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Hard Way

Hard Way's "Learn Halo 1 2v2" Lobby/Stream (Fri, May 1st)

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Hey everyone, I'm hosting a Halo 1 lobby tonight to try to help players new to Halo 1 learn 2v2 at a higher level.  If you are interested, message me on XBL and I'll be sure to get you in.  If spots fill up, no worries.  I'll be streaming the whole thing at http://www.twitch.tv/hard_vvay

This will be first come first serve, so please don't hesitate if you want in.  If the room is full, it'd be a good idea to hang out in the stream so you know when a spot frees up.  Plus you can probably learn just as much from the stream as you would being in the game.  This is a great opportunity to learn an amazing (but difficult) game from someone with over a decade of experience, and who genuinely cares about you learning.


Here's how it'll work tonight:
 

Once we're in the lobby, I'll figure out what you all are specifically trying to learn and see if I can give some general insight.  I'll make sure everyone knows how to backpack reload, double melee, quick camo, etc.  

Then we'll pair off into teams (which will rotate after every game), and we'll load up a map we're going to play, all on the same team.  I'll show you all some must-know nade tricks, spots you can random spawn your teammate ("randoms"), and some places you can stand to force your teammate to spawn in a specific, good spot ("forced spawns").  I'll basically just show everyone the little map specific tricks I use on a game to game basis.  Not only will that help you out when you go to try it, but it will also give you a jump start on the meta of countering it.  For example, if you're at pistol on Damnation and you see camo get naded down, you would know to check bottom big ladder.  That kind of stuff.

 

After getting the chance to team with all of you on at least two different maps, you'll get an idea of what I feel is good communication.  I'll be keeping my teammate on track for upcoming item spawns, and calling plays so that we're covering more ground or making coordinated pushes.  I'll try to keep you guys aware of the big picture of the game.  You'll also notice some of what I think are really good communication habits, like saying what you're going for, saying when you get a kill, and saying when you die.  Little things like that help your partner make better decisions about his positioning.  

So that's what to expect.  Please message me on XBL at "Hard VVay" for the fastest response, as I may be slow to check back here if I'm in a game.  Can't wait to help anyone that wants it!

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I would jump on but I am horribly sick right now and wouldn't be of any use to anyone. If you ever do this again, let me know. 

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Well that was a disaster.  Like an Alzheimers patient, I agreed to play against Batchford again, when literally 100% of the time I've done that in the past I've endured egregious bullshit.  Couple that with people in the Twitch chat asking to join when they're just trying to troll the lobby.  The cherry on top was MCC/XB1 malfunctions making it impossible to talk to each other. Ugh.  If I ever do that again I'm making sure every spot in the lobby is reserved with legitimate people that want help, because that was an awful experience.

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Well that was a disaster. Like an Alzheimers patient, I agreed to play against Batchford again, when literally 100% of the time I've done that in the past I've endured egregious bullshit. Couple that with people in the Twitch chat asking to join when they're just trying to troll the lobby. The cherry on top was MCC/XB1 malfunctions making it impossible to talk to each other. Ugh. If I ever do that again I'm making sure every spot in the lobby is reserved with legitimate people that want help, because that was an awful experience.

Man sorry I couldn't get on for this! It was literally the only night of the year where I work so late! Got home at 1 am.....

 

Don't give up!

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I would definitely be interested in something like this later on, too (hopefully MCC is cooperative by that point...). If you're willing to try something like this again, a bit more notice and I'll do everything I can to be there.

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@@Hard Way 

 

There is supposedly a Hot Fix coming out this week at some point to fix parties, and a suggestion I would make would be to come up with a quiz or questionnaire of some kind that can help group similarly skilled players wind up in the same lobby. I learned a decent amount from playing with you and @@Batchford, but a lot of it is still confusing because we went from an explination, to games against/with players that already knew what to do, and could execute it rapidly. 

 

For the whole people trying to troll the lobby and things like that, I would restrict recruiting to either only on TB, or TB + Waypoint. 

 

Just my two cents.

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i was in the stream watching, and it was obvious you were irritated.  i don't know how many people were in there trying to 'troll' you, and i dont know much of how to do all the awesome skills/tricks/positioning/etc that ce has, and just by watching i was learning a lot.  its a good idea, i enjoyed it even though you may not have.  maybe you were just having a bad night or connection or whatever but it'd be nice to see this again in the future.

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yeah, the party problems were annoying ... I couldn't hear you during the whole game on HEH

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That Hang Em game was probably where I mentally checked out.  Either there or getting smashed on Dammy.  That was one of the worst losses I've had in years.  I just felt like the whole idea was falling apart around me, and it was honestly pretty embarrassing.  I'm glad it helped some people.  That does make me feel better about the whole thing.  I'll probably try it again soon, but I'm definitely going to do some things differently.  And yeah, @, I plan to improve the pre-game sessions quite a bit.

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@@Hard Way

 

If you are planning on helping ppl learn CE try to not let losses get to you or any other issues regarding the game. Focus on helping others to improve instead of the scoreboard...and this is just me thinking out loud from your recent posts in here. Good games the other night btw...keep up the good work here.

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@@Hard Way

 

If you are planning on helping ppl learn CE try to not let losses get to you or any other issues regarding the game. Focus on helping others to improve instead of the scoreboard...and this is just me thinking out loud from your recent posts in here. Good games the other night btw...keep up the good work here.

 

Yeah theres gonna be some changes the next time I do that.  It was a bad idea to have Batchford in the lobby, as I knew I'd be distracted by that kind of stuff.  That was my original intent, but 3 and a half hours of connection induced irregularities, people trolling the lobby in the chat, improper gametype settings when other people hosted, and XBL malfunctions were really getting to me towards the end of the night.  Made it hard to focus on the original goal.  I'll do it better next time.

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@@Hard Way

 

i'm def down to help out with this as well. Later tonight after GoT if you are planning on doing these or just whenever i'm on and you want to help ppl learn CE shoot me an invite bro.

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So I really like the idea of this, and this is a great medium to teach new people the game beyond the typical "adopt-a-noob" approach. I didn't watch the entire stream you did, but I did tune in for some of it (and I watched the HeH game you are referring to). I also understand your frustration with the game, and the problems that occurred while you were running the stream, and hopefully in the future these issues will be addressed.

 

Having said that, you also mention the difficulty of mixing skilled/unskilled players and dealing with losing. You are doing this to help people, not to show how amazing you are at the game. The point is to introduce these concepts to new people, and help existing players improve their game and teach them new things, and I think you did this really well. I didn't see you complain too much on stream which is good, because that kind of stuff will detract from the actual goal.

 

I will say that I actually enjoyed watching two teams each with one knowledgeable player and one newer one. When you were playing against Batchford, you were actually commenting on the smart plays that he was making, and these are the kinds of things that the viewers will be picking up. There was one situation in particular I remember that happened on Chill Out near the end of the game. Batchford's teammate spawned in a "strange" spot and was able to clean you up. You were very surprised, and concluded that Batchford had actually run straight to the health pack right after you killed his partner previously and got his teammate the random spawn. You made a comment about how fast Batchford thinks, and I thought that it was a really cool thing that played out on stream for newbies to learn from.

 

If you are playing with 3 newer players, I'm not sure how interesting it would be to watch games between the two teams or if the games would yield many interesting scenarios like that. Just something to consider when you do future streams, and I hope that you do.

 

I plan on getting an X1 this summer sometime, and I am very interested in contributing to the community by teaching new players in a similar manner. Good luck man, and keep up the good work.

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snip

 

Thanks bud.  I appreciate the kind words.  Theres definitely merit in having a good player on both teams, and you make good points.  The reason I wanted to use 3 new guys was because it would be easier for me to focus on commentating my own decisions, and also the fact that nobody wants to learn from a guy that's getting shit on.  They're just gonna wish they were watching the stream of the other guy.  That's how I felt on Dammy.  I felt like I was offering nothing of value.

 

I wouldn't be opposed to trying that format again, but I would need a different guy.  Akademik might actually be the perfect guy.  Batchford is an excellent player, but we are literally on opposite ends of the planet, and I just have an awful time every time I play against him (shots not counting, dying in seemingly one bullet, needing to lead an unreasonable amount, inexplicable drop in my pistol's rate of fire mid-fight, etc).  That was a recipe for disaster.

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Thanks bud.  I appreciate the kind words.  Theres definitely merit in having a good player on both teams, and you make good points.  The reason I wanted to use 3 new guys was because it would be easier for me to focus on commentating my own decisions, and also the fact that nobody wants to learn from a guy that's getting shit on.  They're just gonna wish they were watching the stream of the other guy.  That's how I felt on Dammy.  I felt like I was offering nothing of value.

 

I wouldn't be opposed to trying that format again, but I would need a different guy.  Akademik might actually be the perfect guy.  Batchford is an excellent player, but we are literally on opposite ends of the planet, and I just have an awful time every time I play against him (shots not counting, dying in seemingly one bullet, needing to lead an unreasonable amount, inexplicable drop in my pistol's rate of fire mid-fight, etc).  That was a recipe for disaster.

 

Just to remphasize what akademik was saying, everyone gets shit on. Ive done things to people that are way better then i probably ever will be. Dont let losses define you.

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the fact that nobody wants to learn from a guy that's getting shit on.  They're just gonna wish they were watching the stream of the other guy.  That's how I felt on Dammy.  I felt like I was offering nothing of value.

 

I strongly disagree. There's a lot of value in watching both sides of the action, and as long as you continue to explain things that are going on while things are rough for your team, it will make for a very complete stream experience. Honestly, this is probably one of the most important and defining aspects of H1, the power of map control and understanding how to swing the game in your favor when you don't have it. Getting dominated is part of the game, but how you deal with it and what you learn from it will define you as a player.

 

EDIT: I'd also like to add to my previous thoughts about the benefit of having a knowledgeable opponent:

 

Their decisions will often influence your decisions, and this sort of meta-game is not going to occur between players who are unfamiliar with the more subtle aspects of the game. Reacting to a decision that your opponent makes can often make or break an exchange.

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I strongly disagree. There's a lot of value in watching both sides of the action, and as long as you continue to explain things that are going on while things are rough for your team, it will make for a very complete stream experience. Honestly, this is probably one of the most important and defining aspects of H1, the power of map control and understanding how to swing the game in your favor when you don't have it. Getting dominated is part of the game, but how you deal with it and what you learn from it will define you as a player.

 

EDIT: I'd also like to add to my previous thoughts about the benefit of having a knowledgeable opponent:

 

Their decisions will often influence your decisions, and this sort of meta-game is not going to occur between players who are unfamiliar with the more subtle aspects of the game. Reacting to a decision that your opponent makes can often make or break an exchange.

 

@@Hard Way

 

some of Missingno's videos showcase him in bad positions and I think there's a derelict video where he just gets dominated. He provides a lot of insight into what he could have done to be more successful, and that's the stuff regular players really don't tend to think about. The quoted from @@BFir3 is excellent. I always say the game comes down to experience and knowledge, but you can know all the nade tricks and spawn points but have no idea how to capitalize and execute on various things throughout the game. It's shocking to me how the majority of players aren't self aware to improve.

 

I agree completely with @@BFir3 and will re-iterate the "experience and execution". I've done a lot to dig into the game and learn everything I can. I consider myself a skilled and knowledgeable player. Despite all my knowledge and experience, I still get wrecked against the top players because I don't know how to apply all my knowledge against people who can already see it coming.

 

Good stuff though Hard Way. When teaching these guys, how much time do you spend teaching before playing? Anyone I've taught how to play I've gone over tons of stuff before we played 2's. I definitely suggest it, as well as possibly organizing it into sections. The simplest thing I found was to explain the weapon timing/glitches and why it's so important to time weapons. At that point I usually explain the need to set up to obtain weapons, or just prepare for them a few seconds in advance.

 

After a lot of explanation, they'll usually understand the importance of the power weapons in 2v2's. Obviously the weapons are important but you have to spell it out to players like they're in kindergarten. From there I tend showcase nade tricks. Now that my partner knows the importance of acquiring the power weapons, I'll show him numerous ways he can obtain them without being a dumbass and running for them. This usually wows the noobs I'm teaching as their minds could not fathom the awesomeness that is h1.

 

1 out of 25 noobs will actually remember the nade tricks, so make sure they have videos and you tell them to practice a shit ton. However, once those "basics" are out of the way, then I go on to mention teamwork/spawns and the meta game. I tend to exaggerate a lot when I'm teaching, but I generally tell my noobs that if you ever spawn in an awful spot, it's 100% my fault. If I spawn in a bad spot, it's 100% your fault. It's important that you play selflessly to break the chain of bad spawns, and not recognizing this chain causes for a snowball effect of multiple kills. In order to not give a bad spawn you need to understand the different types of spawns, and how you can manipulate them. I will then go on to show them how I can spawn them near me, and will usually attempt to spawn kill them while doing so, just so they get the point. I will usually showcase the HEH forced spawn, and any randoms on the map. It's often overwhelming for the noobs, but I just keep reminding them that as they're walking through the map there's a few things that are constantly going on in your mind. What is the next set of weapons/power ups that are up? Am I in a position to control them when they are about the spawn? Does the position I am standing in offer any advanced spawn techniques in case my partner dies? Where is the enemy team? Are they both alive?

 

Mintograde's site is a must too.. I often ask how serious these noobs want to take it. Like if it was Batchford, I'd be very serious as he seemed genuinely hungry and willing to learn. However, there are plenty that just want light general advice. Normally I only teach those guys how to play for powerups against others doing the same, and a couple nade tricks. I'll explain to them the importance of the spawn system but know they don't care to learn it.

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I've put a lot of time into improving myself in different games over the years, starting from the bottom skillwise (Starcraft 2 and Quake Live, especially). The one thing that's helped me most is watching how top players come back from a disadvantage. In Starcraft and Quake, disadvantages are clear, and are compounded quickly (smaller army, less resources in SC; less armor, no weapons in Quake). In Halo, disadvantages can be more subtle, and are often positioning-based, making it tougher for new players to realize they're at a disadvantage.

 

I'd say it's vital to have someone on the other team who can challenge you, punish your mistakes, and hold on to advantageous positions. Giving your view of the state of the game as momentum shifts is much better than talking through a noobstomp. Even just a stream-of-consciousness style commentary -- I know X because of Y which lets me do Z -- is insanely useful. That's the kind of thing new players won't pick up from watching silent gameplay videos or mindlessly grinding matchmaking. Shooting, landing grenades, and jumping around the map come easily with time, but good insight into decision-making can do wonders in guiding a new player's development.

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I've put a lot of time into improving myself in different games over the years, starting from the bottom skillwise (Starcraft 2 and Quake Live, especially). The one thing that's helped me most is watching how top players come back from a disadvantage. In Starcraft and Quake, disadvantages are clear, and are compounded quickly (smaller army, less resources in SC; less armor, no weapons in Quake). In Halo, disadvantages can be more subtle, and are often positioning-based, making it tougher for new players to realize they're at a disadvantage.

 

I'd say it's vital to have someone on the other team who can challenge you, punish your mistakes, and hold on to advantageous positions. Giving your view of the state of the game as momentum shifts is much better than talking through a noobstomp. Even just a stream-of-consciousness style commentary -- I know X because of Y which lets me do Z -- is insanely useful. That's the kind of thing new players won't pick up from watching silent gameplay videos or mindlessly grinding matchmaking. Shooting, landing grenades, and jumping around the map come easily with time, but good insight into decision-making can do wonders in guiding a new player's development.

 

Kinda off topic, and also not THAT related but there was an excellent 1v1 video of quake arcade arena that I watched maybe 2 years ago a little after I first bought the game. No commentary, it's all on video annotations, or w/e. He constantly put up his Doing X cause of Y thoughts and watching that video helped me understand how to control the armors better while being more effective every where else. Often I still have control but lose focus. As simple as it all is in the video to me now, it was kinda eye opening back then. Especially considering the moment the game finished downloading for me and I played it for the first time, I faced Offic3, the guy who loses in this video, and got wrecked.

 

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@@Teapot, my plan was to first make sure everyone knows the general stuff (backload reload, quick camo, double melee, crouching fall damage, etc). Then before we play the map we're about to play, I would show everyone the call outs for that map, and the tricks I use on a game to game basis that are specific to that map. So I'd show a few randoms, forced spawns, and nade tricks. After that I'd make sure everyone was timing, load the real game and just let my in game communication illustrate the importance of the weapons and spawns. I find that they need to see stuff in action in order to retain it, so I only show a few things between each game.

 

If you want to see how I was doing it, check out the archived stream from Friday.

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@@Teapot, my plan was to first make sure everyone knows the general stuff (backload reload, quick camo, double melee, crouching fall damage, etc). Then before we play the map we're about to play, I would show everyone the call outs for that map, and the tricks I use on a game to game basis that are specific to that map. So I'd show a few randoms, forced spawns, and nade tricks. After that I'd make sure everyone was timing, load the real game and just let my in game communication illustrate the importance of the weapons and spawns. I find that they need to see stuff in action in order to retain it, so I only show a few things between each game.

 

If you want to see how I was doing it, check out the archived stream from Friday.

 

I did check out about almost two hours of the long broadcast. I'd like to hear what the "noobs" are saying as your playing/teaching them.

 

I understand the frustration of not being able to communicate with your teammate, but the yelling and getting mad was a bit of a turn off to listen to. I guess the goal is to work with the individual players, but as a viewer it would be nice to hear some critiques and criticisms even though those other players couldn't hear you. Basically you are talking to your viewers about how your teammate should be doing other things and the negative effects. "If my teammate blocked corner spawn it would have gave me a top spawn" "both of us pushed for OS instead of splitting up and contesting Camo/Rockets" etc.

 

I haven't watched the second part of that like 4 hour video, or the others, so I'm not sure if things cool down a bit. 

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After a lot of explanation, they'll usually understand the importance of the power weapons in 2v2's. Obviously the weapons are important but you have to spell it out to players like they're in kindergarten.

 

I think that actually, as you kind of say above, the experience of getting smacked is really useful here. This is something I eventually realised I was struggling with when coming back to CE (having been totally clueless the first time around). I basically treated it like H3 onwards (the only titles I'd known competitively) and didn't focus enough on pickups, or quite frankly play fast enough in terms of execution in every sense. I'm still really at baby steps in terms of learning this game competitively, but that realisation was huge for me and came from actually looking at the back and forths in my games and trying to work out what was causing it. I was really failing to control pickups and the map in general, and wasn't factoring in the much more regular supply of pickups in either taking or maintaining control. Add that to the fact that the game itself just plays faster in terms of decision-action-result than I was used to, and suddenly I started to realise what I could do better.

 

I think that can be a good education tool for this lesson: back and forth games, even if you're getting smacked overall but briefly manage to take control sometimes, can be a great experience to give people, because it's pretty damn certain you're gonna have used pickups to enact that control and that the enemy will have used them when taking it back and continuing to punish you. Even in basic terms, after during/after a particularly bad match on Prisoner or HeH, "you see how fucking annoying that camo guy is? Right, that's why we control camo." And the more you get people trying it and creating pushes that brute force alone wasn't enabling, the more you get people in to a habit of actually controlling what's important.

 

Basically, lessons are well taught through success but that doesn't necessarily mean games you win. Games against people who are overall better than you, but you manage to turn the tables on either for a while or even briefly, demonstrate that lesson X is actually valuable in being able to outplay people the inexperienced player has decided they just can't kill. You want situations where the thing you're trying to teach was actually the difference maker, and people who are gonna beat your new player in a straight 1v1 basically every time can potentially be really valuable here.

 

Stuff like rockets should arguably be a bit more self evident, but I guess the point I'm making here is that carrot beats stick. Showing people the benefits of controlling pickups through success they thought was impossible/unlikely in a given context ("hey we actually managed to take control and get these guys on spawn even though they've been hammering us all game, and we lost it again because they leveraged pickups and awareness") is more effective than assuming that negative reinforcement from getting dicked on will do the job. Obviously actual explanation goes along with either of those, as you say, but I think it ties in to your initial point about failure being a lesson in itself, not just for mentally rebounding but finding your own mistakes.

 

@@Hard Way I hope you do give this another try, it's something I'd be up for joining or at least watching. Ever since CE became 2v2, I can't just go in and rely on shot and vague instinct like I could before so CE has become something I find more difficult overall, if more satisfying at best (a good 2v2 game is easily more fun than beating bad players in the old 3v3 playlist). Would be good to actually get better so I can go in to 2v2 alone and still be able to hold my own enough to enjoy casual play.

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I think that actually, as you kind of say above, the experience of getting smacked is really useful here. This is something I eventually realised I was struggling with when coming back to CE (having been totally clueless the first time around). I basically treated it like H3 onwards (the only titles I'd known competitively) and didn't focus enough on pickups, or quite frankly play fast enough in terms of execution in every sense. I'm still really at baby steps in terms of learning this game competitively, but that realisation was huge for me and came from actually looking at the back and forths in my games and trying to work out what was causing it. I was really failing to control pickups and the map in general, and wasn't factoring in the much more regular supply of pickups in either taking or maintaining control. Add that to the fact that the game itself just plays faster in terms of decision-action-result than I was used to, and suddenly I started to realise what I could do better.

 

I think that can be a good education tool for this lesson: back and forth games, even if you're getting smacked overall but briefly manage to take control sometimes, can be a great experience to give people, because it's pretty damn certain you're gonna have used pickups to enact that control and that the enemy will have used them when taking it back and continuing to punish you. Even in basic terms, after during/after a particularly bad match on Prisoner or HeH, "you see how fucking annoying that camo guy is? Right, that's why we control camo." And the more you get people trying it and creating pushes that brute force alone wasn't enabling, the more you get people in to a habit of actually controlling what's important.

 

Basically, lessons are well taught through success but that doesn't necessarily mean games you win. Games against people who are overall better than you, but you manage to turn the tables on either for a while or even briefly, demonstrate that lesson X is actually valuable in being able to outplay people the inexperienced player has decided they just can't kill. You want situations where the thing you're trying to teach was actually the difference maker, and people who are gonna beat your new player in a straight 1v1 basically every time can potentially be really valuable here.

 

Stuff like rockets should arguably be a bit more self evident, but I guess the point I'm making here is that carrot beats stick. Showing people the benefits of controlling pickups through success they thought was impossible/unlikely in a given context ("hey we actually managed to take control and get these guys on spawn even though they've been hammering us all game, and we lost it again because they leveraged pickups and awareness") is more effective than assuming that negative reinforcement from getting dicked on will do the job. Obviously actual explanation goes along with either of those, as you say, but I think it ties in to your initial point about failure being a lesson in itself, not just for mentally rebounding but finding your own mistakes.

 

@@Hard Way I hope you do give this another try, it's something I'd be up for joining or at least watching. Ever since CE became 2v2, I can't just go in and rely on shot and vague instinct like I could before so CE has become something I find more difficult overall, if more satisfying at best (a good 2v2 game is easily more fun than beating bad players in the old 3v3 playlist). Would be good to actually get better so I can go in to 2v2 alone and still be able to hold my own enough to enjoy casual play.

 

It's also a good way to weed out the players who are genuinely interested in learning/improving, and those who just want to be good but don't care or aren't self aware enough to act on it. The latter is what I ignorantly assume are the ones who prefer CoD and newer Halos. I have a term for the gameplay of other halos, besides linear aggression... and I claim that a high majority of competitive Halo's depth comes from surface level gameplay. You worry about what you see, teamshoot, hold positions etc, and at the very most you and your three teammates have to decide between two power ups to get every 2-3 minutes.

 

Halo CE's gameplay depth is not something that is "surface level" and there's tons going on behind the scene compared to the other games. It's all part of those intricacies debate I was explaining with @@RyaNoob. Prior to the recent tournament, I had thanked RoyBox for playing in it. I was in chat and without trying to be THAT much of an elitist, I tried explaining that although I expect them to do well in the tournament, I think that the late rounds won't be close, and that the Top 4 players in the game are just at a completely different level than the next couple players.  There was a bit of a disagreement about that, and they felt if they played for a bit they'd hang with other top players. That could be possible if they grinded for a while, but they ended up playing Hali and Soulja in the semi's and I think it was slightly eye opening for the twins to witness was happening to them. They took it pretty well and had a good time playing, but a big part of why those games turned out that way is because of that level of experience.

 

Got slightly OT..  but seriously missingno's videos where he says he should have done this or that instead of what happened in the video is some of the most insightful information within those videos.

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