June 19, 2011

MegaTF 2011 Booth

Hosted by TastySpleen! CoopNorth America’s #1 quakeworld coop server Test your rocker launcher prowess in 1v1! (Check out the author’s booth here) ClassicsOldschool MTF, the way you always loved it

Welcome to my official MegaTF Coop/Classics booth for QExpo 2011.

This year I would like to present some of the new features that have developed for my mod, MegaTF Coop, since its unveiling at QExpo 2008. Keep an eye out on this booth for cool new media, game strategies, and soon-to-be features for the current  #1 quakeworld mod in North America!

What is MegaTF Coop?

MegaTF Coop is a team-based Cooperative modification for Quakeworld that supports many games based on the Quake 1 engine, and has features such as:
– Support for popular quake mods and games such as Nehahra, Malice, Mission packs 1 & 2, Half-life*, Quake 2*, and many more!
– A static statistics and leveling system for EXP, Gold, Inventory per each player
– CSQC implementation giving your interface a sharper, more modern look and feel –
– Static achievements system – get achievements for
completing challenging tasks in the world of quake and for being a team

– Three game modes:
   – Traditional: Players have infinite lives as they work to beat each level
   – Last Man Standing: Players face multiple waves of spawning monsters, and can only die a certain number of times
   – Survival: The ultimate teamplay coop experience; players must learn to rely on each other, as they can only be resurrected by teammates. If all players die, the map is over and no EXP is gained.
New Monster Survival mode: With the same rules as regular survival, however this time players can chose to fight the monsters.. or be them.
– VWEPs – see accurately which weapons your teammates are holding
* Q2 and HL game modes replace all monsters/items with quake 1 entities

How can I play?
In order to play MegaTF Coop, all you need is an installation of Quake 1, and a popular QuakeWorld client. For the official server, it is recommended that you use either FTE, ezQuake, or FuhQuake XE. Then, simply connect to one of the servers above and have fun!

Updates and Daily Features

Hey everyone! Just a quick update here to let you all know that Super’s Egypt3 map has been released and we had a blast with it last night! There will be a big MegaTF game scheduled for tonight (9 P.M. EST) on our tastyspleen server, port 27502. Come join us and have fun!

Introduction to MegaTF Coop
(Written by Szabo Quakeshorts)

A little under fifteen years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an exciting new mod for the revolutionary Quake game engine. We had done deathmatches before, of course, with games like Doom 2 and Duke Nukem. But THIS mod, he said, allowed entire teams of several people each… plus you got to choose from “classes”. Well, that was all I needed to jump onboard and start playing myself.

And so, just shy of the 15th anniversary of the release of Team Fortress, I’m still playing and loving it as much as the day I started.

These days, Team Fortress has a lot more features than its ancestors. The new mod I’ve been  spending so much time on is MegaTF Coop.

So what is it?
The next evolution in Team Fortress gaming. Not only do you get to be a class but now instead of fighting against other people you team up with them to kill monsters. You gain experience points from kills, from finishing maps, and for a variety of achievements. More experience points means gaining levels and that means improving your character to shoot faster, do more damage, hold more ammo and more.

It’s the ultimate war against the legions of hell and damnation. And only you and your online compadres are what stand between mankind and complete obliteration by demons from the netherworld.

So what does it have?
Anyone who’s played a roleplaying game is probably familiar with the concept of levels and experience points. In MegaTF Coop you gain experience points (also known as XP or EXP) by killing enemies, completing maps, or making achievements. (more on achievements later) When you reach certain amounts of experience points you “level up”. When you level you get attribute points to spend on your character. These can be used to increase weapon damage, ammo reloading, hit points, or even let you summon “minions” (dead monsters) who rise up and fight on your team’s side.

You also collect “gold” from dead monster bodies. Gold can be spent on purchasing goodies from the friendly neighborhood Quake merchant. He’s a fellow who pops up in a random place on each map and offers a few goodies you can purchase like armor, health, invisibility rings, pentagrams and more. He also won’t mind dealing you a few hands of blackjack if you don’t mind risking some of your cash. Sometimes a fellow needs to take a break from shooting demons in the face and play a few hands of cards.

Once you start levelling up you can choose a custom “skin”. That means not using the generic Team Fortress characters and instead choosing from a variety of customized character images. I use an old-school Doom soldier. Other folks have stormtroopers, Chewbacca, and Where’s Waldo. You can use existing skins or custom make your own and have a mod upload it for you. As you gain levels, increase your attributes and use custom skins, you’ll find you become more distinguished a player and stand out from the newbs who can’t figure out how to change their user name from “Player” and constantly need people to tell them what the keyboard commands are and how to bind them.

Achievements are one of the newest improvements that we’ve been enjoying. Every class has them plus there are others for completing maps, raising players from the dead, killing certain types of monsters and more. As I like to play a Sniper I’ve collected a few “BOOM! Headshot!” achievements for popping monsters in the head. Not only do you get some neat titles but you also get bonus experience points every time you hit an achievement.

So what can I be?
We all have our favorite classes… whether you choose them for speed, toughness or weapon variety, everyone has their boy. My usual favorite is sniper… which can get pretty challenging in close quarters maps. Some maps are infinitely easier with certain classes but some players like to challenge themselves by using “oddball” classes instead. It’s all personal preference.

Scout – the fastest of the classes but also the weakest. Armed with a machine gun, shotgun and a baseball bat, the scout is quick enough to usually avoid getting hit (again – close quarters can be a problem) but that boy can FLY. Using “jetjump” the scout can effectively superleap distances. At full battery capacity you can usually get about four jumps… enough to leap tall buildings or cross the entire battlefield. Arguably the best weapon of the scout is the baseball bat which can temporarily stun some monsters and knock them backwards… but you risk getting nailed if you get too close. While the scout’s grenades are highly useful in regular team fortress, they’re not quite as effective in Mega. The flash grenade can kill but only at extremely close distances. Their concussion grenade can knock a monster back but can’t disorient them like they would with a human player. Finally, the scout can drop a flash mine but again this feature is pretty much useless in Mega. Good attributes to focus on are hit points and weapon damage.

Sniper – also not a physically tough character but in the hands of a skilled player the sniper is a welcome member of any team. They’re armed with a machine gun and a knife for emergencies but their weapon of choice is the sniper rifle. Featuring an autozoom feature to help the player make more accurate shots – plus an automatic rifle feature for enemies who get too close – a good sniper can often take out even the largest enemies with a single shot. They’re not so good in close quarters, but at range snipers are the most lethal class. Their flares don’t do damage but they are armed with standard grenades – just in case. Another fun feature of the sniper is their ability to call an airstrike. This only works in outdoor maps but it can be a good way to wipe out a few enemies at once. The sniper can drop an alarm mine but like the scout’s flash mine, it’s pointless in Mega. Good attributes to focus on are fast weapon reloading and weapon damage.

Soldier – probably the most balanced of classes, this class is based on the original Quake character. Although armed with a shotgun, the soldier usually relies on their rocket launcher for most fights unless they’re extremely up close and personal since the soldier can take damage from his own explosions. Experienced players can also “rocket jump” which can help them to get up to locations that a regular jump can’t reach. The soldier comes well equipped with grenades, too. He has the standard type but also wields deadly nail grenades that spin for several seconds, spitting out nails that shred anything near it. A soldier can also leave a proxy mine which detonates when an enemy gets too close to it. Not always super effective, but still helpful. The soldier can drop two spikes which will slow down any creature that steps on them, simulating its foot getting injured. Good attributes to focus on are hit points and fast weapon reloading.

Demoman – This is a fun class for people who love blowing stuff up. A pretty physically tough class, the demoman can take a beating (since his own grenades often cause him damage) but they can obliterate almost anything with their firepower. They are armed with a shotgun for emergencies but the prime weapon of the demoman is the grenade launcher. Offering several modes, the demoman can use the launcher to fire several regular grenades in rapid succession, drop several pipebombs that he can detonate at a whim, or launch a few long-range grenades to get that pesky enemy who’s hiding out of reach. And, as to be expected, the demoman carries a variety of other grenades, too. In addition to standard grenades he wields MIRV grenades that explode into several smaller grenades, each of which blow up and tend to decimate anyone or anything stuck in its are of effect. For enemies perched up above, the demoman can launch an Air MIRV which flies up like a little helicopter and drops a payload of grenades. The last and most devastating weapon of the demo is the detpack. An item that can be set with a 5, 20 or 50 second fuse, the detpack will pretty much eradicate anything caught in its explosion. Good attributes for this class are fast weapon reloading and hit points.

Medic – Although their infections aren’t quite as powerful in Mega, medics are a versatile class that make welcome additions to a fire team. They come armed with a backup shotgun but their primary weapons are their scalpel and their heavy nail gun. The heavy nail gun fires faster and does more damage than a regular nail gun. Skilled players can absolutely shred enemies at close or far distances with relatively little effort. The scalpel can infect enemies but also heals teammates. Some monsters, especially zombies, can infect players and only the medic can heal them. One swipe with the scalpel will return a player to full health. The medic carries grenades, concussion grenades (not very useful, except for knocking monsters away from you) and can drop an infected needle. Again, not super effective in Mega but it’s nice to have. Another nice feature of the medic is regeneration. While other players have to grab health packs to heal, the medic naturally regains his health over a period of time. In a matter of minutes he can be back to full. Good attributes for medics are increased ammo and increased damage.

Heavy Weapons Guy – the tank of the game. Designed to deal out and withstand massive amounts of damage. Although armed with a shotgun and a machine gun, the heavy weapons guy relies mainly on his minigun. In standard mode, it will shred almost anything it aims at within close or medium range. In 20mm mode you can fire blasts of heavy ammo that obliterate anything at close range, as well as knocking the enemy backwards. The 20mm is a little less effective at medium range but does more damage up close. Neither attack mode are effective at long range, hence the machine gun which has virtually no range modifiers at all. Heavy weaps carry grenades, MIRV grenades, and can drop spikes to slow down enemies. Good attributes for heavy weapon guys are increased ammo and extra damage.

Pyro – the favored class of special ed students everywhere, the pyro is a brutal fighter who wields all-powerful flame in many forms. Armed with a shotgun, incendiary rocket launcher and a flamethrower, the pyro can burn any enemy alive at any range. The incendiary rocket launcher doesn’t do as much damage as a soldier’s rockets, but it will catch enemies on fire and can even effect them through walls and floors while regular rockets cannot. This is an effective ranged weapon. For up close and personal the pyro wields his flame thrower which will also set enemies on fire, as well as the walls, floor, and anything else it hits. This is actually an effective way to set up a temporary wall of flame to prevent enemies from getting to you. A nasty trick of the pyro is to drop a lava pool… a small round area that will cook anything that steps in it. In addition to regular grenades, the pyro carries pyrotechnic grenades that repeatedly spew forth firey blasts for several seconds, igniting any enemies who get too close. Pyros have more resistance to lava than other classes due to their semi-fireproof nature. Good attributes for pyros are increased health and increased ammo.

Spy – although physically weak, one of the most effective classes overall. The spy has a natural invisibility which causes about 75% of monsters to not see him standing right in front of them unless he fires a weapon. While the spy’s disguise skill is pretty much worthless, his weapons and especially his grappling hook make him an effective teammate. Armed with a deadly knife for backstabs, a tranqulizer dart gun that can slow enemies to a crawl and a machine gun, the spy can be pretty effective in combat. Typically, his knife will take out most enemies with one or two shots – especially from a backstab. His ability to tranquilize enemies also helps, especially when a group of them are descending on the players. The spy can also use a grappling hook to reach far distances and hang there as long as he likes. Although usually only good for one shot, crafty spies always remember where they can get more batteries and scavenge ammo from dead teammates to ensure they can always grapple out of any situation. The spy carries grenades and hallucinagenic ggas which can spew out a chemical cocktail that poisons enemies for several seconds. Although they aren’t seeing the colors and tripping out like players do when they get gassed, it does pretty good damage and can reach enemies beyond walls, doors, ceilings and floors. Sometimes a spy is the only one who can reach the last enemy or two if they’re unspawned beyond the reach of any normal weapon. Sadly, the spy’s ammo trap is useless in Mega (understandable if it’s a monster that has inborn abilities, but it would be useful against those who carry weapons). Good attributes for spies are rapid fire and increased ammo.

Engineer – a pretty tough customer who relies on toys to do his dirty work. The ultimate defensive player, the engy is most well known for his ability to build things like sentry guns. He is armed with a shotgun and a dual mode rail gun. The standard rail gun looks like a laser rifle and can deal some pretty good damage, especially with a couple of attribute points spent in rapid fire. The heavy rail gun mode fires much slower, but does extra damage per shot. Building things is the engy’s forte. Primarily they can build a sentry guy which will usually shred anything that comes near it with in a matter of seconds. New features in Mega include adding a heat-seeking energy blast, incendiary blast, and another one. Engineers can also use a special weapon – a gravity gun – to pick up and move their sentry to almost anywhere they want. This lets the engy carry their sentry with them until needed rather than having it stuck in one spot all the time. Another build is the dispenser. Not only can a crafty engineer load it up with ammo and drop it on a roomfull of enemies as a high explosive, but on maps with limited medpacks (or if the players are trapped and can’t get to them) a medic can load up the dispenser with medicine that heals players. While the engy’s camera isn’t especially useful, he can build teleporters which can save vast amounts of time by letting players get to remote parts of a map in a split second. Finally, the engineer can launch a laser drone once per life (every 2 minutes). This cute little fellow will fly across the room or sky and fire off up to several laser blasts at once, hitting any enemies within its line of sight. After several seconds it falls to the ground, expended, but this is a great way to deal out some damage to a group of enemies, especially spread out over a large area. The engy can drop a magnetic mine, although they don’t seem to work on monsters. He carries grenades and EMP grenades which don’t really damage monsters but can set off ammo packs near them that explode. Good attributes for engies are rapid fire and extra ammo.

Some players will choose Random PC which brings you back as a different class every time you die and get resurrected. This can be challenging, but it’s easy enough to switch to a permanant class if needed.

One thing that all players can use is the Toaster. infinitely useful for frying enemies in the water, the player can toss a toaster for every two “special” grenades he has. (nail grenades for soldiers, MIRV grenades for demos and hwguys, etc.)

Popular maps and old-school favorites
We all have our favorite maps… big ones, small ones, simple, complicated. There’s hundreds… maybe thousands of maps out there. We’d be here all day if we discussed every one, but here’s a few personal favorites. And I can tell you this: if you’re playing any map with the word “coop” in the title, you’re usually going to need at least 3 – 4 players to stand a chance. It’s suggested that at least one player go engineer (to build a sentry and a dispenser) and one go medic to fill the dispenser. Long-range maps like 2forts and Canyon pretty much require at least one sniper.

2fort5 – the old classic deathmatch map, converted to coop. Set up in the basement as quickly as possible. An engineer and a medic could pretty much complete the map as a duo. A sniper is helpful to take out enemies on the ground below and on the enemy fort. Once you clear out the bulk of creatures in the basement, set up a sentry to get the couple of creatures that have exceptional amounts of respawns so you can concentrate on other parts of the map without wasting time.

2fortflood_coop – the same map, but now with water that goes up to the second level. (and submarines that can shoot the crap out of stuff!) This is an ideal map to fire off toasters repeatedly and fry the dumb bastards in the water.

Canyon – there are a couple of versions of this one. Another strong map for snipers and engineers. An important thing to remember is not to cap the flag on this one until all the monsters are dead.

NEH*** – I like the Nehara maps a lot, especially 2m5 and 2m6. Always have an invisibility or two and a triple explosive damage handy. There are a couple of sections of these that are brutal unless you can slip by unnoticed. And for extremely large groups of creatures the triple explosive is very useful for clearing a room. I’ve flawlessed 2m5 and come close on 2m6. Most important thing with these is to take your time.

Moonlite – Another sprawling map, but very fun. Make sure you have a spy on this one for those hard-to-reach areas.

Garrison – this was made for spies… gas the crap out of everything.

Epoch – the hardest part is the beginning. If you can get past that, you’re fine. For groups make sure you have a heavy weapons guy and a spy to clear the first room or you’re screwed.

How do I play?
Connect. Choose a class. Go kill things. It’s that simple.

Naturally, you can vote for maps from the extensive list. Remember to use the Votenext command rather than Votemap so you don’t lose experience points by not properly finishing the map you’re already on.

Survival mode is a more challenging way of playing. By choosing it, you don’t just come back from the dead at the start every time you get killed. You have to wait for another player to approach you and after a few seconds you get resurrected. Remember this goes both ways. If you repeatedly ignore other players requests for a resurrect they’ll do the same to you if you get killed.

Also: if you join a game and the only player there already has a couple hundred kills, there’s a good chance he’s going for a flawless on that map. Don’t be a jackass. Ask if it’s okay to join. Most players won’t care or they may just ask you to come back in a few minutes if they’re close to finishing the map. Remember that the more people playing survival equals  stronger monsters. Just by joining a game you’re immediately making things more difficult for everyone else so, again, if someone is doing a solo flawless have the courtesy to let them finish before joining. Or at least ask first. 

That’s about it. But a word of advice: no one likes a prick. We all have to deal with trolls on the internet and MegaTF is no exception. But with a couple of good moderators and by giving players the option to kick people we can usually avoid the idiots easily enough.

Signing off, Lt. Commander Szabo Quakeshorts, esq. – Doomtrooper extroidinaire.

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