OZQuake Challenge AU: The Art of Instagib
So you’ve discovered the Insta-Gib mod huh? You’ve got your rail gun slung and ready to go, you’ve got an IP or two where you can be assured of some low pings and little packet loss, but how do you get into this very different mod and not come out of it looking like a real newbie?
“Insta-Gib is an art my friend, and an art that is worthy of your learning.”
Wiser words have never been spoken. But more than this you need to feel the rhythm of Insta-Gib, you need to be at one with the rail and the hook, find your inner railer and let the little fucker out, don’t be afraid of what needs to be unleashed. Insta-Gib is a primal thing, medical research shows that brain activity of your superior Insta-Gibber is concentrated in the basal ganglea, the most animal like and instinctive center of the brain. So let the animal out, play on instinct, smell the fear of your opponents and hunt them down like terrified wilderbeast.
But seriously, Insta-Gib is a mod that needs to be learnt and felt. The pace of the game is unlike DM, Lithium or even Rocket Arena. There is no doubt that the pace is break neck, it’s fast and nasty but with only the rail to play with the rate of fire is always evenly measured. It’s like an old fashion duel with single shot pistols from the 1800’s, you shoot, they shoot and you take turns until one of you is dead. This is a two edged sword. Firstly, there is the advantage of knowing that if your opponent has fired and missed you have 1 1/2 seconds until they can have another shot in which to nail them. The reverse of that though is also true. If you miss your opponent knows he is safe to take aim and fire for 1 1/2 seconds. To this of course you need to factor in every other player in range, players coming into range and players spawning nearby ready to rock and roll. There is only so much you can account for with eight players in a small area, it’s always going to be chaos, but here are some general tips that I have seen others using that work well.
1. Move around.
Railing is an exact thing, you either hit or you miss. If you don’t move constantly then you are easier to hit. When I say constantly, I mean constantly. If you sit still for a second you are more vulnerable. Running is good, strafing is great, jumping can help, hooking is also fundamental to making sure you are on the move. The other important aspect of moving around is not being predictable, jumping is good, but if you just jump continually as you run in a straight line it doesn’t take long to nail the hopping bunny. One good use of jumping is the jump off the ledge, turn and fire as you drop away. You can then hook back up if required for a bungee jump frag. Being unpredictable is not easy. Everyone has their own preferences for movement and will repeat what they are comfortable with, but by combining hooking and on ground movement you can be a lot harder to hit.
2. Get hooked.
Insta-Gib offers you unlimited movement in the map. Don’t let gravity get you down, hook to get back to the action, hook to get out of a tight spot, hook your opponent and then rail them. You do however need to be careful when using the hook. The green laser line that the hook uses is a great aiming guide, if you take a long ride on a hook you will be lucky not to get nailed mid air, it really does help people aim. Taking pot shots at players mid air is a skill worth developing. Nothing puts the fear of god into an opponent more than being turned to gibblets while safely gliding past, and nothing is more rewarding that watching a shower of gibs drift gently to earth as a result of your rail. “How the fuck!!” is the initial response, and next time they will be a lot more nervous when they encounter you. Alternatively, I find that hooking at a wall and letting go early is a great catapult to get you whizzing past opponents, turn mid air, aim and then shoot.
You also need to learn to shoot from mid air. Once you get your hooking going you will start to experiment with letting go early and sailing through the air. If you hook high and let go early you can often get a great birds eye view of the action below, and as long as no one has got you in their sites it gives you the opportunity to release some death from above. You can unexpectedly slip a slug in through a players nut (head) and out through their nuts (down below). It makes for a stunning frag. Practice this move, floating through the air is a great place to frag from as long as high flying suits the map. The Edge is a fine example of this kind of map.
A final word of warning: Don’t ride the hook all the way to the wall. Nothing is easier than aiming at the point where the hook meets the wall and waiting for someone to get there, then nail them. Try releasing the hook half way there, or turn mid air, release and hook again for a two-hook movement. This is a good way to get opponents off balance as they are focusing in one direction and you go another. Also don’t stand there while your hook reaches across for a far wall, remember hint one, move around. That second or so that it can take for a hook to start to drag you is a very vulnerable time. If you see someone sitting there waiting as their hook reaches out, nail them, they’re asking for it.
I have noticed a few players using the crouch lately and it does make you harder to hit. The most effective use of it I have seen is combining the crouch with the hook to scoot along the ground while crouched, moving fast and being small makes you a lot harder to hit. Crouching and strafing is also very effective, take a duck when your opponent is ready to fire, nine times out of ten they are aiming for your upper body and the slug will sail safely over your head. Crouching can also be effective when you are above the main fray near an edge as the less you poke into view the better.
4. Work it baby
As mentioned earlier it is hard to account for the movements and firing of every player, but if you work the fringe of a melee you are more likely to be able to focus on targets without having to worry about them focussing on you. If you see three of four players engaged in the dance of death why rush into the middle of it and leave yourself open to cross fire? By working the edge of the battle you can take some shots at players who are trying their hardest to avoid someone else, not you.
5. Don’t bathe in the afterglow.
The most vulnerable time in Insta-Gib is right after a kill. Players seem to stop for a second, perhaps it’s relief, perhaps it’s the subtle snap of concentration after a challenging exchange, perhaps it’s a psychological pat on the back moment: what ever it is, it’s costly. The number of times you get nailed after a kill is, for me, embarrassing. Remember, you have only dispatched one opponent, and for all you know they could have re-spawned behind you, their rail aimed conveniently at your dangling date. BOOM: you’re dead. Never stop moving, never stop listening for the enemy behind you, and never bathe in the afterglow of a fresh frag.
6. Snap it
If you see a blue rail trail pass over your shoulder snap around and take a shot. Instinct and reactions do play a big part in this game and you can’t be afraid to just whip around and take a shot when someone is on your date. The more you practice this the faster and more accurate you will become. Don’t be discouraged to early, it does take practice but it’s not a huge part of the game. Most of the game is spent in protracted melee’s with one or more opponents at a time who you are aware of, but when a shot comes out of the blue don’t hesitate in whipping around and taking a shot, they do pay off.
7. Look and learn
It’s like anything really, if someone is good at something there is a fair chance you will benefit from watching them in action. Sirius is a freak, as is Bambi and Peloquin, or follow KV-900 for some lessons too. Grab a demo if you like, record your own and watch it, see how effectively people play not only the map but their opponents.
In conclusion, great players don’t just have great aim, they have great moves, great map knowledge, great reflexes, great connections (usually) and great adaptability to different opponents playing styles. They employ strategies and tactics to make the most of the environment, using the features that benefit their style and make it as hard as possible to get nailed. Becoming a great player isn’t something everyone can do, but by considering the points raised above you can improve your game and frag a little more ferociously than you have before.
If you have any comments on this article there is a message board thread established for this purpose.
OZQuake: The Big Kahuna
The Kahuna server is a fun place to frag. The server can be a little quiet at times, but the players are generally friendly. The server is associated with a Nationally syndicated Radio station program, theFat 30 (click for the site).
Wireplay Invades Brisbane: Smack My Bris Up
“Wireplay Invades Brisbane” youtube video from Adam Williams, video introduction to Telstra’s modem game service wireplay in November 1998.
OZQuake: Online Gaming: It’s Evolution Baby!
Online gaming is nothing new, it’s appearance on the evolutionary scale of the internet would be only moments after it crawled from the primeval oceans of pure academia and took it’s first laboured breaths in the world of the Doom addicted systems administrator. Its early years were fraught with danger and frustration, the low end hardware, the chunky graphics, 28.8K connections and 300+ pings, servers that rose and fell with the tides. The online gaming scene had it’s share of droughts and ice ages, it was a tough ride for us dinosaurs old enough to remember it, and as a new era dawns there is a whole new world to explore.
Now in this Jurassic age of the internet, with lumbering giants like O@H and BPA and their all you can eat bandwidth, online gaming has evolved into something far beyond its ancient ancestors. It has become a serious entity, a viable place to compete against people on the other side of the continent, and the other side of the world. The hardware has evolved phenomenally as well, gone are the days of the P1-166 with 32MB RAM. The monsters on many gamer’s desktops hover around the 1 Gig mark, sporting enough RAM to keep a large flock of sheep well satisfied and video cards that render so sweetly that game environments seem more real that the world outside your door.
The culmination of these two factors have delivered us to a point in time where we are witnessing the birth of a whole new breed of serious competitor, the online gamer. A growing army of these gamers, backed by their beefy systems and broad band connections are changing the landscape of the online scene and capturing the attention of the sponsors who have previously focussed on the LAN scene. The biggest news in Australian Quake III History broke late last year with the announcement that Andrew “Python” Cha Cha was to be professionally sponsored to compete in Quake III Tournaments around the world. This was, and still is, revolutionary in Australian eyes but around the world there are more and more people who make some cash, if not a living, out of PC gaming.
Shortly after the Python announcement http://www.ozquake.com and the Cyber Shack Radio show, a traditionally transmitted radio show dealing with all things “online”, started the ball rolling in another evolutionary leap for online Australian gaming. A national online Quake III Tournament with serious prizes. AMD got behind the concept and by January of this year http://www.ozquake.com was testing the waters with what I believe is the richest online gaming event to be held in this country. A diverse field of players competed for close to $3,000 in prizes, the crown being taken by a young Melbournian by the tag of Blight0r.tr. For his efforts he took home a Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox, a limited edition Quake III Arena Hockey Jersey and a copy of Windows ME. The comp attracted several of the recognised top 10 and was truly a clash of the Titans that could not easily be emulated at a LAN, opponents across the country sat in the comfort of their own homes and vied for a place in history across the net. With the final fought and the winner declared the future of this kind of event can now be considered.
There is no denying that the online Quake III scene in Australia is strong, and growing stronger. Challenge-au are currently running a two player team ladder with 64 teams competing. Ozquake has received over 180 registrations from gamers interested in future online comps, and through alliances with Challenge-au, Games@EISA and ausgamers, ozquake hopes to keep Quake at the head of the pack when it comes down to make gaming online attractive to big business. It’s a new direction for sponsors, but one that has it’s advantages in terms of audience and continuity. I truly believe that as broadband internet becomes the norm online gaming will rival LAN’s in terms of numbers and prizes. It’s the future of gaming, it is simply evolution baby.
What they played:
Quake III Arena, Death Match.
Where they played:
Wireplay servers (http://www.wireplay.com.au)
What they fought for:
Four Microsoft game packs including; Activisions Quake III Expansion pack, Microsoft Internet Keyboard, Microsoft Game Voice, Microsoft Intellimouse. Four Copies of Windows ME operating system.
What they had to say about the comp and the future of online gaming:
“Thanks to organizations and sponsers like the CPL, Ozquake and AMD, australia is now starting to provide seriouse prizes and money for doing somthing you already do. Don’t believe me? Perhaps you’d like to come listen to my new Nomad Jukebox from and online compeition run by Ozquake (over $1000) or hop down to the $10,000(US) tournement on in Melbourne at the end of march. I know I will :)
Sponsorship from organizations is one of the most important parts of any organized sport. This is no different with gaming. I believe that while gaming is still in its relative infancy, there is a great opportunity for partnerships between sponsors and players/clans(clubs)/gaming organizations.
For sponsors, it is a way into the internet culture, on a personal level that has hardly been scratched yet. For example. Hardly anyone will click on a popup add, even if it is something that might interest the person, it’s just much to intrusive, and people have become num to them. On the other hand, if your favourite player posted an article or a column update and said “I just got my XXXXX from yyyyy. OMG how cool is this thing!? Have a look at it <here>. Very nice.” you would be so much more likely to go check it out, cause for once some dull popup didn’t ruin you browsing experience trying to slap a sale in your face and it’s not some unsolicited spam from an unknown sender.
In fact, when you think about it, normal sporting sponsorship cannot even come close to the benefits of sponsoring a cyber celebrity. Even if I walked right past Patrick Rafter in the street, decked out in sponsors gear, there is a pretty damn good chance that I’m not going to be anywhere near the sponsors shop when I do. On the internet I can.”
Blight0r.tr (Tourney Champion)
“Nation-wide gaming competitions in Australia has, up until now, been inaccessible to the average “household” gamer. But having access to an internet connection is just about a given these days, so online competitions make sense. It was excellent to see that some of the top name players were involved, and some not-so-well known players gave them a run for their money.
As soon as more and more sponsors get into the act of helping endeavors like these, gaming in Australia will expand, bringing with it lot’s of new talent to challenge the world.
It’s good to see that some people care enough about the industry to put time and effort (and not to mention money) into events like these.
Thanks to ozquake, Cyber Shack and especially AMD for getting behind Australian gamers.”
Psyex (dipped out first round but enjoyed the game).