Gamespot Presents CGW’s Quake II Deathmatch Guide by V. Long and Elliot Chin

Gamespot Presents CGW’s Quake II Deathmatch Guide by V. Long and Elliot Chin

Screen shot 2017-11-21 at 12.59.53 AM

by V. Long and Elliot Chin

Special thanks to Tim Willits at id Software for providing maps, schematics, screenshots, and tons of help.

DOMINATING your adversaries in Quake II requires more than possessing fundamental gameplay skills. You also need to do more than memorize the levels. You need to master each weapon, out-think your opponents, and possess the ability to strike with PRECISION.

Many of the differences in Quake II DEATHMATCH, as compared to DeathMatch in the original game, can be found in the play balance and the weapons. These differences include time to reload or change weapons; and the DAMAGE each inflicts

And it goes without saying that the new weapons add another dimension to the game. The inclusion of a crouch feature doesn’t make as much of a difference as you might think, but new environmental features such as ladders are great for launching ambushes.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. If you want some of the best expert advice to be found for becoming the DeathMatch MASTER, you’ll find all you need here. Oh… and a lot of practice will help.

Circle-strafing is a key maneuver for any DeathMatch player. It’s simple: Point your gun at the target, sidestep (using your preassigned key) in one direction, and turn (using the mouse) in the opposite direction to keep your crosshairs on the target. For example, to circle left, you sidestep left while turning right. Make circle-strafing second nature; otherwise you may as well go back to playing with dolls.

Quake II adds new features and, thus, new wrinkles. Among the first things that players notice is the ability to crouch. While crouching is often required to scoot into tight spots to retrieve weapons and other goodies, it’s not as good for evading attack as you might expect. It slows down your rate of movement. Often you can simply jump over a shot, and jumping doesn’t limit your speed. For many players, the rocket launcher is the favorite weapon. Direct hits are quite deadly, and near misses still inflict splash damage.

During melees, expert DeathMatchers often do not aim directly at the victim. Instead, they aim at the enemy’s feet to guarantee that each shot hurts. Remember, if the rocket sails by completely, you’ve not only wasted a shot, but you’ve also given the target a shot at you.

Another benefit to using explosives against others is that the blast spoils their ability to return fire. Getting knocked around can sure mess up your aim and scramble your brains.

Explosives are also quite handy for testing suspicious doors and corners for ambushes. If you face someone who likes to duck around a doorway or corner to turn the tables on pursuers, simply fire a rocket so that the blast flushes the trickster from the hiding spot.

Another important aspect of Quake II DeathMatches is the Quad Damage power-up. Quad Damage is an item that quadruples the damage your shots inflict. Too many players mistakenly equate the Quad Damage with Invulnerability, and act accordingly. Although Quad Damage can make you more lethal, it does not offer extra protection. If your opponents shoot back, you can still die. If your opponent has the Quad Damage, you can still duke it out… just be extra careful to avoid getting hit, because it will hurt a lot more. 

For many players, the rocket launcher is the favorite weapon. Direct hits are quite deadly, and near misses still inflict splash damage. During melees, expert DeathMatchers often do not aim directly at the victim. Instead, they aim at the enemy’s feet to guarantee that each shot hurts. Remember, if the rocket sails by completely, you’ve not only wasted a shot, but you’ve also given the target a shot at you.

Another benefit to using explosives against others is that the blast spoils their ability to return fire. Getting knocked around can sure mess up your aim and scramble your brains.

Explosives are also quite handy for testing suspicious doors and corners for ambushes. If you face someone who likes to duck around a doorway or corner to turn the tables on pursuers, simply fire a rocket so that the blast flushes the trickster from the hiding spot.

Another important aspect of Quake II DeathMatches is the Quad Damage power-up. Quad Damage is an item that quadruples the damage your shots inflict. Too many players mistakenly equate the Quad Damage with Invulnerability, and act accordingly. Although Quad Damage can make you more lethal, it does not offer extra protection. If your opponents shoot back, you can still die. If your opponent has the Quad Damage, you can still duke it out… just be extra careful to avoid getting hit, because it will hurt a lot more.

As in Doom and Quake, the biggest gun is not always the best. Inflict maximum mayhem by choosing your weapon wisely before engaging in battle. Otherwise, the delay in swapping guns may mean your last gasp.

Blaster: As we all know, it sucks.

Shotguns: The shotguns deliver their lethal load of buckshot instantaneously. The super shotgun – John Carmack’s weapon of choice – sends twice the wallop and is quite deadly point-blank. Also, shotguns are good Quad weapons because there is no danger of blowing yourself up in a close firefight.

Machine Gun: The machine gun punctures targets immediately as well. The machine gun’s recoil will spoil the player’s aim in solo play, but not in DeathMatch.

Chain Gun: Like a real-life GE M134 “Vulcan” minigun, the chain gun requires time to spool the barrels to speed. The chain gun – id artist Kevin Cloud’s favorite toy – is fearsome in close quarters where the target has little opportunity to evade, but it consumes voracious amounts of ammo. When you know where your target is, start shooting before you see him, so that by the time you make contact, your gun is at full speed.

Grenades: Whether tossed by hand or with a launcher, grenades are handy for discouraging pursuit or checking around corners.

Rocket Launcher: The rocket launcher remains an explosive favorite for many players, including id game designers Tim Willits, American McGee, and Paul Jacqueys. The key is to chip away at your opponents’ health with blast damage: Shoot at their feet. Note that rockets are actually easy to dodge due to their relatively slow speed and visible trail.

Hyper Blaster: Many think of the hyper blaster as the reincarnation of Doom’s plasma rifle or Quake’s super nail gun. It shoots blaster-like bolts but at a much higher cyclic rate. Like the chain gun, the hyper blaster needs time to spool up and spool down. Regardless, its firepower means hell at close- to midrange.

Rail Gun: Quake II’s rail gun hurls a slug, a la Eraser, at a tremendous velocity, ripping through enemies with ease. Despite its lethality, the long reload time makes the rail gun challenging to use in a melee, unless you have steely nerves and inhuman aim. If you must use it at short range, remember to wait! Barring point-blank shots from the super shotgun, you can withstand some fire and take the time to aim. Still, most mortals find the rail gun best for long-range sniping. Be sure to check out the GoldenEye sidebar for a quick “cheat” for better rail gun use.

BFG: The crown jewel of the Doom arsenal has returned. Pull the trigger, and after a moment of charging up, a massive ball of green death is unleashed with violent recoil. When you have a good idea there’s someone lurking nearby, pull the trigger before stepping around the corner. Properly timed, you’ll gain line-of-sight the instant the BFG blasts the sucker into oblivion. The BFG’s shafts of green light are also useful for tracking adversaries hidden from your view.

PsychOps. That’s the official military mumbo-jumbo term for using all sorts of nasty tricks to outwit your adversaries. Many Quake tactics carry over well into Quake II. A classic new tactic is to scare a jittery opponent by using a chain gun to hose him down in a tight corridor.

Always cover your ass. If you must retreat, try to run backwards so you can keep your guns on your pursuer. Toss grenades to discourage pursuit.

Think twice before picking up weapons or items that you don’t need. A clever player will notice missing goodies and may be able to track you as if you’d left a trail of breadcrumbs. Quake II adds the ability to selectively drop items. This feature forms the basis for what Tim Willits calls the “bait the sucker” ambush. Most players have an uncontrollable pack rat habit of collecting any weapon or item in sight. Willits will drop one of his less powerful weapons (or a big one that’s out of ammo), and then hide in a vantage point with his crosshairs trained on the bait. As soon as someone attempts to scoop it up, Willits rewards the sucker with a rail gun slug to the noggin.

Indeed, Quake II adds new PsychOps possibilities to the DeathMatch cauldron.

Give ‘Em the Bird
Besides the addition of the female character and numerous skins for both genders, Quake II gives players the ability to gesture to each other. You can point, wave, salute, grab your privates, and even flip someone off. To truly rattle or enrage your adversaries, give them the bird before delivering the deathblow. The gestures are defaulted to the following keys:h = flip the bird
j = salute
k = grab your crotch
l = wave
u = point

To the veteran warrior, noises reveal much information. Indeed, the hard-core insist on wearing headphones to better identify and pinpoint telltale noises. Slogging into and out of water alerts everyone within earshot as to exactly where you are and what you’re doing.

While running makes you harder to hit in a firefight, running when there’s no threat of attack is a bad idea. The din from your scurrying feet can give away your location and direction of travel.

However, you can also use noise to fool others. When no one is in sight, jump once or twice. When others hear the grunting but can’t get a fix on your position, they may be confused into thinking you’re somewhere that requires jumping.

Similarly, fake a ride on an elevator or lift. Simply step on to activate it, then quickly step off and hide somewhere to ambush the person who intended to ambush you.

You can also draw someone into an ambush by feigning lack of ammo. Switch to the feeble blaster, and fire enough shots at the target to convince him that your better guns are out of ammo. As the victim comes in for the kill, switch to something with clout and shoot. This tactic, of course, requires good timing, due to the delay in weapons switching.

Bots: Playing Against Yourself

Although the best practice partners are other human players, it’s always nice to get in a few nonhuman frags as well. Spice up your DeathMatches with more bodies – simply spawn as many bots as you can stand. Bots are also good for practice when you can’t round up any live opponents.

Of the current bots, the two frag leaders are the Eraser Bot from Impact and the CR Bot.

You can download and learn more about these intelligent punching bags from the Quake II Bot Epidemic site.

The Toolbox
While I’m not generally a fan of using specialized equipment for games, I encourage anyone who wants to maximize his or her mousing pleasure to follow the advice I got from Dennis “Thresh” Fong: Get 3M‘s Precision Mousing Surface. No, it won’t make you as good as the legendary Thresh, but it will vastly improve mouse-tracking accuracy. It’s a bit expensive for a mouse pad, but it’s simply the best I’ve tried. No more of that dreaded rodent stutter or skipping that will get you killed in the heat of battle.Unless you have an incredible set of speakers, you’re better off with a pair of good headphones. The environmental noises provide so much useful information. In Quake II, you need to use your eyes and your ears.

Don’t be afraid to use macros and config files. Almost all good players personalize their mouse and keyboard configurations. It costs nothing and can maximize your performance.

Tactics

Once you get comfortable navigating ladders, try “hanging” partway up or down a ladder. Many players won’t expect to find you there, and that moment of surprise will give you the drop on them.

You can also use even the narrowest of ledges and lips to help you “stick” to walls. Again, this allows you to gain vantage points where others won’t expect to find you. Some of our favorite spots include door frames and the far side of openings behind ladders.

When chasing people on ladders, look up (or down as the case may be) and run. This allows you to shoot at your target while climbing. If you are climbing a ladder and know someone is waiting for you, you can use this tactic to shoot at the ladder top so he can’t snipe at you from above.

Life Beyond DeathMatch

Finally, we’ll leave you with one of our favorite forms of multiplayer Quake mayhem: Rocket Arena. When it comes to a test of pure DeathMatch skill, few mods rival the effectiveness (and ear-to-ear grins) of Rocket Arena II. It’s elegantly simple: You and a foe square off in an arena-type map…. Only one of you will survive. You can find out more at www.planetquake.com/servers/arena.

Don’t fret if these pointers and tactics don’t feel comfortable at this point. You will naturally incorporate many of them into your style of play as your skill and experience grow. In the end, there’s only one real rule: Superior firepower may not bring happiness, but it sure helps!

https://web.archive.org/web/http://www.gamespot.com:80/features/q2deathmatch/conclusion.html

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