What causes Elizabeth to give you the different kinds of loot?
I noticed that Elizabeth will occasionally comment that she doesn't have anything to give yet. How often will she get loot to give to you and how does it work? Is the amount of loot she'll be giving you fixed or decided by certain factors?
I noticed that Elizabeth will give Silver Eagles at first, then later, ammo, health, and salts (not sure if it's in that order). Are there specific points in the game where she'll start giving a different type of loot? If yes, at what points in the game will she start giving each different loot type? (I didn't notice at what point of the game she starts giving ammo, health or salts.)
You could accept loot from Elizabeth while in the middle of fighting. How does this affect gameplay? Will I take damage while I'm catching loot from Elizabeth?
Elizabeth will give you things based on a few factors:
Your progress in the game. She will start throwing you things after you have a conversation with her about them. For instance, she starts throwing you money after Battleship Bay, when you encounter a vending machine. She'll mention that she's going to keep an eye out for money. Later, as you're heading towards Hall of Heroes, she will start throwing you weapons.
There's always a dialog the two of you have before she gains a new "ability" - she'll say something like "Those Vigors seem to be quite powerful, I'll keep you stocked in Salts" before she starts throwing you Salts in combat. I believe the unlock order is:
- Money (Battleship Bay)
- Health (Soldier's Field)
- Ammo (Outside Hall of Heroes)
- Salts (Inside Hall of Heroes)
(With thanks to hammar for jogging my memory about the precise order and locations on these)
The current situation and your combat strategy. If you're low on health, she'll toss a health kit. If you're low on ammo, she'll toss you a fully loaded weapon (always the same one I was using when she called out to me) and some extra ammo.
When she says she has something, she is at that point locked in to whatever she's holding. You can drop/change weapons, and she'll still throw you the one she's got - you'll drop your current weapon if you don't have one of whatever she's tossing. In my experience, health takes precedence, and then whatever combat action I was taking when she first started noticing I was low.
The difficulty and how many times in the current engagement she's helped you. For money, there's almost certainly triggers in the environment that count. You can leave the game idle, and she'll not throw you any money. However, it seemed like whenever I was near a shopping area with vending machines, she would toss me some extra money.
Usually she will notify you that she's "looking" for things when your ammo, salt, or health is about half, and then later she'll throw you something. This can be a good indication that it's time to change tactics - she'll reliably warn you that you're running low on ammo or salt, for instance.
In combat, you will only get so many items from her before she'll declare she's all out. When she declares she's out, you're out of luck. I've been down to my last clip in both weapons, a sliver of health, and no salts to speak of, and she'll just cower in the corner. At that point, it's skyhook time.
I've found that at harder difficulties she can't find as much stuff.
Some other notes about Elizabeth's game mechanics:
- When you're catching, you're invincible. It's still a good idea to take cover prior to catching, since you're likely to be somewhat disoriented as the camera angle switches around a couple of times in quick succession.
- She can throw through solid objects and at infinite distance. She has a way of teleporting close to you when she has something, but I've still managed to get her to throw through walls at times.
- You can't catch things while aiming down sights. If you're low on health and in a combat situation, this is a good thing to keep in mind.
- The items all appear to be objects that are not in the environment. She's not grabbing a fixed spawn jar of salts, or looting a corpse, she's conjuring one out of thin air.
- The implication of being thrown a fully-loaded weapon is that you can bypass the reload delay on a weapon by firing until empty, and then accepting her assistance. This can be helpful in some "last ditch" combat situations, since you trade the reload delay for a period of invulnerability+free reload+free ammo.
Elizabeth can also open rifts to give you a combat advantage (this starts in the Hall of Heroes), but that's another topic... :)
- This is an ability that is on a cool down effect, similar to abilities in other games. Think of it as a passive cool down. What causes her to throw you the correct thing has to do with a priority system based on what she can give you at the time (what items she's said she'll get for you) and what you're using most of the time.
- She will begin by throwing you money. The cooldown on money is only on when you're out of a combat situation. Every minute that you're just wandering around with no cutscenes, she'll throw you some money. While in combat, it seems to be more around 30 seconds when she'll throw you something. If you're using a lot of ammo, she'll throw you a gun of the type you currently have selected. If you have been using a lot of vigors, she'll override the gun throw and throw you salts instead. Her top priority seems to be health, so if you're very low on health, she'll throw that above all else. This has been my mileage, though yours may vary.
- The unlocks are story based. First, she'll throw you some money here and there. Next would be guns and ammo, then health, then salts. Passed that, I haven't played to the end yet, but there doesn't look like there's another type of thing for her to throw you.
- While in the animation of turning towards Elizabeth and grabbing the item that she's throwing you, you are invulnerable to damage coming at you. During this time, you will take no damage that is dealt to you. However, you will be slightly disoriented and may have to re-position, since enemy placement will change. I've have this be a double-edge sword on my play-through. Sometimes, it saves me from taking a ton of damage from rockets or a Handyman, but other times, I've lost my target and now have to take cover elsewhere. The biggest thing I'll say about this is, taking items from Elizabeth takes the lowest priority of the F button. If there are items or guns around or there is a door in your way, the F key will take that as priority over having her throw you something. You have to be away from other items to get the F key to have her throw items at you.
As a side note, she will also hover over any lockpicks in the general area and let you know there are lockpicks. Handy. :D