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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | May 19, 2001
   

PQ Mailbag

Who's this?

Ash: Have you been missing your mailbag fix? Ya, well we have been too. After a little reorganization, I'm here to kick back and pour over the feedback email with you. We've got two weeks of groovy feedback to cover this week. We're going to be looking at responses to a couple Rants N'Raves features, first a rant about Team Arena's Proximity Mine Launcher and then Essobie's rant about Cheating in the News. After that we'll hit some general questions that might help everyone out to hear the answers too, and then finally we'll look at some questions that just about everyone should know the answer too, but I'll answer anyway. Ok then, let's get jiggy wit it.

Proximity Mine Launcher Rant

First off we're tackling the Proximity Mine Launcher rant that Red Dog Dragon hooked us up with back on May 6th. There was some good opinions from you readers out there this time, so we'll get right to it.

From: =TF=Camulus
Subject: Rant and Rave - Proxy Mines

Red Dog Dragon posed an interesting question in his post, "My question/rant is, Does the Prox add to TA or hurt it?" I must say that I can understand Red Dog Dragon's point of view. I can understand the frustration ofgetting fragged by an autoaim weapon. However, I disagree with him. The proxy launcher is not a bad thing in TA.

The proxies not only add strategy to the game, they add balance. In TA, the runes allow for more specialized roles on offense now. You could have some one come in with a doubler power up to lay waste to a defense and another have a speed power up to snatch the flag for example. While defense does have access to the same power ups, I would have to say that the powers give the offense more of an advantage. For example, speed on defense won't help much beause you can't have armor which means you usually die quite fast. Esp, if there is more then one opponent. The gaurd is nice, however, then you have those speedy bastages that can snatch your flag. The doubler is pretty good for D though I gotta say. Plus, it all sorta depends on the map, but you can see what I'm saying. To help conteract all these new super neato power ups (esp invulnerability), the D gets the proxy mines.

I will say one thing in agreement with Red Dog Dragon. Every time you bring a new item into the game, a llama is gonna learn how to lame it up. So, yes you will have people trying to proxy spawn points. However, if your team does its job right, they shouldn't be there long and you should hand said llama their ass.

So, do proxies add to TA, yes. However, would they belong in a normal Q3A game, no way. If your getting that fed up with TA, go play some RA3 or Instagib.

Best Regards,

=TF=Camulus

Note: This rant was done in the context that we are talking about a CTF or team game. If people are owning with the proxy in DM, it's prolly just because they are owning you. It happens.

A little background on where I get my point of view: Among other things, I play Weapons Factory Arena. It has every thing from sentries, to proxy mines, to turret grenades, etc. So, I might be "used to it", but all in all, I gotta say the the proxies are not bad.

No complaints here. =TF=Camulus lays out his opinion here for you, and even provides a little background so you know why he thinks the way he does. Of course, that might be a little more information than we need, but it could also be a little insight that could help some of you Proxy haters know where he's coming from.

From: Nicoli
Subject: Prox Launcher

Nicoli Here with the practical use of the Prox launcher.

True I've only played TA demo, but its insanely usefull on even that one map. For instance the giant leap from one side to the other, a well timed prox mine onto yourself and jump over that spanse can get you up on the roof of the arena. Also on the jump pads on either side of the main area you can mine yourself and jump up over the pit in the center of the arena, very very usefull.

People who just run around Proxing usualy are those with slow connections or lack of skill. I myself am running off of a 56k modem, which makes it so when I launch a rocket, about a second later it apears on my screen and goes... Meaning I have to lead people by yards of game space if I want a chance of hitting them. With the prox launcher I can randomly liter the ground and get my frags in.

Also, in a CTF game for instance. You run in and grab the flag, and start the long conveluted journy back to your base. If you have a prox you can take care of any stalkers running behind you...Sure it annoys the blazes out of them. But its rather amusing to watch the little notes scroll by "Such and Such was too close to Nicoli's Prox mine" over and over and over again.

Im sure that all of us from time to time have been hit by a prox when we were running with the enemy flag. And you bet you run faster when you know that in ten seconds you're going to go poom and blast into those little bloody chunks we all know and love.

The prox launcher can be misused just as easily as the rail gun. Campers can rack up dozens of frags with the Rail if they are good at hiding and have good aim. And Proxers can run around dropping mines wherever they go.

I think that the prox brings strategy to not only its use, but strategy to avoiding it...

-Nicoli

That's something I defintely agree with Nicoli, you just gotta have some strategy to avoid them proxy mines. I knew there was something I was missing... I'm going to have to stop running around like a llama with an iron on his ass from now on and actually look around.

From: Fender
Subject: R'n' R

I think the PQ staff missed the mark on this one. The PL does introduce new strategies and does have its place, but, it is a little too powerful. And, despite what Hellchick says, it is very easy to spam mines and hide them where they just can't be seen or shot. On some maps, you can cover all the entrances in such a way so that it is impossible to enter without being killed. Of course, this is supposed to encourage teamwork. Maps like mpq3ctf1 should NOT have prox mines on them. The PL is very close to the base, the RLs are far away, and there is no PG to sweep out the mines. It is VERY difficult to reclaim your base if it is under enemy control and they are covering everything with prox mines. I think the mine lifetime is a little too long, the damage a little too high, and maybe there should be a limit on the number of mines a player/team can have active at one time. Having all mines placed by a player explode or expire when the player dies might also be an option. Of course, this is all a delicate balance. Changing the prox mines around too much might make the Scout too powerful, for example. Then it would turn back into a who can strafe jump the best contest, instead of a balanced team game. As far I as my gameplay goes, I treat the prox mines like I did the BFG in Q2, I don't use it until the enemy does, then everything is fair game.

Fender

You can sweep out mines with a plasma gun?!?! Dammit! Ash makes another note.

From: DizZarD
Subject: Q3CTF > Team Arena

If you want true team-based quake action, q3ctf is what you want. When Id made their expension pack, they didn't look at what the pro ctf'ers would expect, they just threw up some additional "cool stuff" that newbie players would love. And that is why there is only about 10 TA server up and active. Prox Launcher do suck, and doesn't require any strategic use. Join [pimpage ganked] and be freed!

-dzd

Ack. This email came in and just stunk up my inbox with that "l33tist" smell. I happen to like the new features in TA, but I don't think I would qualify as a "newbie player". And for that matter, what's wrong with being a newbie player anyway? Q3CTF is a blast, TA is a blast, do as Ash does, play them both!

From: A I
Subject: Prox Mines....$uX0|2!! =)

Wow. I never thought I'd read HellChick and Pappy's rants and think they were *shamelessy* pimping for id!!

(I can deal with SOME pimpage, I mean ya gotta buttah the ol'bread! =) )

The prox mines _can_ be a strategic weapon.

They _should_ create more challenging base attacks.

They _could_ help even out base D on big maps.

They might even have been a great addition to the game...if it wasn't for the fact that they are simply TOO much of a (dare I say) llama weapon.

I've seen complete NEWBIES spam the crap outta a map, running around clueless mining the world. What happens? They get frag after frag...without ever learning the game, the weapons OR the strategies.

Sorry HellChick, but all you need is ammo regen and you can spam all the live long day. I've all but abandoned TA due to prox mines...Q3CTF (OSP - cheaters also suck!) and Alliance CTF are more balanced and, in my experience, more fun.

*bleh* to prox mines. :-)

-P

If complete "newbies" (I guess that's a derogatory term, eh?) are running around, "spamming the crap outta a map, running around clueless[, and] mining the world" then why the hell are people still stepping on them? Sheesh. They beep, they're big and colorful, and they explode when shot. How in the world can you get frag after frag? I have a feeling that they were doing a little bit better job planting prox mines than you are giving them credit for.

And about pimping, Oh blah. I just love it how any time you agree with "the man" you are instantly shamelessly pimping. For that, I'll toss in a quick email from Hellchick herself that tackles that one.

From: Hellchick
Subject: RE: Prox Mines....$uX0|2!! =)

I'll say the same thing I always say to people:

Just because my opinion happens to be in favor of id doesn't mean that I'm somehow pimping them. It's possible to have your own opinion, and sometimes as luck would have it, it happens to be in favor of the game developer.

(been fighting this same issue in 3DAP forums all weekend...so I'm a little edgy about it. :)

Caryn "Hellchick" Law
Action Genre Producer - www.3dactionplanet.com
GameSpy Industries - www.gamespy.com
www.planetquake.com/hellchick

Alrighty! That pretty much takes care of the feedback on the proxy mine rant, thanks again to Red Dog Dragon for the hook up on that one. But before we go, a couple quick strategy tips from ol' Ash when it comes to handling prox mines in Team Arena.

First, don't be a defense without it, make sure someone is keeping your base well mined (with the ammo regen if possible). Next, run in pairs! (or more). There should never be a flag runner (skull runner, whatever) without a buddy watching his/her front and back. Prox mines are only a small hinderance when you have someone covering point for your flag runner with an rocket launcher clearing those mines before the runner even gets to them. Work together, and you will conquer the mines.

Ok, I feel better, it's time to cover that second Rants N'Raves feature, Cheating in the News!

Next: Cheating in the News feedback.


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