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You've been playing Summer all wrong in Crucible

Crucible, Amazon Game Studios' free-to-play hero shooter, launched on Steam in May. The company's biggest game to date, Crucible has entered a fairly saturated market. In an effort to distinguish itself, the title offers an array of unique characters, eschewing the usual MMO roles like tank and support. These hunters are a bit more flexible, as they're designed for more than one job. 

In addition to being part of the launch lineup, Summer is one of the three hunters you can take on the tutorial, giving players an early introduction to this girl who's on fire. Her weapons of choice are a pair of wrist-mounted flamethrowers. She can lift herself into the air, and has plenty of mobility as her Firepulse Thrusters allow her to leap long distances. 

Though she has many combat advantages, Summer comes with a fairly significant drawback: her heat meter. If you play her the same way you play similar heroes in other games, her flamethrowers will constantly overheat and shut down, rendering you a liability instead of an asset. It's easy to make mistakes with characters you're not familiar with yet, so here are some of the adjustments you'll need to make to handle Summer in an optimal way.

Not managing Summer's heat gauge properly

Summer's biggest handicap is her heat gauge. Although she's got plenty of firepower and decent a HP pool, her flamethrowers can quickly overheat and leave you vulnerable. Once her heat meter fills up, she cannot attack for five seconds. That means you'll have to employ some careful tactics to get the most out of her strengths.

To prevent Summer from getting too overheated, you'll have to deliberately mete out damage. Use her flamethrowers in spurts — just enough that you have some extra firepower when you truly need it. Remember, though Summer can't use her flamethrowers while she's overheated, she can still melee. It's not quite the same, but she can be effective at close range without her biggest and baddest weapons.

With Summer, forget using your abilities back-to-back and go for a more measured approach.

Not using Summer's skills at close range

Summer's abilities make her effective from a distance, both in terms of mobility and offense, but she really shines when she's up close and personal with her enemies. She's got so much firepower that she uses her flamethrowers for maneuvering as well as hitting her foes. Her Firepulse Thrusters generate heat and thrust, while her impressive-looking Magma Spiral launches her upward in a twisting pattern of flame. She can also shoot Fireballs and exit tricky situations using Ignition Spark.

Her flamethrowers are short-range, though, and she's best utilized as a brawler in close quarters to keep up the pressure on your opponents. If you're looking for action, Summer's a good bet. Once you learn to manage her heat gauge well, she'll be one of your biggest assets for running and gunning at top speed. In a game focused on giving characters more flexibility so they're not trapped within the conventions that come with certain classes, she's got nuances you'll want to explore from the get-go.

Not collecting essence as quickly as possible to reach level upgrades

Collecting essence is a critical strategy that can help mitigate Summer's weaknesses. This resource will level her up, hitting milestones, boosting her heat resistance, and keeping her active longer. Once you reach the Level 2 essence upgrade, your flamethrowers will do 40% more damage if your heat gauge is over half full. At Level 4, your overheat recovery decreases to four seconds, and at Level 5 your maximum heat increases to 275.

Summer's skills expand at each level as well, giving her more powerful flames, burning fireballs, and extra fiery projectiles. Given that, you should make it a priority to level her up as soon as you can. This means you're going to have to figure out how to quickly weigh risk against reward to get the most out of her abilities. But once you've mastered that, you're definitely going to have a blast with Crucible.