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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the sleep-is-for-the-weak dept.
An anonymous reader writes: As id Software aims for a larger, more mainstream audience for its free-to-play shooter Quake Live (based on 1998's Quake III Arena) on Steam, big changes are afoot. A new update was pushed out last week which adds some new, more beginner-friendly features to the game. These include weapon loadouts, which grant players a weapon of their choice when they spawn, timer icons, which indicate when the all-important powerup items will spawn, and an automatic bunny-hop to gain extra speed. The changes have been met with hostility from longtime players who prefer the "purist" rules of old and the duel format. As the writer points out, however, if the update helps attract more elite players to the gamer, it could breathe new life into a very old game.
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Changing the Rules of a 15-Year-Old Game: Quake Live Update Causes Controversy

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  • TFC was the game. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      TFC was the game. :)

      QWTF was the game. :)

      Fixed that for you.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      I have no idea how many weekends we got together for a night at the office for a TFC fest. We used to have about a dozen regular players, so it was enough to keep things fun without overloading the server at the office. Our bosses were big into gaming, so all the machines were equipped with 3D cards for those weekend gatherings.

      Good times, man, good times.

      For me, that was the heyday of gaming. But to be honest, it was the people that made it so much fun; the games were actually relatively primitive

    • by easyTree (1042254)

      TFC was the game for wallhacking n00bz0rs :)

      FTFY :P

  • Or better yet, making a new game that people will buy rather than still trying to cash in on a 1998 game which is 16 years old.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They are experimenting in gameplay on an already paid for codebase, for a free game. I'm not complaining.

    • by slux (632202) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @02:16AM (#47814405)
      They're trying to keep this old game alive and with a community. I think the initial release of Quake Live, or this move, has little to do with cashing in and very much to do with love of the game.<br><br>Moreover, "making it more fun" is pretty much what they are attempting. It's been a known problem for a long time that a new player will get completely owned when they first try, it's just such a brutally skill-based game and a small pool of players makes large skill differences more likely in matchmaking. Few people enjoy total domination by their opponent.<br><br>Quake 3/Quake Live used to be a living esport, now most of the big tournaments are gone. The game is beautiful, especially when played at a professional level. I'm all for any attempts to revitalize this genre so that the FPS duel might still be a thing in esports in the future. Of course the risk here is that the game becomes unrecognizeable.
      • by ganjadude (952775)
        Ill be honest I havent played it since 2001 as Q3arena, I was taking my CCNA and we would spend 1/2 the class doing the work, and the other 1/2 fraging the teacher.
    • Give Xonotic a try http://www.xonotic.org/ [xonotic.org]. From normal weapons, to minsta. to shot gun and camping rifle only servers to servers with vehicles.

    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      And yet, some of us still play QuakeWorld on a regular basis. There are still servers out there, setting up LAN play is trivial, and for me the fun has always been playing with others - I've only played single player enough to figure out controls, learn a few maps, and test moves out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... that when I originally heard it I thought they were going to basically make the 'real' sequel to quake 3, and redo all the graphics/models /w modern tech, but it's just Q3A with a web interface and less mods/flexibility of the original.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      Yup. People got lazy and stopped hosting quake3 servers. Today's gamers want it spoonfed through a needle, now, and newbified. There are only a few up now which is too bad.

      Xonotic is an alright replacement, but the weapons aren't delineated enough. This is because there are too many, creating too much overlap in use. Also, the auto bunnyhop and my little pony models have to go. That brony shit has to die.

  • Doom by boredom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zephvark (1812804) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @12:22AM (#47814083)

    It's the same thing that's taken down games like World of Warcraft. They kept making it easier and easier, hoping to gain more players. After a while, the game is just too simple and repetitive to interest anyone. The whole thing just collapses.

    Yeah, WoW is technically still around, but the players have been dropping out so badly that they have to consolidate realms now, instead of bringing out new ones. Even so, it's alarmingly vacant.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      WoW was repetitive in the beginning. For example, repetitive tedious raid trash.

      Not so much now. And they've added a ton of innovative options for quests like vehicle modes, story modes, and more.

      Obviously you've believed the rants, but you know what? Harder is not better, and the game is worth playing.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dan Askme (2895283)

        WoW was repetitive in the beginning.

        It was hard and required some skill. Thats what made it enjoyable.

        And they've added a ton of innovative options for quests like vehicle modes, story modes, and more.

        All to slow the progression of the game down, essentially making you subscribe for longer.
        Instances now require you to wait for "storyline" triggers, even if you have played them 100 times over.

        Obviously you've believed the rants, but you know what? Harder is not better, and the game is worth playing.

        I left WoW a few years back for the sole reason it was "too easy, too casual" and the ingame gear rewards meant nothing as anyone can achieve them if they have time.

        I'd love to see the current player base try the original ragnaros as level 60's in vani

        • by dywolf (2673597)

          "It was hard" ... ...
          No it most definitely wasnt. everyone who's said it's too easy now, its too casual, it was better back then.....is full of it.
          This pretty much perfectly describes you folks: http://www.darklegacycomics.co... [darklegacycomics.com]

        • It was hard and required some skill. Thats what made it enjoyable.

          It was easy and required less skill than its precursors like Everquest, Ultima Online, and Anarchy Online. That's what made it enjoyable to players under the age of 8. About the only thing at the time requiring less skill and with less difficulty was Asheron's Call.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          wow was never hard, that's what made it popular, and better, then previous games like EQ.

          Oh, an attack on people who use console.
          The real problem is, you are an asshole.

          • Oh, an attack on people who use console.
            The real problem is, you are an asshole.

            And clearly, your one of those "console gamers". Did i hit a nerve?

    • by gweihir (88907)

      That is exactly the problem. Making it easier does not attract many besides a few cretins that do not understand the concept of "skill". At the same time, the easier it gets the less challenge for those that actually want some challenge. Original WoW was extremely hard sometimes, but you felt you really had accomplished something and remember things years later. I once tanked Scholomance with my Shaman. (Possible, but do not ask how often we died in the boss-fights.) These days, things are either easy or im

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        WoW was never hard. It was a grind. The hardest part about WoW was getting 39 dumbasses to pay attention and move out of the fire. Other than that it was basically dance dance revolution.

        • by DudemanX (44606)

          The game used to have 5-man dungeons that were challenging and fun to me and 4 other people using voice coms. Dungeons actually required awareness, tactics, and co-ordination. Getting extra pulls meant certain death in most cases. Failing to keep a particular mob sheeped could lead to death in many cases.

          These days you're magically teleported to a dungeon with the 4 other people whom you've never met and will never meet again and no one says a word to each other. So without any communication the Tank then

      • by Anonymous Coward
        No, these days the first few raid encounters (normal and heroic; not talking LFR) start out easy, and then you soon enough hit some walls that will get gradually easier once your raid team learns the encounter mechanics and get better at both the fight and using their class. Even though some of the encounters are very hard, none of them are impossible. And why wouldn't you feel a sense of accomplishment spending weeks/months learning and beating an encounter now? At least it's more fun than spending months
      • These days, things are either easy or impossible. That is not fun at all.

        This.

        Too easy or too hard are both unfun. There is a right degree of difficulty, and it is not the same for everyone.
        Publishers who make their games easier to help newbies get into the game will lose veteran players who get bored.

        • There's a straightforward solution for this, a la the English football league balancings: if you keep winning, you get bumped up, and if you keep losing, you get bumped down. Requires an Xbox Live-style central matching mechanism, but it does make griefing less rewarding.

          You just have to have a way to keep players at different levels from even seeing each other.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Ford was vague in explaining exactly how his plan would be paid for. He cited a number of funding options, including money from senior levels of government, development charges, the sale of air rights and asset sales.

        Well, speaking as one of the skill-less cretins ... many video games (especially a FPS) left me in the dust years ago. I simply can't play them.

        I don't have the ability to operate all of the buttons at once, and can't do the fine grained aiming and the like.

        I'm just too old and slow, and the d

    • by haqrboi (1263144)
      Simple and repetitive? That's how it was long ago (silly amounts of pointless grinding for months, 40 man raids where you needed maybe 10 good players, and the rest just had to avoid stepping in shit). The raid mechanics in normal and heroic raids are actually interesting and challenging now, unlike way back when. Or maybe you want to claim that any noob can just go in and faceroll all the way through the heroic raids? I think the reason for wow losing players is more that there are an increasing number of
      • I'd say the main reason is that WoD has been delayed way too long, this is the longest expansion lull in the history of the game... frankly, we've done everything in there a million times and even veterans like me (and my wife) have stopped playing until 6.0 drops.

    • by portwojc (201398)

      It worked for Star Wars Galaxies it'll work for Quake Live.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The problem is, the games become exclusionary - as the general skill levels of those who were there in the beginning goes up, new players are excluded because they simply cannot compete.

      A new player with no skills and just learning by playing around has no chance to do so if they keep dying within 5 seconds of spawning. Sure, you can have level-based matching, but if there aren't many newcomers coming in, then it's just a painful wait at the match screen trying to hope the one other guy plays today as well

    • by ildon (413912)

      The highest levels of PvE and PvP content in WoW are more difficult than they've ever been. Heroic Paragons and Heroic Blackfuse are some of the most difficult raid encounters ever released (excepting M'uru or pre-nerf C'thun, the latter of which was mathematically proven to be impossible to kill). Accessible on the low end != easy on the top end. The difficulty is there for those who seek it.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @12:23AM (#47814085)

    They are adding the new while making the previous behavior accessible. FTA:

    Classic Quake Live isn't being abandoned

    While these changes are part of the new default Quake Live ruleset, the majority of them can be avoided by opting for Classic ruleset games. All the public Duel servers will run in Classic mode, and Create Match will let subscribers pick from Quake Live, Classic and Turbo rulesets. That's another thing – PQL (Promode Quake Live) is now called Turbo. As the Quake Live team explain it: "We hope that running our FFA [Free For All] and Teamplay servers with these new, fun, and accessible mechanics that we can begin to build a larger base of players who could then try their luck at the Classic Duel experience."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You have to have premium to access those servers, though.

    • by dkman (863999)
      This should have been in the summary.

      We're changing the default rule set, but making these changes options so you can run a server without them.

      Sounds like a win win to me. Nothing to bitch about here, move along.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "if the update helps attract more elite players to the gamer, it could breathe new life into a very old game." Makes no sense either way, they fucked up on this.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      I think they mean players that think they are "elite", but are anything but. In short they want the pseudos, those with big egos and small skill. Easy games and true elite does not go together.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @12:41AM (#47814139)

    Just like the NGE for Star Wars Galaxy, any 'major shift' to the game in order to attract a new audience alienates your current audience. You're basically saying 'screw you guys, we want some else.'

    If that's the truth, then go for it. If the current audience is insufficient to proceed, then go for it. If you'd like to keep the people you have...you'd better not do it.

    It's possible the maintainers of Quake Live are simply done with the project. Rather than shut the doors while there are still people playing, they need to chase everyone away first. That would make a whole lot more sense than trying to attract people to a 15-year-old game by changing it. The only people who are going to play a 15-year-old game are the ones who are trying to relive the 'glory days.' If you change it, they are no longer the 'glory days.'

  • hate bunny hop (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Osgeld (1900440)

    the rest I could not care about, bunny hopping is for moron noobs that cant make it 5 feet without getting their asses shot off

    its even dumber in other games, like when you see a team of nazi's bunny hopping cross the battlefield

    • Re:hate bunny hop (Score:5, Insightful)

      by epyT-R (613989) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @01:08AM (#47814215)

      bunny hopping and strafe jumping became part of the skillset that players had to master. What's the big deal? It wasn't unstoppable and it gave your position away. Abusers routinely got their asses handed to them. All of the elite players used it too, esp for specific jumps that weren't normally possible.

  • [OA player here]
    They allowed bunny hopping to do the same as strafe-jumping? seriously?
    Bye bye defrag...

  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @01:15AM (#47814231) Homepage Journal

    If they require all these cheats (let's call them what they are) to play, how in the name of Hell are they "more elite"?

    Are they somehow empowered to greater delusions of grandeur?

    Or are they chasing players who're monetizing their game streaming?

    In which case FUCK them.

    • "More elite" is in the same basket as "value edition" and "power user". A nice word for the opposite of what it is.

    • by governorx (524152)

      I strongly agree!

      How can more elite players possibly not understand the basics of movement? They would be no more than noobs.

    • by fafalone (633739)
      If you're referring to things like startweapons or powerups timers as cheating(as if elite players can't time it in their heads)... it's got far more to do with game pace. I can't speak to Q3, but I played the Q2 Lithium mod on the standard startrockets/fasthook servers as a top tier player. Now that mod is gone and regular old baseq2 is all that's left. It's incredibly slow, you spend 50% of your time just chasing down weapons and ammo... it's boring. It's essentially a different game I have zero interest
    • If they require all these cheats (let's call them what they are) to play, how in the name of Hell are they "more elite"?

      hmmmm...interesting definition of cheat there. rocket jumping and jump strafing are possible within the rules of any quake game, including the single-player campaign. If the rules don't forbid it, how is it cheating? Being elite means (among other things) being able to recognize and exploit useful emergent behavior. That is one of the things that made the quake engine great -- it was complex enough that interesting (read: novel) phenomenon like rocket jumps could emerge from the fixed and extremely limite

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @01:40AM (#47814293) Journal
    Man that brings back memories...

    ...Picture this: A bright young student with plans to take over the (animation) world, follows the "hip kids" word of Quake II-Lithium (until then I had no clue what the Quake games where all about)...it's like Barney Gumble from the Simpsons, he was a decent guy and a heck of a helicopter pilot before he met the brown bottles with ice cold Duff. That's me and Quake. I bought the darned CD, put it in - and was lost forever...

    I ended up using all my school money on investing in an ISDN Line (that was the *SHIT* back then when everyone else where on 14.4K dialup), found out that it still lagged more than a donkeys behind sunday mornings so I Invested in a DUAL ISDN line (that's a 64 x 2 = 128k line) and pinged the bejeezus outta the competition. That stuff cost 700$ a month + lost childhood + no school buddies + no school basically (see what it did to me? I have to write stuff like + in between words to substitute for bad grammar and such).

    So kids! Let that be a lesson for you, stay in SCHOOL! And don't let the QUAKE get you!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Quake 2 was responsible for me getting such a bad result in my Computer Science degree. I didn't need to worry about dial up speed as there were plenty of LAN players happy to play.

      I didn't like Quake 3 - With quake 2 you gradually learned all the tricks like double jumps, rocket jumps etc but in quake 3 you just had these jump points which meant that in most maps people were just flying about the place and the respawn rate was much higher.

      I found some Quake 2 servers still around back in 2006 or so and sti

    • by Tukz (664339)

      Actually Barney didn't learn to fly an helicopter until after he started to drink.
      It was a gift from Homer, right before Barney went into sobriety, however short it was.

    • by rhazz (2853871)

      so I Invested in a DUAL ISDN line (that's a 64 x 2 = 128k line) and pinged the bejeezus outta the competition

      Why didn't you just download and use cheats? Paying $700 a month for something that will give you an automatic advantage over most players is pretty much the same thing in spirit, no?

  • Sleazes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by backslashdot (95548) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @02:01AM (#47814353)

    The way I see it, id Software's new owners are evil because they even tried to frivolously sue John Carmack, who invented all their games and technology.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A new update was pushed out last week which adds some new, more beginner-friendly features to the game.

    As the writer points out, however, if the update helps attract more elite players to the gamer, it could breathe new life into a very old game.

    "Beginner friendly" means driving away the elite players who do not need nerfs.. not getting them to start playing.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @02:35AM (#47814459)

      OTOH, it's hard to attract players if the only thing they do when joining a server is getting their asses handed. It may be fun for some of the older players to play with their prey rather than having a "real" fight, but it's just no fun at all for the prey.

      The way I see it they can't win: Make the game easier and alienate the old players. Keep it the way it is and ensure no new players will come.

  • I've never liked Quake 3. To be honest, aside from the singleplayer modes of Quakes 2 and 4, I've never much enjoyed the Quake series. Admired them as technological accomplishments? Sure. Enjoyed other games built on the engines? Absolutely. But liked the games? No. Compared with their contemporary competitors such as Duke Nukem 3d, Unreal, Half-Life and so on, they've always felt very shallow and conservative.

    But hey, I am not the final arbiter of gaming taste. A lot of people do like the series. But by an

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @02:45AM (#47814485)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    This is basically the new player experience in Quake...

  • The changes sound like a good idea. I picked up a copy of Q3 a week or two too late and was never able to compete in multiplayer as I would be fragged into oblivion in the first .03 nanoseconds after connecting to a server. I quickly gave up and went to a different genre completely where new players were not punished so severely for not having camped out the night before release at Best Buy to be the first to own a copy (or for not playing 23 hours a day on a steady drip of red bull).

    Now, this won't really bring me to the game as my life is different now than it was 15 years ago, but I do think the changes are a good idea.
  • Of course this is going to piss off the old school players, but then again they ar eproblably still playing the original versions off of their own servers. Then again, how many new players are going to be interested in playing quake? It's been years since it was relevant.
  • I'm a Quake Live Pro subscriber (got a year as part of a QuakeCon package) and I've been playing Quake 3, then Quake Live, since 1999 when it was released.

    I'm sure the hardest of the hardcore players will find something to complain about but really, the changes are fine. If the changes attract a lot of new players at the expense of the old guard then fine, the game will be better for it in the long run. The real test will be when the game hits Steam soon and a critical mass of people will have access to it.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Wednesday September 03, 2014 @12:44PM (#47817751) Homepage Journal

    news at 11.

  • Random bans for no reason yet the game is rampant with trolls and grievers. The company who manages the game is useless.

  • Oh well, I guess the Elite clone (oolite, www.oolite.org or something like that ; it's blocked here because it appears on some blacklist as a games site) that I use to waste my time between finishing work and going to sleep must be positivley fossilized then.

    And ... so?

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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