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    PlanetQuake | Features | Articles | From the Hardcore Side - 6/30/00
   

From the Hardcore Side
There are people who play Quake, and then there are people who live and breathe it. In "From the Hardcore Side", a new semi-regular feature at PQ, Pappy-R brings all his hardcore gaming experience to you and talks about what's going on in the hardcore scene today.
  — by Pappy-R


Teamplay Strategies

This edition of the Hardcore Side is going to be an introduction and explanation to some aspects of teamplay Quake that can be used as a reference for future articles, and a small help for past pieces. Quake teamplay hasn't really gotten the big tournament attention it has deserved since Quake 1, but the major big buck organizers are getting back to this exciting play type. Upcoming tournaments from the CPL will feature teamplay Quake III along with the QIL and DC Con. This opens up the field to a lot of talent that may not have been heard from yet, so I think to get more people involved and reaching a competitive level of play, we should start with the basics. If you and your clan are already hardcore and successful, you may want to avert your eyes a bit here, but you never know, you could pick up one little thing you didn't know.

To answer some mail I got regarding the last Hardcore Side with Stickmen on strategy, we'll break down some terms and basic ideas so that you won't have to read explanations in future pieces.

Weapons, items and powerups are usually referred to in short form using two letters. For example, Yellow Armour is YA, Red Armour is RA, Rocket Launcher is RL, Railgun is Rail, Mega Health is MH, and so forth. Quad is usually called Quad, Regeneration is Regen or basically taken down to their first four or five letters. I know a lot of readers are saying "duh" right now, but I did get mail asking what the terms meant.

Some tactical terms that will get bandied around alot in the future for tactics are control, guard, "a run" and area. There are more, but I think covering these should get anyone up to a stage that more will get picked up easily.

"Control" of an item usually means making sure that only your team gets the item, and it's your job to make sure that's the case. You would take the item if a foe enters the "area" and it becomes possible for them to take it. It's better that you take and die with a Red Armour than for the enemy to get it. You would be allowed to take the item, but you try to hold it so that your teammates can get it as well.

To "guard" would normally refer to a powerup like Quad, and in this case, you would only pick it up to avoid the enemy from getting it. There is usually a specific team member designated to take the Quad in this case, and your job as a guard is to keep others off it. An area would be a designated room and possibly part of an attached hall that relates to an item. For example, on Q3DM7, the RA area is in the outdoor "area" and if you were to guard that, you would stay out there using what items were available to you.

This next tactic used to be more of a feature in Quake 2, but it's still used in Quake 3. A "run" is a specific route that would be timed between items to make sure you were there for the spawning of multiple items. Next week you'll meet a guy that developed some awesome runs for Quake 2 strats, but that's next time.

Those are some basics that should make the next steps in following and even designing strategies easier, and here's a good way to find out. There are different kinds of strategies used in the Quake series (or any FPS team game), and once you know the basics you will see combinations of those used as well. I've personally played team games with Free for All (shudder) or all roaming players, which is basically hoping all of your players can "out gun" the enemy. There's the item/area lock down, which is having all the players cover and control areas according to important items to make sure the enemy gets nothing but what they spawn with. Pairs strategy could be used as two pairs roaming free or doing "runs" to control items, or one pair guarding a key area and the others roam in singles or as a pair. Now you can see how the combinations come into the making of strats, and you may wonder how some of the more complex ones are carried off.

Team communication is the key, and practicing communication is as important as practicing your aim. Quake 3 has a great team feature included with the Team HUD (Heads Up Display) that not only shows you the health, current weapon and location of your buddies, but the "Team Say" communication can be used in a ton of easy to access and read functions. Try this one for size:

/bind [key] "say_team <--Help at"

You'll easily be able to tell your buddies you're under heavy attack and where you and the enemy are. All in one key; not bad. Now you can make your own with things like "weapon available" or "meet at". Work these into your config and get your whole team on the same page by sharing your binds. Make them universal throughout the team so that they become second nature to read. They can even be colour-coded with the ^1 to ^7 feature in Quake 3.

Well, that's it for the ground work, and thanks for reading along if you already knew these bits. Next time we get into the strategies that make winners, from the winners. It's all about layin' it down.

 — Pappy-R


Questions? Comments? Random screaming? Send it all to feedback!



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