Delay Guide
Another long thingy by CreeDo
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If anyone wishes to repost this guide, do not alter or remove any portion of it.
It is only to be reposted in full, with credit to the original author (CreeDo).
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Delay is important, and a lot of players who seem pro don't really
get it. There are times where playing delay intelligently will make
up for having crappy aim... or looking at it another way, you could
have the best aim in the world but still lose a game because you
didn't play delay correctly.
So here's how to use it. (skip to the last part for the good stuff).
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Delay Basics
============

Whenever you shoot, you use up delay. You can think of each shot
using up time, and some bots use less time to shoot than others.
To make things easy, let's call the time units used "ms" for
'milleseconds'. The shot speed isn't really measured this way but
it's easy to type ms.

Stronger shots will use more delay, and anything else you do during
your turn also uses up a bit of delay (moving, sitting there, charging
your power bar, changing angle). The time you spend doing these
things is what uses up your delay, it doesn't really matter how much
you move or how many angles you change, the point is that doing these
things eats up seconds of your shot clock, and when you finally shoot
all of these wasted seconds will be added to your shot's delay to give
you the final delay number. The amount added is 10 ms for every
second you waste. For turtle, the amount added is 12 ms.

Some pretty typical delay figures:

Shot 1: 750 ms
Shot 2: 900 ms
SS: 1,300 ms

So what does that mean? Well since this is a turn based game, things
that could be happening at the same time are shown 1 turn at a time.
So for example, let's say I am mage, and my shot 1 is 750 ms. You
are boomer, your shot 1 is only 730 ms. If we both fire at exactly
the same time, boomer 'reloads' first and can fire another shot before
mage can. What you see in the game would be like this...
At the bottom left is a turn list, with the delay for each shot shown
next to the shooter's name. Then the delay of other mobiles is shown
next to theirs, and to make things easy the game simply shows you how
much faster or slower the enemy's shot was compared to yours. For
example if the enemy's delay for their shot was 10 ms faster than
yours, you will see "-10" next to their name. If it's 20 ms slower,
you'd see "+20" next to their name. If it was the exact same, you
see +0 or -0.

So in the example of mage vs boomer, the game decides randomly who
is shooting first.

1. Mage's turn, shot 1 is fired... delay list shows:
Mage 750
Boomer 0

You just fired and used up 750 ms, boomer hasn't shot so his delay is
0 and that means he's ready to shoot immediately.

2. Boomer's turn, shot 1 is fired... delay list shows:
Boomer 730
Mage +20

Your delay is 20 faster than mage's, so the list shows +20. Any time
the list shows a + number, the enemy with the + number will go after
you do. Enemies with a - number go before you.

3. Boomer's turn again, shot 1 is fired... delay list shows:
Boomer: 730
Mage -710

Your shot is once again 730 ms, but now notice the mage is now -710.
After the mage and boomer both shot 1 time, the delay was almost
perfectly even... with boomer having a bit of an edge. That 20 ms
'edge' is subtracted from boomer's shot delay. You can think of it
this way, if turn 3 happened with mage and boomer being perfectly
even, then boomer's shot 1 would eat up 730 ms, and that means mage
has 730 ms of advantage time on the boomer. But because mage was
already at a 20 ms disadvantage from the 2nd turn, mage is only
getting 710 ms of advantage (which is still a lot).
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How Delay Affects Turns
======================

The start of the match is the time when delay can really screw up the
turn order and rearrange who goes first on the turn list.
That's because the people shooting first will eat up big delay and
the people shooting later can see how fast they shot, then try to use
up even less delay. If the player shooting second manages to use
less delay than the player shooting first, that player will get to
go again. You might think "but that's cheap, that means going second
might mean you get 2 turns in a row, which is a big advantage!"
...that's true, but there's more to it than that.
In the end, if you play correctly and intelligently, the delay is
almost always fair. I'll try to explain why.

If you go first, you're giving up 750 delay because you fired a shot.
But it's a tradeoff, in return you're getting damage on the enemy IF
you didn't miss. The tradeoff is worth it if you get full damage from
your shot 1, because some mobiles can kill enemies with 2 duals
and 1 extra shot. Your opening shot 1 is the '1 extra shot' you need.
If it hits, you can be assured that two duals will allow you to win.
Even if you cannot kill, the damage advantage matters. You may wear
them down to a point where 1 more dual will kill them... before they
can do the same to you.

On the other hand, if you go second, you can often steal that extra
turn by firing your shot 1 faster than the enemy shot his. Then on
your next turn you can do whatever you want. But! I said the delay
system was fair didn't I? What happens in these situations where
you've 'stolen' a free turn is you're forced to use another weak
shot 1. Let's say you don't, you decide to get aggressive and use
shot 2. Then the delay list will often look something like this:
Your shot 2: 900
Enemy's delay: -880

Now the enemy has an 880 delay advantage on you. That's more than
enough time for him to fire a shot 1, then steal an extra turn on YOU.
After he does a shot 1 here, the delay list will look like this:
Enemy: 750
Your delay: -130

It's almost back to square 1, but the enemy is going again with a 130
delay advantage on you. If he fires a shot 2 with his 'stolen' turn:
Enemy: 900
Your delay: -770

Now you've got a 770 delay advantage. If you fire super fast, you
can get two turns in a row... by now you see the pattern.
Basically if you steal an extra turn on the enemy and then use
anything except a fast shot 1, you're giving up 2 turns in a row to
him. Then if he uses up shot 2 during his extra turn, he's giving up
two turns to you... and back and forth like that until one of you
drops dead. The only way to avoid the constant stolen-turn pattern
is to have both players use as little delay as possible and use only
shot 1 back and forth. But people get bored doing that and always
end up screwing up by switching to shot two before they should.. or
worse, using an item too early.

The bottom line: It really doesn't matter whether you go first or
second, because in the end it all evens out. The important thing is
to use delay as intelligently as you can, and of course don't miss icon_biggrin.gif
The examples I give are 1v1 type situations, but delay applies to
every game, by using delay carefully you might jump several places
in the turn list. For example in a 4v4 game, many times you'll see
that just choosing shot 1 instead of shot 2 can change whether you go
after all the enemies, or after only 2 of them (and before the others).
Delay also affects whether you go before a teammate or not, which
means you can get a kill before they have a chance to take it icon_biggrin.gif

To be fair, I should add this warning:
There are a few very rare situations where because of weather, or a
weakness to a certain weapon... it's a disadvantage to go second
because the enemy can kill you in 2 turns, and you can't kill them
in 2 turns. Probably the only time you'll see this happen is in
a boomer vs a.sate match. Boomer is weak to lasers and has low
defense in general, sate happens to have a very strong SS that can
wipe out half of boomer's life without using up as much delay as it
ought to. So if the sate goes first, he will SS boomer, wipe out
half of your life, then boomer gets two turns. Boomer might do a lot
of damage during those 2 turns, but he won't be able to kill sate.
When sate's next turn finally comes up, he can dual and kill boomer.
Outside of this ONE sad situation, delay is generally fair.

Items + Delay
=============

Items add to your delay, so you must use them carefully. If you
use an item at the wrong time, you'll use up so much delay that the
enemy will get 2 turns in a row on you. Different items add different
amounts of delay to your shot, and the most popular items are usually
the ones that add the most delay (because they're the most powerful).
Items that don't affect your delay a lot, so don't worry about it:
Blood (0 delay added)
Bunge (+50)
Small Heal (+50)
Powerup (+80)
Wind Change (+100)

Items that add a bit more delay:
Thunderbolt (+200)
Large Heal (+200)

Items that add so much delay you must be careful to avoid giving
up an extra turn to the enemy:
Dual+ (+250)
Dual (+650)

Basically, use the minor powerups any time and don't sweat delay
too much, unless it's your first shot of the game. For the important,
powerful items like dual and dual+, you need to watch delay carefully.
In most situations these will give the enemy 2 turns in a row on you.

Avatar and Delay
================

This section is going to be short: Your delay is about half
'base delay' and half shot delay. What's that mean? It means that
avatars that reduce your delay are a ripoff because they only reduce
your shot delay, not your base delay. That means that avatars
that SHOULD reduce your delay by 50% actually only reduce it by
half of that, i.e. 25%. The best possible delay suit will be useless
vs a good attack or defense suit, so don't waste money buying it.

Delay Tricks
============

If you don't get delay yet, you're probably screwed. Read this stuff
anyway and you might avoid doing dumb things.

*At the start of the game, everyone who goes after you will have the
chance to shoot faster than you and steal a turn on you. So you want
to shoot as quickly as you can. That means using shot 1, and not
wasting a whole lot of time moving or aiming. Some mobiles have a
naturally slow shot 1, like armor and nak... so no matter how fast you
shoot, sometimes the enemy will get 2 turns in a row on you. Don't
worry about that. If you read section 2, you'll know that 'extra'
turn isn't really for free, and shouldn't be a big deal.

*Also at the start of the game, if you go after the enemy you want
to shoot at, you should try to beat their delay by shooting as quickly
as you can. Also, be aware that you don't HAVE to beat their delay
with a weak shot 1 every time. You want to use the strongest shot
you can that will still be faster than whatever they used. For
example, if they used shot 1, only your shot 1 can beat their delay.
But if they used shot 2, you might be able to beat their delay by
using your own shot 2 and just using less time to aim and fire.
By knowing every mobile's exact delay numbers, you can be aware of
important little differences like the fact that even a slow shot 2
from boomer will have less delay than a fast shot 2 from armor.

*If the enemy uses an item as their first shot, you can strike back
hard and still beat their delay and get 2 turns in a row. Even
if they don't use an item, watch what shot they do use and try to
hit back with whatever shot will beat their delay and do good damage.
Here is a list of the relative 'speed' of each shot:

If they: ..........|........ You should:
-------------------|--------------------
Dual (~1550 delay).|.S.S. or Dual+ (or dual faster)
S.S. (~1300 delay).|.........Dual+ (or S.S. faster)
Dual+(~1000 delay).|.........Shot2 (or dual+ faster)
Shot2(~ 900 delay).|.........Shot1 (or shot2 faster)
Shot1(~ 750 delay).|.........Shot1 faster
-----------------------------------------

*When using dual+, the +250 delay for the item is added to whichever
shot you choose to fire first. So if you use dual+, it's almost
always better to use shot 1 first so that you get the best delay
possible. Don't listen to anyone who says doing shot 2 first is
stronger or something, the damage is the same... so just use 1 first.

*Use the lowest delay shot you can to kill enemies who are nearly
dead. Don't waste a dual on a very weak enemy if shot 1 or shot 2
will do. You might think it looks cool or you might like earning
a few extra bucks, but the wasted delay DOES hurt you in the long
run by costing you turns later on. It can even cost you the game.

*You can use the numbers on the delay list to tell you when using
a dual+, dual, etc is safe (i.e. won't give the enemy 2 turns in a row)
Generally, if the enemy's delay is +300 or higher compared to you,
then it's safe to use dual+. If their delay is +700 or higher, then
it's safe to use a dual. If you see +800, you can usually fire a
shot 1 and steal an extra turn. +1000 is a safe time to shot 2.
+1100 is a safe time to dual+, +1400 to SS, +1600 means you can dual
quickly and still go before your enemy.
You can study each mobile's delay stats to know the exact amount of
advantage you need to fire each of your weapons, some situations are
very close... for example +780, is it enough time to steal a turn
using Armor's shot 1 or not? See the next point.

*The exact mobile delay is listed below, memorize it not just for
your favorites, but for everyone. That might seem nuts, so to make it
easier you might want to memorize generally whether a mobile has
normal delay, fast delay, or slow delay. I'd call boomer, sate, jd,
and lightning the fast delay mobiles. Nak and armor are slow. The
rest you can think of as medium. By the way, add base delay to
the shot delay in the next column to get the total delay.

http://media.virtuafighter.com/media/gb/Mobiles.htm

*If an enemy duals at the start of the game, they're using up a ton
of delay. Depending on their mobile and how much time they spent
aiming and firing... you might be able to actually get 3 turns in a
row on them. Generally, look for a situation where the delay is
between 1500 and 1600, or 1600+. If you use someone with a quick
shot 1 like boomer or sate, you can pound the enemy with shot 1, then
another shot 1, then whatever you want.

*Sometimes delay has to take a backseat to playing smart.
For example, let's say there's a nice weather effect like a sunbeam
or thor available. When you see those weather effects, it's almost
always time to dual if you have a sure shot... because the added
damage you get from force/thor is worth the big delay tradeoff.
Also be aware of situations where a teammate can help you. Usually
firing a dual during your first turn is bad because you'll give
up 2 turns to the enemy, but if a teammate can dual and kill that
enemy then it doesn't matter as much, does it?

*The reverse of that situation... if you're going to get gangbanged
by 2 enemies, and they've got sure shots and it's likely they can
kill you... you probably shouldn't worry about playing delay. You
should cut loose with a dual on your first turn because you're
probably not going to get a 2nd turn (and who wants to go out with
a piddly shot 1?).

Advanced Delay Tricks
=====================

*You may want to learn to use Dragshot if you haven't yet.
Drag allows you to fire more quickly than slice (or sniper) and
it's extremely accurate if you have the skill to use it.
There will be situations where you need to fire as quickly as
possible (less than 1 second) to beat someone's delay, and drag is
sometimes the only way to do that.

*When you're going first, and you have a shot 1 that you know is
slower than your opponent's (i.e. you're armor and they're boomer)...
you might want to use dual+ instead. You get 2 shots worth of damage
and the fact that the boomer is getting two turns in a row shouldn't
bother you... since it was going to happen anyway.

*Sometimes it's better not to worry about stealing a turn..
for example you might be going 2nd and find that you have to shoot
in less than a second to steal a turn. Even if you do steal that
turn, you must then fire another shot 1 to avoid giving the enemy
too much delay advantage. Instead of firing 2 fast shot 1s... you
can just respond with a dual. You won't steal a turn, but with
a big delay advantage (like having the 2nd shot at the start of the
game) you can use a dual without giving up 2 turns in a row.

*Some rooms don't allow anything but duals, so there isn't a lot of
decisionmaking that goes with playing delay... one trick you can use
(especially with mobiles that have strong shot 1's) is to do a dual
shot 1 after the enemy opens with dual shot 2. You beat their delay
and it's a bit more damage than simply firing a shot 2. It's useful
when firing an SS or shot 2 might be awkward, for example when using
turtle (who often must shotgun or high angle shot 2s) or nak (who
sometimes cannot dual shot 2 because the ground has air pockets).

*For some mobiles, dual+ with shot 2 first can have nice results.
Cake/JD - if you can get the dual+ to approach at a high/steep angle,
the shot 2 puts them in a small pit, then shot 1 makes a big crater
underground. Done correctly, the enemy will have no way to shoot out
of the pit because the ground blocks his shot.
Armor - Sometimes armor can get the same results as cake with a
perfectly placed shot 2 to start. Also, armor's shot 1 makes a large
explosion and bunges the enemy a lot, which can cause the following
shot 2 to miss. So if you use shot 2 first, that problem goes away.
Raon - By firing shot 2 so that your mines land very near the center
of the enemy mobile, you can follow with shot 1 and blow up the mines.
You will get full shot 1 damage + at least partial shot 2 damage.
Bigfoot - As with armor, shot 1 can move the enemy around a lot, so
it might be safer to shotgun 2 first, then let 1 move them around.
Nak - this is situation specific, and generally dual+ is useless for
nak except to show off... but if you want to use it, try using shot
2 first. The shot 2 goes first because it must land in front of the
enemy, then after it hits it bunges them and the shot 1 can follow.

*For cake and lightning, dual+ tends to be about the same damage as
dual unless you get a weird lucky hit. So don't waste massive delay
using a dual... except in specific situations like cake using dual
shot 2 to bunge the opponent or lightning using dual 2 to hit several
spread out targets.

*If you prefer slice or god-forbid sniper, you should switch to
dragshot for full power shots like shotguns, high angles,
and boomer hooks. Then you can just drag quickly to full power.
Doing full power with slice/sniper wastes 3 seconds. Pressing
escape constantly to switch modes sounds irritating, but after a
while it's natural.

*You can sort of set a 'delay trap' if you watch delay carefully
enough. Look for situations where your delay is very close to
the opponent's (like somewhere between -100 and +100) and try firing
a shot 1. If your opponent takes the bait and fires back with a shot
2, their delay will be so high you can get 2 turns in a row against
them by using 1 again. If you ever see someone go from firing
nonstop shot 2's to suddenly firing a shot 1... they might be setting
the same trap on you, watch for it and switch to shot 1 yourself.
Also look for situations where you have a very large advantage
on the enemy, like +700. If you fire a shot 1 and they don't shot 1
back, you may be able to steal a turn.

*You can use delay to control (a bit) whether you or the enemy gets
to make use of a particular weather effect... for example, let's say
you're eighth on the turn list in a 4v4 game. The current weather
effect is thor, the next effect is item lock. You might want to
just dual now and not bother stealing a turn so you can make use of
the thor, since stealing a turn and then having item lock means you
don't have the chance to wipe out half their life anymore.
Alternately, if the current weather effect is item lock and you can
steal a turn vs an enemy, you can be the first to reach a strong
weather effect like thor or force, and you may be able to kill them
before they can strike back. It is even possible to deny an enemy
the chance to get to use a weather effect... for example, in a 4v4
game... if some enemy duals on the last round of a particular weather
effect, and 2 or 3 people (friends or enemies) steal 2 turns in a row
before he shoots again, then he will miss an entire weather effect
because weather effects last only about 8 turns.

*You can use F8 to skip your turn and have a little less delay than
a fast shot 1 would use. Knowing this might allow you to control the
weather in an important moment, like when the current turn is item
lock and you're in a 1v1 vs an enemy who will kill you on his next
turn. You can waste the turn to get rid of item lock, then on the
next turn you can use your items to kill them and win. This is in
rare situations where even your fastest shot 1 cannot get 2 turns.
(thanks to angelsofgreeSW for this one).

*Try not to dual just before double death (or whatever death mode) is
going to activate. If you dual just before double death, enemies
not only get 2 turns in a row on you, they get two DUALS in a row on
you. You're pretty much guaranteed to die.

*In score mode, the delay you die with follows you (a bit) when you
come back. Usually you want to dual before you die, but sometimes
to keep a lower delay it might make sense to go out with a dual+ or
SS or something instead, especially if you know you can't kill the
enemy. It might be the difference between spawning dead last on the
delay list and spawning halfway up the list.

*When an enemy is about to spawn in score, and it might be important
to beat his delay... use shot 1. Often when people drop in they'll
have a lot of delay, and using shot 1 will allow you to go before
the enemy who spawned. Sometimes, after they've already dropped, you
can use shot 1 and still get 2 turns in a row on them. Having 2
people play delay like this and rape a freshly spawned enemy can allow
you to kill someone without them ever getting to move or shoot.

*It's not exactly delay, but it's related: When you choose where to
drop in a score game, if you must drop near an enemy, try dropping
near (or directly on top of) whichever enemy goes 4th on the delay
list. That means you'll drop right on top of whoever shoots just
before you come back, and that enemy is unlikely to be able to beat
your delay because he just shot. It also means nobody else can shoot
at you without hurting their teammate, so you can avoid getting raped
before you have a chance to shoot. Just be aware that you are also
preventing teammates from shooting that enemy if you drop on top of
them. You may want to (rarely) wait for 1 turn to pass before
dropping in score... that way you can safely land after an enemy's
turn instead of just before they get to shoot.

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Ok, I think that's about it. Hope it helps people play smarter.


By Creedo