As mentioned on the PQ main page, and on MAHQ itself, MAHQ is hosting a third custom Multi-Arena, this time the brainchild of Realm which is entitled "Facta Mala Arena". In this MA you'll get a taste of some pretty slick looking arenas... along with a little gauntlet only action inspired by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Head over to MAHQ for more info and some download linkage!
KitCarson has released his first Multi-Arena to the public. You can snag it here from the Multi-Arena HQ's link. It has 3 1v1 arenas, and a reletively small pickup arena. There was some mixup in the initial release's arena.cfg information which is fixed in the new download (you don't need to redownload the map if you don't run an RA3 server from your system).
What does everyone think of the new MA's? Thoughts on Charon's first map? How about KitCarson's? I want to hear what you players think of the custom stuff that's out there so far. Fire me an email and lemme know.
The MAHQ messageboards were graced early this morning with the news that a new Multi-Arena has been released to the public from mapper Charon. It's got a very "Aliens meets Industrial" feel to it that successfully ties in all of the 4 arenas included with the MA (3 Rocket Arena 1v1s, and 1 relatively HUGE Clan Arena).
Head over to MAHQ to download the new MA, and check out some screenshots.
I haven't had a chance to play it with other players yet, but initial "Running Around In Practice Mode" testing shows that these arenas are of really good quality. The only initial problem that might crop up is the use of free floating lifts in a few of the arenas. Players that have a 100+ ping will typically find using these lifts in any sure footed way somewhat difficult.
MAHQ is holding their first Multi-Arena contest for Rocket Arena 3. Like the contests from RA2, this contest is asking for entries of 1v1 and 2v2 arenas, but this time they are also asking for Clan Arena submissions. They also are asking for arenas using a specific theme: Spaceship.
For contest rules and more details, go over to MAHQ and have a look-see. They even have a new forum section specifically for the contest. While you are checking that out, I HIGHLY recommend snagging the new v1.3 beta client of the RA3 client.
I'll be going to London for two weeks starting Monday (including time at ECTS), but before I left I wanted to make a beta of the next RA3 client release available for public testing. When I get back if everything went well it will be released as a non-beta version.
Client version 1.3 adds an integrated IRC chat client and support for proportional spaced fonts (which look a lot better and make better use of screen space). It's fully compatible with all RA3 server releases, and is strictly optional - clients don't have to update to the beta and can continue using client v1.0.
The beta is available here as an upgrade from client v1.0. It's about 400k and should be extracted into your quake3\arena subdirectory. This beta is for Win32 only - the final release will be available for Linux as well. Servers do NOT need to update with these files - server version 1.3 is completely separate.
I'm really hoping that the chat client, combined with the new competition mode features of server version 1.3 will make competitive RA3 even easier for players and clans. I've had quite a bit of feedback on the competition changes in 1.3 and will be tweaking and adding to them in future versions.
Last weekend I went to the monthly Gib-O-Rama in Houston, Texas where 60+ LAN fanatics joined up to play 12 hours of Quake 3: Arena and other games with sub 10 pings...
... and you can bet that Rocket Arena 3 was one of the most played mods on the open time servers. But easily the most entertaining portion of the evening was when we started up a 50 player RA3 server playing Wiebo de Wit's Overkill. For giggles, I took some rather lengthy matches of best of 9 rounds where up to 23 versus 22 players went at it Clan Arena style. Grab all three matches from my POV here (3.8MB).
Don't forget... you'll have to snag a copy of Overkill to view the demos.
After a short week at version 1.1, Rocket Arena 3 has now reached version 1.3. Some annoying bugs in 1.1 were squashed and a few highly-requested enhancements to competition mode were added. In addition, the physics in 1.3 should be EXACTLY the same as baseq3. I've tested this using several methods, including double-blind lab tests with Quake-playing chimps. The upgrade is only for servers and is available from FilePlanet.
Finished up my post-QuakeCon writeup. Give it a look see here... it has a day by day synopsis along with photos from the BYOC section, as well as the GameSpy/Artimus Toga Party, and even a blow by blow of how Toxy busted up all the 'real' DM players in the 1v1 Tournament, placing 9th overall. If you didn't catch QuakeCon this year, you REALLY need to start making plans to attend next year.
MAHQ has the RA3 mapping specifics documented over on their site. If you are interested in making a map that works with RA3, this is the place to go to learn how to turn your great arenas into a Multi-Arena! Quick, Go, Now!
Some servers are showing "two countdowns" at the start of a map that kicks all the players back to the main arena selection menu. This is caused by having "g_dowarmup 1" set in their configuration. To fix this, server admins need to delete q3config.cfg and add the line "seta g_dowarmup 0" do their server.cfg (before the map line).
Other server admins are having issues with errors (usually related to memory) when loading certain maps. This is almost always caused by a low "com_hunkmegs" setting. Admins should make sure that "com_hunkmegs" is set to at least 64 in the server.cfg.
The MP3 player is working great for most people, but not for all. This is a known issue with some sound cards (see the readme) and can't be fixed by RA3. Updating drivers may help, but the SBPCI128 and other Ensoniq based cards don't seem to work.
Some people are reporting issues with getting "stuck" in other players during spawning in matches. This typically happens when there are a lot of people in one of the smaller pickup arenas. RA3 has anti-telefrag code in already, but obviously more will be needed to avoid this situation in all cases. It's a difficult problem to solve but I'll try to fix it in the future.
There are a few cases of random "hard lockups" while playing RA3. This is almost certainly related to a hardware or driver issue (like overheating or driver bugs). Note that RA3 "stresses" your video card much more than normal DM since you are almost constantly firing or being fired on. Make sure your card isn't overclocked and that you have the latest drivers (there are reports that the leaked 5.30 Detonator drivers fixed the problem for one person).
Now on to the common questions:
1. Will there be Mac support?
I looked into this a while ago and didn't see any way to do native mods on the Mac. I'll try to get this done if at all possible. Mac OSX should definitely be possible once it's released.
2. Will there be bot support?
I plan to add bot support in the future, but it will take a bit of time (to teach them how RA3 works) and I didn't want to delay the initial release for bot support since most users don't need it.
I'll be out on vacation for the next week, so don't expect a lot of updates or e-mail responses. If you have bugs to report, please send them to Essobie. He'll be sorting through them and following up for more info as needed. Thanks... and have fun!
Mirror operators can submit mirrors for approval on the list. Please make sure your file is complete and working
before you submit it to the mirror list. You'll need to submit each of the 3 files separately. Here are the submission
[To add a Win32 client files mirror]
[To add a server files mirror]
[To add a Linux client files mirror]
The client download being released tomorrow has lower-bitrate versions of 5 soundtrack songs for those that don't have the bandwidth or time to download the whole soundtrack, but the hi-bitrate versions are recommended for the best experience. The download file (ra3soundtrack.exe) is a self-extracting ZIP file. Unix or Mac users can rename the file to "ra3soundtrack.zip" and extract with your favorite compression program. Windows users can just click to install. Installing the files into your Quake 3 directory is recommended so that RA3 can automatically find and play them after you install it.
The full mod release will be this Sunday at 6pm PDT, see the news item below for more information!
It is with great pleasure that I bring you the news that Rocket Arena 3 has entered the final stages of private testing and (baring any major issues) will be released this Sunday (7/23).
This initial non-beta release is the culmination of 8 months of work by a team of more than 20 individuals and over 150 beta testers. It includes 8 Multi-Arena maps with 32 arenas to play in, 4 different game types, and a 14 track soundtrack by a number of notable artists including DJ Pill, Sonic Mayhem, and Silent Warrior.
The first release will be available natively for both Win32 and Linux, and will be 50-60mb in size. The full soundtrack will be available as a separate 60-70mb download (highly recommended!).
We'll be holding a Rocket Arena 3 release party with interviews, chat, trivia, and prizes in a special GameSpy Arcade Party Room. Users will need download / run this Party Service file to make the room available in Arcade.
(GameSpy Arcade Beta 3 is required, existing Arcade users should be auto-upgraded to Beta 3, new users can get it from GameSpyArcade.com).
The party will start around 6PM PDT (1AM GMT) this Sunday (7/23). All are invited to attend.
Also, we're currently looking for two groups of helpers to make the release go smoothly.
Mirrors: We're looking for download mirror sites that can handle at least 100 simultaneous users (no cable/dsl/T1 please). Sites running existing FTP/mirror services preferred.
Server Operators: If you run an existing Rocket Arena 2 or Quake 3 server and would like to be one of the first to host Rocket Arena 3 let us know (Win32 or Linux).
If you're able to help with either of the above click the link and send me an e-mail. Please include your current download or game server address so we can confirm.
Today I got with big0nes, the Lead Mapper and Design Coordinator for the RA3 mod. He was nice enough to shed some light on his position here, some of what his arenas are like, and the joys of having children. Have a look...
At any rate, I'm Essobie. I've been given the honor and privilege to maintain and update this website during the production, and after the release of Rocket Arena 3. I've done work on Fahrenheit 176, RA2IO, Quake 2 LateNite with Toxy, The Half-Bind, thebind:arena, Multi-Arena Head Quarters, and Mod Central.
First thing I'd like to clear up, I did not do any graphics or layout for this website... as much as I'd like to be able to take credit for it. All graphics, and the RA:UT and RA3 Logos were done by Walter |2| Costinak (the same guy that did the RA:UT page). |2| along with crt are responsible for the design.
Last night I retired RA2IO to "archive only status", so for a trip down RA2 memory lane, give it a look. The end is bitter sweet since I say farewell to a site that I had so much fun doing, and hello to a site that will make me even more proud.
Deathstalker (of the RA3 Mapping team) asked me to blast the URL of MAHQ up here and let you all know that the Discussion Forums over there are HOPPING! (okay, maybe it isn't hopping YET... but it should be!) Get over there and speak your mind about the new website, the screenshots here on the RA3 page... if it's something about RA3 you want to talk about, the MAHQ Forums is a great place to start.
Make sure you explore the whole site - it's not that big, but we've got exciting new stuff in each section. Check out the new features to expect in Rocket Arena 3 on the about page. See the first screenshots ever released on the screenshots page. And download a playable version on the downloads page. Oops! Just kidding, there's nothing to download for Rocket Arena 3 yet, but stay tuned for the latest news on the release.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to introduce the new webmaster for the official RA3 site - Essobie. Many of you already know Essobie from his excellent work on Rocket Arena 2: Inside and Out. Essobie will be doing regular news updates on the status of the mod as it enters beta, and map reviews and strategy guides once it's released.
Finally, I'd like to give a big congratulations to RA2/RA3 mapper Hal9000, who was recently hired by EA to work on their Quake 3 based games. Expect to see lots of his great work in Rocket Arena 3.
I've been waiting on the completion of the new web site before posting much more info about RA3, but it looks like that's still
a few days off, so here's what's going on now:
The code is really close to beta. All of the features are in, except admin/competition mode, which should be finished soon. Once that is done, there will probably be a short public beta to test the code, and then a small private beta to test the maps before the first big release. Once the new web site is done I'll be posting a bunch more info about the mod, as well as the screenshots that everyone has been begging for.
The later part of this week I'll be up at GDC hanging out in the GameSpy booth and giving a session on Saturday. We'll have a bunch
of machines for deathmatch at the GameSpy booth running Rocket Arena 3, so if you're there be sure to check it out.
We'll also be showing a phat new product from GameSpy at the booth, which will help explain why these updates have been so few and far between :)
Last but not least... if you want to read some guy's rantings on the future of mods, you might want to check this article out.
Also -- I plan on releasing the code for the custom UI controls (e.g. the scrollbar and tab control) that I did for ArenaSpy so that other coders can use them. In the long run we're also looking at making ArenaSpy (..and another toy yet to be released..) available as a "plugin" that any mod developer can add to their mod. Stay tuned for more details.
So what does this mean for Rocket Arena 3? Not much really -- I'm still planning on doing it, and although design work has begun, we are still waiting for id to release the Quake 3 source. The mapping tools have been released, so map creation should be getting under way shortly. The first map pak for Rocket Arena 3 will be invite-only (as was the first Rocket Arena 2 pak), so there will not be an open call for maps. However, if you are an EXPERIENCED mapper and would like to be part of the team, please send an e-mail to big0nes with links to your previous work.
I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce several of the members of the Rocket Arena 3 team.
big0nes (who runs the Multi-Arena Headquarters) will be in charge of coordinating the map team for Rocket Arena 3.
Essobie (who you all know from Rocket Arena 2: Inside and Out) will be running the new Rocket Arena web site currently in development by |2|, the web god who did the id Software and Ritual sites, in addition to countless others.
Rocket Arena 3 is revving it's engines. CAN YOU FEEL IT?
I've also been getting asked a lot about the whole "UT vs. Quake 3" issue, so I thought I'd share my views. Overall, Unreal Tournament is a far better game, hands down. Anyone that says otherwise hasn't given both a fair shake. UT shows an amazing amount of polish, and tremendous depth of gameplay with (at least) 4 gametypes out of the box and over 50 maps. Meanwhile it appears that Quake 3 was rushed and could use a few more months of content and tweaking (hopefully the inevitable patches and user mods will take care of that). UT Single player would probably rank among the top 5 single player games I've ever played (Rainbow 6 and Shogo would be two others if you're interested). The bots play amazingly -- not just amazingly well, but amazingly realistic and FAIR! Working through the different game types in single player kept the game from getting repetitive, and the final challenge levels were just that - challenging, but not impossible. The final match I had against Xan would probably qualify as one of the best 1v1 matches I've ever played, against anyone! I couldn't believe a bot that actually controlled the level instead of relying on insane accuracy to win. I won by a single frag after an amazing comeback. By comparison, I found the Quake 3 bots to be frustrating -- they never seemed to surprise me with their tactics, just their amazing aim. They felt much more like "bots" to me than the Unreal opponents, with their insane aim and "eyes in the back of their heads".
Those of you that haven't tried UT should at least try the demo. However, the full game goes WAY beyond the demo. The Assault game type (which isn't in the demo) is far and away the most innovative, and none of the really good CTF levels are in the demo. I found UT to be a much better value as well: For $10 less I got a game that took nearly 8 hours to beat in single player, and I've logged many more multiplayer hours since then. In fact, all I'm playing right now is UT CTF. Meanwhile I blew through Quake 3 in less than two hours. I played it on "hurt me plenty", because anything higher was just too frustrating (and unfair) as the bots' aim approaches perfection. Two tips for those of you that tried UT but didn't find it to your liking: First, up the FOV (fov 105 at the console). Makes it feel much faster and more like Quake. Secondly, bind and use the translocator. It makes a huge difference in CTF.
So why am I doing Rocket Arena 3 for Quake 3? Don't get me wrong -- Quake 3 is a GREAT game, and I think it has
even more potential, which I'm dying to unlock with Rocket Arena 3.
There are a few specific reasons as well: First off, I think Quake 3 is a better game for raw deathmatch. It really combines the best elements of Quake 1 and Quake 2. Secondly, I prefer coding in C with a full development environment, rather than using UnrealScript and UnrealEd. Finally, UT doesn't run well on my main development environment (Windows 2000) since my TNT drivers don't have D3D support. Not to mention that the community would probably lynch me if I didn't do a Quake 3 version. Honestly I'm not sure UT needs Rocket Arena. They've got TONS of great game types already, and I expect to see some new and innovative mods come out of the community that really take advantage of what UT has to offer.
I didn't really mean for this update to turn into a Q3 vs. UT rant, but I've seen quite a bit of disinformation out there by people who are obviously just out to bash Epic and anything they produce, and equal amount from id fans who haven't even tried UT or bothered to look past the beautiful Quake 3 engine. Alas, the beauty is only skin deep.
Both the full version and a 14mb upgrade from the previous version are available on the downloads page.
No new server files are needed, however, the upgrade package includes a new arena.cfg file for the new maps.
The arenas included in the All-Star maps are:
ra2map27 RA2 All Stars Map 1 (8 Arenas) Arena 1 - Funkadooda's Revenge (funkadooda) Arena 2 - Railgun Stadium (funkadooda) Arena 3 - Deathbox (scalt) Arena 4 - Drop Zone (funakadooda) Arena 5 - Abandoned Fort (nofadz) Arena 6 - Clownfish (g1zm0) Arena 7 - Melissa's Fancy (forrest) Arena 8 - The Edge - by Tim Willits of Id Software ra2map28 RA2 All Stars Map 2 (8 Arenas) Arena 1 - Edge of Insanity (tesh) Arena 2 - Storehouse (Rico) Arena 3 - Fire Escape (ding0) Arena 4 - vig0's Courtyard (big0nes) Arena 5 - Comm Tower (Greg Barr) Arena 6 - Sun Baked (Avatar) Arena 7 - SpongeBath (tesh) Arena 8 - HIPDM1 - by LevelLord, Q2 Version by BlueSeed
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