The Treasure Hunter Perspective
Survive and Prosper
Multiplayer games are fun; this is simply a fact of modern gaming. Moreover, said games are virtually ubiquitous, so much so that Steam is a dedicated platform that deals with such games in staggeringly high volume. If you're new to Depth, it is a multiplayer game with two faces: on the one hand you can play as a Shark, master and commander of the deep, dominator of your own home territory. Playing as a shark feels natural, advantageous even.
On the other hand, you've got the relatively vulnerable Treasure Hunters, humans that are literally out of their depth (both literally and metaphorically) hunting for treasure in waters that are awash with sharks. Humans are relatively slow and cumbersome, but that doesn't mean that they don't stand a chance against the creatures that are considered to be above them in any Trophic Pyramid that may be drawn to represent the situation. Below you'll find some handy tips on how to excel in the game from the treasure hunter's perspective, including a quick rundown of the weapons and tools available to you as well as techniques on how to both survive and prosper against your predatory enemies.
Longevity in Numbers
This is definitely the point that should be taken above all else, even if you can't be bothered reading past this section: if you want to stay alive, stay with me. Ok, so this particular Die Hard quote doesn't quite pan out here, but - and I can't stress this particular point enough - surviving as a diver almost always means staying together and working as a cohesive unit.
See the noob swimming out into open water on his own and remaining there whilst his team finds an enclosed room to settle in? He's going to be owned by the shark team more times than a nine-year-old Call Of Duty player will claim - in a prepubescent voice coming through his headset - they have banged your mum.
The whole balance of gameplay in Depth boils down to sharks having an advantage in open water while humans have the potential to survive by sticking together in numbers in more enclosed spaces. You can't cover the three entrances of an underwater cavern safely with one player, or even two. A group of three is great if you can coordinate one, but if all divers stay in roughly the same locale you're going to increase your odds of survival considerably.
A Little Warning
Now I know I just said that you should stay and work together as a team, but don't take this to the extreme. If there are two or three of you in a tight group, you can potentially be taken out by one thrash of a well-upgraded shark, who will be in and out of there before you even have the chance to worry about the family the gruesomely deceased are leaving behind.
Safety does come in numbers, yes, but be sensible about it. Spread out a little in order to cover exits/entrances. Scramble for treasure of course, but don't split away from the group as doing so will make you an easy target.
So don't be an absolute diving bell-end about this: you're stronger as a group but make sure you're not all holding hands and begging for the sharks to come and take you out more suddenly and with greater shock value than when that shark in Deep Blue Sea chomped up Samuel L. Jackson.
Play and Play, All the Livelong Day
Want to get good at Depth? I suggest that you play Depth in that case. A lot. You can't have a few brief goes as Shark or Diver and expect to dominate or even be competent at playing the game however. You might be able to get away with such a casual attitude in Jaws Revenge, but this is a Steam game with some literal and figurative bite. Because its gameplay is split between two entirely different perspectives, this adds twice the amount of depth to the whole experience. It also gives doubles the amount of things you have to learn in order to get good at it.
You might think that your hour or two of playing on the diving team in Depth qualifies you to swim with the big boys, but it really doesn't. If you really want to understand how to be a better diver, you need to do two things: read up on guides such as these, sure, but more importantly you need to spend time playing as a shark. Your background reading will give you the pointers, but the experience as a shark will inform your experience of the diving gameplay more than any guide ever could.
Why spend time playing as a shark? Aside from putting you in the shoes of the opposing team to see how other shark players play (which is valuable enough in itself), you can also learn how the sharks move, get to know the different evolutions/abilities, and pretty much get good at shark attacks so that you can flip the perspective when you play as a diver in order to avoid such attacks happening to you.
You've had the general pointers above, now for some specific tips that pertain to the game's finer details and available strategies.
- Pay attention to your hardware settings. Some will scoff at this and say that messing with these gives you an unfair advantage, but you're not breaking rules by tweaking the graphics settings in your favour. Use a nice and detailed resolution, but more importantly than that you should try switching all other graphics settings to low. Leave character details high however, and ensure that vision range is set to max. Tweak brightness to the highest setting that is tolerable as well - this allows you to see more things in the murky depths.
- Be cautious, but don't limit yourself. The only way to gain a bigger advantage over the sharks than they have over you is to collect treasure. Treasure means upgrades, and upgrades means better hardware with which to kill sharks. If you spend all of your time hiding away and letting you game stagnate then you're not going to get far. Collect loose treasure, bring treasure to S.T.E.V.E., and remain active (as well as alert). It will benefit you in the long run.
- Utilise bot games. You can set up bot games in order to practice playing as a diver, using the 'no bots' setting to spawn alone in any one of the game's maps. This is helpful in itself, but the hidden advantage here is that you can also use bot matches to explore each of the game's maps. Half of the battle is knowing which areas where you can safely go out into the open, where the best cover is, where the enclosed areas are, and how sharks can behave in all these areas. Doing this will also allow you to know in which direction the sharks spawn from, giving you a great advantage over players that don't know this information.
- Know your hardware. You'll likely find use for each of the weapons in Depth. Once you reach level 22 as a diver, you'll have all weapons available to purchase. Double pistols are great for hammering sharks at long distance. An upgraded net gun is also great (be careful with your aim though; the reload time is a bitch) as you can trap a shark then finish it off with your pistols as it struggles to move. Spear pistols and harpoon guns are definitely the way to go when your aim has improved.
- Ditch the Sensor. All weapons/items are not created equal however. Some are much less useful than others. The sensor can be good for helping beginners to locate gold but the 200 price tag as well as the slot it takes up makes it useless once you know where the gold in each level is likely to be located.
- Don't panic. The sentiment may be a general one, but when applied to aiming and shooting this could save your life. Don't go mental and mash the left mouse button to empty your whole clip into the shark. Fire in measured bursts and try to stay calm enough to keep the shark in your field of view. If you can hear your heartbeat loudly after a shark passes out of your field of view, you're likely going to be dead in the next few seconds if the shark player knows what he's doing.
- A great combination. There is some equipment that stands out in Depth as being superior to the rest. The one I most recommend is the shield, to be placed in corners of rooms where sharks will likely have been killed before they manage to locate it. Flares are also essential and very cheap too; they will illuminate the area around them and cannot be taken out by sharks like other hardware can. The SONAR buoy is also very useful, but also vulnerable to shark attacks.