April 4, 1999 -- Previous Mailbag

Can't please everyone...

Hidayat MD
Subject: What's wrong with deathmatch these days?

I think the problem with deathmatch in Quake2 is:

1. Weapon balancing means that there is no incentive for staying alive. You can simply die, respawn, run straight for the most powerful/nearest weapon and be in business again.

2. Maps are not designed with connectivity in mind. Instead they are designed to encourage roaming. This means that players do not have the mental edge needed to carry out the calculated moves and feigns that are necessary when deathmatching in well connected areas. They merely wander around with big weapons and overpower those they bump into until they get worn down and killed in which case they just start all over again.

3. Footsteps add an additional unnecessary sound cue which makes stealth almost impossible. In Quake2 even when u walk you occasionally generate a sound. Hence, stealth techniques are not viable and this reduces deathmatch to a bigass2 type of gameplay.

4. Armor gives minimal protection but can be "repaired" by picking up more armor. This again plays into the roaming style of gameplay. If armor gives good protection but was not easily rechargeable then people would take more care of their armor, playing more tactically to strike quick and deadly and control of armor areas would give a more tactical gameplay.

All in all, I think the truest joy of deathmatch is the development of the mental edge, the way the mind and reflex works together in an adrenaline high. In Quake2, its easy to spaz out and let the reflex take control and this makes the game less appealing in some way.

I really hope Id Software will resolve this issues with Quake3 but from what I've heard so far, this MAY not be the case although some kind of compromise might be possible.

I understand that the main reason the points I highlighted above were introduced was to cater to the newbie crowd and that I think that that is a business decision which won't change anytime soon.

However, It would be nice if we can have a "hardcore mode" which completely rewrites the rules of the game to address these issues, so that hardcore deathmatchers can play a true deathmatch game, unhindered by all the newbie-support, maybe even some connectivity maps for "hardcore" gameplay.

Is this possible?


Everyone's a comedian...

Kade Westerweele
Subject: BLUE's news

I think it's funny how Blue's News is more yellow than blue...

The real Sin is...

Subject: Is Sin the most under-rated game of all time?

(Hopefully this message will make it to the Mailbag)

After playing through both Sin and Half-Life, I'm dumb-founded by the lack of press (and at times, it seems, bad press) that Sin gets. I thoroughly enjoyed Sin. Half-Life is definitely about the best single player game I've played, but I think that Sin is a very close second. After a system upgrade I got the chance to play through most of Sin a second time and to my surprise, there was enough of the game that I hadn't seen the first time that I didn't feel like I was playing the same game all over again. The levels and graphics are beautiful and there's a hell of a lot to explore.

I can't help but feel some sympathy for the guys over at Ritual - they made an absolutely incredible game, but because most people feel that Half-Life is [a little] better they won't give Sin a second thought. I think it's too bad. I personally am looking forward to what Ritual can do with the Quake3 engine and I'm afraid that if the response to their games is poor because of bad timing we may not see the next thing from Ritual.

My $.02.


Sin was plagued by poor timing, and a multitude of bugs, which made lots of possible fans pass it over. It's definitely a shame. Be sure to check out Wages of Sin, the just-released mission pack. It's mighty cool. But don't worry...Ritual's hard at work on Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2, which will be published by the Gathering of Developers, "when it's done."

To clarify...

Derek Carroll
Subject: 'Mech/mecha/Herc clarification


In your "Corrections" today, you mention that someone corrected your use of "mech". In your story about Starsiege yesterday, you referred to them as mecha, which is a generic term and completely appropriate. (Bad Karma uses "mecha" as an almost universal prefix...)

To clarify:

'Mech is short for BattleMech (that's what the apostrophe is for) and is always capitalized. BattleMech and 'Mech are registered trademarks of FASA Corporation.

Herc isn't short for anything that I'm aware of, it's just supposed to look and sound like 'Mech.

Mecha is a generic term for any mechanized-robot-tank-thingy, usually large, always armed to the teeth.

Hope that helps a bit. Keep up the good work. This site rocks so hard it hurts to think about.

Derek Carroll

Personally speaking, I try not to think too much. It has been known to cause serious migraines. Seriously. Try it sometime...if you dare.

The black void

Mike Baker
Subject: SPACE!

What's the big idea with all that space ?? C'Mon tell me!! You put the question in the mail bag, but give no answer, its almost like, you did it to cause people to email you about it!


Matt Tirevold
Subject: aHEM

Why do you have a bunch of wasted space at the bottom of your news page? Is it (literary) white, well actually, black space? Is it so the little scroller bar on the browser is much smaller making it look as though you have more content? Is it so when people get a headache reading about all of the boring non-related game news, they can scroll down and get a quick mind-blank? Is it aimed at getting responses like this? What is UP with that?

Matt Tirevold

Do you really want to spoil that illusion? Isn't it a lot more fun to attempt to figure it out on your own? Personally, I think it's a subliminal message. I find myself having to play Tribes compulsively after reading the page...maybe this has something to do with it...

Another clarification...

Jack Holmes
Subject: Halflife engine

There seems to be a wild misconception that Halflife is based on Quake 2 engine. I've seen 2 big site post an article saying its based on Quake 2 engine just today. One even said Halflife did not change much from Quake 2 engine. These articles I'm talking about are:

1.) Sharky Extreme's 1998 FTS round-up. (where it says Halflife is based on Quake 2 engine, and also says its roundup has 3 games based on Quake 2 engine, when there are only 2, Quake 2 and Sin)

2.)'s artice in response to the Sharkyextreme's article (

Half Life is based on Quake 1 engine which Valve improved. When playing Halflife, it is faster than Quake 2 in most cases and levels loads faster due to their smaller section design. All in all it is the best engine out today. (Why would they make Team Fortress if HL is Quake2 engine?)

Maybe you could clear this up on your website.

Damn expensive countries...

Paul Blamire
Subject: voodoo3 benchmarks

Hmmmmm, nice. Shame it'll cost a fortune in the UK (like everything else).

Paul Blamire

Kickin' it old school, baby

Kevin Furphy
Subject: SpinRite


SpinRite ruled the world of MFM and RLL hard drives when 40M was the ultimate in storage and you actually needed two cables to attach a hard drive to the controller. Sad to say that I retired my two 65M RLL drives last year (I kept it going for sentimental reasons). I was king of the hill with over 100M of hard drive space. Don't you miss having to go into debug and calling "G=C800:5" to low level the drives?


Yeah, but can they deathmatch?

Subject: q3 jerseys

Q3 Arena and the Buffalo Sabres seem to have an, ahem *design similarity* going on in their jersey styles. I am the proud owner of one Buffalo Sabres away team jersey, which bears an unbelievably striking resemblance to the q3 arena one, and which I have owned for approximately 2 years. Have I stepped into a time warp, or has id software suddenly gone "hockey crazy"?

I know you are a very busy man, but I thought I'd bring this to your attention for the hilarity of the entire idea. Just wondering what your thoughts were on the subject. I could send a picture of the jersey in question, but I wouldn't send any such attachment unless it was wanted/asked for.


Jim Rokitka

a faithful fan of Blue's News (since before Qtest appeared)

P.S. here is a link to the Sabres web site if interested

More joisy talk

Thomas Poyer
Subject: Quake III Arena Jerseys

What? No fun names?
;^D j/k

Lights, camera...Half-Life?

Rafael Santovenia
Subject: Anyone thought of making a Half-life Movie?

I mean the Hollywood kind...

When I first started the game, the titles, the music, the way the surroundings on the train-trip into Black Mesa were set up just like scenes cut into a movie, I thought that Half-life would make an awesome film... I was just wondering whether anyone else has given that kind of feedback to ya.

AKA Joker when getting my ass whupped on Half-life servers...

Hmm...I wonder if Blue would be asked to play Gordon Freeman...the resemblance is frightening, you know...

Doesn't a GameBoy have one of those?

Chris Sibert
Subject: Voodoo3 LCD out

Dear Blue,

In response to your review of the Voodoo3:

Further, the top-performing 3500's price is increased by the inclusion of the Flat Panel support, a feature clearly not aimed at gamers. I'm hopeful that future additions to the Voodoo3 line represent choices that are targeted more specifically at the extreme enthusiast gamer.

I disagree. This is a feature for the enthusiast gamer, and generally everyone. I want my next card to have digital LCD out, and I wish that less expensive cards such as the Banshee, which I just bought, had it too. It is a critical part of the next generation of cards. The next card I buy will have to have it, and that is the only thing that will get me to spend $200 bucks on one. It should be a feature, especially in high end cards. I won't buy another card without it.

Check out Gateway's new 15" LCD display if you have a Gateway store around you. It's the best display I've ever seen. My next machine may be a Gateway in order to get one of those babies.

Please don't discourage the support of flat panel displays. We all want to play games and not have our face, eyes, and brains irradiated with electrons from the evil CRT tube.

Chris Sibert

Quake 3:

Subject: Pentium III Feature You May Have Overlooked

Hey Blue -

I got a kick out of the Best Buy ad today, which mentioned that the Pentium III will allow you to "Shop online in realistic 3D." I must have missed that in Carmack's last list of Q3A features :)