January 12, 2000

Letters are (occasionally) edited for spelling errors , and may contain profanity.
This section contains normal correspondence as well as letters submitted to the MailBag.
Commentary by Jason "loonyboi" Bergman.

Strange fact.

Previous Mailbags
August 17, 2000
May 24, 2000
May 4, 2000
April 19, 2000
February 23, 2000
February 16, 2000
February 9, 2000
January 26, 2000
January 19, 2000

January 12, 2000
January 3, 2000
December 22, 1999
December 16, 1999
December 9, 1999
November 11, 1999
November 3, 1999
September 29, 1999
September 9, 1999
August 18, 1999
July 28, 1999
July 20, 1999
July 13, 1999
July 6, 1999
June 30, 1999
June 23, 1999
June 15, 1999
June 8, 1999
June 1, 1999
May 24, 1999
May 2, 1999
April 25, 1999
April 22, 1999
April 18, 1999
April 14, 1999
April 11, 1999
April 4, 1999
February 1, 1999
January 6, 1999

From: Bruce Ladewig
Subject: fun irony about latest post

Hey guys;

dunno if this counts as newsworthy, but I thought it was nicely ironic that the three games mentioned in the Wired Vaporware article (Diablo II, Daikatana, and DNF) are also in the top ten highest numbers of preorders list from Gamestop, as listed in this Avault article ( ya gotta page down a bit). This backs up what your comment about Unreal.

Once again proving the fact that any game journalist that uses that phrase 'vaporware' in an article deserves a friendly boot in the eye.

Bruce 'Gwog' Ladewig
--Planet Daikatana---

A frustrated Q3A player.

From: huh?
Subject: Xaero

Give up. Fighting Xaero on Hardcore is a waste of yer time and will lead you to no great triumph. The only way to beat him is for him to allow you to. In other words, if you play too well, he will just compensate by railing you to kingdom come over and over no matter what you are doing. Its not a matter of skill, its a matter of ishty programming. Twice I have had him down 4-0 before being railed to death 10 times on 20 shots. Its a dumbass way to program AI and its a waste of yer time trying to beat it (you should be doing news updates anyway!). Just turn the difficulty to Hurt Me Plenty and show him whoz boss. (It only took me 3 tries to beat him with a perfect on that setting, winning 10 to -2.)


Gotta love Carmack's devotion.

From: Paul Lipps
Subject: Carmack and MacWorld - Interesting Detail

I watched the entire Steve Jobs keynote speech, and I though I might point out a very interesting fact. Jobs said Carmack offered to POSTPONE HIS WEDDING in order to appear in person at MacWorld. Steve said that would not be necessary and said a video would be just fine.

I beginning to wonder if Carmack bleeds in rainbow colors.... :)

-- Paul Lipps

You know, I watched it too, and I'm starting to wonder if he doesn't bleed bondi blue. :)

Guess we should read that site...

From: Alan Johnson
Subject: modem login

Yes, knew about removing 'log into network'. Found the info from a link on a little known site called Bluesnews ages ago. (You should read it sometime its brilliant)

Alan Johnson

An anonymous letter re: Cavedog.

From: <anonymous>
Subject: Re: Amen Cancelled

I used to work at Cavedog myself and I can tell you that WAY more than a few people left cavedog. When I was there, everything was great.. everyone was excited about all the new games we had coming up... (other than just Amen) We were all a real team..everyone knew and liked each other.. anyway, after a while things got out of hand.. management pressed for a closer release date and Greg (lead designer) pushed for more time so that he could fit in everything that he wanted to. Then all of a sudden one of the main programmers (Jason King) left and development slowed.

To make it short, I can tell you that I know of at least six people (only one of which was included in the "layoffs" a few weeks ago) who have all left and are currently working for such companies as Valve and Electronic Arts. Cavedog didn't want to cancel Amen but when only 4 people are left from the original team it makes it very difficult to finish. Everyone was pissed when they broke up the team and EVERYONE started looking for another job.. it was no longer fun... Anyway, thought I'd send you some info. I am pretty pissed myself to see that they have canned the whole thing but I guess I saw it coming. Btw, if you use this in a post, please don't mention my name, I don't want my friends to get in trouble.

oh and PS you probably already know but Half-Life 2 *is* a reailty and the guys that left Cavedog for Valve are working on it!

More on Q1 cheating.

From: griphis
Subject: Quake (1) cheating

One of the letters in the mailbag (whining about cheating in Q1) mentioned being able to mess with Quake's source code so cheaters can add a light source to every player. Obviously some people don't realize that it's nothing new. Quake's dynamic light sources (like you see on rockets and lavaballs) are simply flags in the model itself. You could do this is ANY version of Quake from the start. Open the player model in your favorite editor, change one flag, and save it.

Instant glowing player model, and it'll have a smoke trail too. Edit the wall texture names to make Quake think they're water brushes, set r_novis to 1, and you can see right through them. Sure, the code release allows more sophisticated cheating with less work, but people have ALWAYS been able to cheat at this game. From auto-aiming bots/proxies, to editing the models, skins, and maps... the game was never completely fair to begin with. People should stop worrying about the source release and just worry about the cheaters themselves.


Low ping whining.

From: Pasquale Goldstein
Subject: internet play


4 days ago i was playin cstrike when a 30 pinger on the other team ran into our base, leapt gaily about the room and killed every single person on my team in about 10 seconds -- and none of us could hit him. i havent played since. i'm through pretending that strategy or tactics have anything to do with these ping games. i'm so disgusted that now i just wanna respawn camp in aq2 deathmatch until i can buy a highspeed connection. can you imagine connection speed being such a huge advantage in online RTS games like starcraft? nobody would play.

recently my clan had a lan party where we got to play with an online opponent that had been causing us a great deal of discomfort with his 40 ping connection. he had even boasted online that he was better than anyone in our clan. well it looked pretty silly in lan play when he would just run headlong into our base at the beginning of every round - jumping up and down with weapons ablazing. he was thus the first one killed every round, and trailed our least-skilled member in frags. yet his clq rating from exactly that strategy in online play puts him in the TOP ONE PERCENT OF ALL PLAYERS WORLDWIDE. is it your intention that this be the case? if so, would you please add a rocket launcher and a BFG? that would probably make the game more "realistic" don't you think?

Anyone know about this?

From: joshua lewis
Subject: Quake source, take your pick

I heard a rumor a little while ago that there was a transformers patch in the works for Shogo. I just heard it from a friend, and as for any factual basis, I have yet to find one. Have you all heard anything about this or is it probably just B.S.? Thanks

I don't know if it exists, but it sure would be cool to see. :)

Our token letter from theAntiELVIS...

From: theAntiELVIS

Just played several hours of Quake 3 and TFC - and I KILLED THEM!

Why? Because I'm a programmer! Because I KNOW the algo-rythm! I know the patterns! Doesn't matter WHAT game they want to play - I slaughter them all!

And do I get recognition? NO! Because I won't join their clans or their leagues! I am the Lone Wolf! I am theAntiELVIS! I am superior! I can jump five feet in the air, do a 180, and KILL them! I do not strafe! I do not rock jump! I don't do any of that fancy Low Ping Bastard crap! I am theAntiELVIS!


Death to the pretenders! I am the Champion of the Internet! And no one will ever know because I won't lower myself to playing the ladders! I am the free spirit who cannot be touched! I am the tie-dyed Grateful Dead Hippie bastard they all hate - because I WIN!

I am theAntiELVIS! A name to be feared and respected! A 56k HURRICANE that cannot be denied!

Bring-on your cable modems and your T1's! I will kill them all! I am theAntiELVIS! I cannot be defeated! I am GOD-LIKE!

Or I'm drunk. Take your pick.

I think i'll go with that second one.

The subject says it all.

From: Dave
Subject: the website colors suck goat balls... change it...


Yes, the smiley is real.

From: John Ranger
Subject: Smiley Face on the flak shells in UT

The picture you reported on may have been a fake, but it is easy to see the smiley face for yourself.

Pick a level with deep water in it (I used CTF November). Sit midway and fire the flak cannon straight up. As the shell falls back to the bottom you
will be able to glimpse the smiley face once the shell is below you.


Does this mean my Cyberman 2 is useless?

From: Joe Cossette
Subject: Quake III Arena news...

Not sure if you folks know this or not yet...

I just got off the phone with Activision Support for Quake III Arena and they have indicated to me that there is no Advanced Joystick Support in the game.

Imagine, a state of the art 3D Game without support for 3D Game Controllers!

Joe Cossette

I don't know about all 3D controllers, but you can enable support for the SpaceOrb 360 by snagging the support files from Birdman's Lair.

Relax! It's out!

From: Michael Tjoa
Subject: So when is the Mac version going to be released?

What the freak!

So when is the Mac version going to be released? Are you waiting till next Christmas?

There are always possibilities.....

- MTjoa

Not that we have anything to do with it, but it's out. Enjoy. :)


From: SnotRocket
Subject: Unreal Tournament 3dfx V3000 Bundle Arrives

Just in time for the 20th century--the Unreal Tournament promo finally arrived from GT Interactive today.


I would have gotten mine, but I forgot to send it in. Oh well. ;)

Hey! You can come out of the bunkers now!

From: John H. Story
Subject: Orson Welles would be proud.......

Blue's Crew,

Imagine how Orson Welles (grhs), is in his grave clapping in awe and in honor, of those who painted a much larger "invasion" paranoia, for much longer ( years ), and got away with it. Of course I am refering to the Y2K non-event. They also got away with literally billions of dollars. Orson had to make an apology. Go figure............ Hopefully the perps will crawl back under their rock and stay there.............

Someone should take a poll of the number of systems modified for the event vs the number not modified and the number of problems. I have 3 non-modified 2-4 year old hardware PC's with no problems whatsoever. I suggest that that is the norm.

( aka John Story )

I think people are overlooking the miracle performed by programmers across the country. Believe it or not, we really did need to spend 100 billion in this country to avoid a major disaster.

The best of the number guesses...

From: Amante
Subject: The true meaning of the number at the bottom of the news page

I've figured it out!

It's the consecutive amount of days Blue has gone without sleeping ;)

From: Bryan Pillow
Subject: number?

Obviously, the number is how many seconds since Quake2 went gold. Next.

From: Stephen White
Subject: Number at bottom of News Page

I haven't read all of the suggestions about what the number at the bottom of the news page is, but is it a counter/timer that increments the number of seconds (since some event)? The last refresh I did said the number was 66209187. That would be 11/27/97, at about 4:33 pm. I didn't see any mention of anything major happening that day. It looks like each time I refresh the news page, it increases by a few. So is this anything even close to the truth?

Stephen White

From: Hanzo
Subject: Number on Blue's News

That number that's way at the bottom of the main you have a CGI linked into the Q3:A master server, reporting how many people have played Q3:A? You know, when you connect to a server, and it says at the bottom of the screen "Welcome Player #53,223,343" or that the number?

- Hanzo|M

No, but that would be really cool. :)

From: Jamie Oastler
Subject: Mysterious Number


To be honest, until I read the mailbag this week I didn't even notice the number, guess I'm not a thorough enough reader. But, I think I have figured it out. I believe the number to be the amount of seconds that Blue's News has been operational. Follow me on these calculations that I'm performing now: 66193908 was the number at 1:44 January 3, 2000

66193908 / 60 = 1103231.8
1103231.8 / 60 = 18387.196
18387.196 / 24 = 766.13316
766.13316 / 30 = 25.537772
25.536662 / 12 = 2.1281476

Judging by your website's claim to be "serving the online gaming community for over a third of a decade" this number of 2.128 seems a little low to be the number of years that Blues News has been running. Perhaps if you take into account time when the server wasn't operational, and going through upgrades and spring forward/fall back changes and other time sensitive issues, could this number actually be the number of seconds that Blue's News has been operational?

What do I win? If it is money I'd like it in small unmarked canadian bills (yes, I know they are funny money but it's my currency of choice). If it is computer stuff how bout a new mobo and processor (AMD K6-2 300 just isn't cutting mustard anymore) :) If I'm wrong, which quite possibly has been known to happen on occasion, well than atleast I gave it my best shot. My other original theory was that it was randomly generating ICQ numbers but testing that theory proved it wasn't the case ;)


From: Conneen, Brian
Subject: Number at the bottom of the page...

From what I have discerned...

It is counting the seconds...

The seconds since Nov 28 1997 at around 9:00 AM EST.

The funny thing is that I can't seem to find anything important that happened that day.

Quake II went gold a few days later, and the day before was Thanksgiving.

What gives?

Brian Conneen

From: Chris Rempel
Subject: those funky little digits

Well, perhaps the "counter" is the least original idea in the traditional webpage sense. However those little numbers are counting... and its counting in seconds no less. Or so it appears. _And_ if that is true... Well, the current count is at 66191509. So, after a few calculations, much deliberation, advil, and several days later, I came up with the following date range (hey i'm no -exact- scientist, heck, I'm not even a scientist!).

Todays Date: 00.01.03
minus days from counter: 766.105428_407_
Long Time Ago Date: 97.11.28
or around there.. say 97.11 - 98.01

However, those calculations could be completely off. When I first thought of this, I thought maybe it was the number of seconds from when came online... But if I recal correctly that was June 1st 1996.

Well, once again you still got everyone stumped, but I thought I'd toss this one to the wolves. Hrm... maybe the number of seconds since you took the old "traditional counter" offline? Hmm, number of seconds since Quake2 was released?

No, no the number of seconds it has been since Blue started his Out of the Blue posts! heh, thats got to be it :P He changed from "etc" to "Out of the Blue" on Friday January 9th 1998.

Ok cough it up. I won. :P


From: theAntiELVIS
Subject: The little number at the bottom is obviously.... late Daikatana is. In minutes.


The current length of Romero's hair. In centimeters.


The amount of money the site made today from advertising. In Yen.


Size of Hilary Clinton's cervix when fully dilated. In feet.


The number of tries it takes to hit someone with the Railgun at 56k


The number of Ion Storm designers it takes to screw in a light bulb. If you want to include Tom Hall, multiply by three.


The number of times Blue has written the word "Sorry" in OOTB


The number of times Levelord has belched since birth


The next winning "Power Ball" number


The precise RGB value for the color of loon's shorts (jeez man, change those things)


The reading on the odometer of the Bluemobile


The size of Disruptor's pecker in microns (which is still pretty impressive)


Bill Gate's net profit for today


The number of letters I've written that didn't make it into the Mailbag

He jokes, but it really could be that many letters. :)

And my personal favorite...

From: Ketchum, John
Subject: The counter at the bottom of your pages

Is that the number of tenths of a second that you have gone without a cigarette Loony?

Just a guess, based it working out to 76 days give or take a few hours today. When I looked up that day's news(Oct 19,1999), Blue mentioned that you had quit smoking that day.


Okay, so nobody got it right, but boy were these clever. Keep trying...maybe the answer lies in elementary chaos theory...