The Firebug. It’s a class with razzle dazzle. Pizazz. Play your cards right and you’ll be topping the charts with kills. You’ll also likely annoy the hell out of everyone around you but you don’t care because fire and brimstone is your bread and butter. Only the demolition class is going to rain on your day and disintegrate the enemies you wanted to watch slowly burn. The only drawback is the complete inability to deal with anything above a Husk. Despite this, the Firebug is a blast to play.
You serve the essential role of keeping the team from being overwhelmed. You excel at clearing out everything below a husk. You can lock down a chokepoint to the point where only the big baddies are going to get through.
Bring the Heat is your baby if you’re starting off. It increases fire damage by 35%. The other perk at this level is High Capacity Fuel Tank. It doubles the fuel and mag capacity of all your weapons. When you get to rank 15 and pick up Napalm then you should go with High Capacity Fuel Tank.
Napalm is currently broken and can instantly clear waves with a single puff thanks to it’s massive AOE damage. Until it’s fixed, skip Barbecue and go with Ground Fire. It will massively buff the damage on your Molotov and the slow will help your team line up those head shots. Plus, if you’re playing the Firebug properly, you’ll be lighting the ground on fire most of the time anyway.
Napalm lets your fire jump from foe to foe like some malevolent virus. It also gives a 150% increased burn time. The other perk is that it’s broken as hell and can do a stupid amount of damage. Zed Shrapnel gives a 20% chance to explode that will damage and knock down nearby zeds. I like consistency and not praying to RNGesus so that’s why I usually give a pass on this perk. Plus Napalm is brokenly good right now.
Heatwave. No questions. Not even going to discuss the other option. This means even your craptastic (OP currently thanks to Napalm) caulk and burn can shove enemies out of the way. You’re already hard to get swarmed because you can just spray fire all over yourself and walk out unscathed. Now you can just run in a straight line and shove everything out of the way if you get in a bad spot. It’s your own personal get out of jail free card. Use it.
Now those of you possessing a single working eye will have noticed I’ve photoshopped rank 20 and 25 to look as if I’ve achieved this level. You’re wrong. I used paint.
Spend the hundreds of hours achieving these ranks and then tell me I’m wrong. I’ll revise the guide and even put in a snarky shout out with your name on it. Someone has done so. Shout out at the bottom.
Inferno is your pick at level 25. The extra burn damage is nice but it’s the 30% slow you’re after. Combined with Ground Fire it will be a huge boon to your team. Slower Zeds means they’ll have an easier time lining up those crucial head shots. Pyromaniac sounds great on paper but the fire damage still ticks as normal so your only benefit is getting the impact damage from your spray. That’s a small amount of damage. You’ll feel awesome while doing it but Inferno has greater team utility and that’s god at higher difficulty levels.
Caulk n’ Burn – Starter weapon. Short range. Not a lot of ammo. Still lights things on fire and thanks to the Napalm bug it can stay with you for the entire game if you like. Also still benefits from the Heat Wave talent and pushes enemies out of the way.
Trench Gun – Personally, I like the Trench Gun. It combines what I like about the Support class with the Firebug. Realistically, the Trench Gun doesn’t benefit from your perks, it has a small ammo pool, and deals subpar damage. That being said, it does have it’s niche uses. You can kill a siren in a single blast. Kill a husk with 2 headshots or a single fueltank hit. It will also probably serve you better in a last stand scenario against any of the big baddies. Otherwise, just skip it.
Flamethrower – Better in every way than the Caulk n’ Burn. Not necessary as long as Napalm is broken but you’ll notice a difference.
Microwave Gun – High ammo use and a huge weight in your inventory means this is a skip until the boss. Even then, it’s only really useful against the Patriarch. Hans is getting a Flamethrower to the face.
How to Play
Aim at the feet! You’ll be leaving a pool of fire on the ground for things to walk through. You’re not getting extra points for scoring a headshot with your flamethrower. Your movement is going to be like that of the tides. Run forward and spread some fire on the legs of the zeds and then back peddle. The zeds won’t die immediately so you have to stay nimble. Once they turn to ash, run forward and repeat the process.
Now eventually you’ll have to reload. Usually you aren’t lucky with getting a lull in the combat. This means you need to back up and then just recover the lost ground. If there is a bunch of enemies and you notice your gas is getting low, toss a Molotov. It’ll deal a ton of damage and buy you the crucial time you need to reload and keep the fire coming.
Spray your napalm in short and controlled bursts. The damage is from the zeds being on fire. Not from getting hit in the face with napalm (negligible impact damage). So you only need a small burst to light them up. This will also help you conserve your ammunition.
The early game is a cake walk for you. Run around and light those early clots up for some much needed dosh. Remember you start with a couple Molotovs. If you see a big group, toss one in and get all that sweet sweet money before your teammates can pop their heads. As soon as you can afford it, pick up the Medic Pistol. Easy experience for your medic class and your teammates will thank you. Hang onto it for the entire game.
Normal/Hard – Skip the armor until wave 5. You’re not likely to die if you play smart and you’ll have teammates (and your Q) to heal you. You’ll be taking damage but it’s not likely to be the fatal kind so you’ll just be burning money on armor that was unnecessary.
Suicidal – You’re looking at getting the Flamethrower by the end of wave 2.
If you’re not on suicidal you’ll likely be getting the flamethrower around the mid game. If Napalm is still broken you’re fine just sticking to the Caulk n Burn. Otherwise, grab the flamethrower. It’s an all-around better item than your starting caulk and burn. As soon as you can safely afford it and not be destitute in terms of ammo and armor, do so.
It is around this time that the big baddies are showing up. Scrakes and Flesh Pounds (“FP”) are not to be messed with. Outright ignore them. When you see one coming down your chokepoint, avoid lighting it up. Shoot around it at the enemies behind. When they get close, just back up and let your teammates pull aggro. You’ll be able to walk right around them and resume keeping the chokepoint clear. If you bought the Trench Gun because you’re a rebel, don’t shoot them. They will instantly rage (even if stunned) and it will piss off your team to no end. On harder difficulties it can mean a team wipe. Also, don’t throw a Molotov. Same effect as the Trench Gun. If your team is dead then all bets are off. Run, close doors behind you, shoot wildly with Trench Gun and Molotov. Pray to the Patriarch.
The hidden danger from Scrakes and FPs is that they demand the attention of your entire team. That means before you know it, swarms of small mobs are everywhere and things can spiral out of control quickly. Your job is to let them handle the Scrakes and FP’s while you make sure the trash mobs stay back and out of their hair.
Switch to a better class. If you insist on continuing as the Firebug there is specific advice on each. Make sure you have both the Flamethrower and the Microwave Gun. You’re going to have to throw one on the ground to get both.
Hans – Pick up the Flamethrower. He takes 120% damage from fire so the Flamethrower is going to be your work horse for this fight. Plus it’s great for clearing the occasional trash mobs that show up.
Patriarch – Pick up the Microwave Gun. He only takes 50% damage from fire so be sure to nuke the Patriarch like you nuke your frozen tv dinner each night because you can’t cook worth a damn.