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HITTING PEOPLE - In Defense of All-Run and a Peek Into MKW's Untapped Metagame

Saik

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HITTING PEOPLE - In Defense of All-Run and a Peek Into MKW's Untapped Metagame


I honestly couldn’t tell you what this thread is. Consider it some hybrid between a guide, a rant, and some culmination of my thoughts concerning what MKW’s war meta has evolved to and how much space it has to grow.

This thread will be divided into 4 main parts:

  1. Why no-overlap/all-run failed and how it can work now, the evolution of penalties as well as revisions to the old no-overlap ruleset​
  2. How people are playing no-overlap incorrectly by prioritizing the shock, a run down of how powerful schlagging correctly can be​
  3. A comparison between the 3 main rulesets and their outplay potential/competitive viability - bagging, trolling, and no-overlap​
  4. My reasoning for making this thread, a discussion about breaking away from individualistic mindsets to both further MKW’s war meta and help team stability​

Part 1


No-overlap in the past



**Disclaimer

**During the seasons that no-overlap was the common ruleset, I was on a 1-2 year break from MKW and don’t have much experience on playing it during that time period. Therefore, a lot of claims I’ll be making about it will be from other people who played during that time that I’ve talked to in the WL server.


CSL S5 was when no-overlap was introduced as the default ruleset. In its initial debut, no-overlap was popular and took up a good 80% of the matches during S5. Over time its popularity started to decline until it was completely removed from the league by S9. If you ask anyone why the ruleset failed, you’ll probably hear the words “penalties” or “a game of chicken”.


These are partially fair claims. Penalties were way too harsh and even more common than the suicide bagging format. Even if the ruleset was new and people were just getting used to it, having games of chicken to determine who’s going to put their trust into the wiimm servers to show their funky in the spot they should be so they don’t get penalties is not too competitive.


Revisions to be considered


Assuming no-overlap somehow makes a return and people continue to play matches like a 4v4 where 2 players are dedicated to sacrificing themselves every race for the shock (I’ll get back to this part later), there are fixes for it.


  1. More lenient penalties - Over time council has developed the ability to give more fair penalties than those given in S5. By fair, I mean that council has begun to take into consideration whether the inherent “rule” that the bagger broke in an specific situation really affected the race’s outcome or not. In season 5, baggers who simply used a shroom into a wall after they were overlapped had an immediate -10 or -20 slapped on them. Now, penalties range from -5 to -20. Considering how council has tried to nerf Penalty Kart Wii over the last few seasons, no-overlap would most likely see a large drop in penalties in S14.​
  2. Combining with the schlag-bag ruleset - Simply put we would keep the normal no-overlap ruleset but instead allow players who are overlapped to do exactly what baggers in the schlag-bag ruleset. Players wouldn’t be able to use items of any sort, but could bump/swerve/unblock cuts/take TCs/ do anything except take ground shrooms and run into bomb cars/cannonballs.​
  3. Using the starting line as an overlap benchmark -
A few weeks ago I collaborated with a few people to revise the no-overlap/all-run ruleset so it could be tested out in the clan lounge’s first season. The main change here is allowing players to never reverse behind the starting line under any circumstances. What this does is it eliminates a great part of the issue with “playing chicken”. The starting line is always stationary(duh), and players will only have a certain amount of time/space to stay in 10th before they reach the starting line or the player in 1st. The starting line is a much easier benchmark to determine where someone is rather than comparing 2 racers on many people’s screens.


The starting line is not simply just a benchmark to substitute player-to-player lag when considering penalties. The plan is to hopefully make no-overlap wars not simply JUST dumb hybrids of bagging wars. By limiting the amount of boxes baggers can get as well as making hiding from the opposing bagger difficult, no-overlap has a lot of potential to become the most balanced ruleset in terms of acquiring the shock. Those who have good backwards tech memorized would still benefit more than those who don’t. The bufferpoint is that by limiting the amount of boxes you can touch going backwards (since you can’t go past the starting line), the bagging battles are not as snowbally as to who gets the shrooms/bill on the first box. Even if one does get unlucky, the bagger can’t reverse a full lap past the finish line and the amount of space they have to avoid the opposing bagger from hitting the shock out of them is much smaller in no-overlap.


Part 2

The prioritization of the shock



Previously I discussed balancing no-overlap was in the context of how they were/are normally played. However, over the last year or so I’ve been testing out strategies in no-overlap and bagging wars. Over the year I’ve noticed one thing: teams prioritize the shock way too much. Since around 2009(?) when bagging was introduced by Unity, people have praised the shock as the holy grail that wins their team the race almost by default. This isn’t completely false as the shock is definitely the strongest item by far. What teams don’t realize is how you can play around giving the other team the shock.


When giving the other team the shock or 5-running while the other team is 4-running with a bagger, they are usually guaranteed a spot in the bottom 2-3 unless they’re running extremely close to the pack and get a good chain. This is a handicap that is traded in for having a much better chance of getting the shock. This handicap isn’t as balanced as it seems if you play around the other team’s shock correctly. By controlling the other team’s item probability, chains, and schlagging you can cause extreme amounts of disruption. Coordination is key to make this work. Keeping tab of exactly which players have the shock, dodges, and controlling how many of your players are schlagging/stopping/running is very important. People think about individual skill and players when discussing a team’s success, but really in this format your communication and how your players play styles interact is what really matters.


How to play without the shock and how it is advantageous


Here’s a list of many general strats that can be used by the “schlagger” in a no-overlap war to succeed without ever having to get a shock:

  • Schlagging directly after boxes​
  • Schlagging before boxes, then stopping to give the person you schlagged a worse box in front of you (works really well if in 6th-8th, where a schlagger should be the most)​
  • Taking whole box sets sideways, especially if under 7th place​
  • Forcing out shocks/dodges before the normal lap 3 spot, best done in large gaps between item box sets so that they don’t get a chain or take cuts​
  • Coordinating which players stop on the first set - having your schlagger + one other person in the lowest spot/whoever has burned out stop at the first set, have one player hold a dodge the whole race while the schlagger gives dodge/shock info and forces out dodges and shocks the whole time​
  • Knowing when is a good time to hit people and when is a good time to run like a normal player, case by case situations​
  • Having your players chain dodges that they’ve been holding, making sure your players hold their dodges at almost all costs so that the other bagger becomes effectively useless​
  • Knowing when to actually get the shock, most cannon courses and GV are the only real exceptions when it’s hard to take advantage of the other team’s shock​

The main points of this are forcing out dodges and using the other team’s shock as if it was your own. Being a schlagger in this format requires you to be pretty consistent at hitting people as well as being good at calling out various things in the race. It’s taking advantage of the fact that one team has a player constantly out of commission going for shock, and 1-2 other players fishing normally for dodges that are unable to benefit due to schlagging.


What we’d also be doing is essentially creating a new type of role. Currently we have runners, baggers, trollers, and now schlaggers.


Throughout the time I’ve been testing this strat I’ve been playing pretty much exclusively against teams that prioritize the shock over everything. What happens when 2 go head to head? Who knows. I’ll compare it to the other 2 rulesets in the next section.


Part 3

Outplay potential



What I’m trying to tap into here really is outplay potential. When it comes down to analyzing how competitively viable a ruleset is, I feel like looking directly at the outplay potential that each one allows is the easiest way to assess it. My point with this is not to remove the other 2 rulesets as they’re not barbaric by any means, but more of a way to hopefully promote no-overlap. It should also be noted that these points are being made in the presence of a D1 team where both “support players” are even on terms of skill, basically being the best of their kind. Comparing under D1 isn’t needed as every player under it has the potential to reach it.


Here is a comparison of the 4 formats (suicide bagging, schlag bagging, trolling, all-run) in their outplay potential and the number of situations in each ruleset where you have little to no outplay potential:


Suicide Bagging (Breaks the war down to 8 runners, 2 baggers who race backwards for the shock, trying to come in as little contact with the racers as possible)


Outplay potential

  • Consistency in backwards lines/techs​
  • How fast you can waste items​
  • Doing both of the above, but avoiding penalties​
  • Using knowledge of who has the bill on how aggressive to be going into boxes​
  • Hitting/avoiding the other bagger when they/you have the shock​
Situations where there is a 50/50 or no outplay potential

  • First set of boxes before 30 is a huge risk. Goldens give TOO large of an advantage, bill gives an even LARGER disadvantage, and going around the boxes to play safe can be easily countered by taking the same risk. Basically a game of chicken. Being the virgin bagger or the chad bagger doesn’t really matter since the other player can just decide on doing the opposite to counter it, or not. It doesn’t really matter since we’re just banking on item percentages for 1 item.​
  • Doing everything correctly, going backwards the safest, or even winning the RNG on the first set and being 10th the whole race. Opposing bagger gets shock in 9th and gets an extra point to boot. Okay. Sure.​
  • Tracks such as TF or CM where it’s an even bigger game of chicken. The only advantage a team can have is knowing that one of their players has pulled the bill and freely cycling between boxes in 9th. The opposing bagger still can freely pull it in 10th. Okay. Sure!​
  • 8 players racing in a 10 player room simply just makes the item distribution extremely uneven. 1st-2nd breaks away extremely easily since there’s 2 less players/spots for catch-up potential. 7th-8th place become by far the most strong/comfy spots to be in in the room. Being in middle spots when the pack isn’t distributed VERY widely is just theoretically the worse play.​
  • Some tracks become way too snowbally based on the fact that baggers are essentially shock-only slaves. If a race goes wrong in the first 2 sets of items on tracks such as TF, MVH, or RR your only gate back into the race is multiple blues or the shock. As I’ve described above, no matter how good you are at the outplay tactics of suicide, the item roulette can always 100% deny you of the shock because of the game of chicken it becomes. Suicide baggers cannot have any impact other than playing their game of chicken when a race goes horrible in the first 20 seconds. Spots start to snowball after a top 3 on TF happens, then the top 3 team gets their track pick for MVH, etc. Effectively, the first 20 seconds of a race on certain tracks in this format can have a large effect on the races that come after it in a GP.​
  • Oh uh. Penalties. Dunno it doesn’t really correlate to this section but people get pissed about em, so yeah.​

Schlag-bagging (Breaks down the war to 8 runners, 2 baggers. Baggers can interfere with the race in any way they want, except they can’t use any items but the shock, run into bomb cars/cannonballs, and cannot pick up ground shrooms/stars. Penalties are a lot less common but still exist.)


Schlag-bag is so similar to suicide that the wars pretty much feel the same, so I’ll make this a lot more brief. Schlag-bag allows baggers that are left useless after losing the game of chicken to have an impact on the race still. Many of the negatives from suicide still stand except that the snowbally-ness is toned down a bit. Here are a few examples of strats that include outplay potential:

  • Taking TCs from your team, passing to the other, taking TCs mid-cut from the other team​
  • Bumping off/wheelie bumping/slowing down opposing runners​
  • Unblocking/blocking cuts depending on the situation​
  • Taking item box sets​



Trolling (Breaks down the war to 8 runners, 2 trollers. Trollers have free reign to interfere with the opposing racers all they like)

Outplay potential

  • Being generally better at hitting runners with ANY item, memorizing hitboxes for specific players/vehicles/regions​
  • Knowing where to troll on the map, after boxes, before large SCs, how different places are better/worse to troll depending on the lap and how spread out the pack is. Basically making sure you’re depriving a person of items for the part of the track they’re needed the most for the longest amount of time possible, while ensuring that they never recover​
  • Making use of items other than the star when RNG isn’t on your side. Shrooms can be almost as effective as stars if you have hitboxes down well enough​
  • Knowing when to hit the other troller to deprive him of his item when your team is in the correct spots​
  • Knowing which spots to troll, trolling the highest spot only is not always the best play, trolling bottom spots is extremely powerful​
  • Knowing how to react when the other team has shock, chasing down the opposing troller if needed, hitting those who have dodges​
  • Knowing how much you can go forward at the beginning of a race before you’re out of position for next lap, causing as much havoc as you can while stealing items/etc, knowing which spots to troll based off of how much you disrupted the beginning of the race​
  • Keeping up with the racers consistently throughout the race instead of once per lap, making sure you’re chaining items/chaining as many items as you can while doing this, knowing when to turn around and prepare for the next lap’s pack if you mess up​
  • Trolling after a chokepoint where people normally troll (dkjp bridge) so you have a clear shot at hitting only the opposing team rather than praying to RNG on not hitting your team on the bridge​
  • Staying in 9th for more stars, letting someone always go for the bill on your team​
  • Knowing which parts of the tracks are the hardest to avoid on and which are the easiest​
  • Taking item box sets sideways​
  • Knowing when to go for the shock based on how ahead the other runners are from the rest of the pack, or cannons.​
  • NEVER TROLLING BEFORE IMPORTANT ITEM SETS IN A PACK THAT IS TIGHT​

Situations where there is a 50/50 or no outplay potential

  • Getting no stars. Of course you can have a lot of impact with shrooms, but even a hitting robot can’t do nearly the same amount of damage as a monkey could while getting all of the available stars in a race. However, it should be noted that just because the star count is uneven doesn’t mean the war becomes uncompetitive. It’s rare that the player acquiring all the stars in an uneven star-count matchup is using it to their fullest potential, similarly with the one on the smaller side of the stick.​
  • Everything I mentioned in suicide bagging about 8 players racing in a 10 player room. Trollers being able to nerf frontrunning and dodging alleviates some of the issues I discussed regarding snowballing, but not all of them.​
  • Not really a situation, but a large downside of trolling is that the troller has way too much power over the race’s outcome. In wars where 2 trollers are just as good as each other in all the aspects I listed above, the trollers are the real racers and the runners are just pawns. Not many people have mastered trolling completely so it isn’t the case yet. The only tracks this idea of trolling being up to the support players entirely wouldn’t apply to are cannon tracks or tracks like GV (respawn is basically a cannon bc of the shock) where shock is very important. Then, we’re basically playing a suicide war without a ton of penalties. Yay.​

No-overlap/all-run (Can be construed as many things, IDEALLY should be 10 runners that each know how to secure the race for their team with schlagging, but most likely will be 10 running with 2 players that are going forwards but mostly schlagging)

Outplay potential

  • The most important part of no-overlap compared to other rulesets is that there is, essentially no limit to the amount of support players you can have. On a perfect team, every player will be as equally good with lines, item usage, AND knowing exactly how to schlag in order to render the other team’s race useless. I imagine in the beginning we’ll have most teams using 1 schlagger per team (CV has had fine success with this), but over time we’d be raising the skillcap for every player involved. What this does is it encourages a less individualistic mindset in terms of how people drive the race as well as how people value a team’s success. I’ll explain this more in detail in the next part.​
  • Now it’s time for a re-hash of what I listed in part 2.​
  • Schlagging directly after boxes​
  • Schlagging before boxes, then stopping to give the person you schlagged a worse box in front of you (works really well if in 6th-8th, where a schlagger should be the most)​
  • Taking whole box sets sideways, especially if under 7th place​
  • Forcing out shocks/dodges before the normal lap 3 spot, best done in large gaps between item box sets so that they don’t get a chain or take cuts​
  • Coordinating which players stop on the first set - having your schlagger + one other person in the lowest spot/whoever has burned out stop at the first set, have one player hold a dodge the whole race while the schlagger gives dodge/shock info and forces out dodges and shocks the whole time​
  • Knowing when is a good time to hit people and when is a good time to run like a normal player, case by case situations​
  • Having your players chain dodges that they’ve been holding, making sure your players hold their dodges at almost all costs so that the other bagger becomes effectively useless​
  • Knowing when to actually get the shock, most cannon courses and GV are the only real exceptions when it’s hard to take advantage of the other team’s shock\​

Situations where there is a 50/50 or no outplay potential

  • ??? Well shit I really don’t know what to say here. Do you want me to list out every single situation in your normal 10 player MKW room, war, mogi, or worldwide that has been used for the past 10 years that makes you feel like the game has cucked you? That’s all I can think of. As more teams over time test out this format and push it deeper than I’ve tried to, some may pop up.​
  • This section is so small for a reason. Compared to the other 3 formats, all-run expects of all 10 players in the room to perform directly for the team’s race on a normal basis rather than just 2. When you have 2 people charging like bulls at item sets for a specific item, obviously the amount of combinations of items that come out is pretty damn small. The shock pretty much overrides everything a bagger/troller would want. When you have 10 people charging like bulls at item sets with the intent of how their team would directly benefit from it, the amount of item interactions that occur is tremendously bigger than with 2 people. This isn’t really rocket science but I felt I had to defend the fact that I’m struggling to list negatives for the format I’ve been preaching throughout this thread.​


Part 4


Transitioning from individualistic to team-oriented



A large issue we have with the community that doesn’t get spoken of is how we view wars from such an individualist perspective. I’ll preface this issue with saying that I don’t blame or belittle people for viewing wars this way, since wars have always been the mindset of “drive your best and you’ll be doing your part for the team”. Individuals have also always been important, and even I’ll admit that the stats for indivs throughout a WL season are pretty cool to keep up with just from a numbers perspective. However, people pretty much exclusively look at a team’s best individual players and their performances when attributing a team’s success or downfall. This isn’t always the case.


How a team’s individual playstyles interact with each other is the most important attribute to its success. You can have a team full of d2 players pitted up against a team of d6 players. If all those d2 runners are fully-reliant on dodging, holding up items, and playing in the back of the pack while the other team’s runners are an even mix of mid-packers, frontrunners, and 1-2 dodgers/schlaggers then they will be miles more likely to succeed. Even if your team has individual skill, your team's playstyles matter a lot more when combined together. Sticking together as a team to develop or change your individual playstyles and how they interact may lead to great success.


With no-overlap and how I’ve described it should go, the less individualistic a team is the more they will succeed. With 1 schlagger each a team can still function, but in some situations where the schlagger is forced to run, the “runners” will need to do the schlaggers job. Again, a team shouldn’t have to specify a “schlagger”, but to start it’s what will happen. The more players on a team that act on all of the strats I listed regarding no-overlap and execute them correctly, the better they’ll do. AKA the less people care about their specific points and the more they care about securing each individual race for their team, the more the team will benefit.



Why I’ve made this thread/why I believe no-overlap will further MKW


Believe it or not, I created this thread not out of spite but just generally because I care a lot about the game and really have hopes of it going further than most do. I won’t lie that having the majority of people call schlagging “un-competitive” and a bunch of the strats I’ve been brainstorming and testing over the past year being called “lol they just wanna tilt people because they drive like shit” is pretty irritating. However, I really would love to see the community as a whole adapt this ruleset and start to think of schlagging as more than just a tilting strategy. Also, I’d like to help solve the issue of the declining amount of wars by introducing a brand new format (it’s the same name but my version of no-overlap is a lot different than what it was in S5). Mogis and egos have definitely attributed a large amount to the decline, but myself and many others can agree that bagging and trolling are getting pretty damn old.


- An actual war request in 2018


Hopefully by integrating all-run, people can really look more towards teamwork than ever and look at the game in a completely new standpoint by taking use of some of the strats I’ve listed. I might be biased by saying this but schlagging over the past year has been miles more fun than being an actual runner. I’d imagine that there are a good amount out there that would love being a dedicated schlagger rather than a runner, as well as exploring the depth in it. I’d also expect teams playing this format to stick around a little longer than those who slog through a suicide or trolling war every week where people get flamed over the bagging/trolling war, and everyone’s basically competing for first. For those who rather just have “everyone race to get 1st”, the mogi lounge awaits. Playing mogis is fine, but please realize that wars and mogis are 2 completely different things.

Thanks to all who ended up reading this far.

PS: Would like to also shill the idea of BO11 wars with this format, where wars are based off of a tally of who wins more races without any overall score. With no-overlap relying on players to see how they can secure each race individually in a team sense, I think BO11 would be interesting to try out. 100% needs testing beforehand as it could be too snowbally.
 
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