_____ HuttBall 101 _____
Greetings space beings! Giradda the Hutt
has reviewed your recent participation in HuttBall! He is most displeased in the performance of some of you and thus has sanctioned a HuttBall Guide. As his once esteemed translator, I have been tasked... I mean privileged to present to you the following information:
What is HuttBall?____________
HuttBall is a warzone in Star Wars: The Old Republic. In this warzone two groups of players team up and verse each other in a match of supremacy. The winner of the match is the first team to score 6 times. In the event that no team scores 6, the team which scores the most in 15 minutes wins. If there is a tie (even 0-0) the last team holding the ball wins.
HuttBall is a unique warzone, it is the only warzone in Star Wars: The Old Republic that allows teams from the same faction to play against each other. This allows for Republic vs. Empire, Republic vs. Republic, or Empire vs. Empire matches. Despite the early speculation, there is no way for Republic and Empire players to play on the same team.
HuttBall takes place in a map called "The Pit." The map fittingly features two large pits that must be crossed to complete objectives. On this map the ball spawns in the center. The only paths from the ball to the goal-lines are a system of ramps and scaffolding which run from the center of the map over the pits to the goal area. A player may cross an upper or lower scaffolding or force leap up from the pit. These 3 ways are the only ways for a player to score a goal while carrying the ball. In addition to carrying a ball, a player may pass the ball to teammates or be "pulled" across the pit from class specific skills.
How is HuttBall played?____________
HuttBall is played by two randomly assigned teams:
- RotWorms are represented by the team color Purple. Image Here
- FrogDogs are represented by the team color gold/yellow. Image Here
HuttBall is played much like American Football. Teams take possession of the ball and advance the ball by running (carrying) or by throwing (passing). To take possession of the ball a player can click it (if it is a neutral ball spawned in the center of the map) or by killing the opposing enemy player carrying the ball. Once a player carries the ball over the opposing teams goal-line they have completed a score and the ball is reset in the center of the map. This declares the ball a "neutral ball" and the first player to click it takes possession of it.
The User Interface
PRO-TIP: When you carry the ball your speed is decreased greatly. Always look to pass ahead to speed a score.
Got turned around? The End-zones are color coded via large yellow or purple hexagons and feature a massive display of a FrogDog or RotWorm which tells you whose endzone it is. You need to bring the ball to the OTHER TEAMS endzone. You know if you are going the right way by bringing up the map. It will feature arrows and a triangle quest completion symbol. The current ball handler will have a Purple or Yellow light beam and the ball rotating overhead. Image example here: http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/2267/ballcarrier.jpg
This map features 3 types of "Hazards:"
- Fire Pit - These spots on the map are on timers. They are on the scaffolding and prevent a player from running all the way through the scaffolding without stopping to wait for the fire to stop. Keep an eye on the pit as you cross it. If the pit begins to glow red/orange it is about to spew fire. The Fire inflicts SERIOUS damage and should never be crossed while it is up.
- Acid Pit - The large green pits at the end of the lower ramp are acid pits. If you walk into them they will kill you in a matter of a few seconds. You must jump over them (need speed boost) or go around them. The Acid inflicts SERIOUS damage and should never be crossed although if necessary a player can survive in the acid a bit longer than the fire hazard. The Acid Pit will also cause a slow effect on your character so one cannot simply run through it without dying.
- Air Lifts - There are 2 large Air Lifts on both ends of the center area. These will toss the player who steps on them high into the air. The effect is random and the result will drop you off somewhere in the center of the map. If you are really lucky, you may end up on the upper scaffolding in the right direction. The fall from the Air Lift itself causes no damage, although you can fall into the acid or fire pits.
This map features 3 types of "Helpers:"
How do I win at HuttBall?____________
- Speed Boost - The speed boost power-up is located in the center of the pit on each side of the map. These power-ups allow your character to move very quickly for a short period of time. This power-up is best used to get out of the pit area.
- Heal/DPS Buff - This power-up will increase the damage and heal amount a player deals for a short period of time. These are located near the main level ramp on both sides of the map.
- Heal Buff - This power-up is an instant heal. It is located in 4 spots on the map just to the corner of the exit ramps of the pits.
A proper game of HuttBall is played in 3 Phases which repeat with each score:
- Phase 1 - "The Opener" In the opener the goal is to get to the ball. If the opponent has possession of the ball it should be your primary goal to get it back. The only way to do this is to kill the ball handler.
- Phase 2 - "The Mid Game" The mid game persists throughout the entire game. Here the teams fight for control of the ramps, power-ups, ball spawn and enemy spawn. It is PARAMOUNT that teams stay out of pit while attempting to put enemies into the pits. Ranged classes should place themselves in a way to dominate the upper ramps. All players should attempt to reason what they are doing at all times... is this a time to: Run, Pass, Attack, CC or Heal?
- Phase 3 - "The End Game / Scoring" To score a team must advance the ball. This takes enemy awareness (don't charge for a cap if recent enemy deaths have placed a large number of them between you and the goal). Ability awareness (don't charge for a cap if your knock-backs, burst speed, saberward isn't ready yet). Teammate awareness (ALWAYS look ahead to pass the ball up to ramps above you, or down to the goal. NEVER hold onto the ball when you have a team-mate ahead of you, even if it looks like you might make it across the goal safely.) Endzone finishes (run up lower ramp, force leap from the pit, get pulled up from the pit from a Sage, run up the upper ramps, transfer from upper ramp to lower ramp at back corner end (fastest walking path).
After each score a team must quickly transition back to Phase 1. If a team gets stuck in Phase 2 (pvping randomly around the map) they will quickly find themselves with a loss.
Why do I lose at HuttBall?____________
Generally speaking if you find yourself not winning many matches, likely there is something you are doing incorrectly. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you going into the pits?
- Are you going along the sides of the map and running into dead ends at the fences?
- Are you going the wrong way with the ball?
- Are you ignoring the ball handler?
If you are not making the above mistakes, you should consider your passing game. Passes are the make it/break it element of HuttBall. Passes are either completed, intercepted or incomplete causing a neutral ball. In situations where there are no teammates to pass to (and you are about to die) it is often better to throw the ball away (called intentional grounding) then to let the enemy kill you and take the ball.
PRO TIP: Another alternative pass is to pass the ball to an enemy who is about to die, this will cause the ball to come right back to your teams closest member or reset to a neutral ball if no member is nearby.
What if you mastered passing and you still have a hard time coming away with a win? It could be that your team is being out played. Teams who master various techniques on the field will find that matches are easier to win. While some techniques (force leaping out of the pit, force lifting a ball carrier over fire and so on) will greatly improve your odds; there are no techniques that will guarantee a win. The best thing you can do is to maximize your chances is by avoiding bad practices. Generally there are 5 common bad practices with HuttBall:
- Predictable Paths - The ONLY way to win at HuttBall is to change the path your team takes to a score. If you take the same path more than once, the chances are the enemy will adapt and block your score.
- Untimely CC - Nothing is worse than a score from an enemy who is CC immune. Each player can only be held in place with CC for so long... their resolve bar will fill up and then those same CC attacks will have no affect on them. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to save CC for when a player gets close to a score. In this way you can knock them into the pit below or hold them in fire, otherwise the only way to stop them is via pure DPS.
- Ball Hog - Not passing as you get closer to the goal. The best practice is to pass more as you approach the goal. On paper this seems simple enough, although in practice it often is just not done. So many times I have seen players hold the ball and attempt to cross the line rather than pass, because of the threat of a score they are often over-focused for dps and killed just short of the line.
- Staying with the Ball Handler - Contrary to popular belief, it is not always best to stay right with the ball carrier. For example, some players will need to be closer to the ball respawn after a score to make sure you can score again. Some players will need to play defense, some players should be going ahead of the ball carrier to clear a path and take passes. The goal to getting a goal is to spread the map and make sure the ball carrier has many options.
Gadget Play (also known as a trick play) uses deception and unorthodox strategies to fool or otherwise "trick" the opposing team. Please note that although these plays can be very effective, they do come with some risk and have potential for an opposing teams big gain or even score.
When to use a Gadget play... well these plays are effective BECAUSE they are not used every time you touch the ball. For example if your team always passes immediately after the grab, the opposing team will quickly catch on and intercept or kill the receiver. For that reason, these plays only tend to work if they are unanticipated. For best results, I recommend never using the same gadget play twice in one match.
Here are some Bread and Butter Gadget plays that all teams should familiarize themselves with. They WILL be used at some point in a match and the prepared team will know how to take advantage of them for a score or stop:
Tips and Tricks____________
- The Pit-Leap - The first rule of HuttBall is never go in the pit right? Well this concept can create an easy score for your team. First get the ball, then get the attention of the other team. Head right into the pit below their goal, then kill one of the enemy team. If you time this right someone should spawn shortly and come from above the enemy goal line. Using Force Leap, you can jump up and out of the pit to the targeted player leaving the enemy down in the pit for an easy score. Some classes have the ability to leap out of the pit to a team-mate instead, although this requires a team-mate to goto and stay at the goalline which is a dangerous place to hang out.
- The Rescue-Pull - A little known Jedi Consular Sage ability allows you to bring a teammate right to your location. This tactic is best used like the Pit-Leap, where the ball handler takes the ball into the pit. While the enemy has focus on the ball handler, the JC goes to the goal area. Then the JC will use Rescue to pull the ball handler out of the pit to the goal area for an easy win.
- The Scaffolding Gap - The most direct route to the goal from the ball spawn is first up the ramp for the upper scaffolding then a gap transfer (jump down) to the lower scaffolding just as the upper scaffolding makes a right turn. In this way you create a misdirection that will cause the enemy to head for the upper scaffolding ramp. The added advantage is that the fire pit on the lower and upper scaffolding are on different timers. This allows the player to decide to finish on the upper area, or if the fire is up to transfer to the lower ramp and run across the inactive fire pit.
- Quick grab - The fastest class to the ball is the Jedi Consular / Sith Inquisitor which can right straight ahead out of the start and then use their burst speed skill to jump clear over the acid for a quick grab. To stop this prepare to use ranged CC on them so your other classes have time to grab.
- Kock-back / Hazard death - There is little anything more satisfying than using CC to kill an enemy. There are a number of different CC abilities although the 2 best for this technique are the ones that knock-back or those that hold an enemy in place. Time your hold so that you stop a player just as they try to cross the fire pits or as they leap over acid. If they are CC'd long enough the fire will come on and kill them. You can also knock them back into the fire or acid if they run out. Remember to attack them at range after the cc expires to make sure for a quick kill if they survive the hazard.
- Smear-the-carrier - Often you can rack up big objective points by passing the ball to an enemy who you are about to kill. They will take possession of the ball then die making the ball go back to your team. Make sure to only do this when you have someone near them or the ball will reset at center as a Neutral ball.
- Pit Recovery - Often you will find yourself on the scaffolding and under attack from multiple sides. If you are getting very low on health and it is clear you cannot pass the ball or score, the best bet is to jump down into the pit. If you die this will delay the enemy as they will have to carry the ball out of your pit and all the way to the other side of the map. If you do not die grab the speed boost in the center and burst run to the pit exit ramp. Then grab the heal boost and run for the ramps for try number 2 with full health and good distance between the other team and you.
- Reverse - This play is executed by two players who run on the lower and upper ramps separately. If one takes damage they toss the ball down (or up) to the other member. Because the timers of the fire pits on the ramps are different for upper and lower, one player will be able to advance at all times. Use this advantage to pass the ball up and down until someone has a clear run at the goal.
Here is a small list of various tips to give your player a competitive edge over others in the warzone. Feel free to suggest others using the thread below:
- Standing right on the edge of ramp will sometimes cause Sith/Jedi players who force leap to you to fall off the edge rather than land on the ramp next to you.
- Non-cover classes can still utilize the cover scattered across the map by standing behind them. This includes the Pillars around the fire pits and boxes on the ramps. Use these to put Line-of-Sight between you and attackers.
- Get up high and hold your ground. This warzone can also be nicknamed "King of the Hill." The player that dominates the ramps/scaffolding dominates the game.
- Utilize the fire and acid, knock enemies into it. CC them as they cross to hold them over it.
- Stand at the edge of the acid and pull an enemy to you. If you are positioned correctly they will fall in the acid. Continue to damage them for easy fast kills. (Works really well on the ball carrier).
- Always use your out of combat heal when it is ready. Even if you only have a little health missing, your out of combat heal will regenerate your force/ammo as well.
- Be aware of the power-ups in the corners of the map. These will restore most of your health. If you are at full health and the enemy is near them, it is sometimes best to take them to prevent the enemy from using them.
- STIMS! STIMS! STIMS! - after every match (win or loss) you can buy heal stims and damage/heal increase stims from the pvp vendors. Make sure to use these. They are on a separate timer from PVE stims... which brings us to our next point: PVE STIMS make sure you have a few of those to use as well. In a close fight you could have the edge over your opponent by having those 2 extra heals!
- At the start of each map make sure to activate your movement buffs. All classes get sprint at level 14.
- If you find yourself in a tight spot on the ramps, drop down and grab the speed buff. Run the length of the pit and out leaving the enemy in the dust.
BE NICE!!! Remember, this warzone allows for same-faction combat. Thus think before you taunt or complain as you will likely encounter that person again as you quest!
UPDATE: New trending techniques!
For now there is a tick that is working for some players involving stealth and an ability to jump to a team-mates location. This may be removed in the future, although for now it works as follows:
- A player with stealth goes to goal and just wait there hidden in stealth.
- A juggernaut gets the ball and makes his way to the goal.
- The juggernaut can now use the ability "intercede" on the stealthed player. (Intercede will jump the juggernaut to the stealthed player for an easy score)
Right now a 2nd popular technique is for classes with a "grapple" skill to stand RIGHT on the edge of the acid and then pull the enemy to them. Your opponent will end up in the acid in-front of you and they will take your damage + the acid damage for an easy kill. This can be done with the fire as well although it is very difficult to time it right.
At the end of each match a ScoreBoard appears. This is where a player can review the stats from the battle, choose their MVP (most valuable player) and exit the match. This screen also shows the final score, the amount of Valor earned, the amount of Commendations earned, the amount of XP earned and the amount of credits earned.
Here is an image that shows the various elements of the ScoreBoard:
Make sure to vote for your MVP!