How to avoid self-kills and damage:
These principles will help players who have problems with this. Advanced players know how to not to kill themselves wont always follow them.
(1) When manuvering in the presence of any obsticles or hallways that pass near the front of the player, press the fire button one time for each rocket you want to fire. Do not hold the fire key down, or press the fire button rapidly.
(2) When using the launcher to shoot down a hallway or in any confined area, take a moment to make sure that you are pointed straight, regardless of what is happening around you. Your attempt to avoid getting killed by the opponent wont mean jack if you kill yourself instead, so take the time you need.
There are some attacks that are exceptionally effective when executed with a rocket launcher, so I have devised ways to practice them in the training facility. In the manual.lmp, I demo all of this stuff in the General Weapons Handling Area:
(1) Putting a rocket safely in an open doorway
Here's the ideal way to do it: straferunning (usually in a hallway) toward an open doorway with the forward straferun angling you toward the doorway, making a small circlestrafe around the opening and firing straight through the doorway, then completing the semi-circular circle-strafe by pivoting and facing straight down the hall that the doorway opens into, continuing straight backwards to a distance that will clear you of rocket blast should your opponent suddenly run out of the room into the hallway and you pull the trigger on the launcher again. All of this is executed as one clean, smooth manuver. Leaving out small details in this, such as not making the circlestrafe around the doorway smoothly, or not facing straight down the hall afterwards, takes away from how effective this manuver can be. Just making a swingshot into the doorway can work, and may be appropriete in some situations, but will tend to be less accurate and have less chance of you being able to follow up should the opponant present himself right after your shot. Your chances of hitting the inside of the doorframe with the rocket at close range are also increased, as well as possibly getting hung up in the doorframe.
The General Weapons Handling Area has short hallways for practicing this along either side of the entrance, as well as stalls in the big room that are decreasing in width so you can practice accurately placing the rockets in smaller and smaller areas. While in an actual deathmatch you may or may not want to try to beam a rocket into a doorway as narrow as the smaller stalls, being able to do it will make you that much more skilled with the manuver.
(2) Distance Silencing
This is a strategic use of the rocket launcher that is most useful when you know the opponent is somewhat confined in an area where he cannot see you, or you hope that he will very soon enter a confined area nearby. You stand far enough back from the area that you are attacking that your firing of the launcher will not be heard by the opponent, and fire some rockets, possibly varying the timing in which you fire. It works best when the rockets hit something in the area where the opponent is expected to enter. You can also use this to cover areas of a map that are simply at a great distance, where you expect the opponent may be.
(3) Strategic use of proximity damage
When in a hallway situation, you are expecting that an opponent will attempt to pass quickly through an intersection from a certain hallway, or you believe that he is standing just out of sight around a corner, you can deliberately hit the nearby doorframe or wall, to where the proximity damage causes him damage. Here is a very important fact about proximity damage: it is height-insensitive. If you hit a wall with a rocket that is way above or below the opponent, he still takes proximity damage. Being able to accurately gauge how to fire past nearby corners to hit the walls you want will prove to be the only somewhat hard point of learning to do this.
(4) A note about rocket use in an open area -- not always effective
The rocket is the slowest moving piece of ammunition in Doom2. For this reason, it can be challenging to hit a skilled player in an open area with it. The key to this will be in firing in such a pattern around him as to confuse and somewhat trap him, or in observing the opponent running in one direction and firing with the exactly correct lead time, so that he and the rocket meet in one big splat. Rockets are generally most effective when you can use the proximity damage as well as the possibility of a direct hit against your opponent.
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