Multiplayer Strategy Article by Corrosive

Thread in 'Strategy' started by Corrosive, 31 Mar 2009.

  1. This is long as fuck. If you take the time to really read it through and intend to get something out of it, then I hope you do. I'm not gonna take anything said from spindizzy, this is all based on my own experience, 5+ full years on tnet2 and tfast. There is nothing arrogant about this article but the best way I can present this is to talk about myself a lot and focus on the areas I excel at which make me a stronger player and then contrast myself with people I play against. Side note I feel like a huge nerd for writing this but I've been having a craving to write one and give the best advice to people. Also, this is obviously written for Blockbox multiplayer 1v1.

    Three reasons why people struggle bringing me to death:

    1) Too Slow - My average TPM as of right now is 149. When I play seriously I range anywhere from 130 to mostly 140-170 and when showing off, 180+. On the field there are 10 spaces across rather than 12 across like on tnet, meaning it is easier to go faster on here (smaller space to stack on). When I go back to playing tnet I hate it because the 12 lines across is a significant difference and plus there is no block shadow, which really helps me aim (maybe there is now on the latest blocktrix client but not that I know of). And since I mentioned it, trust me, USE BLOCK SHADOW. It really helps you line up the blocks and prevents you from misdropping. If you're not used to it then adjust to it but it will make you better. Anyway since this is the case I am avoiding ever playing tnet again because it is no good to even practice on because it messes me up whenever I go back to playing BB. I've managed to convert a dozen tnetters to Blockbox and hope to find more of my scattered tnet2 brothers. I'm sure they would all appreciate this game except for vapid who tried it and didn't like it.

    Now, HI. The presumption is you've settled into Blockbox by now and have spent a decent number of hours playing it, are enjoying it, and want to get better so that you can kick butt. First of all, you have a lot to be thankful for. In contrast to TetrisFriends and every other watered down Tetris Company game, on Blockbox, there are no limitations keeping you from playing your best. The delay is custom, controls are custom, sensitivity is custom, preferences for adjusting sound are there, your field has visual grid lines embedded into it to help you aim, and the website is very stable (aside from when people get java errors). In other words you can go as fast as you potentially can. Most of all, the game has a developer who actually cares a great deal about us and our feedback, and has improved the game entirely over the past recent month. He chats with us on a day-to-day basis and even plays with us. I could talk about the nightmare of tnet2's non-existent creator and how he royally ditched and screwed us over but I won't even speak his name.

    side note: The best way to boost the performance of BB is to press CTRL+ ALT + DEL to open Task Manager -> Processes tab, find java.exe and set it's performance to high. Don't do the same to firefox.exe or whatever browser you are using though. Self-Explanitory.

    Most people realize speed isn't everything but if you can't go faster than like 125+ then you have a snowball's chance in hell if you pit up against a higher tier player, unless they are just being lazy/sloppy. I've said a lot that stacking is speed. The best way to practice this is by playing 40 lines, the better you get at it the faster you'll get at it.

    Go to this link and click Sprint on the Leaderboards and watch my replay on the first page. I can use this as an example because 90% of it is tetrising aside from a few singles at the end, which is the best textbook way to approach 40 lines.

    Stacking is an art that I think I've mastered by now. It is so easy for me to do it smartly, neatly, and efficiently that it greatly benefits me in multiplayer when I'm pumping out garbage to the opponent. So this is STACKING 101: I can analyze my replay in about two ways. First off, I am keeping the top of my field leveled and balanced, this is extremely crucial. If I don't then I will come into trouble and be limited to where I can put my blocks. By spreading them out and placing them where they most appropriately fit (key term: block placement), I am saving myself from any future mishaps or gaps in my field that will cause me to hesitate and thus make me slower. When everything is neat and perfect and I keep the same flow going then I can keep delivering tetris after tetris. Any mistakes or hesitations will cost me, and when I know I did something fatal I will immediently start to suicide. Hell, I suicide every time I start with a z piece or a block then a z piece because it takes a minimum of 2-5 seconds to slide the next piece or eliminate the gap. Second thing, I am making sure to keep the side next to my gap built up while at the same time keeping the field level because if I don't do that then I will just create a slope that will eventually lead to me running out of stack height to do a tetris. I hope this makes sense, some people probably won't understand this. The specific examples of this in the video are between seconds 5-12 and 28-33.

    *Good stacking and constant line adding creates more pressure on your opponent because they keep receiving garbage. This leads to reason #2 why people are/aren't a threat to me.

    2) Not Enough Pressure - My main determinant of whether the person I am playing is good or not is by how much pressure they put on me (how constantly they send me garbage/adds). This goes hand in hand with speed but is more important. If I notice the constant pressure from them, what this does is make it more difficult/challenging for me to beat them and makes it a LOT more fun. Example, I have a blast playing kevinb/kevinDDR. He is a good solid player in my book because he really pushes me when we 1v1 and manages to get me up top almost to death in about every other match or so. Other examples are Rosti_LFC, digital, jujube, Maserati. The other end of the spectrum would be me raping someone in a league match 15-0 meaning the other person just put no pressure on me at all. A lot of times on tnet2 strong players and their pressure would frustrate me and sometimes overwhelm me -- not so much now because I can downstack the garbage and know how to send their garbage back to them. In regards to pressure, the exact opposite of me beating someone 15-0 is when I 1v1 Blink. He is the best / most efficient player there probably ever will be in multiplayer tetris, averaging 190tpm like every game and with enormous pressure that overwhelms me so bad that I hesitate as much as three times more than I would normally. It throws me off my game because I am not used to playing against such power. Just like pro top-100 in the world athletes are beasts and can perform extremely hard and fast with no hesitation -- he is a powerhouse at sending lines and absorbing damage. He is immune to adds unless I manage to do a hell of a good job at sending his lines back to him which I am not close to doing on Blockbox yet. It is not because he is so fast that I struggle so much, but that he fully harnesses the speed he possesses and is much more efficient at adding and downstacking my garbage at the same time. Maserati has the fastest 40 lines record on Blockbox and is arguably faster than jono or blink, but I just beat him 10-3, whereas Blink beat me 36-1. Again, speed isn't everything. You could go 200tpm tetrising and missing like hell but could still lose to someone who is taking their time and playing smart. Blink told me himself once that "the best player can add and downstack at the same time."

    3) Wasteful adding or clearing - This is a great concept that I want to harp on. It has a lot to do with block placement and efficiency. To start, what is the purpose of stacking when you aren't going to tetris or send any lines? Your opponent is sending you garbage and you aren't sending them anything back at all -- they simply will not die unless they kill themselves with their own stacking. A lot of players lose to me especially when we're uptop because they clear lines or build without barely sending me any lines back, in return making it easier for me to keep sending them adds. This is called optimizing your downstack and building. Don't wastefully build unless you're gonna deliver a tetris in the next 4 seconds or are going to send 2 lines. And don't clear a bunch of lines each at a time (sending me zero garbage) when you could be clearing the same amount of lines and sending 2 lines back to me or even 4. Worded differently, see either I could clear each line individually in rapid succession or I could clear the same amount of lines by tetrising or sending 2 lines of garbage to the opponent which is much more effective and smarter. Doing this means a lot of times you will need to wait for a specific piece in order to put it in its exact place and send a big add, which will come to you very soon anyway and is worth waiting for. This is my style of play, and it is Blink's too because I've watched him play, except he does it much much faster than me with zero hesitation.

    Watch this recent video of me vs. Maserati and observe my style that I am talking about. You can see it real specifically toward the end of the very first round:

    This whole concept about optimized clearing is the definition of great downstack. Downstack in multiplayer is a little different than in block driller because you are focusing on adding lines to your opponent rather than only clearing lines. Survival mode is GREAT FOR TRAINING! PLAY IT A LOT! It improves your downstacking, block placement, speed, and holding skills. The best way to utilize all of this advice is to play a lot and play against various players and their different styles of play. If you really want to get faster/better and you really love playing Multi-Tetris then you will. It won't take you long.
  2. Nice write-up. Thanks.

    What I find most difficult in Blockbox is trying to clear 3+ lines with a lot of garbage in my stack since Blockbox uses random garbage lines but I think I've become a lot better at this since I started playing BB.
  3. Nice write up. I think there was just one thing that I disagreed with slightly.
    Luckily, these situations won't ever come up in BlockBox. The TGM randomizer disallows S, Z, and O as starting pieces and makes the first couple of pieces unlikely to be S or Z. However, there are ways to handle these situations. I'd restart if I were playing 40 Lines, but I don't think I'd want to give up a game because I got a bad starting deal.

    If you're in a game that only has a hard drop and a slow soft drop, you can still platform lines. Stick the S/Z in a corner so it only makes one hole, and then build up a tetris on top of that. As long as you only build three more rows above the hole, you'll be able to clear it away cleanly when you take the lines.
    ( ... eBZFPAAAAA)

    If you're in a game that has a hard drop and a firm drop -- an instant soft drop -- then you can pull off a slide without wasting time. With a firm drop, there is no waiting time while the piece drops in. You just hit the firm drop, do your slide or twist, and then manual lock.
    ( ... TAylAAAAAA)
  4. wow you wrote alot corr. thanks for the kind words but i don't think im the best out there.

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