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Tech Tips

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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 1-1-2000
   

Tech Tips
This is where your gaming and hardware needs are met. Be all that you can be or get out of the game! This won't be a forum for techno-geeks to find more ways to impress their non-technical friends, it's for plain folk who need help to better their gaming experience. But don't blame us if you blow your machine sky high; we're offering tips, not the Bible on computers. The mailbag is alive and well - send in those questions to TechTips.

— by Love2Play


1/1/2000: Quake III Arena Tweaks

It's time to dispel myths and put some rumors to bed. And speed that puppy up! Let me start by telling you my hardware story for the week.

I bought one of my computers a new Voodoo 3 3000 and was getting horrible results in testing FPS on Quake III Arena. So after checking with my friends Crash and Orinthical for their opinion on whether my Soyo motherboard might be involved (because I hate to spend money if I don't have to), I went and replaced the Soyo motherboard with an Abit BH6. See, the fact that the Soyo needed a new set of drivers to run the AGP slot had me concerned. Well, after switching the motherboards and not changing a single setting from before to after the install, my fps in Quake 3 on the Voodoo 3 3000 went from 30 to 52.5. Yup, that's right -- I got a higher fps by simply changing the motherboard. It seems that the VIA chipset (which is what the Soyo board had) is not very proficient at running AGP. So, my friends, take a good look at your system if you are running sluggish.

Now on with the tweaks!



Quake3 Woes

The number one bug that has plagued users is CD-Key authorization failure. Let's look at some of the myths here:

Myth #1: To quote an id employee: "Don't use GameSpy. There is a problem with GameSpy and CD Keys where GameSpy resets the Key to the default (which is invalid). Use the in-game browser -- it's what I use and I've never had a single problem with my CD Key (yes, I have to have one, too). " (gee, there's a surprise, an id employee testing using the browser that came with the game!)

Fact: Gamespy is not capable of modifying the default q3config.cfg. Gamespy executes it's own config containing your player profile and the rate setting from the Options menu that you chose when you setup Gamespy for Q3A. And MANY people have reported the CD-key problem with and without using Gamespy. So Gamespy is not a problem with users suffering this problem. The Gamespy beta testing and tech support team has yet to find one case of a user's q3config.cfg being changed by Gamespy or any other means. Usually, the CD-key remains unchanged in the q3config.cfg making it all the more confusing as to why it is not being authorized.

Myth #2: Someone else is using your CD-key.

Fact: This is highly unlikely. Even though there are some key generators circulating out there, it is unlikely that your CD-key is being used by someone else. Don't panic and think that you have been hacked or that someone got your key. Wait for id to patch this problem.

Myth#3: Don't use the number pad to type the numbers.

Fact: People have tried all sorts of ways to enter their key and still no joy. It is a game bug, friends. Don't stand on your head trying to fix something that needs a patch.

If any of you recall, the CD-key authorization issue came out with the demo test. Apparently it was not a big enough concern to stop release of the game. Sifting back through our forums, you will find that this problem arose long before the final retail release.

Here are some sane suggestions:

1. Make sure you are looking at the right place for your CD-key. The CD-key is found on the back of the CD case -- not on the box, not in the documentation. Nowhere but on the back of the CD case.

2. Type in small case exactly as shown (although shown in caps) and do it when prompted when running the game for the first time. There is no real point in typing it in from the console. If you type it in from the get-go, it will tell you that the key appears to be valid and lets you continue.

3. Check it in the game menu. There is an option for CD-key in the menu.

4. NEVER give your q3config to anyone! It contains your CD-key in plain text for all to see. If you let a friend have your config, they are now using your key.

5. From the man himself (taken from Quake3World forums):

"I've seen quite a few people now who have had the error "awaiting CD key authorization" while trying to get into the game. In quite a few cases this has been due to an entry placed in the users hosts files (c:\windows\hosts) that says something like:127.0.0.1 authorize.quake3arena.com

This line is /bad/. It means you'll never send packets off to the authorize server. You can either remove this line completely from this file, or change it to the correct address (192.246.40.56). If you're having this problem, check into this first!

Cheers.
Graeme Devine."

A bit more info for those of you that don't have a hosts file in the c:\windows folder: in c:\windows there's a file called hosts.sam. Highlight this file, then copy and paste it back into the c:\windows folder. It will be called "copy of hosts.sam". Right click it and rename it to just hosts (i.e., no .sam extension). Then open it with notepad and at the bottom of the file enter this line:192.246.40.56 authorize.quake3arena.com

"Awaiting Gamestate" is another problem popping up. You sit there forever and then leave the server and find you had a 999 ping when you look back in. Did you also notice you were still listed? THAT is weird.

While there are many speculations and fixes that are random, there seems to be no solid fix here either. Like the CD-key, there are several suggestions, all of which are a crapshoot. They work for some, not for others. I had an experience myself with it where about 8 of us joined a server and all 8 of us got stuck in Awaiting Gamestate. Some of us exited the server and refreshed it to see our names still listed on the server and that all players had a 999 ping. Others waited long enough that they were released from it and entered the game. They then complained that the ping was not good in the server. Could this perhaps be a server side bug? Only id can tell…

Dumped from a server at map change. This apparently has to do with the whole "pure server" issue. If you have any additional skins or maps (that didn't come with the game) then you are dumped from the server at map change. This too has a patch in the works.




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