Babbler

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Babbler
Babbler.gif
"Lil' Gorge-riding bugs!"
Kharaa.png Kharaa
Health
10 (Babbler)
Armor
0
Spawns From: Babbler Egg
Air Speed: 6 (min), 15 (max)
Abilities and Upgrades
Abilities:
Babbler Bite, Cling, Hardened Carapace
Evolutions:
Carapace, Regeneration, Vampirism,
Adrenaline, Celerity, Crush,
Camouflage, Aura, Focus
Miscellaneous
Tech Requirements:
Biomass level 1, Upgrade Gorge (Hive)
Build Time: 2 (per babbler) seconds
Limit: 6 Babblers per player

Introduction

The Babbler is a Kharaa subspecies created by the Gorge. It is a small, crustacean and insect-like creature, which shares a symbiotic relationship with all Kharaa lifeforms.

Each Babbler is symbiotically bound to the Gorge, which leaves a genetic imprint that dictates the babbler's life expectancy; the Gorge itself can only produce 6 Babbler as long as it belongs to the Gorge. If you detach it to other Lifeforms you will relinquish your ownership and you will spawn new Babblers.

Behavior

Once spawned, babblers will stay at the gorge and form a Shield.

If detached they babblers will crawl and jump around, look at glowing things such as Cysts, and follow the parent Gorge wherever it goes. However, their curious demeanor hides the predatory instincts prevalent in all Kharaa lifeforms.

Babblers are social but territorial and aggressive creatures that will attack any non-Kharaa lifeform in sight. Using their snapping jaws lined with sharp teeth, babblers will lunge at their prey viciously. Because babblers are simple-minded, the Gorge has evolved a special pheromone called Babbler Bait to attract and direct babblers. With the bait in the Gorge's mouth, all babblers will stop moving, turn towards the parent Gorge, and obediently wag their pointy shells in anticipation.

Once thrown, the bait will produce an irresistible pheromone that causes babblers to leap at the bait. Any Marines that stray near will find themselves as potential meals for a feeding frenzy. In absence of organic sustenance, babblers will instead attack Frontiersmen structures carrying human scent.

Babblers also exhibit a bizarre behavior when higher Kharaa lifeforms are covered in bait pheromone; they will ecstatically climb onto a lifeform and cling tightly until the pheromone appears elsewhere. Kharaa lifeforms under babblers' protection are recently seen entering combat, significantly increasing lifeform durability.

Tactics

  • Use Babblers as a shield on other Lifeforms in order to spawn new babblers.
  • Flames and cluster grenades will melt the
  • Babblers behave as a pack, if you trigger one, the others will join and focus the same target
  • Standing still against babblers is a death wish, keep moving or you will slowly die
  • As a gorge you can use the babbler bait ball to direct babblers, so they will scout an area for you.
  • Babblers try to predict where you will be at the end of there jump, strafe randomly if you have to stay in the area
  • If babblers are attacking a building, they will focus it until told otherwise by the gorge. Watch out for nasty babblers finishing off low phase gates and power nodes.

Abilities

Babbler Bite

Cling

Babbler Bite
Babbler bite slot.gif
With its snapping jaws, the Babbler bites a target rapidly.
  • Babbler will always try to jump at its target before biting.
Damage 8
Type normal
Range Melee
Fire Rate 0.40 seconds
Targets Marines, Robots, Structures
Babblers biting a Command Station
Cling
Cling slot.gif
Babblers will cling onto a friendly Kharaa lifeform hit by the owner Gorge's Babbler Bait.
  • Each lifeform has different attach points for Babblers.
  • The number of Babblers attached is displayed as icons beside the Health/Armor circle for the host player.
  • Babblers will detach when the Gorge throws another Babbler Bait.
Duration ∞ seconds
Max Amount 6 Babblers per player
Targets Lifeforms, Owner
Babblers clinging to a fellow Gorge


Trivia

  • Babblers were originally a Gorge ability in NS1, using a smaller Skulk model and Half-Life 1's Snark code.
  • In early development for NS2, Babblers were planned to be unleashed from Mature Crags by the Alien Commander.
  • Babblers will stop babbling when their parent Gorge has evolved the Camouflage evolution.
  • Babbers will cloak if their host lifeform is invisible, but will not cloak when unattached.
  • Babblers once hatched by the Babbler Mine that is now the Bile Mine.

Media