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?16 June - to - 25 June, 1998

Thursday, June 25, 1998
Lithuanian Quake:
Yet another country that plays Quake :-) I received an email from Wrecker, who writes that:

"when you mentioned other quake countries in Europe, you forgot Lithuania ;) Yeah, i know it is kinda little 65000sq. km ;) ... we have www sites about Lithuanian quake community only in Lithuanian language, but you can check a few demos out... I've sent a first one into ftp. In this demo I play against average player, but still this demo isn't my best game ;)".

Thanks man :-). Will check out your demo, which is located at:

R3V Vs Clan 9 International Quake Match :
Saw on Methos that Clan R3V recently played 3 internationals against Sweden's Clan 9. Nine lost the first match by a few frags (8 Methos thinks) and won the second match by a few more.

"The pings were in favor of R3V since it was played on a server in the USA. The pings for [9] averaged around 150 and R3V had 2 guys with 150 pings and 2 guys with 60-80 pings. For those of you that don't know Clan R3V, it's the clan that sCary plays in. DOOMer and sCary were the best players in both matches".

I asked sCary what the results were, and he kindly told me that the US Players beat the Swedish clan 2 out of 3. "We only had 2 of our starters though". Asked how he felt Clan 9 played in the matches, he said: "They are excellent. The fact that all 4 of them were playing from the same room was a huge advantage for them. They played very intelligent". How was the match organised? "heh, i just came home from eating dinner and someone told me we were playing clan 9. no idea".

Look out for the demos (sCary's POV) to be posted at the Shuga Shack next week :-).

5 Nations Reports and Feedback:
More match reports of the England Vs Scotland/ Wales 5 Nations games are up at The organiser of the tourney, Ewan, emailed me to say:

"I wanted to say thanks for the publicity and for publishing about as fair a report of the 1st week as is possible with all the rumours, accussations and plain lies floating about :) If there's anything you want to check about the tournament, let me know".

Thanks Ewan :-). I'd just like to say, we here in Australia think you are all doing a fantastic job. Keep it up!

I also received an email from one of my Quake heroes, Sujoy. If you haven't heard of Sujoy, he's one of the UK's finest Quake Players, and a true statesman of the game. Check out for more info. Sujoy had some sensible observations to make concerning the hoopla of the first week of the 5 Nations tournament, as well as my reporting of them:

"I think that a few people are taking matters way too personally. It's easy to get so involved in a competition that you forget your sportsmanly conduct but I'd hate to see rifts forming between Quaking nations over petty arguments. In the games between England A+B, Scotland and Wales, despite having some of the most competitive international games you'll ever see, after the match the players would rather congratulate each other than complain about the setup.

I think that in this kind of atmosphere people can get a distorted image of the situation. From a player's point of view it's easy to feel as if you're at a disadvantage. It's easy to believe that your own team was weakened more by missing players, had the worse connections and came least prepared but when it comes down to it these are only excuses and you can spend your time better by working on winning at the next confrontation.

It's true that the Irish team were at a disadvantage when they played their game on a BarrysWorld server, but if this connection inbalance is to be used as an excuse then they must also accept that Scotland had the same problems playing on the Irish server. Some of the comments I've seen from them about the Scottish team have been absolutely outrageous, especially as some of the team are considered the finest players in the World.

I don't expect the players or supporters to be unbiased, but I believe that reports and write-ups on the web which are given in a factual manner should try to be a little more fair and impartial".

Well, I agree 100% that I need to be as fair and impartial as possible. Sujoy is right, I shouldn't have quoted Von Swine verbatim. In future, if Players send me emails that contain any raw, untrammelled sledging, I'll edit out the worst of it. Not all of it, mind, because after all some of it is part of the game, but I accept that I have a responsibiltiy not to report any "absolutely outrageous comments". Otherwise Challenge.AU ends up like the Tabloid Press. I certainly wouldn't want to contribute to any rifts among Players or between countries :-(.

For the record, Von Swine emailed me later and said that he "regretted" his earlier comments. Of course he did, they were made in the heat of the moment, when he was obviously tired and frustrated. I'm sorry Von Swine, I shouldn't have quoted you when you were in that position. I certainly shouldn't have completely misquoted you as saying that Ireland beat England now should I? heheh, good thing you corrected me in time on that one!

DM1 vs DM3 Rules in Team Games:
One of Australia's top Players, Knight, has been browsing international clan sites, and investigating their opinions on Dm1 rules vs Dm3 rules. It seems that most of Europe plays Dm3 rules, while in the USA they play Dm1 rules (although the USA seems to only play "The Abandoned Base" for Team DM). In Australia, the vast majority of clans have been playing Dm3 rules.

Knight found this observation from a Player in the FAQ Clan:

"Ok.. So... dmm1... It might work fine for some clans that have just started playing Quake, and don't know what it takes to control some are of the map, or it might work sometimes for some big levels like death32..

For experienced clans to play dmm1 is just stupid. They know what it takes to control the whole level, and then they pick some level with easy to defend place where to refuel, and learn that level inside out, and hope they get to that place first, when game starts.

GO chose e3m3. They got red armour and RL first. After few minutes they controlled most of the spawn points in the map. Only safe place for us was the GL room. So the rest of the game went pretty much like this: We were at GL, and then someone came and killed some of us. Then those who died got fragged few times by fully armed GO guys, who were waiting for us at spawn points, until they spawned back to GL again..

Is this supposed to be fun? I mean naturally it wasn't fun for us, but is it really "cool" to win game this way? I have won games just like this, and it was boring as hell.. "hey, there is a freshly spawned enemy without weapons or armour! Watch me play pinball with him!" I'm not saying here that we would have won this level with dmm3. GO obviously knew this level better than we did, but with dmm3 we would have had some change of getting good weapons so we could at least try..".

What do you think? Feel free to email me . Knight suggests that the usual reason given for selecting Dm1 rules is that it prevents the best team of FFA'ers winning by default. However, he writes:

"I think ... this isn't the case. With Dm3 settings you are forced to guard a certain area, not grab an RL and run off looking for spawn frags. Dm3 rules at least gives those clans who have not got the "better" teams a fair go as well. And all in all, I think it is a much more exciting game".

GreySeer's Demo:
On Sunday GreySeer and I gave the Challenge-Au ISDN link to NZ a run. Grey got a nice demo of himself "actually playing reasonably well" against a Kiwi (Spoon1). The demo can be found here.

As GreySeer writes:

Gasp as Grey has a shocker at the start!
Wince as Grey nearly losses the plot!
Cheer as Grey rapes the shit out of Spoon1!
Laugh as Grey shoots walls cos he's a dumb-ass!

News at Quad:
A UK Quake News site that I've just discovered can be found at

Thorny Issue of Cheating:
Was very happy to hear from Ray (Methos) who runs the very cool Methos Quake site from Canada (!). Methos is similar to Challenge.AU in that it focuses on Players and great games. It's been around a lot longer, and has perhaps the best collection of demos you'll find anywhere on the planet, as well as some great interviews.

Methos said some very nice things about Challenge.AU (thanks man), but also brought up a valid point, which is that "you rarely report on the negative side of some of [the] players. Many players from Sweden, Norway & Germany ... are well known to use cheating methods when they play (ie: player.mdl, maps with invisible walls & floors etc)".

In his Plan on the Methos site, Ray mentions receiving a report:

"from the last Qday Quake Tournament in Holland that "nearly all" the players in attendance were cheating in one way or another. Either they were using different player.mdl files, weapon.mdl files, edited maps that had invisible walls or floors plus many other cheats. I'm sure it wasn't everybody but the most mentioned players were from Sweden, Norway and Germany. Now, before I get 100 letters, this does NOT mean every Quake player from those countries was cheating".

The issue of cheating is very important for us all. In Australia, we have had huge discussions over it, not always for the better. Ray is right, I have tended to avoid the subject. Also, I really don't have any info about what cheating has been going on in Europe, so I haven't been in a position to comment.

Just for the record, my view is that in open FFA Internet play, it's your moral choice whether you use fullbrights, v_kick, eyes models, hacked maps and all that stuff. It's impossible to do anything about it, the Net is the Wild West, it's anarchy. If you want to be baaad, no-one can really stop you.

But in a Quake tournament, or any match where you are playing a "serious" game, where the outcome is judged in some way to be reflective of your performance, the organisers must try to define what "cheating" is and make efforts to see that all Players observe the rules. It's a matter of definition. By entering the competition, you agree to abide by the rules.

IMHO, I believe that we could all benefit from an international match code, drawn up by Player representatives from participating countries. In the meantime, Match organisers need to work on it but at the same time be realistic and a little flexible. It's not something that can be easily monitored, policed or changed. It seems very widespread. I guess I have a responsibility, if I write "news", to report it if a Player is found to be cheating. But it's difficult to prove, and I want to be sure of my facts.

Wednesday, June 24, 1998
SK Vs DD Demo:
You can download the demo of German Clan Schroet Kommando [SK] Vs Swedish Clan Disney Devils [DD] here. The POV is Kane, and the game is played on DM2 with dm3 rules and no quad. This was the Qday3 Clan comp final. Therion [SK], who was sitting in Germany on ISDN, couldn't play in this game due to computer problems.

You can visit the web site of the Qday3 comp at:

SK Vs Clan 9:
Cetra emailed me to say that Schroet Kommando [SK] have played Clan 9 before, in late 1997. The result was 747 - 262, with Clan 9 winning. Some more info is available at the old Clan 9 website here, including some cool demos. The new website is here, and is well worth a visit to see what many regard as Europe's strongest overall Quake clan.

Quake in other European Countries:
Been trying to find out about the Quake scene in the rest of Europe. What I've heard so far is that there are some very good French players, the most famous of which is DC-Danold (now with the UK-clan Demonic Core). No news on whether any Italians, Spanish or Greek ninjas exist. Apparently the Russians like their Quake, but not much is known about them. The Netherlands is of course quite active, as can be seen with the recent Qday3 being an Dutch event. Thanks to DocSnyder.

More 5 Nations Writeups:
Can be found at the news page (written by Von Swine), which also includes demos of the Hibs v Scots game (Tomb's POV) and the Hibs v England A game (Tomb's POV). Von Swine also sends word that the Irish clan league finals are currently being organized by Mindphuck - check out the IQCL finals page here. And don't forget the Quakelords tournament, which is having to wait in the queue to avoid a clash. What a lot of competitions :-)

Wireplay vs Best of the Net (UK):
Saw over on Hakeem's Quake News that:

"Wireplay llama MP.Blowdog is arranging a best of Wireplay vs Best of the Net match with one leg played on Barrysworld, and one on Wireplay. Net team as far as I know is Timber, Sujoy, Nightwing, Hakeem, Aerotus, Reaper and the Wireplay team is being voted for at the moment... ".

New Zealanders' Reading Habits:
Over on Abaddon's Discussion Board, New Zealand Quake players are currently discussing their favourite books. Sample quote:

"CS Lewis's The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was amazing (at about 7 or so, I wouldn't want to try and read it now)".

This isn't so odd when you notice the URL for the discussion board - it's :-).

Tuesday, June 23, 1998
German Quake - Pump up the Volume!
The German Clan Schroet Kommando [SK] looks like being one of Europe's strongest Quake Clans, having won the Qday3 Clan Comp finals held in Holland, playing against Sweden's Disney Devils [DD].

Tomorrow night I'll post Kane's POV of this exciting Clan match. A rematch was also played 2 weeks later, which SK again won. Apparently, SK have challenged Clan 9, perhaps the most famous of the Swedish Clans. They are reported to be playing in July, and Challenge.AU hopes to be able to bring you some demos of that titanic struggle :-).

Kane and Therion also played the 1-on-1 final at Qday3, with Kane winning by overall frag count on DM4 (dm3 rules). As I mentioned last night, a demo from this final is posted on Methos (demos section) called

Here is a 4-Vs-4 Clan match recorded from Therion's POV, which was played in the German Quake league quarter-final between SK and Empire of Azeroth [EA]. EA are a strong team, about 4th in the German Clan rankings. The game is played on DM2 (with dm3 rules and quad). It is an excellent study for any Clan wanting to improve strategy on DM2. SK wins 198 to 93, with Therion scoring 76 frags.

And of course, Kane and Sniket met for the first time at Qday3 in a 1-on-1. Sniket has said that he had a drink or two. If a Player says such a thing, I think it needs to be respected. There is a simple answer to any doubts, and that is to play some more games. Whatever, this demo is a fantastic display of power and control by Kane, and you can download it here.

New Zealand Dimebox:
Some NZ guys recently recorded a demo which lampoons most of the "names" in New Zealand Quake. This not surprisingly caused a little controversy in the land of the long white cloud. The demo itself may still be available at (under the NZDM section, called But I don't recommend you download the demo unless you know the names, as you'll simply see 16 players banging around in a map with lots of quads. What is much more interesting, is the map pack - dimebox1-8 - that you can download there. They're New Zealand-made Quake maps and if you like checking out new maps the download is well worth it. Thanks Waldo =).

England Vs Wales and Scotland:
AeroTEK sends word of a site where you can follow the English team as it plays in the 5 Nations tournament. He reports that England won both of their games against Wales and Scotland "quite convincingly". Reports and stats are available at if you follow the "England B" link.

Demos of England A v Ireland, Wales v Scotland, and Wales v England are available at

Some other sources for England's viewpoint are:, and There's also the English Captain, Nightwing, who has a link to his page at Methos.

5 Nations Start Dogged by Controversy:
Controversy has dogged the start of the 5 Nations Matches. In a way, familiar problems that can dog any Clan match appear to have occured, but with the added complication that here the task of coordination is that much more challenging, and the connections that much more difficult to balance over the larger geographies.

What is positive news is that the participating teams seem determined to fix the problems.

Connection imbalance was predictably at the heart of the issue, as the Scotland Vs Ireland game was played on an Irish server rather than the Barrysworld servers (disadvantaging the Scots), while the Ireland Vs England game was played on the English Barrysworld server (disadvantaging the Irish).

As one Irish Player put it:

"The reason the match was played on the Irish server is that Barrysworld is UNPLAYABLE to us. English players get lower pings to Irish servers than Irish LPB's. On the other hand, Irish LPB's get about 300-600 ping to Barrysworld. We knew this in advance and if you check the 5 Nations news page, it was announced that all the Irish games would be played on the Irish server. The Scots didn't seem to know this and were quite pissed off". (Reaper, hakeem's quake news)

Despite this fact, Ireland played England on Barrysworld. The imbalance of the game connections caused some Irish observers to wonder whether it was worth going on at all, but Von Swine and most of the Players appear determined to work on the connection problems. They seem confident that if they can field their best players with good connections to Barrysworld they can take on the English A side.

It appears that future games may have to be played on Barrysworld, as Match organiser Ewan said:

"The All Ireland game will not be replayed but all games will from now on be played on Barrysworld - Sorry to Scotland who ended up as guinea pings and the Irish team but the Irish server simply cant cope with D32c which is a massively resource hungry map in its own right, along with 20 players and half a dozen lpbs :/". (Ewan, Irish MB)

The Scottish Players would have preferred to play on Barrysworld, which is nearer to home. Unfortunately, the games were also marred by suspicions of hacked "eyes" models thanks to obscure warnings which appeared in the console on QW 2.21 when spectators joined. As one Scottish Player put it:

"We played the 1st game on the Irish server, which turned out to be a mistake. While pings were fine before the game, during the game it became obvious that the system simply couldnt cope with the sheer bandwidth and processor power required by 20players on one of the largest maps around. There was also a suspicion of invalid player and eyes mdls, but annoyingly none of the demos show who used them and how many (tho i think we all know there was), and things were also confused by spectators constantly appearing and disappearing, most of them also had invalid mdls :/". (Ewan (SCOT), quoted on Irish MB)

Naturally, the Irish were appalled to be accused of cheating. This is always dangerous stuff to bandy about, as it leads to a bad place for everyone. One thing apparently not investigated is whether QW 2.21 is always correct when it comes up with those warning messages. It is my understanding that it has a problem with spectators, in particular.

Monday, June 22, 1998
Sniket and Sectopod Vs Timber and Guru Crash/ MrKill:
Promised you some more top flight international demos. Here we bring you Sniket and Sectopod [DD] weaving their web of magic on DM4 and DM6 against the always dangerous Timber and Guru Crash [QPD], and in a cameo appearance, MrKill. Kind of Scandi Vs UK games, except I believe that MrKill is in fact Swedish :-). Sectopod, btw, is Norwegian.

There are more rockets flying around in these demos than you'll see in an average day out on DM4. Shafts pierce the air like bolts from Thor, bodies fly around like birds. Nowhere is safe on the map, nothing stands still. - Sniket (76, POV) and Sectopod (77) Vs Timber (15) and Guru Crash (17); DM4, 25 minutes, 4MB;
22_kill& - Sniket (51, POV) and Sectopod (46) Vs Timber (4) and MrKill (11); DM6, 25 minutes, 3.9 MB.

Special thanks to Snik for kindly sending me the demos - thanks man! And also to Gamesonline Sydney, for providing some brand spanking new FTP for the international demos. Thanks Guzz!

You'll notice that part way through the DM4 demo [SK] Therion joins the server as a spectator. Therion is one of Germany's top Players, along with Kane (they are both pretty equal, I am told). Some games were played after these ones which both sides were subsequently unhappy about. Sniket because he had started celebrating with a few drinks and did not feel he was on form, and Therion because his ISDN connection from Germany meant a disadvantage compared to the T1's the other guys were on, and he too was unhappy with his game.

As a result, I have decided to hold off on the 2-on-2, as both sides have expressed reservations about it. But I will post the 1-on-1 between Kane and Sniket tomorrow night, with the clear proviso that Sniket is playing with some beers under his belt. I can tell you, forget about drink driving for a dangerous past-time - don't Quake and drink! :P~. As Sniket told me:

"We just had some fun with some other German clan which we just had beaten and we shared some drinks...and well after a while i was drunk...not major drunk but drunk.. and i played some guys...just for fun..and then Kane dropped in..i didnt know who he was and that he was this serious about this.. and well he beated me".

The demo is still worth seeing, though, as it will give ppl a chance to see Kane in action, from his POV. I have to say, that based on his play in this demo, Kane is one hell of a tough opponent. So I think we should all look forward to future games between these great Players.

If you want to see a demo of Kane right away, there is one posted on Methos (demos section) called It was one of the qday3 1-on-1 final matches. In it you can see some brilliant play, with Kane at times seemingly firing in all directions at once and fragging poor Therion almost before he's respawned. He also pulls off a sweet backwards rocket jump out of the rocket-ammo room, firing down the hallway leading to the YA as he sails past the doorway.

5 Nations Games Begin - Ireland Wallops Scotland and England beats Ireland:
Von Swine, Captain of the Irish team, sends word that the 5 Nations tournament kicked off with Ireland making a strong showing despite classic hassles with connections.

Spec demos of the Scottish game are available at (including some stuff you probably don't want to see at the start), while a demo focusing just on the England game can be found at If you want to view the "craap before england game": Demos from Tomb's POV will soon be available for both games.

Von Swine sounded a little tired but well proud of the lads when he filed this match report:

"Big thanks to Dev (isdn) Vexorg (for isdn and machine), Chaos and Con for driving from Kildare with a machine and everyone else who went out of their way for the games last night.

Well we walloped the Scots, whose moaning about feck knows what ruined the game. I had told them a hundred times to check our server and see was it ok because we CANNOT play on Barrys. Well we could but it wouldn't be remotely fair ping and packet-loss wise.

The Scots had BETTER average pings than us but complained about bits of yellow on their netgraphs. Kaile was kicked before the start of the game by the tournie organiser. Reaper got dissed and couldn't reconnect without Dev's password. (Dev was out). So we had 2 lpbs. Tomb on isdn and Bunny in a cafe. [Ed - Bunny in a cafe? They didn't stand a chance]

We stamped on em cos they're rubbish at Quake.

Nightwing, the big girl's blouse, wouldn't play on our server. So our so-called lpbs had 400 pings. Reaper timed out. Tomb (grabbing telefrag after telefrag) quit after his ping reached 800. Kaile couldn't respawn and Bunny was a steady 999. And i'm not mentioning the packet loss. Our modemers that had half decent pings ( all over 250) fought on outnumbered against a full strength English team.

What a bunch of sissies those Brits are. And the Scots are seriously craap at insults. Lots of "potato" references.

Well played our guys".

Looks like Scotland will have to regroup. I'll see if I can find any contacts over there to find out what they thought of it all from their perspective. If any Scots or Brits are reading this, pls feel free to email me at . Sorry to hear about the connection problems guys. That not what anybody needs. Hopefully you can get some games next time under better conditions.

12,000 Hits Last Week:
Thought you might like to know, that Challenge.AU counted 12K of "hits" last week. A "hit" is an html item accessed - like a page or a graphic.

Sunday, June 21, 1998
Waaal, Good Weekend to You:
How was your weekend? Over here I actually got to play some Quake (!). GreySeer and I got together with the Kiwis again on the server (based in Wellington, New Zealand) on Sunday morning. Just a few fun games to take another look at the direct ISDN connection. This time around, it was smooth all the way. Conclusion - it's important to play during the morning.

This coming week, some more incredible demos to share with you. Sniket has sent me some demos of he and Sectopod [SWE] Vs Timber and MrKill [UK] on DM4 and DM6. These demos are incredible battles. And something else of great interest, a friend in Germany has sent me some demos of a German Player, Kane, from Clan Schroet Kommando [SK], who gives Sniket a seriously hard time in both 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 (Kane teams up with SK-Therion against Sniket and Sectopod).

If you've seen the way Sniket plays, you'll be wondering how anybody could get him on the run. Kane does, and he plays like hell to do it. Think of it as Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg or something. These guys, Timber, Sniket, and Kane, are going to play some fantastic matches. Hopefully the international Quake scene in Europe will take off, and some sort of EURO Challenge mounted against Team USA. That would be nice =).

Friday, June 19, 1998
Reviews of the Big Ass LAN:
If you haven't heard of that big sexy ass by now, you must be visiting this website from the other side of the planet (!). Couple more reviews have turned up, one of which is here, by Sinister of AusQuakeII. Had to smile at Sinister's comment that "the majority got stuck in quake1 dueling which bored me to tears". hehhehheh :-). The next review is by Malby, which you can find ... here:

"A fine day greeted me, as I was woken up by VG, we were RunningLate(TM), grabbed my PC (Borrowed from harsh, ppro200 w00!). Got to the lan, started setting up, (as were many others) and boom.. The power went. That got fixed, and on with the show..

I was actually looking forward to the team games more than anything else. I had thought I wouldn't go very well given my performances on the net... I surprised myself by getting into the semi's.. I missed out when I lost to [ao] Vomit God on Aerowalk (10 all with 2 seconds to go, I killed myself argh!). We had one team game, and we kind of kicked the other teams ass pretty badly, so no one else played us.. hehe..

Games went on late into the night.. My best game was against Groo on UltraV. It was the first time I had played it on LAN in duel (I played it once before on the net).. The only way to play this map is on LAN.. QW just doesn't do it justice, and its so balanced, all I can say is it just plain rocks. I ended up winning 17 - 11, I was losing for a while, but I started to learn wehere everything was (I didn't know, big problem!), and came back (I think he got annoyed with my lightning gun ;))

It was cool to see 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the duel comp were Ash'Ock members, and equal 5th and equal 6th. Look out for us at GibCon, no, not coz we can play Quake.. Coz of the PC's we're gonna have there.. VG has a sexy 20 inch monitor, as does Harsh, and seven, he's just a party of his own =]

Ash'Ock, we may not have a good website, but who cares? Oh, and Bite me. I wish I could go to the next BAL =( ".

German Quake:
Ever since Clan die Fette Faust released their cool movie last year (3.7 MB), Germany has captured my interest as a Quake country.

The Deutsches Quakeforum has a good bunch of links to the main German sites. From their clan links page, it looks like German Quake players have been very active although some of the links are down, as is to be expected. Other important sites to check out seem to be Der Quaker, the q-continuum and Quake Over Germany.

One German Clan that seems to be hot is OCRANA, who also have a cool demo page here. Check it out to see how some Germans play Quake =).

Pause, slo mo that Demo:
Nemisis of Hades Orphans, a classic New Zealand Quake Clan, emailed me a really cool demo.cfg which enables you to pause, slo mo and rewind regular demos (not QW). Here are the commands. Thanks man!

bind F1 +showscores
alias ssc "+showscores"
bind F2 "ssc"

alias normalplay "host_framerate 0"
bind F8 normalplay

alias stopplay "host_framerate .00000000001"
bind F9 stopplay

alias +slowmo "host_framerate 0.007"
alias -slowmo "host_framerate 0"
bind F10 "+slowmo"

alias +fastforward "host_framerate 1"
alias -fastforward "host_framerate 0"
bind F11 "+fastforward"

SWE vs FIN games:
Had an email from Bozo, who lives in Sweden and works at the internet caf? called "nine" which is sponsoring the [9] Clan. He confirmed that there is a Swedish national team in both CTF and DM. The CTF team have a working page at, but the DM National team has not been updated "because the guy who had the team have stopped playing quake 8)".

Bozo tells me that they recently had a match against Finland, who were in Sweden on a visit. The match was played 12vs12 on death32c. The Swedish team was led by [9]Paralyzer and Bozo.

One of those days:
Ever had one of those days? Well, I just had one of those days. First it started in the morning, when I was pouring milk into my coffee. Well, I spilled the milk all over the f*cken table. Next thing, I find out that I got the date wrong in yesterday's news. Finally, the guy who runs the server hosting this website made some little changes and - guess what, for half a day anyone visiting got the white screen of death. It's been a rough day :P.

Thursday, June 18, 1998
Team Fortress II preview:
Fargo of PlanetQuake talks to Robin "Bro" Walker about TF2 here. A fascinating preview of what is looking like being one of the most innovative and impressive games to be released this year.

Interview with VuduChild:
I'm real glad to bring you the second interview of the week: with [ao] VuduChild. Hop on over to the INTERVIEWS section and have a read =). Next time you hear someone say that they know someone who is shit hot and never plays QW on the Internet, remember VuduChild with his 14.4 Kbps modem and marked preference for LAN. (deja vu?)

Interview with Bitchy, in Ireland:
Ronin has posted his interview with (TS) The_Bitch over at the Clan Ebola site. It's a really good read and provides another look at a classic Australian Quake lady. Onya, Bitchy.

Bloody amazing DM4 demo:
After watching that demo of Sniket blasting Timber all over DM6, a few people commented to me that they would like to see the next one on DM4 that briefly can be seen starting up at the end. I had the same thoughts, especially as Timber is known to be a DM4 specialist. Well, Sniket must be able to read minds or something:

"u know the dm6 demo vs Timber...well i also played his level of course.. but somehow Methos didn?t put that one up..soo i kinda though u wanted to have that one.. "

This is an incredible demo (for both players). It is so fast, so aggressive, that when that pause comes mid way through (where Sniket waits for Timber to emerge from the RA slipgate) it's like the air is charged with electricity.

Killmore's Korner:
A series of occasional articles written by Australian gamer Happy |{illmore kicks off today over in the FEATURES section. Happy can at times be controversial, but at other times he can make sense. Which wins out on the day is in the lap of the gods, most times.

Whichever, Happy likes to write, and I would like to encourage ppl who like to write to "have a go". It doesn't matter which country you come from, if you have a bit of a tale to tell, or a rave to make, try emailing it to me . I can't promise it'll get published, but so long as it makes some sense, is interesting, and not totally offensive, I'd be happy to stick it up in the FEATURES section.

Here are a few topics that I wouldn't mind writing about, if I had the time:

What International Quake means for Gaming as a "Sport"
Why are the Americans so Good?
What makes a Top Player?
The Best 5 Quake Players in the World?
If We Had a National Team
Quake as a Spectator Sport
If I was a Match Commentator...
How to Explain Quake to a Complete Idiot
Want to Play a Duel?
How to Get Really Good

Wednesday, June 17, 1998
We changed our minds:
"It is definately a gamble", John Carmack says in his Plan Update, of iD Software's announcement that it will focus exclusively on deathmatch style gaming (including CTF and other derivatives).

"The single player game will just be a progression through a ranking ladder against bot AIs".

This seems an extraordinary direction change for a company which succeeded in addressing many of its own self-criticisms in the markedly improved single-player gameplay that was Quake II. Despite the advances of new game engines such as Unreal, Quake II still seems to maintain it's position as a more coherant Single Player game. It remains to be seen how the market will react to foregoing the appeal of the Single Player game for a box which offers bots and new deathmatch maps, even if the multiplay experience approaches the holy grail.

What is more, the Single Player market still seems to hunger for what remains an elusive, totally immersive experience, the "interactive movie" where you are the lead star. iD Software appear to have decided to leave that carcass for others to fight over. The Single Player market is saturated, the stakes are high, the standards even higher, and the expectations of the market cruel and ruthless. We seem to expect nothing less than utterly compelling artificial worlds, and then once we've played through them that's it.

Multiplayer games, on the other hand, are all about gameplay and networking efficiency. What works for Single Player games more often than not gets in the way of good multiplayer gaming:

"For instance, the client-server communications channel discouraged massive quantities of moving entities that would have been interesting in single player, while the maps and weapons designed for single player were not ideal for multiplayer. The largest conflict was just raw development time. Time spent on monsters is time not spent on player movement. Time spent on unit goals is time not spent on game rules. There are many wonderful gaming experiences in single player FPS, but we are choosing to leave them behind to give us a purity of focus that will let us make significant advances in the multiplayer experience".

It's a brave and courageous move, a revolutionary move, a move of market leadership. So much will hinge on map design, weapons, weapon changing, player physics, armour, powerups and design, and on the attractiveness of the new multiplayer mods.

Getting these elements right is proving harder for the industry than it originally seemed. Certainly, the fact that iD Software appear to have got it right somewhat by "accident" with Q1 is not reassuring, but it was still iD that did it. (If you wonder what I mean - they never planned rocket jumping, they didn't forsee the key role of the rocket launcher, they underestimated the importance for gameplay of fast weapons changing and player movement in the air, and so on, and so on).

Will the bots still be "Monsters"? Have we seen the last of an iD software level where you know, at the outset, that getting to the exit alive will require all of your cunning and skill? Will iD get multiplayer right? Only time will tell.

DOOMer vs USA at E3:
Speaking of QuakeWorld vs Quake, I received an interesting email from a Swedish Player who said:

"The match between Unholy/Thorn and DOOMer/Nikodemus was played in what we here in Scandinavia call "RQ" - that is, not QW. If you are used to playing QW, RQ is totally unplayable, and therefore the result of that match totally misleading".

Well, this may or may not be the case, but it highlights a reality we all face - namely the existence of what are two different "divisions" within the same game. I know from personal experience that the PGL TEN system has it's own "feel" as well. Certainly, based on that one encounter it is too early to come to any conclusions about SWE vs USA.

Mastah Killah's Shuggah Shack:
Another European Player to watch is Mastah Killah, who has a site up at There are some damn fine demos there. You are bound to see a lot more of this guy :-).

Cheating in Quake Arena:
Bad news or just the news? Decide for yourself, but it looks like there are no simple fixes for the determined cheater in online play (Blues):

Blue: There have been more efforts made recently by you guys (I think Zoid in particular) to add some more cheat deterrence to Quake / QuakeWorld / Quake II. Are you planning on looking into this further for Quake Arena, especially since some are trying to create a professional sport of online play?

John Carmack: The cheating issue is really hard. If the simulation were distributed it would be far worse, but even with non-authoritative clients, informational cheating (making players easier to see, seeing around corners, auto targeting, etc) is still very significant.

At its core, the problem theoretically cannot be solved. A talented hacker with a dissasembler can eventually make a program that appears indistinguishable from a quake client. All we can try to do is make is obnoxiously difficult, but unfortunately there are people that just take that as a challenge. Effort spent on that is effort not making gameplay better.

And now for something completely different:
Someone is going to do it, though until now the community has had no real interest. Some future Hugh Hefner of Quake. What am I talking about? A Quake TC which is somewhat inevitable now given the work being done with certain Player models. If in doubt, check out Steed's CrackWhore skin pack contest over at, and also the original CrackWhores.

modified - originals by Brad Klann ()

Tuesday, June 16, 1998
Sniket interview:
Challenge.AU is proud to bring you an Interview with one of Sweden's top Players, Sniket. After I posted an appeal on the FragZone word quickly spread among the northern Clans, and 'lo and behold, Sniket emailed me =).

To understand why Sniket is probably one of the World's top Players, check out two demos over on, which can also be found here. The first one is between Sniket and Suglort and is called The second demo is between Sniket and [QPD] Timber and is very recent. It is called timber_dm6[980607].zip. Timber is one of the UK's most exciting Players (especially on DM4).

In another demo, which you can find at Sniket beats DOOMer (who has also beaten Timber by a large margin) in a close 10 minute game on DM4.

By the sounds of it Sweden will always be capable of fielding strong Players in international Quake:

Are you seeing many new, younger players coming into the Quake scene in Sweden?

Yeah, they just keep coming, I dont know when it?s gonna end..

This is great news for the future World Cup of Quake!! Check out the Interview with Sniket over at the INTERVIEWS section :-).

VuduChild interview:
Another interview in the pipeline is with VuduChild, winner of this weekend's Big Ass LAN. For some news on the LAN, just check out the news below. VuduChild and the rest of the guys show clearly that Quake is alive and well in Australia.

This also means overseas visitors can take a look at recent competition-level Quake in Australia, on LAN, involving some of the nation's top Players. That's right, Kiwis, Irish friends, Swedes and Americans, go to and check out the demos =).

The Interview with VuduChild will be posted tomorrow night. Until then, here's a sneak peek:

"The new players down here that I've noticed well lets see...Greyskull I've already mentioned, Dracs as above... Spice give this boy a pc higher than a p90 and hes gonna hurt some people. Cluey well he's just improving leaps and bounds theres too many to mention but they are the main ones.. so for anyone at Gibcon or those that are going to out for those names".

Dutch Quake League says "Hi":
Bam-BAM emailed me from the Dutch Quake League at to say they've put up a cool link to the Challenge.AU site for the Dutch Players:

"Here's the deal: The guys at Challenge.AU want to set up a fast connection with the US to let their best players slaughter eachother. It's a friendly meeting... or so they write =)".

Getting your PINGs right:
Remember how some of the Kiwis noticed in the recent international Clan game that Clan Phoenix [AU] got better pings to XTRA (in New Zealand) than the New Zealanders did? Same stuff happened to Von Swine and the Irish Quake team when they played the UK recently on an Irish server!

Von Swine also sends word that the Irish Clan League Finals are happening about now - check 'em out at Also, he sends in a "plug" for his Clan, which is the Celtic Warriors. They can be found at

Slaanesh Versus Oz's Thresh:
Over at the news there's a brief item which describes Malby as "Oz's Thresh" :P. It features Malby mucking about on a Rocket Arena server over there with a 600ms ping and getting beaten by someone with a very strange name who also had a 600ms ping (?). Also, we're still waiting for the Bitchy interview mentioned on the news there, anyone know where it is?

POV Demo of Reptile beating Thresh on DM4?:
Saw on the Methos site that they have scored a neat-o proggy which can turn those eye-jarring PGL demos into POV-beauties:

"Exclusive to Methos Quake! One of the many visitors to Methos Quake has dropped a cool program in my lap. This utility allows PGL mod cam demos to be converted to 1st person POV Quake demos. This means that I can take any (all) of the demos from the PGL tourneys and make them into POV demos for people to watch. This way, we'll get demos of people like Thresh, Reptile, Unholy and many more (that's cool). The person who gave me the program asked not to be named (I'll call him X) and that I don't release the program to anybody. The only drawbacks to this are that a) you can't see the weapons and b) it only works with the PGL type of cam".

Malby Closes Message Board:
The flames had gotten a little too hot for Malby, who had a gutsful of some of the recent bitching going on over on his Message Board. So he turned the switch off and wrote this:

"I threatened to do it if crap sprouted again.. Unnecessary abuse of Australia players by jealous imbeciles, has given me a reason to close the board until further notice. Its a damn shame, but like Punisher said, its a goddamn embarassment to read the stuff people post about players".

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