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Introduction and Gameplay
Weapons Factory Arena
Weapons Factory Arena
Two years ago a small group of dedicated Quake players began work on a modification for Quake2. This modification, a class based CTF mod entitled Weapons Factory, became one of Quake2's most popular mods.

Originally based off Team Fortress for Quake World, Weapons Factory extended on its predecessor's classes, weapons and playability whilst retaining the speed of play. In fact, that speed of play is what elevated Weapons Factory far over any other modifications of the same type, namely Team Fortress Classic, which came out 1 year later. Weapons Factory has now gone through 4 revisions and is in beta 5 stage right now. You can find out more about Weapons Factory for Quake2 at the official site here.


Quake II Weapons Factory Quake II Weapons Factory
As soon as Quake III Arena was released the Weapons Factory Software team began work on Weapons Factory Arena. The general idea with this mod was to retain the excellent gameplay and speed of Q2WF but to add as much as possible without upsetting the delicate balance between the classes.

I've been running around the closed alpha test of the game for a couple of days now and have formulated this short (11 pages) report on its gameplay, classes and maps. I've tried to take as many screenshots as possible although some have been taken from the official Weapons Factory Arena site because they were just so incredible I couldn't pass them up and 32bit colour kills my computer. If you are on the alpha test you probably wont find anything here that you don't already know. If you played Q2WF then you're in luck, as I will mostly be looking at the game from a standpoint of someone who has played before and will thus try to best document the changes since Q2WF. If you're new to Weapons Factory hopefully you will see what an exceptional game it is.

Gameplay:

Weapons Factory Arena uses classes to bring a new element to CTF team play. For those of you new to this, classes are characters that you play as. Each has its own weapons, skills and attributes. Each class is best suited to different jobs in the game although there is a certain amount of blurring between the roles of each class. So for example, whilst it's recommended that Gunners are a defensive class, it's still possible to take offensive stance with them. Working as a team of players each with different weapons and skills adds a huge amount of depth to the game, allowing the players to come up with many strategies and tricks in order to capture their opponents flag or defend their own.

At the moment the game, in it's alpha stage, is multiplayer only. It is entirely likely that bot support will not be added until a later beta release. Being multiplayer of course means playing online, something which I expected to be hard with the 33.6k modem I use. So far most of my play has been on servers based in the US and I'm actually quite surprised at how good my ping was. Considering I was using BTi Free on a 33.6k modem on a US server, 250-350 ping wasn't bad at all. Weapons Factory Software have done a good job of making the game modem friendly and I seem to get lower average pings than on straight Quake3.


Something worth pointing out to people who have not played TFC or Q3F is that where those games failed for many people was that they were ultimately very slow. This was due to two factors. The classes, for a reason I fail to understand, had been made slow, slower than the default speed in Q3DM. Also there was no grapple, which made these games, in my opinion, unplayable. Take for example in TFC on the 2forts map. Once you have the flag there is only one way out of the flag room due to there being no grapple. It makes it too easy to kill the flag carrier. A lack of a grapple cuts off routes into and out of a base and the worst thing on a CTF map is a base with only one entrance or exit. In Q2WF all the classes moved at the same speed. This speed of gameplay has been carried over to WFA but now the classes move at different speeds, but never slower than the default Q3DM speed.

It's also worth noting that unlike TFC or Q3F, weapons in WFA do not need to be reloaded, which if they did would be a totally unnecessary tax on the speed of the gameplay.