[Basics][All][Text/Video] Use Your Map in Comp

loMe
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10 October 2017 - 21:03 CEST
#1
Introduction

Far too often playing this game, I’m stuck scratching my head when other people make the wrong play or rotation in a scenarios that seems common sense in my mind. The biggest factor in what this comes down to is situational awareness. Simply put, people don’t use the information that is right there in front of them; their map. Failure to analyze this information and act on it can result in severely disadvantaging your team’s chance at winning the round. My goal is that after reading this people can think more independently about situations, not having to rely on a commander or field caller to tell them what to do. If you don’t have desire or will to become better at the game, stop reading this now you dumb fucking bot.

Setup

First thing I think should be covered is the settings for your map. I prefer to use different colors for different objects on my map. Another 100% necessary change is making your map transparent. I use this and this this, but many people like to make it even more transparent. The reason for transparency is so that you can have your map up and be able to clearly see what's going on in your field of view. Lastly, I use the default key “c” for my map, but if you chose to use something else, just make sure it’s somewhere you can easily reach because you’re going to want to be pressing it often.

Spawning Basics

The most fundamental thing that blows my mind is when people rotate out of spawn incorrectly. Generally speaking, maps can be split it half so that either you go left/right from spawn (think Shipping on Tram).

From a Marine standpoint, you’re primary goal when spawning is to fill in the gaps on the field. Determining which direction you should move is not difficult. Look at the map - when you died, did a lane open up, did someone rotate out of their lane to help you, is my team’s res lane now understaffed? Depending on that answer you need to fill in the holes. More often than not, Marines will have one side of the map more heavily capped up with RTs → that is your res lane currently, but keep in mind that can shift as the round continues. Your res lane will usually be the side that you want most of your Marines at, or in close rotation to. The only times you might not need to reinforce your res lane is if your commander makes a call for a team push somewhere. Other than that, you just need to folow those basics of filling in the gaps.

Aliens may be a little more complicated, because where you go may depend on a variety of factors, such as which lanes are CURRENTLY open. Early game, you're basically just trying to get through without sustaining too much damage to bite RTs and pull Marines back. Parasites are helpful, but you need to kind of keep a mental map about where Marines are likely to be. If you're consistently tapping your map and checking, you should get a good idea from your teammates where Marines are. If they show up for your teammates, they will show up on your map too.

Using Your Map Throughout The Game

Your map is one of the best indicators for how to take a fight. With parasites, observatory scans, your teammates’ line of sights, and other weird indicators, you should be checking your map constantly. If you’re keeping an eye on your map you will know when something is about to get hit or crushed, allowing you to rotate and back your teammates up in a timely fashion. Moreover, knowing your teammates’ positions will help you setup and coordinate attacks more efficiently. In other cases, simply tapping your map for half a second at the right time can save you from an ambush or give you the time to dodge an attack.

A good Marine is one that rotates in and out of fights before they begin. Those are the Marines that finish off Lerks and Fades because they anticipated a crush and acted on it using the information from their map and communications on the mic. At some point in every round you are probably going to be laning (making sure skulks don’t get through a lane). This is why it’s so important to use a transparent map. While you're sitting there, instead of just sucking air and waiting for something to happen, keep your map open so you can be proactive and put yourself in a position to help out (or rotate towards help). Say your laning Repair on Tram. Perhaps, you’re about to get crushed. Well in that case, you want to rotate towards help, which would likely be from Hub. But if Mezzanine gets crushed, you might need to pull back to defend a phasegate in Hub. My point is, if you’re watching your minimap, you either A) Know where help is, or B) Get a head start on your rotation.

On the flipside, Alien teamplay is all about packing up and timing your attacks together. If you take an engagement when your teammates aren’t in position to attack your shooting yourself in the foot. Take the time to group up, look at your map, and ask yourself are your teammates in position to attack? If the answer is no, it’s probably better to wait than to go in one by one. The best way to achieve this kind of coordination is to time your approach with the LAST teammate to arrive. You time it so that your entire team dives in the moment your last teammate gets there, and that last teammate is the first one in, dodging/throwing off the enemy.

Finally, there are some weird quirks to the map in this game. One of these things is that you can track your enemies movement for a couple seconds after they’ve left your field of view. Sometimes this can tell you whether they are running back to heal, or feigning retreat. In other scenarios, if you have your map open you can see enemies that aren’t even in your field of view, like in the vents below System on Veil or the vents below Atrium on Summit. Other times, there you might get the glimpse of another lifeform diving in at you before you actually see them. This last one has saved me plenty of times right after I cleared a group of Aliens. Here’s an old clip for example where I’m able to dodge a Lerk’s attack because I see him coming after winning a fight w/ a Fade. All it takes is a single tap of the map to give you that information.

Conclusion

If you take away one thing from this post, it should be that you need to start using your map way more. Watch any of top players and then think as to whether you're tapping your map key as much as they are. If you are, then you probably didn’t need to read this. From my experience, however, most players are not using their maps nearly enough. Turts mentioned to me recently that if there was one request he had for the NS2+ stats displayed at the end of the round it would be a stat for “Time Spent Looking At Map.” I really do believe it’s a good indicator of who’s playing checkers and who’s playing chess.

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I also just wanted to add this which should give some light to what I meant about res lanes earlier. This is an example of what not to do and what frustrates me playing gathers. We hold 3 RT's on the left side of Jambi, yet once our 3 Marines died, the two building in base go to Grav to defend the 1 RT we have on that side of the map. I spawn and go left side, but because I would consider it our Res lane, at least one other Marine should have been reinforcing it with me (preferably one of those that was in base), but then literally not a single Marine goes left from spawn after I went. Because of this, we lost 2 RT's on the left side when we could have saved both of them if people responded properly.
Kash
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11 October 2017 - 03:29 CEST
#2
Honestly, I applaud your efforts here Lome, I like seeing high skilled players giving hints/tips and advice etc.

But, most players know the basics of tram (or at least should), its possibly the easiest map to play as marines, especially while using a shipping spawn example.
Most players can (for the most part) say what is best to do on Tram, but I've never really seen any high skill player give examples of how they would do simple things like rotations etc on other maps.
I'd argue that Jambi and Tram are incredibly similar so those two have in essence been explained to death, but what about Descent, or Veil? those are the two maps that I see people making the most mistakes on, but no one takes the time to explain the ins and outs of those.

Again, its great that you wrote this, but I think most people would benefit more if someone were to explain the more difficult maps... if you can understand how to do things on the more difficult maps its pretty easy to translate those theories over to simpler maps, the same doesn't always work the other way around.

Tram, Jambi and to a certain extent, mineral all play in similar ways.
Summit, Biodome and again to a certain extent descent play in similar ways.
Nexus and Veil are unique in that they don't really play like any other maps (that i'm aware of, but i'm 100% okay with being wrong on that).

So maybe you'd consider writing up something for those too?
"Out with the gorge, into the ready room" F4 - iSay
malx
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11 October 2017 - 05:18 CEST
#3
It's a little dated, but here are suggestions for nexus:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=779394486
loMe
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11 October 2017 - 05:41 CEST
#4
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/181349114

This is from earlier tonight in regards to Veil. Aliens spawned Cargo Hive. I can add more detailed commentary later but essentially: as soon as I died I'm looking at my map to see where other fights are happening. I see turts is engaging two skulks so I immediately know I need to head right side. I see Wake also get packed and killed in East Junction, so I camp Topo till they arrive. Then I fake C12 and sneak back to East to push Nano. I take it a little slower because I know they could just rush base towards my direction. Also, I'm trying to pick the Gorge. As soon the Gorge and Lerk are dead, we know we've pretty much won Nano so Mal and I drop back to prevent base rushes and protect lanes to our RTs, while turts and mig finish off Nano.
Mega
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11 October 2017 - 14:08 CEST
#5
http://www.ensl.org/topics/1793


Mega says

This forum will be heavily moderated to avoid thread derailing. DO NOT post in a existing tutorial thread unless you have something constructive to say.


schu
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14 October 2017 - 19:00 CEST
#6
Don't give away all the secrets lome!!!!!


I remember the days of Gnarcolepsy and Lucky Chams. Going through all of this through the wee hours of the night with you, simba, adhd, wake, ironfist, and turts to some extent.

From what I've noticed, plenty of comp players have the mechanical skill to be on an incredibly strong team, they just lack knowledge of how games should be played. When you have 6 players on the field working as one, you get amazing results.

The best part about NS2 competitive for me was playing scrims over and over and having a goal. Win or loss, it didn't matter. We had motivated players on the team who wanted to succeed. We just had to fail many times to get it right. Don't be afraid to fail! You will lose more games than you win if you want to reach your goal! Remember this.

Starcetereus
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15 October 2017 - 22:21 CEST
#7
schu is nice now, he must have found Allah while in kuwait
schu
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16 October 2017 - 18:38 CEST
#8

Starcetereus says

schu is nice now, he must have found Allah while in kuwait




Fuck you
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