by Peter "Zhukov" Pawelek
Article Type: Strategy Guide
Article Date: March 06, 2002
Product Name: Day of Defeat
Category: WWII FPS Mod for Half-Life
Developer: Day of Defeat Mod Group
Release Date: Released
Files & Links: Click Here
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IntroductionDay of Defeat v2.0 (DoD2) is a Half-Life mod that realistically simulates infantry combat in World War II. Unlike Counter-Strike, another popular Half-Life mod, DoD2 is not a ‘run and gun’ first person shooter. Thanks to realistic weapon recoil effects and fatigue modeling, running and gunning in DoD2 will get you killed very quickly. This strategy guide will not only help you survive in DoD2, but will teach you tips and tricks that will give you the edge over your opponents.
It’s great to say that we’re all just playing for the fun of it, but if you really want to get good at DoD2 you’ll need a competitive edge and a killer instinct. The first part of this strategy guide will teach you some of the basic skills required to get that edge. In future instalments, you’ll learn how to effectively use the different character classes and their weapons as well as how to exploit the maps to your advantage.
Choosing the Right Server With FiltersThe in-game browser is a good way to quickly get into a DoD2 game playing the map of your choice. The effective use of filters can speed this up even more. By filtering you can reduce the number of potential servers scanned in a session from about 1000 to 100. My server scan normally takes about 30 seconds by using the following filters: ‘Dedicated Server’, ‘Not Empty’, ‘Running Linux’, ‘Game = DoD’, and ‘Ping less than 100ms’.
In addition to the in-game browser, there are some good free third party programs you can use to connect to a DoD2 game. I prefer The All Seeing Eye which is great for filtering servers in a manner similar to the in-game browser. You can also filter for servers that are running anti-cheat programs like PunkBuster or Cheating Death. So far, the only anti-cheat program used by DoD2 servers appears to be Cheating Death. If you enter a server that has Cheating Death as optional, be prepared to see your game name changed such that it has something like ‘[No C-D]’ appended to it.
|The All Seeing Eye |
I prefer using anti-cheat programs with Half-Life based mods since there are too many well-known ways that people can employ cheats to gain unfair advantages (this is a problem which has long plagued Counter-Strike). On the downside, there are not very many DoD2 servers running anti-cheat software yet, and you also have to run the anti-cheat client in the background which means it will be taking up some of your computer’s resources. On the positive side, you will have the peace of mind that you’ll be playing on a level field.
Know Your Enemy (and Friends)Before connecting to a server as a player, spend some time in Spectator Mode roving around the game you’re interested in joining. This option is given after you’ve connected to the server and have to choose a side: Allied, Axis, or Spectator. Spectating an ongoing game will give you a chance to observe the behavior of both friends and foes. Are they playing aggressively and rushing the flags? Are they hanging back as snipers and machine gunners waiting in ambush? What are their favorite ambush positions?
The other thing you’ll want to know is whether or not the server you’ve connected to has enabled Friendly Fire (FF). If FF is on, adjust your tactics accordingly. Don’t start indiscriminately throwing grenades or spraying machine gun fire in a FF game since you’ll take out many team members as well as the enemy. At best, this will earn you a heap of ill-will from your team. At worst, some servers will kick you if you teamkill too often. Also, if there is even one solitary jerk on your team that gets his kicks killing teammates, leave the server at once. I’ve seen this happen far too often and now I exclusively play on servers that disable FF.
Quick Battlefield SITREPs Made EasyOkay, you’ve checked out the lay of the land and are now ready to jump into a game. The very first thing to do is look up at the upper left corner of the screen to inspect the panel of flag ownership icons. The row of flag icons will be colored Allied, Axis or neutral (i.e., up for grabs) depending on current ownership. You can quickly assess the current battle situation at any point by inspecting this flag icon panel.
The flag icons in the panel correspond to the locations of particular victory flags on a given map. Normally, the flags toward the outside of the panel correspond to victory flags near spawn points, whereas the flag icons in the center correspond to victory flags near the centre of the map. As your forces and the enemy’s forces push towards each other, the ownerships will converge on the middle flag. For example, if there are six victory flags on the map and three are colored Allied while the other three are colored Axis, the game situation is balanced and the centre of gravity of the battle will be somewhere near the middle of the map.
|Example flag icons seen during battles. |
If you’re spawning into a situation in which your side only controls the leftmost flag icon in the panel, be prepared to go on the defensive immediately since enemy forces will be very close to your spawn point. Alternatively, if your side owns all but the last flag icon towards the right side of the panel you should rush towards the enemy spawn point since your side will be conducting a dedicated push to claim the ownership of the last flag. If you’re playing a machine gunner or sniper, you may want to take this opportunity to find a good ambush position in anticipation of an enemy counterattack (which you can tell is happening by watching the flag icons change ownership).
Sometimes there are unbalanced situations where one side will control most of the flags, but you’ll notice that the enemy controls a single flag close to your spawn point. This means you have one or two infiltrators on the loose and should be wary as you move about in the rear area close to your spawn point. In this situation, it’s best to hang back and try to smoke them out before they either claim more of your flags or kill off unsuspecting teammates who have freshly respawned.
Staying AliveBecause DoD2 is quite realistic in how it simulates infantry combat, common sense will normally work to keep you alive. Avoid moving in the open whenever possible. Hug the walls and look for cover continuously. Spend as much time as possible crawling in a prone position instead of running. I generally scan ahead to find a covered position, sprint towards it, dive prone and crawl into a firing position while using the cover to protect me.
Avoid moving on roads and streets since they are in the line of sight of too many ambush spots that will be potentially occupied by enemy snipers and machine gunners. Often in maps like caen2, you’ll find parallel narrow alleys and paths through buildings. Routes such as these will be covered in more detail in a later instalment of this strategy guide.
|Effective use of cover. |
Don’t count on cover such as walls to completely protect you. In DoD2, as in real life, bullets from heavy weapons can penetrate walls up to a certain thickness. You’re safer behind a few thick slabs of concrete than the thin wall of a flimsy house. This also applies to protection from the shrapnel of the random artillery strikes that may fall near you.
Be especially careful in dealing with enemy grenades. Grenades are overpowered in DoD2 and will sometimes penetrate even the best cover. If you see an enemy grenade sailing towards you, you have two options. Either run like hell to avoid the blast or try to pick it up and throw it back to the enemy. To do the latter, approach the grenade, pick it up with the ‘use’ key (the default is the ‘E’ key), and throw it back by pressing your primary fire button. Keep in mind you have five seconds to do this or else the grenade will blow up in your hands.
|Grenades at work. |
There are many environmental hazards in DoD2 that can sap health points before you even take a single bullet hit. Avoid falling from heights since you will incur injuries. Also, hazards such as fires, barbed wire and exposed electrical wires can inflict heavy damage, so approach these areas with care. If you get hit or injured and see the blood droplet icon appear on your HUD, apply bandages (the default is the ‘Z’ key) immediately or you will steadily lose health points until you die.
|Environmental hazards that can drain health points. |
As you move towards contact with the enemy, make sure you have freshly reloaded your weapon (the default is the ‘R’ key). There’s nothing more frustrating than getting killed because you’re trying to shoot back with an empty gun at an enemy. If you completely run out of ammo, quickly switch to your pistol or melee weapon (bayonet, knife, shovel) since the odds are that you just emptied your last clip of your primary at a nearby enemy and they now know your location.
Situational Awareness: Stop, Look and Listen!Situational awareness in DoD2 is crucial to both survival and getting a high kill ratio. As you go prone and move into a covered position, it’s a good idea to go completely still and scan your field of vision. Do NOT move your mouse since this will rotate your character, registering onscreen as movement to any enemies that may be waiting in ambush. You’ll be surprised at how much you can gain by this practice, and I guarantee you that if you are in a good covered position and are completely still you will more often than not spot an enemy before they spot you (if you observe people waiting in ambush, you’ll notice that many players are restless and will be scanning continuously by moving the mouse, resulting in their characters rotating about on the map). To maximize the effectiveness of this technique, it is best to play in at least 1024x768 resolution which will give you as large a field of vision as possible.
|Ambushing an unsuspecting enemy. |
Also, use the in-game sounds to your advantage since sound effects play a critical role in DoD2. In addition to being able to localize players by the distance and direction of their footsteps, each weapon has a characteristic sound. I’d recommend sitting down for an hour or so and repeatedly playing the .wav files for each weapon. For a default setup, these files can be found in the following path: C:\Sierra\Half-Life\DoD\sound\weapons. If you’ve installed Half-Life to another directory, you may have to go hunting for them. Before too long, you’ll be able to distinguish between a Garand and a Kar98 like an old veteran. Ambush points near closed doors are effective since the squeaking sound of the door opening will give you advanced warning that a friend or foe is about to pass in front of you.
Another thing to keep an eye on are the death messages in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. As in Counter-Strike, whenever someone is killed, there is a one-line message that states who killed whom and with what weapon. This information can be very useful when combined with an awareness of the sounds around you. For example, if you’re an Allied soldier hiding in some cover and you hear footsteps approaching followed by rifle fire, you may see a death message appear indicating that a teammate was just killed by an Axis player with a Kar98 rifle. By putting two and two together, you’ll have a pretty good idea that the sound of the footsteps approaching your position is of the Axis player who just did the killing and not those of your teammates.
Death messages are somewhat controversial in the DoD2 community. Some people feel that they detract from the feel of realism since you wouldn’t really know who killed who and with what in the middle of a heated battle. I don’t have any strong feelings on the matter. If I’m on a server that has death messages, I’ll use them to my advantage as will everyone else on the server. If you feel differently, it is possible to find ‘high realism’ servers out there that disable death messages (and usually enable FF at the same time).
Winning The GameUsually, if neither side has captured all the victory flags, a game of DoD2 plays for an alotted period of time. At the end of that time, the winning side is decided by point totals. Team points are awarded for total numbers of enemy killed as well as for flag capture. A side will immediately win if they have captured all of the enemy flags, even if the alotted time for the game has not expired.
|Machine gunner covering an advance. |
It’s worth spending a bit of time discussing how flags are captured. Many flags are captured in a very straightforward manner by moving over them. Other flags that will require you to occupy a zone near the flag for a given period of time. When this occurs, you will see an icon on your HUD which resembles the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. Stay in that position until you see the corresponding flag icon in the upper left corner of the screen slowly turn into your side’s colors. This is a very dangerous situation to be in, since the enemy will be frantically trying to destroy you to prevent turnover of flag ownership. If possible, try to find really good cover while trying to convert flag ownership in this manner.
There are some particularly difficult flags that will require two soldiers in the occupation zone to convert a flag. In the flag icon panel, the corresponding icon will have numbers (‘1/2’ or ‘2/2’) below the icon. Until there is a second teammate present, it will stay at ‘1/2’ and ownership conversion won’t be possible. Winning over these flags will require teamwork, so pay attention to your teammates requirements and text messages and try to cooperate to ensure victory.
A Note on EtiquetteAs in Counter-Strike, DoD2 public servers allow you to have a multiplayer experience with complete strangers. For some reason, this anonymity brings out the worst in some people and I’ve seen a lot of bad behavior on some servers. Please keep in mind that the foremost goal in a DoD2 game should be for everyone to have an enjoyable, while at the same time competitive, experience. To that end, I suggest the following advice:
- If you teamkill by mistake, send an apology over the team channel (the default is the ‘U’ key). The apology may or may not be graciously received, but at least you’ve done your part.
- If you’re approaching a position to setup an ambush and you see that a fellow teammate has already claimed it, move on to somewhere else. I’ve seen many instances in which a teammate will plop themselves down in front of a sniper or machine gunner and obstructing their vision.
- Don’t verbally abuse teammates or opponents. Just don’t. It sucks.
- Don’t play like a lone Rambo. Winning at DoD2 requires good teamplay. Pay attention to your teammates’ messages and situations. If there is one enemy flag remaining, join the final assault to get the flag if possible. Nothing beats being on a server where everyone on your team is working together towards victory.
ConclusionHopefully this initial instalment of the DoD2 Strategy Guide will give you enough tips to keep you alive and chalking up the victories. In future instalments we’ll take a detailed look at the different character classes and the best ways to play them, as well as detailed strategies and tactics for the ten official maps that come with the mod. Until then, happy fragging!
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