Ake Vader  /  9 Dec 2017, 17:16
QuakeWorld 4on4 mix intro
Seeing how there have been a few new players dipping their toes in the deep end of QuakeWorld that is 4on4 team deathmatch a quickstart guide for other potential players wanting to do the same has been compiled. This piece is not a guide on how to play 4on4, rather a guide on how to start a 4on4 match and a quick mention on some common concepts relating to it.
The QuakeWorld team deathmatch 4on4 mode, most often simply referred to as just "4on4", is seen by many as the main game mode that QuakeWorld has to offer in terms of being the most fun due to the teamplay aspect and also the most challenging considering there are many more variables in play compared to 1on1 or even 2on2 with more players present, powerups and also the fact that there is no weaponstay, i.e. weapons only respawn 30 seconds after being picked up.

How to find games
European Quake League used to be the main QuakeWorld 4on4 league, but it has now closed its doors since a year back. We'll see if there will be a replacement of some sort in the new year.
For the time being you'll probably have to resort to pickup games, or 'mix games' as they are called in QuakeWorld. These can be arranged either on Discord or via the ServeMe-bot and its messaging system (i.e. joining a server and typing ".qw mix here!" in the console. The message will then be distributed across servers along with server address, player count etc).

Prepare your settings for 4on4
Before playing any team mode in QuakeWorld you need to set up your team and enemyskins so you can make a difference between friend and foe. The commands below are supposed to be typed into the console (bring down the console using tilde ~ key).

If you are using nQuake and want fullcolored fullbrights:
teamskin white
enemyskin red

If you want "normal" fullbright skins:
teamskin player_white
enemyskin player_red

Note: current nQuake comes preconfigured with white teamskins and green enemyskins (player_white and player_green).

It's also a good idea to bind a key to +showteamscores (bind tab +showteamscores) so you can see who's on the teams and how the team selection is going.

How to start a game
If you're joining a mix game then the scenario is typically this:
  • People wait until there are 8 players on the server
  • Everyone types rpickup to vote for random pickup (i.e. randomised teams)
  • Everyone types ready to go ready
  • Countdown to game start activates

The following commands that can be typed in the console are good to know when about to play a 4on4 game:

sets server to use standard 4on4 rules (might be required if the server was previously in 1on1 or 2on2 mode as it also affects max player count)

Rpickup is short for "random pickup" and this makes you vote for randomised teams where the server will generate them automatically. This is what’s most often done during mix games to quickly have the teams sorted. Requires a majority of players to vote to go through.

team <name>
Sets your team manually, i.e. "team red" in console sets your team name to "red". This can sometimes be necessary if players think the teams are unbalanced and want to just swap two players instead of trying another rpickup generation.

Sets you as ready to start the game. When everyone is ready the game will start.

Sets you as not ready to start the game. Another way is "toggleready" which is used in nQuake (F5 key)

Makes the server list names of players who has not yet gone ready to everyone on the server. Requires yourself to be ready before you can use it. A similar command is "whonot" which does the same thing but only shows the list to yourself.

Sometimes you need to stop a match mid-game for some reason, then this votes for stopping the game. Reasons for breaking a game can be numerous, but typically because a player on either team left for some reason (perhaps bad connection) or the match ended up in an incredibly loopsided game for one of the teams (however the pain threshold for this in QW is high due to the nature of the game and the break command must not be abused)

Teamplay messages
If you're a new player, then just getting a game started can be an effort. However soon you'll want to start communicating with your teammates, so you can make better decisions by knowing each other's statuses etc, and that is typically done with team messages. The default nQuake setup has a few of these already configured which you can see in the keybind overview, or you can bind them yourself with the following commands which are located under tp_msg* prefix if you want to look up more of them. A couple of the most important are:

Reports your status, i.e. health, armor, location, weapon and ammo count. Also powerups if you have any.

Reports a location as safe. Use this when having secured a key area on the map, typically armors.

Reports a location as lost. Use this after dying on key areas of the map.

Reports the name and location of the item you're pointing at, typically to let your teammates a weapon, armor or
powerup is available or where the enemy with quad is so they can avoid him or pre-fire rockets to where he is coming from.

4on4 gameplay
As mentioned this is not a 4on4 guide, rather a how-to-get-started article. I think it can be good to know a few general 4on4 pointers if you are just starting out however. Compared to other similar games, the 4on4 mode in QuakeWorld is not as much about pure frags as other games. QuakeWorld is more about trying to get control of resources (armor, weapons, powerups) and you should consider the frags on the scoreboard at the end as more of a reflection of that struggle, rather than focusing on fragging someone just for the sake of incrementing your team scores. The frags on the scoreboard will come automatically when your team has won the control of the key areas (weapons, armor) on the map.

QuakeWorld 4on4 has both no weaponstay, friendly fire on and also powerups on. This greatly affects how the mode plays out as with no weaponstay there will be far less people running around with good weapons such as rocket launcher or lightning gun. In general the struggle is for the good weapons (rocket launcher and lightning gun) but in order to win the fight for those weapons you should prepare by taking armor and it also helps if you can get your hands on a good lower tier weapon like super shotgun or super nailgun. A player with a rocket launcher and good health/armor in QuakeWorld can do a lot of damage – and even more so if he can get his hands on the Quad damage powerup. In QuakeWorld a good player being the only player with the rocket launcher in the game can sometimes dominate a whole map!

The strength of the rocket launcher and lightning gun also means that you must be very careful not to mindlessly "drop" your weapons to the enemy. Remember, in QuakeWorld the weapon that you had active when you died will be left in your backpack. What weapon you're wearing is not visible to enemies (except if you're wielding the axe) but a seasoned 4on4 player will recognise if you fired your rocket launcher before you died to his attack, then either take the pack containing your rocket launcher for himself or guard it for one of his teammate to pick up. If it's the latter you're now in a vastly worse position than if you had just chosen to switch to shotgun and let him kill you (leaving an "empty" pack) if you thought you were going to die as opponents now have two players with rocket launchers.

In general your goal in QuakeWorld should be to get players with good weapons (rocket launcher or maybe lightning gun) to the armors to guard them and share armors with their teammates so they can win the fight for more weapons until there's basically four players with rocket launchers on your own team while the enemy has none. Therefore you'll also want to try to kill enemies that have rocket launchers - to avoid the opponents gaining too much firepower and map control.

The powerups are also important in 4on4 and both teams will compete for them. Quad damage can play many roles considering that it makes even players with lesser weapons quite strong; a comeback tool of the team that's behind, a powerup that will tip the scale in one of the two struggling team's favor when the game is on a knife's edge, or give the team in control even more means of oppression which makes the frags bleed away in a pace not seen in any other game.

Quad spawns 60 seconds after being taken, makes player give 4x damage
Pentagram spawns 5 minutes after being taken, makes player only take armor damage (i.e. invulnerability)
Ring spawns 5 minutes after being taken, makes player invisible (his eyes will still be visible)

It shall be said that 4on4 is a complex game mode and it will probably be hard in the beginning until you figure things out. However, with a persistent mindset where you're properly up for the challenge it will hopefully be a rewarding gaming experience.
2017-12-09, 17:45
Some good youtube accounts if you like to learn by osmosis:
ddk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPDy4smoUSo#t=8m
darff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NyifoAg-Mk#t=5m
milton: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4DCQ50H7i6zerGg_wSQ1PQ/search?query=4on4
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