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Last Posted March 18, 2016 at 8:41 PM
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#8 LFT Mid-High Open Demo S22 in Recruitment (looking for team)

Definitely a dedicated player, with the right team he could easily be playing at a high open level. If you are looking to put together a team that intends to stay together for a few seasons and really improve I can't recommend him more.

posted about 4 years ago
#14 Let's try to point out WHAT MAKES A GOOD 6s MAP in Map Discussion

2 other good articles I found (they are old, but scimming over them there are a lot of points that remain relevant)


Also, to reiterate a point that I made (in a lengthy post) in the other thread: One of the big factors that makes a map good is experience and familiarity. Knowing what to expect, what potential threats exist, and even just being comfortable with basic holds and pushes between points is critical to "liking" a map.

What we should really be trying to do is setting up 'map reviews' for new maps. Have the map maker sit in mumble with a team (or even a few teams) as they walk through a map and discuss holds and pushes. Players don't have the knowledge of map making to translate their feelings about flaws in maps to useful comments in the same way that most map makers don't have the extensive knowledge of all competitive classes to be able to see their map as each of those classes.

posted about 4 years ago
#48 We need to encourage TF2 map makers! in Map Discussion

After reading through this thread, and more specifically reading through the responses of map makers (seriously, everyone in this community needs to read those posts a few times, because the way we have treated the few map makers who have tried to cater to our needs is utterly shameful) I think the problem is one fundamental to the current system of feedback.

Right now the most common form of feedback (beyond the literally useless "this map sucks" comments) is that the map is a poor clone of some other more familiar map. And I don't think that this is because map testers are lazy and intentionally hurtful or negative (though there are certainly bad apples out there). It is more a factor of testing maps through pugs. TF2 is a game of coordination and positioning. Holds only work when every player on a team is aware of their role in that hold. Pushes only succeed when every player on a team understands what their objectives should be. This is why there are often wildly different opinions of even the more widely played maps.

When you pug a map you are not only putting together a disparate group of players who may or may not work well together, but you are placing them on a map they have little to no knowledge of. Of course they are going to attempt to apply strats from familiar maps to that map. They are going to look for layouts, holds, pushes, etc that they recognize. And once they find those things they are going to attempt to recreate holds from other maps.

Obviously these holds aren't going to work perfectly, it is a different map and there are different considerations that need to be made for pushes and holds. Players get frustrated because holds that *should* work fail and they don't always understand why. So their feedback becomes an expression of this system of testing: that the map is a poor clone of another map because it 1) resembles that other map, and 2) does not perfectly cater to the holds and pushes used on that other map.

What you need is to create a 2 part system. A pug group that not only plays on the map, but also does a comprehensive review of the map. Get teams, ideally existing ones, not just pug teams, to spend an hour walking through the map, talking about attacking and defending each point and working through not only strats but counter strats for various holds and pushes (they aren't going to find everything, but this will give them a solid idea of how to try to play the map, and can often catch some of the more critical flaws in a map without the need to play a single round). Once they've done that let them play a few rounds on it. This way they have a chance to test the theories they created during the map review portion of the testing process.

I guess, the really short version is this:
1) The maps we like are liked because they are also the maps we know (there are other factors, but honestly, the biggest factor in liking a map is knowing what to expect on it)
2) Playing on unfamiliar maps is always going to lead to 2 things: Comparing that map to more familiar maps, and being uncomfortable on that map because despite similarities it is still fundamentally different (which most players have difficulty translating into anything other than negative feedback)

posted about 4 years ago
#10 Tip of the Hats event donation incentives in TF2 General Discussion

Some event specific ideas:

NA v EU show match: Bid war to decide server location (which side has a ping advantage)
Depends on your format, if you are just playing one map it would be less viable (but still possible, would have to start the bid war before hand). Anyway, ping is always an issue for these, and typically they are played over three maps alternating between and EU or an NA server. If you are using the same format (and have access to both an EU and an NA server) then creating bid wars to choose which server is used (make it into an NA v EU for the viewers as well). Could do this for all maps, or just for the decider.

Jump/Surf: Bonus runs, record attempts, etc...
Would have to leave these up to the players taking part, they would need to be comfortable with the potential bonus runs. But bid wars to determine from a list of options, for this extra content. Or, make it a series of goals. Each subsequent goal unlocks an additional bonus run.

1v1 MGE: Select location, either for all matches, or for brackets/individual matches
Depends a bit on the format you are planning on using, and depending on classes being played the options would have to be selected carefully. Alternatively, could allow viewers to vote for classes/weapons to be used, but that has the potential to get clowny (which might not be a bad thing)

Pubs are fairly straightforward. Selecting modes, maps, custom content, can also allow players to bid for early access prior to events that will appear on stream. Or, if you have several pub servers live you could allow viewers to vote for which server appears on stream for a set period of time

Uncrating, maybe selecting the series that is uncrated. If you are doing all at once this probably doesn't work. But if you aren't uncrating everything it is viable, or if you are uncrating at various times it can also work.

Ultiduo/BBall: First thought was map, but there isn't a huge difference between maps for either mode. Might be interesting to vote on teams comprised of the various 'stream personalities' present to be played after the main event. Sort of a more clowny show match involving the various twitch and youtube personalities that are present for the event.

posted about 4 years ago
#37 A talk about lobby seriousness in TF2 General Discussion

This thread got derailed quickly.

Anyway, the point of the original post is a valid one, and while I agree asking people to step up and take lobbies a bit more seriously is unlikely to do anything there were some good points raised that are worth considering.

I think one of the more reasonable additions (to any lobby system, new or old) is the ability to create an extra "coach" slot on either/each team to allow a higher level player to offer guidance to teams (and to maybe make life easier for the amazing people that run the newbie mixes)

EDIT: suppose there is the potential to abuse or "troll" with the coach slot the same way you could with any of the other class slots, might be worth setting some requirements that are always in effect for a coach slot, or make those slots only open by invitation of the lobby maker... something to ensure that they are actually used the correct way (as much as possible)

posted about 4 years ago
#158 Loose Cannon in TF2 General Discussion

Fair point, and I wasn't suggesting that the visual indication would be a tool for dodging the damage completely. The projectile definitely moves to fast for it to be any use in that regard.

I was mostly speaking towards the current 'randomness' of the double donk damage. When you are pushing it is possible to tank 40-60 damage while you are getting through a choke point if the donk was timed wrong. But currently there is no way to know if the donk is going to do 40-60 or 141 so you have to pop if you see the cannonball coming. Some visual indication, even with the limited time to react, would be enough to know if you have to right click or not.

I definitely think that valve needs to tweak the weapon more, but I don't think it is broken enough right now to warrant a ban.

posted about 4 years ago
#156 Loose Cannon in TF2 General Discussion
Add some visual indication of the timer (I think someone suggested that the projectile changes color) and I think the weapon would be fine as is. That one change removes all of the 'randomness' from the weapon.

i dont think that would solve anything since the projectile simply moves too fast?

Maybe, but all of TF2 is predicated on speed and mobility, so as long as the visual indication is very noticeable (when I mentioned the previous color change suggestion I meant a really vibrant color when it is about to det) I think that would be enough. As medic you only need a split second to know if you are about to get regular donked or double donked.

Basically, I think the biggest issue with the weapon is that as a medic you literally can't know if you are taking a 40-60 damage hit (which is fairly small, compared to other damage sources) or if you are about to take 141 damage (+ potential fall damage). When I'm pushing a choke, if I have some means of predicting that difference in damage it means that I have more control over when I pop.

The rest of the weapon: burst damage, knock back, spam-ability... sure it is a pain to play against right now because it changes how you have to play, but it is possible to play around it, so I don't think it is worth banning the weapon.

jozefalso... (not in reply to clockwork) the loose cannon is not unlike a sticky trap. Both can basically one shot medics, and both seem to come out of nowhere. A double donk possibility should not be cause to ban the weapon, but to find a strategy that works around it. When a push come through a door, usually a scout checks for a sticky trap for fear of a medic walking through it. Some kind of strategy could be implemented using the same idea of a sort for a push through a choke against the LC.

The key difference is that you can check for a sticky trap, and more importantly, you can clear a sticky trap. A double donk can't be checked for as it is fired while you are pushing, and it can't be cleared unless you manage to kill the demo (and you shouldn't be able to do that prior to pushing through a choke unless the demo is really out of position.

I'm not saying you can't play around it. You definitely can. But it is only similar to a sticky trap in regards to the damage potential. It would be more accurate to compare it to a random crit rocket, except this one you can control.

posted about 4 years ago
#151 Loose Cannon in TF2 General Discussion

My one big issue with the weapon is there is no way to know when it is going to det. Rockets, pipes, stickies, even hit scan, does a predictable amount of damage (hit scan has the variability of if they hit the meat or not, but you can at least predict the upper range of damage and work from that). Even rollers blink as they are getting ready to det so you can avoid the explosions even as you are trying to retreat (as long as you pay attention).

But the LC doesn't offer this. Dodge the projectile and, depending on the fuse timer, the explosion might still catch you. Try to push a choke and 9 damage suddenly means that a single shot from the LC is an instant gamble: pop early and gimp your push, or risk the drop in the hopes of maximizing your uber. It is the only damage source that you can't reliably predict as medic, and there can be as much as 100 points of damage difference if you 'guess' wrong.

Add some visual indication of the timer (I think someone suggested that the projectile changes color) and I think the weapon would be fine as is. That one change removes all of the 'randomness' from the weapon.

posted about 4 years ago
#6 Scout Guide/Tips in TF2 General Discussion

The above post covers pretty much everything important, only thing that I would add, specific to overextending, is that in a lot of situations it is way better for you to be alive than for you to take a risk running in to get a pick. Unless it is an important part of the combo or the sniper there are few picks that are vital to a push, and having the scout alive during a push (or, more importantly, immediately after a push) is hugely important in HL.

Sort of in the same vein is playing with your soldier. Playing off of each others damage, and working to eliminate each others hard counters, is very important for establishing flank control. If there is something that you are having difficulty dealing with (mini's and things of that nature) communicate what and where to your soldier. And listen for them to be doing the same thing. Finally, baiting corners for each other can be a powerful tool (be careful of the other team doing similar things).

Finally, if you are dead, or simply can't watch the flank, be sure to communicate that to your combo. In a lot of situations they are relying on you to prevent the enemy flank from getting in behind unseen. You do not need to fight/kill these flanking players if you are unable to or out of position, but you do need to let your combo know to expect threats from behind as well.

Disclaimer, I do not main scout... so the above may not be viable or important in all situations, but as a medic those are things that can help the combo quite a bit in HL.

posted about 4 years ago
#62 ESEA Allowing medigun pickups? in TF2 General Discussion

If a medic is in a position to die post patch then they were also in a position to die pre patch... this patch isn't creating new threats to the medic, it is adding a level of depth to the existing threats.

I agree, the mechanic adds a higher risk to being out of position and unaware as medic, and for newer players it is going to make that class a lot more difficult. But I also think that the way the mechanic currently works (that you only drop your active weapon, and that you can kill bind to zero out the stored charge) means that it is very possible to play around the mechanic to reduce the chances of handing over large percentages to the other team by either switching weapons in risky situations, or kill binding when there is no chance of survival (the latter is already something medics should be considering to improve their spawn times)

In short, the 2 big issues I see with the mechanic are as follows:
1) The ability to snowball off of a successful push by using the other teams built percent
- this can be mitigated by playing with better positioning and by learning to switch weapons in situations where you are likely to die and your team is unlikely to hold. Both snipers and spies become more viable off classes because of their ability to instantly kill a medic (but as any highlander medic will tell you, it is very possible to play maps while being conscious of sight lines and spies)

2) Reducing the effectiveness of bombs as a tool for breaking stalemates. Specifically on last, but also on other points depending on situation and map layout. Basically, unless your team is able to follow up on the bomb before the other medic spawns and returns to the fight you are not gaining more than ~20% with a successful bomb. In a lot of ways this suggests that it is better for a medic, in a strong defensive position, to drop rather than to pop in response to a successful bomb.
- If valve included a decay in stored percent when a weapon is dropped (either decaying over time, or a fixed reduction the moment the weapon is dropped) this would solve the issue.
- Alternatively, if we reduce the timer on when a weapon disappears that can make the gamble much riskier. A medic would have to weigh not only the potential for the other team to push while they are dead (and potentially claim the uber they intentionally dropped) but also the potential that they catch a bad spawn wave, or some other factor delays them in retrieving their uber and the weapon disappears.

posted about 4 years ago
#49 ESEA Allowing medigun pickups? in TF2 General Discussion
DavidTheWinThe problem with decaying charge in dropped mediguns is that it becomes impossible to count ubers because you can't know if they picked up your gun and if they did, how much charge it had left. Uber counting becomes complete guesswork.

I think my favorite suggestion for tweaking this mechanic is a constant drop in percent when a gun is dropped. Something akin to cutting the built charge in half once the gun is dropped.

The reason I prefer this solution is it becomes a big gamble to pick up any uber, you have to keep track of the uber advantages, enough to know if even after the drop penalty the gun you are picking up has more change than you did originally. Because if it doesn't, then you've not only gained no advantage, but you've also cut your own percent in half as well by trying to pick up the other medigun.

I really like the idea of being able to pick up a different kind of medigun in the middle of a round. There is a lot of potential for creative plays built around that. I'd love to see clutch plays from soldiers running out of rockets but being able to pick up another launcher and get off that last critical shot. I think the mechanic could be so cool in competitive (at least for the spectators) I just wish that we could do more than manipulate the despawn timer because waiting on an update for valve seems a bit wishful (at least until match making actually drops)

posted about 4 years ago
#47 ESEA Allowing medigun pickups? in TF2 General Discussion

I guess it was more the two fold of being out of position and not switching weapons. Most medics have a decent idea of when they are out of position and royally screwed. They were going to die in that position anyway, so they aren't being punished more for it unless they also chose to die with their medigun out. Outside of an instant kill from a spy for a sniper there is always that window of time where you can react to a bomb and either pop or change weapons.

That said, you make fair points, and I definitely agree, as it is right now the mechanic is broken for competitive play. But I don't think the right answer is to just outright ban it. I'm worried that valve isn't going to see that as our form of constructive criticism of their change, and more as another chapter in a long history of the competitive community rejecting changes they have made to their own game.

posted about 4 years ago
#45 ESEA Allowing medigun pickups? in TF2 General Discussion
JarateKingIf the medic's dumb he might run in, but in most situations where you won mid, you could clear out the enemy team from mid in less than 15 seconds, and when you can't it's better to keep your med alive anyway.

All this would really change is it'd stop picking up your own medigun, but the bigger issue between the two choices is picking up the other medic's medigun. If the dead medic can't pick it up anymore, then the alive one's no worse off if he doesn't take it, so it either does nothing or snowballs just as hard as before.

You might be able to call that a step in the right direction I guess, but you're arguably punishing medics harder for dying since they can't pick up their mediguns again, while all their out of position deaths still give the other medic uber, with no real reason to have any of that in the game in the first place. Setting the decay time to 0 is still the much better option, all that comes from medigun pickups the way they are is bad no matter their despawn time.

The times I offered as examples are just that, examples. I don't know what time would work best if this was something the leagues wanted to try, gut reaction says that 10 seconds would be the max window that is still viable.

As for your other points:

For mid-fights, chances are if your medic lives you're team will have more charge than what they could pick up. Theoretically you medic could spend the next 30 seconds walking both mediguns forward from mid, through second, and into position for a push into last, but in that time they won't be building effectively, and the other team probably will be.

For other fights, if you drop the enemy medic and then push, yes, it is possible to completely win that fight in 10-15 seconds and then claim the enemy medigun. But this change would also mean that sacking for the enemy medic in those situations is still a viable play for both teams. You can be rewarded offensively for taking that risk. And Defensively you can still suicide at the end of a fight that you lost to kill their medic.

Finally, for medics who die out of position, honestly (and I am a medic main) I feel like it is appropriate to punish a medic heavily for dying out of position. It is even more fair when you consider that if you realize you are out of position and likely to die you can very easily switch to any other weapon, or kill bind, and completely deny the other team your uber percent.

It isn't a perfect fix, I think better tweaks would be a decay rate for uber% in dropped weapons, or a fixed reduction in charge whenever a gun is dropped (which would require medics to keep track of advantages more precisely or risk picking up a gun with less uber than they had before). But we can't make those changes, valve has to. This might be a viable solution in competitive which would allow us to play with the mechanic so that valve has a bit more data to work with should they want to make a change of their own moving forward.

posted about 4 years ago
#41 ESEA Allowing medigun pickups? in TF2 General Discussion
gargleburryis the timer reset if you pick up a weapon and drop it again?

I'm fairly certain it is a full reset of the timer when you pick up a weapon, because you are technically dropping a new weapon which would have a new timer. So you can juggle multiple weapons, but in practice I feel like that mechanic is going to be too cumbersome to pull off effectively in a game (especially if you set the timer low enough that you don't have time to make a push, retreat, and then pick up another medigun that you "stored" a charge in). You'd end up spending more of your time managing dropped guns and less time building and positioning. It's also fairly tricky to get them to fall where you want them, so walking a medigun into a position would be super tedious.

Right now you can definitely do that, there is enough time to effectively juggle 2 or even 3 mediguns (if the situation presents itself where you can get that many with reasonable charge in all of them).

EDIT: not sure if this resets the timer to what is default by valve, or what is set by the source command. That really depends on what exactly that command is changing.

posted about 4 years ago
#39 ESEA Allowing medigun pickups? in TF2 General Discussion

I wonder if it would be worth while to play around with the command to set the life time of dropped weapons more.

Right now we are using it to set the weapons to disappear immediately, but what about reducing the time from default (preventing the chance for a medic to reclaim their own uber unless they die right near their spawn) and forcing teams to move more quickly on bombs/won fights to claim the enemy uber.

I could imagine that if you make the time short enough that even if the case of winning a fight you would still have to place your medic in a high risk position to effectively claim the enemy medigun.

I could be wrong about this, but the command we are using to remove weapon drops doesn't actually remove them, it just sets the decay time for the dropped weapons to 0. So what about setting it to 10-15 seconds (or maybe even less), so that it disappears shortly after the average spawn time, or even more the average spawn time.

We could play with the mechanic, and also provide valve with a potentially viable solution (or at least better highlight the problem we currently have with the mechanic).

posted about 4 years ago
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