With the ever changing combat of the Fold, it’s hard to stay on top of what the current hero metas are because as soon as one thing is running smoothly, someone discovers a counter.
However, one thing that doesn’t change is the need for communication. At lower tiers it’s possible to ignore allies and still win. At higher tiers it’s nay impossible. You can have the best team composition in the Fold and your team will still lose without proper coordination. So how can you capitalize on communication in a game with a system of pings and emotes? That’s what we’re going to discuss today.
How to effectively use the ping system:
Far too often in lower tier gameplay I see a drastic misuse of the ping system. Constant questioning and avoid ping directed at more experienced players due to disagreement or anger. Emoticon spam rampant. That’s point #1 on our list, so let’s get started.
1. Only use the ping system in crucial moments.
Overuse is more likely to cause teammates to ignore you more than anything else you do. Save your pings for the moment before a team fight erupts, or to signal objectives, not to express your frustration with that Ardan that literally took every last hit in the jungle. True story, that.
2. Only the play caller should be using pings in combat.
Typically your play caller is your tank. He initiates, determines the target, and decides when to retreat. In rare cases (and I mean very rare), your APC/ADC can function as the play caller, and we’ll discuss those cases, but very rarely should this be the case.
The rest of the team should effectively keep radio silence during combat, to avoid distraction in the already-hectic team fight.
3. The ? ping doesn’t just mean “What the heck dude???”
Proper use of the ? ping is crucial. The ? ping technically doesn’t mean “go here?” either, but rather it’s an indicator of “missing enemy”. If your ADC/APC pings ? in the lane, they’re not asking you to come to the lane, they’re telling you that their opposing laner is missing and that you should be careful of an invade in the jungle.
When used on objectives, the ? ping means “take this?” Usually it’s used to ask the lane when to take Minion Mine it to signal a Gold Mine attempt.
And there’s one more use for the ? ping, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
4. Avoid doesn’t mean “you idiot!”
Most top tier teams rarely use the avoid/caution ping. Proper use of the avoid ping includes warning about 3 man ganks waiting, signaling the lane that the enemy jungle is moving to the lane ready to drop him, or warning off objectives when the ? ping is used.
5. Non-meta ping uses.
This is the part of the article I’m most excited about, because it deals with uses for the ping system that are not widely known. There are various, informative uses for the ping system outside of their baseline meanings. And that’s what we’re going to be discussing. Have ones that I don’t mention? Suggest them in the comments below!
A ping that people who play with me know that I use frequently is the target ping. As the lane APC, more specifically Skaarf, I use the target ping on the Vain to notify my allies when my ultimate ability is live and ready for an encounter. This is crucial, it allows my team to anticipate team fights and time them to our advantage. If my ultimate isn’t up, then we can hold off from engaging or position in a choke point for maximum effect.
On the flip side, I use the avoid ping on the Vain to signal that my ultimate isn’t ready. This works with all “swing ultimates”, or ultimate abilities that have the potential to change the tide of a fight or a game. Heroes with swing ultimates are Joule, Adagio, Koshka, Skaarf, Petal, and Catherine.
Another use for the ping system is for the jungle to use it as a rotation indicator. I’ve seen junglers ping shop whenever they’re finishing their rotation as a way of alerting the lane they’re available for a gank.
These are my suggestions for how to communicate properly in solo-queue or non-voice team-queue matches. Now what do you thing? Agree or disagree? Tell me in the comments! Something I’ve missed? Let me know!
Until next time, I’ll see you in the Fold!
Skipper is a Vainglorius Skaarf main. A former League Veteran, he’s been playing and streaming Vainglory since December ’14.