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1st VP4 Tournament

    

Events
Emil

Some important information which will prove useful to the uninitiated (related to the game itself) and information about the tournament itself. Unless you're new to VP4, the only part you really want to read is PART II and especially its section 3 and section 4 (the section on how to set up your own multiplayer room and the rules you need to put on so that you can play your matches and also practice with the same rules as the ones that will be requested for the tournament). But if you are new to VP4, you might want to consider reading everything below and especially section 3 of PART I which is about the basic controls of the game + some very important mechanics/rules like the "push-out" shot, knowledge about which will be very useful to you in this tournament.

 

Part I - Introduction to the game - Most important controls

1. What the frick is VP4?
Oh, it's just the greatest billiards simulator in existence. You might have heard of Shooterspool which can be considered VP4's only real rival but don't let its superior marketing and graphics fool you - at its core the game is undoubtedly inferior. Let's just put it like this: Shooterspool is like Bannerlord and Virtual Pool 4 is like Warband - enough said.

 

2. Okay, so how do I get this fricking game?

VP4 is available on Steam as both a free-to-play version and as a paid version that costs 23 euros. What is the difference, you ask?
The main difference is that the paid version includes Singleplayer (what exactly is included in the Singleplayer you can check out for yourself) + a 1 year membership for Multiplayer.

 

If you're not interested in the Singleplayer you can download the free-to-play (f2p) Multiplayer version, however the Multiplayer itself also has a paid (premium) version which costs about 1 dollar a month and you can upgrade to that if you want after you download the f2p version for free and create your account. (Side Note: You should ignore the Multiplayer f2p version's "mixed" reviews on Steam - it's just a bunch of boomers who are jelly that the game isn't actually completely free but has a premium version. These reviews have nothing to do with the actual quality of the game.)

https://store.steampowered.com/app/432310/Virtual_Pool_4_Multiplayer/

 

3. Okay, I got the game but how do I fricking play it?

 

After you find yourself in an actual game you can press F1 to see all the controls available. I shall attempt to list THE MOST IMPORTANT CONTROLS below:


Left Mouse Button (hold + move mouse back and forward) - Adjusts your camera over the cue (zoom in/zoom out)


S (hold) - enters shooting mode; you can exit that by simply letting go of the button; while in shooting mode you move your mouse back to bring the cue back and then forward to bring it forward and strike the cue ball.

 

V (hold) - enters a "free view" mode where you can look anywhere you want by moving the mouse around and also holding LMB + moving the mouse back and forward to zoom in/zoom out. You can do this even if it is your turn - to return to "normal" mode when you're ready to shoot, simply press "A".

 

M (hold) - allows you to move the cue ball wherever you want when you have it "in-hand" after a foul shot from your opponent or at the start of each game when it's your turn to go first.


X (hold) - shows an overhead view of the table.

 

Ctrl + C - used to call shots (when required by the rules); In this tournament, to pot the 6-ball legally (and win the game) you will be required to call the pocket where you intend to pot it before playing the shot. When the 6-ball is the only ball left on the table, as soon as you start holding down "S" to shoot, the "call shot" screen will pop-up immediately on its own. 
To call a shot, after you press "Ctrl + C" you will need to select the ball you intend to pot and then select a pocket where you intend to pot the selected ball (all done with the mouse cursor that will show up after you press "Ctrl +C").


Ctrl + P - Play a "push-out" shot. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR THIS TOURNAMENT; READ CAREFULLY - This option is only available to whoever is at the table during the shot following the break-off shot (aka, the shot following the very first shot of each game; after this 2nd shot is over you don't have the push-out shot option anymore) - the idea is that after breaking the balls open, the player who was breaking, even if he potted a ball, could end up being snookered on the next ball after the break or if that player didn't pot anything, then the next player could potentially be snookered on the next ball ("snookered" meaning that the player doesn't even have a proper shot in a straight line to simply make contact with the object ball). So playing a "push-out" allows you to basically play ANY shot you want (except maybe pocketing the cue ball) - you don't need to hit any ball or even any rail. (You may attempt to pot ANY ball for whatever reason but keep in mind it will just stay off the table and then it will still be your opponent's turn to come to the table next; In case you pot the 6-ball during a push-out, it will come back on the so-called "foot spot" of the table). This is done primarily so you can set up a better shot for yourself - one where you can at least see the object ball directly. However... Following this, the next player comes to the table and may elect to play from the position left by the previous player after his "push-out" OR by pressing Ctrl + P himself, make the player who played the "push-out" return to the table and force him to play from the position left.


Basically, what you're trying to do when playing a "push-out" is leave a sort of 50/50 shot - one that is not so easy that your opponent would just take the table and play on but also one that is not too difficult, in case your opponent decides to put you back at the table.


If that was hard to follow, try watching this video (it has proper captions/subtitles you can turn on): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6iYr2SsiTA

 

B (hold) - controls the elevation of your cue - NEVER USE THIS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING - the game sets up the optimal cue elevation for every "normal" shot automatically (i.e. the cue is always as parallel as possible to the bed of the table)


E (hold) - allows you to put any spin you want on the cue ball - NEVER USE THIS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING

 

W (hold) - temporarily zooms out a preset amount, so long as you're holding down the button - useful for when you have another ball behind the cue ball which forces you to shoot with an elevated cue, thus obstructing your vision of the object ball you want to shoot at (aka when you find yourself in a "chinese snooker")

 

Common pitfalls regarding controls: 

1. If you're trying to aim a shot but notice that the camera is barely moving when you're moving the mouse around then you've most probably pressed "," by mistake. (which is right next to the very important button "M" that lets you place the cue-ball anywhere you want when you have it "in-hand" so that's when this problem usually happens) Pressing "," enters "fine-tuning" mode which is when you really need to make an adjustment to your aim of mere millimeters and that is why it's slowing your sensitivity down by a ton. So to solve the issue, simply try pressing "," again.

 

2. When trying to enter the "free view" mode by holding down "V" and moving your mouse around, if you end up holding down"C" instead and moving your mouse around (NEVER EVER HOLD DOWN "C" AND MOVE YOUR MOUSE AROUND) the camera will get extremely trippy - I have no idea why this feature exists and how it's meant to be used. 
Fortunately, it fixes itself when it's your turn to play again. You can also try looking at the available controls by pressing "F1" for some sort of "camera reset" button - there should be one but I forget which one it is.

 

4. Where the frick can I find the rules of 6-ball and all the other games that are available to play?

In the VP4 Manual (among many other things in there) - http://www.celeris.com/ftp/vp4help.pdf
Oh, and one important thing that's not explained properly in the rulebook - to make a valid break-off shot (aka when you have the very first shot of the game) 4 balls must hit a cushion after you break them up, so don't try breaking off the balls too soft as your opponent will get the cue ball "in-hand".

 

Part II - The Tournament - Sign-ups; Format; How to host your matches

 

1. So why the frick are we playing 6-ball and not 9-ball or 8-ball or something?

The free-to-play version of the game only let's you play on the smallest pool table, known as the "Garage" table. Playing 8-ball on such a small table is a nightmare but 8-ball isn't even the top professional pool game, anyway. The top professional game is 9-ball, however, again, due to the small size of the table it would be more enjoyable to play a game with less balls which is where 6-ball comes in - it is EXACTLY the same as 9-ball except less balls are used.

 

2. Okay, so how the frick do I sign-up? 

Message me (Kenway#9911) on the NRP discord and I will add you to the bracket, assuming there are still spaces available - the cap will be set at 16 players.

 

3. Okay, but how the frick will this tournament even work and when does it start?

 

1. The tournament will commence at my own discretion - either following an undefined period of time after the maximum player capacity of 16 players has been reached or, if that should seem to be taking too long, it will start with whatever number of players have signed up, again, after an undefined period of time which will be decided by me. This is so that potential newcomers can have some time to get familiar with the basics of the game as laid out by me in Part I and/or have a little bit of practice by themselves through setting up a private room with the same settings/rules as the ones that will be in place for the actual tournament.

2. The exact format of the matches may depend on how many players sign up but ALL matches will be held AT LEAST as a first-to-7 format (aka "best of 13" ).  A typical first-to-7 match in this tournament shouldn't take more than an hour even if the worst players in the world are at the table but that's just my estimate. (I, personally, can play 7-8 games like the ones in the tournament, by myself in practice, for no more than 15-20 minutes). The overall format of the tournament itself will be "Double Elimination", meaning that even if you lose one match you will get another chance by getting transferred to the "Losers' Bracket" - if you manage to defeat everyone from there, you will have earned yourself a Final against the winner of the "Winners' Bracket", however you will have to beat him in 2 matches of the same format to claim victory, whereas he will need only 1.

3. Virtual Pool 4 is a game of honour and, as such, the players will be trusted to set up their own rooms, in accordance with the official rules that are laid out in in the section below. But even so, I shall attempt to be available to set up the rooms personally and to referee (mostly so that I can help newcomers out with the controls but also to keep the score, if needed). It would be nice if players didn't take more than a week to set up and finish their matches - as mentioned above, no match should take more than 2 hours even on the longest format which will (potentially) be a first-to-13 (best of 25) (probably only if all 16 players sign up) so you should have plenty of time to do this.

 

4. Okay, now how the frick do I set up my own room for practice/match-play and what rules do I need to put on? 

After you've installed the game and created your account, you should find yourself in the multiplayer lobby.
Begin by clicking "Create Room" on the right side of your screen and after you've done that...
1. Set the "Room Type" to "Challenge".

2. Set "Private" to "On" and type in a password of your choice.

3. Set "Location" to "Garage"

4. Set the game to "6-ball" and click "Advanced"
 

Leave everything on default settings, except:
- Set "Jump Cues" to "Off"
- Set "Call Money" to "On"

- Set "Spot Money" to "On"

 

Click "OK" and continue down the other options:

5. Set "Table" to "Default Table"
6. Set "Table Setup" to "Tournament Table"

 

And that should be everything you need to know to be able to effectively take part in the tournament.

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