So Iím sitting in my room and I got nothing to do. Well yes, sure, I could work on one of my seminar papers for the university. But how uncool would that be. I already tried to log in to Quakelive, but somehow I got connection problems and canít connect at all, which is a shame, because I was just battling my Swiss friend and I almost got him to ragequit. And he is calm, very calm and never flames. I tried to play extra annoying, only with rail and stuff, but he did not want to ragequit, which almost made me mad. Anyway, thatís not the point in this column its about:




HOW TO TEACH QUAKELIVE?



Because Iím becoming a high school teacher (yeah flame me on that please) I recently wondered how you could properly teach a child (well according the proper age suggestion, the child would be about 14-18) how to play Quake? I saw that Dj Wheat is trying, and I donít know how serious he is, but non the less he is trying to teach his son how to play Starcraft 2. And recently the girlfriend of a friend of mine got into quake. All these little factors made me think about, how I would teach someone, who is young and willing to learn how to play Quake. In real sports, e.g. football, there are well analyzed and standardized methods to ensure that the development of the kids goes into the right direction. The exact amount of endurance training etc. should provide the kids with a package, which they can unfold and become a world class football player (sure if they avoid injuries and stuff like that). So a proper training seems to be deviated into several different aspects, such as physical training, technical training and tactics. (Iím sure Iím missing some very important parts) In Quake, and a make a simplification and Iím talking only about duel games in this article, also some different aspects are involved. We could say movement, aiming, timing and tactics. Other factors would be stress management and correct physical position at the table and config setup.
I think concerning all these factors, a big problem to me seems to be, that there is no general rule how to do X or how to do Y properly. E.g.aiming: There are so many different aim styles which all work. Strenx is probably the best aimer in the world (overall, there are probably better ones with certain weapons and stuff) and he is playing with a very low sensitivity, which also has some disadvantages. On the other hand some very good TDM and CTF players have a very high sensitivity and aim well with that. Some with spastic movement and even more spastic aimstyles see to hit a lot more than me, with a very low sensitivity, such as Strenxís. Anyway! My point is, that it is not easy to decide in which direction it should go, with our imaginary kid, who should be a very good quake dueler in an short time. In tennis there are also different schools with different teachers, which result in very different play styles. Comparing Nadal and Federer is maybe just like comparing Strenx and Cooller. And Iím not debating about their current imaginary position in the world raking. Iím talking about styles here. So if I was a Quake teacher, Iíd try to make them as defensive as possible. Why? Because they are kids, they want to rush forward and win 20:0. So I would not have any concerns about them being to passive. And because of the decision of being defensive, Iíd teach them to have a low sensitivity, because it comes in handy many times. With that decision I would go send them on some public server, play FFA and play CA. But wait? Wasnít there something about configs and game setup somewhere? Day[9] recently made a noob Tuesday about game setup, where he talked about game pad position etc. And I realized, that my quake setup is probably not so good for Starcraft 2. Anyway, with a low sensitivity its probably good o have your elbows on the table. Thatís at least my opinion. Iíd be thrilled if some pro would say something different and Iíd love to hear other opinions. What always bothered me, that I have some bad habits with my keyboard setup. I play with ASDW as most of the people, but I use different fingers. I use my index finger only for switching weapons and and spamming smilies all over the place. I think it would be good to have a good setup from the beginning. Iíd prefere to play the Russian style with the keyboard on the knees. I think this position has so many advantages over the other set up. But after 10 years of playing video games, I canít change it just like that.
In CA and FFA the would learn the basic skills for aiming and movement. But movement in duel is something different than in FFA. In FFA you are mainly concerned about dodging stuff and hitting more, while in duel there are many more aspects like positioning and proper movement concerning the positioning. Sometimes hitting a shot is not as important as the position after the frag. So all these theoretical basics have to be thought, which is not easy, because, honestly, only a very few players really think about that stuff anyways. Most of the semi-good Ė good players are just railwhores or +back kings and donít think about positioning and stuff like that. But in my opinion itís very important to teach such stuff very early, so that the kids donít learn the wrong movement.


Aiming is not aiminig. I always look at Strenx aim and think, well theoretically I could do most of that too. And yeah, I probably get a lot of flames for saying that. My aim is not good, but looking at Strenx aim, it looks so easy and calm and all. Thatís probably why I think, I could do that too. Yes sometimes he pulls something out of the hat and I think to myself ďhow the fuck is that even possibleĒ. Like the deciding LG-frag on t7 against cooller at the IEM in Hannover. That was just ďwowĒ. I was in teamspeak with a couple of friends, which all do not play quake, but they watches the match anyway. And a stood up and cheered. It was just awesome.


Going back to my main focus here. How can I teach someone to aim like Strenx? Well I think itís a lot about positioning, preaiming and timing. When do it click? This seems to be a trivial question, but it is not. CZM said that Strenx has one of the best timings of rockets in small corridors. I never thought about that too much, because I had the impression of Strenx being just an awesome rail and especially LG whore. But CZM is right. Lookt at some demos, e.g. on dm13 and it becomes obvious. He does actually nothing special. He preaims at the right position and has the correct timing. But this would probably be one of the first lessons Iíd teach the kids: ďhow to preaim and whereĒ. And this is on any map very different. On some maps, my aim can be super duper ultra awesome sometimes. On ZTN I had matches where I hit 70% rail, and most of them were preaimed. On other maps I hit nothing, because I donít know where my opponent is and where to preaim at. After these basic thoughts about aim, the kids would have to practice, practice, practice, as a famous, not so popular player said.


Well I donít wana waste time about timing too much, because Memento_mori wrote a great timing guide about that very thing. I think it comes in handy to try to time, when you watch demos or spec. When you are not in stress, just try to get the flow and think about what you would do. It helps a lot, and Iíve to admit that memento_mori is a much better timer than me.


Anyway. Tacitcs is now the point of discussion. Well thatís a very difficult point, because there are also many different opinions about tactics. Dahang ones said that he would charge for the kill if he sees a slight advantage in the fight, while others play much more defensively. But some general aspects have to be thought anyway. How to position of the map, what to do out of control and what to do in control. These are basic factors, but then it comes down to how to play against different gamestyles. I have HUGE problems against some special gamestyles and I just donít feel comfortable playing them. And honestly, I thought about it a lot. A friend of mine is very rail heavy, his movement is crap and his timing is off all the time. Usually I beat him, but sometimes I just donít know what to do and I beat my forehead thinking to myself:ĒHow could you lose against someone like him?Ē
In general its always good to have a second opinion about stuff like that. If you think, well my tactical behavior is perfect, I just have to work on my aiming and my timing, then Iím gona be the next fucking cooller, then you are probably very naÔve. I usually think to myself that my tactics are supperiour to those of my opponents. But sometimes doing a stupid thing, throws your opponent off and catches him on the wrong foot. Thatís what should not be done by mistake, but by share understanding of the game.


I realize now, that my column is about general game abilities, and not much about teaching the kids. But writing that thing made me think about my own game.


Just go out there and play, watch your own demos, watch demos of different players and gamestyles, make notes of your mistakes, compare the gamestyles and think about, why they are top 10 and you are top1000 and what the differences might be. Its always easy to say, that those pros are just fucking aimwhores and so on, but most of the time, they put more time into thinking about the game, than you ingame!
Cheers