Tuesday, 05 March 2002 -
SD4 issues ? $comment_count ?>
The past few days and weeks, I've been following a number of discussions about what Challenge Smackdown should or shouldn't do. I haven't commented very often, but some issues were brought up several times, so I'ld like to try and give my personal view on them here.
Andy brought up some problems with the rules in a messageboard post. Besides some suggestions for improvements for server settings, he thinks that, in general, the rules have to be corrected and are a "boring read" (his quotes). I don't agree with the need to be corrected bit (the rules were updated, although too late in the season), but I can sympathise with the boring part. When we set up the rules, we wanted to include as much as possible to avoid conflicts during the season between teams and/or admins. Over the seasons, we also stayed on the look-out for recurring problems and usually ended up tweaking or adding a rule. We thus have a fairly complete ruleset, covering most contingencies (check the 'During the game' section for an example). I still think such an extensive set of guidlines is a good thing and players can only benefit from actually reading and understanding them. Hoping to remove a few inconsistencies, I have rewritten a few portions of the text though.
A pretty important issue is the map selection and the system in which they are used. Several options are available for the map system. DeCL, Clanbase or NQR allow(ed) any map. If my memory serves me well, UKCL used to have map of the week system, where each week teams were forced to play a different map. The maps there included many non-id levels. Villains had the 3 map system, where all games were decided on DM2, DM3 and E1M2 (or 3 times the same map).
From the start, the Challenge Smackdown team liked the system used by Villains: each game was won or lost; no possibility of a draw. Yet, we also felt that having only 3 maps was pretty limiting. To maintain the Villains win or lose sytem, the only option we could come up with, was to have an odd number of equally valued maps. 7 maps or over seemed like a lot to throw at everyone from the start, so we compromised on 5 maps. We liked how it turned out most of the time, so that system stuck. Several people have reasoned that we should not only have the map selection itself but also the whole map system up for vote. I think in general, voting on league issues is not the great idea it seems at first. Afterall, admins do have to somewhat like the league they are setting up and if there'ld be a vote on everything in all leagues, wouldn't all leagues be pretty much identical?
An often heard suggestion is that Challenge Smackdown should only be for the 'top' teams. When we first started, it was quite impossible to pick the 'appropriate teams' since there hadn't been an online competition in quite a while (in Europe, Villains was already over a few months although the final was played later). Also, we never wanted to limit access to the league since we felt everyone playing QW should have a chance to participate. Having too many teams has only been an issue in the North European division and qualifiers worked pretty well there in SD3, so I don't see the need to change that.
Rather often I also read statements claiming this or that division would be better of alone. Obviously, I can only strongly disagree with this. The whole point of Challenge Smackdown was to have a worldwide league, where people played QW according to the same rules everywhere. I am also convinced that all divisions contributed considerably to the success of the others. For example, the level of coverage on news sites or interest in finals would never have been achieved by any one division on its own. I think the future of Challenge Smackdown is pretty much tied to the survival of our divisional system. In fact, similar voices have been around since the very start of Challenge Smackdown anyway.
I really hate to spend time on it again, but the client 'problem' seems to be pretty big for some. Since the beginning of Season 3, we have made it perfectly clear that Qizmo+QW 2.3 would remain the only valid combination for Challenge Smackdown for the time being. So why did people expect anything else? Beats me.
I personally have a very big problem with someone not obeying very simple and very clear rules and taking advantage of someone else generosity. I simply wouldn't want to be associated with an organisation that condones and/or encourages such behaviour. I also think QW can only lose by being associated to such devellopements. What kind of image do QW players want to project of themselves to the outside world?
It's very unfortunate that a few vocal players decided to give that particular project their support, turning it into the most popular 'alternative'. Afterall, it was pretty clear from the start that it could never be where the future of QuakeWorld lies.
For just one moment, allow me to indulge in a reverie. I imagine a LAN event with some substantial amount of cash one year from now. Several games are being played; RTCW, Quake4, Quake3. Afterall, id is sponsoring the event. I imagine a small QW competition being set up too. I imagine one client they won't be using.
Far fetched? Maybe. But I'ld like to keep it an option.
Contrary to popular believe, noone outside the main admin team had a direct influence on the decission. We didn't need players or teams to make up our minds for us, nor did any Challenge staff lean on us to try to avoid legal trouble (which I doubt there could be any).
Beyond this ethical problem, there are a few practical issues with having multiple clients. And having multiple would be unavoidable since none of them are generally accepted or are even acceptedby a large majority of the players.
For one, admins would have to master 2 types of checks. Preferably, they should also have a bit of experience with setting up all of the clients/proxies since, invariably, some of the players will not have them working properly. An admins job is hard enough having to care about servers, demos, screenshots, scores alone.
Most clients differ in a few gameplay related options. fullbrights have been brought to GL, more complex scripting is possible, etc. While it took us a few years to agree on acceptable use of QW options (unmodified PAKs, non-transparent water, ...) most of these features are still higly debated.
As a side note to that, I'ld like to add that many of these new features have been readily accepted by players using a particular client, but I wonder why exactly? Because it makes the game somehow easier for them? I always thought the complexity of QW and the extreme efforts required to master it were the main reason for the games longevity. When the next client in the line offers bright yellow triangles hovering over teammates heads, will it be embraced? Where does that lead us, I wonder.
As usual, this update has turned out much lengthier then I expected. I hope through it I have been able to convey my point of view on these issues somewhat though.
|i did have a whole article in this comment, but this works just as good. does anyone have an concrete reasons why this should not be done?
1. allow sdclient(which is basically zquake v.13) + qizmo/qwcl
2. new custom maps(throwing away at least 2 old id ones, perferrably more)
|i agree with point 1, except perhaps being that it is a beta it needs more testing and the "official" nature of the sd tdm league is not really a place to try out and de-bug a client's features...but as it is, the client is to my liking for what that is worth.
On point 2, i beg to differ. I think other leagues and tournaments are for trying out different maps. My sol'n would be to have dm2,3 and e1m2 as the only maps used --- very much in the spirit of if ain't broke don't change it or, if you prefer, plato's view that "change in anytihng, except in a deficiency or for the better, is always a corruption"...This is a case for "map conservatism." hehe
|Everyone has his own opinions and is free to let other people know about it. But one thing really pisses me off: Jjonez, you are talking as if you ate the wisdom with spoons. (this is a german phrase and I'm not sure if it can be translated that easily...)
Not mentioning the word MQWCL and speaking of it as it would be condemned is quite ridiculous. I feel that the importance of the Smackdown is exagerated by particular persons. You think the league is the most important in the EU or even the world? Maybe, but then only because the acceptance of players and a good admin team. But exactly these admins are risking to loose their respect and acceptance at the moment by not allowing a client that is widely used or at least accepted.
"...I personally have a very big problem with someone not obeying very simple and very clear rules and taking advantage of someone else generosity. I simply wouldn't want to be associated with an organisation that condones and/or encourages such behaviour. I also think QW can only lose by being associated to such devellopements. ..."
And again, what do you think we are doing here? Politics? Don't use posh words to cover that there is no real argument behind your sentences. It's all about a game!
"... What kind of image do QW players want to project of themselves to the outside world? ..."
Oh come on Jjonez. What do you want to project? That we are a sleepy community, using the same old client for years? Or that some progress is made by using new clients with improved graphics and configuration? Might attract more players? Isn't that what we want?
I know some people don't, but i only need my two hands to count them... and it is very funny, that these people want to pretend that QW can live without progress. It's the most natural thing.
Well I know that the decision for SD4 has fallen and it can't be revised, because some people would admit a mistake then. I hope the SD-Client will be finished as soon as possible, providing the players with the same options or maybe even more than MQWCL.
>Everyone has his own opinions and is free to let other people know about it. But one thing really pisses
>me off: Jjonez, you are talking as if you ate the wisdom with spoons.
I'm sorry if me trying to convey my opion using words having more then 4 letters is upsetting. You're not doing a too shabby job yourself here though.
>I feel that the importance of the Smackdown is exagerated by particular persons. You think the league is
>the most important in the EU or even the world?
To me, Challenge Smackdown is one of the most important leagues in the world. Why else would I bother being part of it? I don't depend too much on others opinions to make up my own scale of value.
There are plenty of other competitions around and I take active part in any I can and mostly enjoy them tremendously. I hope the people setting up these competitions also feel they are doing something very important, and so, I guess, do you.
>But exactly these admins are risking to loose their respect and
>acceptance at the moment by not allowing a client that is widely used or at least accepted.
If the respect for the admins is solely based on them making the popular decission, then that's not much respect, is it?
Respect would be something that shows when times are a bit difficult and would be derived from them putting a load of time into setting up something for others.
>And again, what do you think we are doing here? Politics? Don't use posh words to cover that there is
>no real argument behind your sentences. It's all about a game!
"I simply wouldn't want to be associated with an organisation that condones and/or encourages such behaviour."
That's not politics, that's my personal feeling and opinion. Even in a game on the internet I still have some norms.
>Oh come on Jjonez. What do you want to project? That we are a sleepy community, using the same old
>client for years?
I don't see whats necesseraly wrong with using the same old client for years. On the contrary, how people use 'outdated' software and hardware just highlights the strength of the game itself I believe.
>Or that some progress is made by using new clients with improved graphics and
>configuration? Might attract more players? Isn't that what we want?
Attracting new players isn't really a priority for me. I've stated differently in the past, I know, but I changed my mind a long time ago.
Those who make it their main goal can only be disappointed, I believe.
>I know some people don't, but i only need my two hands to count them... and it is very funny, that these
>people want to pretend that QW can live without progress. It's the most natural thing.
I don't think it's fair to count me among those who don't want QW to 'progress'. Quite on the contrary, I'm trying to make QW progress for years to come. If that collides with short term interests, that's a risk I am willing to take.
>Well I know that the decision for SD4 has fallen and it can't be revised, because some people would
>admit a mistake then.
To get somebody to admit to a mistake, you generally first have to point it out to them. Unless they are very smart and figure out they were wrong on their own, but I at least am not.
>I hope the SD-Client will be finished as soon as possible, providing the players
>with the same options or maybe even more than MQWCL.
I could say I always hoped SD-client wouldn't be needed, but you'ld probably explain that as me being consrvative unless you'ld do some research.
I think you need to define 'options' before I could answer to that. Options in game? Options in competitions to participate in? Options of playing QW 5 years from now? I guess 'more' isn't necesseraly bad for any of those.
|Using SD client (or Zquake or Surmoclient or most anything else) would still leave us with the practical problems, especially if it is still in very active devellopement/testing and hence prone to important changes over versions.
We have introduced 'new' maps over the seasons. Sure they are id maps, but does that immediately disqualify them as alternatives when the vast majority of games is played on just 3 maps? I for one am all for some renewal in the map area, but I really can't figure out who should be deciding on the value of the maps.
|I can see your points and I understand them. I hope you do understand mine :}. At the moment we wouldn't find a common base and that's sad. The power of being admin is on your side. But I will shut my mouth and let the MQWCL question sleep for now. I've even considered switching to SW... fullbrights, you know :}.
With options I mean mainly the new features that clients like MQWCL have. I don't want to list them here tho, because there are a few.
To bring my thoughts in about the map topic: I would like to see 1-2 custom maps instead of old episode maps (except e1m2). The reason is, that everyone would have to learn the new custom maps, so all have a common start. And I think they can be created to provide real 4on4 action/fun. Not like Episode maps, which were firstly thought for singleplayer mode.
|To my understanding, Jjonez does know that evolution is a natural thing and necessary. That's why he decided to revive the sd-client project. Be patient during SD4 and use the old client, you won't have to do it after that any more I hope because there will be a better replacement.
|just give me gl with adjustable gamma and im pleased =)
|Some say a revitalization in qw could be facilitated through the use of new maps...others, like rap above, who claim the original id maps were not meant for tdm anyway and so others could be better used if they were "designed" specifically for tdm.
Respectfully, I reject both points of view.
I will address the 2nd first: QW is the beautiful game by virtue of chance more than anything, not by sheer design. How it has arguably become one of the most challenging platforms cannot be attributed to mere human "design"; for there is something more than that at work imo, something like the fortunate caprice in the wonderful design in the natural world...QW has been slowly DISCOVERED and is still being discovered in terms of its gameplay: we are the fortunate inheritors of these discoveries and it is quite justifiable imo, to have an attitude of guardianship or conservation toward the maps which have the set the standards for excellence in QW's gameplay through the years. The maps dm2 dm3 and e1m2 are product of some design indeed...but mostly the product of very fortunate coincidence in all the layout and item elements; for more than anything else, these maps are not old over played at all, rather they are still awaiting further discoveries and other turns of innovation -- for example as seen in the recent dag/def collaboration -- to yet again advance the gameplay of the beautiful game. These maps give each movement or "generation" of qw players some interesting grounds for comparison between each other and help to afford us our standards for what constitutes excellence in gameplay. Such grounds for standards must be removed only with a lot of trepidation and circumspect reflection on what will be lost...and if i correct much would be.
On the second point, regarding a revitalization through introducing new maps...this view thinks qw only needs good players to learn new maps and this will, in some way, interjection some new passion for the game. I grant that this may be so; though to my mind it is not in accord with what has transpired in qw over all these years.In my view, it has not been a passion for new maps to play on that has kept qw alive; on the contrary, it has been a on-going passion to prove oneself on the established maps that has kept qw alive. To be honest, I like some customs but i don't think of them in same way as i do to dm2,3,4,6 or e1m2 in duels, 2v2 or tdm. I know there are many who see these maps as setting a kind of standard for duel or tdm play...and there is no good reason not to. In fact, if for over 5 years other customs have not won the hearts and minds of qwplayers, this tells us of the difficult to define but yet very real enduring qualities of the maps I mentioned. Other maps, like aerowalk and ztndm3 especially, have been played and enjoyed; but has there ever been a loud call by players at a major duel to play their finals on ztndm3 or aerowalk instead of dm6, 4 or 2? Nothing more than a whisper has been made...and a quiet one at that. The standard maps are still waiting to be discovered...they are far from played out; it is a passion for these which has been a huge part of qw's longevity.
good cheer, xhrl
|"Using SD client (or Zquake or Surmoclient or most anything else) would still leave us with the practical problems, especially if it is still in very active devellopement/testing and hence prone to important changes over versions."
what are these practical problems? most beta builds are pretty stable(quake coders are pretty knowledgable by now), and if there is a problem i am pretty sure you could just go back to using the old stable builds. sdclient is zquake v.13 which i don't see any problems with. it would probably make most of the mqw ppl happy if they could use it(read: it has a lot of mqw features). a compromise? i honestly don't think cheating would be a big problem even though zquake, etc are open source. the community is so well established and old that i doubt this would bring about a big change in the number of cheaters.
i notice you side stepped the question of custom maps. even eurocup for q3 is willing to try new things. :o what's the worse that can happen? it doesn't work out and you go back to the old maps next yr?
|"The maps dm2 dm3 and e1m2 are product of some design indeed."
i'd say they are more a product of all the play hours that people have put into them than some transcendant design. surely, they are great maps, but just by looking at certain customs you can see they could reach such heights also. the gameplay of the classic maps have evolved the more they have been played. most likely there are better or just as good maps out there waiting to be found. when these new maps are played they don't seem as inticing without 5yrs+ of human struggle behind them.
I think it's quite obvious that the client-issue STILL revolves around principles (which I think is OK). I think that that's enough - no further explanation should be given and that a hypothetical iD-LAN with a QW-competition (omg!) kind of makes the argument seem rather silly =/
Let's just leave the client-issue as it IS decided for this season! Hopefully there will be a better alternative next season anyway.
The Map-issue for me is very interesting because I agree with most parties here =). When I started the Villains-league I wanted to create a league for the top-clans to meet. Looking at what maps where played and at what level - I came to the conclusion that only DM2, DM3 and E1M2 suited the league as they were the maps most clans had most experience on. I never considered the map-design itself!
As Link has pointed out - DM2 has a very unbalanced layout. A good team versus a newbie team on DM2 is only interesting because you wonder if the good team will hit 500/600 frags or not. However - I disagree with Link on the point that DM2 is less skill than any of the other maps. Its just that on DM2, every little misstake can take on enormeous proportions. With two high-level clans fighting eachother on DM2, you can never be 100% sure of anything since a lockdown can occur when you least expect it and a lead of 100 frags can be reduced to nothing in the blink of an eye.
Anyway - for SD2 (I think) I did some research on other maps beside the big three and delivered my report to the admin-team at the time. I listed a number of maps that seemed fully acceptable for 4on4 teamplay - I only researched iD-maps and but I excluded very few maps from the PAK as I think MOST maps are playable in 4on4. If people play them enough then they will eventually be suitable for high-level league gaming ... note -> eventually.
As it is NOW though - watching NQR with several "new" maps being played - you find that the weaknesses of a system where you allow ALL maps are quite obvious. Some teams simply choose a very obscure maps - which is ok for a ladder-based system ... but I wouldn't want to see such a system in a top-level league.
DM2, DM3 and E1M2 are maps that you can expect EVERYONE to know how to play - thats why they are so good in leagues. They are also the most researched maps of course ... so that makes them even more intense to watch.
HOWEVER - I would really like to see clans taking up other maps for real. We saw some nice action on E2M2 (good map) last season - I think there are more maps that have a real future in high-level competition, custom maps included (but they are by nature harder to make popular because of distribution).
SD should keep the system of 5-maps and make votes every season for the two "lucky winners". If a map becomes popular enough - it should be included as a permanent with the big three.
NQR should be a good proving-ground for new maps - hopefully we will see other leagues (besides SmackDown)taking up similar systems.
|....as far as i know sdclient has fakeshaft which was one of the main reasons for not allowing the old mqwcl in the first place heh
|ego: I should have rephrased the lan competition part but I didn't want to alter the content after I published. Let's remember even the great CPL did a QW event in a not so distant past. I wasn't saying it will happen again, but rather that it definately won't if a large part of the QW community keeps carrying on like it is right now. And a LAN was just an example there.
oldman: as far as I know, programming on SD client hasnt really started yet. the only decission upto now is that both SW and GL will be maintained.
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