TGM Beginner Advice

Thread in 'Strategy' started by Gunlag, 12 Jan 2015.

  1. Hello! Starting playing a few days ago after watching the amazing ADGQ runs.

    I need some advice on a wall I've hit. Right now, I can't break the 299 barrier, and have only maxed out rank 1. I can get to it about 70 percent of the time. When I get to 1g, I start having issues because I spend most of my time getting there and am not particularly used to what I can and cannot do rotation wise at that point.

    Should I play nullpomino and start at a higher level and just practice getting comfortable with that? Or, is it a natural barrier that I will overcome just by playing more since I'm really new? Also, when should you start to pyramid stack?

    Any advice is helpful! That's a ton!
  2. I’m not an expert into strategies, or into advices even, but if I can give at least a very general advice, well…

    The best way to break a wall, except having fun (I’ll never say that enough =p), is to have a fresh mind to briefly think about what you’re going to do after every piece. After all, it’s a puzzle game, so even at higher levels thinking hard can get you to the top.

    And once you’ve found the solutions to the problems, the only thing left to do is to assimilate them and use them in fast speed. It’s going to be rewarding to get to the S ranks o/
  3. AGDQ I ment :p
  4. Few things (from a non GM, but competitive gamer):

    read the guides published here and here
    Don't only read them once, but come back to them often. Study them.

    Play slow and deliberately, find out what works and what does not.
    Play fast and hard and see where you break down.

    Watch your replays. Find your mistakes at all levels, what you do when you're playing on "instinct", what you're doing when you choke, etc
    Watching replays of yourself is very important, it's like getting an outside look at your game.

    Watch others play. They don't have to be world record runs, or anything, just anyone that is better and even worse than you. You can learn a lot.

    And lastly, play 15 min a day religiously, set goals, and meet them. These can be things, like don't place a certain piece badly like you do by habit.

    There's no magic tricks once you've learned everything in the guides. It's all about consistently putting in good practice.

    There's other methods you can use to practice, I might share some of my own later, but for now, it's time for me to practice. :)
  5. COL


    From what you wrote it appears you tried to play tgm1. But you need to get familiar with 20g speed (it is when the pieces, as soon as they appear, immediately spawn on the stack). So you can use the 20g code: press down 8 times then CBA at the start screen; you'll play at 20g speed since the beginning. Play as much 20g as you can in order to get familiar with the way the pieces move and rotate at this speed. try to reach level 100, then 200, then 300. At this point, the intermediate "fast" speeds that kills you would appear quite manageable.
    At this point you should enjoy the guide quoted above. The most important advice you'll find in it is IMHO the fact that at 20g speed, if your 5th column is raised (the board is 10 squares large and 5th column here means 5 from the left), the you can slide every piece BOTH sides, and build your pyramide.

    Other steps:
    tgm1 GM
    Ti gm
    (and a couple other intermediate goals i forgot :p)
  6. As something that a few friends of mine have had trouble with when learning TGM around that point, make sure you get IRS down (that is, being able to pre-rotate the piece before they enter the field). It's absolutely crucial to surviving 20G, because most of the pieces naturally spawn pointy-side down, and IRS can allow you to spawn them in an orientation that gives you a lot more mobility, and that you also can't necessarily rotate to once the piece has spawned. If you're getting it right, it should work and there's also a kind of "schwing!" sound effect that comes with the piece spawn.

    Pre-charging the directional input in the same manner is important too - if the pieces are falling quickly then you won't have enough time to get over obstacles if you only start giving the direction once the piece is in the field.

    I think the rest of your post is spot on, but I don't really think watching replays is all that important for Tetris. Do it occasionally, but it's nowhere near as big a deal as other games like SC2 or DotA in my opinion. If you're getting the bigger things wrong (not pyramid stacking, bad finesse, missing overhang placements because you don't know you can kick that way) in Tetris then replays can help you, but you don't need to watch that many replays to get an idea of those sorts of things. For analysing individual mistakes then I don't think replays give you all that much, because every placement is a combination of the stack shape, the state of the randomiser, the speed, and the piece you actually have in play. Even if you pick up a mistake, I feel it's unlikely that you'd remember not to do the same thing again the next time you happen to face that situation. Or at least that you'd be able to do that for *all* of them. At low speeds you shouldn't be making errors so much, and at high speeds things are far too "Fuck it, we'll do it live" to be trying to remember what you did last time in that replay you watched weeks ago and how you need to do it differently for each piece.

    I mean, by all means watch replays if you think you get something from it, but personally I think watching more than a handful every now and then is kind of just a waste of time that could be spent playing more games.
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2015
  7. Muf


  8. I don't know if they're the same for you as for me, but the big issues I've been having going from the Nintendo/EA versions to Ti noob are:

    - The timing metagame is seriously screwing with my head. My only solution for now is to ignore it until I get some other stuff down.
    -'s not intuitive to me when I'll be able to rotate a piece and when I won't. I can look at the rules in the wiki, but that only does so much after so many years of playing with different rules...
    - Lock delay...the timing on it doesn't work for me yet. There are times I start charging the next piece when the current one isn't locked yet and it moves or rotates on me. I've started to hard lock pieces more often, but at high speeds still forget the sonic drop doesn't actually lock.

    That said, I still feel like even if I manage to figure out those changes and make no mistakes because of them I'm playing way too slow. I have yet to get past the level 500 time limit. If anyone feels like offering suggestions, I've been putting recordings up here (mostly for my own reference).
  9. Yeah try getting to 999 first before thinking about time.

    The only tricky part is get an intuitive feeling of the pieces rotation while not in the ground. Otherwise the wallkick rule is stupid simple: try moving one case to the left or to the right (in that order EDIT: the other way around, right first, then left. Thanks steadshot! °^^), or don't permit rotation at all.

    Yes, manual locking (press down) is the safest way to not get caught in an unwanted movement.
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2015
  10. If you can tolerate the shift to having only 1 preview and no hold, I'd really suggest moving to TGM1 or at least TAP Master from Ti - it's a lot less forgiving but at the same time the whole way the game works is so much more straightforward. Having a single speedcurve means things like your level are actually benchmarks you can see improvement in. In TAP if you get to 450 you got to 450, whilst in Ti if you got to 450 it could be because you nailed it to 450 with every COOL (and so the fastest speedcurve), or it could be you noobed it and missed every single COOL which is why you managed to get to 450 on the slower curve instead of dying on the faster speedcurve at 300.

    At the end of the day, play whatever you find fun, but I personally found it helpful to mix up the modes a little bit so I didn't get too bogged down on the same thing.
  11. It's the other way around, the game tries one space right of the basic rotation, then one space left.
  12. Pyramid stacking becomes more important at higher gravity levels, and when you should start stacking that way really depends on how comfortable you are with the mobility you get at a particular gravity level. This does mean you pretty much have to be doing it by the time 20G rolls around, and at your level, it's probably a good idea to be thinking about that when the gravity is still at 1G and such. You can loosen up a little on this restriction when you get better and you start making placements by charging up the autoshift during ARE (the delay between pieces).

    Most of all, I'd advise not getting too bent out of shape about walls right now -- they'll fall with practice. They all do :D
  13. Yeah, I tried TGM1 when I first downloaded NullpoMino. I got into the mid S ranks (4, I think?) on the first game and figured I'd try to go to Ti, thinking the hold piece would make up for the extra speed. It, uh, doesn't. Just went back and played it a bit more though–you're right, it's nice to go back and forth a bit. If nothing else it's nice to have a new wall to beat my head against.

    As far as rotation goes, the issue I'm having is that I'm used to being able to rotate out of a hole. But I'll get over it, it's just a question of getting used to a different standard.
  14. Yeah, a lot of the skill (and satisfaction) of the TGM series is about stacking clean and preventing tricky situations before they happen, unlike the considerably more forgiving SRS games of late where you can kind of just bullshit your way out of problems by mashing rotate.

    It might be a bit ahead of you at the moment, but these two pages of the translated plala TGM guide have some helpful pointers on some of the things that can be done to manage wonky stacks in TGM:
  15. I'm feeling the newbie pain. ;)
    Fortunately I don't have any experience with SRS rotation games, so coming from a bunch of older Tetris versions, TGM actually feels a lot more lenient to me, with the 4-piece memory with 6(?) rerolls, and the lock delay, etc. Of course, the insane speeds make up for that entirely.

    On the other hand I have a lot of experience as an unmotivated casual Tetris player. We're talking nearly 25 years of playing Tetris as a casual game without caring about score here, that's a LOT of pure crap that I have to purge from my mind. I starting reading up on detailed stacking strats last year, and managed to change my style of play a lot, but right now it's been a long while since I've been able to feel any improvements in my play. Ideally, by playing a lot you'd get better automatically, but I feel like forcing yourself to change the things that you do bad when playing on intuition requires a lot of determination that I'm unable to "kickstart".

    Right now I'm stuck at somewhere around level 400+ in TGM2 Master mode, with my games usually ending somewhere in the 300-399 range. In general, I know how to stack effectively, but analyzing my games I have three major weaknesses:
    1. I'm not very consistent. Some times my stacks are amazing, but every other game I just get into a terrible situation without realising why.
    2. I tend to miss several potential piece placements. If I were able to even consider them I'd be able to easily see whether they are superior, but I've noticed that I tend to miss them entirely, only seeing them when I accidentally end there as a misdrop, or analyze my game afterwards. I feel that I have a hard time fixing this because no matter what I do, I just don't see them!?
    3. I'm horrible at fixing bad situations, and really bad at seeing how an "untraditional" single could potentially fix a bad situation, etc.

    And occasionally, I play a bunch of death mode games to practice and prepare for 20G, which is doing a lot for my control of the high speeds, but once again when it comes to stacking tactics, I don't seem to be making any improvement at all. These are my issues here:
    1. Proper IRS use (especially J and L tend to screw me over), and quickly identifying the 5th column. (this is probably the only point where I feel that I'm still improving slightly)
    2. Avoiding overstacking - I'm really bad at keeping the garbage away from the center
    3. Overhangs, I seem to be completely unable to create proper overhangs to prevent garbage.

    Right now I just keep playing every day, hoping to eventually see some improvement, but I'm really hoping to find a better way to practice specific issues. Is it possible to get infinite lock delay or similar in Nullpomino? I think that could at least help me with basic 20G strategies. I have my own piece of Tetris code that I some times use for training, but it's difficult for me to tell how well it manages to mimick TGM at high speeds.
  16. Sumez: I'd recommend you try playing Death more, and TGM1 occasionally.

    Death I'd recommend because it gives you some proper 20G practice and a new target of "how long I can hold on under 20G conditions". So long as you're putting at least a little bit of thought into placements and not spamming pieces left and right, it's a baptism of fire that can give you a new high-score to work for that actually represents meaningful improvement - even if it's just survive past 100, 120, 140, etc...

    TGM1 I'd recommend because the grading has a much better resolution at the part of the game you're at. If you survive to level 400 on TAP, you're always going to be around grade 3, or 2 if you're having a decent game, maybe 1 if you're nailing it. This kind of makes the game a bit stale because your personal best grade won't really improve again until you start getting to the 550-650 region and start unlocking S1-S4. The way the grading works and how the grades are separated kind of naturally stalls you at grades 1, S1, S4 and S6-7. TGM1 has the same speedcurve, but for most of the grades there isn't such a ridiculous leap to get the next one and you're more likely to see more continuous improvement (even if lack of sonic drop and a slightly less generous randomiser can be a huge pain in the ass).

    Also feel free to post some videos on here if you want - people might be able to give you a few pointers.
  17. Thanks for the feedback. I am really spamming death mode lately. I still suck, but for some reason it's still enormously fun, and I can't stop playing. Also it's the only mode where I still feel I'm making slighty progress. It's really easy to underestimate how much additional freedom you get from spawning L or J with a flat side down, even though I'm still crap at controlling them afterwards.

    As for TGM1/2, I'm not really looking at grades at all, I'm just using the level as an indication of my progress. And after all, TGM2 is the one I shelled out for.
    I might post videos in the future. (though right now it' actually easy to see where I fail, my problem is how I work with improving that :p)

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