Q3knockOut by Dr. Jones Bones is a unique gameplay mod which brings for the player new goals and mechanics while completely changing the principles and requirements of combat. The only way to make a frag is by pushing an opponent out of the regular area into various damaging environments, such as the space void, lava, slime and sometimes even plain water.
Weapons and ammo
The weapons are Grenade Launcher, Rocket Launcher, Railgun, Plasmagun and BFG10K. Hits from weapons do not remove health. Instead each impact produces a certain push or impulse which are significantly increased compared to the original game. This makes pushing enemies out to damaging areas easier. As there is no regular self-damage from weapons in this mod and the push affect from an impact is so much more, weapon jumps from all weapons are possible, higher and simply a lot more fun.
The BFG10K works significantly different. It is just as important as in the original game and plays a valuable role. Unlike all the other weapons in this mod, the BFG is not spawned with the player, but must be picked up. The next major difference - it has 1 shot, but fires 7 powerful projectiles all at the same time. Normally, there is from one to two BFG spawn points on each map. Once someone grabs this weapon, in most cases the person can hear the Vadrigar of the arena expressing his amazement with the "Holy shit!" phrase, whilst every player is able to see the following message in the upper left corner, highlighted in red font: "[Player name] has the BFG!"
The only exception where the above does not occur after someone has picked up a BFG is when that person already has the BFG limit of two charges. Under such circumstances, each time this player/bot attempts to grab the weapon, the phrase "Denied!" will be heard. The BFG10K will almost immediately respawn. In all the other cases this weapon appears on its spawning point every 60 seconds or once somebody owning the BFG dies. Then the game notifies the player with the clock chime sound and the message in the upper left corner, highlighted in green font: "Get the BFG!" Logically, in Q3knockOut BFG10K produces one of the biggest impulses. Possibly for this reason, there are no ammo boxes for this weapon in the given modification.
Each player and bot will spawn with all the basic weapons (Grenade Launcher, Rocket Launcher, Railgun and Plasmagun, i.e. everything except the BFG) and a certain amount of ammunition in stack: 50 grenades, 15 rockets, 4 slugs and 150 cells. Thus, the only ammo boxes appearing on maps are those containing the aforementioned types. Inside you can find 25 grenades, 10 rockets, 3 slugs or 50 cells. The harsh slug limit is not accidental — the Railgun is a weapon which produces one of the strongest impulses in this mod, so the quantity of the rail charges that can be loaded at the same time is more limited in order to keep the gameplay balanced. For the same purpose, the speed of the Grenade Launcher is accelerated here.
Another thing to note is that enemies still drop weapons once dead. However, if an enemy falls down too far away from the regular part of the map, the weapon can stay in the void/lava/slime and therefore be almost impossible to pick up.
Items and powerups
As for the major powerup items, all of them are kept except the Regeneration, which means there is the Quad Damage, Haste, Invisibility, Battle Suite and Flight. Since there is no damage that can be made to an enemy in a regular way with weapons, the Quad Damage plays a role of an item which increases every weapon-produced impulse. When it comes to Battle Suite, this is your best friend every time you grab it and as long as it stays active, because this item protects you from all the damaging environments, including even the space void. Unlike the original Quake III, if you fall into the void while having the protection of the Battle Suite active, you will survive and then be teleported to a normal harmless zone.
Both health and armor goodies are absent due to lack of need, as most frags are done by pushing enemies out. This implies all the Medkits, Armor Shards, Mega Healths, Red and Yellow Armors and even health capsules that are present on some levels, e.g. Q3DM10. There is however a very useful item, which is kept here and that you can count on — the Personal Teleporter. Just like it is with the BFG and the Battle Suite, most floater (open space) maps give you at least one Personal Teleporter. This item can come in handy really often, especially when the player is falling down into a "toxic" environment.
Maps suitable for playing
Normally, the only appropriate type of maps to be played in Q3knockOut is floater (open space maps). Some good examples of such levels suitable for playing in this mod would be:
If you want to bring even more challenge to the gameplay, you might want to try it on LCTIMEWELL by Blurr with very limited open space areas, SONICBOIL by ZaRR where you need to push your enemies into the lava box or even ISLAND by Blurr where you could make your enemies drown in plain water.
Please keep in mind that frags can still be done by telefragging, and squishes are still possible as well. What is also important to notice is that on levels with the skyboxes geometrically being a part of the main zone of the map, touching the top ("ceiling") of the map equals getting killed.
Game types and special options
Q3knockOut supports all the basic game types, which are Free For All, Team Deathmatch, Tournament and Capture the Flag. Due to the mod's settings and gameplay, the CTF regime becomes way more challenging — at some point one rail or BFG shot can be enough for a player having the enemy team's flag to lose it because of being pushed out into the space void.
The mod contains an Instagib option, which doubles the number of game types as it is a game option, not a game type. Instagib can be switched on or off when setting up the map. Thus, such genre as CTF Instagib becomes possible to apply to a match while always keeping the Q3knockOut mechanics and principal goals. Grab your railgun and find out what are your skills in FFA, TDM, duel and CTF with Instagib!
Another option that the mod offers is Challenge Mode. Having this parameter turned on will test player's abilities to operate with the given instruments without any bonus items, except the weapons and ammunition boxes. This means that in a match with the Challenge Mode there will not be any power up items nor BFG10K. In this case there is a need to rely on the personal skills of using just the Grenade Launcher, Rocket Launcher, Railgun and Plasmagun, and being able to only grab Grenades, Rockets, Slugs and Plasma Cells.
One more option that is present in this mod is Bot Autoskill. To use the state of this setting of being activated, you will have to manually add bots via the console - it will not work otherwise. Subsequently, the bot skill will start to gradually increase.
Finally, the Friendly Fire option for team game modes is kept here, but what does "Friendly Fire" mean in context of having the goal of pushing enemies out? Well, here it means when switched off, any shots that connect with a teammate will simply not produce any impulse at all. Naturally, you can mix all of these options up to find the best settings for you.
Q3knockOut is a unique and complete revolution in the Quake III gameplay. Definitely recommended to download and enjoy on regular basis!
Review by Geniraul