Quake Live Duel Guide
I've noticed that a lot of players have been posting questions about duel so I figured I'd make a guide of all the things I've learned over the years as well as links to other guides and selections to guides. I'll keep additions (and edits) on this post so check back for frequent updates.
----1.1 Weapon Knowledge
----1.3 Knowing Yourself
----3.1 Force Spawning
----3.2 Knowing Your Opponent
----4.2 Almost Lost
----4.4 Blood Run
----4.6 Furious Heights
----4.7 House of Decay
----4.8 Lost World
----4.9 Vertical Vengence
5.0 Additional Resources
Last edited by king_; 08-21-2010 at 08:16 PM.
1.1 Weapon Knowledge
- Rocket launcher (RL): Max Damage: 100 // Min Damage: 1 Rocket Launcher is a great weapon at medium to long range. Use it to push your opponent back and distrupt their fluid movement. Through some "feeler" rockets into empty doorways to see where your opponent is any maybe tag them with a direct. Unless you're in despiration mode don't aim for the player aim for the wall or floor near them. Nearby splash from this weapon can be almost as deadly as a direct. RL is also useful for getting around maps quickly and suprising an opponent by being in an area you wouldn't have been able to get to without it. Use this move sparingly however because it does do self damage. In most cases, RL at close range is a bad idea because of selfdamage but there are exeptions.
- Plasma gun (PG): Max Damage: 20 // Min Damage: 4 At the top level you'll see a lot of players use plasma to hold off opponents. It's a great weapon to spam if you expect an opponent to run through a doorway. A well-trained PG can be even more destructive than an LG. Not to mention the ability to plasma climb on maps like Blood Run (which takes less damage then a rocket jump to it). The PG is a medium to short range prediction (you have to predict where your opponent will go) weapon.
- Grenade launcher (GL): Max Damage: 100 // Min Damage: 1 This is probably the only weapon which was designed to spam and cover entrances. In order to make the best use of the grenade launcher it’s essential to have a certain map-knowledge. For now, watch old Quake 3 or Quake Live demos, several pros apply diverse techniques which are really helpful. DO NOT EVER GRENADE JUMP IN A DUEL Grenade jumping takes a lot of practice to time perfectly. It's not worth waiting the few seconds to grenade jump somewhere when you could have run somewhere else and picked up another more useful weapon or an armor or MH.
- Lightning gun (LG): Max Damage: 7 // Min Damage: 7 The lightning gun is still a powerful weapon, but in order to hit top accuracies, you need to master the weapon. Here’s a trick which will push your accuracy: stop aiming with your mouse and only use your strafe (right and left) buttons! You read right, if you aim too much with your mouse you risk that you hit less due to the beam-delay which is known as truelightning. In order to avoid this delay, you should keep your mouse still and only use the strafe buttons. Sometimes it’s necessary to change your position, in this case you should only use your mouse to adjust to the new situation For example: go on a server, fire your lightning gun and move your mouse, you’ll notice that your beam will delay. Afterwards, fire another beam and only move with your strafe buttons, you’ll see that your delay will disappear. This way you exactly hit where your crosshair is pointing at. LG is good at any range it can reach, although the closer your opponent gets the harder it gets to aim. It should also be noted that the LG lag time from aiming instead of strafing does not apply to vertical movement, only horizontal.
- Rail gun (RG): Max Damage: 80 // Min Damage: 80 RG is by far the best weapon to use at long range. When you're out of map control this is most likely the weapon you want. Stay your distance and try and get some peak rails.
- Machine gun (MG): Max Damage: 5 // Min Damage: 5 Another underrated weapon, but if you watch pros you’ll see that they frequently use this gun, because it also belongs to the instant hitscan weapons. It is probably the only weapon which can pressure your enemy (providing that you have the aiming skill) on maps such as t4, while you lack control of the map. Sometimes this weapon is also used to finish your opponent. As soon as you hear your enemy’s ‘screaming’, use a machine gun. After some hits he should die. If you hit decent accuracies, you might turn matches upside down.
- Shot gun (SG): Max Damage: 110 // Min Damage: 4 The shot gun enjoys a comeback since Quake Live. This gun has been tuned in a nicely and powerful fashion. It’s possible to kill an opponent with one well-placed shot that dishes out a crushing 110 damage from 20 pellets in two rings (10 in each ring). The inner ring deals 7 dmg with each pellet while the outer deals 4. In other words, if you are in a close combat, try to fool around with your shot gun, you’ll see how easy it can be to regain control in a duel.
- Gauntlet (GT, Gaunt): Max Damage: 50 // Min Damage: 50 Often times you'll find yourself being attacked just after spawning. At that time the only two weapons you have are the MG and Gaunt. Don't give up any kill without a fight. Run for the nearest corner whip out your gaunt and do some damage. Three gauntlet hits can take out a fairly healthy opponent. Be warned however that this tactic doesn't work more than a few times before your opponent will wise up to it. Gaunting at a teleporter exit can also deal a lot of damage fairly quickly.
In Duels it's important to make sure that you can see and hear your opponent easily to ensure you know their position at all times. As a basic option for any gametype these two commands for bright and loud player models are good to type into console (~):
Feel free to play around with your /cg_fov (field of vision) as well. I'd say that the higher the better because it increases your angle of vision but it also distorts your game visuals the higher it gets. Find a happy medium and don't go any lower than 90.
Last edited by king_; 08-21-2010 at 08:03 PM.
1.3 Knowing Yourself
It's helpful to know both your strengths and your weaknesses and work on improving both. There are lots of different play styles so play for awhile and watch some of your demos and diagnose yourself. In general there are two types of players: brain players and aimers.
Brain players don't rely on their aim to win matches. Instead, they outsmart you with perfect timing, prediction shots, and positional play.
pro brain players: cooller, rapha
Aim players rely heavily on their aim and ability to dodge to keep them in games. Giving up a YA is no problem because they'll spring a trap and juggle you with a perfectly placed rocket and finish you off without missing an LG cell.
pro aim players: strenx, stermy
once you've diagnosed yourself as one of these two types, pick a pro player's style to study. Understand how, and why they do what they do. You can search youtube for tournament videos or go to http://www.esreality.com/?a=demos and search for demos.
Every game (especially in sports [and yes quake live is an E-sport]) requires a positive attitude. If you are behaving to some extent 'lame' (i.e. you frequently disconnect, you start chatting about lucky frags or insult your opponent) just because you lose and in turn become frustrated, then it’s time to work on your attitude. If you refuse to change your attitude into a positive manner, you’ll automatically lose the fun and delight to play Quake and end up unsatisfied. A positive mindset towards the game is the first and foremost principle for beginners, otherwise you’ll lose your focus and once you have lost your focus you will lose your match and become as mentioned - lame. Believe it or not, being lame is easier than behaving mature and sportsmen-like. It is hard to suppress emotions, but when you realize that focus is essential your performance will increase by 50%. Always respect your enemy, no matter whether it is an unknown one, or a buddy of whom you already know you are probably ‘better’. If you respect your opponent, you become automatically more concentrated and focused, which is very important in duels. I met several people and to be honest, I was one of them as well, who believed, once you have won a meaningless duel against a good player, you are automatically better than him. Furthermore, it’s also illegitimate to benchmark your improvements on the amount of wins or losses. For example, when I faced exactly the same player in a meaningful game, i.e. within tournament, I got wrecked. Although I thought I became better, the true story was that I didn’t. You have to understand that winning does not really indicate that you become better. One way to become better is to analyze your own demos, because most of your games you lose really provide information on how to improve. Try to imagine the following example, which you see more often than you might wish: Your opponent is leading with 9 frags and the match looks anything but promising for you. Some people automatically interpret such a score as a lost games, but former pros like LeXeR will prove you wrong (search the web for LeXeR vs. Chaotics at Qcon 02). Don't yell, stop smashing your mouse on the desk, stop chatting or whining in-game about your opponent plays a +back or cs-camper style! Rather try to stay calm and relaxed - you’ll see that you might win such games in the end. In the time you took to type your complaint you could have done something productive in game. It’s also a matter of self-confidence; don’t become immediately overwhelmed after you went down several times by your opponent’s sophisticated aim. You hit decently as well. Try it and don’t be scared to go into combats. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to turn such scores, but even if you know that you’ve lost your game and the clock is still running, try to stay focused and take something from the match. The chances are, the games you do the worst in, you can learn the most from by watching on demo. Always consider lost games as another tutorial instead of a reason to complain about the bugged matchmaking system. I can already tell you at this point, a lot of tutorials are awaiting you, but everybody needs to jump over these obstacles. Once you have done it, you’ll see that all the effort was worth it. Keep in mind, there is always a better player than you out there who is waiting to push you to your limits. Don’t be afraid of them. Be happy these guys exist, otherwise Quake would be boring. And at the end of the day, the only way you'll get any better is by playing those who are better than you.
Last edited by king_; 08-22-2010 at 09:16 AM.
Probably the most important (and hardest) part of duel for new players is timing items. The two most critical items on a map are:
- Mega Health (MH, Mega): +100 health // Typically spawns 35 seconds after pickup but on some maps it spawns every 2 minutes (vertical vengence, almost lost)
- Red Armor (RA): +100 armor // Always spawns 25 seconds after pickup
Although both items can make you extremely healthy for the next battle with your opponent. Not having either of them doesn't mean the end of the match. There are still other items on the map which you can time to slowly build up your health to make a challenge for the next big item:
- Yellow Armor (YA): +50 armor // Spawns every 25 seconds after pickup
- Green Armor (GA): +25 armor // Spawns every 25 seconds after pickup
- Armor Shard (Shard): +5 armor // Spawns every 25 seconds after pickup
- Health Bubbles (Bubbles): +5 health // Spawns every 35 seconds after pickup
armor times for entire game (left) standard 35 sec health times for entire game (right)
Timing items can easily mean the win or loss of a match so make sure you can see your timer easily. Custom HUDs are available for download at http://qlhud.core.ws/ and the HUD installation guide at http://www.holysh1t.net/custom-hud-install-guide/ This is the HUD I use:
As additional help you can enable timestamped items which will display in chat when you picked up your last item.
- bubble-ru's time quiz progam to help with timing video // download
- baxley's flashcard program to help with timing download
Being able to naviage each duel map is very important. Practice running routes between items and keep track of the time it takes you to get between items. You can always improve from just that but also knowing how long it will take to get between points A and B will help in timing items and ensure that you arrive where you want on time.
basic duel jumps on some of the popular duel maps
Being able to make all of the jumps on a map can easily mean the game. If the RA is up and you can't make that tough jump it probably means you're going to forfeit it to your opponent. As a rule of thumb when you're first getting started, practice your jumps every day on an empty server or in a practice match. I usually set a goal for myself. I want to make this jump X times in a row and if I mess up I start the count over.
Your Initial Spawn
It's important to know all the spawns for a map and know where you want to go from that spawn. You probably want a weapon before getting that first big item so that in case your opponent shows up there too, you'll be ready to fight. The best way to figure out what route works best for you is to play a lot but you can also check out VODs and demos from the sites in section 5.0 to get an idea for what the pros do. After you've got your initial spawn down it's time to challenge for the other big item. There are a few initial spawns that allow you to get from one major item to the other relatively quickly. If you can't pickup the item, make sure to do as much damage as you can, or deny your opponent from getting it.
example: Blood run spawn near jump pad and LG I absolutely love this spawn. Run out pick up LG, hightail it to mega and then to the YA in front of the teleporter. Go trough the teleport and whip out your LG as you come down the steps. If you're quick enough and your opponent had the spawn you want, you can catch them jumping from the SG platform to the RA deny them and probably get a frag too.
Last edited by king_; 08-22-2010 at 10:45 AM.
Dodging can be a pretty hard thing to master. When it boils down to it, it is mainly about being unpredictable and breaking your patterns. What your demos and see if you have a certain pattern to your current dodging and break that pattern. Decent players will spam in and around major items to ensure that if you challenge for that item you'll take enough damage to negate the item. Time the pauses between their spam and then make your move when they aren't reining down bullets. Every once in awhile standing still can really confuse your opponent.
Last edited by king_; 08-21-2010 at 08:27 PM.
3.1 Force Spawning
3.2 Knowing Your Opponent
It's helpful to know both your opponents strengths and your weaknesses...
After you have understood the above mentioned factors, then it’s time for you to think about what your enemy is thinking and how he’s behaving during a duel. This is important in order to adapt to new situations and conditions which regularly change on a higher level. Cooller was probably the best player ever who accurately read his opponents and played with their emotions. For example, Cooller was one of the first duelists on high level who constantly kept spamming a blue colored chat-bind smiley. Players such as ZeRo4, Fatal1ty and other pro-players barely made use of chat-binds at all before Cooler’s era. Obviously there shouldn’t be a problem associated with these chat-binds; however, Cooler kept spamming them especially during situations where he could survive intense fights and ended up luckily with some health. These situations especially hurt you when your opponent plays so well, that he prevents any of your comeback attempts. Given that you have learned to be patient and you acquired the knowledge that sometimes one sole mistake of your opponent might be the only key to return into a match, some situations still can get messed up and when a player abuses such situations for his own favor, a game can become totally messed up right away. Some might think that Cooller resembles a disrespectful player, but others have the opinion that his way of performing a duel was simply smart. I mean consider your opponent or even yourself. You face an equally or even better skilled player. You are able to deliver a very strong performance, but it’s still hard to gain control and suddenly there is finally a chance to do it, but you are overshadowed with bad luck. Long story short, you die, but your opponent survives. Obviously you need to stay calm, otherwise you risk losing your track, but in the next moment a stupid smile appears on your screen and you think for one moment: ‘what a bastard’. Moments like these are the way how players such as Cooller take advantage of you if you let them. Interestingly, after several match-ups between CZM and Cooller, CZM also put a chat-bind into his config which was simply ‘nice one’. You might think that his bind served for situations when his opponents hit CZM in a nicely fashion, right? Sometimes this was even the case, but most often he spammed his bind after he himself was able to perform unbelievable moves or frags. It is often hard to control emotions in this case which often results in the opponent leaving. In my opinion it’s fundamental to control yourself, otherwise traps like chat-binds will get you. Another example, SteLam, another former pro-player didn’t show any emotions at all, no matter how ridiculously he got fragged, there wasn’t any jerk at all. Always try to put yourself into your opponents shoes. If your opponent is a little hotheaded, exploit it. In a tourney or set of matches against an opponent try to play your best map first and crush your opponent on it. Chances are if they haven't had experience they'll be thrown off their game and demoralized.
Last edited by king_; 08-21-2010 at 08:54 PM.
4.2 Almost Lost
4.4 Blood Run
Blood Run Overview with player and item spawns overviews by king_ items and spawns by sYanYde
What goes through a pro's head: dandaking
What goes through a pro's head: rapha
4.6 Furious Heights
Furious Heights Overview with player and item spawns overviews by king_ items and spawns by sYanYde
4.7 House of Decay
House of Decay Overview with player and item spawns overviews by king_ items and spawns by sYanYde
What goes through a pro's head: dandaking
4.8 Lost World
Lost World Overview with player and item spawns overviews by king_ items and spawns by sYanYde
What goes through a pro's head: cooller
4.9 Vertical Vengence
Vertical Vengence Overview with player and item spawns overviews by king_ items and spawns by sYanYde
Last edited by king_; 08-22-2010 at 10:48 AM.
5.0 Additional Resources
Last edited by king_; 08-21-2010 at 09:14 PM.
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