Born again Quaker

I am back in Quake 3.  It all happened very fast and very unexpected.  I used to play Quake 3 about five years ago, and I have to tell you, we had plenty of fun back then.  But one thing led to another and I dropped out.  I haven’t heard anything about Quake 3, haven’t watched any demos, or haven’t even talked about Quake 3 in the last 5 years or so.

A few days ago I noticed a colleague of mine spending his lunch break chasing someone in pro-q3dm6 map.  I got a overwhelmed by a wave of memories and forgotten feelings and I asked him if I could play a round on his computer.  He agreed.  It turned out, he was playing against my own brother.  My brother, being a mean chap as he is, started playing Quake 3 too, with some guys from the college, but never pushed me to return.  Now that I was chased by him around the arena, I remembered that he mentioned his comeback once or twice.

Anyway, the quick match showed that my Quake 3 skills were gone.  All of them.  Even despite playing on somebody else’s computer, using half-baked configuration, and playing over 150+ ms ping, I still could feel how bad I am in the game.

In a quick chat after the game, my brother mentioned that my laptop should be fast enough to run Quake 3.  Of course, it’s not a gaming station by any means, but it should be sufficient to handle a game written a decade ago or so.  He was right.  I fetched a dusty CD-ROM and installed the game.  A quick Google search over my blog archives helped me to get back my old config file.  And I started practicing with the bots a bit.

Boy, was I ashamed.  Bots were killing me with any weapon on any map in any position on any level of difficulty.  It was almost unbelievable.  Everything was gone.  I couldn’t move. I couldn’t aim. I forgot the maps.  I forgot the controls.  My hands were getting tired after just a few minutes…  It was like I never played Quake 3 in my life, but worse.

Anyway, I got interested in getting back what I once had.  I was never by any means a top player or a particularly skillful one, but I could run around properly and kill a few people even.  I wanted my skills back.

It turned out I wasn’t the only one.  I quickly found another three or four people who wanted to play some proper Quake 3.  We played a few matches on our own server.  It was slow and laggy, but it felt good non-the-less.

I jumped on my connections to find out what happened to the old servers and old people that used to play.  Surprisingly, the server is still up, and there is another new one brought up just a couple of days ago, and there seem to be some interest – a few people play on a daily basis.  Wow!  That was much more than I hoped for.

Today I truly got back into Quake 3.  I played for three hours, and I played with some people who I haven’t seen for the last five years.  I was surprised to see that they remember me, and that they missed me and all that…  So, what have changed?  Here is a briefing:

  • There are more maps and mods than I can remember.
  • There are more servers around.  Back in the days we had like one or two servers with all proper maps and patches.  Now I have four servers in my bookmarks.  And most of them are faster and richer than those that we used to play on.
  • People are more interested in the game.  Five years ago, Quake 3 in Cyprus was more of a fashion game.  Most kids were playing Counter Strike, and Quake 3 was sort of a “change of environment”.  Not many understood it, not many liked it, but many tried it.  With this, a lot of people were passing by.  Now, Quake 3 is a classic game.  Many games have been made since it was released, and most players moved on.  Only those die-hard fans are still around.  And some new blood, people who want to learn the proper game.

A few things changed.  But the main one is still there.  Quake 3 is still a lot of fun.   The years that passed by, the new technologies, the life changing experiences that happened, none of these changed the my attitude towards Quake 3.  And I feel that I am not alone… and it feels like Quake 3 is not just a game, but a lifestyle.

You will probably hear more about my Quake 3 adventures on this blog in the near future.  Until then, happy fragging!

3 thoughts on “Born again Quaker”

  1. I think that I particular enjoy is that everything is very much like I left it years ago. I was talking to these guys like I talked to them a couple of days ago, when it was a few years back… This is priceless. :)

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