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June 2017, where do you see the meta?

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With Season 3 being released January in the Physical form, where do you think we will see the Meta 6 months after that?

What Captains to you predict will be getting consistent wins, what teams do you think will be left in the dirt? 

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If they leave the shenanigans of Greede in then A+G will be taken. A lot. That silly 24" goal threat turn 1, and the threat range coupled with auto Tackle...I see A+G being very popular and it's going to be hard to choose between those 3 Union models now.

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1 minute ago, EpicChris said:

If they leave the shenanigans of Greede in then A+G will be taken. A lot. That silly 22" goal threat turn 1, and the threat range coupled with auto Tackle...I see A+G being very popular and it's going to be hard to choose between those 3 Union models now.

Quite a lot of Strikers have a similar threat range hence why I expect most people will take Harry/Minx over A n G.

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7 minutes ago, Isante said:

Quite a lot of Strikers have a similar threat range hence why I expect most people will take Harry/Minx over A n G.

Avarisse provides so much more when you're not trying to score than any striker and the duo still beats them at their own game.  I kind of thought it was an overreaction at first myself, but as I've gotten to building Union rosters its hard to justify a player as one dimensional as Mist when A&G is an option.  I wouldn't be surprised to see similar realities trickle down across the rest of the teams, honestly.  The only thing I really imagine stops A&G from replacing the dedicated strikers on every team is, as you've said, the opportunity cost of Harry or Minx.

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Union v union in the finals of a big tournament with union v engineers on the next table resulting in Union>Union>Engineers>Union while I scrub out in round 4 and take an unremarkable place that I think is better than I expected. Everyone involved has a great time while the forums and Facebook cry out for nerfs.

Hunters tier become Farmers tier. Farmers players are about 2 "cock" jokes away from begging steamforged for a new mascot. 

Something like that.

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In all seriousness, here's my prediction, colored heavily by discussions with our locals.

Steamforged in Season 3 have added a lot of ball-dependent effects to the game—stuff like Ballista and Midas's legendary plays and Blackheart's whole situation—in addition to ones that already exist like Pin Vice's LP. It feels like the intent was to get people playing the ball game more, and push people in the direction of a 2-2 win condition regardless of team. I think this consequence will happen initially, but what it will mean in the long term is actually the opposite: faced with teams that need the ball to do their cool stuff, players will realize that the best way to fight that team is to hide or "kill" the ball. In a few months I predict that your ability to play the game at a high level will be determined by 1. your ability to play well without the ball, 2. your ability to hide the ball, and 3. your ability to retrieve a hidden ball. 

This prediction makes me a bit frustrated with Steamforged's latest designs. It feels like they've considered how a model will be used in isolation ("ah, yes, Ballista will rumble through the scrum until he gets the ball and then smash it into goal from 10" away with his super sweet Legendary") without thinking enough about how these changes will affect how the game is played around them. If my opponent has a big play that I can straight up take out of the game by denying them the ball, I will absolutely do my best to make sure they never get the ball. I think people will play the ball less because the ball has become an even bigger bonus to most teams than it once was, but it hasn't become much easier to track down and take. 

These latest ball-requirement designs are in contrast to a player like Shark, who I consider very well-designed. He really wants the ball to go and score points, but 1. he has a lot of tools to get the ball both himself and in his team with lots of speed, 2" melee, and low tackles and dodges, and 2. only his Kick stat is totally removed from the game if he doesn't have the ball. To me, the true mark of a great striker is retrieving the ball, not scoring. 

This overall design trend plus the Union and Vet Player limits are my least favorite things about Season 3 and I am worried they will have too much of an impact on the meta this year. The plus side is definitely that I think overall model balance is the best its been in the game's short history, and mascots being a bigger part of the game feels both healthier and more fun. I hope I am wrong about the ball and players show me that a high-octane ball-scoring style is the Good Shit. If that's so, I imagine Shark, Midas, and Ballista will dominate the meta. If I/we are right about what the ball means, then VetRage feels like he will be sitting on most top tables this year. His mixed, tricky beatdown game is so crisp. 

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A&G I feel will probably be common in Union lineups but I don't see him being taken much in other guilds. As impressive as his threat range is opportunity cost and the fact that Greede is pretty easy to take out will likely deter his selection in other guilds.

17 minutes ago, Slothrop said:

In a few months I predict that your ability to play the game at a high level will be determined by 1. your ability to play well without the ball, 2. your ability to hide the ball, and 3. your ability to retrieve a hidden ball.

It's a 3'x3' area and a team has 6 players spread across that area. On average each of those players can retrieve a ball within 8" in a single turn. Some less, some more. Realistically there isn't many places that you can put the ball to make it significantly inaccessible. Especially since for kick off both players know roughly where the first ball will land and can deploy accordingly. And that any team that wants the ball will be actively chasing after it while the other team is trying to hide it.

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26 minutes ago, Slothrop said:

These latest ball-requirement designs are in contrast to a player like Shark, who I consider very well-designed. He really wants the ball to go and score points, but 1. he has a lot of tools to get the ball both himself and in his team with lots of speed, 2" melee, and low tackles and dodges, and 2. only his Kick stat is totally removed from the game if he doesn't have the ball. To me, the true mark of a great striker is retrieving the ball, not scoring. 

This is why I'm really concerned for Alchemists and have been putting them lower in my predictions. Engineers and Fishermen are going to be the two best at retrieval. Only >9" retrieval Alchemists have is their captains, vitriol, and union and this ball thing shackles them to running either A&G or Mist... Maybe Snakeskin.

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15 minutes ago, Rejusu said:

A&G I feel will probably be common in Union lineups but I don't see him being taken much in other guilds. As impressive as his threat range is opportunity cost and the fact that Greede is pretty easy to take out will likely deter his selection in other guilds.

Greede's health is miserable, but he's not exactly frail.  Strikers are generally sacrificed after a goal anyway; this one just leaves a bruiser behind.

The big weakness is that they can't reliably get a second goal.  After Greede scores he's likely to die and then he's not getting reattached unless Avarisse goes down as well.  It's kind of a backhanded advantage, as now Greede can just hide on the table edge and provide his Inf to the team and not die.

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1 hour ago, Slothrop said:

In all seriousness, here's my prediction, colored heavily by discussions with our locals.

Steamforged in Season 3 have added a lot of ball-dependent effects to the game—stuff like Ballista and Midas's legendary plays and Blackheart's whole situation—in addition to ones that already exist like Pin Vice's LP. It feels like the intent was to get people playing the ball game more, and push people in the direction of a 2-2 win condition regardless of team. I think this consequence will happen initially, but what it will mean in the long term is actually the opposite: faced with teams that need the ball to do their cool stuff, players will realize that the best way to fight that team is to hide or "kill" the ball. In a few months I predict that your ability to play the game at a high level will be determined by 1. your ability to play well without the ball, 2. your ability to hide the ball, and 3. your ability to retrieve a hidden ball. 

This prediction makes me a bit frustrated with Steamforged's latest designs. It feels like they've considered how a model will be used in isolation ("ah, yes, Ballista will rumble through the scrum until he gets the ball and then smash it into goal from 10" away with his super sweet Legendary") without thinking enough about how these changes will affect how the game is played around them. If my opponent has a big play that I can straight up take out of the game by denying them the ball, I will absolutely do my best to make sure they never get the ball. I think people will play the ball less because the ball has become an even bigger bonus to most teams than it once was, but it hasn't become much easier to track down and take. 

These latest ball-requirement designs are in contrast to a player like Shark, who I consider very well-designed. He really wants the ball to go and score points, but 1. he has a lot of tools to get the ball both himself and in his team with lots of speed, 2" melee, and low tackles and dodges, and 2. only his Kick stat is totally removed from the game if he doesn't have the ball. To me, the true mark of a great striker is retrieving the ball, not scoring. 

This overall design trend plus the Union and Vet Player limits are my least favorite things about Season 3 and I am worried they will have too much of an impact on the meta this year. The plus side is definitely that I think overall model balance is the best its been in the game's short history, and mascots being a bigger part of the game feels both healthier and more fun. I hope I am wrong about the ball and players show me that a high-octane ball-scoring style is the Good Shit. If that's so, I imagine Shark, Midas, and Ballista will dominate the meta. If I/we are right about what the ball means, then VetRage feels like he will be sitting on most top tables this year. His mixed, tricky beatdown game is so crisp. 

So you are saying all my experience with killing the ball might come in handy... I like!

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1 hour ago, Isante said:

So you are saying all my experience with killing the ball might come in handy... I like!

Rumors that "killing the ball" literally may be a thing at some point.. 

Meta wise,  I don't see many changes in teams being played other than Engineers being booster to God Tier with their new kicking game.. 

A&G will probably be seen less but still quite frequently.. 

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3 hours ago, Redmaw said:

Rumors that "killing the ball" literally may be a thing at some point.. 

 

Just had a thought of Ox crushing the ball in his hands as the other team cried and ran away.  Glorious!

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18 hours ago, Slothrop said:

In all seriousness, here's my prediction, colored heavily by discussions with our locals.

Steamforged in Season 3 have added a lot of ball-dependent effects to the game—stuff like Ballista and Midas's legendary plays and Blackheart's whole situation—in addition to ones that already exist like Pin Vice's LP. It feels like the intent was to get people playing the ball game more, and push people in the direction of a 2-2 win condition regardless of team. I think this consequence will happen initially, but what it will mean in the long term is actually the opposite: faced with teams that need the ball to do their cool stuff, players will realize that the best way to fight that team is to hide or "kill" the ball. In a few months I predict that your ability to play the game at a high level will be determined by 1. your ability to play well without the ball, 2. your ability to hide the ball, and 3. your ability to retrieve a hidden ball. 

This prediction makes me a bit frustrated with Steamforged's latest designs. It feels like they've considered how a model will be used in isolation ("ah, yes, Ballista will rumble through the scrum until he gets the ball and then smash it into goal from 10" away with his super sweet Legendary") without thinking enough about how these changes will affect how the game is played around them. If my opponent has a big play that I can straight up take out of the game by denying them the ball, I will absolutely do my best to make sure they never get the ball. I think people will play the ball less because the ball has become an even bigger bonus to most teams than it once was, but it hasn't become much easier to track down and take. 

These latest ball-requirement designs are in contrast to a player like Shark, who I consider very well-designed. He really wants the ball to go and score points, but 1. he has a lot of tools to get the ball both himself and in his team with lots of speed, 2" melee, and low tackles and dodges, and 2. only his Kick stat is totally removed from the game if he doesn't have the ball. To me, the true mark of a great striker is retrieving the ball, not scoring. 

This overall design trend plus the Union and Vet Player limits are my least favorite things about Season 3 and I am worried they will have too much of an impact on the meta this year. The plus side is definitely that I think overall model balance is the best its been in the game's short history, and mascots being a bigger part of the game feels both healthier and more fun. I hope I am wrong about the ball and players show me that a high-octane ball-scoring style is the Good Shit. If that's so, I imagine Shark, Midas, and Ballista will dominate the meta. If I/we are right about what the ball means, then VetRage feels like he will be sitting on most top tables this year. His mixed, tricky beatdown game is so crisp. 

I think there a few answers to this query about teams killling the ball.

One, if you need to score two goals to win, how am I going to secure the ball enough to get my shots? Do I have the personnel with the speed necessary to chase down the ball? Do I have the personnel necessary to dislodge the ball?

It immediately brings to mind Players like Greyscales. I like to call these guys can openers. Can this Player open up more opportunities for me to secure the ball when properly placed on the Pitch?

These Players need speed, dodges, a reliable "Tackle ability" and the ability to do something constructive with the ball after they retrieve it.

Secondly, in my game plan am I mitigating the opponent's ability to kill the ball? They can't put the ball within 7" of their side of the Pitch, so do I have my Players in position to cover other areas in a reasonable amount of time?

If they kill the ball up the middle can I get in though the scrum to retrieve the ball?

Lastly, can I control the game state enough to assure that the ball cant be killed?

If I'm winning the race to 12, my opponent may need a 6 point activation to try to keep up. This generally means I can force a Kick Off and can continue to control the action and pace.

Also, after I give up possession either through attrition or scoring a goal, am I properly positioned to make killing the ball a near impossibility?

I think about all of these things before I build a list. I think about these things after I see my opponent's list. Then, I continue to think of these factors throughout the match.

I remember I lost a game to Dixon, because I scored a two die Screamer! and I got so excited. Well, I took my mind off of my positioning. Dixon kicked the ball to Vitriol and scored the winning goal. Why was that possible? Because, in my excitement, I forgot the Run the Length! to force his Kick Off to another area of the Pitch, where I was positioned to pounce. I just needed to seal off that one lane up the middle...

Some lessons in this game burn into our souls...

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20 hours ago, Slothrop said:

(snipped a long and well-explained discussion on the importance of ball denial in the potential Season 3 meta) 

Alex, I think you may well be onto something about one strong way to play in S3, but I also think there's elements of player psychology that may come into play that will affect the meta differently. 

I don't know if it's a general US mindset issue or just your local Chicago meta, or even just you and Jordan, but from listening to STW you seem to have a focus on denial as the leading strategy to how you approach the game. Within a meta that is dominated by people with such a mindset I can see everything you say being very likely.

However, I don't think (or perhaps hope) that this denial-dominated playstyle will necessarily become an overriding aspect of the meta for the whole game.

My personal mindset is much more focused on offence and scoring as many VPs as I can. I see the 12VP that someone needs to beat me as a resource I can effectively spend to achieve my aim of scoring 12 VP my self. I will happily sacrifice a model for a take out or give up a goal to earn board position or the chance for a quick counter goal, I'm happy. If I win 12-11 I'm happiest. If I lose 11-12 I'm only slightly less happy. If I win 12-0 I'm usually slightly disappointed. It's not a fully competitive strategy, admittedly, but at the end of teh day we are playing a game to have fun, so I go for a way to play that allows me (and hopefully my opponents) to have as much fun as possible.

Maybe I'm an oddity, but I think there seems to be a similar ethic amongst the players I meet on the middle tables of the UK meta so far and these are the players that the top players are going to have to beat to get to the top. I suppose it comes down to what is seen as the "meta" and the effect that different mindsets about the game might have on this.

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The thing about a metagame is that it shifts to react to trends. If killing the ball for control becomes the primary strategy then you take the counter to that strategy, in this case Fishermen, and reap the benefits. If Fish become successful then the mets shifts and you need to take a team that can rumble instead of explicitly just killing the ball. But then the counter is back to killing the ball.

I don't think @Slothrop is wrong at all, but in six months it will be interesting to see how the meta has shifted. If we look at the World Champs as an example then, at least from the finals, we can say that aggression is a viable tactic. Taking risks paid off for Tim, and while it did come down to a missed shot that was 75% to hit aggressively attacking the goal put him in a strong position early.

My point is I'm not sure where the meta will be at that time, but I'm all of a sudden pretty sure that the Fish will be near the top as they are the easiest team to shift from ball control to aggressive ball play, mostly because you can put Siren on your team and do both

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1 minute ago, Isante said:

Relying on stuff like 50% goals and 75% goals is generally not how one wins a tournament most of the time.

I don't know if that's necessarily accurate. If you play extremely safe and only take actions with 90% odds of success, you'll invest a lot more resources into VPs which could be acquired more easily if you take risks. It's not a bad plan, but it results in a slower playstyle.

If you take fewer risks, then the events on which the game hinges generally become the risks your opponent takes. If your opponent hits their 75% shots, you will probably lose the game because you naturally score less VPs than them in the same time period. The crucial events that determine the game's results just change, they don't go away and turn the game into chess.

If you are better than your opponent, you can capitalize when their odds don't work out more effectively, and you can maximize your odds and minimize theirs. But investing additional resources (rather than improving your odds through decision making without investing extra resources) can result in your opponents getting the same result without investing as much effort and so getting more VPs scored in the same time frame.

Good resource management is how you win tournaments, and sometimes (often) that means taking non-guaranteed odds.

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20 minutes ago, Gauntlet said:

I don't know if that's necessarily accurate. If you play extremely safe and only take actions with 90% odds of success, you'll invest a lot more resources into VPs which could be acquired more easily if you take risks. It's not a bad plan, but it results in a slower playstyle.

If you take fewer risks, then the events on which the game hinges generally become the risks your opponent takes. If your opponent hits their 75% shots, you will probably lose the game because you naturally score less VPs than them in the same time period. The crucial events that determine the game's results just change, they don't go away and turn the game into chess.

If you are better than your opponent, you can capitalize when their odds don't work out more effectively, and you can maximize your odds and minimize theirs. But investing additional resources (rather than improving your odds through decision making without investing extra resources) can result in your opponents getting the same result without investing as much effort and so getting more VPs scored in the same time frame.

Good resource management is how you win tournaments, and sometimes (often) that means taking non-guaranteed odds.

If you are consistently going for 50-75% goal shots, you are unlikely to win a tournament.  I am not saying going for a 50% in a game, or 75% in a game is a bad idea.  I am saying if you are trying to win in an environment such as a tournament, you are not going to win most of the time if you are going for 50%-75% shots in every game :)

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