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Old 24th Feb 2005, 12:46 AM   #1
geogob
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An Introduction to the DTAS Gametype

With the upcomming DTASAL league, I decide to wrote a short article on DTAS. The idea is to introduce and explain DTAS (Dynamic Take and Secure) to new infiltration players who do not know this game mode or to players who are less familiar with it. This article is, of course, based a lot on my personal experiences. If you have a different view than mine on some points, I think it would be interesting to share them.

---------------------------------------------

DTAS Explained

1. Introduction
2. Basics
3. Gameplay
3.1. Capturing the flag area (attackers)
3.2. Defending the flag area (defenders)
3.3. Placing the flag (defenders)
4. DTAS Heads Up Display Information and DTAS commands
4.1. DTAS HUD
4.2. DTAS Console commands
5. DTAS Scoreboard
6. Play philosophy and hints for new players

---------------------------------------------

DTAS Explained
by geogob, February 2005


1. Introduction

As you all should know by now, a new league is taking form in the Infiltration community. The league, called DTASAL for Dynamic Take and Secure Action League, is a league open to anyone and not clan-based. It is an ideal opportunity for community members who are not part of a clan or new players to participate in an official league.

As its name clearly indicates, the league is a “Dynamic Take And Secure” (DTAS) league for Infiltration 2.9. Some of you might wonder what the hell that DTAS game mode is (other than being a fancy acronym).


2. Basics

In fact, DTAS is quite simple compared to Enhanced Assault (EAS), where you have multiple (sometimes complex) objectives to accomplish. DTAS consists of two teams – attackers and defenders – fighting to “control” an area marked by a flag. When the defender team spawns, a flag is spawned with them and the attackers must “capture the flag” by securing, for a certain amount of time, the area surrounding the flag. This is what we call the TAS or Take and Secure game mode. The interesting part in Dynamic TAS (DTAS) is that the teams are spawned in random locations in the map, making the gameplay quite different from round to round. Each round, the teams are inverted, so that if your team defends one round, the next round it will be the attacking team. Usually, DTAS is played in the form of “best of N”; That is, the team that wins the most rounds out of N total rounds wins the match on the map.


3. Gameplay

3.1. Capturing the flag area (attackers)

The attacking team’s task is to capture the flag placed by the defenders. This is done by having a certain number of players, usually two, within the flag capture distance for a certain amount of time, usually 15 seconds. A maximum horizontal distance and a maximum vertical distance from the flag defines this capture distance. Basically, you can visualize the capture zone like a cylinder with the flag at its center. The normal capture distances are 15 m horizontal and 5 m vertical.

The flag can be captured even if not in the line of sight of the attackers. This is what is commonly known as a “blind capture” or “blind cap”. So having the right amount of players long enough within the capture distance, even if the flag is in an adjacent room, will result in a capture.

You know you are on the attacking team when you see the message “Take the enemy position!” at the beginning of a round.

There is one condition that makes capture impossible. If the defenders have enough players within the capture distance of the flag, the attackers are not able to capture the flag. Normally, 2 defenders are sufficient to protect the flag.

As you might have noticed, there are a lot of variables in this explanation. You see the words “normally”, “usually”, etc. quite often. This is due to the fact that the server administrators can change all these variables. In the case of DTASAL, the league official should communicate those settings prior to the league. When you play DTAS on regular servers, you should use all the information you can get in-game to determine what is going on (see section 4).

There is an alternate way to win a round, without capturing the flag. When all defenders are killed, the attackers also win the round. A maximum amount of time is allowed for the attackers to capture the flag or kill all defenders. If they fail to do so within that time, they lose the round.


3.2. Defending the flag area (defenders)

As presented in the previous section, the defenders task is to defend the flag. To do this, they have three things to do: prevent the flag from being captured, kill the attackers and try not to die.

The last two being obvious, let's start by preventing the flag from being captured. As stated before, the attackers can capture the flag by having a certain number of players within the flag capture area. So basically, defenders must deny this area to the attackers by any means necessary. They must never forget that attackers can capture the flag even when out of sight (like from an adjacent room) in a so-called “blind cap”. Having a certain number of defenders – normally two – within the capture area will protect it and prevent the attackers from capturing the flag.

Of course, the attackers will try to kill any defenders protecting the flag. If all defenders die, the attackers win the match. Also, if not enough defenders are left in the capture area, the attackers will be able to capture the flag.

Finally, if less than two attackers are left alive (two being the number needed to capture the flag), the attackers automatically withdraw and the defenders win the match. Similarly, if the round maximum time is reached before the flag is captured, the attackers withdraw and the defenders win the round.


3.3. Placing the flag (defenders)

At the beginning of each round, a flag is placed by the defenders. This flag doesn't just spawn anywhere randomly, but placed by one player. A few seconds after the round begins, the flag is placed at this player location. This gives a little more flexibility with flag placement to the defenders. The role of the flag placer will be to choose an easily defendable area to place the flag.

The selected flag placer is normally the last player who joined the team. At any time, a player can call the command mutate iamthechosenone in his console to tell the server he is interested in being the flag placer. A new flag placer will be chosen among the players who entered the command.

Being the flag placer is a crucial role in the first few seconds of a round. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the messages displayed at the beginning of a round. If you see “You will place the flag”, it means that you will be the flag placer.


4. DTAS Heads Up Display Information and DTAS commands

In the DTAS gametype, there are a lot of useful visual cues to help you have a good overview of the situation at any time. These include the flag location example. DTAS is also fully integrated with UTCompass mutator on the server that uses it.

At the beginning of each round, important information is displayed showing you on which team you are (attackers or defenders), if you are the flag placer and when the flag has been placed. Always pay attention to those messages at the beginning of around!


4.1. DTAS HUD

Most of the important DTAS game status information is displayed in the bottom left corner of the HUD, near the Infiltration compass. The compass shows a green marker on the heading to the flag location. This section also shows you if you are “Defending” or “Attacking” and your distance to the flag location. Finally, it shows the time left in the round and the name of the location where you are (on maps that support this feature).

The following image shows an example of this. In it you see that the flag is South-Southwest of where you are looking at, that you are attacking, that the flag is between 135 to 140 meters away from you and that 07:26 minutes are left until the end of the round. It also shows that I was in the area name “d0” when I took the image. Area naming is map-specific.



When you are in range of the flag, the range indicator will display “In Range” (if enabled by the server). Furthermore, when the attackers are capturing the flag they will see (again if enabled by the server) “Capturing” in this area with a countdown timer showing how much time left until the flag is captured.

When UTCompass is running on the server, the flag location will also be indicated on the UTCompass display. But more than just indicating the direction to the flag, it will also indicate whether the flag is at the same level you are, over you or below you. On the compase, the flag marker is identified with an "F".

Here is an example of the UTcompass display when the flag is over you at an heading of about 215° (SW):


In the next image, the flag is at the same level you are and at a heading of about 025° (NNE). Note that you can also see two teamates on the compass (green lines with names):


Below you at a heading of 010° (NNE):


Furthermore (also when enabled by the server) UTCompass will show you the exact distance to the flag in the left part of the HUD.


4.2. DTAS Console commands

A few commands are interesting to know in the DTAS gametype. Those console commands can also be bound to a key to make them easily and rapidly accessible.

mutate TASstatus : This command will display in the chat box and console various information on the game status. This is particularly useful in server where the display in the lower left corner of the HUD has not been enabled by the admin. Even then, it can be useful. An example of mutate TASstatus report would be “DTAS: You are attacking | Objective: 136m away, 13m below | 07:25 remaining”.

mutate DTAShelp : This command display a brief help info related to DTAS. Can be handy.

mutate iamthechosenone : This command tells DTAS that you are interested in becoming the flag placer.

mutate iamnotworthy : This command tells DTAS that you are not or no longer interested in becoming the flag placer.


5. DTAS Scoreboard

DTAS has a special scoreboard. This scoreboard has been created to give better objective-oriented scoring than the standard “frag count” scoreboard. This scoreboard is very well explained and dialled in the DTAS Readme.txt file. Here is an extract of the Readme file:

The new DTAS scoreboard changes some of the displayed information:
There are 4 columns:
- captures(C): displays the number of captures each individual player participate in
- death(D): the number of death of a player
- objective kills(O): number of objective kills (kills inside the capture radius
- score(S): a score calculated by how well a player does

Scoring takes into account the following situations (all boni are cumulative):
+1 surviving a round
+1 winning the round (everyone)
+1 dying in range
+1 surviving the round in range
+1 kill
+1 last kill
+1 being within 7.5m of a teammate who makes a kill (including the player himself)
+2 preventing a capture attempt as a defender (only once a round)
+1 being close to the fox during Foxhunt on round end
+2 surviving the round as the fox
+2 surviving the round by time as the fox
+2 objective kill
+10 a capture
-3 being living defender outside capture range when flag is captured
-4 teamkill
-4 dying as the fox when other defenders are still alive



6. Play philosophy and hints for new players

This is the more philosophical and less factual section in this document. What I will say here is more from personal experience and point of view and might (will) differ from others' point of view.
I’ve always thought DTAS to be a team oriented gametype. In fact, it would be more an objective-oriented gametype, but since more than one player is usually required to complete the objective (defend or capture the flag), the teamplay should never fall too much behind.

How you play this game is entirely up to you and all tactics are valid. When attacking, you can move slowly and secure every area of a map part by part or rush forward to surprise the enemy. You can break into a capture zone with brute force to kill as many defenders as possible or you can attempt to capture and win a round without having a single shot fired. As defenders, you can decide to stay in the capture area and protect the flag at all cost or go out and hunt for attackers.

Again, how you play it is up to you. Often the choice of tactic will depend a lot on the map and on the opposing team. Experience will let you judge which tactic is most appropriate.

In general, one can say that you have one big choice. Either you play as a team or play on your own. One team could prefer winning by killing the whole opposing team. Other teams could prefer to avoid such confrontations and win by reaching the objective using the safest routes.

A few hints though… when placing the flag, if possible, place it in an open area (especially in outdoor maps). Remember that you don’t have to be in range to cover it, but if you have clear view over the whole capture range, it will help you protect it. In closer quarter maps, try choosing an area easy to defend. Again, experience will help you judge on which type of room is easier to defend. For example, choising a room where entrances are easy to cover from safe positions or a room or location where blind captures are impossible from an adjacent room is often wise.

When attacking, remember that you need two players in range to capture the flag. It is often more effective to divide the team into groups of two or three. When everyone goes solo to capture the flag, you’ll often see one player alone in range of the flag, waiting minutes long to get reinforcements to finally get killed by a defender.

Synchronisation and communication are the key to victory. When possible, use communication software like TeamSpeak. When not, use voice binds, ReportDirection and teamsay as much as you can. It can be useful to have pre-defined teamsay commands like “I am in capture range... Need backup NOW!” for example.
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Last edited by geogob; 24th Feb 2005 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 12:51 AM   #2
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Nice write up I wonder if anyone who signed up for DTAS doesn't know how to play DTAS. But the tutorial is clear and illustrated. Both earn a thumb up. Not two thumbs up but one thumb up per feature. So... When does it begin? Will I see weekly battle reports with screenshots from demorecs done in shakycam style and posted? Like 18:00:39 Zulu, Artic Country border. Liberation forces push the Alliance of United Groups back into neutral territory.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 12:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
I wonder if anyone who signed up for DTAS doesn't know how to play DTAS
I know a few less familiar with it. Also I hope this will help new players, not familiar with DTAS, to join in the league either in a team or as mercenaries.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 04:27 AM   #4
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Great explanation!

May I include it into the DTAS readme or rather a new html readme version?
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 11:14 AM   #5
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This topic should be STICKED!
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 11:21 AM   #6
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Excellent Geo!
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 11:35 AM   #7
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Yes, very nice indeed!
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harper [Jgkdo]
Great explanation!

May I include it into the DTAS readme or rather a new html readme version?
Be my guest.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 12:48 PM   #9
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-3 for not being in the radius? That's pretty terrible. I've known lots of times where I've needed to be in a position across from the flag, or away from the flag just to help defend it...but now you get punished for it? That might want to be re-thought out...

Edit:

I threw a link to this thread in the "getting started with infiltration" post
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 01:11 PM   #10
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You get punished if you're not defending the flag when it's capped. So you can go as far as you want as long as you have faith in your team. If your team is wiped out and the attackers have the flag and you're still 100m away, that's your fault. I think it's fine, though I would extend that to 2x the cap radius.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 01:24 PM   #11
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Thanks to all of you for your good comments.

BTW, if the scoring ever changes or major changes happen in DTAS, keep me informed, I will update the article.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 01:27 PM   #12
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Have to agree with Keg. I think there needs to be a second radius and if you are outside that you loose points.
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Old 24th Feb 2005, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keganator
-3 for not being in the radius? That's pretty terrible. I've known lots of times where I've needed to be in a position across from the flag, or away from the flag just to help defend it...but now you get punished for it? That might want to be re-thought out...
Quote:
Originally Posted by (SDS)benmcl
Have to agree with Keg. I think there needs to be a second radius and if you are outside that you loose points.
http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?t=146614


Thx Keg, for adding it to the "getting started with infiltration" post.
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 01:10 AM   #14
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Good post Geo,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keganator
-3 for not being in the radius? That's pretty terrible. I've known lots of times where I've needed to be in a position across from the flag, or away from the flag just to help defend it...but now you get punished for it? That might want to be re-thought out...
First, I would point out that it's in fact -2 (because you get "+1 surviving a round"). Second, if the flag got capture and you aren't in the flag radius to prevent the capture, I don't see why you shouldn't be giving a penalty whatever the distance you were away from the flag cap zone.
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 01:24 AM   #15
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I think a little credit to yurch would be spiffy. He bugged the crap outta me when him and his fellow minions were making it, and i don't need him bugging me now.
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 04:38 AM   #16
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Seriously though, a short history would be a nice addition.
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 05:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogob
The normal capture distances are 15 m horizontal and 5 m vertical.
CapRadius = 650;
CapHeight = 960;

with a scaling of 45UU/m this is a 14,4m horizontal radius and 21,3m vertical height (10,6m above and below flag).

(btw, 650UU has been the horizontal radius since 2.86+RA2+DTAS)

btw: for online servers certain settings are enforced (taken from 1.60):
Code:
if (MinPlayersPerTeam < 3)
	MinPlayersPerTeam = 3;
if (AttackersNeeded > MinPlayersPerTeam)
	AttackersNeeded = MinPlayersPerTeam;
if (AttackersNeeded < 2)
	AttackersNeeded = 2;
if (DefendersNeeded > MinPlayersPerTeam)
	DefendersNeeded = MinPlayersPerTeam;
if (DefendersNeeded < 1)
	DefendersNeeded = 1;
if (CapTime > 15)
	CapTime = 15;
if (CapTime < 5)
	CapTime = 5;
if (PlaceFlagTime > 15)
	PlaceFlagTime = 15;
if (MinPlayersPerTeam == 3)
	bRoundSwitch = false;
bStrongDefense = true;
CapRadius = 650;
CapHeight = 960;
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 09:40 AM   #18
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Yeah a short history would be nice. I'll leave that up to someone else... i'm an engineer, not an historian. Anyway, I got no memory at all... it's already something that I remembered TAS
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 11:41 AM   #19
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Yea really. The guy spends an afternoon of his life writing up some crappy tutorial for some crappy newbie who might or MIGHT NOT come along, and you guys want Masterpiece Theathre here. LOL
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Old 25th Feb 2005, 02:13 PM   #20
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Nice tutorial Geo
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