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PC Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Quake Live Public Beta Launches To High Demand 93

x1n933k writes "For anybody who was sitting on top of Quake Live's website today, clicking refresh and waiting for it to open, you can now browse over and join the fun. Unfortunately you'll have to hold in a queue: 'Here we are all dressed up and nowhere to go. Don't worry, to make sure everyone can enjoy the game we have activated our super secret Queue system, which keeps the server from being overloaded and affecting the website.' I've been waiting 40 minutes and now up to 591, after starting from 9982 but have been playing Quake 3 to kill time." The queue bounced up over 15,000, and as of this posting, is down to about 7,000. It moves pretty quickly, and there's an explanatory tour to watch while you wait. Reader Rogerpq3 contributes an interview with id's John Carmack and Marty Stratton, in which they discuss the game's technology and server infrastructure, as well as their thoughts on mod support.
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Quake Live Public Beta Launches To High Demand

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  • plugin required (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shird ( 566377 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @01:47AM (#26979001) Homepage Journal

    I just waited in queue for 5 minutes or so, only to be taken to a 'download plugin' page, which probably isn't compatible with my browser Opera.

    I don't get it, this game requires a plugin to play? If you require players to download and run client side non-sandboxed code, why not just have a standalone client rather than playing through your web browser?

    It's a .msi installer too, so probably requires admin access. So what's the point of this?

    • Re:plugin required (Score:5, Informative)

      by mybadluck22 ( 750599 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @02:00AM (#26979045)
      The game is a plugin. The point is that matchmaking and all non-gameplay related stuff is handled through the browser, which reduces the code and the amount of time between thinking "I'd like to play a game" and being in a server.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward


        I had honestly thought this was going to be a java or flash built in-browser game.

        Man, that sucks.

        • by BPPG ( 1181851 )

          java or flash built in-browser game.

          No, THIS would suck. Especially for linux users ;-)

      • by tixxit ( 1107127 )
        Which is fantastic, by the way. I booted into Windows and tried to play TF2 the other day, after not playing or booting into Windows for several months. Between Windows updates, Steam updates, and then actually finding a server that would let me in, I was playing in about 1h 30m. I only wanted to play for 1h and it was now passed my bed time. My most played game is still Quake III Arena (Linux). Takes about 20 seconds from "hmm, I feel like playing a game for 20 minutes" to actually playing said game. If th
      • Re:plugin required (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @02:24PM (#26984455)
        Wait what? How is an in-browser version any better than the standard Quake 3 if you have to download and install a plugin? "Reduces code" doesn't make sense, they've already written the lobby code and it's in Q3A. "Reduces the amount of time" is also nonsense; it takes less than 10 seconds to start Q3TA and connect to a server.. I'm not playing an fps in my browser when I can fire up the real game.
        • by bonch ( 38532 )

          They're trying to demonstrate a successful web browser 3D engine.

          • If they're trying to demonstrate that it's possible then they've succeeded. They still haven't demonstrated that it's a good idea.
        • How is an in-browser version any better than the standard Quake 3 if you have to download and install a plugin?

          If you think about it, the only way a in-browser version can be as good as the standalone client is by doing it as a plugin. Do you expect the thing to be done with javascript in a canvas? Now that's nonsense.

          I think it is awesome, and I already have some friends in the site.

          It's not some flash abomination, it is, as far as I can tell, the whole real game, with some added Internet ladder features.

          I play fullscreen with a 2048x1536 resolution, and it is as smooth as any game I have ever played.

        • What you say makes sense -- if you own Q3A.

          But you seem to be forgetting that Quake Live is free and accessible worldwide, while Q3A was not. Plus, if Quake Live is as successful as hoped, you'll have a lot more people to play against in Quake Live than in the old Q3A.
          • So give Q3A away. Valve would certainly distribute it for Id for free to bring customers to the Steam platform.
    • Re:plugin required (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SpazmodeusG ( 1334705 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @02:03AM (#26979067)
      They couldn't give you a stand-alone .exe for free because that wouldn't help them acheive their goal of creating a 3D engine browser plug-in with a large install base.
      • by RichiH ( 749257 )

        _Very_ interesting point. Thanks!

      • It worked with Adobe for flash, so I can't say it is a bad move on Id's part.

      • That goal sets the bar real low.

        It'll be a matter of days before someone makes it into a standalone client that will take it out of the browser and put it back onto the desktop.

        • by BPPG ( 1181851 )

          well, then that client would probably just act like a browser wrapped around that plugin. There will hypertext links and other browser-y stuff to deal with too.

          One of the main ideas behind Quake Live is to give PC gaming something it could actually take advantage of.

        • You can play fullscreen if that's what bothers you.

      • by chrish ( 4714 )

        See also Unity 3D, which features a cross-platform (well, Windows and OS X) 3D engine browser plug-in. Spiffy demo here [].

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Just play OpenArena. Problem solved.

      I can't believe the hype around this. So they turned a 10 year old game into a browser plugin. Big deal.

  • This looks fun. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @01:58AM (#26979039) Journal
    There are ranked games and that appeals to me. I like to know how good I am in relation to the general populace. In the old quake, you could be top dog on a server, but still not know how good you are in relation to the world. I waited 3 hours through bugs, crashes and the queue to get it to work. It didn't work on IE6 or Firefox because the mouse wouldn't move, but I did get it to work on IE7. I played the training missions, but I was not able to play live because I was looking through the options to see how I can set weapon priorities. I always find it annoying when I am wielding a rocket launcher for me to switch to a shot gun just because I walk over it. While I was looking through my options and browsing the QuakeLive forums for help, I timed out. I'll wait until tomorrow if someone has an answer how I can set weapon priorities on the forums. It may just be another FPS, but it is a classy enough one that it is worth playing if for no other reason than to enhance your FPS skill.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can(and should) disable weapon switch on pickup.

      use ctrl + alt + tilde to get to the console.

      From there, the option you want either cg_ or cl_autoswitchweapon -- set it to 0. You can use tab completion to find option names.

  • Terrible. (Score:2, Informative)

    by jrj0001 ( 1082231 )
    XP or Vista only.
    • Re:Terrible. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drik00 ( 526104 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @05:16AM (#26979879) Homepage

      What part of "BETA" don't you understand? You expect a beta version for three platforms INSTEAD of someone using their head and putting together a beta for the most popular platform while they work out the kinks?

      And yes, I'm a linux user, but I have common sense.


      • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

        First time I heard about Linux used for games was when id released their first betas of Quake for Linux before Windows.

      • by bonch ( 38532 )

        I assumed that being a web browser plugin meant it would be cross-platform, like most of the web is.

      • You expect a beta version for three platforms INSTEAD of someone using their head and putting together a beta for the most popular platform while they work out the kinks?


        You have to develop for Windows not because it's popular, but because it's far easier to port from Windows to other platforms than vice versa. At least for some things. (Then again, not for others.)

    • Re:Terrible. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thorwak ( 836943 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @08:50AM (#26980717)
      When you log in to the web site with an unsupported browser (like Chrome) you get to know that:

      We're sorry, but your web browser or operating system is not compatible with QUAKE LIVE. You must be using a combination of the following:

      Windows XP Windows Vista
      Firefox 2.0 / 3.0 Internet Explorer 7 / 8
      Support for Mac & Linux, along with alternative browsers is under development.

      Seems fair to me.
    • by tixxit ( 1107127 )
      Luckily Id has a long history of Linux support and have stated that they are developing both Mac and Linux versions of Quake Live. They've even GPL'd the Quake III engine. It's why I buy every game they make.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously, what a-holes. The nerve of these people to release a public beta of a free game that only supports 90% of the general public. Clearly id has no idea what they're doing, they are most likely a flash in the pan and will be out of business over the next few years.

  • Not to mention from what I can see, its pretty much a repackaged free version of Quake III with new maps. But the lack of Mac support just kills it for me, Im not running emulation just to play a FPS when there are plenty of free and maintained FPS out there of the Quake and UT variety. Interesting concept but crappy execution.
    • haha mac gaming (Score:3, Informative)

      by revxul ( 463513 )

      Mac and Linux support are promised for final release. And yes, it is Q3. It is Q3 for free and in a browser with leaderboards and such.

    • by GF678 ( 1453005 )
      <blockquote>Not to mention from what I can see, its pretty much a repackaged free version of Quake III with new maps. But the lack of Mac support just kills it for me, Im not running emulation just to play a FPS when there are plenty of free and maintained FPS out there of the Quake and UT variety. Interesting concept but crappy execution.</blockquote>
      Slashdot is a really weird place at times. It's full of people who actually think Linux is mainstream enough now to warrant priority support from
      • by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:27AM (#26979685)
        As a Mac user let me say sir, you are a moron. iD has already stated there will be a Linux version. Granted us Mac users will more than likely get it first but seriously dude get off your high horse. You sound like a mega troll.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        *shakes head* FFS people, Linux is not a priority for most companies. You're lucky if they even bother with a release after time as passed. Of COURSE they're gonna focus on the primary operating system - Windows. Mac? Maybe sometime later.

        id will probably release a version for linux and mac in the future. Quake III has a linux native version.

        But please, don't keep getting disappointed whenever high-profile software is released and doesn't have a Linux version. You'll become exhausted very quickly.

        I don't think any of us that use FOSS are disappointed if a commercial vendor doesn't release their software for linux or other free operating systems. There is plenty of great software available that is free and will meet the demands of most people.

        If the trade off for using a stable, secure and free linux operating system that won't be constantly infected with viruses/trojans/malware is that I can

  • Punkbuster service (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Be aware that the installer leavs a punkbuster (anti-cheat) service running, even while not playing, at least the earlier betas did.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Iron E ( 948355 )
      Some of the hilarious wording from the Punkbuster license agreement:

      Licensee agrees that the invasive nature of PunkBuster software is necessary to meet this purpose and goal. Licensee agrees that any harm or lack of privacy resulting from the installation and use of PunkBuster software is not as valuable to Licensee as the potential ability to play interactive online games with the benefits afforded by using PunkBuster software.

    • Despite the obvious paranoia, honest players have nothing to fear from the punkbuster service.

      If you're afraid of punkbuster, you must be a punk!

  • by revxul ( 463513 )

    I miss CLOSED beta already. At least then I could get in.

  • I wandered onto the site just as it launched, lucky me. I got 2 matches under my belt. The tutorial is really handy for new players. The game servers seemed stable, everything looked pretty good and polished, even though it looks like a 10 year old game.

    I was surprised at how nice the social networking stuff was implemented, it seems really easy to see which friends are online and join their games, and see people you recently played with.

    • by x1n933k ( 966581 )
      I'm glad someone got through on the open beta day. After initially posting, I installed the plugin but had to restart the broswer, and join the cue again. When I came back it was over 12000, I waited again and then it told me there was an error and that the game couldn't launch.

      This is a pretty big lesson in public betas, the site has been up and down fixing everything they can.

  • by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @04:25AM (#26979679)
    I signed up to get altered by Id when the beta opened up, but have yet to hear anything. Why bother collecting emails of people if you aren't going to bother contacting them about what they signed up for?
    • by RichiH ( 749257 )

      Prolly because they figured that would increase the load even more. I understand your pov. And theirs.

    • If that was a while ago when the closed beta first came out, that was just to try to get into the closed beta.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well apparently its Windows only, would have assumed the website would not keep you waiting for 35 minutes only to have you download a "Windows Only" plugin, would think a simple OS check would return that your platform was not supported and save you the time. Kind of eliminates the benefit of a browser plugin, if that plugin only supports 1 platform.

    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      It's Windows only at this point in time. Mac and Linux versions are planned, as well as support for other browsers. Considering the successes of OpenArena I don't see why the people who made the damned game couldn't do the same thing.

      That said, it is pretty stupid of them to have the OS check *after* you download the plugin.

  • hit Ctrl + Alt + ~ !! then type com_allowconsole 1 and it should be accessible again by just hitting ~ For those who might be wondering. I was annoyed at first because I thought there was no console, but I found out that I can use my old config file too :)
  • I see it says that the queue bounced over 15000, which is true. I was 11141 the first time I tried and it froze on me. I was 35000+ in the queue after the restart, but I did get in.
    • 35000 !!! Lucky bastard... I got 52000 just to try the damned thing, I have no idea if i'll even like the damned thing!
  • The queue seems to be modeled after a civic licensing bureau... After waiting in a queue of 20k to get the plug-in, I get to line up again in a queue of 30k to login.

    • After letting it tick away all day, I now stand at number 42912 in the line. Any /.ers playing yet?

  • Want to play Quake now? From the browser?
    No matter what Operating System?

    Take a look at Jake2. []

    So where exactly is the innovation here?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I actually signed up right before the rush so I didn't have to wait for the plug-in.

    I experienced absolutely no problems with the game, unlike a majority of the people who tried it.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"