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The 2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 3, Structure the Season
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The 2011 Regeneration Manifesto: Part 2, The Situation
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Columns: QuakeCon - a look back

Found this on my harddrive, I intended to put this up a lot earlier but somehow forgot all about it. Better late than never I guess.

QuakeCon 2007 - Quad Damage event

It's time to wrap up another QuakeCon, this time around we saw all 4 Quakes in action, spanning from the highpaced Quakeworld, via the strategically challenging Quake 2, to the stylish Quake 3, and ending up with the mix-of-everything Quake 4. In this little column I'll try to break down the event and replicate it how it looked from an outsiders' point of view. I tried to follow it as good as I could, but at times I was forced into resignation.

The format:
Because the primary goal in QuakeCon's tournaments are to have fun, they at times tend to neglect the needs and wants of the supporting communties. They just do it their way, end of debate. This time around they seemed eager to please, and with the ezQuake client being used for quakeworld and R1Q2 client being used for Quake 2, and the still-under-development CPMA-mod (with vanilla q3 settings) being used for Q3 it was obvious the tourney would have a fairly "professional" look. Even brightskins were allowed for Quake2 which was a huge leap from last Q2 tourney.

QuakeCon has usually been using the single-elimination format, with only one map being played each game. This was fortunately dropped for this event, as they initially had planned groupstages followed by double elimination playoffs in the latter stages. But due to server-complications and lack of time (I guess), the double elimination was dropped to make the tourney end in time. Still, with games being played best out of three maps/games, it was way more "fair" than previous QuakeCons to some extend.

Too bad the third and deciding map/game was picked by cointoss, but with only 4 games to pick from it was hard to find a way out of it. It's quick and painless and equal for every participant, so it's understood.

In the final all 4 Quake games HAD to be played regardless, but the winner was whoever won 3. The deciding game/map, if needed, was also decided by cointoss. Still, hard to make a good rule with 4 games in the game-pool, but it could have been done a little more elegant as it turned out to be a decisive factor.

The Maps:
Of course this is more subjective than anything, but the maplist is always a major part in any tourney, and everyone has their own opinions.

:: dm4 - was expecting dm6, but dm4 is another classic quakeworld map, but it is also a map that could only work in quakeworld. One guy stands in the middle pickig up as many frags off the spawns as possible, while retreating back to red-armor when in desperate need of armor. It has all the flaws a duel map shouldn't have, but it still creates exciting high paced games, mostly because of how ridiculously overpowered some guns in the game are, so that camping a dead-end would never work, fortunately.

:: aerowalk - classic quake-map, here in its original wrapping. Great flow, a whole lot of action and 4 levels to fight both horizontally and vertically. Red armor is the item to have, and a lot of nice angles to spam grenades and rockets. To me the map quakeworld looks best in. Also known to all players from remakes for other quakes, most successfully implemented in the Quake3 maplist, not so much in Quake2.

:: q2dm1 - should need no introduction, pretty much all the goodies are stacked in the megaroom, except the rail which is placed in a cave, underwater, on the outskirts of the map, so nothing ever happens there. The epitome of quake2'ing.

:: ztn2dm3 - more of a classic duelmap layout, less focus on camping a room, more energy spent controlling an area. Less flashy movement wise, more flashy timing-wise, and a true test to the raw aim.

:: ztn3tourney1 - another classic quake map, orignally made for quake1, later remade with improved itemplacement for Q3. A very strategic map, but those one-way teleporters can make it a +back-fest. Still, a along with pro-q3dm6 it shows the variety in Q3.

:: pro-q3dm6 - running items is as important as always in quake3 where all the weapons are so balanced it comes down to the health and armor status, more than choice of weapons it seems like. A bit edge-feel to the arena and curved corridors, but it's a big map, where aim is important as ever, especially rail and lightning gun. Can be the arena for spectacular games, and is probably the best known Q3 map.

:: monsoon - a small rail-friendly map, that looks huge untill you learn its layout. It tests both the aim and mapcontrolling abilities, but it's hard to break the control once the opponents manages to run the items (duh!). Rail is really dangerous here though, I mean really.

:: phrantic - love it or hate it; it forces the players to battle it out close up as there are no real long distance weapon on this map. But, that can also be the doom of the map as neither players want to engage in combat, and instead runs armors. Still pretty tense. But it smells more of hard work on the basics than stylish offensive moves.

Maplist was pretty much as expected, no big surprises there. Only thing I would have predicted otherwise was maybe dm6 instead of dm4, but I have seen dm6 games that is going nowhere, in dm4 we at least get to see quakeworld unfold in all its glory or lack there of, depending on the viewer and player of course. Aerowalk making an appearance in quakeworld denied it being used for Q3 where it is one of the more fancy maps.

The Players:
You can't expect all the top players from each Quake to be attending such an event, some are of course too busy or too far away to be there, others have a realistic view on their own abilities in the other games, realizing they were better off not attending this time around. And after all, it takes some dedication to be able to compete. And looking back, the players who did show up proved to be quite motivated and well prepared, even though there were certain games where it became painfully obvious that little if any preperation had been done.

Some of the top American Quakeworlds players showed up, such as Kovaak, Thump4 and FienD, in Quake2 we had players like purri, DaHanG and naymlis who should, and did, win all their Q2 games against non-quake2'ers with ease. Since most top Q4 players came from Q3, it was another game with top showing, mentioning names like Toxic, Fox, Stermy etc, and for Q4 we had, including the names already mentioned, players like Lost-Cauze, Griffin and Chance. So, all Quakes were well represented, allthough missed some top European Quakeworld players such as griffin, reppie or dag for instance, and would be fun to see another top Q2 players from Europe, say Damiah.

The Coverage:
The coverage of the Quad Damage event was hands down horrible. With all these quakers at the event, and followers who loves the game nearby, it would have been nice if someone aside from TosspoT actually wanted to spread the word on what was going on.
+VOD (from the handfull games they were available)

:: No live casting/streaming
:: No live brackets
:: No live scorebots
:: No schedule

So we basically had to ask people at the event on IRC about what was going on, and think they were as confused as the rest of us. Remember I thought the coverage was pretty weak in 2005 when they showed less than a handful q2 games on the stream, but this event manage to beat that performance by a margin the size of a continent. Demos from games weren't released at all during the event, except the demo from DaHanG vs purri which was uploaded by a byoc-participant. Great. The demos did finally get uploaded after a few days after the event, and had a nifty search-function that was very handy!

The games:
Judging from what I've seen on the vods, the games tend to have a really varying degree of quality. In quake2 we saw blowouts all the way untill the bronze final, in quakeworld on the other hand there were some upsets and it seemed like qw was the game most non-qw players were focusing on. Probably because there were a majority of Q3/Q4 players so focusing on those games would be less valuable as you would still get beaten by those players, but in qw and q2 you'd get more value for your time spent practicing. Q2 seemed to be the game less practiced, as non-quake2'ers showed pretty weak showing there, with the honorable exception of fox who, allthough not stunning, showed understanding of the game and q2dm1 in the final versus toxic. $lasher beating griffin in quake2 was the best moment of them all :>

That being said, there were close matchups in all quakes, and the entertainment value of seeing professional players play like a complete newbie in another quake was priceless, they're human after all.

As for upsets, there were a few. DaHanG beating Thump4 in qw and purri in q2 are among them, but even though maps were lost, none of the game-results were unexpected or out of the blue. And as a whole the tourney seemed almost too predictable judging by the final standings, which is kind of weird because one would expect the coinflip picking the deciding game/map would alter the outcome somewhat.

The response:
Reading some comments here and there it seemed like most would want Fox as a winner because he had showed dedication towards improving in other quakes than his Q3/Q4 where he already was a top contender. There seemed to be a feeling that Toxic had been somewhat lucky to avoid qw/q2 as a decider in the three last rounds, as he clearly was the weaker player there, but his exceptional skill in the two remaining games made him deserve the win. DaHanG and purri also gained some recognition, both showing that they could deliver the goods, allthough few if any believed DaHanG could beat purri in Quake2. To people outside Q2 purri seemed to be unbeatable in Quake2, but most of q2-players following duel leagues know that there is no such thing as a player who can't lose a map when both players are above a certain skillevel.

And it's inevitable to not comment on the purri versus DaHanG game. I've read plenty responses, and think they are somewhat based by the idea that purri is way over DaHanG's league, which shouldn't come as a surprise because purri is indeed a legend in Quake 2 and DaHanG is a late-comer who doesn't even participate a scene that is active competively. But if you actually disregard the "purri-legend status" and "lol-n00b-american-status" and look at the demo seperately, it should show you that DaHanG wasn't a bad player at all, he was quite skilled. So the win wasn't out of the blue, it was a result of pretty good playing there and then, and that's really all that matters in a tourney. It's not the first or last time purri has lost a game, nor is it first or last time DaHanG has won a game.

To non-Q2'ers I just feel that purri was victim of being seen as the unbeatable player in Quake2 based on his performance in QuakeCon 2005 where no other top player was attending at all. Doze, allthough a great player in his prime, was just playing Q2 a month or two prior the event after years of inactivity and wasn't giving him a challenge. Noone playing Q2 could really relate to that praising, as we all know purri's unique agressive style will make him vulnerable against very defensive and strategic players. So, even though it was a big surprise DaHanG actually won a map versus him, it wasn't like it couldn't have happened.

The future:
As for the players it seems like most of them really enjoyed the challenge, and felt the tourney was quite fun to play. It will be interesting to see such a format in later QuakeCons when Quake5 has been released, maybe the different games could be built into the final game itself, now that would be pretty awesome *dreaming..*

2007-08-30 23:58 
keep the articles coming, i was gonna say something about nadl predictions but then i looked and they were there!

2007-08-28 23:54 
thanks guys emo
2007-08-28 21:58 
nice job dael ! emo
2007-08-28 15:10 
nice !

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