Go Back   NZFortress - New Zealand's Team Fortress Community > NZF Academy > Lecture Theatre

Reply 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 23rd August 2012, 02:28 AM   #1
Avril Avril is offline
League Administrator

Avril's Avatar

[ADVANCED] Theory and Concepts

As I end my career in TF2 I'd like to leave this behind as a thanks for the many years of enjoyment I've had. Just a little bit of knowledge I'd like to impart for whoever finds it helpful. I hope this can be my contribution to you and the community.

This is a theory based guide discussing many of the concepts which all of you will be applying in your games but not all of you will be consciously aware of. Unfortunately I won't be discussing many practical applications, this isn't a guide that teaches holds or pushes. Instead what I hope you get out of this guide is a greater understanding of the mechanics of competitive TF2, a guide intended to look past the how so we may understand the why.

The guide will be divided into several parts where I may write and post them periodically.


The Area Game
PART 1 - The Basics

This first part will look at the most basic and fundamental of theories in competitive TF2. Many different teams will be consciously aware of how Territory and Area becomes applicable to their game while others who may execute the same way will not be aware of its existence at all.

The game's objective requires your team to capture 5 control points spread equally across a mirrored map. This way the map is essentially divided into 5 parts or 5 territories. Don't think of the game's objective as capturing 5 control points, rather visualise it as capturing all territories on the map. Breaking this theory down further, each territory is separated by entry choke points on the map. Thinking this way you can see that the map also contains territories which do not have control points, the best example of this being Granary Courtyard which is a large open space which separates the mid point and the second point but does not contain a control point itself. Based off this, many maps can be considered to have as many as 9 territories separated by entry choke points.

Territory is our understanding of large areas which can be held by teams in a hold, generally it makes it possible to hold a territory because it requires the attacking team to enter through a choke. Area is our understanding of how small parts of a territory are controlled during a conflict between teams. Each part of a larger territory can be divided up into smaller areas, the best examples of which are the left and right side of Granary Courtyard and the Garage and Main roller door of Granary second point. Each of these smaller areas have their own entry points and are divided up by less prevalent chokes but the main idea is that one player cannot hold both areas and you must commit different players to each entry point.


PART 2 - Area Control

Area control refers to how individual players of your team relate to enemy players through positioning. Generally the distance between yourself and an enemy player can define how you relate to that player during the game. When you are far away from the opposing player neither of you are in conflict, the damage is weak and unreliable it is usually impossible to influence or kill the other player through damage alone. At a medium range you are able to influence the other player through spam but again the damage is usually not significant enough to kill a player unless they are already on low HP. This is what I refer to as a non-committal range, neither player has committed to the fight and neither player is in immediate danger of the other player. At a close distance one or both players have committed fully to killing the other player, there is usually no option for escape at this range and only one player may survive.

Through understanding that knowledge it is applied as a theory in which the immediate area that surrounds you is the area that you control which is friendly to you and your allies. An enemy player cannot enter the immediate area you control without entering a committal range of conflict. How this relates in terms of 6v6 is that you can force an enemy team with no intent to engage, to retreat and concede area to your team through superior positioning. What this means on a smaller scale is that by controlling certain areas within territories you make it impossible for enemy players to flank your team which would otherwise grant them superior positioning.

If the enemy player engages and eliminates you from your position you forfeit the area you had control over to that player. By theory this gives the other team greater area control within the territory whereby your team can either engage unfavourably or retreat forfeiting the territory entirely, moving back to defend the next territory that you hold. Adversely if you kill an enemy player you effectively capture the area they controlled, giving your team more freedom to flank and out position the enemy team.

This is however not a game which relies on kills, this is a game which is won through control of area which is claimed through the damage output you inflict to the opposing team.


PART 3 - Damage in Relation to Area

Area control and damage output work in tandem to secure positioning. Having greater area control allows you to maximise damage output potential, having higher damage output allows you to claim more area by pushing the other team out.

Each individual class is able to control area less or more effectively in their own way. Every class has a Reliable Damage Radius, this is the estimated range at which a class can reliably output damage to kill another player and is different for each class. For the demo and soldier, this radius is visibly larger as they are able to output significant damage at a short to medium range with added splash damage on top. For scouts, the radius is much smaller relying on closer engagements to do significant damage. The difference is of course the scout's speed and manoeuvrability which allows it to capture, move between areas and take advantage of flanks much faster. These are the core classes essential to area control as they offer the best in terms of ability to capture and maintain area. Pyros lack the damage output of the other classes whilst also lacking the speed. Heavies and engineers are effective at maintaining area control but lack the manoeuvrability to capture area quickly. Spies and snipers have high but unreliable damage output and as such their reliable damage radius is none which means they cannot hold and maintain area which they capture.

How this works in a 6v6 context is that each class or each player captures and maintains their own individual area which they control. By holding your players in a tighter formation your ability to hold and maintain a given area increases but your ability to cover flanks and greater area decreases. The further spread out your players are the more overall area your team controls but the less able each player is at maintaining that area. This is where damage mitigation plays a large role in determining the outcome of a team fight.


PART 4 - Target Selection and Damage Mitigation

Winning team fights requires each player in your team to be in a reliable damage output range whilst avoiding taking damage with your allies from the same damage source. This will often require your players to control area on flanks. Having multiple area controlled far apart will negatively affect your damage output as a whole whilst having players closer will increase the damage your team takes as a whole. For example, against a team committing players further apart to cover more chokes, attacking with more players focusing on a single area will outweigh their damage against your damage as their team is too spread to reliably output damage. Against a team which is holding less area much closer together, flanking and taking more area will allow you to mitigate damage whilst maintaining your damage output as more of their players take splash damage from same damage sources.

Target selection in team fights can determine which class on the enemy team is able to contribute to an attack or defence. As previously mentioned each class has its own merits in terms of how effective it is at controlling and capturing area. Target selection refers to taking advantage of that classes' strengths and weaknesses in relation to area control. By killing scouts you open up wider flanks to the enemy team which can be more difficult for them to cover with heavier classes. These flanks are usually best taken by your own scouts as your heavy classes push into theirs. A lot of scout flanks are opened up by scouts winning duels against other scouts, although you may specifically target a scout flank with a larger number of players in order to give your scouts a positional advantage. Soldier advantage usually results in a weaker level of damage output from the other team especially at medium ranges where spam is the main form of damage output. This generally means you can push into their team without the need to take flanks as you can force them out of a positional hold through greater damage. This is similar for a demo advantage although with the added bonus of sticky traps, which are integral to area control as it can deny an entire entrance on its own. A missing demo on the opposing team allows you to both take flanks effectively and out damage the other team assuming your own demo is alive.


PART 5 - Speed and Movement in Relation to Area

As the objective of the game is to capture all territories on the map, the speed at which you take them becomes important. Imagine you are playing in a 6 man team facing off against no opponents, your only objective is to capture each control point. Because there is no opposition there is nothing holding your team back from capturing each point and securing each territory as quickly as possible. The absolute fastest speed your team could achieve in this hypothetical situation would be the speed that your team should aim for whilst taking into account in an actual game advantages and disadvantages, player respawn times, current players on the map and player threats and obstacles. A highly realistic example of this would be wiping the enemy team in a mid fight without losing any players on your own team. In this situation you have absolutely no opposition to stop you and your team should be taking as much ground as possible during the time it takes the other team's players to respawn. This would be the time that your team should be moving at the fastest speed possible to gain as much ground and territory as you can, yet I have seen many teams which don't move quickly between areas even after wiping the other team in a fight.

The general theory behind team speed is that you want to take as many territories as possible, thereby giving the opposing team less positions to hold. Each territory on the map is defend-able by the other team in a hold, by taking area quickly you deny the other team the ability to hold territories. A time based mentality is important here, if there were a game mode which would require you to set a time you would most definitely take as much ground as possible when possible in order to set the best time, this should be your mentality in terms of team speed whenever your team has an advantage.


PART 6 - Area Awareness

It is important to be able to read situations on a micro level at all times during the game, ranging from larger scale stalemates to small scale skirmishes, the area you control vs. the area the other team controls is a huge factor in determining the result of each conflict.

In a stalemate situation it is important that your team can scout out and see what kind of positioning the enemy team has during a hold, this can entirely influence how you push into a hold. An example of which would be pushing from Granary mid on to Granary courtyard. The area which the enemy controls and the classes they have dedicated to each area will most likely decide your push. Figuring out how many players are holding left or right courtyard, which classes are holding which side, where is the combo situated, where has the demoman set his sticky trap and how close are their players to the chokes are all factors to be taken into consideration. The last one of specific importance as this determines how much area control the other team has and how much they are giving away, if the team is holding very close they have very strong control over specific chokes but will find it difficult to move between chokes, the further back they hold the more able they are to move between positions but the more area they will be giving to your team for free when you enter the territory. It is also important to consider classes, a scout can hold a flank very well and can effectively move between positions quickly but however cannot maintain area against more players. The demoman can hold a choke very effectively against an entire team but cannot hold more than one choke effectively and as such does not move between positions. The soldier is in the middle ground who can hold area more effectively than a scout but is not able to move between positions as effectively.

Reading situations on a smaller scale is of equal importance, once a push has been initiated it becomes important to determine what positional area advantages each individual player has and what that represents on a larger scale as a team. When entering a fight the things to consider would be realising what height area the other team controls and what you control, which classes have current area control on high ground and if it is possible to force that positioning from them, how close together enemies players are grouped, how far apart they are and how effectively can they can reliably deal damage based on their damage radius and range, what players currently control flanks, what flanks are open for your team to take and how quickly can enemy players who are further away enter the fight. Generally you want to take flanks and mitigate as much of the damage your team takes as possible, you have to consider how long it takes your flanking players to reach their optimal positioning and what the other team's players are doing during this time. You have to very quickly judge how much area you can force from the other team and how much area you may have to give up if you are being out-damaged. You may also want to consider what area control the other team is giving up in order to add players or damage to the main fight, this will often open flanks for the rest of your team.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by kp View Post
it was only fever.. no one cares about those guys anyway

Last edited by Avril; 25th August 2012 at 04:01 AM.
Medic Award 2012 NZFL2012 Award NZ Representative Medic Award 2011 NZFL2 Premiership Team Award  Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 02:42 AM   #2
Greaver Greaver is online now
BADMIN

Greaver's Avatar

o/
__________________
Class President 2012 NZ Representative NZFL Players' Player Pen > Sword Administrator  Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 09:24 AM   #3
kevmeister kevmeister is offline
Senior Member

kevmeister's Avatar

Good read.
__________________
Remember, licking doorknobs is illegal on other planets.
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 09:27 AM   #4
ir.pegg ir.pegg is offline
The King

ir.pegg's Avatar

avril nooo
Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 09:51 AM   #5
Taffy Taffy is offline
League Administrator

Taffy's Avatar

HOW CAN YOU READ THIS ... THROUGH THE TEARS !!!
__________________
NZF Appreciation Award NZFL2 Championship Award    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 10:38 AM   #6
Nabled Nabled is offline
Senior Member

Nabled's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
As I end my career in TF2
say it aint so :<
__________________
NZFL2012 Award    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 11:02 AM   #7
madjack madjack is offline
New Zealands Most Valuable Player

if i read this when i get back from uni and its wrong youre going to hear about it kev
Most Valuable Award NZFL2012 Award NZFL2 Premiership Team Award    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 11:16 AM   #8
juke juke is offline
Stop spamming support Juke!

juke's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
HOW CAN YOU READ THIS ... THROUGH THE TEARS !!!
I can't. They're so damn teary.

lessthanthree 5eva
__________________
bonez: Greaver is like the Ron Burgundy of casting.
NZFL Players' Player    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 11:43 AM   #9
Avril Avril is offline
League Administrator

Avril's Avatar

I'm still here, just stepping back a bit from comp TF2. I'll still be around to help people, will still be on NZF and I might even pub a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madjack View Post
if i read this when i get back from uni and its wrong youre going to hear about it kev
I like you a lot.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by kp View Post
it was only fever.. no one cares about those guys anyway
Medic Award 2012 NZFL2012 Award NZ Representative Medic Award 2011 NZFL2 Premiership Team Award  Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 12:15 PM   #10
clip clip is offline
Isotonic Sports Ć’ormula

clip's Avatar

i heard avril was giving up tf2 to be a kpop star: confirm/deny
__________________

TOTY    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 12:38 PM   #11
blank blank is offline
Escher

blank's Avatar

can confirm
NZFL Team Award    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 01:55 PM   #12
Coldplatypus Coldplatypus is offline
Senior Member

Coldplatypus's Avatar

No Avril. Dota's gay. We wuv you.
Scout Award 2012 Fresh Meat    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 02:12 PM   #13
juke juke is offline
Stop spamming support Juke!

juke's Avatar

DoTA isn't gay, Avril is gay for DoTA.
__________________
bonez: Greaver is like the Ron Burgundy of casting.
NZFL Players' Player    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 03:49 PM   #14
Coldplatypus Coldplatypus is offline
Senior Member

Coldplatypus's Avatar

Could you please write a guide on how to use an uber effectively to kill enemy players in different situations?
Scout Award 2012 Fresh Meat    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 03:52 PM   #15
juke juke is offline
Stop spamming support Juke!

juke's Avatar

A push guide?
__________________
bonez: Greaver is like the Ron Burgundy of casting.
NZFL Players' Player    Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 04:14 PM   #16
Avril Avril is offline
League Administrator

Avril's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldplatypus View Post
Could you please write a guide on how to use an uber effectively to kill enemy players in different situations?
This probably has something to do with what kind of positioning your players are taking on the uber push. Assuming you're going uber vs no uber you need use a lot of players flanking while your ubered combo walks through taking as much ground as possible. The idea is that you want to have good positioning against the other team after your uber expires as well as during the uber.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by kp View Post
it was only fever.. no one cares about those guys anyway
Medic Award 2012 NZFL2012 Award NZ Representative Medic Award 2011 NZFL2 Premiership Team Award  Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 05:29 PM   #17
Kaki Kaki is offline
Senior Member

Kaki's Avatar

how to gain position when pushing uber vs uber? perhaps 1 specific example to illustrate

nice writeup, sad to hear you wont be playing comp anymore
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 06:21 PM   #18
Rangi Rangi is offline
Senior Member

Sad to hear you're leaving comp tf2 Avril. Thatnks for the guide, nice break down of the basics. I'm sure we're all keen to hear anything else you have to say, especially all the high-level strats!
  Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2012, 06:46 PM   #19
Avril Avril is offline
League Administrator

Avril's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaki View Post
how to gain position when pushing uber vs uber? perhaps 1 specific example to illustrate

nice writeup, sad to hear you wont be playing comp anymore
Depends on a lot of factors such as who popped uber first, who is flashing uber more, what kind of positioning your players/their players already have, how much height either team controls. Usually the team which uses uber second and has better positioning entering the fight is able to take area more effectively.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by kp View Post
it was only fever.. no one cares about those guys anyway
Medic Award 2012 NZFL2012 Award NZ Representative Medic Award 2011 NZFL2 Premiership Team Award  Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2012, 04:02 AM   #20
Avril Avril is offline
League Administrator

Avril's Avatar

Updated.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by kp View Post
it was only fever.. no one cares about those guys anyway
Medic Award 2012 NZFL2012 Award NZ Representative Medic Award 2011 NZFL2 Premiership Team Award  Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2012, 09:58 AM   #21
Rangi Rangi is offline
Senior Member

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Updated.
_b
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2012, 11:30 PM   #22
Meet The Derry Meet The Derry is offline
Senior Member

Thanks for being a generally helpful all around good dude Avril(Aze)! LEGEND!
Most Improved Player    Reply With Quote
Old 17th September 2012, 05:47 AM   #23
Yuki Yuki is offline
voyage 1969

Yuki's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Depends on a lot of factors such as who popped uber first, who is flashing uber more, what kind of positioning your players/their players already have, how much height either team controls. Usually the team which uses uber second and has better positioning entering the fight is able to take area more effectively.
A lot of the time I call for an early uber in fights because I know I will be able to get either a pick -> good position or get a pick as a result of getting in a good position.

A good example is granary 4th : sometimes I like to use the last 3 seconds of the uber to jump to the 2nd floor and get a pick on the soldier/scout thats in stairs, effectively opening up better overall positioning for my team. Not only is our demoman now able to get pocketed and push forward, we have two with a potential THREE players pushing from stairs. Even then, I don't always have to get a pick. If I just get into a position that forces the combo of the other side to draw attention to me, it gives us free ground (added bonus if I live and they die).

It's not always a combination of the features you mentioned - quite often it is one outweighing the other. Just depends how you use your uber. Too many teams delay uber when the game is really not dependent on uber.

I'll go into your post soon enough
__________________
15:42 - termo: termo: hey
termo: im doing a frequently asked questions
termo: for an article im writing
termo: 'setting your game up';
termo: what are some frequently asked questions you get
15:43 - inbou ni yokoso!: "can i have your config"

Last edited by Yuki; 17th September 2012 at 05:53 AM.
Steam Community ID   Reply With Quote
Reply 

Thread Tools
Display Modes


All times are GMT +12. The time now is 09:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2006 - 2011 NZFortress - All Rights Reserved