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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | Oct 29, 1999
   

PQ Mailbag
Week of: 10/29/99

LAN Gaming - A Thing of the Past

We got a lot of responses to last week's article by Stinger, "LAN Gaming - A Thing of the Past?" First of all, I'd like to correct a faux pas that I made when I first posted the article; I had stated that the article was written by Tolwyn, when in fact it was written by Chris "Stinger" Hansen. I didn't read the entire email that came with the article (it was submitted by Tolwyn). My bad. I promise to read all emails twice from now on. Okay, with that said...let's check out what some of you had to say about what Stinger wrote:

From: ANTGith
Subject: In response to Tolywm`s article on LAN play

I don't think many people will miss LAN play. For one thing, to me, in my opinion, LAN play is too much work to setup, most people are put off by the idea of unplugging all those god-awful cords, packing up their expensive PC`s which they spent so much rent money on building, just to go somewhere else, unpack, untangle and put all the damn cords in...hey!! I think Tolwym may have just answered his own question! Thats the reason LAN has gone by the wayside. Who wants to go to all that work when they can just log online, make a private room and invite their friends, and lock it? No muss, no fuss, although I probably wont be using the microphone. Can you imagine how goofy you'd look screaming "you fucking camper!" at your monitor? The only times I would see a LAN as being practical are the following situations:

  • A gaming tournament, such as PGL.
  • An office setup where the computers are connected at all times, thus no packing and unpacking is neccesary.

    Of course, then there is the argument of how playing against someone is more fun when they are the same room. I respect that viewpoint, seeing as to how you dont have to rely on hiding in a corner to type. But I figure if I want that, I could play n64. (which I wont, cause it sucks ass). I'm not saying that game-makers should just turn their backs on LAN lovers (hey! Cool catch phrase!) and eliminate it all together, in fact they should just keep it. What I wanted to point out was that many people might not miss it in the first place. I know I wouldn't.



    From: SuperM
    Subject: The LAN is Over...

    I read the article about game developers not supporting LAN multiplay and that really pisses me off because here at school we have a LAN and in our free time we play Quake2 and some UT to kill the time and itīs very funny to play with others near of you, have no lag (unless the host have a crap-ass computer) and be able to hurt the guy that fragged you while having a 23 frags streak without being fragged.

    Maybe the game developers forgot about the LAN thanks to the new fast internet services (cable, ADSL, ISDN) that make the games as fast as in a LAN, but they will never make the games as funny as in a LAN.



    From: "Liquid"
    Subject: Lan Gaming - A Thing of the Past?

    Stinger's epic tale of trust and betrayal is a terrible and frightening one, but I don't think it's going to become an industry trend. I think what we really have here is a company going more or less out of it's way to push it's own personal game server, at the expense of LAN play as well as client services like GameSpy.

    Now if a company wants to push something like battle.net or boneyards (both decent services for what they're intended for), then that's cool with me, but a developer is going to have to have TCP/IP in thee somewhere, and not providing a top level version of it seems to be a total farce to me. And an unsuccessful one as well. Besides Stinger's example, they're the most infamous Diekatana MPlayer demo from hell. And it took about a day and a half for someone to hack out a strait onboard interface for that one.

    But I digress. In my opinion, the majority of developers will continue to support open server browsers, and with them strait TCP/IP connection capabilities. Our LANs are safe.



    From: DigiRioT
    Subject: The End Of Lan Partys Is Near???

    I just read the article about no Lan support in the game. Me and every single one of my freinds still carry 3 computers each to a rotating location EVERY weekend and then I spend an hour tweekin everyones box just so we have the chance to frag someone and then laugh in there faces about it. Thats the whole point of Lan Parties (well the almost zero lag is nice too...). I think the bastards at Novalogic should have there testicles chewed off by a mutant while having their tool shoved up a 12 guage and someone pulling the trigger.... Bastards



    Ouchies! I'm not a guy, but the mental image I got after reading that last email made me just a little queasy...

    I wanted to share my take on Stinger's article, so here goes. As some of you know, my internet connection is crap...pure shite. Although I don't really live out in the boonies (despite what some of y'all think), when it comes to getting a high speed connection, I guess I do. Cable modem service is not available here; I live too far from Pac Bell's switching office to be able to qualify for DSL service, and ISDN is just ridiculously expensive (not to mention that it is the slowest of all the high speed options). Nothing makes me happier in my miserable little life than to be able to frag some ass in my free time. Before all you lucky bastards that have high speed access managed to get it...I used to be able to hold my own on any Q2 or Unreal server; usually in the top three scores. Now, it doesn't matter whether I'm playing HalfLife, Q2, UT, or Q3ATest...I spend most games looking at a disconnect icon. So what choice do I have now when I want to enjoy a little fraggin' pleasure? Yep, you guessed it...LAN. Whether it be fragging my husband on our network, or actually having (or going to) a LAN party, this is really my only option for enjoying deathmatch against something other than bots. I know I'm not in the minority, either. There are more people out there who either can't afford, or don't qualify, for high speed connections than there are those who can. If other gaming developers decide to follow in Novalogic's footsteps...a lot of us gamers will be screwed. But honestly, I don't see that happening; at least not in the near future.




    Die, Grapple, Die!!!

    That's it. I've had it. I can't take it anymore! This will be the last Grapple stuff I post in the Mailbag (for awhile, at least). I think I'll have to hurl if I see another email regarding id Software's decision to leave the grappling hook out of the Q3Arena's stock CTF maps cross my desk...

    From: [KOI] Kendokan
    Subject: Oh will the grapple agony ever end?

    All issues aside, what would be best is for id to let the server admins make a choice about whether to allow the grapple or not, and then make a voting option so that players could then decide to enable/disable it if they desire.

    Take Rocket Arena 2 for example. A CTF-style grapple was added, by default it was disable, and I have yet to play on a server where it was there. But it's nice to know we have the choice, and let the community decide.

    I don't understand what makes a person with a grapple invincible. Granted, I play a lot more Lithium/OSP Tourney and RA2 than CTF, but it doesn't seem particularily difficuly to score frags in those mods. Railing someone in mid-air is infrequent, but entirely possible. Armor and runes make a lot more difference than the grapple. Personally, I'd like to see the end of runes/techs, power armor, invulnerability and the quad. Gah, the RA2 player in me got out for a second. ;-)

    Niptlar made a couple comments in the mailbag that seemed particularily amusing. First, he said that "A player can clip to a distant wall and pick off players, whose only options are to fight back with the Railgun or to hide."

    On every grapple-enabled server I have ever played on, the grapple has a timeout and will disconnect after several seconds. That being said, what is so hard about hitting a stationary target with a railgun? If you cannot hit a stationary target with a railgun, the grapple is the least of your concern. Work on your skills instead. Campers = easy to hit targets.

    Then he said that "Some lithium servers are contaminated with a clan of six or so such players, who, when working together, can literally own a map, destroying the opportunity of any normal player to gain any satisfaction."

    I doubt this is because of the grapple. If six or so players are teaming on a server they will grind everyone's ass into the ground regardless of whether they are using a grapple or not. Teaming during FFA is lame, when this happens to me I find another server. However, I've also seen that when two or more people from any particular clan are playing on a server, and they're kicking ass, that people will accuse them of teaming (or bot usage, or whatever) even if they aren't. (shrug)


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