|Mastermind: Controller||Tier 4|
|Basic (4 pt): Having at least one of your own hostage or converted law enforcer makes you regenerate 1.5% health every 5 seconds.|
|Ace (8 pt): Having at least one of your own hostage or converted law enforcer makes you regenerate 4.5% health every 5 seconds.|
- "Man! That was a little too close for my taste!"
- —Dallas on getting his health back after a close call.
The core mechanism of Hostage Taker is very straightforward. If there is at least one cable tied civilian or a cuffed law enforcer, players with this skill will passively regenerate 1.5%/4.5% of their own health points every 5 seconds, regardless of conditions (injured, armor depleted, or enemy damaging health points).
Although the skill description makes use of the words 'of your own hostage', it does not imply the Hostage Taker player must be the one using cable ties on civilians (unlike Stockholm Syndrome's mechanic that requires the heister to cable tie the civilians in order for them to not escape) nor dominating cops. Any crew members' cable tied civilians and/or cuffed cops are valid hostages.
This logic also applies to converted enemies. Hostage Taker accepts jokers of any crew member, whether from the Hostage Taker itself, or from a fellow heister.
Thanks to the core gameplay concept of Hostage Taker revolving around health points, this skill can prove extremely useful for a large, if not all, of health-based Perk Decks. However, the basic variant of this skill does not have much visible impact on the gameplay due to its low regeneration rate. If considering to use Hostage Taker, the heister must not be skimping around and go for the aced variant.
The base approximate timer for an aced Hostage Taker to fully regenerate a heister's health pool is 108 seconds. This timer can be shortened, or prolonged, depending on the conditions the heister encounters. The timer will be shorter if perk deck healing mechanisms aid, but on the other hand, the timer will be longer if the heister is constantly exposing the health points layer to enemy fire.
On the process of investing on skill points to unlock Tier 4, it's very well worth considering to use Partners in Crime aced, for an extra 30% HP, thus greatly increasing survivability.
One can also find useful investing in Confident aced for the capacity of having two converts, and not losing your 30% HP buff in case one of yours dies, but if you keep track of your single convert, this skill might not be as important as Partners in Crime aced, as you can easily replace it whenever there's a chance available.
If using converts, prioritize converting Maximum Force Responder units, as their frontal armor is immune to enemy fire, and have the highest HP available for a convert, making them the perfect convert unit to obtain and keep alive, allowing for longer healing periods of time.
Although the concept of the skill is eye catching for heavy armor and dodge builds to use as a backup plan in case armor is depleted, and to prevent showing a weak spot (on this case, being a lack of HP buffs on armor builds) by having the heister's HP back at full, this is not recommended. Doing this will result in a jack-of-all-trades fallacy, trying to do a bit of everything, but not outstanding on anything.
Heavy armor builds are expected to maintain their armor up at all times (e.g. ICTV Anarchists and Armorers), and two-piece suit builds are expected to avoid damage in their own unique ways (armor gating as Anarchist, or dodging bullets as Sicario or Rogue). Using Hostage Taker as an armor-focused build may result in a waste of potential that could have been invested in other more useful skills, such as Berserker and/or Frenzy. If possible, try to fight until the last down and use a Doctor Bag, or resort to a First Aid Kit.
Health-intensive perk decks are the ones who truly benefit from this skill. A Grinder can easily regenerate its whole HP with ease on combat and when out of combat thanks to its multiple healing layers. Another example is the Muscle and Stoic perk decks, which can reach high HP pools, making 4.5% HP per 5s a big number when applied.
This does not imply that you must choose exclusively between armor or health when creating a build. One can also create a health-armor hybrid loadout, such as Gambler, Stoic, Kingpin, or Tag Team with large investments in both the Enforcer's Tank and the Mastermind's Controller skill trees, and they will still benefit nicely from this skill.
These are all examples and recommendations, and there are other perk decks that could benefit nicely from health regeneration as well. Heisters are to experiment with them if they wish, and see which they find the most fit for their gameplay style.
However, for any of these benefits to take action, it is important for the crew to always have a converted/dominated enemy, or protect their hostages. Try to protect or move civilians to a secured defensive position and duck them in a corner far away from action to prevent possible accidental casualties as civilians panic straight to the gunfight.
If your crew is neither able to keep civilians under control, nor move them to a secured area, or there are no civilians at all on the current heist you're playing on, adjust your gameplay style to intimidate and dominate cops as often as possible.
When used together with a well-structured health set-up, and applied with the correct player expertise, heisters can become almost fully independent from First Aid Kits, and arguably Doctor Bags as well in some scenarios. Not only does this benefits the Hostage Taker, but also fellow crew members, thanks to you not using said deployable items and sparing them for your crew to use in case they need it instead.
- This skill replaced Control Freak as a tier 6 skill in Update #39.
- Prior to Hotfix #44.1, the decimal values were misplaced for health regeneration percentages, healing a whopping 60% HP/5s, instead of the intended value of 0.6% HP/5s.
- Prior to Update #74, Hostage Taker basic and aced healed 0.6%/2.0% health every 5 seconds, respectively.
- Hostage Taker is one of the several pre-Update #100 skills to be unchanged in the update beyond name changes, tier, skill point, skill tree tweaks, and slight mechanic changes.