The Coven: Disposable Heroes, Deadlode 2, and more Quake II Total Conversion Mods

The Coven was an independent computer games developer with its roots in the Doom and Quake communities. Originally founded by John “Gestalt” Bye in late 1996, The Coven worked on a free Doom II add-on before moving on to Quake and going commercial in the summer of 1997. The Coven was closed in the winter of 1999, and all their work is now available for free download here at the Coven website.

The Coven – RIP. The Coven closed down at the end of 1999, but “death is not the end”. Today we have released our commercial Quake and Quake II add-ons for free! Disposable Heroes was an unique multiplayer add-on for both Quake and Quake II, featuring new maps, mods and skins for both games. Deadlode II brought Team Fortress style gameplay to Quake II, as well as adding innovative new features such as fully customisable player classes and a modular construction system. Both add-ons are now available as open source. As well as being able to download and play the mods for free, you can also use any of the code, textures, maps, models, or other material from our mods in your own projects, as long as The Coven is credited. If you wish to use any of our work in a commercial project, please contact john@thecoven.com first. Thank you to all our fans for their support over the years, and of course thanks to all our former members for making it possible – I couldn’t have hoped to work with a more talented group of individuals!

http://web.archive.org/web/20000609143628/http://thecoven.com/thecoven.shtml

Deadlode II

Ten new maps featuring a variety of goals, as well as Q2CTF map support Goals vary from straightforward CTF to triggering radiation leaks, preventing nuclear missiles from launching, and more!

Construction as well as destruction

A modular construction system lets you build turrets, sentry guns, mines, surveillance cameras, laser triggers, alarms and much more…

Player Profiles

Deadlode II’s answer to player classes, profiles are totally customisable by both server admins and individual players… This means you can effectively create your own classes!

A wide range of realistic weaponry

All Deadlode II’s weapons are defined in an easy-to-edit text file, allowing server admins or mod makers to edit our weapons or create their own.

Mutliple ammunition types

Our flexible ammunition system allows weapons to use more than one ammo type, giving you even more ways of destroying your enemy.

http://web.archive.org/web/20000612060449/http://www.thecoven.com/dl2info.shtml

Deadlode II Maps

Well2000 by Sgt. ThunderCok.
Well2000 by Sgt. ThunderCok.
Another pic of the map “The Art of Self Destruction”.

Fortifications by Devnull.

DeadFort7 by MdC-Chompster.

Submarine map.
Submarine map.
Submarine map.
Submarine map.
Submarine map.
Submarine map.

11.29.98

Come on, take your best shot! 22:40 EST – Ven Tatsu Well, more pics for everyone to wait to download! These are from JAB, part of the Coven. He also has a cool desktop background. (you may need to hold down shift to download it).

On a more personal note. 22:40 EST – Ven Tatsu. Unanswered mail. Now I’ve received a lot of mail asking me for one thing or another. And most of it has not received any replies from me. I’m sorry but with finals on the way and the projects that I have going on I have little time to help people set up servers and such. And I’m not all that good at that stuff any ways. All that stuff should go to either the message board to the mailing list. I will still handle any thing dealing with this site (screenshots, etc.) people send my way. Decent music! My roommate finely decided to buy a decent CD to play 50 times a day. So here’s to waking to Ramstien, leaving for class to Ramstien, returning to Ramstien, and falling to sleep to Ramstien. =\ And not so decent music Friday I was going to see the new Vanilla Ice for free. (like I would pay to see him). And apparently not many others would pay either, so he canceled. Damn I was hoping to heckle that bastard. 12Mhz and still useful. Ahh my first PC, a 286 with the previously mentioned pitiful speed, is still useful. Well, not the whole computer, but the 5 ¼ floppy drive. I hold in my hand a copy of the original Might and Magic. To bad the drive’s cables won’t work in my new computer. So if anyone has the correct cables to get an old NEC diskdrive to work with a new Gateway, Please I need them. T-minus 19 hours and counting…. As I write this up it’s less than 19 hours till the 17 new Sailor Moon episodes are released. And I don’t have cable! What will I do?!?!? Hopefully some nice Moonie out there will tape them and send me a copy, I’ll pay for the shipping and the tape, I just want my Moon! I’m sure I forgot something Well what ever it was I’ll just get to it on the morrow.

PROFILES

If any one feature of DeadLode2 was to set it apart from all other TC’s, Profiles would be that feature. Profiles are the DeadLode2 equivelant of “Classes” that so many other cousin TC’s share. What makes Profiles so different from Classes are that they are customizable, not only by the server admin, but also by each player. In short, profiles are nothing more than shopping lists for the player. By selecting a profile, the player is determining which items they will carry into combat. Unlike other TC’s where classes define the abilities available to the player, in DeadLode2, you inventory defines your abilities, while the Profile defines your inventory. Any profile which shares the same items as another can also perform the same actions. Seasoned TF players (or those of similar TCs) should take a moment to rethink what this means to you as a player. It took us many months! At first glance, you may think to yourself, “So whats the difference?” Well, the real difference comes in the admins ability to customize profiles, either adjusting the profile to suit thier preference, or simply to create new profiles. This same concept transfers well to the player… Haven’t you ever thought, “It sure would be handy if I could carry an extra gun, even if it did make me move a little slower..” Well, now you can. DeadLode2 introduces Player Profiles. Player profiles are a core concept to DeadLode2 – the ability for a player to customize thier character (within limits) to suit thier style of play.

WEAPONS

Due to the unique way in which items are handled in DeadLode2, we are able to offer an extensive list of weapons. Because all of DeadLode2’s weapons are defined in the weapons.ini file, it is possible, and in fact quite simple, to adjust current weapon parameters, as well as add new weapons. Listed on this page is the default weapon set for DeadLode2. Those looking to the contents of this page should be aware that the information contained here, may not be the exact statistical information for the weapons they use, based on the servers they play at. The majority of DeadLode2 weapons are modeled after real-life weapons currently in use by various armed forces around the world. While we tried to ensure that the weapon statistics were as accurate as possible, some of the operating parameters have been changed in the name of weapon balance, and playability.

AMMUNITION

Thanks the DeadLode2’s INI files, and the flexability of its weapons system, players are now given the ability to carry, and use different types of ammunition. This ability ushers in a whole new era of multi-role weapons. Combined with DeadLode2’s effects system, the possibility of weapon/ammo combinations are literally endless. Grenade launchers that can fire High Explosive grenades, or at the touch of a button, switch to a Flare grenade to reveal those annoying Shadow Campers! Got a problem with that bogie behind his armoured turret? Why not switch to Flash grenades and blind him while your teammates rush his turret, take it over, and use it against him? DeadLode2 handles weapons and ammo using a unique (but real-world) approach to weapon/ammo compatibility. Each variation of ammunition is based off a “Base Ammo Type”. A base ammo type defines the basic behaviour for all ammo of that same type. Weapons are linked to ammo by this same type. In essense, DL2 looks at the weapon’s ammo type, and then the variants base type to see that they match. Any other variants that match the weapon’s base ammo type is also useable by that weapon. Additionally, thanks to DeadLode2’s INI files, its possible for admins to modify ammunition parameters, and even create new types of ammo. All without writting a single line of source code. DeadLode2 uses two INI files for the management of ammunition, the ammotypes.ini file defines the base ammo types, while the munitions.ini file lists the ammo variants.

SUPPLIES

DeadLode2 offeres a unique approach when it comes the expandibility of inventory items and supplies. Each supply based item (any item in the inventory other than weapons or ammunition) is based on one of a group of supply types. Each type defines the basic behaviour for that supply. Together with DeadLode2’s INI Files, the admin is left with the ability to customize each supply item or to even create his own. Grenades, for example, combine the ability of the supplies.ini file, together with the effects.ini file, allowing the admin to create entirely new grenades, ranging from standard “frag” grenades to outrageous MIRV grenades that fire homing missiles that impact into gravity wells. Supply items differ from all other items in DeadLode2 in that, if usable, they are usable usually only once, and, when used, are done so immediately. The most common exceptions to this rule are trigger-type supplies, armour, and goal items. Triggers are typically supply based items that are activated by other players. Triggers are usually linked to personal or team buildings, and when activated, cause the building to react in some way. Triggers differ from other supplies in that once used (or set), they can be reclaimed and used again later. Armour, on the other hand, differs in that it cannot be used, but instead is “applied” so long as the player has armour points in his inventory. Goal Items are map specific, and highly specialized supplies, that are used to activate goals. Goal items differ in that they maybe team-specific, and have one additional type that is not available to the INI files, known as a “DoNothing”. DoNothing based supplies cannot be used and have no actual functionality, except that they may be required in order to activate a goal.

BUILDINGS

Buildings are probably the most notable aspect of DeadLode2 to newcomers. Buildings are stand-alone structures that can provide numerous possibilities to the players and teams who have access to them. Buildings are defined in DeadLode2 as any item which must be built prior to use, and can usually be used multiple times. Buildings cover a diverse group of abilities and roles, from automated mobile defense systems to simple survailence devices. Buildings follow the same model as supplies and effects, in that DeadLode2 defines a number of building types. These types define the basic operating rules for each building. Furthermore, in conjunction with DeadLode2’s INI Files, each building can be customized to fulfill specific duties and provide unique abilities. One of the more powerful aspects of buildings is thier hierarchial nature. Buildings can be defined as an element of a larger building adding more flexibility to the admin. All of a buildings customizable parameters can be directly modified by editing the buildings.ini file.

EFFECTS

Effects are one of the key elements that make DeadLode2 so functional. Effects ultimately define how weapons, supplies, and buildings all interact with the player. Like the other items that DeadLode2 offers, effects, again, use types to define thier basic attributes. The effects.ini file, as one of DeadLode2’s many INI Files, defines the specific and customizable parameters of each effect. Effects can additionally be combined; items are not limited to simply one of the predefined types, but can instead mix and match types to provide a vast number of unique weapon effects.

MAPS & ENTITIES

With all the changes we made everywhere else, we figured it was the Map Authors turn. However, we still felt obligated to give them something cool to work with. We didn’t just stop on Weapons, and the Inventory system, we took it all the way. DeadLode2 offers a few new map entities, in addition to the face-lift of many of the existing ones, to help map authors in the creation of thier worlds. Some of the map entities will prove to be extremely complex, yet simple in nature, while others will be the very opposite. We will try and offer a complete, and detailed list of map entities. If, in the rare event, you find that DeadLode2 can’t do something that you want it to, drop us a line. Depending on the complexity of the request, we may be able to code the ability for you.

http://web.archive.org/web/20030604085215/http://deadlode.com/deadlode2/features.php

Screen Shots

F. A. Q.

DL2 is complex, and considered by many to be “too intricate”

DL2 is extremely complex. I sometimes worry if its too complex. The tearning curve is steep, but short. We are looking into some new features that will simplify some of the game aspects for newbies. However, DL2 is intended as a bridge between FPS type games and the RPG strategy games like Command and Conquer. The complexity is a result of that bridge. Anytime you give the player more freedom and abilities, the game increases because of the need to understand and apply those features.

I’ve heard that DL2 doesn’t play well in small games, or games with fewer than 8 players?

At the moment, most people are still learning the features of DL2. So most of the time is spent customizing classes, learning maps, finding all the neat toys, etc. I’ve actually played some very enjoyable, and fast-paced games with only 4 people. Finalizing CTF map support will show this off, since these maps are familiar, and much smaller.

DL2 games play very slowly, not at all like the fast pace of DM – Some people would suggest that is boring…

DL2 by nature, is a slower game than DM. Buildings are complex and take some serious time to build properly, reloads are slow, movement is restricted, etc. The cool thing, IMO, about DL2 is the change in pace that is seen as you play. Traditional DM is kill-kill-kill, where you build up an adreneline high, and never come down.. eventually you “slip in” and everything just flows. (I’m not bitching, its very cool when you “slip in”…), but DL2’s pace changes from one moment to the next. In DL2 things are usually pretty calm and slow giving you time to think, and react…

You work your way into the enemy base, unseen… Business as usual. Engineer’s building automated defenses. Snipers taking up position, and setting thier sights. Everything is nice and quite as you hide in the dark, behind a few crates. You switch to HE Rockets, and wait for the reload. You only got 2 of these bad-boys.. better make them count! With luck, the engineer hasn’t setup sensors yet.. Switch to your flash light for a split-second and scan for sensors… After some careful observation, and the timing just right – you make a run for it… Jumping out from around the corner, you see the sentry gun light up as it senses you. You let a rocket fly… Perfect, the engineer is working on the gun.. Get them both, if you can.. Let a second rocket fly… The noise has alerted the Snipers, and you notice a second engineer just finish his gun… No sensors yet, but that doesn’t matter… He’s taken the gun to manual, and he’s opening up on you… You switch to Carbine and dive over the edge… But its too late, the second sentry’s rocket explodes above your head. The Shockwave smashes your corpse into the ground beneath you, crushing every bone in your body.

Ohh.. Sorry, got a little carried away. Anyway, IMO, this continued change in pace makes for a different kinda of play (not nessicarily better or worse, but definately different). DL2, unlike DM forces the player in and out of the this enhanced state, keeping the player edgy and extremely tense. Personally, I find DM frustrating, while DL2 nausiating… Can you tell which I prefer?

The LAW and M-LAW take FOREVER to reload, whats up with that??

Interesting fact: LAW Rocket reloads were increased during private beta testing because the HE Rockets (the default rockets) were too powerful (which was the intent) and the faster reloads made them unbalanced. I will still keep reloads under consideration, but people should realize that Rockets in DL2 are Artillery, unlike in DM where they are a primary weapon. Thats part of why I added the M-LAW (one of the 2 fictional weapons). Techinally the LAW is supposed to be used only once, but that was a little too harsh, so instead I just made a long reload. The MLAW allows you to carry 4 rounds at a time, rather than the 1 the LAW offers, however, the MLAW takes substantially longer to reload. Finally, remember that these parameters are the full discresion of the server admin…

Whats the deal with Fall damage? It seems I can’t jump more than 10′ without getting hurt…

Fall damage has always been a sore-spot for people new to DL2. I spent a lot of time tweaking DL2 fall damage such that it was harmful, but not outright detremental to the player. Most maps should be designed to take advantage of fall damage, forcing playing to reconsider thier actions before they just “hop off the ledge”. DL2 actually uses “Impact” damage rather than fall damage. DL2, unlike traditional mods (including standard DM), determine impact damage based on a sudden changed in velocity, rather than the speed you hit the ground at. This means a few things, but most importantly is that you can take impact damage from more than just falling. Slam yourself into a wall hard-enough, and you’ll see what we mean…

Is there a way to have Quake2 load a specific config file after you select a profile?

It is coded, but has been turned off at the moment, mostly because it generated errors on the players console if the config file wasn’t found. Nothing really major, just a little annoying.

Where can I find out binding/inventory information about the class I just loaded?

You can check out the Features / Profiles section at http://www.deadlode.com, under the DeadLode2 area. This section should list all of the standard settings for the System Profiles that were released with DeadLode2. We are working on a “help” screen that will display profile and binding information about the selected profile.

I’m used to playing TF and Quake2 where you press a key to prime a grenade, and release the key to throw it. When I do this in DL2, I blow myself up??

In order to keep everything running smoothly, we had to change the way a few things work. One of those was grenades. In order to use a grenade, you have to “use” it twice. The first time its used, you prime the grenade. The second time, you throw it. Like everything else in DL2, it takes some getting use to. Also like the rest of DeadLode2, proper key bindings are critical… If you prefer the TF approach, setup an alias, like this:

alias +gren1 “use gren1”
alias -gren1 “throw”
bind g +gren1

DeadLode 2 uses different bindings for every weapon and class. Isn’t there a better way??

Actually, all the default classes (scout, sniper, etc) have thier weapons setup with alternate commands which will allow the default Q2 weapons bindings to work. In most cases, the default classes have between 2 and 4 weapons, and each are bound to “use blaster”, “use shotgun”, “use super shotgun”, and “use machine gun”. Additionally, the grenades should also be bound to “use gren1”, “use gren2” and “use gren3”. So reguardless of class, if you bind these keys, and stick to the default classes, you should be good to go, reguardless of which class you play.

Can DL2 maps limit the types of classes that can play?

I’ve been trying to find a way, but at the moment its not possible. Why? The way DL2 works, the only difference between the Sniper class, and the Engineer class is the profile that is loaded when you select one over the other. What makes the Sniper a Sniper? Its not his class, its his weapons… Its possible, with Player Profiles (or a willing admin) to make an Engineer who carries a Sniper rifle. So then you suggest, “Make the map so that it limits the weapons…” And the same question arises. Whats the difference between the C-8 Carbine, and the M-82 SP Rifle? A few points of damage, a model, and a few other options, like one is an Automatic, while the other isn’t. What makes DL2 so functional is that it doesn’t discriminate, and neither should you… If server admins want to limit what kinds of classes and weapons can be used, they have that option, because they can modify the INI files, removing all but the weapons/supplies that they want. I’d like to give the same options to the map maker, but its breaks a lot of the rules that make DL2 so capable. In the end, its a Catch 22.

More on DL2 maps, I understand you can add static models the maps, like the Commander in Sgt. Thundercok’s Well 2000. Is this true?

DL2 map entities include some entities that can be used for static models. The Commander in The Well was done this way. The entity is given a path to the model, a skin is specified, and a start and end frame number is given. The entity simply animates the model with the frames specified, and continues to loop indefinately.

I want to add Sentry guns, and other buildings into my maps. Is that possible?

This is something We’ve been planning for from the beginning. So much in fact, that map makers will be able to create thier own special supplies and weapons that are map specific as well. Players will not be able to add these to thier profile, but they can be used as bonus items. Maybe the BFG makes a return to DL2 as a weapon that is only available after you capture your enemies flag? Buildings are simply an extension of that ability. Map defined buildings however will be indestructable, and would need to be activated or deactivated. The debate on whether you will be able to manually override map-based buildings is still up in the air.

Whats up with all these INI files?? Is it true you can make custom weapons and supplies in DeadLode 2?

I feel I should say something about this, before people get the wrong idea. While DL2 does allow one to create new weapons for the game, that privilage is limited to the server admin. There is no method by which a PLAYER can create a new weapon and take it into a game with him. While this would be possible, the possiblity (and tempation) for players to cheat would be too much for mortal man to handle.

Okay, this is cool and all, but it seems that every time I try to play, the server crashes…

Well, DeadLode2 is a “Public Beta” product. What this means is, were still fixing bugs, adding features, and simply tring to make its the best product we can. As a result, you need to expect that servers may occasionally crash. Sometimes, because we’re debugging, the server may not come back up immediately. Be patient with us, its hard work to make a great game!

Page is Designed and © of Striker and cannot be published or copied without Deadlode.com‘s permission. Courtesy of the Internet Archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20000412215357/http://www.deadlode.com/deadlode2/dl2faq.shtml

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