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Messages - Dragon

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Left 4 Dead 2 / Re: Favorite L4D2 Event
« on: August 18, 2014, 04:06:41 am »
Putting aside my own personal experiences of hosting cups for a moment, I preferred CCT because it was a massive middle finger to the campaign-specific habits that the community uses a lot, as in Dark Carnival > Parish > Dark Carnival > Hard Rain > Parish > Dark Carnival x 2 > Parish > Swamp Fever once in a decade > Dark Carnival x 5, Parish x 2 > Hard Rain > Dead Center when a tournament has an upcoming match for it > Dark Carnival ad infinitum, etc.

Map knowledge is one of the most basic aspects of gaming and it challenged the teams by resetting the system and having everyone start from scratch at the same level. Fall in Death and Carried Off are my two favourite custom campaigns and a few others are decent, but I'd like to see CCT have more of an impact to encourage the use of more popular custom campaigns (as well as unknown ones which may deserve a shot) which extends beyond the mere 'requirement' of practising for a tournament and actually becoming a staple of the scene as a whole that's welcomed in scrims, pugs and mixes.

As for my own experience of hosting cups, I was always a fan of trying out different things to prevent a boring routine from being established, which is something you learn from trial and error. I favour throwing in stock and custom campaigns to provide something familiar and something that's an extra challenge for the teams.

In one of the earlier cups I hosted well over 2 years ago, I gave teams in the losers bracket the liberty to play whatever campaign they liked; they repaid the favour by turning the losers bracket into the Dark Carnival Cup. Plus, double elimination is a double-edged sword of sorts; it gives extra matches for teams to play and spectators find it more entertaining when both teams are on the bubble, but it also extends the duration of the tournament and some teams lose their motivation knowing that they've been placed in the knock-out half and have an uphill struggle ahead of them, which is why a few teams quit as soon as they lose a match in the winners bracket.

Two more important things to consider are the total number of teams that sign up and the estimated duration of the tournament itself. Ideally, you want a tournament to last up to about 2 months if possible. Anything that goes towards 3 months or longer tends to draw complaints. This becomes increasingly difficult to schedule with the more teams that sign up. The current system of the swiss format for about 6 weeks followed by the finals for the remaining 3 weeks, takes it up to that 2-month period. But if you have something like 40-60+ teams signing up, then you might have to make adjustments for the sake of time. I recall that the fragpipe had over 70 teams signing up and went for a group phase consisting of 16 groups, followed by a double-elimination format. The opening match all the way to the grand final took a little over 3 months.

Oh and of course, international competition is the way to go. Certain members and players will object predictably for whatever reasoning, but for the spectators it's not much fun knowing that a team is considered the favourites primarily because of having the home advantage. This is another reason why CCT is an obvious choice in the poll. Home and away matches have their pros and cons and are not perfect by any means, but implementing it automatically gives a tournament more credibility, especially when prize money is involved AND it appeals to other teams knowing that they're not going to be shafted by being on the wrong end of a strict home advantage, meaning more potential teams signing up.

Confogl & Miscellaneous / Re: Laser sights
« on: August 12, 2014, 07:49:23 pm »
In general, no. Smgs are already easy to use and powerful enough with their DPS, range and slowdown capabilities without adding extra accuracy whilst on the move and sniper-like precision when crouching.

The only way I could see it maybe having an angle is if it was used exclusively with the standard uzis as a way of compensating for the obvious damage deficit to the silenced smg, but that's something that only becomes apparent when shredding through a tank. Against other SI though, the extra accuracy that the standard uzi has can help for more precise headshots sometimes. So laser sights would undoubtedly make smgs more OP if brought back.

If we're talking purely about trying to add back more goodies into configs, I wouldn't mind this as long as it brought a benefit to all weapon types and not just an outright buff for smgs and snipers. Perhaps if it could tighten the spreads of shotgun blasts too, then it could be considered. But we both know that tackling shotgun spread is a prickly affair XD

Confogl & Miscellaneous / Re: Compfogl?
« on: August 12, 2014, 04:06:26 am »
I've always planned to make every effort to keep this config as organized as possible. For the distribution packages and etc, I agree 100% and that can and will all be done but first I want to make sure that if I put a lot of effort into this people will actually play it.

Whilst I admire the effort, you have to brace yourself with the fact that the community in general is both resistant to change and lazy when it comes to experimental configs. I'd recommend setting up a steam group specifically designed for announcing anything new with Compfogl and generating a solid and consistent bunch of folks who will reliably turn up for any test or pug.

As far as "needless things like propane bile etc" I'm split on that decision, because I am all for the concept that LESS is not better. Things were originally taken out because there weren't viable ways to balance them. As is, this config has an M16 that is a mid-ground between the SMG and the SUZI. The Mac-10 still being the best "machine gun" The main argument I hear against it once people realize that it's not an actual M16 and it is balanced to be on par with the SMGs is that it's "pointless" but variety is something this game lacks. Of course it's really difficult to make guns different without one being objectively better, but I still feel as though the variety is something this game could use.

If you feel you've got something going with the M16, then keep it. One of the more important features about configs imho is that they maintain at least one thing that is unique and that no other config can lay claim to.

I don't like the idea of the natural hordes at all, and as they are in 4.0.1 I agree that it's completely broken. It may not be a lost cause but it's not high on my priority list. Hittable weight is already back to what it was originally. And the updates to 4.0.1 that are objectively good (IE blocking inaccessable pill spawns) are added as well. But before I can focus on an organized dev cycle, releases, and proper distribution, I need to find a level of balance that is found to be acceptable within both the upper-tier tournament king teams, and the mid-tier pug-all-dayers. It's only me, three team-mates and a few newer lower tier people that hang in my mumble to do immediate testing, and then it's off to pugging. I feel like both are valid chances to test, but I also need to see how utterly top-tier play would work on such a config to truly know how acceptable everything is. I don't want any hand-holding, and I don't want the pug community to feel as though it's inaccessable.

Well this is perhaps the biggest dilemma you will face: you want to create something that appeals to everyone of all levels in a comp community where unanimous accord is the impossible dream. People have different ideals and concepts in their minds of what comp L4D2 'should' be and you're essentially basing all your development, testing and results on the reactions of people who ultimately want a final product that ever so slightly strays from your original vision or from the personalised visions of other testers. You can see that in this very thread when a list of changes were proposed and another person posted a variation of mixed responses. You can see it where people prefer EQ or Pro Mod more than the other based on their differences. That's why I recommend following your own vision first and foremost and then ask for feedback only on the things you feel uncertain about because no matter what you do, not everyone is going to feel satisfied and that's a simple fact that you don't want to waste time paining yourself over.

Once I can observe a balanced level of play for both mid and high, I would also like to make a much more "newbie friendly" version for L2L IF ITS DESIRED.

Unless the majority of L2L really wants this, I would recommend against doing this in all honesty for a number of reasons, one being that at some point, those players will eventually have to delve deep and play the thing that everyone else plays. I believe Killatoy once touched upon this topic long ago by saying something along the lines of "they all have to be thrown into the deep end anyway" and as Zen once said to me on mumble that one of the reasons the newer and lesser experienced players are in L2L because "they want to play exactly what the pros are playing" and I can say the same: when I started 4 years ago, I was bored of vanilla pubs and wanted to play Confogl. The transition from vanilla to comp configs is huge for a new player of course, but their growth and development stems from changing the way they think about the game, perhaps more so than learning merely how to play without an abundance of extra goodies because they'd have to adapt to a new way of thinking regardless of whether or not there are medkits and t2s on the menu.

Also, this was attempted long ago with Confogl Lite and although its purpose was with good intentions, heatlh bonus combined with medkits was about as questionable and abrasive as Battle rubbing his penis against a cheese grater. Not saying that you would do something like this (or that Battle would go to such an extreme, knowing that he already goes to others) but when players embark on their venture into comp for the first time, their growth and success depends on how they are psychologically shaped and primed towards the game and you don't need to water down a config to achieve that.

I could do all this for myself and have a bit of fun, but I feel my time would be more valuable spent working with the community on what they want and need. And it's not going to work out through simple forum polls and posts. A day must be set for reputable players and/or prior devs to meet and discuss IF people are open to adopting this config. And that doesn't mean once it's released we never speak of it again, it means before any future release is made public it must once again go through the same cycle of basic testing. Pug testing. Then observation and discussion between devs and reputable players, if we ever hope to have the organization, professionalism, gameplay, and balance that we all seem to be at a loss for.

You've got the right level of enthusiasm to see this through, I think all you need to do is create a designated group and never give up.

Looking & Recruiting / Re: [looking?] jengamoose
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:13:23 am »
hehe thanks man, thats nice of you - im just looking to scrim a bit at first maybe, see if i still enjoy it. pub just isnt fun :)

Well I don't play much these days but if you're down for a scrim or two and/or want a brief recap of what's happened in the past 4 years by one of the extremely few EU vets who stretch back as far as 4 years ago, then feel free to add me.  ;)

Looking & Recruiting / Re: [looking?] jengamoose
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:02:07 am »
I've never met jenga personally but his reputation precedes him, being one of the biggest names in the past and one of the very best players in the EU scene of the classic 1st generation. Whether it's for L4D1 or L4D2, someone ought to take him right now ASAP!  :)

Streaming & Casting / Re: Rate my casting
« on: August 05, 2014, 06:27:18 pm »
裸の王 | G¾Я: Edit post or riot
裸の王 | G¾Я: Dont group me with fatty dragon

Just as I suffered his drunken and stoned bouts in early-morning casts, it's inevitable that Battle suffers my "fatty" self. Balance remains intact.

Back on topic, I think your first cast was good. You didn't sound too nervous but you were in the passenger seat and there is a natural inclination to follow the caster who is taking the lead. You were also attentive to the crucial numbers by informing the viewers of the bonus which is a big plus. If you've not read it, I made this post in a previous thread not long ago:

I don't believe that anyone comes up with a '10' for their debut cast because it's the biggest obstacle of all and it's never going to be 'perfect'. But I do think your first cast merits an 8 because you seemed to reasonably enjoy it, you weren't too fazed and you've cleared the biggest hurdle already which shows you've got the right ingredients to do casting in the long run. I'd say try and think about pitching in a little more often during casts, especially if you can add something which serves either as an extension to what the co-caster was talking about or something that neither the co-caster nor the streamer picked up or alluded to. This might be part of what Rails said and you just needing to be a little more confident but that's natural and expected after going through the baptism of fire.

As for mistakes, don't worry about them. Honestly, I've fumbled a few words, Battle has been intoxicated enough on several occasions to the point where it really shows and others have their moments too. Just keep it going and you'll do fine.

There's a natural apprehension towards casting for some who have had the thought cross their minds. But I can say from experience that the first time is always the worst because it's unknown territory to you. If you can handle the first (and worst) cast and enjoy doing it despite the nerves you may feel, then you may as well carry on because it will only get better from there.

The main questions I get asked by people who are uncertain about shoutcasting go along the lines of:

1. What do I say? You describe all the action as it happens, simple as that. Also, you don't want to talk about something off-topic when an attack is in motion, this is probably one of the top 3 complaints I have heard over the years in regards to casters in general. Even if you feel like you're in the middle of a relevant sentence, just suspend it for a moment and commentate on the live action. This is especially necessary if you are able to commentate on something which is happening outside of the cameraman's view, because you can't assume that the cameraman will see absolutely everything 100% of the time.

2. What can I do to avoid dead air in the cast? This one's really easy actually even for someone doing solo-casting: analyse the living shit out of the piece of action you just saw! As soon as the last SI in the attack is killed, you have around 20 seconds before the next set of spawns are up and getting into position for the next attack. You can say SO much even if you're on your own, with two casters who follow the same principle, dead air will never happen. You can voice your opinion on the attack, you can mention the current state of power (are the survivors still stacked with bonus or do the SI have the upper hand, etc) and what implications do the previous attack and the development of the round in its entirety have on that match (and the tournament if it's a major point in the finals). Use the intervals between map transitions as tiny breaks to talk about other things in a little more depth, whether it's the match or it's something community-related. If you're really struggling to think of anything, give your predictions based on the current run of play and what you expect to see based on the remaining maps that will follow.

3. Am I meant to be a comedian? This is not a common question but I feel it's worth bringing up because for those who ask, a L4D2 cast is a L4D2 cast, not an appearance on Saturday Night Live. Don't get me wrong, we all enjoy a good laugh now and then as casters and as viewers too, but it should only be seen at best as a light seasoning to the main course that is the cast. If you have some form of pre-established rapport with your co-caster where the comical words and moments just spark spontaneously then that's fantastic and completely normal; you can engage in banter and recount amusing stories without it feeling contrived or overly premeditated to an extent, but say it and let it come out naturally; NEVER try to force it out! The worst thing you could do in a cast is pain yourself over trying to be something that you're not. Another complaint about casters I've heard in the past is that a few would focus more on making beer or other liquids pour out of viewers' noses while neglecting the ongoing action which is what the cast is all about in the first place! So as a beginner caster at least, focus only on the task at hand, nothing more.

4. What if I feel like the nerves are too much? Then let the co-caster take the helm so that you can breathe in and out with deep and slow breaths; it forces your body to relax and makes you more calm. Also, try to talk a little slower if you feel like your speed of speech has been cranked into overdrive; this actually helps you fill in the gaps during spawn timers too so it's great for warding off dead air. One or two people I know in the past have commented on how they were anxious because they doubted their ability to improvise on the fly which didn't help their nerves. Anyone starting out in this has the benefit of tagging along with an experienced caster in the form of Xbye who I'm sure would be happy to give you that breathing space should you need it.

5. How do I not screw up? Well the basics have already been mentioned: say what you see, analyse it with opinions and predictions for what is to follow, try not to lose focus and drift off into a paragraph which is being muttered when the next attack is already in full-swing. You can be amusing and witty when it's natural and the occasion calls for it, but you're not going to screw up if that doesn't happen for you. If you're really conscious about making mistakes, the best thing to do is organise a plan with your co-caster(s). Decide who will speak and in what order, you can also decide on a cue which when the lead caster says during the live cast, will be your signal to speak. This is also a great way of greatly reducing any chance of collisions or interruptions between co-casters. I had to do this for the WatchL4D grand final because with the coverage looming, we wanted to minimise interruptions and overlaps. As I'm connecting from the other side of the Atlantic, Kiss Me and Rails are already saying things for about 2 or 3 seconds before their first words reach my ears, which is why it makes it considerably more difficult for a non-NA caster to find the 'right' moment to speak without interrupting anyone else, so sometimes we end up colliding at the beginning of sentences!  :D

6. Will the viewers like me and if not, how can I improve? The former really should not be your concern. You should never head into a cast thinking "will the viewers like me?" because it's not a popularity contest and treating casting as if it is one, is really the wrong way of looking at it. I can't speak for all viewers, but I know as a viewer myself, I can sense if a caster is genuinely excited to be in that seat, and if they're lacking the enthusiasm for it then it does show and almost makes me lose enthusiasm as a mere viewer. You wouldn't spend money to watch an artist who has no passion for what they do, and just turn up there for the money and go home, so why put yourself through an ordeal if the root cause for you being there doesn't make you enthusiastic? The best mindset to have for it is to feel enthusiastic heading in and let that be what uplifts you even if you're suffering from the jitters. If you've never casted before, then there's honestly no way of knowing how you will fare until you're in the caster's seat. You will probably have viewers commenting on whether or not they like your casting. They might even compliment you on your voice, your humour or even your sense of professionalism. If you're feeling proactive about seeking improvement, just get the link for the VOD and listen to yourself as if you were just another viewer that night. Think about what you liked and/or didn't like about your casting and then take notes for future reference. I did this way back when I started out and I get easily bored listening to myself, but it definitely helped me stroll in the right direction. If you feel like you "um" and "uh" too much then tone down the pace of your tongue a little. If you feel like your fumbling your words or syllables, then correct yourself and move on, don't dwell on it. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes amusing mispronunciations too, it just happens and it's not a disaster at all. But you can also think about that as the 'seasoning' or the 'spice' to add to the humour of the cast. With the right mentality, you can make a fuck-up add to the cast rather than take something away from it.

I know a lot of what I said might apply to more longer-term casters as well as beginners but I've always found that those who succeed in casting just pick up on it so fast even within the time of their first few casts. The only real obstacle is taking that first big jump. Once you've cleared it, you might be glad that you did. So if anyone is even thinking about this opportunity, stop thinking and just do it!

Offtopic / Re: It's time once again.
« on: May 28, 2014, 12:59:22 pm »
England will be lucky to make it out of the group stage, either way reguardless of flawless groupstage victory or utter balls crunching defeat us poor bastards here in the UK will never hear the end of it, s'only been about 50odd years since England actually won the cup and youd swear that happened only last year.

At 90quid for a shirt and the hell its going to cause to the jeremy kyle schedule on ITV...fuck football

I'm quite certain that if anything, the holding pens for that show will be overflowing by the time the World Cup starts, to the point where every sodding town in England has its Jeremy Kyle moments out on the streets each night. But yeah, slim chance of that in Neath...

As for the football, well it tends to follow a script of sorts: People get hyper and raise their expectations too highly, expect England to achieve an unrealistic victory based on way too many factors to even bother describing in detail. Fast forward a few weeks later, the nation still tastes disappointment, more than enough alcohol to flood the Isles and a surge in cardiac arrests over a somewhat predictable result.

But fear not, Battle. Your Jeremy Kyle viewing will resume schedule soon enough!

Equilibrium Cup / Round 3 - Swamp Fever
« on: May 19, 2014, 06:46:06 am »

Match 28 - NV- vs Wubbalubbadubdub!

Match 29 - Pink Panther Gang vs Team Switzerland

Match 30 - Team USA vs Team France

Match 31 - Team N0n`Stop< vs Team nicename

Match 32 - Tim Vintage vs Of Four Ubermensch

Match 33 - The VooDoo BoyZ vs Sweet Venom

Match 34 - Team Axis vs Team something...

Match 35 - Dynasty vs Impossible Gods

Match 36 - l4m vs Team dno skill

Match 37 - Agents vs Crazy Frenchies

Match 38 - Team Dat Italy vs Team aZ

Match 39 - Combat Care Bears vs His Infernal Majesty

BYE - Team A`Q

Even though there are quite a number of international matches, we are predicting that most of them will only require a single match on a neutral server, so we ask that you please be vigilant and do any ping testing required before making your decision on which server(s) you play.

In addition, I'd like to add that team captains also be more consistent with posting their scheduled matches and their screenshots of the final scores, both tasks can also be done in the discussion threads found in the cup steam group. Thank you.

Equilibrium Cup / Re: Equilibrium Cup #3
« on: May 12, 2014, 05:48:57 am »
The second week of the cup consists of a mix of continental and international matches. Warcelona is a custom campaign which means playing the finale is mandatory for all. It is only 4 maps in total and a decent-sized campaign overall; not too lengthy or enduring for survivors. For those playing international matches, don't forget that the !cup command is mandatory for your home/away games. You can download the campaign from here:

Round 2 - Warcelona

Match 15: Wubbalubbadubdub! vs Team nicename

Match 16: Team something... vs Team USA

Match 17: Of Four Ubermensch vs NV-

Match 18: Tim Vintage vs N0n`Stop<

Match 19: The VooDoo BoyZ vs Pink Panther Gang

Match 20: Agents vs Team France

Match 21: Team Clarity vs Team dno skill

Match 22: Impossible Gods vs Team A`Q

Match 23: Team Axis vs Combat Care Bears

Match 24: Team Dat Italy vs Dynasty

Match 25: Team aZ vs l4m

Match 26: Sweet Venom vs His Infernal Majesty

Match 27: Crazy Frenchies vs Team Africa

Equilibrium Cup / Re: Equilibrium Cup #3
« on: May 06, 2014, 02:32:36 pm »
I posted this in the cup's steam group too but also posting it here for good measure:

When you schedule your matches, please post them in this discussion thread here so that the admins and casters know about them and can prepare in advance:

I'd also like to mention the !cup command briefly because it is a mandatory feature in international matches where home/away games have to be played and although it was used in the playoff phase of the previous EQ cup, not many teams and players will be familiar with it.

The !cup command equalises boss spawns: it works by using preset coordinates for tank and witch spawns which can be used not just in home/away matches but by any team who wishes to use it too. This ensures that when playing home/away, one team does not get an advantage over the other due to random spawn placements of tanks or witches in unfavourable parts of maps. It's consistent the whole way and can even be previewed in testing (mixes/pugs or pcws/scrims) if you want to familiarise yourselves with the exact placements.

The command is optional in neutral matches (where only a single match is necessary between two teams). Teams in neutral matches are not obliged to follow the same script if they want to make things a little more interesting and uncertain, but they are recommended for a few reasons. One reason is because there's no accounting for how mapinfo files are configured on different servers when it comes to EQ, meaning certain tank spawns that should be blocked 100% (coaster on DK3 being a good example) might have a surprise tank spawn waiting for you if you're willing to take the risk.

Another reason is because of funky tank spawns that are never blocked at all (like DK2 alley before ladder choke) but are very likely to see a lot of wreckage regardless! Because the boss spawns will always be preselected with discretion by the admins, such catastrophic places will not be picked for tank fights, but start a match without !cup and you are willing to throw that assurance out of the window. Any teams scheduling neutral matches MUST reach a consensus and agree before the match starts on whether or not they will use !cup.

So, in order to use !cup, once you've loaded EQ 2.1 and are in ready-up, one player must type: !cup in chat which will initiate a vote. This is mandatory in international home/away matches thus everyone must vote F1 in favour of it. Just one command and one vote, it's as simple as that.

One more thing to mention is what to do in the event of a server crash in the middle of a match. When the server crashes, everything resets including the !cup coordinates. If you were to load straight back to the chapter you were originally on, then the !cup command won't work as it only functions when in ready-up from map 1 (this is the only way it can function and it is EXACTLY what happened in the previous cup's Blood Harvest semi-final between Wumbologists and Team Carbon). The only way to reset !cup is for everyone to load up the first chapter and vote for !cup again, then anyone with admin access on the server can load up the chapter they crashed on without having to needlessly cycle chronologically through each chapter via mass suicides.


Pros of !cup

1. Consistent and equal boss spawns for home/away games
2. It can be tested in games before official matches
3. Preselected coordinates for more 'even' tank spawns

Cons of !cup

1. Can be seen as dull, repetitive or lacking surprise when played a lot
2. Mandatory in home/away matches; can't do shit about that
3. Need to reset from 1st chapter if the server crashes

Equilibrium Cup / Re: Equilibrium Cup #3
« on: May 04, 2014, 05:41:57 pm »
1st round draws are up and ready for teams to schedule. Visor will post the EQ 2.1 package in another thread likely some time tomorrow.

The tournament will begin with a swiss format phase consisting of 6 rounds.

Match 01 - vs His Infernal Majesty

Match 02 - l4m vs Team Of Four Ubermensch

Match 03 - Team nicename vs Team - aZ

Match 04 - Team USA vs Knockout n' Walkout

Match 05 - Wubbalubbadubdub! vs Sweet Venom

Match 06 - Team something... vs Team Combat Care Bears

Match 07 - Team Axis vs The Voodoo BoyZ

Match 08 - Team France vs Crazy Frenchies

Match 09 - Pink Panther Gang vs Team Dat Italy

Match 10 - Dynasty vs Vintage Germany

Match 11 - Team N0n` Stop< vs Team Africa

Match 12 - PlatinuM Clan vs Team dno skill

Match 13 - Team Clarity vs A` Q

Match 14 - Agent's Team vs Impossible Gods

Equilibrium Cup / Re: Equilibrium Cup #3
« on: May 02, 2014, 06:07:08 pm »
Nice vid! Reminder for everyone that registration closes in 24 hours.

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