch a TV guided rocket from your spawn room and kill an infantry instantly. By day 14, that was no longer the case.
The flash was updated in GU04. A rumble seat was added, as well as the ability for infiltrators to use a wraith cloaking module. A renegade shotgun was also added to the flash as a weapon slot. While I had used the flash a little in the past, it was not something I spent much time in, and I did not have many certs invested. I was lucky that not long after the triple SC day in December last year, I picked up the m40 Fury for the flash on sale. It basically collected dust until after GU04.
After the update, lots of people began trying them out, with mixed reviews. Slowly, I began to see some real results from a few solid infiltrators and decided to invest the certs to try it out. I was impressed, saw the potential, and decided to “do it right” – and dump close to 3-4k certs into the flash and fury gun. While it takes some practice, I definitely think that for those of you who are dedicated to the infiltrator, this is an investment that will pay off in many ways, and add a lot to your gameplay. I will break the guide into basic stats, recommended certs and strategy/gameplay.
Break it down –
M40 Fury – It’s hard finding more descriptive stats outside of the in-game data for the fury. Here’s a screen of what you see in game. While the stated damage is 750, the fury will inflict a instant death upon any infantry target if you hit directly. Default magazine size is 5, I highly recommend investing certs to reach 9.
One point to make, when firing the fury it will generally fire faster by holding down the trigger. I tried fast clicking vs. holding down trigger and I definitely can fire more rapidly by holding down. Here are the upgrades you can get for the fury, via planetside universe wiki. I put several tiers of ammo capacity, IR optics and max magazine size (worth it!)
Recommended certs –
Obviously the utility slot will consist of the wraith cloak. I initially invested in rank 4, which is 35 seconds of cloaking, and after extensive use, dropped the additional 1000 certs for 40 seconds of cloak.
The performance slot has three options – the racer, scrapper or surfer chassis. I initially invested heavily in the racer chassis, which increased your top speed by 10km/h. It seems like a nice upgrade, however it greatly increases the swerve and spinning out that you will have while driving the flash. I still use the racer chassis when my only goal is to drive the flash cloaked from point A to B, however I find that the scrapper chassis is a better upgrade for attempting combat in the flash.
The scrapper chassis increases turn radius, stopping/starting, reverse speed. It allows you to handle better which is critical for finding and engaging ground targets. I was not blown away with this upgrade at rank 3, however it does seem to help and it isn’t as wild as the racer chassis.
The surger chassis helps with increased torque and elevation climbing, which I don’t find to be very helpful. The only thing that makes this chassis worth considering is that the suspension is better and allows for less instability while on the move. A small possible application of this frame could be that it would make moving and firing simultaneously more viable (I usually have to slow down or stop moving while shooting on the flash).
Overall I recommend the scrapper for the above reasons.
After spending a lot of time going back and forth between composite armor, mineguard and stealth, as well as talking to a few other flash drivers, I have a few thoughts about this. Mineguard, in order to actually keep you from dying after running over a tank mine, has to be at max level. The driver also has to be wearing flak armor. I haven’t been able to test the different levels however I believe that this also has to be max flak armor. When running over a tank mine, not only does the vehicle take damage, but the driver will take damage. Thus it is important for both to be protected, or else your flash could survive a mine (with max mineguard) but the driver could die.
If you are fighting in areas that are commonly mined, such as amp stations, tech plants, etc. than mineguard is a very reasonable choice. I have survived a few mines with it, and think that it remains a viable option. In the open fields where mines are much less likely, I think the choice becomes more complex. I have settled on vehicle stealth as a good choice for open field combat, because the next greatest danger to a flash driver is being found and shot off of the flash. The wraith cloak will conceal you, but without stealth, as soon as you uncloak you will show up on the minimap. No matter what, once you fire, you will appear on the minimap – but stealth will allow for you to decloak and engage without showing up on the minimap until firing. I think it increases survivability greatly when you aren’t worried about tank mines.
Composite armor is somewhat useful, however it is not enough to prevent death from a rocket or tank shell. Most deaths in the flash are due to burst damage, or being shot off of the vehicle and taking direct damage. Composite armor does not prevent this in almost all cases. There are very few times where you take partial damage, to the point that composite armor was the difference between survival and death.
Passive – If you want to use the flash a lot, I recommend certing the cooldown to the point where you can pull once every 60-90 seconds. I currently have all but the last tier certed, simply because I don’t need it.
In summary, my loadout is:
Scrapper – max
Passive – 2nd to last tier
Wraith – max
Mineguard 4 or stealth 1
Fury: IR optics and max magazine
Part two of the guide will discuss tactics, expectations and general thoughts on the wraith. I will try to gather video for it. Feedback is welcome, let me know what you think!