Beginner Tips #4: What I see beginners do…

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Well, here it is Beginner Tips #4. I now talk about something that beginners do to an excess.

More CL and L

Let’s think about this again. As I said in my Secrets #1, you can’t shoot CL with L. It just simply makes logical sense. Another way to express the relationship between L and CL is that you can call CL “Cancel Laser”. And, special note to el_nene, no, you’re not cheating when you’ve got L and you’re just shooting right through CL. It’s just the design of the game.

Tab and Wings

Special note that you shouldn’t hold <Tab> when carrying Wings. It’s a bad practice. Remember that the keyboard is still repeating the <Tab> key when you hold it; BZFlag just ignores the extra <Tab> without Wings because you simply can’t have multiple jumps. But with Wings, you do have multiple jumps (on most servers, at least). Holding <Tab> will tell the computer that many times you want to jump. So, if you have only 3 jumps (like on Constitution’s Tunnels), you’ll waste a jump because it was overlapped with the other jumps.

Stop Jumping!

Yes, stop jumping. Dodge instead. Watch some of the GU players. They try to dodge the bullets instead of jumping. Jumping to dodge bullets makes you weaker. The enemy can simply sit there and wait for you to fall. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and dodge a few bullets before jumping again, but you can’t jump forever. So unless it’s a really bad emergency, don’t make jumping your first instinct. If you really want to jump, strategically put a spin on your tank and shoot the enemy from behind.


Tips: Beginner Tips #3

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Here’s Beginner Tips #3. We’re going to talk about jumping today.


To jump, press the <Tab> key. Jumping is used to get on a building, dodge bullets, and for anything where you have to get higher

About Dodging Bullets

It’s usually not a great idea to dodge bullets with jumping, reason being that if the shooter has WG, you’ll get shoot and have no chance of dodging. Also, players sometimes waits to stay where they are and shoot you when you get down. To practice not jumping, go to a pillbox or a Ducati server.

Special Platforms

Some special platforms will make you bounce when you drive on it. It will bounce you in the direction that you are driving. If you somehow stay still on the pad you will be bounced straightly upwards. Different bounce pads has different bounce height, so some pads might bounce you high and some might bounce you not so high. (Perfect example: BZFlag Amusement Land)

More Special Platforms

Some platforms will allow you to jump right through it. (Good example: BZFX: Boxy War) To do so, position your tank under the platform, and jump. These platforms are sometimes provided to reach high locations.

Using Jumping to Your Advantage

Here’s one of the most common trick: Jump and shoot. What you do is to find a victim tank that is on a reachable building, and then jump, and shoot when you get to the level about where the victim is on. This’ll usually give that person quite a shock and it is very hard to dodge. To dodge this trick, look at the radar closely and watch for sudden movements, or get on to a higher building.

That’s it for now. Tune in later for another interesting Beginner Tip!

I’m Back!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hi everyone. As you probably noticed I’ve been away from BZFlag for a few weeks. During that time I’ve been exploring some other games like Blasterball 2: Holidays (Awesome). Well, now I’m getting back to BZFlag and I’m going to write something in BZJournal. So stay tuned, and visit often for new things!

BZFlag Dictionary: Capture the Flag (CTF)

Friday, September 8, 2006

Capture the Flag (CTF) (cap’-ture the flag) – A play style that let tanks pick up opponents’ flags and drop them at the tanks’ bases. Once the flag is captured, all of the tanks on the opponent’s team is destroyed. The flags that can be captured are Red, Green, Blue, and Purple.

BZFlag Dictionary: Shock Wave

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Shock Wave (SW) (shock wave) – n. A weapon that shoots out as a sphere which can go through walls. It destroys all tanks that come in contact with it. It is a very powerful weapon.

Ex: That shock wave was humongous. It killed me and a few other teammates.

BZFlag Dictionary: Spawn

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Spawn (spawn) – v. The action of creating a new tank and continuing to play BZFlag

Ex: I got shot, so I will have to spawn to continue playing.

BZFlag Dictionary: BZFlag Dictionary

Thursday, September 7, 2006

BZFlag Dictionary (B-Z-Flag Dic’-tion-ary) – n. A dictionary that states out regularly used BZFlag terms. Created by GMMan just because there isn’t one on the forums and newbies doesn’t know what these words mean.

Tips: Beginner Tips #2

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Welcome back! Today we’ll be talking about driving around, shooting, and using flags.


You can use your mouse or the arrow keys to move around. Use the <Tab> key to jump.

Using the Mouse

In the HUD you can see two squares: one big and one small. If you move your mouse pointer out of the small box, your tank will start to move. If you move your mouse pointer further from the box, your tank will move faster. To move full speed, place your mouse pointer as far away from the small box as possible. This rule applies for going all directions. To move forward, place your mouse pointer to the top of the screen. To go backwards, place your mouse pointer to the bottom of your screen. To turn left, move your mouse pointer left. To turn right, move your mouse pointer right. You can turn and move forward/backward at the same time (like you can with a car).

Using the Keyboard

To move your tank using the keyboard, use the arrow keys. <Up Arrow> moves you forward. <Down Arrow> moves you backward. Press <Left Arrow> to move left and press <Right Arrow> to move right.


To jump use the <Tab> key. If you jump and move at the same time, you will jump towards the direction you were moving. Jumping is good for getting on buildings and dodging some bullets but makes you more vulnerable.


To shoot, press <Enter> or click the left mouse button. To shoot a GM (discussed later), lock on to your enemy using <I> or the right mouse button and shoot normally. There are tactics for shooting bullets. Look for them under “Help: Tactics and Playstyles” in the BZFlag Forums. The most common tactic is to shoot in a stream of bullets.


Flags are things that give your tank new features while holding them. See the description for the flag that you hold by pressing <F>. To pick up a flag, run over it with your tank. To drop your flag, press <Space> or click your middle mouse button. You cannot drop bad flags unless the flag times out or you pick up an antidote flag.

Special Notices for Special Flags

Laser- Infinite range (not really) but long reloading time (about 5 seconds)

GM- Try locking on first, then shoot

Phantom Zone- PZ bullets can’t kill other tanks except for other PZ tanks. Other tanks can’t kill you unless they have Super Bullet, Shock Wave, or Phantom Zone

Genocide- Kills all tanks of the same color you shoot, but can’t kill all rouges; Careful not to hit teammates (disastrous)

Rapid Fire- Reloads faster but have short ranges

Machine Gun- Reloads the fastest but has super short range

Burrow- Careful while using this flag: You can get squashed by other flags

Flag shot limits- Some servers have limits on how many shots you can shoot while holding the flag. When you meet that limit, the flag will automatically drop.

That ends today’s Beginner Tips. Have fun!

Tips: Secrets!! #1

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Welcome to Secrets!! #1! Here we’ll talk about things that you don’t know.

GM Dodging

Never do the following:

  1. Do the back-and-forth trick with GMs: I know this trick works with normal bullets, but not GMs. Use your time wisely and save yourself by going full speed to the nearest solid building.
  2. Jump when you are about to get hit by the GM: It doesn’t do anything. Period. Save your energy.

Shooting Yourself

Yes, it’s possible to shoot yourself with a GM: A reflecting teleporter or one of those auto-moving-strip-thingy. The teleporter: of course, if you’re near it, you’re gonna shoot yourself. If you’re on those strip thingies, you shoot a GM, move forward at full speed, and you’ll catch up to the GM. Then you’ll get hit by it. Then you’ll get a message “Shot myself”.

What does the strip and the GM mean? You can outrun a GM when you move at full speed on a moving strip.

Zoned bullets: Same thing as GM: Teleporter and strip thingy.

L and CL Don’t Mix

You can’t kill a CL with L. Think about it. It makes sense. L is a light. CL is a clear, invisible tank. Lights go through invisible things and doesn’t make an effect on them.

See a Miniature You on the Radar

If you zoom in close enough on the radar, you’ll see a miniature picture of yourself. Press <1>, and hold <4> until you can go no more. drive around. It’s cool. It is not recommended when you’re driving in a busy server.

Zoom with Your Mouse

You can zoom in and out the radar and the HUD. To zoom in and out the radar, hold <Shift> and scroll your mouse down and up, respectively. To zoom in and out the HUD, hold <Control> and scroll your mouse down and up, respectively. To zoom in to the max on the HUD, press <B> (for Binoculars).

I have loads of other secrets waiting for you. But am I going to tell you them right now? No way! Stay tuned for Secrets!! #2!

Planet MoFo’s “Passion” map is possibly the most modded and re-made map in BZFlag history. The original was a map called ‘Christ’ by ducatiwannabe, after it was taken up by Planet MoFo it quickly lost that name and became known as ‘The Passion’, due to the server descriptions of the servers it ran on – it would be advertised as ‘Planet MoFo – Passion Of The Free For All’, or ‘Passion of the Red vs. Blue!’.

In it’s history it has been changed and rebuilt to fit various different play styles and games, but it’s general layout has stayed pretty much the same: A central ‘cake’ consisting of three layers, with eight boxes around the edge in this configuration:

The four corner boxes usually have a flat (0 height) pyramid above them, and the cake usually has tunnels through the bottom layer and sometimes through the top layer too. In most versions there are also four pyramids on the floor by the corner boxes to deflect laser.

There have been so many versions of this map it would be nearly impossible to list them all here, though some variants fo include 3-sided and 8-sided equivelants as well as CTF versions with bases at the corner boxes.

There are a few little secrets that this map has to offer, and there are some prime spots for GM, L and SW that have probably been what has earned this map the title of ‘camper paridise’, though camping is part of this map’s fun. It’s so easy to do, it becomes a battle for the prime spots.

The map has also spawned many similar-shaped counterparts, including the Nativity in Black map and Sir Pants’ Octagon map.

All in all, what makes this map so popular is probably it’s simplicity. The simple symmetry and open space/box balance make it easy to find your way around and it is often a very fast paced Free For All map. With only 25 boxes and 8 pyramids it it’s basic form, it is probably the simplest of all of the most popular maps today.

This topic is free for discussion: what do you like/dislike about this map? Is there a specific version of this map you particularly enjoy?