Ok so you have been playing the virtual pool series for years and as far as your concerned your the man or woman to beat.However you never ever did get to play online in Virtual Pool 3 as you couldnt get the game to work in Gamespy..
You might be a first time visitor to the series and think that online will be a piece of cake anyway.....what is there to worry about?
No matter who you are,things are about to change in your Virtual Pool world soon enough.
Just as in real life Pool,Billiards or Snooker,everyone has a different level of skills and Virtual pool 4 will be no different.
If you play in your local pub or bar or Billiard hall you will soon get to know the hustlers out there and the whose who of the best players around.
However your thinking I dont want to get my arse handed to me time and time again from these players.
So what can you do?
Again just as in real life and in no matter what game you play,there is a learning curve that we all had to go through and you will certainly need to learn all the different shots that will give you an armoury that you can fall back on when your playing online matches with friends or opponents perhaps in online tourneys.
Where do you start.?
The Virtual Pool offline version has a very good tutorial for all newbies to the game and Steve Daking will guide you through all the different types of shots you will need in order to improve your level of play and be competative.
Will you just be a banger or a player?
What do I mean by that?.Well what I mean is that I have seen many players play pool or snooker online over the years and they never plan ahead,this is your basic fundamental part of every game will you will ever play in Virtual Pool.You MUST always be thinking about your next shot and about where you want to put the cueball.Simply banging balls into pockets can be fun,but you keep losing.
Think about your next shot and plan your route ahead and visualise.
Try and SEE the shot your attempting to play before you need to play it.
OK that sounds fine but you cannot put the cue ball where you want it if your not in full control of the cueball.Its like a car in the sense that its only as good as the driver.
The cueball will be under your full control,once you have learned the mastery of English(or side),topsin,backspin(draw)etc.
The cue ball is like a dart board or a clock face and depending on where you put the cue tip on the face of that ball will determine the type of reaction that you will get from the cueball when you play that shot.
I cannot stress enough the importance of cueball control because thats what the difference is between them and us....the guys that run the table or make the big breaks all the time have all the basics taken care of,they are in full control of what they are doing and can get the cueball to go where they want with pinpoint accuracy..
You wont come to Virtual Pool 4 online and be an overnight sensation if your a noob,you will have to pay your dues and you will have to learn the hard way and you will get beaten frequently and heavily most likely,BUT you must not be discouraged
Some people say its best to stick with players of your own similar abilities to get more fun out of playing online.I would disagree with that statement.
In order to improve your game you should deliberatley make an effort to get to play the better players around as you can learn an awful lot from watching them play every shot.
To get the best out of Virtual Pool 4 its best to start at the bottom and work your way up in all facets of the game.The longer you play it the more you will learn and the better you will become but that takes patience and lots of it.
Right here is my Newbies guide to VP4 online.
1.Start off by making sure you have your mouse set up correctly.This is the very basic and first thing you MUST do to aid you in your control of shots in the game.Try lowering the sensitivity or raising it and playing a few shots with those different settings.The more in tune you are with your mouse sensitivity settings,the better in control of shot power and weight you will have.What you are trying to acheive is a FEEL for every shot you will ever play in the game.You will be a much better player straight away simply by doing this right at the start.
2.Virtual Pool 4 is a 3D Billiard simulator and the game allows you to study the table from every angle....so do it.Take your time to look around the table and the lie of the balls while your opponent is shooting and especially when its your turn to shoot.You will have a much better idea of what shot your needing to play for your next ball.
3.Think.........If theres not a shot on for you,then how can you make your opponents next shot as difficult as possible.This is a part of the game that many players dont use at all.
Dont shoot without having thought of the consequences for you or your opponent.
Safety play is one of the biggest weapons in your arsenal and must be used in good measure and at just the right times during play.You will win many games by simply having thought out a good safety shot and giving your opponent lots to think about themselves and benefitting from the mistakes they make trying to negotiate their way out of the tricky situation that you put them in.
Percentage play can win the day time and time again.You can be brave and go for all your shots and on very rare occasions it might work for you on the day,but its very likely that you will be paying a heavy price from not having thought your shot through.
4.Challenge to improve yourself.
You wont get better at the game by just playing the same people online all the time,so if you like to shoot 8ball or 9ball the best way to meet up with different skill levels of players is by joining a Challenge lobby or a winner stays on table.
Simply by playing in these types of room you will be playing one rack at a time and against different players all waiting to knock you off the table.
There will be online tournanents in Virtual Pool 4.
The tournaments will mostly be handicapped as in many real life tournaments in the public or amatuer game
Again you will get to play differing levels of ability but this time in a tournament style either by straight one loss and your out or more likely in a double elimination style where you get two chances in each tournament.The handicapping system means that depending on your ability or rating for a particular game type you will benefit by getting perhaps a one or two rack start on your opponent or vice versa.
This makes tournament play a lot more fun for all,especially those of us who might not be to the standard of many others in the same event and it gives you a head start .It also means that the better player who is handicapped has to focus more in order to win through.
Its and old cliche used in many sports...."It's only a game"
Virtual Pool 4 has been a long time coming and its the chance for the Virtual Pool commmunity small though it is at present to grow and grow.
We are going to have a proper home to go to when playing online and its our own Virtual Pool server especially for us.
Its up to all of us who choose to play online to be part of that community by taking part in it and having fun.
its also up to those regular Virtual Pool players to welcome the hopefuly many new players to online and to what is still the best Billiard simulation out there
Virtual Pool 4 Online is coming soon....are you ready for it?
Will you be a banger or a player?
Now is the time to prepare and get your practice in for when it comes.
Looking forward to seeing you all there.