Different Ways of Playing Quake 2 by Daelmun

Different Ways of Playing Quake 2
by daelmun

Ok, I’ll have another go on this column-writing stuff. I sorta enjoy this way of sharing thoughts, opinions and experience with others, as you probably have noticed by now. The topic in this column is something that I think most of you can relate to: different ways of playing a tdm game (mostly duels for now) in quake2. Well, I could write tons about this, and I probably will. So, let’s get going and hope you can find some familiar ground along the way.

I want to win this game so bad!
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Well, this is pretty much the way people play when something is at stake. You feel the adrenaline rise in you, you focus extremely hard not blinking your eyes at all and turning your volume up high to hear any sound you possibly can hear. The reason you play is to at any cost win the game. The focus on minor details as doing nice jumps or frag someone in a classy way is not there, you could care less if you spam the opponent to death or hit him with a double midair rocket, you just want to beat this guy, and kill him as many times as you possibly can without risking losing the control. Camping is certainly accepted, and it’s even expected. The playing is extremely cautious, with quick attacks and retreats where you wont go too easy on the opponent, but still not go all out attack. You constantly try to figure out ways to get the upper hand, faking sounds and trying unsuspected moves. And you are always aware of the nearest escape route if you happen to take a hit or two. The weapons are used to kill, you couldn’t care less about the accuracy but you constantly keep thinking on the weapon you is gonna use. Prediciton shots are heavily used, and you totally focus whenever having the rail in your hand making that one railshot hit. You pay no attention to the opponent as a person, if he whines about anything outside the game you pay no intrest whatsoever, you don’t care if he find the game boring or campy. The spectators or any conversation in messagemode1 is neglected totally. This is the sort of game where winning is everything and it is just as bad, if not worse, to lose 0-1 as 0-30. Anything outside the monitor/keyboard/mouse/headphones does not exist while the game is going. Your reflexes are at top, reacting to every single sound, constantly working out tactics and trying to read the opponents mind. When the game is over, you feel completely exhausted, your breath is rapid and you feel very very awake. If you win you feel total mastering of the game.

I want to humiliate my opponent:
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The previous example is most common in tourney games where all that matters is to win. But also on a personal basis those games can come across. Sometimes people you really want to beat for different reason brings out the worst/best in you. The example above I would say brings out the truly competitive spirit. The one that boxers and athletes must possess to get that little “extra” that separates the best from the good. But sometimes it brings out the worst in you, the feeling that you want to destroy this guy in the worst way possible, making him look as bad as you can. This is also a very egoistical approach to the game. You may focus just as much, but now it’s not enough to frag him one or two times more. You need to defeat him with considerate amount of frags, and while doing it it would be even better if you do it without appearing to try all that hard. Meaning, showing off fancy moves and unusual weaponchoice. These are the games where you see the rail in close combat, and maybe heavy usage of nades and rockets are aimed directly at opponent or unusual spamspots, not on the usual spam-spots like floor and walls. To ridicule your opponent you need to not only outfrag him, you want to make him feel inferior in every aspect of the game. Pulling out crazy moves combined with hard-to-do shots. Accuracy with the hitscan weapon is in focus too, as you want to make it clear that you are by far a better aimer. At any costs camping and defensive playing must be avoided. This is a hard way of playing and it certainly demands some sort of motivation to accomplish. The worse your opponent feel, the better you feel. After being done you feel an enormous self confidence and it certainly makes your ego grow considareble if you manage to perform it with success.

I want to show off the world how good I am:
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Well, this is more of the same, but not so much based on the humiliate-opponent idea. This is playing to show how good you are as a player, trying to appear like this is how you play all the time. You don’t need to focus that hard, as the raping aspect of the game is not present that much. You could even lose the game, and come out being the better player. All you need is to show off in every way you can. The best way is to of course make nice frags, good usage of rocketlauncher and finishing off with rail instead of chain are all components in these sorts of games. The attention to opponent isn’t as high, you think more about yourself and your own performance. The minor details suddenly is more important than ever. Missing an important jump can almost ruin the game alone, and if you don’t hit that one fancy rail you might as well stop it right away. This gameplay is more or less based on basic luck, cause if you start doing mistakes (failed sneakyness, missed shots and clumsy dodging), the whole effort is wasted. Easy ways to recognize this style is apparantly stupid attacks with mg or sg on a fully armored and geared opponent which ends up successfull, heavy reliance on semi hard and hard trickjumps, and different usage of weapons (using rail on close distance, using rl/gl in midrange and trying to frag opponent in spectacular ways). Very often the result of being the guy people chase, and any comment on how good he is is taken as a personal victory cause you have achieved your goal.

I want to play at the top of my game:
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The ones who plays fairly serious, always keeping an eye on opponent and how he plays, and trying to counter his strengths and exploit his weaknesses. Has a very clear and consitent way of playing, never giving up but always fighting his way back into the game. Skilled in most areas of the game, aim, tactics, moves and anticipation. Often very aware of their own play, and you can tell they are focusing more than the average by the way they seem to be one step ahead of opponent at most times, meaning putting more thought into their play. Not very talkative in the games, and seem to play mostly for the game there and then, saving the chatting and whining and other stuff for irc and leaving the server a sacred place for their quake2 games. Can easily been looked upon as too serious and too competitive for the normal player, but then again the normal player can bore them with predictable play and little challenge to the tactical side of the game. Can often be in between being totally focused and try their best, and the less serious part of the game trying to get intresting frags and trying out new strats at a frequent rate.

I give up, so I Rush rush rush RUSH:
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This one is old, but it never seems to be out of date. How often haven’t you said to yourself: “damn, I’m gonna lose this game now cause he has too good control, and I wont even bother pretending to try giving him the satisfaction of winning me when I try at my best.” Or “this game is so extremely boring, I’ll not bother thinking at all, I’ll just get done with it. Maybe I can get a funny frag too, if I just attack and get lucky”. When all hopes are out, there are different things you can do. Rushing is the easiest, and probably the most fun for the player in question. This means after each spawn, get a gun, or not a gun at all, and run directly at the fully armored and geared up opponent firing at him with any gun you might have in your inventory. No thinking whatsoever, this is all out attack. Retreating isn’t even an option, the only outcome is the death of either of you (in 99% of the cases that is gonna be you). The whole point is to be clear to everyone that “I’m not even trying”. Some choose this “tactic” immediately when facing a player who has control. Others delay it till they understand that a victory is beyond their grasp even with all the luck in the world on their side. Often results in a very loopsided score, and what is commonly referred to as “rape”.

I listen to music/have no sound:
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This is a way of playing that relieve you from any kind of pressure of performing at a certain level. When playing with music people tend to be less aware of the circumstances and just focusing on their own play and the nearest enemies. Careless playing, relaxing attitude and focus is on aim alone. Although there is great fun in trying to predict enemies without using sounds. Guess it’s relaxing in many ways to play with musuc, cause for one: good music can calm you down and you will maybe lower your shoulders a bit not being all uptight, the focus away from the sounds may give more time to focus on your own movement and the visible enemy, and as I mentioned you don’t have to pressure to perform at as high level as you might be expected too. Which for some makes the gaming experience a little more pleasant at times, making their game blossom in unexpected ways. There are probably some meanies hiding behind nosound/listening to music-“excuse” while they do have sounds! That’s very evil, and should not be acceptable at all :)

I’m drunk/stoned/high:
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This is a weird gang of quakers, who play while being drunk/stoned/high, well, under the influence of something else than coca cola and coffee. The gameplay is narrower, meaning not so complete as the competitive gamers gameplay, with some senses being sharpened while other are being worsened. They may have superior aim and reflexes, but lack the focus on the sound, or it can be the other way around. Or they can totally suck at everything except the nadelauncher which they totally dominate with (YES I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU ACID!). The weird playingstyle, and different effects of the susbtance they have been abusing make this playingstyle highly entertaining for the ordinary spectator. Minus for the typos and incoherent messagemode1 speaking, but a plus for temper and eagerness to sheer their drinking habits with others. I fear a lot of the ones claiming to be drinking are faking, giving away excuses for losing or not humiliating the opponent completely and utterly like they would have done being sober.

I don’t really wanna play a duel, but I’m still playing:
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Well, it’s pretty hard to describe this way of playing. Cause, when people say that they dont like to duel, but they still do it, it shows that something is a little wrong. Of course they like it, else they wouldn’t do it. It’s not like someone is forcing you with a knife to play. Well, in some cases that is actually the case, but that’s beside the point. I think what people saying this means is that they aren’t as skilled as they should be in duelling compared to the time they have played (yes, I’ve been giving this a great deal of thought). So, the style of playing is fairly relaxed, and they aren’t nearly focused enough to win a skilled dueller. Cause they already has resigned to the fact that they’re not gonna win this unless my opponent is worse than me. What I notice when watching these guys is that their mapknowledge is very limited in 1v1’s. They might know exactly when to spam the rocket standing at yellow armor to the chain-stairs. But they don’t recongnize the doublejump doublejump (up stairs) jump jump bullet-pickups jump “donk” ssg-pickup after a spawn (very much a 1v1 sound sequence as most in teams would head for rail or something). The holes in their mapknowledge result in a very weird way of playing where they can win if they get to fight at all the right places and at the right time. Seemingly appearing to be good duellers, but suddenly do something stupid losing the whole map control after that. Usually they get a few frags, but they don’t care enough to lock down the map, or play campy to secure the victory. They’re just waiting for someone to connect so they can play teams.

The 1 frag camper!:
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This is everyones nightmare. The camper. The guy who gets one lucky spawnfrag cause of chain-spawn or lower-rl spawn (and the other has lower-lift spawn). Then after getting the one frag, he puts up a tent on the lift/upper rl area trying to stay alive. Not only is it boring for the player he plays, but very often he is more stressed out than he is having fun. The upper rl/lift is pretty much all the map he gets to see. He don’t peek into mega once, or try to launch an attack. Of course versus a skilled player he will be having trouble, but versus a not so skilled player he can go on forever. He plays jerky, reacting to every single sound coming from mega room. Peeking a little (but not much) into arena to see if armor is available and to get some health then to run to the corridors and get to lift as soon as possible. He is not caring about whatever anyone has to say, all he want is to win the game there and then, and he is not gonna brag about it later either. He just don’t like to lose. Frustrating to play, but it’s not really meant to be evil in any way. Just a way of nature.

The runner:
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Now this is pretty annoying to face, a runner. A speedy player who knows the map well, who knows the escape routes, and also can clear out megaroom for items in a short period of time. The guy you chase all over map, and you always lose him when he escapes to lift. And then he always gets the armors, and spams a lot of defensive rockets. If he is lucky he has a lead of a couple frags or so, and decides to take on his running shoes and run. Most likely he knows the effort putting into taking back control is too much for him to handle there and then, and he doesn’t feel like risking attacking much at all. But he doesn’t want to be a camper either, cause he feels that is too cheap, and even boring. The runner feel that he is playing a fair game, cause he is always exposable to fire in one way or the other (prediciton shots, chain/rail in arena, and he is being chased a lot of the time). This “almost dead” state is very draining on the player, he might be exhausted when the game is over, cause he never has the time to stop and relax. He can’t afford missing jumps, and it is vital that he always have rockets to spare to spam if being threathend up in a corner. He steals mega without putting an effort into it at all, and covers all of the map. Standard running routes are back and forth in the sewers, back and forth from mega to ssg. And from mega to lift to upper rl. And from mega to upper rl to mega (round and around). Sounds is vital, cause he needs to know when he can run, and when he has to stop and turn and run the other way. This is a rusher who hasnt given up, but doesn’t feel good enough to take back control.

The one who doesn’t care, plays just for fun:
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Well, I think a lot of different styles are hiding behind this one. People who just plays around for fun not caring if they win are often players who either are well established as being top players, but doens’t feel the need for competing or even humiliating opposition. They play fairly well, but takes a lot more chances than they should if they really cared. They focus more on the way they frag than how much they frag. How well they move than where the opponent moves. They let opponent has his fun too, cause they know that an opponent who feels like being a part of the game has more fun than an opponent being crushed. So they hand out frags here and there, and they often try the impossible without success. They are good at adjusting their play to the opponent so both can enjoy the game the most. Not very draining way of playing, so they can play a lot of games sharing their joy of the game with others. There certainly must be some who are fakes, who pretend playing for fun cause they can’t really duel too well, but still want to look like they are very good duellers/players who just play for fun. Now that must be true!

The one who let others win cause he feels bad for others:
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Maybe hard to find, but I think some people take a dive way too easy just to not upset others. Very considerate persons, who have great empathy for others, and don’t like it when people get very upset when losing. Easiest seen in apparent stupid play in the middle of an else well played duel. Should be appreciated, cause they certainly makes the bad losers have a better time quaking, and bad losers are always fun to have around.

The carefull and defensive player:
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Not everyone can spawn rape on a map, they are forced to play more carefull. They often have the hardest times winning duels cause they quite often fight an equally armored and geared up opponent. They need to have good combatskills, and good dodging. Not all too speedy in the movement, and can look like their easy to beat if you don’t look closer. Notice how good they are at chosing the right weapon for the right time, and how carefull they are. They neve engage in a combat unless they can surviva a direct hit rocket or a rail or two. Often considered sneaky, cause they need to get close to opponents in other ways than pure speed. Not much fake sounds, more cunning play and good defesnive work with rail/rl/nades. Often the guys using most of the weapons, and they never have all that flashy frags. An underappreciated group of players with good combat skills and good mapknowledge in other ways than just sounds, but also how to use the layout of the map hiding behind boxes and keeping out of sight from the railer.

The max attack player:
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Spawnraper deluxe, and a player who is very much relying on being in control else he will quickly move on to the rush rush rush stage. Can be more or less cunning, and quite often has a good aim in attack. Not so steady on the defense, and can come across as being a show-offer with speed and constantly keeping opponent on the defense using any gun at hand to deliver damange enough to keep him down. Can be everything from a great player to a semiskilled one. Eagerly chasing spawns, often recklessly, which lead to lots of frags on both sides, allthough always with a secure lead. Often the player people chase in a duel as he is the agressor and the one covering the most of the map. The flashy moves aside, a good aim is needed, and good soundknowledge especially the spawn-sound-patterns. Ninjastyle is the next level of this playingstyle.

Ninjastyle:
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Ask [HOR]gren

The excusemaker:
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This is more of an attitude than an actual style. But these guys have no way whatsoever to adjust their play to their opponents. Whenever they find out that their tactics dont work as planned, they blame it on everything but themselves. Can be funny at times, but it wears you out in the long run. They must have some weird way of looking at the world, cause they seem to think theyre at the peak and everything bad that happens must happen them. Luck and omg are words often used. Pretty dull to watch, cause you can see their obvious lack of tactical ability to change their way of playing. But whenever their around you’re sure to be having a good conversation with your fellow spectators laughing your ass off.

Well, I could go on. Lots of different styles, but hey, you need to use your own imagination too! What kinda player are you? And I refuse to believe you are in the same cathegory all the time playing. I think I’ve been playing in them all. Except drunk. Yet to play quake2 while being drunk. Well, maybe it looks like i wrote this being drunk, anyways. Thanks for reading, and please make some comments on how you play duels.

-reposted by [BTF] Reflex at Tastyspleen.net’s forum
http://forum.tastyspleen.net/quake/index.php?topic=12314.msg126766#msg126766

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