Gone back to Quake Wars this week, and I still love the field ops/oppressor class. One of the main things I like about the game is that if everyone generally does their role, things work out, even with minimal communication. This makes even matches with random strangers run relatively smoothly. The covert ops guys are hacking the objective, the engineers setup turrets to cover the advance, and us field ops guys rain down death on the enemy positions.
Being able to create objectives for your team is awesome; they highlight the turrets and radars, and I take them down. You get experience for yourself, and help the team in the process. Experience points and rewards give everyone the incentive to do their job well; I’m always aiming for the best field ops award. If I can get that, then I’m happy, regardless of us winning or losing the match.
The field ops are the fire support men, and what they lack in direct firepower they make up for in air strikes and artillery bombardment. No other class can match the shear damage potential, and while you won’t be getting kills often, it’s the only class that can easily get big, simultaneous kills from a well timed shot. Which is always nice to see pop up on the screen, and usually results in a “wtf” from the opposing team.
I prefer playing the long range support style field ops, like a sniper, but with an artillery gun that launches flaming plasma every couple of minutes. There are three different types of artillery available for each race, but I always go with the high calibre Dark Matter Cannon/Hammer Missile launcher. A direct hit will pretty much kill anything, with a large, severely damaging, blast radius.
I’m usually tucked away on high ground, with as good a view of the battlefield as I can get. The Strogg have a major advantage with finding the best spots, their Icarus jetpacks can get you some ridiculous vantage points. It can be lonely though, sometimes you are too far away to be of help in-between artillery strikes, but it keeps you safe, mostly. Waiting for a spawn timer while you’ve got loaded artillery isn’t helping the team. This is important because you really need to be ready to call another target as soon as the artillery reloads, keeping up the pressure.
A good overview of the enemy positions lets you call objectives from safety, and you can see where they are moving and where their turrets, and other support, are being dropped. Primarily, I go after the hard targets; turrets, radars, stationary vehicles, then the spawn or choke points. It’s entertaining to watch the enemy drop down into their spawn point, blissfully unaware of the impending doom that’s gracefully arcing through the sky above them, seeing them just about make it to their vehicles and BOOM!
Staying at range isn’t always possible though; some of the maps are flat or have built up areas that deny you a clear shot. In this situation you need to move closer; it’s more dangerous, but it’s the only way to stay effective. You'll want to unlock the scoped assault rifle/accurized lacerator as quickly as possible; it’s ideal for picking off players or keeping them pinned down while a strike is incoming, at the cost of drawing attention to yourself.
The field ops also have a couple of notable enemies. Engineers, with their artillery interceptor turrets, are the bane of my existence. Distracting you from the real targets until it’s taken down; either your team has to come in and assist, or you have to take time out from bombardments to go after it yourself.
The other, is airpower, and how I hate it. Usually sat far away from the rest of the team, the field ops has no effective way of being able to take down enemy aircraft, unless it’s already severely injured. Trying to run from one while on a barren cliff top isn’t fun either. Not only that, but they can kill your artillery pieces too; even while it’s sat in the main outpost they can hit it from outside the range of the defences quite easily. An active pilot is a bloody nightmare to deal with, but, in my experience, they only have a lifespan of about thirty seconds, or the time it takes for someone to get a missile lock.
Obviously, all the classes have weaknesses, and it does help to have an understanding of the others. I play the field ops because I like the different playing style, and I can’t shoot shit at short range (I’m sure they’re wondering if I’m actually shooting at them, or having some kind of fit.), but there are times when a field ops isn’t useful. Most missions, for example, end with storming a facility of some kind, rendering artillery useless.
At this point I’ve done my job and now I have to switch to the soldier class, because it’s shotgun o’clock.