HL2DM 101 - Introduction to HL2DM
A Brief History
11/16/04 - Half-Life 2 is released.
11/30/04 - Half-Life 2 Deathmatch is released as a
free download to all owners of Half-Life 2. The release includes
two official maps: dm_lockdown
and dm_overwatch. The Half-Life 2/Source SDK is also released and a
HL2DM map making competition is
announced to kickstart the custom map-making community.
12/10/04 - An important update is released fixing several bugs and toning down magnum damage.
02/17/05 - Un update is released adding SLAMs,
crowbar and stunstick to the list of HL2DM weapons. A third Valve map is
03/18/05 - Valve announces the winners of the
map-making contest. The winning map is dm_underpass, with dm_resistance
second, and dm_powerhouse
coming in third. A fourth map, dm_avalon, gets an honorable mention.
03/18/05 - The three contest winning maps are officially released, increasing the number of official maps to six.
04/25/05 - An update is released adding the fourth Valve produced map and seventh official map: dm_runoff.
05/17/06 - The FIOS Grand HL2DM Tournament is
announced. The tournament will be a collaborative effort by Verizon,
Valve and the Cyber Amateur
League. The format is 1v1 play on official maps, with $100,000 in
prize money awarded to the last gamer standing.
06/16/06 - In preparation for FIOS Grand, Valve
releases an update addressing many of the participant concerns. Most
noticable is the removal of
hyper-blasting with the gravity gun.
06/17/06 - The FIOS Grand Tournament begins.
07/27/06 - In preparation for the FIOS Grand finals,
Valve releases an update adding the ability to spectate game play if it
is enabled on the server.
07/29/06 - After roughly 45 days of play, Micah
"MicahWave" Ernst makes a name for himself by winning the Verizon FIOS
Grand HL2DM Tournament.
08/22/06 - HL2DM divisions open up in the Cyber Amateur League in 2v2 and 4v4 formats.
01/08/07 - A 1v1 division for HL2DM is added to the Cyber Amateur League.
The HL2DM GUI
Upon starting up HL2DM, the first screen you will reach is the
splash screen, or GUI (Graphical User Interface). This features five
Find Server - You will use this frequently. This function is used to locate and connect to a game server.
Create Server - This can be used to host games, but it will typically not perform well due to bandwidth and computer performance issues.
It can be useful for map testing and practise purposes however.
Friends - Allows you to to add other steam users, chat with them, invite them to a game etc.
Options - Contains many settings to customize your
game. It is best to familiarize yourself with the various settings in
here so you know what can be adjusted in the GUI once you start playing.
Quit - Quit game.
The Server Browser
First lets take a close look at the server browser. This is the
tool you will use to determine which server you want to join. When you
click Find Server, the following will appear:
There are several tabs along the top of this window with
different server categories. In this image, the Internet tab is
selected. This is the most useful tab, but it may be
beneficial to explore the functionality of the others also.
Along the top of the list are headers. Note that each of these
headers is also a button that can be clicked to sort the servers by that
On the far left is a padlock. This indicates if the
server is public or private. A padlock in this column means the server
is private and you
require a password to obtain access. Note that some servers
may be public at some times and then locked for private matches at
Next to the padlock is a shield icon. This indicates if the server is protected by Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) or not.
Next is the list of servers. These names are decided by
the server owner and may or may not give an indication of the type of
you are logging on to. The number in brackets next to the
header is a total count of the servers being displayed in the list.
The next column shows the type of game being played, free-for-all (FFA) or team deathmatch (TDM). Team Deathmatch is Rebels vs. Combine.
The fifth column shows how many players are in the server
and how many spaces or slots are available in total. Finding a quality
server with enough players for a good game is the goal, so
this information is very useful when deciding which server to join.
Next is the maps header. You can get a good idea of which
maps are popular by sorting by this header and seeing which maps are
most often run and which maps have the most
players. Although it is typical for a HL2DM map to begin with the
letters "dm", this is not a hard rule and many maps deviate from this.
Sometimes a map name will indicate a certain style of play, such as
"capture the flag" maps having a prefix of ctf.
The final column in the list is latency, or ping. This
information is critical as it represents how fast data can be
transferred to and from your computer. The number in this column
represents data transfer time in miliseconds (ms), therefore the lower
the number, the faster the data transfer. The reason this number varies
much is mainly because of the geographical location of the server. A
server located in the same area as you should ping less than 30 ms,
while a server on a different continent may ping 200+ ms.
Try to find servers with pings less than 60 ms if possible, the lower
the better. If your ping is too high, you may experience
significant lag during play.
Below the list is a button labelled change filters. By
pressing this button, you gain access to several fields that can be used
to filter the list down to only the servers that suit you.
Before logging on to a server, lets take a look at some of the things you will encounter in-game.
The best way to learn about weapons is to use them a lot. The following serves as a useful introduction to the weapons
for new players and also a reference for those who have been playing for a while.
Body Damage: 25
Head Damage: 25
Crowbar is the melee weapon that rebel character models are equipped with by default.
Body Damage: 40
Head Damage: 40
Stunstick is the melee weapon that combine character models are equipped with by default.
Hitscan weapons are ones where there is no delay between when you
pull the trigger and the round hitting the target. This means you should
always try to line up your target perfectly each time you fire. All hitscan
weapons do 3 times the damage when shot to the head.
Clip Size: 18
Ammo with Weapon: 168 rounds
Ammo Pickup Size: 20 rounds per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 168 rounds
Body Damage: 8
Head Damage: 24
All players are equipped with a pistol by default.
Clip Size: 45
Ammo with Weapon: 90 rounds
Ammo Pickup Size: 45 rounds per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 270 rounds
Body Damage: 5
Head Damage: 15
All players are equipped with an SMG by default.
AR2 (AKA Combine Rifle or Overwatch Standard Issue)
Clip Size: 30
Ammo with Weapon: 60 rounds
Ammo Pickup Size: 20 rounds per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 90 rounds
Body Damage: 11
Head Damage: 33
Clip Size: 6
Ammo with Weapon: 12 rounds
Ammo Pickup Size: 6 rounds per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 18 rounds
Body Damage: 75
Head Damage: 225
Clip Size: 6 shells
Ammo with Weapon: 12 shells
Ammo Pickup Size: 20 shells per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 36 shells
Single Barrel Damage
Body Damage: 9 - 63 (7 shots x 9 damage)
Head Damage: 27 -
189 (7 shots x 27 damage) 135 (4 shots x 27 damage + 3 shots x 9 damage)
Primary fire uses one shell to release 7 shots in close formation, each
worth 9 points damage. This may therefore cause 9 to 63 points of damage
depending on the number of shots from the shell that actually hit. A headshot
can in theory do from 27 to
189 135 points of damage.
Double Barrel Damage
Body Damage: 9 - 108 (12 shots x 9 damage)
Head Damage: 27 -
324 (12 shots x 27 damage) 216 (6 shots x 27 damage + 6 shots x 9 damage)
Secondary fire uses two shells to release 12 shots in a wider formation
than single barrel, each worth 9 points damage. This may therefore cause
9 to 108 points of damage depending on the number of shots from the shells
that actually hit. A headshot can in theory do from 27 to
324 216 points of damage.
Real Damage Explanation
The shotgun, although a hitscan weapon (a weapon that fires bullets; in this case, pellets), does not entirely follow the hitscan damage formula, according to this: https://github.com/ValveSoftware/source-sdk-2013/blob/master/sp/src/game/shared/baseentity_shared.cpp
Inside this 'for' loop, found at line 1698 (on 18feb2014):
for (int iShot = 0; iShot < info.m_iShots; iShot++)
that iterates through all the bullets fired, from 0 to either 6 or 11 (for the shotgun's 7 pellets for single barrel or 12 pellets for double barrel), there's also this condition at line 1729:
if( IsPlayer() && info.m_iShots > 1 && iShot % 2 )
that checks if bullet is not singular, aka if shotgun was fired, and if the current bullet number is odd, it applies a hull trace; if even, then a line trace is applied.
The difference is the hull trace ignores hitboxes (arm, chest, leg, stomach, head), better yet, doesn't differentiate between them, treating the body as a whole, for increased accuracy. Therefore the headshot multiplier of 3 is disregarded, making that bullet do normal damage even if inflicted to the head hitbox.
This leaves the known body damage unchanged, 9 - 63 for single (player left with 37/0 from 100/0; 9 - 108 for double (player left with 78/114 from 100/200), but changes the maximum damage for the head.
The single barrel will have the pellets split like this: 0, 2, 4, 6 will do head damage (4 x 27 = 108); 1, 3, 5 will do normal body damage (3 x 9 = 27); the new total will be 135 (player left with 73/92 from 100/200).
The double barrel will have 6 pellets do head damage, 162; 6 pellets do body damage, 54; total damage inflicted will be 216 (player left with 57/28 from 100/200). Why is damage taken only 215? The formula for the damage absorption helps: 80% or 172.8 done to suit, 20% or 43.2 done to health. This leaves the player with 28.2 suit left, rounded down to 28, and 56.8 health left, rounded up to 57.
Prediction weapons have a delay from the time fired to hitting the target,
therefore requiring you to predict the location of your opponent when making
Prop Physics / Gravity Gun
Body Damage: Varies *
Head Damage: Same as body *
All players start with a gravity gun in their inventory by default. The gravity
gun is the most dynamic weapon in the game and can be used for a multitude of purposes,
including picking up and throwing objects at your opponent, catching and returning objects thrown
at you, cooking and firing grenades, using objects as shields, and much more.
* Damage done by the gravity gun varies depending on the following
attributes of the object being flung:
This is not always related to size, some objects are small and heavy, such as a radiator.
Heavier objects will lose velocity faster, making longer distance kills harder.
For example, saw blades spin vertically as they fly.
Angle of Hit on Body
A direct blow hurts more than a glancing one.
Energy Lost when Hitting a Player
Most props slow down and change angle when they hit a player. If you are the
second person hit you will take less. Exceptions include the zombie gibbler
(big propellor thing), among other things, that will pass through multiple players
without losing energy.
Explosive Properties of the Object
Explosive objects yield extra damage. A barrel is used as an example here because it is so common.
Barrel Maximum Damage: 180 (plus additional physics damage on a direct hit, typically instant kill).
Damage with barrel held in Gravity Gun: 160
Barrel Splash Radius: 256 units
Explosive props may also be caught in the gravity gun and thrown back.
Ammo with Weapon: 5 bolts
Ammo Pickup Size: 6 bolts per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 11 bolts
Body Damage: 100
Head Damage: 100
Ammo Pickup Size: 1 orb per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 3 orbs
Body Damage: 1000
Head Damage: 1000
Orbs must be gathered and are fired by using secondary fire on the AR2. An orb kills any enemy
it touches and can continue on to kill several opponents. Use it with caution however, as it can
be caught by your opponent in their gravity gun and fired back at you. Orbs also have tracking built
into them and will track a target on each bounce.
Explosives yield splash damage that gets gradually less
depending on splash radius and the number of units distance
away you are upon detonation. Explosives will yeild 5 to 10 points
damage at the edge of their splash radius. Note that explosives are self-harming,
meaning if you get caught in the blast radius of your own explosive, you
will take an appropriate amount of damage. To see your position and
how far the splash radius is, enter the following in your console: cl_showpos 1
Ammo Pickup Size: 1 grenade per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 5 grenades
Maximum Damage: 250
Damage held in Gravity Gun: 225
Splash Radius: 256 units
All players start with two hand grenades by default. Grenades can be thrown, lobbed,
rolled along the floor, and picked up in the gravity gun and fired. Grenades thrown
and fired at you may also be caught and fired back. All of these factors make the
grenade a highly dynamic and versatile weapon.
Ammo Pickup Size: 1 SMG Nade per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 3 SMG Nades
Maximum Damage: 200 *
Damage held in Gravity Gun: N/A
Splash Radius: 192 units
* SMG Nades appear to do more damage to armor than to health. Until an accurate
formula can be determined, the rule of thumb is that they will do approximately 95
damage with a 2x multiplier to any armor affected. SMG Nades also have a small
amount of mass and may or may not deliver an additional point of physics damage
on a direct hit.
Ammo With Weapon: 3
Ammo Pickup Size: 1 rounds per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 3 rounds
Maximum Damage: 250
Damage held in Gravity Gun: N/A
Splash Radius: 384 units
Starting Ammo: 3
Ammo Pickup Size: 3 slams per pickup
Max Ammo Capacity: 5 slams
Maximum Damage: 300
Damage held in Gravity Gun: 200
Splash Radius: 192 units
Starting Ammo: 3
Slams can either be placed as laser tripped mines, or thrown as satchel mines
and detonated at will. Note that satchel slams may be picked up in the gravity
gun and thrown. Satchel slams will also detonate upon your death, offering the possibility
of harming or killing any enemies within the splash radius.
Health and Armor
When you get hit, armor absorbs 80% of any damage taken. You always take
a 20% hit to your health regardless of how much armor you have. This
means for example that if you have 20 hp and 100 armor, 100 points of
damage will still kill you.
Keeping your health and armor up are essential to survival. The
following are available to help you recover your health and armor:
Small Health Pack
Health Per Pack: 10
Large Health Pack
Health Per Pack: 25
Armor per Pack: 15
Click and hold the "use" key to recover up to 30 points of health.
Click and hold the "use" key to recover up to 30 points of armor.
Click and hold the "use" key to recover both health and armor. It charges health at a much faster rate than a regular
charger. It also has the ability to charge armor up to a maximum of 200 instead of the usual 100.
Some Gameplay Concepts
The following are some of the more controversial aspects of the game. Before you pass judgement,
keep in mind that nobody can tell you the "right" way to play the game. Server admins can, however,
decide what they want the rules to be for their server. Part of the challenge of finding a good server is
finding a server with rules you agree with and admins that enforce them in a fair manner.
Camping is staying still in one location on the map to obtain sniper kills
or ambush kills. Camping as a strategy can also be used to control a strong area
Check the server rules before you do this. Some server admins ban excessive camping
because they feel it is a cheap way to obtain kills. For the most part you will be fine
though, and in competitive play it is a standard strategy. Along with improving your map
control, studying camp locations will help you develop new strategies for removing those that
try to use them.
Joining a game, or having your character revived after death is
called spawning. When you first spawn, you are vulnerable
for a split second. Often this can be long enough to be picked off
by another player. This is known as getting spawn killed.
Hanging around a spawn point waiting to kill newly spawned players
is referred to as spawn camping, or spawn monitoring.
Placing SLAMs on or around a spawn point is called spawn mining.
Once again, read the server rules before doing any of these. In
many servers, such actions will be considered illegal tactics
and may get you banned. Some server admins have put spawn
protection plugins on their servers to minimize the amount of
spawn killing. In competitive play, spawn killing is
considered to be a perfectly legitimate tactic and is practised.
Spamming refers to overwhelming your opponent with weapons that do
harm without requiring precise aim, typically orbs or explosives. Some
dislike excessive spam and consider it "low skill". Other players
consider spam to be a natural part of the game and have no problem with
If you play on servers with admins who dislike spam, you may be
kicked or banned from the server for excessive use of spam weapons.
will be stated in the server rules, or such an admin will have the
courtesy to at least warn you before taking action.
Getting Started Online
Highlight a server and click connect, or simply double-click it,
and you will start connecting to the game. At this point, you may
automatically download the map
being run if you don't have it already. You may also download
a few other files if the server admin has setup the server to push them
such as sound clips.
Once you have connected to the game your character will spawn
and the MOTD (message of the day) will display. Be sure to take a moment
to read the MOTD as server operators often use this page to
display the server rules. Don't worry if you get killed in the mean
time, score should
not matter to you at this stage. It is important that you
obey the rules, or you may find yourself getting kicked or banned from
the server by an admin.
Once you have read the MOTD, click ok to join the fight.
Getting Your Feet Wet
The best advice at this point is just to jump right in and get as
much experience as you can on a variety of servers. Try to get a feel
various modes of play, server settings, rules, maps, and the
players that visit them. You can interact with other players by chatting
(default is "Y" to chat). Typically if you have a good attitude
people will not react badly to you. If someone is being a jerk, do your
best to ignore them.
If someone is consistently doing something that is ruining the
game for everyone, you can usually take the matter up with an admin.
Look on the server
for contact information or links to a website.
Do not be too concerned with winning or losing when you first
start out. You will meet a variety of players with a wide range of skill
levels. Scores in a public server reflect more who you are playing than
how well you are playing. If someone is particularly tough, do not
assume they are cheating. There is a lot to learn in this game, and
someone that appears unreasonably tough may just be an advanced player.