Quake Live Updated, Briefly Considered

By Jim Rossignol on June 1st, 2011 at 8:42 am.


Bethesda Blog announces a bunch of updates for Quake Live, the most important of which includes new maps for their premium service. Good news for those premium subscribers, I suppose, but I can’t help wondering how successful Quake Live has actually been for Id. I play games on there every couple of weeks, and there’s almost always a decent EU capture the flag game to be had. That’s great, because it means the community is ticking over, but even as a semi-regular user I don’t see much reason to pay for a premium account. The competition for this relaunched classic must be particularly tough when the range of free shooters is now so enormous, from the hardcore precision of Warsow, to the Facebooked ease of Uberstrike, to the more mature corporately packaged experience of BFP4F. It can’t be easy out there.

It makes me wonder whether any of you lot play a free shooter? More to the point, do any of you lot pay for a free shooter?

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42 Comments »

  1. DSR says:

    Why play “free” shooter, when you can buy BF2 for like 9$(I spend more on snacks during weekends)?

    Makes no sense…

    • MD says:

      Because it’s more fun.

    • MD says:

      Of course that’s IMO, but the point is, Quake Live is vastly different from any of its rivals. For people who prefer Quake, $9 Battlefield (or any other game you care to mention) is not relevant.

    • Mark says:

      With you, DSR. When you only need pay £10 for a big budget, high quality title when it goes on deal, and get a better, fuller experience in return, why would you put any serious time into a “free”, usually sub-standard game?

    • MD says:

      Quake Live is entirely playable without shelling out a cent. Paying gets you more maps and a bunch of things that are nice but unnecessary for most people. Free and paid users are on an entirely even playing field (and I’m pretty sure that won’t change, because if it did everyone would quit). So your scare quotes around “free” aren’t really called for here. Aside from that, what do you mean by ‘sub-standard’? It’s pretty clearly a matter of taste and personal preference. QL works fine for what it is, and what it is is what some of us want.

    • Mark says:

      I’m not really talking about Quake Live here; I’m talking about “free” games which tend to rely on microtransactions. I should have been clearer about that. Quake Live is fairly full-fledged in relation to Q3.

    • tanith says:

      Why should I play the slow and boring BF2 when I can play the fast and thus entertaining Quake Live or Warsow?
      Seriously, as far as I know Quake 1, Quake 3 CPMA and Warsow are the fastest shooters out there. There hasn’t been anything that’s comparable to that. If anything the shooters of today are getting more slower (see Brink). Now where’s the fun in that? :/

    • DSR says:

      While I believe its a matter of personal taste, Tanith, on contrary to what you’ve said, I cant think of any reason why I should play restrictive and over-simplistic spinal cord shooter where swift reaction times and high fps numbers mean more that actual knowledge of gameplay and use of clever tactics over games like Bad Company 2.

      In BC2 I can outsmart my opponents by creative use of environment(Blow up house to create a place to snipe from?) or turn the tide of battle with few trusted people in my squad who play roles which matter(Medic, Anti tank, Sniper) instead of relying on my connection speed and lucky sudden twitch in my opponent’s right hand while he was holding the mouse, which Is what “competitive” games are all about in my book.

      Just my two cents into the flame.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      Ha, implying that snipers matter in Bad Company 2, you big silly.

    • MD says:

      Come on DSR. It’s pretty silly to get into the whole “I don’t like this game so I’ll outline in antagonistic terms why it’s dumb” thing, but to do it without knowing what you’re talking about is even sillier. You’ve just demonstrated that you have no understanding of how Quake works at even a semi-competitive level, so it’s just arrogant to slag it off like that.

    • The Hammer says:

      “I cant think of any reason why I should play restrictive and over-simplistic spinal cord shooter where swift reaction times and high fps numbers mean more that actual knowledge of gameplay and use of clever tactics over games like Bad Company 2.”

      I don’t think anyone was saying you should? Why on earth would you play a game with a gamestyle you don’t like? In your “argument”, you’re assuming that Quake Live being free is somehow inherent to it being an inferior game.

      But Quake Live isn’t like the restrictive dross of the Battlefield free-to-plays. It’s got a server browser, friend lists, immediate access to all the weapons, and silky smooth controls. It is a totally viable option, if you want to play a fast-paced, twitchy id classic.

      Free to Play has a load of shit poster-boys, but Quake Live ain’t one of them.

    • DSR says:

      My apologies, gentlemen.

      My post should not be taken offensively. I was just “mocking” Tanith for his views on what “everyone enjoys”.
      People can enjoy any games they want.

    • MD says:

      “People can enjoy any games they want.”

      Thank goodness! :p

      But yeah, sorry to DSR and Mark if I didn’t get the tone of my replies right — I guess I seemed a bit cranky. Quake and its ilk are very much the underdogs these days, and perhaps at risk of dying off completely, so I’m a bit touchy about what I see as unfair, uninformed or misleading criticism. Gosh knows I’ve sometimes been guilty of hastily dismissing games that don’t click with me, though.

    • tanith says:

      That’s funny because I just reread my post and nowhere do I say what people should enjoy. I just said what I like and what I don’t like and the reasons why I play these games.

      From your response I can gather that you’re just being butthurt about it because you don’t like my opinion. Well, okay – I don’t really care.

  2. Premium User Badge

    lurkalisk says:

    I’ve tried many F2P shooters and come to the conclusion that such a business model is inherently flawed. The only ways to get people to buy things are invariably ways you might alienate the free players. I therefore do not currently play any such games, especially considering the vast wealth of traditional, quality manshoots all about us.

  3. Zeewolf says:

    Naah, just seems pretty pointless to me. I mainly play shooters for the single player anyway, and a majority of the good single player shooters also have good multiplayer modes that I can play should I feel the need for some action online.

  4. MD says:

    I was very into Warsow until it died for good in my country, (which matters because I get unplayable pings to Europe and America). So I’m back to an ‘on’ phase in my ‘on again, off again’ relationship with Quake Live. It’s not perfect, but to my tastes it is vastly more enjoyable than any alternative I’m aware of (i.e. any multiplayer FPS with an active Australian community). I’ve got no plans to pay at this stage, but I’m not dead-set against the idea. (Don’t get any ideas of removing free content though iD, that would just piss me off and make me leave. Add something awesome for subscribers, like porting over CPMA!)

    • arccos says:

      It seems like they’re stuck in a box with the multiplayer offerings. Decrease what they offer for free and too many people leave, stick with what they’re offering now and its not enough to entice many people to pay.

      The subscription is pretty cheap, and I would go for it if they provided some interesting single player content with it, like Trackmania does. Or at least mods with bot support.

  5. pepper says:

    Nop, I dont pay for any free 2 play shooters. Then again, I tried Battlefield for free about 2 weeks. Then I had seen all their was and got bored. I suppose im not the audience they are looking for.

    I have played standalone free first person shooters. but I dont think this falls under F2P? If so, can we then please stop removing the stupid acronyms and just go with free games? I have played those(mods, etc).

  6. rareh says:

    First of all there people seem to be confusing the traditional F2P model with this model.
    You are in a fair ground while playing against other players(premium or non-premium).
    What premium members get is
    -more game modes
    -more maps
    -Longer stat-tracking
    -Ability to spawn servers(free members can also play on dedicated servers)
    etc
    You don’t pay for each map, what u do is pay a monthly fee like wow and you get EVERYTHING.
    Think of it like WOW, that had half of the whole game for free, but those free players could get every skills spells etc, so the game wouldn’t be imbalanced.

    In fact lots of people feel they have enough content on the F2P version of the game that they don’t feel the need to pay. How many games you can say that about, it speaks miles by itself.
    I personally can’t argue with them there are like 50+ free maps and several free game modes FFA,TDM,CTF,Duel, instagib etc, aggregated with the fact on how competitive and how many leagues support the game: zotac, esl, dreamhack, eswc, quakecon, csn, jeesports etc and how balanced the game is.

    As far as i am concerned quake franchise and its mods(Warsow, urban terror, etc) were the only good MP competitive fps to ever exist.

    Camperstrike , Hat Fortress 2, etc ? no thx
    People should learn the difference between Good F2P vs bad F2P and not just judge a title, cause it is F2P.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Camperstrike , Hat Fortress 2, etc ? no thx

      And in one line you completely invalidated your entire post.

      Neither of those games is in the Free-to-Play model, so why bring it up? TF2 has remained the same game despite the numerous superficial doodads added. I still play the game with vanilla weapons (not to make a statement, but because they’re my most preferred) and when I fire up a payload map I’m getting the same experience I got when I started playing it in 2009.

      Counterstrike doesn’t even have premium content (as far as I know. I haven’t played it).

  7. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    I payed premium for awhile – it’s absolute peanuts, and you get some very cool stuff, like rocket tag and cool new maps. Honestly, I know it seems a bit nebulous, but it’s practically an indie game in my head, so supporting it feels sensible.

  8. HelderPinto says:

    Yes, I still pay for a premium account. For a few reasons, some of them more or less logical.
    First, I think id deserves my money for taking the risk of making a team, put the resources on it, and make a free decent browser game never achieved before.

    I love the server browser function, and the premium get’s you acess to more levels and no adds in the levels on the in the page.

    It’s blim.

  9. max pain says:

    Also, Nexuiz is great, and there are some good servers to play on.

  10. Player1 says:

    As you said, why pay for Quake Live when there’s Warsow, which is vastly superior in my view. Quake Live is just nice for this nostalgic feeling you get playing it…

    • MD says:

      Got to go where the community is! I live on an island in the middle of nowhere (Australia) so there aren’t too many options. Quake Live is the only Quake-like I’m aware of with even a half-decent playerbase here.

    • MD says:

      Agreed entirely that Warsow is better, though :)

    • rareh says:

      I personally love Warsow, but its practically dead, there are barely any competitions.

      It was very active during 0.2X times then they changed the gameplay, lots of people got pissed and left.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Napalm Sushi says:

    BFP4F sounds like someone spitting their coffee in shock.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    I’ve been wanting to play some more Return to Castle Wolfenstein: ET lately.

    Best, free shooter ever!

    • Robert says:

      For me it’s the best multiplayer shooter ever.

      (except Golden Eye 64, but I’m fairly sure that’s nostalgia)

  13. malkav11 says:

    I recently read an interview with one of the main men at id Software (I think in the most recent EGM) where he was asked “What have you learned from making Quake Live?” and his response was basically “Don’t make Quake Live.” Apparently it isn’t doing very well.

  14. Wulf says:

    The only free shooter I’ve ever played was played out of morbid curiosity by myself and a few friends. That was Wolfteam.

    Wolfteam was… actually surprisingly good.

    One thing to watch out for though with it is that there are a few versions out there and I can’t remember which is which any more. One of them though has a lot more crazy stuff in it, like a ghost werewolf, and when played right it can actually match the thrills of the 2000 version of AvP.

  15. Davee says:

    APB: Reloaded had me paying for Premium.
    Right now I’m waiting for them to patch it up – I got the horrible stuttering and of course the network issues. After that I may consider re-prmium-ing and maby even leasing a grenade launcher for my TF2 Demoman character if they ever put it up in the premium shop.

  16. manveruppd says:

    I also play every couple of weeks, and the subscription schemes are cheap enough that I would happily pay for it – but unfortunately they don’t really offer anything I want over the free option!

    However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, id, I’D HAPPILY PAY A SUBSCRIPTION FOR ROCKET ARENA!!!!

  17. Hatsworth says:

    I only watch quake live tournaments sometimes. I was a UT guy and never learned strafejumping etc., can’t be bothered to now :/. I’d play UTLive based on UT2004 in a heartbeat however.

  18. PoLLeNSKi says:

    Quakelive is my go-to fps.

    Those who think it’s not tactical are fools – yes fast aim is important…but doesn’t that make sense for a shooter?

    It’s not the only important thing however

    - map postitioning and control (from knowledge of it)
    - moment by moment weapon selection (from the 12 different weapons available each with their unique situational advantages – rather than making you choose between a pistol or a rifle…)
    - learning the distinctive movement styles so you can get into better postitions faster and out-maneuvre your opponent
    - being able to time various items around the map

    Each of these are equally important if not more so than aim. Even though I have quite nice aim I routinely get beaten by people in 1v1 who have mastered the other parts of the game better than me, even if I’ve dealt more damage, their item control and ability to escape conflict to restock between skirmishes can dominate me.

    BUT I dont pay for it – I play in a clan (and do quite a lot of admin stuff for them) so I’m always playing the premium content anyways through invites – I keep meaning to buy premium just to support id but then something else arrives which my money gets spent on instead.

    I also played some Warsow – but I was late to arrive on the scene so it’s quite painful to jump into servers and get destroyed by everyone who has better map knowledge – the extra movement button is a nice touch though and I’ve started watching the bombrun streams – so maybe I’ll end up playing a bit more – it’s pretty much CPM physics from Q3 though other than the dash functions and I have to learn all the different (but very similar) weapons and sort out a new config file….might just stick to QL.

    • manveruppd says:

      If you’re able to make do without subbing the invite system must be pretty generous! What proportion of your clan’s members are subscribers would you say? How many of you non-subscribers do they support?

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      I’d say we have about 5 ‘pro’ members who can invite upto 3 standard users each to a premium game as well as spawn private servers, then almost everyone else apart from me is premium!! We also have a generous clan member who once every couple of months donates someone in the clan a free premium membership to help out our younger members… I dont qualify as I have the money, I just keep spending it elsewhere !!

  19. DarkWeeble says:

    Tribes: Next, Tribes: ReVengence, and Free Allegiance! I fear I’ll never see their like again.

  20. arccos says:

    The most interesting “free” shooter I played was one called Wulfram 2 back in the day. It was a really cool hovercraft game that allowed players to slowly build, attack, and defend their bases by dropping equipment from a orbitting supply ship that they could move around on the map.

    Sadly it no longer seems to exist.

  21. ScubaMonster says:

    I couldn’t get into Quake Live because they took out all the blood from Quake 3. That might seem minor, but it ruined it for me.