Browsing the blog archives for November, 2007

UT3 Weapon Rundown: Enforcer

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Games, Unreal Tournament

UT3Enforcer0

A trusty and reliable starting weapon. I am not a big fan of the design, and the sound effect for the weapon is a bit lacking, but it’s a hitscan weapon with pretty good accuracy, rate of fire, and does 20 damage every pull of the trigger. Whatever else can be said about the aesthetics of the thing, you have to respect its functionality. The secondary fire is a salvo of three wild shots in rapid succession, followed by about a second of downtime.

UT3Enforcer1

The primary fire is good at range. The key with the Enforcer is to keep a cool head and not to spray and pray. Unlike the Stinger, the Enforcer doesn’t have the fire rate to accomodate that sort of wild misuse of the weapon. The Enforcer is much like UT2004’s Assault Rifle in that its initial shot has no aim error. Then, if you hold the trigger down, subsequent shots each become a little more inaccurate. I do believe the Enforcer hits its cap on inaccuracy around the fourth shot, so don’t expect your shots to eventually go firing off perpendicular to your gun or anything. The inaccuracy isn’t a big deal at medium DeathMatch ranges, but it can be the difference between hitting a hoverboarding flag carrier in vCTF-Suspense and not. If you release the trigger for about a second, your next shot will return to perfect accuracy. So make your first shot count, try to follow up, and if you can’t and find yourself missing too much, then try to duck behind cover for a second to steady your aim.

If you’re playing DeathMatch, or unusually tight maps in other gametypes, you’d do well to consider that the Enforcer isn’t, actually, your only spawn weapon. In tight quarters, I recommend you go to the Impact Hammer. When it comes down to a battle between an Enforcer and a Flak Cannon or Rocket Launcher in close quarters, I’d much rather have my own 1-hit kill weapon out than something that I’ll need to connect 5 times with to kill an opponent.

If you’re in more open settings, the Enforcer can be an even better choice than the Stinger if you’ve got decent aim. The Enforcer does have some spread, but it’s less than the Stinger has, and the Enforcer does a bit more damage per bullet. Pop a few shots off at someone who is fighting someone else and you might pick off a kill. Better, use the Enforcer’s perfect accuracy on that first shot to knock down Hoverboarders, then finish them off while they’re down.

UT3Enforcer2

The secondary fire of the Enforcer was always a little useless. Previously it turned your guns “Gangsta” style, sideways, and caused you to fire faster but with much greater inaccuracy. The new secondary fire is similar, and I haven’t found a good use for it yet. The concept is kind of sound — Toss out three bullets at once and hope whoever was coming at you died from the salvo. Unfortunately, the aim-error on these shots is tripled or quadrupled. At the effective range to hit with all three shots, you probably don’t want to have the Enforcer drawn anyway, as the Impact Hammer is the deadlier option. Then there’s the fact that 60 damage isn’t going to dispatch an opponent reliably. The refire delay also seems a little long, as in the time it takes to use the secondary fire and wait for its refire delay, you could have also popped off three shots with the primary fire. I’d bet the secondary comes out a little bit ahead of the primary fire in raw damage potential, but it’s just not enough to make it noticeably useful when considered with its disadvantages.

As a small note, although “Gangsta” style firing is gone as a fire mode, you may notice that when you approach a target with the Enforcer drawn that you automatically go into “Gangsta” firing style. It’s a nice little touch, I think.

In any vehicular gametype, the Enforcer is out of its league. Not only do vehicles have hundreds of HP to wear down, but damage per bullet from the Enforcer is reduced to 6. That’s about 75% damage reduction right there, so don’t even bother. The only real use the gun has in vehicular gametypes is as a fallback if you have neither Shock Rifle, nor Sniper Rifle for precision attacks at distance, such as for knocking foes off of hoverboards. Although the Enforcer is leagues better than the Assault Rifle as a DeathMatch weapon, I definitely do miss the Assault Rifle’s grenades in vehicular gametypes. The Enforcer’s secondary fire is pretty lacking, and that’s even more apparent when you look at it against vehicles. Firing some kind of armor-piercing or EMP rounds on secondary fire, or just giving the Enforcer grenade-launcher clip-on in vCTF and WAR would go a long way to at least make it worth considering using against vehicles. Right now you’ve got better chances using the Impact Hammer.

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UT3 Weapon Rundown: Impact Hammer

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Games, Unreal Tournament

UT3IH0

The classic melee weapon. Hold down the primary fire button to start the engine, which will chug a few times before reaching its maximum velocity. Then apply an opponent’s face to it. The secondary fire is an electrical discharge mode that, by all accounts, will knock powerups like the Shield Belt or Damage Amplifier off of opponents.

UT3IH1

The Impact Hammer primary is a great tool for taking out opponents in close quarters, preferably when you can catch them unawares. It will do about 140 damage to an opponent in DeathMatch, so it’s an instant kill more often than not. I wouldn’t mind seeing the damage upped some, though, as 140 damage is not really all that much when you consider there are three armor pickups to get now, plus health vials and super health. I’m pretty much of the opinion that if you let someone get close enough to Impact Hammer you, you deserve to die. Something like 180 to 200 damage seems more fitting to me. Just for comparison, the Shield Gun in UT2004 did 150 damage on a full charge, although it seemed to charge slower than the UT3 Impact Hammer.

UT3IH1A

The blood splatters that get on your screen after smearing an opponent are a nice touch, but I’m also hoping for the option to turn that off, as it has a tendency to block my view. Even a few milliseconds of being disoriented can get you killed.

UT3IH2

Realistically, the electrical discharge secondary fire isn’t very effective in DeathMatch. It does no damage to players, merely knocks off the powerups they may have. If I know I have an opponent coming after me, I am more concerned about killing him and surviving than about knocking powerups off of him. After all, many pickups, such as the Damage Amplifier, Berserk, Invisibility, or Jump Boots now drop after death regardless. The only things that do not drop are health pickups (which cannot be knocked off via the Impact Hammer secondary) or armor pickups (which can be knocked off).

On the other hand, the Impact Hammer’s secondary fire it is a good weapon to deploy against Mantas in vehicular gametypes. Assuming the vehicle balance in UT3 will continue to be like it was in UT2004, the Manta is the ultimate vehicle in the majority of game situations, so having an option to deal with it is nice. Prime the secondary fire and aim at the nose of a Manta that is heading straight-on at you. With any luck, if the Manta hits you dead-on, it will cause the Impact Hammer to discharge before the Manta runs you over, bouncing the vehicle back and doing about 150 damage to it. You will probably take some damage, so be aware this might be suicidal at low health, but jousting in this way can be, in some situations, your best option.

Watch out if the Manta was not destroyed by the attack. Mantas have 200 health, so a fresh Manta will survive it, but if it’s taken any real substantial damage it won’t. If the Manta survives, it can easily recover and sweep you with its wings or blast you with its plasma guns, and it’s unlikely you’ll have had time to charge a second attack. The Impact Hammer secondary jousting tactic will also likely be useful against Necris Vipers, as from all indications they are very similar to the Manta.

It does not seem to be effective against Scorpions. Scorpions have 300 health, so they are far less likely to be at low enough health to destroy with the Impact Hammer secondary, not to mention that excessive whining about vehicle physics in UT2004 has led to the Scorpion being virtually immovable by any attack, including the Impact Hammer secondary. You will not be able to bounce the Scorpion back as you can the Manta, so you’re pretty much dead unless you can hit it in the side as it passes, and the thing has blades on the front, so good luck with that. The majority of the other vehicles we’ve seen so far, such as the Hellbender or the Goliath will kill a footsoldier easily at close range, so don’t bother unless you’re catching them off guard or you’re out of ammo with everything else.

The charge up time of either fire mode isn’t represented with a status bar, so it’s difficult to tell exactly how long it takes to go from nothing to fully-primed, but it seems to be around 1.5 seconds. I think that’s a tad, perhaps a quarter of a second, too long. Some kind of status bar would be nice, the only real way to tell is via the sound the weapon makes, and that can be drowned out in loud situations.

Impact Hammer jumping returns, and it’s actually a lot friendlier than it used to be. Self-damage has been reduced quite a bit when jumping, making it a viable option to use in Free For All DeathMatches where complete item domination isn’t an option. A lot of maps seem to have been designed with the use of the hammer jump in mind, as well, so it’s not merely a tactic useful for finding exploits. I have yet to test out how well someone might be able to utilize piston-boot-jumps, or hammering your own translocator. Hopefully these old tricks have managed to carry over at least somewhat.

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UT3 Weapon Rundown

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Games, Unreal Tournament

Like Shamus, I’m going to do a rundown of the UT3 weapons arsenal. I’ve been playing the demo for a bit longer than him, so hopefully this will go into a bit more depth about what each weapon does exactly, some basic strategies that I’ve found effective, and criticisms or suggestions where I felt things could be improved.

I actually wrote up several paragraphs for each weapon, and then I realized that, altogether, I’d written about ten pages of material. Rather than making one gigantic post that no one will read, I’ll be doing a post on each weapon separately each day, possibly more if I want to speed things up, for the next week, give or take. The full game comes out on November 19th, so I figure that’ll be an interesting ramp up, even though it’s pure coincidental that it happened that way.

I’ll be linking all of the posts back to this one, and updating this post as a central list to all of the weapon writeups.

  1. Impact Hammer
  2. Enforcer
  3. Bio Rifle
  4. Shock Rifle
  5. Link Gun
  6. Stinger Minigun
  7. Flak Cannon
  8. Rocket Launcher
  9. Sniper Rifle
  10. Avril
  11. Redeemer
  12. Translocator

Update (11/21/07): I just got a copy of the full UT3 scripts, so I will be updating my weapon summaries based on the information there (if there is any updating needed).

The Real Secret of UT99’s Success, and What UT3 Needs to Outsell it!

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Games, Unreal Tournament

Found this post on the UT3 forums, it was too great not to repost it here. If the link doesn’t work, the original thread may be gone. I have no idea how housekeeping works over on Epic’s forums.

Originally posted by Innociv with thread title same as this post title.

NaliCow1

NALI WARCOWS

You silly UT200x players don’t remember this. It’s the reason UT99 sold 50% more copies. It had nothing to do with dodge+jump and the low gravity ruining the movement and the dumbed down weapons!

While the great gameplay of UT3 that goes back to UT99’s routes, or better even, is great. It was all Nali Warcow that added that extra 1mil of sales or so.

Sure, Nali and it’s voiceback added another 100k or 200k to the sales numbers, for sure, but Nali Warcow was definitely the big boost to it’s sales.

What would Halo be without Master Chief?! Not selling 15 million copies, that’s what!

The splash damage on Goliath is fine.
The weapons are all perfectly fine and balanced.
The Hoverboard is perfectly done.
Manta is.. *Cough*overpowered and should be rebalanced so that’s it’s roll is killing tanks, chasing enemy flag runners, and fedexing friendly flag runners around that are grappled. Not a roadkill-everyone-and-rape-EVERYTHING-but-raptors-machine. IE not be able to roadkill crouched people, even when it crushes down. But besides that everything game wise is pretty perfect excluding UI.*cough*

What’s missing is … Nali Warcow!

But how, innociv, you ask, can you do better than Nali Warcow? It’s impossible to top! But UT3 needs to to sell 4, 5 million even copies!
Ah, I have the aswere..
The one thing greater than Warcows!
Nali Warmanatee!
THE WARCOW OF THE WARSEA.

Nali Warcow2

Don’t mess this one up Epic. You have 1 month to turn this from an A game, to a Legendary record smashing title!

Working out the Kinks…

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Games, Technology, Unreal Tournament

I’ve been suffering some persistent problems with my mouse lately. As you might expect, this has been kind of a damper on the enjoyment I get out of something like Unreal Tournament 3, as it depends a tad on your ability to aim accurately with a mouse. I’ve also been generally dissatisfied with the level of performance my machine has been giving me lately, so I figured it was time to start looking into upgrades.

I figure I’ll need at least a new mouse, some more RAM, and a new graphics card. That’s for starters, though I may need more than that. I ordered the RAM and installed it recently, and I’m happy to say my performance across the board has improved drastically. And oddly enough, my mouse problems cleared up. I guess I won’t be needing that new mouse after all? Either way, I’m really happy, and my Unreal Tournament 3 experience just got better by leaps and bounds. Having a partially functional mouse is extremely frustrating, but I suffered through it because I like the game so much — Now that I actually have decent control? Excellent. I went and won a few DeathMatch matches today on public servers, and I actually got my heart pumping with the action. Been awhile.

I guess while I’m talking about it, I should mention that I actually ran across a modified demo server already — Unfortunately I didn’t catch the IP address or the name, except I know it’s a clan server with tags {*X*}, with * being a single-character wildcard. I don’t know exactly what they did with the settings, but it felt like it was running at 150% gamespeed with low gravity, and was running Heat Ray in a loop. That was great fun, and anyone who misses the Unreal Tournament 2004 mobility should love it.

Nah, No WriMo

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Personal

It’s November already, which presents us all with the perennial question, to NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo?

I want to do this. Not particularly because I want to prove myself that I can write a short novel — I’ve already proven to myself that I can do that by doing it. I do have many stories that I want to tell, though, and any excuse is as good as another. One particular writing project has been nagging at me for the last month, and despite telling myself every day I need to get it out, I’ve not had either the time or the energy at the end of the day.

Martin at Treasure Tables has already taken the month off for NaNoWriMo, putting his blog into rerun mode while he churns out the words.

I think I’ll be holding off on making a commitment to NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve got an even busier November this year than last, so I know anything I commit to is just going to be another obligation that will either get cut when push comes to shove, or be unenjoyable. Hopefully I can clear enough time and peace of mind to make some progress on writing projects, but hope is about all I can expect.