|Heavy Hover Tank|
In Quake 4, a Heavy Hover Tank is a variant of the Tank series, designed to be used as an effective anti-vehicle and anti-personnel unit. It consists of a large Strogg upper torso, with a floating hover platform instead of legs.
It has two weapons; a huge missile launcher for a right arm that fires large guided missiles, and a rapid-fire wrist-mounted blaster on its left arm. It fires a guided missile every several seconds, and between missile shots uses its blaster to rapid-fire bursts of many small blaster bolts. At point-blank range they can also swipe at human infantry with their arm.
Heavy Hover Tanks appear throughout both of the game's Vehicle levels. Additionally, a pair of Heavy Hover Tanks also appears as a "mini-boss battle" accompanied by a Gladiator on the roof of the second Data Tower in the level Data Processing Security, and 3 Heavy Hover Tanks are fought in the "minion chamber room" in the level Nexus Core along with 3 Light Tanks and 3 Stream Protectors. Additionally, Heavy Hover Tanks can be randomly spawned by the Nexus in the game's final battle. The Heavy Hover Tank usually has weaker strogg units fighting alongside it.
Along with the Light Tank and Stream Protector, the Heavy Hover Tank is one of the heaviest, toughest non-boss Strogg units in the game when fought on foot, and serves as a sort of "mini-boss". It has powerful attacks and very high durability and is very difficult to fight.
The Heavy Hover Tank floats slowly back and forth through the air; it has below average speed, but as a constantly moving flying target it can still be a bit difficult to hit with slower moving projectiles such as rockets or grenades.
The Heavy Hover Tank's guided missile is its primary attack, and is very devastating, dealing heavy damage as well as hurling the player a few dozen feet through the air with the explosive splash damage, and sometimes, falling damage. The missile can severely damage your vehicle if you take a direct hit, it still can hurt your vehicle if you are in its blast range. The missile moves quite slowly, but homes in on the player and can be difficult to dodge by strafing if in an enclosed space. Missiles can be avoided by hiding behind an obstacle such as a pillar or crate so the missile impacts against the obstacle instead of the player, but the missile's explosion has a massive splash damage radius and can clip through objects and walls, still dealing heavy damage to the player even if they're hiding behind a crate or pillar or just stay far away and use scoped weapons since they can detonate before they reach you . The best way to deal with the missiles is to destroy them with gunfire (it only takes a few bullets to detonate one) before it can get within splash damage range. The missile attack is a long range attack, and the Heavy Hover Tank doesn't seem to use it at close range.
In between missile shots, the Heavy Hover Tank uses its blaster to fire bursts of several small blaster bolts. The blaster is reasonably accurate and can fire more than a dozen bolts per burst, but can be dodged at close range by circle-strafing, or at long range by simply strafing away from the bolts. The bolts do about twice as much damage the standard bolts fired by Light Guards, Gladiators, etc.
Heavy Hover Tanks are very tough, and on Corporal difficulty can take 60-80 rounds of Machine Gun or Hyperblaster shots or 40-50 rounds of Nailgun shots to kill. Even the Dark Matter Gun takes 2 direct shots to kill them. Although they're not fast, their ability to float and strafe through the air makes them more agile than normal enemies to hit.
- In a vehicle, the Heavy Hover Tank is one of the strongest opponents you'll face. Their homing missile can be destroyed with a few shots from the mounted Machine Gun, so take it out if a "Incoming Missile Threat" warning appears on your screen and look to the direction the arrows are pointing at. You may find yourself shooting these missile all the time since it might shoot a constant barrage of missiles at you, if you need some extra time to attack it, use obstacles to shield the missiles.
- The Hover Tank can also fire a few blaster shots at you. While easy to dodge in the tank or on foot, it can be difficult to avoid them in the Walker, so don't panic if a few of them hit you while in it. They don't do much damage anyway. If it only fire the blaster at you, it's the best time to strike back.
- A few shots from the cannon or a few barrages of missiles will be able to destroy a Hover Tank. However, since they are slow projectiles, it can dodge them, so don't be surprised if it does. The Machinegun can mow them down even more nicely, it is bigger than most enemies so it should be a little easier to aim.
- Heavy Hover Tanks will attempt to avoid tank shell or rockets from SMC Walker.
- With other enemies, the Hover Tank should be targeted first, as it can inflict a very large amount of damage with its missiles and clutter your screen with "Incoming Missile Threat" warnings, but in higher difficulties, ground turret or ball turret shoud be quickly destoryed first, because the missile is slower than bullet fired from turrets, and the turrets can drain your health real quick. If you face multiple Hover Tanks, seek cover, use it wisely to shield the homing missiles, and return fire against them. Also, while in Walker and if you are playing higher difficulties, take out Hornets first, you can retreat to give you more room to avoid attacks from Heavy Hover Tanks, while dealing with Hornets, which are more agile and quite dangerous with their auto cannons.
- Heavy Hover Tanks are even more deadlier when you're facing them on foot than before, and shouldn't be underestimated even on the lowest difficulty. This time you can hear the sound the missile launcher being armed, but there will be no warning if a rocket is following you. However, you can get a missile off your back by outmaneuvering it (if you get behind it it'll lose track of you) or shoot it down (easier than it sounds, use the Machine gun or other rapid-firing weapons, Blaster seems to work as well. It'll explode, oddly without splash damage), you can see the guided missiles because they does not travel particularly fast, but still fast enough to reach you in few seconds. If you can, try to get close to it and circle strafe it so that it can't use its missile launcher and the blaster shots it fires will miss you. However, don't get too close or it will try to swipe at you, a vicious and fast move in which you both lose a major amount of health and gets sent far away (at least enough for it to fire a rocket until you get close again).
- Only powerful weapons, such as the Rocket Launcher, Nailgun and Dark Matter Gun will be able to put a major dent in it. Other weapons will take absurdly long to kill it (often too long), and it might deplete your health before you depleted its. The Heavy Hover Tank is such a powerful enemy (perhaps the toughest non-boss enemy in the game) that you're fully justified in using the Dark Matter Gun against them; two direct shots should be sufficient to kill one on Normal difficulty. Use homing abilitites when using rocket launcher or nailgun, its big, but still agile enough to dodge these projectiles if unguided. The Dark Matter Gun also has the major advantage of destroying the Hover Tank's missiles as they pass near the Dark Matter projectile's energy wake.
- With other enemies, the Hover Tank should be destroyed once the cannon fodder with it is dead. The fodders will get in the way, making it difficult to concentrate on the missiles the Tank fires, especially playing in the highest difficulties setting, always find place to move and look for cover shield you from guided missiles: getting cornered is the last thing you want to happen. Also, careful if you have gaps in the combat area, while the missile will not kill you instantly, flying over the edge will.
- The Heavy Hover Tank will load the missile before firing it, which has a unique sound, once you hear that, prepare to hide or shoot the missile down. Because there is no missile warning while on foot, this sound and the blue flame are the only clues that guided missiles are flying on your way.