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Putting a name to the "dpg whores:" Empty Damage

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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. 

 

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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. 

 

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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. 

gcQTEpz.jpg

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. 

 

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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. 

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Empty damage is a concept I categorized / named / thought of a long time ago. 

 

DPG whores are a touching stone to bring the topic up.

 

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I'd parse it further and say Empty Damage is a sort of mode of playstyle, along with --

peeking, pushing, camping, flanking, flexing, scouting, spotting/sniping. 

 

The key thing is it's indicative of an eyes-open opportunism and/or passivity. A lot of people are way too passive, to include unicums. #2 cause of rage quitting in unicum platoon behind losing, someone's too passive. 

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To be fair, someone needs to kill them...it just doesn't really matter who does it.  But everyone has an equal chance, and it needs to be done...just some people are better at it than others.

 

Its similar to basketball.  Two players average 20ppg...but one drops the 20ppg when it matters and comes through in the clutch (kobe).  The other drops 20 in garbage time and fades when it counts (harden).  They both have the same WN7, but one carries hard and wins respect and the other doesn't. So I don't condemn people for picking up trash points...as long as they can carry when required on top of that.  Most do.  But when a person starts thinking getting 25ppg proves you are better than kobe's 20ppg, or starts trading wins for more garbage time and thus more easy buckets, I consider them trash, much like I consider rerolls, t6 padders, etc trash.

 

But as I said, despite me calling saw kewei a damage whore I don't think this applies to him.  He can clearly carry as well as anyone.  I can think of a few this isn't the case, but even more damage whores are great players with a slightly out of tune focus, imo.

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Thing is, if you can transition to and from whatever 'mode' of play you need to to win, it doesn't matter what you do at any particular time -- or most of the time -- if it's working. 

If you're ALL CAMP or ALL PUSH your mileage won't just vary, it will just suffer. 

 

And the meta playstyle of NA has shifted to the point battles are so ridiculously slow and stately, lots of 2nd line / opportunity sniping is going to be effective.

You're really not doing much pushing outside of platoons stacks these days, player base biases, inhibitions and skill floor are all wrong for it. 

 

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I disagree with the term "empty" damage, I'd call it "opportunistic" damage, empty damage has a very negative connotation to it, and I would save it for non-helping winning damage.

 

Empty damage is useless damage

Opportunistic damage would be a good measure of player initiative

 

To me, empty damage is best used to define damage that does not help your team win at all, for example:

 

- Damage at the end of the game when you camp behind your arty 

duh

 

- Damage that you deal that was traded negatively

An E100 charges a 13 90, the E100 deals 750 and takes 1400

 

- Damage that you spend shooting at AFK targets that you can pen instead of flanking a critical enemy that you can't (e.g. playing a T-20 vs a KT)

Self-explanatory

 

- Damage you spend shooting at less important targets instead of critical targets

Shooting easier-to-pen targets gets you more damage, but it doesn't help your team win if there's another critical one

 

- When you take worthless potshots at long range (allowing your team to get rolled) instead of committing your HP pool into the fight

i.e. you're a camper without a cause

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Meh. It's a term I use. 

 

Terms are important WRT platooning / battle calling. Shared vocabulary means a shared understanding and picture of what everyone's doing. 

Having been in those 'unicum rage quit' platoon situations, I'm not even sure those hardcore 2nd liners are aware what they're doing isn't the only way to play the game. 

 

@EchelonIII -- I don't bother labeling the damage of irrelevant, last-line shitlords. Getting damage when a game is already decided. I suppose that's emptier but it's enough to call those players shitlords. 

 

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This particular term doesn't have to be adopted, but there's a topic in itself of the various vernacular of the game, at least on the NA side. 

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So simply put: If you're not putting it in the appropriate place at the right time then, you're doing it wrong.

 

In saying that tho, thinking 'tactically' on a flank shouldn't stop you from looking for a shot at say the side of an e5 500m away. You can directly influence the situation over there by making that e5 suddenly pressured and you shift the HP balance towards your team or even for yourself later on.

 

In saying THAT tho, you of course need to make sure that it's safe to momentarily neglect wherever you are.



The concept is a good thing to be aware of, not sure that I agree with 'empty' damage and the connotations that brings though.

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I agree with EchelonII here and prefer that it was called opportunity damage or damage of opportunity, and that it is the reward for taking a position that offers it.

 

Almost all the better players that I've watched stream take an initial position that is either directly decisive (for better or worse), or one that offers the most opportunity damage, and that is were a lot of middling to average players learn to actually start being effective in battles from. They may fail a few times at decisive action, but they appreciate and can capitalise on strong initial damage of opportunity locations.

 

It is these players that go on to become near unicums or better, and the library of damage dealing positions they've learned stays with them throughout.

 

I feel that some of these positions are a trap to better players in the same way that the cap circle is a trap to low skilled players, they are a tool to give you an edge if and when it is needed, but should be thought of as a staging point until you can develop a clear plan of action.

 

As a slightly above average player, I prefer that others occupy these locations. Dealing damage from them is important, and they must be occupied, but any old WN7 1000+ player can shoot the flanks of spotted tanks, and the only thing a skilled player is bringing to the table is the ability to not get destroyed from counter fire so quickly. However occupying these positions is more of a panacea for a team that fails to offer up another player willing to do so. Short of bringing a bigger gun, I don't feel like I'm ever contributing much more than the guy parked next to me. If the team does occupy these positions then I am super happy to go out and provide the spots and apply direct pressure on the enemy.

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On 2nd thought, "opportunity damage" is a better (clearer) label then mine, with the 'empty' damage being reserved for that irrelevant, last-line shitlord stuff.

You know: the top-tier tank who

 

1) never moved past the halfway point on a given map (and usually more reserved than that -- generally, they weren't even in position to be shot at the whole game)

2) did the most damage on his team (or just a lot), but

3) did upwards of 3/4's of it in the game's closing minutes and his teams' dying breathes and

4) only on the strength of his tier / hit-point pool / gun, and clearly not due to any particular skill

 

KUDOS BROWNIE POINTS: this guy laments how badly his team failed him.

 

Credit to EchelonIII and GlenoWar for fleshing out the idea. 

 

 

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On 2nd thought, "opportunity damage" is a better (clearer) label then mine, with the 'empty' damage being reserved for that irrelevant, last-line shitlord stuff.

You know: the top-tier tank who

 

1) never moved past the halfway point on a given map (and usually more reserved than that -- generally, they weren't even in position to be shot at the whole game)

2) did the most damage on his team (or just a lot), but

3) did upwards of 3/4's of it in the game's closing minutes and his teams' dying breathes and

4) only on the strength of his tier / hit-point pool / gun, and clearly not due to any particular skill

 

KUDOS BROWNIE POINTS: this guy laments how badly his team failed him.

 

Credit to EchelonIII and GlenoWar for fleshing out the idea. 

 

 

I like this terminology a LOT better.

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On 2nd thought, "opportunity damage" is a better (clearer) label then mine, with the 'empty' damage being reserved for that irrelevant, last-line shitlord stuff.

You know: the top-tier tank who

 

1) never moved past the halfway point on a given map (and usually more reserved than that -- generally, they weren't even in position to be shot at the whole game)

2) did the most damage on his team (or just a lot), but

3) did upwards of 3/4's of it in the game's closing minutes and his teams' dying breathes and

4) only on the strength of his tier / hit-point pool / gun, and clearly not due to any particular skill

 

KUDOS BROWNIE POINTS: this guy laments how badly his team failed him.

 

Credit to EchelonIII and GlenoWar for fleshing out the idea. 

 

Maybe I'm one of these guys you are refering to, but is it so bad to sit on a map like Ehrlenberg and knock the crap out of the opposing team by using and abusing superior vision/camo abilities; pretty much anchoring a flank?  Had I not been there it would have certainly fallen, and you can't be everywhere on a map at once. It's not my fault the 3/4 of the team yolos on the other flank and gets wiped out.

 

Have had this happen so many times. Sometimes I can pull it off if the remaing 3 or 4 tanks on my team have a clue, and I can whittle them down enough to where I can flank them.  heck I even got a Kolobonov's medal the other day in my StugIII.  Can't carry much better than that.

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IMO, empty damage is when a player is down 2-13 & scores several hits before getting killed.  This "empty" damage does nothing to determine the outcome of the game & only helps the players stats.  Of course, I will fight to the end & try to do as much damage as I can when I'm the "last man standing".  It's even worse when the "last man standing" is a stupid camper who does nothing the whole battle & gets those hits because the entire enemy team rushing to get that final kill.  The stupid camper ends up with decent but, empty numbers.

The situations you describe are assisting the team with the objective of winning the battle.  Firing a couple of early damaging shots can really make a difference later in the game.  There is nothing worse than fighting hard the whole game getting into a situation where there are only a few tanks left & realizing the enemy tanks are at 100%.  A few early shots could really change the end game. 

Overall, good posting that needs a slight change in wording.

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I find my 'empty damage' was super high this weekend. ie: I get 3 out of 4 shots in (with T69) and then fallback to re-load. Scrubs charge in to get the kill but die like the scrubs they are and I can't support them (will be so happy when the 24/7 mission is done). Ended up 1-9 but with 2000 WN6 on it :|.

 

Not sure what the solution is in that scenario* -- you can't hold the flank with the tank by working the corner and/or provide sustained fire & distraction that mobile non-autoloader med can provide.

 

* other than the obvious platooning more than .0001% of the time.

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