Erik’s Tips: Bait

When you first start playing, you are oblivious to what your teammates are doing, but as you get better and become more assertive in your play, you realize the importance of coordinated engagements.

If somebody on your team jumps into a fight, there is no time for debate or discussion, they saw an opportunity and seized it. If you don’t follow up, they might die or the opportunity will be lost.

Eventually, you become conditioned to stick with your allies and trust that if you dive in, they’ll come too and the other way around. And for the most part, this is very good because there really isn’t time to discuss things and, on the whole, you’ll win more.

Yes, I know that sometimes it isn’t going to work out. Sometimes, you’ll dive in and nobody will go with you and you’ll die. Or sometimes, an ally will dive in and you can’t follow up.

As a beginner, you can never count on anybody following up on your engagements. You’ll constantly be disappointed if you do. When playing with friends or more skilled players, you’ll find that, more often than not, they’ll follow you step for step.

The problem is, sometimes we all make bad calls and engage when we shouldn’t. It happens and your allies will die with you and blame you for baiting them. Simply because they are conditioned to follow up on engagements.

The foundation of team play is trust. If you engage, I follow. If I engage, you follow.  When anybody engages (whether it is a good choice or not) and their allies don’t follow, they lose trust in their allies and become hesitant to engage in the future. If you initiate multiple bad engagements, the same thing happens… your allies stop trusting your judgement and stop following you.

I think it is the onus of everybody to communicate their intentions as quickly as they can (when possible) through pings.  If you plan on backing up or are afraid an ally might engage and shouldn’t, then ping a warning. If you are going to engage ping a target.

On the whole, I think it is better for team coordination to follow a bad engage than let them die alone because games are won with engagements, not by passively waiting. If an ally picks a bad engage, you don’t need to tell them. They’ll probably know they screwed up and bickering about it in game won’t help. Sometimes you win bad engages simply by being coordinated.  You also need to take responsibility for your ally’s bad engagement — you didn’t ping a warning that this was a bad time to jump in.

You can’t control others, but you can improve communication of your own intentions and build trust with your allies.

Don’t blame.  Personally own the entire team’s mistakes and share the entire team’s victories.

Mistakes happen less often and engagements are better when everybody is communicating. Even when you are on Skype or Team Speak, the most efficient means of communicating are pings. Learn to use the smart pings, especially the target and warning alerts.

 

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