Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Questions and comments on tactics and playstyles
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Agatha
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Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Agatha »

Somewhat inspired by chickenfarmer's tips, I thought I would lay down a list of my own. Like CF's list, mine will also end up being mostly reflections on my own strengths and weaknesses—which happens to be actionable for improving tactics and strategy, if you read carefully. However, since CF has already covered much of the basics, and my play style and situation is, I think, unique, I'll instead be talking about advanced, abstract techniques, and about combat philosophy.


---


First, you should understand where I am coming from.

My internet connection's terrible, because despite being on a major US telecom (yay monopolies...), my jitter especially is very high. That's (1) not my fault and (2) there's nothing I can do. I've tried everything.

Players complain bitterly about my jitter, and lately I've even, like, been actually kicked for it. Yet jitter and lag cut both ways: literally everyone jitters and lags from my perspective. But even worse, I perceive their response actions jittering/lagging by twice that amount, because of round-trip.

So, when playing, consider my world—where absolutely everyone jumps about by multiple tank lengths, shooting impossible directions, and appearing out of thin air.

Regardless, I regularly am top score—not because of my tactical skill (which is indeed, middling), but because of empathy. War is stupid, and like everything stupid, brings out dumb behaviors within otherwise intelligent individuals. That's why 95% of The Art of War comprises brick-dumb obvious advice like "if you pillage the townsfolk, don't expect them to like you".

But the other 5%? That's the empathy part. Empathy is the know-your-enemy truism—a truism that, just so happens, also comes from that book. You anticipate your enemy's emotions, and subsequently, actions. Then you take an appropriate counter.

That might seem abstract, but it's very very literal for me, since because of network issues, I actually cannot see my enemies' actions at all. When I am playing, I am living 10 seconds in everyone's future. I am predicting exactly each move every tank near me will take, and honing that prediction by watching every shifting, jittering phantom surrounding me. I observe past moves they actually did make that I actually can reconstruct. I mean, what choice do I have instead? Lose?

Bringing me to my first point:



You must THINK while you play. At least a little bit. Please.

The 95% hack-and-slash brawling doesn't win wars. The 5% empathy does. Understanding your opponent allows intercepting their goals, ambushing them near choke points, anticipating flags they'll choose next time, and predicting routes enemy ST will take toward your base. Emotional understanding allows reading your opponent's composure from their tank's hesitation before dropping, from the number of shots they fire, and precision of their jumps. Empathy allows your weaponization of that knowledge into anticipatory shots that experienced players will jump into through force of habit, makes your SB shots hit amateurs from across the map, because you know they'll ignore their radar.

I've already shown one example—how I predict everyone, always, for multiple seconds into the future, out of necessity—as an example, but the preceding shoutouts should illustrate how general I am really being.

In short, you must think. About your opponents. About your allies. About flags. Maps. Everything.



On general presence of mind and map awareness

I would think such considerations would be obvious. BZFlag has infinite routes, dozens of flags, and arbitrary enemies. Stealth! Surprise! And concentration of force. Yes, there exists physical skill shooting and dodging too, but those tactics seem worthless when you're not positioned right and doing the wrong thing.

Yet too often, I see not just deficient strategy, but actually its complete absence. For typical team games, especially on Apocalypse, maybe 9/10 players will completely ignore important flags, like team/geno flags and L/GM/F/etc.

Indeed, often countering such flags falls on me personally. Fortunately, especially on Apoc, assuming you spawn near them, you can usually just walk right up and blat them point-blank, because situational awareness is apparently not a thing. Power-flag users should be aware of their surroundings, and victimized opposing players should consider superflag users existential threats, and act accordingly.



On predicting and being predicted

Trivial example: once, on Apoc, someone got the green flag and was trying to capture it. I was green myself, so I got ST and waited on their base. He jumped up, and I scragged him. So, I was where I should have been during a critical moment, because I correctly predicted my opponent (not advanced strategy here!).

But my example isn't just about me. The green flag fell back onto the ground, and the same player picked it up again and tried to jump again. I scragged him again! He then picked up the flag again and jumped again! He actually died three more times trying to jump, because he had not stopped to think about his death just seconds before. He had zoned out, and with that he had stopped thinking. And so he lost repeatedly.

Throughout our battle, one should note, no one from my team helped me, and no one from red team helped him—itself another failure of thought.

You might think my example's exceptional. It's not. I actually can't even count all the players I've done variants of exactly this example with. And we should see it applies to other cases too: again and again, players make avoidable blunders because they don't think about their play, and so they act predictably. It's not even that they don't have the capability. They're just zoned out.

My lesson's simple. Don't jump into bullets. When a tactic fails, don't try it again. Don't take the shortest path between two points. Don't be predictable. When you do such things anyway, don't complain about precognitive battle maidens in public chat. We don't have to predict the future. We just have to predict you.



Prediction as a weapon

But you should also be proactive when using your powers of prediction. Like everything so far, this also seems obvious, and yet most players have not thought to actually do it.

It's not even hard, with practice. Tactically, maybe someone's moving toward the tower on Apocalypse? The rail on Lasermania or Urban? The platform on Hix? The catapult on Missile Wars? You should be able to predict exactly what they'll do, and when they'll do it, right? You can even fire preemptively, and otherwise-experienced players will actually jump into your bullets. Strategically, you should try anticipating the overall strategies people will take, and counter them long before they happen. Sound difficult? Most people don't even have any strategy, so prettymuch anything you come up with should be superior.

The next level, of course, is adapting your tactics and strategies against individual players—and moreover, adapting them further, with knowledge of how your methods worked when you tried them last time. The only other current or semi-current players I have reliably seen doing that are Moroni and chickenfarmer—and so you should not be surprised when you learn that they're both extremely strong players and I respect them immensely.

For example, maybe you see such-and-such an allied player. They could dodge the bullets incoming from an enemy behind them—and they could actually defeat that enemy, because they have L and that enemy is far away. However, you should also know your ally's abilities, and maybe you know that, because they are currently engaged with a second enemy, they will be distracted sufficiently so that the bullets will hit. Therefore, your ally will die, and since they will be dead, they will not be protecting that region. So, the region's unsafe, and you ought not jump down into danger.

If all that sounds interesting, you should start with tactics. Chickenfarmer himself noted players all have different playstyles, and you should exploit that, knowing exactly how your opponents will fight, when they do. Like, do they dodge preferentially forward or backward, for example? Where do they jump? Maybe they're bad at jumping? Maybe there's particular flags you should deny them? Do they even rate strong enough to matter at all?

More fundamentally, each player has different network characteristics. I can recognize players by their lag, and my firing solutions actually lead players by different amounts depending on which country they're from. I keep track with every player (including allied tanks; they matter too, for the sake of prediction). This is a big "bang for your buck" improvement you can get started with!



Always improve

Finally, an overwhelming majority of players (by which I mean every regular player, with perhaps about ten exceptions, counting myself) achieve a certain level of skill and then decide that they're competent enough. They do not practice things they can't do until they can do them. They do not try honing their strengths and compensating for their weaknesses. They just . . . coast.

Such players spawnkill 5 : 2 on Apoc, with their precious WG or L or F flag, simply because they already have it and so they know fighting will be easier. This is not any way to play! Besides being unsporting, playing like that is not challenging. One has no chance for improvement! That's why, you will often see me with U or TP or nothing, while I've had plenty of opportunity to get a strong flag. And, I'll actually switch sides so that I am on the losing team, too. I pick weak flags because that forces me to become stronger. I fight on smaller teams because I want to be outnumbered. And yes, I am inclined to slaughter the opposing team with L because it's fun to normalize the playing field once in a while.

When you see me do "impossible" or "inhuman" or "absurd" shots, that has been proceeded by hours of practice on just that one thing. When I scrag WGs from across the map with vertical-velocity laser, that's because I've learned exactly when I should fire, at exactly which height will hit. That's practice, and it's technique you can learn too. It's technique I've taught people how to do! One just has to be willing to actually try, and not automatically take the easy route of executing that same tired tactic you've done for years, just because sometimes that works and you have already practiced it. You can't grow that way.



Having A Wide Variety of Skills and Being Adaptable to Choose Among Them

This leads into my second main point: most players' competence extends to only one or two things. Sometimes that's one or two particular flags. Sometimes that's being particularly adept when dodging, or even when thinking strategically.

Those're great things to be great at—and to improve, you actually should be . . . but almost all players instead substitute one or two individual skills for broad, general, powerful toolsets. Those players are at a complete loss in new situations.

Think about me. I am great with laser. But I am also great with GM and F and WG and ST. I am not half bad with V and A and AS and G and SW and prettymuch any flag. I've used SH for surprise (walk through bullet storms for surprise attacks, anyone?) and I can lead perfectly with IB. I counter L with CL or ST, camp map corners with BU, slip through openings with N or T or TH. And, I can dodge effectively, jump adequately, and strategize fluidly.

I am not the best at any of these, except possibly the first one. But I am reasonably competent at all of them. I am a generalist, whereas most people specialize. I might not be able to contest an expert on their own speciality, but because I have broad skillsets, I don't actually have to fight people when they have the advantage.

Say my enemy has L and he is camping on one of the treads on Two Tanks. Do I jump onto the tread and try sniping him with my own L? Of course not! Most players (and contrary to popular misconception) are actually better than I am at laser camping. Plus, by being already in place, he has tactical advantage. I would lose because I am pitting my personal weakness against his personal strengths. Instead, perhaps I take my laser over to the pyramid next to the GM tower. He has no way to hit me if he's still on the tread. But, there's a (difficult) shot where I can kill him by reflecting off my pyramid. So, I make that shot, and I kill him, and hooray I've won! I pit precision marksmanship and positioning (my personal and tactical strengths, respectively) against his lack of imagination, exposure, and stationary position while camping (his personal and tactical weaknesses).

Of course, that's only possible when you have a broad skillset. Should you not be able to imagine making difficult shots, or if you never practice them, or you can't melee your way through ST attrition when you're trying for the pyramid, then your countering laser camping that way isn't possible. You don't have that option. But I have practiced that, and so I do have that option. That's why I have an overall advantage.

More options actually means more control over how the battle progresses. Like, if you'll only consider only one option, then you have conceded control, completely, to your enemy. If you plan on laser camping until you die, then you do know that you will die, eventually, while laser camping. Your enemy knows you will die, while laser camping. They then have full latitude when deciding the manner, timing, priority, and significance of your death, up to the options they themselves have at their disposal.

If you were that laser camper and that thought doesn't terrify you, then frankly you haven't thought about it enough. You should be flexible! Expand your horizons if you're not comfortable pushing them! Do not concede initiative, and do not artificially limit your own options just because they're familiar!



Map Variety

Part and parcel of being able to adapt to new situations is just having lots of different situations to draw from—and that means you should be playing multiple maps.

Unfortunately, people only play Apocalypse, Urban Jungle, and Hix today—and that's actually by largely disjoint sets of players, too. Sure, maybe Hix people will play Ducati sometimes. Maybe I can coerce Urban Jungle folks to join Missile Wars or explore. Maybe I can GM or L spam on Apocalypse until people leave. But Apoc, Urban, and Hix are the maps people come back to.

I actually do like those maps. They're not bad. But, they all teach different things. Our community can currently be divided into Hix/Ducati players, Apoc players, and Urban players. There's a little crossover, but not very much. And that's really terrible for those players' skillsets because it means they're only proficient at their preferred map's toolboxes.

For example, if you only play Hix, then you're only learning dodging, jumping, short-range ricos, and flag teamwork. You're only learning with one shot speed, one jump height, with angles on one map, with one group of players. Hix players like to get high and mighty about that being an elite form of skill—and they're actually kindof right. Hix players really are genuinely skilled—but in depth, rather than breadth. I am not much better than an average Hix player. But that isn't surprising, since typical Hix players do not play anything else.

Indeed, you take a Hix player off of Hix, and you give him L, and you tell him to hit an target across the map . . . and he just can't. Half of them will shoot themselves trying, and the other half will refuse to even try, out of sheer holier-than-thou snobbery. That is not elite play. Elite play would be being ready for anything, and also minimal competence when trying new things. One should also be self-confident enough to like trying.

Similarly, you place an Apocalypse player on any map without superflags, and not only will he not have enough patience to stick it out for literally just one minute of focused, tactical gameplay, but he will actually die to shots aimed only vaguely toward him, because dodging and jumping and basically everything that's a tactical skill is almost nonexistent on Apoc. On no-jump maps, Apoc players die to ordinary bullets fired from across the map, even when they see them coming, which they of course usually will not, because they have no idea the radar panel even exists.

You put an Urban player into Apoc, and they will get genoed again and again. You put them into Ducati, they won't understand what the red and green flags do or why they have colors. When you put Hix players into Urban, they'll wind up reminiscing about old times on observer chat, or walking headlong into mines they actually watched get placed. And when you put Hix players into Apoc, they'll elegantly jump their way straight into an airstrike.

And Apoc, Urban, and Hix do not feature, say, vertical-velocity shots—so when you take such players into WHAMMO's World or another occasionally played map, since they only play Apoc/Urban/Hix, they will not even think of shooting down flag captures from the ground, for example.

So these players have systematic weaknesses that they're too ignorant (or too proud) to acknowledge, let alone address. Lots of players even do not see any redeeming qualities in other maps—their map must be the best, and no other map can teach them anything! So arrogant! So wrong!

And, if that paragraph made you angry and defensive, then you should definitely read it again—and, when you do, actually think it through.

But it does not have to be like this! I play Apoc, Urban, and Hix. Of course, I am bored to tears of all three by now, so I am always down for any other map I can get games going on. It's hard, though—no sooner than I finally get a game going on Missile Wars, someone will come and ask if we want to do a "Fun Match" on Hix. Or people will tell me they "gtg", and I'll find them 30 seconds later on Apoc. I'll wait for actual hours on Wings Wizardry, and my only company will be noobs and odd friends checking in—neither staying long. For the record, when I am online, I am always down for games on any other map. I am ready to demonstrate and teach! Just ask!

My (actually serious) proposal would be take down all three maps for, say, one year. Oh no, you say! Not my beloved Hix! Not Apocalypse! Where will I play??? And yet that's exactly the point! We're too attached to Apoc, Urban, and Hix—and it shows. We play the same map every day for a decade. That's what stagnation looks like. That attachment makes you a weaker player. You should instead be willing to broaden your skillset and improve!



Conclusion

So really, those're two things I think we should all work on: playing with more awareness—that is, recognizing that bz is both a physical dexterity game and a metal game—and also having a broad skillset, the versatility to use it, and the willingness to learn.

I also want to talk about my bag of tactics sometime, because I think that sharing that will help everyone improve (including myself, when my own methods get turned against me. You should do that, please; it will be fun), but I've rambled on for long enough here, so I think I should save that for later.

If anything's unclear, please ask me and I'll clarify.

Best wishes,
-A
-> Stagnation is playing the same map for literal decades. Take down Apoc/Urban/Hix/Duc!
-> "It takes losing a lot to learn how to win a little bit." / My guide to strategy.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Zehra »

Finally someone who understands what it is like.

What has happened is that the lack of dynamics has caused it all to become to the point of boredom predictable.
If the actions can be read over 85% of the time in advanced, what is the point?
It eventually becomes where all actions could possibility be scripted in advanced.
Might as well write a nearly undefeatable bot which has scripted actions and responses until people learn more dynamic game play.

People were often shocked when their team got nailed 4-5 times in a row.
How was it possible, their players were predictable.
Frequently it was the same person who kept coming and coming, but kept getting nailed.
Sounds like the good old geno baits.

Players jump in a certain area, only to get fried by lasers or shot by super bullets.
Players react a certain way over 75% of the time, 3 out of 4 get hit.
This leads to the condition of where either semi/professional players get bored and leave or players interested in racking up points join.
Both conditions are not favorable toward newbies and therefore discourages them.
(They can't learn skills from other newbies, nor does trying to fight those interested in racking points give them much to learn.)
(In addition, this encourages "wasteful" actions which are later hard to unlearn as time goes along.)

In addition, the complete lack of strategy is something which allows those interested in strategy to either become "bored" or to simply find it where it is not challenging enough to engage their attention.
Hence why those who follow strategy will sometimes try to draw attention, to at least give something which at least represents somewhat of challenge, namely multiple targets.

Often times, innovation is the only thing which provides something sensible, since part of the game dynamics changes.

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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by kierra »

Just offering a different thought by way of explaining some players' behaviors wrt bz : I can see your viewpoint as coming from a competitive perspective, i.e. to excel, striving to be the best and kudos to you for the time/effort in your post.
Not everyone who plays bz has this philosophy of gaming. Additionally, there are players here with real physical issues/limitations that impact their skill level, some with hardware limitations that play bz for the fun of it, then those who just want to relax after a long day of work & log on to shoot a few tanks (they have already spent a long day thinking & processing at work) and last but not least, there are those who play merely to interact with the community they have come to enjoy. Bz can accommodate all sorts of players. Nothing wrong with finding the niche that offers you the most enjoyment for the time you have to spend on bz.
Respectfully submitted.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by lep »

Thanks for sharing Agatha.

From my perspective, and I’m sure one shared by quite a few other players who been around for a while, if you’re looking for some kind of constant organized play-style on Apoc, you’re simply not at the right map. There’s times where I’m there and don’t touch the team flag a single time bc no one else is, and it’s like a fun FFA. And there’s other times where everyone is going bat-shmack-crazy for caps. There’s a great balance at Apoc and that’s why I like it there.

I also play in the LU on maps like HiX, or Duc, or Babel where all players know is strategy, tactics, smart and precise decisions. Those maps exist and I highly recommend trying them out if that’s what you’re looking for.

There’s a great balance in the current player-base of players who don’t really care for objectives, score, tactics, etc and just want to hunt some tanks, and players who want to match over and over again to practice their skills and decision making. I strongly encourage you to practice and become familiar with both, because I promise you’ll enjoy the game and the players more.

Thanks again for expressing your thoughts.

-lep
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by etigah »

For me, I see each group of maps as a completely different game from the rest. One group revolves around tactical depth and team play, another encourages camping and repetitive use of familiar flags and yet another is fast paced action where strategy comes as an afterthought. Each one has unique audience simply because they have little in common. I like one group and others don't interest me even if I can learn to be proficient on them. I'd really love to see a map that combines elements from all maps but manages to remain balanced, Space Invaders comes closest.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Agatha »

@kierra, That's the thing, though. (And while we are on the tactics board, so it fits), I do not actually see myself to be a particularly competitive player. I scarcely even consider myself a gamer at all. I do not have reflexes, let alone focus or talent. Whereas, lots of players on BZ do get competitive, and indeed very angry when they lose, too. While I am just here for fun. When people get competitive, I actually often leave, because that . . . severe nature degrades my enjoyment of playing.

But competitiveness is a completely separate issue from complexity and depth vs. stagnation and stupidity. I do not expect each player to go full tryhard everything all the time. I sure don't do that, even myself. But I do think that players dumb down their own game, making play less complex and less interesting—and less fun, too! Should players pay attention, we'd all be learning better tactics, and our game would become richer and less stagnant!

@lep As noted, I already do play Hix and Ducati—enough that I am sick of them, just like I am sick of Apoc. Also, one should not get the impression that only Hix players have tactics. While lots of Hix players do have that impression, actually both Hix players and Apoc players (and other players) have tactics. They're just embarrassingly different—to the point where, just like an Apoc player's outclassed on Hix, a Hix player's outclassed on Apoc. But beyond that, I am trying to say that, playing Apoc, Hix, Ducati, and Urban, all together and regularly, is not enough for us to grow . . . and me having played those same, tired maps for actual years, I think we, as a community, should try to branch out and be less repetitive!
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Zehra »

What I think Agatha is trying to say, is that the level of depth and tactics used is extremely limited and combined with the factor of only 3 maps being online the majority of the time, it leads to where those same tactics being used at a very limited level leads to an overall lack of satisfaction in game play.(Agatha, please clarify if I am wrong.)

----

Personally, it's the complete lack of strategy which is used which leads to unappealing game play.
The challenge is not the question, but the overall lack of sufficiently interesting and engaging game play.

Here's why the depth is shallow, the game play is only focused within less than 5 seconds of what happens the majority of the time.
Therefore, the sole focus is only on improving ones position within the span of 1-3 seconds, without much, if any regard to what may or may not occur 5-60 seconds or more in the future.
This severely limits the number of options and actions players will take, therefore increasing probability of players taking certain actions by a significant percentage.
That percentage translates into a strong factor of probability of where at least 60-70% of the time, one does not even need to take into account of what occurs, due to it being predictable and therefore leading to lack of depth in game play. (Even though it may be challenging.)

----

@lep

It seems to be a misconception between challenge and depth of game play.
For instance, this example: Games such as checkers may played as a "solved" game, thus offering great challenge, but the depth of game play is limited and may not be engaging or sufficiently interesting. (In addition, probably most will become bored after 15 minutes of quick checkers games and the majority will become bored after an hour or more.)

----

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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Agatha »

@Zehra, @etigah, yes, exactly. I am frustrated by the lack of evident depth, since BZ is actually a fundamentally deep game. Perhaps I should steal Zehra's analogy—imagine that we were all playing chess, but everyone has decided to move everything like checkers pieces. I am over here like, why're you doing that??? You want a simple game, you should go play a simple game. Don't degrade a complex game because you can't be bothered to learn, and you (bizarrely, I should add) do not thrive on innovation, discovery, and novelty! We all want to have fun—but players do not realize the potential BZ already has, the more interesting interactions and fun they could be having.

But, I also do not want to get too sidetracked with my own concerns. Since we're on the tactics subforum, the point of that part of my post was not to complain about the lack of thinking and map variety per se, but to suggest that, should players wish to improve, they should pay attention while they play, and also seek games on other maps, just for variety and other skills they teach.
-> Stagnation is playing the same map for literal decades. Take down Apoc/Urban/Hix/Duc!
-> "It takes losing a lot to learn how to win a little bit." / My guide to strategy.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by etigah »

Players decide which game they want to play, but certain maps encourage certain play styles. It is plausible that some maps are perfectly playable for those seeking depth, but the default style encouraged does not match that. I'd play a timed CTF match on apoc with players committed to playing the objective. Perhaps adding superflag CTF maps to league isn't such a terrible idea.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by tainn »

This thread is a shipwreck.

One cannot expect or demand other players to play in a certain way, especially on non-league maps, which is where the majority of those in compliance with this thread play, despite mentioning LU so much. As kierra has said, people play this game for different reasons. Combine that with the fact that your so-called "deeper" or "more complex" play demands more focused interaction, you just won't see all players deliver. And that is totally fine.

Also, please don't speak too highly of yourselves, especially mentioning how the majority of gameplay is predictable or how you are one of the best in a field. I hate to rain on your parade, but if you have the time to comment such matters and really believe that is the case, then you definitely have the time to improve. And trust me, there is room for improvement.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Zehra »

@tainn

Both level of misconception and failure to actually address any of the issues/comments mentioned within the thread.

Nobody is expected to do anything, it is simply mere observations of the players about the players on the subject of the game itself.
(With specific regards to depth of game play, regarding strategy and tactics and the major absence of strategy used in game play.)

Additionally, there does not appear much, if any actual need to defend the league.
The subject is barely covered in the original post, and it was mainly brought up as a potential "solution" by another, before being commented on, as it was initially addressed in the original post, but by no means was the league singled out or mentioned so much, as claimed by you.

People play the game or are even on the game for different reasons, this much is obvious, but nobody is asking or requesting that people change or alter the reasons they play this game.

While I can't directly comment on that, but I believe the sentiment is this.
"Not much thought is given, if given at all to what happens in the future, therefore when failure occurs, it is not due to skill, but lack of thought and planning.", "It's not at a level of increased depth, as claimed, but rather a different depth and a different level on a different field, which does not require any increased focus, but rather a different focus.", "Not everybody is expect to reach that level, nor can everyone can, but simply an understanding for those who want of more strategy in a game which has so much potential is all that is asked."

Finally, this is the major misconception held.
Nobody is thinking highly of themselves, nor is anyone claiming to be much higher than others. (By no means is anyone claiming to be superior to another.)
If "higher level" is the reason for this misconception, the following should be noted.
"Higher level" is used in reference to abstraction of concept. It is not used in reference to skill or perceived skill, nor is it used in reference to perceived players rankings, nor is it used in any other form. The precise concept of abstraction is the strategy of the game. (Which appears to be mostly absent to a large extent, especially on the 3 most popular maps at the time of this writing.)
If "higher level" is still considered as the belief of being "better than others" or being "the best", reread the posts, as in no means is anyone implying that they are better than others.
Challenge is not the same as predictability, so therefore do not assume that both have equivalent results or equivalent interpretations.
For instance, if challenge was all that was wanted, why would not one simply go towards "Jumping Skills" or maps which provide a decent forum of challenge?
The answer is the "lack of depth" to the mode, which translates to an extent for some into a high level of "predictability".
The higher up the abstractions, the more predictable results become to a massive extent.
If the results of a players actions can be mostly predicted to a large extent beyond chance, is it not predictable?
If one were the best or claiming to be the best, wouldn't the thread be precisely about the lack of challenge or extreme ease of the game?
(Therefore, in this is where lies the misconceptions.)

Also, note, the entire thread was if people wanted to improve their overall skill, they could simply read the original post and maybe get an idea or two or simply disregard the entire thing. (For people who are content with the maps and the modes they play, there is no reason to change and nobody is asking that they do, but perhaps because of this, whether directly or indirectly, this has caused stagnation within the game, as well as boredom for those interested in more in depth strategy.)

As a small side note: By "overall" it is meant as a generic overview of virtually every mode and map, either present or within the future or past.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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lep
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by lep »

A simple theory: if you don't like the gameplay, then find a different game to play. If you want to make a map or a plugin that adds variety bc you think it's lacking, then do it yourself. Don't come here just to complain. You don't like it, do something to add to it.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by alfa1 »

I will be sincere and say I didn't read a lot; but, maybe, Agatha (and others) could come to DiverSion server (when you see it online) and try the testing brand-new Real Tactics (or Real Life Tactics) Series. There are 3 different maps (my first original maps). It's a new style. As one of its basic ideas (I don't want to ruin the surprise): players only spawn at base. :)

Thinking it more, all my maps (all which I run; 9; and some have both CLB and FFA versions) are less fast paced/competitive(*)/deathmatch style/plenty of people/plenty of flags/etc. and more quiet/normal(**)/tactical than lots of I see. Which doesn't mean are better; just are other style. Maybe, I agree with Agatha: I like more time and space; to think, to move, to talk, to comment, to laugh... :) .

* I see, in general, too much competitiveness; at least for my liking.
** In the sense I use almost all or all normal values for variables.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by blinky »

Here are my thoughts..


Really interesting post, and i think it's important to say.. I mean not of upmost importance, but kind of useful, would be that things are not always as they seem, and what I mean by that.. Things can be perceived in certain ways, they include relevant information and they tell you something about what a person is trying to say.. Me for example, I believe that thoughts about saying things are very fascinating, they give me insight... Insight.., very good word, it's two words mixed together actually which brings me to my point.. Words can be mixed to have meaning, meaning is opaque, opaque is also a mix of opa and que.. So alas we have some deeper understanding of how to be methodical when thinking and using words because if we didn't have that, where would we be?

Now let's put this all into some context.

quack




I KEEL YOU


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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Zehra »

@lep

Perhaps now the question is if people want to see new game modes, new maps, new ideas or if to simply remain stuck in a loop of the past.

---

@alfa1

While a lot of people are interested in tactics, the goal of the thread was to see if more people were willing to add strategy to their game.

---

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by alfa1 »

Zehra and Agatha: I think my Real Tactics Series can be seen as having more strategy together with tactics, since have more time to think and decide. Anyway, there is a game style called "Strategy" with systems like Turn-Based and Real-Time ones; BZFlag is an arcade-simulator game: we don't have lot of time to think and plan.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Because789 »

Thank you for your thoughts, Agatha.

Maybe we can solve part of the issue (lack of map diversity)with some sort of once-a-month scheduled event, or agreed upon map-of-the-month to try so that we get a higher diversity of players on it, rather than having to camp a new map and hope for someone else to log on. We could try to schedule it on the forums, in lieu of it being supported via a suggested map section in the map selection.

Also, thank you for the game play tips. I'm gonna work on my jumping soon, as that is my area of greatest weakness.
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Re: Agatha's Thoughts on High-Level Gameplay

Post by Orange Peanut »

You started with a few good pieces of advice on how to improve your gameplay. What I don't agree with is the map variety section. If you want to be good on apoc, you play apoc. If you want to be good on hix, you play hix. Playing other maps may improve some parts of your play that are also used on other maps, but you will get way more from practicing on the map you actually want to get good at. People play those maps because that's what they enjoy the most. I somewhat enjoy playing duc and apoc once in a while, but I far prefer hix. So if I have the option between duc, apoc, or hix, I will always pick hix. Sounds like you enjoy many maps and what is enjoyable for you is not getting really good at a specific map, but being skilled at a large number of maps. That's great, but the community isn't really big enough to always have someone to play with on any specific map. I feel bad for anyone who can't get people to play on a map they want to play on. You say people who stick to one map have weaknesses because they are not trained in other forms of gameplay. I have weaknesses in fencing, archery, gourmet cooking, glass blowing, and solving a rubiks cube with my feet but those are all things I have no intention of ever working on and that will not make me any worse at the things I am working on.
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