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h3gi

A Spy Compendium

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First off, this is a nod towards Mr Pain's "How To Play" tutorials, tricks & tips threads. In the following guide, I will explain what I have learned in my experience playing the Spy, along with some of my personal strategies coupled with differing views and riddled with useful tips. Some of it is common knowledge, while there may be new information on familiar items.

THE SPY

spycostume_2.jpg

Stats:

HP: 125

Type: Support

Movement Speed: 100%

Master deceiver, the sneaky assassin extraordinaire hails from an undetermined region of Western Europe. He puts his life on the line behind enemy lines to gather information before killing whichever target needs to be killed, before anyone notices. With his handful of gadgets and his trusty butterfly knife, The Spy is greatly feared, and rightly so.

The Spy is a high-risk, high-reward class. First-time users will be freaked out at the thought of becoming discovered, with the inevitable shout of glory upon the first successful backstab, regardless of survival thereafter. Good spying requires quick reflexes, knowing the lay of the land, and understanding both teams' strategies, along with which gadgets to use and when.

WEAPONS

1. Revolver:

Damage: 55-60 (120 crit)

Range: Long

Clip size: 6 (24 stored)

Reload: 1 second per clip

The Revolver is the Spy's primary weapon. It fires single-shot rounds at a decently fast speed and decent accuracy. It is one of the most effective weapons at long range, and can surprise enemies who don't expect a Spy to do damage from afar, especially while fleeing. The damage is very good; combined with the rate of fire, this weapon should not be underestimated. Knowing when to pull out your revolver could save your life, and be the death of another. Generally, you can use it when you're not in enemy territory and are relatively safe in your position. Or you can use it to surprise enemies from behind, just make sure you're not seen by more than a few enemies. Additionally, if you're disguised and the enemy knows/is attacking you, you can unload some damage while retreating to find health packs or ammo for your cloak if either is low. This is especially true if you know you will die before you can get within stabbing range of anyone. Revolvers are also a good answer to enemy Spies, and are fairly effective on mobile units like the Scout and Medic.

2. Electro Sapper:

Damage: Damages Engineer buildings over time

Destroys level 1 buildings in 6 seconds

Destroys level 2 sentry in 7 seconds

Destroys level 3 sentry in 9 seconds

Range: Melee

Clip size: Unlimited (no reload)

This is the Spy's answer to any Engineer building. Not only does this disable the building, but will destroy it in seconds if left alone. But two wrench hits will knock off the sapper, restoring its function and allowing the Engineer to repair it. Getting behind enemy lines and sapping all the teleporter entrances can be highly effective, as they are generally unprotected and will slow down the entire team's movement. To use it, select it as your weapon, then when you're in melee range, aim at a building and a white outline of where the sapper will appear will appear. Then simply press Mouse1. Sapping may be done without interrupting your disguise; therefore, a lone sentry is a dead sentry. Tricks against a sentry with an Engineer protecting it will be explained in-depth at a later section. If there is a lot of enemy support around a key sentry that is holding back your team, you should coordinate, preferably through VoIP, with a teammate or two so that while you sap the sentry, disabling it, a teammate can come in and attack it without getting attacked back. This is highly effective with friendly Demomen and Soldiers. Also, it is of use noting that "spam sapping" may be accomplished by holding down Mouse1. You don't have to keep clicking it; holding it down will cause you to use it whenever a target is available. Thus, you can run towards a sentry holding Mouse1 until you get in range in order to sap it at maximum distance if you need to.

3. Butterfly Knife:

Damage: 28-54 (no random crits), instant kill when stabbing from anywhere 180 degrees behind the enemy

Range: Melee

Clip size: Unlimited (no reload)

ph33r t3h n!f3. Whenever the power of a 1 shot kill is given to a player, the whole of a class strategy may be based upon using that power to its full advantage. Though third on the roster, the knife is quite indisputably the weapon of choice in assassination. Getting behind the enemy is the main problem. The most common and safest way is to first put on a disguise, then when given the chance, place yourself behind an unsuspecting enemy and stab away. You can tell if it's a backstab because pressing Mouse1 while in range of a back will produce an alternate stab animation: the Spy raises his arm for a split second before sending the knife downward. Firing the weapon at anything else will just make him jab it in front of him. Backstabs also occur when beneath or above the enemy in many cases. Some of the most satisfying kills come from jumping off a ledge onto a distracted Heavy and backstabbing his head. Now for a few mechanics: a stab registers as a backstab NOT where you aim it, but where your character is in relation to the victim. Thus, if you are standing at the enemy's side but slightly behind, you may stab ANYWHERE, as long as it connects, and it will kill him instantly. Standing at the side, it's possible to aim for and attack the back, yet have it registered as a normal stab.

One thing to remember is that the connection alone dictates whether or not the stab is a backstab. Because of this, it's possible to get a backstab kill with a normal swing animation. This is accomplished by swinging at midair and then quickly aiming at a back when the hit actually registers. This can be advantageous because the normal swing animation attacks faster than the backstab animation, or at least the hit triggers earlier, allowing you access to a split second more time, which may be the difference between being able to switch weapons and sap that sentry or fumbling with your toys while you get blown to bits. Also, you can do this normally against slower units if you run straight up to their unsuspecting back and can judge the distance. Similarly, if you indeed "fire" the knife at a back and trigger the backstab animation, but the target turns around during the small lag time, it will not count as a backstab and instead do an extremely small amount of damage.

4. Disguise Kit:

An incredibly unique utility. So unique I am going to go overboard trying to explain it here, so I will instead dedicate an entire section to it later in this guide.

Alt-fire. Cloaking device:

Ah, cloak. Love of my life. This handy wristwatch-controlled device will render you completely invisible, allowing you to sneak past the enemy and lay waste. Pressing alt-fire will render your body invisible, but you may not use any weapons nor reload your revolver. It takes a full second to completely cloak. Your cloak meter at the bottom right of your HUD will start going down with cloak on. Press alt-fire again to uncloak and let it naturally recharge, another full second. If you keep the cloak on until your meter runs out, you will automatically uncloak. The cloak may be used with any weapon out, and with a disguise on. Cloaking does not guarantee ABSOLUTE invisibility, however; nor does it grant invulnerability (some people forget that. You only LOOK like you're gone). To your teammates, you will appear as a refraction of light. To enemies, you are normally undetectable by sight, but if you bump into an enemy or take damage, your cloak will falter a bit and let enemies see a team-colored silhouette of your body for a split second. For this reason (and common sense), it's highly inadvisable to cross the enemy line to get behind; any stray shot will reveal you slightly, and you will be hunted down. If an enemy Pyro manages to light you on fire, you will burn your team color, turning you into a burning billboard yelling "KILL ME!!" If you catch on fire, immediately drop the cloak unless you can extinguish it quickly for your cloak is of no use. A fully charged cloaking meter depletes in 10 seconds, while replenishing in 30 seconds. You will burn even with the cloak off (even with a disguise on), but uncloaking will save your meter if you do escape/extinguish the fire, and it allows you to retaliate, giving you a fighting chance at survival. You can pick up ammo packs to recharge it more quickly, depending on the ammo crate size. A full ammo crate fully replenishes your cloak meter, while a half-ammo crate replenishes half. Generally, dropped weapons are considered half-ammo crates, but replenish much less than a half of your cloak meter. Standing next to a dispenser, cloaked or not, will increase the natural recharge rate proportional to the dispenser level. You can also replenish cloak from enemy dispensers, but only with a disguise on. This way, you can stand on an enemy dispenser cloaked indefinitely. You should cloak and uncloak both where no enemies will see you. It's important to know the map in order to know what locations are safe so you make the most of your cloak meter.

THE DISGUISE KIT

A gadget so awesome it deserved its own section. There are a lot of hidden tricks within the Spy, many involving the disguise kit. In a nutshell, the disguise kit makes you look like a teammate to the enemy, while friendly units will see you as a Spy with a mask over your face. Selecting the disguise kit, you press 1~9 to choose which class to disguise as, each serving its main purpose to confuse and deceive the enemy. However, each class is different on how it behaves and how easily you may be discovered. Pressing Mouse1 will get you out of the disguise menu and back to whichever weapon you were holding before. Disguising takes 1 full second to complete. It is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that during this time, if you cloak or uncloak before the disguise is complete, YOU WILL HAVE A HUGE TEAM-COLORED PUFF OF SMOKE SURROUNDING YOU FOR SEVERAL SECONDS VISIBLE TO THE OPPOSING TEAM, leaving you extremely vulnerable. Too many people do not realize this and wonder how the enemy spotted him or got lucky. The same is true if you de/cloak and then put on a disguise before you are completely de/cloaked. This must be remembered if you want to play a good Spy. Disguises stay on you until you fire a weapon besides the sapper or until you disguise as a friendly Spy. Yes, you may disguise as a friendly teammate, and yes, there is practical use to this. And because it's related, let's move onto the next section:

Spy-checking:

Since the Spy has so much power and utility to his disposal, it is important to know the signs of an enemy spy in order to counter it, and to know how the enemy may discover your identity if you are the Spy. Spy checking essentially means two things; attacking any teammate you that you suspect may be a Spy, and trying to walk through your teammate. The former is particularly effective if you are a Pyro; he will burst into flame reflecting his team color, no matter if he is cloaked, uncloaked, disguised, or undisguised. Other than that, the most obvious signs are that a disguised Spy cannot fire his weapon without dropping his disguise, a "teammate" running straight at you (particularly if said teammate came from a corner or otherwise shady spot), and you cannot move through enemy units or buildings, even while disguised. If you can't move through a "teammate" or see a "teammate" having to jump over friendly buildings (besides the engineer who built them) to get past, it's a Spy. Flickers of light in the opposing team color indicate you have bumped into a cloaked spy, or he has taken damage. In the HUD, disguised Spies always have 50% health displayed, unless healed by a friendly Medic. Because of this, any teammate whose HP is in the red zone cannot be a Spy. Obviously, if you see an enemy Medic healing one of your "teammates," that teammate is a Spy. In fact, seeing a "teammate" running anywhere near the enemy without getting shot at is probably a Spy. Disguised Spies always appear to be holding their primary weapon; thus, if you see a teammate with anything other than their primary weapon, you can safely assume he's innocent. Any teammate holding an unlockable weapon is automatically innocent. A teammate that doesn't look like he's doing his job, particularly attacking an enemy when in range, should be checked (more explanation in class-specific disguises).

Now, going back to why in the world you would want to disguise as a friendly unit: if you have a disguise on and are running around with your teammates, the opposing team will see you as a teammate in enemy territory, giving away that you are a Spy. When the enemy knows a Spy is coming, they WILL check for you, ESPECIALLY if you keep that disguise, whether or not you get behind enemy lines through cloak or what have you. If you see an ignored friendly Engineer behind enemy lines, you WILL want to Spy check all friendly Engineers you see. Thus, I find it advantageous to disguise as a friendly unit (usually Pyro since it won't look weird not shooting my flamethrower if I don't look like I'm in range, plus I don't get any speed detriments) while I'm with my teammates so I don't attract suspicion. Then I cloak when I can, putting on a real disguise while I run past confused enemies. This also ensures they don't know which class specifically to check for.

Class Specific Disguises:

As was said before, each class' disguise has different characteristics. These are defects in the disguise kit which allow for Spy-checking. These are things to remember both when choosing which class to disguise as and when determining which teammates are innocent. The common one is movement speed: in TF2, some classes move faster or slower than others. The Spy does not run faster with the Scout or Medic disguise on, but will be slowed down appropriately when disguised as a Soldier, Heavy, or Demoman. However, whenever you are cloaked, you will run at 100% regardless of your disguise, including the cloak transition and excluding the decloak transition. Thus, disguising as an enemy Scout is not advisable; your speed will be a dead giveaway. Now, onto specifics things to look for:

Scout: Speed. Slow scout = Spy.

Soldier: None

Pyro: Not much, except that BECAUSE there are few defects, it's a common class to disguise as. If you see a friendly Pyro running straight at you, watch out. Remember, a Pyro with a Backburner is not a Spy.

Demoman: Generally, the preferred weapon for Demomen are stickies. If I see a Demoman with a grenade launcher out, I'm more likely to suspect him as a Spy, especially if he is standing around acting "defensively," but has no stickies around him.

Heavy: None, except Natascha.

Engineer: The Engineer's primary is his shotgun. Typically, Engineers spend more time holding a wrench. Of course, if he fires his shotgun, it's obviously not a Spy, but shotgun Engineers should be checked.

Medic: Same deal. The Medic's primary is the syringe gun (note: not Blutsauger). If a Medic is running around with his syringe gun out, not healing anyone, NOT shooting, it's very likely to be a Spy. And honestly, any Medic with a syringe gun as opposed to the Blutsauger should be checked immediately. Besides the small difference in speed, there is one sure-fire, easy method of telling whether or not a Medic is a Spy: Spies disguised as Medics do NOT show an ubercharge build-up meter in the HUD when you mouse over him. True friendly Medics ALWAYS display how much of their uber is charged when you look at him directly, even if it's 0%.

Sniper: Spies disguised as Snipers cannot appear to be looking through his scope. Some Spies think it's crafty to pose as a Sniper behind enemy lines, but if you see one that hasn't looked through the scope of his sniper rifle for a while, check him out.

Spy: Only friendly Spies can appear to have a disguise that is represented to you. That is, a friendly Spy that is disguised will show you on your HUD what class he is disguised as when you mouse over him, plus he will have a mask over his face particular to that class. Enemy Spies can sometimes be tricky by staying behind his own team, looking like one of your Spies doing reconnaissance, except that if the Spy really is on your side, he would have a mask on and display what he is disguised as. An enemy Spy disguised as a Spy will have no mask on, and appear to be a friendly Spy who is naked, who would obviously be shot at if it really was a friendly naked Spy in enemy territory.

Other Obscure Spy-Checking Hints:

~If you see a teammate reloading, it's GENERALLY safe to assume he's innocent. Spies CAN appear to reload while disguised. To do this, make sure your Revolver is not fully loaded BEFORE you disguise, as shooting it afterward will just remove it. Then once you are disguised, reload your Revolver, then your disguise will appear to reload whichever its primary weapon is. Normally, you can only do this once per disguise, since you can't reload a fully loaded revolver, but you can keep less than 6 rounds by switching weapons before you complete the reload. However, your reload will appear to be "broken," since by switching weapons your character will appear to suddenly stop reloading, and the reload noise will be that of a revolver, so extremely observant enemies will see through your reload trick. Fake reloading does nothing if you are disguised as a Pyro, Heavy, or Sniper.

~A disguised Spy will appear to lay his hand down on the building he saps; this is useful when there are a lot of teammates causing confusion around sapped buildings and you need to quickly determine which ally is a fake.

~If you're a Medic, pull out your Blutsauger. Spray your suspect a small bit; disguised Spies will still make you see +3's over your health.

~The last bit of Spy-Checking obscurity, which I sadly have not confirmed for myself (will get to later when I have a real computer), is that apparently your shadow does not change to fit your disguise. An intriguing and I'd say brilliant (if intentional) flaw, yet mostly impractical. I know that I, for one, am not going to stop and look at all the shadows of my teammates every single time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENERAL AND SPECIFIC STRATEGIES

Now that the pedantic stuff is over with, let's get on with the "How To" section.

I will finish this later. I hope to provide footage or at least screen caps of what I'm talking about, because for right now, I don't have TF2.

Edit: As of the new patchy stuffs since I first posted this, there's quite a bit of info that's out of date. If this thread regains interest, I'll update everything and maybe get those vidyas I promised.

Edited by h3gi

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thanx for posting, i like it. I would like to add that there should only be one spy per team, when there is more than one, the other one cancels out the first.

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Ahh I would like to add a few tips.

New updates = Win

-New updates recently allowed ammo boxes being turned into cloaked. THIS IS A BLESSING, now you can cloak for a huge amount of time if you time everything right. Also If you are disguised you don't leave a tele trail, allowing spies to reach the front lines faster!

Umm Ill also add more later.

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I've been wondering, if I overheal a spy, can the enemy see that while he is cloaked? Do spies not appreciate overheal? I've never gotten a complaint but i don't know if it would mess with your strategy or not.

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I've been wondering, if I overheal a spy, can the enemy see that while he is cloaked? Do spies not appreciate overheal? I've never gotten a complaint but i don't know if it would mess with your strategy or not.

It did at first but they fixed it

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you forgot about the part where you trail a rainbow of gay everywhere you go as a spy.

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Ahh I would like to add a few tips.

New updates = Win

-New updates recently allowed ammo boxes being turned into cloaked. THIS IS A BLESSING, now you can cloak for a huge amount of time if you time everything right. Also If you are disguised you don't leave a tele trail, allowing spies to reach the front lines faster!

Umm Ill also add more later.

Yea the new updates are fricking awesome! Another helpful hint whenever i play spy disguise then cloak for a lil while to get behind everyone then if I attack someone and miss ( lol thats what usually happens ) re-diguise then cloak and run like hell hopefully you make it out or you'll be QQing till you respawn

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you forgot about the part where you trail a rainbow of gay everywhere you go as a spy.

You're just mad because I facestabbed you.

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Yea the new updates are fricking awesome! Another helpful hint whenever i play spy disguise then cloak for a lil while to get behind everyone then if I attack someone and miss ( lol thats what usually happens ) re-diguise then cloak and run like hell hopefully you make it out or you'll be QQing till you respawn
Really good guide! For all you Soldiers out there, A Medic with Kritz is your BEST FRIEND!! Health and 100% Rocket Crits is unstoppable!
LMAO! I jumped out of my seat when Rick Roll started playing, cause I had my headphones on full volume and I put on Full Screen with my head close to the computer trying to read what was going on in the consule. HAHA! Anyways I think Demos and Soldiers need to be the next classes to get achievements.
Well i've noticed that Lotus has a lot of servers for TF2, but they're lacking a fun server, like custom maps or mods, I personally would love for Lotus to make a Surf Server. I love surfing it's so much fun! I just wanted to get everyone else's opinion on this one.

I like how your 2 ''tips'' are of the level of Captain Obvious himself and your 2 other posts are just plain retarded and dumb.... oh but I forgot my manners welcome to the Lotus forums lol

Edited by Troispoint

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Lol your soo nice =]

i usually wouldn't say this but you had it coming.

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Haha i know guess thats what i get for giving out tips. I don't think my other posts were retarded though its a legit suggestion for Lotus to get a fun server

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