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Sunday, July 29th, 2001
Lately, I've been involved with the Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL). I was chosen to be on the Decision Committee and as a referee for some of the Quake 3, Team DM matches. For those that don't know what CAL is, I'll give a brief explanation. CAL is a 32 clan league based in the USA. Each clan will play 7 games in their own conference prior to the playoffs. Sixteen of these clan will make the playoffs. There are a few changes in the league rules that affect gameplay during the matches. They are as follows.
After two weeks of pre-season games and the regular season ready to start on Aug 13th, for myself, it's been quite an eye-opening experience to say the least. Here are some of the things that have surprised me in the league.
The toughest job in the league belongs to Q3 league administrator Joe "Thorian" Bako. He has the job that I wouldn't want. No matter what decisions are made, some people will be pissed off. It's just the nature of the beast. With that, I decided to ask Thorian some questions about how the league has been going so far.
Methos: What is the toughest part about running the league?
Thorian: From the looks of things, interviews by Methos may be the toughest part ;) Seriously though, the toughest part is probably the second-guessing. For every decision made there is a tiny voice in your head that casts doubt as to whether it was the right one or not. Every administrator has a specific idea as to how things should be handled and I'm no different. Because these decisions determine the success of the league at least one person is going to disagree. When those disagreements are brought to light it is very tough to constantly tell myself I'm doing the right thing and stand my ground. It's even tougher to admit when a mistake was made and dealing with the aftermath.
Methos: How has the general reaction been for the league from both players and public?
Thorian: Well, that's very tough to judge. I've read comments saying that this league is the best thing to happen to Quake Team Deathmatch ever. I've also had comments saying the league is terrible for completely changing the way TDM is played. Certainly I've seen more positive feedback than negative. The big question is whether people who post negative reactions are really talking about the league or letting their own personal feelings towards me get in the way. I've never really cared about maintaining a specific image online, I just post my opinions and stand by them. Some people have never had a conversation with me outside of a message board and so they get a negative image of me. Personally I don't feel the words we type are an accurate representation of who we are because it only constitutes about 20% of our communication ability. With that being the case, and with all the anonymous jokers out there who just insult everything no matter what it is, it's a pretty gray area. I do think those who really care either way are in support of the league, though.
Methos: What have clans complained about the most?
Thorian: In the east, I'd have to say the change in the machinegun from 5 points of damage per bullet down to 3. I've explained on other websites that this change increases a player's need to rely on his team, and I stand by that 100%. Some east coast clans complain about it, but then they go and play anyway ;) On the west coast I haven't received any specific major complaints other than confusion with scheduling. This is the first time a Quake 3 league has taken away nearly all administrative functions of the team and thus it's a bit hard to adjust. This is something that will become second nature over time though, just as it has with every other gaming league in CAL. Another area might be the requirement to publish demos, but this is still something being finalized.
Methos: What have clans praised the league about the most?
Thorian: I've received nothing but positive reactions to the new format of play. Everybody seems to enjoy hockey-style TDM. I have had a lot of people thank me for reducing the machinegun damage as well, which just goes to show how diverse the opinions of gamers are. I think the single most praised thing I've heard is the overall structure and very specific rules. They cover nearly every aspect of the game and what the consequences are of breaking a rule.
Methos: If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for to make the league better than it is?
Thorian: Having GTV, play-by-play announcing, full and extensive coverage of every match, the source code for the 1.29 release, hundreds of stuff. We're just scratching the surface of all kinds of possibilities right now. I'm not looking at this league in terms of just Quake 3, but also establishing a new precedent for all future gaming leagues as well. By the time the league Finals roll around I hope to have revolutionized the way live coverage is provided.
Methos: The league has implemented 3 - 15 minute periods to make up one match. What was the reasoning behind this decision?
Thorian: Every team sport in existence is played in a similar format. Since it isn't easy to analyze another team's strategy in Quake 3 before a game, there isn't much a team can do during a single 20 minute match. You either have a superior strategy, or you don't. Most of the time you have no idea what you are up against unless you've played your opponent many times in the past. The CAL is not only about high caliber competition, it's about bringing newer teams up to that level. You can't do this if they never get a chance to figure out what makes the best teams the best. With the hockey-style format the game always comes down to the final period no matter what. Because of this, a team may utilize intermissions and timeouts to make necessary adjustments in their strategy.
Another reason for the change is to help build more depth in a team's roster. When your team is blowing away your opponent, there's no real reason to keep your starters in the game. They don't really benefit much from the time playing together if they are just running the map. My advice is to substitute in second or third string players and allow them to work on playing with the team. That way they are more readily available if a starter can't make a match later in the season. It promotes more unity within teams (we all know how unstable some can be).
The final reason is for spectating / fundraising purposes. Nothing is more intense when a match really boils down to the wire in the 3rd period. People were even going crazy to a scorebot during the recent cK vs. Conflict match (cK won by a total of 8 points). The intermissions allow for possible advertising over shoutcast / video stream too, which is attractive to sponsors. Finally, this format keeps the audience involved from start to finish (unless it's a large blowout). Every frag really does count in the end.
Methos: With the season about to start, what is your general impression of the league so far?
Thorian: I love it, but I might be a bit biased...
You can visit the CAL admins, staff and many of the players at #caleague-Q3tdm on ETG.
Oh my goodness, I have posted another 2 pictures on the Methos' Quakebabes™ page. The first is u'succubus from Texas and a member of Clan Euphoria. The second is SK-aNouC who lives in Spain but, plays for German clan Schroet Kommandos. Both of these two lovely women are Quakebabes™ and deserving of their place in Quakebabe history. :)
Methos Site Stuff
Normally, I'm the one proposing to the Quakebabes™, I didn't think that my fiancée Julie (Spot) would be getting proposals from other Quakers. Too bad guys, she's all mine. :)
Sunday, June 24th, 2001
Just a brief update to give you all a Quake Birthday present from John Romero. Here is a previously unreleased map from Quake. It is called "Lost Entrance of the Dismal Oubliette". It is a single player map with no end (because it was suppose to lead you into E2M6). I checked it out and it certainly looks like it was suppose to go in the game but, as John says, they had to remove it because E2M6 was too big. I also got a huge rush when it was loading. :)
Unzip the map to your "\quake\id1\maps" folder (or where ever your Quake folder is). Start a new single player game. Then pull down the console and type "map e2m10" (without quotes). You'll run out of ammo because you only have a shotgun but, you can always use god mode and kill all the monsters with your axe. :)
You can download it here. (Registered Quake 1 required, 285k)
To say that my Quake's 5th Birthday posting was successful is an understatement. Now, was it the best posting in the history of the web? Nah, far from it. However, it did strike a chord in many people that were able to feel the nostalgia of the timeline. To hear the original ideas for Quake (sounding similar to Daikatana) from John Romero and Tim Willits was indeed a treat. I'm just glad id Software decided to change Quake to the way it was released. If they didn't, I doubt we would've been celebrating past the first month, let alone 5 years.
The interviews were mentioned on virtually every gaming (and some non-gaming) site in the world. Obviously, I can't list every site but, I very much appreciated the mention on all of them. The interviews were done so that Quake fans could enjoy them and relive some of Quake's shining moments. It was nice to get away from the Quake-Q2-Q3A-UT-CS talking for a while and take a trip down Quake's memory lane.
Once again, thanks to all the sites that mentioned the posting, thanks to all the people who sent email with their thoughts on nearly everything to do with Quake and other items and thanks to the id Software guys (from 5 years ago) that made what I consider the best FPS game ever.
Most importantly, thanks to all the people who visited my site to read the articles. Whether you were a new visitor or a long time visitor, it's great to have you around. The Quake birthday celebration was done for Quake fans around the world. Even though most Quake players have gone on to other games, it's always good to appreciate where we've been.
Interviews Methos (Sort Of)
Since there were so many questions regarding Quake's Birthday and especially the Quake timeline, I decided to answer some of them here. Some of these questions will be the obvious ones but, nearly all of them will contain some interesting information. Nearly all of these questions were received via email. Here we go.
Question: How did you get John Romero and Tim Willits to do the interviews?
Methos: I asked John Romero and he immediately agreed to do it. I contacted Todd Hollingshead (CEO of id Software) and he forwarded my mail to Marty Stratton. I told Marty that I would like somebody who was with id since Quake was made to contribute to the birthday article. He told me that Tim Willits would answer the questions. I think the two Carmack's and Willits are the only ones that have been there since before the days of Quake. I'd like to thanks Tim Willits and John Romero again for all their help.
Question: Why did you decide to do a Quake Timeline?
Methos: The timeline was kind of accidental. I wanted to talk a bit about the history of Quake over the past 5 years so, I added it as a little article after the interviews were posted. I had so many memories of great events happening that the "little article" start evolving into a Quake history lesson.
Question: Where did you find all that
crapinformation for the Quake timeline?
Methos: Most of it was information that I knew from running my site the past 4 years. There were a few bits of info that I gleaned from Bluesnews and Stomped (which are the only 2 sites I know were there from the start of Quake) and the odd tidbit from other places.
Question: Some of that info was very obscure, what was the hardest stuff to find?
Methos: Oddly enough, the most obscure stuff seemed to be the easiest to find. Finding out when the original dates were for the various Quake releases (qtest, shareware, full-retail, European retail, pre-ordered copies etc) was nearly impossible. I asked everybody I knew (including the id guys, Romero, sCary, Zoid and many more) and nobody seemed to know the release dates.
Question: Was all that info correct or did you hear from people who said "Hey, you're wrong, pal!"?
Methos: I was incorrect on a few things and had to clarify a few other things. Here are the things I corrected.
- Columbine shooting date was 1 day off and it occurred in Littleton and not Denver (I was told that Littleton was a suburb of Denver)
- Barrysworld only managed 63 internet connections to their mega-server and never made 100 players (even though I was told by 4 people that they did)
- Quake was not the first 3D FPS game, that game was called Terminator: Futureshock which is a game I've never seen
Question: Was all the reaction to the Quake timeline positive?
Methos: No, there were a few negative reactions to the articles. People posted on messageboards around the world (for some reason, only a handful of posts on my messageboard) and some people were saying that I said "Quake changed the world", which is not true. What I did say was "let's first look at some of the reasons how Quake changed the gaming world and especially on-line gaming", which is much different than real life™. I must add that 99.9% of the responses were very positive.
Question: What were the best responses to the articles?
Methos: I appreciated all the responses and there were quite a few that stood out. When I would visit sites that had comments like, "I was going to to a birthday update but, Methos did an outstanding job so, just go and read his" (paraphrased), it was really cool.
My favorite response came in an e-mail that was not related to Quake but, was related to my daughter who died 3 months ago. I will post the e-mail here but, I have left out the authors name."I am so sorry about your daughter. I just stumbled upon your website after reading your interview with John Romero. I have a 20 year old daughter who I haven't spoken to since March because she totaled her car by being stupid.She and her passengers are ok. I am very lucky and my prayers are with your daughter.I believe I'll call mine."
That was a wonderful e-mail and in this case, Quake may have changed the world for this man and his daughter. This response meant more to me than any of the "good job on the article" type responses I received.
Question: You received lots of reactions that said, "why didn't you include this or that", If you were going to do the timeline again, would you include any other events or stories?
Methos: Although many people thought I forgot about certain events, mods and players, there weren't any ideas sent to me that I actually forgot. Most of them were left out on purpose but, if I were to do it all over again (heaven forbid), yes, I would include a few that weren't in the timeline.
Here is a list of a few that I didn't mention that I would next time.
- The original Quake beta (all levels) that was leaked to the internet. One of the few things I remember about this was playing the last level and seeing the tentacles of a much larger Shub-Niggurath over the top of a building with lots of monsters shooting at you from platforms attached to the ceiling. I wish i could see this version of the final map again as it scared the hell out of me.
- Killcreek and Romero matches from Feb 2nd, 1997. Although these weren't great demos or matches, they were a big part of Quake history. From Romero not knowing that Killcreek was female (he certainly knows now :), to her having to play another ION employee to prove her worth before she played Romero. The end result being the "man beating" demos we all enjoyed at the time.
- DC-Sujoy vs DC-DaNoLd demo from March 15th, 1997. For myself and many other Quakers, this demo changed the way we played DM4 and at the time, I was amazed at some of the things Sujoy could do in a game. Although we were looking through the eyes of Sujoy, Danold played well enough to win the game and was my favorite player for quite a while after this demo.
- Team Fortress: Although I tried to stay away from too many mods in the timeline, this one was as popular as CTF and RA.
- The leaked IHV (Independent Hardware Vendor) copy of Quake3 beta. This leaked copy in Feb 99 caused a huge stir among the Quake faithful
- The Quake2 EDL tournament in July, 1999. Shub wins the tournament and then plays a very close best of 5 exhibition against Makaveli. Makaveli would win the exhibition matches. This was also special to me because I was the only person not attending the tournament that was allowed on the game servers for the purpose of recording the matches.
- Add a disclaimer. I put one on the timeline after the first day so that I wouldn't get another 100 e-mails asking why this or that event wasn't in the timeline.
Question: Did you find out about the unreleased Quake map from a post on Bluesnews?
Methos: Nope, mine was posted before Blue posted his. Although, after I posted it, I did see the map mentioned on a site in Hungary.
All in all, I had a great time celebrating Quake's birthday and I hope others did as well. If you guys need to know any other information about the birthday articles, don't hesitate to ask. :)
I have posted not 1, not 2 but, 3 new pictures on the Methos' Quakebabes™ page. Well, these are sort of new. The first one is *3V*Raven from Denmark, the second is Wondergirl<7> from Ventura, California and the third is a picture of KIllcreek from the USA. I meant to post a picture of KC when I first opened the Quakebabes™ page but, I never got around to it until now. Normally, I would send a marriage proposal to the new Quakebabes™ but, since I'm already marrying one of them, I might get into trouble. Make sure you take a look at these lovely ladies.
Friday, June 22nd, 2001 - Quake Shareware Released 22/6/1996
That's right kids, Quake turns 5 years old today and Methos Quake is having a party to celebrate the event. It was 5 years ago today that the shareware version of Quake hit the internet, bbs's and stores. Hopefully, all true Quake lovers will celebrate the birthday of perhaps the most important PC game ever released. The only game that might have been more important to gaming was Doom.
How shall we celebrate this blessed event? We are going to rewind the clock a bit and talk to a couple of the makers of Quake. Some of the information in the following articles you will already know but, I'll guarantee that even the most knowledgeable Quakers won't know quite a bit of this info. Some of the information listed in the timeline is very rare indeed (first recorded QW demo?) but, I have done my homework on this one. :) In fact, this is my longest update ever so, grab a pot of coffee, sit back and take a long stroll down memory lane.
Ion Storm's John Romero and id Software's Tim Willits have been kind enough to do exclusive interviews with me to celebrate Quake's birthday and relate their stories on why Quake was considered the most innovative and influential game of our time.
Before we do that, let's first look at some of the reasons how Quake changed the gaming world and especially on-line gaming. Here are just a few of the changes caused by Quake...
Those are just a few of the things that made Quake so great for the past 5 years. Of course, along with the good, you get some bad in there too. Here's a short list of the low lights that Quake has seen.
Quake Awards: Here is a list of some of the awards that Quake has won...
and Tim Willits Interviews [6
Normally, I would call upon Quake players to give me their thoughts and opinions on certain topics. On this occasion, I decided to find a couple of guys who could take us back to when Quake was first released and share their stories with us.
Both John Romero and Tim Willits were working at id Software when Quake was thought up and designed. With all the people coming and going from gaming companies over the years, I was hard pressed to find two people that were around in those days.
Here are John Romero and Tim Willits answering my Quake's fifth anniversary questions.
Methos: Since games tend to evolve as they are being designed. What was the Quake team's original thoughts on what Quake should or would be like when it was finished? How close was it to the final product?
Romero: Quake's design was VERY different from the game that was released. It was much more of a D&D-based game with a main character named Quake who had an awesome hammer that would grow in power as the game progressed. At one point in November 1995, we decided to change the design to something we were more comfortable creating -- FPS weapons with a few twists. After the major redesign, the game underwent a few more smaller redesigns (to cut down development time) and we released the Quake that everyone knows today.
Willits: The original game started out more fantasy based, less science fiction. There was going to be no gun type weapons. The player would have had a mighty hammer that they could enchant with powers as they progressed in the game. The game's intention was to be a real slugfest with the player bashing their foes to death. Luckily we changed that and went with more Doom style weaponry.
Methos: After the success of Doom II, id Software knew that they could have released almost any game and it would have been successful. What drove you to make a game which, at the time, had never been seen before?
Romero: That was always our driving motivation. To release a game that combined innovative technology with an innovative design. It was just that the time we spent developing Quake was so long to us back then (18 months) that we panicked and went back to our design roots instead of following through on something more innovative in terms of game design. I still believe it turned out fun, even though the story and settings were a bit confusing.
Willits: Id always strives to be innovative and unique. We knew a full 3D environment was going to be the next step and we were the ones to take it. We also knew, from frustrations with setting up Doom multiplayer games, that client-server based code architecture was the way to go. Playing over the Internet was the logical choice for a true client-server multiplayer game.
Methos: Did you know when you were developing Quake that it would be a monster hit and that would surpass your original expectations? If so, at what point did you realize this?
Romero: We definitely knew it was going to be big. The engine was beyond anything out there and the ability to play over the net guaranteed its success. We realized at the very beginning of the game's development, much like all the games we created before it. Because we are gamers and have played so many games that we knew what had come before and what was available and what got us really excited. And the stuff we were creating got us very excited.
Willits: We knew Quake was going to be big; we are still amazed by the fan loyalty for the game and the longevity of the title. It's great that there are still Quake 1 tournaments.
Methos: Can you describe what your and id Software's reaction was when the game was finally on store shelves? Also, what was the public reaction immediately after Quake was released?
Romero: Well we were really burnt out from the long development period spent in the War Room, but we were relieved that it was finally out. When Quake hit the shelves, I was already out of id and working on forming Ion Storm, but I was proud to see the game in the stores, as always.
Willits: It is always nice seeing something that you worked on for so long actually in stores. The public's reaction was mixed. Some people couldn't quite get a full 3D environment; some people embraced it right away.
Methos: Has the longevity of Quake and Quakeworld surprised you?
Romero: Yes, I'm pretty surprised that it's lived this long. Five years is a long time to keep playing a game! And the DOOM community is still going strong as well, very surprising. Makes me feel good.:)
Willits: Yes, it is great. Quake, more than Doom, created the multiplayer action community. That is mainly based on the Internet play, clan formations, and client-server based code.
Methos: Do you still play any of the Quake series once in a while or are you too busy with Ion Storm products? (John Romero only)
Romero: I play Quake1 and Quake3 a whole lot still. Stevie (Killcreek) and I love to deathmatch in Q1 and I love to get online (or just battle bots) in Q3.
Methos: In the on-line world, CounterStrike has taken over as the #1 on-line game. What do you think of CS and the other Quake clones that have become so popular because of Quake?
Romero: Well, I really like all games that are decently designed and Counterstrike is definitely worthy of its success. I like seeing an FPS that has staying power. It provides strong hope for the future of the genre.
Willits: We love when games based on our technology do well. Value and other companies have done amazing things and have continued the life of our Quake engines.
Methos: What did you think of Valve's decision to "port" some of Quake's deathmatch maps, and release them as a Death Match Classic mod for Half-Life?
Romero: I think it's great! I haven't had a chance to check it out (it was just released days ago) but I'm sure I'll like it.
Willits: Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I personally am excited to see some of the deathmatch maps included in the Value pack because it was my idea to include them with Quake 1. When we were developing the game we had a bunch of maps that didn't fit with the single player game. I thought it would be cool to just include them as deathmatch only maps without monsters. The rest of the team wasn't sure about the idea and wanted to take a wait and see approach. I removed the monsters from the maps and rearranged the weapons. They worked out great and the rest is history.
Methos: When you look back now after 5 years, how do you feel about the game of Quake and what it has done for the gaming world?
Romero: Well, it's definitely an important legacy much like the success of DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D. I'm glad to have played a major part in conception and creating these games, of pouring much thought and energy into their creation and I'm proud of what they have spawned in the way of imitators and innovators. The huge community of mod makers gradually increased like we hoped it would and it's a very good thing for everybody, witness the Counterstrike phenomenon.
Willits: Quake 1 is one of the most influential games of our time. It created an on-line community of fans that later grew to include tons of other games. It started fan web pages, deathmatch clans, and made live gaming tournaments popular. I am always surprised by the distance that fans go in support of their favorite game. Remember, if it wasn't for the father of Quake and Doom - John Carmack there would be no Half-Life, Unreal, Duke Nukem, Tribes, Lith-Tech, etc, etc.
Methos: Please tell us some of your most memorable moments from Quake history. These can include anything from the making of the game to playing Quake.
Romero: Geez, there's a bunch since the development took 18 months. I Remember coming up with the "drowning elevator" in E2M5, coming up with the idea for the intermission cam and when we threw out the idea of having the camera always bob (even just a microscopic bit) because Adrian thought it would make him sick :) The idea of having the ogres laugh and piss on your corpse (not enough time to implement), having to chop a major chunk off of E2M6 because the BSP file was too large, playtesting the early iterations of the engine when your character was just a set of BSP blocks shooting gold spheres and the original design of the game and how cool it would have been if we'd created it. I have lots more memories, but I'll probably get them all out in the Quake section of my website...someday.
Willits: I always laugh when I think back to the Quake 1 War Room. John Carmack wanted everyone to work in one huge room to help bring focus to the game during the final months of development. We all had one folding table to work on arranged around the room. It was pretty tight, nothing was personal - everything public. Sometimes we all laughed together, sometimes we all hated each other. But we did it, we finished the game and everyone was happy.
I'd like to thank both Tim Willits and John Romero for the time they took to answer these questions. I suppose them talking to me is another example of how the on-line world has changed in the last 5 years. With the help of Quake, the on-line community has become much closer than it was before. To close, I would like to thank both John and Tim along with John Carmack, John Cash and the rest of the guys at id Software that made Quake. It was certainly a huge step forward for the gaming world. Let's hope that will continue in the future.
In A Nutshell
Here is a chronological timeline for some of the notable Quake, Quake2 & Quake 3 Arena events and news that affected the Quake community over the past 5 years. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of information on Quake2 as I didn't follow it very closely so, you'll only see release dates etc for Q2. Obviously, I couldn't mention every great Quake player, clan, tournament or mod but, I have tried to cover some of the important firsts in Quake from the past 5 years. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find some of the dates for the early entries. Even the guys at id Software didn't know the official release date of Quake. Some of the lesser known events were even more difficult to find info on. :)
Note: Before you start reading this and say to yourself "where is <insert favorite player or event> in the timeline?", the hardest part about doing this wasn't what should be in the timeline, it is what couldn't be in the timeline. There are probably a million things that could have gone in here but, I had to stop somewhere. Just because "my favorite player" played great in this tournament, doesn't mean that it was a "first" for Quake or on-line gaming. I apologize in advance if you feel there is a notable event, story or great player missing.
Here we go...
Obviously, this isn't every news item about Quake over the last 5 years and the Quake news gets a bit thin in the last 2 years. Also, there has been more news about add-ons, great players, great clans, great tournaments, cheating, web sites and great games than I could possibly mention. However, I hope this will give you your fill of Quake trivia and facts for a while.
If you've managed to read this far, you are a true Quaker and you don't have a life. Come to think of it, I spent over a week writing this so, that should tell you how much of a life I have. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this trip through Quake history. It's highly doubtful that Quake will be around in another 5 years (Quake 8:Arena?), so we should all enjoy some of these great memories while we can. Happy 5th Birthday Quake (and many more).
Friday, June 10th, 2001
To me, the best Quake (in this case Quakeworld) tournament I have ever seen was the Truegamers Invitational Tournament that was held in Sweden in April, 1999. Although the tourney had lots flaws, the player matches were perfect. To have 10 players invited from around the globe and then to have the entire thing come down to 1 frag with seconds to go was an awesome sight.
DK over on Challenge-TV has done an article called TGI Revisited. If you were around when the TGI was held, it's a must read. There are facts regarding the tournament, profiles on all the players, TGI trivia and more TGI demos than you can shake a stick at.
Also in the article is a TGI Question and Answers section where DK asks a few question to Izn0, Hoony and myself regarding our feelings about the TGI. Enjoy this article because it was the most exciting time in the history of Quake for many people.
Selling Computer Games Ever
Have you ever wondered what the biggest selling games of all time are? Maybe DOOM or even Quake? Think again. Only games that are popular with the masses will ever make this list. Rarely do any "hip" games make it anywhere near the top ten. Nearly all of these games can be found in the $10 bin at Wal-Mart. Without further delay, here are the top 10 selling games of all time.
There you have it. Do these surprise you? It's amazing what people will buy. You'll notice that there aren't any first person shooter games or even on-line games that are very popular (Everquest, Ultima Online etc) I'm not saying that these aren't good games as it's very hard to argue with their success.
I received lots of e-mail and irc comments regarding the czm interview. Most people seemed to enjoy what czm had to say. Once again, I'd like to thank czm for doing the interview. Being a true Quaker, czm's only comment to me after he saw the interview was regarding the comment I made at the start of it. In this comment, I mentioned that he and I used to play on the old Cooler servers and that "I used to beat him on a regular basis". He seems to have a different memory of our games than I do. Bah, I OWN JOO! :)
From all the sites and people that mentioned the czm interview, there were three comments that I heard the most.
Once again, I'd like to thank Paul for doing the interview. I'd also like to thank all of the sites that mentioned it in their news.
Friday, June 2nd, 2001
OMG! Methos Is
Look at this, two updates in two days. Just when I thought nobody would remember me, I get hoards of old and new visitors to the site. I'd like to thanks all the sites that mentioned my return to updating Methos Quake. I'd also like to give Hoony a big thanks for the nice article (including a picture of Methos) over on Challenge-World.
I have posted an update on my .plan page in regards to some of the responses I received from my update. This also includes some things that I was quite disturbed by. Having said that, the vast majority of the responses were very positive.
Once again, it's good to be back and as promised, I am still writing updates and I hope to continue to do so.
Interviews cK-Czm [4
It's been a while since I've posted an "official" interview (I've posted lots of non-official ones on the news page), I decided to interview one of the best 1on1 and clan players in the world. Czm has won many tournaments over the last few years and I kind of think of him as the USA version of Kane. He is an interesting player with some very interesting things to say.
Here's a sample of what czm had to say.
cK-czm: It's really just a confidence thing. When I watch a player's demo, I usually end up thinking to myself "blah, he isn't all that", but when I'm on the receiving end of a 60% rail in warmup and I'm only hitting 20% vs a player that I know nothing about except that he "rapes Lakerman on T4," it's possible for me to get psyched out and start feel like I'm up against a brick wall.
You can read the rest of the interview here.
I've also posted a couple of real spanky demos for you to see.
cK-czm vs Indio on ztn3dm1 (Q3A) - 900k
cK-czm vs Ozzy on DM4 (QW) - 3.15mb
Maps From ID
For those of you that don't know, id Software plans to release 4 reworked maps in their upcoming point release for Quake 3 Arena. Some time ago, these maps were leaked to the public. Since they were made available on the net last week (not officially), I thought I would post them here.
Now, before anybody gets their panties in a bunch, these are NOT covered by any privacy agreement, nor can they be copyrighted by id Software since their game is required before you can use them. The re-made maps are called Pro maps. Basically, they have made some changes to a few of the popular Q3 1on1 maps and re-released them. The new maps are, Pro_Q3DM6, Pro_Q3DM13, Pro_Tourney2 and Pro_Tourney4. Here's a brief rundown of my thoughts on each one. But, first a warning. id has stated that these maps have not been completed and they will be changed more before the point release. So, practice all you want but, be prepared for them to change again. Here we go...
Pro-Q3DM6 - The Campgrounds II: This is basically the same as the DM6tmp map that most tourneys have been using. The armor has been moved around, the quad has been removed and the mega-health put in the center room. Other than that, not much else has changed.
Click To Enlarge
Pro-Q3DM13 - Lost World II: Lots of changes here. Some done for a reason, other changes for seemingly no reason. They have taken away the little jump to the mega health in exchange for a bigger room with the RL. They put the MH where the quad was and they exchanged the RA and LG. One thing I do like is that they have made the hallway to where the RA is a bit wider. Although this map is now better for mods like Freeze Tag, it seems to lack for 1on1 purposes. Of the 4 pro maps, this was the one that impressed me the least. Perhaps because I thought the original one was pretty good.
Click To Enlarge
Pro_Tourney2 - The Proving Grounds II: While they have changed the other maps for gameplay, they have done much more than that on this one. They have done many cosmetic changes, added 2 new hallways, added the rail gun, changed armor and the RL. This map is now totally different for gameplay. Previously, you could control the middle and the armor and have complete control. Now you have to do more if you want control of this map. The changes also make it more inviting for 2on2 and 3on3 matches. This is now a very good map.
Click Each To Enlarge
Pro_Tourney4 - More Vertical: They have made nice gameplay changes to T4 and a few cosmetic ones. They have dumped the RA and replaced it with 2 YA, one on each side of the map. They have put the RL in the top room (not sure why) and exchanged the RG and PG. The cosmetic changes will really speed this map up. They added another lower level jump pad, near where the MH used to be (MH is now where RA was). The biggest change they made was to put a teleporter on the bottom level inside the tower. This teleporter sends you to the top level across from where the MH is now located. I can only say that this is how the map should have been from the beginning. No more grabbing rail and camping RA. Now both players will have armor and you actually have to move around the level.
Click Each To Enlarge
One thing I did notice about all the maps is that (for some reason) they all seem to run much smoother and have better graphics. I am very happy to see these new maps. It shows that id hasn't forgotten about Q3A. It also means that we have something new and (soon to be) official to play with for a while.
You can download the Pro Map pak here
Lo and behold, Methos has gone and joined a Q3A (actually RA3) clan called Ministry Of Death (MoD). Since I've used the alias "Dick" on-line since Q3A was released, I am now known as MoD_Dick. It has a nice ring to it, don't you think? :) Anyway, MoD is a very new clan and the players aren't the best in the world by any stretch of the imagination. However, all members seem like great guys and they're a riot to hang with.
Since it's a new clan, we are looking for some decent players. If you're interested, come visit us in #mod_clan on ETG and hang for a while. You can also visit our clan web site at www.modq3clan.cjb.net. Hope to see you soon.
Just when you think you've heard enough bad news to last a lifetime, GreySeer from Challenge-AU has been handed another setback. Here is some words from GreySeer's latest update on Ch-AU.
"Well, because the cancer that was in my thigh has taken up residence in my chest (principally my lungs) which is not a terribly good sign.
When I first found out that I had cancer I was given only a 30% chance of surviving past the next 5 years (and if I did it was all good). Recent developments mean that this chance has been somewhat reduced and with a totally pessimistic outlook I've got just over 1 year's mileage left."
For those of you that don't know GreySeer, you should get to know him as he is one of the real nice guys in the Quake scene. He has been a true friend to Hoony and all the Australian Quakers over the past few years. He has also been a true wizard when it came to setting up quite a few of the big Quake tourneys down under.
How can you help? Well, there's not a lot you can do except show GreySeer the support he richly deserves in this time of need. He has been there time and time again for the Quake community, this time, the Quake community needs to be there for him. Please go and read his latest update and then leave a comment letting him know that we're right behind him during this difficult fight.
Methos Site Stuff
Normally, I'm the one proposing to the Quakebabes™, I didn't think that my fiancée Julie (Spot) would be getting proposals from other Quakers. Too bad guys, she's all mine. :)
Wednesday, May 30th, 2001
True to my word, I have returned. It will take me a while to get into the swing of things but, I'm back now and I will be here for some time to come. A lot has happened in the past year in both my personal life and as always, in the on-line world.
I've missed being able to talk to all the nice folks that, to this day, still check my site everyday for updates and ranting from me. In today's update, I won't be doing much ranting of my own as I just need to get my feet wet before jumping in to the cesspool. Having said that and keeping with tradition, I'm sure that something I post will get somebody upset. :)
There is one thing I feel I must say to the general public before getting into any postings. In regards to my daughter Kim, please read the update on the Methos .plan page. I have made a brief statement to let everybody know how I am doing in that regard.
On with the show....
Happened To The Quake Scene [6
Sit back and get a coffee, this will be a long one. During the past year, a lot has happened in the Quake scene. When I refer to the Quake scene, I am referring to all Quake. It seems to me that the Quake scene is still healthy but, because of public perception, some people think it's dying. Quite a number of factors are helping cause this perception. Let's see if we can think of some.
Myth: CounterStrike has approximately 47,000
on-line servers and Quake3 only has 1,200.
Fact: CounterStrike has approximately 26,000 on-line servers and Quake3 has approx. 3,800. CS may indeed be more popular than Q3A but, when you consider that CS servers contact the CS master by default and that Q3A only contacts the Gamespy master server *if* the admin tells it to, these number are much closer than people may think.
Myth: The CPL's decision to stop Q3A matches in
their USA tournaments will be the death of Quake.
Fact: Quake1, QW & Q2 all survived without the big money prizes that the CPL has been offering for Q3A matches during the past year or so and it will survive without the CPL in the future. Very few players outside of the USA care whether or not the CPL is around. Sure, they would all like to be in the position of Hakeem, Blue, Lakerman and other CPL winners but, most of them just want to play the game they love. This would also be a good time for the PGL or another start-up league to pickup the ball that the CPL has dropped and run with it. While I don't agree or disagree with the CPL's business decision to stop Q3A matches, the CPL was started with Quake and I feel this decision will come back to haunt them.
Myth: There are better games out there than
Quake 3 Arena
Fact: It's easy for N'sync to sing other people's songs. When you have to write them yourself, it's a different story. Half-Life and it's mod CS, Tribes2, UT and others owe their existence to ID Software. When I hear a player say that they like UT's weapons better than Quake's, I want to strangle them. Bottom line, if it wasn't for Quake, these other games wouldn't be around in the form they are today. Most of these other games are just the Milli Vanilli's of the gaming world. Nuff said.
Now, never let it be said that Methos is putting down other games. There are lots of great games out there and many that I enjoy playing besides Q3A these days. For the record, CS is NOT one of them. So, I decided to enlist the help of a few well know people in the Quake scene to offer their opinions on the question, "What Has Happened To The Quake Scene?".
Here are some of the passionate responses I received.
Xenon: Long time Swedish quaker and member of XSReality
That's a tough question. I think the Quake scene is still kicking, with the only difference being that some tournaments are switching over to Counter-Strike and teamplay rather than Quake3 1on1.
Hoony: Commander and Chief of the Challenge Network
The impact of Counter-Strike has been huge on Quake, most clearly in the shift in US CPL events away from Q3A to CS. That seems to have knocked the stuffing out of the US Q3A scene a bit, though I think they were also getting a little bored with the "same game/ same teams/ same maps" sort of thing. The US tends to 'move on to the next thing' a little before everybody else.
In Europe, probably because of (1) all the competitions (eg Clanbase and Barrysworld, etc), (2) all the countries (and hence, country teams and international competition - always a big motivator), and (3) doing so well at Babbages CPL, winning at Q3A still seems to be a big deal. I think having the Russians aiming to do so well, with the Germans so organised and the Scandinavians having their rep to defend - it keeps the fires burning. Then you've got the UK and France which are always competitive, and other countries. In the rest of the world, I see competitive Quake struggling a bit due to lack of player/team numbers and not having national pride at stake, or a large enough audience/market (as in Europe).
Despite all that, the 'hardcore heartland' of the "Quake" style of play, which I think of as "high-performance" FPS (as opposed to the newer style of "realism" FPS), is still alive and well, and thriving in some respects. Thus we've got plenty of activity in QuakeWorld, with Smackdown2, Duelmania, Face|Off and now the CPL 4-Year Anniversary event. We're seeing CTF enjoy a bit of a revival. We're even seeing a revival of Q2 (so I hear) and Challenge ProMode has been getting a good workout in the US recently. The great Quake players are still there, with their awesome talents and skills ready to go, but what's letting Quake down, IMO, is that nobody has succeeded in turning this "high-performance" FPS into a spectator sport.
Not everybody can be a 'great Quake player', and that's why we're seeing games like CS becoming so popular. But there is a huge 'potential' audience of gamers out there who I think would appreciate top quality FPS action, if it were made accessible to them. Somehow, we've got to get wider exposure and I'm not sure if that means digital TV, shoutcast / qtv broadcasts, or what. But Quake has the talent and is the only truly exciting spectator FPS show in town, and yet at the moment only a select lucky few get to see the most amazing games being played each night.
Gobo: Former editorial writer for Methos Quake
It could be argued that a better question than "What has happened to the Quake scene" would be "What has happened to the Quake players"?
The Counter Strike phenomenon has swept a lot of the potential newcomers to quake away on a tide of newbie friendliness and weapons that don't need a quake players precision to control. In Australia at least, the current climate is pretty quiet. Quake, never a major factor online here once QuakeWorld reached a reasonable level of sophistication has now been usurped by Zoid's incarnation on LAN for most gamers as well. A few stray pockets may hold true to the original, but all the best players now play QuakeWorld online and on LAN. QuakeWorld still is held in high regard as a teamdm and duel format in Australia, with some truly excellent talent on display in servers on a nightly basis, albeit in restricted numbers.
Quake2 has recently undergone somewhat of a renaissance, initially mainly towards Q2CTF, but now also a lot of interest is being sparked in TeamDM. It's a fair comment to say that the reason for the enduring popularity of teamdm in both QuakeWorld and Quake2 is that Quake 3: Arena's stock standard teamdm is too oriented towards newbies. Many experienced players seem to have become disheartened at the perceived flaws in Q3's teamdm model, and have returned to their Q2 or QW roots. Which is a nice way of bringing us to what is happening with Q3A. Q3A 1on1 is attracting declining interest, partially attributable to the CPLs withdrawal of interest in the game as a pro gaming platform, partially because the maps don't offer the same kind of spark as their predecessors. Much like the rest of the globe, Rocket Arena 3 has grown to probably attract more players than any other single mod for Q3, given it's newbie friendly nature and the minimal requirement for strategy. At present the Q3 teamdm scene is in a lull. All conquering Q3 teamdm clan FXR recently split up and is presently in the process of reforming with a revised roster. CTF seems to have taken over from teamdm as the team game of choice for Q3 players, barring Clan Arena.
There is still a sense of vague optimism amongst quakers who find Counter Strike's gameplay impossible to stomach; the hope that maybe something will crop up around the corner. After the disappointment that was Tribes 2, all eyes are looking towards Doom3 as a possible saviour for fans of fast paced fps play. Time will tell.
CHTV|DK: Old Skull Quake Guru and now with Challenge-TV
Quake is huge! Of course, people seem to quit everyday for other games such as CounterStrike. But Quake has been around for years and I think it will be around for many more. I envision QuakeWorld being played until 2010 or so, people still play netquake for gods sake!
I can't count the number of tournaments that are being created. The CPL has made Quake big and they did that with money, and Quake would have no international audience without it. But on the downside, Quake is now too competitive because most people want to be a "Pro" so it's just not fun anymore, maybe it's just me.
cK-Czm: Long Time Quaker
In the US: Q1/QW/Q2 still have small, dedicated communities. Q3 is in what I hope will be considered to have been a lull. It's still played a lot at the semi-competitive level - one has no trouble finding TDM pickups, CTF pickups, or 1v1's. What's changed is that scrimmages, which were frequent a year ago, are extremely rare today.
Much of this can be attributed to the CPL's decision to drop Q3 (technically they haven't completely dropped it, but let's be realistic - tournaments that are thousands of miles away with prizes that barely cover airfare are insignificant for most US players). We've been spoiled by always having a large 1v1/tdm tournament on the horizon to keep us motivated - without that motivation, our interest has greatly diminished.
In Europe (and probably elsewhere): QW/Q3 have intensified. They still have tournaments within reasonable travel distances, many of them are sponsored, and they have a large, active community. The frequency of major tournaments over there provides constant motivation for the teams and players, and for that reason their interest has, if anything, increased.
Cali Girl: Ran caligirl.net and now works for Gamespy
From an observer's view of many gamers I deal with on a daily basis, I have seen many of them desire a change of scenery or gameplay. Many gamers to this day love Counter-Strike among any other action game. Why would they like a game that was set out to be just a modification of Half-Life? I have asked them and most of them just like the realism in the game, like setting off a bomb. Others say they like the strategic way of having to buy their own weapons. I played the game for a while but it was in the early versions. I couldn't handle the time I spent learning how to buy items.
Then there are the people who ended up getting hooked on the Team Arena mission pack for Quake III Arena. Most of them said it was the new maps, weapons and game modes for the original game that caught their interest.
From another point of view, I have really close friends that are gamers I have known for years. I see a pattern that most of them have weaved. When they were Quake 1 addicts, they wouldn't filter to Quake II when everyone else did. Instead they enjoyed Rainbow Six for the uniqueness and real environments. Once they were tired of Rainbow Six they played Quake II Rocket Arena 2 for a while. It was more so a pacifier for them to wait to see how Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament turned out.
Many of them did what I did when Q3 and UT hit the store shelves. They played both games for almost a month to find out which one they desired to play the most. I had a problem with it all because half of my friends played Unreal Tournament and the other half played Quake III Arena. Keeping up with both groups and playing matches wasn't an easy task for those first few weeks. I ended up getting so frustrated, I forced myself to choose one till the end. My configurations in both games were not at all alike so it was hard for my fingers and brain to connect when I'd switch games each day. hee ;) So I finally chose Quake III Arena and have only played Unreal Tournament once since then.
About 50% of my gamer friends play Counter Strike right now, 25 % play Everquest, and the other 25% quit games all together from real life getting in the way. I personally don't have too much time to play the games like I used to but I do get in a game of Rocket Arena 3 or Team Arena every now and then. It's mainly when Pappy-R, Hellchick and PharCyde from Gamespy tell me I better play or they'll do something to my lunch that week. (j/k!)
a|Wiseguy: Member of Clan abuse and Voice for the CPL Q3 Shoutcasts
Quake3 (Q3) was a bit different in its downward trend then either Quake1 or Quake2.
Q1 had its downturn with the advent of Q2. In those days of yore when your only real choice for online competition was Q1, having an alternative was bound to have an effect. Q2 was different enough that a player that could not excel at Q1 could do very well at Q2. Hence for the most part the Q1 and Q2 scenes were "different but equal". Q2 had its downturn in much the same way as Q1 did....with ID releasing a new version...Q3. Many players left Q1/Q2 to join into the "unification theory" that was supposed to be Q3...and for awhile it was. However, there were problems in paradise and the downward trend of Q3 was spotted almost immediately. So what went wrong?
For some the issue was gameplay. Either it wasn't Q1 speed or it wasn't Q2 tactics. Whichever side one falls on is irrelevant because the end result was that it just wasn't as "fun". This directly led to the challenge promode (CPM) (www.promode.org) mod which was a great idea but, a textbook of what not to do in marketing. Players also left to go back to Q1/Q2. The CPL (www.thecpl.com) also played a role as it became much more involved with Q3 then it ever did with Q1/Q2. Now that may sound odd, but the first 4 CPL events followed the community more then the community followed it. With Q1 everyone played the maps dm6, dm2 and dm4 with certain settings to define competition so, that is what the CPL followed. With Q2 the CPL began to exert a bit more pressure in things like map selection (match1). Now with Q3 the influence was over everything from settings to map selection. The CPL became the standard very early on, and this prevented the community from evolving Q3 into something it wanted. This inflexibility made it very difficult for third parties to try to influence the movers and shakers of the Q3 community because it wasn't the "CPL standard". As the Counter Strike community is slowly finding out, the CPL is a good thing, but it comes at a price. Overall I would say the gameplay, and its inability to change was directly responsible for about 25% of the downward trend.
The second issue was that there were simply more choices to go around for online play. We had Tribes, we had RTS games, we had Everquest and Subspace. Each choice catered to a select subset of what used to be the sole stomping ground of Q1/Q2. Then we had a little game called Half-life which spawned a monster the likes of which the online world had never seen before...and that was CounterStrike. Each choice may not have done everything better then Q3, but they generally did one thing better and that was good enough to garner players. With more games wanting a piece of the online pie, Q3's slice just got smaller. Attribute choices to about 35% of the downward trend.
The last piece of the puzzle is the most controversial because it lies in the technical flaws of Q3. Yes, it is ironic that the pinnacle of engine development is brought down by technical faults. That technical fault? One word: PING. Lets go through a brief history on how ping affected the other quakes. Q1 was at the very dawn of high speed connections, so unless one was at a college or work the modem was the only way to go. Out of the box Q1 was actually quite playable (with some server side adjustments) with a 200-250 ping, but it wasn't perfect and that led to the development of quakeworld. Quakeworld did things that no one thought possible and made it where a modem player could compete head to head with a low ping player. One must remember that back in those days to have anything below 150 ping was considered low ping, and most LPBs actually played with 100 ping (ISDN). Many clans had separate high and low ping divisions with separate tournaments to match, everyone had fun. With Q2 the high ping fun continued, it blurred the lines so much that we in abuse would put our modem players (lord vader, method) into our big matches where they would do very well. Some of my best memories of Q2 was abuse jumping on EU servers with a steady 200 ping to play against EU teams. We lost some games, but we won some too and the lesson was learned that one didn't have to be LPB to be good.
Now enter Q3. Modem players? What are those? To realistically compete requires a 70 ping or lower, so lets not even explore what 200 ping Q3 is like...its brutally nasty. The result of this "ping intolerance" was that Q3 players now suddenly had far fewer people to play against then they ever did in Q1 or Q2. The variety in players was gone almost overnight. We tried to play east coast teams when we had 100 ping a few times, but the matches were not even close and the frustration factor was very high. Q3 is a different game on lan, versus at 50 ping versus at 100 ping. So different in fact that one could nearly not even compete outside of their ping class which really accelerated the splintering of the community. Since Europe, with its closer knit countries, can play the game without the albatross of ping hanging on their necks, Q3 will enjoy a much longer life there. I wish them well. The ping problem with all its effects on gameplay and players was directly responsible for 40% of where we are today in Q3.
Having gone thru the decline of doom, doom2, duke3d, quake1 and quake2, quake3 is unique in that it is the only game to be in its twilight years without any clear replacement. Many have gone on to play CS or Tribes2, while free of the CPL we are seeing more involvement with CPM and a more willingness from ID to adopt some gameplay changes. Looking back I see Q3 as a Greek tragedy, something great that was ultimately brought down by its own flaws.
Athena: Runs Quakenation and Admin for Barrysworld DM League
It's hard to explain to someone who's been away for almost a year. There's been changes yes, some good, some not so good.
One of the main issues for myself is this whole pro gaming issue. I mean does it really exists? Whether it does or not, some players hope to seek fame and fortune from playing games and will go where money is being offered. Enter "The CPL".
In recent months The CPL have favored CounterStrike as their main source of tournaments. Why? Were many gamers playing CS before The CPL decided to back CS and not Quake? Or is it because CS is more popular than Quake? It's not *really* that important.
To sum up - There's more Quake events/Leagues going on than people give credit for. Just a shame that some people can't or won't see past the CPL.
There you have it. Some pretty good opinions from some pretty smart people. I agree with tidbits from all of these comments and disagree with some too. While I don't share the complete optimism of DK's analysis, I also don't believe some of the doom and gloom of some of the other comments.
The bottom line is this. The Quake scene will be around for as long as we want it to be around. As long as there are players, as long as there is a chance we'll see a new Thresh or Lakerman come along, as long as we still enjoy it, it will stay as one of the best places to be in the on-line world. Some of you may want to go and play other games, that's fine, go ahead and enjoy yourself. Some of you may think that it will end and that you should get out soon, that's fine, you can go.
As for me, I'm going to stay where I am happiest. That is right here in the Quake world.
Add Your Comments Here?
Not wanting to let a good thing end, I have posted a new picture on the Methos' Quakebabes™ page. This time around, it's [fuGs]Spot from clan Fugitives or Refugees (even the clan isn't sure what it stands for). Normally, I would give a marriage proposal to the latest Quakebabe™ (except for Carolyn) but, this time I don't have to since Spot is already my fiance and we're getting married in September. Eat your heart out guys! :)
Methos Site Stuff
Once again, it's great to be back. I haven't felt this excited about posting for a long time. Thanks to all the friends that have helped me during the past year and especially during the time around my daughters death. I won't mention any names but, you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I'm not sure what the deal is with the banners at the top not showing since I didn't change anything with the top of the page. I'll have the Barrysworld guys look into that and get it sorted.