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Ballistic Weapons: The Tactical Combat Mod
This guide will not be complete for some time, but I plan to work on it on a semi-regular basis. I've already included the basics that you'll need to get started, but I still have to complete the various weapon lists, map overviews and glossary.
Ballistic Weapons is a huge deal for Unreal Tournament. It's quite possibly one of the most popular mods on ModDB, and the level of complexity it adds to the game is well-received. However, as there are no guides for the mod or how it works anywhere on Steam, I figured I'd help those out who haven't yet given it a spin and don't know where to start. Such is the purpose of the guide you're now reading.
This installation guide is written for Windows 7. For Windows XP and Windows 8 the process should be sufficiently similar, but I can't offer any insight for Mac OSX or the various Linux operating systems. If you know how to install Ballistic Weapons on either system, send me a copy of the instructions and I'll add them to this guide.
Installing Ballistic Weapons: WinRAR or 7z
Installing Ballistic Weapons is a very simple procedure, as Epic Games had the foresight to create Unreal Tournament with the intention of being extremely mod-friendly.
In order to install Ballistic Weapons, you will first need to download the base pack (Ballistic Weapons: v2.5 Complete). While you're at it, grab the latest version of Azarael's Unofficial v2.5 Patch. This is not required for installation, but if you encounter any problems while playing it will save you a return trip to the website.
Now that you've done that, get Sergeant Kelly's Weapon Packs (WD1) (WD2+3) for the latest community-created weapons, and Fische11's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Weapons Pack (not essential, but a great add-on).
Move all the zip archives to an easy-to-reach spot (such as a folder on your desktop) and extract them. (For a tutorial on how to extract files and where to find WinRAR or 7z, consult the last section of this guide.)
Note: If you have not yet run Unreal Tournament for the first time, do so now. Otherwise, the required folders may not be there, and the first-time setup will become confused by the "improper" Ballistic Weapons files.
Now that you've done that, open your Unreal Tournament 2004 folder. This is located under C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common for 64-bit computers, and C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common for 32-bit. If you cannot find any Steam files under C:\, then you may have installed Steam on an auxiliary hard drive. If so, just replace C:\ with the correct drive.
Find the following folders in both the extracted modpacks and the game's files:
Copy all the extracted folders into your Unreal Tournament 2004 folder. When Windows asks you if you want to Merge the folders, select "Yes to All". If you encounter a conflict with the BWCache.ini file, select the largest version. If they are both the same size, it doesn't matter.
Close all the folders and run the game. It will start up as normal, but that doesn't mean you're in the clear just yet. In order to check to see if the installation was successful, go to Settings, then click Weapon Database. Due to the sheer amount of new weaponry that Ballistic Weapons adds, it will take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on your system, to load all the information. Once it's loaded, click on a few of the new weapons (the GRSXX pistol and XMV-850 minigun are always at the top of the list for me when I install). If a 3D model appears in the preview window and is properly textured, then you should be good to go.
Now select Instant Action from the main menu, look for a Ballistic Weapons game type and go to Game Rules. Look for the option labeled "Configure Ballistic settings" and open the menu. From here, you can change all visual aspects of the mod, alter the loadout lists to include or exclude certain weapons and tweak how heavily things like weapon shifting and accuracy factor in to your game.
Note: Low-end systems will not be able to handle "Permanent Impact Marks," "Permanent Blood" or "Permanent Brass." These will cause extreme lag as your processor attempts to keep track of the positions of all the new decals as the match progresses.
Installing Ballistic Weapons: UMOD
Note: This format is not recommended due to the large number of errors that can crop up, and the current release of Ballistic Weapons is not available for download in UMOD.
To install it, follow the steps outlined in Sybren's Using UMOD Files[stuvel.eu] tutorial.
Playing with Ballistic Weapons in non-BW game types
Ballistic Weapons has in-house support for the following game types:
Ballistic Conflict (a custom game type developed specifically for Ballistic Weapons)
In order to allow the use of Ballistic Weapons content and features in game types such as Assault and Vehicle Capture-the-Flag, RuneStorm and the Ballistic Weapons team have included Ballistic mutators that can be activated in the same way as vanilla mutators (for example, Big Heads mode or Species Statistics). To find them, simply select the game type you wish to play and go to Mutators. You will not be able to customize your experience as fully as with the Ballistic Weapons game types, but any configurations to visual settings (such as blood and brass lifetimes) will carry over.
Uninstalling Ballistic Weapons
To uninstall Ballistic Weapons v2.5 and the Weapon Drop packs, run the Uninstall_BWv25Complete.bat, Delete BWBPV6+BWBPV7+BWBPV9.bat and Delete BWBPV10.bat files, which are located in the folders you extracted while installing. Deleting the other files (such as from Fische11's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. pack) are a bit trickier--you will need to find the original files in the extracted folders, copy or memorize their names, and hunt them down in your Unreal Tournament 2004 folder. Tedious, but easy.
In the event that you accidentally delete an important system folder from the base game or otherwise break it while removing Ballistic Weapons, open your Steam games library, right-click on Unreal Tournament 2004, and select "Verify Integrity of Game Cache." Steam will scan the game's files and redownload anything that's missing.
Ballistic Weapons: Overview
Overview of New Features and Movement Changes
Sprinting and Stamina Ballistic Weapons introduced the mechanic of rapid movement to Unreal Tournament. While your default movement speed is already fast enough for timely travel from Point A to Point B, you are still very vulnerable to enemy fire, especially when approaching a defended point or while carrying a flag. In order to combat this and increase your chances of survival, you are capable of sprinting for short periods of time--with the added lethality of firearms in Ballistic Weapons, this is often the only way of getting to cover when under fire.
While sprinting increases your movement speed substantially, it also tires you. When you begin sprinting, or when you perform a dodge maneuver, your stamina will decrease--this is indicated by a gradient blue bar above your health. When your stamina is depleted, you can no longer sprint, although you may still jump normally. Simply releasing the sprint key and waiting a short time is enough to regain your stamina.
Weight Unlike in the vanilla Unreal Tournament, different weapons have varying physical properties. While a handgun won't slow you down much, a heavy rocket launcher or machinegun will impair your ability to run and jump. This doesn't have much of an effect on normal gameplay, although you may find it difficult to reach certain ledges or scale cover.
Note:Typically, only the weapon you are currently using will affect your movement. Weapons in your inventory are not factored in unless you are playingBallistic Conflict.
Weapon Shifting In Ballistic Weapons, the point of origin and trajectory of a projectile depends on the orientation and position of the gun's barrel. The heavier or bulkier a weapon is, the harder it is to keep it on target. This applies both in the form of recoil and when moving, as detailed below.
Weapon Chaos: Rapid fire or powerful calibers will quickly throw a weapon's aim off-center, making it difficult to hit your target. While laser sights migitate this somewhat by showing you how you need to correct your aim, the easiest way to compensate is to aim down the sights (ADS) of your weapon. Note that this will slow your movement speed to a steady walk.
Running, Jumping and Sprinting As you move around, your weapon will shift depending on your position. If you take cover behind a pillar, for instance, you will hold long guns against your chest or tuck handguns in by your side. This adversely affects your ability to hit something, and you will likely need to expose yourself in order to fire. Likewise, moving quickly or jumping will throw your aim off, and it can be difficult to recenter without coming to a stop.
Note:Unlike in many games with sprinting mechanics, you are still fully able to fire your weapon when sprinting. Instead of terminating the sprint and bringing your gun up, you will simply fire the weapon in whichever direction it is pointing. It is actually possible to kill somebody running alongside you in this fashion, although such a situation is difficult to reproduce intentionally, and weapons with splash damage should never be utilized this way.
Reloading The magazine system is one of the most important mechanics in Ballistic Weapons. Not only does it make otherwise overpowered weapons manageable, it allows you to carry more ammunition in reserve than the Unreal-standard limit of 999 (a pitifully small number when given the rate of fire of many new weapons). Different classes of weapons handle reloading in different ways; while a handgun is extremely quick and simple to reload, a belt-fed machinegun may require you to remove the box and ammunition separately if there is so little ammunition left in the "clip" that the belt is merely hanging out the side of the gun--this is covered in more detail in each weapon category.
Weapon Specials All of the new weapons have unique characteristics that define them. Almost all are select-fire; you can choose whether to fire single shots or go fully automatic. Many weapons have grenade launchers, laser sights, hunting scopes, nightvision enhancements or suppressors; a few even have remote-controllable cameras, targeting computers or team-synchronized displays. While the concept of 'Fire/Alt Fire' has been around since the original Unreal, these new features necessitate an entirely new control system. While firing the gun and using the main attachment (often a grenade launcher or scope) work as normal, you will find that a key can be bound for changing the rate of fire and accessing special features.
Note:Take a few minutes to visit the Settings menu and configure these to your liking--the features these weapons come with are very worthwhile once you've learned how to properly utilize them.
Loadout System While you are very capable of playing Ballistic Weapons with the default inventory system of Unreal Tournament, a newer and more user-friendly menu called the Loadout Menu allows matches to hit their stride more quickly, and allows you to circumvent the limited number of spawn points when you wish to try a different weapon--as Ballistic Weapons includes over eighty new weapons with more being released through regular updates, there is no way that you could fit all the new firepower into a vanilla map.
The Loadout system, when activated, will open a window with five drop-down categories to determine your equipment. They are:
Weapon Variation In addition to the base weapons, there are many variants included in the inventory system. Most are simply cosmetic differences (alternate color patterns, blood spatter, graffiti) while some offer different statistics from their stock counterparts (ammunition modification, increased magazine capacity). Individual weapons will keep their variation until they decay--in other words, if you find somebody carrying a different version of a gun that you have, you can kill them and take it for yourself!
Note:Currently, there is no way to select which variation of a weapon you will spawn with--it is randomly determined when the weapon is first picked up.
Weapons: Close Combat
D49 .357 Magnum A powerful, over-and-under two-barrel revolver chambered for .357u UltraMag ammunition. The unique cycling action allows single or double fire and a high-powered laser is included in the frame for assisted aim. This weapon is small enough to be dual-wielded, although the unmanageable kick and dubious tactical usefulness of firing four magnum rounds at once make this an unwise option.
TCN-J9 Similar in appearance to the ancient Beretta 92sf but functionally distinct, this select-fire sidearm was originally intended for special response teams and military police, but the lack of an effective compensator limited its usefulness and it quickly found its way into the criminal underworlds of almost every colonized system in the galaxy. Now infamous as a "bad-guy gun" and the subject of no small amount of controversy at public ranges, it is nonetheless an excellent weapon for close-quarters combat.
XRS-10 A bastạrd 10mm design that works surprisingly well, if in a niche capacity. The barrel is threaded to accept a suppressor and a laser is integrated in the frame; both are factory-standard features. The weapon is marketed as an economical and ergonomic home defense weapon for outer-colony settlers, where fully automatic weapons are often the only means of repelling marauders and indigenous wildlife.
Handcannon and Breach-Loaded Pistols
Shotguns are commonly used for hunting and home defense because the spread that shotshells provide makes hitting your target an almost trivial exercise. The smoothbore quality that sets shotguns apart from other weapons also means they can be used to deploy all manner of specialized rounds, including tasers and grenades. It's this versatility that ensures a continued military and police interest in what is one of the oldest firearm designs in history.
Pump-Action and Lever-Action Shotguns
M763 Due to its bulk and relative simplicity, this long-barreled shotgun can often be used to bludgeon enemies who get too close for proper target acquisition. Several variations of this firearm exist, although almost all have been phased out of service with the UTC and private contractors.
MRS-138 A practical and economic shotgun originally built for home defense, the integrated taser and flashlight quickly drew the attention of security and police units across the galaxy. Its small size means it can be handled in confined spaces.
M290 A heavy, powerful combat shotgun that has seen use in several conflicts on the Rim. Its magazine holds an impressive ten shells and both barrels can be fired simultaneously, or independently of each other. Given its weight compared to the M763, it is not recommended as a clubbing instrument.
Semi-Automatic and Assault Shotguns
SK-410 Based off the timeless Kalashnikov pattern, the SK-410 is a fully-automatic shotgun that is optimized for high-explosive 410-gauge shotshells. Although cursed with a small magazine capacity, the gun's ability to redirect gas to propel the shot farther and with a tighter grouping gives it a small amount of versatility.
SPAS-12 While the design is centuries-old, this gun is enjoying a revival as police weapon of choice among the inner planets. It can be set to either manual (pump) or select-fire gas operation.
SKAS-12 A tri-barreled, rotary automatic chambered for 12-gauge. The magazine is of bullpup design and allows the gun to remain small despite having three full-length barrels. Like the SK-410, it can be set for longer-range grouping. A specialized feeding system enables all three barrels to be chambered and fired at once.
Rifles of the future, regardless of purpose, share a few common ancestors with each other, such as the venerable AR-15 platform and the timeless Kalashnikov pattern--while many of these rifles seem indistinguishable to the uninitiated, exclusive after-market features and under-the-hood enhancements set them apart as unique. This isn't to say there are no new designs, of course--the heavy-hitting Ranger, clandestine Spectre and galaxy-famous SRS-900 series often send the older weapons running for their money.
Boltguns and Lever-Action Rifles
R78 Sharpshooter's Rifle
R98 Hunting Rifle
Redwood 700 'Deermaster' While the concept of a deer rifle in the distant future may seem ludicrous, many terraformed planets do have imported populations of deer, elk and other game both for a steady food supply and to keep human hunting traditions alive--but as any gun enthusiast knows, deer aren't the only thing that can be felled with a powerful .270 cartridge. . .
Civilian Sporters and Other Semi-Automatic RIfles
SRS Mod-2 Sporting Rifle The fame garnered by the SRS family of service rifles quickly gave rise to public demand for a civilian version of the weapon--while owning automatic firearms is indeed legal on many border planets out of necessity, stricter gun laws still apply on the core worlds, and a semi-automatic sporter deemed the Mod-2 was put into production in short order. While the barrel is incapable of supporting a suppressor (by default, at least) and the battlenet-linked scope is noticeably absent (and noticeably illegal), the sheer number of after-market options and aesthetic customizations from the gun's various manufacturers is astounding.
R9 Ranger Rifle Originally developed and tested for UTC Rangers (hence the name), this powerful semi-automatic marksman's rifle has an unparalleled range and target grouping for its class, and the high-powered rounds it delivers are capable of dispatching all but the most well-armored enemies (at least, of the human variety) with little trouble. The gun has a solid report and distinct visual signature, and while it has a full-length Picatinny accessory rail for mounting various optics, it is most often found equipped with nothing but the basic sightposts--just as the Rangers prefer.
Assault and Battle Rifles
SRS-900 Battle Rifle A design that grew to become universally loved by human armies, the SRS series draws its heritage back to the Ruger Mini-14, but with materials that make "space-age" seem like a child's toy, full select-fire capability and progressively more advanced targeting computers and battlenet chips built into the gun, the outward appearance seems to be the only similarity still present. Most commonly chambered in 7.62UTC and optimized for combat in airless or caustic environments, this is as close to the modern definition of "service rifle" that firearms get.
Weapons: High-Tech and Experimental
"Another shining example of what morally ambiguous scientists can do with a bunch of made up words and excess amounts of coffee." -Sergeant Kelly
Note: For the sake of referential convenience, all energy-based weapons are found in this section, even if they would normally fall under other sections due to purpose.
M75-TIC Infantry Railgun
M30A2 Tactical Gauss Rifle
Lasers and Photon Cannon
A-500 "Acid Blaster" A bizarre, almost organic weapon recovered from border conflicts with Skaarj forces. This side-loaded blaster projects a highly caustic stream of gelatinous matter in several spread patterns. In usage, it is similar to the discontinued UTC Bio-Rifle, but without the ability to cultivate sludge in a separate tank.
Note: WinRAR is what I refer to as "nagware"--when you download the free trial, it gives you thirty or so days to evaluate its performance. When those thirty days are up, it will begin to open a dialogue window asking you to buy the software; this happens every time you use it. Simply close the dialogue window and keep using it as usual. Nothing bad will happen.