Friday, November 19, 2010

Quake Wars Online : About Time!

Time to take a look at that game called Quake Wars Online.
Yep, you heard it.
Someone overseas thought it was a good idea to revive that game.
Revive... it's been out for three years only and already dead in 2009. Activision closed servers and forums. People were divided about that game. It had flaws, it was a bastard child of Battlefield and RTCW... and it was slow.
How can a Quake game be slow??
Well, don't ask. What you need to know is that some crazy Koreans have decided not to pay attention and give the game a second chance.

They have updated some aspects of it. Those QW vets will easily spot the differences. Well now that's just a made up trailer. The real game is pretty much identical visually speaking, as far as models go. The HUDs and menus have been tweaked at tad. But true gameplay videos allow you to "sense" that some things have been altered. Namely the weapon mechanics.
Weapons seem far more potent, fast and perhaps a tad more accurate, which is all good because I could understand why this would put Wolf players off. Rules are altered in the Objective mode (objectives get auto-completed after a while, but then the team supposed to achieve said objective gets no point, if I get it right). There's a special fatal last minute, where all players just get one life. That's quite nice.
I'm not sure if QW's true potential has been unleashed, but it seems they moved closer to this transcendental point.
And it's free.

Now it's not all good news. It's not all perfect. OK, stuff happens.Yeah yeah yeah, I know, it's all in Korean and only available in Korea thus far.

But... it doesn't matter, because Dragonfly seems to have gotten it right. It's a successful company, and the Korean players are rather reliable when it comes to obsessive high quality PC gaming (yes, that does exist, Mr. transconsole).

Let's salivate a bit more. Maps were released in packs of three or four, or something along those lines. Probably three if they were released as part of campaigns, since each campaign was about that many maps.
Careful. They have changed them, and sometimes it shows a lot. Volcano has been altered in several ways... and I think it's for good, because that map was truly ill designed from get go.

Now, with this injection of Stroyent achieved, we can speculate a bit.
Players have been asking for new official maps on and on and on and... yet nothing came.
Worse. I recently read, possibly at Gamasutra but I can't put my hands on the news, that Splash Damage had ditched no less than a dozen maps because they were not deemed good enough.
I guess throwing them to the fans and letting them improve those "broken" maps was just too much to ask?

Well, maybe we won't have to ask. Maybe. If the game's successful enough in its new online version, perhaps the Korean gamers will begin to ask for new maps as well... and it seems that at least someone listens to them, at least.

That said, those used to ETQWpro may not care much, but I don't think it would be wise to snob this. First, the game is simply not popular enough, for a good number of reasons. Secondly, what made RCTW:ET successful at large was that it was free. It gave Splash Damage a fan base ... which they spoiled :(

Notice that this time, they decided to take the players by the hand (and by something else), just to be sure that noobs wouldn't spoil games by whining about how they don't get the map's point, that it sucks, etc.:

You can see examples of games here.

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