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December 30, 1998 -- Previous Mailbag

Modern Primitives

From: Stephen "Grue" Vaughn

As a bored and somewhat jaded Quake player, I'd been looking for something to fill my time until TF2 came out. While in the local software store, I spied Starsiege Tribes. I'd read a bit about it... but my expectations were extremely low. Being particularly bored, I plunked down my money for the game and went home. I was expecting nothing from the game...and at first, while doing the off-line training missions, I thought my first impressions would be correct. But then I hooked up online and played...and got totally hooked.

Tribes is a teamplayer's dream. It's network play has been silky smooth...even better than Q2's, for the most part. The strategic depth, and the wonderful outdoor all boggles the mind. Clan play will be spectacular with this game. I can't possibly go into all the details here...this message would be a couple thousand words long, and I know you don't have that sort of time. Suffice it to say that it is a GREAT game, and definitely deserves a good look(and purchase). I'm shocked that there hasn't been much excitement generated over this game yet. It is definitely the sleeper hit of the year, for multiplayer.

Steal This Game

From: Erik

I'm wondering if you looked into Thief at all? I finished Half-Life, which I loved dearly as well, and then went on to play Fallout 2, but then I got ahold of Thief: The Dark Project. I think you'd like this one a lot. I've been thrilled by it.

One thing that I noticed with Half-Life that made the game that much more of a grab was the feeling of survival mode you were in at the beginning of the game. The feeling to get out of there was much more real than the "wander around and kill things" feeling. Although, it seemed that it started to slope off later in the game. I found myself getting annoyed towards the middle, but then they changed worlds on you. If that didn't happen, I wouldn't have been so enthralled.

This leads to what I was getting at before. You might want to try Thief, it is a FPS, but then again, it isn't. It doesn't matter if there are new creatures or enemies, it's just the situations you get into. I would highly suggest it if you liked Half-Life.

"Here's yer problem, Ma'am. You ain't got no Linux port."

From: Conan Ford

Epic's ignorance of the LINUX platform has been the death of online multiplayer Unreal. Currently about 47% of the Quake2 servers run on LINUX, Solaris, etc. (i.e. non Win32 platforms). It just happens to be that many of the reliable computers with constant Internet connections happen to be non-win32 computers, partially because there are a lot installed at educational institutions with good Internet connections. By ignoring a LINUX port until now for Unreal, Epic has ensured that most Unreal servers that do/will exist for the near future, will be unreliable--as in cable modem servers, servers running on the same computer the client is been run on, etc.

The LINUX server port should have come out in the fall. But with the current timing, it will come probably when Quake 3 Arena test comes out (speculation), by which time people will be looking forward to the release of Q3A and not be interested so much in outdated game engines like unreal with poor support.

What is Lame?

From: Derek

I know that loonygames is a "Blue's News" publication, but I think it's about time you stop p1mping it, just like how you stopped p1mping your own site for the top 100. It's just plain lame. You should report on the updates of all the other sites in the quake community! That would be fair! No, actually, that would also be just plain lame. Your website has become an update bulletin page for loonygames.

How lame.

Picky, picky, picky

From: Chris 'Mondane/Caleb' Simpson

Here's what I have to say about the ATI Rage 128

I would not put a video card in my computer that could boil water.

Nope, it's just you

From: Doug Hurst it just me or has anyone else noticed [Blue's] uncanny resemblance to Dennis Miller

How many heads can you stove in with your hurl?

From: Shinji Ikari

While Karl Monaghan is right in pointing out that maiming is generally not approved of in Gaelic football, he's thinking only of the referee... stand in the crowd in Croke Park in Dublin, and you'll hear a different story there!

For barbaric sports, the Celts have it hands down really. Both Hurling and Gaelic Football (which Aussie Rules is a more refined version of!) used to be played with practically no rules whatsoever. In Ireland, each county is divided up into parishes, each of which has their own church located pretty centrally in the parish. Neighboring parishes would play each other, the ball being dropped on the parish boundary and the winning team being the one that pushed it back to the other parish church. If blood wasn't spilt and bones weren't broken, it wasn't considered a good game... more of a massive brawl than a game really, with the spectators getting involved more often than not! In fact, this is still the case in a lot of provincial football and hurling matches now... they may play on a pitch, but the aim of the game still has less to do with how many goals and points you score, and more to do with how many heads you stove in with your hurl...!