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Part 3 - Intermediate & Advanced Deathmatch

By this point you should be able to call yourself, with some degree of confidence, a solid beginner at deathmatch games. Hey, you may not be the best at every given game (or any given game) but you do get some kills in. More importantly you've been practicing at running, strafing, jumping, and using the mouse and keyboard to hone your deathmatch skills.

Part 3 is meant to further develop those skills by showing you some of the more unique, and challenging, tricks of the trade when it comes to deathmatch and Quake 2 multiplayer in general.


THE CIRCLE (CIRCLE STRAFING)
Widely considered a fundamental multiplay tactic, circle strafing allows you to essentially run circles around an enemy while still maintaining an accurate target on him. If done properly, this move will disorient your opponent and make him an easier kill for you.

Learning this move takes a little practice, but as you will see it is well worth the time. First you'll need an open area to practice it in. Large pillars are good structures to practice circle strafing on (there are lots of pillars in map base2). Once you've found a pillar aim a weapon at a certain spot on the pillar. Now, start circle strafing around the pillar by holding down one of the strafe keys while moving the mouse in the opposite direction. So if I was holding down the strafe left key I would be moving the mouse right, and vice versa.

Another key to successful circle strafing is using the move forward and backwards keys in combination with your strafing and mouse movement. By moving forward and back while circle strafing you can avoid becoming hung up on obstacles that may be nearby. It's also useful when circle strafing in confined areas.

Of course circle strafing works best when you're shooting at a stationary object, like a pillar. In deathmatch however your opponent won't be standing still for you! But that doesn't depreciate the value of circle strafing. Just getting a few hits on an opponent while at the same time moving to the back of him, or outside is field of vision, can be an immense help. It's also useful to strafe around corners so you can quickly determine if anyone is hiding there, waiting to pop you one.


ROCKET JUMP
A fun little technique, rocket jumping is used to propel yourself up onto ledges or platforms that are normally unreachable by conventional means, or that take too long to reach by walking. It's primarily useful in deathmatch for performing quick escapes form superior opponents.

The basic rocket jump is easy. You aim your rocket launcher at the floor by looking down at the floor as far as you can. Next you hit the jump key and then, as quickly as possible, you hit the fire key. This will propel your character straight up in the air a considerable distance. You can see a demo example of a rocket jump by downloading my demo pak at Download Central. The rocket jump demo is called "rjump.dm2." Be sure you've read the cheats and demo page for information on how to install and run the demo.

Getting where you want to go
A rocket jump is only useful if you can get somewhere above you (like a platform) by using it. Propelling yourself straight up in the air generally does you no good. When you're rocket jumping in Quake 2 you can't change the direction you go in midair, so you'll have to make sure you're pointing in the direction you want to go before rocket jumping.

Speed
You can usually get a better rocket jump by taking a running start at the time you perform your rocket jump. This does make it more difficult to set up your jump and land precisely where you want.

Health Impact
A rocket jump will, of course, take some health off your player when you perform it. So if you're player is near death it may not be a good idea to use the rocket jump.

Grenade Jumps
You need not use only a rocket to perform a rocket jump. Any explosion will propel you into the air. For instance, you could throw a grenade on the floor, stand on it, and jump right at the moment of explosion. Even better, you could stand on the grenade and fire a rocket at the floor and jump just when the grenade explodes! That will really catch you some air (but will also impact your health more).


LADDER TRICKS
Believe it or not, ladders can be used to your advantage in deathmatches. The trick is knowing when, and how, to use the ladder effectively.

Ladder Limits
One important note about using the latter. You can't turn your player more than 90 degrees without falling off the ladder. This can make it rather difficult to do any kind of fighting when you're on the ladder, but there are good tactics you can still use.

Quick Shot
If you're being chased up a ladder there's a good way to take quick pot shots at your pursuer while still maintaining a hold on the ladder. First, quickly look down at your opponent and fire. This will cause you to fall. Turn around quickly so that you're facing the ladder again and your player will grab the ladder (this is where mouse control really comes in handy). If you've done this quickly enough you won't have slipped down the ladder much.

Be Sneaky
This tactic is a hoot when you pull it off. Usually when you're being chased and there's a ladder nearby you just jump down the ladder chute to the bottom and keep on running. Try this next time. Jump down like normal, but halfway down grab hold of the ladder and wait. Your opponent will jump all the way down the ladder - thinking you did as well - and go right past you! At this point your can either jump on top of his head and blast him to pieces, or make a quick getaway up the ladder. Fun, huh?

Keep Your Head Up!
When you're climbing up a ladder, always be looking at the top of the ladder as you climb! This way you can spot any would-be snipers looking to blow your head off.

Play It Safe
If you're the very cautious kind it may be a good idea to lob a grenade down any ladders you encounter before you head on down them. So anyone coming up the ladder will get a rude awakening :-)


JUMPING
People jump like crazy in Quake 2 deathmatches for good reason; it works. Jumping around sporadically is a good way to throw off the aim of other players. In combination with strafing, the random jump becomes even more effective.

The main thing to remember is that you should not develop any pattern to your jumps. When you jump in Quake 2 the other players can hear it. If you jump with a pattern they will soon pick up on the audible cues of this pattern. That allows them to time your jumps and the whole purpose of jumping - to throw off your opponent's aim - is down the toilet.


DODGING
When fire fights get hairy, dodging becomes very critical. If you can't move out of your opponents line of fire you're pretty much dead (obviously).

Use obstacles
Use the environment in Quake 2 to your advantage when dodging. Use crates and walls to hide from incoming fire. You can then strafe out from behind the obstacle, fire at the opponent, and strafe back behind the obstacle for cover. Use this tactic as much as possible.

Dodge rockets
Rockets can be deadly, but not if they don't hit you (of course). If a rocket's been fired at you strafe left or right to avoid it. If you've got a good short range gun like the double barreled shotgun or hyperblaster you can charge the person who fired the rocket; at the same time dodging their rockets while you're blasting them.


WAVES
Waves won't help you get any more kills in a deathmatch, but they are lots of fun! Waves are essentially gestures you can make to other players in the game. They include a salute, taunt, wave (like waving hello), and the ever popular flipoff. By default Quake 2 assigns each of the waves to the following keys:

Flipoff H
Salute J
Taunt K
Wave L

Press each key to perform the wave. You will recieve a message that tells you what wave you just performed. Just be careful not to flipoff teamates in team games!


Expert tactics are only part of the game when it comes to deathmatch. Click the "Next" link below for the next page in the tutorial - "Playing Smart".

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