Snap to Grid – ETQW Mapping Spotlight: Comm Link and Meltdown

April 29, 2008

The QUAKE Wars SDK was released about five months ago and people have been working hard creating new content for the game. Most of you will have heard of the Wheels of War and ETQWPro mods, but what about maps? Good news! The first few maps have already reached beta stage and are nearing completion. With all this new content on the horizon, we thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a new series of blog posts to it.

Enter the supremely cleverly titled “Snap to Grid” written by Salteh of ETQW Mapping fame. In this initial installment, he’ll be taking a look at Comm Link by zig-zag and Meltdown by Chris.

Comm Link

In Comm Link the Strogg have taken possession of a fort and are using it to transmit communications back to the other Strogg. GDF have to infiltrate the fort and disable the communication devices. First the GDF have to hack the Strogg gate controls in order to disable the energy shields protecting the rest of the base. These controls are located near the base’s main walls, easily accessible for both GDF and Strogg. Frantic fire fights tend to take place in the area surrounding the controls.

Once the energy shields are down the GDF have to destroy two the Strogg communication devices by planting HE charges. Like on Area22, the order in which you destroy the communication devices does not matter. This leads to some interesting tactics. Will GDF launch an all-out attack on one of the devices, or attack both communication devices at the same time? Strogg can choose to heavily defend one communications device, or spread out their defence to try to protect both devices.

Much like Meltdown, this is a small map intended for 6v6, infantry-only, competition play. There are multiple ways to reach the objectives so the chances of the attacking team getting stuck in a bottleneck point somewhere are slim. Comm Link supports bots so you play the map offline or jump on a server with a couple of friends and enjoy the map.


Meltdown takes place in a once grand city. The GDF are trying to destroy a vital Strogg facility which is located in the center of the city. To accomplish this the GDF must complete three objectives. They have to destroy the Strogg shield generator to disable the force fields protecting the facility, hack the Strogg security controls to lower the energy cell’s protective barrier and finally the GDF have to take the energy cell to the core reactor in order to destroy the facility for good.

Being a small map intended for stopwatch competition play, team sizes should be kept small, about 8v8 max. The city’s streets, alleys and the facility serve as the map’s main playing areas. This means you won’t find any vehicles or turrets on this map. The map does not support bots at this time, so you won’t be able to play on your own. Fortunately there are quite a few servers running Meltdown and they’re waiting for you, the players, to cause total meltdown – go!

Chris released Meltdown beta1 a couple of weeks ago and has been hard at work fixing small bugs, tweaking features and improving performance. Beta 2 was released two weeks later. The map is mostly bug-free now, but feedback is always welcome. For download links and more information on Meltdown, head over to the Community Site forums and check out the Meltdown thread.

We’ve looked at two upcoming custom maps today and more are on the way. The only thing that could be holding back the advance of custom maps is the low amount of people playing them. Of course you can play Comm Link with bots, but competing with real human food is the preferred way of playing the game – it’s simply more fun! So go on, download and play custom maps!

Comm Link discussion thread & download
Meltdown discussion thread & download

Want more information on custom maps, or maybe you want to make your own map? Visit the ETQW Community Site modding forum! And don’t forget to check out the Splash Damage Wiki for a wealth of ETQW tutorials and editing information!

Terry “Salteh” Seidler serves as Splash Damage’s Mascot and regularly feeds the tapirs over at ETQW Mapping.