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Old 03-16-2008, 09:57 PM   #1
Agent_W
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What can Black do for you?

Ever wonder what use spies are on your team? Well, wonder no more! I took the time to ask myself, "What kind of a class is the Spy?" and "What roles can he do?"

The Spy, as I like to describe it, is a multirole SUPPORT class. That's right, he is a support class. I also like to describe the Spy as the "Jack of all trades", who can do a little bit of anything and everything! Unfortunately, he is really the master of none as well...you can't expect to deliver a major punch on O or D with this class. The Spy doesn't have the proper armament to do it.

After much assessment, I have the following roles a spy can actually perform. There are four major roles on either Offense or Defense. First, I'll start with Offense.

Enemy Disruption-The spy has the ability to wreak havoc and cause chaos amongst the enemy. This role can include a variety of different actions such as pulling off subtle kills to sabotaging enemy sentries. Causing death and destruction is enough to make the enemy panic and they’ll divert their attention to spy-checking, which can put a strain on their objectives.

The main trick to keeping this role up is unpredictability. Keep your profile down as far as possible by being on your best behavior. Don’t try to repeat various actions, and learn to be discreet in them. It can take a really short time for the enemy to wise up to your antics, so keep them guessing if you are to sustain this role.


Enemy Reconnaissance-The spy can also relay information about the enemy to his/her teammates through team chat regarding the class makeup of a team, sentry gun positions, strengths and weaknesses in the base, etc. This can help to give your team a much more valuable advantage so that they’ll know what to expect for their Defense.

To excel in this role, keep your profile down. This is important as you still want to behave like the enemy the best you can.


Flag Running-The spy, providing that he is successful in his infiltration, can grab the flag to make a run for capturing it. Due to the medium speed of the spy, he is not the ideal flagrunner as a scout would be. The spy is best suited to escort a slower, heavier carrier of the flag, however in the right conditions, the spy can perform this role well if he can avoid enemy trouble and use alternate routes to head back to his base. The spy can also make an ideal secondary runner if the original flagrunner got killed in action.

To excel in this role, you have to be quite the escape artist and know how and when to seize opportunity. The more you can evade the enemy, the better off you'll be. Learning to use your tranq gun is also key as you would want to slow down chasers. Using nades are also helpful.


General Assist-Upon the spy’s discretion, or by request from the team, the spy can provide additional firepower with the armament he has to assist his team. The spy by himself is not well-equipped for deathmatch fighting but his skills in using the nailgun, shotgun, and tranq pistol can make the difference whether his team gains the upper hand in a fight or not. The spy can also lob his grenades to add a more serious punch in deathmatch situations as hallucination grenades can cloud the enemy’s vision and reverse the team colors they see.

To excel in this role, KNOW your weapons and learn how to use them! Also, leave the main fighting to the Offense classes. Keeping your profile down is also paramount if you expect to stick out for long. It also pay dividends if you had previous experience in a FPS multiplayer DM game, such as the Quake series or Unreal Tournament.


Now I have the four major Defense roles:


Flag Guard Sentinel-The spy has a tremendous ability to lie silently in wait with his cloaking abilities, and there can not be a much better use for this than to watch the team’s flag. In this role, the spy can serve to be the flag’s first(or last) line of defense against enemy flagrunners. The spy by himself cannot hold well against determined flagrunning teams of 3 or more and will need to work with the team's D in order to hold. Also, it is best that the spy waits in the chamber, cloaked and tranq gun at the ready. The spy must be able to tranq the first target that grabs the flag or the flagrunner may escape. This is especially true for scouts and medics, the two fastest classes in the game.

To excel in this role, patience and vigilance are good virtues to have. Also, you may have to be unpredictable, especially in places where you hide. Paying attention from the team's announcements are also handy so you can prepare yourself to take action.


Field Interceptor-The spy has the ability to remain out in the middle section of a map, often referred to as the “main yard”. This would always be referring to the main area that separates the two bases(for most maps). The spy can go into the field to dispatch advancing or withdrawing forces or stop enemy flagrunners(and vice versa, to support friendly flagrunners) using stealth tactics. This role is not recommended for the spy class as it is dangerous to the extreme. The spy can be vulnerable to many threats out in the open yard, but essentially, performing this role has a twofold purpose: to weaken the enemy offense, and to strengthen your team’s defense.

To excel in this role, exceptional skill with your weapons and experience of deathmatch situations are paramount to your success, and perhaps some luck and coordination from your team. But don't expect to survive too long in any situation...because anything can happen out there...


Counterspy-Because the spy can uncover enemy spies’ disguises, and by sharing a similar mindset, the spy can protect the team from enemy spies that would perform their respective Offense roles. A good spy can spot suspicious behavior often before others can, and can usually take the first actions to neutralize a spy’s threats. Using a friendly disguise and going on patrols and rounds around the base is an ideal action for this role. You can even get assistance from nearby friendly teammates when they discover that you uncovered a spy! Also, you have the possibility of working with engineers to make sure their equipment remain unmolested, or to stick around at the battlements to watch snipers’ backs. However, dealing with spies can be dangerous only as far as their unpredictability can go, because you can never know how the spy is going to fight back.

To excel in this role, taking initiative and having good skill with your weapons is key to performing well. You also need to have a keen sense of detection and be VERY suspicious!


General Assist-The spy, along with the above-mentioned roles, can still provide reliable support for other Defense classes. An extra gun should always be welcomed, especially if you are skilled in its use and have good aim. Demomen and engineers can always use a spy’s support because sometimes, it confuses the enemy so that he cannot determine which class is the greater threat, while getting bombarded by both. Thus, the spy makes for a great decoy...a distraction if you will, that will leave the enemy exhausted and dead by your teammates.

To excel in this role, you pretty much have to do the same thing as General O Assist. Leave the heavy D fighting with the main D classes, and if they don't manage to kill them, YOU WILL!


In summary, the spy can pretty much do ANYTHING, making him quite the "Generalist". But don't forget that it's a SUPPORT class, so don't get discouraged if you feel you can't be a spy. Just remember the limitations of the class and you should be fine with whatever roles you decide to fulfill.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:21 PM   #2
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Also, don't forget the spy can grenadejump, even though it hurts a lot. Grenade jumping can get you behind the enemy's first line(s) of defence, gaining you quicker access to the more inner parts of the base. While this is not recommended in most cases (as it nearly kills you), it can certainly be very useful:

1) You're a spy, they don't expect you to do that crazy kind of stuff which can throw them off and buy you time. You can choose to either cause a distraction yourself, or use this to quickly sneak in while nobody has time for you.
2) If you're disguised, you can easily get past or close to SG's. Along with #1, you can truly be a major pain in the butt for those engies. It can also be used to get to the flag quickly without being hindered by SG's. Be wary though, a well-guarded team will not let you slip by just like that.
3) If you happen to have the flag and enough hp, you can cover considerably more ground by grenadejumping (depending on the map of course). This can greatly help your team, especially in tricky spots.
4) You can make some pretty awesome knife kills this way... if you pull one of perfectly, you won't even lose your disguise which means those SG's won't bother you.

In other words, those grenades can do more than just harm your enemy. While other classes also have these grenades, they are either too weak or too slow to put them to good use or they have better alternatives like concussion grenades or rocketjumping.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:29 PM   #3
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Great tips, Vertigo!

I don't expect to nade jump since I gotta make the most of my 90 health and 100 armor. But yes, nade jumping is just as effective. It's high enough to carry you over the hall corridor in the mid-yard of Well, for instance.

I've never used nades as weapons but rather tools as a spy. They can still be tossed without losing a disguise, which can help to some length to keep your profile down.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:25 AM   #4
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"So what kind of a Spy are you, Agent W?"

Additional Notes

Well, if I do happen to join your team in whatever server I choose to join, I would heavily consider myself a Defense specialist. I happen to be great at the Counterspy, Flag Guard Sentinel, and General Assist roles, and if I really want to have some crazy fun, I'd go Field Intercept as well.

Because the enemy team spy-checks as a standard, O would be a lot harder than D in many cases. Until needed improvements are made, the spy has the best chance be good at Flag Running and General O Assist. It's silly that teammates have to shoot each other incessantly in those TD off servers.

But then, I hear others who loathe, mock, and none-the-less frown upon D spies, as they automatically assume spies are not well-suited for D. Let me tell you this: it takes a lot of SKILL and NERVE to handle D roles. You get the biggest piece of the action pie, and you gotta be able to eat it all. A well-skilled D spy vet can save the team a lot of headache as more and more enemies suffer flag run failures, often with a single tranq dart followed by a single shotgun blast or flurry of nails.

In short, as far as D goes, the spy can be the biggest asshat you'll ever know. And that's a compliment, considering that the spy's team is the one winning .
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:10 AM   #5
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I use D (defense) spy as means of practising knifing and tranqing, which works great because

- You are in your base thus you can respawn instantly and don't waste 90% of your time getting to the other base, only to get instantly blown apart by that ramp soldier.
- You can constantly resupply and other D (should) have your back in case you let someone slip by.
- You don't have to worry about spychecks or evading enemies and such
- You can much easier ambush people and take your time learning

In other words, I would certainly like to recommend playing on D for new spies, so they can get to know the game and can experiment much more freely. Once you think you're ready, go O (offense) and start learning the other part of the world.

Of course, it might help to still back up your team on D once in a while, because like Agent_W said, a spy on D can be such an annoyance, it can completely distract and cause paranoia even for enemy offense, making them far less effective.

Recently, I love going O, but rather than going to the flagroom, I just try to clear up the first lines of defence as that seems to help my O a lot more than getting killed in a well-guarded flagroom. It's also a lot less risky and suspicious, because you're going away from the flag rather than towards it. It usually also positions you closer to enemy spawns, which allows you to cut them off from going back to their flagroom, even if it is for just a couple of seconds.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:31 AM   #6
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If a player is not familiar with the game, the spy is not the class for them.

The best way to understand, and get better, with a class is to use it in a way that is appropriate. Suggesting D spy is like suggesting O heavy .
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:35 AM   #7
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True, the spy should not be first class to play, but once someone wants to try him out or improve himself, he can and probably should go D first.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Credge
The best way to understand, and get better, with a class is to use it in a way that is appropriate. Suggesting D spy is like suggesting O heavy .
D is usually better to start than O, so if you want to learn to play a class, it's better to do so as D if it's somewhat fit to do so.

A D Spy can be very annoying, to be honest. I don't know if this happened to you, Credge, but being tranqed at 2 feet from the enemy flag and then missing the conc because of your speed loss is VERY annoying (and requires a good amount of aim for the Spy)
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:04 AM   #9
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Yah, the tranq is your best weapon as a D spy, even if you don't managa to kill them afterwards, your teammates should be able to do so in a matter of seconds.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:13 PM   #10
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Taking out all of the enemy's defenses with a sg hack. Leaving it open for a scout to grab the flag and fly away.
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Credge
If a player is not familiar with the game, the spy is not the class for them.

The best way to understand, and get better, with a class is to use it in a way that is appropriate. Suggesting D spy is like suggesting O heavy .
O heavy works fine, what are you saying there?
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:04 PM   #12
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Its relatively annoying.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:25 PM   #13
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O heavy works fine, what are you saying there?
That it's useless? This isn't TF2.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Credge
That it's useless? This isn't TF2.
The biggest handicap a O Heavy has is that he's really a sitting duck. He's really not that fast on the move, but can give the enemy D a lot of hell. By himself, he won't last long with uber explosion spams and other crap like that.

However, he does do well for O support. But really, it's just that his speed SUCKS for O .
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:26 AM   #15
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I remember once, in Aadvark, the enemy team was running full O with the usual flag capping classes, a HWGuy and a Soldier. Too bad they didn't organise it well, since the main offense always died first because they got there faster, but when the HWGuy and the Soldier got there, they always crippled 1/2 of the direct combat D (our Soldiers, etc.)

So it's not that useless as it seems. Plus, you've got the mancannon.
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