Quake Live Update – August 27, 2014


By SyncError

Last month at QuakeCon we announced that Quake Live would be coming to Steam and with that expansion take on some new gameplay changes and features. At that time, we did not have many specifics to share as we were poised to keep an open mind as to what our future would look like, and wanted to see how we could introduce a wider audience to the game we so dearly love. Quake is a masterful game of skill, often compared to Chess by its veteran players. However, with that depth has come a challenge to welcome and capture new players long enough for them to discover the joy to be found in what many consider the finest Deathmatch game ever made.

For some of us that joy is simply nostalgia of our early days, an introduction to online FPS that ushered in a new era of gaming. For many it is a love of mastery, striving to become better in a competitive world that seems to have no upper bounds. It is a game of limitless growth where the movement, strategy, and perfection of aim seem to be an extension of our human selves where hard work, dedication, and confidence can translate into a measurable improvement that brings a great pride to our players. While Quake will always be a home to the competitive base, we have often longed for a wider audience who could experience, appreciate, and fall in love with all that it has to offer.

For new players, it has been quite clear what the greatest barriers are: effectiveness on spawn, movement, and item control. These elements on several levels also make our game great, so we wanted to see what could be done to make the game a more enjoyable experience, all while teaching players a bit of the meta-game depth.
We tested several ideas including granting players better starting weapons and compared that to the lessons learned in Clan Arena where players get to try out various weapons and see their effectiveness each round. We found that providing the player one single “primary” weapon of their choice in addition to letting them have a bit more freedom as to which “secondary” they spawn with allows players to try out various weapons and become more effective on spawn which has been the key complaint of newcomers. Meanwhile we still want to highly encourage picking up weapons throughout the arena, so we have minimized the amount of ammo granted on spawn so that players will continue to roam and gather both weapons and ammo. Allowing the new behavior of choosing some starting weapons greatly improved the experience in modes such as FFA and TDM and helped make some of the more chaotic modes like Domination quite enjoyable. Hence, Domination will now be ran publicly for all to play.

Additionally we wanted to find a way to teach players a few core bits of information concerning item timing. We have introduced item timers, present transparently in the world (not on your HUD), that all relay item respawn information under the following design guidelines: Each item timer has a radial display divided into slices. Elapsed time is drawn as solid slices. Each slice represents 5 seconds. Active regions are represented by blinking slices that blink once per second. The timers should adequately teach players when an item is about to respawn or when it is better to move along even without this knowledge. And as players continue to play, they will begin to understand exactly how much time elapses per slice and can begin utilizing the timer indicator in coordination with their match timer to know when items will become available. To both minimize visual noise that the timers could incur and to prevent an unnecessary flood of information throughout the world, item timers are only visible while in close proximity, gently fading in as you approach.

The final hurdle for new players to overcome was strafe jumping. We wanted to preserve strafe jumping as is, as both its intentional use and its subtle influences as you traverse the map are what make Quake feel incredibly smooth and responsive. For many of us, learning strafe jumping came naturally or for long time players was simply the foundation of our FPS experience. But we wanted to assist players and provide them with a simpler means of movement to allow them to keep up the pace as they overtime learn to more fully benefit from strafing. A basic “bunny” and auto-hop mechanic has been introduced that allows players to simply hold forward and jump to build up some speed. However, because the new bunnyjumping only provides a limited amount of accel gain, and is only effective on straightaways, players will still need to learn strafe jumping over time – we hope that this new mechanic will allow both general movement and gameplay to become more accessible encouraging them to continue to play so that they may over time become more accustom to the finer side of Quake.

But ultimately these changes have not been introduced for the new player alone. We feel that these elements overall help bring Quake one step closer to being a modern shooter, while still holding true to our roots of remaining an incredibly fast paced old school shooter. We’ve had a lot of fun with these new additions, and hope that you learn to appreciate them.

For players who have taken great pride in becoming skilled in our more challenging areas such as competitive Duel, we hope that running our FFA and Teamplay servers with these new, fun, and accessible mechanics that we can begin to build a larger base of players who could then try their luck at the Classic Duel experience. Here players will have to shed their new skin and play under slightly more challenging conditions, but ones that we know have proven themselves true in the e-sports arena.

The Quake Live Team

These new changes have been encapsulated within the default Quake Live ruleset:

New Quake Live Ruleset

  • Players may now hold jump to continuously jump.
  • Players may now hold forward and jump to ‘bunny hop’, allowing them to slowly gain up to 2x their base movement speed.
  • Introduced Loadouts in select modes; allowing players to select one Primary Weapon (hmg, rl, lg, rg) and one Secondary Weapon (sg, gl, pg, mg).
  • Added the command “weapon toggle” to toggle between your Primary and Secondary weapons. Defaults to “f” for new users.
  • Unified weapon respawn time to 5 seconds across all game modes.
  • Unified friendly fire, disabled across all game modes.
  • Added global Ammo Packs, in lieu of weapon specific ammo, where each pack grants you a small amount of ammo for each weapon in your inventory.
  • Reduced ammo respawn time from 40 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Added in-world item timers for “major” items, including armors, megahealth, power-ups, and medkit.
  • Items have taller pickup collision boxes, so that players will not miss items as they jump over them.
  • Added Power-up Spawn POIs, that appear 10 seconds before a power-up spawns.
  • Added Power-up POIs, that indicate when an available power-up is available in the arena.

For players who wish to largely avoid the new major changes, the legacy style of play has been preserved within a “Classic” ruleset. All of our public Duel servers run in Classic mode. Subscribers may host additional classic servers using our “Create Match” feature. This includes the launching of Standard Classic servers, which any player may freely join.

In addition to our major ruleset changes, the following global game changes have been made:

General Game Changes

  • Added a new weapon, the Heavy Machinegun (HMG).
  • Lightning Gun now does 6 damage per cell across all rulesets, or 120 damage per second.
  • New higher resolution font added.
  • Widescreen Support for huds (see default huds for implementation examples).
  • New in-game UI (menu and loading screens).
  • Disabled the pk3 encryption. Paks can now be opened like a zip file; maps load up to 25% faster.
  • Added flagstand POIs in CTF.
  • Enabled self-kills with an additional 1 second respawn penalty.
  • Quad firing sound reduced on high rate of fire weapons: mg, pg, cg, hmg.
  • Added damage number indicators for damage dealt, can be customized by various color styles and enabled or disabled per weapon.
  • Fixed a bug in that could cause the best weapon selection to fail.
  • Machinegun now drops to grant users mg ammo.
  • Infected zombies now have air control and can double jump.
  • Fixed the CHEATS ENABLED notification on the map loading screen from lagging behind its proper state.
  • Reduced the default amount of player movement bobbing.
  • Reduced the default amount of damage kick movement.
  • By default, don’t show weapons you don’t have in inventory on your weaponbar.
  • By default, bob major items when simpleitems are enabled.
  • Prevent broken shader image on crosshair ’30’, ’60’, ’90’, which would equate to crosshair “none” as the cycle repeats.
  • Bots now randomly select loadouts, when applicable.
  • Greatly reduced multiple pickups prediction errors.
  • Removed the option to move to FreeCam while dead in elimination based gametypes.
  • The PQL ruleset has been renamed ‘Turbo’.
  • Stonekeep map layout slightly modified.
  • Trimmed out 19 maps will be added back later after being updated. (Arena Gate, Bloodlust, Colbat Station, Concrete Palace, Dies Irae, Double Impact, Eviscerated, Focal Point, Forgotten, Golgotha Core, Hell’s Gate Redux, Hero’s Keep, Power Station, Proving Grounds, Sacellum, Solid, Sorrow, Space Camp, Spillway, Terminal Heights, Terminus)

Create Match Features

  • Ruleset selections (Quake Live, Turbo, Classic) are all available for standard servers.
  • Now support custom values of starting ammo in AD, CA, DOM, and RR.
  • Added optional Double Jump physics player movement mechanic.

Arena Changes

  • Removed Team Arena Runes from all maps.
  • Proxy Launcher removed from all maps.
  • Chaingun and Nailgun removed from serveral maps.
  • Heavy Machinegun added to serveral maps, some depending on ruleset or mode.

Source: Quake Live


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