I've been using Master Scavenger for a week now, and while I enjoy many aspects of the upgrade I am disappointed more often than not. I thought it might be helpful to create a thread to discuss how to best use the upgrade.
First, the pros and cons from my perspective.
- Extended Flare Duration -
- Pros: (for regular flares and sticky flares) 50% more duration - this is a very helpful perk, and your flare glows a nifty red color. After you get over the initial reaction of teammates yelling at you because they think you wasted red boxes building Sticky Flares, everyone enjoys the additional duration and the exciting red variation. This perk also encourages you to waste red boxes building Sticky Flares with 50% more duration, which you then pretend are regular flares that you just found - unfortunately, the explosion at the end is a dead giveaway, resulting in teammates yelling at you because you wasted red boxes building Sticky Flares.
- Cons: Your teammates are going to yell at you for having a red flare. Everyone really wants their Venom X, and they really want to build a Tesla after they build their NX-1s. Prepare to be abused, even when innocent. "What is that, a Sticky Flare?!? Did someone build f***ng Sticky Flares?!!! <possible rage quit>"
- Hypno Knife - increased health for your friendlies.
- Pros: If you become inconsolably depressed every time your friendly blue Rhino goes down in after two hits from a phantom, you're in luck. With the Master Scavenger upgrade, your hypno knife turns your converted Rhino a soothing shade of Hulk-green. With this green coloration comes additional health (likely 50% more in keeping with the theme of Master Scavenger). This is particularly useful in the last door area of Exodus while everyone is running around screaming in a panic because three Rhinos and a Mammoth emerge along with a cuddly Gargoyle or two - just one soothing Hulk-green Rhino can be sufficient to turn the tide - they can take a Mammoth on head-to-head, and win (provided you're shooting said Mammoth a lot). Bonus: this green Hulk power extends to any Hypno Traps you build - sweet.
- Cons: If you're a bad shot with a Hypno knife, you may be subject to derision if you miss: after all, you insisted upon picking up the Hypno knife you found because you were a Master Scavenger and "my Rhinos get more health." Good job, idiot. You missed the Rhino, and now every other teammate that has the Hypno a Rhino upgrade hates you. In addition, the green color can be confusing to someone that has never played with a Master Scavenger, leading to unfortunate distractions during, say, the last door area of Exodus and exclamations of "Why is that Rhino green, and why won't he die?! I put like five clips into him!!" Finally, if you miss the Rhino and hit a Scorpion or a Scout, your team is bound to be disappointed in you. But just watch that little guy go!
- Chance to find Ark Attachment.
- Pros: Admit it - this is the reason you wanted the upgrade in the first place. "I can find an Ark on Nightfall?! Awesome!!" The Ark increases damage, or at the very least lowers the shrill timbre of your LMG to a comforting baritone. Added light effects improve the experience, and you never get over the thrill of watching a full-grown Rhino POP when you disintegrate it with your Chainsaw. The additional damage is definitely present, but this factor pales in comparison to the overall novelty.
- Cons: Sometimes you don't find an Ark, even when everyone agrees to let you search all boxes. This leads to a lot of self-deprecation as you apologize repeatedly for having searched Every. Single. Box. on the map. Your teammates were good sports, and stood by every gray box they found, jumping like over-eager idiot children on Christmas -- only to be disappointed at the touch-screen Leapfrog toy they got instead of the iPad they'd asked for. You feel guilty, and so you give all the Arks you find away first - this means you rarely, if ever, get to use an Ark yourself, because hey, you're a "team player." The only way you get around this is to keep your Master Scavenger upgrade a secret - but a green Rhino or a red flare or an extended mag or frickin' lasers are all dead giveaways - you're going to be hated either way.
- Extended Mags.
- Pros: Extended mags are a great feature, especially if you're running the reduced ammo relic as I do. 50% more in each mag, 50% more ammo from each pickup, 50% more total carrying capacity. Your Chainsaw goes from 100/clip, 400 total capacity to 150 per clip, 600 capacity. Your AR has nearly the capacity of an LMG, with all the mysterious AR benefits intact. Your Ripper finally has enough ammo to be a viable choice. Your Bulldog becomes a killing machine with fewer reloads. Your VKS can finally have an attachment that transfers between all guns (finally: another tool to buff up the Sniper class nobody ever wanted along with Deadeye).
- Cons: This attachment replaces Rapid Fire. If you're a Weapons Specialist and have the class upgrade, you'll be disappointed at the fire rate whenever you activate it - and since reloading isn't a big deal, you'll struggle to decide between the two. It's a great attachment for all other classes, and transfers to every single gun (Snipers, Shotties, Semi-autos - everything). Choose wisely.
Finally, a few notes about searching for Arks.
- Make sure you announce your intentions to search all boxes, and be emotionally prepared for players to search boxes even though they really want an Ark. It's disappointing to come across an Ammo Clip and know that you didn't search it. Ignore it - players just have to loot sometimes.
- Make sure you include a healthy disclaimer about how you might not find a single Ark. Equipping your Weapon Specialist first is common courtesy, though not required. If you insist on using the Ark yourself, I recommend simply keeping your superpowers a secret.
- There are rumors floating around that the VKS or the Chainsaw lead to more Ark finds. This is anecdotal, and I have not been able to confirm it. I found 4 Grips one game while searching all boxes with the VKS. You can't even equip the VKS with a Grip. Double-U Tee Eff indeed. If anyone finds any reliable methods to find Arks, please let me know.
- This upgrade is not worth 200 teeth. It's too hit-or-miss. Get something else if you can only afford one thing.
Please share your thoughts below, fellow Master Scavengers. How do you use it, and do you have any tips/pointers?
It's been a rough week of buyer's remorse, but it really is a cool upgrade when it works.