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"First contact with the Skaarj came during the recovery of the prison transporter Vortex Rikers on Na Pali. Within a year the Skaarj had pushed humanity back to the brink of destruction. This scenario replicates the final battle for Earth, and the stunning victory by humans in the face of almost certain defeat. A Skaarj Mothership orbited the Earth, and rained death upon the planet in preparation for the final landing. In a daring suicide mission, the humans attacked the Skaarj Mothership in small one man fighters, hoping to exploit a flaw in the Mothership defenses their analysis had revealed."
This map offers a twist not only to the assault gametype, but to the entire Unreal universe. For the first objectives the 2 teams use space fighters to attack/defend. After this large-scale dogfight the teams respawn inside the mothership where the attackers must attempt to make their way to the ship's core and destabilize it.
The first 3 objectives have the players spawned in Space Fighters (Human Space Fighters for the attackers and Skaarj Space Fighters for the defending team). The attackers must destroy the Lower Shield Core which is located in the lower section of the ship. One way to get to the generator is by entering the bottom of the ship. There's another shorter route via 2 narrow tunnels, of which the entrances are indicated by gray tongue-like objects (on the outside of the lower half of the ship). This route is shorter, but also has more defenses, including Plasma Turrets.
The defending team has 2x4 (2 for each entrance of the tunnels) turrets to use to protect the upper hallways. These turrets are equipped with basic AI when unmanned. There are more Plasma and Link Turrets spread over various crucial points of the ship, all of which can fire at the attackers throughout the space battle. The entry on the bottom of the ship is largely unprotected though.
Destroy Upper Shield Generator
Now the attacking team must destroy the 2 Upper Field Generators, which are located in a hallway in the upper half of the ship. The entrances to this hallway are indicated by large gray shapes sticking out of the ship. 2 other entrances can be found on the roof near the other entrances. The narrow tunnels there lead to the hallway with the generators inside. This route bypasses one of the generators, so the attackers will only be able to fire at the other generator. A final route is through the top of the ship. Although this route takes longer and requires some handy maneuvers, it is also largely unprotected by turrets.
Most of the new routes are protected by turrets. The hallway (with the 2 Generators inside) is defended by 4 Energy Turrets (2 in the middle and 1 at each entrance). The 2nd set of entrances (through the narrow tunnels) is also protected by 2 Link Turrets (each). The top route is largely unprotected. Despite the heavier defenses the AI will almost always choose for the 1st set of entrances.
Proceed to Landing Bay
After all the generators have been destroyed the attackers must enter the ship. The entrance to the docking bay is on the same level as the entrances to the hallway with the Upper Shield Generators. Since the entrance to the Landing Bay is narrow, the Space Fighter has to fly on its side to be able to fit through.
There is only 1 entrance to the loading bay, which is an advantage for the defending team. Their disadvantage is that the defenders' ships spawn on the opposite side of the ship. There are also 3 turrets (2 Energy Turrets and 1 Link Turret) near the entrance of the Landing Bay that can be used in their defense.
Destroy Energy Bypass
The attackers must now destroy 2 Energy Bypass mechanisms. The doors on the ground-level lead to a corridor leading to the mechanisms. There's also an elevator in the back of the spawnroom which goes up to a path leading to the objective. The higher ground of this route gives a better view on the Energy Bypasses, but it's also more exposed to enemy fire.
The defending teams starts with only a Flak Cannon and Rocket Launcher in their weapon loadout, which is perfect for taking down the attackers. Additional flak ammo and a health pack can be found on the 1st floor opposite of the defender's spawnroom.
For the next objective the attackers must destroy 3 weakened Sentinels. These are all located on the same path. After destroying the Energy Bypasses, the path splits. The left path leads to the 1st Sentinel, the right path is a shortcut to the 2nd Sentinel and the lift in the middle leads to the final Sentinel. These Sentinels, unlike the ones often found near spawnpoints, only have 500 health. After all 3 have been destroyed the path to the core is opened.
The Sentinels are strong, but vulnerable turrets. They can provide some sort of back-up for the defending team, but they're easily destroyed. The defender can only stall the attackers by defeating them in 1on1 combat. The defenders can heal the turrets with the link gun, but the healing rate is greatly reduced meaning it they cant be healed nearly as fast as they can be destroyed unless the whole team is healing them.
Use Panel to unlock Core Hatch
After the path has been cleared and a slow-moving door has been opened the attackers must cross a bridge which is guarded by a Link Turret. This turret can easily weaken an opponent, but swift movement and the coverage of the crates should keep the attackers safe. After having crossed the bridge the attackers must move through a hall and corridor before they reach the Core's chamber. The Panels for the hatches are located right next to the Core, in the middle of this room.
The bridge forms the first point of defense. The Link Turret alone will likely not be enough to stall the attacking team. Combined with additional backup this bridge can be used to stall the attackers. the rest of the path to the core is a bit harder to defend. The corridors leading to the core is the defending team's 2nd option, but a number of crates in the hallway make it harder to defend.
Destroy the Conductor
The Core is now exposed and ready to be destabilized. Destabilizing the core isn't the hardest part. Avoiding enemy fire is. A few fully-loaded alt-shots of the Bio Rifle is enough to complete the objective and finish the match.
Again, the only way to defend this objective is by defeating the attackers in 1on1 combat. The attackers will likely be distracted by trying to deal some damage to the Core, which should give the defenders an advantage in combat. There are no pickups in the area to help the defenders.
While attacking, during the space battle a lot of the turrets and Space Fighters can be avoided by taking some detours. Doing so will cost time, but will increase the chances of survival.
Once inside, all of the objectives are a combination of fighting off defenders and destroying an object. Choosing to aim for the objective may help reach the objective, but it may also result in a quicker death. Focusing solely on the defender may increase one's lifespan, but it won't help reach the objective. A good coordination between teammates and division in priorities is the key to successful battles in these scenarios.
In the first stage of the assault with the space fighters, it helps to have a high mouse sensitivity in order to make sharper turns to avoid enemy missile attacks and maneuver easily in the inside of the mothership. A mouse sensitivity value of about 7.0 is good enough to make your space fighter fly rings around the upper shield generators.
The Energy Turrets can operate themselves, so the defending team should all man the fighters. They should chase down the attackers from the moment they spawn. Also, when using the Skaarj Space Fighters, the defenders can at any time return to the space craft bay to replace their fighters should they take heavy damage on battle. If all else fails: Kamikaze by flying through an opponent.
The rest of the objectives requires the attackers to fire at something. Defenders should exploit this distraction (as well as their advantage in weaponry) to stall the attackers. Narrow hallways without much obstructions make good choke-points.
As with the attackers, having a high mouse sensitivity helps your space fighter to make it more maneuverable.
"Another official UT2004 map that breaks new ground for the series with its space battle. This drop dead gorgeous map is the artistic opposite of Joust, and it serves well as a proof-of-concept and fits perfectly in the Unreal Tournament heritage of action in blazingly new arenas. You won't mistake the combat for something you'd see in the Independence War series, but UT2004 series innovation is what this list is all about, right?"