After much thought into what approach I should use to write a guide for up coming Hiver players, I have decided it is better to talk about macro-strategy and long term fleet composition instead of going into detail on all the hive creatures. Reason is this, hive creatures are diverse and complex, it would just confuse new comers. However I would use 4 different categories for the sake of this article. Type1: general purpose. This type would include all the hive creatures that fit into the standard template of each Class. This would include normal ( neolith, monolith, entity, greater entity,etc), bloated, agitated and spirals. They share similar offensive appendages and have similar roles in a fleet. They are the mid range, general purpose creature that also serve as the main tender of the fleet. Type 2: Bursting This type only appears up to class 6 and plays the role of close range attacker, scouts and defensive escorts. They only carry plasma wave appendages, which are omni-directional when used by an AI or when used on counter fire. Because of the efficient power to damage ratio, these creatures are very fast and have lots of movement when used as an AI. Type 3: Focused, Bomber and Demolisher These are the staple long range attack creature of the hive faction. They are used for destroying stations and long range AI. They tend to be fragile. They are also actually really slow when used by a player. Bomber and Demolishers are fairly mobile as an AI and will likely get their shots in if they have scanner lock on something. Type 4: Megalith Megalith deserves its own category. It can dish out as much damage as a firestorm and have similar role to it as well. But its rather fragile for a close range creature, compared to the entity and bloated entity. Its unique quirks make is a viable choice for early harassment style gameplay. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- With Categories out of the way, lets talk about what a player should consider when playing hive This should be mainly based on how big do you want to play. The bigger than creature, the less fleet you can control. Hive can have up to fleet commander 4 but that is only available to Frigate or smaller creatures. Fleet 3 means you can’t get cruisers or higher, fleet 2 means no battleships or higher and fleet 1 is still available to Class 9 or higher. So what does this mean? It means Hive players should specialize in a faction size and invest their resources appropriate. They should be un-paralleled in their specialization. For example, if they specialized in destroyers and light cruisers. They should be winning most fights in fac 8s because they can field up to 4 light cruisers. If they are all leveled, they would be very hard to deal with. They should also consider how they would fair in other maps. There is also the problem for big creature players on what to play before they get to the Class 9 or 10. Thus, I would explain my logic in fleet composition and what to make for each of the fleet commander level. It is important to note the firepower of Hive ships. from class 5 or higher, they have similar or higher firepower compared to sol or genari counter parts. thus there is no reason to not try and run biggest creature allowed in the highest quality possible, as you will always out number and out gun the enemy in the map size of your specialization. Lowering map spawn should be used as a method of transitioning rather than an over all strategy. Fleet 4: Frigate, Frigates and Frigates. If you can drop in to a Fac 6 with 5 class 4 creatures that are fully leveled, you deserve to win. Lower tier hive creatures are fragile and die easily. Getting 5 of them to level 5 is no easy task. But when they get there, you are looking at collective fire power of a class 8 and healing to match. You should be looking at a fleet composition that is 2 Type 2, 1-2 type 3 and probably 1-2 Type 1 with at least 1 bloated protolith. Because hive evasion does not sacrifice movement, most high tier AI should be at least evasion 3 with majority at evasion 5. Thus high level Class 4 creature should have no problems in fac 8s. Fleet 3: This would be the second most popular choice for most players. This lets you field up to 4 Class 6 creatures. This is incredible amount of fire power and flexibility. The Class 4 creature picked for fac 6s should be similar to fleet 4, but with one less Type 3 or type 2. I would advise to level at least 1 class 4 to high levels and rest to around level 2 or 3. This would let you focus mostly on the class 5 and 6 creatures. Fleet composition would include 1-2 type 2, 1-2 type 1 but only one type 3. Focused Monolith is a rather under powered creature for it class and rather slow even as an AI. The fleet 3 and 4 emphasize on being able to reposition and regroup. Fleet 2: This would be the most commonly picked fleet size. It would let a player field up to 3 class 8 creatures. While they are slightly gimped in the Fac 6s, ( and really gimped in fac 4 and lower) they should still do fine in fac 8s and will likely over power sol and genari battleships and dreadnaughts if all 3 class 8 creatures are high level. Greater Hive Entities are incredibly sturdy and pack fire power closer to a battleship. Hive demolishers are also deadly, especially if they can land the advance plasma launchers on enemy engines. While it is tempting to run an entire fleet of long range hive creatures, it is important to keep greater hive entities in the fleet for their massive healing capabilities. The long range creatures have subpar healing capabilities and will likely crumble under focused fire. Unlike other factions’s long range vessels, the hive long range creatures are not very flexible when it comes to allocating power and over all engine output. Thus, ideal fleet 2 composition is 2 Greater hive entity and 1 Demolisher. It is also important to keep 1 class 4, 1 class 5 or 6, at relative high levels for the smaller maps and transitioning to bigger creatures. Fleet 1: I would suggest the players that want to take this route to pick fleet 2 or 3 until they reach class 9 or class 10. There is not a lot of choices when it comes to final fleet composition, a Class 9 and a Class 10. You would need a Class 9 more so for the healing than the fire power. It is currently possible to use the hive queen as an AI, but it might be patched out in due time. However, that choice is limited to only 1 player in the hive faction. How does hive fair against little green men? who cares. they are on the other side of the galaxy and in the unlikely event they do meet, it would depend entirely on what map size they fight in. The fleet composition for hive will likely be changed once the proboscis mechanic gets implemented. it will likely result in more players picking close range creatures over the long range creatures and class 9 over class 10.