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Match Comms



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#1 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:18 AM

Match comms / Mumble guide

Introduction
So you want to play Competitive TF2.  What defines lower division players from pub players
is their ability to communicate in Mumble or Teamspeak.   One of the defining characteristics
of a player that goes on to higher level is if they can be "pro" in comms.  It's not just
about damage per second, hats and L33t frags.

 

I have been working for the past year with some newer teams that have players with zero comp experience.  Even though they are steel level right now, they comm like high gold or plat.   Anyone with any level of skills can comm like a pro.  I personally have "hired" players trying out that are less skillful based on their comms, and I have also cut players or not given them the position after a tryout because of poor comm skills.  Keep in mind that even the worst player that can give the comm on where the combo is  and can be responsible for the great sniper on that team to have superhuman awareness.  The point is, practice and become pro at comms!

Mumble tips:
1. Don't use voice activation.  Use push to talk (PTT)
2. Bind PTT to a mouse button on the side or in a place that you can use while you play.
3. If you wait to enter mumble until the match starts, it will give you a prefix (e.g. "SNIPER:")
   and switch you to the right channel.
4. Listen to your voice in mumble setup.  Make sure it is clear and loud enough / not fuzzy-loud.
5. Invest in a headset.  Otherwise echos of voices can be very distracting.
6. Consider investing in a GOOD headset.  Cheap ones break, and in the end cost more to replace.
7. Learn your medic's voice before the game starts.  Key in on that.

8. If there happens to be a rare female in mumble, do not feel like you need to point out her physical attributes or mention genitalia.  Just treat her like another player, which she is.

Comm tips:

0. Know the locations, know the map.  Your team will appreciate clear locational comms.  "They used uber ON HILL."
1. When it comes to match time, only say match comms.  Talk about hats and music at warm-up or halftime.
2. In many cases, people don't recognize your voice.  Speak about yourself in 3rd person.
   For example, "Med, Heavy needs heals."
3. Fight the urge to voice your disappointment at dying.  If your death is important
   (maybe if you are a medic) try saying "I'm medic and I'm down" in a lobby or "I'm down"
   if your team knows your voice.  No need to die cursing like you died IRL.  This is not Theater.
4. If you comm like a pro, don't think that people will pick on your pre-teen squeaky voice.
   People appreciate players for what they say and when they say it, not how old they sound.
5. Fight the urge to hold the PTT down.  (clack clack clack keyboard)
6. Don't call players down for other players (e.g.  your sniper) unless he is not in mumble.
   Calling player down is a bit of a treat for the fragger, let them say it.  Don't clutter.
7. Don't call players down before they are.  Sometimes even good players feel like they can
   will a player to die.  They can't.
8. More on clutter.  Certain classes need to talk more (spys) , certain classes
  (e.g. heavies) live and die based on comms (like where the sniper is sighted.)  You laughing
  in mumble may have just killed your med.
9. Obnoxious fans in the background? live under a train?  Think about not talking much.
10. Learn the location names in a map.  There are websites with this, or you can just learn by
   playing.  The most annoying comm "error" that I hear are people saying "sniper."  and then I
   need to say, "where".  If he shot you, you know.  Help your team avenge you.
11. Make it a goal to talk quickly and not use air-time.  For example, even the "med down" vs.
   "medic down lol!" can help other calls get through.
12. Don't know location names?  Instead of calling "Sniper in Books" maybe call "Sniper top right".
13. Sometimes, don't feel bad stating "match comms" at the beginning of a match to remind your
    teammates that this is not a frat party.  Serious business.

14. Spys: If you are a good spy you are giving a good stream of intel.  Make it a point to NEVER MISS A MEDIGUN CHANGE.  It is my opinion that the most important comm you will ever hear out of a spy's mouth is "they are now running kritz."

15. All players, keep an eye on the scoreboard especially if you have a few seconds of downtime as you respawn.  Your team should always know if the other team is down a significant amount of players or otherwise.  Also during downtime, watch for if the other team got spawns.

Good Calling Form:
Someone, likely your medic, will be doing most of the talking.  This is "calling."  Calling is
an art and probably no guide can do it justice.
Don't clutter, but also don't be afraid to say important things like "our sentry is down"
or "teleporter not safe", that sniper is destroying us please focus, etc.

Everyone on the team may be responsible for the following calls:

* (class) down.  "Med down."  - Most good medics measure the other medic's uber off of this call.
                 "Spy down."  - Pyros in Highlander will often roam for a while on this call.
* Med dropped - Medic had uber/kritz and died with it.  A very good thing and an advantage.
* (class) lit.                  (Avoid this, call out damage numbers if possible)
  (class) hurt.               (Avoid this, call out damage numbers if possible)
  (class) destroyed.      (Avoid this, call out damage numbers if possible)
  (class) headshot.  
  (class) 10 health.

  (class) took (damage)      "medic took 60"
  (class) 173 off.  - this lets your teammates finish off damaged opponents.  Prioritizing fire is deadly.
                      remember that an opponent with 1 health shoots the same rockets.  Finish them.
* (class) <location>.  e.g. "Demo at our spawn."  
* Medic called.  - this means medic said "I am ready!" and is probably ready to uber.  Your team may
                   choose to play more passively or strive to get a pick now.
* Jarate on cart.
* Uber at <location>
  kritz at <location>
  They used at <location>
  "Uber on point" - lets your teammates clear and measure the time before re-engaging
* Focus <class> - lets you and hopefully a few teammates focus fire on a key player getting them down fast.
* Heavy, sandvitch.
* Sniper <location> - allows your sniper or flanks to counter. Allows other classes to roll-out differently
                      based on sightlines - what the sniper can see from there.
* Spy <location> - obvious
* Medic where are you? - All medics want more players around him = more protection.

* Medic, where are heals?  - same as above
* Demo where are you? - From the medic.  Medic is ready to uber and/or kritz.  come get frags!
* Heals at <location> - From the medic.  Find the medic, protect, get ubers, etc.

* They wiped.

* We wiped.

* They are only 4 up.

* We are only 4 up, don't bleed.

* They just got spawns

 

One Final Note

Your tone is also important.  Try to keep the volume down, excitement out of it.  The best teams have suprisingly low-key comms during important matches.  You may be suprised to hear very little comms, very calm and low-key voices, etc.  As you advance in your comm skills, try to focus on what you don't say and trying not to clutter the comms for your teammates.

 

More reading: http://ozfortress.co...ead.php?t=37274
 


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#2 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:02 PM

It's ok to give feedback. I will edit and include.  maybe.  edit button seems to not be there?

 

was going to add under mumble tips:

 

x. If there happens to be a rare female in mumble, do not feel like you need to point out her physical attributes or mention genitalia.  Just treat her like another player, which she is.


Edited by ninjaMooCow, 15 April 2014 - 09:04 PM.


#3 R.E.M.

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:13 AM

Just a small thing to add. It's very common for people to say [class] took [damage] instead of the variants you've put here.


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#4 PS9K

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 06:17 AM

2. In many cases, people don't recognize your voice.  Speak about yourself in 3rd person.
   For example, "Med, Heavy needs heals."

This why you use Mumble overlay option to always display nicknames, no matter they talk or not.



#5 R.E.M.

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:59 PM

 

2. In many cases, people don't recognize your voice.  Speak about yourself in 3rd person.
   For example, "Med, Heavy needs heals."

This why you use Mumble overlay option to always display nicknames, no matter they talk or not.

 

 

To be honest the mumble overlay (at least for me) is not something I'm looking at a lot of the time when I'm playing, it's ok if you join the lobby in good time before the game and people are actually talking (a lot of people are silent pre-game) but for me (as a medic) it would be so much easier if people just told me who they were in-game so I can immediatly attend to their healing needs.

 

Also the mumble overlay is extremely cumbersome in a crowded lobby like a HL lobby.


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#6 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 04:03 AM

>> overlay

 

I have 2 monitors.  Still, in the heat of the moment, I'm not checking right monitor.  I have my eyes watching for faces to click.



#7 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:51 AM

Edited to add comments, thanks guys.



#8 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:17 PM

Thought about including skipping down calls when an unimportant class is killed (e.g. engineer.)  Maybe this only goes into effect when someone in your mumble has called for clearer comms.  This is mostly a beginner's guide and I think that knowing when not to make a call is fairly advanced.



#9 TheMattgician

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:43 PM

You forgot to clearly mention dispenser-picks, as these truly turn the game around.



#10 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:40 AM

You forgot to clearly mention dispenser-picks, as these truly turn the game around.

 

Or everybody get on the cart, 2 free points!



#11 Æsirson

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 10:33 PM

 

* (class) lit.
  (class) hurt.
  (class) destroyed.

Pls no. Make it a habit to call the numbers. 



#12 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 02:44 AM

easy for sniper, vry hard for other classes to do.



#13 R.E.M.

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:58 PM

easy for sniper, vry hard for other classes to do.

 

nah you can get huds for that and enable damage numbers in floating text. Also you can get mods to make the damage numbers add up.


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#14 TheMattgician

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:34 PM

 

easy for sniper, vry hard for other classes to do.

 

nah you can get huds for that and enable damage numbers in floating text. Also you can get mods to make the damage numbers add up.

 

 

That would be: hud_combattext_batching 1

By default, the window for adding up the damage is 0.2 seconds, if you want to change that you'll need:

hud_combattext_batching_window [time in seconds]

Thanks Tagg (Watch for other useful commands you might not know).


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#15 ninjaMooCow

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 01:53 PM

Added a couple suggestions.

 

0. Know the locations, know the map.  Your team will appreciate clear locational comms.  "They used uber ON HILL."

 

Also, said to call numbers and not just "LIT"



#16 WraithTDK

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 02:42 PM

Excellent guide. Mostly common sense, but I constantly find myself wishing people knew most of this stuff in pubs. Question:

 

 

10. Learn the location names in a map.  There are websites with this, or you can just learn by
   playing.  The most annoying comm "error" that I hear are people saying "sniper."  and then I
   need to say, "where".  If he shot you, you know.  Help your team avenge you.

 

This is something I clearly need to learn. I'm just starting my journey into competitive play, and I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Can you point me to a good site that lists commonly accepted location names?



#17 Mother Tereza

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 03:30 PM

Can you point me to a good site that lists commonly accepted location names?

 

Here you will find all locations names for each competitive map. Just click on a map name which you want to learn about.



#18 rayyy

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 09:06 PM

I only recently installed mumble and this thread is the second time I've been told to use push to talk. This may seem like a stupid question, but how come? Surely if you're doing something important while needing to call it would be harder to push the button too? I'm a very quiet person, when my team used skype for normal talking and playing other games they kept thinking I left the chat, even when I wasn't using my headset with a noise cancelling mic. Sorry if this is a really stupid thing to ask :v

Edited by rayyy, 17 February 2016 - 09:06 PM.

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#19 nrd.

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 11:10 PM

The push to talk is a really nice feature, most threads 'push' you to use push to talk because it only records the voice of the player when the key is pressed. This eliminates background noises, munching on potato chips, sneezing, breathing etc. which ruin's other players lobby experience. If you believe that you're quiet enough with continuous or voice activity on, then go for it. It's not compulsory at all to use push to talk, just highly recommended.


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It's been fun, thanks for the ride.


#20 rayyy

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 11:17 PM

The push to talk is a really nice feature, most threads 'push' you to use push to talk because it only records the voice of the player when the key is pressed. This eliminates background noises, munching on potato chips, sneezing, breathing etc. which ruin's other players lobby experience. If you believe that you're quiet enough with continuous or voice activity on, then go for it. It's not compulsory at all to use push to talk, just highly recommended.


Ah right, thanks. Makes a lot of sense. Sorry for being so naïve haha
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