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Strategies versus wings players?

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:41 pm
by Meat Puppet Panache
Let me start off by saying that I think the addition of the WG flag has drastically altered the balance of play in BZF. For the worse. Skilled wings players, including those who have zero non-WG skills, can dominate games now more than some players did with the old-school camper flags like GM and L. And, unlike ST and CL, there is no flag that neutralizes or minimizes the advantage of a WG flag. There's G, but if the WG player can't be genoed because he's solo on a team or a rogue, that's useless. There's SW, but a WG player can fly out range. GM is somewhat effective, but, again, a WG player can fly out of range. The only real alternatives for a non-WG player are to run, or try to shoot it out. In my experience, those strategies work about 5-10% of the time, depending on how intent the WG player is on getting the kill. In addition, I can't tell you how many times I've tried to shoot it out with a winger, only to be killed by another player taking advantage of me being pinned down. If I were to venture a guess, I'd say more than 50% of my kills against can be attributed to the WG flag -- more, by a wide margin, than any other flag (including GM and L).

It would be one thing if the WG flag was used primarily for air-to-air combat, but that's not the case. In most instances, a skilled winger grabs a WG flag for the purpose of running up the score against non-WG players. Air-to-air combat is engaged in only when necessary, if at all. I'm not so sure that's what the devs had in mind when they added WG to the game.

At this point, you might be asking: why don't I learn how to use the WG flag? Well, first -- and this is just my issue, for sure -- I am repulsed by the flag. I think it's a cheesy gimmick that doesn't have a place in the game. If you want air-to-air combat, fine: tweak the BZF engine and make an air-to-air game. It wouldn't be all that hard to do, and it would probably be a hell of a lot of fun. But, to graft three-dimensional play onto a game which, for most players, is being played in two dimensions is, in my mind, silly.

My second issue with the WG flag is practical. I'm a keyboard player, and I have yet to figure out how to play a WG flag from the keyboard with less than three hands. I'd welcome any tips or suggestions anyone might have.

With that said, I'll climb off my soapbox and ask what strategies other non-WG players use when fighting WG players. If I've missed something obvious, please let me know.


Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:16 am
by Hannibal
going against a winged tank with really any experience or skill (H0ley, for one), I just try to get out alive, with or without the kill. It depends where on the map I am, and which (if any) flag I hold.

Knowing that you play on Planet MoFo a fair amount, as I do, the server is set with _wingsSlideTime to 0 and a very very high(1000-not sure) flap limit. those greatly increase the value and ability of the flag. If say ,_wingsSlideTime is 2, that changes things completely. It is as if friction has been reduced, and the tank 'slides', as if on ice.

well said, btw.

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:49 am
by TheAdventMaster
It all depends on what server you're in. Planet-MoFo adores the WG flag, and for a time being there (a short one), I was declaring myself the WG master and annihilating anyone who even dared touched threatening flags to WG.

The flag itself isn't the imbalance, it's the server's settings for it.

You can just set the SW to go the size of the whole map, and set the rest of the flags to have crap. Imbalance there, but not BZFlag's fault.

  • WG can't hurt you until they get to your level, remember this.
  • When not at your level, rebound shots off of pyrimids and other objects if possible.
  • Rebounding shots in random directions that lead to the WG's position can actually work. You'd be surprised how many WG'ers just don't see that stuff coming
  • Turning around and acting like you're running away, then jumping onto a platform and shooting them once they reach ground level, and/or shooting rebounding shots back at them is a great way to eliminate them.
  • When at or below your level, you *can* jump, *especially* while running forward with highspeed, and own them.
  • Use portals, as WG control has never been the greatest, and niether is their speed. Portals and a decent setup can lose them for quite some time. Look on the radar and see if you can watch them coming, and shoot them if they reach the height level that allows them to move through the portal.

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:59 am
by optic delusion
I'm gonna put my reverse gravity wings maps back up. I don't know why I took them down, or even made them in the first place, I feel pretty much the same as welcome wagon about wings.
Look for the server this week. It'll be advertised Caged Wings or Reverse Gravity Wings. (I made two maps for the crazy server settings)

again... great comments from a forum newb, welcome wagon.

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 3:29 am
by I_Died_Once
There are several ways to go about it. A bit of it involves a bit of flag shopping, but not always. For one, in order for a player with WG to get a kill, he must at some point get on the same level as the other player. At least, on servers without shotsKeepVerticalVelocity. So you gotta keep that in mind. For that player to get ya, they gotta either punk you into jumping (then, you're their biznitch) or they gotta land on the ground long enough to get in a shot or two. In that time, they are every bit as vulnerable as you are.

Never under estimate the power of Steamroller, shockwave...even ricochet'd shots can be effective. Sometimes, you can give the illusion of "Oh, those shots aren;t directed at me..." while they are REFLECTED at them. More than once, I have "slam danced" into a WG's carrier with SR.

Another point is when the wings holder "flaps" - they don;t just inch up however much they want... they go up a set amount. Punk them around teleporters is another way to rid themselves.

Another tactic... is when they think they're "chasing" you from ehre to there, think of it as you leading them closer towards that OTHER bastid over there with shockwave.

And its been said elsewhere a "time or two" - master the art of the pillbox and teh ductrai. Once you have those skills... the rest will follow. Learn each situation, figure out how to deal with each one, Geting away from SW, dodging GM, detecting ST, looking out for exactly where that CL tank is... and freeball it once you got it all down.

...and one last piece of personal advice I can offer - go to WalMart or wherever, and invest $20 into a trackball mouse. They come with a USB to ps/2 port adapter if its needed... they're widely supported... I just can't say enough good stuff about them. GREAT for bzflag.

We been noticing you on MoFo a good bit as of late. Hope the advice helped.

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:45 am
by Meat Puppet Panache
Thanks for all the comments, folks. Even though I'm new to the forums, I've been playing the game (under a variety of handles) for a couple of years now. I learned to live with WG at secretplace (5355), but, as other posters have pointed out, the mofo WG parameters might be a little severe: unlimited flaps, etc.

I don't want to sound like a whiner, but balance is, in my mind, critical to the playability of the game. And, even if I didn't have a 1.6 kill ratio at mofo, my opinions would be the same.

In any event, like I said, thanks for all the suggestions. BZF is a great game (my favorite after 30 years of computing), and I just wanted to add my two cents' worth.


Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:37 am
by dartman
Pesonally, I love WG. Hmm.....maybe that's 'cause I love Hide 'N Seek Hills. Or maybe it's vice versa. But one reason I love WG is this: WG fights. Those are freakin' fun, and I love pwning someone in H*A*S*H (what I call Hide 'N Seek Hills). I also really enjoy those nice long ones where you and you and you're opponent are just about evenly matched. Teh funness.

Let me tell you, H*A*S*H is a great place to learn how to use the WG flag. It's also good so that you can play without having to rly on the radar. I know some people don't rely on the window-view but instead use only radar, but I think it's good to not overly rely on either one.

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:32 am
by H0ley
Sneak up on me, that's the best strategy.

To do this you have to be pretty lucky. I dont know about other winged players but I like to target one tank at a time. I usually go after another winged person first, then other tanks with superflags like SW, GM, and L. In general I go after the people who would pose the greatest threat to me and dare take my wings away from me.

So this is what you do. Dont chase me down, I look at the radar most of the time and will go after you if you do. Flag shop, often. When I'm near, you pray really hard to get a lucky flag such as SW (GM will work if I'm not too far or too close). I'd say the majority of my winged deaths are a result of this.

Another thing you can do is get ST and get on top of the middle cake island. Aim your shot well or I will go after you.

If all else fails, you can try distracting me by being a pain on the server so someone can take a cheap shot at me.

Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:15 pm
by Hannibal
when the winged master tells you how to kill him, I would suggest using it.

For example...

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:48 pm
by Meat Puppet Panache
Just left mofo, where a player had rung up a 220-42 score by grabbing a WG flag every chance he got. I was 5-15 against him, and killed him just once (almost by accident) when he had WG. Of his 15 kills against me, a dozen were WG kills.

I'm sorry, folks, but I think the WG flag has ruined the game. It's created an imbalance far worse than any other flag ever has, and there is nothing in the game to offset that advantage for players who won't (or can't, in the case of keyboard players) play that flag.

emerge --unmerge bzflag


Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:19 am
by Hannibal
playing on Planet MoFo, as stated above, the Wings flag is especially powerful. find a GM, SW...and use the 8 pyramids on the map to shoot up at the birdie.

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:46 pm
by Joe-Schmoe
First off, the flag is only really crazy on planet MoFo. If you really can't handle it, move to a different server.

But when I play Planet MoFo, I just ignore the wing-a-ling tanks if possible. If one corners me, I run under the centerpiece cake type buiding and shoot it out. (Not much flying potential in there) Either that or I jump up onto one of the teleport platforms and evade him like that. If you're near the corners when he comes for you, there's not much I can say, but I tend to avoid the corners anyway.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:35 am
by The Red Baron
...and one last piece of personal advice I can offer - go to WalMart or wherever, and invest $20 into a trackball mouse. They come with a USB to ps/2 port adapter if its needed... they're widely supported... I just can't say enough good stuff about them. GREAT for bzflag.

We been noticing you on MoFo a good bit as of late. Hope the advice helped.
best advice out there. Go with Logitech, they produce the best trackball, period. I am a trackball only fan, been one for a very very long time. I've probably used every single trackball out there, the best are produced by logitech.

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:30 pm
by Eagle246
I admit i am i noob, i havnt been playing long. But heres what i recon, to shoot you WG has to land. So find a laser then go after the WG and when they land BOOM, no more WG. Simple.

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:25 pm
by dartman
^Try doing that on a server that has /set shotsKeepVerticalVelocity turned on.

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:52 pm
by Teppic
dartman wrote:^Try doing that on a server that has /set shotsKeepVerticalVelocity turned on.
That just means you don't have to wait for them to land, wings can be far more powerful with shotsKeepVerticalVelocity, but is far more exposed and a good player can take you out from a distance before you even notice them.

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:59 am
by Sharpshooter
If there is no verticle velocity on, then just shoot right where the tank with wings with would land, he can't shoot you if hes not on the ground. Keep repeating this until WGed tank gets bored and goes after someone else.

to flap or not to flap

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:56 am
by sloop
Well I've loved the wings flag since I first saw it verticalshotvelocity @ secretplace (what happend to spirals ?) it was like playing basketball and it was a slaughter :)
I remember having to beg Sportchick to please turn on vertical shots please...

I disagree with Baron about the trackball -but I'm a kybrd player- default setting- an older Compaq keyboard is really ideal (or even better my ibm model M clicky kybrd)

It's really map dependant now -and since I only like to play FFA -there is only really 2 or 3 maps that are in play and popular - (i'll play any map EVERYMAP I love this game-o my god I'm gonna get fired! :)

So you're flap limited or your not- doesnt matter to me

Flap limited is all about patience-jmping into a descending flapper with rapid fire is fun!~SR is the best :)

Flap unlimited is all about SW,Laser,GM,ST!,SR

Imagine mofo with verticalvelocity --chaos -but we'd adapt
Imagine badgerking with verticalvelocity --chaos -- but we'd adapt

Wings can be too big of an advantage in certain players hands -not to mean they can't be killed but as a flag it can have too much weight behind it = unfair advantage

Some maps havewings with 1 flap and huge wing slide and shot limits -ok shucks this flag is now a liablilty let me find a new one- I'll still try to kill you with it though -pie in the sky only has 1 flap no shot limits and accelerated whatever ya callit -big advantage over everything but SW or burrow -

So go with the flow -hunt the campers and do a crazy ivan for that ST player everyonce and awhile


Shoot ya later