So, I'm not the best at writing out guides or instructions, and I certainly don't have the best memory, so pardon mistakes I make here, not everything may be 100% right, and my tips/tricks are mostly either personal things or things others have told me, they have some value but remember they are opinion! I highly recommend, above all else, just taking your time, and playing around with things, find out what works with you, what doesn't, how you like to play, and with what. I merely offer this guide as someone who can be considered decently experienced with the vs. Saxton Hale game mode and wishes to help others improve their game or get an idea of a place to start by compiling a more basic version of wiki logs into an easy to understand comprehensive guide, and adding my own tips. By extension, anything said here can, to a degree, apply to FF2 as Freak Fortress and Saxton Hale tend to run off of very similar bases, excluding the differences in weapon bans/moderation and in hale tricks, I am also familiar with Freak Fortress and may later try to go in depth there, but as it stands I enjoy VSH more and find it a better starting point to expand from. First off, I noticed Bdopz made a guide for general tf2 tricks, http://forums.degree-gaming.com/threads/tips-tricks-and-helpful-info-tf2.40868/ I have read through it, and I recommend perhaps you might as well, among other things it tells you a lot of the basic commands used, and it lists out all the weapon/class changes for ff2. Not all of these are the same for VSH though. In fact, we have a wiki that includes much VSH rules and statistics, I also suggest looking through it to find weapon changes, and more specific info about the bosses then the brief run through I put here! http://forums.degree-gaming.com/forums/help-us-with-our-tf2-wiki.18/ This includes info about specific damage numbers, changes, and a couple more tips I may reiterate upon here. But, just in case, let me go over the commands and a few numbers I can remember off the top of my head that are highly useful, keep in mind I play on the VSH #56 server, so not all commands are on all servers, especially if you switch clans, degree gaming does not have the same rule sets as other clans, if you want me to try adding the changes I know of between some of the other groups (Skial, Blackwonder, etc.) then I might try, but for now I'm sticking degree gaming. But first, what is VSH you ask? Well, VSH itself stands for Vs. Saxton Hale. It's a custom community game mode that's been around a while and has quite a few different versions, as well as the spin-off FF2 or Freak Fortress 2 which adds more bosses, more abilities, and more chaos. At it's base, the game-mode is arena styled, that means every player has one life only (there is a way to revive if you have Gold VIP as donator perks) and once you are dead, you are out. The game is also set up as a one vs. all, generally being one person on blue team vs. the entire rest of the server on red team. Some symmetrical maps will switch the teams around every few rounds however. The catch is though, that the one player who is fighting everyone else.... is SAXTON HALE. Or one of the other bosses in this game mode, which, in short, means they have a very large pool of health that varies to match the current number of players, is just barely faster then a scout (faster once on low health), can use abilities to jump across the map and spook large amounts of people at once, and generally can kill you in just one punch. But they can only punch, so, it's a tradeoff. An entire team vs. a super powered boss. Let's get into things Commands: !fp - this will switch your view to first-person, the standard way most of tf2 is played !tp - this will switch your view to third-person, that way you can see more around you and your entire character in your view !rtd - this will roll the dice, they have about an 80 second(ish?) cooldown, but these will give you a random effect from a fairly large list, anything from powerplay, criticals, and invisibility, to timebomb and explode, so roll at your own risk !halenext - this will show the que list for who is hale next, as well as the line after with the que points beside each players name. It can give you an idea who might be coming up in the next round, and lets you check how long you have left, pressing 0 can also let you open a prompt to reset your own que if you do not wish to be hale !resetq - or alternately, you can reset your points directly by typing this !motd - stuck in spectator? Can't join a team? Really loud add playing in your ear? Type this, it'll rest you to the starting page of the server, then you should be able to pick a team, and it should reset the add and make it stop !donate - want to support the clan? Want to see what exactly that gold VIP has and why he keeps coming back from the dead? Still just want that add to stop? This takes you also to the page of the server by pulling up the donation screen which lists out the different levels and benefits of ranks, and consequentially by opening a new page, makes the adds stop !amp - Engineers Only - This will pull up a menu that generally appears at the start of the round as engineer which will prompt you whether you wish your dispenser building slot to build the standard dispenser or if you would wish it to build an amplifier instead. !hale - this will pull up the general base menu for saxton hale, from here there are other menus with their own commands, or you can navigate the menu manually to get to each one, they list the base objectives of the game, a couple of the commands mentioned above, and weapon changes for your current class Now then, how about the bosses? I mentioned saxton hale already, but here are several others too! I won't get into the nitty gritty of numbers, distances, and figures, but here is an outline of each of the standard 5 VSH bosses, in FF2 expect many many more however. Bosses: Saxton Hale - The name sake of this game, Saxton Hale is, well... Saxton Hale, your classic super buff shorts wearing Australian man, Australia shaped chest hair, bushy mustache, hat, and all. So what can he do? Super Jump - The standard ability of 4 of the 5 bosses, by crouching or holding right click, then looking up and releasing, he can let out a mighty shout and jump. Really far. Super Jump takes some work to get right, but it can generally launch a player pretty far, anywhere from halfway across the map to up five flights, and you can strafe while you jump. All in all, it works a lot like a rocket jump control wise, just.... a bit more extreme Rage - Saxton Hale has the standard rage, when his rage meter is filled up (more on this later), then he can taunt or call for medic to activate it. He roars, and in a wide radius around him all enemy players are spooked, this means they can't attack, can't jump, and move slower, generally making them much easier to kill. He also gain the medic's quick-fix freedom of movement effect, meaning he cannot be stunned for a brief period of time. Stomp & Weigh down - when landing on a player does increased fall damage, generally speaking, enough to kill most players. By crouching mid-air one can also forcibly drop themselves, though this has been known to be finicky and take work to get to activate properly on 56 Other - Saxton Hale is the base rate of most things, so he's pretty simple and straight forward, also has the standard damage output of 202 per hit. Vagineer - A engineer gone horribly wrong, vagineer is a standard looking engineer, except with... an enlarged head, most of which is taken up by his mouth, shaped like, well, a vagina. Super Jump - See Saxton Hale Rage - Vagineer, upon raging, does a large spook radius like Saxton Hale, and in addition, also becomes ubercharged. This lasts quite some time, about the standard medic ubercharge, during which time he experiences much less knockback and can take no damage. Stomp & Weigh down - See Saxton Other - On death vaporizes players. Neat trick that! Also has no head hitbox, or at least, a very reduced one that is extremely hard to hit, so trying to headshot as sniper won't get you anywhere. Easter Bunny - It's easter, so someone let demo get roaring drunk, don a white bunny costume, and run around with a beer bottle smashing people in the face with it. Good times Super Jump - See Saxton Hale, though has slightly higher/further jumps then other bosses Rage - Easter Bunny, upon raging, does a large spook radius like Saxton Hale, and in addition, also pulls out a grenade launching and begins shooting a wild spray of eggs in all directions. These blow up fast, are slightly smaller then a loose cannon, and while they don't do a ton of damage, even scout can survive two or three blowing up near him, can hurt if they hit directly, and kill everything if they are crit boosted or let loose in a tight space. Eggs - In addition, upon a kill as easter bunny, the deceased player with explode into a spray of eggs. Unlike the rage eggs however, these ones do no damage, in fact, for about one second they grant critical hits to whoever picks them up! Hale can pick these up as well though! Stomp & Weigh down - See Saxton Other - Easter Bunny can jump higher then any other hale, both in super jump, but also in regular jumping. He does slightly less damage then a normal hale though, about 195, meaning classes like soldier can survive a hit, just barely, if they are at full health Horseless Headless Horseman Jr. - Also called HHHJ for short, Horseless Jr. is the spitting image of his daddy from Scream Fortress, just more... person sized. Teleport - HHHJ differs from all the other bosses in that instead of being able to super jump, he can teleport directly to a random player-they have about half a second before hhhj can swing again though. Teleport also has a much longer recharge time, while Super Jump takes probably around 5 seconds, teleport takes closer to 40, so try to make use of it. Wall Climb - To make up for his lack of jumping ability, much like the sniper with bushwaka (more details later) the HHHJ can climb walls. How? Simply by hitting them with his axe it will send him up along it, keep hitting it and you can keep ascending, or use it to strafe around onto ledges. Rage - HHHJ has standard Saxton rage Stomp & Weigh Down - See Saxton Other - I don't actually know statistics on this, but in my experience HHHJ has a slower movement speed then other saxton's, either that or it's just harder to gauge between weapon knockbacks, but he is also usually the one known for having extra long hits, so try to remember things are a lot closer then you think when it comes to reach Christian Brutal Sniper - also called CBS for short, Christian Brutal is a sniper decked in black with a fine mix of facial hair, a wide variety of all the sniper's melee weapons, and a thirst for blood. Super Jump - See Saxton Hale Rage - CBS has a very short spook range compared to other bosses, a couple feet wide around him, however he also gets a huntsmen upon rage with several arrows (wiki says 6, but the number may vary based on number of people in the server too) that do massive damage as well, some variance based on charge time but enough to take a level 3 sentry in two hits or kill most players, much like his standard attack Stomp & Weigh Down - See Saxton Other - CBS takes extra knockback damage-this means a lot of attacks don't just send him back, they can send him flying. Also, small note, every kill his melee switches between the sniper's different knives, though this has no game effect And some small class notes that I've noticed, this is by no means comprehensive, so check the wiki or the in game listings to get the full details, I really only know the classes best that I play most, but these seem the most important things to remember. Class Changes Scout - Baby Face's Blaster, Soda Popper, and Bonk! are not allowed and replaced with stock scattergun and with bonk! Soldier - Rocket Jumper is replaced with stock, every couple hundred damage counts as a kill for the airstrike, mantreads can do stomps, buff banner makes you personally able to survive multiple hits from hale with damage reduction, Market Gardens do a large fraction of hale's health in damage, and each hit with the half-zatoichi counts as a kill for gaining health Pyro - Phlogistinator when using mmph, in addition to crits gives you a damage reduction, you can survive several of hale's hits Demo - Sticky Jumper is replaced with stock, shield blocks one hit entirely but is then destroyed, each hit with an eyelander/reskin gives a head, each hit with a half-zatoichi counts as a kill for health Heavy - Gloves of running urgently damage you over time. Engineer - Pistols auto-crit, Eureka Effect is replaced with stock Sniper - Stock/reskins outline hale, duration depends on charge of shot, huntsmen auto-crits, razor-back is replaced with an smg and the cozy camper in addition to it's usual effects gives you an smg with reduced damage but an added bleed effect. Both the shahansha and the bushwaka block healing from medics, but the bushwaka lets you climb walls by hitting them and taking damage Medic - All syringe guns are replaced with a server syringe gun that gives a small amount of uber per syringe hit and the overdose speed effect, crossbow autocrits and adds a larger (around 10%) uber charge per hit, all mediguns are replaced with a server one that does stock and kritz uber as well as overhealing both the medic and patient, and always starts at 30% charge. Spy - Backstabs do a smallish fraction of hale-s health bar each time, the cloak and dagger is replaced with stock, and the dead ringer only works with large amounts of overheal (I.e. a kunai backstab perhaps, mostly it doesn't work) All Classes - Melee attacks are auto-crits When I start getting into my personal/observed tips and tricks, I"ll explain what some of this means, and maybe how to use it. But first, lets take a few very obvious general rules, and a few bits of etiquette when in the servers-do not take my word as gospel and do not use it as an excuse to not read the actual rules, I just point out the common things and the things that most often get forgotten or ignored and could use some reminding of Rules: No Spamming - Please, this is just for any server, anywhere. Try not to spam chat (we have a bit of an anti-spam on there already) but especially do not spam the mics. That's not to say don't talk and don't be active, just don't constantly talk. See the difference? Don't be Rude - There are more then enough rude players to go around. The less you call people names, insult others in serious manner and be overall nasty without any inclination towards light-hearted fun, or pushing it past the point of fun, the better. We like harassing each other, sure, but try to keep check on it, and if you see someone else not keeping check, then at least say something-chances are they will ignore you or insult you, but at least try No Friendlies - I cannot stress this enough, we get a LOT of hales who decide they just don't want to be hale and let everyone kill them, and this, personally, is very aggravating. The point of the game is to fight Saxton Hale, if you aren't doing that then why are you on this server and not an idle where someone else can be friendly with you, or kill you for free points? In general, it wastes a round when people do that, takes time out of something people are supposed to be enjoying, and saps the enjoyment of the fight away. It's very easy to keep tabs on when you will be hale, and to reset your que so you do not become hale Do Damage - No for real. This is on a similar note to friendly/unwilling hales is the people who join to... hide. Or just run away, or be friendly. There are other game servers out there where you just run away and try to survive, go play those and have fun! But don't come here and defeat the purpose of our game. By not fighting, players add health to hale for the extra body count, yet do not help defeat the boss, making everyone else have a harder job. Often times they also pick classes with class limits, taking up a slot for people who want to play that class seriously, and if they survive long enough them being alive may deny another player much needed mini-crits/crits. Its alright if you are scared, but you never won't be if you just run Don't Camp - On another related note, there are very few classes who are allowed to camp. Certainly, Hale's are not and must be actively trying to kill the players. The classes who are allowed to camp are engies, and heavies, though snipers can as well to an extent, so long as they are doing damage/trying to do damage at least a good part of the round from their spot. While with a heavy or engineer a medic may also camp, but all other classes should be going out and actively fighting, and hale's should never be keeping themselves trapped in one room or area and forcing people to go in. Don't Exploit - there are a few maps with exploits, but namely the issue here I've noticed is with people using Flying when they roll it with rtd to get out of the map, where upon they get stuck and hale can't reach them. If you ever do this, please, slay yourself so everyone else isn't effected by it, it's generally not an issue if you do it for a minute or two just to derp around then kill yourself without abusing it/wasting time, but it's also just easier for all parties involved if you don't do it to begin with Etiquette: Be Polite - not quite the same thing as not being rude, but be polite. Granted, sometimes everyone is just being rude to one another, but remember, try not to take most things too seriously unless they get really out of hand, and if you just keep a positive, polite attitude, you will probably make some friends fast. Don't Drag out the Round - This isn't always an issue, and there is a difference between genuinely doing damage and just more or less wasting time, but sometimes there are cases where really the round is just being dragged out. Ex. a spy who keeps cloaking and running as last man to shoot hale once or twice before running again even though hale has 6k health. The spy is never going to kill hale before time runs out, even if they had good aim, there are maybe a handful of people using the ambassador who I think could kill a hale like that using only the gun in less then ten minutes. Most times, you are not that person, so just... at least try to do something more drastic. In that example, maybe go for trickstabs, even if you are bad, you'll either do one, and do huge damage, or die, and let everyone have a new round. It's not the end of the world to lose a round or die. Ask Questions! - if you don't know something, don't complain about not knowing, ask! Most times, there is at least one, if not multiple people willing to help and who know, but bad attitude just makes everyone salty Listen - there are a lot of people who just ask the same things or talk over people or ignore people. Please, if you want to know something, then listen. Just in general, don't talk over people, or if you want something, pay attention to see if someone has an answer for you, its frustrating to type the same answer in chat 6 different times.