Battlezone II is about far more than just destroying the other teams recycler. It is about territory, time, strategy and resources. It is about the biometal.
The "Scrapmeter" is your constant indication of the status of the game. This is the single most important gauge you have at your disposal -- even more important than your hull and ammo gauges.
To be a good Battlezone II player, whether commander or pilot, you must fully understand the scrap meter and all its implications. You should watch it constantly, it should be your tachometer, governing your actions, telling you when to attack the enemies base or when to get extractors for your team. It will tell you when it's OK to try risky missions and when it's time to run like a scared little girl to save your ship.
Green Scrap is Slow Scrap:
The scrap meter represents the entire scrap system of your team, combining all of your scrap storage systems into one easy to use readout. The Scrapmeter is composed of a green top part, which is the recycler's "$40" scrap reservoir and a yellow or red "$20" segment for every extractor you have set. The reservoir of the recycler will fill in at a rate 3 times slower than will the reservoirs of deployed standard scavengers (extractors). This means your scrap meter rises at rate of $1 scrap per every 1 second while the meter is in a yellow portion of the meter. But it will take 3 seconds just to get $1 of scrap once the meter hits the green portion. With its $40 scrap capacity, it would take 2 long minutes to fill the recycler's reservoir to the top without any loose scrap coming in, no matter how many pools you have "set". (Except, of course, if you have no pools, in which case it won't rise at all.)
What does that mean in practical terms? Say you only have one pool, and have decided that you need a turret more than anything. You will wait 20 seconds for the meter to fill up the yellow part (from your one pool). That will cover the first $20 cost of your $40 turret. BUT the second $20 will be collected in the green part of meter and will take 60 seconds to fill, at a rate of only 1 scrap unit per every 3 seconds. This means that that turret cost you a total of 80 seconds for scrap collection or the equivalent of $80 assuming the "standard collection rate" of one scrap unit per second. Hardly a good deal.
That should demonstrate the importance of building "by the meter". That is, nothing should be built unless it can be bought with yellow or even better, red scrap. If the meter has hit the green and you have only one pool, your best purchase would usually be of another scavenger to attempt to gain more scrap storage.
Red meter segments indicate upgraded pools. For the cost of $60 you can have a constructor upgrade a pool and it will store biometal at double speed. Upgraded pools start at bottom of meter and only affect scrap flow while the meter is in the red portion. All scrap production will stop for 12 seconds right after a pool is upgraded (also any time a new extractor is set). Scrap production comes in at $2 per second while meter is in the red part so anything you build in red can be considered a half price bargain.
A lot of players overemphasize the value of an upgraded pool. I'd rather have 4 regular pools than 2 regular plus one upgraded pools. The upgrade will speed its single portion along but when the meter hits green at 60, the triple slowdown penalty will end up being a loss, despite the upgraded pool.
This meter will build an $80 unit in 80 seconds.
Even though this meter has an upgraded extractor in the system, it will take 110 seconds to buy an $80 unit.
Say you have 4 pools and 1 is upgraded -- it is important to utilize the upgraded correctly to gain full advantage. That is, you build $20 units while meter is at the bottom, in the red segment. Since it will fill back in twice as fast in the red part, it effectively makes it "half price day" at your recycler. Those empty scouts your pilots keep losing will seem much less of a burden when they are built on red. If you have an upgraded pool, the best use of it is to arrange all your build requests to get meter to zero as often as you can. Only while the meter has dipped into red will the red portion actually be providing any additional benefit.
The greatest utility of owning one upgraded pool is that $20 weapon upgrades will only cost 10 seconds of time to add to turrets and empty scouts. All $20 purchases, such as scavs, will be effectively half priced if you are careful to build them while in red. Using the queue function (shift key), to build multiple scavs at a time helps to keep the meter in the red to maximize your upgraded pools use.
When you see the meter jump in $5 increments, this is from a scavenger that is collecting loose bits of scrap either from a recent battle, or because the scrap was present on entry to that world. Loose scrap can fill your reservoirs very quickly, and if you know you have lots coming, this is a good time to ignore the "build by the meter" rule. Generally the loose scrap that is present on entry to a world has a shelf life of 60 minutes. The scrap that falls from destroyed vehicles and buildings has only a 3 minute shelf life before it evaporates, so its important to get it scavenged up quickly.
Good pilots will always try to clean up loose around a recently destroyed extractor before setting a new one, bringing a quick $20 boost to the team. Remember, that $20 boost is equivalent to moving your team 20 seconds in time ahead of the opposition towards better technology. Do this a few times and you'll be piloting a shiny new craft much quicker than the other team.
The biggest mistake I see on maps with lots of loose is not setting at least one pool before collecting all of the loose. This gives more storage room for all the loose coming in and also provides scrap at 1 per second while the meter is below 20. A scavenger picking up loose will take about 15-20 seconds anyway to get 4 bits, so its really no loss of income to take this precaution. Loose scavs are much easier to kill than a set one. Also, having a set pool helps to insure that you can make another if all of your first ones get killed.
Build and Fight:
Learning how to build and fight at the same time is what will turn you from a good commander into a great one. A commander's usual role is to stay near his base and supplement the base defenses, but once he's got some defenses set up, he should join his men as often as possible in the field.
Watching the meter never stops though. For example, lets say you need an armory and you have 3 pools in good repair. You are currently engaged in a dogfight across the map and the meter is rapidly approaching 60, and will hit 60 while you are still too far away to build the armory. Your best bet then is to make a scavenger, or an empty scout if there is a pilot waiting. It will drop your meter to 40 and keep your meter under the dreaded slow green. Since you are about 20 seconds from base, you will be arriving just in time for it to reach 60 again. I've never seen anyone make a scavenger and decide that they wouldn't need it, so anytime you're too busy to direct the constructor and the meter is creeping up close to green, just kick out another scav.
When you only have 2 pools, $40 turrets and a constructor are favored choices to build. With 2 or 3 turrets, you should be able to hold a third pool, at least long enough to make an armory. Make sure you have a scav nearby to get the turrets' scrap back after they get destroyed.
Keeping the meter off of green is what will set you ahead of 80% of the players out there.
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Origionaly posted by TimeVirus on http://www.timedisruptor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=295
, dated Wensday November 12, 2003 at 10:06am GMT -6. Reposted by Purplehaze unedited for educational purposes.