Blue3.jpg (11287 bytes)

Previous Month   News Archive   Current News   Next Week

Articles in the archive contain broken links because outdated files are removed.


September 7th QSpy 3.0 Released | QSpy 3.01 Tonight | More Carmack on Cheating | THRED Beta Soon | 3D Blaster Quake | Carmack on sv_friction | Unofficial Quake FAQ

"3.01 will also fix newly discovered bugs with Multithreading that may have caused some machines to lock up."

Toby also asked why I'm not signing off each update like I said, so maybe I didn't make it clear that I decided to use the headlines to stay organized instead, but that's the (current) plan.

"There is a hole that allows server variables to be modified. It can't be done with quake, it requires a custom tcp/ip program. The hole does not apply to QuakeWorld, but we haven't yet fixed it in regular Quake."

"I'll bump up the priority on the fix for the next release...I'll push to get a new dedicated server release made soon with a fix."

"Creative Labs announced a major deal with id Software, as they will bundle a hardware-accelerated version of Quake with their new 3D graphic accelerator, the 3D Blaster PCI."

"The card, with four megabytes of video memory, should hit the shelves on October 4th. It's suggested retail price will be around $200. Other bundled titles include Battle: Arena Toshinden, Flight Unlimited and Rebel Moon, all of which are hardware-accelerated."

"If you would like to be an opinion funnel for me, I would appreciate it."

So there's that. If you have any suggestions on how to help with this complex problem, please send them to me, and include the line "CHEATING:" in the subject. Please only serious suggestions (take the time to read what's lead to this before writing). The question is, how to prevent unscrupulous server operators from running mods that only select players would be aware of, giving them an advantage--Carmack's obviously a smart guy, we need computer programmer types with their thinking caps on here...

I also asked John whether the CRC check was sufficient, at least, to assure a "virgin" server, running with no modifications. He responded thus:

"CRC is not sufficient to prevent someone from spoofing the value, but I could go to something more robust if needed."

Damn. This is what John had to say when I concluded by pointing out that this was so crucial because one of the main appeals of QuakeWorld was the idea of a global ranking ladder, and the specter of cheating could ruin it:

"The ranking system will be fairly hard to currupt, because we will be able to determine your kills versus any given other player, and it will look fishy if you never beat any of the known grandmasters, who will probably know which servers are well trusted clean."

So we continue to struggle with this difficult subject. I'll keep you informed...

"I am expecting people to put some notice in the serverinfo key/value string regarding which patches are being used, but that would be a voluntary thing."

"I could automatically stuff the crc value as an extra pair. That might be a good idea, but it is still foolable for the hardcore cheater."

I, and, judging from mail I've received on the subject, many Quake players have serious concerns about cheating, that this didn't seem to address. I wrote back stating that the first part was fine for modified servers, it's just not helpful for cheaters who won't voluntarily comply. But that this cheating issue was a threat to the success of QuakeWorld.

John was nice enough to reply:

"Enforcement of cheating prevention and flexibility to modify game rules are in direct opposition. Do you think servers should not be allowed to run modified progs? I expect the serious players will just stick to "virgin" servers without all the crazy hacks.

I don't have any "right answer" to this issue, and I am open to suggestions."

Well? Don't just stand there, think of something. If you want to help, make sure you've read this. As always, I'll keep you informed.

Cool huh?


September 6th 

"Actually both names are unauthorized uses of our TM on Quake :)

I am asking the guys at quakeworld.com to step away from the domain name.

They were supposed to give me an answer today. I sure hope they decide to do the right thing and step away."

Sounds like theirs a veiled "or else" in there, doesn't it? It's not clear to me if they are trying to take the domain name for themselves, or for Jason. Either way is better than it is now.

I think that also explains the complement to Fakeworld from id (below). It was probably like this (fantasy dialog... you can always tell by the color):

id: We think your site's the beans! Big mojo! But it's naughty to steal the name. Play fair and give it up!

Fakeworld: id (or to them, ID) thinks we're great! We're crushing! Let's put up all our hate mail with quote from id at the top: 'We think your sites the beans! Big mojo!' That'll prove them all wrong.

Clueless...

--blue

66666.gif (1166 bytes)

Pretty scary, huh kids? Maybe for visitor 666,666 I should have a prize...


September 5th

Hey, I know QSpy is freeware, but it beats my deal with Panix.

The site will open as soon as soon as version 3.0 is released. Stay tuned...

"I've been on a few servers lately that have been "patched". One guy was racking up frag after frag because he could lay these proximity mines and he also had a rocket that would spin inside you until you died. (VERY nasty) Nobody could kill the guy!

I've since seen a BOMBS8 QuakeC patch which does this. Today I tried to bind a key to "impulse 22" on one server and it gave me 255 of these rotating bombs!

My question is: How do you know if you're on a server that has been patched? I've seen guys that I just cannot kill no matter what I hit them with, and now I wonder if they were somehow _cheating_. For the QuakeWorld statistics to mean anything, somebody will have to come up with a way to designate when you connect to a server that it has been modified.

Is there a way for Qspy to tell a patched server?

You guys are Quake authorities, what are your thoughts on this?"

Well I might not be a "Quake Authority," but I know a couple... I passed this along to QSpy guy Joe E. Powell along with the question about the possibility if implementing some sort of "cheat detector" in the program. Here's his reply:

"It's not possible the way things are now. There's just no way to determine this information. We can't even get the CRC value to determine if the server has been modified.

I would imagine that there will be no Quakeworld server customizations possible. Otherwise, the statistics could get skewed like the letter suggests.

John, I CCed you on this to make sure you were aware of this situation."

The John he CC'ed is John Carmack, so at least he's aware of our concerns. In the meantime, know thy server. As always, I'll keep you up to date as things develop.


September 4th

"Ironman's popular server list has, unfortunately, gone down permanently. The following e-mail, forwarded to the Stomped team from Progress Software's administrator, sheds light on the situation."

"...when we found out we what we beleived was a company-related project turned out to be the Quake stuff running on our already taxed Internet connection by the person running this server, his plug got yanked."

Wow! All that time he was running that as a corporate project (don't try this at home, kids). I knew ][ronman was cool, but I never realized how cool. So long, IM.

"we'll have a dozen pentium pro's and a bad ass server, all on a temp t1. all you need to bring is yourself... no special mice or anything, since we don't want to be switching them out all the time."

Pentium Pro's... spooge. Though my wife will be pissed when I come home and tell her I need to buy a new PC (we have a P166 w/80 MB of RAM and a P133 w/24 already...).

9/4:
*added teamplay 2
you can hurt teamates (and yourself)
you lose 1 frag for killing a teamate

"Anyway I am playing in a 4 versus 4 Quakeathon tournament in Australia and I put together some teamplay strategies and thought maybe ya might want to have a look. Any comments appreciated!!"

They say as soon as the eagerly-awaited airplane is finished they want to quickly make jeeps so they can start with their 'QUAKE KART' conversion. Yup. I guess they're trying to prove what they say on their page:

"Quake is so open ended you can create almost ANYTHING you can imagine!"

Yeee-hah!

Thanks to T.J. Arrowsmith for letting me know. Seems my new finger-gateway links are a tad behind... I gotta fix that.

Wild stuff around here, huh? Boycotts, protests... it's like the sixties or something! Peace.


September 3rd

"soooo... looks like the age restriction on the event is no more. the unholy alliance will be the first clan in... i have room for 3 more."

Anyone who is still having trouble viewing or navigating any part of this site, please let me know.


September 2nd

"We're going to release 3.0 this Friday (definitely...you can include this in your news section). It may or may not have multithreaded queries though."

Look for another interesting QSpy announcement on these pages shortly (blue's feeling mysterious...).

"Hi! Just to let ya know, the new Quake Survey for September is ready, and the results from last month's survey have been released! We had 311 responses to last month's survey, producing some interesting results!"

In looking over the survey results, I see that for the "Which of these Quake web pages do you regularly surf?" question, our humble Quake Rag came in third place after Stomped and Redwood's (and ahead of idsoftware!). It's gratifying to be ranked in such esteemed ranks. Thanks to all who voted for blue's. BTW Have you noticed little link I added above to Bush's Abode, home of the "Best Quake Page" survey? Did you notice that link right there? Just wondering...

Thanks to old pal Grifter and Mimic (okay, here's your plug, dude), Leader of Plague, the largest Quake clan on the net, for letting me know (I'm a city boy, so I don't know much from strip malls).

I'm thinking of opening an obituaries section for web pages.

"I'm really pissed off. I live in Hamilton, Ontario and I just bought registered Quake today at JMG Compushoppe here in Hamilton. It cost 64.50 plus tax and was on display with all the other software. I brought it home, installed it, played it and it works great. Then I logged on to the net, found your page and much to my dismay read that my Quake may be illegal. Now that I've had a closer look, it says on the box "for distribution only in Europe" and the registration card is for an address in London England!!!!! I can't believe it! What does this mean? I do not support any form of software piracy, and feel that I have been duped. I mean, the game works great, and I payed for it, but...will id still get their share, and am I now not entitled to support from id? Please advise."

I forwarded this along to id, and today received the following response from Mike Wilson:

"any and all customers caught in this unenviable position should:

1)report the name, phone, and address of the offending retailer to us
2)let that retailer know how you feel about them selling illegal product (in case they don't know it's illegal) if they are doing it willingly, let the mall management know.
3)let gt interactive know about it all, since that's their illegally-imported box
4)enjoy quake"

If I may add (and I may)... this is just another example of how id has always been cool toward us. It is my hope that everyone will reciprocate that behavior, and not take the above statement as their approval to go out and buy Euro-Quake from some sleezeball. If you want the unencrypted Quake, call 1800-idgames. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now (did you know I can see your house from up here?).

"Waldensoft is owned by EB, as is EBX."

That makes sense (except what's EBX?).

"since it may be a week or more before new Quakeworld is ready to launch. My end is finsihed (everything but files and cgi), and am bored. So I decided to do what Quakeworld was once known best for, posting news. Just news though, nothing else"

And then a second, quite perturbed:

"Apparetly because of the title Quakeworld's new popularity, people are making sites with that name and registering domains. I originally had the title quite awhile ago. The site really didn't get popular until around the time of Quake shareware's release. Can you do me a favor. Please put some kind of statement protesting the use of the title Quakeworld on a site besides mine and id's of course. After all this time having the title, I don't want to have to find a new one, redoing html files, pics, links, etc..."

Now I'm not really sure what we can do to help support Jason. As has been noticed by many people searching for the new domain Jason has been hinting about (which does look cool, BTW), there is a www.quakeworld.com out there (unfinished), so someone has already registered it as a domain name. But if anyone has any ideas, let him now.

This article has more to it than most of the "puff" publicity pieces that have appeared, and is quite interesting to read in light of the subsequent Apogee/3d Realms/Hipnotic "defections," especially tidbits like Michael Abrash's comment:

"I used to think the gap between those already doing this kind of work and those just getting into it would start to narrow," says Abrash. "Instead I think it's widening. People aren't catching up; they're falling further behind. A large knowledge base is required to do anything state-of-the art, and it takes longer and longer to acquire that knowledge."

And then a couple of weeks later, members of the Prey project quit to work with the Quake engine. Coincidence?


September 1st

Don't worry about blue, all you deep pocketed sponsor-types, I'll just hang in there paying $35/month for my PPP account to slave over this page *sniff*. (Cue violins...)

"the Quake Monsters Contest is up at Quake Fiction. It's only the Top 20 at the moment, but I figured I`d release it anyway and then follow it up with the top 40 at a later date."

So there it is.

"I know that Waldensoft in Corpus Christi, TX has something like 9 copies of Euro Quake. I know someone that bought one. I think he said it was selling for $50.00. I'm not exactly sure on the price or how many they have, but I do know the guy got it last Thursday night."

Previous Month   News Archive   Current News   Next Week
Quake and the stylized "Q" are trademarks of id Software, used with their kind permission
All rights reserved. Copyright 1996 by Stephen Heaslip