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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.d

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Unreal Tournament 4 duel / weapon duel balance


Previous ut4 belt post. More fun from the thread that keeps on giving. Is the shieldbelt OP? These guys are cool but there is some serious cognitive dissonance going on in both these posts when considering the rest of the ut franchise.

nuxx: That isn’t the argument, the argument is the chance of winning a fight by rushing with one of the weapons from a bad position and no armor is big. Of course it should be possible but it happens so frequently some players are beginning to abuse it.

Why is the chance big. The player in question has bad position (assuming heavy +forward), is outstacked and is playing against a player in a potentially defensive location. Why is this player winning consistently if the skill gap (aim/movement specifically) is close. It is not because of the weapons or movement – bother players have access to similar pickups. In the secnario I am describing the stacked, better positioned player should win. Will they take damage? Sure, but they shouldn’t die unless they completely fail in execution.

Why is this occurring? I could take some guesses but they would be overly verbose and wordy and in the end come down to two things. 1) A +forward aim heavy play style is easy. Any player with aim from any arena fps could play this way. The alternative is more nuanced, takes longer to develop and is crippled by 2) its alpha. The alternative play style benefits from things like a good audio system, learning maps heavily (compared to +forward). Yes weapon balance does play a part here but even with a modest stack advantage and firing second the player with belt should kill their opponent if they are truly in a “bad position”.

Are the movement and weapons iffy? Sure. However they are not overbalanced to the point where good positioning, stack and player awareness are completely negated by +forward rockets. If they were threads about max stack being too much (when it was only 50 more than current) and belt being OP would not exist because players would get weapon -> kill opponent regardless of everything.

Flikswich: You should be able to kill someone with more armour by out-skilling/out-positioning them. But right now it’s far too easy :/ You can still have that kind of dynamic, where a player with better aim, skill and positioning can beat a fully stacked player, but it should be a risk to take those fights, not a standard tactic.


Duel in ut is built around naked* vs stacked fights. Perhaps there are times, especially early in a map, where jacket plays off against belt but in general there is no middle ground because the control game is essentially two items – belt and jacket. This is further masked by the delayed/staggered spawn system that is currently in use. With both items ut respawn times it is far too easy to control two pickups but this has always been the case. This is why max stack has been so heavily scrutinized on this forum, even if posters do not realise why they do it. Its shallow. High damage weapons are the only reason ut duel has ever worked.

By virtue of the armor/health system ut duel has always had “that kind of dynamic” and it is essentially the staple for out of control play for the past 15 years.

Look, ut duelers attribute much skill/difficulty to controlling the belt and jacket. In reality this is a simple task, similar to having red+mega^ which is not super challenging. Perhaps the ut duel player pool is so shallow that this is a difficult task. I don’t know. ut has never had meaningful out of control stacking. It has never had a reliable way for the out of control player to lower stack differential outside of damage. What you are describing is the status quo. I know you are fond of 2k4 weapon mechanics but the same two item scenario exists for duel there as well.

I don’t think the belt is OP in any way. It might also sound like I am disagreeing with either of you <3. Not really at all 🙂 The game needs more depth but it also needs to change the armor/health system from the archaic mess they are now. * Single pad pickup is so weak it is hardly worth mentioning for the out of control player. ^ Not exactly due to damage output and whatnot, but the two items in ql are "harder" to control due to 25/35. [wp_ad_camp_1]


Low health armor pickups in ut4


Reading this thread it seems most posters take issue with the belt protecting 100% because players with low health who pick it up get a large one hit survivability injection.. correct? More specifically in duel when a player picks it up on low health after avoiding death, typically fighting over the belt.

One thing to keep in mind that in order to use an entire jacket with current values a player needs around 30 health, granting ~130 health pool. Around 25% less health than the belt which offers ~180. While it does add more it is not a huge amount, especially taking bursty ut weaponry into account.

If the belt was lower – for example 100, players would require less than the minimum health value (~30) above to utilise the jacket in order for there to be any difference. This means a belt with 100% absorption only offers more stack for players with less than 30 health, and even then it is quite a small difference until the player gets even lower at which point the jacket becomes less useful.

Then we have the flip side where a player wins out on the belt and has full health still, walking away with 250+ health. However the general undertone of this thread is that “the belt should not have 100% absorption” and the only time that is relevant is for low health values, which makes this unlikely.

Personally? The belt has a somewhat psychological effect on other players. “Damn I just lost that fight and he just restacked all the health I took with the belt”. However the same occurs with the jacket to a similar degree anyway.

For duel at least tweaking armor 50 points here and there won’t fix the underlying broken system

Maybe someone could gather stats on how often players finish belt fights with less than the amount of health needed to get full benefit from the jacket.


An alternative double jump for ut4


Double jump making a return in a q2/cpma/wsw style could be nice. In these titles when one jump is followed quickly by another – for example jumping up two crates or up a set of stairs – the player receives a vertical boost roughly equivalent to the height of two jumps on their second jump, giving them a total jump height of around three jump. Movement wise there is not much on the vertical outside of lift jumps and this would open it up. It is much simpler for mappers to police who are worried about scale (avoid ledges players can jump+jump up) and adds some vertical movement options. Would probably be nice chaining a wall dodge off this vertical boost. You can jump up those four crates individually or if your timing is good you can do two jumps timed well and gain additional height off the second crate and land on the top of the pile.

While it would give more height than the traditional ut double jump it is also more constrained by map geometry as well as how it gives the bonus. For example it is quite limited and gives a heavy upwards boost, giving players nice predictable flight paths.

Reflex has it, at the start of this video and an example of a “triple jump” using the same idea around 1:10.

If you wanted to add a little, make the second jump receive a similar amount of inertia to a dodge, but in the upwards direction, making the player move faster.

To me this mechanic has always stood out as one of the few quake mechanics that would suit ut rather than strafe jumping or bunnyhopping.

Latest double jump thread


UT4 dueling guides and strategies

ut4 duel strategy

Lets talk about ut4 duel strategy some time

timer and timing practice for unreal tournament 4

There are a few articles hosted here about timing in general – suggested reading would be how to time items in fps games

ut4 duel practice

Practice makes perfect, however there are better and not so good ways to practice. After honing ones aim and movement where should a player look to improve?


Possible changes and additions to unreal Tournament 4 duel


This is being actively edited in case you stumble across it.

Two things about fantasy land below in ut4 duel

1) All iterations of UT lack an out of control game beyond get gun – deal damage.
2) Items in UT do not drive player interaction as well as they could.

The lack of out of control game would be mostly fixed with the following changes. This is the real issue facing duel. The community have various beliefs that relate to why the game plays the way it does, or how to fix it. The vast majority of these views look at a single aspect and ignore the bigger picture. These fixes try to make what is there work marginally better so as to mask duel in UTs short comings.

The most popular aspect to look at is armor values which translates to maximum stack vs fresh spawn. Logical place for UT players to look at since this has been a key function for about 15 years now. But it is not enough and by tweaking this no depth is added to the game.

The changes outlined below would fix things from a duel perspective and not have huge (any?) repercussions in other game types. The below would keep the “UT DNA” intact with belt + other armors. It would also create a duel game completely different to any seen before.

One assumption throughout this is that weapons will be roughly the same power at their intended range. This means the flak/rocket are powerful in close and the rifle is powerful at range.

The idea to copy quakelive simply to copy quakelive is not good. But we can learn much by looking at past unreal and quake titles. Not to simply steal aspects/mechanics from them, but more importantly to understand why a particular game plays out the way it does in duel. Why some play better than others. This is a topic for another post but the idea of simply “take this whole games armor” or “add this aspect” has more repercussions than most posters realise…

.. not to mention the posters in question usually misunderstand the other game..

.. not to mention that transplanting another games system is hardly needed to fix and add depth.

Ahem. Sorry.

Traditionally in UT duel when one player has full control (belt+jacket) there are limited options for the out of control player to pursue. Obtaining a weapon and applying sneaky damage is about the extent of out of control play. To UTs credit this works quite well, generally much better than it does in quakelive. The main reason this works is the ridiculous amount of damage a player can front load with good shots. In this way even full stack can be reduced to nothing in short order. However it does mean swings in control rely on excellent execution and more than a bit of luck. The changes here should allow players to lower stack differential in other ways.

The other important goal is to drive better player interaction. The items are the structure for duel and push the game forward and the players together. Again UT in the past does this poorly.

Control should not mean one player has all resources and the other has none. Control should mean that a player has a resource advantage, at the expense of time. 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 breaking control that does not rely on execution and/or luck. 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.

This is duel.


remove this? There are a number of ways to gives a player “ins” back into control. The quakelive method is non-binary slow stacking. I don’t think this fits what UT, mainly because it is played with weaponstay off and its bursty weapons, so lets go another route. Hard lock outs that allow denial and sacrifices/decisions need to be made by players. The goal here is to offer a certain number of “moves” in a spawn cycle. After the second spawn cycle.. well you will see what happens.


Preface: This is heavily based on ut99 armor. The description here (http://liandri.beyondunreal.com/Armor) is wrong. Read the Unreal belt description on the same page for a rough idea.

Armor (jacket+pads or big+small) are separate to the belt but share the same “slot”. They will work on a overwrite system. From this point on “armor” refers to jacket/pad item and belt refers to the belt.

The last point is to allow a player with 20 belt a jacket pickup without forcing clunky self damage. From a pickup perspective the belt is always considered superior as it offers the most protection in one pickup.

This is essentially how ut99 worked minus bugs and stacking weirdness. The main difference is overwrite on armor pickup at low belt values.

1) Give jacket/pads the same level of absorption.
Removes stacking confusion and “how much armor do I have” issues. This is also because thigh pads offer very little protection compared to UT damage output. Removes possible confusion in relation to stacking.

Spawn time on these armor pieces would be 20-30 seconds.

The absorption amount is dependent on weapons and movement – hard to gauge at this point.

1b) Pick a max armor value that sounds good.
As the total itself is fairly meaningless lets go with 150. Protection can be tweaked at a later date via absorption %. The goal is to have armor offer more protection than belt at a full stack.

The total number is important in relation to the “armor” pickup numbers as a “how many pickups do I need to stack to max armor” which comes later.

2) Allow jacket/pads (big/small armor) to stack with themselves.
This allows the non-belt player to stack using a single pickup multiple times – it also gives reason for denial after a non-belt opponent picks up an item, which drives player interaction harder. With the current setup once a player has an item their opponent is free to ignore picking it up until they deal damage unless they opt to deny it for after the other player has taken damage.

Have at least three of these items on a map, at least one big. Armor values something like 100/50.

3) Lower belt spawn in line with mega
55 seconds is too long and allows too much freedom to the belt player. At first glance this appears to be a huge buff but in reality a player with belt now has to worry about this pickup much more often. In addition it offers out of control more chances for ambush at the belt. It also ties into one other change.

Somewhere between 30 and 40 seconds.

Give the belt around 100 points. The important point from a UT DNA perspective is 100% absorption.

4) Add keg to duel maps
One thing glossed over when posters discuss ql armor/duel is mega. Across the board it is the one item included on every duel map in current rotation and the vast majority of all competitive duel maps ever played. However the keg in ut has a very long spawn time (or did) Change this to the new shorter belt spawn.

Cap max health at 200 (or 199). This could be lower for balance but 200 is a good starting point.

5) Disable health tick down
This may not exist currently but it is important for how this system would work. Prevent pickups of mega/vials when at max health.

6) Lower weapon respawn to 15 seconds, halve ammo pickup with weapon

This forces players to return to weapons for denial more often. Boosts importance of ammo and revisiting weapons. Takes pressure off the out of control player as they will have weapons available more often allowing them to defend themself. Allows throttling of weapon use via ammo scarcity as a mappers choice. For example is a map is heavily based towards rifle due to being open, having one rifle spawn and no ammo on the map causes the player denying the rifle to return to it frequently in order to deny it and because of ammo and also for their own use.

This is a minimal change and personally I think the way weapons are used in duel should be revisited, however because this overview is intended to demonstrate a way to add depth to duel using an existing title (ut99) pickup system with a few changes more major weapon adjustments will not be discussed.

Overview of changes:

In this way a limit is placed on control. Obviously players can do things like self damage to circumvent the belt+mega “problem” but it needs to be considered – is it really worth dropping 100 points of belt in order to deny 100 points of health? If I have 199 health/100 belt and mega is available it is probably not in my interest to do this. They then need to play tethered to the mega going forwards unless they want to cede it to their opponent.

This allows the out of control player to stack to a decent amount with a single item (or two items) via armor. One item not one item pickup. It adds another item for the in control player (keg) and at the same time caps out their ability to deny it if they have belt. Blocking pickups at max is similar to tickdown (also suggested in this thread) but has an obvious effect on the game.

And we end up with two stack types. Belt+max health and Max armor + max health. Ideally max armor has a higher max hitpoint potential but takes longer to arrive there, especially from an “out of control” situation where the player stacks on small armor + vials.

Belt – Big armor 100% absorption (30-40 second spawn)
Jacket – Big armor X% absorption (<100%) (20-30 second spawn)
Pads – Small armor X% absorption (<100%) (20-30 second spawn)
Keg – +health over base max, no tick down (30-40 second spawn)
Vials – +health over base max, no tick down (same as keg + normal health)
Helmet – Blocks a headshot or whatever.

Weapons – 50% less ammo on pickup. 15 second respawn.

How this plays out

In comparison to existing unreal titles this is an item rich game. Consider the two routes to stacking.

1) With belt a player can deny: Belt, armors, keg (once) unless their belt is used entirely and their health is lowered from max.

A player using belt must consider the keg and how to deal with their inability to pick it up. Do they defend it and cede armors to the other player? Do they leave it to deny armors and leave the keg for the other player?

2) With armor a player can deny: Armors, Keg indefinitely as low incoming damage will allow pickup.
A player using armor has a similar situation to deal with. If they take the belt they nerf their maximum potential. Thus they must make decisions about leaving it up/guarding it/denying other items.

Notes: If you opt for the “stronger” armor route you have to deal with the belt. If you decide you cant deal with the belt being up you effectively limit your maximum further while at the same time limiting your keg denial ability.

the belt player has to take – the belt. the belt player has to deal with – the keg. the belt player has to deny – armor

At this point maps become a problem. But that is an issuefor another post. Ideally maps should have something like sb/j/t/t/k or sb/j/j/t/k or possibly on smaller ones j/j/t/k or even sb/sb/j/k

This may sound like a lot of armor but it is one item more than previous titles plus the keg.

About spawn times and how many items?

In case this has not become apparent yet spawn times and in/out of control will now be discussed.


Revise section – sounds retarded : One main problem with ut duel is the lack of items. Players in ql* often run red, mega and a yellow. Three items every 30 seconds or so. This will be the goal in order to occupy the in control player . In order for the out of control player to have stacking options the in control player needs more than two (traditionally ut) items to keep them busy, preferably located in separate parts of the map. Deck is possibly the only map (belt, boots, jacket) where this occurs but one of the items is not stack specific (boots) and the “out of control” armor is near the high sniper, hardly worth the risk for the protection pads offer. Plus with jacket+boots close proximity it becomes trivial to line them up – ie minimal time requirement – max stack vs fresh spawn health prevails again.

The goal is to have one player running three items while the other player can stack on one plus vials. The player with more items would be considered “in control”, however unlike other duel games this control is not open ended. The out of control player can stack a meaningful amount and the speed of this stacking is directly proportional to the choices the in control player makes.

If a map contains sb/j/t/t/k the in control player with belt and keg can limit the speed at which their opponent stacks by taking the jacket and a pad. In this way the out of control player needs to take 3-4 spawns to stack on their remaining pad pickup. During this time the keg will become unavailable to the belt player unless they take damage. It might seem prudent for the out of control player to push for the keg pickup straight away, however if they fail and only have part of a stack (two pad pickups instead of three to four) they set themselves back that amount of time and have to start again.


This means that going forward maps need the above mixes – A map with sb/j/j/t/k makes the “in control” player hit belt then denies at least one jacket per cycle.

*which is a “better” duel game, has a longer history, more players and as such better “upper level” benchmark than ut. Players can do three items relatively easily, thus more than three are probably required without hard lockout like quakeworld – which does not play all that well in duel because of this.


More ut4 1v1 stuff

Hey man, sorry I’ve been a bit slow replying.

[QUOTE=Stolid]
I was rereading your link about duel in ut99/ut4 and I was wondering some things.

At the start you say that spawn times being the same don’t really matter as they are the same in QL and players can’t run all the armors.

What prevents someone from doing this? Isn’t the Mega’s overlapping spawn time all that is interfering? I would think players don’t try to go after all the armors because they need the mega to build a full stack, not because of other reasons.
I’m not an expert on quake so this isn’t entirely clear to me.[/QUOTE]

[url]https://forums.unrealtournament.com/showthread.php?9084-Pickup-Timers&p=110415&viewfull=1#post110415[/url]

He implies that control is harder in ql because items are staggered (have different spawn times). He wants ut to adopt a similar setup. The spawn times in ql are similar to ut already. That is most armors on the same spawn, one item on separate timing. This being:

ql: armor (25) vs mega (35)
ut: armor (27) vs belt (55)

I disagree with his implication that adding more conflicting spawn times will fix ut like ql – It won’t because this is not the reason why in/out of contol plays differently in ql compared to ut. In fact his assertion that items have staggered spawn times in ql is flat out wrong.

It is true that the belt spawn is twice the armor spawn in ut and possibly changing this to be something different might help a little. But only marginally.

“You are looking at it the wrong way and this is the problem with duel in ut from a traditional sense. You are partially right with the comment about control being too easy, but it stems from a more complicated problem than simply times being the same. Times are the same in ql.. so a similar problem should exist there right? “

Control is strong in ut not because items can be cycled easily but largely due to the inability for the out of control player to stack to a meaningful amount in order to challenge for control. In addition the in control player has minimal pickups to worry about so can pressure the out of control player too easily.

In duel your stack and level of control (both are connected) should be dictated by how much free time you have available to pressure the out of control player.
Adding more items and making them harder to time (everything with different spawn times) would make some aspects easier. However at its core the ut out of control game is quite limited compared to ql. Control is not simply the in control players actions but also what the out of control player can do. This is the main theme of my post you were reading.

Now to your question of “why can’t they just run everything in ql”. In actuality ql players can run everything, its just fairly rare to see someone doing it. You are right when you say that the mega is the only item in ql that is different, on some maps this matters, on others it is not as important. For instance, ztn (bloodrun) has red and mega right next to each other and it is common for a player to have both, the split is not significant. On another map, T7 (furiousheights) mega and red are fairly split. Both items spawning at the same time is a common occurrence and out of control players can use this.

I like the idea of time being the currency in duel. In order to exert full control (all armors+mega) on the majority of the quakelive duel maps the in control player has no time to do anything else. They will never be able to chase or push the other player as all their time is taken up with pickups. When they do opt to chase the out of control player gaps in their cycle will appear.

It also rarely happens because the armors really need to be up to instigate the cycle. For example if a player gets mega + two of the three armors on ztn (commonly occurs) and the remaining YA is not up when they get to it they cannot add it to their cycle – they need to get position on the next spawn that is coming up. They can wait for a short time period then need to leave. I can only think of a few games on the larger maps where this has occurred over the past few years between good players.

I recall cooler doing it in a faceit final at one point on ztn – he had no time to do anything else and that includes pushing his opponent who has 11 shards (55 armor) to stack to 200 at will because of this. I believe cooler ended up losing anyway because he was two frags up when he started the cycle, kept it going for 5-6 minutes then ended up dying.

Out of control stacking is limited in ut. Thighpads are the extent of the armor the out of control player. Stack differential is important when looking at out of control vs in control. I see posters comment on “200 is too much armor” but the number itself is fairly meaningless. The potential stack difference and the opportunity for the out of control player to make these numbers more even (either through damage or pickups for himself) is important. The total number is only important when the game is the way ut is – no options to stack.

Finally the lack of player interaction forced by items hurts duel. This is also outlined in the post you were reading. The in control player is very predictable.

[QUOTE=Stolid]
You also talked about the belt in UT providing a full armor stack, but currently in UT4 it doesn’t. similar to UT3 you can combine it with other armor to build up to 200 armor. Two belts don’t give 200 however.

Do you reckon this is a good change because it forces the belt player to go after other armor or do you think this is a bad, change as it allows the in control player to get a larger 200 stack instead of the old 150?

I’m leaning towards the latter as belt players tend to go after other armor anyway so the main change in that view is there being a larger gap between full stack and new spawn health, but I’d like to know what you think.[/QUOTE]

Again the problem is not the amount of armor (150 vs 200) but rather the possible differential between the in and out of control players.

I feel you are correct in saying that the belt player tends to go after the jacket anyway.
This change initially this makes the belt player weaker but once control is established and one player has belt and jacket they will run both these items because they want to deny them. I don’t think small armor vs large armor difference has been a huge problem in any ut iteration.

I think its better but ultimately a band aid solution that does not address the lack of non-execution out of control play. If the out of control player could stack to 150 armor using thigh pads, the stack differential is much less.


Duel and weapon denial in ut4

As a side note someone mentioned working out an opponents preferred weapon and locking that down – this is not really how weapon control should work.

At high level all weapons are roughly equally dangerous at their effective ranges. Denying a low level player his rocket launcher (because he is useless with other guns) is well and good but at higher levels it is not really an option as your opponent will have access to flak which is roughly interchangeable at the same range. In 1999 specific denial like this was good due to players preferring one weapon, players needing one weapon because of connection and general lack of aim overall.

With the current weapon implementation denial works sort of like.. scoop up everything you can and pray. 2kx may have been different due to reliance on lg/shock hitscan, however this dynamic does not occur when all weapons are roughly equally useful. In addition there are very few demos of this occurring in game, which leads you to think that does not really happen.

In addition unless players are familiar with each other identifying “preferred” weapons is unlikely to occur. This is a chicken or egg situation – a player that is not good enough to be efficient with the entire weaponset is unlikely to realise what weapon their opponent wants – if players are at a level where they could identify weapon preference they are probably beyond the point where they “need” a weapon in order to play well. A better way to structure weapons in duel is by range. In this way players can take advantage of gaps in the other players arsenal, this is quite easy to understand. ut does not offer this due to double up on fire modes.

Think of weapon pickups like class abilities that are paper scissors rock. Long beats short/medium at long, medium beats short/long at medium and.. well you get the idea.

So rather than looking upon duel as locking out your opponents “preferred” weapon (because as player skill increases there will not be a preferred weapon, plus it is ineffective to play this way) players should instead look at locking down a specific range – in this way the player controlling the sniper/shock can leverage long range encounters to their weapon stack or the player controlling the rockets/flak can dominate in close.

In a game with a tiered weapon set (either quake2 where there are good/bad weapons or 2kx where hitscan is dominant) denial based on grab everything (everything in the “superior” niche”) works to a degree. However this also leads to face stomping as the controlling player has the better weapons.

A game where weapon respawn is shorter leads to players becoming more predictable and better drives player interaction. If I know you have rockets and mini/pulse then denying sniper or shock is a good step in the right direction – I can then utilise my advantage (long range) over my opponent. Players can also predict where their opponent will be going based on weapon.

The problem with ut4 weapons is there are simply too many for the game to work like this in duel in a reliable way. Some maps partial situations like this might occur – for instance deck. It possible to lock down mini and pulse as they were right next to each other. In general maps were not designed with the flak next to the rocket or the mini next to the pulse, resulting in the aforementioned range lock down from happening. This could be viewed as a good thing (never getting locked out of a range) except players view locking out _everything_ as a viable strategy.. so something less severe and reliable that adds another level of strategy should be embraced with open arms. A setup like this would be much more reliable than the current mess. It would also serve to drive player interaction better – as per the previous example I know you have short and medium range weapons so you are likely to seek out the long range slot in order to compete.

In many ways range based lock out is as effective as total lockout. How do you counter rockets or flak in close when you do not have either or how do you counter sniper at long range with only rockets or pulse? You can’t. You don’t. So you stay away from encounters at the range you are lacking. You play at the ranges you have access to, which you have weapons for. You are still dangerous at the ranges you have weapons for, just not the ones you lack vs being ineffective at all ranges due to no guns at all.

So since I am now off on a massive tangent – rather than simply changing respawn times I propose the following. Change respawn time to 15-20seconds and bundle weapons.

  1. Rocket + flak
  2. Pulse + mini
  3. Shock
  4. Rifle
  5. Bio+other

In this way range lockout becomes possible by concentrating on one pickup. This adds more nuanced play to the game and gets away from the “collect them all” mentality. If duel then becomes locking out specific ranges also becomes a reality compared to currently.

Decreased spawn time serves to send the player back to the weapon they want to deny more frequently, increasing predictability.

Also player interaction is increased – when my opponent has 2+4 from the above list it is worth my time to visit 1 as that is the gap in their arsenal. Improved player predictability is a benefit from these changes as well. If there are 7 weapons (rockets, flak, mini, pulse, shock, rifle) that are sought after, predicting player movement beyond shock is much harder, bordering on impossible.


Newer ut4 weaponstay discussion

20062015

Preface: I love weaponstay off*.

nuxx: This is fairly obvious stuff but I said I’d point it out and it would be some of the reasons I think changing weapon spawn times might impact the game negatively. It also ties in some of the stuff why I’m against item timers

The codex example is the argument for why weapons should be taken off the armor spawn time for ut4 duel and possibly TDM. Not necessarily shorter and the weapons are not necessarily the items that should be changed..

Having different times forces the player to consciously time/control specific weapon(s) as well as the armor. Not simply run a lap. It makes players select weapons they want to deny and further restricts in control player movement and limits available time. Limiting available player time is the goal here, the side effect is making control “harder”.

In the codex example with 20 second weapon spawns the shock would be coming up before the armor. The player has a choice – hang at the jacket for the next 10 seconds leaving weapons spawning or go collect weapons, to arrive back at the jacket in time for it to pop. Keeping in mind if they managed to pickup the same weapons you did there will be some they cannot get to before the jacket becomes available. In addition weapons would be spawning while the in control player is going for the jacket, making denial selection more important than it currently is.

20 seconds is plenty of time to control a large number of weapons – but it will be harder and the player will have to be much more deliberate. This forum is full of posts about weaponstay off adding depth but in general there are very few examples of how. Rankin in 2kx with lg/shock/50a/vials is the most commonly cited example. Out of 15 years of games if there is one example where players deliberately play differently there is something up.

Interestingly changing the jacket to 20 seconds would have a similar effect, at least for duel.

Historically there is a precedent for shorter respawns in the base game – health packs in ut99 have a 20 second spawn.


Fun side stuff.
Quakeworld TDM essentially has one weapon: the rocket launcher. It is on a 30 second respawn and one of the core maps has a single pickup (e1m2). This creates an interesting, almost class based dynamic in TDM where players without weapons become scouts or hunt in packs to kill players with weapons. Unweaponed players dying is unimportant. Avoiding weapon drops on death is important. Not to say that ut should go down this path of slow weapon stacking but it does give a different perspective on things. The armor has a 20 second respawn so there are often more armored players than there are weapons available.

*In fact I would like to see it off in some manner for all game types, not in the same way as traditional ut, but something that allows shorter term denial. eg 5 seconds in ctf so a flag runner could grab weapons on the way out of the base to neuter chasing by fresh respawned players, 3 seconds in ffa so a player can deny a weapon for the duration of a skirmish, etc.


Hoonymode and Round based duel for Unreal Tournament 4

A round based alternative for duel already exists and keeps most of the duel pros while eliminating the down sides.

hoonymode solves a good portion of the less palatable problems* duel has while retaining the core components. It stays an item driven game type rather than whatever 1v1 ra is.

“HoonyMode is a form of tournament introduced in November 2003 which is loosely based on the rules of tennis. During the warm-up, each player chooses a spawn-point or they are randomly generated if none are chosen. One player typically has a “stronger” spawn and the other a “weaker” one. When the game begins the player with the stronger spawn is considered to have the “serve” and each player death is treated as a point. After each point is scored players and the arena are reset and a new point is played; players switch spawn-points, so the player who had the “weak” spawn for the previous point now has the “strong” one, effecting a change of serve. All in-game behaviour (i.e. weapons, physics, etc.) remains the same as in the standard deathmatch.”


Drop the spawn selection as it is unneeded – random alternating spawn pairs work well enough. (1a 2b, 1b 2a, 2c 1d, 2d 1c) Originally introduced to “fix” imbalanced spawns in quake the delayed armor spawn “feature” in ut can be done away with as result as well – allowing players to get straight into it off spawns that are setup with items in mind.

All of the fun fighting over control, none of the problems associated with longer unbalanced play time.

The main aspects lost from traditional duel:

in control – no more killing naked players as once a kill occurs the map resets and the game starts again.
out of control – no more getting back into control after making a mistake that gets you killed.

Completely out of control situations become less frequent as it only occurs when a player takes heavy damage, recognises this and adjusts after damage but before dying. Even then weapons are not “reset”. This is what sets great duelers from the rest – they recognise these situations and back out before getting killed, even if they take large amount of damage.

There would still be in control/out of control situations, however it would never progress to the point of a player having no weapons and not having access to anything.

One possible change I would like over the quake implementation is to see each round progress to +2 points rather than resetting each death. In this way a player can “come back” from a first death, the game retains more of the traditional in/out of control play but the entire game will never snowball to 15 minutes of spawn kills. A close kill (one player dead, one almost dead) can then be followed up on quickly by the dead player to equalise at 1-1. Likewise when a player puts themselves in a strong position and kills a player then follows up quickly they are rewarded by winning that round swiftly. And in/out of control dynamic is preserved and it is still possible to come back from a death. Games where players go neck to neck in points are exciting.

The main reason to change is simply because it is more fun. When players are somewhat balanced stack wise the best games occur. The better dueler will still push the weaker player off items and kill them – much like what occurs at the start of 1v1 currently. This part of the game is quite often the most enjoyable for most players. Unfortunately it is a short part of a 15 minute game.

In addition it also allows smaller maps like aerowalk to be played, which imo is unsuitable for 27 second weapon respawn times due to the small size. The map works in quakeworld and quakelive because of weaponstay on / 5 second respawn. Not to say we should copy quake, however with hoonymode each player is guaranteed to get weapons off spawn. There will rarely be a situation where a player has no weapons unless they royally screw up – and they we will get an opportunity to rectify that screw up after dying on reset.

Now you could say this sacrifices the importance of weapon control in duel, however in many ways it amplifies it and forces players to concentrate on sets of weapons rather than the traditional “get everything” attitude that is so prevalent on the dev forum.

Every round there will be missing slots in a players arsenal and every death players must concentrate on fleshing out missing weapon ranges. It pushes both the player in control and the player out of control more.

Going back to weapons because this was the OPs concern with traditional duel – hoonymode reduces the importance of weapon control from a complete lock out standpoint because players will always have something off spawn. At the same time amplifies its importance in more interesting ways. Each round players will have gaps in their arsenal they need to take into account and they should aim to exploit the gaps in their opponents weapons. As an example a player that receives the shock on a map with a single shock can lock this down for the duration of a round and as a result have a significant advantage. Because of the large number of weapons in ut and both firemode and effective range double up weapon control in traditional duel is less subtle than in quakelive where a player with rl/lg/rail has an advantage over a player with only two of the three main guns, both in combat and knowledge of player movement.

The general attitude towards duel weapon control, at least on this forum seems to be one of “lock out all the guns”. This would no longer exist and instead be replaced by a more interesting and frequently resetting “what do I/opponent have and what do I want to deny in order to keep a gap in their effective range for the current round”.

Problems: How to score and how to limit game duration would be the main problems that spring to mind. If played to +2 points are the full points added to the score or simply 1 point to winner of each round? So four rounds totals look like this

2-0 | 3-1 | 2-0 | 2-4 (9-5) or (4-0)

How would time limits play into this? I dislike the TAM “count down health/armor after 2 minutes” method. Perhaps a running timer that stops once a map has been played for a total of X minutes. Perhaps score numbers based on map – so aerowalk is first to 9(+2) and deck is first to 3(+2).

Lets not forget that the ut armor system in any previous titles is not really suited to out of control play. ut4 duel armor notes

By changing duel to be based on hoonymode this is of less importance and the mismatched armor system would benefit the round based style of play. One player does end up with less favorable items and is then dead. Rather than having to leverage a system that does not really cater to out of control play, the game is reset and the player can try to not end up in the same situation.

It would be important for the gaps between deaths to be quick. Player dies – play stops for three second – players respawn and start straight away.

*I don’t consider them problems and enjoy out of control more than in control play provided the game provides ways back in. However the majority of players do not like this aspect.

Duel is demanding and very hard to get into. Hoonymode is fun, makes losing less demanding, offers frequent resets which in turn improves player learning. In a regular 15 minute game you get one chance to not screw up your initial spawn. In hoonymode you might get.. 10?