Captaining 101

Darklord

Private Tester
So, there are even fewer people stepping up to be captains these days then there have been historically. That, obviously, is rather pathetic, given how few people used to do it. Basically it is like 3 people left who will volunteer, and even then a quarter of the time I end up splitting up the teams by hand myself.

This clearly has to end. If I am captain every time, how can we stroke my ego by picking me first in every game?

So, here it is. For all you never guys, we need to to step it up, so here are some basics.

First and foremost: ASK QUESTIONS.
There are a lot of people who know, generally, what to do, who to pick, and so forth. You can captain even if there are few things you aren't sure of. I might tease you for silly questions, but I'll answer them, and if you learn from them, I'll respect you going forward. Lots of the top players were absolutely horrible players that were willing to learn.

Ucan is probably the best example of this, for his first couple weeks of playing PUs, I told him his goal when he was on my team was simply to hide on the back of the base on Niv and grab the flag when our team called for e-grabs. And he did it. He made himself useful to the team, and got picked because of it. He learned over time, got waaaaay better, and now is one of the best players in the game. Everyone starts somewhere, and if we see you getting better and learning from game to game, people will want to play with you more. If you ignore advice, never get any better, and are generally annoying, we will yell at you. I more then most.

The Picks:

You have a few things to keep in mind when picking. The first, by far, is player skill. There's no two ways about it. I would rather have 7 top tier defensive players then 4 top tier d guys and 3 mediocre cappers. That said, if you can get a fantastic chaser and a great capper, that is better then two fantastic cappers, most of the time. Variety certainly helps.

Making sure you get something for each position is important also. What you need for each position varies by map. On Zenith, good cappers are super important. On Frost, anyone can grab the flag and OD out, so defense and LO are more important. This isn't a hard an fast rule, but it helps in general. HoF is almost always important, but there are very few good HoFs out there right now, and generally as long as you get one, you are set.

There are lots of ways to strategically pick. Let's say there are two good cappers in the pool, pop and shaska, and you are on Zenith. Now, pop is the better capper here. Shaska is getting much better, but still has a little bit to go to catch up. You definitely need one of the two, and know that they are thinking the same. The moment you pick pop, they will take shaska, or vice versa. So what you can do is simply wait. Wait for them to pick Pop, and use your picks to bolster other areas. When they do grab him, immediately take shaska. You will have a capper nearly as good, and likely gotten an advantage in another area.

This idea works in reverse as well. Let's say there is only one player who does HoF in the whole group, Vanquish. Now, normally if there was another HoF here, say strategist, vanquish would be picked later. Picking vanquish over strategist would be an advantage for your team, but not a huge one, so he would go in the middle of the picks most likely. When there is only one HoF on the board, vanquish would likely go in the first 3 picks, depending on who else is there. Having the only HoF, or the only good capper, is a huge advantage that can make a player get picked much faster.

Who to pick, when:
While there are different ways to strategically pick people sooner or later, if you simply know which player will make your team most likely to win the game in the general sense, you will do well. At this point, most people probably have a feel for who to pick, and in what order, as long as you have been playing for a while. You see it every pickup, players being picked in the same general order. You see who the best captains pick first over and over, and notice who you have on your team when you win. You see their points on the scoreboard. They may not tell everything, but when someone has 1200 points, you know they are probably doing something right.

For those who aren't as familiar with the top players, I'll list the order I would pick people in, given the whole pool of the community to pick from. I'll also split them up by position, to give a sense of who to pick when you need something specific. For some, I'll add comments lower down, so you can see what I was thinking for where I placed them. For many, I'll get their position horribly wrong. I can only go by what I've seen and remember recently, and there are some players I don't get to play with or see much, so don't hold this under too much scrutiny. Then there will be plenty I just flat out forget to add. Don't hate me if I forget you, it is 2am.I'll put down their primary positions, but most of these can do a lot more then listed. Post below and I'll add you in somewhere. I'm leaving out in-actives, or this would take forever, and of course is only people who primarily play in US pickups.

1) Darklord - Chase
2) Mabel - LO, SaH
3) Unknown - Cap, Chase
4) Spartan (Homingun) - Cap, Chase
5) Ucan - SaH (snipe), Cap, Chase
6) Discord - Chase, SaH, LO
7) Fire - Chase, SaH, LO, HoF, Cap
8) Floks - SaH, LO, Chase
9) Freeman - SaH, LO
10) Bugspray - Cap, Chase, LO
11) Ragol - Chase
12) Rock - Cap
13) APC - Cap
14) Contingency - HoF, Cap
15) Envy - SaH, LO
16) Kryst - SaH, LO
17) Poponfu - Cap
18) Skepsis - LO
19) Sid - SaH, LO, HoF, Cap
20) Kirby - SaH, LO

Ok, there are obviously tons more names to be added, and I'll do that over the next few days/week or so as we play PUs and I see names. Without seeing a list of all the people playing PUs, this is taking way too long to add to.


Darklord - I put myself at the top for one reason; I've been the first pick in 95% of the games for the last month or two. I chase, and do it well. I'm pretty confident there isn't anyone with anywhere close to my win percentage in pickups (3-4 losses in the last ~1.5 months), although that likely has something to do with the fact that I'm usually first pick, and that team does have a decent advantage.

Mabel - I go back and forth here. His positions aren't generally the critical ones to have, but generally his aim and clutch returns offset that. I may pick him first most of the time simply because I like playing/talking with him, and because he is annoying as hell to have shooting me as I try to chase. 3-4 might be a more reasonable spot, ignoring those.

Unknown - The best capper in the game, hands down. There is no one else that gives me remotely the trouble unknown does, and he is a fantastic dueler to boot. Great on returns, great on tossing on standoffs, you want him on your team.

Spartan (Homingun) - While unknown is a hair better at pure capping and on tossing during standoffs, spartan is better on returns by a good bit. Hell, he is almost better then me at it, particularly his OD returns. On top of being one of the best pure cappers (as in grabbing and getting it home, nothing else), his dueling and returning skills are also absolutely top notch. He is the most well rounded player in the game; a great HoF, a top 3 chaser, amazing sah/lo in addition to his capping. Honestly, I might pick him before unknown if he wasn't highly underrated by many of the other captains. I find that I can sometimes pick unknown and then get spartan afterwards in addition, which doesn't happen the other way around.

Ucan - Best sniper in the game, and annoying as hell at it. Someone should nerf the damn sniper so he falls down a few rungs.

Discord - Great chaser, although I virtually never see him do it, as I play the same position.

Fire - Fire has been rocketing up in my regard recently, getting way better recently. He is also super versatile, so he can be a great addition at almost any spot.

Floks - Great SaH, great sniper. I put him above freeman because he is a tad more versatile, so if you need to switch things up he will be a bit more useful. It could have gone either way overall.

Bugs - Rather inactive and has ping issues, but a great player.

Ragol - I had very little idea where to place him, this is going by reputation mostly. I've only played with him a few times recently. Could be up a tad, or down some, not really sure.

Rock - Annoying as all hell to play with or against, simply because he does annoying *chocolate cookies* like rabbit constantly. If you can ignore that, he is a very solid and very underrated player.

APC - Doesn't play much anymore. Used to be higher.

Contingency - Almost certainly the best HoF in the game, and is branching out and proving himself great at other positions recently too.

Envy/Kryst - not sure where to rank these two in relation to each other. Haven't seen kryst the last few days, but I think envy might be a tad better right now. Regardless, both are great players and great picks.

Poponfu - One of the very best pure cappers in the game, but isn't as good on duels/returns or LO if he misses. Other then unknown and spartan, he is the best as what he does, but dueling is so important in the current game that he gets knocked down a ways.


I'll add more to this tomorrow and moving forward, but it is late now and I don't want to lose what I had started.
 

Application-1

test bester
The euro cummunity have the same captains olmost every time.
It is always me and it switches from stefy to battle to dimitryy.
So me mucho like!
 

SeymourGore

Flatulent Cherub
Not sure if this is the best method to introduce players into the PUG scene. I guess it would help the preexisting PUG group create captains out of their own ranks to create similar teams that exist now.

"Here's a list of the best of the best players, anyone else is a gamble!"
 

Jordahan

World Leader of The 21st Century
Prewarning - I do not wanna have to nuke this thread. Keep it on topic and relevant guys, no flaming, the usual stuff applies!
 

Darklord

Private Tester
Not sure if this is the best method to introduce players into the PUG scene. I guess it would help the preexisting PUG group create captains out of their own ranks to create similar teams that exist now.

"Here's a list of the best of the best players, anyone else is a gamble!"
Someone clearly missed the point of my post. It wasn't in the title or anything. :p

This has nothing to do at all with getting new people into PUGs. Someone else can worry about that. This is entirely about captaining, and is for the less experienced guys in pugs that want to learn to captain so it isn't the same few people over and over. This post would be (and is meant to be) entirely useless to people who don't play PUGs semi-regularly.

And it is only the top 20 right now because I got bored/tired and plan to continue the post and the list later. There is quite a bit more I can add.
 

SeymourGore

Flatulent Cherub
Yar, I gotcha, more captains from the same group of people selecting from the same group of people.

I've never been big into the pug scene, but I don't know if assigning ranks or 'power levels' or whatever it is, is the best way of going about it. People are going to get sore, things are going to get ugly, and people will be accusing this thread of nothing more than an e-peen stroke. Why not make the guide focus on the communication aspect, or what kind of roles need to be fulfilled, or strategies (which were touched upon); Something not including 'Darklord's Guide to the Best of the Best'.

I dunno, Seymour has a bad feeling things are going to get ugly in here.
 
Yar, I gotcha, more captains from the same group of people selecting from the same group of people.

I've never been big into the pug scene, but I don't know if assigning ranks or 'power levels' or whatever it is, is the best way of going about it. People are going to get sore, things are going to get ugly, and people will be accusing this thread of nothing more than an e-peen stroke. Why not make the guide focus on the communication aspect, or what kind of roles need to be fulfilled, or strategies (which were touched upon); Something not including 'Darklord's Guide to the Best of the Best'.

I dunno, Seymour has a bad feeling things are going to get ugly in here.

Being a major part of the PUG scene (and one of the few who captains regularly), I'd say we absolutely need this thread (the list might be controversial, but it's relevant to how people perform in PUGs). And I'm really not saying this just for my ego's sake (this post itself will probably sound like I go around calling myself the #1 player or something), it's more for the sake of actually having good PUGs more often. Even when I don't captain, I find myself constantly being asked "who should I pick?!" by the captain who picks myself. That's not a bad thing at all, as Darklord pointed out, asking questions is good, but people who know how to captain well aren't always going to be there. There are far too many wtfstomp games that I believe can possibly be avoided with help from this thread.

And I ask one thing for people who captain, myself included (because I need to start doing this more often), if you know your team is better already and you know you're going to win, please throw away some of the picks in order to make it a better game (example: take a player who might not be your first pick in the group you have to choose from and suggest a pick to the other captain). I know we all love winning (myself included) and this is hard thing to do, but if it costs the price of ending all pickups for the rest of the night, it's well worth it.
 

OmniNept

Actionaut
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whX6TVUDF-E

A WILD NEPT HAS APPEARED!



No worries, Seymour - wasn't planning on touching this one. That being said . . .

This community's miniscule atm; listing top pug players is almost relevant. However, if the goal is actually as stated, then I'd suggest placing greater emphasis on pug captaining tips. Picking teams is certainly an important aspect (probably the most, in terms of winning), but it doesn't necessitate pages of description.

Remember, you're looking to increase the number of willing captains. That means making the entire process more accessible and more enjoyable for them. Picking a winning team's not the only way to do that.
 
I agree with Nept that you should put more emphasis on how to set up a good team build based on positions and tactics. I understand that a lot of that can be done by a non-captain helping the captain out, but more information would make the new captain more willing and confident, which is what we'd want. If they enjoy captaining then they'll do it again... if they quietly and nervously pick a team, then have nothing to do with the main tactics, they're less likely to enjoy captaining as a role, and as such less likely to want to captain again.

Also, if you're listing players I'd be even less likely to be picked, as no doubt my "ping issue" would lower me down the list, as it confines me to capping / LO / hof, rather than including my more main SaH and chase positions. :p

(admittedly as a result of me mostly capping in US servers, I do tend to cap a bit these days, but I know I'm not as good as the pure cappers.)
 

Homingun

Member
What DL has posted is what a captain would first face in a PUG. If a captain picks improperly, no amount of strategy is going to overcome the difference in skill level. But the other way around, it would still be possible to salvage the game using the experience of the players. As stated above, an addition to this guide including strategies and approach would be awesome (though there is a lot already).

I will captain once I get a mic. I swear.
 

Dacil

Member
you said ask questions whats the point in that when you put names up and what they do (based on your opinions and what you see, which is different from person to person and what they see).... and i don't think there is any cookie cutter way to be a captain....can you please just keep it as simple as "people need to step up and not be worried to volunteer as a captain" and give tips about covering all the positions and if you don't know who plays what then ask whoever is in the pug lineup at the time....i've done it so it can be done, encourage that instead of being counterproductive to early statements in the post

This community's miniscule atm; listing top pug players is almost relevant. However, if the goal is actually as stated, then I'd suggest placing greater emphasis on pug captaining tips. Picking teams is certainly an important aspect (probably the most, in terms of winning), but it doesn't necessitate pages of description.

Remember, you're looking to increase the number of willing captains. That means making the entire process more accessible and more enjoyable for them. Picking a winning team's not the only way to do that.

thank you! glad you agree with listing top pug players isn't even relevant to knowing how to pick a winning team....he's taking the creativity of people's picks out completely basically

This has nothing to do at all with getting new people into PUGs. Someone else can worry about that. This is entirely about captaining, and is for the less experienced guys in pugs that want to learn to captain so it isn't the same few people over and over. This post would be (and is meant to be) entirely useless to people who don't play PUGs semi-regularly.

whaaa? im pretty sure "new people" and "less experienced" go hand in hand, and if not they are "relatively new"


p.s.- this makes me not want to play PUGs anymore honestly, it's emphasizing the "how to captain" (OH YEAH and how to WIN, because for some reason that's what's important)...instead of emphasizing "fun" and being a productive captain which does NOT mean winning
 

Gheist

King of all Goblins
I find the general emphasis on winning a bit sad. Sure, winning is fun, but it seems like (from personal experience, this thread, or even the latest Legions Live show) picking a winning team is way more important over there in the US than picking fair/balanced/"funforeveryone" teams. Additionally, in my opinion, everyone should be able to play at least once. It should never happen that a "worse" or newer player is hanging around for over one hour (hell, I've heard of people that waited even longer before they dropped) without even playing one game, because some "better"/more established players don't want to lose, ever.

So, long story short, two additions for the "Captaining 101": Get everyone to play, not the same 14 people round after round after round (even if those 14 are clearly better). Make sure (in coordination with the other captain) that the teams are kinda even, and that everyone can have fun.
 

Synista

Member
I find the general emphasis on winning a bit sad. Sure, winning is fun, but it seems like (from personal experience, this thread, or even the latest Legions Live show) picking a winning team is way more important over there in the US than picking fair/balanced/"funforeveryone" teams. Additionally, in my opinion, everyone should be able to play at least once. It should never happen that a "worse" or newer player is hanging around for over one hour (hell, I've heard of people that waited even longer before they dropped) without even playing one game, because some "better"/more established players don't want to lose, ever.

So, long story short, two additions for the "Captaining 101": Get everyone to play, not the same 14 people round after round after round (even if those 14 are clearly better). Make sure (in coordination with the other captain) that the teams are kinda even, and that everyone can have fun.

+1, I get really annoyed these days, because there's one guy called Jedired. He's always there in the PuG channel but no one picks him, it's really annoying when I see that... sure he isn't as good as everyone else but how can he be without any PuGing experience.. That's how the majority of you Legionnaires are skilled today. I bet it would be worth his while if he actually got to play instead of waiting in there for 2 hours on an evening watching everyone go to their designated channels and then watch everyone leave! You made a good point Gheist :)
 

Redvan

Private Tester
problem is:

Joe: "hi, I'm Joe Bomber! I'm a new captain!"

Community: "HAIIIII JOEEEEEEEE!!!!"

Joe: "here are my picks: (this guy, that guy, the other guy, some weird named guy, tall guy, short guy, black guy, and gay guy (need those quotas met))"

Community: "COOOOOOL JOEEEEEEEEE!"

PUG ensues, Joe's team gets annihilated, everyone rejoins the PUG channel...

Joe's team: "Wow we got blasted! (so to speak)"

Community: "Yeah, you didn't have a good team/good strategy"

Joe (thinks to himself): I must be a bad captain (which is probably true), don't think I'll be doing that again!


Next day rolls around, PUG happens:
Community
to themselves: What a bad team Joe had yesterday lololololololol.
.

Some guy with a little shield and either a "C" or "S" in it says: "WE NEED CAPTAINS!"

Joe (thinks to himself): HA HA! HAELLLL NO!
 

By-Tor

Private Tester
I think we have 2 issues here.

1. Original post = Need for more captains. How to pick players for a PUG to make teams more fair. nothing more or less. Albeit, the post is somewhat large and I don't think it's realistic to expect any player to remember all the strengths and weaknesses of every other player in a PUG. God knows I can barely remember what my own teammates are good at! LOL. While I think the goal is a valid one, my personal experience with PUG's is that they have been too 'WIN' focussed and 'SERIOUS' for me. For me, I play for fun and fun only. My real life is serious enough. I don't need stress in a game. Like Redvan posted, there's no incentive for a new captain to step up and try to Captain for fear of the repercussions of failure. I seem to have the most fun, simply PUB'ing with my teammates and trying to help PUB's be more fun.

2. Responses = have more to do with: Does the current PUG procedure help foster new players or encourage new people to step up and be a captain or even PUG at all? My overall concern isn't for PUG's vs PUBs vs Scrims. My overall concern is about the success of the entire game, Legions. How do you bring in new players and hopefully new teams? I believe the focus shouldn't be winning a PUG, but it should be about Teams. Let's make it easy for Teams to form, practice, scrim and ultimately compete. That is what will make Legions succeed in the long term. my 2 cents. :)
 

Jack

Member
Talk about ego-stroking.

It is not hard to captain. Play a few pickups, and watch the order of people who get picked. Note the score of those games. Come to your own estimation of others' skill and don't be bad at it. Go captain, and solicit advice from your team, particularly when there are people you don't recognize. If you are losing mid-game, either switch things up, or pass the reins to someone on your team who is more experienced.

Make it understood that the point is to have close teams, and not instead all-out stomping.

that was really hard.
 
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