Archive for the ‘Scene’ Category

ENSL S15W1 commentary

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Courtesy of youtube, here are some video recaps of our S15W1 match against Team Fantasy, with blind commenting! Big kudos to him for putting in the work. These are a very good alternative to watching the HLTV demos, although you get a bigger picture and have more control with the demos. Blind also made a similar recap for the UGO-gorgerush match, well worth checking out.



Round 1




Round 2




Round 3




Round 4


ENSL Season 14 heating up

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Having started out relatively boring the first couple of weeks, season 14 is finally getting exciting. We’re now in week 4, which means most teams have two matches left to play before the playoffs start.


Group A


At first this seemed like the boring group, the easy prediction being take over taking the top seed and newstyled grabbing the second seed. Since then, things have changed however. While there’s little doubt take over will take the top seed, the fight for the second seed seems a lot more open now. Judging from roster strength, newstyled seemed overpowering for all the other teams. But that was only until I realised that their ex-flatline carry players are only roster filling and the team doesn’t seem to practice outside of officials. With that in mind, the Professors now seem like a viable challenger for the second spot in the playoffs. They’ve got players with both experience and skill and seem to be practicing, at least more than newstyled.


The last two weeks will be key for both teams. The Professors need to take at least one round from take over to be on even ground with newstyled, who managed to steal a round from take over in week 3 with a daring shotgun rush. That’s not going to be an easy task and take over will be expecting shenaningans like shotgun rushes this time around. Even if they lose 4-0, they still have a chance though, because in week 5 they’ll face newstyled to finally decide which of them will grab the second spot in the playoffs. Winning a round against take over is important because that means a tie with newstyled will result in a tie breaker for the second spot, instead of the dreaded third place. The situation is more straightforward for newstyled, who only need to avoid losing rounds to New Team and then either drawing or winning against the Professors.


Group B


Originally the most exciting group, but now less so in my mind. A lot could still happen, but right now it seems like RAMBOS will take the top seed and BALLS will get the second spot. That means BALLS will have to face take over in the semi final. Not a pleasant prospect.


RAMBOS and BALLS tied in a very close match in week 3 and they seem pretty much even at the moment. The reason why I’m predicting RAMBOS for the top seed, is because BALLS slipped and lost a silly round against Stray Dogs earlier. All RAMBOS has to do now is win 4-0 against their remaining opponents, which shouldn’t pose any big difficulties for them. If they manage to do that, they’re pretty much guaranteed a place in the final. I can’t even imagine the possibility of them losing against either of their two possible semi final opponents.

ENSL Season 14 starts

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

After a few months of break since the conclusion of season 13, the ENSL is back in action with season 14. As usual, the participating teams are getting fewer and fewer every season, with season 14 coming in at 10 teams spread over two divisions. I’m still playing with take over, the current tournament favorites. We’ve been placed in Group A, arguably the easier one of the two. Our biggest challenge is going to be newstyled, who has a few scary names on their roster. Unfortunately for them, neither they nor their ex-flatline carry players seem very active.


In Group B we’ve got the other two top contenders this season: Balls and RAMBOS. Both are very decently skilled and could take the title if they play their cards right. As it is right now, there’s not much doubt about who’s going to go through to the semis. The only real competition is the fight for the top seed. This is most important for the teams in Group B, where the top seed will probably get a much easier opponent in their semi final.


There’s no doubt we’re teetering on the edge of the league finally dying — until NS2 is released at least — but I’m still having fun playing. Strange. If you’d have told me two years ago that this is what I’d be doing in 2010, I would’ve laughed and called you a loon.


I guess I’m the real lunatic.

The NS2 Lerk controversy

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

As I’m sure most interested parties know by now, details and a short video of the Natural Selection 2 Lerk were released yesterday on the NS2 website. Unfortunately, at least for my part, the released information was very disappointing. Instead of building on the 3.x style Lerk, which has been a huge success in every way, they’ve decided to revert to the 1.0x style Lerk with a 3.x flight model. Now sure, pubbers had a lot of fun sitting in vents shooting spikes, but I’d like to think we’ve moved on in the six years since then. No matter how you look at it, the 3.x style Lerk promotes much deeper gameplay and adds a lot of excitement to the game.


Unsurprisingly, there was an uproar on ENSL when people starting realizing what was happening. I personally said something along the lines of “I’ve lost all faith in NS2” which perhaps was a bit harsh, but still described my feelings at that exact moment. [EDIT: I guess I should clarify this. I haven’t actually lost all faith in NS2, it was just a way to vent my frustration. Perhaps not the best way, but I can think of many worse ways too.] Since then, I’ve tried to start a discussion in the thread on the NS2 forums. Right now I seem to be the only one voicing my concern unfortunately. Even a prominent Australian competitive player (shame on you, Sir!) came out and stated that he preferred the new Lerk concept to the 3.x “flying skulk”. I’m not sure how that makes me feel about the Lerking quality of our Australian brothers, but it seems like they’ve missed out on something important.


In any case, if you’re reading this and you agree with me — and you damn well better you useless slags — please try to voice some reasonable concerns about the Lerk in the thread. Maybe there’s a chance we can still turn this ship around.

Take over wins the 16th Night Cup

Monday, February 1st, 2010

If you can’t beat them, join them! Sound logic for me, as I joined take over when 9L folded after ENSL season 13. I’ve been playing with them for a few weeks now, and I have to say I’m positively surprised. They’ve got a good mix of old school and new school, carry players and work horses. They’ve also come across to me as a nice bunch of dudes, which is very important to me. They actually remind me a lot of 2004 Knife, which really is one of the greatest superlatives I can give.


This last weekend we participated in the 16th Night Cup, with great success. After easily defeating Team Fantasy and Russian Standard, we faced the formidable RAMBOS in the final. According to the popular vote, they were the favourites to win, although I think take over was the top seed judging from roster strength. That said, RAMBOS has a very solid roster too, featuring carry players like Almaty and aA. The match itself was very tense, especially the first round where heavy pressure and SGers constantly harassing our Hive gave us big problems. We were able to overcome those difficulties and take the round however. We played the next two rounds flawlessly, winning the match in convincing fashion. The last round was a bit of an afterthought as our comm left and the RAMBOS won a consolation round.


What’s especially interesting about this tournament from my point of view, is that I’ve basically come full circle. The InNox cup was my first tournament win, way back in 2004 with KTDM. Just like this Night Cup, we played three matches. Two were easy, one was difficult, and we won them all. Both KTDM and take over had a mix of grizzled veterans with many trophies under their belts and new players for whom this would be their first championship title. There is one big difference however. During the InNox cup, I was the up and coming player, hungering to reach the top, climbing on the shoulders of more experienced players. This Night Cup however, I was one of the grizzled veterans, supporting a cast of new talent. I can’t help but find some special significance in that. Perhaps this would be an opportune moment for me to quit, while still on top?


Hell no. It’s over when it’s over.


I’ve uploaded the HLTV demos from the take over matches, the match against RAMBOS is well worth watching. I’m also planning to make a quick frag highlights movie from the NC — any help in finding frags would be appreciated!

Forum watch: Skulk bunnyhopping, net code and more

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Reading the forums lately, I’ve noticed several great posts. Thinking about this for a while, I thought it might be a good idea to collect the most interesting ones in a news post, as I know many of you aren’t very… fond of reading said forums. So, here goes:



Our very own plant in the NS2 dev team, dux, clarifies their current stance on bunnyhopping

You can still bunny as a skulk.



Cory, also a developer, lists the current weapons included in NS2

As it stands now, the marine’s weapon arsenal consists of the melee weapon, pistol, assault rifle, grenade launcher attachment for the assault rifle, shotgun, flamethrower, and minigun.


Personally, I’m not sure about the flamethrower and minigun — the dual wielding “HA” in particular — but it will be interesting to see how they’re implemented.



Yet another dev, Max, clarifies why he prefers a prediction based net code

I’m not sure why people think Quake 3 offers accuracy, in my mind it’s really the opposite. If you shoot where a player is on your screen and you have lag, you will miss them (you have to lead your target based on your ping). In Half-Life, if you shoot where the player is on your screen and you have lag you will hit them, no leading necessary. The drawback is that sometimes, especially if you’re really lagged, the player your hitting might feel like the shot was unfair (“Hey! I was around the corner!”). I’m not sure how the networking works in Source and haven’t really played any Source games multi-player, so it might be different there.


Our netcode is written from scratch. I originally integrated RakNet and OpenTNL (the Tribes networking library), but I had problems with them and didn’t like the idea of using those black boxes for something as critical as the networking. My implementation borrows ideas from Quake 3 and Half Life, though for the things you guys are discussing it’s more like HL than Q3A.


In my opinion, I find it difficult to argue with this. The no-prediction net code some players are pushing for would make high-ping matches (EU vs. USA for one) unplayable, not to mention putting even more focus on latency. There’s already more than enough of that if you ask me.



Past CAL-NS admin homicide delivers a great argument for the kind of gameplay we want in NS2

What he missed was the difference between micro level combat and macro level strategy.


Micro level combat (jumping, aiming, dodging, blocking, flying, blinking, leaping, bhopping, knockback, etc) is easily separated from macro level strategy (situational awareness, map control, res control, flanking, ambushing, team coordination, etc). NS1’s greatest achievement was merging great micro combat with great macro strategy. This is THE signature of Natural Selection and it needs to remain the THE signature of Natural Selection 2.


Most combat in NS1 is based around fast marines shooting and dodging faster aliens. The exception is the Onos, who just barrels straight for marines; it’s bad gameplay. Granted…the Onos adds strategy to the game, but it destroys the micro level combat. The only reason the Onos gets away with this is because it plays a support role and the cost keeps their numbers limited. If the exo-skeleton also plays a support role that is limited to only a few players, it might be acceptable to sacrifice their micro gameplay in order to increase the game’s overall strategic depth. The LAST thing we want are exo-trains that kill the combat system even more than HA in NS1.


If anything, our (the competitive community) main goal for influencing the developers should be hammering this point through to them. They may very well already be aware of it though — or at least I hope they are.



And last, but not least, this week in comedy.



Suggestions for future updates would be great, just drop some comments or give me a shout on IRC!