Guide to playing in Future effectively
Overview: Future was created by the player Profnaz for the 2013 “Level Designer” contest. It is a fairly popular map among low ranked players, but gradually becomes less common as one progresses through the game. Though not especially common, this map is a jewel when it comes to dynamic, medium ranged gameplay, suiting nearly every turret in the game. With its characteristic urban landscape and the option of night mode, Future can take on a nearly eerie appearance.
Battle Modes: TDM, CTF, CP, DM
Size: 20 players, 10 vs 10
Map Layout: Both the red and blue flags are situated in the very confined corners of the map. The Red Team’s base is especially defendable, with the flag sitting under a platform with only three entrances. The Blue Flag is also in a defensive location, only accessible by two lengthy roads and a leap from a building.
One of the map’s most prominent features is the large, highway-like bridge spanning across the center of the map. This bridge offers a quick dash across either side of the map, but is also very vulnerable to attack from the two opposing buildings. A tanker can also head underneath the bridge, but this route is a bit more circuitous.
A few other interesting components of Future are the passages. In the Blue Team’s left-hand corner, there is a large tunnel that bends around the perimeter of the map. This passage isn’t very significant, but it is a useful location to hide if you have taken possession of the enemy flag while at a stalemate. (Try to avoid this spot if you're being followed by a Ricochet, though. Enclosed spaced and ricocheting projectiles don't mix well with anyone trapped inside.) On the Red Team’s side of the map, underneath the large building overlooking the bridge, there are three tunnels offering entrance to a small chamber. Two of these tunnels are narrow enough only to accommodate Hornet or Wasp. However, the left tunnel is accessible to all hulls. One can also enter this chamber by jumping from above. If you are making a quick getaway with the flag using Wasp or Hornet, these passages can be very useful. Heavier hulls cannot follow you, and it is usually an unexpected move to opponents. Finally, in the far rear of the Red Team’s base, there is a tunnel that leads just behind the Red Team’s flag. This tunnel can be stealthily employed to nab the enemy flag without being noticed, and is fortunately wide enough to be used by all hulls. On the other hand, this tunnel is only accessible to those who have made their way to the very center of the Red Team’s base, and so may make a poor escape route.
Strategy: Capture-the-flag gameplay, like in other maps, is quite engaging. Both sides are very similar and can be played accordingly. When playing in Future CTF, one has several options.
Firstly, you can be an attacker, using a lighter hull to dart into the enemy base, and escape as quickly as possible. Be wary of using the exposed freeways, as Vulcans, Magnums or Shafts camping on the overlooking buildings will tear a Wasp or Hornet to pieces. Taking the flag can be difficult; both the Red and Blue flags are in confined, defensible locations perfectly tailored to heavy-hulled protectors. A Mammoth/Twins guarding the flag can really make a Wasp’s life miserable. Depending on the extent of the opponents’ defense, Hunter, Viking and even Dictator can sometimes serve as acceptable attackers. As soon as an attacker successfully takes possession of the enemy flag, try to return to your base as quickly as possible. This is not to say that one should be foolhardy; it if seems clear that the enemies are all over your base, take a more indirect but protected route.
One can also choose to be a “midfielder”. In Future, a very effective strategy is to take position on one of the buildings looking over the bridge. Taking position with Vulcan, Magnum, Railgun or Shaft, a Tanker will have a good firing position across most of the center of the map. This location provides an excellent way to both help defenders and attackers, as well as racking up kills and score. Another option is to prowl about the map using a medium hull with a turret such as Firebird, Thunder, Smoky or Ricochet. Medium to close range weapons with high damage power will excel in close-range brawls. Besides clearing a way for attackers, this position grants a player the opportunity to take the enemy flag if the situation arises. Perhaps the most important task of midfielders is to return the flag if the enemy succeeds in taking it, and in a map as complex as this, the job has never been more critical to a team's success.
Finally, a tanker can choose to be a defender. This map is really befitting to defenders, what with the close quarters locations of the flag and limited escape routes. Additionally, a health kit drops within a few feet of either flag. As mentioned earlier, Mammoth or Titan mounted with a high damage turret act as deadly defenders. Simply set up camp around the flag and wait for enemies to come to you. Using mines is an especially potent strategy in the Red base, as the escape routes are very narrow. The blue base also presents a unique opportunity to both closely defending the flag, and cover a great deal of the rest of the map as well. The ramp area leading from the blue flag to the roof of the building is a great place to defend the blue base with Vulcan. Vulcan’s high auto-aim enables it to hit enemies just around the flag stand, and fire although into the enemy base to pick off attackers long before they near the flag.
Adding to Future’s bleak ambience, DM mode suits this map very well. Future has seven areas of combat, all of which suit different weapons and playstyles.
- Corner Tunnel Area: This section is not frequently visited by players, so if one is playing in DM mode, it is best to avoid this area. However, if you intend on surviving for lengthy amounts of time and accumulating a high D/L, this spot may be for you. I would recommend mounting Hammer, Freeze or Firebird on a medium or heavy hull in this area. Be wary of anyone with Ricochet that can continue fighting you long after you've delved into the pipe for cover, though.
- The Left Building: This location is great for turrets like Magnum and Vulcan, but be careful of players attacking from behind as you snipe across the map. Overall, this area is usually crowded. It offers a chance to achieve a high number of kills in a short amount of time, but is also very dangerous for longer periods. If possible, use Vulcan, Magnum or Smoky to destroy enemies from above. Since it gathers a large number of opponents, a unique option would be to equip Twins and barrel through defenseless, slow firing weapons.
- Upper Region: This region accommodates medium to longer range turrets. Thunder and Smoky perform excellently. A Firebird on Hornet can also be an effective combination in this area. With a medium range turret, try to destroy enemies without getting too close. Because Future DM is best for close range weapons, a mid range weapon in this location is powerful, yet vulnerable.
- Center Region: This region consists of the area below the bridge, and the bridge itself. The bridge itself is slightly vulnerable from attack from above. Nevertheless, the bridge can be employed by longer range weapons to stay protected from close quarters. Additionally, a great deal of drop boxes fall upon the bridge. The underside of the bridge provides an excellent environment for Hammer, Striker or Ricochet. This lower level may be one of the most powerful zones in Future. It grants a way to fire upon the upper and lower regions, as well as destroy enemies in close quarters. The numerous walls and structures are perfect for Ricochet.
- Lower Region: This region is decent for all types of turrets. Like the upper region, Thunders and Smoky may do best. Hammer, Striker, Twins, Ricochet, and even Railgun can do great in this area. If you are using a longer range turret, be observant and avoid making a risky move.
- The Right Building: This position is relatively the same as the left building. Sniping with Vulcan, Thunder, Magnum or Smoky may be an effective strategy; however, because this location is usually crowded, it may be dangerous to stay still up there for too long. Use your judgement when entering with a longer range turret. Of course, Vulcan can sometimes hold its own against close range weapons. One thing peculiar to this building is the ability to jump from it to the bridge below. If using a light hull, this strategy can be employed to make quick and harmless getaways. Additionally, one can also jump into the small chamber underneath the building.
- The Far Right: This region is very similar to the lower and upper regions. It is essentially without cover, other than the two trenches/tunnels that run along the wall. Overall this region isn’t very important and is mainly used as a pathway to get to other regions.
CP mode in Future consists of five control points. Interestingly, the spawn locations of the teams have been slightly changed from that of CTF. One control point is located in each of the buildings. The other three are situated on the the ground. The two team’s spawn on the lower two corners of the map; because the spawn locations are not as distributed across the map as they are for CTF, it gives a player more decision in which direction he will head.
One option is to drive on top of the closest building. Usually you will spawn very close to a ramp leading up to the building. Once on top, one can capture the control point and snipe at enemies below. Again, Vulcans, Magnums, Shafts and Thunders are effective turrets for this technique. If it seems necessary to continue capturing points, one can easily jump from atop the building and land on the ground below. Twins mounted on a medium to heavy hull are very powerful turrets in CP mode. Because of the high damage and lack of reload, Twins always makes for an indispensable capturing tool and guardian of control points.
The main thing to keep in mind in Future TDM is that there is no reason to be unduly aggressive. Take a more defensive stance, and play cautiously. There is no great reason to use Wasp or Hornet; Heavier hulls are definitely preferable. All turrets will perform decently, but longer range turrets will do best, as they don’t necessarily require a player to advance into enemy territory. Make use of the map’s defensive nature by setting up a strong camping position, and wait for enemies to come to you.
Take advantage of the map terrain. Future offers a lot of cover that can be used to pull off “peak-a-boom” tactics. Ricochet can be an advantageous turret because of the number of ricochet angles in the map. A Ricochet is certainly useful to be guarding one of the tunnels or passages in Future.