Allar's Definitive Honor Guide To AA3

So, once Rick told me about AA3 coming out, which was a few days after it was download-able on Steam, I started playing it like mad and now am one of the highest ranking players in terms of honor. Throughout my time playing so far, there have been numerous threads about how I've apparently 'hacked' my honor, and in-game theres been many of admins who have banned me because I get too many points too fast, or I get too many headshots, etc... So I've decided to write up how I manage to win almost every match and level quickly. Here is a link to my personnel jacket.

At the time of this post, I am level 85 honor.

How I Started:

When I first got AA3, I qualified Expert under every available training exercise before I moved on to multiplayer (which I later found out I was not supposed to do) as that is the way I play games. It took me a few days or so to be able to tell the difference between friend and foe. They do look really similar when you start playing. Soon after, I got my microphone working in-game and started hopping around to various pubs meeting people, learning strategies, and basically working as a team. At that point, I found that I was exceptionally good it seemed at everything I did on the map Ranch. I played Ranch for hours and hours non-stop, day after day, defending the house from all alien invaders and swiftly clearing rooms and taking objectives before the enemy knew what hit em. After doing so for a few days, I've noticed that my honor level went from level 7 (after all training was done, I was level 7) to level 20. I sat trying to figure out that happened so fast, and so I started breaking down the honor system. No one I asked had a clear idea about the honor system yet as the game was just released and it was a little confusing at first, especially with the Honor bar not leveling you up as it would intuitively mean. Until recently actually, I thought Honor level was the pure raw valor experience (i.e. 100,000 Duty points, not just the current level of Duty) all added together and divided by 6, which would give some result to be compared to against some honor 'xp scale', which many on the AA3 forums have posted. I started putting the mission first in every round of every match of every map I played, always opting for Squad Leader, willing to sacrifice teammates to complete the mission at hand. My ways since then have grown, and, well, now I'm level 85. :D

Allar's Blacklist:

I figured this would be a nice place to put this... I've been banned from the following servers by admins who accuse me of hacking, even though I am 100% legit.

-ACI- The Real Combat Vets
{KRUS} Killing Fields
The AA Guys
The Love Shack
Stryker Brigade
[NEO] Total Gaming League (I think this was because I preferred taking objectives instead of killing though)

And a few others that seem to no longer show up on my server browser.

How LDRSHIP Works:

Simply, your Honor level is the average of the current levels of your other valor's, not based on pure valor point totals like I originally assumed. (Which I guess was dumb of me, but many out there still haven't realized this.) Take a look at the following picture:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="321" caption="Ignore the fact that my Duty and my Integrity bars go off the scale, its a bug that happens when you reach 100."][/caption]

Honor is calculated like so: (L+D+R+S+I+P)/6.

So, my honor at the time of this picture (August 17, 2009 5:36AM PST), my Honor is calculated as:
(71+100+81+77+100+81)/6 = 510/6 = 85.0
All Honor calculations are rounded down if there is a remainder.

What happens when you fill them bars then?
Every time you fill a valor bar, that valor attribute levels up and you receive advancement points (currently of no use). I believe the Honor bar is based off of total valor points and not current level however, because the bar fills up and grants achievement points separately then your true Honor level. (i.e. total L + 266577 + total R + etc / 6) If anyone knows more about this, please let me know.

_So how do we increase our valor points?
_Read the next section.

LDRSHIP Rewards:

  • Loyalty: (Reward halved if you or linked teammate is Squad Leader)

    • Teamwork: Objective +20,+30,+40,+60,+120 Loyalty
    • Teamwork: Securing Enemy: +2.5 Loyalty
    • Teamwork: Confirming Enemy: +2.5 Loyalty
    • Teamwork: Healing Injured: +2.5 Loyalty
  • Duty:

    • Completed Objective: +80, +120, +240 Duty
    • Squad Leader Bonus: +4 Duty Per Alive Teammate After Mission Complete
    • No Man Left Behind: +4 Duty Per Alive Teammate After Mission Complete
    • Confirming/Securing Enemy: +5 Duty
  • Respect:

    • Mission First Bonus: +4 Respect Per Alive Enemy After Mission Complete
    • Assigned Objective Bonus: +20, +30, +60 Respect
    • I Will Never Quit: +15 Respect Bonus (Mission Complete when down by 4+)
    • Confirming/Securing Enemy: +5 Respect
  • Selfless Service (SS):

    • Revive: +50 SS
    • Medic Response Bonus: +15 SS Max (Time to first aid after medic call)
    • First Aid: +5 SS
  • Honor:

    • The average raw point value of all other valors / 6. The bar only grants advancement points.
    • True Honor is calculated like so: (L+D+R+S+I+P)/6.
  • Integrity:

    • Fire Discipline Bonus: +100 Integrity(No ROE for 6 rounds?)

    • No ROE Bonus: +15 Integrity

    • No ROE for Match Bonus: +15 Integrity

    • -X Integrity Based on extent of Friendly Fire Injury, max -100 (i.e. killed)

      *   -0 if forgiven.  
  • Personal Courage (PC):

    • Low Health Bonus: +1.666667, +20, +40, +80 PC (Complete/Teammate completes OBJ while YOU are Critical/After Revive)

    • Won Tie-Breaker: +50 PC

    • Enemy Neutralized: +10 PC (Kill must be confirmed)

      *   +10 PC for this as well if you tap out **and** then get confirmed.  
  • All Attributes:<3:

    • Mission Complete Bonus: +16 All Attributes
    • Match Won Bonus: +25 All Attributes

Main Tips To Always Keep In Mind:

  • AA3 is a game, only a game, [TOS VIOLATION xD], but always a game. Don't sacrifice your life to level, and don't take anything personal, ever. When you start to get mad, you will never level your honor, or more importantly, have fun.

  • No matter how you play, you need a microphone or at least enable in-game VOIP. People who do not enable in-game VOIP are a serious drawback to a team as that player is broken off from all critical current information. By the time you type something, that intel is old.

  • **The mission is worth more than anyone's life. **Unless you have a good team. If you got a good team, have some teammates wait at the objective while you make a heroic attempt to revive a fallen teammate on the opposite side of the map. Play some insanely dramatic music in your head while you do so. I recommend getting the Opening Theme to Metal Gear Solid 2 (the YouTube version is of significantly inferior quality). What I do is I queue dramatic music in my Windows Media Player, and when needed, I press the Play button on my keyboard which causes WMP to play. Sure you can't hear gunshots, comms, or anything for that matter, but this goes back to the first tip, have fun.

  • _Being a team playe_r.

    • If you can't aim well or are just having a bad day, hang back and stay on medic duty. You'll gain important Selfless Service points while not dying uselessly. Also, it benefits the team significantly, and the better chances your team has for winning, the more honor points you will attain by mission complete/match win bonuses AND the higher team morale will be. Really high team morale is what wins most matches.

    • Being a team player doesn't necessarily mean sticking with the team at all times. If you are doing good running and gunning while not getting scratched AND are able to knock out at least 1/3rd of their team, continue to do so. Less enemies benefits the entire team, however, know when to cease your running and fall back to help teammates. If there is an injured teammate near by, clear your area and proceed to run and gun to the injured teammate and get him up ASAP. No matter how good 1 gun is, 2 is usually better.

    • Give up your Role: If there is someone better than you at SDM, give them the SDM. Theres plenty of time for you to practice with it later. Also, if you can't line up a head shot from a 45-degree aim cone in less than a second scoped at medium-long range, you better give me the SDM role if you see me. :D If theres someone exceptionaly good at the M249 and you have an M249 slot but aren't doing so great, swap as soon as you can. The better your team is familiar with your weapons, the higher chances of winning, etc. Same goes in reverse, if you know someone is sucking hard at a role and you are stuck with a weapon you can't use, let your request be known. Don't be aggressive though, there's nothing I (and most players) hate more is someone [TOS VIOLATION xD] while bragging about how good they are at a role they don't have. Asking them once per round is enough. If they go psycho on you, just ignore them completely and ask again next round. Also, if you are doing really good and you have some good teammates, it might be the time to try that role you aren't good at, as your teammates will act as a skill cushion so you can try getting better at one of your worse weapons as they continue to pwn.

    • Cover teammates who are doing critical tasks:

      *   Someone taking an objective? Secure your area, and drop everything to cover them. Even ignore fallen teammates unless they are on the verge of bleeding to death (not incapacitation, but actual death), except for when the objective taker's sector is past the would be distance-of-no-return if there's a fallen teammate next to you.  
      • Someone rushing to revive a teammate? You cover their [TOS VIOLATION xD] as if it was your own.
      • Someone running and gunning? Leave them alone. Its not worth it to jeopardize the team's safety for the non-team player, except in the case of the second bullet point.
  • For the love of god, make a positive ID on EVERY target you fire your gun at. If you take a second to say to yourself, "Yup, I can see the [specific enemy characteristic: i.e. radio stick on back], he is an enemy" EVERY time you fire your gun, you will be cherished among the Gods. It will be a little slow for you at first and it might cause you to die, but over time you will be able to correctly ID targets in crucial split-second time frames based on just the barrel of their gun, a knee sticking out of a corner, and even shadows. That is when you become unstoppable.

  • Neutralize and Secure as fast as possible, but only when it is safe to do so. In a combat area, and you have the time to think of your next action, that is the time to plan how to **secure **(not confirm) all incapped enemies while pretending there is an enemy at every possible angle until cleared. Confirming of enemies should be done long after an area is said to be clear. Dead guys don't go anywhere, but incapped guys multiply. Never shoot an incapped though. If part of your plan is shooting incaps, you are not planning right. (Except during VIP matches, then you shoot that [TOS Violation xD] until he's got more lead in him than an x-ray vest.)

  • Don't throw frag grenades next to fallen teammates. I think this should be obvious but it happens ALL THE TIME. Enough to note here.

So what/where/how/when/why I should be playing for fastest Honor?

  • Always play until the match ends. You only get honor credit on match ends. Sometimes it appears that I've lost some valor points leaving mid-match.

  • Game Modes:

    • _Alley _(Great if you have a good team)

      *   Carryable Objective (Best)  
      • VIP Escort

      • Bridge

        • Do not play. Rounds are too long, not enough Honor given.
      • _Impact _(Great for Selfless Service, Best if you have a good team)

        • Activated Objective (Best) (Favorite)
      • Take and Hold

      • VIP Escort

      • Pipeline

        • Do not play. Rounds are too long, not enough Honor given.
      • _Ranch _(Great if you can't find a good team. Learn to solo this well.)

        • Activated Objective
      • Carryable Objective

      • VIP Escort (Best)

  • Why should you be playing for Honor?

    • I don't know, you tell me.

Difference between playing to Win, or playing for Honor

You get the most Honor if you win all your matches, but to play for Honor does not necessarily mean winning.

  • Don't kill the last guy on the enemy team if you know you can make it to an objective instead. Might come back at ya later, but you get 0 honor for killing the last guy unless you confirm him as he falls dead.
  • Suicide medic for Selfless Service. 'Nuff said.
  • Be a little more risky in order to secure and confirm enemies, but don't be stupid.
  • Get rounds done as fast as possible. No camping, unless you know action will happen fast.

Level your Honor Fast, or level it Right

I've leveled my honor the 'fast' way, but I regret doing so as now it is pure hell to level as I've maxed out both Duty and Integrity.

  • Fast Way

    • Simply only powerlevel your Duty and win matches. Your true honor level will rise tremendously fast over time, however when you hit 100 Duty, you can't rely on Duty anymore to boost your true honor. That's when you realize all the objectives you've 'stolen' would of made better use as loyalty points.
  • Right Way

    • What I would say the right way to level Honor is what seems to be the slowest, but is actually the most beneficial way to level Honor. Simply only power level Loyalty. Loyalty is the hardest skill to raise, all the other valor points take significantly less effort and coordination to get. Sure, your true honor level won't raise fast at all, but later when you are level 70, it will take you nearly half the time I did to level because you should have a Duty cushion  in which you can just power level Duty and go from 70 to 80+ in like a week. True honor level will rise slowly, but is much faster in the long run.

Power level your Valor

There isn't really any super special trick to raise a particular valor level really fast... just change your style of playing and you will gain more points in a certain valor.

  • Loyalty: (The hardest to level)

    • You need a friend for this. The best way to do this is to get a friend who wants to power level their Duty, as then you can leech all your teamwork points off of their objective taking. You can have some success in going around pubs, waiting for someone to take an objective and link really fast with them, but the fastest way is to have a friend or team dedicated to completing the mission.

    • I recommend Impact Activated Objective or Impact Take And Hold as the rounds are quick. (quicker rounds = more valor points in a short time) If you have a good team, activated objective is a really fast way to move in, get loyalty, move out, and complete the mission (which includes more loyalty bonuses due to +all attribute bonus). However if you only have one friend, Take and Hold is the best way to level Loyalty because you are always guaranteed +40 Loyalty by taking the point you spawn next to with a friend. +40 for 6 rounds = +240 Loyalty. A constant stream of a little loyalty is faster than high risk for high loyalty.  That's not too bad, especially because Loyalty is definitely the hardest to raise. You can easily turn this +40 to +80 or +120 on Take and Hold if you can take all 3 points swiftly.

      *   When on Take and Hold, you can be the first one on a point as long as someone else joins you. Just run off the point and get back on, and the Duty reward will shift to the 2nd player on the point, giving you Loyalty instead of Duty. Doing this makes it so that there is less time between spawn and capture.  
  • Duty: (The easiest to level)

    • Take every objective ever, when you can, try twice as hard when you can't, and no matter what, make sure you are the one who takes it.  (Without using friendly fire)

    • I recommend...

      *   Ranch Activated: Get in, clear, secure, take, win. +240 Duty per objective. 3 Assault rounds = +720 Duty. If you get good at Ninja Assaulting, this is the fastest and most constant way.  
      • Impact Activated: Get in, clear, secure, take, win. +120 Duty per objective. 6 Assault rounds = +1440 Duty.

      • VIP Mode: Be the first to kill the VIP, always.

            *   Ranch: Rush the VIP spawn asap as a light load out. You can pretty much tell which way the VIP goes if hes not there for you to kill him in time. If you are the VIP, change your path EVERY ROUND and don't be afraid to try sneaking behind their entire team.  
        • Alley: You can ALWAYS tell where the VIP went straight from spawn. Run up the right hand sidewalk of the main street after you spawn and watch their fountain entrance Very very rarely can the VIP cross without you seeing him. If he doesn't cross, check the main street. Not there? Obviously he went West. Flank from behind. If you are the VIP, camp somewhere safe, let your team clear some of them out, and try to never be seen. If you aren't seen within the first minute into the round, and your team is in a good position, start going for the extract. At this point, enemies are usually split up searching around for you, making them easier to take out. (Small server? Run to the extract every time and never stop running)

        • Impact: Sprint, Kill, Done. VIP? No problem. Sprint, Extract, Done.

          • Alley Carryable:

            • If you spawn on the North side, rush the package, get out of the Hotel, wait a little while, and extract asap.
        • If you spawn on the South side, camp the extraction and wait for them to bring you the case. Its a little boring, but its much easier and overall faster to level this way.

      • If you aren't getting at least +600 Duty per match, you are doing it wrong.

  • Respect:

    • Power level Loyalty or Duty, and this will follow.
  • Selfless Service:

    • Impact. Need I say more? If you don't have at least +15 med points per match, you are doing it wrong.
      Score you should have. have.")](GHOST_URL/aa/impact51.jpg)
  • Integrity:

    • Watch your fire. Always. This should stick to your true honor level or be higher no matter what you do. This raises by itself just fine when doing anything but shooting teammates.
  • Personal Courage:

    • If you want to power level personal courage, the best thing to do is to suicide secure/confirm everyone (but don't be sooooo stupid and die every time). I don't recommend trying to power level this until you can rambo a full server of Impact / headshot half their team with ease with the SDM as you will have nobody to get confirmed otherwise.
    • Also, if you are low on hp, try securing an objective. Get nice bonuses that way.
    • I've found the best way to handle PC is to let it handle itself, it will rise just fine with average confirming and +all attribute cushions if you win.
      Pointer outers of things I messed up:

More to be added soon.