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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | Mar 24, 2000

PQ Mailbag

Holiday... Celebrate

Madonna is a very excellent metaphor for PlanetQuake, don't you think? When we started, we were young, naive, wearing skimpy clothing and too much makeup. In the middle, we got sexy, we got sultry, we were burned and matured because of it. And now, we appeal to ravers and have a lot of experience to call on in our time of need. That and I quoted that lyric because I'm on holiday starting tomorrow. I won't be able to get my regular e-mail, so be nice and I won't have to stare at a poopload of e-mail when I get home.

Eet's Alive!

Characteristically, we had another fantastic editorial this week; this time, it was courtesy Pirate, who graced us with his old-schoolin'-but-he-ain't-foolin' "Keep Quake Alive!". In this editorial, the author pleads with the community not to forget where it's coming from.. and people listened! We got a ton of feedback on this, so czech it out!

From: James Shira
Subject: Response to Pirate's editorial about Quake 1

Hmmm, where to start... Quake was a great game for it's day, nobody debates this. Also, we probably have Quake to thank for the current popularity of FPS games, at least when it comes to deathmatching. However, lets be realistic about where it is today. Quake was designed for VooDoo 1 acceleration and modem play. Is that bad? No, but it is a sign of the times. It was a fun game, but it's time has come and gone.

Quake was GREAT entertainment for it's time, no question. However, saying that we must keep playing it for the sake of the FPS community is a bit of a stretch. It seems like Disney insisting that people also go to Renaissance Fairs just so that they remember what the good old days were like. Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to bash Quake or the people who enjoy it. I just believe that it makes no sense to stay so vigorously attached to one game in particular. It could be that Daikatana utterly anihilates all other DM games out today...

"Unlike "geek games", Quake gives everyone the same tools."

Here we come to what I would have called "The Bad Old Days of Quake." What about people who spend, literally, my annual income on one gaming system, only to re-upgrade it in six months or a year? Not that I'm bitching about computer parts becoming expensive, but after a point I fail to see how gobbling up available RAM and processor cycles have became a valid substitute for good design. Some folks are lucky enough to have the resources to chase a 100+ framerate and still have a good looking display, but is that really giving everyone the same tools? Maybe that makes Quake a "geek game," instead.

If you want to look at an online game that gives everyone the same chance, try Starcraft. It's all 2d and it runs on a P90, and it's very playable over a modem. If I'm playing SC, I don't have to worry about having an LPB keep me on the run for the entire match. Blizzard alone has probably done more to promote equal rights in online gaming then all RTS titles put together.

James Shira

Hellchick: I don't know if I agree with your statement about resource gobbling. It's a natural consequence for games to get fancier as the technology gets better to run them. But then there's this argument: do games become resource hogs because computers have gotten bigger and faster, or do computers become bigger and faster because games have become resource hogs?

From: bennett
Subject: re. Keep Quake Alive! / Roots Bloody Roots

In many ways, I couldn't agree more with Pirate. Quake, the original was an amazing game. In its time. And it still is a lot of fun. However, with so many other great games around at the moment, is it really any surprise that there are less players? It has to be expected, that as other games are released - first Quake 2, then Half Life, and now Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament, that the number of players playing the original Quake World, will be depleted. If only because of the greater variety of games. Add to this the fact that all of the newer games are superior to Quake World at least visually ( I have no intention of sparking a debate over which game is better gameplay wise ), and it stands to reason that at least some people will break off to play the newer games.

Quake World was beginning to show signs of age, as soon as Quake 2 was released. In many ways, at least in my Australian community, it was purely the mods that kept the game alive, and especially I think Team Fortress. Up until recently, the Australian TF community was live and well. Shortly after the release of QW 2.33, several of the most important players in our community were kind enough to organise what was to be the first Australian National Team Fortress Lan ( TFL for short). The size of this was amazing for me - there was not just players coming from all over the country, but entire clans of 20 odd players. There was an ongoing TF tournament the whole weekend, ( sadly my own clan could only manage an honourable 5th place over all...), other side tournaments, and all the usual Lan madness.

Sadly tho, it seems like it will also be the last LAN of its kind ( ie QW and TF based ) in Australia. Quake World's fate was seeled with the release of the source code. All of a sudden every l33t d00d could hack his client and run at amazing speeds, and perform amazing jumps (you get quite a shock when you see a HWguy run past you at the same speed of a Scout...). As a result the QW community, drifted away from the game, in search of something where they could play without the l33t h4x0rs, and have an enjoyable game. For many in the Team Fortress community, it has been especially frustrating while we endure the continual delays of Team Fortress 2, or wait expectantly for Quake 3 Fortress to be released.

To sum up, it is a shame that QW has withered, and is now very close to death... it was a lot of fun in its time (and still is if you can play clan games with strict rules and regulations), but with the influx of newer and 'better' games, it is no surprise that people have moved on to greener pastures

[FV] possum

Hellchick: You know, I recently fired up original Quake. You know what? It was fun. That's all I got to say about that.

From: (address deleted)
Subject: RE: Pirate's Quake Editorial

I can't speak for everybody but I can tell you why I don't play Quake DM anymore.... IT SUCKS!

First of all don't tell me to "return to my roots" when you don't even know what those roots are. My roots are DoomII map1. That was my first and still one of my favorite deathmatch experiences.

Then came Quake... it was pretty. Ran quite slow on my 486 8mb with a clean DOS boot. It was even an enjoyable single player experience(best of the Quakes IMHO) when I played it on a computer that ran it smoothly. But deathmatch? Quake is retarded for one simple reason... weapon balance. Quake deathmatch is simply a game of "find the rocket launcher". There's no other weapon in Quake that can deal out the kind of death that it can. No, not even the pineapple gun. It's disgusting.

Then we got QuakeII... I was in love. The enhanced 3D beauty of Quake(No, still didn't run on my 486) combined with all the weapony goodness of DoomII and then some. Not only did the rocket launcher become a little less powerfull, but other weapons could actualy kill people too. Mr. BFG came back with some extra punch, my best friend the super shotgun got his balls reattached, plasma gun came back in the form of the hyperblaster though not quite as gross, and we saw the new addition of the railgun. Could you ask for more(besides a Duke3D ice gun)? No.

I won't really get into Quake3 other than I do play it, and it's pretty balanced.

Now, after all this you ask why no one really wants to deathmatch Quake anymore? It's a FLAWED deathmatch game, that's why. That's the reason that half the Gamespy servers are for Teamfortess. Very few people like to play "find the rocket launcher" in these times of balanced weapons. If that's the game for you start your own server... if not, learn to rail.


From: Dustin Smart
Subject: Granddaddy of 3d fps

In the editorial of "Keeping Quake Alive," I don't understand how Pirate believes everyone of the people involved in what is now a fully fledged community started with id's first 3d romp in the park.

I, for one started with Quake 2. There are a few reasons for it too. While I owned Quake, it was still next to impossible to pry me away from Duke 3d. I played that constantly. Quake just really didn't do it for me. It, like q3a is now was the "next big thing" out of id software and the result of Carmack's ceaseless coding. Duke had flavor, attitude and was colorful! Quake...I remember one of PC Gamer's criticisms of the original Quake was that it's color scheme was bland. Which it was predominatly brown and grey. Simply restablishing id's love for gothic texture sets.

When Quake 2 rolled around, the fact that taken what it had learned in Quake and added to it. AND it was the game that brought back the BFG. I can still remember the glowing green ball of death and making my friends eat green death. Mmm...I can still hear that loving machine of glorious gibbage charging up for some mayhem. I love this great invention and just could never see the fun in Quake's lightning gun. To me, it lacked finesse and skill. You basically pointed at someone and held down the fire button till they died. Ooo Ahh. While I know I'll get countless emails about the supposed "finesse" and "skill" required to use that weapon, at the time I just didn't see it...nor do I see it now.

And adding to that, by the time that Quake 2 came out, online gaming was much more accessible. Granted, I thank id for starting with Quake, but it was still out of reach for a lot of people at that time.

That brings us up to Quake 3 Arena. Now, last I was basically meant to "perfect" the deathmatch experience...not to be an unbelievably great single player game. I don't ever remember hearing it being called a single player game remotely as much as a multiplayer one. Saying it's a single-player game in front of anyone that actually knows the game at all is a ludicrous concept to me which I would laugh hysterically at.

In conclusion, just because Quake is technically the "granddaddy" of 3d fps, doesn't mean all Quake players's "roots" lie with that game. I know for a fact not everyone that maps, codes and plays now started with Quake. I'm one of those people. So as for "forgetting our roots," I find that to be a bit of a joke since where I really got into the community was Quake 2. That's where my "roots" lie at. While I'm all for playing the classics, you can't assume everyone's gonna be playing Quake years from now when oh say...Doom 2000 is out. At some point, granddaddy's gonna have to go to the rest home because that old war horse will be plum tuckered out at some point...maybe now...or maybe later. But it's coming...


From: Travis "Ash" Bradshaw
Subject: PQ Editorial: Keep Quake Alive

Pirate's Editorial was well put and interesting, but I don't understand exactly where he's coming from.

Almost all of the points that he made for playing Classic Quake, (maps, engine, netplay, "not a geek game"), are still just as valid for Quake 3... if not more so.

Now that maps are actually made for deathmatch, not made for monsters and luckily good for deathmatch. The engine is two generations ahead. And the net play of Quake 3 is better. I find it amazing that I can continue to play with a 500 ping (sure, rockets start a little late, but I can still navigate the map fine).

The problem with Pirates approach, is that he asks to never have progress! Games will continue to get better, and while he talked of the Requiem mod, mods will continue to get better with Q3A. Why is better bad?

I understand that some old schoo' Quakers will never let go of their unbalanced rocket launcher of death, and sacred DM6, some of us enjoy a more skillful arena to progress too.

In response to his last comments... I won't forget what inspired all of this: (DOOM!), I'm not dissolving my clan: (we're playing Q3A now!), I know that I'm keeping the Quake Community going, and there will ALWAYS be memories of Quake: (From the first time I read NIN on an ammo box, to hipdm1 with Crater, to QuakeCon.. I'm never going to forget.)

Maybe, Pirate, you can join us in the future of Quake gaming... and when there's a pause in the fraggin', we'll fire up an ol' QW server for kicks. =)

Travis "Ash" Bradshaw
Fragbait Studios

Hellchick: A good point. And it reminds me that the other night, I found Duke 2 on my hard drive. I fired it up. HOO Boy! Talk about old school. My refridgerator is more advanced than that game.

From: Francis Blake
Subject: Quake lives forever!

Mr. Pirate said in his editorial of 3/21/00 that Quakeworld is dying. True about that part, but it won't die just like other old games. If id are willing to sell Quake back, many people will play Quakeworld again.

Reasons are:

1) Compare to other FPS, Quakeworld is the least laggy on the netplay.

2) Half-Life may have TFC, but people still rather play TF1 for Quake1. Mainly because the mods of TF (I know, it's a mod of a mod). The three famous ones are CustomTF, MegaTF, and Deadlode1. You can see lots of TF1 clans changed into MegaTF clans, because it have lots of cool stuff (jetpack, anyone?), or changed to CustomTF because they can use a set of money to build their ideal class (Blake the Kamikaze!)

3) Except the modelings, Quake1 buildings have no difference with a Quake2/Quake3 other than a sky box. HL is good for singleplayer but suck on multi because you can't build LARGE levels like in Quake1 (see how short each "levels", not episode, is in HL? See that Canalzone2 is smaller than Canalzone1 in TFC?)

4) You may say that Half-Life have good enviromental effects, like bloodshed after you hit someone, explodtion marks and bullet holes. Well, guess what? HL was built upon the ol' Quake engine!

Need I say more?

First off, the words "first off". Second, we got a fair amount of feedback on this, and I went for volume and printed the fairly lengthy letters. There were quite a few more that were short and incoherent, with little to no punctuation at all. Now time for my comments. I don't like to dwell on the past too much, and especially so in gaming. My view regarding old games is "sure, they were cool for their time, but let's not beat a dead horse". Quake 1 is a dead horse. Quake 2 is fast becoming one. It's a fact of life. Now some of you are wondering how I can say this, what with my professed love for Commander Keen. Yeah, I love that game. It's my favorite. But that doesn't mean I play it all the time. I don't even have it installed right now. Every couple months, I'll go and play it for a while. I'm not sitting there playing it all the time, and complaining about how id doesn't do anything new with it, and how there's no mods or anything for it. I can't stand the whining that goes on about how id "killed" Quake by releasing the source. That's not a shot at this editorial, btw. John Carmack knows what he's doing. I trust him, and his judgement. What he's doing will eventually be the Right Thing.

On Page 2: Gauntlet Feedback!

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