As much as I would like to keep playing quake for the next years, we have to admit that our beloved game is unique for its genre (so we most likely won't find any other FPS game that will satisfy our expectations) and that we are on a sinking ship lead by id software.
Q3 vs QL
The main difference between q3 and ql is that the first was lead by the community, the latter by a business company.
While the first quickly adapted over the years to match the players needs (with mods, maps, enhancements), id has a business model to follow and can't keep pace with the demands.
The goal of ql was quite ambitious: reunite a fragmented playerbase into a single, straightforward community playing with the same rules all over the world.
But its implementation was hampered by a serious amount of pitfalls in the architecture design.
id's lack of experience on a web project was almost crystal clear since the beginning of the project.
Besides the performance scaling issues, which is also a pain in the ass for much bigger web focused companies, the biggest mistake was to develop a closed system which doesn't allow the community to help develop the growth of the game.
Buying a server and then giving the remote access to id for free it's just terribly wrong.
Just imagine a quakelive website page where the server admins can fill a form with server informations (ip, location, servername, tcp ports range, etc.), then an AUTH key is generated by the system and the server admin just have to copy it in the server, download the paks (as the clients do) and the servers just spawn automatically in the website with the new location. id has still the power to disable servers just by removing the key and rolling out the updates could be much easier. If the server is not updated yet (version mismatch), the servers are just not visible on the website until the new paks are downloaded through an "update server" page (or can be done automatically).
This could have allowed a much more granular distribution of servers over the world allowing tons of players to play with a decent ping.
What made q3 a successful e-sport game was the ability to create lan parties anywhere, anytime, anyskill. The first time i read about a ql lan needing a dedicated id server + an id employee onsite I was quite shocked tbh.
How is this even possible? How can the ql project manager even consider a solution like this?
It pretty much ruined any lan party organization allowing only 2-3 lans per year.
id has always said that it's hard to publish community created content mostly due to copyright issues since they're distributing them. Even if it's probably true, new maps are the fuel for a competitive game, so it was just foolish by id to underestimate the problem and not finding a solution in the first stages of the project.
Over the years i've read many brilliant and inspiring ideas from the community. Almost none of them was taken into consideration by id. The interaction with the community was/is really poor and the lack of id human resources on this project have drammatically affected the game development. It's quite funny to read what I wrote 3 years ago here and see that almost nothing has changed.
Play it in the browser
Wait, what? Quake in the browser? Sounds cool! That's probably the first thought of most of the players. What they didn't see it coming was the amount of problems it will lead to. Tons of people with PB issues, fps drops and stuttering. id could also developed a client executable (still authenticating through the website) and allow the player to decide if playing in the browser or from the application.
Play it for FREE!
It all started good, all maps and mode available for everybody. Then id realized its business model based on ads didn't work at all. So they introduced premium/pro accounts to gain some money. And that was the beginning of the end. After so much effort on building a single community they pretty much ruined it all. The community started splitting again, with casual gamers playing only on publics and hardcore players playing (pickups, duels, etc) on premium / private servers. The consequence was the shrinking of an already tiny community.
The quakelive.com website
The only brand new feature of the game. A place where players can browse in depth statistics, trends and ladders, comment matches, upload demos, download their favourite player config and create tournaments on the fly. OH WAIT, none of that is possible. As result the website is totally useless.
Another good idea/feature which was shattered by its worthless implementation. (props to the QLRanks team who teached how to do it right for duel. TDM and CA rankings are still rusty though.)
What's the future is holding for us?
Quake 5 won't probably see the light anytime soon (or ever) and Shootmania is bringing some fresh air in a running-down gaming branch. It probably won't ever replace quake as we know it, but it'll be worth a try.
Edited by Memento_Mori at 08:29 CDT, 7 June 2012 - 23915 Hits