In almost every map, there are elements that can throw players with predetermined angle and force. This kind of map elements are referred to as jump pads in this article. Jump pads usually look like they are spouting liquid water or blowing out steam, but in Pinball Avenue, there are also two other kinds of jump pads. The general purpose of the jump pads is to help players to get to places where it is hard or impossible to go otherwise, at least quickly.
Jump pad typesEdit
The most common (and likely the best known) jump pad type is the fire hydrant. Fire hydrants are deactivated by default, but after getting hit by an attack, they spout water upwards for three seconds. During this time, any players touching the fire hydrant or the tall spout will be repeatedly thrown directly upwards with a constant velocity. If a player touches the top part of the spout, he/she will reach a predetermined height. After the three seconds has elapsed, the fire hydrant will deactivate, but it can be immediately reactivated with another attack. It is worth noting that if a fire hydrant deactivates while a player is still touching the spout, the player will suddenly stop moving upwards and will start to fall.
In Midnight Arena, there are two sewer manholes that blow out a huge pillar of gray steam (or dust) and pieces of paper and can be inactive or active. These manholes are very similar to fire hydrants. There are only two gameplay related differences: Firstly, the inactive manholes do not form any kind of a solid obstacle. Secondly, the manholes cannot be activated by players, but the manholes activate and deactivate automatically approximately every 3.1 seconds. One of the manholes is always active while the other one is inactive.
The other types of jump pads are always active and do not have very big spouts or pillars of steam, but instead, throw players only once in a row. Always active jump pads that throw players straight up include the slowly steam blowing sewer manholes in City Hall Station, the water spouting storm drains in Brawl Factory, the steam blowing pipes coming from the walls in Riot Mill and the pinball themed pillars in Pinball Avenue. There are also jump pads that throw players diagonally up and are designed to help players get over wide gaps. For example, the water cannons in Roof Court and the fast running tilted threadmills in Pinball Avenue are this kind of jump pads.
One of the most common ways to get tactical advantage out of jump pads is to defend (camp at) the destination of a jump pad. In the case of vertical jump pads, many different attacks can be useful at preventing any opponents from getting up while inflicting considerable amount of damage on them. However, certain moves are especially powerful and/or reliable. For example, boxer's Swing Down attack can be used to trap an opponent into a combo of several hits, where the player flies repeatedly up (from hitting the jump pad) and down (from the Swing Down attack), possibly followed by the attacker dropping down with his/her victim to get an extra hit or two. A firefighter can also cause lots of trouble to opponents by constantly creating Mine Balls and pushing the opponents away and back down with Water Spray. When no opponent is about to come up, a firefighter can use Six-Shooter or Nine-Shooter with the advantage of a high ground to damage and provoke opponents below him/her.
To counter this tactic, you could try to get control of the jump pad destination first yourself, or avoid using any jump pads guarded by opponents at the destination. If you really want to use such a jump pad, you could try to distract the opponents into using their defensive attacks (like special attacks) too early by running towards the jump pad and then delaying the usage of the jump pad at the last moment. If you do not need to get to the jump pad destination yourself (at least not immediately), you could also try to just dodge the opponents attacks by moving away from the opponents in the air and then counter attack them with a ranged alt-attack. Also using an item (other than telephone) just before getting hit by attacks can be a very useful trick to avoid getting thrown back down and to break the defences.
Jump pads can also be used to make recovering health and escaping from chasing opponents easier. Filling the recovery gauge is not possible while dashing, but is possible while flying in the air. Also, in the case of vertical jump pads, when you rocket into the sky right in front of your chasing opponents, they cannot see you for a while (it is impossible to point the camera steeply up). The chasers will not know whether you will land up or down. Novice players will almost always predict the first option, which often leads them to being high up while the chased player dashes away below, having a fuller recovery gauge. Landing up is not definitely not a bad option either, as more experienced players can predict you coming back down and then rather easily catch you. Landing up also gives you the possibility to stop and defend yourself from the rocketing chasers (see the first mentioned tactic).