The Decline of the Quake Empire
Egos, Intolerance, Lameness, and a general state of Decay...
by Chris "Mankovic" Stanton
Having been a gamer since the days of Jai Alai and Pong, friendly competition took place because
you were normally in the same room with your competitor.
Now, however, it's an altogether different
story. There are no longer faces to put with the names, which seem to change as often as someone
can make a total ass of themselves on a server or public forum somewhere. Not to mention the
"Whoops, I got caught using a Bot" logs that thankfully some of the more popular server admins are
starting to publish.
... where did it all come from? Is it a manifestation of these past few years of the First Person Shooter
genre? Or can it be attributed to a reflection of our own society?
I actually think it's neither of those reasons. But, rather than go "Freudian" on the topic, I'll just
say that lameness is a "Perception" instead of an act. Some people consider the BFG to be a "Lamers"
weapon, and I fail to understand the reasoning behind this. It is very much a part of the game and I
can remember playing my first DM match and how awesome the power of the gun was. But, as time passes,
so do "Perceptions".
The mod authors out there have been the single most influential factor in shaping the world of Quake.
They publish one of their own ideas of how gameplay should be, and hope it catches on. Many mods offer
more in the way of powerups and such, while others have removed them, or given the server admin the
ability to do as they see fit.
Having said that, I do not intend to imply that these mod authors are at fault.
But, rather it is a result of taking a game such as Quake and fragmenting it into many smaller versions
that is at the core of the problem. All the time people join servers where teamplay mods are running and
attempt to carry over those DM and single player traits, which more often than not starts the text on the
left hand side of the HUD flying.
People will download a mod, install it, won't even bother to read the readme file, and attempt to play
without a clue as to what it is they're supposed to accomplish. Not to imply that people new to a mod
or game should not be allowed on a server, that would be ludicrous. It takes practice and time to learn
all the finer points of a mod just to be somewhat effectual in it.
But to hop on a server and interrupt a heated game with questions like "How do I use this grapple thingy"
or "I cant get this Turret to work" is just asking for it.
On the opposite side of that coin is how the "seasoned" players often times treat the new blood that
comes along. It's the new guys that keep your mods playable and ensures the longevity and success of
the game. So maybe you veterans of Quake should back up and think before you adversely affect
someone's perception of your mod and the Quake community.
Much of the behaviour that occurs on public servers could be stopped if more server admins were present
more often, or would manage to give rcon access to some trusted, respectable players. Thankfully Id saw
fit to offer password protection for servers to implement if needed. And the number of password protected
servers is increasing at an astounding rate, offering a way for the lameness factor to be controlled. But,
I fear that it may be too little, too late.
There isn't enough!
Go read any of the newsgroups, forums, and bulletin boards out there and notice the language, flaming, and
general misuse of those mediums that is occuring. Where are all of the Admins?? A Zero Tolerance type of
attitude is a good thing in cases such as these, but you have a lot of chair sniffing and peer pressure
going on to the point where these weak kneed admin types are manipulated into pawns of inaction.
... are what makes a FPS Deathmatch game go round. No disputing that. To be the best is something the majority
of people strive for. However, you also have those types that play just for the "enjoyment" of the experience.
Or so I've been told.
An Ego allowed to go on unchecked for too long will become a problem to those around them,
because there is ALWAYS someone just a litle smarter, more resourceful, and just flat out better than you.
The competition that arises from these clashes of egos have resulted in some of the most awesome matches I've
ever had the honor to watch.
The problem occurs when someone is beaten and fails to recognize this in an honorable way. Some
people know and realize their limitations, and choose to accept it and carry on, without a word said to
those around them...
It's these people I wish there were more of. People who say Good Game or nice shot, instead of yelling Bot,
Camper, or any of a host of other currently self perpetuating insults.
Think back just a mere one year ago, and remember the buzz and excitement that
was in the air as Quake II was released. The people who had spent the prior two years playing Quake were
just as giddy as the new guy getting Quake II as his first experience with an Id product.
I spent the better part of last year playing nothing but Quake II and some of my favorite mods associated
with it, and along the way there seems to have been a shift in the type (quality) of player the game seems
to have attracted - people who expect EVERYONE to do as they say (Rule Nazis) as well as those types who are
hell bent on finding some way to cheat or ruin the game for everyone else.
This problem isn't unique to just Quake and the Quake community, it is affecting other games and genres
as well. Even the newly released Tribes has already felt the wrath of the llama and his tactics. I know
this problem won't go away overnight. But I feel that if more people who are in a position to do something
about these and other types of unacceptable behaviours would actually get out of this "Passive" Apathy mode
that seems to be the rage, things would definately improve a great deal...
-- Chris "Mankovic" Stanton
The views in this editorial are not necessarily those of PlanetQuake, it's
staff, cheerleaders or herd of prize Peruvian llamas.
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