I know the BF series of games is very popular at TG. I am making this post as a way to generate some discussion and to help anyone from BFx make a transition to ETQW.
The BF series as it is played at TG is nothing like it is played on some random pub. Before I found TG, I was used to playing on BF servers where literally no one was in a squad on a team of 25+ people. That is not how BF is played on TG. How you see ETQW being played on servers right now (first day of US release) is NOT how it will be played at TG.
People are still figuring out their controls and the layout of maps. The first day of any new game is like this usually. Over the next few weeks those that were not in the beta or did not play the demo will get up to speed and figure out the game.
In the BFx series the main game is conquest mode or a variation of it. Typically this means several flags need to be captured – several or all of which can be captured in any order. The perfect solution to having multiple simultaneously achievable objectives is a divided force. The effective unit for the BF game series is the squad. You work with them to achieve a goal. The rest of the team may or may not be working on the same goal as you.
BF has several things besides the basic game dynamic that promote squad play. Your squad leader acts as a mobile spawn point or can set a spawn point for your squad. Your squad can communicate using voice while in the game without the need for a separate program that can be difficult to access during game for the average person. TG really makes extensive use of VIOP in the BF games because of the ease with which it is implemented and the effectiveness of it as a means of communication. You do not need to change channels each time you join a different squad or team due to the in game implementation of VOIP in BFx.
In ETQW there are several objectives that must be completed in a specific order. This is more similar to a game mode some of you know from BF as assault lines. It is unlike the conquest game mode in that the entire team is focused on one major objective at a time. While this sometimes happens in conquest, it usually does not. Squads are not as critical in ETQW since it is not as important to divide up your labor in accomplishing the goals of the team. The objectives in ETQW are not just hold the area around a flag. They are more like escort a vehicle, blow up an objective, hack an objective, or secure an objective. Each one of these objectives leads to the next. For example in Valley, the GDF have to first build a bridge, then use that bridge to move a vehicle to a spot. Along the way, GDF has to capture a forward spawn point. Then they have to capture another spawn point, hack a computer, then blow something up.
ETQW does have a fireteam system. But fireteams are not the natural unit in ETQW. You will end up seperated from your fireteam often enough that you will be working with players that are not in your fireteam. Most of the time, fireteams will not be all that important. Fireteams do have some advantages: they help you keep track of the guys in your fireteam. You can invite, kick disband or assign waypoints or attack orders to the fireteam. your fireteam members have distinctive icons in the minimap and over their heads displayed while you are playing. These tools allow you to keep your fireteam together even without voice since you are all focused on the same objective and can see each other on your minimap and in game. There are in game voice commands and text that you can send to your fireteam and you can see their health by looking at their names in your fireteam overlay.
ETQW does not have VOIP, nor does it enable your squad to spawn on the SL. Lack of VIOP is a major oversight. Hopefully, this can be fixed in a future patch. If it is not fixed, we will most likely use teamspeak for organizational purposes. Typing out orders to your fireteam is not feasible given the pace of the game. The in game binding and message system is quite useful and simmilar to the way simple commands are given in the BF series. You can call for ammo, health, backup etc. Fortunately, you don’t have to get too intricate to be effective. However, ETQW needs VOIP to bring the level of teamwork up to the standards people are used to in the BF series of games.
Not spawning on your squad leader is not such a big deal since you don’t need to as much in ETQW. The lack of spawning on the squad leader is overcome by the map layouts and game dynamics. The Strogg can set spawn points in the dead bodies of GDF. The natural dynamic at play is that choke points and objectives collect GDF bodies which the Strogg technician turns into spawn points. Areas of maximum carnage attract more carnage because of this.
Spawning in ETQW happens in waves. In BF, Your spawn timer is determined by when you died. In ETQW everyone spawns at once at set intervals. Everyone that is dead respawns at a certain predetermined interval. This results in waves of people going after an objective all at once. The most difficult thing for me to adjust to when coming to the BF series from RTCW and Wolf:ET was the way spawning was treated. The wave is the natural unit in ETQW, not the squad or fireteam. Within a wave you can be surrounded by your fireteam, but your entire team functions as a squad.
1-Changing classes requires a respawn. You can't pick up kits to change classes like you can in BF2. You'll have to go into the Limbo Menu (L), select your new class, click on Respawn, and catch the next respawn wave.
2-Icons may look familiar, but have different meanings. For example, when you see the circle with a wrench, you might think that's an object that needs to be repaired, only to find out it's a friendly engineer. You can check out the ETQW Icon Glossary for a full listing of icons and symbols used in ETQW.
3-Engineers need to ARM their mines. Unlike BF2, you can't just throw down mines and expect them to blow up the next vehicle that runs over them. Once you drop a mine, crouch, and you should see a little plier icon. This is your cue to use Mouse1 to arm the mine. You'll see a red progress circle around your crosshair showing how much longer it will take before the arming process is complete. Also, there is no differentiation between anti personnel and anti vehicle mines.
4-Vehicles play much differently.
4-1-You can't drive the other team's vehicles. Running over to take control of a just-abandoned vehicle will leave you frustrated and most likely dead.
4-2-Vehicles are not all powerful. They are powerful weapon systems, but every weapon is capable of damaging vehicles. It may not be much, but it adds up. Don't expect to grab the nearest tank and run off to dominate the battlefield. Also, in order to repair a vehicle, an Engineer/Constructor has to get out and repair. You cannot passively repair from inside, nor can you repair from another vehicle.
4-3-Vehicles retain momentum when you jump out of them. Make sure your Husky isn't pointed at a group of team mates when you jump off it.
4-4-Vehicles come with Decoys. Use your keyboard Key 1 (_weapon0) to shoots off decoys which are very good for misleading rockets homing in on you. You'll get an audible tone when a missile is locked in. Fire off your flares for a short interval of protection.
4-5-Seat swapping is done via Use (F) not by the F1 function keys. Currently, there is no way to select a specific seat in a vehicle.
5-Completing objectives requires specific classes. Unlike BF2, objectives are not completed by being in proximity of a flag. Each mission type requires that the attacking team get specific classes to the objective and complete the objective (e.g., plant explosives, hack, or construct something), on foot. Anyone can capture a forward spawn, though you have to be on foot, at the spawn point and capture it (Use)
6-Respawning does not hurt your team (other than you being out of commission for short period of time). There is no ticket system where your team gets dinged because you had to respawn. In fact, you may see people voluntarily respawning, even when they're not injured to change class, change location, or coordinate an attack.
7-Anyone can call artillery. You just need to spawn as a Field Ops/Oppressor and then deploy an artillery piece. Whether you should or not, is the subject of another discussion.
8-Grenades can be cooked off. Click Fire, but don't release the key. You'll see the timer tick down. When you're ready to throw, release the Fire key.
9-Infantry action is considerably faster in ETQW than in the BF series. Standing still is only necessary with a few weapons and for long range shooting. The gameplay is also faster and the action is more concentrated.
10-The formal squad system in BF2 does not exist, but there are Fire Teams. The formal squad system in BF2, where you can only communicate with the commander via the squad leader or where you can spawn on the squad leader doesn't exist. However, ETQW does support a Fire Team system, where members of your Fire Team are highlighted, you can use fireteam-specific communications (pre-defined voice commands and text), and you can see the health status of your Fire Team members. Fire Team participants also get a small XP bonus whenever any Fire Team member completes an objective.
Last edited by sc1ence; 10-17-2007 at 12:35 PM.
Reason: clarity and emphasis on "the wave"
“Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin
Thanks for the writeup, science. It's clarified many things and helped me come to an informed decision.
I'm going to go ahead and stick with the BFx games. Primary reasons are the lack of VOIP and lack of squads. Everything else I can adjust to but those two really are dealbreakers. Even if one of them was implemented, I doubt I'd play this game.
I'm installing the demo right now and I'll definitely give it a few hours but I just can't imagine spending much time in this. Seems like a standard Quake game with XP for unlockables and human-controlled opponents instead of bots. There isn't a team to work for or with -- it's a disjoint union of randoms.
I'll edit this post once I play the game.
Edit: Allright, I've played the demo for a couple of hours now and I've changed my opinion a bit. For one, I'm surprised it even ran on my computer.
The long and the short of it is that QW:ET is an excellent single player game. Multi-player? Watch as I laugh in your face. There's no discussion on this -- no VOIP, no squads, no organization, no multiplayer. The BF series has set the bar high on tactical FPS multiplayer and I think a lot of games in this genre are going to receive a cold shoulder if they do not adapt.
That being said, I'd honestly consider buying the game to waste a few hours. The unlocks look fun and the gameplay is fairly balanced. I toyed around with several kits on the GDF side and these are my impressions:
Engineer: Good for constructing/repairing, not so good for all else. I imagine it'd be hilarious if I killed someone with an APM but I can't stay alive long enough to deploy one
Assault Medic: Standard fare, the revive paddles look like they're exactly out of BF2. That said, the ranks (which seem to be reset every map?) also look like they're ripped from BF series.
Soldier: Fun stuff. Rocket launcher is good for taking out turrets and those flying things.
My final impression is a positive one in terms of the game itself. But if you're looking for tactical, teamwork-oriented, FPS multiplayer, stick with the BF series.
I'm in the same boat with in-game VOIP. I know the BF series and QW are two totally different things, but I think the BF series implemented VOIP in such a way that it has set the bar for what really should be expected in any new tactical squad-oriented games.
I would not classify this as a squad oriented game. It is slightly more squad oriented than say TF2, but much less squad oriented than BFx. You work with your wave or the guys around you. If you're really good you can stick with your fireteam. but sticking with your fireteam is not as important as helping your team.
for example, in a firefight in bf2142, I revive squadmates first, then cover squadmates, if there is time, I will revive not squadmates. ETQW you support the guys around you in a self organized way. You don't need voip to know a dead engy behind a vehicle that needs to be repaired should be revived. Since the entire team knows what the objective is people do what is needed.
Last edited by sc1ence; 10-07-2007 at 09:48 PM.
“Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin
Battlefield players have a tendency to hate this game because it's not battlefield, and they're usually pretty easy to pick out. If you come from Battlefield, don't hold any expectations and you should be fine. This game is not battlefield and never will be, leave it at that.
I bought it monday and have been playing it non stop, I love it!.
And you should not expect this game to play like battlefield, if you want to get a feel for the gameplay you should download it's free predeccesor: Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
I like many others here have been considering ETQW for a while, esspecially since the drop off in BF2142. Thank you for this post it was extremely helpful. i am downloading the demo later but i think i love battlefield squad structure to much. And to tell you the truth the TG kick script is what took BF2142 to a new level for me. Does ETQW have something similar? rep + sc1ence.