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Joined: Oct 31, 2010
Hello. Ryuken here. Guns "Guide". It's really just my insights on Guns, and a breakdown of my experimenting. May not help you directly, but it shows you how to help yourself, if that makes sense. Not as unpopular as Distilling, but still a rather unpopular puzzle on Obsidian. Here's hoping it helps you.
Guns has the potential to be a very creative puzzle, but for many, the puzzle characteristic of the station is hidden behind its daunting speed. That creativity makes things complicated because this writeup could be insightful to one person yet useless to another. Honestly I'm not sure how to make a technical guide that doesn't resemble stuff you can already find online. People have been asking me to make a recent one, but I don't think strategies have changed much. Perhaps treat it more like a sharing of my thoughts than a guide.
- Yes I'm finally giving my insights on Guns lol. Not constructed to be as comprehensive as my Distil one. It's more like a condensed presentation of the conversations I've had with navy gunners, and the stuff I've experimented with on my alts over the month.
- I'm naturally a "freestyle click-drag gunner". I've briefly experimented with "WASD gunning" in the past, hated it. But I was naive.
- After the #1 Distil journey, I felt that I didn't try nearly as hard for #1 Guns. Went back to relearn and experiment. Alts after alts, each using a different variation or quirk of sorts. This writeup is heavily influenced by my thoughts during this experimentation.
Ctrl+F Index for Misc section:
- Throwing Stuff Out
- Board shopping
- WASD-XF Gunning
- Small Loops
- 3-arrow Rule
- Guard Arrows
- Dirty Gunning
What's your first few arrows? How do you start? Which cannon do you do first?
Somehow always the first thing people ask. For good reason too. It doesn't win the Ult for you, but it sets you up for consistent performance scores. If you're struggling to improve, this should be the first thing to investigate. Continue to experiment and learn what you can from each of them, then stick to whichever you find your favourite.
For those who've talked to me about Guns before, I still recommend the Half-loop or Lazy gunning method (I've used both terms interchangeably) which I use when I don't feel like giving 100%.
I've killed an alt's score to Leg and Lazy gunned back to Ult just for demonstration sake that it's possible on Obsidian, it's somewhere on Youtube.
That said, these are my thoughts on some popular openings + Lazy gunning:
The very old one. Make a loop in the centre of the board using the 3 blank rows available to you. Tried it, hate it, not even going to put a picture for it. If you've made it your go-to method please stop. That's trying too hard to force order into a puzzle that is chaotic in nature. Just.. don't like it.
Pushes ¾ of the spawn to the lower right corner. It's pretty good overall. Simple and effective, it gets the lower-right cannon done quickly hence its popularity. Just two comments. First , this opening is most effective if you understand small looping. See Small Loops section . That significantly improves the consistency of the first cannon and sets you up for the rest. Second, make sure you?re doing this instead of instead of that.
I have experimented with this opening and it's not bad. The only thing that breaks your opening momentum would be if your 1st Powder spawns to the left. This can be mitigated by chucking it into the top-left cannon and continuing your puzzle. However, the time window between this Powder spawning and touching that cannon is ~0.75seconds at max speed. Helps to know that the barrel spawns 1 of each piece in the beginning so you can see this coming.
I hate watching gunners do this but to be fair, I had to experiment with it. Works great, half the time. Look for green or dark green. Doesn't work unless the board gives it to you, but rather effective when it does. Same idea as Opening1 yet less stressful, however again it's relying on the board so be prepared to shop repeatedly. You'll be crippled during SMHs and most big ship pillies if this is your go-to opening; it's not a bad idea for sloop pillies though, see Board Shopping section.
Same as Opening2, useless unless you board shop for green. The first cannon would be loaded less quickly since pieces have to loop around. This can be balanced out during the puzzle if you used that time to analyse the rest of the board. Rephrased, you ought to be using that time to analyse the board. I've found this to be more comfortable than Opening2 because of that borrowed time in the beginning. But still, gotta board shop.
Half-loop / Lazy gunning
Honestly not too different from Opening3. Just bypasses the need to board shop because I hate that. Trades away some analysing time for better speed. The first cannon still gets done slower than Opening1 or 2, but allows me to be more laidback and eyeball the board a bit instead of devoting much attention to the tracking of pieces. My personal favourite when I'm too lazy to fully freestyle.
Improving your Opening:
Once you've picked an opening you like, grind it out and improve it. Some gunners do this subconsciously, check and try it if you aren't already doing it. Improvise and mix things up repeatedly, over time you'll pick up on patterns and (hopefully) challenge them. The idea here is to achieve as many of these 3 things, in ascending degrees of complexity:
1) Improve the consistency of your opening (manage spawns)
2) Extend the coverage of your opening (2cannons? 3cannons?)
3) Troubleshoot problematic boards. There's bound to be that particular formation of crates that destroys your opening after 1 and 2. What do you then?
There's too many improvisations and too many openings, I'll just go through an easy-to-understand example from Lazy Gunning to illustrate the process.
This is a favourable spawn, effortless. You learn nothing except that you might like this opening.
Slightly less favourable spawn, but with a bit of basic improvising, you can use the crates and convert it into Case1.
Even less favourable, plus there's no crates to assist. But applying what you've seen in Case2, you can create an almost identical start as Case1.
That achieves the 1st form of improvement : Now there's different barrel sequences, with and without crate assistance, that you can tackle with Lazy gunning and still gain a strong start entering the puzzle. Similar to chess, the strongest gunners (actively or subconsciously) learn more opening variations, it's then just a matter of picking the best sequence of moves in your earlygame.
What next? Because of the opening arrows, pieces are still flowing towards the left. Do you choose to continue downwards and clear bottom-left? Or try flipping things and clearing something on the right?
This process of pattern recognition and improvisation forms part of the puzzle characteristic of Guns which many beginner gunners aren't exposed to. It's not really a necessity for Ult per se (if you're naturally fast that's often enough to support your freestyle), but it can give you the boost to jump ranks or just improvements in consistency overall.
i'll skip the really misc. stuff like how you can use dnav mission to gun freely, don't station when near a LP, etc.
Throwing stuff out
No, it doesn't deplete cannonballs from the hold. No, it doesn't subtract from your score, not directly anyway. The only thing I've found it does is dropping your yellow meter. But if you're at max (or anything above the yellow meter) then this shouldn't mean anything. The minor reduction in speed this causes is offset by the correct filling of pieces.
If you're gunning on a sloop, it's not entirely a bad idea to shop for a nice board and stay on it, something like this for example. Assuming you can deal with the barrel moving about, this allows you to perform more consistently since you have the luxury of time to fully analyse your board, plus you probably picked a friendly board. This isn't ideal for your rank, but is worth considering if you cannot keep up with your trigger-happy bnaver.
(to be inserted when I find a clip, you probably know what I mean though. that thing where you pull out your target piece from a string of pieces)
A must-know tool in my opinion, simply because of how powerful it is. Let your filtering technique determine which speed you play at. Unless you're experimenting or pushing yourself of course.
I prefer this configuration over the default WASD as I can keep one finger on each direction. This also allows for compound moves like AS and DS. More importantly, when executing Filtering, this opens up very powerful combinations like ASDF or DSACaps which are extremely sleek and a feel-good to pull off. My general thoughts: click-drag is still faster overall to me, but WASD is great if I have prolonged gunning like blockades. Both can achieve Ult on Obsidian so personal preference probably matters more for this - I perform better with click-drag, likely only because I've been doing it longer.
Learn it as a tool instead of your routine. Cannons that don't allow a small loop would really throw you off if this is your routine.
Usually unimportant since you only need your immediate arrows. If your preferred opening requires more than 3 arrows then this might be important, but if so this is likely second nature to you by now. On hindsight you should change your opening. Anyway, with enough experimenting though, you can use it to multitask cannons - another feel-good thing to pull off, great for freestyling improvising.
Depending on your playstyle, you may or may not have a big problem with collisions (those who loop more tend to face less). Still good to experiment and learn if you want to try freestyling, or just to improve your freestyling since not all boards can be looped cleanly. Hard to explain, but essentially you want to be able to read them then accommodate for them. Examples:
White Wad piece spawned problematically. As a click-dragger, I placed the down-arrow rather high up because my mouse was there and I could conveniently drag my mouse down towards the cannon I was about to do next. Was lazy to rush and place the arrow at the mid-left wall; as long as the Wad didn't hit the corner things would be fine.
Lazy to move my mouse, just anticipate collisions and fill accordingly.
Pretty useful. In general, I prefer to delay them until they're really necessary. Because of 3-arrow rule, I'd prefer not to unnecessarily remove arrows; I'd rather delay the guard arrow. This delaying idea applies elsewhere, but it's usually the guard arrows that mess me up (probably negativity bias on my part)
Nothing special to say. I find that it's better to wash everything before gunning, takes some effort but it's marginally better since the washing times can be overlapped. Or if you really embrace the lazy gunning concept then just continue gunning as normal but treat each cannon as a 4-piece puzzle. Note that if you choose the latter, your familiarity with the washing duration can help/hinder you. Illustrated above (full window capture for turn timer), watch how the washing duration governs the flow.
That's about it for this write-up for now. There's a lot more that can be said and demonstrated but these would cover the main bulk of things. At the very least, hope this gives you the motivation to give Gunning another shot.
Ryuken on Obsidian (active) and Emerald (not really)
I made an in-depth Distilling guide here, and a guns one somewhere.
I gave Obsidian their Owls c:
[Edit 3 times, last edit by Kyura94 at Feb 22, 2018 12:12:58 AM]
Joined: May 26, 2006
Solid "Guide". Shows the concepts / 'tricks' used in gunning very well.
Personally a big fan of the method described as "lazy gunning"; I tend to fail placing the first arrow for opening 1 in time.
TriplePat, Joining the great obsidian migration.
Joined: Dec 26, 2017
Its a Solid "Shots fired" guide very nice description can't wait to see more :)
Stan is a true hero.
Big supporter of Crafting puzzles being freed!
Remove dead oceans, all those wasted new players :/
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