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By way of analogy, empty damage is like empty calories. And just as 'damage whore' is often a pejorative (though not always) so too are empty calories The Devil. But that's all in a vacuum. ===================== Do you eat healthy most of the time? Do you have a high metabolism, low blood pressure? Are you young? A few empty calories aren't killing you. You can have a soda, pizza, fast and junk food, and sleep easily. And so it is in tanks. Damage is damage, and although watching an enemy tank limp away or back out of a corner to live is frustrating, the good DPG whores really, really do attrit an enemy team down. In their selected flank, or a little bit all over the place, in more open maps and in high accuracy / camo tanks. ====================== Empty Damage is simple then. SITUATION 1 -- 1st Minute / Allied Scout West side Siegfried Line -- field on Malinovka -- riverbed rush El Halluf -- and numerous other examples. One of a few things happens in which you benefit from this. You either suggest it, you assume / watch for it to, or (most thankfully) an ally announces those intentions. Hopefully not a top-tier sui-scout, but nevertheless, even if it is, these are usually players with 1 foot in the grave mentally -- you generally can't talk them out of it. So you shoot what they light; what simultaneously drives into them and profit. Damage is damage. SITUATION 1A -- 1st Minute / Enemy Suiscout Basically the opposite. Your team did nothing necessarily aggressive to generate lights, but an enemy is driving so aggressively or so far they've presented themselves as a target. Damage being damage, it might as well be you as anyone. But as a good player, almost doubly so -- the worst possible situation for the enemy suiscout is 1) they get through and get something spotted and killed, like arty or even a high-tier soft TD / open top tank 2) 2nd worst, they get so far into allied lines, every player on your team digs their heels into the ground and stops advancing. Depending on the map, this is a situation which can wrest map control away from you. 3) Least likely, but also a worst case, the enemy suiscout lives and digs into a really, really nasty bait position. Now he's feeding his own team empty damage. The best situation I can think of this is when SW spawned light tank gets to G4 on El Halluf, East-facing cliff. The process of digging out a low tier tank like this isn't a profitable one for your team. Quickly -- even greedily -- taking that empty damage on this light tank could have prevented this. Sometimes, you have to play slow to win. (ignoring it or trusting allies is too often a mistake) SITUATION B -- Allied Peeking Pubs, at least in NA, have a very simple mindset, and a few specific habits. Here, they like to go to deploy to a certain line in the sand -- a certain phase line -- and hold it. There, they peek. They either win, in which case, their most Cardinal Trait comes into action -- inertia. They go forward to the enemy flag like it's a gravity well. Or they die. But say you have a stately peek-a-boo going on. You have an allied tank doing, whatever, peeking, but not well at all. He over exposes, doesn't aim, or gets in a rut of bad timing. His own rushed shot misses, he takes damage, backs out, and rinses, washes and repeats conveniently so the enemy will do this 2, 3, 4 more times in a row. Well, pubs gonna pub, so you let him do it, take the damage, and then try and get your own shot off. His incompetence is painful enough, but it can at least spring your gun out for damage. (this is a situation you're most likely to find yourself in a bottom/mid-tier HT/TD) SITUATION C -- Time Sensitive Sniping This is probably the staple of the damage whore. On larger, open maps, the long middle phase of a game can present itself with opportunity after opportunity. Karelia, having high-donut control, means you can variously take potshots at enemy tanks... everywhere around you. At various points, your tank could be at any one of those asterisks (and even lower, covering the corner, though that's a bit less likely in a soft medium) due to the various intentions of the enemy, or obvious opportunities. This picture best demonstrates the principle of Empty Damage -- taking whatever the enemy team gives you. Of course, you can't take advantage of all of this, unless you're in an advantageous position. Maps like this are good examples of why taking key terrain is so very important many times. And besides the pure sniping potential of the spot, this gives you great flex options. SITUATION D -- Enemy Zerg Into Allies Plenty of situations, either deliberately or by chance, you'll be in position to see an enemy push coalesce into some poor ally. His death is assured, but while he's lighting things, you can drain some empty damage hit points from the enemy. ======================= ======================= Empty Damage, like calories, get a bad rap. But that's only in a vacuum of other considerations. As a lower-tier tank, or in a very slow match, it can be minutes in-between good opportunities to move, attack, even fire your gun. You could derp, but if you're playing to win, you're going to be more opportunistic. And by and large, empty damage is a process in which you get damage off of other people's conscious scouting, poor enemy or allied decisions, or distant cross-fire opportunities. By and large, empty damage is not tactically significant. It is not immediate action against a concentration of tanks which will represent a broken enemy flank / position. It is not pushing, it is not flanking -- (it can be camping!) -- and it is not flexing. It's the trump card of the wily scout tank -- floating. From spot to spot, one flank to another, from active scout, to passive, to loop-scouting. From offense, to defense, and back again. TL;DR -- Empty Damage is first and foremost, opportunistic. And secondly -- safe. It's all around you, all of the time. I like to think I just gave a name to a type of damage, but it's definitely a concept I think is worth labeling and understanding. There's a time and place to push, to camp, and there's a time and place to just sit back and soak up empty damage.