Quake Live – The browser-based iteration of id Software’s seminal Quake III: Arena – received a rather colossal patch recently. This patch adds a plethora of new features. Amongst other sundries, enhanced browser compatibility is included, as are enhancements to the game’s matchmaking system and improvements to other existing features, such as the often-controversial Punkbuster anti-cheat software.
If you’re old school enough to appreciate a little classic multiplayer action from the company that invented deathmatch, waste no time and hurry over to Quake Live and sign up. The fact that this runs so smoothly in a web browser is something to behold. Especially when you factor in that my home PC wasn’t powerful enough to run the demo when it was released in 1999.
Here is the official list of updates included in the patch:
– Player Invite System – You can now invite players to join you in-game and/or accept fellow players invites. We have added a right-click context menu on the friends list which provides up to three options to perform on a friend: View Profile, Invite to Match, Join Match.
– Invite Monitor – Added the “Invite Monitor” which appears above the Duel Detective when you have pending match invitations. When you have invites pending you can click on the Invite Monitor to show a listing of all your pending invites in the server browser. This can be especially useful when you have a large number of pending invites to choose from.
– Blocked Player Improvements – All chat from players on your ‘Blocked Players’ list is now muted. This includes both in-game chat (chat, team chat, attacker chat, targeted chat) and XMPP chat (friends list chat, tell_buddy chat).
– Relaxed Spawn System – Minor adjustment to the spawn system algorithms, in many cases one additional spawn point will be included in the list of available spawn points. Further testing and improvements are planned.
– Global Broadcast Announcement System – Added support for delivering broadcast messages from the backend system to all users online. This will be used to inform players of important system information, such as when the site will be going down for maintenance.
– Match Browser Optimizations – Improved the performance of the Match Browser by limiting the number of requests it needs to make to the backend when hovering over matches. In the general case this change makes it so there are 1/6th as many backend requests made.
– Rich Presence Data – Increased the responsiveness of friends in-game icons. The method of reporting changes in status have been highly optimized and now update ‘live’.
– Improved Server Daemon – Improved the way that running servers are tracked in the backend to be more efficient and scalable. This should resolve problems users were experiencing about non-existent servers showing up in the match browser.
– Punkbuster Update – Evenbalance has made improvements that may result in a reduced amount of communication failure and duplicate cd-key related kicks.
– Firefox 3.6.3+ Support – Fixed plug-in issues with newer versions of Firefox on Windows.
– Start a Match System (this system is in limited beta and is not widely available yet)
– Match Visibility Modes – Added support for running private matches in multiple access modes: Public (all players), Friends Only, and Invitation only. The server will only be visible on the match browser to players who have access to join.
– Server Invite System – Added support for choosing friends who should be sent an automatic invite when the match has started.
– Custom Map Rotation – Added support for setting up a map rotation to be played on your private server.
– Improved Error Handling – Improved error handling in match startup so that users are informed why a match may have failed to start (Data Center overloaded, for example).
– Vicinity Locator – Added support for choosing “In My Vicinity” as a match startup location which will automatically choose an ideal data center based on your current GEOIP location.
– Optimized Game Invitation Strings – Join URL invite string length reduced for efficiency.
– Tiered Permission Groups – Organizations may spawn multiple servers at once without joining into matches. Individuals may spawn one server at a time and the server becomes available for others to join once the owner has joined the server.
– Fixed the calculations used for shotgun accuracy so that it is now calculated per pellet rather than per firing. If you fire a shotgun blast at an opponent and 2 of the 20 pellets hit, you will have a SG accuracy of 10% (because 10% of the pellets landed) rather than 100% (because a hit was obtained).
– Added heading images to the Match Browser indicating what matches are being displayed. This can be one of the following: Public Matches, Private Matches, Invited Matches.
– Changed the formatting of the tweet used in the “Share” button when choosing to share match results on Twitter.
– Fixed a grammatical error on match stats “Least Deaths” -> “Fewest Deaths”
– Fixed an issue where the “Forgot Your Password” page was not working.
– Fixed an issue where the standalone login page was sometimes not working (this page is mainly used when following a “Join Match” link before being logged into QUAKE LIVE)
– Fixed an issue where sometimes players on your friends list weren’t showing up with the proper head icon, the proper cased name, or clan tag.
– Numerous plug-in updates to support current and future functionality.
Ranters, am I alone in appreciating this classic? Get over to Quake Live now, try it out, and let me know what you think!