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",
Pappy-R brings all his hardcore gaming experience to you and
talks about what's going on in the hardcore scene today.
on 1 Play
edition of the Hardcore side is going to begin a new series
that I've been asked for by alot of readers. We're going to
start off with the basics again, but this time, it's going
to center on 1v1 play. Since I'm not a real 1v1 enthusiast,
I'll be getting input from some very impressive sources in
the following weeks. This week, we'll start off by introducing
the Quake III weapons and descibing how they are best used.
Of course, it's easy to use whatever you have if you don't
have much, but when you have a couple of weapons from a level,
you need to use what you have to your best advantage. For
a quick look and intro to the Quake III weapons, take a look
Q3A Weapons Page before or after you read the rest of
this piece. I recommend opening that page in another browser
window as an open reference. Again, we'll start off at the
most basic and work our way through to help players from the
newest newbie to the seasoned fraggers. Here's a little on
each weapon and how it can be used.
The Machine gun has two or three uses here. First off, it's
your base weapon, the weapon you spawn or start with, so you'll
use it at some point to GET bigger and better guns. The second
use is for finishing off an already heavily hit enemy. Considered
an "instant hit" weapon itís great for long range small damage
like the finishing touch to an already very weak enemy that
you have previously railed or rocketed close to death. The
third use is in close quarters, like a fight with an enemy
that you have and will touch and be strafing around each other
in a tight pattern.
The Shotgun is another instant hit weapon and can deal quite
a bit of damage in the close battles mentioned earlier. Sticking
this bad boy in the ribs of an opponent and pulling the trigger
can totally weaken or even kill. I like to use it as a retreat
weapon to keep people backed off as they try to follow me
and Iím in need of a health or armor pick up. I do LOVE it
for close in battles as well, because as I mentioned, it deals
a great amount of damage if the pellet spread is reduced and
the foe takes most of the pellets. Mid range to finish off
or deal damage is great again with this gun. Remember, the
pellets spread with distance, and the more that hit the enemy,
the better. Another more advanced use for the Shotgun is for
making people miss what they are jumping for by hitting them
in midair. Great effect nailing mid air foes launched from
a jump pad.
The Grenade Launcher is a useful tool in the right circumstances.
It deals explosive projectiles that have limited flight and
go off at the touch of a player and certain entities (like
doors) or will sit for a four count and explode. Limited flight
means that the projectile or Grenade will not be in the air
long and is greatly affected by the Quake III world physics
causing an arc in the short flight, and bouncing in an empty
hall or room till the payload explodes. Great as a retreat
weapon to spam behind, or throw into a room to make the enemy
choose another way out. It's also very useful to rain down
death from a high perch in selected situations.
The world famous Rocket Launcher is not an instant hit weapon
because you can see the projectile travel in the Q3 world.
This weapon packs a serious smack with a direct hit but since
the rockets rate of speed makes it avoidable by a skilled
and/or long distance enemy, the explosive damage spray or
"splash" is what most will rely on. This is NOT an up close
and personal weapon due to the fact that in most cases with
self damage being ON in the server, you will take splash damage
from the explosions along with the target youíre trying to
decimate. The RL, as itís commonly referred to, is for midrange
or prediction shots. Midrange for damage to an area close
to your foe and not close enough to cause self damage. Prediction
shots are when you know where you target is headed and can
have the rocket meet him there or damn close to it. Hit walls
near the target and the floor at his feet to damage the enemy
with the splash. With the Q3A physics being what they are,
you can throw your target around a bit with the explosions
of the rockets. Get into the habit through practice of not
only making your him land where he doesn't want to go, but
put him where you want him to land for the killing blow. You
can also use the rocket's power to propel yourself in the
well known Rocket Jump. Point the weapon at your feet with
consideration to the angle for where you'd like to go, and
hit fire and jump at the same time. These jumps are something
we'll get into much more later.
The Plasma Gun is a weapon we havenít seen since the DOOM2
days and can be used to a devastating conclusion. The PG is
also not an instant hit weapon and has limits on it again
as a long range weapon. This gun is best used in midrange
fighting and does cause self damage if the plasma balls strike
very close to you. In other words the balls or ammo does have
a limited splash. The fairly high rate of fire or constant
fire and the damage from each ball makes this gun a real danger
in a fairly close range foray. Great chase weapon in areas
where the target canít lose you around too many corners, and
it again makes a nice retreat weapon if you spray back and
run backwards to safer ground and much needed supplies. This
puppy will go through ammo quite greedily though so watch
The Lightning Gun is considered a ranged weapon as itís discharge
has a limited range for doing damage. I primarly rely on this
weapon as a finishing touch to an already weak foe or for
exploring smaller areas. Hold this bad boy on an enemy that
is in the air and it sucks out their life points like pop
through a straw. No self damage and a constant rate of fire
in a stream make this a deadly gun inclose or midrange. SWEET!
The Rail Gun needs little intro here for those of you that
have played Quake 2 at all. The Rail is an awesome long range
weapon. Itís considered an instant hit weapon and can be lethal
in the steady hands of what we like to call "a Rail Ho". Extensive
damage, pinpoint accuracy, instant hit and a slow rate of
fire make this a hard weapon to use effectively. But with
practice, you can become a REAL threat on the servers. This
weapon is not a choice for the tight dancing fights between
enemies and should be pulled out when entering large open
areas. Combined with the scope or "zoom" function that is
a default option in Q3 this gun is a snipers dream.
The BFG is something you'll see more in Free For All (FFA)
style games and not in serious team or tourney games. This
weapon is a powerful hybrid combo of the Rocket Launcher and
Plasma Gun. Rapid fire balls of energy with more splash damage
than a normal rocket, this gun will unbalance any game. Newbies
beware, due to the power and splash damage of each "burst",
blowing your own ass up is quite likely if you're not careful.
Some of you wonder why I left the Gauntlet for last I bet.
I did this because I donít consider it a real threat as a
weapon. This weapon is not a gun but an extension of your
hand or arm. An electically charged blade does the damage,
but you must have contact with the target. I have seen this
weapon become well used and quite dangerous in a few trained
hands. Having it on a quick switch key and bringing it up
in a very close fight can result in a win. The Gauntlet does
deal a heavy damage load per hit, so beware or learn to use
it. The Gauntlet is a humiliation weapon. If you die by this
weapon, feel bad. Feel very bad 'cause that means you let
some player in close enough to cuddle your kidneys.
Now that you have some usage examples, play the Q3A bots and
use your weapons wisely. Create a section of weapon switching
keys that are easy to reach in the heat of battle, and switch,
switch switch. Quake III weapon switching isn't as instant
as in Quake 1, but the half second it takes is a damned sight
faster than the Quake 2 switching which seemed like a lifetime
when you really needed it. Here are some real examples of
just how basic and important weapon usage and switching is.
In the recent PQ
Arcade Challenges, we had a run on 1v1 Quake III DM games.
I went quite a while without a loss, and some players were
actually better shots than I was. In one game, I was heavily
out matched and down in score until I realized one very important
thing. My foe was a "rail ho" almost exclusively. He had an
awesome rail shot, but little success with anything else.
Once I fragged him and kept him from gaining the rail again,
I took the game. Close, but I won, and he was actually a better
shot than I was.
In waiting to pick another opponent after a win, one perspective
challenger asked another what weapon I used or liked best,
so that he could probably do the same to me. The answer from
the player I had just beaten in a 1v1 was that I used and
liked ALL the weapons. This answer got a prompt "oh crap!"
from the fellow asking.
done a goofy
little demo for you to see how weapon switching is used
and which weapons work best in some situations. The demo is
just myself against three Q3A standard bots on "Hurt Me Plenty"
skill. This demo is not to show anything but weapon selection,
and I recorded it very early in the morning as an addon to
this week's Hardcore Side, so don't expect too many "flick
rails". The demo was recorded on q3dm6 TMP version and you'll
need the TMP
maps pack to play the demo. The TMP pack is a teamplay
pack of the Quake III maps used by leagues and ladders for
competition play, and was made by members of Team
Abuse. What this does is changes some weapon health and
armour locations for maps q3dm6, q3dm7, q3dm12 and q3dm14.
Becoming adept with all weapons in their proper circumstances
is a large factor in becoming a good Quake player. Practice
this on some bot butt, and come back next time for more. CYA
Don't forget to mail your hardcore questions about strategy, gameplay, or just
about anything else to Pappy-R so they can be
included in our newest feature, the From the Hardcore Side Mailbag. Pappy will
answer your question, or he will find someone that can!
Comments? Random screaming? Send it all to feedback!