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Szlat

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 05/18/2005 18:32:41
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A different thought.
Because the damage done by the poison effect of a poison weapon is not adjusted by the monsters damage reduction, it could be a great use to high level players when fighting alone on wave 16. If you hit a monster with a +4 poison, over 4 seconds it will take 35% of the monsters health. So before you leap in with the piercing flak, spray them all first with a poison mini or link. Then by the time you get to the second or third, they will be a bit easier.
320

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
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I made this low-tech artifact bar as a visual aid for switching artifacts and taped it to the bottom of my monitor. The first is with all the artifacts, the second is without the usual throw-away artifacts. Since I have the triple selected almost all the time, I put the number of clicks away to the other items on top.



320

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Szlat wrote:
A different thought.
Because the damage done by the poison effect of a poison weapon is not adjusted by the monsters damage reduction, it could be a great use to high level players when fighting alone on wave 16. If you hit a monster with a +4 poison, over 4 seconds it will take 35% of the monsters health. So before you leap in with the piercing flak, spray them all first with a poison mini or link. Then by the time you get to the second or third, they will be a bit easier. 


This is a great strategy. Kitfox and I have been looking into the possibilities for Artifacts players. An Artifact player can make a +4 poison into +5 and then use double magic to make it a +10.

Kohanx explained the poison equation to me a little better:

Health * Curve^(Modifier-1) * BasePercentage

Curve is 1.3, and Base Percentage is 0.05, so

Health * 1.3^(Modifier-1) / 20
So say their health was 100, and you had a +4 Poison, 1.3^3 = 2.197, that*100 = 219.7, and divided by 20 is 10.985, which truncates to 10.

100*1.3^3/20 = 10

Poison lasts for four seconds, and deals that formula once every second.

 


So if you plug in for +10, you get:

1.3^(10-1)*.05 = .53

So poison 10 does 53% dmg per tick.

Against a Titan, a +10 would do this:

Tick 1: 900 > 423
Tick 2: 423 > 224.19
Tick 3 224 > 118.72
Tick 4 118.72 > 62

I tested this with +8 (don't have enough adren for +10 yet) and was able to kill titans with three shots from a shock rifle (spaced out over time, of course). So on those ridiculous vinv titan waves, poison is your friend.
Grizzled_Imposter

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OK This is a strat for lower lvl characters, you need awareness to pull it off, but it is well worth it.

I have found that the multi-kills come much easier when you know about how
much health the monsters have. Especialy when you dont have much damage bonus. I wondered for a long time there why it seemed like every time I got a
powerful monster almost whittled down a higher level character whould scream by, fire the flack once and be on his way, with awareness you too can
do this. (i call this a hop by flacking)

First, don't concentrate on one monster. Always fire at the most damaged monster you can, second, use a rapid rate of fire weapon like a mini. With this stratagy you will be able to finish off more monsters, get the bonus experiance and extra adr. for finishing off the monster.


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320

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My LA char is coming into its own. The potential is there, I just have to focus and decide what to do with it.

Here's a powerful keybind I used with LW (and still use with LA):

Aliases[36]=(Command="SwitchWeapon x | OnRelease switchtobestweapon",Alias="youralias")

This keybind allows switching between multiple powerful weapons without penalty, and to set up combos easily.
320

Wicked Sick!

Joined: 10/11/2005 21:28:38
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I've been so cocky lately. LOL... it 's all good. Back it and stack it.

So I'll break off a piece.

Let's talk about some combos...

Combos are, in my opinion, one of the most fun aspects of the game and create such depth - really, a critical component and the pinnacle of strategy and execution. It's a whole new world of play that is sadly not taken advantage of by most players in this game. It's mostly endemic to RPG INV. The ridiculous combos available in the LW class are what I miss most about that class when playing LA.

First off, what the heck is a combo anyway? Seems to be some mystery. I'm not talking about the shock combo. A combo is when you chain two or more attacks, in very close succession, to hit a monster at the same time, or nearly the same time, within a very small time window. Now, how can that be possible? How can you hit a monster with the link and shock at the same time, for example?

Take a weapon like the avril. You can fire it and it takes TIME to reach the target. Also, the refire rate is very slow. So in that short time space, you can switch to another weapon, such as primary flak, and fire it. If you time it right.... BANG! The avril and primary flak hit the bad guy at the same time. Two big dmg weapons with relatively slow refire rates. But you take advantage of the high dmg of both weapons, such that refire rate means much less. When you're really "on", that refire rate disappears to nothing.

Okay, so why does this matter? What's the difference, really, if you get those two attacks to hit at the same time or not? Three reasons.

The first is this thing called "agro". Agro is a term from my EQ days but it applies to invasion as well. In short, when you've "got agro" it means you have a monster's attention. You got the monster pissed off for some reason and now it is reacting to you.

I haven't explored all the dynamics of agro in INV, but I know some general rules. 1) If you shoot a monster, you will get agro. 2) If you are near a monster, you will get agro. It may also be the case that if you are low on health, a monster will go after you before it goes after a healthy player nearby. This I'm not sure of.

But regardless, when you get agro, the monster REACTS and that's the important part. Take a skaarj, for example. You fire the mini at it but you have terrible aim. You only hit it with one bullet. You did next to zero dmg. But that's enough. Now you have that monster's attention and what does it do? It starts running around like a nut and starts shooting at you. Now the monster is moving, and more difficult to hit, and killing you. Finally you killed it, but it took ten seconds to get the job done and you took 50 dmg in the process and you spent half your mini ammo.

And then, if you're like me, you spend another second or two patting yourself on the back for being so awesome and marvelling at your greatness and staring in the mirror flexing your muscles. But I digress...

But uh oh. I put that same bad guy down in one second, maybe less. Guess what I'm doing with the other nine seconds?

Here's the thing. You want to take agro out of the equation as much as possible. So that's where combos come in. If you can time those multiple attacks to hit at the same time, the monster is dead. You got agro for 1/50th of a second before the monster bit it. It's not moving, it's not shooting and you're off on your merry way to the next bad guy.

Reason number 2, there are other players all around you trying to get kills, too. Let's say you got a plain flak and you see a brute. You shoot it with your flak, but it's gonna take four shots to ultimately put that chubby boy down at the distance you're at. So you fire one shot and some other player fires a shot, then you fire the third shot, and the other guy fires the fourth shot. Who got the kill? And the adren? And the points?

If you could pick, of those four shots, which two would you prefer? The first and second? Or the third and fourth?

So by concentrating big damage into a very small time window, you greatly increase your chances of getting the kill shot (and the majority of exp and the adren award).

Reason number 3 is that all-important kill shot. Now, if you happen to luck out and be carrying a triple, getting that kill is very important as it means more fuel for the triple. And the more fuel you got? That's right, even more devastation you can drop! This is important, because on the tough monsters, it doesn't matter if you got the first shot in. It matters that you were the guy that dropped that sucker. LW players don't get any adren at all for dmg, and LA players with Surge 2 get 2x the adren award for a given bad guy. Even though LA has fewer combo options, it's balanced because LA has energy leach, and that means they get exp for dmg alone (a truckload, in fact).

There's actually a reason number 4, for LW players. Fact is, in any given game some LW players will be carrying the mighty triple and others won't be. So if LW player X can dish out triple dmg while you can't, how are you gonna compete? Seems like a no win. But then you're busting some mad combos to close that gap! And if you're a smart LW player with no triple, you're probably hovering in either a high spawn area or near the double damage...

The coolest thing about combos? They take skill and practice. They require the player to execute with precision. The rewards are there but not for "joe lucky" or "joe sloppy". This is why they add so much depth to the game. It's not like someone lucks out and busts combos with any consistenty to win. Nope. You gotta be a thinking player and you gotta execute with precision. And when you win? You know it wasn't an accident. Man, you earned it baby!

So let's get down to brass tacks: the essential elements of execution.

1 . First, at a minimum, you need speed switcher 1. SW2 is better. The whole point of a combo is switching between weapons and taking advantage of that time window I described above. The less time doing weapon switching, the more combo options open up.

2. While not entirely necessary, the Awareness skill is a huge help. When you know the monster's health, you know which combo to execute. Is it the full-blown 5-hit that uses three weps? Or is it the much faster 2-hit with just the flak? If you don't know the monster's health, well, you don't know.

3. Keybinds. I described in past posts the importance of having INSTANT access to a weapon of choice for a given situation. A far-away bad guy, a close-up bad guy, etc. Ya gotta whip it out! If hitting a keybind isn't for you, or you think it's "cheap" or you like the shock and that's it, well, then combos ain't your thing.

4. The radar is clutch. On a titan wave, for example, you can judge your distance and position from the bad guys with the radar. Again, this will dictate greatly your combo choices. Distance = time = combo choice.

5. Max Weapon Speed.

So how do you get started? You start with the basics, you start small. The simplest combo is this: alt flak + primary flak. Requires no keybinds or speed switcher and just one weapon. You see a titan at medium distance and it's chucking rocks at another guy (i.e. you don't have agro!). Your primary flak fire is mediocre at this distance, so you aim up a bit and lob a flak ball at it as you're running up, then immediately follow with primary flak. The ball and primary flak hit at the same time. Big damage!

When that's second nature, you do the same thing but hit the triple. You're still in the minor leagues, but you should see the potential at this point.

When you're good with that, you mix in the avril. Fire avril at the right distance, alt flak, then primary flak (remember keybinds?). Without a triple, that does about 60% dmg to a titan. With a triple...

Then you get free-flow:

Lob 2 mines + Avril + alt flak + primary flak.

Triple + avril + alt flak = dead.

At a distance, Triple + avril + lightning.

3 rockets + avril + alt flak + primary flak. Takes skill, positioning and timing. No triple required.

With practice, all of this will eventually become natural and part of your everyday repertoire.

Now, the observant reader noticed something about this post. There is no talk of flak 5s or vorpals or magic weapons of any sort. Sure, that stuff helps. But if you deliver the combo, stuff just dies. So when you work the combos and the keybinds, you can always be good. You won't be thinking of the next map lucking out with good weps you might get. You'll deliver the beatdown every time.

And dang it feels good to be gangsta.
[KitFox]

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This is where my skill caint go.

I did not practice enough changing weapons. I end up using Flak, Shock, and Lightning/Sniper. I throw every other weapons out.

When mob is far i use Sniper/Shock then Switchy to Flak to finish it off.

But this writing 320 sure is awesome, but must take a LOT of practice to perfect it. Now i can understand how LW can be fun to play too, those combos are definatelly unavailable to LA. Thats why i went on another strategy that i can use 100% of the time, and it rely on moving very very fast in the map.

Ill try that Strategy to see if i can adapt it to LA.
Fro13

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wow 320, that's like almost exactly what I do. I was never able to put it all into words though. props

One thing to add, is that I do take into account what magical properties my weapons have. If I have a nice lighting gun(like a vorpal 10), I'll make sure that my combos all land with my lighting out. You can take anything out when you can land a combo with that lighting gun out to finish the job. Imagine an avril, flak ball, flak shot(hard to fit this is), and a lightning blast all hitting the same time with the +10 property on it. That will take anything down.

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Mach10

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Occasionally I'll combo two weps, but generally I'll stick with a decent shock until I get combo master and then to my flak after that.

Don't have speed switcher yet, but I intend to after I get Ghost 3. If I can ever get back onto the server I'll definitly be attempting some of these combos.
320

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Fro13 wrote:
wow 320, that's like almost exactly what I do. I was never able to put it all into words though. =D> props =D> 


that's cause I ripped a lot of it off you! Yay spectator mode!

But actually, the way I happened upon all of this was because way back before I even had LW1 and the anti-camp mod wasn't in place, I saw all these people just chucking mines from a hiding spot. I thought, what if I could keep playing as I always do but work the mines in? So when I finally got LW2, I set up a keybind for the mines. Man, it worked like a charm! My little spidery death nuggets were earning me some sweet cheddar.

But as the action heated up I would switch to mines to toss a couple when suddenly a titan spawns in front of me. So I had to go back to hit the flak keybind in a jiffy. After doing this a few times, it just happened. I was throwing 2 mines at the titan's feet and following with flak.

It's kind of funny because right around this same time I figured out how to use the triple. I had no idea, for the longest time, that you could turn it on and off. So I combined my mine strat with the triple at almost the exact same time, and I blew past my top score by over 1000 points the very next map.

I remember I joined a game around wave 15 and my jaw dropped. Some dude had about a billion points, WAY higher than I'd ever scored, and I was winning pretty often by then and proud of my little mine strategy. So I went into spectator mode and I was even more confused. What? The avril? The lightning gun? Why the heck would anybody use those weapons? They suck!

But now you know the rest of that story!

One thing to add, is that I do take into account what magical properties my weapons have. If I have a nice lighting gun(like a vorpal 10), I'll make sure that my combos all land with my lighting out. You can take anything out when you can land a combo with that lighting gun out to finish the job. Imagine an avril, flak ball, flak shot(hard to fit this is), and a lightning blast all hitting the same time with the +10 property on it. That will take anything down.  


Yeah, I do this, too. Even more depth to the whole deal. The cool thing is if you get a nice avril, just lean a little more toward that. Got a good flak? Lean toward the flak. It just takes some minor tweaks in the timing. But now you got two good weapons instead of one!

Since I've been playing LA lately, I'm a combo-less wonder. I dusted off my LW char last night and I was blowing them left and right.

Kitfox, I was playing around with the rocket launcher last night on my LA char and there's some good stuff. Like Triple + triple rocket + lightning. I used plain weps. It's fast, kills from a distance and buries a titan instantly. I'm so awful with the RL, though, since I haven't used it since UT99. ops: But if I get better with it, it will be a nice addition to the avril on LW if the avril is still on reload time...

Grizzled_Imposter

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Not that 320 or Fro13 need to worry about this one, but I discovered it the hard way:

if you are in big time trouble from Queens and your trans is broke, fire your bio gun at the ground while back peddeling. It still damages them even if their shild is up and most of the time they wont walk on it!

I have been able to get away from groups of Skaarj as well, but they tend to jump the line.

also, for those of you that dont have the avril, goop gun does nearly as much damage, but does not have the utility, I tend to use it on mid sized maps when there are a lot of folks on and its hard to find a creature to yourself, charge bio up, line up on a big bug, release and switch fire another weapon....

last thing, when you need to rack up adrennaline fast and dont have the junky skills or an energy weapon.....use the shield gun, you get extra adrennaline from shield kills or maybe its just that you always end up finishing the alien so you get the award for the kill, either way it works.

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320

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One thing I notice on a regular basis about many "mid-tier" players (and I don't mean mid-level) is the overwhelming reliance on the flak cannon. The flak is definately bread and butter, but to continually improve, you have to expand your repertoire with a *distance* weapon.

In fact, it's odd. Most of the top players I see started with something *other* than the flak. They find a niche for several levels where they can do well, but realize they need to expand at some point, and that normally gravitate to towards the flak. But the "true-blue flak" players seem to never branch out. They just go back to the same old thing, expecting more the next time. Seriously, I got a lot of dis when I explained the triple, but the triple is just the beginning. So let's take the triple to the next level. It's more than just something to be used with the flak.

The most effective distance weapons, in my opinion, are the shock and lightning gun. The avril is also a great distance weapon, but it's a hybrid of sorts. It's effective both near and far, does huge damage and is great for combos. I already talked about the avril though, so I'll leave it at that.

The sniper is good in certain scenarios (like a vorpal). As a LW 5 player, if you spawn with a crappy LG but get a sniper that is +3 or above, you might want to go with the sniper. One of the biggest problems with the sniper is that many monsters that take one shot to kill will take two with the sniper. Like a nali, for examle, since nali are not affected by the magic on the weapon. Try it, sometime. The next time you luck out, shoot a nali with a vorpal 10 shock or sniper. It *should* be dead in one shot, but it won't be. It takes a follow up shot. You might as well have shot it with a shock -3. Also, it's tough to track your shots with the sniper rifle, so your aiming efficiency is hindered. And so on.

I talked about keybinds in a former post. You need instant access to a weapon of choice. I can't emphasize that enough. If I didn't use keybinds, my score would drop by 500 - 800 points overnight. If you do one thing, and one thing only, map keybinds to your favorite weapons and learn them.

Bind the shock or the lightning gun to a key you can instantly hit. This may be a problem with arrow key players, since they have to do the reach-over to the number pad. For WASD players, you have plenty of options.

The next problem posed by this idea is aim. The majority of players have mediocre aim, and I'm not talking smack, because for a very long time, I had horrific aim. I played (and still play, actually) a totally smash-mouth LW game. LA is a different story.

There were four things I did to change that predicament:

1. Keybinding. The faster you can pull out that distance wep, the more time you have to aim (speed switcher 2 helps as well). Nothing is faster than a keybind you can instantly access when you need it. Having more time to aim compensates for my own lack of *ability* to aim. Nine times out of ten, my lack of ability vs. you running halfway across the map with your trusty flak 5 = I win.

2. Practice. It takes practice with these precision weapons to get good and fast with them. You have to figure a couple weeks of fairly solid play before you start to see returns. Expect your score might drop in the meantime as you fumble with your aim and keybinds. One step back, two steps forward.

3. I got a gaming mouse pad. This will run you about 15 - 20 bucks. I know it sounds like a gimmick, but it makes a tremendous difference. I use the Func pad and I highly recommend it. You can get them from newegg.com.

4. A gaming mouse. I use the Logitech MX518. It's a 1600 dpi mouse. Combined with the Func Pad, it is very powerful. If you play fps games on a regular basis, you really owe it to yourself to buy a good gaming mouse with good resolution. Think about it, with all the hours you spend playing UT, the investment is well worth it. Now, if you're using an old-skool ball mouse, well, just call it a day. Technology has advanced.

Okay, so the distance weapons, by and large, don't deal a whole lot of damage. But that's only before you do the math.

Take a LG for example. I believe the base damage is 70. Then add your maxed damage bonus. That gets it to 98. Now triple damage it and you get 294.

Then take into account it can typically go to +5 (+6 for LA). +5 gets it to 147. Now throw in the triple. That's a cool 441.

And then figure the best-case scenario, which is a vorpal or rage 10. Then with a triple you got 588!

It goes up even further for LA players that can afford the +1.

In gameplay, these numbers are weighed against the enemy's Damage Reduction, of course. But the point still stands. Lightning + triple or shock + triple is a very powerful solution and should be part of your arsenal if you want to improve.



TheElectrician

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320 wrote:
Lightning + triple or shock + triple is a very powerful solution and should be part of your arsenal if you want to improve.
 



I personally love the shock + triple. Launching a shock combo (while using trip) into a mob of monsters is a great way to wipe out groups.

I find it particularly useful on wave 15 when a gang of skaarj are bearing down on you.

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PhoenixFire

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320 wrote:
There were four things I did to change that predicament:

1. Keybinding. The faster you can pull out that distance wep, the more time you have to aim (speed switcher 2 helps as well). Nothing is faster than a keybind you can instantly access when you need it. Having more time to aim compensates for my own lack of *ability* to aim. Nine times out of ten, my lack of ability vs. you running halfway across the map with your trusty flak 5 = I win.

2. Practice. It takes practice with these precision weapons to get good and fast with them. You have to figure a couple weeks of fairly solid play before you start to see returns. Expect your score might drop in the meantime as you fumble with your aim and keybinds. One step back, two steps forward.

3. I got a gaming mouse pad. This will run you about 15 - 20 bucks. I know it sounds like a gimmick, but it makes a tremendous difference. I use the Func pad and I highly recommend it. You can get them from newegg.com.

4. A gaming mouse. I use the Logitech MX518. It's a 1600 dpi mouse. Combined with the Func Pad, it is very powerful. If you play fps games on a regular basis, you really owe it to yourself to buy a good gaming mouse with good resolution. Think about it, with all the hours you spend playing UT, the investment is well worth it. Now, if you're using an old-skool ball mouse, well, just call it a day. Technology has advanced. 
Excellent advice. Couldn't agree with you more on how important it is to be able to use hitscan (esp. lightning) effectively. The few keybinds that I posted in the keybind thread were specifically to help me switch between those types of weapons very quickly.

One more simple method would add and highly recommend for improving one's aim is: Play DM! (Or TAM, if you're feeling brave) Playing DM, especially against good opponents, will up your skill with all weapons like crazy. If you watch really good players in DM, you'll see them doing what 320 has dubbed "combos" all the time (except without the avril, of course). After all, a flak will never be as effective as lightning or shock from a distance. Also, I don't remember if it was the same thread, but someone mentioned the idea of "agro" (I think 320). The same idea applies to DM, so you can practice it there as well. Nail someone with a lightning, and they'll lose 70 HP before they can even respond. Then spray them with a mini, hit the with a flak shell, shock beam/core/combo, link beam, etc. etc. etc.

One more tip I haven't seen mentioned anywhere (although I may just be blind) is the dodge-jump. I cannot stress how useful the dodge-jump is, especially when compared to the "bunny-hoppers" on every server. Although most people should know what a dodge jump is, I suppose I'll explain a few basics. First of all, a dodge is a double tap in any direction. This everyone should know. A dodge-jump is merely adding on a jump during the peak of the dodge.

Now: why dodge jump? The dodge jump is fast; it'll cover more ground than a bunnyhop or a basic run. I would bet that a good dodge-jumper could easily outrun someone with quickfoot 5. Therefore, when dodging rockets, shock balls, enemy fire of any sort, the dodgejump will get you much further away. It is important to note that the dodge jump DOES NOT have the vertical height of a bunny hop, and the splash radius of a rocket CANNOT be vertically dodged with a dodge jump. But who cares? A dodge jump will have you horzontally away from the splash much faster. A dodge jump is also capable of getting out of the radius of a shock combo, if that provides a good example.

Finally, one more thing. A dodge jump comes in 2 forms: forward/backward dodge and side dodge. The side dodge is the one you want to be using. Why? The side dodge is longer than the forward one; the distance it covers is more useful. Furthermore using the side dodge is much smoother; the forward dodge while running gives you a clunky, stop-and-go gait. There is no jump is UT longer than the dodge-jump, other than the jump-wall dodge-jump, but that's too situationaly to be useful. Also boost-dodges.. but now we're just getting complicated.

One other note: a lot of people, when the first learn to dodge jump, revert back to bunnyhopping when they shoot. NEVER DO THAT! It defeats the purpose of learning to dodge jump in the first place.

Learning to dodge-jump effectively isn't easy, and I'm not insinuating that one can master it overnight. But it is definitely an excellent skill to add on to your arsenal.. although does 320 really need anymore skills? I think his score is high enough as it is

Finally, a few good example of people I've recently seen on the server who are good at dodge jumping include: Fro13 (but you could have guessed that), TIMMY, and Rabbit-With-C4. Watch them for how they move, if anyone wants an example. And to reiterate: DM is an excellent place to hone these skills. If anyone wants a partner, I'm always open to a DM match, although preferably not one-on-one. I'm no good at those

Hou ye hui cong shu diao ~ Saru mo ki kara ochiru. ~ Even monkeys fall from trees.
320

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Very well said. Yeah, I do the dodge-double jump all the time. When I see a monster it's often how I'll immediately close the distance. I used to be good at the side double-jump in ut99 when running forward. You can be running forward, whip the mouse to either side and side-dodge jump than whip it back forward. So you did a side jump but the direction was straight ahead. I'm not as good at that anymore.

 
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