December 9, 1999

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.

Some people will never be happy.

Previous Mailbags
August 17, 2000
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April 19, 2000
February 23, 2000
February 16, 2000
February 9, 2000
January 26, 2000
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January 3, 2000
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December 9, 1999
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February 1, 1999
January 6, 1999

From: Jeremy Buttell
Subject: Q3- Quake1 Guys soundFX

Man, wtf was id thinking to tamper with the original Quake1 guy sound FX. He sounds nothing like the original Q1 guy's voice. Definitely not something that'll hurt the Q3 sales, but what a shame.

the neurobound.

Well, if you really want to, you can always just hack the .PAK file and replace the sounds with the original ones. :)

One reader's opinion.

From: Shawn
Subject: quake3 sucks

I have to say, after playing the full version of Q3 Arena for no more than a day, I still like Q2 better. Q3 seems to be nothing more than Unreal... I am disappointed. As far as I'm concerned, it's exactly the same as the Q3 test...LAME!

Aand this is comming from a guy that has played doom, quake, quake2.

I know this is funny, but I still don't get it.

From: Damonte
Subject: Careless Code Recycling Causes Killer Kangaroos

From June 15, 1999 Defense Science and Technology Organization
Lecture Series, Melbourne, Australia, and staff reports.


Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force

The reuse of some object-oriented code has caused tactical head aches for Australia's armed forces. As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat training, programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and - in the case of the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix - herds of kangaroos (since disturbed animals might well give away a helicopter's position).

The head of the Defense Science & Technology Organization's Land Operations/Simulation division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials' movements and reactions to helicopters. Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachment reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures' speed of movement.

Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the visiting Americans nodded appreciatively... then did a
double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and launched a barrage of Stinger missiles at the hapless helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten to remove that part of the infantry coding.) The lesson?

Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in terms of an old one inherits all the attributes. The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with a newfound respect for Australian wildlife.

Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onward have strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.

Q3's RAM usage.

From: Brett Allcorn
Subject: q3a memory management

I have been noticing that Q3A takes up alot of memory, pratically unbeleivable. Upon anouncement of the game, they claimed it would run on a 166mhz with 64mb of RAM. Well I have a 500mhz P3 and 256mb of RAM. I am only running the game at 640-480 and I experience alot of lag in single player bot matches. Why do I think its a problem with the memory? Well I see alot of other memory related problems. For instance, in the screen where you pick your model. If you scroll though maybe 10 guys it stops displaying them and starts to say low memory.

Then when you pick another model, it says, "low memory, using previos player model" or something of that sort. I mean, is it that hard for id to release the memory used by viewing the models? Recently I just shut down q3 and when I started it back up, I mean it have taken up so much of my memory and not released it that the game would not even run, I mean like the menu screen was lagged! Now this is all I see so far, but considering my machine 256mb is alot of memory for a computer user, how does id manage to write a game so bad it uses it all up?

I have no idea, but on my p450 w/128 MB of RAM, I have none of the problems you describe...anyone else know what's wrong here?

You ask, we tell.

From: Corey A. Harbaugh
Subject: Request info please!

Where could I find info on creating q3 mods and maps? How what programs to use ext.


There are a lot of places to go...a good starting place is GameSpyder (or just Yahoo). For map authoring specifically, I'd suggest checking out (since QER is the official Quake III map editor).

Regarding those preview images...

From: chris
Subject: q3a vs previews


Remember the PCGamer article about a year ago? Remember the mac demo from the conference and (though I'm sure you never saw it, illegal as it was) the IHV demo? Whatever happened to the flexing tongue, the giant, curved hallways, or the animated, curved, fleshlike walls? I see none of it (except some flexing tubes on one level) in the final release. I love the game, but were the graphics over-hyped? Maybe they taxed frame-rates too much and had to be cut.

Just wondering,


All that stuff made it in there, although it's a bit subtle. The tongue is on Q3DM1, the pulsating columns are in Q3DM4, and that other thing is on Q3DM13.

Keep huntin'.

From: Triple_nnN
Subject: Easter egg in Q3DM11?

I can't find anything wierd at all in that map I found the user friendly guy in two
maps and the head in the corner in the other but i can't find anything odd about Q3DM11.

Since I don't want to spoil it for anyone, select the text below to read how to find this easter egg:

First of all, to the best of my knowledge, you cannot find this one without cheating. So, instead of just using the /map command, bring down the console (with the "~" key) and type, "/devmap q3dm11".

Once the level loads, bring down the console again, and type, "/noclip" to enable no-clipping.

Fly up to the area that has a teleporter and a shotgun, and walk through the opposing wall to find an old friend.

Overclock that V3!

From: Douglas A. Wright
Subject: Voodoo 3

I am looking for the utility Voodoo 3 Overclocker.

Could you supply a link of where to find it?


Well, I don't know about any utlilty, but check out these pages on Sharky Extreme to find out how to do it:

Stiff sentence?

From: Seth Isenberg
Subject: hackers death sentence

>Court upholds hacker's death sentence. Scary stuff. Even scarier is the fact >that one of them is avoiding the death penalty by testifying... and they're
> brothers!

Why is that scary? They stole the equivalent of $87,000! I don't care if it was done by hacking, if China's laws are stricter, so be it. They are criminals, and would be doing serious jail time in any democratic country anyhow.

Respecting other cultures means respecting their differences in punishment, too.

-Seth "pureboy" Isenberg

On copy protection issues.

From: Githianki
Subject: Scott Miller missing something?

In reading Scott Miller's .plan update (Blue's News DNF copy protection story of Dec. 7th), I get the feeling that Scott has overlooked the obvious. He

"Hit games used to sell many more copies than they do nowdays, and a good part of the dramatic drop must be due to the proliferation of CD-ROM burners."

Could it be that hit games used to seel many more copies because:

A) The market is far larger than it used to be in terms of competition.

B) Gamers have less free time on their hands and thus buy fewer games even if they are great and should be "hits."

C) There are fewer "hit" caliber games as gamers get more discerning, educated, and expectant of what a game should deliver.

D) Games are too expensive in light of the cheaper entertainment available on consoles (which have monster hits by PC sales standards).

The assumption that piracy as a ratio to sales has dramatically increased
is flawed when one considers all the other pressures for the consumer dollar
there are now in this industry. While I am sure CD-ROM burning is the biggest piracy problem there is, I doubt that it has led to a dramatic increase in piracy, thus hurting sales. Maybe this is true overseas, where piracy is rampant (I have seen it), but the market overseas for games has grown over the years not declined. In fact, I would go so far as to venture that as game players mature (in age, working hard for a living, and knowledge of the industry) that piracy would be on the decline as people respect the amount of work that goes into making a game.

I once read an interview with a game sales manager who said he never saw an unsuccessful game if you knew what price to sell at. Maybe too many companies are expecting "hit" to mean strike it rich?

In the long run, games are somewhat like movies, in that deserving games
may not get the commercial success their creators feel the film is entitled to, but it won't be because of piracy.

Good question.

From: Kitana
Subject: Mouselook in q3a

Dear Blue,

I've used a a mouselook key to toggle my freelook on and off since the days off duke3d and now i dont see a option in q3a for it. did they take it out?

ive checked all the console pages and they all have a bind for +mlook but none of them work. freelook is still active and there in no command to turn freelook off. with your connections can you try to find out if its truly lost forever of just something im missing. i know atleast 50 or so player that use a mouselook bind for id games and would love to here if it is still possible in q3a

Bob Wagner

Good question. I honestly don't know the answer, but if someone does and sends it in, i'll be sure to print it in our next mailbag.

On pirate servers.

From: William Robert Night
Subject: 'Cracked' Q3A Servers

Graeme Devine says id will 'crack down on' cracked server, so they'd better watch out.

I wonder how he plans on doing this. Assuming those servers are legally purchased, it's not illegal in any way for the admin to apply a patch. id can call that patch a 'crack' in they like, but it doesn't make it illegal.

When I get my copy of Q3A (For those not in the USA, it's slow) I'm going to crack it to run a server, because I don't support the use of CD Keys.

On the surface CD Keys are a legitimate way to stop piracy, but when you get down to it, it just turns Q3A into DIVX, where you have to get authorization from the company to use the product you purchased.

Not only does this bring up the possibility of being unfairly denied the use of your game, but also when a company less scrupulous than id uses this technology, which they will if it looks successful, what's to stop them from collecting more information and building databases ala Real? (the MP3 player that scanned your HD and reported the results to the company.)

id Software is perfectly welcome to stop listing my server on their master server if they like, but that's it. If they attempt to make me shut down my legally purchased server just because they don't like how I'm running it, they won't have any legal grounding at all.

I urge all admins to use the same 'crack'. If not because you don't like the philosophy behind user tracking, then because you don't want DIVX issues where people are unable to connect simply because the Authorization server is having problems.

Well, whatever the reasons, id's master server can't tell the difference between someone running a server using an illegal copy of Q3A and one that's being run by someone who's protesting the use of CD-Keys. I don't think you're suggesting that id just let pirate servers flourish, are you?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...

From: Mike M.
Subject: Q3 Authentication and Plan Tracker error

Hi there,

Stumbled across something pretty cool in Outlook 2000. An e-mail I sent out I mentioned "Q3A".

I have automatic spell checking on. When it came across Q3A the suggested replacement for the acronym was "quad" :-)

That's pretty damn ironic if you ask me.

Anyway keep up the awesome work and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday

Mike Martin
aka King Fah]FK[