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Part 5 - Capture The Flag Introduction

THE GOAL OF CTF
As I mentioned in the previous page, the goal of CTF is very simple. Players are divided into two teams, read and blue. Each team is trying to capture the other team's flag and return it to their base (just like in elementary school physical ed).

What makes CTF so popular is its teamplay aspect. You can't just wing it on your own in CTF. You need to work as a coherent unit in order to be successful. That means talking with your fellow teammates and figuring out who will be on defense (guarding the base and your flag), and who will go on offense (sneaking into the other base and stealing their flag).


DOWNLOADING CTF
Before you play CTF you're going to need to download the mod first, of course. Go to my download central page. There you will find links to the latest version of CTF. Download the file, run it, and CTF will be installed on your PC. After you've done that make sure to return to this page and continue the setup process.


GET THE CTF GAMESPY TAB
Now that you've got CTF you're going to need an easy way of locating CTF servers. If you saw earlier, I've got a link to the CTF Gamespy tab on my download central page. Download the tab to your PC and import it into Gamespy. Now when ever you click on that tab in Gamespy it will show you all the Quake 2 CTF servers available. You can then just double click on the server name to join a game of Capture The Flag!


CREATE A CTF CONFIG
CTF has many unique features to it that require some user tweaking of the Quake 2 configuration to be easily used. Here's the major things we'll be setting up:

Grapple
CTF introduces a new item for the player's toolbelt - the grapple. It's a lot like that one thing Batman always uses to swing around huge buildings. In CTF the grapple can be used to "grapple" yourself up to difficult to reach locations. Some people also use it to hang from ceilings while defending their base (this gives them a wide vantage point for sniping intruders).

Messagemode2
Talking is very important in CTF. You'll want to stay in constant communication with your teammates to coordinate your efforts. However the standard talk command (T) is probably not a good idea in CTF because everyone will be able to see what you're saying! When you're giving critical information (like a defense plan) you'll want to do it in "messagemode2" which just means any chatting you do will only be broadcast to your team.

Drop Tech
Another new feature in CTF is what are called "techs." Techs are just really cool powerups that give you special abilities. For example, the Auto Doc tech will regenerate your health automatically and constantly. The only limitation of techs is that you can only carry one at a time. So binding a key to the console command "drop tech" will allow you to drop the tech you're carrying at the press of a key. This is useful if you want to pick up a different tech or give the one you have to a teammate.

say_team
This console command is useful for creating bookmarked messages that you can broadcast to your team at the press of a button. For example you could bind the F6 key to transmit "Our base is under attack!" to your entire team when it's pressed.

Those are the basic console commands and features you should be using with CTF. Next we'll create a config file that will actually implement all these features. Start up Notepad and then copy the below config information in and save the file to your Quake2\baseq2 directory as "ctf.cfg"

bind q "use grapple"
bind e "messagemode2"
bind r "drop tech"

//This command tells your teammates what weapon you
//are near, your health, your armor level, and any
//powerups you have.
bind F2 cmd steam "I'm %L, %H, %A, and %T."

bind F3 say_team "I've got the flag (%L)"
bind F4 say_team "I'm on defense, %L"
bind F5 say_team "We need our flag back."
bind F6 say_team "Base is under attack!"
bind F7 say_team "Enemy is incoming!"

Now we should create a new player for use under CTF games in Gamespy. Start up Gamespy and when the player profile screen pops up click New. Enter a name for your player then enter "ctf.cfg" for the cfg file.

Now every time we play a game of CTF with that player, the settings in "ctf.cfg" will be used. So pressing the "Q" key uses the grapple, the "E" key lets you chat with your teammates, the "R" key drops any tech you're carrying, and "F2" through "F6" transmits pre-written messages to your team (such as "We need our flag back").


After you've gotten into your first few games of CTF you may notice you're having a difficult time keeping up, or figuring out how other players are doing things. Fear not because CTF strategy is our next topic. Click the link below to continue.

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