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Planet Quake Does Promode   43 comments
According to a Planetquake editorial by Pappy-R, "the Pro Mode Mod is aiming for world domination and it's picture on the four dollar bill". The editorial is a poorly researched, mis-informed, scaremongering beatup. Pappy-R has rather clearly penned his editorial to save the world from domination by the Challenge Promode (CPM). He defends Q3A against the threat of CPM becoming a competition standard.

Good stuff - CPM must be doing better than we thought.

From the perspective of the CPM team, we're making the mod to be as challenging and exciting for expert players as we can. We are hoping the community of expert players likes it, naturally, and we would love to see it used in competition. However, we have no intention of "forcing" it's adoption by event organisers or by players (nor could we). Whether CPM succeeds or not as a competition standard will be entirely up to the players and event organisers themselves.

If it's any good, it stands a good chance of getting the thumbs up. And there is nothing that Pappy-R can do about that. It obviously sticks in his craw, because he tries his darndest to beat the mod into the ground.

Any Old Joe

As far as I can tell, Pappy-R read a|citizen's article on Gamepig, and must have had a quick look over the CPM pages on Challenge.World. I never received an email from the guy, and to my knowledge neither did anyone else on the team. As well as inaccuracies, the editorial contains some really bizarre assertions. Here's one that had me incredulous:

"The mod is being made and supported by "the pros" in the Quake community. Well, some but not all, and there are some high calibur names involved here. Your first choice is that if someone, anyone, wins money at a tournament, does that make their opinion more valid than any other player that forked over the bucks for the game? I say no. More valid? Certainly not. As valid, yes, for we all have the same stake in the game".

Here Pappy-R suggests that complex design issues can be decided equally well by any joe who forked over money to buy the game. "We all have the same stake in the game" he says. Simply unbelievable nonsense. He can't understand why we would want to have experienced gamers design, test and tweak the CPM settings.

The CPM approach to gameplay design is to delegate it to a "core team" of experienced players. We would have liked to involve more players, but it's hard to manage a lot of people and all of us are working part-time on this. Over time, the list of players who have had input into the game design has grown and changed, and a great number of players have been involved in LAN testing sessions, but the "lead designer" (if you like) has been a|revelation throughout. Currently he is finalising some remaining issues (like armor values and weapon respawns) through LANs with the team abuse guys, including a|citizen.

Pappy-R suggests it's how much money a player has won which determines their place on our design team. What nonsense. Take a|revelation - he is the lead designer because of his intelligence, his experience, his energy, and his open mind. Revelation is willing to consider gameplay elements from a wide range of games (he has played UT competitively and successfully).

Promode Will Take Over

Pappy-R tries to scare us that if promode is used at senior competition level, then every vanilla Q3A server in existance will be snuffed out as the shadow of darkness falls:

"Oh, but wait, these things are for "pros" only, meaning that you don't need to worry about it if you never plan on entering competition play. But let me explain a bit about that. For a game to be used a certain way (mod) at the highest level of competition, it will and must be the standard at all the lesser levels. No team or player will want to spend his time practicing his heart out and playing a game that will change as drastically as this mod proposes, once a certain level is reached. Clan ladders, 1 on 1 ladders and the like will have to play a game one way or another. There is no way to cut that part out of the community, period".

Looking into his super-duper Planetquake crystal ball, Pappy-R intones: "it will and must be the standard at all the lesser levels". I'm not sure how or why he thinks this must be so, but Pappy-R said so and he writes for Planetquake.

Are you scared yet?

Of course, for this scenario to happen it would require either (1) all server admins to force promode down the throats of the true Q3A believers despite their will or (2) everyone to fall under the mesmerising spell of promode and be hypnotised into liking it.

Wanna be QuakeWorld

Next Pappy-R is rude enough to label our mod "Wanna be Quakeworld (WQW)". Quite funny though. There are obvious similarities between CPM and Quake 1 or QW, but that is because those game design elements were given the "thumbs up" by our designers, and not because we set out to "remake QW". There's a big difference, but facts never stood in the way of this cheap and popular argument so why should Pappy-R be any different than the rest who accuse us of "remaking QW"?

Taking a few elements out of context does not make CPM "like QW". The CPM just has too many variables from Q3A itself (such as a bucketload of powerful weapons, for one). The end result is gameplay that has some of the best features from Q1, but no way in hell is it much like QW. Try asking someone who plays QW if CPM is much like QW.


Next, Pappy-R speculates that our Armour/ Weapons changes may lead to imbalance in the gameplay. A lot of experienced players find that Q3A gameplay overly favours aim and that strategy (resource control) tends to reduce to "doing the armor circuit" and getting the MH. This is quite playable, but the question is whether or not there could be even more to the gameplay - and that is what CPM is all about.

Now you might speculate whether our design decisions will work or not, but until you see the final mod speculations are just that - guesswork . The armor and weapon settings Pappy-R refers to are still being tweaked in LANs (remember the mod is still in beta). It's easy to say "what if controlling weapons leads to imbalance" and "what if controlling weapons leads to imbalance". It's just as easy for me to say "what if CPM produces a more complex and challenging interaction between armours, health and weapons, that enables experienced players to use more strategy, without causing undue imbalances between players of near-equivalent skill". It's so easy to speculate about whatever you want to, really. At the end of the day, the players will decide.

Weapon Switching

In the next section Pappy-R starts off talking about weapon switching and somehow switches to discuss the air control. What *was* his point about weapon switching? As far as I can tell, he agrees that it's fun. How odd. When he gets onto the subject of air control he completely misses the point of why air control is being implemented. Never mind, we should expect that.

Pappy-R seems to think we implemented air control so that you could dodge rails while in the air after jumping on a jump pad. It makes me cringe that we have Planetquake writing an editorial on our mod with this level of analysis. The air control in CPM is designed to make the gameplay smoother, more flowing, more complex and more fun. It has very little to do with your vulnerability while in the air, and more to do with how you get around a map. With greater air control a wider range of more complex jumps and movements become possible, and experienced gamers can do a helluva lot more. It's something akin to having more freedom, more options and more fun.

"The air control in Q3A is fine", asserts Pappy-R, "and no amount would save you from a decent rail shooter with his sights set on you. Again, this is just a Quake 1 revisitation". And with that, he moves onto to analysis of the next issue.


"It just makes sense that players make sounds when running full tilt through a level" intones Pappy-R. Has anybody else noticed that when players run full-tilt through a level in CPM they make a very loud "ugh", "ugh" noise and their feet make a loud slapping noise? Is Pappy-R deaf?

No he's not deaf, but he has missed the point that in CPM jumping has replaced running and running has replaced walking. Perhaps it was too subtle for him to grasp. Certainly, a|citizen explained it all in his Gamepig article. Oh well... But what of the "silence" of a CPM level when no-one is jumping and players are careful not to pick-up any items? This is a design idea which was accidental in Quake 1, and yet which forces the player to think, and to use available sounds both for information and for tactics. Pappy-R writes off this design concept because (a) it was originally accidental and (b) player footsteps should make noise. They should because they should!

Hit Tones

Pappy-R speaks - "Just knowing the shot hit the player is good enough, and you shouldn't get more info than that in competitive play". Does he give a reason? Well no, he gives a brief history lesson. But Pappy-R said it, isn't that reason enough?

Final Words

In his parting words, Pappy-R tells the world that the CPM team have no "valid reasons" for making our design decisions. Why? Because Pappy-R said so, that's why. He stands opposed to any sort of proposition that this becomes a competitive standard. What a surprise. Next, we get the special Pappy-R summary of what CPM is really all about:

"You either want to play Quake III with the "incomplete" physics of Quake 1 (air control and no footsteps), or you want to have it touch reality a bit more like Q3A does. You either want your matches based on denial of all items to the enemy, or you want to fight an armed opponent".

Faced with a choice like this, what self-respecting follower of Planetquake wouldn't rush to join the Crusade against Challenge Promode?

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