|File name:|| |
|No. of Stages:||3|
|Health Kits:||×9 • ×14 • ×4|
|Ammo Boxes:||×4 • ×12 • ×14|
Gold Rush was the first map to feature the game mode called Payload. The level is split into three separate areas with intermediate capture zones inside of each major area. The teams are split between offense (BLU) and defense (RED) similar to Dustbowl. The goal for the BLU team is to push the cart through the level until it reaches the next capture point, eventually destroying RED's base. RED's Goal is to stop BLU from doing so.
BLU pushes the cart through the level by standing near it, with the cart moving faster when more people are close by. If no one has pushed the cart forward after 20 seconds, the cart will begin to move backwards until it is pushed forward again. The cart also acts as a Dispenser to heal and resupply the BLU team as they escort it.
Each checkpoint the cart passes over adds 5 minutes to the timer. The remaining time carries over to the following sections of the maps until teams are switched.
Teams get a 1:05 setup time where RED can run around the map and build up defenses and BLU is locked behind the cart to charge up ÜberCharges. However, invulnerable players (including Scouts using Bonk! Atomic Punch) will not make the cart move.
If the cart is not moving backwards when time runs out, Overtime will occur, which gives the attacking team five seconds to keep the Payload moving instead of 20. The timer resets each time the cart is touched.
Each team's respective goal is:
- BLU: The BLU team's primary goal throughout every Payload map is to guide the blue-colored cart on its tracks throughout the map. By continuously pushing the cart forward and breaking through RED defensive positions, the cart will detonate and the BLU team will be victorious. Failure to push the cart forward by having teammates near it will eventually result in the cart slowly moving backwards, eroding the team's past progress.
- RED: Opposite the BLU team's objective, the team function of RED, as a group, is to deter and stall the BLU team and prevent them from advancing the cart to its final destination. By fighting off their opposition for a long enough period of time, the RED team will be victorious. The most effective way to stall the BLU team is to remain very close to the cart, thereby halting it from moving even with BLU forces nearby.
There is a long, relatively open area between the BLU Spawn and the first checkpoint. The cart starts outside the BLU Spawn and runs forward towards The Hut and through a "gap" in The Cliff. It then takes a left to bring it closer to The Raised Track and another right, heading for The Tunnel.
- BLU Spawn: The BLU Spawn has a resupply area and a corridor with 3 exits. There is a double gate right behind the cart which can be seen from almost the whole area. The door on the right has stacked boxes just in front of it, which RED defenders can hide behind before the round starts. This is effective with a Pyro or an ÜberCharge which can be saved and used when the attackers have used up theirs. Attackers can also stand behind these boxes and be generally unnoticed when the action is intense. The door on the left faces to the right and thus is sheltered from any enemies on The Raised Track. It is also sheltered from the Hut by some rocks on The Cliff.
- The Raised Track: This is a track that runs along the left of the map from BLU's perspective and runs all the way back to the tunnel and the checkpoint. RED defenders, especially Demomen and Soldiers, can run along this track raining down explosives from above. BLU attackers can Crouch jump onto this track from the top of The Cliff. Due to several close large ammo crates, aggressive RED Engineers can also quickly place a level 2 or 3 Sentry Gun near to the end of the track, close to BLU's spawn.
- The Cliff: It's not really a cliff but from BLU's perspective the ground ramps up and then drops off to its original level so that it looks like a small cliff when viewed from the other side. There is a "gap" in The Cliff where the cart runs through. RED defenders can use The Cliff to hide behind with Pyro's, Sentry Guns or ÜberCharges. There is also a large Health pack just behind the Cliff to the left. It is possible to crouch jump onto the Raised Track from the highest part of the cliff and Demomen can sticky jump all the way to the Tunnel from this position (and right onto the health pack that is just before the checkpoint, with some practice).
- The Hut: The Hut is at the back to the right as BLU's leave their spawn. It is two storied and has a veranda facing the BLU Spawn. The lower level has a door facing the spawn with a large Ammo pack outside of it and a door facing the track to the left of the map. The Hut is a favorite place for Snipers to sit in and pick off BLU players as they push the cart or come out of the front exit of their spawn. Engineers also like to build their Sentry Guns on the top level as they can shoot out to the track on the left and are protected from direct fire from BLU's Spawn. With some practice, Demomen can sticky jump from the BLU Spawn right on the balcony on the upper level.
- The Tunnel: The Tunnel is a tunnel to the left that the cart runs through. Until the first checkpoint has been reached, it is the only passage linking the first open area to the second. This is a common chokepoint for this stage.
The cart runs into The Tunnel as described above, takes a sharp right then left to come into the open and run alongside The Ditch, past the bridge and around to the right to the checkpoint which is located on the back of the RED Spawn. The locations will be described from RED's perspective.
- RED Spawn: The RED Spawn has resupply closets and opens to face the back of the map. As RED exits their spawn, they can either turn left to find a tunnel that leads forward or they can turn right to find the more open passage to the attackers and a set of stairs that leads to the Second Level. RED must come out of their spawn and turn 180 degrees so that they are facing "forward" - facing towards the oncoming attackers. The checkpoint sits against the spawn room to the attackers side.
- RED Deck: To the left of the RED Spawn (when looking towards the attackers) there is a Second Level which sits against the left of the map. There is ammo and health towards the front of this platform and a Sentry Gun can effectively be built here to cover the cart as it emerges from the tunnel. There is a bridge that leads left to the top of RED's Spawn which is a favorite place for Snipers to sit and pick off any enemies that are pushing the cart or coming out of The Tunnel.
- The Ditch: In the open space between the RED Spawn and the buildings that BLU emerge from, there is a (small) canyon like ditch that runs across the map. On the right, the ground slopes between the level of the ditch and the ground and there is a ladder to the far left to allow people to get out and onto the cart's track. There is also a bridge across The Ditch that allows movement directly from the spawn room to the buildings opposite. The cart goes along side the ditch and around it to the right.
- The Attic: Around the chokepoint from the first cap, there is a two-story building that goes all the way from the right to the left. This is more commonly known as the Attic. On the ground floor there is an opening to the left where the cart's track emerges. Above this is a window into the upstairs and to the right of it is a sort of board walk that links this upstairs room to another on the left. This left room has a door to a raised platform which is quite close to the checkpoint. Going into the lower tunnel, RED can head left to follow the track back to the first checkpoint or they can head right and follow a corridor, past a large health pack, and up some stairs into the building on the right. This is a good passage for attackers as they can get close to the checkpoint while staying mostly behind cover.
- Other Passages: When BLU take the first checkpoint, two more passages to the second area open up. One is just to BLU's right of The Tunnel and leads to a second story platform that is part of a three walled room. The open side of the room faces down the corridor described above, to the room on RED's right. This is a good platform to build a Teleporter and maybe a Sentry Gun, as it is fairly hard to get to for RED.
RED can setup on this platform during pre-game wait. A RED Engineer can place a Teleporter at spawn, refills his metal and then place a Dispenser at the edge of the platform. Once the Dispenser is 60% complete, the RED Engineer can jump on the Dispenser and then place a Teleporter exit on the platform. Note the RED Engineer cannot physically jump up, only be holding the Teleporter PDA as he jumps. Once the Teleporter exit is up and running, RED can setup Sentry Guns and Dispensers in an attempt to deny BLU access and to flank BLU.
The other connecting passage is to BLU's far right and leads to two open levels right next to The Ditch. From these levels you look across to the right of the level (RED's perspective) and you can only see the a small part of the second level of RED's Spawn. This lets you rain down fire on anyone taking the bridge over the ditch or anyone in the open space. Be careful because even though The Ditch prevents anyone from walking back into this area, Soldiers and Demomen can rocket jump/sticky jump up, while Scouts can double jump up to surprise you.
Stage B contains 2 checkpoints that BLU must reach.
The cart starts out in front of a trench which separates BLU's spawn area and the battlefield. The cart runs between the Watchtower and House and then over the Bridge where the checkpoint is then located.
- BLU Spawn: There are two exits, one tunnel exit on the left and one double gate on the right. The right one is usually used for ÜberCharges while the left one is used to flank RED. From the left exit, it's easy for a Spy to sneak behind the lines. Be careful, though, as sometimes at the start of the match, an ÜberCharged Pyro will enter the left exit, usually killing everything in the tunnel.
- House Tunnel: In the tunnel on the left side of house from BLU's view, you'll find a large Ammo Pack and a small health kit. It's rare that it's guarded. From the tunnel on the left, there are stairs leading to the Sniper Ledge.
- The Sniper Ledge: On the right where RED enters the first checkpoint area, there is a small set of stairs leading to the Sniper Ledge. As its name indicates, it's often used by Snipers. You'll find cover behind some boxes and in the small hut, which also has a medium health kit.
- Watchtower: On the right from the Blue Spawn, when you go through the gates you'll see the Watchtower. Most of the RED defenders are here, since they have a height advantage and there's a large ammo pack and a medium health kit. From it's watchtower, Snipers can overlook both exits. Sentry Guns are often located here, so be sure to destroy them with an initial ÜberCharge.
- The Bridge: Just before the final stretch of track to the first checkpoint is a bridge which connects over the ditch.
- The House: The House is located to the left from the perspective of BLU. It has one exit, and two windows which RED can shoot through. Sometimes, Sentry Guns are placed on the windows or you'll find a Demoman here. Be sure to clean everything in the house, as it's a popular spot for Engineers. Grenades and stickybombs work wonders here.
After the first checkpoint the cart winds through a building which separates the next battlefield. It exits out to a chokepoint area and then runs under a bridge separating the Main Building and then finally onto the next checkpoint.
- The Choke: The choke area is the small exit from the checkpoint building and the small battlefield around it which is surrounded by the two huts which separate Checkpoint 2's area.
- Battlements: The battlements are located at the far end of the area from RED's spawn. It connects from the house above Checkpoint 1's building. There are two drop downs which can be used by attackers as another entry or as an entry way for RED Soldiers or Demomen.
- Main Building: The Main Building is situated in the center of the area, cutting Checkpoint 2's battlefield in half. The Main Building has two houses which are connected by a bridge, both of which can be accessed by stairs on either side.
- Sentry Ledge: Near the Checkpoint is a small ledge on the wall of the main building, this is an extremely common spot for sentry nests.
- Alcove: Underneath a ledge on the Main Building is a small alcove which is indented into the wall of the building. This is also a very common spot for Sentry Guns.
Stage C contains 3 checkpoints that BLU must reach.
From the BLU spawn exits the cart starts out on a track which must run straight, up through a basin where then the checkpoint is located under an open gateway.
- Tunnel: The tunnel is one of the BLU spawn entrances. It winds out from the BLU spawn and exits out under the Truck House.
- Basin: The Basin is the area which runs through and below the platform and Truck House.
- Truck House: The Truck House is the area located across from the platform. It is a small shack with a deck overlooking the track. Next to it is an underpass which houses a large truck.
- Platform: Across from the Truck House is a platform which overlooks the track. It has a small inaccessible shack on it which is useful for cover.
From the checkpoint the track runs straight through and alleyway surrounded by buildings on both sides.
- Dropdown: The drop down is a small opening in the wall right next to the checkpoint. It serves as an entry way for RED before BLU has captured the checkpoint.
- Hallway: The hallway is located in one of the two buildings. It is a long narrow hallway with an entrance at both far sides. At the very far end is a drop down next to the track.
- Main Deck: Across from the Hallway building is another building with a deck along the wall. This can be accessed through a set of stairs in front of it and connects to another small deck which overlooks the second checkpoint.
- Sentry Decks: On both sides of the second checkpoint are two large decks which are both common spots for Sentry Guns.
From checkpoint 2 the cart runs through more buildings until reach the checkpoint which gives entry way to RED's final yard. Reaching Checkpoint 3 means victory for BLU, as well as a nice massive explosion to satisfy the victors.
- Chokepoint: The chokepoint is the very small entry way into RED's final yard. It is an infamous chokepoint for being extremely cramped when the cart is residing inside it and heavy spam makes entry very difficult.
- Chute: The chute is a dropdown by the chokepoint which exits out into the tunnels.
- House: The House is located next to the chokepoint. It is connected by a ledge along a wall, and has a dropdown which exits out behind the truck in RED's final yard. Blu Engineers will sometimes build forward bases in here.
- The Tunnels: The tunnels are located at the bottom of the chute and exit out into the valley. It is comprised of two tunnels, one of which goes up a ledge and exits out a small ledge next to the other
- Valley: The valley is the area next to and below RED's yard. It is accessed by a long set of stairs and gives access to the tunnels and Sniper Deck.
- Sniper Deck: The Sniper Deck is located above the valley and overlooks RED's yard. There are two windows used as vantage points and a drop down with a ledge that weaves around to the final checkpoint.
- Battlements: The battlements are located above the checkpoint area and overlook the entire area. One entry way is from the winding staircases in RED's spawn and another is from jumping from the boxes and small roof across from the House's drop down area.