The Assistant: From Greytide to God – Barotrauma

The Assistant: From Greytide to God – Barotrauma 1 -
The Assistant: From Greytide to God – Barotrauma 1 -

A guide to the Assistant class, including talent explanations and recommended order for leveling up.

Humble Beginnings

So, you picked the Assistant. Considered by some to be the trainee class where you don’t have as many responsibilities, you begin with generally lower skills in all five categories and start with nothing but a wrench, a screwdriver, and an outfit that offers no protection but gives you a meager +5 in everything to help you suck a little less at the start. But, my friend, don’t fret – your rise to power will soon begin, making you one of if not the most feared yet respected crewmates in the Europan seas.
When starting out, do whatever you can to assist the sub. Be at the beck and call of anyone who calls out for repairs, help security man the guns if some stray crawlers show up, and generally just scrounge for some skill points here and there. Your first level should arrive soon enough after a few missions, and it’s time to plan out your ascendance. Let’s take a look at the various skills the Assistant has to offer.

Jack of All Trades Tree

First up – the Jack of All Trades tree. This tree is based around jacking your skills to the stratosphere and rewarding you when you do. The skill description and tier is on the left, and my notes are on the right. Note that you must get a skill of one tier to be able to access the skill(s) on the next.

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Multitasker (T1): Whenever you gain a skill point, if it’s not for the same skill as the last skill point gained, gain an additional skill point. Gain an additional 20% Repair Speed.

Honestly, kind of weak. Handy if you’re going with a very small crew where you have to do most jobs to pick up the slack, but by the time you get a few more talents, your repair speed is going to be bonkers anyway. Almost no reason to take this over the other skill available here.
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Apprenticeship (T1): Whenever another allied character gains a skill point, you have a 20% chance to also gain a skill point in that skill. Gain an additional 15% Maximum Health.

Possibly the best starting skill to get as an Assistant. You’ll be getting skill levels from other people doing their jobs, and the health increase is appreciated no matter your skill level or location in the campaign. Get this and don’t look back.
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Stand and Deliver (T2): Whenever you finish at least one mission, gain The Sailor’s Guide. Whenever you use ‘The Sailor’s Guide’, the ally nearest to you gains 4 to all skills.

When you finish ANY mission (even if it’s just a beacon repair side mission) you’ll get this handy book in your inventory when you transition to a new map/outpost. You’ll only get one per round, even if you did more than one mission, but that doesn’t matter. The description is slightly misleading – yes, the closest ally gets +4 to EVERY skill when you read this book, but so do YOU. That’s right, completing one mission is a +4 to your engineering, electrical, helm, security, and medical. Spread the love to the engineers early on so they get over 55 in their skill, which means they’ll stop being shocked from failed skill checks. Feel free to spread the love to anyone else who wants a boost. To use the book, just select it in your inventory and hold RMB to “read” it. The usage bar on the book will drop quickly, and when it runs out, the boost will activate.
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Rich in Knowledge (T3): Whenever you gain a skill point, gain an additional 20 experience, while your allied crewmembers gain 10 experience. This effect can only occur up to 15 times until you finish another mission.

Sounds useful at first, but you’re competing with the Captain for exp bonuses, and he can eventually get talents to earn three medals to spread out (two that give +250 exp and one for +750 exp). Even if you maxed out your bonuses from this skill every round, that’s only 300 exp for you and 150 for the crew, which is a drop in the bucket later on.
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Ace of All Trades (T3): Gain a bonus of 15 to all skills. Gain 15 marks whenever you gain a skill point.

Similar to the other skill, but the crew gets money instead of exp when you get a skill. The additional +15 to your skills is going to be a useful boon, and extra pocket change is always helpful for the crew, especially since there is no cap on the amount of skills/money you can get on a mission with this skill.
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Olympian (T4): You can gain skills past their ordinary maximum. You gain an additional percentage to the following attributes equal to 50% of the total average of all your skills:
Melee Power
Repair Speed
Turret Power Cost Reduction
Swimming Speed

This is it. This is what all your skill gains have been building up to. Your skill limit is now 500 instead of 100, and the higher you go, the more damage you’ll do, the faster you’ll swim, the faster you’ll repair, and the more efficient you are on the turrets. This is one of the two skills (the other being the last one in the clown tree) you should aim for.


Grayshirt Tree

Next up is the Greyshirt tree, which is probably the least important tree to work on until you finish the other two. This one is a bit odd, in that it can increase your survivability or reward you for being lazy and dying.

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Playing Catchup (T1): If you are 2 or more levels behind the highest-leveled crewmember, gain an additional 100% mission experience.

If you join a campaign pretty late, this is a good first choice. Otherwise, ignore it.
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Skedaddle (T1): Move 10% faster. When you are attacked, this bonus is increased to 30% for 5 seconds. Gain an additional 30% stun resistance.

The default winner here, since the other option really isn’t of much use. You’re faster and stay stunned for a shorter time, what’s not to love?
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Survival Package (T2): Enemies will ignore you if you have been ragdolled for longer than 4 seconds. Gain 1 each of Morphine, Bandage, and Blood Pack after each mission.

Handy if you ever get in trouble and need to survive long enough for help to arrive. Just hold space, survive for at least 4 more seconds, and you’re good to go. Make sure you have enough oxygen in your suit/mask and that you aren’t bleeding out/about to pass out from low health though.
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Crew Layabout (T2): Lose 40% repair speed. Suffer a reduction of 15 to all skills. Allies near you repair 25% faster and gain a bonus of 10 to all skills.

Why? The entire Jack of All Trades tree exists to make you a juggernaut of repairing and actively rewards you by making you passively better the higher your skills go. This talent spits in the face of all of that. Avoid.
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Insurance Policy (T3): Whenever you die from non-friendly sources duiring a mission, your crew is paid 700 marks for each mission you’ve completed since the last time you died.

Reminder that when you die, if you respawn before the round ends, you suffer from Reaper’s Tax which costs 1,000 marks at the next outpost to remove. If you don’t respawn, you roll up a new character, which means goodbye to all of your crazy high skill levels. Plus, the money only builds when you complete a mission, which means you’re probably going to get money that way anyway. If your sub is constantly hurting from low money, tell the Captain to make smarter purchases.
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Still Kicking (T3): Whenever you fall below 0 health, rapidly heal normal damage types and remove stun over a short duration. This effect can only occur once per life each round.

A free extra life. Can definitely keep you alive long enough for help to arrive if Survival Package alone wasn’t enough.
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Graduation Ceremony (T4): Upon creating a new character, retain all of your current experience for that new character. Gain an additional 10% maximum health for each of your levels.

If you want to leave the Assistant life behind and swap to a more specialized class, here you go. You’ll be able to redistribute all of your talent points for the new class, but you’ll lose the incredible power of the Assistant when you do. Otherwise, enjoy the hell out of the maximum health boost here. When you max out all trees, that’s 120% more health (135% if you took Apprenticeship in the Jack of All Trades tree).


Clown Tree

Finally, we have the Clown tree. This is for the Assistant who wants to play a more active role in the ship, from going on expeditions to providing better support in battles. Despite the fear usually associated with clowns, you can become a shining beacon of hope and clownery for the rest of the crew if played right. Note that you will need a full clown outfit to utilize every skill in this tree, as well as a bike horn and (later on) a toy hammer. Some of the default subs have clown outfits stashed away, but otherwise, just ask the Captain to buy these items at an outpost. Each component only costs 1 mark, so don’t believe any excuses about “not being able to afford it”. Sell or toss your standard Assistant’s Outfit once you go clown, you won’t need it anymore.
I should also mention the “special” clown outfit that you can sometimes find in wrecks – Mother’s Countenance (a mask) and Mother’s Providence (the suit). While fancier than the regular clown outfit, it’s simply a cosmetic difference. There’s no additional benefit to wearing the rare outfit other than style points.

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Enroll Into Clown College (T1): As long as you are wearing a full clown outfit, you gain Clown Power. Clown Power allows you to honk your horn to give nearby characters an additional 30% skill gain for a short while. Clown Power gives you an additional 25% damage resistance

Your descent into clownery begins. The clown outfit may not have any bonuses, but this essentially means you start with a 25% physical damage resistance and can now run around honking your horn everywhere so people build skills faster. If you have nothing better to do, honk at the Captain while he’s driving to build his helm skill, which (if you got Apprenticeship first like you should have) means you might passively get Helm skill faster too!
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Water Prankster (T2): Unlock the ability to make the Clown Diving Mask. Clown Power gives you immunity to pressure and allows you to swim 50% faster.

This is HUGE. You no longer need to wear a diving suit when you leave the sub, meaning your outer wear slot is freed up so you can wear body armor, a safety harness, or whatever. This also means you’ll survive serious accidents where the sub is suddenly flooded without needing to race for a diving suit. Make the new diving mask immediately and stash some Oxygen Tanks in your toolbelt and you’ll be ready no matter what watery action you get in to.
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Inspiring Tunes (T2): Clown Power allows you to honk your horn to repair nearby electrical and mechanical items, and nearby allies gain a bonus of 15 to all skills for a short while.

It sounds nice, but remember – the Jack of All Trades skill tree boosts your skills to insane amounts as well as repair speed, so why stand around honking your horn at smoking devices when you can fix them yourself much faster? Why boost the skills of allies when you should have been feeding them from your Sailor’s Guide to permanently boost them higher? If you’re playing passively and don’t want any action outside of the sub, go ahead and take this and just run around the sub honking constantly to keep things patched up. Still, I personally don’t think this is as good as Water Prankster.
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Psycho Clown (T3): Clown Power allows you to attack faster with melee weapons based on how much Psychosis you have, up to 150%, but you cannot run while having Psychosis.

The T3 clown tree skills are honestly the weakest of the bunch. This skill forces you to become Psychotic to get any use out of it, and the best way to do this is to inject yourself with Alien Blood. The faster swing speed can make you an absolute terror if you also have Olympian’s melee damage buff, but the situations where you’d actually want to go the psychotic route are few and far between.
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Slapstick Expert (T3): Clown Power allows you to have a small chance to trip randomly when you run. While ragdolled, Clown Power allows you to reduce the power of incoming attacks by 50%, and characters that attack you have a 50% chance of becoming stunned for 4 seconds.

Ask around and you’ll get mixed opinions on this. It says you have a “small chance” to trip (read: ragdoll/stun yourself for a few seconds), but depending on your luck, this could happen often or rarely. If you have a Mechanic buddy who took the Safety First talent and can make Safety Harnesses, you can ask for one to make the random tripping/stunning almost an entire non-issue. The Greyshirt tree’s Survival Package is entirely better, making enemies ignore you entirely as well as not having a chance to make you randomly fall. Then again, the random tripping could be pretty funny, and you ARE a clown…
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True Potential (T4): Clown Power allows you to honk your horn to slowly heal nearby allies. You have a .75% chance to implode any living being you hit with your toy hammer. You gain an additional 25% phsyical damage resistance.

The healing buff here is the main draw – this is a passive AOE heal that will recover damage from damn near anything. You’ll become a hero as you patch up the security officer while you’re out clearing a nest, or when you bandage the Captain’s 1 brute damage from when he fell off a ladder. The toy hammer perk is a roll of the dice, but it affects ANYTHING – including things like Abyss creatures, if you manage to not get instantly killed by them. You can also smack people with it in an outpost, as the toy hammer doesn’t count as an act of aggression and security won’t care even if someone does explode from it (you’ll still take a reputation hit though).


A Passive Bonus For Other Crewmates

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention an oft-overlooked ability of Assistants – the fact that their deaths do not hinder the talents of the rest of the crew. To clarify, other classes have talents that give bonuses to the crew but those bonuses are reset when someone dies…but not if that someone is an Assistant.
-The Captain’s “Trust Building” talent increases the maximum health of the entire crew, with a bonus if everyone survives. If an Assistant dies, though, the increase is still given at the maximum bonus.
-Similarly, the Captain’s “Camaraderie” talent rewards the crew with more money and experience if everyone survives, but again – it still activates if only Assistant’s die!
-The Medical Doctor has a T1 talent, Field Medic, that gives him 7 medical skill points after a mission if everyone survives…not including Assistants.
-The Medical Doctor has another skill where no one dying grants them a medicine skill book and 45% more experience. You probably see the pattern, but an Assistant can die with no ramifications for this.
-Security Officers gain 35% more experience if no one dies during a mission. Assistants can bite the dust with no impact on this talent.
For new players, this means you don’t have to worry about ruining the talent abilities of other classes if you mess up and die. For veterans, this means you are expendable and are the go-to choice for risky retrieval or combat missions if the chances of death are high.

Recommended Skill Order

To preface – this is my own opinion and the order I usually go for my campaigns. You can absolutely go your own route through the trees, just remember that each skill point takes longer to earn than the last.
Apprenticeship should almost always be first. More maximum health and passive skill gain from the other members of your crew is going to be useful from start to finish.
Stand and Deliver should be second, because boosting yourself and others is, again, going to be a nonstop boon that keeps on paying off throughout the campaign. Once you hit your skill cap of 100, just hang on to the additional books until you unlock Olympian.
After those two skills, it’s time to make a choice. You can continue down the first tree, aiming for Olympian, or divert into the Clown tree to play a more active role. I enjoy jumping into and completing the Clown tree next, since the Captain is going to start getting medals soon and can start throwing more experience around. When you start nearing the 100 cap on your skills, hold on to your Sailor’s Guide books until you unlock Olympian.
You can safely ignore the Greyshirt tree until you max out the other skill trees, the benefits just don’t compare. They’re not bad by any means, but compared to what the other trees offer, you can save those skills for a rainy day.

The Payoff

Let’s pretend you finish the Jack of All Trades and Clown skill trees. Here’s a quick list of benefits that you will now have:
-Skills that go over 100, and continue boosting your melee damage/swim speed/turret ability/repair speed as you go ever higher. Eventually you will repair things so fast, even fixing something from 0% to 100% will go by so quickly, the repairing sound effects won’t have time to play.
-Those same skills will passively go up as your crewmates do their own jobs and you read a book after every single mission. Oh, and you get paid every single time you get better.
-You will have a 50% physical damage resistance and immunity to water pressure.
-You can heal all allies nearby with a honk of your horn. There is no limit to how often this can be used.
-15% more maximum health.
If you toss Greyshirt into the equation, in addition to the above, you’ll end up with:
-10% increased movement speed (30% temporarily if you’re attacked)
-Safety from all enemies if you ragdoll for 4 seconds
-An extra life, restoring your health and removing stun once a round when you go into critical
-10% more maximum health for each level you have, accounting for 120% more maximum health when all trees are done (PLUS the 15% health from Apprenticeship!)
You will be able to repair the sub faster than any engineer, pilot the sub better than any Captain, heal multiple allies more efficiently than any medic, and handle weaponry better than any security officer. Want to push things even further? Ask your Medic buddy for Thresher genes, which at maximum potency will mean you no longer need oxygen. Laugh at the mortals who still need bulky suits to not get crushed by pressure as you merrily swim circles around them, honking your horn and decimating enemies with your melee weapons.
If you ever do get tired of being a god amongst men, you can essentially change class for free and have all your talent points ready to go for whatever you decide to specialize in. Once you go clown though, you won’t want to go back.

Written by MegaMan

I hope you enjoy the The Assistant: From Greytide to God – Barotrauma guide. This is all for now! If you have something to add to this guide or forget to add some information, please let us know via comment! We check each comment manually!

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