REACH DAILY CHALLENGES: THAT PINK MIST

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Firefight
Tags:
THAT PINK MIST

Firefight

Special Weapon

Type: Special Weapon / Killstyle
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Grind
Time: 25-30 minutes (Concurrent with One Spartan Army Challenge)
Value: ★★★☆
Reward: 1000

Kill 70 enemies with a Supercombine from the Needler or Needle Rifle in Firefight Matchmaking.

Of all the Challenges today, this one’s the real pain in the, uh, forehead (hi, Kat!) — meaning it’s the one you’ll spend the most attention on. Because of that, we’ll go into a bit more detail, so pull up a chair.

OK, the Needler: An an unusual weapon ever since designers buffed it for Halo 2, with a Supercombine effect from needles microbursting after they strike; pin enough into a target, and the burst sets off a chain reaction for an instant-kill explosion. At the same time, though, this only works if enough hit before the first burst; stagger your shots, and you can empty an entire clip without ever triggering critical mass.

The effect also works differently on each class of enemy. Six needles will Supercombine a standard Grunt or Jackal; but Elites wear shields, so it requires seven to strip their protection before six more take them out. (And let’s not get started on Hunters.) But, at the rate the needles fire, it’s not like you can really keep count anyway.

The DMR Wannabe.

The Needle Rifle, meanwhile, Supercombines after only three shots against an unshielded opponent, but its autofire is pretty nerf — you can actually pull the trigger yourself just as fast. And, against an opponent without shields, why not just take a headshot and be done with it?

That said, it’s still pretty easy to Supercombine — particularly with the pistol, which features a homing reticule that aim-assists even stray shots while the circle stays red. This allows needles to bend around corners a bit, so you can dispatch an enemy even after you’ve lost line-of-sight.

Keep in mind, though, this actually works against you when firing into a pack: your reticule will flicker from one Covie to the next — especially as they maneuver under fire — meaning you might not successfully Supercombine any of them. It’s also a medium-distance weapon at best, so you’ll have to wade dangerously close to wild enemy fire rather than the much more sensible Needle Rifle strategy of picking off opponents from range.

The Halo 1 punchline, now packing some punch.


Yeesh! Already seems like a complete hassle, right? But wait, there’s more. In Firefight, most enemies – Grunts and Jackals – usually hit the dirt with remarkably little effort; in fact, until the Mythic Skull powers up, it’s pretty damn difficult to Supercombine a Grunt without accidentally killing him first. (Grunt leaders will sometimes hang on until the blast; standard Grunts, not so much.) So, unless you’ve got an open, uninterrupted shot, you might needle them to death inadvertently and miss the big blast.

With all that in mind, then:

  • Your best bet remains Firefight Arcade, which offers unlimited lives, unlimited ammo, spiffy overshields and — most importantly — two gametypes with more free Needles than a government giveaway program: FRGFight, which starts you with a standard Needler as your secondary, and PlasmaFight, which backs you up with a Needle Rifle.
  • You can still make significant progress toward this Challenge in any other Firefight that lets you pick up weapons: A scattering of Grunts will have armed themselves with basic Needlers, while Jackals remain otaku for the Rifle version, so you won’t have trouble finding these. But we’re not fans of the limited-ammo gametypes, since Needlers burn through ammo so alarmingly fast it’ll hardly seem worth it.

    A n00b combo, in a needle fight? Yep!

  • Elites, meanwhile, can be wily as hell in dodging fire; and, as noted above, they’re rocking Energy Shields, so you’d likely need a reload before a Supercombine even becomes possible. If you’re in a weapon-pickup gametype and hit a Wave of them, consider ditching one of your Needle weapons for a secondary Plasma Pistol; flash their Shields with an overcharge burst, then finish with the needle spray. When his Shields drop, the Dino will stand and howl in place like like a drag queen whose wig has been pulled off, making him an easy, stationary target.
  • Vote for wider, open maps, since enemy units will tend to spread out, giving you an opening to farm for Needle weapons without drawing fire from every Covenant on Reach. Plus you’ll be able to cut loose with an uninterrupted stream (Needler) or three steady shots (Rifle) without wandering around the middle of a plasma crossfire.
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Comments
  1. V Translanka says:

    Another good combo to consider with whichever Needle-weapon you’re most comfortable with getting supercombines with is the Grenade Launcher (assuming you’re in the right playlist and/or can pick one up from a Heretic)…

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