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The 2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 3, Structure the Season
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The 2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 2, The Situation
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Columns: Q2DM2 - as a teamplay-map

This is another of my old (dead site) column, and probably the one I got the most feedback on back then. I tried to cover the basics of q2dm2, and tried to compare it to q2dm1 (the map everyone is North America plays in pickups, which I'm sure they are not the only ones doing).


Well, after watching Damiah's demo on q2dm2 I really felt that it was needing something more than just a normal comment. Well, maybe not cause the demo itself is so groundbreaking. I mean, it's a very good demo in every way. But what I felt was that this demo quite clearly shows what the q2scene in North America (NA) is lacking. To cut to the point, don't think we will see anything like this from a NA in the near future.

Q2dm2 - Tokay's Tower in the eyes of a q2dm1-pickup player:

Quite a few players here regard this as a pretty bad map, or at least that is the impression often uttered on servers. The reasons for that is mainly cause of its slow gameplay. Compared to q2dm1 where you can pretty much move effortlessly from one area to another, q2dm2 has just too many lifts and ladders and water-areas that slow you down, making it more a "camper's map". And the map may suffer from having almost no trickjumps that gives you advantages over less skilled movers, the only jumps you get to use in games are grenade/rocketjumps (with varying degree of difficulty). Compared to q2dm1 where there are tons of different jumps where you can show off your super skills, q2dm2 just isn't that fancy. A new player and a more experienced player is more equal on this map than q2dm1 when it comes to the way to get around the map.

As for weapons and powerups, that just underlines the fact that this is a map to dislike. There is only one armor here, and that is a red armor placed on the very top of the map, and the only way to access it is by going up the big lift. The other valuable item is the megahealth which is placed on the top of another lift. Which makes both items easy to camp. Camping and Americans seems to be a bad mix (except for maipulat0r and krez ;) ), as playing in positions isn't everydaylife for the average q2dm1-pickup-player. Well, I'll get back to this later on. But lets see what the guns have to offer to the q2dm1-player.

As for weapons we have the RL easy accessible on the bottom of the map, easy to get and there are 3 exits which makes it quite easy to get away with it, even if there is a camper at the rl-lift. This far, no problems. We got the SSG placed near the quad-pool, which is quite easy to get as well. Still there could be someone holding the mega-lift with rl that could deny you the gun, but after all it shouldn't be too hard, just get the timing right. The GL is placed on the bottom of the map too, as opposed to q2dm1 where it is at the very highest point of the map. The GL is very easy to get, as noone really try to control its spawns. As spamming nades is best done from height, the placement of GL greatly reduce it's dominance (however big that is regardless of placement). Don't think anyone really think that's too bad a thing though, as the randomness involved in using the grenadelauncher seem to get people more or less frustrated when being hit ("luck" "spam" "omg" etc is often following a nade frag). As for chain, that is placed in the map's maybe most vulnerable spot, in the water in the middle of the map. Where it's exposed to spamming with GL from the GL tower, from rockets from the RL tower, and from rail/bfg from the rail/ra-tower. As it is in the water it's hard getting out alive when getting it. But as the gun is quite powerfull, it should really be that way. But I guess it causes some frustration that it's in the water.

Then we got the single most annoying thing about the map in many eyes, the rail/bfg. Not only the fact that it's placed on the top of a lift (easily controllable), but also that it's closest neighbour is the RA. Which of course makes this THE hotspot of the map (ok smartasses, I'll get to quad after this, so untill then this is the hotspot :P). The rail/bfg/ra is easily controlled, and it really encourages camping at all times. Besides, the bfg gun on its own makes this map bad in many eyes. It's a "newb" gun, you don't need to aim or anything etc etc (you've heard it all before). Nothing is more annoying than having 200/200 and get one or two bfg blasts in your face... As for the rail, the map is great for railing. As there are several floors to rail from and to rail at, it's a good change from q2dm1. But unluckily there are no slugs on the map, and every 30 seconds either the bfg or the rail spawns, so there is absolutely no slugs to waste. As the rail is a beloved gun, this makes players dislike the map. But on the other hand, when you do get a rail, there is easy to pick frags cause of the absence of armorshards/stimpacks and cause there is only one armor and one mega health. And the spawn-rail-whoring isn't nearly as dominant as on q2dm1. The mg/sg is scattered around the map too, along with the ingeniously placed nades by RA-lift. The ammo for the guns are quite evenly distributed around the map, and there are plenty rockets.

Now, the quad and q2dm1-pickup-players seems to be a sore spot for the q2scene in NA. Quad isn't really appreciated that much as it really demands some sort of teamplay that pickups on q2dm1 just doesn't demand. First off the placement in the water with ladder/lift as the only exits makes it highly exposable both when getting it, and certainly when trying to go out of the water with it. So in order to get out with the quad, you need to rely on either luck (no enemies around as you get out), or on teammates cleaning out the way (so there are no enemies around as you get out). Well, as the q2scene in NA is almost purely dominated by pickup-games (not clan matches) the teamwork needed to make a successfull quadrun/stop the quad just isn't there. Also the fact not too many even bother to use timers, the quad just seems to be distracting the gameplay in many's eyes.

Well, what we end up with is a sort of weird gameplay where people whine at the guys holding the positions (camping), they vote bfg off (and in addition to gxmod's bug that result in when bfg is supposed to spawn there wont come any gun anymore for the duration of the game), and trying to get the quad is like winning the lottery. It's more luck than skill, and luck never ever favours you! That's for sure. And the guy at RA needs to get down and get his own ammo, and when he gets rail he leaves his post to go around railing as he think his fragcount is way to low compared to the quadrunners. Well, this is a worst case scenario, but I've seen games like that. In the end they vote map q2dm1.

Q2dm2 - Teamplaying:

Well, this is where damiah's mentioned demo comes into the picture. It shows that to play this map successfully, you need clearly defined roles for each player, they need to know what to do, and the most important when to do it. As opposed to q2dm1 where there is little that separates a one half-minute period from the next, on q2dm2 the timefactor really becomes visible. The quad really makes this a very complex map, as both teams regardless who is in control need to prepare themselves for the next quad-spawn.

First off, let's just quickly take a look on the positions on this map:

- RA/rail-lift: the most obvious one. There should always be one guy standing on the top of the lift with a RL or in case he doesnt have it yet, a bfg. This player should always be given rockets so he never is out of ammo, cause else he is of little help (hehe). He should kill enemies coming up lift, and distribute weapons/ammo to teammates coming up lift. Usually he gives away rails and bfg to the teammates, as all he need is the RL. If low on health another teammate should temporarily hold his position as he gathers health. When not in position he should try retake lift with either rocketjump to RA to take it from there, or using nades from either the front or from the smallift. Timing RA and bfg/rail.

- RL-lift/quad: the same as the RA-lift. He should be standing on the upper ledge with a RL or a rail and a bfg can come in handy too as there are plenty cells nearby. The RL is used to kill enemies coming up lift, and to secure the quad water when quadrunner is going into water, or killing enemy quadrunner. He can also be sniping with the rail in the RL-tower if no enemies are near the quad. Also making sure the quadrunner has a good weapon and plenty ammo, and if quadrunner is too weak, they should switch position and weapons. Important to make sure the quadrunner comes out alive, spamming rockets at the SSG. Times quad and possibly RL.

- The quadrunner: this is often the player with the highest score in the team. His role is simply to get the quad and kill as many as possible. In order to accomplish this, he may need to get the armor or the mega before heading for quad, while the rest of the team makes sure he is filled with ammo and a appropriate weapon (SSG/chain/MG is preferred). When getting quad, he should head for the other hotspot on the map, the RA/rail-tower. Where there are plenty spawns. If the RA-lift is lost, the quadrunner and the rest of the team should try getting it back. Often a simultaneous attack from the front and up the lift can be successfull. Anyway, when quadrunner is alive he should always be #1 priority for the team, and the rest of the team must keep him stacked with ammo and let him get the health he needs, and defend him from attackers. The quadrunner inbetween runs can run between RA-tower and RL-tower distributing weapons them inbetween, making sure RL tower gets a hold of a rail and maybe also a bfg, and RA gets enough rockets. If not being able to get quad, he should be trying to stop enemy quadrunner, using bfg/rail/rox/nades/chain etc :P Times quad.

The last player should work as a supply player making sure the RA gets his rockets, and take his place if the RA-holder is too weak, waiting for him to recover health. He should also when the quadrunner is about fragging stay near him, and pick up newly spawned enemies particularily below the RA. If a position is lost, he can be helping out to retake the lost position, or if one position is under hard pressure he can be helping out. He can also be timing quad and RL as he feel is best.

Anyway it's vital that the different positions work together, and that the team always knows what positions are held, and what positions that are lost. If the RA is lost, then they can focus more on holding the quad, and vice versa. Also preparing every quad is important, if quadrunner is not capable of reaching the quad in time, he should let his teammates know so they can get quad themselves.

Well, I'm no expert on teamplay on q2dm2 or any map actually, but think I covered some of the most important stuff.

A typical game on q2dm2
(a description of Damiah's q2dm2 demo, if you can't watch it or are too lazy, just read)

Well, the reason I got really inspired watching damiah's demo was the fact that he covered quite a few scenarios in that one demo. And if youre too lazy to watch the demo, I'll try describing how the game goes. It's quite a good game, I recommend a download.

Let's start at the very beginning, the first thing we see in the demo is that damiah tells his teammates that the rail is the gun on the RA-ledge. Now his teammates know before the game starts that for the first 30 seconds at least they don't have to worry about bfg attakcs when trying to take over lift if needed. He gets the rl spawn. He has two options, either go for RA and get lift or go to quad, the first thing damiah does is to get up RL-lift heading for quad-pool. Seeing the quad is taken by enemy and being too late to kill him, he gets mega instead preparing an attack on RA tower. He knows for sure there are no bfg or RL attacks awaiting him by the RA-tower. Giving up his attack soon afterwards, he gets mega again after being hit by some friendly nades. Now, instead of taking the quad himself he tells his teammates at quad-area to take the quad. At the same time he makes sure there are no enemies around by SSG. Then, knowing quad is most likely heading for RA-tower, he rocketjumps to RA, and kill all 3 enemies being there (hiding from quad, switching weapons/ammo). After the successfull takeover he immediately informs teammates he has control of the lift, also letting them know he got weapons to spare. Now we got the classic scenario of a team with friendly quad in lower RA-area and also with full control of the RA lift. Most likely the enemies killed now will gather at mega/quad/rl-lift. He hands away the lift to a teammate, also giving away all his rockets. This is expected as he can easily find rockets himself.

Then he immediately heads off to quad, and with bfg he completely clears the quad from newly spawned enemies, preparing the next quadspawn. Again, knowing the quad is friendly he heads for the RA area where it is most likely to be newly spawned enemies. It's almost a repeat of previous RA takeover, and he lets his teammate take armor as he is giving him the weapons that he need to hold RA-lift. He waits for the RA-camper to come back to pos by lift before heading off, and in the meantime he hands out weapons to a recently spawned teammate coming up lift. Notice how important the rockets are to the lift-holder, as damiah immediately returns with a few needed rockets.

The previous scenario repeats itself every 60 seconds, once again damiah heads from RA to quad, clearing it out. He dies when tryin to secure the quadrunners exit, but we see how he drops ssg/shells into the quadwater at the quadrunner from the cells/rockets above. Then he again takes a trip to the RA tower, before getting the next quad.

After quadrun he gets RA in the RA-tower, gets bfg and use the bfg to clear out quad again. When damiah is not in control he immediately heads for RA-tower for weapons and armor. And every time he gets a gun. This is why holding the RA is so important, not only do you keep the armor/bfg/rail away from opponent, you also get a pretty secure place to swith weapons and ammo the teammates inbetween, also good place to stand if you need typing special tactical commands. And everyone knows where to get guns, so it's pretty effecient as all you need to do is run straight to RA-lift after spawn and gather ammo/weapons along the way.

Next quad damiah also is securing the quad-area, jumping down infront of the quadrunner making sure noone is around near SSG. Once the quad is out of water, he is free to head to RA again where he gather armor and easy spawnkills by working together with the quadrunner. Seeing that there are 3 enemies below RA he let the quad-holders take care of quad on their own, instead doing his fair share of spawnraping.

etc etc (think you got the idea now)

Going a little more indepth on the gameflow:

Played the right way, q2dm2 is a very interesting map. Where q2dm1 has really one central area that is vital to control (the megahealth room) and a less attracitve but nontheless important area (the water/rail), q2dm2 has two pretty equally strong areas (quad/mega and RA/bfg/rail). Where you on q2dm1 find the gameflow all center around the megaroom, where at most times one team is attacking and the other team is defending, it's quite different on q2dm2. There the gameflow sort of is going in waves back and forth quad and RA. When quad spawns the attack will be at RA, and before it spawns the attack is from RA on quad. That's what can be seen in the demo: how damiah continuously runs between RA and quad area, using the bfg to clear quad, and to use quad to clear out the RA area. When a team lose both quad and RA, they have to focus to take either RA or quad, if they try for both they can be in deep trouble versus a skilled team, as the attacks will get too scattered and easy to parry. And you can't win a game by camping and playing stationary, you need the motion between the areas, if you can't get the quadrunner out of water, you wont get many frags. The same goes for the RA, he needs to distribute weapons to his fellow teammates at all times, cause he alone can't do much on his own. It's the combination of good position holding, and they way the players move between the positions that make a good team.

As for the weapons, there is no doubt that the scarceness of slugs and railguns really make the map have it's own gameplay. The spawn raping with rail is there, but not to the same degree as on q2dm1. Instead weapons as ssg/chain for quadrunning and rl for position holding (camping) stands out. The bfg also for once comes across as a reasonable gun, it's there to neutralize the quad. Also the importance of handgrenades really get to shine on this map, it's a real threat to the RA-lift camper.

Also the tower-design of the map opens for some interesting battles, and remember the gravity is always winning in the end, and most of the weak enemies will be found in the lower area of the map as some of them either has been shot down or just spawned. Meaning the team holding the upper positions will in most cases win the game, and the team spending most its time in water should start thinking about getting up somehow. But then again, the lower areas have some of the stronger weapons as chain/rl, so there is still hope for those who are swimming. As for the flow of the game in the vertical direction, notice how damiah in that demo wait for teammates to take the lifts with him, instead of having them waiting for the lift to go up then down, and then up again. This is a way to keep the speed of the game up, getting the team up in high positions as fast as possible.

q2dm2 - a teammap:

Where you in q2dm1 can pretty much play ffa style, and still do pretty good, q2dm2 is requiring a lot more teamwork in order to get the flow of the game to be the right. Played the wrong way, q2dm2 can be an extremely boring map with lots of time spend not doing anything meaningfull at all. If you run aimlessly around on q2dm1 you can still get some frags and stay alive for a while, but on q2dm2 there are fewer escape-routes and more combat areas which makes it harder to stay alive when playing recklessly. And the bfg/quad and scarceness of armor doesn't make it easier. It may take some effort learning how to play teams on this map, but with the right attitude and willingness to play positions even in pickups this could be a very fun map even for americans to play. Right now I am afraid just the thought of liftcampers/nade-spam/bfg and quad really scare a lot of players from playing this map.

Well, not sure if this made too much sense, just trying to point out that this map is one of the best 4v4 maps around :)

2006-12-12 11:24 
good idea emo yeah, I'll do q2dm3 next, but don't expect it to be up too soon, got to spread them out emo
2006-12-11 16:11 
You should make this a series dael. 6 articles to go!
2006-12-04 00:39 
Yeah.. nice map for duel too emo emo
2006-12-02 16:53 
nice article
2006-12-02 12:21 
Dont know how to do that >;(

Just happy I could even find it among all the demos with names like from
2006-12-02 12:16 
Good article

You should host that demo file or something so it stays with the article.

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