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

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Spawn System

Reinvent the Spawn ? comment
What else can we do? Well, let's look at some other 1on1 games. In Tennis, the advantage comes with service, and each player takes turns to serve. They flip a coin to determine who will serve first. Contrast that with Quake where both players spawn randomly into a map and take it from there. One of them is almost bound to get a better spawn than the other. Then when one of them loses a point that player respawns to another random location, sometimes right in front of their opponent.

Or take chess. Two players take turns with the advantage - playing "white". After each game, win, lose or tie, the "white" player changes.

In Quake the closest thing to "serving" or "playing white" is to get the "lucky spawn", where you start with some sort of territorial armor or health advantage. Nobody flips a coin, and nobody takes turns.

Perhaps the lesson we can take is that Quake needs a "fair start". Could we treat the two starting spawns differently to the rest of the spawns? For the two starting spawns, we could either ensure that neither spawn holds any particular advantage over the other or designate one the "strong spawn". If one is stronger then we could perhaps alternate the spawns somehow and maybe let the players "flip a coin" to see who starts with the advantage.

For respawns during the game, we could make them fairer without losing the element of strategy and control in 1on1. One way to do this, I think, would be to remove the random respawn right in front of your opponent. It's totally down to luck, and it can have a major impact on the game. I think the player in control should have to work a little harder than that for the next frag.

To achieve this we would need to make respawns less random than they are now, but still unpredictable. We don't want to eliminate "the player in control" - you earn your frag, now the hunt is on, you should control the map, and so on. I don't think we want to see the game stop after each point and then restart. The first point is usually a very conservative point, and we don't really want a whole game of points like that.

So I think a possible solution is to go back to the "spawn farthest" system. The reason it was dumped was because you could know where your opponent would spawn. But surely there are ways to introduce more unpredictability? Why not have "spawn at any one of the three farthest spawns"? Or perhaps map designers could increase the number of spawns, so that there are more candidates for the "farthest spawn".

I believe that these relatively small changes that could have a big impact on the game.


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