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Halo Practice Schedule for Catching Fire

Monday: 6pm(west)/8pm(central) - LATE

  1. Have watched @ least 1 VoD over the weekend and comment on it... dislikes and likes, what u noticed...
  2. Watch 1 of our gameplays and disect from the week before.
  3. Quickly review set-up/rushes/off spawn
  4. Jump into warm-up/ 2v2 custom
  5. Gamebattles

Tuesday: 6:30pm(west)/8:30pm(central) - 10pm(west)/Midnight(central)

  1. Warm-up
  2. Jump into customs or GB

Wednesday: 5pm(west)/7pm(central) - 11pm(west)/1am(central)

  1. Watch gameplay
  2. Warm-up and 2v2
  3. Run exercises in matchmaking
  4. Customs

Thursday: 6:30pm(west)/8:30pm(central) - 1am(west)/3am(central)

  1. Warm-up
  2. Jump into customs or GB

Friday: 3pm(west)/5pm(central) - 8pm(west)/10pm(central)

  1. Warm-up and 2v2
  2. Customs against guest team(top ranked teams)
  3. GB
  4. Watch film from the previous week to see our improvements

Saturday: Evening to late night if possible, times can be discussed, but everyone must be ontime when a time has been set...**cough**papa**cough**

Sunday: Off unless discussed... go to church and hang with your friends, or if team agrees, we can get some practice in...




The mental aspect of this game is a part of this game many seem to forget about. A lot choose rather to focus on their ability to get headshots with the sniper, 4 shot with the BR, or how to get that perfect nade. Many fail to realize that all that stuff is so easy to learn and take a few weeks to perfect, but it’s the mental aspect of this game that separates the “Pros” from the “Joes”. You can only take your ability to aim so far, but taking your ability to out-wit, out-maneuver, or out-strategize to the next level is what you should really aspire to do.

Attitude

The first part I want to cover is the attitude in which this game is approached. Too many players today get frustrated when they lose, understandably so though. I don’t like to lose more than anyone else, but I know losses will always come. There is always going to be a plan that fails, a failure of skill, or a gross miscalculation. Anger is something that will hold you back from ever reaching the potential you may have. Keeping it in check is something that is not easily done. It will always be a problem, but one that can be remedied. Remember when you get angry next time to stop, take a deep breath, and just let it out slowly, you will be amazed at the difference in which you will perform after. There are many ways to check your anger and to curb it. You will have to realize that is not in any way helping you and will not do anything to help your talent at this game. Fixing it is something that you have to want to do though.


The second part about attitude I want to cover is morale. Morale will affect a team mentally so much worse than trash talk from an opposing team. Getting down or saying negative things ever in game CAN and usually will affect a games outcome. Saying things like “OMG they are going to win” will strike such a forceful blow to the strength of your own team. Why would you cheer for the opposing team when you want to win? I was always told in football, “If you don’t think you can win, you won’t”. The same applies here. You have to have confidence, not arrogance, but confidence in your abilities that if StrongSide himself sat down next to you, that his skills would fail against you. This of course will come from practicing those skills, but have confidence nonetheless. Getting down about a flag cap? Why? You still have a chance. It’s not over till they score 3 or 5 depending on the map. Saying anything negative in a game can also really affect the way you play. I used to team with a guy that would complain every time he died about the connection. Screaming things like “OMG WHY WON”T YOU DIE”, or “OMG HE JUST ATE THAT BULLET” or “WTF IS THIS LOW GREEN BAR, I CAN”T PLAY LIKE THIS” can be a problem for your teammates who will start to blame deaths, losses and ultimately a lot of things on lag. What do they intend to blame when played on LAN though? Yes lag happens and sometimes you just get screwed out of a kill, -the codeword is fire- it happens to everyone, not just you. Complaining about it will not get you a point, nor a death taken away. Deal with it. Time to move on…

The positive aspect of this I want to briefly skim over, when you are starting to experience frustration in a game, quickly blow it off and focus on the callouts, making and responding to them. Keep your head in the game. Focus on your amazing shots, your clutch plays, or your nicely chosen tactics. Chose rather to focus on these things rather than things you can’t control or messed up on, let it go.

Brushing the Losses Off

This is one of the strongest part of some Pro’s mental arsenals, even some Pro’s have yet to master this one. Taking a loss and saying to yourself, “Yes, I made a mistake once, Yes, I lost that game, Yes, it sucks, but I won’t go out like that, I won’t lose twice, I won’t let this one get by me”. That is the best part of a Pro’s game. Anyone see FB shrug off a loss at ML’s ’08 and keep on trucking? They were mentally and physically tired after that weekend, but they refused to give up after being knocked to the LB, after dropping a game in the Finals. They were simply not going to give up. If they were going to lose, it was going to be because they had been out-played, out-witted, or out-skilled. They were simply not going to lose because of their selves. Learn this and you have achieved greatness.

Wit

This is going to be an important read, so get ready. This is the most highly diverse part of the mental aspect of this game. I wish I could show you some of the Pro’s thoughts during games at critical points and the options running through their head. When approaching any given situation in Halo, think to yourself, what are my options? How is my shield strength? What weapons does he have? What are my escape routes? How can I get the best of him/or her? What can I use against them? Answer these questions and you have a plan to out-wit them.

Jukes are essential to out-witting an opposing player. When low-shields, pretend to run around a corner, most players will not chase but will nade you or they may reload. It is in this moment that you now have the tactical advantage, but only for a brief period of time. Make the most of it. Nade juking is another tactic. Throwing nades where opponents cannot see them yet but will run upon them soon enough is a nade juke. For instance, a player is being chased around a corner. When the wounded player rounds the corner, he throws a nade at the wall closest to the corner, but not enough to make the nade round the corner, and the nade will explode in the path of the chaser. Sneaky Beaver. Another Nade juke is to nade somewhere to draw attention away from the actual retreat or attack. Directing an opponents attention to your distraction is the best laid trap. You are only weak if you show it. There are many times I have ran away taking shots, rounded a corner, then started shooting at my chaser, in turn he ran, because he was afraid I had an advantage that he didn’t see. This is the “poker face” of Juking. Feigning weakness only to show strength is a valued tactic of many players. The Jumping Juke is a tactic that has roots in H2, but has more value in H3 albeit a varied one. Let me explain. In Halo 3, if you hit players in the right spot in the face or the top of the head(sometimes armpits) you can get an assassination, works when used in conjunction with jumping. I have embarrassed OverShields and many others, also been removed from a friends list(back on now) for this sneaky tactic. Use jukes to their fullest potential.

Knowledge is Power, but Instinct is Better

Knowing where and when an opportunity will present itself in a game is half science, half instinct. Knowing spawns and weapon timers and listening to callouts will give you half the knowledge to determine enemy positions and whereabouts. Predicting player movement and player actions is border line scary sometimes. But basically, Instinct comes down to knowledge of the most common player moves or the predictability in your actions that another can see. There is a thread on spawns, so I won’t cover this, search for it and use it. Knowledge of this is power over an enemy team. As far as instinct goes, there are many things I know about it and many things I don’t know about it. I suggest if you want to improve your instinct, watch a lot of VOD, game POV’s and analyze the most used patterns. Change your predictability. Walshy is by far one of the most unpredictable players that will do some things to boggle the mind. I would venture so far as to say that many of us would say his skill is not baffling, but his status as an amazing player is secure, mainly because of his ability to manipulate, juke, and just embarrass top tier players with his off the wall tactics. Though they are crazy and sometimes seemingly foolish, they are hardly failure.

In closing, I wish that you would take this knowledge and apply it to great length. These tactics and this knowledge can beat more skilled players than you by simply fooling them. Combine these with amazing skill and you have one amazing player. Any player can be fooled, you just have to counter their counter move. Always think steps ahead of yourself. Be ready for anything, be prepared for the worst, hope for the best.


For as long as I have been aware of the competitive world of Halo, when amassing a team of 4 for a tournament, gamebattles, or just to dominate with over Xbox Live, it has been commonplace to organize the aforementioned team by filling roles. The stereotypical roles to fill on a Halo team -- for better or for worse -- are the primary slayer, the support player, the objective/support player, and the secondary slayer. Some teams can be successful with more than one person filling each role -- as crossover is somewhat evident in Halo 3 -- but typically a strong team is going to know what each member is good at and, to somewhat quote The Rock, know their roles.

As of today, the forums are loaded with Halo 3 free agents looking to join or complete teams. If one is to examine the countless threads, much of the team building is exclusively based on filling roles and/or experience. Hypothetically speaking, Player 1 (a beast at sniping with a tendency to constantly flank with BR) and Player 2 (a strategic, selfless player with a quality BR that prefers to back up his teammates at all costs) are looking for two. Logically, they are not going to inquire on adding the player boasting about being an amazing sniper or the player that automatically classifies himself as a support player. They are going to look for someone with the necessary skills and that is willing to play objective as a third, and as their 4th, they will probably look to solidify their team with another aggressive slayer.

The above scenario is Fantastic! It is a rather logical way to build a team used by essentially the entire community. What I hope to convey to the community today, however, is that this strategy of team building is completely outdated. One should not forget the above strategy, but one should in fact merge it with an alternative strategy toward team building -- Personality Analysis.

What is it? Analyzing personalities has been documented as far back as the 5th century BCE with the Etruscan military choosing various positions because of various temperaments, but I would contest that it became mainstream with the popularity -- albeit both positive and negative -- of Sigmund Freud in the 19th century CE. There are a lot of different ways to categorize different personalities, but the crux of the issue is that different people have different inherent and permanent personality characteristics that are not going to go away, regardless of how hard you try,

Why does it matter ? Halo 3 teams, like sports teams, rely partially on chemistry. A lot of teams break up because of irreconcilably differences with regard to teammates not getting along with each other. This results in a lot of Halo 3 players wasting months at a time trying to find a dedicated team that will -- in the end -- succumb to personality disputes. Tired of being on teams that break up for no reason? There probably is a reason, and looking at the personality dynamic of the 4 individuals can possibly help explain these random break ups. Trying to get your 50 in the MLG playlist, and you've found a team of three other sick players, but in game arguments or a lack of discipline seem to derail your hard fought efforts? Again, the personality dynamic of the team may be the reason for the problem --instead of the common excuse that someone isnít sufficiently fulfilling his or her role.

Get to the point! Fair enough. In my eyes and in the eyes of many employers, career help centers, and general business textbooks one can find across the country, there are at least four different personality types, and sometimes this number can be as few as two and as many as eight. Because the topic is Halo 3, and Halo 3 uses teams of 4, I will be defining four different personality types. (The below information is taken and slightly annotated from http://www.careersuccess.com
  1. Type A: The type A personality is the leader. This person will be extremely dedicated and always pushing for the goal at hand. This person doesn't take BS, mistakes, or excuses. This person will say things and expect them to be followed to perfection and executed flawlessly.
  2. Type B: This person is the life of the party. This person is fun, tells jokes, and makes sure everyone keeps loose (to a fault at times). This person will be more liked than the leader. What this person may lack in drive and commitment, s/he will make up in attitude and personality.
  3. Type C: This person is the typical detail oriented individual. Picture the kid with the immaculate bedroom. This person is extremely factual. Everything this person says or does is for a calculated purpose. This person can become an annoyance and be easily misconstrued as a prude, but the fact is a Type C individual is often aware of tendencies that others are not.
  4. Type D: This person is static. This person is not a fan of change. Whereas others prefer a little freedom, this person is content with being given a task and fulfilling it. S/he will do what you tell them to do (sometimes to a fault). Whereas this person can be taken for granted because of a lack of initiative, a Type D will be counted on with whatever you give him or her, as long as it is within reason

Positives/Negatives of each type with regard to Halo 3
  1. Type A: This "leader" personality type does not necessarily have to equate to the tactical leader of your team. The type A personality on a Halo team is important because this person wants to win at all costs. Some people enjoy winning and then others -- the type A's -- actually want and desire to win at all costs. With a type A on your team, you will be guaranteed an enforcer that will keep the other three members motivated on the task at hand. This person may not be a tactical genius, but they will ensure that no one goes off course during the game. With this person you will also get extreme dedication, and that dedication will leech onto the other team members. The main downfall of a type A personality is the potential for anger and negative thinking. These people do not like losing, and they can potentially blow up on you -- leading to a lack of chemistry.
  2. Type B: This fun loving teammate will keep the other teammates grounded. Just because they are the life of the party does not mean that they will necessarily be a distraction. The type B will ensure that through all of the hard work -- and the ensuing peaks and valleys -- that you are playing a video game after all! Type B's can work to counter a powerful type A, and this check is seemingly imperative for true chemistry. If you are not having fun playing competitive Halo, then there is a problem, and this person will help prevent this problem. The downfall to type B's is the tendency to eventually lack dedication or seriousness. Sometimes their laid back attitude will get the better of them.
  3. Type C: This detail obsessed teammate will typically be a mastermind behind the strategies and tactics of Halo 3. Without a type C, your team may face the problem of being all brains but no brawn. Sometimes, the type C's knowledge of the game will trump his or her individual skill, and this may be the only downfall to a type C. However, this obviously does not have to be the case. The team must be accepting of the type C; just because he s/he is the "chessmaster" of the team does not mean that he will be in the leadership role. In practice sessions, you must be willing to listen to his or ideas and understand that they are probably the best bet for the team. A potential downfall to this is the alienation of equally strong ideas from other members. The team must understand that the type C should heavily advise them, but that they should not follow aimlessly.
  4. Type D: This submissive teammate, and I do not mean that in a negative way, is willing to do whatever it takes to win. The type D would be perfect for playing as the primary objective player, as this person is willing to do whatever is asked of him to allow the team to win. Use a type D for the dirty work. Ask him to go kill for kill on important power weapon rushes. Use the type D as a diversion with regard to both pushes and setups. A downfall to the type D is that they may eventually become jealous of the team's power slayers. Don't be a douche bag with the treatment of a type D. Allow him to use a sniper he finds off a slain enemy. Like the post player in basketball, keep the type D Halo player happy and s/he will produce for your team effectively and efficiently.
Personality Analysis and finding balance

If I have succeeded in explaining the four personality types and how they can be both positive and negative to a Halo 3 team of 4, then it should already be apparent as to how both the correct balance of personalities can make a team have amazing chemistry and, likewise, how a poor personality combination can lead to horrible team chemistry. Picture a team with four type A's. Each member can be amazing at his or her role, but chemistry wise the personalities may not mesh. It is hard to have an efficient team with four dominant leaders. With four type B's, you would severely run the risk of your team never reaching it's true potential. Four type C's could run the risk of being fundamentally stellar but skillfully stagnant. Four type D's without an authority figure would run around Guardian like chickens with their heads cut off.

Obviously, team combinations leading to chemistry problems can occur less simplistically than having four members of the same personality type. Imagine a team without a type C. Who is going to keep up with the Walshy's or Elamite's of the world? How about a team with two D's, a C, and an A? The fun dynamic could be lacking, and for all of your potential success, you could be missing out on a lot of pleasure along the way (winning is fun, but there is more to fun than just winning). What about the potential for a team with two As, a B, and a C? Which one of these people is going to be willing to do the dirty work? This could result in the team that outslays the opponent by 35 kills on Construct King yet loses by 45 points.

The perfect team!?!?

So what exactly would the perfect team consist of? I must make an obvious concession. When speaking about building a team by looking at both roles and personalities, I am not speaking in absolutes. A team with an aforementioned "bad" personality makeup could potentially succeed. Having a good personality makeup to your team is only a correlation to success, not causation. That being said, if I were a free agent building a team today -- for whatever the purpose -- I would first look to satisfy roles and skill levels. Secondly, I would take a deep look at the personality composition of the potential team. If you have one of each personality type, that would be ideal. It is my opinion that the greater variety the better.

I'm not a psychiatrist... how do I analyze a stranger's personality?

Well I am a historian by trade, and if I can do it, so can you. When you are running games with potential teammates, look for tendencies. See who is going negative with most objective time -- maybe this individual is a type D that could turn into a brilliant objective player for you. Look for the guy talking non-stop in game, whether it is strategic talk or just motivation. You may have found either your type A motivator or your type C tactician. While scrimmaging, did you just run into that guy cracking jokes and crouching around for -codeword patience- half the game while still leading the team in most statistical categories? You may have just found your type B personality with the demeanor to ensure that you guys are having fun while still having great skill. If you need more reassurance, try having them take this short online test. Although this will be highly unscientific, the higher the number the closer to the type A leader one will be, and the lower the number the further away one will be to the type A stratum. It would be logical that a team with a variety of numeric results would be best.

Conclusion and application

I am hardly a fan of writing this long a post if it only applies to Halo 3. If you have learned anything from this, try to apply personality analysis to other facets of your life. Need to do a huge group project for class and get to pick group members? Why not try to pick according to personalities as opposed to real life friendships; I can almost guarantee a more professional and collegiate working environment. Personality analysis is beneficial to creating a brilliant workplace environment, picking lineups and rotations for sports teams, and even choosing suite mates in college. Apply this to your everyday lives!



Networking

We've all heard the phrase "It's not what you know, but who you know." While this may seem like an unfair and pessimistic thing to say, in today's world, knowing someone is the best way to get your foot in the door.
While it's easy to think "I have these talents and skills, so why wouldn't someone want me" it's important to realize that being resourceful is the best talent we can posess and most people lack it.

What Networking Is Not
If this is what you're thinking, then you're probably right...most of the time. There will always be people who judge others based on image and titles, but there are also people who want to build genuine, mutually beneficial relationships. When you're networking, you're going to have to sift through the people you don't want to know to get to the people you do want to know. That's just an essential part of networking, but the good news is that with practice, you'll get better at spotting the people worth knowing. Believe it or not, we already make these decisions on a daily basis. Deciding who we interact with on the forums as well as who we have on our friends list on XBL.

At this point, you may be asking yourself 2 questions;
Can I do this?:
You might think you're too shy or self-conscious to schmooze. Networking does require a degree of boldness, but with the advent of social networking sites (Including this one), you can get to find others with similar interests and goals without being in a room full of people (So, you're already ahead of the curve). Also, people who are shy and self-conscious tend to be a lot more open and talkative when they're doing or talking about something they're deeply interested in.(Ding, Ding, Ding)

Why should I bother?
Networking takes time and effort. Unless you're an extroverted person who thoroughly enjoys schmoozing, it can be exhausting. At this point you're thinking "What's the point?". Well, one way to think of it is to imagine how much time and frustration you would save if anything you wanted or needed was just one or two phone calls/texts/email's/PM's away. Ultimately, a network can be an investment, with benefits that outweigh the costs. You just need to stick with it and watch it grow.


The Next Step
So, you've made the commitment to start networking, but whats the first step?

Build Your Network
Ultimately, buidling, and mainting your network is the most important thing you'll do. Consider these three things while building your network of people.

Strengthen Exisiting Connections- Chances are, you already have some form of entourage. The people that you've known the longest and talk with the most are the base of your network. While you may have a set number of people you talk to everyday, go out of your way to check in with the people you don't. Sometimes, a friendly "hello" is all you need to stay in the back of that persons mind. Remember, establishing the connection is the hard part, maintaining it is much, much easier.

Follow up on Similar Interests- This one's almost a no brainer. You like Halo, so do alot of people. Get involved with actitivies that involves Halo (like the forums of a super cool competitive gaming site). You will always meet people with similar interests, so there's never a need to go out of your way to pretend to like something. To quote the Joker, "If you're good at something, never do it for free". Likewise, if you're good at something, do that instead of something else.

Go the Extra Step- You like MLG, so you browse the forums, but the next logical step is to go to events, LANs and tournaments. Meeting people online is one thing, but putting a name to the face and shaking a person's hand is even better. Getting out and showing your face is the best way for people to recognize who you are, and it's always easier striking up a conversation later when you can do the old "hey, remember when..." thing.

Connecting the Dots
Once you've established a base network, its important to remember who knows whom. For one, it makes things a helluva lot easier when you have a friend who needs THIS, and you know someone else who does both THIS and THAT. Connecting people is a great way not only to strengthen your network, but its a great way to build trust.

Giving Back
Don't forget. Tapping into your network oinly works if they've tapped into you.

Be Generous-You'd be surprised how far inviting someone to an event or out to eat will go. It gives the person a personal connection to you, and gives them a reason to hook you up with other people. "Oh, you're in need of someone to capture something? I know just the guy".

Follow Up- Just like with interviews, following up a day or two later with a few quick words both restablsihes the connection you made as well as lets the person know you care. Sometimes, the simplest things take just a few words.

Tapping In
Don't forget, this is your network. you established it. You did it for a reason, so use it when you need it. A few tips for when you do tap in are:

Don't Apologize- Apologizing for asking appears weak and shows a lack of self- confidence. Believe it or not, people actually like doing things to help out their friends. You're simply looking for someone who may be in a position to help you. You aren't demanding anything, so don't appear like it.

Weed Out Abusers- Some people only establish networks to take, take, take. It will become apparent when you have a leech, but that doesn't mean you should boot them harshly. Remember, they have their own network, and bad experiences spread like wildfire.


Important Spawn Information


Nade tricks on Construct


Nade tricks on Pit


EXTREMELY good information, a must read!!


Before I begin describing the (Main) playstyles and roles seen in MLG Halo 3, I want to say a few things. Firstly, these are just my opinions, I am not professing to be omniscient regarding Halo 3, MLG or anything for that matter. If you feel I have made a mistake or got something wrong, there is a polite way to go about telling me, and an impolite way, I prefer the polite and mature method, but that's your prerogative.

All over the forums you can see people talking about the 3 main playstyles involved in Halo 3. They are Main Slayer, Support Player and Objective Player (I will discuss these in detail in a moment). While many people believe these roles to be concrete in their assignment to players and their execution in game, I think they are alot more flexible and situational than that. To be able to compete at a high standard, a player must be able to fulfil all roles to a high level of competence. Having said this, all players have different inherent skill sets, and some may be significantly better at some roles than others, but the ability to adapt and change role when necessary may be what seperates the higher tier of competition from the rest of us.

Each role has certain, not so much criteria, but aspects of gameplay, that can help identify what role what player is playing at a given time. Some of these are more obvious (The Objective player having a flag in his hand, or the Main Slayer getting a killtacular!), some are less obvious.

Here I will try and describe these "aspects of gameplay" for each role.

Main Slayer: The Main Slayer is exactly what it says on the tin. He's the guy doing most of the killing, the one getting huge positives and huge multikills. He's also usually controlling a power weapon or power up when possible. Some requirements to be a proficient Main Slayer include:
Support Player: The Support Player is generally the unsung hero. The selfless, team-player. He's putting shots on anything that moves, softening targets up for the Main Slayer to roam around and clean up. He's keeping the entire team held back under a hail of suppressive fire. And he's doing all this while communicating enemy locations, responding to teammates callouts and watching spawns. A good Support Player will usually lead the team in assists, and be roughly around a 0 k/d spread, but the more positive the better. Some requirements to be a proficient Support Player include:
Objective Player: The Objective Player is the player fulfilling the Objective (Funny that right?) in non-Slayer gametypes. He'll be the one capping flags, holding the ball or controlling the hill. He doesn't have to go a huge positive to get the team the win (Although it can't hurt). Some requirements to be a proficient Objective Player include:
You'll notice that some of the roles have interchangeable requirements, this just supports my theory that these roles are situational and can be played by different players at different times. In an ideal game sure, each team member may play his strongest role for the majority of the game. But how often do you get an ideal game? If you have your team set up where the player who would usually play Main Slayer is in a good flag pulling position and your Objective Player is over Spawn trapping, while your Support Players (Assuming 2) block critical spawns, it just makes sense to have your Main Slayer play Objective instead of waiting until everybody has rotated to the ideal position. It's this ability to change role at will and when required that makes a team great.

Generally at the start of a game a team will have each player rush certain areas that augment their preferred playstyle to maximise getting map control, and if this works consistently a player will usually play the same role for most of the match.

Everything I have stated above is what I have learned from watching, playing and studying MLG. This does not make it law by any means. I am always learning myself, and am open to (Constructive) criticism.

Thankyou for reading, feel free to post discussions, opinions, corrections or additions and I will edit and credit where necessary.


Set-Ups

The point of a setup is to have as many angles and entrances covered as possible that the opposing team can use to get into your camp. You have to remember that knowing when to grab the ball is very important. I would suggest not having your team spread all over the map. If you have three teammates hovering around snipe tower and green, you get the other team 2 or 3 down and grab ball, don't take it blue or gold, because you won't have a chance to setup because they will be spawning on that side of the map. (For my example I won't get into the spawning system in depth, but just use the locations of your teammates to predict where the enemy will spawn. If you are all on one side of the map, and no enemies are nearby, they won't spawn there.)

The point of a setup is to have as many angles and entrances covered as possible that the opposing team can use to get into your camp. You have to remember that knowing when to grab the ball is very important. I would suggest not having your team spread all over the map. If you have three teammates hovering around snipe tower and green, you get the other team 2 or 3 down and grab ball, don't take it blue or gold, because you won't have a chance to setup because they will be spawning on that side of the map. (For my example I won't get into the spawning system in depth, but just use the locations of your teammates to predict where the enemy will spawn. If you are all on one side of the map, and no enemies are nearby, they won't spawn there.)

This is a very general explanation, and things are not always this easy, but these fundamentals will get you pretty far, as long as you take the time to realize what is going on, and adapt to the situation accordingly. Oh, yeah, and watch the game films from your team and just analyze them based on what I told you. It's a good starting point.




It has been a while since I have been in the advice chair, but I need to write something out for you guys. I have recently been thinking about what needs work in my personal and team-oriented game, and while watching some films, considered that many of you do not watch and learn from your mistakes. I am guilty of this as well at times, so I am writing down my method for improving my game through the use of theater and this thread is a help to me if no one else. Thank you in advance and enjoy the read.

The first thing I always do when analyzing my gameplay is watch my first life through without interruption.


If I did, then there is no need to analyze this part further. It was a success and therefore no pressing need to improve on that part. If however, the answer is no, I did not secure the item or location, I begin to analyze:


The opening rush often determines how your game will go, so fixing this firstly often makes the most noticeable changes in your gameplay in my opinion.

After covering the initial rush, I begin to watch my respawns. As I respawn:


When I am dying a lot for instance, it is usually because I am getting frustrated and my impatience causes me to want to rush and try to make the game about out-shooting the other player instead of out-witting him. When that happens, I have to calm down and take it easy, making sure to focus on player patterns and what I think they will do in order for me to out-play them on a mental game rather than a reflex game. Respawns will also determine how the rest of the game is played out. Respawning a lot means that you are dying a lot and that means you are sacrificing both kills and power items/locations to the enemy team. What you do after respawns are some of the most fundamental game outcome decisions that are most of the time in your control. So use your respawns carefully.

After watching respawns and rushes, I then to start to watch my positioning as relevant to my team, for instance, if my team is set up at the tops A and B on Ons, do I go top mid or do I rush bottom mid? If I am rushing top mid, I am helping my team out by setting up and further strengthening our map control, if I run bottom mid, I am trying to get to their side too quickly and possibly catching a respawn. If I am continually putting my team in that position, then it may be time for a change for me and I may be costing the team the game. It is necessary for you to position yourself in a place to help your team, so if you catch yourself constantly being in the wrong time at the wrong place and your setups constantly being broken, check your position at the time of a teammates or your untimely demise and see if you were in a bad position that could have been prevented and possibly helped your team.


It is necessary to as much as possible, be able to help a teammate. 2 is always better than 1 and using numbers and teamwork to your advantage can ultimately win your team tournaments. So use teammates as much as possible.

After this, I start to wonder how my prediction of players is holding up.


To further advance your improvement, it is usually best to keep a film of you playing at your best and a film of you playing at your worst, or if you do not have those types of problems, simply a film of a game you won and a game you lost. When you watch these two films, analyze what is different.


Sometimes it can be as simple as just changing up how you approach situations. Sometimes it may not even be you. Sometimes it is not so much something you were doing wrong. It may have been something another team was doing that was unexpected. That is not a flaw in your game, rather a flaw in your knowledge of player choices, simply a chance for you to learn. Other times there is a drastic change in your gameplay that will be revealed through watching different films of your gameplay. When I used to instruct and help improve a player's game, the first thing we always did was watch films. The one he/she felt most confident in, and the one they felt they did the worst in. After watching those two films andperhaps more, I could almost always pick up on their greatest flaw. So analyze those above questions when comparing and find more results. Thank you to xVertigo for this paragraph.

You should be able to analyze old footage and be able to tell if you were ready or not for whatever threat you run into. It is necessary for a mental player to constantly be learning from players and how better to predict them. I know I have talked about this before, but players tend to use patterns when playing but also have unpredictable tendencies. Learning the most obvious choices players will make will assist you in how best to react to an enemy player in your base or threatening your surroundings.

Overall, after the video has run its course, I begin to analyze my biggest flaw, and determine how it might have cost the game. I then analyze, is it a habitual habit, meaning do I make this mistake often. I take away from each film a weakness in my personal or team-oriented game to work on and improve so as to turn my weakness into strength. Answering these questions as well as any you can think of can help you answer why you make mistakes. Changing why you do the things you do will often improve your game for the better. After all, those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it.

Thank you for reading through this. I have been busy with many projects outside of MLG and have been working towards starting College in the fall as well as getting prepared for the move to a bigger town with the University I plan to attend come Fall. Wish me luck and thank you once again for supporting MLG and my articles I miss writing for you guys. I really want to see a gifted writer take up a more active role in helping community members improve their game. Good luck and many thanks.


I have noticed lately that many players have had an issue with the ability or knowledge of how to, or when to escape from an unfavorable situation. In matchmaking and -codeword worm- even customs Iíve noticed many players tend to think theyíre superman and try and take a highly unfavorable situation rather than simply escaping and staying alive for their team.

With that being said Halo 3 has evolved into a game where living is of great importance. If youíre dead then thatís one less player on your team alive to stop an objective run or even a push. Escaping is comprised of two main factors Awareness and Technique. Both of this factors can be further divided into several categories. Under Awareness things such as Map Knowledge and Knowledge of Playerís Locations exist. Under Technique you will find strongsiding, Ghandi-Hopping, Trick jumps, and Nading the paths of Chasers.

Awareness

Awareness is highly important in any competitive game; however it is especially important in Halo 3. The Awareness battle for escaping starts even before a push or encounter. A good player will always position him or herself with easily accessible escape routes just in case a situation goes wrong. E.G. Letís say youíre on Construct and you go up gold. You want to push Open Street, but youíre not sure where you should go if someone starts shooting you from open. You could try running back to gold, dropping down open ramp, or dropping off Open Street to basement, or O2. In this situation the best idea would be to drop off Open Street, because itís the quickest cut off to get you out of the opponentís line of fire. Thatís just an example of a decision you want to make prior to a push. If you donít have a good escape plan youíre just a potential death for your team which would lead to a disadvantage.

Map Knowledge

Knowing the maps by heart is basically a requirement to be successful in Halo. If you donít know the maps like the back of your hand it will be difficult to devise effective escape routes, or even sneaky push routes. How can you be sneaky, or evasive without knowledge of where youíre going or what walls and corners will protect you. Itís pretty obvious how to increase your map knowledge at least I think so. All you have to do is start up a custom game and load one of the MLG maps and just explore routes you would think are useful. In doing so itís a good idea to sort of ďrole-playĒ and imagine you are in a position where you are about to push, or fallback and try to think how other players would react and devise effective routes from there. Itís usually a good idea to have a friend help you with these things if you have trouble thinking up good situations.

Knowledge of Playerís Location

Knowing your teammateís and opponentís locations is an extremely important part of Halo 3 in general. However, itís extremely important in escaping and pushing. Finding out where opponents are can be a little difficult sometimes. Itís highly based off of your communication and intuition. Knowledge of common setups also helps. As for your teammates locations their service tags will show up on your screen, but itís good to communicate where you intend to move just for added knowledge. If you know where your teammates are and where your opponents are you can effectively choose an escape route to prevent chasing. Itís also good to tell your teammates where youíre running to so they can help relieve you of chasers or other players attempting to clean you up.

Communication

Communicating with your teammates is necessary. Iím not going into deep details for communication, but you should call out everything you see and most of your personal actions and make sure your teammates do as such.

Awareness Summary

Overall you should make it a point to learn the maps and all of the potential routes, jumps, and tricks achievable by you. Also, communication is an important part of escaping and preventing players from chasing you, or preventing a mis-nade or something from your teammates. Successful Halo 3 players have high awareness and itís something that can be obtained with experience. Make sure to watch VOD and other things in order to achieve a sufficient amount of awareness to play.

Techniques

Techniques in escaping are not as important as awareness, but they do help. There are several ways to escape such as Strongsiding, Nading potential paths of chasers, Ghandi Hopping, and the multiple Trick Jumps that exist throughout this game. Remember for techniques like everything else perfect practice makes perfect.

Strongsiding

ďStrongsidingĒ as it is commonly called is the act of looking down at the ground and turning your back to an opponent in an attempt to hide your head. This is an effective technique because if they can get your head you can die in 4 shots, but if they cannot hit your head it takes 6 body shots to kill someone. It will take even more at long range due to the br spread, missing, or xbl in general. Strongsiding is a technique to be mastered and should be practiced. If anyone needs to I can post a video example of how strong siding should be used, but itís pretty common knowledge now.

Ghandi-Hopping

Not too much to be said here mostly everyone knows how to Ghandi-Hop. For those who may not itís the act of crouching repeatedly in the air to make your head a more difficult target to hit. Ghandi-Hopping is useful for escaping for several reasons. It can force your opponent to take one or two more shots to kill you would be the main reason. The main time Ghandi-Hopping will be useful is when you are one or two shot and you have to cross a gap where your opponent can see you to get to safety. I also tend to combine Strongsiding and Ghandi-Hopping in these situations to assure the least amount of damage as possible. Just practice and get a timing on the crouches that is comfortable and works for you.

Nading Paths of Chasers/Nade Placement

Grenades are a powerful tool given to us by Bungie. Even though the amount of grenades from Halo 2 has decreased their usefulness has not. Grenades can be used to prevent opponents from chasing you, or to punish them for chasing you. When using your escape route you will want to throw grenades behind you via a wall, or on other paths that opponents may use to chase you. If the opponent cannot see the grenade, but itís in a likely path they will take this is known as Nade-Juking. Itís good to alert your teammates if someone is chasing you, because with proper nade placement you can give them an easy clean up kill due to someone being 1-shot. This also punishes them in another, because T-Squared will call them a stupid noob. Plasma Grenades are particularly useful for punishing chasers, because you can throw them more accurately to a point you want them in than frag grenades. They can also be a 1-hit kill if you manage to stick your opponent, or they are very close to the proximity of the explosion. Remember to try and have at least one grenade on you at all times, because it can mean life or death. A good example for using grenades to your advantage would be if you are being chased to Bottom Gold from Bottom Mid. You would want to throw a grenade into the entrance of Bottom Gold, and also try to land one on *** jump, because it is also a likely place that the opponent my try to attack from.

Trick Jumps

Trick Jumps such as Gold 1 to Gold 2 on Guardian are also an effective escape tool, however in my personal opinion and experience they are the most dangerous method of attempted escape. Using a trick jump should only be used in desperate situations. If you need help finding jumps such as these refer to Joshingtonís and Ninja Lvl 99ís Trick Jumping threads.
http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/showthread.php?t=210424 Joshington's request thread
http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/showthread.php?t=206590 Ninja Lvl 99's jump thread

Recap

Escaping your opponents like everything else in Halo is highly mental. Outsmarting your opponent is critical. Like everything else though it takes perfect practice to make perfect, so working on the things covered will improve your game and your K/D ratio. Remember being alive and getting a potential kill on a foolish chaser is better than being dead, and your team being a man down.

Useful Links


http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/showthread.php?t=174463 Halo 3 F.A.Q.
http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/showthread.php?t=172237 Thread on Good/Bad Choices
http://www.mlgpro.com/vodarchive


Pit TS/KOTH/CTF

Off Spawn Rush
Jordan- Nading rockets, keeping other team off rocks and staying alive, weakening green box.
Will- Nading training and S1, dropping for OS or staying on training to pick up kills.
Colton- Going S2, nading S1 and picking up kills on the training or OS rusher
Art- Nading green, flanking through empty or training

TS Set-Up(no set pos)
Jordan- Training
Will- Plat
Colton- Going S3, Roaming
Art- Empty/Green
(have to stay aggressive, be ready when 4 up or we gain power weapon to push)

Pushing TS Set-Up
Jordan- Push through green
Will- Rush S1 and kill sniper, then return to sword
Colton- Go training or mid-bridge to grab attention
Art- Push emppty and sit in needles
-FORCE S1 SPAWN

Breaking Spawn Trap
Jordan & Art -Kill green, needles, clean up empty area
Will & Colton -rush sniper through base, clean up sword and training

1st Hill Set-Up(no set pos)
Jordan- Training of next hill or S2 of other hill picking up kills
Will- In hill staying alive, picking up kills
Colton- S2 of next hill
Art- Mid-bridge or near training roaming and picking up kills
(know when to fight and when to run)

Breaking KOTH 1st Hill Set-Up
Jordan- Rush training and nade hill
Will- Shoot hill and move through OS hall to flank hill
Colton- Go S2, clean S2 and distract hill or other sniper
Art- Rush training or flank green

KOTH 2nd Hill Set-Up(no set pos)
Jordan- Green/Training
Will- In hill, assisting kills and staying alive
Colton- S2, team spawning and watching sword, runway and training
Art- Empty/Green

Breaking KOTH 2nd Hill Set-Up
Jordan- Nade accross map at hill and rush green
Will- Goes OS and flanks S1, getting team spawn
Colton- Rushes training to distract and cause chaos
Art- Nades opposite hill and then rushes through empty
(staying alive is VERY important in all gametypes)

Guardian TS

Off Spawn ďElbowĒ
Jordan
-Nading Top Gold
-Nading Invis
-Going Green to Watch Top Blue

Will
-Nade Snipe Lift & Put Shots in Everyone
-Drop to S1 and Get Mauler

Colton
-Nade Blue
-Put Shots in Front Blue
-Grab Sniper @ S3, Watch Camo

Art
-Rush Bottom Green
-Nade Gold
-Rush Camo


Bottom Blue Spawn
Jordan- Rush gay jump, nade and shoot camo, move under glass and grab maller moving for s1
Will- Rush Snipe Lift, Nade Camo, Nade Green
Colton- Rush Snipe Lift, Nade S2, Control Sniper and Clean Up S2
Art- Rushing Camo, Nading S2, Nading Camo and Controling Top Gold

Snipe Set-Up(no set pos)
Jordan- Elbow
Will- S2/Roaming
Colton- S2/S3 Sniping
Art- Bottom Green

Blue/Gold Set Up(no set pos)
Jordan- Blue Window/Roaming
Will- Blue Door
Colton- Camo
Art- Gay Jump

Breaking Snipe Set-Up
Jordan- Nades Bottom Green/Moving To Front Blue/Watches Blue Door
Will- (Camo or Rush) Moves to S3 or Stays on Camo
Colton- (Camo or Rush) Moves to S3 or Stays on Camo
Art- Nades S3, Jumps Bottom Mid & Cleans
-GET SNIPER, PRENADE AND RETURN TO BLUE

Breaking Snipe Set-Up
Jordan- Nades Bottom Green/Moving To Front Blue/Watches Blue Door
Will- (Camo or Rush) Moves to S3 or Stays on Camo
Colton- (Camo or Rush) Moves to S3 or Stays on Camo
Art- Nades S3, Jumps Bottom Mid & Cleans
-GET SNIPER, PRENADE AND RETURN TO BLUE

Breaking Blue/Gold Set-Up(no set pos)
Jordan- Shooting Everything From Elbow, Rushes Mid Map To Clean(Maybe Nade Gay Jump)
Will- @ S2, Shooting & Supporting Rushes Mid Map To Clean
Colton- Rushes Blue Lift From Mid Map
Art- Nades Front Blue/Camo and Rushes Camo(Wait For Distraction)

Breaking Spawn Trap??

Narrows TS/Flag

Off Spawn Set-Up
Jordan- Nades Mohawk, Pushes Our Mohawk
Will- Rushes Sniper & If No One Is Man Cannon, Rushes Cannon and Cleans
Colton- Nade R3 & Rush L1 & Nade L2, Push L2, Loop For Rockets
Art- Nade L3 & Rush R1 & Nade R2, Push R2, Loop For Rockets

TS Set-Up
Jordan- Roaming/ Mohawk Shooting Lobby
Will- Sniping Top Mid/ Spawn Killing
Colton- R3/ Team Shooting Lobby
Art- L2, Watching Sniper Break TS Set-Up
-2 Shoot Top Left Off Spawn, 1 Goes Man-Cannon, 1 Goes Sniper(Will & Colton)
-2 Go Back Lobby To Flag, Clean Up and Push Lobby(Jordan & Art)

Flag Set-Up
Same As TS Set-Up

Construct TS/KOTH

TS Set-Up
Jordan- Lobby, Watching Open Ramp/Helping Open/Killing Sword
Will- Closed Lift, Watching Open
Colton- Closed Street, Watching Bottom and Sword
Art- R1 or Back Gold, Watching Gold/Mid Gold & Supporting

Breaking TS Set-Up
-Colton & Will Run Back Gold, Flank
-Jordan & Art Run Sword, Flank
Off-Spawn Rush(no pos)
-2 Guys Nade Purple, 1 Goes Up Sword, 1 Gets Snipe
-1 Guy Nades Bottom Purple & Rushes Low
-1 Guy Nades Purple/ Team Shoots/ Nades Gold/ Fights For Gold

Breaking 1st KOTH Set-Up
Jordan- Nade Laser/ Nade Sword
-2 Guys Rush Back Gold, Get To Streets
-1 Guy Back Ramp Helping Team Shoot
Breaking 2nd KOTH Set-Up
-2 Guys Back Gold Ramp
-2 Guys Nade Hill, Move To Rush Purple Or Sword

1st KOTH Set-Up(no set pos)
-Sword
-Closed Street
-R1
-Hill

2nd KOTH Set-Up
Same as TS Set-Up

Email: SumoFreakk11@YAHOO.COM