How to not suck at Huttball

The kind of people who just kill farm in mid or are generally terrible at following objectives won’t be reading this.  But here is is.

Basics

  • Huttball is not Warsong Gulch. Don’t play like it is.
  • Your team scores when the ball is carried over the opposing team’s end zone.
  • Tie games are won by the team holding the ball when the game ends, or in the case of a neutral ball, the team who most recently held the ball.
  • You can pass the ball to another player. Passing wins games.

Passing

  • Passing the ball is a ground-targeted AOE ability. Find it in the general tab of your ability book.
  • It takes a few seconds between throwing the ball, and the other player receiving the ball.
  • If no one is within the targeting-circle (an incomplete pass), a new ball spawns in midfield. This is important.
  • If only an opposing team player is within the targeting-circle, they intercept the ball.
  • If both sides have players within the targeting-circle, whoever is closest to the center (according to the server) will get the ball.
  • If a ball carrier dies, the ball will jump to the nearest opposing team member. If there are none within range, a new ball spawns in midfield.

Ball Carriers

Your job is to move the ball forward. There are three ways to do this (in order of preference):

  1. Throw the ball to someone in a better position.
  2. Force a new ball to respawn. (conditional)
  3. Carry the ball yourself.

Tips:

  • Look up on the catwalks, there may be someone above you. So long as you have a line-of-sight to the outside edge, you can place the targeting-circle on the edge of a catwalk above you. You don’t need to have LOS to the receiver.
  • Look across fire traps, there may be someone already past it.
  • If you are in the opposing team’s pit, look toward the end zone, someone may have run ahead.
  • If you have a leap ability, all of the above apply to enemies you can leap towards. (You can leap across fire traps without getting hurt.)
  • If you have the ball while deep in your side of the map (usually the pit) do not try to walk the ball out. Not only does it take far too long, but it is trivial for the opposing team to regain control of the ball and make a quick score. Simply make an incomplete pass, and allow a new ball to spawn in midfield.
  • If you’re hurt, and someone else isn’t, pass the ball.
  • Save your CC-break for a potential scoring or passing opportunity, or for when you get CC’d on a fire trap. Walking an extra X yards isn’t worth it.

Everyone Else (Offense)

Your job is to move the ball forward. There is one way to do this:

  1. Get into a better position than the ball carrier.

Tips:

  • If you’re in a good position to receive a pass, don’t move around (remember it takes a few seconds for the pass to complete). Jumping to get the ball-carrier’s attention is permitted.
  • Prefer being above the ball carrier. Anyone can jump down, but only some ACs can jump up to higher levels.
  • Be ahead of fire traps. They will stop many (though not all) opponents from reaching you after a successful pass.
  • Spread out, let the ball carrier have lots of pass options.
  • If you’re away from the action and your team is likely to score, head to midfield to grab the new ball.
  • If your team has the ball deep in your side of the map, head to midfield to grab the new ball that should arise from an intentional incomplete pass.
  • Healing and killing is fine, but not when it prevents you from getting into a better pass position. You’re unlikely to heal or kill your way through the 5 guys beating on your ball carrier.
  • Save your CC-break for a potential scoring opportunity. Doing an extra X amount of damage or healing isn’t worth it.

Everyone (Defense)

Your job is to get the ball away from the opposing team. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Kill the ball carrier.
  2. Intercept a pass. Basically out of your control, but noted for completeness.

Tips:

  • If you’re away from the action and your team is likely to get scored on, head to midfield to grab the new ball.
  • Do not stand in places the enemy would like to be. Some ACs can leap to your location. If the enemy is inside your side’s pit, don’t stand on the endzone edge.
  • Related to the above, as you make your way out from a respawn try to break line-of-sight to ball carriers to prevent them from leaping to you.
  • A well-timed stun of a ball carrier crossing a fire trap will save the day.
  • A well-timed grapple/force pull of a ball carrier onto a fire trap will save the day. (This is especially true when the opposing team doesn’t follow the above rule about not carrying the ball out of ones own pit.)
  • Every opposing team member that is in a better position than the ball carrier is a potential ball carrier. Be prepared to change targets.

If you read this and thought, “well, yea, that’s what I’ve been doing!” use those 90 seconds before the match starts to explain it to others! A simple message explaining how to pass and where to position yourself before the match starts works wonders. You get those people that are solo-queuing to pay attention to the team effort and also it explains the basics to people that are new.

One thing I hate seeing is people start to rage in /ops when people make mistakes. Instead of, “YOU FUCKING NOOB WHY WERE YOU STANDING THERE,” it’s better to politely explain why it’s unwise to stand where the enemy can get an easy force-leap.

I’ve had games where we were down 2-3 quick goals and rally back to win it. These players then go into their next match knowing what to do, often to my dismay with them on the other team! Just yesterday we were behind all match and tied up the game 5-5 with 3 seconds left on the clock to get the win. That’s one of those games that would have been a quick 6-0 loss but everyone really pulled together.

Don’t wait for someone else to say something, just be nice about it when you do and next thing you know you have a team of L20-40s beating a team with several 50s.

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