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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | March 2, 2001

PQ Mailbag

March Madness

Demonwench: Alllright all you par-tay people! It's March now, time for MARCH MADNESS!!! Y'all going MAD yet? You SHOULD BE!!! I know I am!! BWAHAHAHA! Coming up first, we got feedback from our very own Rants n' Raves! We got a bloke who's right steamed about those namby pansy wussy little fruit bats who jump ship when it looks like they're gonna lose! What did you think?

Pappy-R: New month, new mailbag, I feel all purdy for spring. It's snowing here so I'll have to wait for a bit before busting out the old gardening tools though. Well at least we've got issues to deal with and mail to abuse.

Team Switching

From: Mark
Subject: team switchers=crappy players

I used to switch teams to help teams getting the crap kicked out of them, but it just ends up leading to confusion, and gets frustrating because then everyone will start to jump ship to the other team. Now, I join the team with the fewest players at the beginning of the match, and I usually stay on that team no matter what happens. I might change once or twice in a 2 hour period, usually I just stay on the team I connect with. It's less confusing that way. I'm only looking for some fun, some stress release from bumper-to-bumper LA traffic. I don't give a damn if I'm not on the team that wins. Besides, it's not like playing on the net is really gonna help your game all that much. I've seen some knarly net players who sucked on a LAN

Demonwench: I hear ya man! I've been saying for quite some time that you play a game for FUN! I know I'm starting to sound like a parrot, but dang it, there are too many idiots out there who just don't get it! You win, you lose, it's part of the game, as long as you have fun!!!

Pappy-R: I join fair and play the game. After that it's not my problem. If I see people switching and things getting unfair, I just leave that server because there's no way I'm going to ruin my fun trying to keep it fair due to others tilting the scales.

From: Master of Puppets
Subject: RE: Latest RnR

I also see the problems Mirsky is talking about: "the increase in cheating, profanity in names, and the general decrease in a community feeling" and of course his rant about the team switchers. I credit all of this to the newbiefieing of games. Let me explain that. When I started playing multiplayer games (which was QuakeWorld TF) you had to know your stuff. You had to know how to make config files and do up all of your binds and make all of your aliases. You had to know how the classes worked and what they could do. You had to know the maps and what to do in them. You had to know what to do with the zip files that the patches and updates came in and where to look for them. Well you get the point, you had to know a lot of stuff before you could actualy play the game. I would have never gotten into QWTF without the help of a few friends, who not only taught me how to do those things, but taught me about sportsmanship and the general rules of the game to keep me from being a lamer.

You take a look at Q3 today. Pop the CD in, hit the install button and you're good to go in no time. Sure you gotta find the patch, which isn't too hard and when you get it, it's just double click on it and wait for a few seconds. No wondering where to unpack the zip file. Everything can be configured ingame, and then a server can be found too via the ingame server browser. Don't have to edit any .cfgs or download GameSpy and configure it up so you can find a server. Someone who just bought the game maybe an hour ago is in a server without any guidance in another hour. This is the newbiefieing that I speak of. It's so damn easy to get into a server. Even with the mods. You take a look at Q3F for example, just download the installer, and it will get the files you need and install them automaticaly. It will also put a nice shortcut on your desktop that will directly take you to the mod. Again, config everything ingame and find a server too.

I'm not saying all these things are bad, it's nice to see these imporvments make our lives easier, but at the same time it makes it so easy for newbies to get into it. I'm also not saying that newbies are bad. We need people playing the game, but what I'm saying is that there is no guidance. They are not forced to read a readme/help file to get the game working. They are not forced to ask their friends or other players on how to get something working because they already have everything working. That's where you get your problems. They do something people don't find ethical, like the team switching and then the veterans bitch them out. So the newbies respond with the profane names, continuing doing what people bitch at them for doing and even take it to cheating because they don't know how to do something and always get their butt kicked. Eventualy some get out of that phase by looking for help while others just enjoy doing the lame things. It's these problems that lower the community overall.

That's why I think these problems are arising. Some sort of guidance needs to be gived to newbies before they get into the game.

Demonwench: Well all and good, mister Puppets, but how do you propose to do this? You suggesting someone train the new players? Who? And where?

Pappy-R: I'll work with newbies, always have. But sometimes you just wanna play. I still say the best lesson is to just leave and go to another server. I know this isn't an easy option for modem players with a shorter list of acceptable servers, but if the lamers are alone, they won't have their fun.

From: Dan
Subject: RnRs: Team Jumping

I consider myself to be a medium skilled player. I get fragged more than I frag, but I never give up and always try to keep playing because practice makes improvement.

I would like to add to what Love2Play said. I hate it when people think they are playing with a loser and go to find anoter server with people who are more their style. That leaves me alone to face 2 or sometimes 3 on 1. Then when it is 3 on 1 and I'm left out in the cold, the other players have the honor to not fight against 1 person, however they don't seem to want to stay around and give some friendly competition. They jump also and then it's 1 on "0". :'( I have even been kicked from a few servers because they feel I do not do well enough for their taste.

Every server is different. I did play on a instagib server and the server was put up by a clan member. This clan member/admin played on my side even though I did not play as well as he did. It was 2 on 2 with CTF and because he stayed with me he made me feel a little better. His willingness to stay helped me feel a little better. I even improved a little as the game went on and I ended up helping more than usual. We even won a few times. All the people on his server even if they were not in his clan were nice. He even asked them to go to other teams to even things up. They did! It was a nice thing to see.

Eventhough this is Rant and Rave I hope more people stay with rookie players and help them also. It really makes the game feel like it's a lot more fun when people do.

Demonwench: Very true. It's great that there are people out there who will help out people like that.

Pappy-R: It sounds like my leaving solution is a problem with this reader, but like I said, I try to help first. If it's lamers I can't do anything about...CYA! I'll help anyone out though.

From: Eraser
Subject: Rants n' Raves

I fully agree with Mirsky on this issue. However, I did not see people jump to the winning team to catch victory, but neither have I seen people switch teams to balance out the game. Some people might not switch to the other team because they have a high personal score, or they are on the winning team. I do not think that much of the score in team games. Screw the score, as long as I have a good time playing the game I don't care about what the score is. I'll even join the losing team if the teams are unbalanced.

People don't pay enough attention to the teams. Sometimes a team just dies off because people have to go. I have played games in which the teams became very unbalanced (2 vs 8) without anyone from the bigger (winning) team noticing (or maybe even ignoring).

In my opinion, servers should force team balance. Don't care about clans that want to be in the same team. If they want that, let 'em register a server at something like Barrysworld so they have their own private place to play. Forcing Team balance will create fairer and more exiting games. It is ofcourse still a pity that a lot of Quake players are mature enough to take care of this them selves.

Demonwench: I agree! Screw the score! Have fun! Blow stuff up!! But, how would servers force team balance? It's an interesting idea but I don't know how one would go about this.

Pappy-R: Team balance and locking teams (a feature in some mods) is not only the answer, but a good dietary source of uranium!

From: Troy
Subject: RnR

Hey I'm a relative newcomer to Online Quaking, but I've seen waaay too much of this since I started. But one thing everyone seems to have missed are the real teamplayers. I remember one game in Dueling Keeps, teams were even numerically but in no way even close skill-wise. When Blue got ahead 4 to 1 at the 5 minute mark two players who I had been hating cuz they had been schooling me, switched over to my team. and I believe NC somebody, but anyway these guys pushed my team up to Red 5 to 4, then at the 1 minute warning, switched back, and put Blue back up 6 to 5. You have to figure that they derived much more pleasure out of bringing a hopeless (we were a hopless half-dozen, trust me) team all the way back from the brink and then going for a speed kill. I've also been in situations were my team will start handing a spanking to the opposition. If it's because of numbers I will switch. But (I'm a stay-at-home defender type) if it's because myself and 1or 2 other players have developed a seemless defense, there ain't no way I'm gonna switch. But on joining I always go for the losing team. Why? I'm an American, I love the underdog....

Demonwench: You go boy! Underdogs rock!! I'm glad you seem to have your gamestyle all figured out! Much frags to ya!

Pappy-R: LIke I said in the original feature, there's nothing like a good game, and overtime rocks! Nothing gets your blood up more than having it come down to the wire. That's gaming babeee!

Demonwench: And for your second course...we offer a delightful selection of those requesting aid, or are just trying to help us. Maybe we can help you out too! Check it out!

Next: You have questions, we have answers.

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