How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Smokebomb:
Secrets to Dominating in Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Multiplayer Wanted Mode
My love for Wanted, the most straightforward multiplayer mode first introduced in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, runs deep and true. It is the only mode I will play willingly. It is the only mode I excel at. It speaks to me, and I can spend hours creeping all over the maps, stealthily assassinating my fellow players. In the hundreds of sessions I have played, I have learned a handful of secrets that will help you sharpen your game.
While I realize that many AssRev players have moved on to fresher AssIII pastures, the sheer volume of low level players flowing onto the servers leads me to believe that AssRev is currently enjoying a rebirth, and that this might come in handy for some of them. It is these tips that have catapulted me within striking distance of the top 1000 Wanted players in the pool of 1.685 million worldwide participants. Perhaps some of these may be useful in AssIII as well (although I wouldn’t know, since I don’t have the game yet).
While I won’t give away my special sauce blend of perks and abilities, I will tell you that I rely very heavily on smokebomb, which allows me to incapacitate players within a close radius, and that I consider it to be the single most effective ability in the game.
There is a heavy contingent of people who complain that smokebombs are “overpowered”. In the hands of a highly able player, it might seem so, but the smokebomb’s ability to destroy another player’s game has an inverse relationship to their stealthiness. That is to say, the more stealthy a player, the less useful the smokebomb is against them. If I don’t see you coming, I won’t be deploying a defensive smoke… I won’t feel the need to, and then I’ll be dead. If you’re running towards me like a fool, I will drop a smoke and you’ll be stunned.
Therefore, if you are one of the people that think smokebombs are overpowered, you should reexamine your playstyle. Do you favor the gun or the animus hack? Do you prefer to always be on rooftops, or run after your prey for quantity over quality kills? If this describes you, it is less likely that you’ll become a high level player. The top ranked players rarely chase flashy, low scoring kills. They’re just not worth it. This is why you’ll never see them deploy the gun or animus hack as their ability. In fact, most high level players eschew offensive abilities (other than poison) almost entirely, and equip their ability set with things that only enhance their defense, or their ability to distract.
Variety Is The Spice of Life
I don’t intentionally chase variety bonuses, although they add a delicious 200, 400 or even 600 points to your score, making 2000+ scores for a single kill very, very possible. I do, however, set up the conditions for variety bonuses (and not wasting them), very early on. How? First of all, I try to knock out a ground finish within the first few minutes of the game. While I rarely chase those 50 points, and only go for them when they’re convenient, I’ve realized that they are invaluable towards getting variety bonuses later on. More importantly, I want to be able to get that small bonus and forget about it so that I don’t end “wasting” a variety bonus later on. See, Ground Finish is a bonus, but it is not a kill, so it’s not eligible for multiplier perks. I have had ground finishes worth 250 and even 450 points, when those variety bonuses could have instead been applied to my next kill, and potentially been doubled with the multiplier perk. That’s why I make sure to get those 50 points in as early as possible. This tiny tweak can make a huge difference later on in the game.
The Higher They Climb, The Harder They Fall
Numbers don’t lie - there is no significant advantage to kills from above in Wanted mode. At first glance that might not seem true. After all, if I leap down on my prey from a rooftop, I get 100 base points for aerial kill + 100 points for acrobatic, that’s 200 points guaranteed, versus 100 points for a regular on the ground kill, right? Maybe so, but there are two incredibly important variables that need to be considered. One, the approach meter. The majority of aerial kills that I’ve witnessed (as the murdered, not the murderer) have been relatively low scoring, mostly around the 300 point mark, often lower. This is due to the high profile nature of climbing and tracking someone from above. Silent or Incognito bonuses of 250 or 350 points are very hard to come by in that situation, and a score of 450 for an aerial kill is considered very good.
Not so for a kill on the ground. Sure, you start with a namby-pamby 100 points, but unless you’re running about like a fool, a silent bonus is guaranteed. There’s a total of 350 points right there, and an Incognito bonus is not that much more difficult to get, for a total of 450 points.
Stealthy players know, however, that the true bread-and-butter bonus is Hidden Kill, which adds a tidy 300 points to your score and is impossible from the air. That’s 650 points for a good quality kill from the ground, and 750 for an excellent one. If you control the game, as discussed in the next section, there’s a good chance you’ll add some Savior, Poacher and Chain bonuses to that score as well, so that even an average kill on par with an aerial kill (350 points) has the possibility of climbing much higher, points-wise, while you stay safely on the ground.
Follow The Leader
Over many matches, it has become clear that, for the most part, the player with the most points dictates the game. For this, and other reasons that follow, I no longer dread getting into first place within the first few minutes of the game. As you’ve probably gathered by now, running around on the wasteland of rooftops, visible for miles around is not how I choose to play the game. I stay on the ground, and I use stealth to distract, disorient and disable my fellow players. When I am in first place, at least 2, often 3 players are forced to track me, and that means meeting me on my level.
Controlling gameplay is very important if you want to score high. Having other players coming to you constantly is an easy way to ensure a steady stream of points, even if those points are just Honorable Death bonuses. Even if, over time, astute players become wise to your tricks and start learning to fight back against your playstyle, being the focus of the game still guarantees you a mathematical advantage. In fact, my preferred tactic is to secure a solid lead over the competition (2000+ points is safest), and then run out the clock by simply defending myself and killing whatever hapless target happens to wander through my path, letting the other players bring the points to me.
The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
I recently became acquainted with the term “grandkiller”, used in reference to the person assigned to the person assigned to you. I say, let the killer of your killer be your savior. Let the grandkiller reign. Let them have their 50 point bonus. Let them momentarily take away your problem. The grandkiller may be the single most useful player to the person holding the lead. When I’m in first place, I try to lead my killers on the longest, most convoluted journey, at a comfortable walking pace, of course, and open them up to their pursuers. After all, when you’re in the lead, there’s a good chance that you’re not just surrounded by 3 pursuers, but by 6 or more players, at least half of which want the same thing you want - to have your pursuers die.
Your Kill, My Gain
Of course, Wanted is not just about killing. It’s also about being killed. Dying doesn’t have to be a bad thing, however, at least not in this game, as long as you’re dying smart. Does the nice lady keep announcing “Honorable Death”? If so, well done. There’s no point in getting killed if you don’t get a little something for it. While “100 pointers” can be disruptive and keep skilled players from getting massive point counts, they also hand you 100 points nearly every time. One hundred for you (or 150, if you’re lucky), one hundred for me. It is not unusual to see that the highest scoring player is also the one that dies most often. Use dying to your advantage whenever possible, and realize that there’s no shame in a naked stun that didn’t fully land. More about this follows in the next section.
Share the Love
One strategy I’ve been developing recently is being more selective in who I let kill me. As discussed above, I am comfortable with getting killed. Yes, I’ve had many, many stuns in a row, and have enjoyed the feeling of power that comes with being mostly unkillable in some matches, but I know that in AssRev, just as in real life, death is inevitable. The key, then, becomes point-spreading, so checking your points with the back button, and learning about your fellow players becomes very important. I like to keep track of who the strongest players in a match are, and who’s got the most points, and then I want to make sure to shut. them. down. I will gladly be killed by someone in the 6th, 7th or 8th position, over and over again, especially if their kills are low scoring. Not only do I enjoy giving them a sense of short-lived satisfaction in taking me down, I want to make sure that the people closest to me in points are not being given the same opportunity.
When multiple pursuers are close by, I might drop a smoke and try to stun them all, but whenever possible, I always start with the strongest player, and work my way down. If I have identified my pursuer, who is following stealthily behind, and I see a lower ranked player start running at me, I often willingly let myself be killed for 150 points (going for the Honorable Death bonus, of course), rather than try to defend myself and waste a smokebomb. After all, the stronger player will attempt to kill me for considerably more points once the smoke clears. My committing suicide in this case performs two purposes: it keeps higher ranked players from getting the chance to kill me and collect serious points, and it gives me easy points against players that aren’t a real threat. Finally, if my smokebomb disables both my prey, and my pursuer, I ALWAYS go for the kill first, and the stun second - points above punishment.
The Last Lure of A Dying Man
This last one is simple, but not foolproof. You’ve been poisoned by one of your many pursuers. Now run. Make yourself as visible as possible and let that blue flag fly over your head. If you’re lucky, someone will take your life before your poisoner collects his heavy point bonus, but don’t be surprised to see him rage quit once he realizes he lost 1200 points to a level 3 who ran for his 100. Remember, stealth isn’t just about misdirection, it’s also about disruption.
This is just some of what I’ve picked up along the way, but the three most important values have been patience, practice and points… the higher the better. With an emphasis on these three, and the tricks I’ve written about above, I’ve become the person that used to totally throw me for a curve, and now in many living rooms and bedrooms, I know people are yelling the same things at me that I once yelled at others: “Where did that guy come from?” “How can he get such a high score for that kill?” and my particular favorite, “How did he know it was meeeee???”.
EDIT: I have updated the numbers to reflect that the Hidden Kill bonus is actually 300 points and not 200 as I had originally written. All relative calculations have been updated as well, so now if it’s not clear that killing from the ground is much more lucrative than leaping down from rooftops, I can’t help you.