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-Respawn System
-Brief History
-Imbalance in Quake
-Increase the Balance?
-Reinvent the Spawn

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Spawn System

Brief History of Spawn ? 4 comments
The spawn system plays a critical role in Quake gameplay. The number and placement of spawns, and the order of spawns, impact your chances to get back into the game. Other factors include the condition you are in when you respawn, the availability of nearby weapons and armors, and the degree to which the map can easily be dominated by your opponent.

In Quake 1, the spawn order was initially fixed, and this led to players being able to predict where their victim would respawn next. After this was pointed out to id Software, spawns were randomised. In Quake 1 your condition upon respawning was also highly vulnerable. A boomstick, 100 health and no armor left you little threat to an opponent who most likely had the RL and RA.

The domination of the respawned player in Quake 1 is aptly described as "spawn-raping". This became quite an art in itself, both in the giving and in the avoiding. Hardcore Quake 1 players have always viewed this imbalance as a feature which makes the game much more exciting both to play and to spectate. However, the "down" player is supposed to be able to fight their way back into control eventually. In a match with spawn raping, the tables are supposed to be able to be turned.

In Quake2, id Software addressed the imbalance in Quake 1 by weakening the RL and adding additional powerful weapons, so that a respawned player had a better chance of finding something decent to use close at hand. Map authors were also given the option of being able to specify "spawn farthest" in addition to "random". However, this didn't work out because a smart player could work out where on the other side of the map their opponent would respawn based on where in the map they were fragged. Thus random spawns became the norm for map design, even though this meant you might still respawn right in front of your killer.

In Q3A, the trend towards balance was taken even further. Not only was the "weapons balance" continued, but id Software gave the respawned player a more effective hitscan weapon (the MG), made weapons respawn every 5 seconds, and added an extra 25 health which counts down to 100. The player "in control" was also handicapped - powerful armours count down from 200 to 100 and the splash damage of the RL was made small, reducing that weapon's effectiveness to easily mop up spawns. There were other changes, but you get the idea.

This trend to balance is by no means unique to Q2 or Q3A. In Quake 1 players quickly stopped using the Quad in 1on1, because Quad made the controlling player far too powerful. We have also seen a change from dmm1 rules (weapons spawn 30 seconds after being taken) to dmm3 rules (weapons stay on) on all three classic id 1on1 maps: DM2, DM4 and DM6. It simply became too easy for the player "in control" to run the weapons.

All of these measures have been taken to protect the respawning player. But have they worked?


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