Fortress Forever

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Old 02-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
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Beginner's Guide to Fortress Forever

I decided to write this as I felt FF lacked a good introduction for beginners. Feel free to reproduce/link to from anywhere, as long as you make it clear you didn't make it originally.

What is Fortress Forever?
Fortress Forever is a Source mod designed to emulate TFC gameplay to a certain extent, though since release it has taken its own creative direction. It currently has a small but active community.

What are the system requirements?
* Minimum: 1.2 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, DirectX 7 level graphics card, Windows 2000/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection
* Recommended: p4 3.0Ghz / Athlon 3400 GHz Processor, 1.5GB RAM, DirectX 9 level graphics card, Windows 2000/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

One of the following games:
* Half-Life 2, Episode 1, or Episode 2
* Day of Defeat: Source
* Counter-Strike: Source
* Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (cheapest at $4.99)
* Team Fortress 2
* Portal
Note that free promotional versions of Half-Life 2: Deathmatch and Portal do not come with the required software.

How do I get started?
Download the "2.41 Full Installer" from here:

Why are there no servers with any players?
Good question. Due to the small community, there are often dead periods. Either check back in an hour or two, or choose one of the servers below to idle in and hope someone joins you (shouldn't take too long, setting the game to windowed mode so you can quickly alt-tab in and out may be a good idea for this).

What gamemodes are available?
There are two categories of game mode which are commonly played: Capture the Flag (CTF), and Attack-Defend (AvD). The mode Fortress Forever is balanced for is CTF.

For various reasons, which I won't go into, CTF is usually played with Blue/Green attacking and Red defending. This is always done in pickup games, though in public games it is polite to do this, particularly when there is a small number of players.

Fortress Forever is not a deathmatch game: trying to get kills is not the objective. Your focus should be as attacker on trying to move the flag and as defender on trying to prevent the movement of the flag.

Which class should I choose?
There are two categories of class in FF: Offense and Defense.

  • Scout
  • Medic
  • Spy
  • Pyro*
  • Sniper
  • Soldier*
  • Demoman
  • Heavy Weapons Guy
  • Engineer

*Pyro and Soldier are flexible, though in CTF games it is often considered rude to use heavier classes for offense. These guidelines are less rigid in AvD, but defensive Scouts and Medics are usually frowned upon, if not disabled by the map's settings.

As a new player, you should get a feel for every class and choose the one that suits your playstyle best. However, some classes are more accessible than others: Scout and Medic are reliant on advanced movement skills which require a fair amount of practice. Probably some of the best to start out with are:
  • Soldier – Heavily armoured, and the RPG (rocket launcher) has huge splash and no damage falloff with distance.
  • Pyro – Faster than the soldier but also a fair bit weaker. Try to hit the same enemy with your flamethrower, incendiary cannon and napalm grenades for maximum burn damage.
  • Engineer – Sentry gun is pretty weak, but is also fast building. Your super shotgun also packs a fair punch against lightly armoured or weakened foes, but bear in mind you're not the most resilient fighter. Railgun takes practice to use effectively.
  • Heavy Weapons Guy – Assault cannon tears through things very well, if you can keep it focussed on fast-moving targets.
  • Sniper – Trickier than in other games due to extremely high speeds some classes can attain. The sniper rifle itself has some delay before it can be fired, and cannot be fired while you are off the ground.

What's all this business with grenades?
Most classes have both a standard frag grenade and a special grenade. These can be thrown while firing another weapon. The default key is F for frag (primary) and G for special (secondary). Holding one of these keys will cause you to "cook" (hold) the grenade until you let go of the key, allowing you to time it so it explodes right in the face of your opponent.

The classes' grenades are as follows:
  • Scout – No frag grenade. Secondary is concussion grenade, which does no damage but will cause an enemy's screen to move erratically, impeding aim (though skilled players can overcome this). A more important use is conc jumping, which will be dealt with later.
  • Soldier – Frag + nail grenade, which is highly effective against sentries and only slightly less bothersome to players.
  • Sniper – Frag only. Poor guy hasn't had a special grenade since QWTF.
  • Demoman – Frag + MIRV. MIRV is a frag grenade that releases four more frag grenades ("MIRVlets") when it explodes.
  • Medic – Frag + conc.
  • HWGuy – Frag + MIRV.
  • Pyro – Frag + napalm. Napalm allows you to cause the legendary level 3 afterburn when used with the pyro's other weapons.
  • Spy – Frag only, though some servers are modded so he has the gas grenade from older versions.
  • Engineer – Frag + EMP. EMP grenades do damage based on how much ammo a player is carrying, and will explode ammo bags nearby.

What about the four classes you haven't talked about yet?
  • Scout is an entirely movement based flag runner class. His sole purpose is to use his speed (increased through bunnyhopping) and conc jumps to steal the enemy flag. He has near zero ability to deal damage to other players, though his nailgun can help take down a sentry.
  • Medic is a heavier scout. If you think Medic = healing, get this idea out of your head now. The medkit can heal, but that's not the Medic's primary function. The Medic can deal considerably more damage than the Scout, but his purpose is still as a flag runner. His super nailgun excels against sentries.
  • Demoman, to be fair, isn't too difficult, however fast reaction time is a must. His purpose as a defender is to lay his yellow/green pipebombs on the flag, then detonate them ideally just before an enemy touches it. The unwieldiness of his weapons makes direct combat tricky, however, and the fact he's the last line of defence can make the role pretty intense.
  • Spy is... weird. His cloak is infinite, but doesn't make him totally invisible. His disguises are easily checked for on most pubs, where friendly fire is disabled. However, in the right hands he can be a fun class to play.

Tell me more about these "advanced skills".
Really these form the basis of what distinguishes Fortress Forever from other FPSes. I'm going to go through the most important ones here.
  • Rocket Jump (Soldier [RPG], Pyro [IC]) – Pretty much as it is in other games. Run, fire at the ground and jump. May take practice if you've never done it in any other game before.
  • Conc Jump (Scout, Medic) – Prime a conc, keep hold of it, then jump as it goes off. The timing may be tricky at first, but it's definitely worth learning.
  • Bunnyhopping (All classes) – Hard to describe elegantly. To quote the wiki:
    • Jump forwards.
    • Release the forward key.
    • Hold a strafe key
    • While keeping the strafe key held, begin to smoothly turn the mouse in the same direction as the strafe
    • You should now be turning in a circular fashion and slowly accelerating
    • Now, swap strafe keys and begin turning in the other direction. Again, do this smoothly

    N. B. This is an old video and bunnyhopping has since been made easier (you can just hold down the space bar, no "queueing" required).
  • Conc Aim (Defensive classes, especially Soldier and HWGuy) – Conc grenades only change where your weapon is pointing on the initial hit; after that, your aim remains constant, but your screen moves about and your crosshairs don't point to where you're really aiming.

So, what are the main points I need to remember?
  • FF is a team game: focus on assisting your teammates with the objective above all else.
  • Practice makes perfect.
  • K-D ratio isn't important, flag movement is.
  • Have fun!

Last edited by episkopos; 06-16-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
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Well done! I made it a sticky, so hopefully it can assist new players by being easy to find.
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