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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Exclusive: Splash Damage's lead designer Paul Wedgwood reveals all on the epic Quake-inspired humans versus Strogg online blaster

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You really need a Titan tank to escort an MCP if you're going to establish an outpost. But we have a lot of urban environments, tunnels, caves, footways, routes that you generally are much better doing on foot. Also, you can't complete objectives except when out of a vehicle. So there's a ton of on-foot combat. The players are better equipped to fend off vehicles as well. For example, when flying in an anti-ground effect vehicle you have to stay fairly low because if you get into range of an anti-air turret belonging to the Strogg it will lock on automatically and shoot you out the sky.

Strogg tank character classes that carry the Obliterator can lock onto you and shoot you out the sky. You can't just use a vehicle to absolutely hammer the enemy from a distance and rely on it as a ranged attack. You always have to have people on foot supporting you, repairing the vehicles and helping them move forward.

What's your favourite vehicle to play around with and why?

Paul Wedgwood: I think at the moment it's the Goliath, the heavy walker, just because it's big and really powerful. The temptation is to choose your favourite vehicle as the current one that's the easiest to destroy everything with, but I think that's the one that I enjoy most when I'm playing on the Strogg team at the moment - because two of you in a Goliath is just amazing. And then I love the Anansi ground effect vehicle for the humans because I love pulling off stunts in it.

I'm really pleased about the fact that newbies are going to be able to jump into our game and fly Anansi helicopters really easily with straightforward player controls, but then see those controls evolve as their skills improve. You really have this kind of system where you reward player competence with added complexity, which is always something I've been fond of.

And you were also saying it'll be an advantage to have a three-man crew in vehicles rather than just one guy in one, or three guys in three separate vehicles?

Paul Wedgwood: Absolutely. We're playing with the idea of gunner and pilot in concert - so whether or not you grant people permission to use weapons and how that system works out. But regardless of how the gunnery system works, we absolutely are going to have a system in the game called target acquisition and nomination. This allows a pilot to tell a gunner about a target that he might not be looking at and for the gunner to inform the pilot of targets he's firing at that the pilot might not have seen.

If you take the Titan tank as an example, a guy manning the general purpose machine gun effectively plays anti-personnel role so he stops the Strogg from running up and placing plasma charges on the tank. The tank gunner can deal with vehicles and the pilot can try and get into locations where the vehicle has cover. Like, we'll build tank concealment into the map so you can just drop into these dips and just have the turret sticking out the top. When they start to communicate these targets to each other, they play a much more effective role and we discovered this just playing at our desks.

Two or three of us jumped into a tank and by shouting commands at each other you've essentially got three pairs of eyes. The vehicle becomes considerably more powerful and if you add into the mix the idea of an engineer being on board who can repair the vehicle when it's damaged, you have a really strong, small fireteam in a vehicle.

Any plans for including voice over IP?

Paul Wedgwood: Yeah, VoIP is in already. We have the same kind of 'v' chat we had in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, so you can type letters very quickly and it fills out the whole sentence and sends it as a fast message. We've got the traditional team chat and global chat as well.

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