Playstyle and tactics howto?

Questions and comments on tactics and playstyles
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goblin
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Playstyle and tactics howto?

Post by goblin » Mon May 08, 2006 6:12 am

Hi,

I'm fairly new at BZFlag, and thus not very good at it yet. I would like to be a lot better. Are there any suggested learning paths?

I've seen this posting, giving advice about not jumping, because the poster wants better competetion. Cool. So is there a playstyle and tactics howto somewhere, containing the condensed knowledge of this forum? It would really help beefing up the competetion...

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optic delusion
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Post by optic delusion » Mon May 08, 2006 7:23 am

Here's a few... this isn't by any means a complete list. You can keep looking.
My avice is to join as an observer and follow some good players to see what they do.

http://www.willempen.org/bzflag/tutorial/

http://web.archive.org/web/200308220717 ... uction.htm (is this the correct link or an old one?)

http://www-swiss.ai.mit.edu/~bentz/bzflag/bzflag.html

http://bzflag.org/wiki/
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Post by goblin » Mon May 08, 2006 9:19 am

A-Delusion wrote:Here's a few...

...

http://bzflag.org/wiki/
Thank you. I think the Wiki is the right place for this info, so I'll try to update it with the info I find.
Tank you!

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Post by strayer » Mon May 08, 2006 12:25 pm

A-Delusion wrote:...
http://web.archive.org/web/200308220717 ... uction.htm (is this the correct link or an old one?)
...
The 'correct link' was shellshock.bzflag.bz. Unfortunately, Dutchrai's ShellShock site is down since a long time now. I already wrote him an email...let's see what he'll answer...because his guide was the best one I've ever seen. ;o)
A pessimist is an optimist with experience... ;o)

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Post by goblin » Mon May 08, 2006 1:28 pm

strayer wrote: The 'correct link' was shellshock.bzflag.bz.
Thanks for the input - I'll take a closer look at this one then. The Wiki entries I've started creating will be a bit more atomized in their nature than Shellshock, since Wikis tend to have that effect on documentation.
Tank you!

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Post by The Red Baron » Mon May 08, 2006 1:57 pm

strayer wrote:
A-Delusion wrote:...
http://web.archive.org/web/200308220717 ... uction.htm (is this the correct link or an old one?)
...
The 'correct link' was shellshock.bzflag.bz. Unfortunately, Dutchrai's ShellShock site is down since a long time now. I already wrote him an email...let's see what he'll answer...because his guide was the best one I've ever seen. ;o)
strayer - If Dutchrai replies, could you post me on that.
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Post by Winterberry » Fri May 12, 2006 6:26 am

The best advice I can give (coming from someone who was in exactly your position not so long ago) is to pick a map that you like a lot and play it to death. By playing with people who are better than you, you'll spend a lot of time in the blowup animation, but you pick up tricks and strategies very quickly. Also, maps have little nuances and tricks, as much as it may seem that they are so random (though some are). A well-designed map like Two Castles (viper.pimpi.org:5158) always has something new to teach. Every single building is there for a reason. :)

Also, the advice given about watching other players is fantastic. Spending time in observer mode is great, but I would also recommend playing against them as well. Face them head-on, play your trumps, and see what they do. Before too long you'll be dishing it out as well as the next fellow. :)

Don't get frustrated by the number of times you hit -50 or lower. We all started there. It's all the more fun when you start breaking even, and then achieving positive scores, and then start teaching other people some of the stuff you've learned. :)

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Post by the obvious trap » Sat May 13, 2006 1:51 am

avoid jumping, it leaves you open, try going to a no jumping server (pillbox for example) and playing there for a while
you will get better the more you play
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Post by slime » Sat May 13, 2006 6:52 pm

Personally , i really started learning bzflag on ducati servers (mainly dub.bzflag.org). Ducati is 2 shots , no jumping , and ricochet. The more i played there , the better i got. Eventually , i branched out to pillbox , which is 3 shots , no jumping , no ricochet. From my ducati training , i began pillbox fairly good.

From there , i branched out to GU servers (gamesunited) , which is 3 shots , jumping , ricochet. So now that i've gotten good at shooting 2 shots , 3 shots , rico , no rico , jumping , no jumping , i found that if i go to places like planet mofo , i can whoop many people there with no superflags! Just shooting my 2 or 3 shots , getting people as they drop with rico , and jumping at the perfect time , which i learned from ducati , pillbox , and GU.

So now , i can do fairly well at all servers. Its all about getting good at many different styles , not just one. It will help you out TREMENDOUSLY.

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Post by Discovery » Sun May 14, 2006 10:45 pm

ya you cant just do ducati then go to GU and expect to be able to shoot them all and swerve like heck! You will be pelted! That is why learning from all aspects is importantay! :D
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Post by tw1sted » Tue May 16, 2006 10:19 pm

i agree with SFM. it is a good thing to try. People say when being competetive you should use your mouse instead of the arrow keys because it is easyer to dodge.

Also, try to practice on servers that dont use flags, because when you eventually go to one that does have superflags, you will be already so good, that when one comes along... youll PWN like a maniac!!!

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Tue May 16, 2006 10:25 pm

Dodging is always easier with a mouse?
Yeah... Right. 'cause everyone is the same and has the same mouse and mouse settings, obviously.
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Post by Winterberry » Wed May 17, 2006 4:14 am

A Heart Attack wrote:Also, try to practice on servers that dont use flags, because when you eventually go to one that does have superflags, you will be already so good, that when one comes along... youll PWN like a maniac!!!
Unless you get so good at playing without flags that you forget how to use them. ;)

Or try playing without flags on a flags server (ie, against players using flags) for more of a challenge.

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Post by goblin » Wed May 17, 2006 7:24 am

CannonBallGuy wrote:Dodging is always easier with a mouse?
Yeah... Right. 'cause everyone is the same and has the same mouse and mouse settings, obviously.
IIRC, you have shot me a couple of times - that is, if there is some correspondence between your forum name and gaming names.

I've wondered what was best for dodging. I've tried arrow keys and mouse, concluding that mouse is better. But still I can see others dodging way better and faster than me.

Can you make some recommendations? Which kind of mouse/ trackball/lightpen/whatever do you use? Any experience with joysticks in BZFlag? And you mention mouse settings - any tricks there?

I realize of course that I'm asking about your competetive edge, and understand it if you wont give away any secrets.
Tank you!

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Post by optic delusion » Wed May 17, 2006 2:05 pm

The best player I ever saw, Wonko the Sane, uses a trakball. not many people have one. I think maybe that's the best way to control acceleration.
A big trick is to land where you want to land, after a jump. If someone is shooting behind you, turn just before you jump, so you land pointing at them, they'll probably still get you, but at least you have a better chance.

As for forum names matching in-game names... You may have noticed a +plus sign next to your name (in-game) after you registered. If you see + next to another player's name, you can be reasonably sure that's the name they use on the forum, but there's no guarantee, as many players have registered more than one name.


Did anyone find anything about Dutchrai? That's the best player guide, even without the pics.
Take a look at my Defender game mode concept.

Thinking is not an automatic process. A man can choose to think or to let his mind stagnate, or he can choose actively to turn against his intelligence, to evade his knowledge, to subvert his reason. If he refuses to think, he courts disaster: he cannot with impunity reject his means of perceiving reality.

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Post by CannonBallGuy » Wed May 17, 2006 2:57 pm

I use the arrow keys on my iBook keyboard where have a trackpad but no mouse.
I first started on an iMac with a mouse but I'd never played a game with a mouse like this before, so keys felt safer, then I got the laptop and much prefer to use a trackpad over a mouse for normal computing so have no wish to get a mouse at all.

And yes, I recognise your name from in-game. :)

I also heard that the barons use TrackBalls - some at least, and they are mighty good! :)
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Post by goblin » Fri May 19, 2006 8:41 am

CannonBallGuy wrote:I use the arrow keys on my iBook keyboard where have a trackpad but no mouse.
I first started on an iMac with a mouse but I'd never played a game with a mouse like this before, so keys felt safer, then I got the laptop and much prefer to use a trackpad over a mouse for normal computing so have no wish to get a mouse at all.

And yes, I recognise your name from in-game. :)

I also heard that the barons use TrackBalls - some at least, and they are mighty good! :)
Thanks for a great match last night!

I got my butt kicked, but I feel some improvement in my skills.

A big issue is indeed my controls. I use a mouse, simple, cheap Microsoft wheel mouse with a ball (not optical), and it s*cks. Not that the mouse bears all the fault - I'm not a shark at BZFlag (yet).

Anywho, I played some ducati style with my MS mouse, and my kills/killed ratio was bad, around 1/4. I left the game and switched to an IBM optical mouse, and my ratio improved to 1/2.

Not that this proves anything, but I really can feel how bad my MS mouse is for playing BZFlag, now that I actually try to dodge.

So now I'm considering a trackball. I don't like mice anyway, at work I use a RollerMouse. Anyone tried BZFlag with a RollerMouse?
Tank you!

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Post by Winterberry » Sun May 21, 2006 4:56 am

Short answer is no, but the long answer (you may know this already, but I thought I'd throw it out anyway)...

I used a Kensington Orbit some time ago in lieu of any mouse. I found it nice for precision work, but lousy for any sort of freehand/loose selection or drawing (I'm a web graphic artist by trade). The biggest issue I ran into is not having an equal roll/cursor ratio - ie, it takes more than one roll of the ball to make the cursor move across the screen. Of course, this didn't stop me from giving the ball a wicked spin and sending the cursor flying every once in a while. :) But then, if you crank up the mouse speed, you lose precision...

Maybe if you play with a very small mousebox size it wouldn't be an issue - but otherwise I would suggest trying to match your trackball/screen ratio as closely as possible - otherwise you'll find yourself desperately scrolling sideways trying to recover control of your tank while your opponent breathes down your neck. :) I normally play with a pretty small mousebox anyway so I find I only need minimal mouse movement.

By the way, if anybody wants a cheap Orbit, I have one with a pretty blue ball in my office (PS/2)... ;)

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