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Opinion

Debunking Valve’s ridiculous “Just adapt” response to the jump bug

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Apparently at the PGL Krakow Major, Karrigan brought the jump bug to Valve and the answer was “Why aren’t you adapting? Avoid places where they can jump.”

This is such a dumb statement that I feel I have to break it down.

First, the jump itself isn’t a skill-based jump. This isn’t some complex jump pattern; it’s a reproducible jump that players at the event said took them less than five minutes to do consistently. Second, avoiding the places a player can jump is hilarious in the context of where this was being used, Inferno (and in a clip today someone used it on CT-side Cobble at broken wall). On inferno, it can be used at the wall at B and at pit. So let me break this down.

If you avoid the wall at B as a CT-player the entire round, you will have already lost the half. That is too much map control to give to the T-side. The only option then as CT-side is to contest and keep control of B the entire time. To do that, you will have to commit three people early on to B and then keep two there the entire time. One of the stereotypical ways to play CT-side on Inferno is to take B control and then rotate one of your two defenders over to A. This is easily abusable if the T-side can read this heavy commitment to B early and and they can do fast attacks into arch side or onto A-site itself.

The bug is also abusable on the CT-side, so the control of banana will definitively go to whoever can get one person to that wall, and that person will get free information without any risk to themselves — unlike a normal setup where the CT player has to be at a falloff point.

This is only conflated because the other spot this is abusable is at pit, which is on the other site. It is one of the best post plant positions for the Ts when they plant on A, and it must be cleared out if you want any hope of winning the retake. So the way to avoid this spot, so to speak, is to make sure you win before the Ts take A and plant the bomb. But wait, you’ve already committed so many resources to stop Ts from getting wall control early in the round. How can you stop them from taking this side of the map, too?

You can’t.

What makes it worse is that there isn’t any apparent counter play because the jump is silent and cannot be seen. Some have conflated this with a wall hack, and though not as strong, it isn’t far off.

I’ll end this with an anecdote from the worst period of balance I have ever witnessed: yes, BL/infestor in StarCraft 2. During the height of bl/infestor, David Kim was confused as to why these Terrans weren’t adapting like Mvp or TaeJa and winning matches. He thought it was balanced. Seven years of SC2 later, I can still and will still say that those are the two greatest Terrans to ever play the game, and we have gone through hundreds of pro players at this point. BL/infestor was not solvable, and if you don’t believe me, put up your SC2 A.I. as Terran or Protoss against any of the patchzergs on that patch where infestors were strongest, and we’ll see who wins.

I understand that developers think players jump the gun when they see something that they think is broken. Fair enough, but you should at least analyze what the particular bug or exploit is doing in the grand context of the game.

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