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Tag: [NBRC] Web: Official website Fans: 37 Created: 2012-06-06
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Platoon Presentation

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Jumping right in, the number one reason people die is lack of situational awareness (SA). Without SA, you will play a FPS in a reactionary manner, which means someone shoots at you or comes on your screen suddenly, then you try to shoot back. In a game like BF3 that has a short time-to-kill and instant hit weapons (guns), playing a reactive style game is close to impossible. This is because the average human reaction time is close to 25ms, so when someone has a half second (500ms) initiative, you are at an extreme disadvantage. The only way to overcome the enemy initiative is relying on their lack of skill and/or your ability to process motor motions (aim) faster.

The common misconception is that elite players have lightning reflexes, but the reality is that most of them have average reaction times... but they acquire targets much faster. More than anything though, they have incredible SA, which is why a casual gamer watching competitive players often think they have some crazy ESP on how to predict the enemy movements. The key to becoming a better gamer as a whole, is increasing your SA so that in any encounter, you will have a better initiative, forcing your opponent to play a reactionary game.

With that covered, SA is based on six key points:

Map knowledge (knowing the hot/safe zones)
Radar (simply knowing enemy locations, incoming danger)
Flow (movements, deaths, battle visuals/sounds from around you)
Communication (player to player announcements)
Reaction state (more on this later...)

Map knowledge is an often cited strategy, but the reasoning behind it is that it conditions you to where you should be aiming. Anyone that plays BF3 long enough will know all the general sniping spots, corners and hot zones. You know the general direction to aim based on where the enemy comes from.

Radar is what separates the casuals (negative KD) from the real gamers. If you can master radar and you are not incompetent at motor controls, you will be above the pack. I will readily admit to dying because I have been using my radar to aim as opposed to my screen. It should be that important to observe with one eye (or two) at all times. Not only should you be looking for the red triangles AND their orientation, you should be looking for skulls of your teammates dying and where. Too often I've flanked enemy squads with a suppressed gun and taken out the last two, reloaded, then finished off the rest. If people are dying around you, be highly alert. You know where to aim because you see where they will be.

This leads to flow, which is the introduction to higher level play that most of you either intuitively know or act on already. Flow is the tide of battle that includes zones controlled by allies/enemies, which side has the upper hand and action on routes leading to each. Essentially, a bird's eye perspective of what is happening on the map. Flow requires using the limited amount of information available (radar, onscreen) and attempting to understand which areas are hot and which areas are vulnerable. Literally, think of water pushing and pulling around the map and that is the idea of flow. Say on Metro, you hear two huge fights at the first escalator and side stairs, you'll know the second escalator will be the least watched.

Casual players don't apply flow and can counted to stack with teammates to push a certain area. This means that flow is best applied toward flanking, because you can identify the routes of least resistance and make your way through to eventually hit the other team from behind. This is almost always high risk/high reward (another reason why casuals don't prefer this method), as the times you die will far outrank the times you succeed. However, when you do succeed, it will often be devastating for the enemy team and disrupt their position bad enough that your team can break through.

I'm sure this is why the radio beacon is getting the nerf, because it's ridiculously powerful in the right hands due to the ability to inject yourself directly into flow. Enemy "safe" zones are now hot and you can force them to slow down, bunker down or abandon a position getting flanked. Without proper flow, things turn into chaos, where you don't know which way to look, what is secure and what not. Casual players HATE chaos and LIKE predictability, which is why they often stack with other players (especially at choke holds). Beacons add chaos to the order, so it really screws with casual players the most when it gets abused.

The MAV isn't a flow breaker per se, but given its ridiculous spotting effectiveness, it exponentially increases the SA for your ENTIRE TEAM. The balancing problem with a device like the MAV is that casual players stay the same, but good players get better with a MAV guy on the team.

The other best flow breaker in the game is the M320 smoke. I hardly ever see anyone use smoke except other high level players. The utility factor is twofold, as it hides team movement if you shoot it at hot zones or disorient enemy positions if you fire at them. The caveat is that smoke requires two things: self-sacrifice and the willingness for your team/squad to advance to take advantage of it. A squad with two smokers and two rushers with RPG/shotguns/C4 can deliver a massive effect to a "locked down" area. But, they all have to be willing to rush in and die for it to be effective, which are two things casuals don't understand/are unwilling to do.

What other flow breakers are there? Transport vehicles. The team can spawn on transport vehicles, so keeping these alive and behind/above the enemy is a huge part of team efficiency. (Begin rant) A lot of people here say that transport choppers are a thankless task. Why yes, they are. But they help win games, which is what being part of a team is about. Who is the first guy rushing the MCOM with smoke that gets shot arming it but reveals the 2 guys crouched in the corner on radar? Yeah, that's me, but fuck it, my squad now knows where they are and arm it for me. If I wanted personal glory, I'd go play 1v1 Starcraft or Quake again, but no, I'm playing BF3, so remind myself to man up from time to time, stop whining like a MW3 player worried about their K:D ratio and try to help my team win for a change. The only satisfaction you need is knowing that you are a moving spawn beacon dropping beautiful noobs with cannons into the enemy kool-aid pool. (/rant).

Side note: One of the things BF3 hasn't had much credit is in the map design, because almost all BF3 maps are designed with great flow. Good map designers know how to build maps to design combat around certain areas, but almost always put vulnerabilities into each position (multiple entrances) to prevent outright lock on any one area. Or in a game type like Conquest, if one area is dead locked, you can simply take another point and move on.

I've coached players before on the notion of flow and have guided players around maps where they slaughter players simply from getting better positioning. You don't always have to flank, you can just recognize when the enemy flow is coming to you, wait just for the right moment and pop up your LMG and make the magic rainbows appear. The better you are at flow, the less often you get shot in the back and the more often you shoot someone else in the back. With flow, you know where to aim not because you see them in front of you or on radar, but because you came to that conclusion logically.

Now onto the second most important concept: reaction state. Unless you are trained in meditation, you cannot keep a heightened state of awareness for more than a certain duration. This applies to FPS games as well. When you round a corner KNOWING that a guy will be there, you will enter a certain state where you are ready to hit the trigger, your eyes are already pre-scanning and your reaction time is also sped up. On the opposite side, if you are waiting in a room on the defensive and don't know when the enemy is going to come, it is nearly impossible to keep a high state of awareness, as you can only hold it so long. This is why SA is critical, because it informs your body when to be ready and gives you the initiative in a fight.

Not only that, the way that the network coding works in most modern games (especially faster games like MW), the attacker gets an advantage in terms of reaction time, because by the time your opponent sees you entering a room, you will already have been in the room looking at him. I won't go into full detail on the mechanics, but this is also why you die after rounding a corner, why you SWEAR you won an engagement only to have lost and kill guys who go out of your field of view.

Knowing this, if you know a guy is in the room and have the option of slowly creeping into the door or rushing in, you should always pick the latter. The slow creep (aka pie) only works on guys unaware or a must if you don't know if someone is inside. Bridging the higher level to lower level application, this is also why shotguns and the F2000 are beasts in CQB - they are accurate while on the move AND provide short time-to-kill. You are essentially stacking all variables together (initiative, reaction state, network code, quick damage application) in your favor. At the same time, this is why the F2000 is a preferred gun among many high level players, because it favors the run and gun method, which is very twitchy by nature. It is a terrible gun otherwise, which is why complaints about the F2000 just show ignorance, because if you are encountering more than your share of F2000 players, you are using the wrong play style for your weapon. It is a weapon for point men aka the guys who charge first. Just like if you shouldn't complain about always being sniped if you're that guy trying to pick them off with a SCAR at long range. You play to your weapons advantage.

As for conquest Defending a flag is always much easier then attacking. You will not die as often = Less tickets lost. You will also get revived more often = Less tickets lost. Your enemy is now forced to come out of their camping spots putting them out in the open as they try to attack = Many more easy kills which leads to faster ticket loss on their side. Unless you are clearly stomping your opponents and you can cap them out... stratigically you should only capture enough flags to start the bleed then hold them as best you can.

I will also add that almost every killing machine is using a lot of strategy already whether that be something they know they are doing, or just doing it subconsciously We flank, We learn how the battle flows in every area, We can quickly think of the most tactical position to move to in an area. We know when where and how to push forward. We know when to defend when its needed. Sadly these are hard things to discuss and teach. But when you get a squad of people who can do this... Game over.

Edit: Also... A lot of the bad players out there make the mistake of trying to PTFO to hard. Your no good so you feel the need to be on the objective like your actually helping. This is not always the case for example. A PTFO'er is going to go for the MCOM arm every time he gets close. He will die 10 times on his way to the bomb, He might get it a few times but he will almost always die immediately after planting. This leaves us with an unguarded armed Mcom... Big whoop, They will disarm it. All you are doing with that kind of play is losing us tickets.

Strategically you need to push up as fast as you can do safely, until you can hold the enemy line behind the bombsite. Then you plant because you now have your team there to actually guard the armed Mcom.

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Rotten Blaze''s Notes
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The best way to help u apply all of the techniques described in the presentation is to have a mic/gamer headset (turtle beach) These tools give your SA a much needed boost. When solo I can at times be terrible but by playing with people who aren't afraid to communicate me and my squad (9 times out of 10) win, also gaining the ace squad ribbon for precise teamwork and tactics. Boatengj98 has hit the nail on the head with this presentation and all players would be wise to follow these steps. One last thing he's bang on saying don't get pissed about dying. Some of the greatest battles on earth were won by sacrifice. The sooner the man realizes death is inevitable the sooner he can function as a soldier should on the BATTLEFIELD.
 

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