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320

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
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I think it would be cool to geek out and get a discussion on tactics going so I'll get the ball rolling and talk about my thoughts on the avril.

I find the avril very useful. I probably get a third of my kills with this one weapon. I toss my grenade and rocket launchers at the start of a wave so that I have one click of the mouse wheel between the flak and avril, allowing me to switch between the two very easily.

I didn't start using the avril much until I got loaded weapons 5 because if I got a negative grenade launcher or Rocket, it was clumsy to get to the avril with the mouse wheel. Some people are much more "adaptable" than I am, though.

The conventional use of the avril, as it's used in Onslaught, is to fire and zoom-lock on the opponent (like the Manta or Raptor). In Invasion, I find it's more useful to fire a shot and track it in without zooming. This maintains your peripheral vision and allows you to instantly switch to your next target once you take out the first. It also allows you to switch targets on the fly. Like say a titan is a medium-long distance and you fire an avril, then one spawns at a short distance. Obviously, you want that shot to go to the closer titan. All you have to do is aim at the closer one and the avril will change course. I only lock when the target is particularly far away and other players don't appear too focused on it (like a gas bag up in the rafters).

And speaking of distance, in Onslaught that's more often what the avril is - a distance weapon. In Invasion, I've found it most useful as a mid and short range weapon. First, it's because Invasion is too fast-paced for the slow avril to go halfway across the map. By the time it gets there the monster is dead and you wasted a lot of time. Second, it will lock on and kill a lot of mid-tier stuff in one hit. A brute can take three or four shots from the flak, while one avril will usually do the job. As long as the bad guy goes down with one hit, the long reload time of the avril is less of an issue.

You can work around the reload time, however, even when it does come into play. For example, let's say you approach two brutes and a nali. You switch to avril and fire it at the brute. You only need to track the shot to the point that it's likely going to hit the brute. You switch to the flak and take out the nali. You switch back to the avril (which is ready to fire again) and take out the last brute. This, opposed to three or four flak shots per brute.

Against opponents that use shields, such as queens, you can fire the avril past the queen and then site it so the avril does a 180 and hits the queen from behind. I don't use this one much because I am usually in too close, but I see others use it all the time.

Another use of the avril is to set up a kind of "combo" attack. This is very useful against titans. It works because of the way monsters typically react to you. On the one hand, if you're the only player in a room and a monster spawns, more than likely it will come after you. On the other hand, if the monster is down the hall, it might just stand there. In the latter case, if you shoot at it, it will probably come after you.

So monsters typically react to you because you're either close to them or because you're shooting at them. Some do a sidestep, some shoot, some charge you, some dodge, etc. Once they start moving, they are more difficult to hit.

With a titan, the worst thing it can be doing is throwing rocks at you. At the same time, if you don't take down a titan pretty quick, another player with a triple will finish it off. So the more damage you can concentrate right at the beginning, the better, if only to collect a good amount of exp.

The first thing I do is look for titans in mid or short range, and moreover, at the start of a titan wave I try to be somewhere on the map that facilitates this. I fire the avril and only track it long enough to be reasonably certain it will hit (not hard to do). I switch to the flak and start firing. Usually the first flak shot and avril will hit about the same time and then I get one or two more flak shots before the titan has a chance to truly "react". And at that point, the titan is already half dead. This is not quite as fast as using a flak with a triple but it's pretty close.

A variation on this is to fire the avril, activate the triple, switch to flak and finish the job. Most titans will go down with one avril and one or at most, two flak shots, assuming your damage bonus is maxed. If you time it right and shut off the triple, you won't lose much adrenaline either.

The combo attack can also be used against warlords. When they are mid-distance away, you fire the avril and then switch to the flak at close range. If you have a triple, the warlords will usually go down with one avril.

So that's how I use the avril in a nutshell. I'd really like to hear other opinions and strategies out there.
Okinesu

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Joined: 12/19/2004 20:45:34
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Great points man. Here are some thing I have learned:

On using the AVRiL
I detest the reload and firing latency on the AVRiL, so in open, outdoor levels where (AVRil-seeking) monsters appear often, I will usually fire an AVRiL across the level even if there is no monster present. In this way, if one appears, I already have a shell in the air, and I can redirect it's course easily and get a quicker kill.

On Brutes
Brutes are my favorite enemy to kill. They are slow and not terribly accurate. If I see one from afar, I will alt-fire minigun it down, but if it is within a few meters of myself, I switch to the flak cannon and go to town. Because the Brute's rate of fire is so high, I find it easy to jump up and primary-fire at the Brute with the flak, then when he fires his missles upwards, fall to the ground and crouch, firing again to finish him off. In this way, no rockets can get to you because the Brute has no idea what to aim for.

On the minigun
Dru pointed out (and it seems to be the case) the for long-distance fights, using the secondary fire on the minigun is best because it is not nearly as innacurate as the primary fire. It also does more damage (although there is a slower rate of fire). If an enemy is close, I will use the primary fire, as it dispatches more bullets per second, and accuracy is not an issue.

I will also use the secondary fire on smaller enemies such as the two flyers and the bugs.

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Tidu!

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Joined: 12/20/2004 14:32:15
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Just a few things I use:

Rage rocks. Whenever I have one, I always use it. especially on titan waves, because your heatlh could be 1 the entire wave, and the same outcome would occur if you had 300 health.

The assault rifle is very useful. If I have a Rage +10 or something with a high damage bonus, the grenades are incredibly effective. I have resupply 1 and I don't think I could run out of grenades; they resupply faster than I can shoot them.

Nali headshots are what I live for. You get an incredible bonus from it (10 experience) and when you get 8 of them, you get 100 more experience for a Head Hunter. I see Nali most on Waves 2, 5, 10, and a ton on 16 (though you'll probably be fending off warlords) I have my lightning gun bound to the "z" key (since classic sniper can't be bound) so I can whip it out fast, since they don't last very long.

Classic Sniper Rifle is much better than the Lightning for head shotting nalis, since you get two chances. If you're off a little bit with the lightning, you'll still hit them and get an instant kill. The classic rifle is a little more merciful.

That's all I've got.

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Gafwyn



Joined: 11/28/2005 19:17:32
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Great topic and much needed. The avril discussion is much appriciated because I (and I'm sure many other newer RPG players) was stuck with preconceptions about the avril as an Onslaught weapon and wasn't comfortable with it as an Invasion weapon. Thanks!
320

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
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Here's how I use the Mine Layer, another favorite of mine.

I like this weapon so much I programmed a button on my mouse for it. Another I have programmed is the flak. I can switch between the two very quickly. In order to do this, I have to toss my Bio Rifle and pick it up again (if I want to keep it). This switches the order between the bio and mines so that when you hit your keybind, you'll go to the mines first. Otherwise, you have to double-tap your keybind to get the mines.

If you play UT or any FPS games with any regularity, you really owe it to yourself to get a mouse with at least a couple extra buttons. I've seen them for as little as $20 at 800dpi. If you don't want to do this, you can program a keyboard key as well.

For anything I'm describing to work for you, you need to have "instant" access to the mines in your control scheme, and that either means key-binding or mouse binding unless you're a robot and can mouse scroll like a champ.

First thing's first - a lot of people think the mine layer is a "no skill" weapon. I even heard this a lot when I played onlaught. Obviously, I don't agree. If you don't use the mines strategically, they won't help you much. In other cases, they'll kill you.

A simple use of the mines is to cover you when you snipe. You fire a couple behind you and then snipe away. Don't place them too close, though. If a nali runs up on you, the mines will lunge at both you and the nali and explode. Sometimes this is enough to kill you if the nali was able to hurt you as well.

Mines work very well in this capacity because 1) they react relatively quickly (pets are much slower to react and save you) and 2) they have 360 degree "vision". Nothing can sneak up on a mine.

Key binding is very important because mines must be used in volume. Since you only get two at a time, that means you will be switching back to them constantly to fire more. A lot of people will throw a couple mines while they wait for the wave to start and that's it - they don't use the mines for the rest of the wave. To get the most out of them, you have to fire them a lot.

Mines are a "downtime" weapon. In those short expanses of time when you're not actively shooting at anything, that's when you fire out the mines, or check on their status if you threw some down previously. It's automatic at this point for me, but if I kill something and if there is nothing in my peripheral vision and nothing super close on the radar, I'll bring up mines to see if I need to lay more while simultaneously running in the direction that the radar dictates. But I would never stop shooting at a brute to check in on my mines.

As far as I can tell, monsters ignore the mines and only focus on human players. In onslaught, if I see mines chasing me, obviously I'll run away or shoot at them. The monsters just run right into them.

This is a good thing to note if a nali is chasing you with a shield gun. You can just drop a mine as you're retreating and since the nali will generally take a straight path to try and get you, the mine will deal with it.

Another use of mines is to "control space". For example, you are in one room with a room to your left. You run to the entrance of the other room and fire two mines into it and return to the first. By doing so, you've increased your "coverage" area. Anything coming from the left is likely to be injured or dead.

A good place for your mines is at intersections and generally speaking, not close to the walls. If a monster is just around the corner from your mine, your mine will lunge at the wall and detonate.

Another type of space control, mines are also great for choke points, and in the case of invasion, high-traffic areas. For example, there's one Invasion level that has one elevator from a lower level to a higher one. (I think it's called the Deck or Deck 17). This is the only way the bad guys can come up and attack you. So you place the mines near the elevator. On A-China, there is only one door that the enemies use to get in and out of the city. That's where I'd put my mines and concentrate my fire.

You have to use the mines strategically or you will quickly hit a point of diminishing returns at higher levels. A lot of learning where and when comes from experience and practice. If you just throw down your mines randomly, 1) You won't get much benefit from them, and 2) You'll waste a lot of time throwing and checking up on them (either visually or by switching to the weapon). Since invasion is an extremely fast-paced game, even this small amount of time is significant. Do you check your mines or shoot at something way down-screen with your shock? If you're a good shot (I'm not) then probably the shock is the way to go. Again, experience and your own play style dictate the flow.

I also like to set up combo kills with the mines. If a monster is not focused on you, that is the best time to do as much damage as possible. Take a metal skaarj, for example. The moment you shoot it, it starts running around like crazy and is much more difficult to hit and takes much longer to kill. If you hit it with even a mini round, you activate the running around like crazy routine. But you didn't do a whole lot of damage and now you have to chase it down. Idealy, I would rather run right up to it and fire the flak at point blank. Running around or not, it's mostly dead at that point and easy to finish. Of course, since other players are also shooting at the monster, you don't often have the luxury of running all the way up on the bad guy and you have to compromise. The only way to figure out what to shoot and when is through experience.

Adding the mines to this equation, when I'm at distance from the monster, I lob two mines in its general area (remember, monsters basically ignore the mines), switch to flak and fire away. The flak and mines hit the bad guy all within an extremely short amount of time, usually before it has the chance to focus on me, shoot at me or go running around and become difficult to hit. So by firing two mines and then firing the flak, I'm coordinating three attacks to hit all at once, not three flak shots that fire one after the other. Ultimately, this has a similar effect as null entropy or freezing. You get to attack the monster while it's stationary as opposed to moving. A great level for this is IfullTower, since there is a lot of open space.

You can use this same combo with great effect on titans, warlords and queens either by itself or by working in the triple. You'll learn to fire the mines just far enough away from the bad guy, activate the triple and then finish with flak. Ignoring dmg bonus, I think that's about 700 dmg - before the monster even turns toward you.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. I'd love to hear ideas about the shock or link, since I'm terrible with those guns.

Addition: I also forgot one other great thing about mines. They greatly increase your chances of getting bonus exp from kill combos. Often times you'll kill a couple bad guys and get nothing to shoot at for 10 seconds, then kill something else and get DOUBLE KILL. Somewhere in the interval, your mines killed something and kept the combo timer going.

320

Wicked Sick!

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Tidu! wrote:
Just a few things I use:

Rage rocks. Whenever I have one, I always use it. especially on titan waves, because your heatlh could be 1 the entire wave, and the same outcome would occur if you had 300 health.

 


I've been really curious about the Rage weapons because they do so much damage. But at the same time, I totally rely on vamp to pull me through. I'll have to play with it for awhile and see if I can adapt. Rage 10 plus triple dmg is 600 percent dmg.

I think for the avril, since I'm not firing it constantly, it would be quite useful.
Okinesu

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Alright! Well, after typing for a good 20 minutes, I promptly closed the window with all the text. So I typed it up here, check it out!

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320

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
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Okinesu wrote:
Alright! Well, after typing for a good 20 minutes, I promptly closed the window with all the text. So I typed it up here, check it out! 


A lot of good stuff for players to consider. I do some of those things. But for example, my aim isn't the greatest and a widened FOV just exacerbates that. I ran at around 105 for about a month, but eventually went back to 90.

Minimal HUD - definately. It took some time to get used to not seeing the weapon bar, but I countered that with custom crosshairs. I use different, highly visible crosshairs for each of my main weapons so I always know what I have equipped. I have the super weapons hot-keyed, but so as to avoid accidently firing one (in case I hit the key by mistake), I use a super-huge crosshair that is impossible to miss.
deidog

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320 wrote:


I've been really curious about the Rage weapons because they do so much damage. But at the same time, I totally rely on vamp to pull me through. I'll have to play with it for awhile and see if I can adapt. Rage 10 plus triple dmg is 600 percent dmg.

I think for the avril, since I'm not firing it constantly, it would be quite useful. 


So far I've found that the best way to use the rage (my god I love the rage flack) is to save up the adrenaline get good and filled up for a boss round (For example I love using it on titan rounds) then do the combo for booster and let loose with the rage. Between booster and vamp your health should stay good and with the massive damage of the rage you can clean house on those titans and therefor keep your adrenaline/booster going through it all.
Fro13

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320 wrote:
I find the avril very useful. 


I'm right there with ya. I use the avril all the time.

Shoot the avril and finish it off with a flak or lightning(depends on how far you are). Hit a titan or queen with a avril with a triple, then shoot them with a lightning or flak right when the avril hits, knocks'em down flat.

If your the right distance away, you can shoot a avril, then secondary flak, then primary flak, and they all hit the same time (no triple needed here). That's a sweet way to knockout a titan, very satisfying.

I got speed switch 2 just for that doing that stuff. I switch weapons alot, no need to worry about rate of fire when you can use 3 "slow" power guns in succession (Avril, lightning, flak). If there was a speed switch 3, I would buy it.

If I'm close enough (which is most of the time), I don't even try and lock onto them. I just fire the avril toward the monsters and start shooting it with other guns. If they are far a way, I'll do they same thing except lock on when the avril gets over there.

I pretty much only use 4 guns; flak, avril, lightning, and rocket. Most of my kill will come from the first three. I do use the link and mini, but that in special circumstances involving a triple.

Ok, thats my "secret" to success, speed switch.

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Continuum

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Just an added note to the switching of weapons, if you fire an avril and then switch to say a poison bio rifle before the avril hits (or any other weapon type) the magic effect from the weapon you are currently holding is applied to the avril.. works with mines too




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I would first like to take a moment to thank 320 for starting this thread. I think there will be things that all of us, and especially the newer players will be able to come away with if it goes the way I think it will. In this one, I am going to post some strategy about the weapons themselves.

Now, I know folks have already mentioned the possibility of some weapons being "spammy" or "no skill" weapons. I will note that for almost (if not) every weapon, you will find folks who will grumble about this. Back when I was playing UT99 with a couple of groups, which included several folks who played on the pro-tour servers, I saw this a number of times. One of the "more experienced" players complained (a more accurate description would be he B****ed and moaned) about my use of the flak and ripper. I challenged him to several maps where he would use nothing but and I would use just the AR (aka "pea shooter"). After a few maps of doing nothing but getting him to fire at me (which resulted in numerous self kills), I switched to a different tactic, where I would instead sneak up behind him and assassinate him with one to the back of the head. After that, he B'ed and moaned, but not about my using spammy noob weapons!

At this point, I want to point out a few general points of strategy WRT weapons:

0) There is **almost** no such thing as a truely spammy noob weapon.

Every weapon takes some amount of skill either to kill opponents, or not to kill oneself. The closest weapon to a truely spammy weapon is the gravity vortex (one of the wicked/chaos weapons). Given a kill radius of perhaps 150ft or more which lasts 10 seconds or more I lost track of the number of times folks would get 15-20 kills with this weapon on just one shot. Yes, it takes quite a bit of skill not to kill yourself and your teammates with this weapon. But depending on the game, sometimes that matters much less, if any.

1) If you want to become a better player, improve your skill with **all** weapons. The more you know about them, how to use them, your limitations with them, etc., the better off you will be.

With LW, it is easy to forget about this, but sometimes you do not have the weapon you want or really need. Or another weapon would work better. As 320 pointed out, the mine layer is a great way of controlling your perimiter (like in the sniper nests on BoomBoom), or killing bugs which are around some sort of corner. But without the mine layer, you can also accomplish similar results with the flak (splash damage works around corners) or goo (though it has a short lifetime). Then there is firing the deemer and detonating it close enough to only take 10-25hp of self damage while severely hurting that group of warlords coming at you with all their guns firing. Or using the avril to lock onto those pesky razor flys or gas bags which are far enough away that you can barely see them.

One suggestion on how to improve this knowledge/skill... play an entire game or two using just that one weapon, if possible. When I have gotten into practice with the sniper or lg, I have had folks think I had an aim-bot on the medium/small maps where I could see clear across the map.

And remember, different maps, game types, waves, situations, etc... different weapons.

2) People need to give some thoughts to customizing their weapons priorities and turning off auto-switch.

Let me repeat this in a slightly different way to stress it even more...To survive better, you must change your weapons priorities and turn off auto-switching.

Running out of ammo and finding yourself firing the deemer you picked up some time ago at a nali point blank is insane/stupid at best, and guarenteed to get folks quite angry at you when you kill them along with that nali and yourself. Backing across the deemer while firing and having it automatically switch to it is just as bad. But any weapons change while under attack is just as bad. The deemer and other super weapons should be at a priority below that of your translocator, and auto-switching should be off. Go into your settings and change this right now!!!

For those of you who play non-INV games, there are ultra nasty tricks you can do to folks if they forget this. Tricks such as tossing a RL with one round at someone, they switch, fire and switch again, while you pound away at them. Or tossing a deemer at someone while you are being harassed by them and their teammates (they get 1 kill, but loose more than one). The list goes on...

3) When you want to switch to a particular weapon, you should be able to switch immediately to that weapon, rather than having to scroll through all your weapons. And you should be able to switch while continuing to move, and switching to your higher priority weapons should be easier than switching to your lower priority ones.

Yes, ONS weapons like the grenades, avril and mines complicate this. That is one reason why I tend to toss the grenades, given how keys bound to weapons switching seem to totally ignore weapons priorities (flak is like #2 on my list, while grenades are down near the TL). But I have bound the TL and switch to best weapon functionallity to a couple of mouse buttons as well as other keys. And I also took advantage of the fact that I have my left hand on the arrow keys with quick, easy access to most of the numeric keypad to bind those keys to my weapons. So my RL is 4, Flak is 7, with the shock, link and sniper/lg right in that quick/easy area, and things like the deemer and goo are a bit more of a reach. A quick reach with my left index finger is all it takes, and I can continue to move while doing so.

4) I have mentioned it elsewhere, but I will say it again. Customize your weapons crosshairs, and if you can manage, get rid of the weapon in your display.

The first part of this is the crosshairs. When you think about it, for some weapons, it does not matter if you have a huge crosshair on your screen, and in fact, sometimes it is a good thing and will help you say things like "Oops..not the deemer!" But for weapons like the sniper, a big crosshair reduces your accuracy. For my sniper/lg and RL, I actually use single dot crosshairs of different colors, while the mini, link, flak and others use others which are slightly larger, open and different shapes/colors. Then my super weapons use the large crosshairs which look more like drafting targets than not. But the end result is that I can stand on top of the tower in Face Classic and still do a decent job of picking off man-sized bugs like nali and skaarj with no scoping in.

As for why no weapons being visible...it may not still be the case, but in UT99 and UT2K3, weapons switching was faster if you did not have your weapons showing up. But even more importantly, by making the weapons invisible, you don't create a blind spot. The result is things like being able to lob flak grenades on a high arc and see where they are hitting. It may take some getting used to, especially when only looking at the cross hairs (manditory for this), but once you do.

5) This one is specific to RPG itself, and so I list it last. If you have deployed weapons like the mines, or even a primary fired deemer, if you switch to a different weapon after firing, you stand a very good chance of having the magical abilities of your new weapon apply to the one you just fired. I have seen mines vorpal kill, and am fairly certain I have vamped on a "normal" redeemer. Geez...imagine doing a primary fire deemer then switching to that vorpal 10 lg while running double magic (making it a +20) before it hits.

Well, that should be enough for folks to digest for now...more later.

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Sour_Grape

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Sorry to highjack the thread with a noob question, but...

I thought the double magic was broken. It never doubled a weapon like a max magic. So, does it double all my weapons as my adrenaline ticks off?

Thanks in advance.

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320

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Continuum wrote:
Just an added note to the switching of weapons, if you fire an avril and then switch to say a poison bio rifle before the avril hits (or any other weapon type) the magic effect from the weapon you are currently holding is applied to the avril.. works with mines too 


That's a good point. I don't alter my strategy around weapons very much unless I've got something really nice or really bad. Like if I get a vorpal avril, I'll make sure the avril rocket impacts before switching to another weapon. Normally I wouldn't care.

That's why I'll give away a vorpal shock on most levels, particularly smaller ones. I'm just not very good with it and the clunkiness I introduce trying to bring it up and aim it usually means I'm way too late.

I don't like the shock for other reasons, though. It's too weak. It takes three shock hits to equal one lightning and even with a triple it seems to take an eternity to down a titan.

I think also, this is one of the reasons LA players have it tougher - they have to alter their weapon strategy from round to round depending on what's available and what people give them. Of course, on the flip side, I think a LA player probably ends up more rounded. To each their own.

EDIT: Suffice to say, I don't currently agree with what I wrote in this post.

For LA, shock is a very powerful weapon. For example, with LA, shock + triple will usually beat an avril when killing a brute if there's any sort of distance involved. It's higher rate of fire helps with poor ping or poor aim.





320

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Spacey wrote:


5) This one is specific to RPG itself, and so I list it last. If you have deployed weapons like the mines, or even a primary fired deemer, if you switch to a different weapon after firing, you stand a very good chance of having the magical abilities of your new weapon apply to the one you just fired. I have seen mines vorpal kill, and am fairly certain I have vamped on a "normal" redeemer. Geez...imagine doing a primary fire deemer then switching to that vorpal 10 lg while running double magic (making it a +20) before it hits.

 


If I have a triple, I activate it when I fire a deemer. Up till now I haven't considered "maximizing" the equation and seeking out a weapon for that added bonus dmg, but with the rage weapons, this is something I'd like to start doing.
 
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