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RoboMonkey's: "- How to play Forward Observer, For Dummies -"

Fo's For Dummies

Hello, I'm RoboMonkey,...

... an active member of the Night of the Dead Community, artist, and one of the few players who has mastered and gained understanding of the Forward Observer Class (mainly the Mobile Infantry tree), and I often call myself "The FO Mini Master", and for that reason I was asked to do an in-depth guide for the Forward Observer. This guide is designed to outline the gameplay, tactics, and strategies for the Forward Observer Class. Hopefully by pouring my experience, my understanding, and my enjoyment, what I have written in this guide will help you if you're having any trouble or can't understand playing the Forward Observer.

General Introduction

Probably one the unique Classes of Night of the Dead, the Forward Observer serves the role of of a team's Support DPS (Damage Per Second). Both of it's skill trees, The Fire Support Tree, which allows the Forward Observer to use several different long-range attacks(Which include Artillery, Shockwaves, Aerial Bombers, and Napalm), and (my personal favorite), The Mobile Infantry Tree, which allows it to use "shock troops", which have 3 different attack modes (Marine, Flamethrower, and Marksman), allow it be versatile and deal with many situations.

Due to the fact that the FO's unique abilities allow it to gain Experience Points faster than most other classes, It has become ridiculed as an Experience Hoarder, or an "XP Whore", which has made it an unpopular Class among most of the Experiences NOTD Veterans, but enjoyable and exciting to use for players who are using it for the first time.

Terminology

(Note: If you haven't played Forward Observer or NOTD before, YOU MUST READ THIS PART)

Related to Forward Observer Class

  • FO: Forward Observer.
  • Artillery, Arty or Art: Fire Support Skill Tree/Fire Mission.
    • Shells: Fire Mission/Shockwave/Napalm shells.
    • Stunlock: Shockwave Barrage
    • Napalm: Napalm Barrage
  • Mini or MI: Mobile Infantry Skill Tree.
    • Minis: Mobile Infantry Units
    • Rines: Marine Mobile Infantry.
    • MM: Marksman Mobile Infantry.
    • Flamer: Flamethrower Mobile Infantry
    • Asgard/Gunship: TX-179 Asgard Gunship.

Related to basic Night of the Dead Gameplay

  • NM: Nightmare Mode, a game mode that radically increases the difficulty of the storyline it has been activated in.
  • Vet: A highly seasoned player,who has accumulated a lot of Experience Points from prolonged NOTD gameplay. Veterans can give helpful advice, so be sure to listen to what they say, and don't blatantly disregard what they have to say.
  • DPS: Damage Per Second, the primary term for the relative damage output in NOTD.
  • FF: Friendly Fire, certain attack from players can do damage to both enemies and teammates.
  • Spam: Using an ability repeatedly, as fast and as much as possible.
  • Tank: Any heavy class designed to absorb damage and taunt enemies.
  • Aoe: Area-Of-Effect, circular area a skill or attack is active within.
  • Kiting: A tactic which forces an enemy, mob, or boss, to follow you. Kiting involves keeping ahead of the unit so that it cant attack you, but not far enough ahead that it will break off it's pursuit. Kiting can also be used to slowly take down an enemy, by attacking, running ahead, attacking, running ahead, etc.

Description

Forward-Observer
Soldiers who have qualified to choose a specialization, Forward Observers are the pathfinders on the ground that zero in artillery and mark out drop zones. They are trained rigorously in all the doctrines of artillery, airborne firepower, troop deployments, and have the technical, communications, and tactical expertise to coordinate a strike on the enemy. They have permission to radio in F19 Bombers, call down Mobile Infantry via drop-pod, off map artillery strikes, and summon a legendary TX-179 Asgard Gunship. Their role on the ground is to provide the link to command for accurate and precise support. They have all the mobilized assets of the Marine Corps at their fingertips.

Availability

Unlocked

The Forward Observer is unlocked at 2000 Experience points. In order to be able to play it, you would first need to unlock the Alpha Company Campaign, which requires 1000 XP. You would then need the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (obtainable at 2000 XP), and at the least 60 hours of successful game-play(to accumulate that much experience).

Easy Company

Not accessible in this campaign, and is replaced by the Demolition. It can be played in Easy Company through Randomization, which requires a minimum 10,000 XP, 1700 Rating, and already having played the class. Should one be lucky enough to random a FO in Easy Company, it can be a significant help to the team in terms of support(what tree to use depends on the game's difficulty and squad rating).

Alpha Company

Naturally accessible, the Forward Observer is the 6th Class of Alpha Company. It replaces the Demolition from Easy Company, and the Chemical Expert of Apollo Security Team. The Forward Observers talents are perfect for this storyline, however higher SQ games usually demand the Forward Observer to utilize the Fire Support Tree if the team lacks enough DPS.

Apollo Security Team

Not accessible in this campaign, and is replaced by the Chemical Expert. It can be played in Apollo Security Team through Randomization, which requires a minimum 10,000 XP, 1700 Rating, and having already played the class.

Survival

Naturally accessible, as are all the other class, the Forward Observer isn't used as much as the other classes, usually due to the fact that the survival round needs very specific class abilities for a successful win, the fact that the FO "whores" Experience and all the classes need an equal amount of experience, and that the FO's abilities are limited in the number of uses and once those uses run out, it's absolutely useless

Role

The Forward Observer plays the role of Support DPS, mainly using long range attacks and close quarter attacks, but lacks physical strength. Forward Observers are slightly difficult to micromanage, and requires a player's absolute attention. Any player who's in control of a Forward Observer should familiarize themselves with the its abilities.

Fire Support

The Fire Support Tree is designed for long-range bombardment. Because your main role as Arty FO is to use incredible amounts of damage to thin out hordes of zombies from long range, you will need to stay with the group, so that your attention can be focused on coordinating attacks while not viewing your in-game unit. When playing Arty FO, one should only use your abilities when absolutely needed(due to the fact that unlike most of the other class abilities in NOTD, the FO only has a limited amount of uses for just about all its abilities). Late game you should use your abilities to take out large hordes, and only to attack bosses if they are far enough away. ALL YOUR ABILITIES AS ARTY FO ARE CAPABLE OF FRIENDLY FIRE, SO USE EXTREME CAUTION.

Mobile Infantry

The Mobile Infantry Tree is designed for close-range combat support. Due to the dynamic versatility of the mobile infantry to deal with an assortment of enemies, your role as Mini FO will allow you to do deal with a broader range of situations. All three types of Mobile Infantry are have there strengths and weaknesses, So you should learn what they can and cannot go up against. While playing Mini FO, you should keep your minis close to you. Pay attention to where you and your minis are at all times(due to the fact that unlike most of the other class abilities in NOTD, the FO only has a limited amount of uses for just about all its abilities). Mid-to-Late game your minis should be able to somewhat handle more powerful enemies, and you should use your TX-179 Asgard Gunship to help deal with some of the hordes, and even a boss, if it's needed.(See Mobile Infantry Skills below to learn how to use Gunship effectively).

Starting Skills & Passive Abilities

Starting Skills

Surveillance Flares (R)

The Forward Observer can deploy a surveillance flare, that costs 10 energy, and has a 30 second cooldown, that reveals an area all players can see. Reveals a larger area and lasts longer than Road Flares. Part of being an effective FO, is to constantly use surveillance flares the moment the cooldown has finished.

Passive Abilities

Adept Passive

The Forward Observer is one of the 4 classes (the other three are the Demolition, the Engineer, and the Tech) that can activate the Auto-Turrets at the Armory(2 players are needed to activate). In both the Alpha Company and Easy Company Campaigns, Auto Turrets are essential for holdouts in the Armory. In Easy Company, Turrets should be activated after Eos spawn(depending on where she appears on the map, you will either go to the Fortressor the Hill near EC start. In Alpha Company, you will activate them after the Armory Counterattack, while the tank goes to Find Charlie. Be careful when you, and the other player who can activate the turrets, go to the armory, for there may be a few stray zombies still out there.

Custom HUD Passive

  • The Forward Observer's ocular implants grant him extra control of his forces on the battlefield. Additional User-Interface is added when Fire Mission or Mobile Infantry are upgraded. If the player can find extra ocular implants, the Forward Observer will gain a wide field of vision.

Base Stats

Base Health: 160
Health Regen: 0.1718
Base Armor: 0
Base Shields: 20
Shield Regen: 1.5
Base Energy: 160
Energy Regen: 0.6992
Sight Range: 10
Move Speed: 2.48
Weight Class: Medium
Inventory Slots: 4
Modification Slots: 2

Stats Allocation

Strength

The Health boost will improve the Forward Observer's overall hp, life expectancy, and increase weight tolerance, making it one of the stats that FO's rely on for a variety of reasons. Increasing this stat can mean the difference between life and death for Arty FO's, as they do not have the protection of Mobile Infantry, fan have to rely on defensive countermeasures provided from another source(such as another player's assistance). I recommend you prioritize and balance this stat with both Perception and Intelligence stats.

Agility

Increasing the FO's Agility will raise it's speed and reload time. Only side effect of this is that if you're playing FO Mini, your speed will be faster than your mini's, depending on how much you raised your agility stat.

Perception

Will increase your FO's critical strike and detection radius. Seeing as how your detection is tied into your vision, increasing this stat can be critical into detecting cloaked units before they even get near the team. This can be crucial to Arty Fo's due to their attacks are long range, and need a high visibly margin. I recommend you prioritize and balance this stat with both Intelligence and Strength stats.

Endurance

Increases Health Regeneration and Ailment Resistance. Because the Forward Observer is a support unit, increasing this stat can be beneficial to your overall survival, should you contract an ailment, and cannot cure it immediately.

Intelligence

Probably the most crucial stat for the Forward Observer, increasing this stat will up your energy and energy regeneration. Increasing this stat can be effective for Arty FO's, as they they tend to use their abilities in massive quantities, which can drain energy very fast. I recommend you prioritize and balance this stat with both Strength and Perception stats.

Talent Trees

Fire Support

Forward-Observer2
When the Forward Observer is skilled in this tree he gains a new bar to his UI which controls the number of shells used in each artillery calldown. The shells can be set from 1 shell to 20 shells maximum per each barrage. The Forward Observer has 1600 shells only.

Tier 1

Fire Mission

(Q) - Calls in a artillery strike over a long distance that blasts a 7 area radius. The shells have a 8 second barrage calldown time. 50% more damage to Massive units. No cooldown. 8 energy cost. Friendly Fire Possible, USE EXTREME CAUTION.

Level 1 - Each shell deals 25 damage
Level 2 - Each shell deals 50 damage
Level 3 - Each shell deals 75 damage

Lunar Boosters

Upgrades made to the shells boost their orbital travel time making them reach their target area faster. Passive

Level 1 - Barrage time is reduced by 1.5 seconds
Level 2 - Barrage time is reduced by 3 seconds
Level 3 - Barrage time is reduced by 4.5 seconds

Tier 2

Shockwave Barrage

(W) - A modified artillery strike with no explosive warheads but rather are fitted with shockwave triggers that when they impact blast a 7 area radius stunning targets and reducing armor for a duration. The shells have a 8 second barrage calldown time. 7 second cooldown. 5 energy cost. Friendly Fire Possible, USE EXTREME CAUTION

Level 1 - Shells stun for 3 seconds, reduce armor by 2
Level 2 - Shells stun for 6 seconds, reduce armor by 4

Air Strike

(F) - Three F-19 Bombers fly over the designated area, bombing the location for massive damage within a 7 area radius. Stuns affected targets for 3 seconds. 45 second cooldown. 45 energy cost. Friendly Fire Possible, USE EXTREME CAUTION

Level 1 - Each bomb deals 75 damage
Level 2 - Each bomb deals 150 damage

Tier 3

Napalm Barrage

(G) - Calls in a artillery strike fitted with Inferno-Mk2 Warheads that when on impact ignite a area where each shell hits within a 7 area radius. 35 energy cost. The shells have a 8 second barrage calldown time. Friendly Fire Possible, USE EXTREME CAUTION, can kill other players if it makes contact with them.

Level 1 - Shells create fire pillars that burns targets nearby for 30 damage a second for 10 seconds. Enemies caught on fire move 40% slower.

Mobile Infantry

Teir 1

Forward-Observer1
When the Forward Observer is skilled in Mobile Infantry he will gain a new UI that shows how many Marines he can call down. Later when he skills Infantry Specialization he can customize the Marine type he can call down.

Mobile Infantry

(E) - Calls down an infantry unit. Defaults to Marine. Each active infantry unit reduces the Forward Observer's energy regeneration by 22%. Each level increases the limit of Mobile Infantry you can have on the field. 10 second cooldown. 30 energy cost. There is a limit of 9 Mobile Infantry total called down per mission (3 maximum at any time).

Level 1 - 1 Marine limit
Level 2 - 2 Marine limit
Level 3 - 3 Marine limit

Improved Equipment

Upgrades the infantry with more health, movespeed and damage. Passive

Level 1 - +10% HP and damage. +5% movespeed.
Level 2 - +20% HP and damage. +10% movespeed.
Level 3 - +30% HP and damage. +15% movespeed.

Tier 2

Flamethrower Specialization

The call-down infantry gain access to Flamethrower equipment. Infantry are changed via the menu already in place and the re-equip takes 3 seconds to complete. Ability found on the Infantry's command card

Level 1 - Allows infantry to use Flamethrower equipment
Level 2 - Flamethrower MK-3 projectile width increased by .15, increases Flamethrower's armor by 3 and grants Slow Roast.

Marksman Specialization

The call-down infantry gain access to Marksman equipment. Infantry are changed via the menu already in place and the re-equip takes 3 seconds to complete. Ability found on the Infantry's command card

Level 1 - Allows infantry to use Marksman equipment, including the new M45A Marksman Rifles, which has 16 range. 1.8 attack speed and deals 60 damage per hit.
Level 2 - Marksmen gain +15% attack rate, +4 sight range and grants Veteran's Focus (Q - +4 sight range and +15% attack damage for 10 seconds. 8 second cooldown. 12 Energy cost.)

Tier 3

TX-179 Asgard

(Y) - The Forward Observer takes control of a high flying support Gunship, using the players mouse for 60 seconds. The Gunships firing modes deals 100% more damage to Armored and Massive targets. When this skill is activated the Forward Observer will automatically follow the highest experienced player closest to him as a safety measure. 200 second cooldown. 65 energy cost. Friendly Fire Possible, USE EXTREME CAUTION

Level 1 - The Gunship has 1 firing mode...

Right Click

  • Gauss Cannon : Deals 80 damage within a 2 area radius with a 0 attack speed. Deals 2x damage to Armored units.

Talents and Builds

The order of abilities you can build work to accomplish one simple task.. Supporting the team to the best of the user's abilities. You must give it your all to accomplish whatever tasks and orders have been give to your. The Forward has the unique ability to gain Experience Points faster than most other build, so you can usually fill an entire Skill Tree by the end of the game, but don't rely on that to help you create an effective build tree.Remember.. you're role of the Forward Observer can be vital to whatever game it's in.(NOTE: if you raise your class point for Demolition, Forward Observer, and Chemical Expert, to 20 points, you can start any game with two experience points which can aid you greatly at the beginning of the game)

Fire Support Skills

Fire Mission

Beyond a doubt... Fire Mission is the arty FO's main means of long range attack. It has the longest range of any ability in NOTD(for example its can reach most of the Nydus Worm spawn locations during the holdout from "EC MUTA" in the airlock.) Perfect for dealing with large mobs of small enemies from long distance, or whittling down the HP of big units before they reach you and your team. Make sure you keep an eye on your shell count, cuz you only have 1500 of them, and they are shared between Arty, Shockwave, and Napalm, so once they're gone.. they're gone.

Lunar Boosters

A skill that increases the speed and timing it takes for Artillery, Shockwave, and Napalm Shells to hit the ground.

Shockwave Barrage vs Airstrike

Shockwave Barrage and Airstrike are both two very unique skills. Shockwave, while not doing any damage itself, is specifically designed to stunlock enemies so they cant move. This is perfect, for what's a better target than one thats not moving. As well as stunning enemies, they reduce armor, therefore making stunned units more susceptible to damage. Bombers, are the only ability of the Arty FO, that doesn't use shells. Bombers do considerable damage (enough to kill an entire team), and also stun targest for a short while.

Napalm Barrage

One of the most devastating abilities of any class(it's right up there with the Commando's Nuke and the Chemical Expert's Scorched Earth), The Naplam Barrage has enough destructive power to kill just about anything that comes into contact with it, and those who do survive it.. just spread the Napalm to others. Any unit that comes into contact is slowed.

Fire Mission Builds

Your build should be to ensure the maximum possible damage output and work its way to Napalm as fast as possible. There is never one perfect build. There are some "mainstream" builds, but in the end its all up to you to decide. Listed below are a few examples of talent builds for the Fire Mission Forward Observer.

Mainstream Build

  • 3 Fire Mission
  • 1 Lunar Booster
  • 1 Shockwave Barrage
  • 1 Airstrike
  • 1 Shockwave Barrage
  • 1 Airstrike
  • 1 Napalm Barrage
  • 2 Lunar boosters

The most commonly used build for any Forward Observer going Arty, perfect for just about all enemies. Allows for maximum shell damage early in the game, while sacrificing Lunar Boosters which can reduced barrage time. When enough Experiance has been gained, the player can either choose their first EXP Level 5 ability, which can either be Airstrike or Shockwave Barrage. Once those two abilities have been maxed, you can access Napalm.However most players change trees and divert all the XP points they get, after the obtaining Napalm, to the Mobile Infantry Tree, adding some support from minis in the late game. Overall this build is just right for all missions, in all 3 storyline. I Highly Suggest To Anyone Playing ARTY FO To Use This Build.

"Make'n Craters"

  • 3 Fire Mission
  • 1 Lunar Booster
  • 2 Airstrike
  • 2 Lunar Booster
  • 1 Napalm Barrage
  • 0 Shockwave Barrage

This build focuses everything on all out DPS. By utilizing only the skills that provide damage(Arty, Bombers, and Naplam), and completely skipping over the Shockwave Barrage ability, try and get Bombers ASAP, while still having enough fire power early to mid game. This type of tallent build is perfect for holdouts involving hordes of small to meduim units, such as, Zombies, Ghouls, Hulks, Immortals, and Stalkers, in holdouts like the ones in Easy Company and Alpha Company. However units like Agrons and Titans can usually take a bulk of the damage and walk right through them, but once u reach Naplam, just about nothing will beable to make it through a barrage. All things considered this is a perfect talent build for remodeling landscape... without the hassle of contractors.

"Dazed and Confused"

  • 3 Fire Mission
  • 1 Lunar Boosters
  • 1 Shockwave Barrage
  • 1 Lunar Booster
  • 1 Shockwave Barrage
  • 1 Lunar Booster
  • 1 Napalm Barrage

This build is designed more for a support role, more specifically, stunning units and letting your team take them down. Obtain all 3 fire missions first, then begin to balance Shockwave with Boosters, so that when you do use Shockwave, your barrages will be more accurate and not miss anything.A build type like this is more adjusted for units heavy units like Agrons, Titans, Devourers, and certain bosses. It is, however not suited to large groups of smaller units. Aside from that, This is just the right build for making your enemies dizzy... right before they die.

Fire Support Tactics

"Arty Scouting"

Based after FlintLockwood's "Nuke Scouting", back when the Ops Commando's Tactical Nuke had an infinite range. The same principle applies here, except one would need to set their Fire Mission Shell Count to one, so as to not waste as many as possible(because you only have a limited amount of shells). The trick would be to use the fire mission to scout the edges of its range, to try and find items of use. When the artillery shell hist the ground, it reveals the area around it, so you would have to play close attention to when the shell would go off, becuase you would only have about a few second to see the area. I would recommend putting about 100 shells aside just for scouting.

Combining Shockwave Barrage & Airstrike

A combo of both Bombers and Shockwave... is an exetremely effective manuever. The combined stun of the Shockwave and Bombers, added with the Shockwave armor reduction and the DPS of the bombers, can do a considerable amount of damage to units in the target area. A combo move like this is good for dealing mobs of smaller units with light armor.

Combining Shockwave Barrage and Nalpam Barrage

Combining the Stunlock of Shockwave and the DPS and Movement Reduction of Napalm, can basically bring units in the AoE to a "Dead" Stop(pardon the pun). A combo attack like this is perfect for dealing with units that have high armor like Agrons, Titans, Devourers.

Combining Airstrike and Napalm Barrage

Combining the stun of Airstrike and the Movement Reduction of Napalm, and both there combined DPS, is perfect for enemies like Stalkers and Slashers.

All Three at Once

The result of using all three of these abilities at once... pretty much an inferno of fire with very stunned, very dead or dying units. Use at your own discression but be careful about other teamplayers in the area.

Mobile Infantry Skills

Mobile Infantry

The Mobile Infantry, Infamous for being called "Minis", are the ultimate source of Short Range/Melee Support.. Called Down via Drop-pod, each Marine instantly ready for combat, Unlike the main classes, minis do not have an inventory or can equip/unequip weapons, but the do no require ammo. Each MINI FO can have a maximum of three Minis on thebBattlefield at any time (six on reserv stand-by, nine total per mission)

Improved Equipment

A skill that increases the speed, DPS, and health of your Mobile Infantry.

Flamethrower Specialization vs Marksman Specialization

Two similar and, yet, completely oppisite, Ying & Yang, the Flamethrower and Marksman Specializations are cruical to any MINI FO,and their Minis. The Flamer Configuration, without a dout, is perfect for dealing with mobs of small light armored units, and taking down single armored units, can become even more dangerous when it's upgraded with the Slow Roast ability, while the MM Configuratuion is adept at taking down single light units with one shot.

TX-179 Asgard

Probably one of the greatest weapons of all time... Is the Legendary TX-179 Asgard Gunship. With a weapon that has a 0.0 Attack speed (meaning it fires instantaneously), and an attack that does 2x and 100% more damage to Armored and Massive Units, there is no better weapon for killing all the big guys, and even bosses (consult with the rest of your team before you engage your Asgard during a boss battle) One thing to make sure of, is that whenever you use yoru Asgard. type in the chatbox [ -gbuddy x ]. The "" would be replaced by the number of one of your teammates (1-8), for while your using the Gunship, you cannot control your FO or minis, until the Asgard leaves the combat zone after 60 seconds. during this time, you're FO and minis would automatically lock on and follow your "Gbuddy" for protection. Make sure your chose a Gbuddy who can keep you safe, and not someone that might go rushing off or go AFK. Aside from that, theres nothing more fun than using the the city-leveling firepower of your Asgard Gunship... Enjoy.

Mobile Infantry Builds

Below are some example builds for a Mobile Infantry Forward Observer.

Mainstream Build

  • 3 Mobile Infantry
  • 1 Improved Equipment
  • 1 Flamethrower Specialization
  • 1 Marksmen Specialization
  • 1 Flamethrower Specialization
  • 1 Marksmen Specialization
  • 1 TX-179 Asgard
  • 2 Improved Equipment

The build most players playing Mini FO use. Allows for balanced marine types midgame, but sacrifices fully increasing Minis' HP, Damage, and Movespeed until after unlocking Gunship. However most players change trees and divert all the XP points they get, after the obtaining the Gunship, to the Artillery Tree, adding some new abilities and DPS in the late game. This build allows you to use all three of the Mobile Infantry's Specializations, allowing them to deal with any and all enemies. I personally would recommend filling the Mobile Infantry Tree completely, and only after that begin to fill the arty tree with any XP points I get afterwards. Overall this build is adequate for all missions, in all 3 storyline. I Highly Suggest To Anyone Playing Mobile Infantry FO To Use This Build.

"3 Lil' Grunts"

  • 3 Mobile Infantry
  • 3 Improved Equipment
  • 1 Flamethrower Specialization
  • 1 Marksmen Specialization
  • 1 TX-179 Asgard

This particular build focuses on a general "all around" constant damage output, using only Marine Minis. Allows fully improved minis early to mid game, but sacrifices both the level 2 Flamer and MM specializations with special abilities. By using this talent build, one can max both the Mini limit and Improved equip by early to late-early game rather easily Marines fire a continueous burst of fire, which means the can moderately deal with all enemies, but should probably avoid as much damage as possible. But by the time your done with your enemies, they will be riddled full of bullet holes.

"Barbeque Chef"

  • 3 Mobile Infantry
  • 1 Improved Equipment
  • 2 Flamethrower Specialization
  • 2 Improved Equipment
  • 1 TX-179 Asgard
  • 0 Marksmen Specialization

A build that focuses everything on crowd control and facetanking, using only the Flamethrower Specialization. Using this build, equipping a Flamethrower MK-3 to your Forward Observer, and using Slow Roast can be highly effective against medium hordes of enemies such as Zombies, Ghouls, Hulks, Immortals, Brain Bugs, Huggers, Banelings and Blindlings, Broodlings spawned by Lelanthos, and taking down single foes like Agrons and Stalkers. Large groups of the latter two can be deal with by kiting. It's even effective against bosses like Zeus & Leto, Perses, Erebos Forms 1 & 2, and Demeter, thought only skilled players should attempt it against bosses. This build however is ineffective against large groups of Infested Marines, Devourers, and Beastlings, or taking on single units like Titans. It has no effect against flying units (except for Perses). A few missions(depending on the game's difficulty) that are perfect for this build are Airlock Holdout, Civilian Escort, and Destroy the Zombie Eggs, in Easy Company Campaign, and Protect Tanaka in Alpha Company Campaign. When using this build I would recommend being cautious about what you go up against. Try not to take on to large of a mob. Aside from that, it's a great build to make enemies nice and crispy.

"Sniper Team"

  • 3 Mobile Infantry
  • 1 Improved Equipment
  • 2 Marksmen Specialization
  • 2 Improved Equipment
  • 1 TX-179 Asgard

This build focuses on talking out stuff before it even reaches you, using only the Marksman Specialization. While using this build, if you equip a M45 Marksman Rifle to your Forward Observer, and use Veteran's Focus, you can become an effective sniper team, and deal with enemies from long range. A build like Perfect for taking down Gargoyles, Wraiths, and Stranglers. It's good against small groups like Zombies and Infested Marines, while Stalkers and Devourers can be dealt with if they are far enough away. Agrons can slowly be taken down by kiting, and this can be basically done to all the large enemies (not including bosses) in the game... but it will just take a a lots of time. A few example mission for this type of build could be Nydus Worms Mission and Black Ops Battle The one thing this build can't do is take on huge mobs at close range, so I suggest you try avoid situations like that, Overall... pretty good build to deal with leaving enemies with a hole were there forhead used to be.

"Buddy System"

  • 1 Mobile Infantry
  • 3 Improved Equipment
  • 2 Flamethrower Specialization
  • 2 Marksmen Specialization
  • 1 TX-179 Asgard

A build rarely used, due to the fact that it's very ineffective, and limited to only a few situations. Essentially this build allows you to max the Attack, Health, and Movespeed of a single Mini, very early in the game. Upgrading it with Marksman Specialization give you a Upgrading it with Flamethrower specialization would allow the mini to become a very basic, weak, and expendable, facetank. I do not recommend using this build, unless your in a pub, your really bored, and just wanna spice things up.

"Fellowship of the Minis"

  • 2 Mobile Infantry Forward Observers
  • 6 Mobile Infantry (3 per FO)
  • 2 Improved Equipment (1 per FO)
  • 4 Flamethrower Specialization (2 per FO)
  • 4 Marksmen Specialization (2 per FO)

An exceptionally & extremely rare build that, to my knowledge, Only I Have Used. The first time was in a an Alpha Company game, the second was in a Public Easy Company game. In both cases, the team has 2 MI FOs(myself and one other), and in both games both the other Forward Observers left, allowing me to take control of the leaver, their minis, and talent tree. The power of 6 Mobile Infantry... is incredible. With it, I cleared about 85% of the Eggs in the Airlock(flamer minis), dealt with most of hordes of zombies from Dome A (Flamers), Dome B (MMs), Dome C (Rines), in the Pub. In the Alpha, I took down a good portion of the ground hordes during the Lab Holdout (Flamers), and staved off hordes until perseus appeared (Combo of MM and Rines). If you are ever lucky enough to end up in a situation that would allow you to use this... TAKE IT, YOU WONT WANNA MISS USING A BUILD LIKE THIS :D

RoboMonkey's Build - "Crimson Squad"

  • Exactly the same as the "Mainstream Build", but with a twist.

Aight, so my personal build is just like the mainstream build most people use... HOWEVER, when most people use a specialization, they tend to set all three minis to it. About 50% of the time, when I max both the Flamer and MM specializations, I've been known to use all three specializations at once.though most people see this as useless and kind of pointless, the use of all 3 specializations at once can be extremely effective... but how to make them effective... that's something you'll have to figure out yourselves. Oh C'mon... you didn't honestly think I'd give away the secret to my personal build?

Cross Builds

Below are some example builds for a "Hybrid" Forward Observer.

Hybrid Build 1

  • 1 to 3 Mobile Infantry
  • Rest goes to Fire Support Tree

A build that allows you to have the support of one to three mobile infantry units, while using the Fire Support Tree. It's main purpose is to allow an Arty FO to have additional support and close range fire power of the Mobile Infantry, which can also be helpful in gaining some extra Experience in early game. If you do choose this build, just remember, the more points you spend in the Infantry Tree, the less likely you'll get Napalm in the Arty Tree.

Hybrid Build 2

  • 1 to 3 Fire Mission
  • Rest goes to Mobile Infantry Tree

A build that allows you to have the long range damage of one to three Fire Mission, while using the Mobile Infantry Tree. It's main purpose is to allow a Mini FO to have additional DPS and long range bombardment power of Artillery, which can also be helpful in gaining some extra Experience in early game. If you do choose this build, just remember, the more points you spend in the Arty Tree, the less likely you'll get Gunship in the Infantry Tree.

Items and Equipment

Weapons

Even though the Forward Observer falls under the category of a DPS Class, none of it's abilites in either tree increase the damage output or affect any weapon it's holding. Therefore most of the weapons in ths game are useless in the hands of a FO. I personally recommend when playing Forward Observer is to have a M45 Marksman Rifle and Flamethrower MK-3 as your primary weapons.

UA GPR-12

Gauss Rifle
The weapon that most classes come equipped with. It's a, common, basic weapon, usually good for the early part of the game, just about always discarded for a better weapon. My suggestion is you replace this weapon as soon as you find a better one, but make sure the weapon you find inst something that another class could benefit more than you could. My personal recommendation is to get rid of it and replace it with a M45 Marksman Rifle...

M45 Marksman Rifle

Sniper Rifle
It is my personal opinion... that all Forward Observers should come equipped with the anti-personnel M45 Marksmen Rifle. It's ammo friendly, very common and easy to find, good range, deals with basic minions with one hit, perfect for anti-air... just right for a support unit like the Forward Observer. Only downside is that it doesn't deal well with large mobs, or single armored units like Agrons or Stalkers. If you are playing FO MINI, this weapon is perfect to add to your damage output if your using Marksman Minis.

Flamethrower MK-3

Flamethrower MK-3
A weapon like the Mk-3 Flamethrower, is one of the best weapons for ground vs ground. It's one of the few weapons that does damage to biological units, which is about n90% of all the enemies in the game. Add it's armor reduction ability, and this weapon is perfect against just about all ground units. The only drawback is that it cant take down flying units. If you are playing FO MINI, this weapon is perfect to add to your damage output if your using Flamethrower Minis.

XM814 Heavy Machine Gun

Heavy-machine-gun-icon
This weapon... should most definitely not be used by a Forward Observer. It would be better suited for a real DPS class, like the Commando or Assault. However... if you happen to be playing with me... and you happen to see the word "VERNA!" pop up on the screen... then that mean's I've somehow obtained a HMG... and there's very little chance of me giving it back, LOLZ.

Armors

Armor in Night of the Dead works on a dynamic basis, which factors in what you are being attacked with and by.

C2

C2-armor

The most basic and common armor in NOTD. Multiple can be found in every game. The C2's effect is minimal, but it doesn't hurt to have protection, and it's better than going through an entire game exposed.


C4

C4-armor
Next best thing to C2 Armor. In low SQ games, C4 usually goes to the team's tank, but if you find a spare don't hesitate to use it. It could mean the difference between winning a game or loosing one.


C6

Vehicle plating 3
Even Though it's better than C4, this armor should almost always go to a tanking class. It's weight reduces the movement speed of whatever class is wearing it, there is only one per Campaign, and the FO really has no use for it.


Reactive Armor

Btn-upgrade-terran-infantryarmorlevel3
Reactive Armor takes any damage below 100 and converts it to a maximum of 25. This type of armor is perfect for any tanking class. The Forward Observer has no need to wear one, except in the Survival Mode, and even then, only if there is a spare.


Kinetic Armor

VanadiumPlating
Kinetic Armor reduces incoming ranged attacks of up to 200 damage to a maximum of 14. This type of armor is perfect for any tanking class. The Forward Observer has no need to wear one, except in the Survival Mode, and even then, only if there is a spare.


XS-4 Armor

XS-4-icon
Unlike the other armors, XS-4 Armor affects only shields The majority of Hits are few in nature. XS is rare, and several other classes can make better use of it. It's highly coveted by Fortitude Demos and Pathfinders, but FO can make good use of it as well seeing as how his base shields are at 20 and his base armor shields are at 0, but only if no one else needs it. However I advise on using an armor like C4, as XS only increases shields and not base armor, cuz once shields go down, you gonna want some armor protection.

Modifications

The Forward Observer really has no real needs for Modification items, and the only real mod's an FO needs are basics such as occs and thermals.

Ocular Implants

Ocular-implants
Probably the most useful and important Modification for a Forward Observer, which increases his sight range. Combining the FO's innate ability Custom HUD with occs can greatly increase the FO's sight. I recommend if you find a pair of occs.. use 'em.


HE Ammo

High-explosive
The only useful ammo mod for an Arty Forward Observer, due to the fact this ammo applies a 50% fire vulnerability to whatever is hit by your attacks. This can be very useful for your Fire Missions and Napalm Barrages, but should only be equipped if no one else needs the mod. Priority for HE Ammo goes to a DPS class, like Operations Commando, Arms Assault, Pyro Flamethrower, and Explosives Demolition.

AP Ammo, HP Ammo,High-Capacity Magazines, NHA, CMA, and Arcs

None of these modifications help the Forward Observer in any "real" way beneficial to the team, and other classes need them far more than you. Only if their is an massive abundance of items, and your allies have what they need, should you be using any of these.

Personal Gameplay Tips

Fire Mission

  • For the love of god... READ THE ABILITY DESCRIPTIONS CAREFULLY. You will not believe how often a first time Arty FO will think it's absolutely 100% safe to call down Bombers... or even worst... a Napalm Barrage, in the middle of the team, because there are a few zombies mixed in with yah.(I guarantee, most first time arty Fo's will do this, so read this -> DON'T ARTY THE FRELL'N TEAM!)
  • If your artying in the "fog of war"(the giant black thing all over the map), make sure you're with the team, because your camera maybe be half way across the map while your laying down multiple barrages, and suddenly... YOUR DEAD., because a single zombie popped up and attacked you, and you didn't get the "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" quote from your FO... also sometimes the "hold position button" works really well.

Mobile Infantry

  • Microing your FO, and your Minis is a full time job. it can be very easy to sometimes leave a mini, or even your FO behind you can manage this by using the StarCraft II Control Groups.
  • MINIS ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS, so use them sparingly. Keep an eye on their health. One way to heal them directly, if there's no medic or the medic can't get to them, is to use Fibrin Bandages, so carry some with you.

Stuff to Know

The most important things to keep in mind when playing with or as a Forward Observer, are...

  • Be mindful of other players around you. for your abilities can easily kill one or more players, and NEVER KILL ANOTHER PLAYER INTENTIONALLY, for it will most likely ruin the outcome of the game, severely affect your Rating and Karma in the long run, and it just bad gamer etiquette...
  • Experience Gain. The Forward Observer can easily and sometimes excessively out-level the rest of the team, so exercising restraint is important. Don't go out of your way to level faster than the rest of the team, but try to be mindful not to level to slow, for your abilities can and are crucial to the team.
  • Stick with your teammates. Don't go off on your own, even if you see another player doing it. This game is about teamwork, and players who wander off usually end up dead. Only a few classes, such as Mobility Recon and Subtlety Marksman, have the abilities to safely go off on their own, but even they can die. If a high ranking veteran says "Don't follow me"... then don't follow them.
  • Listen at all Times There is no one better than a player with a ton of XP, and their advice can be very beneficial. Veteran get to be the way they are, because they listened. Not listening will usually get you or another player killed. If a high ranking veteran says "Don't follow me"... then don't follow them.
  • NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER Kill Another Player's FO's Minis. Doing so can make your XP drop like a rock, and prevents the FO from using it's abilities and contributing to the team's survival. Killing one Mini will reduce your Rating and Karma by 10 points. Killing a second will drop both by 100 (I think, something around that number).
  • Know that I, RoboMonkey, Am The Eternal "FORWARD OBSERVER MOBILE INFANTRY MASTER'©'" This Title Cannot Be Obtained By Anyone Else... EVER AGAIN. THIS IS CANT BE CHANGED, EVEN IN THE EVENT OF MY DEATH. (so basically... I just copyrighted the title... XD)
  • The title "Forward Observer Artillery Master" is still up for grabs... so you can all fight over that.

Conclusion/Personal Thoughts n' Stuff

So... we've final made it to the end of the guide. I hope my insights and advice will allow you to become more familiar in playing the Forward Observer class. Now, I'd like to answer a question a few of you are asking yourself... "Why the Hell is this guys so obsessed with FO?!"

When I first played the FO... I immediately fell in love with it and not just with it's abilities.. but with the whole damn thing. To me, the unit model is unique in both design and aesthetics. As some of you know from playing the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Campaign, the Forward Observer uses the Jim Raynor(Commando) Unit Model, from the mission "Belly of the Beast". I mean... FFS... the model comes with a Giant-Ass-Sniper-Rifle-of-Awesomeness.
Foward Observer
Robo FO Wikia Pic
Not only the has this unit affected my online life... but it's changed my real world life too. It has allowed me to evolve an artist. Ever since my I began playing the Forward Observer, my artistic style has improved and gotten better Never before has something influenced my art like my obsession/love towards this unit(and subsequently towards Night of the Dead as well)before my FO days... all i was doing, artwork wise, was giant robots, with basic color schemes. A year later and all I can do is NOTD related artwork, with lighting, contrast, shadowing, glow effect. In a nutshell... my artwork has improved so rapidly because my interest Game and the Forward Observer

I mean... it takes real... passion... to commit to a project that can take days, even weeks, to complete. The picture you see above is the very first Forward Observer peice of art I did, back in January of 2013. The one below is one I did in December of 2013. Just looking at them, you can see the obvious improvements in style and detail.

Now, as a mentioned at the beginning of the guide, the Forward Observer is not the most popular class in the game. As one of the Veterans/ Well-known Community Members.. others have haves shown their "disapproval" towards the fact that I love to play this class, specifically the fact I love to play Mobile Infantry FO. One person even went as far as to try and convince me to stop playing FO, and to give up my hopes and dreams of being an artist... simply because there's little profit. Well guess what... I don't play FO or do my artwork, or any of this for profit.. I do it because I love and enjoy it, and if you can't understand that... that's your problem.

Getting back on track... what I'm trying to convey here... is that because of this one, single unit, in an online game, has affected 2 years of my life in a way I can only describe as "Wondrous". Without the Forward Observer... I think my life would have gone in a totally different direction, and I wouldn't be writing this guide right now.

I hope all of you can find enjoyment in part of your lives, like the way I have with the Forward Observer.

To-Do List (for this guide)

  • Get some in-game pictures to use as examples.
  • Come up witha few more tactics.
  • Possibly come up with some Storyline Specific walkthroughts for the Forward Observer(?)
  • Other stuff I can't think of right now....(LOLZ)

Credits and Thanks to....

  • Thermidor and Unknown Soldiers: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to make this guide.
  • Niteshade: Your guide allowed me to make mine, and were all glad your back in the NOTD Community.
  • Kithrixx and ArcanePariah: For designing this class, long before I joined Night of the Dead. Without this class... I probably would have never of stayed on passed the first month of playing this game.
  • EdAWACSdenyY: For sharing my enthusiasm for this class with me, and just being there as a friend.
  • EpicDrunk(or whatever his name has changed to when you're reading this): For being a good friend.
  • HarryDresden: The friend who doesn't give a flip about anything... thanks for being there.
  • MissHumpz: For calling me "sweetie", taking an active interest my progression as "The FO MINI MASTER"... and being the "Cool-Gamer-Chick-from-Down-Under".
  • All those ppl who say "You suck as FO": Your negative comments have only helped to reinforce my love and skills... you can tell me I suck.. but all your doing is making me a better FO.
  • All the ppl who support my Artwork: There will always be more of my artwork... until the day I die... or go old, senile, and wrinkly. O_o
  • All the little ppl who's names I can't think of a this very moment or list cuz it would take up most of the guide.: Keep playing NOTD and have fun.


Keep playing Night of the Dead... GLHF... RoboMonkey out :D

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