I remember when I was teaching a computer class years ago to some children. I wanted to find a way to make understanding about the concept of networking fun for them. I thought that a game would be a great way to do that. After searching for LAN-based games which didn't require buying a $50,000 game console, I found a game called BZFlag. It allowed me to run a server locally on a machine and let the students connect to it. After doing some rudimentary game play, I thought I would check out one of the many servers hosted online.
After logging in with a nick of my choice (no idea what I put back then), I spawned on my first "real" server. It was a CTF game in process with about 20-30 players going at it. I died more times in the first few minutes that I care to think about. In so doing, I realized several things:
- There were players out there with WAY more experience than I could imagine at that point.
If I wanted to play on public maps and servers, I needed to get better -- as quickly as I could.
This game was very fun.
I found that what I enjoyed the most were maps with super flags and especially maps with team play. This could include capture the flag or just very challenging maps where having a teammate to share things with could enhance the overall player experience for me and for them.
Because of that, I found myself really enjoying Missile Wars 2.3 (still one of the, if not THE, best maps ever, IMHO). I also gravitated to Urban Jungle due to the intricate nature of the buildings, the challenges of the jumps between multiple buildings when in escape or "hide fast" mode and because it allows any number of people to play without the "too large" feel of MW 2.3.
I also have HIGHLY appreciated allejo's willingness to make those maps "family friendly" where minors can play without having to deal with being cursed at or seeing excessive swearing. That's important to me since many of the children/minors I've introduced to the game have parents who would not want them to be on servers where anything goes.
Here are some of the things I have learned through the years. I share them in the hopes that they make you a better game player.
I don't care what your sound system is. BZFlag, to my knowledge, does NOT support quadrophonic surround sound, so that's overkill and wasted. You may have 20" speakers sitting next to you. You're only going to annoy your roommate, parents or neighbors. Headphones or in-ear buds will allow you to hear the game and enhance your play.
On most maps, I can hear a Stealth jumping near me. On MW 2.3, I can hear Stealth tanks jumping to the left, mid-left, front center, right of center or far right of my base. I can do that for several reasons: I use headphones; I pay attention to player movement on radar to know where my teammates are, and watch the player scoresheet to see who has which flag.
On Urban and other maps, I can hear the general direction of Stealth jumps at the least. Is this effective? Incredibly. Just yesterday, a long time player nailed me jumping into his base in MW 2.3 when I was trying to sneak in for the flag. His words were, "You taught me to use headphones, and I could hear you." That's both disgusting and encouraging to me: he used my own strategy against me, but I helped someone to get better.
Do advanced players not use this technique? Surely. I was kicked/banned temporarily on one of the Free For All (FFA) servers where I sat camping in the middle with Shockwave. One of the admins had jumped into "the church" as it was called. I was paying attention to radar, heard the jump, recognized that there were no tanks visible on radar and said, "Stealth in the church." He kicked/banned me because, "There was no way you could have known I was there if you were not using a hack or cheat client to see Stealth tanks." Since I don't use those and never have, I was pretty dismayed by it. I told the admin that I simply heard him. Why he refused to acknowledge that jumping tanks always have made a sound when they jump and a corresponding unique sound when they land and that this sound is easy to locate by simply listening, I don't know. It's simply acoustics and science to me. The ban was temporary, and I've played on that map many times since. And I still use headphones when I'm wanting to play seriously or competitively. If you don't use them, you're giving chickenfarmer an edge -- and the people who've learned to use them.
Drop into Observer mode when good players are battling it out.
I was recently away for 1.5 years and didn't play at all. Then I came back for a bit. Mostly, I play. However, I still drop to Observer and ride with people who are good players. I want to see if they know shots which I don't. Do they know tricks I do not? How do they drive? Do they have a repeatable play style (most people do) which I can learn in order to beat them?
I get comments from my riders. Kierra and jhs have both told me that riding with me is like riding in a spinny ride. That makes me chuckle because, years ago, I thought the same thing when I was riding observer with Enigma. I still don't think I jerk my tank around as much as he did. But I learned things by riding with him. Rodent snuffer has ridden with me, by his estimation, for over 100 hours. Now he shoots me way more than he used to. Am I fine with that? Surely! It makes for a better game for everyone.
One big thing to look for when riding with good players is what jumps they make. If you can't make those jumps, then go to the map when it's empty (or download it and run it locally on your own machine) and practice those same jumps. I don't know all of the jumps on Urban Jungle, but I have worked out quite a number of jumps in sequence. If you catch me there, ride with me and learn them. They have gotten me out of a bind multiple times.
Don't waste all your shots in one go.
MW 2.3 has a three shot limit. Urban Jungle has a 5 shot limit. Learn the map's limits and respect those limits. Don't fire off three shots at a Stealth you suddenly see on MW and then jump in panic. You'll probably die. It may be by my tank -- or the myriad of other Stealth flag experts on that map. Instead, fire two shots while saving the third. I learned this on (cough, hack) HIX maps -- which I famously dislike. I mostly do observer on those maps in order to learn a bit about how those players dodge and return fire. Some of them are extremely good at it. I learned early on that if I fired all my shots while playing someone like that, I would be toast every single time with no exceptions.
This is particularly an issue with Laser, where you can fire them all so quickly but then have to wait for reload. There's nothing worse than firing off all three Lasers on MW only to see the Stealth or Cloak or Shockwave step around the corner and bring your tank into range, knowing that you can't fire.
If a map allows camping, a map allows camping. Period. Usually, there are ways to overcome a camper. MW 2.3 is an example of this. While a person with GM can camp on the first tower from the middle Geno tower on your side of the map, if you know how, you can easily take care of the problem with Stealth or GM itself. If you don't, you can choose to cower in base along the front wall and be rendered ineffective.
For players wanting to learn, I recommend camping as a way to explore all the particular power a certain super flag has to offer in a particular spot. In team play maps, it's important to have someone on the team who can literally "hold down the fort." Camp when appropriate, but don't always go to the same place with the same super flag. Simply put, you cannot grow as a player that way. Once you know the benefits of a particular flag in a particular spot, move around the map with the same flag. There are people who occasionally camp on the corners of the MW 2.3 map on the Jumper roof. They are rare, but they are annoying when they do because of the height differential. They are also dealt with pretty easily for a determined Stealth, Cloak, Laser or creative Super Bullet player.
Practice the hard shots you see advanced players use.
Years ago on MW 2.3, there was a player named Heartnet who spent a long time learning many of the famous Laser shots. He popped me in the back many a time when I was GM camping on my side of the middle/Geno tower. I had to figure out how he did it. Now I know that shot. I've shared it with plenty of other players since. I've worked quite a bit on my shots through the front slit of the base at MW 2.3 whether with Laser from a distance or Stealth up close and personal. If you are a new player or an average one, you have probably wondered, "How did he do that?" That is your cue to drop to Observer and watch!
On this return to BZFlag, I spent several hours working on a shot I had never seen anyone do at MW 2.3. Yes, you can sit on your front wall in the middle of the base and aim a Laser at the corner and hit the front wall of the opposite base. But I got to thinking, "If I can do it there, I should be able to do it at the left or right sides of the base and hit more." After working on the shot for a while and taking multiple screenshots, I can usually replicate it within 3-4 adjustments. Now, I can sit on my front wall one level up and clear the ENTIRE wall of the opposite base one level up. Do you want to be able to do that? It requires practice, over and over and over.
Just the other day, rodent snuffer and I were at MW 2.3 reminding ourselves of some of the shots we've seen. There is a shot on the pyramid in the middle of the left or right of the field which allows you to clear out a camper on either the first or second level corners. It works for Lasers or bullets which means a Stealth can make that shot and not be exposed easily to Lasers or GMs from the opposite base.
The player formerly known as button (and still is) has a shot from inside the base at MW 2.3 off the tall pyramid under the portal/tower which he uses to try to clear me off of his side of the Geno tower when I'm GM camping there. Guess what I have started doing. I've started practicing that same shot in order to be able to replicate it. And rodent snuffer was there when I was working on it, so he got to see that shot, too. Colonel and rodent snuffer have both practiced shots off low pyramids in the base to try to clear Stealth or Geno tanks in the middle windows of the base.
Take this lesson away and think about it: Any player can replicate any other player's shots if he is willing to practice it long enough.
Learn some strategy.
At Urban Jungle recently, a player was expressing in a pretty depressed tone that he has been playing for over ten years and still is no better than he was then. While I imagine that he has improved quite a bit since day one, my advice would be to think about strategy as the next level. There are only so many jumps, dodges and moves you can make on any given map from a basic standpoint. But strategy is what makes a flag cap happen or a high score blink on your screen. Here are a few examples which I hope will encourage players to think through WHY they are doing what they are doing.
At MW 2.3 recently, we had a good game going with 6-8 players per team (at least). That's not full, but it's enough to make for a rousing game there. On my team, there was a player whom I knew is really good at jumping to get the flag. We communicated back and forth in team chat. He notified me that he was in position to get the flag. I was on the Geno tower with Stealth waiting. Once we were in sync, I grabbed Geno and dropped to the field where there were two or three players from the opposite team. Once I shot an opponent with Geno, the whole team disappeared off the map. He then dropped his Stealth flag and picked up the team flag, dropped it over a pyramid in base and passed it to the middle. I was, in the meantime, driving from my Geno shot into the middle where I picked up the flag as soon as it landed there. In the confusion of spawning, shooting at an intruder in base, finding a new flag and figuring out what was going on, I was on my way into the base with the opponents' flag. We did that multiple times. Like it or not, Geno exists on different maps. But more importantly than just padding a score, it has a strategic use on CTF maps.
At Urban Jungle, I use multiple flags. If I have Laser, there are a handful of spots where it is strategic to use. One of those places is on the rails ("highways") at the corners. From there, you can use radar to see any approaching tanks coming behind you on the rails. I've sniped players over and over and over because they were running from some other tank and just were not paying attention to what or who was waiting at the next corner -- my Laser. Another good place is the "D" in the hidey hole. I can shoot up multiple directions and get ricos which are pretty random and occasionally get a Stealth walking around. Some of the shots from there are also predictable. I can clear out the entire area around the Jail with Laser (and most of it with bullets). A third place for Laser is the building in front of the Empire with the fake elevator. On the bottom floor, you can sit there with Laser and rico to your heart's content until someone Shockwaves you or hits you with a Super Bullet or maybe ventures close with a Steamroller flag.
Also at Urban Jungle, I like to use Shockwave. If I have that flag, I not only use the rails but also use my jump patterns to chase players. So many people drive up the area of the Huts or sit at the Gas Station or in the Sticks/Styx/Stix with Super Bullet or Steamroller thinking they are safe. From the NE corner, I hit the rails and pick up super speed and then jump off the rails. That trajectory puts me over most of the alley of the Huts, Gas Station and Stix where I can unleash one or more Shockwave blasts to knock out one or more opponents without them ever being able to shoot back. With Shockwave, I look for two or more players who are duking it out, especially wings battles. Those are typically very intensive, and most people only focus on immediate concerns forgetting to pay attention to their radar. If I see a battle in place or beginning to brew, I head that direction if I have Shockwave and add my contribution to the battle. A note: I can tell when a player is advancing when I see them back off from one of those battles because they are paying closer attention to radar and see me coming from half a map away.
Back at MW 2.3, one of the lessons on strategy is to know what other players' strategies are. If D3ad Turtle shows up on the other team, I know that he is going to do the following: spawn, drive to the corner for a Super Bullet flag, drive to the middle tower on the ground, spray his 30 shots into my base, cause general havoc, grab OO flag, drive back to his base, grab Super Bullet flag again and then repeat. If someone shoots him, he drops to the programming line which says, "rinse and repeat." Why does he do that over and over and over? Because it works for him! If I'm on the other team and no one else is doing it, I will grab a Stealth flag and head to the middle myself either on the ground or by hopping on the tower bases to get there at the first or second level up. Once Turtle has ensconced himself in the middle, I drop behind him, drive in and end his reign of terror with one shot. I have been on that map multiple times causing my own havoc at his base with Stealth and wondering why no one else just grabs a Stealth flag and thinks of the same counter-strategy to stop him. But I've watched on radar and history log scrolling by as teammate after teammate kept getting shot in base without doing anything practical about it.
When you are on a CTF map, focus on team play. At Urban Jungle, shoot tanks all you want to collect points. At Missile Wars 2.3, ask, "How can I help?" Usually, one or more strong players will be trying to direct traffic. Communiation about where Stealth tanks are on the field is important. Noting which flag is the Genocide flag on the middle tower can help keep the other team in check. Camping with a laser may be your best contribution for a bit until things get in a rhythm. Or, someone may ask you to accompany them to the jumpers to attack the opponents' base. Before I started routinely getting the high score on MW 2.3, I played many a game simply trying to help my team. Points come as you help, but don't focus on them. They can, however, be an indication as to how much you are helping. If you have 30 self kills and 30 team kills and 5 kills on the opposing team, you might rethink watching in Observer for a bit longer. Or maybe just grab a Stealth flag and practice shooting opposing tanks out on the field.
Change Your Strategy
Anyone who has ridden with me at MW 2.3 knows I have certain things I would rather do (attack base with Stealth, grab and pass the flag, occasionally GM camp on the opponents' side of the Geno tower). Depending on who is on the other team, that is not always practical. If button, D3ad Turtle, Colonel, Dracos or other players are on that team, it's not practical for me to GM camp for very long, because they each know a trick to stop a GM camper on their side of the Geno tower. If Colonel or rodent snuffer or some of the other players I know are on the other team, it might be harder to grab the flag because they camp on it to protect it. Is that illegal? No! Is it a frustrating to deal with? Yes. It's not impossible to overcome, but it requires a combination of more skill and (usually) better teamwork.
If Dracos is Laser camping on the corners of the base two levels up, he's particularly hard to displace from there. He handily stops people with GM or Stealth from going to the top of the middle tower before they even make it halfway there. He's good at it, and it's annoying if he's not on your team. When that is the situation, I can do one of two things: I can see if another player will work with me so that with both of us having Lasers, one of us can hopefully distract him or make him jump while the other takes the shot to knock him out. Or, I can ignore Dracos and use another tool at another location. Nothing is stopping me from grabbing a Cloak flag and going out the planks to the middle -- he can't shoot me with Laser. Nothing prevents me from grabbing a Stealth flag and roaming the field, maybe even working my way over to where he is if he gets distracted. Nothing is stopping me from grabbing a Super Bullet and attacking the low-lying areas.
If zman grabs a GM and heads over the towers to try to GM camp my base, or if someone grabs wings and starts to get halfway or beyond, I'm looking to mitigate that. I change my strategy because of who is on the other team. If Agatha has Laser (and she ALWAYS does), I'm looking for a Laser flag to try to use the slit shots or the wall-wrap shots to prevent her from Laser camping and affecting my team's progress. If she is not Laser camping, my team has better access to attack. If I don't stop her, who will? Thus, she has affected my game, and hopefully I have affected hers.
Just recently, I had grabbed the Geno flag at MW 2.3 and was razzing an opponent trying to get him to come to my base with Stealth. He told me, "No way. I'm staying IN base because I respect you." That was actually the best compliment he could have given me: "You have altered my strategy because of your ability."
If Cj_ shows up at either map, I know that two things are going to happen: he will find a Stealth flag, and he will immediately begin hunting me. When he enters the map, I have to listen more closely to my headphones. I have to assume he is chasing me. That means I have to either find the high ground and defend it, or I have to keep moving. If I happen to grab a Stealth flag, then it's game on for both of us which is really challenging and fun.
Mouse or keyboard?
I'm a keyboard player. Always have been and always will be. I can't figure out how to use a trackpad on a laptop with BZ, and the times I've plugged in a mouse, I was all over the board. Plus, I have been timed typing over 120 WPM when I was in high school. My fingers can fly over a keyboard. I can jump and type a response to someone and hit Send before I hit the next spot. That's not bragging. That's just me. So, when I set my arrow keys for moving my tank, I can switch directions pretty quickly. When I map my firing keys (plural) I can fire about as quickly as mouse players who map a scroll button for firing. Some things work better on keyboard, in my opinion. I don't know how easy or hard it is to learn to do the MW 2.3 slit shots with mouse. I've never tried it. Probably never will.
But. some jumps on MW 2.3 will only happen with a mouse. T-roy (we miss you!) was a mouse player. T-roy could jump, even for a white guy. When I asked him to show me and watched him in Observer, I quickly realized that I could not replicate his jump with keyboard. There is a special way to drive onto the ramp and accelerate while moving forward that just cannot be done with a keyboard. I gave up on it for years. Finally, I decided to split the difference and begin practicing just that jump with my trackpad on my laptop. It worked! I found that I could jump to the corner where most teams keep the flags on a pretty regular basis. But I had to be willing to change in order to reap the benefit.
If you are mouse or keyboard, realize that there are limitations to both. If you want to advance, figure out how to use the other when you really need it.
Cheating, Lag, Bugs and Accusations Thereof
The master turned to the apprentice and said,
When I was a new player, I never got accused of cheating. When I was a mediocre player, I rarely if ever got accused of cheating. When I got to be a better player (at least on the maps I like to frequent), well, that's when the accusations started."You will know you have gotten to that point when you sit there with a mouse or keyboard and get accused of cheating by your opponent(s) while knowing that you are playing clean."
For better or worse, I'm not a programmer. I can look at code and generally say, "That's what this section is doing" if it's a shell or Perl-type language. But, I don't have the skills to go into the program and change it to make it do all the crazy things I've seen: Shockwave tanks flying through the air, Super Bullet tanks driving through walls, etc. Those are genuine cheats. They exist. I don't use them. I don't want to use them because, well, that's cheating.
Some people will read this and say, "Yeah, right. Chickenfarmer cheats!" Haters gonna hate. I can't change your mind and don't care to die trying. You can talk to kierra, rodent snuffer, jhs/PastorT or the other players who have ridden with me through the years in Observer. I play clean because that's who I am.
I would simply offer this approach: Don't accuse people of cheating just because they beat your socks off. When I was a new player, I would get shot all the time. That didn't mean the other players were cheating. It just meant they were way better than I was. If I show up in a HIX map, I know what will likely happen. I don't practice those maps because I like super flags and the ability to jump. It's a 2D versus 3D thing. But, when kierra hosts a T-roy memorial, she and others can tell you that, in good sporting fun I will play those maps with the rest of the crew. I get shot a lot of times, but not quite as badly as I used to in the HIX maps. That's slightly encouraging to me, but only slightly. And I don't care if other players rib me with comments like, "Not so tough here, are you, chickenfarmer?" or cruder variations of that theme. No, I'm not as good there. At this point in life, I don't aspire to learn those maps or practice all the HIX angles and ricos and dodging techniques. Life is short. Choose your battles -- and your maps -- wisely.
As I've noted earlier, you're always free to ride with me. If you see me doing a move or jump which you cannot replicate, ask me how I do it. I've shared info with many people through the years and usually don't mind doing so. Learning is fun. Sharing is more fun. (Note: Find a BZ Mentor.)
On a related note, there are some players who are really, really good with a certain flag. And there are other players who complain incessantly when they get shot by someone using those flags. "Wings should be banned here!" Then the next time it's "Shockwave should be banned here!" How about we all just step back, be honest, and say, "I don't like getting beaten by someone else"? That's the core. I don't like it either. People used to beat me all the time with Wings. I hated it when a player whose nick I forget used to come to our base with Wings at MW 2.3 way back when I was getting started. I grabbed Wings and started fighting -- and dying. Over time, I got better. I still get shot with Wings by other plays using Wings. Take the energy you would use to complain and use it to get better.
What is particularly funny is that players like myself get accused of only using one flag on a particular map. Chickenfarmer ALWAYS uses Geno. Then it's "he always uses Laser!" Next it's "Drop the Shockwave and grab a real flag!" Then it's a complaint about Stealth, Super Bullet or whatever happens to be killing the complainer at the moment. Dude. Run /flagstats or read the server history log and see how many flags a player has used. Even D3ad Turtle uses something other than Super Bullet. And Dracos doesn't always use Laser. And zman doesn't always use GM or Stealth. Good players practice with more than one super flag. Really good players get better at more than one. You want HIX, go play HIX. If you're on a map with super flags, don't complain that someone spent more time than you getting better at using one of them.
Occasionally, players run into bugs in the program or the map itself. If you want to see some crazy things with the Tiny flag, ask rodent snuffer. I won't spoil his thunder, since he's the one who found it, but it's possible to shoot through walls at various spots on some of the maps -- but only with that flag. Is he cheating? To the new player or the person who doesn't care to ask, "rodent snuffer is cheating!" No, he's not. We have worked those spots together with no one else logged in to figure out, where does it work? There are places on Urban Jungle where an OO flag tank cannot be killed even with Super Bullet or Shockwave parked right next to it. Is the player cheating? No. It's a known bug. We have reported bugs as a group, and I've done so individually. Some are hard to replicate, and you can only offer up a report with as much detail as possible in order to make the program and game better.
Some people say, "But XYZ Player has lag! He is cheating." MW 2.3 and UJ both have pretty reasonable limits for lag and jitter. Players are warned if they exceed those limits. If they continue to play, they eventually get kicked. If they rejoin over and over, they eventually get a 30-minute ban. This is all in the scope of trying to allow people to play who are on imperfect Internet connections while maintaining some semblance of fair play. If the server allows a level of jitter or lag higher than you like, suck it up and play. Just this week (when writing this section), I was on Urban with a player who had pretty rough lag. My first couple of encounters resulted in me being Shockwaved because my bullets weren't hitting. I hit the "Admin" key and ran /lagstats. "Ah!" I said to myself. "He has 250-300ms lag. That explains it." Did I immediately accuse him of cheating? No. Did I whine and pout and drop to Observer to berate him more? No. I just adjusted my game. I shot early, and I shot often. He started getting hit by me more than he had. No one likes a whiner, and there are some known whiners in the game. Just play. If you don't like the server lag/jitter limits, complain to the server owner -- not the other players or the admins.
I've logged into UJ and MW 2.3 while on the road where the Internet has been horrid. I usually say, "Hey guys, my lag stinks." Then I try to use flags or strategy which doesn't pit me going head to head with the opponents. If I Laser you from across the map, that's not a lag issue which you should complain about. If I'm face to face with both of us using Stealth, and you "shot me" but I didn't explode, then that's more of an issue with lag. In fair play, I prefer to avoid that if I know I'm on a really bad connection. Not everyone has the ability to change their Internet, but they still like to play the game. Don't call them a cheater or whine about it just because the server allows them to play alongside you.
Don't ask to be made an admin. If an admin or server owner likes you enough to think you should be made an admin, they'll let you know. I woke up one day and found out that I was an admin on allejo's server. Great. It has resulted in a whole lot more headaches with a few side benefits. But I didn't ask for it.
Don't abuse admins. I don't know anyone who is paid to be an admin. If an admin is playing, don't start running your mouth at him/her, especially if they are busy in a team flag capture or something intense. If you have a legitimate beef at someone, use the /report command to file a report. Then use PM to notify the admin that you sent a report. Someone will see it eventually. Use the forums PM function for bigger or longstanding issues.
My experience is that most admins are not wanting to ban at the drop of a hat, nor do most admins I know ban for frivolous reasons. Most admins issues warnings. Some issue more warnings than I would. But if you push the button long enough, you'll get a response. You can be banned in more ways than you might imagine. Do you really want that? Do you want to get removed -- maybe permanently -- from the game and maps you apparently like? A more direct way of saying this is, "Shut up and play." Let the admins handle what they see.
Exceptions to the above are if you begin to be abused in PRIVATE messages or team chat where an admin cannot see it due to being on another team. In those cases, I recommend posting something in public chat as well as in PM to any admins present. If none are, use the /report command and also send a forum PM to the serve owner. They may have access to logs to substantiate your complaint and can ban after the fact if necessary.
Understand that admins have varying degrees of power. Server owners set those. Do you hate the lag settings? Admins usually can't touch those. Do you want to reset shot length or bullet speed or tank speed? Most of those are set by the server owner. Some admins can use the /kill command while others cannot. If an admin says he cannot fix a problem, then take it higher up the ladder and let the admin alone.
If you want to practice with a particular super flag on a particular map, ask an admin to help you. I have done this for numerous players through the years. When someone wants to learn Laser shots on MW 2.3, we show up together or in a small group, and, as an admin, I can give them a Laser flag over and over while they work on a shot. I don't mind doing that. In the context of an open practice session, it's not cheating to do so. However, don't ask me or another admin to give you a flag in the middle of a real game. You'll probably get kicked just for asking. And the admins will discuss it to let each other know what kind of player you are and what you were up to.
When an admin is not present, some servers allow you to use the /poll command to kick or ban a player who is clearly cheating (tank flying through the air without Wings flag) or who is aggressively harassing and abusing others. I recommend not running a poll when an admin is present. Communicate with him/her first about the issue.
Hopefully, these tips give you the motivation to practice more and some ideas on how to actually get better. If you heed them, I have no doubt you will improve. Happy tanking!