Dispatches from Nosgoth #1: Stick together, humans!

Last Updated August 12th, 2014

If you haven’t yet given Nosgoth a try, you’re really missing out.

Nosgoth is a free-to-play, 3rd person PVP combat game from Square Enix which is currently in closed beta. It’s set in the world of the classic Legacy of Kain games, and pits teams of vampires against teams of humans in rounds of frenetic, fast-paced action. Classes of vampires and humans have wildly different abilities from one another, even before you factor in unlockable and purchasable abilities. You’re free to change to a different class any time you die, and strategies can change depending on the classes chosen by your teammates and your opponents.

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I’ve been playing the Nosgoth closed beta for a while, and really dove into it during the game’s recent free weekend event (hopefully we’ll see more of these events in the future, because the larger the player base for a game like this the better). While at first I was just drawn to the game because of my past love of the Kain titles, I’ve actually found the whole experience to be an incredible amount of fun. It’s a great balance of accessible for new players while still being strategic, and the “free-to-play” elements don’t seem obnoxious, at least at this early stage.

There are plenty of items and abilities to buy with in-game currency if you choose (currency which can either be slowly earned or purchased with real-world dollars) the things you can buy come with both bonuses and drawbacks (such as a gun with increased damage but slower reload) and sometimes require replacing core abilities outright (and the core abilities are usually quite useful on their own). While it will likely require constant tweaking by the developers at Psyonix to ensure the proper balance is maintained and that those who choose not to spend real money don’t feel as though they are at a disadvantage, at this early stage of things the model feels fair and well-designed.

basic nosgoth strategy

Human Survival 101

If you’re completely new to Nosgoth, here’s one tip that will instantly make you a better player:

Humans should stick together.

One of the most interesting things about Nosgoth is the difference in strategy between the human and vampires side. Humans, regardless of class, always have a ranged main weapon, whether it be a crossbow, regular bow, or some kind of gun. Vampires, on the other hand, have to be in melee range to use their basic claw attacks.

This single difference is critical, and the rest of the gameplay flows naturally from this beginning. Since the game’s maps are crowded with towers and buildings and tunnels, long sight-lines are rare. That means that it’s unlikely for the human team to get many chances to kill their enemies from far away — especially since a lone human lining up a distant vampire is a tempting target for a surprise attack from a closer foe.

Most often, if a single vampire catches a single human alone and the vampire has the element of surprise, the vampire will be the one to emerge alive. Even the most powerful human abilities are usually ineffective against a vampire that’s already in claw-range, and humans aren’t fast enough to outrun a pursuing vampire when they are on low health. And since vampires have the ability to climb walls and drop down onto their prey, pounce from long distances, or even fly, it can be difficult for a human to guard against every possible angle of attack.

That’s why it’s so important for humans to stick together.

humans stick together nosgoth

When four humans are watching one another’s backs in a defensible area of the map, they become an extremely powerful force. Suddenly you have four pairs of eyes rather than one watching for approaching vampires, and two or three humans firing at a single vampire is often enough to kill the enemy before it draws close enough to engage in melee range. Humans in a group can protect one another with their area damage abilities (though watch out for things like the Scout’s Volley, which will hurt humans as well as vampires) and, perhaps most importantly of all, can save allies caught by a Reaver’s Pounce ability or otherwise incapacitated.

Humans are also better in groups thanks to the different types of ranged attacks they have at their disposal. Firing and damage rates vary from class to class, and each can benefit  from the presence of others. Hunters, for example, have rapidly firing repeaters. They are great complements for Scouts, who fight with compound bows which take longer to aim, reload, and fire, but which do significantly more damage per hit.

nosgoth tyrant

Watch out for Tyrants! 

Of course, a group of humans sticking together doesn’t present an invincible obstacle to vampire players. Each vampire class has abilities that allow players to potentially break up or assault a group of humans. We’ll be discussing these abilities in more detail in future articles, but there is one danger that you need to be aware of right away as a human player: the Tyrant’s Charge ability.

Tyrant vampires are the largest and strongest of the vampire classes, front-line tanks that can potentially wipe out a disorganized group of humans. The Charge ability is the default primary ability for the class, and with it Tyrants can rush at great speed towards a cluster of humans, slamming into them and dealing damage as it sends them flying. If this assault is followed up by other vampires attacking the humans before they can recover, it can easily lead to a complete human team wipe.

To guard against a Tyrant Charge, it’s important to make sure your human group isn’t too tightly packed. Spread out a bit, and don’t forget to use your dodge ability in the face of a charging Tyrant, and with a bit of practice you should be able to deal serious damage to any vampire foolish enough to charge you.

Nosgoth on Steam

Play now! 

Now that you’ve gotten your first taste of Nosgoth strategy, it’s time to put it into action yourself. When you’re playing as a human, don’t just run off on your own — stay close to your teammates as much as possible. If your allies are scattering hopelessly, pop into team speak by pressing “T” and let them know “Humans should stick together!” You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Since Nosgoth is in closed beta, if you want to give the game a try you need to register and wait for your invite or buy a Founder’s Pack, which includes immediate game access as well as hefty amounts of in-game items and currency. Alternately, you could just watch yourstandard.us closely on Twitter. We have a few invite codes to give away, and we’ll be tweeting them out throughout the day. Once you have a key, you can enter it on the Nosgoth website.