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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 12:35 PM   #1
scirmast
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Improving my gameplay

Hi all. I am an average player, perhaps even slightly below average. I'd like to improve my skill, and right now I've tracked down two problems:

1. My reflexes are not too good. If I remember correctly, my average reaction time is about 0.223 seconds (tested with a reflex tester I once found online). This could be a whole lot better.

2. I cannot concentrate. This is a bad problem. Sometimes I just cannot think rationally, re-think my strategy and goals when I'm losing, and things like that. Also I lose my aim very easily, and try too much when I am winning.

My question is: how do I develop myself in these two aspects? It is simple to just play the game and learn the tricks, like weapon handling and the like, but these two are something I cannot train ingame, at least not enough.

The first thing that I have to do is to start sleeping more. I stay up way too late, and get up too early. Sleeping more would probably help on both problems, but I am quite sure there is some other things I should do. So, if you could give any tips, I would be really grateful.

Thank you.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 01:21 PM   #2
Renegade Retard
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I had a coach who once told me "Practice does NOT make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." In other words, you can practice all you want, but if you practice incorrectly, then you will very good at playing incorrectly. This is how bad habits form.

To become good at anything, you have to learn proper techniques first, and then practice them. If you've been playing a while and no one has shown you the right way to do something, then it's going to feel strange to practice it, and you may even be able to do it your old way better. However, with time and practice, you can re-learn skills to increase your abilities.

That didn't really directly answer your questions, but it bears mentioning. With that said:

1) Reflexes is something that's developed with lots of repetition. The more you do something, the faster your reflexes are at that movement become. Reflexes are the time it takes for your mind to interpret what it sees and then transmit a signal of the desired response to you body, in this case, the hand. The more this signal is passed along the path to your hand, the faster the signal can move. At some point, the movement becomes subconscious, and you don't even have to think about doing it. This is when the reflexes begin to reach their full potential.

In game, I would suggest doing something that riquires a lot of reflex output, such as using hitscan weapons only. Try playing matchis with the lightning gun or shock only, or spend some time playing (*gasp*) instagib. To improve movement reflexes, jump in a CTF map, and try to be a flag runner without ever firing a weapon. If you're running your flag and can't fire back, the only weapon you have is movement. You'll be forced to anticipate the enemies movements as they shoot at you, increasing your movement reflexes.

2) a few remedies:
a) as you said, get more rest. I suck at the game more than usual when I'm tired
b) try a smaller crosshair. If you're using a large crosshair to aim with, your aim tends to wander more. A smaller one will force you to pay attention more
c) see #1 on developing your reflexes. I guessing you're focusing too much on your movement, aim, and timing so that you just aren't playing smart. Once these things become habit to you, you can contrentrate more on playing smarter.
d) eliminate distractions. Some people play while the TV is on or they're listening to music. While it may be fine for some, having these things can be a serious stracting for others like me.

Good luck. Remember, we've all been there at one time. Don't give up.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 02:16 PM   #3
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What Ren said. I would also recommend trying the TargetPractice mutator to refine your hitscan skills.

Ren, clean out your stupid PM box! And then PM me.
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 02:23 PM   #4
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i got 0.07 seconds on one of those testers

fluke tho
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 04:17 PM   #5
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1)I think that it are mainly the explosive weapons that require decent reflexes; hitscan weapons are more of a twitch. Try playing DM with rocket launcher arena and try to dodge their shots. Running with a ball or a flag is also a good way to train yourself to keep moving and make decisions in the blink of an eye. Or even better: set up a TDM match with all the bots against one player: you (it's not as hard as it seems ).
2)like Ren said: make sure you get a decent night's sleep, and eliminate all things that can distract you from a game. Sometimes, the things you shouldn't worry about are from within the game as well: if you're attacking in CTF, don't worry about how defence is doing. If you're defending in Assault, don't let the running clock distract you. If you're playing deathmatch, don't worry about the scores.
What is your gametype of choice, btw? Sticking to a single one makes it easier to build up a routine.

Oh, and don't worry about your skill. About half the UT2004 players play below average

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade Retard
I had a coach who once told me "Practice does NOT make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." In other words, you can practice all you want, but if you practice incorrectly, then you will very good at playing incorrectly. This is how bad habits form.
Was that coach Nogame by any chance? It looks awfully familiar
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 04:34 PM   #6
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lol, no actually. It was my high school basketball coach. I've never seen that site. (I don't plagiarize)
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade Retard
ALOT
Thanks man, lots of good stuff there. I'll take your advice, and won't give up!

Brizz, yeah I know that mutator. It is really helpful.

PS. if more advice is about to come, I'm all ears
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Old 3rd Jan 2005, 07:02 PM   #8
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I don't think those reflex tester things are the same as what you need to be working on. You sit there with your mouse hovering in front of your monitor hoping you'll click in time. That's not the same as a natural reflex thing, like when a racquet ball is speeding at your head at 100+ MPH and you're still able to dodge it. Might sound weird, but the thing to do would be to clear your mind and not think about it. If you have to process "OMG here comes a rocket, I should dodge" through your brain, you're not gonna dodge in time. Work on your skills with what others have suggested and you won't have to actually think about what you're doing. That online reflex tester will train you for stuff like when you're chilling around a corner waiting for a pursuer to come around, but I doubt it's the same thing when you have to side-step a flurry of link plasma coming at you.
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Old 4th Jan 2005, 01:53 AM   #9
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Relax your mind and body through meditation and/or some kind of stretching.

When I'm doing good, it's because I'm totally calm and just enjoying the natural flow of the game. When I'm trying hard to do something, I just get worse and worse. It's not that you shouldn't apply any effort, just that it shouldn't be forced.
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Old 4th Jan 2005, 02:18 AM   #10
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About Meta's post:
Well, it's really depends on personality. Some people prefer to stay calm and to avoid agressiveness since they can't be "motivated" to attack head-on. Some people prefer to play angry since they play better agressively. But most people have multiple personalities and choose whatever "mood" in certain situations.

Scir, I suggest going through of what Ren and the others mentioned and try to learn your personality. Though it might not help you with your problems, it can just give you the edge.

I hope that wasn't confusing.
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Old 4th Jan 2005, 04:34 AM   #11
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One thing that really improve aim is mapknowledge. Think about the difference when you play a completly new map and when you play a familiar one. Half, if not more, of aim is anticipating where the enemy will go. And that is way easier with a familiar map. Next time you play, be aware of the map. Just don't look for the other guy, try to think where he will be. What routes do people most often take? If you already have the xhair where he shows up, you will hit more often.

This will also make you calmer when you play. Less of a frantic chase and more of a rhytmic game.
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Old 4th Jan 2005, 05:41 AM   #12
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Just remembered something: (real life) sports are an excellent way to improve your attention and reflexes. And if you can find a sport you like, you'll end up with more energy afterwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnar0k
most people have multiple personalities
I have to agree with you on this, but it still scares me when I hear it.
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Old 4th Jan 2005, 09:22 AM   #13
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I agree with Taleweaver sports do you good in many ways and you get alot of energy to play games by being in great shape
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Old 4th Jan 2005, 12:46 PM   #14
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Playing a musical instrument helps me coordinate my fingers; of course, I've been playing bass for 16 years and my fingers pretty much do what I tell them to do, but just practicing will help me limber up for a good game of ut2k4, and playing ut2k4 keeps my fingers agile with all the quick movements. They pretty much compliment each other....

So, maybe this'll help you if you already play an instrument, or maybe it'll just get you a new hobby
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Old 5th Jan 2005, 02:47 AM   #15
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I don't know if this really works, but if you want to improve your reflexes, use the game speed mutator (included with ut2004), set it at least 1.30. It definitely makes you move with surprising speed after a while, but whether it actually works for a while in normal speed online, I don't know yet.

If you want an intensive ut workout, use game speed at 1.30+ and use shock rifle primary only. Two hours of this made my right arm unsually sore.
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Old 5th Jan 2005, 02:08 PM   #16
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Ok, now I want someone to modify the target practice mutator so it also has a link turret that fires AT you for you to dodge.
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Old 5th Jan 2005, 03:04 PM   #17
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Nonsense, we need a bass guitar mutator.
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Old 5th Jan 2005, 03:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_rex
I agree with Taleweaver sports do you good in many ways and you get alot of energy to play games by being in great shape
I totally agree that sports in excellent at building your over all reflexes, but there's also something to be said about motion specific practice to refine the already developed reflexes for it's specific function.
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Old 6th Jan 2005, 03:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
I had a coach who once told me "Practice does NOT make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." In other words, you can practice all you want, but if you practice incorrectly, then you will very good at playing incorrectly. This is how bad habits form.
I had a teacher at Pensacola Christian Academy (Ren will know the school ) who told the class that "Practice does NOT make perfect, rather Practice makes Permanent". If you practice badly, you'll do permanent damage, if you practice well, you'll make permanent improvements. All the stuff above, and the extensive advice that Renegade Retard typed up for you, is worth noting and putting into practice. I suck, but I'm getting a bit better......so don't give up. You will get their....just enjoy the ride!

Keep on trucking, Prozac
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Old 6th Jan 2005, 03:50 AM   #20
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Someone should do a big training mod which would have maps to practice dodging, shooting, spamming and all of them at once =)
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