The most important structure of all Alien lifeforms, the Hive is the be-all and end-all of your game. The equivalent to the Commander's Chair of the Marines, this is the base of operation for the whole Alien team, and if all of the teams hives die, the Aliens lose automatically.
Hives are only capable of being spawned in 'Command Points' in strategic areas around the map the game takes place in, with Marines naturally integrating with the power points and Hives violently pulling the panels away to get to the electricity inside to super-charge the Bacterium that the Kharaa are symbiotically related to.
At the beginning of the game, the Hive starts at Biomass Level One, and the Hive can be evolved into a Shift, Shade, or Crag hive, each with their own pros and cons, at the beginning of the game. Each Hive can be evolved into any one of these, but this is your most important choice at the beginning of the game.
Most Commanders (as the game has to have a commander to start) choose Shade Hives, allowing them to hide their growth as much as possible in the beginning of the game. Some Commanders choose Shift Hive and have gorges mass-produce Resource Extractors in the beginning Res-point of the game spawned by their spawn location, allowing them to spam Cysts all over the map to different Res points and Echo the fully grown Resource Extractors to these points with little danger to their Gorge players and less cost if they lose the Resource Tower immediately.
Every Alien player begins with a set amount of P.Res (Personal Resources) at the beginning of the game, and they all spawn as Skulks. The first point of business? One or two of the players go Gorge, and the rest run all over the map to figure out where the enemy is coming from. The Aliens and Marines typically start in the same areas on each map, and its very easy to guess where the Marines start as they typically start in one specific location, however the Aliens are almost always randomized to be at one of two points as far from the Marines as possible, allowing for each team to capture another Hive or Command Chair almost immediately, so long as they are prepared.
The Hive, while the players are running around nibbling marines and skulking about, has many jobs to do, and is dictated by the Commander. Their job usually goes like this at the start of the game:
- Evolve to a Shift, Crag or Shade Hive.
- Place a Shift, Crag, or Shade by the Hive.
- Evolve to Biomass Level 3 ASAP
- While evolving Biomass to full levels, research as many abilities as possible, specifically rushing Bile Bomb and Leap, and then go from there based on the player Lifeform selection.
- Place more Hives.
The Hive has specific jobs, discounting the 'STAY ALIVE' job, which is constant and never ending.
- Spawning eggs so Aliens can respawn and evolve
- Enhancing Biomass and Evolving abilities for the Alien players
- Healing the Kharaa in a general area around itself
- Allowing the Kharaa to use the 'Hive Sight,' or 'Alien Vision.'
The Hive also has abilities that make these jobs easier.
- Can Spawn Eggs for extra Resources in case of emergency
- Can evolve excess eggs into expensive life forms such as Onos with Team Resources for players who are too poor to afford to evolve into expensive life forms