Archive for February, 2016

UT4 Shock Rifle Guide

Shock Rifle – Unreal Tournament 4s most beloved gun

Introduced in the first Unreal Tournament as the ASMD (And Suck My Dick) the shock rifle is core to the ut gameplay universe. Embodying the pure awsomeness that is ut, the shock rifle has three fire modes – primary, shooting a purple, hitscan beam, secondary, shooting a slow moving shock core and the combo, where the user shoots the secondary ball with the primary. The resulting explosion is quite satisfying to gib players with.

Ut4 Sniper Rifle Guide

Sniper Rifle an Unreal Tournament 4 Weapon

The sniper rifle is a ut4 weapon. If there was a sniper rifle guide on the site yet it would be housed here. A guide like this would teach you how to use the Unreal Tournament 4 Sniper rifle, how to improve your accuracy and give other tips and tricks that might improve your sniper use.

Showdown spawn selection broken with double spawns?

2) This is the only gametype that is flat out unplayable with too many players. You put 16 people in a small CTF map and it becomes a brainless spamfest, but you still get to jump around and blow people up with a variety of weapons. The good players still somehow manage to win most of the time. And there have been enough full 32 player servers over the years to know there’s a segment of the population that actually prefers it that way. But you put even 8 players in Showdown on most maps and the game is broken; half the players get to play with the Enforcer while everybody else has weapon(s). It’s not even close to fun. I think it’s good that 3v3 is the optimal player count, but it needs to at least be functional with more. If everybody just gets the closest weapon, then at least they’ve all got something to work with.

It’s infinitely more playable than 5v5 tdm unless teams are very balanced and players play “properly”(or more than 5. or even 4v4 on smaller maps with less than a full weapon load out) with weaponstay off. At the very least in TSD most players will get weapons every round and one team will never get locked out heavily. You are also exaggerating “half the players” as even on small maps with one spawn of each gun there are 7 weapons. This is not to say seven players will get all weapons right off the bat, but four players getting all seems a bit of a stretch – and even if two players on each team get all the guns there are enough with dropweapon for everyone barring one player to have something. The belt/jacket/amp should be regarded in a similar way to a “weapon” and when these are added in there are 9-10 “items” to go for – more if one counts boots.

Dropping weapons and playing together in this way is something that should evolve – just because players are not doing it does not mean the gametype is broken. Perhaps from a purely pub standpoint I agree with your statement – cramped spammy messy 16player ctf has more appeal to the general populace than showdown. But having 7 weapons does not necessarily break TSD at a more competitive level. I know quake gets little love around here but quakeworld TDM maps are very weapon light, to the point one map has a single weapon (rocket launcher) and in general players use their spawn shotguns. It takes ~2 minutes for a team to obtain four rocket launchers.

Maybe the enforcer player could be considered the games equivalent of a hard carry without the eventual payoffs. Or an eco round.

One concession that needs to be made is that the enforcer does not have enough ammo to roll with the bigger guns. To alleviate this perhaps players without gun pickups could be bumped to 100ammo (or something) when there are no longer weapons on the map. Or the inverse, everyone starts with more enforcer ammo which is dropped to 20 when they pickup a weapon. OR players pinyata enforcer ammo on death. However even in 4v4 with only seven spawns it could be said that good teamwork overcomes the ammo problem – the enforcer player uses their ammo, communicates with their team mate who drops a weapon and uses their enforcer. Rinse and repeat for 120 bullets.

On top of this the gametype has not had time to mature – one obvious direction is sharing weapons based on ammo pickups. In this way a player can pickup the rocket launcher and one ammo pack, and a team mate can pickup another two ammo packs elsewhere. The first player can use the weapon down to one rocket then pass it off to their team mate who has ammo. This extends firepower significantly. As rawlph highlights voice for teams is really needed for this level of coordination.

It could almost be said that at one end of the spectrum we have 16 player small ctf, that works on pub but will never work competitively and at the other 4v4 TSD on ASDF sized maps – which would generally be unenjoyable for pub players but would “work” with organised teams.

Mirrored ut weapon spawns are not entirely bad. Some examples.

Tuba shock spawns – Previously there were two spawns, one on each side of the shock tower (no longer exists). This could allow one player to take boots and one to take shock. The player taking boots has 2x health packs to use vs the player who gets the shock. The problem here is potentially ammo for the enforcer player if they want to engage, however with boots they can opt to go to the tower for rifle/amp straight away. In 2v2 this trades some of the boots spawn health (assuming the shock player hits them) for positional advantage (boots) they can potentially use to get the sniper and amp.

Having said that the other mirrored spawns on tuba (bio and pulse specifically) are horribly bad for two teams to spawn at.

ASDF rocket spawns – Enemy picks rocket spawn farther from lift. Teammate picks pulse. Enemy team has the mini/belt spawn, your team has a player at bio for jacket. You pick the other rocket spawn closer to the lift. By moving straight onto the lift you can control where the rocket player is likely to go, deny shock via lift as well as bring two players (yourself with enforcer + team mate with link) to bear on the rocket player in short order. The rocket player has few options, none of which give quick access to any important pickups. The bio player can push onto the shock quickly.

Obviously there are ways around this, hammering straight to shock is the obvious example but this slows down the rocket player unless they specifically decided to do it off spawn.

Another point for the mirrored spawns – they allow closer grouping of team spawns. This way two players could spawn in close proximity and then play aggressively together quickly, even though one only has an enforcer. This would be later a later stage spawn picking type thing, if an enemy player is obviously somewhat cut off from the rest of their team stacking your last player near them to assist quickly killing them might be beneficial.

Lag spawn in – Rather than starting the game instantly how about putting players on their spots for the count downs? Might not help.

I’d also agree whole heatedly about impact/rocket jumps. If anything these are even more important early round if one wants to secure early resources. With 200 starting health they are much less risky as you never put yourself near death with piston and early round when you are pushing. One example I would pick is ASDF rocket spawn – hammering to shock (provided the other player did not pick the shock spawn) is faster than taking the traditional lift jump.


UT4 Sniper Rifle DPS and changes

Looking at just DPS does not tell the whole story when discussing ut4 weapons. What I have below does not either, but I feel it adds to the discussion.  This is a break down of how many shots are required (ignoring RNG headshots) to kill a player at different armor levels with the rifle. Obviously this ignores vials and keg, however for illustration purposes it is sufficient. I put it together expecting uproar over the sniper nerf and wanted to illustrate that it does not change as much as one would think. 67 included because I was interested in the difference to ut99. It was intended to show the difference between builds not between the shock and rifle.

Personally I like the number of hits to change stack more interesting than straight up DPS and kill time.
Interpret it as you like.

ut4 sniper hits
ut4 sniper hits

Update 19.02.2016 – With less offical Epic streams Zacc has been hosting a community talkback show. It is fun.

In the latest episode there is quite a bit of talk about the sniper changes this build. For the uninitiated the rate of fire was lowered (longer wait between shots) and the damage was lowered from 70 to 60. All three players involved have good points, one of which is the rifle being made more like the rail in quakelive. The point the commentators like about the ql rail is how it can be whipped out quickly to deal some fast damage.

This is interesting in ql as it allows either finishing shots or quick damage where the rail is required at close range (eg enemy falling away off a ledge, switch to rail and ping) without the caveat of having it equipped all the time and the guys think this is good. It extends the use of the rail beyond a long range only weapon, giving it some viable, if niche, close(r) range uses. However the differences end here. There is a main reason the rail is not optimal at close range in ql is because of the long reload/switch off time. For close finishing shots the “risk” is the reload/switch off time. If you do not estimate stack and hit the rail without a kill you are left extremely vulnerable. The ql switch works like this. Putdown/bring up, like ut as well as the full reload of the weapon. This means the rail has a switch off time of around 2000ms (1500 of which is reload time). Two seconds. This is an exceptionally long time and allows heavy punishment for missed shots or incorrectly estimated stack (hit but player does not die) at close range. The alternative is for the rail player to flee, which is quite often the case, giving up position to avoid damage/death. imo this long delay is one of the best ways to balance a long range weapon at close range.

This is why the rail works well the way it does. It offers long range, “free” damage. It offers close range encounter specific damage. While the DPS has been nerfed over the years via damage downgrades this is not really an interesting way to balance compared to other mechanics, it also removes the potential for risky shots on low health estimated players. What is more interesting, a rail/sniper that is nerfed through the floor damage wise so it simply cannot compete with a rocket launcher, or one that has the ability for that damage in some situations at a risk?

The final piece of the close range rail puzzle is the audible hum. This means at close range a player must either give their posistion away to their opponent via the hum or have a silent weapon out, resulting in a small delay and audio queue when switching to the rail from the silent weapon. This is quite subtle and simply adds to the layers – not really relevant to the current discussion but hopefully fills all the gaps for anyone reading this who has not played ql.

The problem with the ut4 sniper rifle is the refire is faster than the rail and when combined with switch time you end up with a weapon that is quite different to the rail. It currently lacks the quick follow up ability with shorter switch times of unfired ql weapons but it also lacks the long switch off after shooting delay, not really punishing a player heavily for using it in an incorrect situation. In its current incarnation if it was given the ability to quick switch for fast damage (as the guys in the video want) it would also need a longer switch off delay added, otherwise it would only receive the advantage of the rail but not the disadvantage.

The disadvantage is important, mainly because at higher level it leads to players giving up position when they miss an important shot. A player standing down on belt on asdf can use rifle at the opponent near the bounce pad as there is plenty of time to swap to something more appropriate should the bounce pad player choose to push in. However with a longer switch off delay this player would likely need to run back and use the jump pad. A similar situation would occur with a player at vials shooting to pulse. Should they miss (or not kill) their opponent they are required to +back while their rifle reloads for a second shot or switching away from. With the current reload/switch time this is not required to nearly the same degree.

Its entirely possible that the amount of delay for switch off is considered acceptable by epic – who knows as that is a fairly one way street.

In order to balance this I would also be in favor of higher base damage, up to 90 – with 100 for a head shot. This gives RNG one shots to fresh spawns, which is essentially what the current weapon does anyway. No armor levels are one shots. The higher base damage may be required in order to balance out the longer switch off time. If the damage is too low and the switch off time is not worth risking ever what is the point to the change? Of course this can always be dialed back should it appear too abusive.