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The Shrike Role is an offensive and defensive support role played within Tribes: Ascend. The role revolves around using the Shrike vehicle to support the team in various scenarios. The role is generally played by a Technician, primarily because they can repair their Shrikes if it becomes too damaged, preventing the need to re-buy multiple Shrikes.
The player using a Shrike generally has two primary responsibilities that can be undertaken as needed.
- Chasing the enemy flag carrier: This is generally the highest priority responsibility of a player using a Shrike. As the Shrike is incredibly fast and is not slowed down by rough terrain as much as a flag carrier, it is very effective at catching up with enemy flag carriers and killing them by gunning them down or simply ramming into them.
- Escorting friendly flag carriers: A Shrike can be very useful for helping take down enemy chasers attempting to retrieve their flag.
In addition to these, a Shrike player if not occupied, or if there are multiple Shrikes active on a team, may need to perform the following:
- Harass the flag-stand: Shrike missles are very good at harassing an enemy flag-stand, and may help knock enemy HoFs off of the flag long enough for a capper to grab it. Skilled Shrike players can also avoid Saber missles launched at them by using poking tactics: attacking the base and maneuvering behind terrain or structures to block the missles.
- General base defense: It is not advisable to simply sit and wait for someone to grab your flag. If your flag is still on the stand, you can be more useful by assaulting incoming enemies around your base or in the midfield to help thin out what your defense needs to deal with.
- The primary weapon slot is up to personal choice, and can comprise of any of the Technician's main weapons. The primary weapon will generally not be used unless the Shrike is destroyed.
- Improved Repair Tool or Long Range Repair Tool: Taking a Repair Tool as a secondary enables you to repair your Shrike if it is damaged, helping to reduce any credit starving from needing to purchase multiple Shrikes.
- Sparrow: If your Shrike is destroyed during chasing, the Sparrow can offer a last-resort in killing the enemy flag carrier. However, it should not generally be taken without the Repair Kit.
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: A Shrike pilot will rarely get into close quarters with an enemy outside of his vehicle, so the Shotgun is a less useful secondary.
- TCNG or TCNG Quickfuse: Useful if you are forced out of your Shrike near the carrier, as you may be able to damage or kill the carrier or any escorts he may have.
- Motion Sensor: While good in theory for helping assist your friendly Technicians from Infiltrators, it is not very practical since you won't be outside of a Shrike often (ideally), and therefore wont have good opportunities to reset the Motion Sensors whenever they are triggered by enemy players.
- Repair Kit: Placing a Repair Kit on a secluded area can create a vehicle hub of sorts, allowing the pilot to return and repair his Shrike without having to leave his vehicle and be vulnerable for it. In addition, the Repair Kit allows for remote repairing of base assets without the Technician's presence.
- Light Turret or EXR Turret: While, like Motion Sensors, you may not have many opportunities to place your turrets, being able to place one down when you die before buying a new Shrike could benefit the team as a whole.
- Wheel Deal: This is generally considered the best primary perk for Shrike players. It reduces the prices of the Shrike initially, allowing you to have access to one earlier on in the game. Fully mastered, it will provide +25% energy on the Shrike, making it easier to catch up to enemy flag carriers.
- Safe Fall: This is a possible perk for Shrike players. While the concept of taking less damage falling out of a flying vehicle is good, generally needing to eject means that your Shrike is destroyed or close to being destroyed. In this case, you will most likely need to buy a new Shrike, in which case Wheel Deal may be the more beneficial perk.
- Pilot: Generally the only acceptable perk on Shrike pilots, this perk increases the health of the Shrike by 10% and provides an auto-eject incase the Shrike is destroyed, allowing you to continue assaulting the flag carrier if you are close enough. The auto-eject is also useful incase you need to destroy your Shrike while ramming it into the carrier.
- Many skilled Shrike players suggest increasing your mouse sensitivity to gain better control of the Shrike.
- If you get out of a Shrike at high speeds you will boost out of it and gain a fair amount of speed. This is great for grabbing the enemy flag.