Elephant in the room
For those of your who got no time reading long passages and just need quick advice on this bot, straight to addressing main questions:
- No, it is not OP
- Yes, it’s worth getting
Now that we addressed the most important questions, let’s proceed to a more in-depth analysis of the latest Pixonic walking (and flying!) war robot.
Initial community reaction to gliding bot was not really pleasant. It was called “Hot Air Balloon”, or just “Hoover”, because it supposedly “sucks”. Truth to be told, I didn’t like the concept back in the days on test server, too. Really, in the “Dash era” robot that is just 50 km/h, with less firepower than Dash and an ability that is EXPOSING you to enemy fire instead of dodging it? Such a concept can’t be a good idea. Nevertheless, I was eager to put my hands down on the live version of the bot, and I was never disappointed. Let’s see why, in details.
Expensive. Not true, because: currently, it’s the cheapest “component” bot in the game. It can be obtained with in-game offers for the reasonable exchange rate, won for FREE during New Year event or, of course, bought with hard-earned cash for the price of a Lancelot, which is, compared to Dashes or new weapons lineup is a reasonable price.
Sniper’s food. Not true because: you can just JUMP. Yes, you heard it right, Hover can just jump (or not jump at all) on sniper maps, not really exposing itself. And with 7 seconds cooldown and ability to change trajectory while flying, Hover is a better jumper than a Griff. And more than that, 50 km/h ground speed can provide swift transportation.
Too weak. Not true, because: Let’s compare it to some closest competitors, People’s choice award winner – the Griffin. Griffin got 1 light weapon more. So, what we gain with Hover by losing single light weapon?
Durability. Hover is 175K HP, while Griffin is 158K of hitpoints.
Speed. Hover is 50 km/h, Griffin is 35 km/h.
Cooldown time. Hover is 7 seconds, and Griffin is whooping 25 seconds.
This means that we trade 1 light slot for +17K hitpoints, +15 km/h, -18 sec cooldown and a longer, customizable jump.
So basically if you can run a Griffin – you can run Hover.
Only viable with Hydra-Spiral. Not true, because: see the previous point. Hover can be compared to a Griffin, and they are both definitely good fighters, not just campers.
Disclaimer: this section is gathered after extensive experimenting in Silver, Gold, Diamond and Expert leagues. No testing was done in highest leagues, so for Master or Champion dwellers – you should consider Hover as a bit faster, durable, better jumping Griffin.
Not so obvious things about using Hover
It is DURABLE.
Like, really durable. With the right loadout, it will outperform almost any light and medium bots, including Rogatka, Griffin, Carnage, Doc, Kumiho, Haechi and will be tough enemy for Lance, Leo, Natasha and Bulgasari (though technically it’s a medium).
It is FAST.
While ground 50 km/h running speed (which is on par with Galahad and 1 km/h slower than a Doc) is swift, true power comes if you combine it with 7-sec cooldown jump and, when the situation allows it, glide. How fast is the glide, you might ask? It is fast enough to make it to the centre of any map, save for Shenzhen, before Kumiho or Stalker arrives there.
Excellent weapon placement.
Contrary to Kumiho or Haechi, Hover got its weapons placed just right where they need to be to use cover. Cornershooting for mediums and above-obstacle shooting for light slots is as easy as a sea breeze.
Now this is thing you need to get used to. Glide got “fuel recharge” and “jump cooldown”, and those are not the same. Fuel is needed to keep you afloat, and it is automatically recharges all the time. Cooldown comes into play once your bot hit the ground, and it is NOT related to quantity of fuel left. So you can jump, spend 0.01% of fuel, but then touch ground and still get 7 seconds cooldown. Why it is a good thing? Easy – if you use fuel VERY sparingly, you can hover (sorry for my pun) just several meters above the earth, traversing low obstacles and doing it in crazy speed, superior than of a Stalker. Just keep on tapping, it can go on forever!
It can jump!
Not many WR journalists are pointing this ability out. But the Hover can have just a simple Griffin-style jump, with an ability to make it a bit longer, or a bit higher, and only 7 seconds cooldown. You don’t need to stay afloat – just use jump!
The least obvious thing – it is a normal bot!
If you can’t master glide, or don’t want to expose yourself – you still can pilot this 175K hitpoints, 3-hardpoint, 50 km/h bot as a Griffin or a Rog replacement.
ECU is an option
While us ing ECU is not advised for this bot, it is good to know Hover is not discriminated in any way.
Things that can spoil the fun
While Hover is really fun and highly recommended bot to get, it comes with flaws. And oh boy, there are many.
On any map, there is an invisible “ceiling” which you will hit if you fly high enough. Usually, by hitting it you will lose a good deal of fuel (most probably it’s a bug, though). Just avoid hitting it.
Weapons falling off too fast.
Hover hardpoints are pretty fragile (think “Patton” or “Griffin” style). Nothing can be done to avoid that.
This bot suffers from landing lag as much as Kumiho suffers from stumbling. Sometimes you need to let movement joystick go and press it again to start walking after landing. More than that, sometimes it happens after going down the steps.
Flexible fingers are needed.
To fly, shoot, aim, pick a direction you need at least two finger on the right part of a screen and one at the left. To change targets while firing (to keep Punishers spinning, for example) you need three fingers on the right side of a screen. Not impossible, but close to it. Or just use a PC emulator (sorry, iOS players!).
In addition to the fact you need to behave like Shiva to fly and shoot, sometimes nasty bug just make weapon stop shooting. Letting go and re-pressing fire button is advised.
Fuel indication problems.
Sometimes fuel reserves are shown as “empty” when in fact it is full. Minor annoyance.
Beacon can’t be capped from above!
Now this one is a real bummer. Hover MUST be hovering (pardon my pun again) above beacon to cap it, at ~20m max. Seems like beacon capping area is a sphere, which is as high as it’s wide. So, no capping from the sky is possible.
Target lock is a must.
With such great ability comes great targetability. To shoot the enemy you intended to while flying you must use target lock, otherwise, so many targets will just mess with your aim.
Once you enter free fall too fast you can’t recover, because you won’t have enough fuel. So, keep on tapping, not holding the ability button.
To make the most of Hover’s main asset – its speed and durability – good player need to work their distance, and use appropriate weapons.
Orkan-Pinata. If you compare Hover to a Griffin it’s only natural to suggest similar builds. However, this build suits Hover bad. Reason being 300m range is the shortest-range weapon, and Orkans got really long reload (and slow fire on reload fire rate). So it’s only valid for weaker targets, where you can close in and kill the enemy in 5 seconds or so. Otherwise any Plasma build will destroy you easily.
Taran-Magnum. A bit better than DB build, however same problems apply. A 350m range would not allow “outranging” most opponents. However the damage is really good, and it can be used in lower leagues. Hard to aim while flying.
Punisher. Now this one is really fun. Punisher T got better damage potential at 100m than a heavy Thunder, and a bigger clip. Range of 500m allows kiting just at 490m to kill off a Haechi, be it Taran or Orkan one. Drawback is well-known – long reload time. Might change with the introduction of a “reload” button… Also, due to big spread easy to aim while flying.
Molot. Situational build. Not really good at damage, slow reload and the small clip makes this one only useful for weak opponents countering or scare tactics. Do not recommend. Really hard to aim while flying.
Tulumbas-Pin. Better than Molot build, but still not really fun one. Griffin or Doc is better suited for such type of warfare. Agile bot must use it’s agility, and Hover is one of such bots. Really hard to aim while flying.
Spydra. While on paper it sounds fun, in actual battle Spydra can only save the day as the last bot. And because of 600m range and weapon specifics you don’t really need neither durability nor speed of a Hover. Don’t waste a good bot on this one.
Scourge-Gekko. Really good one. The range of 600m allows to be a nuisance, Gekko can finish off wounded enemies at 1100m, and once the enemy starts ignoring you – spiral down to maximize damage potential of Scourges, finish the enemy off and fly away. Due to Scourge lock-on suits flying bot really well.
Storm. Can be used with Punisher or upcoming Gust, or even Magnum. In its essence Storm is a better Punisher T. Same damage type, same spread, same range, but fire on reload and no need to keep the enemy in crosshair all the time, or accelerate the weapon.
Shocktrain-Gekko. Another nice build, but Shocktrain really shines in a group of three. And again, there is no need to kite while using it. So, save shocktrain for Bulgasari, Haechi or Fujin.