View Full Version : the F key and mirandas: concept discussion

06-09-2011, 03:20 PM
putting all attacks aside, i would like to seriously discuss mirandas that for the most part do not shoot enemy planes in ball.

i am of the well-voiced opinion that unless you are scoring enough goals to compensate for the fact that you are not creating goals for your teammates unless you have the ball, you are not good enough at ball to justify not killing anything. shmo, balln, and other mirandas that inhabit the top of ladder don't score all that many goals more than some mirandas that are sub-2k, barely kill more, and don't die all that less often. so why are they over 1000 points higher than their peers?

to dig deeper, i think it's important to note that while balln and shmo do not kill even 20 players per 10 minutes and are only slightly better than your average miranda. however, they are among the best defensive mirandas in the game. why? because the 20 people they kill per 10 minutes are what i'll call quality kills. these are not really measurable other than the arbitrary ball carrier kills stat, which is not altogether that reliable. they kill when they absolutely need to and otherwise spend their time grabbing the ball and moving it. i am absolutely fine with this and have nothing but respect for their ball skills as they rarely if ever miss shots and are very good at staying alive with the ball.

however, considering i'm also a miranda and would like to see the ball, i either have to switch to a different plane to compensate or figure out a way to stay involved and help him score goals without needing the ball. it's something as simple as flying ahead and shooting down the whales in front of the goal before he gets there, clearing up an easy shot or dunk, and in my opinion it's much more useful than flying ahead of him looking for a pass. those two whale kills don't show up in the stat sheet other than under kills, which assigns equal value to all kills, but they are just as important in creating a goal for the team as the person carrying the ball. there have been many times in ladder where i get a triple kill around the goal and not score because i don't sit in the goal looking for a pass - i'm happy as long as the ball carrier doesn't screw up and miss a wide open shot because it's more important that my team wins than if i score individually.

an important note to grasp is that, personally, when i score 3 goals and my team loses 6-3, i often do blame one particularly bad player on my team for the loss. however, i do not feel like this is unjustified rage - if you went 17-30 in a bomber or 3-30 in a miranda and lost, you deserve all the blame in the world. if everyone played decently well, then it's more of a "well, what can i do better?" situation. if you scored 3 goals but only had 2 kills the entire game, you probably would have been better served killing something. just sayin'. having the most goals on your team doesn't mean you played the best.

that's all i got for now

tell me why i'm wrong

06-09-2011, 03:56 PM
I seem to be fairly bad a ball now, at least my rating says I am.

Why are all my stats (bar deaths, and a small difference in goal assists) significantly higher than your stats?

IMO it's because generally stats don't matter, its much more how you position and read the flow of the game.

06-09-2011, 03:58 PM
Some pretty solid observations. I do find that in ball the mirandas are definitely more focused on scoring than killing, as opposed to the rest of team whose job is to just kill. This is the one feature of ball that differs from tbd that I think is the most interesting. Whereas in tbd, all players of a team must work in synchronicity alternating defense and offense, ball is split up into "jobs". The whales and bombers must play heavy defense, guarding the goals and the like. And the lighter planes must push the ball to the opposing side. k/d ratios almost always seems to be lower in ball games because of the high turnover spawn rate, plus the value of a life is lower, there's no need for 6 people to be alive to score.

So I guess the main point is ball rests more on the individual playing their part well to create a working team, and as long as the ball is getting in the goal, it doesn't matter if you killed only 5 people as a randa in the entire game.

I'm not a ball player primarily, these are just some thoughts, feel free to let me know what ya'll think

06-09-2011, 04:41 PM
Let me bite and assume you really are interested in discussion, not perpetuation of opinionated drama.

The idea that stats reflect your competence is inherently flawed to begin with. Also almost everybody I hear discussing stats have a simplistic few of them.

Furthermore, one can be effective on offense without ever scoring, but by creating scoring opportunities or the necessary early work to move the ball.

Many essentials of ball are not covered by stats. Great defense is not well covered for example.

Killing is a poor indicator as well, because as any proper whore knows, if you want a lot of customers you have to go for the cheap targets, not necessarily the most valuable ones.

There are multiple "typical" ways a team can be in trouble:
1) Killing, the opposing team owns the field strength and it's too much to compensate by other means.
2) Poor ball handling, the ball is given up to the opponents too easily to give them easy scores.
3) Deficiencies in ball advancement. The ball is not moved economically forward giving the opponent time to recover from kills through respawns. Or the ball is held too long in dangerous spots.
4) Wrong emphasis. The ball is neglected for other activities.
5) Bad plane composition. Plane composition can help counter many deficiencies listed above. If the team is too weak in killing adjusting plane comp can turn this around. Or adding a ball handler, or getting a player into a plane where they are less likely to have a wrong emphasis.

Note that a killing team can lose in bladder. If you have strength but lack of sufficient ball handling, and the other team has a solid passing game, they can beat the killing team.

Especially players who play heavy on TBD often come with the notion that killing and field strength is prime. This makes sense. Killing and holding/guarding position is much more important in TBD than ball. The bomb carrier has an eject defense when trapped. However in ball the ball handler has no eject defense when trapped.

So what's the role of an offensive light, especially a randa?

1) Ball handling
2) Ball movement
3) Ball recovery
4) Creating turnovers (either by killing or by intercepting)
5) Passing
6) Defense
7) Killing

A randa is supposed to have a high ball recovery rate. They are the best ship to recover balls thanks to their maneuverability. They are also the best ship to generate intentional turnovers by being able to kill in burst and create intercept opportunities thanks to the maneuverability.

Randas can be fantastic whoring planes, but given the kinds of setups that work in ball, a whoring randa is very unlikely adding the right kind of role play to the team. You are better of having a killing boat that is good at covering space (bomber, whale) than a randa in that role. A randa has to be able to kill in ball situations and defense, most other situations are misplaced kills for randas.

So to yell at randas for not killing enough is often wrong and in fact if it is right, the complaint should be about plane composition of the team not the killing.

That said, there are randas out there who cannot really kill in situations where they should be able to. But we hardly talk about those randas.

You will routinely rage at other lights because they kill less than you, but in fact they just do what their role priority dictates in ball.

On the flip side you often do not help advance the ball, play a slow style that is too dangerous on some maps or spend time killing off-targets to boost your ratio that get you out of position and away from the ball, rather than close to the ball, where a light should be.

Final word on judging.

In ball stats can tell a story of other player's performance. My own killing ratio relates to how heavies play. If the heavies play well I will have a below 1 but otherwise respectable ratio. If the heavies play poorly one of two things happen. 1) I compensate, having a ratio around 1. 2) We get owned and my ratio is abysmal.

It is quite funny to get yelled at by heavies in case 2). The team lacked field strength and it gets blamed in the light who despite the lack of field strenght tries to create scoring opportunities. In reality the judgment is wrong and misplaced, and the team was weak which reflected itself in ball handlers having insufficient cover. Who's to "blame"? Depends. Maybe many, maybe a few, maybe nobody. Perhaps the wrong people were in the wrong boats, or this setup was just not going to win.

But some people *wink wink* will at every loss look at the stat sheet and find someone they can blame for the loss, based on some simple state and a pseudo-plausible argument. And if the people didn't take their crap in the past they'll just trash talk them to no end, no matter how they actually play.

And the same-self people will us ladder rating as justification when it serves them, but will ignore it when it doesn't. It's all just about feeding ego really, not about understanding and improving play.

In closing a lot of good TBD players don't understand ball fully and bring to it a TBD perspective. Not all but quite a few of the kill-moa rage comes out of that corner. Sadly those TBD players do not have the perspective to see that it is actually they who have a little bit to learn here, and that some things to work differently in ball. It's sad too, because many of those players are great with their planes and actually do add to the teams they are on. They just don't have the situational awareness that would push them even higher, at the same time they perhaps would understand better what those less skilled plane-handlers actually contributed to the game in question which made them more valuable than just adding a few kills to their stat sheet. In fact there is a chance that had they tried to look better on kills they'd been doing less of what matters, and that is making themselves a target by wanting the ball, and working to push for it.

06-09-2011, 04:46 PM
mirandas are superfluous

06-09-2011, 04:48 PM
Killing is a poor indicator as well, because as any proper whore knows, if you want a lot of customers you have to go for the cheap targets, not necessarily the most valuable ones.

I want this as my sig! <3 Urpee.

06-09-2011, 05:15 PM
1) Ball handling
2) Ball movement
3) Ball recovery
4) Creating turnovers (either by killing or by intercepting)
5) Passing
6) Defense
7) Killing

Urpee's list comes in the exact opposite order as mine :)

06-09-2011, 05:31 PM
Good question, ssd. I like your take on value-kills. Great post, Urpee. That randa numbered list looks spot on. When I'm playing with ball'n, I'm not expecting him to kill a bunch. But I know that he'll move the ball extremely well, he'll score goals, he'll make great saves, and that without him on my team, my team would be weaker. Do the other planes have to compensate by killing more than if we had a DF/Bomber/Whale on board? Yep. Am I bitter about that? Hell no, because I'd have to up my game and score three goals per game if he wasn't there.

No need to repeat everything, but I think one of the key points is that if you are at the bottom of the ratio pile (e.g. going 3-15 in a biplane or yes, even a miranda) and your team just lost 6-2, you did something wrong. Sure, maybe you saved two goals and you made some great passes and ended up with an assist, but... your overall contribution to the team was much less than it should have been.

I don't get the sense that the players who "cost" their team the game often reflect on what they need to improve on. Maybe they just think, "I did my best." And maybe they did do their best, but the next step is to observe more, to read the [G]uides, to get tutored, or whatever gets them off the bottom of the ratio chart.

Kills aren't everything, but if you lost and you didn't score a bucketload of goals in the process, they are everything. And yeah, I'm not impressed by whores. Well, except that one time I contracted Polio for {ball}.

06-09-2011, 05:55 PM
cough sinstar cough xx2

06-09-2011, 06:15 PM
I agree with SSD for the most part, but I think that, when the rest of your team is getting most of the killing done it's OK to have a 1:5 ratio or so. Personally, if my team is well composed, it's a randa friendly map (roids) and the rest of the carriers are loopies/bipes, I will play randa and solely concentrate on ball movement. Of course I'll switch if I need to for map control, but going 3-30 with 3 goals can be a very good thing.

Urpee, your list needs one more item:
0) Double warping through 4 or more enemy planes

06-09-2011, 06:26 PM
Too many randas forget they have the third manliest weapon in the game at their disposal and they don't use it.

06-09-2011, 07:22 PM
i'm mostly making this in reference to ladder, btw - the metagame in actual competitive ball is extremely different and within a team, it's often critical to have the randa that doesn't kill but hounds the ball. however, in ladder you (generally) have no idea who will be on your team, so it's critical that you are able to compensate for the teammates you have. if you have 3 people on your team that cannot kill for whatever reason in whatever plane and the other team has fewer, you are going to lose. it's very much like rebounding in basketball.

my main gripe is that the less skilled randas are just completely oblivious to everything but the ball - they don't make situational reads and many a time i have seen the last whale on defense stop a 2v1 push with 1/3 hp because the miranda was trying to fly under him to receive the pass instead of just killing him for the easy goal. i'm not asking for everyone to have positive ratios, but i'm of the opinion that unless you are personally carrying the ball, you should be looking to create openings for your team's push rather than flying from directly behind the carrier to in front of him hoping he'll pass to you immediately.

that particular habit of 90% of mirandas in ball is the one that annoys me the most. as a whale, i often have to ignore the mirandas wiggling their way in front of me not shooting me and create my own push with a thermo - something that should be completely unnecessary. the reason i'm not passing it to you isn't that i don't like you, it's because once i pass it to you the enemy will kill you and take possession of the ball. go kill something and make it easier for the team to score.

urpee, i still believe that your style of play is largely inefficient. i've explained this to you numerous times in the past, each time you insisted your style of play is superior. i won't go into a huge argument about the results of your play, but i am still of the same opinion. more specifically, the loopy's EMP is the single most destructive weapon in plane ball. it deals (minor) damage in an AOE and basically renders anyone hit by it completely useless. you are aware of this.

however, your style of play is basically that of a miranda with more restricted movement. you are always around the ball and control it yourself, which in ball is a huge waste of the abilities of an emp loopy. according to this number crunch (http://altitudegame.com/forums/showpost.php?p=32910&postcount=48), the loopy is only the third fastest plane with the ball and has the weakest shot. you do have emp which means you can be effective carrying the ball by shooting emp, but imo you should be playing largely off-ball and creating goals by emping everything at the goal and killing them. there are mirandas abound that can grab the ball and score on an empty goal at will, and you often play with them. the problem is that you don't adjust your possession-heavy style to the team - you just play your game. the loopy is the most versatile weapon a ball team could have, and you are wasting a lot of what makes loopy good.

06-09-2011, 08:22 PM
That's the thing though. That you have these ratios actually indicate that you are not helping as much as you could.

Let me actually pick two games we played together. One was a while back after which after the game I called on you for having lost the game for us.

Why did I come to that conclusion? Well our team was suffering from a lack of ball advancement. We two were the lights, yet for the whole game you showed minimal interest in helping move the ball, and lots of interest in killing stuff. By having limited passing opportunities our offense routinely starved and after some time the opposing team ended scoring. A classic case of a light not participating in creating offense with the ball. (As a consequence for articulating the criticism I got days of rage but nevermind that ;))

The other case was more recently on ball_lab. You did grab the ball every spawn, but then idled in spawn waiting for the team to clear forward. Problem was that that just didn't work. The other team had good pressure lights and slightly more field strength, so they ended up killing you with our side decimated in our spawn and having an easy scoring opportunity (usually scoring), giving that the path is neat and open from there. People started yelling at you, but nothing changed. So what did I do? I started rushing the ball at start to get it first, push low to by-pass the killing team and create scoring opportunity. We ended up winning the game.

In both these cases what you did didn't work and you failed to adjust or listen. Instead going onto rampages blaming others.

Point being that there is not one playing style that works, adjusting and finding what works matters. And if whoring kills doesn't do the job and not switching to more solid passing happens than that is as much a problem as a lack of killing when that would help.

I think it's worthwhile watching some of the great ball randas. They don't just slowly move the ball. If VipMattMan gets the ball at midline and has a path to the goal he will use speed to create pressure, not slow down and rely on team killing. That can fail or work, but more often than not it is the very thing that makes him a dangerous randa in ball. Randa's who do not know when to use speed take a large chunk of the offensive pressure out of a ball game. That doesn't mean that speed is always right. But to not recognize when to speed up is to miss much of the scoring potential as an offensive randa.

As an aside: If you think I play possession-heavy loopy, you should check out my past matches. Basically you are wrong to characterize my play this way. I am rarely having the longest possession times on my team. We can discuss emp usage once the stats are added to the ladder page. Not that this topic was about loopy offense, let alone mine, but the merit of randa killing.

06-09-2011, 09:08 PM
your entire post is based on the premise that a miranda that kills is whoring and that the weight of individual kills is identical for every kill. if we go 2v3 on a fast break and i kill the two whales at the goal, it is up to you to beat your man 1v1. if you are unable to beat him, it is a turnover and i am out of position. if you beat him, it's an easy score. this is why i feel like i lose most of my games because of awful lights - the people i entrust to win 1v1 matchups quite simply cannot.

the apparent consensus is that if i have a ratio above 1.0, i am not helping the offense and am instead going strictly for kills. this logic is, quite frankly, retarded. it's not a black/white whore/not-kill-at-all scenario. by eliminating enemies between the ball carrier and the goal, it makes it easier to score. saying that i have no interest in the ball and only want to pad my ratio is silly and just goes to show how disillusioned you are. contrary to popular belief, pushing off the ball is extremely viable and creates easy goals that most people that only play the ball aren't even aware of.

your idea that i do not use the miranda speed is actually quite amusing. almost as hilarious as when i singlehandedly clear the ball to the other side of the map, stall there waiting for my team to catch up, and watch my team's loopies suicide into the enemy at top speed without firing a missile or emp and then wail at me for not passing to them afterwards. this thread, however, is not about how to best score when in possession of the ball, it is about whether or not killing to create goals is actually a viable strategy. this applies both to mirandas that do not kill (very common) or loopies that do not kill (more rare). that is why i brought up your loopy, as you play a very miranda-esque style in your loopy.

if you are not playing a high possession style and aren't killing enemies, what exactly are you doing that is helping your team score goals?

06-09-2011, 10:02 PM
Lots of strawmanning and irrelevant distractions. For example noone stated any "consensus" or made "black and white" claims. The whole randa-style loopy thing is both bogus and irrelevant, nor is the discussion what I supposedly do or do not do. I don't think we are having a productive discussion about randa killing anymore. Was worth trying though.

To address the one new point you raise: Your expectations are your problem, in case you don't realize that. And that you cannot give productive feedback but have to rage at team-mates is probably hurting your teams more than the occasional 1vs1 situation that is lost. People have figured out that mute helps, but that surely isn't an optimal outcome. Just saying.

06-09-2011, 10:09 PM
i posted in my OP specifically stated killing that was practical to ball movement. the people who have argued against my point were talking about whoring.

i gave up trying to give constructive criticism (particularly to you) when i told you how MJ, val, and other top loopies played and you told me numerous times that you just did not want to hear it. that's fine, but don't expect me to continuously constructively criticize you when you do not accept said criticism.

06-09-2011, 10:11 PM
Yeah, yeah. It's me. Of course. In a topic on randa killing. Thanks for playing though.

06-09-2011, 11:25 PM
Yeah, yeah. It's me. Of course. In a topic on randa killing. Thanks for playing though.


dr. carbon
06-14-2011, 06:40 AM
I like reading Urpee's posts simply because of his superior writing abilities. :D