Turning the other Cheek in Huttball

So I know that you probably all wake up each day and wonder, what would would JetPackJesus do in a game of Huttball?  Well today I’m here to answer that burning question.

For reference I am currently at valor level 39, typically run 3-4 matches a day with a mix of small guild groups to solo queuing.  While my PvE spec is almost always healing, I tend to switch things up often with PvP so I would say that I have done about 60% as healer and 40% as a DPS Merc.

Warzones

There are three available warzone maps that can be queued for.  Two of which only allow for Imperial versus Republic games, the third allows for same faction teams to play each other.  This is a pretty nice mechanic for dealing with faction imbalance, and I can attest that I have rarely waited in queue for more than 5-10 minutes, even at off hours.  The catch is that you will find yourself playing about 50%-60% Huttball and splitting the other two, and depending on how much you like Huttball, this may be a good or a bad thing.

Huttball

This is the warzone that is probably the most unique as far as game types go. Played on a square field with multiple levels of catwalk running above it, the object is grab the ball that starts in the middle of the field and carry it over the opponents goal line.  On the catwalks there are many fire traps that can be used to evade or kill enemies.

The only ways in which you can interact with the ball are clicking on it when it is in the middle uncontrolled to gain possession, and throwing the ball to another teammate.  To throw the ball, you will use the Throw Huttball ability that should be automatically added to your bars when you play your first match.  If it is not there or you have removed it, you can always find it again in your Abilities window under the General tab.  Throwing the Hutball involves clicking the ability when you have the ball and targeting the ground near an Ally.  You cannot choose to pass to a target, only a target area so make sure someone is in it if you throw the ball, or it will reset.

Tips and Tactics

Huttball games can be very fun and very frustrating at times, well coordinated teams can destroy pugs if they play smart given the tactics that can be employed.  Often times its not how much damage you can put out, but also your location on the map that determines your effectiveness.  This is also the best example of a warzone where I feel tanking has a really unique role to play as ball carriers and defenders.  Here are a couple things I try to keep in mind while playing.

  • Get the ball to a tank or heavy armored DPS, they make the best carriers, healers typically don’t make a good ball carrier
  • Try to stay at least one level above the floor, this will give you the best view and allow you move from side to side faster
  • Use your knockbacks for damage when possible, there are two acid pits and 12 fire pits that people can be pushed into
  • Don’t use a stun when your target has a full resolve bar, you are just wasting it
  • When you get the ball, look up and towards the goal, if someone is closer to the goal than you, pass it, the ball moves faster than you do
  • Get the ball to a sorcerer/sage if you are close the goal line, their speed boost is a great tool for closing those last few feet.
  • Taunt off the ball carrier to reduce the damage they are taking
  • Use Line of Sight to your advantage, different levels and obstacles provide some nice places to duck in and out of
  • Stay in a group and protect your healers, if you keep them alive, they will keep you alive
  • If you find yourself dropping health quickly with the ball, try to pass it, if you are closer to your end zone than theirs, you may want to intentionally throw the ball away so it resets back to the middle
  • If your team has the ball and you aren’t carrying it, try to get in front of the ball carrier and make yourself known, maybe by hitting them with some rapid shots(thanks RumRunner!)
Jesus’ Tips on How Not to be a Douche in Huttball

Because Huttball tends to take up more than its fair share of matches, it’s hard to avoid. Huttball also can be EXTREMELY frustrating if you are matched up against a superior opponent in either damage or coordination.  Those of use who were PvPing at level 50 before the separate bracket know what I am talking about.  Now with the separate bracket for only level 50s you can be sure everyone is on par ability wise, but there is still a divide between the amount of Expertise people have on their gear.

Here are a couple of things I have noticed over time that I have found greatly affect the experience of Huttball, these go for people on both sides of the coin, winning and losing.

  • Huttball is not Team Deathmatch, if you aren’t defending the ball, or attempting to get to it,  then your teammates probably hate you.  Don’t stick around the endzone after a goal(yours or theirs) to pick off the guy that scored, GO GET THE BALL.
  • If you can stealth, great, but still play the damn game, waiting on the catwalk for the rest of the team to pass you the ball is a waste of a person, not saying there aren’t moments when you should do this, just not the whole damn game.
  • If you don’t want to stay in the match, Log Out, waiting for it to time you out just leaves the rest of the team down a man that much longer.
  • If you are winning pretty easily, finish the game, nobody wants to hang around for 10 minutes in a 5-0 game.  I’ve seen too many groups use this time to farm kills and valor, you guys can go straight to hell.
  • Don’t stun without reason, I’ve seen too many people stun away at a ball carrier only to increase his resolve before someone could do something useful with it.
  • Don’t stand on the edges of the catwalks or endzones, especially when the other team has the ball.  Warrriors and Knights will leap up to you, thus gaining precious altitude and the advantage on you.  The endzone is the most important, as I can’t tell you how many times the ball carrier was knocked down off the catwalks only to leap up to the guy standing on the edge and walk in and score.

2 comments

  1. RumRunner says:

    I wish everyone had to read and sign this before playing HB. I really do.

    You make many excellent points. There is really only one that I’d add which dovetails to this one:
    “When you get the ball, look up and towards the goal, if someone is closer to the goal than you, pass it, the ball moves faster than you do”
    If your team has the ball, get ahead of the ball carrier so they have someone to pass to if needed.

    As a bodyguard, I like to use rapid shots while I am in front and/or above to let them know that “Hey, I am here”.

    Being in front still allows you to attack, heal, guard, taunt, etc., but now you can help move the ball too.

    Also, if the ball carrier passes you and you can’t get ahead/catchup/help, fall back to mid to be able to snatch the ball on a score/drop. Much better to make them stop you than to have to stop them.

  2. Ech says:

    The Knight/Warrior comment is huge, but don’t forget Vanguard/Powertech leaps (talented) or Sorcerer/Sage pulls. Both are useful for bursts of speed/mobility that the enemy team may not be able to match.

    Also, a series of passes can break an enemy team. I’ve seen consecutive goals within 30 seconds by quick passes, quickly racking up points. Some people play until you beat them, but many crack once you’re ahead 3-4 points and turn into fodder to farm.

    Then again, I’ve won games in the last few seconds, so it ain’t over until someone hits six goals or the buzzer sounds.

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