After eighteen months or so of beta, Quake Live has finally announced its subscription plans. You can still play for free, but you can also sign up for $1.99 a month, or $3.99 a month options (although these are “billed annually”), which give different levels of access the clan management systems, freeze tag, match stats, and so on. The full details are below the cut. In some ways I wish I still had enough time for Quake III for this to be attractive to me, but my monthly hour with the railgun doesn’t really justify it. And, while it’s interesting to see such an old game repackaged and sold like this, much of what made the original so attractive to me – IRC pickup games, specific maps (Spider Crossings!) and mods – hasn’t made an appearance here.
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Posts Tagged ‘Quake Live’
Quake Live is one year old. Officially, anyway, because it had a big old beta before then. And years and years of being a commercially released game before that. So it’s really very old, but sporting a new haircut and trendy jeans. Anyway, Id are celebrating that anniversary with some kind of event, and with a new map. Still no Spider Crossings on the CTF roster though, which is the only birthday present I care about. I still play on here fairly regularly too, those red and blue flags are in my blood. Sigh.
Id’s free Quake III service, Quake Live, has today launched a temporary holiday update. The QL team say:
For two weeks starting December 22nd, enjoy “Silent Night”, a holiday-themed remake of the popular arena “Distant Screams” from Team Arena. During this time Santa himself along with his festive helper Vixen, will be playable character models across all game types.
I guess I might see you in there.
Ten years. Ten piggin’ years. And still no-one’s topped Quake III: Arena in terms of raw, pure deathmatch FPS solidity and grace. Id’s last great game turned a full decade old yesterday – even though it was born into an era of Voodoo 2s and 15″ CRT monitors, it’s fearsomely alive to this day. Frankly, it’s not going anywhere any time soon – it lives on both in its original form and as the free-to-play, browser-based Quake Live. And also in an endless legion of mods, modders, maps and lifelong gamers, all inspired by the precise majesty of its high-speed bloodshed. Gentlethings and ladycreatures, yesterday was our Thanksgiving.
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Could it be a premium service with the capacity to create private matches? Id’s Marty Stratton talks about the possibilities in this extensive interview on Bethesda Blog.
We’re toying with a number of ideas for features, functionality, and even content that will translate well and represent a real value for players wanting an affordably-priced premium service. One of the most requested features in QUAKE LIVE and something that I think would be at the core of any premium service, would be the ability to very easily and quickly start a private match (that only you and the players you invite can join). Right now, all of our matches are open to the public and started by our back end systems. So, what we’re looking at creating is a totally integrated and very easy to use method for starting and running a personalized private match.
And that is basically what I want from Quake Live, as well as some kind of pickup team functionality, and Rocket Arena 3. I used to live for that and CTF pickup games back in the day, and if Quake Live offered a similar service I would be all over it. They’d need to add Spider Crossings, too, obviously.
But which maps? And will they ultimately disappoint? The first isn’t too inspiring, it’s Hidden Fortress from the Dreamcast version of Quake III. Not a bad map, it seems, but still not one of the classics. Will one of the new maps be my ultimate CTF dream date, Spider Crossings? What would you choose, readers? (Link ‘em for classic Q3 download if you can be bothered.)
Playing Quake Live is a troubling experience. It feels like a kind of monetised nostalgia. A browser-based themepark, or a visit to a mummified stately home. It’s wonderful to find servers heaving with people again after all this time – even though finding a game was seldom a problem – at least for a quick and dirty free-for-all. I still adore Quake 3, and my install has not left my hard-drive in a decade. But playing it like this made me realise what a mutant creature I actually fell in love with in the earliest years of this decade. What’s missing, particularly for an obsessed capture-the-flagite like me, is one particular map: Spider Crossings, or Q3WCP9. Without it, Quake Live cannot earn my love.
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Carmack was talking up Quake Live today over on Gamasutra. “A lot of this project was about doing something that the PC was going to be better at than the consoles,” he told the big G. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Carmack’s comments is that he wants to see some of the web functionality from things like social networking sites to find their way into the browser-based game platform. “”For years, I’ve often thought about the fact that a lot of people spend vastly more time on websites and forums about the games that they’re playing than they actually spend playing the games themselves. We hope to have some aspect of that here.”
Quake Live went into open beta last night.
Actually the queues have subsided to just a couple of minutes now, but last night they were swollen with tens of thousands of people trying to log on to the new service. Apart from being over-subscribed and the verification emails taking a while to turn up, the browser-launched Quake 3 is looking good. The front end system, with its rankings and insta-matching systems, appears remarkably solid and easy to navigate. Why not go and have a look? It’s completely free, after all.
I’m going to try and get enough time with it to post some deeper and more coherent impressions later in the week, but it does given me the fear that I’ll be dragged back into my decade-old Quake addiction. That game is just too slick.
It looks like all those folks who didn’t get into the closed beta will finally be able to taste the latest version of the finest deathmatch game of them all time. Via ESReality: “We’re opening QUAKE LIVE to the general public as an open beta the evening of Tuesday, February 24th.” The teaser splash page at the Quake Live site confirms it.
I shall see you there. (Thanks to Alex for the tip.)