The Quake Live practice arenas take inspiration from the widely popular DEFRAG mod for Quake III, in which gamers play without opponents - neither AI controlled bots nor online gamers - in obstacle course style arenas designed to test their movement abilities, trick jumping skills and agility. Both practice arenas contain a series of trials inspired by areas from the official Quake Live arena set designed to introduce new gamers to the various enhanced movement techniques in Quake Live, such as rocket jumping, strafe and circle jumping. including a multi-storey bonus challenge. The first practice arena, Elevate, even includes a multi-storey bonus challenge and a developer credits feature, detailed in the secrets section of this review.
The official line on the rocket jumping practice level is as follows:
“There isn't any location in an arena that you can't get to quickly once you've learned Rocket Jumping. This high-flying technique involves pointing a rocket or other explosive weapon at the ground or wall, and then simultaneously firing and jumping. Rocket jumping opens up a world of new movement possibilities and is a critical skill in Clan Arena. This tutorial will show you how to blast your way to locations previously unreachable, while our custom practice arena offers the perfect training ground for mastering this useful skill.”
In a break from the usual review format, the official practice notes from the Quake Live training centre are presented here in full:
Hall I - Overview
The first segment of our rocket jumping practice consists of two challenges. These challenges are meant to ensure that the basic concept of rocket jumping can be understood and demonstrated before testing your skills in more difficult scenarios. If you are new to the concept of rocket jumping, you may want complete the challenges found on Hall One several times until you feel comfortable rocket jumping.
Hall I - Trial I: Basic Rocket Boost
“Want to escape the red armour pit on Dueling Keeps without using the stairs? Rocket Boost!”
The Basic Rocket Boost utilizes the explosive nature of the rocket to your own advantage. Unlike more difficult rocket jumps that you'll accomplish later, the rocket boost does not require any jumping or intricate timing. To perform a successful rocket boost simply stand on the target positioned on the ground, look fully downward and fire a rocket at your feet. The explosion or 'knockback' will boost you into the air. While you are in the air hold down the forward key to land onto the ledge in front of you. You may wish to drop back down and try this a few times.
Attempt the same maneuver while running towards the target rather than beginning from a standstill.
Hall I - Trial II: Basic Rocket Jump
“Surprise the enemy team on Troubled Waters and grab their flag without touching a jumppad.”
The Basic Rocket Jump builds upon what we have learned with the Basic Rocket Boost. If you attempt a rocket boost on this challenge you will find that the ledge is too high for you to reach with a rocket boost alone. However, if you also jump at the same time as firing your rocket you will soar higher into the air and also receive less damage from the rocket's explosion, or 'splash damage'. Experiment with the timing between your jumps and the firing your rockets to gauge the different results you can achieve.
Try performing the rocket jump while moving quickly towards the target. Once you feel you have that down, experiment what it is like trying to run backwards toward the target as you rocket jump.
Hall II - Overview
You now know the fundamentals behind rocket jumping, but there are some important dynamics to rocket jumping that you will need to learn to properly use the technique while in a match. Hall Two focuses on extending your ability to perform long distance, high reaching, and precision rocket jumps. While our basic rocket jump from Hall One is useful for reaching areas your normally couldn't, the jumps in Hall Two are intended to teach you the skills required to perform more advanced jumps, the jumps typically utilized in matches. These maneuvers are more often used to cut-off, out run, or surprise your opponent.
Hall II - Trial I: Short Distance
”A quick short distance RJ from the Campgrounds bridge can earn you a railgun.“
The Short Distance rocket jump demonstrates how the rocket jump can be used to cross a gap rather than moving to higher ground. Short distances like this can also be crossed with a rocket boost or strafe jump (as we demonstrate in the strafing jumping practice), however there are times when a quick rocket jump may be preferred.
After you are confident in making this jump, you can attempt more complex variants, such as rocket jumping off of the side wall instead of the floor. Take a running leap off of the target area towards the left wall and once near the wall let a rocket fly.
Hall II - Trial II: Medium Distance
”A RJ on Dredwerkz from the rocket launcher can send you across the water toward the mega.“
The Medium Distance rocket jump demonstrates when you must cross a gap that is too far to cross by means of a strafe jump, but short enough to only require a single rocket be fired. The Medium Distance challenge is completed in the same manner as the Short Distance, but requires a more precise rocket jump be executed.
Rocket jump backwards across the chasm and at the apex of the jump flip your mouse view 180 degrees to face forward towards your landing destination.
Hall II - Trial III: Distance & Height
”A RJ from the Campgrounds Courtyard 2nd Floor to the rocket launcher can be tricky but useful.“
The Distance & Height challenge requires that you do not falter in making your rocket jump. If your timing is off, either by jumping too early or two late you will not achieve either enough distance or height and will fall short of your goal. If you find that you're having trouble getting enough distance, try turning around and rocket jumping backwards! While it may sound more difficult, you can rocket jump backwards slightly further than forwards -- something that may become necessary in upcoming challenges.
Try completing the challenge with two rocket jumps. You may notice a mark on the left wall where a rocket has exploded; try rocket jumping towards the left wall and then rocket jumping off of the side wall.
Hall II - Trial IV: Precision AirStrafe
”Whether you RJ or prefer the jumppad, you'll need to airstrafe to get Space Chamber's quad.“
The Precision AirStrafe aims to hone two skills: air control and airstrafing. This is also the first challenge that requires more than one rocket jump to complete. The goal is to rocket jump from the target location, land on the narrow pillar platform, rocket jump off of the pillar and land across the chasm. The initial rocket jump should naturally overshoot the pillar platform, requiring you to use some air control to land atop it. The term 'air control' refers to the ability to alter your course of movement while in mid-air. If you hold the backward movement key while in the air, your rocket jump will no longer overshoot the platform and you can control where you land your rocket jump.
Once mastered, you can use the challenge to test your airstrafing skills. 'AirStrafing' is a technique used to extend the distance of your rocket jump. Run and jump towards the target location, plant a single rocket jump and attempt to fly completely over the pillar platform. Just before reaching the apex of your rocket jump, in addition to holding down the forward key, press and hold either the strafe left or strafe right key, and slightly turn your mouse in the same direction you are strafing. This can extend the reach of your jump making it possible to cross the chasm in a single rocket jump.
Hall III - Overview
If the first two halls demonstrate the technical aspects of rocket jumping, Hall Three would like to introduce the art. QUAKE LIVE's movement is adaptive and responsive to the touch. The open freestyle nature of the movement lends itself to never have a single way to do things. The challenges in Hall Three can be completed in a multitude of ways, and while we may provide descriptions for what may seem the easiest way to complete the task, we hope that you experiment, play and find several creative ways to pass each.
Hall III - Trial I: JumpPad Boost
”Your own mega is within reach on Space CTF if you boost from a base jumppad.“
Most commonly performed in Capture the Flag due to the large number of jumppads and open areas, JumpPad Boosting combines the knockback of the rocket jump with the acceleration of the jumppad to increase the height and distance of your jump. To perform the JumpPad Boost, run and jump towards the jumppad. Just as you make contact with the jumppad, perform a rocket jump directly on top of it. Performing the rocket jump too soon will or too late will stifle your jump.
The JumpPad Boost is fairly simple, but often you may not have the luxury of having a jumppad to assist you. Try finding a way up the challenge using only the knockback of your rockets.
Hall III - Trial II: Pad & Curved Hall
”Rocket jumping after taking the Base Siege basement jumppad can quickly earn you a flag.“
The Pad & Curved Hall demonstrates how you can rocket jump off of curved walls to go around a corner. Run and jump onto the jumppad propelling you into the air towards the right wall. You pass this challenge by placing two rocket jumps off of the wall, propelling yourself around the curve. Take note of the silver trim along the wall that is the same height as your goal point. When rocket jumping off of the side wall, your first rocket jump will be fired below the trim pushing you up to or above the trim. Then place a second rocket jump off the side wall to propel yourself the remainder of the way around the curve. You must push yourself up above the silver trim to obtain enough height to complete the challenge.
Try completing the challenge with only a single well placed rocket jump from the sidewall.
Hall III - Trial III: Curved Hall
”Navigating the Trinity beams becomes less tricky once you've mastered RJ'ing around curves.“
The Curved Hall challenge extends upon the Pad & Curved Hall, by presenting a similar task without allowing you the aid of a jumppad for an initial boost. Run towards the target zone, place a rocket jump on the target and launch yourself straight towards the curved wall, do not attempt to rocket jump towards the goal zone. As you collide with the curved sidewall, perform a rocket jump near the silver trim to propel yourself the remainder of the distance.
Try completing the challenge by taking a running start, and using only a single well placed rocket at the target jump point. Guide your rocket jump towards the goal zone and sail to the top.
Hall III - Trial IV: Long Distance
”Stuck at plasmagun when the quad spawns on Space Chamber? RJ off the walls across center.“
The Long Distance challenge focuses on the utilization of multiple rocket jumps, to travel a great amount of distance without touching the ground. This challenge requires a total of three rocket jumps (as pictured). The first rocket jump as always begins at our target jump point. A second rocket jump is made off of the left sidewall, just after the first raised archway ideally above the silver trim. This rocket jump will both push across to the opposing sidewall, where you will make a third rocket jump after either the second or third raised archway, again above the silver trim.
Try completing the challenge by taking a running start, and using only two rockets: a single well placed rocket at the target jump point and one off a sidewall. AirStrafe your way the remainder of the distance and land on the goal zone.
Hall III - Trial V: Vertical Climb
”Pinned down by an enemy on Furious Heights? Consider RJ'ing up one of the many dropdowns.“
The Vertical Climb is an extension on the Long Distance challenge, but utilizes multiple rocket jumps for climbing to great heights, rather than flying long distances. To complete the challenge, use three rocket jumps: one at the target jump point, on off of a side wall, and a third off of the opposing sidewall. Begin by standing on the target and facing the left wall. You may notice pre-existing scorch marks on the side walls above and behind you demonstrate where to place your rocket jumps. The first sidewall jump occurs at or near the first lower silver wall trim, while the final rocket jump should be placed near the upper silver trim boosting you over the ledge's lip.
Hall III - Trial VI: Combo Curve
”Navigating around corners may prove useful when trying to quickly escape in Clan Arena.“
The Combo Curve challenge is the final obstacle of the first rocket jumping practice map. The Combo Curve combines a multitude of skills you have earned across the training map, including getting the most distance and height out of your jumps and how to navigate along and around curves. Most easily completed in either four or five rocket jumps, your goal is to rocket jump along the right side wall until you complete the curve and are greeted face first with the left side wall. Quickly rocket jump off of the left side wall and land safely on the goal zone. To maintain enough height and speed to complete the jumps, you must rise above the silver wall trim before your second rocket jump off of the sidewall.
Once you have completed the Combo Curve, you will be rewarded a small bonus. Use these new tools to your advantage to discover new ways to complete the challenges in halls one through three.
Drop down before the last challenge in the level (pictured in widescreen) to view the Quake Live developer credits.
High above the first secret shown above is a small vent that you can crawl through. Take three rocket jumps up from the ledge at the beginning of the final challenge to reach a bonus test of your trick jumping abilities.
In the second hall, jump across the first pit and then rocket jump up above to find a small room, the wall of which contains a poster of Crash and Orbb.