Another Quake 3 impression

As I mentioned earlier, I’m back to Quake 3 battle fields.  I am still trying to remember things, and adjust my brain to how it all works.  While major things are still there, and still important, there have been quite a few small changes.

Quake 3 is very much about mods (modifications).  There are many mods out there, and each of them takes Quake 3 into a different direction – different physics, different graphics, different gameplay.  When I used to play Quake 3 five years ago, the two most popular mods were OSP and RA3.   I never particularly liked RA3, despite its beautiful graphics.  All my time was spent in OSP.

That’s where I started now.  But what I quickly found out is that OSP isn’t as popular now as it used to be.  The mod of the new generation is CPMA, which stands for Challenge ProMode Arena.  It has OSP built-in as an option.  It is also based on the ProMode settings, which we also played sometimes.  But overall, it’s a different thing.

What is different?  Here is a quick overview as I saw it:

  • CPMA is much much much faster than OSP.  It’s unbelievably fast.  OSP was never slow by any means, but CPMA is so much faster that I’ll need a lot of time to adjust.
  • CPMA introduces more moves and enhances the old ones.  Double jumps are there.  Circle jumps.  Strafe jumps are there, but they are much faster now.  There is more in-flight control, as it was in ProMode.
  • CPMA brings in more maps with more tricks.  With all those increased speeds, a new set of maps was pretty much a requirement.  The well-known pro-q3dm6 used to good enough for TDM and 1v1.  With CPMA it feels very small, almost tiny, even for a duel.  CPMA maps are bigger, but not more complex.  They also provide features for all those tricky moves.
  • CPMA uses faster weapon-switching, like it was in ProMode.   Instantly switching between weapons in heated combat adds to intensity of the game.
  • CPMA handles timing differently.  First of all, the timer doesn’t show seconds.  Players are forced into doing timing in their own head.   Although this is not a big problem for a mildly experienced player, it still feels a bit weird.
  • CPMA handles health and armor stuff different.  I’m not sure yet how differently, but it seems that when hit, player loses more health even if he has armor, than he does in OSP.  Also, picking up armor is a bit different now.  Basically, you can’t pickup yellow armor after picking up red, without receiving some damage in between.  Oh, and there is a green armor there too now.  So it works out like this:   green armor is the weakest, then yellow, and then red.

There are probably a few other things that I haven’t noticed, but even these are make for a sufficient list.  How does it feels now?  Here is how I feel about it after playing a couple of times:

  • Extremely intense!  I still can’t believe how fast this thing is.  It’s painful to watch.  It’s even more so to play.  I can’t blink once over the course of a whole match.   Two main components of this intensity are greatly increased movement speeds and instant weapon switching.
  • Timing and movement is everything.  If you can’t move, you are dead.  Instantly.  If you can move, you are dead instantly anyway.  The only way to survive even a brief fight is to have you health, armor and weapons packed.  And for that you need timing.  Aim is a good addition to the list, but it’s not a requirement.
  • Respawn points are much more important in CPMA than in OSP.  Respawn points are well known (CPMA even highlights in the special way).  When a player enters a game, he is not moving.  For a split millisecond he’s stationary.  That’s an easy target.  And when a player enters a game, he has no armor or weapons (except for a tiny machine gun and a gauntlet).  It’s like shooting fish in the aquarium with a shotgun.   Oh, and there is a sound that notifies your enemies at which point you respawned.
  • Communications in TDM are less important now.  Things are changing too fast – items availability, players locations, etc, to notify team-players about them.  And there is  plenty of stuff going on on its own…

Stay tuned for more of these, as I get more practice…