Author Topic: Theodin's Book of Melee  (Read 57622 times)

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Offline Theodin

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Theodin's Book of Melee
« on: February 20, 2017, 08:21:33 am »
    I'M WRITING A BOOK
    Introduction:
    Spoiler
    Well, not really a book. More like a collection of my accrued melee knowledge based on what I've seen competing against NA's best. It's for sure a work in progress, and it's slow progress, but it's coming along. This is all based off of empirical knowledge, and could be completely wrong. The purpose of this project, you ask? Well, because (basically) Russian dared me to, and I thought I might as well write down all this information I have stored in my head. The book will discuss players, their play styles, different moves, tactics, and my top 10 players I've played against, as well as my two 8v8 groupfighting dream teams. I know little about cav so none of that (sorry Lurvy) and i'm not that knowledgeable about leadership, so those won't be included in this project.
    [close]

    Chapter One Stuff
    Spoiler
    Chapter One Explanation:
    Spoiler
    Everyone has their own play style. Having played with a lot of good players, and having played against a lot more, I have collected information about their styles and what they like to do. These first 25 names come in no order (except I started doing alphabetically, although that ended quickly) so if your name is at the bottom or top, that doesn't mean anything. Obviously I've missed some people, and I do plan to put more names on the list, so don't worry about it. I've purposely refrained from putting mention of skill in this analysis, so don't get your panties in a twist. While there may not be much detail for some of the names, I can go into more in depth analysis about the players if i'm asked, so don't be shy! Also, if you know who influenced a player that I have listed unknown for, please tell me and i'll update. I am very open to critique, so fire away!
    [close]


    Chapter One: Players and Play Styles.
    Spoiler
    Players and playstyles

    Order: Influence, dueler/groupfighter, main moves, and how to counter

    Anthony:
       Asianp - dueler - stationary block/stun chamber - either anti-chamber (see: anti-chamber), range play, bait plays (inc sidestep, but often risky as he has a penchant to sweep stab), or counter chamber

    Achilles:
       Unknown - Dueler - Counter chambers, stun chambers, fast side swings, aggressive movement - pace slowdown, soft defense, range tricks, sidesteps/movement tricks

    AsianP:
       Unknown - dueler - fients into quick attack with fast forward movement, block/stun chambers, range play with occasional sidesteps - anti-chamber, basic returns, range play (risky), quick counter chambers (Maple/Jackie)

    Apocalpys3:
       AsianP - dueler/tossup - quick, paced fients leading into precise spams, reactive/block chambers with attempt to stun, side sweeps, technical defense - anti-chamber, defensiveness, sometimes movement/range plays (sidesteps, timed fallbacks, etc)

    BillTheButcher:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Up hold bait play, side dodge transitioned into long range up stab, deceptive fient into down attack at relatively close range - Patience, range plays, ghost down stabs, up chambers

    Blade:
       Cheeseypants - Groupfighter - Excessive dolphins that transition into either i) block chamber or ii) sweep swing, often faster then expected - countered with basic returns, sidesteps and chamber battles

    Dj Overjoy:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Incredibly well rounded basic play, solid up dolphins, accurate and timely chambers, fast block/attack reactions - Movement tricks, baits, extended chamber battles, aggressive pressure

    Theodin:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Movement tricks (sidesteps, range baits, stops/starts), spams, hitbox specific attacks - up dolphins, defensiveness/patience, s keying, block chambers

    Waste:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Accurate and well timed attacks, stop/starts, solid chambers - baits, movement tricks, aggression

    RussianFury:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Fast fients combined with in and out quick movement, looped and hooked side swings, fluid, aggressive, and fast pacing (movement and attacks) - slow play, hard defense, range plays (s keying), sidesteps

    BabyJesus:
       Zzehth - Dueler - Simple stabs, delay blocks - long holds, range plays

    PJ:   
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Fast fients, mouse swings and holds, tight chambers and good footwork - Range spams, ghost reach down stabs

    Vortex:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Dolphin-like fients, parabolic wave chambers, side swings coupled with aggressive movement - Sidesteps, counter chambers, fient holds

    Godfried:
       Unknown - Dueler - Block chambers, stun blocks, tight stab control with accurate stun chambers - movement tricks, counter stun chambers, long holds coupled with dolphin stab movement

    JackieChan:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Immpeccable chambers, fients, side swings, movement tricks, stun chambers, speed tricks, spams - ??? hard defense, tight chambers

    Maple:

       Unknown - Dueler - Concise chamber control, stun chambers, fast fients, sweeps - hard defense, counter chambers (difficult), hard spam

    Zzehth:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Ability to slow pace of game, master of the basics (see: DJ Overjoy), slow counter chamber returns, holds - close fient play (Apocalpys3), right to left sidestep, fast fients

    Salty:    
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Counter/block chambers, miniscule down dolphins, accurate stabs, model fients - long holds, sidesteps, face hugs

    Emo Celestia:
       Unknown - Dueler - Stun chambers, counter chambers, fast and bizzare fients ("The Emo"), range plays - sidesteps, counter chambers, block chambers and general defense

    skinny:

       Unknown - Groupfighter - Counter chambers, stun chambers, block chambers, unorthodox footlance timing, swing plays, restraint - movement tricks, basic plays, hard defense

    Mang:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Ping battles, circular spams, movement tricks, model fients, bait tricks - basic mechanical play, hard aggression, chamber wars

    Dom13WorstNW:
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Chambers, holds, side swings, range and movement tricks - stun chambers, range plays, excessive fients

    Suns:
       Unknown - Dueler - Stun chambers, counter chambers, fast movement, side swings, aggressive attacks - Counter stun chambers, movement tricks, range plays

    Rafeal:
       Unknown - Dueler - Accurate side swings, movement swing combinations, patience, counter stun chambers - face hugging, controlled aggression, holds

    Tammo
       Unknown - Dueler - Incredibly tight chambers, scoped feints coupled with pinpoint accurate attacks, baits leading into counter/stun chambers - range plays, patience, anti-chamber, movement tricks

    Ritz
       Unknown - Dueler - Emo-like feints, surprise chambers, accurate and long swings, power movement leading to surprise attacks, dolphin holds - anti-chamber, sidesteps, held side swings, patience/defense

    Chev
       Unknown - Groupfighter - Up baits, dodges, movement tricks, sidesteps, chambers from scratch, stun chambers, long side swings - basic play, long holds, patience

    Puppy
       Unknown - Dueler - Tight chamber returns, stuns chambers, kick stabs, fast fients - movement and range plays, sidesteps, bait plays, anti-chamber

    Maple
       Unknown - Dueler - Scratch chambers, dodges, stun chambers, tight chamber returns - spams, anti-chamber, long holds, counter chambers

    Krastinov
       Unknown - Dueler - Swing holds, timing tricks, timed holds, stop starts, bait plays - sidesteps, chamber returns, movement spam plays

    Cadesa
       Unknown - Dueler - Scratch chambers, stun chambers, chamber holds, chamber returns, gap movement, stun blocks - defensive play, anti chamber, excessive feints, long holds, side steps
     
    [close]

    People I couldn't figure out:
    Spoiler
    Lithios of the 9y
    Ghost of the 12th
    Who- of the 12th
    Coconut of the 12th
    Sleek of the 9y
    [close]
    [close]

    Chapter Two: "Moves"
    Spoiler
    Moves, movements and attacks

    Related to attacks:
    There are three main directions of attacks: Left, centre, and right.
     
          Left is often referred to as a side swing, where the attack is directed to the left side (facing) of the opponent. This usually causes the attack to create a difference in timing, causing a second or two delay in time between start of swing and hit.
    Often the attack is aimed at the end or just past the end of the opponents musket while he's blocking and slightly swung over - however, the attack may be aimed at any distance away from the opponent, and as long as the attack hits properly it will create a delay.
     
         Centre attacks are, surprisingly, the least commonly found at higher tiers of melee. Often seen with newer players, this attack is straight and hits in the middle of the opponent's body or block. This attack is often the easiest to chamber, as there is no hold in it, unless done purposely.
    This attack, if thrown in at correct times, can actually cause problems with defensive timing, especially with higher skilled players, as this attack is very low skill and will not be expected.
     
          Attacks swung to the right of the player hitbox are the hardest to accurately land, as the nature of the bayonet and player meta creates a tendency to hit the player on the left side of their body. Without careful practice and mouse movement, the attack will either miss to the left or to the right.
    The side of the hitbox that the right swing attacks is harder to hit, but that disadvantage is traded by the fact that the right swing attack attacks faster than the other two swings, having the shorter distance to travel.

    Related to movement:
    While it may be impossible to fully categorize and break down movement, there are three main types of movement: aggressive movement, defensive movement, and lateral movement.

    Aggressive movement, commonly known as w keying or face hugging, involves moving in such a way that it brings the player model closer to the opponent.
     Aggressive forward movement can often create an instant and temporary psychological advantage and cause your opponent to either panic block, move away, or panic spam.
    However, aggressive movement coupled with holds or spams can often leave you exposed to lateral movements like sidesteps or hook swings.

    Defensive Movement, sometimes referred to as s-keying, involves retreating to a safe distance from the enemy.
    Defensive movement can save your life. Often there are situations where being in close enough distance to the enemy is not in your advantage, and defensive movement gives you the opportunity to slow the fight down into your favor.
    However, defensive movement in most cases takes away your ability to kill the opponent, and gives him the opportunity to refresh, making it a double edged sword.

    Lateral Movement, often called sidesteps or a-d keying, involves moving your character model to one side or the other, creating a different view of your and the enemy’s hitboxes.
    Side Stepping is the process of moving quickly to your opponent's side to cause his attack to miss, leaving his side open and vulnerable.
    However, side stepping and other lateral movements happen after the opponent has already attacked, and not getting a sufficient distance away gives you a significant timing disadvantage with your block or chamber timing.

    In the opinion of the writer, it becomes difficult to create a list or description of advanced moves from scratch, only from demonstration. Therefore, i’ll breakdown a couple rounds of a duel between BillTheButcher and Maple from 2016, showing the moves and thought process of the duelists. Video can be found here:
    (Mute if you don't like J Cole, and yes, I fixed the audio)

    The video is not the full duel: at the start it is 2-2.

    1. The first move my Bill at 0.01 is a standard centre up attack combined with forward movement in an attempt to make the attack too fast to block.
    However, Maple counters with a up-stun block, instantly transferring to a kick. The kick misses.

    2. Bill moves backwards slightly and holds an up attack, while Maple moves out of range and does nothing.

    3. Bill then moves closer, still holding the attack, and fients once. Maple blocks and moves out of range.

    4. At 0.12, Bill continues to hold, and Maple spins and stuns himself against the fence. This creates an opening for Bill, and he moves in for the attack.
    Maple uses lateral movement and an up-stun block, freezing Bill. He then gets in a fast down stab, stunning Bill, and kicks him, as Bill has moved himself too close, finishing Bill with an up left side swing.

    5. The next duel starts at 0.40, with both Bill and Maple holding up attacks just out of range.

    6. At 0.48, Maple advances at Bill holding an up block, limiting the space in between them.
    Understanding that his bait tactic worked last time, he spins around and even crouches, hoping to bait Bill into attacking his stun block.

    7. At 1.12, Bill attacks his block, gets stunned, and then Maple does a fast down attack, stunning Bill again. Maple then repeats his kick to up left side swing again, getting the kill.

    8. At 2.10, after some sporadic engagement, Bill holds an up block within range of a down right side stab from Maple, who uses lateral movement to get within range.

    9. At 2.20, Maple uses the same lateral movement to get within range of an up right side swing, using Bill’s lateral movement against him.

    10. At 2.51, Maple attempts the same stun block down stab kick up side swing sequence, but Bill engaged at a farther distance and avoid the stun.

    11. At 3.03, Maple attempts to close the distance and do a fient, but Bill uses lateral movement in the form of a sidestep to attack Maple’s unprotected side.

    12. At 3.21, Maple attempts to engage Bill in a down fient chamber war, but Bill chooses to use defensive and lateral movement to not engage, swinging an up stab around Maple before he can react and killing him.

    13. Skipping to 5.38, Maple starts throwing bucking fients that change his attack direction and make it hard to predict where and what attack he will finish. He does these fients on Bill’s left side (this is the most common fient area.)

    14. At 5.40, seeing that Maple is in the process of fienting, Bill attempts to use lateral movement to attack Maple’s unprotected side. However, Maple catches this down attack with a chamber and moves forward to stun Bill, getting the hit.

    15. At 5.42, he throws a left side swing, hoping to delay the attack just long enough so that Bill drops his block.

    16. At 6.26, after some sporadic engagement, Bill uses a fast lateral movement combined with a fast right to left up attack to attack Maple’s side.
    Maple responds by blocking down, seeing Bill’s next attack.

    17. Bill uses a long left to right down hold swing stab and Maple releases too early, giving Bill the kill.

    18. At 6.59, Bill uses an up attack from range with a hook hold at the end. This attack appears to be straight on but is, at the last moment, jiggled in a hook shape, creating a split second hold that Maple mistimes.

    19. Starting at 8.34, Maple uses a series of down fients, mimicking left to right side swings. At 8.37, Maple releases the attack and the timing of the side swing hits a retreating Bill.

    20. At 9.27, Bill uses lateral movement and a right to left up attack to hit Maples unprotected side.

    21. At 10.40, Maple throws a kick which immobilizes him. Bill responds with lateral movement to get around to Maple’s unprotected back and hits him with a right to left up attack.

    22. At 11.37, Maple uses a down fient coupled with a series of dolphins against a retreating Bill. Bill releases his block, believing to be out of range, and Maple releases the fient and uses aggressive movement and a centre stab to get the kill.

    The second and final duel to breakdown is the quarter finals of an EU duel tournament, being Xeon vs Alexandre_Mormon of the 17e, whom I cannot identify (highlighting the absurdity of historical names quite well, I think). It can be found here:

    1. At 18.24, Xeon attempts at left to right side swing stab. This stab was textbook and Xeon executed it perfectly, finishing on the right side of the opponent, shown in this screengrab. https://gyazo.com/03e14a9b53005424aa78f9c13e76ab9d

    2. At 18.25, Alexandre tries the same stab, left to right side sweep motion. This attack is also textbook, and finishes in the same place. However, Xeon used left lateral movement and blocked the stab while moving to the opponent's side.
    This movement reaction placed Xeon in the perfect position, close enough to force a panicked reaction but far enough to avoid a glance. At 18.27, he does a left to right up side swing that Alexandre sideblocks.

    3. At 18.34, Xeon pulls off an incredibly hard down swing. He starts the motion as a left side swing, but in one quick motion drags the attack through the space between the duelists and performs a right to left side swing. These two holds are in one single down attack. It can be visualised as a sideways Z motion. Alexandre dropped his block due to the trickiness of the attack.

    4. At 18.53, Xeon does an incredibly fast series of movements that results in a kill. Alexandre throws a down attack, which, in the span of 1 second, Xeon chambers, kicks, and kills him with the stun chamber. This is insane. Xeon manages to time the kick perfectly just after getting the chamber and just has to carry the chamber into the stunned Alexandre.

    5. At 19,06, Xeon uses a left side swing, but varies the hold length by using attack height instead of placement. He swings to the left of Alexandre but aims his attack at a 45 degree angle towards the ground, at the last second swinging it up. This delay caused by usage of vertical attack movement causes Alexandre to drop his block. This attack hold can be done ranging up as well, something that was introduced to NA by RitZ.

    6. At 19.24, Xeon uses a dolphin style hold aimed down and left of Alexandre. He does one dolphin wiggle and then carries his attack to the right and up, finishing in Alexandre’s midsection. The combination of a dolphin, which delays the attack, and the vertical attack movement causes Alexandre to drop his block early.
    At 19.57, Xeon uses a turkish kick to block Alexandre’s attack, kick stun him, and uses a nice down attack to kill him.

       Thanks to Maple for linking me this video! Thanks also to Puppy for consulting on different moves!


    [close]

    Chapter Three: Groupfighting
    Spoiler
    The first essential point to bring up when discussing groupfighting is the age old debate between dueling and groupfighting, and which is harder. While my position is clear, this (to my knowledge) is my full reasoning behind it.

    Basically, melee in its core is about analysis. At all times and in all situations you are analyzing your opponent generally, the state of the combat and your skills relative to your opponent. Breaking it down into different steps as thoroughly as possible, it seems clear that groupfighting requires more levels of analysis in a shorter or similar period of time. Obviously stating a position before I attempt to objectively prove my opinion is intellectually weak - so, if you disagree with my breakdown of melee analysis I'm happy to entertain changes to this.

    In duels, the analysis is three steps:
    1. Opponents tendencies
    2. Duel flow and
    3. Opponents weaknesses.
    You evaluate your opponents style and what he is most likely to rely on or use, basically attempting some sort of prediction. You evaluate the progression of the duel and whether you need to change anything, and finally you attempt to target your opponents weaknesses. 

    In groupfighting, there are five steps in your analysis:
    1. Position of enemy in accordance with teammates/position of your teammates
    2. Vulnerability of opponent
    3. Probability of kill
    4. Chance of survival
    5. Necessity of action   
    First, you assess the positions of your enemies and teammates and then react accordingly. Then, you identify a player and assess his vulnerability. You weigh your chances of killing that opponent - if it's probable that you'll be able to kill the enemy and survive. Then, after you decide all of this, you check whether your action is necessary.

    Therefore, it seems to me like groupfighting requires more thinking and decision making than dueling, and hence is harder.

    Now, there are many different groupfighting situations, with each having complex flowcharts of theory behind them. Every situation is different and calls for a different approach, and that doesn't even take into account the multiple different ways of entering groupfights, or positioning tactics. This is where experience comes in - some groupfighting theory can be taught, but most is developed from hours of competitive groupfighting.

    Increasingly in the NA community basic groupfighting knowledge like how to play a 2v1 or 1v2 seems to be severely lacking - so, I will explain the theory and flowcharts behind these situations in detail.

    1v2

    Firstly, and most importantly, know your goal: can your teammates assist you? Is your team winning?
    If your team is winning or is even, wait. If your team is losing, fight. However, if you are waiting, ensure your opponents cannot switch off of you back to the main melee - this changes the dynamic from you pulling a 1v2 to them pulling off 1 and forcing your teammates to be more aware than necessary.

    Keys to winning 1v2s:

    A) Choose your distance carefully. You don't want to be in stabbing range of both bayonets. Either be at a distance out of range of both, or so close that the chance of glancing/missing is increased, or be at a distance where only one opponent's bayonet is in range.

    B) Never lose initiative. Don't give the two players the freedom to attack. Make it so the two players are either out of range or not able to freely drop their block.

    C) Be unpredictable. Don't repeat moves, change things up, and don't get tunnel visioned on one person.

    2v1

    Once again, know your goal: Unless attempting to up/down opens you up to being potentially back/sidestabed from elsewhere, your goal in a 2v1 should always be to get the kill. However, if you're in a 2v1 and you have teammates inbound to assist, wait. The most major key in 2v1 situations, especially when you're the last two alive, is to prioritize your life even if the opportunity is missed - if you both stay alive, you have innumerable chances to kill your opponent. However, do maintain some sort of aggression, just be careful/
     
    Keys to winning a 2v1

    A) Be patient. You have the advantage (at that moment, at least) and as such you have the ability to wait him out. Avoid spamming if possible - use holds to better set up kills.

    B) Stick together with your teammate. Giving your opponent two 1v1s throws away your advantage. You want to be close enough together that you're able to, worst case scenario, trade, but best case up/down. If approaching side by side, make sure there's less than one man spacing between you.

    C) Avoid teamkilling. The best way to do this is using your time - only stab when your chances of hitting your teammate are slim to none. If a situation arises where the opponent is blocked by your teammate, and you need to hit to kill him, but would only hit your teammate, don't swing. Preserve your life - chances are, the enemy will take advantage of your teamkilling.

    D) Communicate. Whether it be verbal or non-verbal, give your teammate some signal to your movements and intentions. Example: you approach a 1v1 and find your teammate holding a down attack. Without having to ask/say anything, either approach with or intend to come in doing up attacks. Likewise, if you notice your teammate repeatedly throwing up attacks at someone's block, prepare to help them with a down attack. Watch their movements and timings, and if you notice your teammate preparing to throw an up attack or block, throw a down attack at the same time. Pay attention to your teammates tendencies as best as possible - however, if your teammate gets himself in a situation where either a) it's not possible or b) probable to support him, preserve your own life.

    General Groupfighting rules for every situation:

    1. Don't over agress/over defend. Be aggressive when the chance of getting a kill outweighs the chance of death. Don't be defensive to the point of uselessness.

    2. Make things easy for your teammates. No one can mind read - make your actions/intentions clear to your teammates if you expect support. Make sure to be aware of where your teammates are.

    3. Don't save those who can't be saved. If you see your teammate in a 1v5, leave him to die. Chances are, his sacrifice gives the team an advantage, and if you try to save him and die too, that advantage is less relevant. Likewise, if you see a teammate plunge into the enemy line, let him die. His sacrifice does no good, and adding your name to that list does less good.
    [close]

    Chapter Four: The Best Groupfighters
    Spoiler
    With the LG era being finally over the time is ripe for the completion of the book, in the form of the top 10 groupfighters in NA history.

    Top 10 Groupfighters:

    Number 9 and 10: Since groupfighting is, in essence, about the team and not the individual, it is fitting to name the third best groupfighting pair in NA history: Fireboy and 5hine.
    Although individually neither player had dueling success or reached levels seen by the other names on this list, the close friendship between these two players blossomed into an incredibly strong groupfighting duo. Seemingly without communication the pair led
    by Fireboy were always positioned correctly in relation to each other and made plays together that showcased the incredible chemistry. There were only two other 2v2 pairs to ever play that played as seamlessly and strongly as these two, and while 5hine was comparably weaker in comparison to others on this list, the level of groupfighting success he enjoyed with Fireboy gives this partnership reason to be in the top 10.

    Number 8: Chev
    The best pure spammer to ever play, and the best movement ever showcased in game lead to the groupfighting success of Chev. He was a bit before my time but I still was able to see a
    lot of him play, and to this day his style of pure movement spam, while still managing to play a complete game, is unmatched. Chev played differently, and played contrary to the meta of every era he was in, and yet was a force to be reckoned with in any groupfighting situation. Having a unique style of play most often helps in duels, and often unique players have to adapt  their styles in groupfighting situations, but Chev was able to maintain his style while being a truly great groupfighter, and thus receives number 8 in the top 10.

    Number 7: Mang
    While many believe he was a ping crutcher and while he was the original troll, his mastery of spins, spams, chambers, movement, and blocking made him a truly dominant force. From clutching 1v10's in NWL matches to winning seemingly every clutch he was ever in, Mang was at times unkillable. There is no one better at clutches in the history of the game, and is the person anyone could ever want
    in a 1vx situation. Mang's brilliance and dominance in this area could have been combined with mediocre teamwork and line movements, but because his teamwork was awful and he never fit in a team situation,  he ranks well below where he could, at number 7.

    Number 6: Coconut
    Coconut is the NA historian and preserver of memory for everything related to NA NW. His impact on Warband as a whole is unparalleled, but an often understated aspect of him which makes him truly great is his incredible intellectual brilliance. Coconut knew everything there was to know about melee, one of three players all time to possess this type of understanding, and unlike one out of those three he truly applied it. In any tense or panicky situation Coconut's brilliance, calm and poise meant he almost never made a mistake. Coconut's technical skill was merely above average, but his understanding of the flow of the game is unmatched,
    and while there were players who were better at the mechanical aspect, Coconut played chess while they played checkers. So, for his brilliance, mastery and wisdom combined with his near perfect application Coconut slots into the list at number 6.

    Number 5: RussianFury
    Consistently above average, RussianFury broke through the skill ceiling that every player faces at the time of their supposed peak. Starting in 2016 and lasting until the present day, RussianFury achieved a dominance in the groupfighting sphere the level of which is unmatched by any. Many players enjoy streaks of near dominance, but RussianFury managed to find a consistency in dominance that trancends any other, often appearing to be on a level above any other player in the server. Seemingly with minimal effort Russian destroyed entire teams, and even though he became targetted and planned against the likes of which has never been seen, he still managed to put up ridiculously high levels of dominance. For the last year and a half you would be hardpressed to find a better player in the server than RussianFury, and while the era adjusted scores would perhaps dampen his levels of dominance, the consistent nature of this unparalled level elevates him to the 5th spot all time.

    Numbers 4 and 3: Who and Ghost
    The second best groupfighting duo ever, these two players combined incredible technical skill and unmatched game sense to become a dominant pairing in an already skilled era. Ghost remained behind Coconut in terms of game knowledge and melee understanding, but is the next most brilliant. His knowledge was incredible, and it is clear he thought the game on levels only a select few would ever do. Combined with his excellent technical skills and mastery of chambers and positioning,  Ghost would be a dominant force with any partner. However, he was complimented by the second best support player of all time, Who. Who combined excellent technical skills, sufficient knowledge and incredible teamplay to give this duo the success they had. If assists were to be counted in NW, Who would have the second most, as his selfless teamplay and understanding of how to create opportunities for his teammates raised the level of results from merely abouve average to truly great. For these reasons, Who and Ghost are numbers 4 and 3 on the list.

    Numbers 2 and 1: Zzehth and Jackie
    In what comes as a surpise to no one, the best 2v2 team ever are the two greatest groupfighters of all time. Zzehth's incredible game knowledge, battlefield awareness, technical skill, teamplay, and melee understanding gave him all the tools required to be
    the most consistent teammate anyone could ever harevolutionizedtionzed groupfighting and taught directly or indirectly the ins and outs of teamwork to a plethora of players. His partnership with JackieChan, who is simply the most technically skilled player to ever play,
    was dominant, running rampant through anyone who challenged them. Martial Arts Experts combined effortless teamplay and coordination, almost always uncommunicated, with incredible technical mastery to make them the best groupfighters who ever played. They dismantled teams together, often with unbelieveable team and individual plays, and always seemed to know exactly what the other player was doing. This level of coordination applied not only to MAE, but also to others around them, as the two either working together or in different spots were ableto elevate the play of their entire team. In the most competitive era they achieved greatness that was truly outmatched, and therefore Zzehth and Jackie are numbers 2 and 1 on the top 10 list.
    [close]

    Chapter Five: Groupfighting team construction
    Spoiler
    What're the most important things to have in a winning groupfighting team? Usually people answer that chemistry is important, and that getting on the same page teamplay-wise is integral. And while this is all true, in considering why teams have failed, a lot of it can be traced back to the wrong mix of playstyles. So lets think about playstyles - how can we group players together to analyze team structure and roles? Here's my stab at it:
    Playstyle Explainer and breakdown
    [close]

    And here's where I think the players in the 2nd season of NWCL fit:

    Who fits where and by team
    [close]

    So what's the best way to build? What have teams looked like in the past from this perspective? I looked at the previous winners in the BO3 system:

    Winning teams by style
    [close]

    So what's in common? First, 3/5 only had 1 dynamo, while 2/5 had 2. Usually the dynamo is your star player and playdriver, so it makes sense that there should be max 2 per team. Making sure that chemistry between these two is strong seems important as well - both examples of double dynamos involve players with significant history and chemistry in personality and gameplay.

    The importance of the edge specialist cannot be understated, and it's not a surprise that these players are often repeat winners - solid players who won't make errors, will either win or nullify an engagement, and who can be safely forgotten about seems to be a key factor in winning. At least 1 ES per team seems like an essential.

    4/5 of these teams had 1 risk taker, and it could be argued that TR Camden was in that category at that point. The dynamo is going to be making the right plays, and pairing that with a wild card risk taker seems like a must have for successul teams.

    Finally, methodicals are heavily represented within these winning teams. The two teams that only had 1 had either an extra dynamo or an extra ES - and both of these makeups had pre-established chemistry. Two teams won with 3 methodicals, emphasizing their importance, and Strykeforce made up for the lack of a methodical with an extra dynamo and 3 edge specialists.

    So why aren't there EU structuralists or switch farmers in there? Well, for the EUS it's a matter of timeline - this groupfighting philosophy is a more recent import, driven by Mikey and Anthony, and it remains to be seen whether a) this pool expands and b) the idea finds success.

    For the switch farmers, the effectiveness of this playstyle in competitive play is somewhat reduced due to the smaller numbers. In bigger numbers groupfighting switch farmers have more room to thrive; however, in 6v6 or 5v5 this style can only go so far.

    All that said, it seems that to build a winning groupfighting team you need to have:

    5v5:
    1 dynamo
    1 risk taker
    1 or 2 methodicals
    1 or 2 edge specialists

    6v6:
    1 dynamos
    1 risk taker
    2 methodicals
    2 edge specialists

    We'll see if the winning team in NWCL season 2 follows this structure!
    [close]
    Postscript: The Problem with Lists
    Spoiler
    Why lists are always going to be flawed: a breakdown
       
    Another day, another list that people find flaws in. Perhaps the most consistent aspect of melee lists is the varied nature of rankings - and the disagreement that will always come with it. The most likely scenario, then is not that we merely need to find the right rankings, or assuming that there is a “right” rankings. Instead, it’s that melee lists will always be controversial and flawed for at least 5 reasons:

    1. The impact of a frag
    2. The intangibles - IQ, teamplay, communication
    3. External stressors
    4. Technical limitations
    5. Lack of statistics beyond KD’s


       Frag impact: It is often, but not always the case, that first picks in groupfights are important and impactful frags. It is often the case, too, that getting two kills in a 1v5 but losing the clutch is not an example of useful or impactful frags. As well, fragging fluctuates based upon where you are in the groupfight, who you’re with, and the quality of the opposite team. Importantly, none of these are factored into groupfighting rankings! How much of anyone’s kills are impactful? If that question can’t be answered, then the only quantifiable variable that can be taken into account is itself not even as solid of a measure of rating as it often is taken as.

       How do you measure someone’s groupfighting IQ against another person? How do you rank teamplay between players? How important is the quality of communication impactful or measureable? None of these factors are (yet!) measurable, and yet supposedly are taken into account when discussing rating. One of groupfighting’s most important tenants, awareness, is not something that you can measure or statistically analyze in any meaningful way, so to assign a number to someone’s groupfighting skill without being able to assign a number to someone's groupfighting awareness is deeply problematic.

       Ever had cold fingers or stress affect gameplay? How about being yelled at by a family member? If the effect on performance in more commonplace activities can’t be accurately measured by scientists, how is it even remotely possible to have any sense on how external stressors affect NW gameplay? It seems like a significant variable to control for, but since it can’t even be calculated, it certainly can’t be controlled for.

       There has been many documented cases of increased fps or a better computer having a positive on gameplay, but there has also been cases of players overcoming technical limitation. So, how much does this variable factor into melee rankings? I certainly can’t tell you.

       Often people gripe about the possibility of assists being calculated in NW. That highlights an important problem - only two statistics are measured by the game: kills and deaths. Somehow list makers extrapolate many different statistics (usefulness, tactics, etc) from a game that only calculates kills and deaths. Perhaps a reason why lists vary between people is that they all use different criteria, and none of them have an agreed upon statistical footing. Until stats like KAST, RWS or something to that affect are able to calculated in NW, getting a picture of a players impact is going to be purely a personal opinion.

       In conclusion, lists are bunk, and we really should stop this charade that lists are realistic in any way.
    [close]
    Reviews:
    Spoiler
    RussianFury: 7/10
    RussianFury: I expected too much[/list][/list]
    [close]
    « Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 02:14:31 am by Theodin »

    1x NA Duel- Runner up |  3x 3v3- 3rd place (Seadderol Deflatriots) (Ez Money) (71st Guards + Russian) | 1x Duel League- 4th place | 1x Regimental Groupfighting- 1st place (71st)  l  1x 2v2- 3rd Place (Vortex/Theodin) | TNWL Season 2 - 1st Place l 1x 2v2- 1st Place (Theodin/Elite) l 2x NANWL-
     71st, Nr8(LG) l 1x 4v4- 1st Place (RussianFury, Waste, NickCole, Theodin) l 1x Cav Joust- 2nd Place l 1x 4v4-
     3rd Place (Theodin, AsianP, Sleek, Godfried, Lurvy) l 1x 5v5 - 1st Place (RussianFury, Yoshie, Krastinov, Jorge, Theodin - Thanos and his children)

    Offline Theodin

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 08:22:49 am »
    Who writes books these days? Nerd

    1x NA Duel- Runner up |  3x 3v3- 3rd place (Seadderol Deflatriots) (Ez Money) (71st Guards + Russian) | 1x Duel League- 4th place | 1x Regimental Groupfighting- 1st place (71st)  l  1x 2v2- 3rd Place (Vortex/Theodin) | TNWL Season 2 - 1st Place l 1x 2v2- 1st Place (Theodin/Elite) l 2x NANWL-
     71st, Nr8(LG) l 1x 4v4- 1st Place (RussianFury, Waste, NickCole, Theodin) l 1x Cav Joust- 2nd Place l 1x 4v4-
     3rd Place (Theodin, AsianP, Sleek, Godfried, Lurvy) l 1x 5v5 - 1st Place (RussianFury, Yoshie, Krastinov, Jorge, Theodin - Thanos and his children)

    Offline Stroke0fd34th

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 08:39:43 am »
    Good stuff  :D

    Offline ~NickCole~

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    Offline Rutger Müller

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 10:24:51 am »
    I PIONEERED TACTICS BREH

    Offline Wastee

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 10:43:30 am »
    When you're in theodins book  ;D :-*

    "I may never make a list, and I may never make the hall of fame, but by God, I made the competitive mailing list" - Undisclosed Gamer

    Offline BabyJesus

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 02:46:10 pm »
    Wtf I'm in this?
    1st NWPC S2(21st)|(1st) 5v5 Draft~NA GroupFighting Tournament  |1st♕Rex's 6v6 Tournament | 1st TNWL S2(71st) | 1st NWL S5 (58e) | 3rd place Sleeks 5v5 (Highschoole DxD)
    You are by far the best average player to touch this game.
    Quote from: Risk
    The BEST average player of all time

    Offline Theodin

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 03:54:42 pm »
    Yeah I added you cause Russian was getting frustrated about your style

    1x NA Duel- Runner up |  3x 3v3- 3rd place (Seadderol Deflatriots) (Ez Money) (71st Guards + Russian) | 1x Duel League- 4th place | 1x Regimental Groupfighting- 1st place (71st)  l  1x 2v2- 3rd Place (Vortex/Theodin) | TNWL Season 2 - 1st Place l 1x 2v2- 1st Place (Theodin/Elite) l 2x NANWL-
     71st, Nr8(LG) l 1x 4v4- 1st Place (RussianFury, Waste, NickCole, Theodin) l 1x Cav Joust- 2nd Place l 1x 4v4-
     3rd Place (Theodin, AsianP, Sleek, Godfried, Lurvy) l 1x 5v5 - 1st Place (RussianFury, Yoshie, Krastinov, Jorge, Theodin - Thanos and his children)

    Offline BabyJesus

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 04:56:08 pm »
    Yeah I added you cause Russian was getting frustrated about your style
    its literally the most basic/boring style
    1st NWPC S2(21st)|(1st) 5v5 Draft~NA GroupFighting Tournament  |1st♕Rex's 6v6 Tournament | 1st TNWL S2(71st) | 1st NWL S5 (58e) | 3rd place Sleeks 5v5 (Highschoole DxD)
    You are by far the best average player to touch this game.
    Quote from: Risk
    The BEST average player of all time

    Offline Theodin

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 05:38:13 pm »
    Yep

    1x NA Duel- Runner up |  3x 3v3- 3rd place (Seadderol Deflatriots) (Ez Money) (71st Guards + Russian) | 1x Duel League- 4th place | 1x Regimental Groupfighting- 1st place (71st)  l  1x 2v2- 3rd Place (Vortex/Theodin) | TNWL Season 2 - 1st Place l 1x 2v2- 1st Place (Theodin/Elite) l 2x NANWL-
     71st, Nr8(LG) l 1x 4v4- 1st Place (RussianFury, Waste, NickCole, Theodin) l 1x Cav Joust- 2nd Place l 1x 4v4-
     3rd Place (Theodin, AsianP, Sleek, Godfried, Lurvy) l 1x 5v5 - 1st Place (RussianFury, Yoshie, Krastinov, Jorge, Theodin - Thanos and his children)

    Offline PJ

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 05:45:55 pm »
    Cool!
    A year of underdogs

    Offline Dom13WorstNW

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #11 on: February 20, 2017, 06:38:00 pm »
    This is surprisingly accurate.

    But you should probably mention that this is NA only.

    Offline LiquidSkorpion

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 07:43:22 pm »
    Looking good! Looking forward to the rest

    Offline Theodin

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 07:56:19 pm »
    Thanks Dom and Liquid! I think I said it was NA only somewhere.

    1x NA Duel- Runner up |  3x 3v3- 3rd place (Seadderol Deflatriots) (Ez Money) (71st Guards + Russian) | 1x Duel League- 4th place | 1x Regimental Groupfighting- 1st place (71st)  l  1x 2v2- 3rd Place (Vortex/Theodin) | TNWL Season 2 - 1st Place l 1x 2v2- 1st Place (Theodin/Elite) l 2x NANWL-
     71st, Nr8(LG) l 1x 4v4- 1st Place (RussianFury, Waste, NickCole, Theodin) l 1x Cav Joust- 2nd Place l 1x 4v4-
     3rd Place (Theodin, AsianP, Sleek, Godfried, Lurvy) l 1x 5v5 - 1st Place (RussianFury, Yoshie, Krastinov, Jorge, Theodin - Thanos and his children)

    Offline BabyJesus

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    Re: Theodin's Book of Melee: Chapter One - Players and Playstyles (W.I.P)
    « Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 07:56:44 pm »
    You should add luck chambers to my skill set
    1st NWPC S2(21st)|(1st) 5v5 Draft~NA GroupFighting Tournament  |1st♕Rex's 6v6 Tournament | 1st TNWL S2(71st) | 1st NWL S5 (58e) | 3rd place Sleeks 5v5 (Highschoole DxD)
    You are by far the best average player to touch this game.
    Quote from: Risk
    The BEST average player of all time