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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 2-12-2000
   

Tech Tips
by Love2Play


2/12/2000: Quake III Arena Tweaks Explained


This guide is submitted by BONG

We are grateful for the time he took to write it and will keep it updated for us.

Following the advices given in this guide, you'll increase your framerate and tweak other aspects of gameplay. The guide won't provide you with: the variables the default values of which are already efficient (I'll name only those one would like to alter), hardware tweaks (consult previous TechTips) or modem connection tweaks (the guide is optimized for LAN and singleplayer). Each boldfaced variable is ready to be pasted into your config; you may want to change the recommended values after reading the explanations, as some settings are quite subjective.

Warning!
Some variables beginning in "r_" require more testing. If something works on my CPU (400 Celly) and card (V2 12MB), it doesn't mean it will do the same on your machine. Hence any feedback is welcome.

Ok, here we go!

set cg_autoswitch "0"
Toggles the automatic switching to the weapon the player has just picked up. Set it 0 as you don't want to have your RL switched to the GL in the heat of the battle.

set cg_bobpitch "0"
set cg_bobroll "0"
set cg_bobup "0"
Set all these variables to 0 and your view won't pitch forward and back, roll from side to side and bob up and down when moving.

set cg_brassTime "0"
Set it to 0, disable ejected shell effects and gain fps.

set cg_centertime "0"
Sets how long messages are displayed in the center of the screen (3 seconds by default). The messages obstruct your vision and repeat the function of the frag counter (especially in duels), situated at the bottom-right corner of the screen.

set cg_draw3dIcons "0"
Toggles the drawing of the 3D ammo, skin and armor icons. Set it to 0 and gain fps

set cg_drawAmmoWarning "0"
Do you have to be warned when you're low on ammo? You're not experienced then. Set it to 0 and have a clearer view.

set cg_drawAttacker "0"
Toggles the display of the last guy to do damage to you in the upper-right corner of the screen. Set it to 0 now and gain fps.

set cg_drawCrosshair "4"
The default crosshair is 4, a circle with a cross inside. You can choose from several other crosshairs (1-9). Setting the variable to 0 will disable the crosshair and your aiming accuracy will remarkably decline.

set cg_drawCrosshairNames "0"
Toggles the ID display of other players when your crosshair is on them. Unnecessary in duels (people say it may help you to see the enemy a moment before he actually appears from around a corner).

set cg_drawgun "0"
Setting it to 0 will disable the rendering of the weapon model and you'll gain fps. Get used to the absence of the gun: it does obstruct your vision.

set cg_drawRewards "0"
Set it to 0. You will still hear "Excellent" and "Impressive" and that should be well enough to cheer you up.

set cg_drawTeamOverlay "1"
Toggles the nifty team locator thing at the top of your screen in team deathmatch. It shows the following information about all your teammates (positions on the team overlay are static - the top eight players by score are taken and put in client order so they won't switch positions on the team overlay): powerup (flag in CTF), name, location (if the map is complex enough), health, weapon, amount of armor. The numbers in the team overlay gradually blend from white to red while you're losing your health. Black indicates death (as does the red striked-circle icon in the place of the weapon icon)

set cg_drawTimer "1"
The setting of 1 decreases your fps a wee yet helps you to orientate in time (ie to anticipate the respawn of valuable items and to be aware of how much time is left). The respawn time of an item can be set by the designer and may vary from map to map. Usual times in seconds: armor (red, yellow, shards) 25, health (golden, yellow, green) 35, ammo 40. Power-ups respawn variously: eg the megahealth shows up every 35 seconds on Q3DM13 and every two minutes on Q3Tourney4. It's recommended to verify carefully the respawn times of the main items before important matches.

set cg_forceModel "1"
A memory saving option: shows all other players in the same model you are playing.

set cg_fov "100"
The field of vision value is in degrees (default 90, maximum 160). Recommended values are 100 to 120: broader view, the enemy not too small, railing more accurate.

set cg_gibs "0"
The unfortunate spray of body fluid and parts on ammo impact, set it to 0 now and gain a considerable amount of fps.

set cg_marks "0"
Set it to 0, disable gunshot marks on the walls and gain fps.

set cg_noplayeranims "0"
If you set it to 1, you will gain fps but all models will freeze into a strange posture and move around like ghosts.

set cg_shadows "0"
Set it to 0, disable all shadows and gain fps.

set cg_simpleitems "1"
Set it to 1. Weapon, ammo, powerups, health and armor entities will be drawn as sprites (not models) and you'll gain fps.

set cg_zoomfov "45"
The default value of your field of vision when +zoom is active equals 22.5 degrees. It may be good for vast maps like Q3DM17 but generally you zoom in too much and severely hurt your ability to orientate. Setting it to something like 45 you get both moderate zoom and chance to engage adjacent enemy. And don't puzzle over various user-created variables (vstr) to decrease your sensitivity when you zoom in: it scales automatically (moreover, the +/- option doesn't work in user defined vstr's).

set cl_mouseAccel "0"
Mouse acceleration basically means that the faster you move the mouse, the quicker you turn in Q3. With mouse acceleration enabled you can lower your sensitivity and slowly move your mouse to take aim with the railgun and quickly flick the mouse in a close rocket fight without running out of space on the mouse pad or do effective sideways rocket jumps. You must get used to mouse acceleration, as to just about anything new to you. However, mouse acceleration shouldn't be too high (I recommend values between 0 and 1, speaking of the cl_mouseAccel variable) because you may find yourself doing a 540 degree turn instead of 180 which doesn't help you at all to orientate. Mouse acceleration can be set: a) via special software, eg Logitech MouseWare, b) the variable in question. I prefer the second way because mouse acceleration can be tuned very precisely with the variable and sofware usually offers only several choices (low, medium etc).

set cl_timeNudge "10"
This variable emulates lag. If you set it to 10, you will shoot 10 milliseconds after you push your fire button. So if you usually play in LANs, keep the setting between 10 and 20 when fighting bots and if you play via modem use an appropriate setting too (150 or whatever).

set color "2"
Sets the effects color for the railgun (1=Blue, 2=Green, 3=Cyan, 4=Red (default), 5=Magenta, 6=Yellow, 7=White). It's for you to decide, of course, but avoid choosing a color that makes the rail trail poorly visible in certain surroundings.

set com_blood "0"
Set it to 0 and there will be no blood (it's helped to legalize Q3 in Germany, AFAIK).

set com_hunkMegs "56"
The value represents the amount of memory that QUAKE3.EXE will allocate for itself. ID's FAQ says "if you have 128MB of RAM installed on your system you might want to replace X with a value no higher than 96. Always leave at least 32MB of RAM out of the total amount you have for other operations. If you have 64MB of RAM in your system, leave the setting at its default." I got 64 megs and set the variable to 56 with no problems (70 worked too:).

set com_introplayed "1"
Set the variable to 1 and you'll illogically get no intro on the game start. If you aren't planning to connect to pure servers and you want to get rid of the ID Logo clip, open pak0.pk3 with WinZip and delete idlogo.RoQ (you can do the same with *.RoQ, fla2*.wav, son*.wav, win.wav and loss.wav: saves up about 165MB on your hard drive). Make sure you have lots of free space on your hard disk and patience: WinZip will extract all files to RAM, delete what you need and then zip all the files again. After your drive stops growling, fire up Q3 and you'll get thrown straight into the menu.

If you do want to able to connect to pure servers and you want to get rid of the ID Logo clip, open the folder where quake3.exe lies, right mouse click, New, Text Document, open it, type in "quake3 +map" without the quotes, close the document, rename it to whatever.bat, run the bat file (generally, one can put many useful things into the file and it is called the command line:)

set com_maxfps "1000"
This one sets the fps cap (100 by default). A good machine will squeeze out some more from time to time and you should make use of it (for online play, one should use a value of about 30, they say it lags less then; playing on Q3DM13 cap your high framerate to approximately 83: you'll be doing the megahealth jump with no problems)

set con_notifytime "2"
If you can't wait for the console messages (eg other players' babble) to disappear from the screen after the default time of 3 seconds, lower the value.

set crosshairSize "24"
The size of your crosshair is a subjective point. Some like it bigger, some don't. The default value is 24.

set g_log ""
This variable with the default value "games" toggles the writing of GAMES.LOG which logs gameplay events in the current session. If you play Q3 for 10 hours non-stop, you'll find a BIG file in your baseq3 folder afterwards.

                                 

 




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