Archive for the ‘FPS’ category

Unreal Tournament Australia and New Zealand

A long, long time ago, I can still remember how the shockwhores used to make scrubs cry..

Previous Unreal Tournament Australia community sites included OzUnreal (of OzForces ISP fame), oceaniaut and gibblets for instagib..

Unreal Tournament New Zealand community sites included Jetstream Games, Skankyflat and Paradise.

Unreal Tournament 4 Unlocks and Cosmetic items

UNLOCK NEW ITEMS With the opening of this new season, you’ll earn in-game rewards as you hone your skills in Basic Training, compete online in official Epic hubs, and complete offline challenges. These rewards are only available until the conclusion of the Pre-Alpha season in late October, so you’ll be able to look back and show everyone that you were here when it all started.

Unlock items are available via three methods. Progression, which is multiplayer. Challenges, which are predetermined secnarios vs bots setup by epic (eg 5v1 CTF) and Training. Overall the unlocks are intended

Zaccubus Duel Analysis

Zaccubus is posting new demo analysis videos. I am not a fan of these super in depth stop/start demo analysis for any game since players do not have time to think such in depth thoughts during play, and hindsight reveals everything. They tend to make the commentators look very clever. A better alternative is demo analysis of good players, outlining why they do specific things.

In general the video says what it needs to and probably teaches many players something, but there are some glaring points that should be addressed. The highlights, for me, are when zacc points out specific times to be aggressive, push for kills and most importantly, the why.

First spawn options
Videos opening is disappointing, calling two spawns similar when one is significantly better. Lucky for the viewers zoh makes the right choice.

Rocket spawn options: Rocket -> Lift to shock (potentially flak) | Rocket -> lift to pulse + vials + sniper. Mini/bio are not choices as they take too long and give up too much.

Bio spawn options: Bio -> Shock | ignore bio -> shock | Ignore both -> bounce pad to rifle -> vials + pulse or flak.

The rocket spawn is better. A player picking the bio spawn specifically to go for shock runs the risk of their opponent spawning at rocket then taking the lift dodge to shock. They are then contesting shock with an enforcer, or best case getting to shock ahead of the rocket player then taking a close range fight vs rockets with shock. Neither is ideal. Not 100% sure if the flak spawn can get to shock in time but that is another consideration. There is a spawn near pulse that would also allow killing of the player coming from bio to shock.

Spawning bio then ignoring shock and taking the bounce pad to rifle is potentially dangerous. Can you hear the flak pickup from the bio spawn area? If you cannot you might end up going lift into a flak shell OR the player at flak hears you, opts to go shock -> rockets, leaving you with rifle, pulse, vials and maybe mini for the first jacket spawn. This could work, depending on your play style. There are also spawns near mini that have fast access to shock. Potentially these spawns suffer from the same problem if you opt to simply bum rush shock. However if one player does this from bio and the other from the mini spawns, someone will likely die. Bit of a dice roll.

The spawn that can generally go safely to shock first is the one on the bridge above rockets.

Bio is a low % spawn choice to get a preferred weapon. You run the risk of not getting items you need or running into a player with your pants down. Looking at potential starting spawns can open up early opportunities. At the very least you can walk away with a decent group of weapons for opening encounters.

First Spawn (Video 1:50 / Game clock 9:45)
There are two possible weapons left on the map after this kill. The pulse and mini. Fjaru was headed towards pulse so assume that is gone. The rocket spawn is around 2 seconds closer* to the mini (using the lift near belt) compared to the flak spawn, so picking this was not entirely wrong. The rocket spawn is probably a better choice of the two, however putting a small delay before selecting the spawn would possibly have avoided death here – there is nothing else at rockets for fjaru to get so he has no reason to drop down. Pausing on the spawn increases the likelyness of him going to flak, or in the very least away from rockets, to look for you.

*A gut feeling rocket was closer while writing but had to test this in game.

The main problem at this point which is not addressed by zacc is that the only weapon still up once fjaru takes pulse after the first kill is mini. There is ample time (15 seconds) for fjaru to go to the mini before jacket instead of attacking down to rockets. This would have left zoh with nothing to contest jacket spawn. Except bio, if he can even get it. This is not to say that this is a mistake on fjarus part but more to point out the potential problem for zoh. Fjaru playing slightly less aggressively would have yielded even worse results for zoh. For example fjaru has a decent idea where zohs initial spawn was due to the shock pickup that would have been heard 100% near sniper/flak.

At this point in the game keeping track of what weapons are up is relatively simple. You know what you have and how much time has elapsed. Nothing has respawned yet.

Ignoring spawn choices the question could be asked if zoh made the correct move off the rocket spawn he picked. If we want to look at “mistakes” this is surely one – rather than going to lift he up to mini he makes a bee line for the belt. Rewinding even further you could say he makes the mistake straight off spawn when fjaru is above him / drops down. Rather than going left he potentially could have gone right, up the lift. There is a good chance he would have died anyway, however because fjaru drops it is the “best” avenue of escape available. Also using hammer alt while trying to escape..

Second Spawn (Video: 2:15 / Game clock 9:38)

Clicking in straight away here is portrayed as a bad thing by zacc. Zoh took the only spawn with a weapon left, assuming fjaru went and got the mini after killing zoh near belt – reasonable assumption. This was the only way to have a weapon for the upcoming jacket spawn.

I think hanging around was a mistake – we know the rl is spawning shortly after the armors as zoh started here, so getting bio, going down to rl for pads + rockets then potentially shock -> flak+helmet is probably the way to go here. This is the fastest known way to get back into weapons. We know fjaru has rifle and flak, however the flak spawn is potentially further away from the flak than the rocket spawn that zoh started on.

What – Gameclock 7:09 to next spawn

Fjaru did not deny the jacket because when he was taking the shock (and potentially checking the jacket spot) it was not up. It spawned at :39. There was a good chance fjaru did not have the pickup time as he was near/using mini jump-pad when zoh picked it up at 7:09. Sure, he should be playing with it in mind, even without a time, but this is all rather razor close for someone who does not know the spawn time. Fjaru picked up the shock, if he checked the jacket visually here it would not be there – going to pads the way he does is a good option. He may have also healed up, as he came from the low passage at rl.

Out of control 3:34 Game clock

zoh is not out of control. He took the last jacket – fjaru was likely at belt so does not have timing on it. In/out of Control get thrown around too freely in ut. Control is when a player has belt and jacket timing (or control) and their opponent has neither. If a player has belt, gives up multiple jacket spawns in a row and the next belt, yet manages to loose no armor their opponent is not really in control. They have no stack advantage.

I disagree with having more shots here. Fjaru has belt, zoh is 86/76. In order to be in a condition for the next jacket pickup (or next belt) he should preserve the limited stack he has. Playing safe like this and avoiding damage is good, especially when the player has a lead. Obviously he did not contest the next jacket pickup.. but he still has stack and missing the jacket was not as crucial as it would be if he had no armor.

The next pause when zoh ambushes fjaru at shock after jacket pickup has similar comments about control – as if landing the combo damage changes control. It removes fjarus stack but but does not automatically give zoh control. Control is achieved on the next set of armor spawns/pickups.

One last point here – this combo damage was quite low, fjaru took a direct rocket at the next belt fight and the belt glow did not disappear.

The last belt kill + fjaru suicide
Even before this point the game is won. Zoh can play defensively, take the next jacket while fjaru is at belt and waste the last minute. Unless this is a competition match I strongly believe that trying moves that are not ideal is not terrible. If zoh died and failed he has three frags to drag out off a fresh spawn, harder to practice than +backing with a decent stack and weapons.

Slow stacking non-binary armor and time restraints in duel

Sir_Brizz: Yeah, for add stacking or in relation to the concept above of having “mini shield belts”, for example.

Lets call this slow stacking.

TLDR; It takes longer/is time consuming to build/maintain stack and makes out of control stacking to reduce stack differential via pickups rather than just damage an option. It restricts the in control players time, movement and opportunity to pressure the out of control player while giving them a way to stack to challenge the in control player.

It depends how the armor system is setup. To simplify pretend we transplant the ql stacking armor (only armor) with the current ut values, everything 30s spawn, max 200, belt becomes 60% (or whatever , no shards, no mega, nothing else. Obtain two pads and have 100 armor. Obtain 2 jackets and have 200 armor. Obtain a jacket and pads and have 150 armor. Obtain 4 pads for 200. Etc.

Slow stacking/non-binary duel is about time management. Control and stack comes at the cost of having time to push the out of control player and out of control costs more time to build a stack that can be used for a direct confrontation.

Player stacks and actions are controlled by time – in order to service a large stack and heavy denial a player should have little opportunity to pressure their opponent. At the same time the out of control player has freedom of movement at the expense of stack. This also ties to their aggression as a failed attack, even without dying costs them the next X period of restacking time.

In my opinion control should not mean one player has all resources and the other has none, which is typically how ut armor/duel works. Control should mean that a player has a resource advantage, at the expense of time and predictability. This resource advantage should not be permanent (provided items are collected) and by giving the out of control player a method of stacking that allows the resource difference (stack differential) to be equalised they have a method of contesting control that does not rely on execution – with ut damage this would always be an option anyway. The in control player must use the advantage in the window it takes out of control to stack to an amount in order to challenge them – the in control player must take the out of control players potential stack into account.

There are other repercussions – +forward is slightly more favorable before critical mass is reached as players take longer to stack. There are more opportunities to control players stack when contesting pickups. This means if three items are run by the in control player, the out of control player can apply some damage at each pickup, negating the pickup the player is currently taking. It has a potential to introduce a “balanced” state where players trade damage and pickups for longer periods than with the current setup, even after one dies.

To highlight the difference using the current ut4 duel – if a player has control (jacket + belt) they can ignore the pads. They are a one time boost to the out of control player that is small compared to belt, they can still be one shot with current damage values. If pads stacked the in control player has to make a choice – spend more time denying the pads or deal with the other player having 100+ armor at some point in the future 30-60 seconds. This is actually why this change alone would not fix duel – in control player would just move pads higher up their priority list and take three items instead. Some claim that this is required currently, some not, however allowing stacking would make it a serious consideration.

The easiest way to balance duel is by looking at it as time management which can be spent on different aspects. This change is more about providing options to out of control.

Watch the first map in the video below. See how Dahang ends up with heavy control yet cannot push onto Cyhper, in large part because doing so would allow items to spawn which he could potentially miss. Notice that while Cypher is under pressure it is not the same as +forward pressure you might expect and he has a decent amount of freedom to move around.


Showdown – a new round based ut4 gametype

Takes duel and flips it on its head. Where in duel its about controlling various objects in the world as they spawn, here all objects spawn, everything is live in the world. Including powerups and you can only pick things up once.

As a fan of hoonymode and FPS that lack resources this gametype struck a chord. Round based gametypes are probably more palatable for many gamers these days but keeping the game item driven is awesome. It was interesting seeing it on stream and hope it becomes the staple for non-flag/objective type game.

Thoughts after playing some and watching some.

Showdown Pros

Showdown Cons

The defensive aspect could possibly be addressed using smaller maps for 1v1 – something like Rocket Arena 1v1 arenas. However with the current map options it turns into a huge +back fest if anyone takes it seriously.

Please add a team option (or even ffa) as I think showdown would shine even more in this format. 4v4 on the 1v1 maps would probably be ok. Possibly with team spawning on one point rather than all over the map, with the same spawn selection. Allows teams to do things like “2 go belt, X grab flak and go sniper, Y go to pads scout for them…”. Pinata or backpack drops may be required – or not, perhaps swapping off weapons to not give them to the other team is interesting.

Here are some comments from the stream where showdown was introduced. These are not 100% word for word as I was in a rush transposing. I feel most of these apply to current duel or duel could be made to have these features without massive changes.

Ties and Player Interaction.

+back play is/will be a problem. There is little reason to push the opponent after pickups.

Currently the winner is decided by remaining health. This benefits the player who gets pickups more than their opponent and forces the less stacked player to be offensive. Having the weaker player attack is not ideal in a game that is already skewed towards the defensive. Rather than this my suggestion would be to tie break based on damage given. This decouples the outcome from pickups and +backing onto health cannot win a game – that would be somewhat lame. A last second attack to deal a more damage to push over the line would be more showy.

With this in mind a “player is in the lead” indicator (1 or 0, not damage dealt) should be added to the hud for the current round. This way stack estimation is not required and players know exactly what is going on while keeping estimation important when pushing to kill.

This also has other ramifications – one player is essentially assigned offense and one defence, but this will switch during the course of a round. Randomly assign first round, then from round two onwards the “advantage” is given to the player that lost the previous round, the assumption being that the lower skilled player lost. Or it could alternate – but the idea is that someone always has the “advantage”.

Even if a player has less stack they have the option to go offensive, deal some damage and then make the higher stacked opponent come to them. This could create some dynamic situations where the leader swaps and strat change as the round progresses.

Finally change ties to +1 point and kills to +3 points. This also pushes the player who perceives themselves to have an advantage to be aggressive rather than being defensive due to greater rewards.

It would be hard to say if this would fix the overall defensive nature of the game but it would be a step in the right direction.

Overall a good start!

Some quotes from Epic stream

Make bee line to things you can make plays with, things you can make stuff happen.

The mechanic is now rather than players fighting around two places in the map its more about figuring out what your critical path is from where you spawn and how to defend after that.

Its also about conservation of ammo, conservation of health

One of the things I like about it is that it makes the game feel closer with players that are much better. Lowers humiliation factor. Getting destroyed makes me not want to play.

What you often see where one guy gets ahead and its hard or impossible to dethrone him. Learn how your opponent is playing and “counteract” his opening sequence.

Implies duel is over once a player has control of belt and jacket.

Fun when you are playing with someone better than you, awesome playing someone about the same skill.

Not about two armors and how to fight over them. This is more about he spawned X and I need to go Y, how to do this, etc.

Archer6621: I like the sound of this, could have something like a coin-toss on who gets to pick the very first spawn (first round), and then in the second round it will be inverted, third round the other person will pick first, fourth round inverted again, and goes on like that until it’s over.

Round 1: Pick from map (only know your spawn)
Round 2: Invert spawns (both players now have 100% spawn knowledge).

Potential problem is both players selecting the same spawn. Random off to two nearby spawns?

Aggressive play relies on a degree of uncertainty which is in large part facilitated by not knowing your opponent’s location. This is potentially problematic when the gametype has a limited window for smart aggressive play (during item collection) after which the difficulty is increased. Knowing your opponents spawn removes element of surprise almost entirely. In addition some spawn mash ups – lower rocket vs upper rocket (corner near link) on ASDF for example would never occur. At this spawn the rocket players (probably) best move is to rocket -> lift dodge to shock, take shock. The upper spawn has less options, however this is one of few that can beat the rocket player to shock and escape. With the knowledge that the player is spawning above the rocket player can simply change the lift dodge into a hammer jump for faster movement at cost of health, deny shock then also deny flak. Obviously this is possible regardless of where the other player spawns, however it is a much more gambling move (spending health for uncertain out come) rather than almost foregone conclusion.

Perhaps a less confusing option would be to give players the option for the game to “pick for me” rather than pick from the map. So you have the benefit of stealth but you cannot select where you start.

The first wave is the “resource rush” wave. In this wave, if players spawn far from each other, they will rush to first get a powerful weapon followed by the best armor in their area, or vice versa depending on what is closer. Any immediate altercation is going to more than likely be defensive. Players are rushing for resources and if they happen to see the enemy while doing so they may only throw a few shots and leave to keep on collecting.

The second wave is the “aggression” wave. Here is the most exciting* spectator part of the match. Both players are stacked with armor/health and their assortment of weapons.[/QUOTE]

Nice overview in general. I disagree with where the aggression phase starts however. Once players have their pickups there is no incentive to push each other, outside of guessing stack. Aggression from a logical stand point occurs as soon as a player has a weapon. The viability of this varies between maps of course, ASDF is pretty small and possible well on but maybe solo not so much due to being more spread out.

With the current spawn setup reading where your opponent starts and attempting fast damage with what you have available is much more exciting (compared to your example, which is also exciting but has less riding on executing it well) than waiting and has potentially bigger pay offs – killing before armor pickups, driving off armor pickups, denying weapons, damaging them then forcing them to spend time going for health rather than weapons early. This last point has further repercussions as your opponent now has no fall back point if you play between him and other health resources as the round progresses.

Think of it like denial in duel when a player has control, except you need to deny things quickly off spawn. And you can contest anything as having an extra weapon is huge.

Players have a limited window for playing aggressively using items as the main way of doing so (he is going for X, I will shoot him)/reason to do so (I’m going to stop him taking it or I want it) is the initial item pick ups. Compared to regular duel there is more urgency to obtain resources since you cannot wait out the respawns for weapons you failed to get initially.

If you play it as you would “normal” duel with armor spawning (collect items, +back to avoid being killed early, stack up for next spawns) you potentially put yourself on the back foot for the defensive phase. Having an extra weapon pickup is a fairly big deal when the game progresses to the +back stage. If your opponent runs out of ammo before you do. And because of 200 health another valid option is to ignore the armors and push for more weapons.

For example, if you spawn at lower rockets on ASDF an option other than rockets -> Armor/Belt would be rockets -> hammer to shock (if they did not spawn directly above you near the shock ammo) then listen for flak or helmet pickup. Depending on their spawn you then have the option to deny flak. At no point have you been near either armors.

The belt is significantly better than the jacket+pads, purely because (ignoring the map) it takes less time to obtain the same benefit, freeing up the belt player to do more. Also belt can deny pads.

Sure, if you are playing for fun or just to play the aggressive phase probably occurs after most pickups. Not to say that you have to play aggressively at the start, of course players can play the way you have described as well, going for pickups, then fighting.

Mysterial: Another option that has been discussed is to change the scoring so that wins by kill are 3 points and wins by timelimit are 2 and 1, so there’s more reward attached to being offensive… but I’m skeptical that would have a substantial impact

Players knowing they have an advantage (stack or weapons) would be key for this to work. It essentially makes one player the “control point” other posters are keen to implement. The current setup of “highest stack wins” is asking players to read damage output exceptionally well. This is probably one of the highest level skills. Please add an indicator – perhaps update it every ~10? Or 5 seconds after last damage dealt. Delay to avoid it swapping back and forth and allowing players to back off as soon as they take the lead.

Perhaps stopping healing over 100 using normal health packs would also help. Unless heavy damage is landed players tend to go to 200, to close to, twice per round. Is much more dangerous backing off to heal with sub 50 health compared to doing it at 150.

luauDesign: Anyway, something else:if rounds ends and noone is dead, why not just respawn [B]everything[/B] at once as the countdown reaches zero (you don’t even have to “time” things)? In that case, up the score-worth of the round cumulatively. Noone got the +1 from the round? Respawn everything, and now the round is worth +2. Noone dies yet? Respawn everything, and now it’s worth +3… +4… (there’s a bit of a similarity with betrayal gametype here, for those who didn’t notice) This whole thing would work better with 1min rounds, this way there’s less down time.

+1 This is a nice idea, it keeps the game item driven while removing the “annoying timing” aspect duel gets hammered for. Could allow interesting setups where players try to get additional items they missed the first time round. However this would need to be combined with no normal health packs over 100. Also maybe no ammo respawns?

Required arena FPS viewing

Good non-ut game content. It would be awesome to link ut content but it does not exist. So use the below to get your imagination going for ut.

Twister talks about improving at quake from a non-aim, non-config, non-hardware perspective. It is a must watch for everyone interested at improving at games in general as the ideas can be applied everywhere.

Rapha v Cooler IEM 2010 post game analysis.

Fraze talks out loud
Fraze is a top Australian Quakelive player who records his thoughts while playing. The video below is not the first but has an intro that sets some ideas in place for the rest of the series. Clips with European players are better overall. Full playlist

DDK Quakeworld TDM
This is a long way from ut, however it is very insightful. More teamplay oriented. These are long, in places repetitive but worth watching if you have the time. Suggest starting with the guides for terms and understanding of the game but you could start with the game analysis and pick things up as you go. DDK also has a number of quakelive duel, CPMA TDM and CSGO analysis videos.

QW TDM playlist. Guides discussing in/out of control, map strong points and other interesting concepts.
QW 4v4 analysis playlist. Breakdown/overviews of official games

Initial item spawns in unreal tournament

The start of game spawns have changed over the course of the ut franchise. Originally armors spawned at the start of the match. 2kx introduced delayed spawns (all items at the same time – 27 or 30 seconds) in an attempt to combat one player sweeping all major pickups (generally belt+jacket). ut4 has changed this and tied initial spawn to the items respawn time. This means the jacket/pads/helmet spawn at 30 seconds, the belt spawns 60 seconds, the amp, berserk, invisibility, redeemer and keg at 90 seconds (if included in the map or used for duel). Interestingly the boots are not on this delayed spawn as of this writing. This leaves weapons, health (packs + vials) and ammo for players to contest in the opening thirty seconds..

This delay is probably modifiable by map creators and in the future some may release maps without delayed pickups, or different pickup delays.

TDM ut4 weapon respawn times? Should they change?

Lynx: Looking at the video above with Codex, TDM respawn time definitely should be less than 30 seconds. Cause in that video ut4 weapon/play skill is pretty much completely substituted with map control skill.

This reads like you want it to be skewed towards weapon/movement/non pickup skill. Which is fine. However you are mistaken in thinking that lowering respawn to 20 seconds would change much of that aspect.

Changing it means control is more challenging – however it does not mean that a similar scenario cannot play out. It does not mean that the in control/out of control dynamic goes. In some ways it could buff control because it would need more than just

With 20 second respawns the in control player can go jacket -> shock -> sniper -> ripper -> flak the same way nuxx demonstrated. What happens is that after 20 seconds weapons start repopping. In the video the shock secondary fired at the jacket after picking up weapons is around 15 seconds after the jacket pickup. If 20 second respawn limits the distance the in control player can go and limits what they can and cannot do. In the “cycle” nuxx setup he would be forced to goto shock and possibly sniper again before jacket, giving up position at jacket. Alternatively they can give up weapons for armor.

Personally? I think a changes like this makes the game more interesting and dynamic, rather than playing connect the dots and remembering the order the players can do this once, then they need to take respawns into consideration for the next jacket spawn and round of pickups.

It is not a great solution to improving the duel game as the underlying armor/health setup is broken. It would not drive better player interaction. It would possibly allow more comeback opportunities (weapon pickups for out of control player) for sloppier control players, however for players that can work with 20/30 second items it would not change much. Overall it would be a sidegrade rather than a fix on the existing problems.

UT4 Weapon guide and overview

Unreal Tournament 4 Weapon guide and overview

Unreal Tournament 4 weapons are: Impact hammer, Enforcer, Link gun, Bio rifle, Shock rifle, Mini gun/stinger, Rocket launcher, Flak Cannon.

Looks like Epic did not learn from 2k3 and the Fortnite double pump increases DPS using weapon switch.


These are not my videos. Watch them all on the Zaccubus channel

ut4 weapon list

ut4 weapon DPS and stats

ut4 weapon switch time

ut4 weapon unlocks

ut4 marketplace weapons

ut4 custom weapon models

Expect the following in addition to the above
analysis, accuracy, achievements

binds, bobbing


damage, 2015 2016 2017 2018


finishes, fov, files, float

history, hand, hidden, hud color

id, inspector, in left hand, right hand

keys, keybinds, kill

list, levels

models, mods, market, movement


overview, on left side

position, prices

rarity, rewards


tips, textures, trading, tiers

usage, upgrades

values, viewmodel,



ut duel blah