Name: Richard Elliott
Location: Midlands
Posts: 46
When I heard, a few months back, that Quake 3 was making a comeback in the form of some kind of magical mystical browser format. I raised an eyebrow. Out of interest and disbelief.
When I got accepted into the Beta program (by sheer random fluke), just a few weeks ago, I started to get excited.
Quake 3 was a landmark for me. Along with the birth of my kids, the World Trade Centre collapsing, Diana dying, I remember standing on the side of a road in Cheshire, England, reading PC GAMER, looking at screenshots of the blue Quad damage icon. I was more excited about Q3 the first time round than I was about pretty much anything else.
This time round I'm older, wiser and unfortunately more resilient to the delights of life. I booted up Quake Live with a mixture of anticipation and more than a subtle dose of trepidation. Since kicking ass on FFA servers "back in the day" I've gone to pasture. I've been seducted by the all-consuming WoW, and my reflexes have slowly withered. In fact, my enjoyment of gaming has also crumbled.
I went from an insane addict of Q3 to a WoW zombie. There is a distinct difference, as I will now try to explain.

The Q3 addiction I enjoyed in years gone by; it was distinctly rewarding. I would pour blood, sweat and tears into forging what I could from my own genetic shortcomings. I wasn't a god, but by god I was good. I could do shit that would make ME gasp. And it wasn't excellence in comparison to the truly gifted. It was excellence acquired through practice. I was the best I could be. Not great. Not even memorable in the main. But occasionally I would play a game, or make a shot that would rock the server. That shit is scary addictive. It's gaming, and yet the same could be equally compared to sporting achievement. Practice hard and you will make people gasp, even if it is yourself! Q3 was my pinnacle of sporting achievement. It made me sweat (as many of you will understand) and I made it my crowning moment of physical and mental fusion.

WoW on the other hand is rather different. It titillates, it satisfies, and occasionally it will strum your nerve-endings to a peak of exquisite rhapsody. Yet, it's repetitive, requiring stroke after stroke of your "sword" (or wand). It's all about dressing yourself in the finest most attractive items of clothing. It's about exploration, and it's about doing this on your own for months, and then once you're maxxed, doing it in groups. It is mastabatory. I'm not sure if that's a term, and I can't be arsed to look it up.
This is an old and tired kind of WoW bashing, and I don't want to go down that route. What made me write this, after years of absence from ESR, is that Quake Live has stripped my nerve-endings of the atrophy.
I played for a few weeks and found my skill was lacking. So I did what most gamers do, and I bought what I considered to be the best rodent on the market, along with an expensive gaming mat. I should have known, having played "Unmatched" years ago at a competition, that a good mouse and mat aren't going to get you very far. They turned up with cloth mats rolled up in their back pockets. I brought mine in an aluminium tin, it cost a fortune. We were beated something like 200-0.
Anyhow, I bought the Lachesis and a Razor mousemat. That's another story.
I went back to my trusty Logi G5 and Func Mat after a swift and abortive experience with the lachesis. Realising that practice is the only way forward, I've started on the road back to mediocrity.
Whilst doing this, I've experienced feelings of intense competition. My nerves have been frayed to tender strands of jangling nudity! My ageing bones feel alive. I don't profess to be even good at present. I'll maybe win a FFA...which is a claim nearly all ESR readers will be able to match. However, I can claim that whilst I lose quite a lot, I'm back in the game.