It’s All About The Center, Right?
So you probably know this mainstay stage of Splatoon that made its way into Splatoon 2. Here I’m going to explain two very distinctive mindsets of playing on it. They can apply to multiple modes, but for simplicity sake let’s just discuss Turf War.
Now of course when a battle begins there are many more than just two things you can go about doing. Although there is two distinctive initial main choices, whether to drop off towards the middle or start inking turf to the right, those aren’t the two I’m explaining here. The turf needs to be covered eventually, and as long as it isn’t in lingering or cowardice (see my previous article) then I can’t necessarily blame starting off with some coverage.
Now to explain these two mindsets you have to determine your actions in this hypothetical scenario. To set the stage as an individual player:
Regardless of your coverage concerns up to this point, you’ve proceeded down to the center. Neither the rest of your team nor the other team has committed to actually landing down or even engaging the center yet… What do you do? Of course there’s also another important consideration at this point I’ve left out, and it may just be the most important aspect of the stage to you: Chargers.
Chargers, those who snipe, play a very important part not only in what you might choose to do at this point, they also demonstrate a key aspect of the two mindsets I’m getting at. Hopefully by this point in the stage’s history if you know you’re against a Charger, you know some specific areas not to openly stand around in. Now obviously a sniper is unlikely going to try dropping into the center and pursuing up your side, they have range to work with. Well actually everyone has range to work with, theirs is just the most intricate to their weapon, their main line of splatting. So we’ve already concluded a Charger’s course of action in this scenario: they stick around somewhere and snipe.
Now to make things easier to explain, take Chargers out of the hypothetical scenario. Your decision here not automatically being in reaction to their presence, whether that be waiting them out or trying to race them, just set that consideration aside for this thought. Now your next main course of action can be classified into these two choices:
A. You do not immediately proceed to the center. This has a similar action type to if you were considering Chargers. You aren’t just simply doing nothing, and you don’t just entirely avoid the center, but your course of actions don’t start with you there.
B. You do proceed into the center. You’re some sort of hotshot and you’re gonna take your special straight up onto their side as fast as you can.
As it turns out, these still aren’t the two mindsets I’m explaining here. In fact as you may have guessed I darn well hope you’re choosing A. Will you get lucky or even determine everything that happens with B? Sure, but you’d have to be relying way too heavily on your opponents not being very good, because you aren’t exactly winning the day against anyone half decent with such an attempt. Blame your team for not instantly going full on ambush time, it’s simply not a sustainable plan even if they’re on board. There’s a very good chance one of the eight players is pulling a B though, and out of all possible scenarios your first action here should probably be to react to it: Either to stomp the enemy’s attempts, or ready up what you can while your team is trying it. But what if regardless of my suggestions you fall into B, where does that place you on the mindsets? It’s very similar to how Chargers get placed, in fact both of them are on polar opposites of the two. It’s about how much direct hold either side sees on enemy turf.
That’s right, finally at this point in the hypothetical scenario, the twin mindsets of Moray Towers are whether or not you see potential for taking and holding turf on the enemy’s side up past the center. Keep in mind this isn’t Port Mackerel, your team can’t get past the straightaway midpoint and block off means of escape from the enemy’s entry, the areas of access between the two stages aren’t the same at all. That’s not to say there is a correct of the two mindsets the same way there is for scenario A and B, it’s just a matter of how you look at the stage. However the wrong choice is an extreme of either side, well unless you’re a scoped Charger, in which your breadth of range enables you to technically see an area as held without actually being there to back it up.
So is there a reasonable point at which you can claim and advance past the enemy’s initial drop off area? I’m of the mindset given the situation you can certainly advance on it, but you shouldn’t try holding turf on it the same way you do any other stage. This comes from my experience on the stage, but it’s also the mindset you typically would expect a Charger to be for obvious reasons: They’ll turf control the center enough that it’s easier to let whoever else is with them to potentially be of the other mindset. But the thing is you don’t have to be a Charger to see it that way, you just have to deliver the same extent of center control that they do, fully with your weapon at a moment’s notice, only with your Special as back up.
As long as you’re not the hotshot in scenario B however and you can react to what everyone else chooses to do, can you possibly see some turf up there able to be held? Sure. It’s not my mindset, but I’ve seen it be done. The one thing you don’t want is for your entire team to be so rallied into this mindset however the enemy side becomes their suicide ladder, and before you know it the tables have turned. And of course whoever does it last has time on their side. I’d much rather bait those of the turf advancing mindset as much as possible before moving on.
Of course this feeds in perfectly to my previous article about cowards in the game. If you see no way forward because someone approaching you is your death warrant, you’re likely to either cause problems for your team by being unable to adapt to their ratio of the mindset, or you’re following formula in such a way that provides false hopes with your Special, on the enemy’s side, in the fastest and easiest way they’re taking it back and then some given the debatable hold you can have in the first place. If you’re willing to see a sustainable way up, you darn well be bringing direct splats with your main weapon to the effort. Otherwise all you’re doing is fluctuating between both extremes standing back aggressively and trying your luck with your Special as riskily up on them as possible.
This is a stage that demands some careful consideration, but there’s one equalizer that applies to everyone no matter what they’re trying: Everyone has to climb. Sooner or later you can catch climbers from one end or another if you aren’t impatient. The inclines, the walls, or now also the ink-line: if they want your side they have to potentially risk being below you. It’s why for instance the center is to be controlled, not necessarily held. If you’re on the side of the mindset you can hold farther then you may get the center locked in that way, but you can’t just hold directly in front of it. It’s the advantage of higher ground. If the enemy is dealing in heavy range, especially Splatlings, it certainly calls for advancing on their side in order to take control of the center. There’s no doubt about that. But keep in mind as each layer of the stage drops down, the more range they’re dealing with the more you’re playing with fire trying to keep much more than the center for long. The flames of a seared Eel are sweet, but you best not bite off more than you can chew.