One of the dirtiest, nastiest, ugliest, most buggy and yet also most stunningly successful hacks in the gaming industry, "QuakeWorld is both a revolutionary and evolutionary" 1 modification of Quake." It should be emphasized here that QuakeWorld is not really a game unto itself. Despite some physics changes - admittedly fairly significant - QuakeWorld is merely a Quake hack.

It is, however, a revolutionary and evolutionary hack for a revolutionary and evolutionary game, the impact of QuakeWorld laid the first foundations for good netcode in first person shooter games. Originally designed to be a cheapw orkaround for the latency problems in Quake, QuakeWorld is one of the core reasons behind the inredible success of the Quake - it would not be incorrect to say that without QuakeWorld (or its functional equivalent) Quake would not be half of what it once was.

In essence, it is designed as a set of addon executable files for Quake, and could be considered as an effective mega-patch for the game - adds a fuckwad of a lot of new features. The original idea was that you have Quake to play QuakeWorld, but it is possible to play QuakeWorld without (think getting drunk without alcohol). The first executable is the client, which exists for both software and glide (this was back in the primitive days when 3d acceleration was new). This is what is used by the client to play the game. The second is the server which should be fairly self explanatory.

History. The release of Qtest/Quake shareware in the mid/late 1996 had sent reverbations throughout the Quake community. Carried over from the Doom series, the strange and wonderful world of deathmatch had been remade, for the most part, better than ever. Simply put, Quake was the game played at LANs.

However, on the internet Quake's netcode proved itself completely intolerant of lag. In the precise world of deathmatch Quake, a ping of merely 150 made a player fatally sluggish. This might just have been barelyacceptable, but was compounded by the fact that when it came to client side prediction - there was none. For the unlucky HPB that made up the majority, this made Quake totally unplayable on the internet.

Back then, idwas a small enough company that they actually listened and cared about what their customers said. In December of 96, QuakeWorld was released.

Features. Primarily, the point in QuakeWorld was to lower the restrictions imposed by lag on movement, both of the client and of actually being able to predict an objects path (this was necessary because the time taken to relay the then-current information to the client made it too old to be of use).

Prediction was done automagically (although it could be disabled), and the (in)famous pushlatency command was used to compensate for lagged movement.

Also introduced was a significantly faster physics system than in Quake - the base speed of the players was increased, and a variety of bugs could be exploited to allow bunnyhopping. Although speed exploits were present in Quake, the amount of increase in speed gained in QuakeWorld was far more significant.

Lastly but by no means least, skins were introduced, primarily aimed at allowing clans to identify one another. Although they served little in changing the style of play, nobody can argue they they didn't pick up.

More specifically (this list is by no means definitive, please feel free to msg me or add to it):

  • Rockets appeared to move slightly faster - actually, they simply "appeared" a small displacement away from the player who fired it, instead of appearing at the players origin.
  • The number of nails released by the super nail gun was halved, but damage was doubled.
  • A level-specific exploit occurred in DM6 where if you fired the lightning gun onto the secret floor while standing on it, it would momentarily raise up instead of normally sinking. You could then rocket jump from there onto the higher area of the level. The trick has been used (with varying results) in many competitions
  • Random spawning was introduced. It is now available in some Quake modifications, thank god. If you've ever gotten unlucky spawns and been victim to successive spawn rapings try to imagine what it's like when your opponent actually knows where you've respawned.

    Because of the changes in physics, many people still prefer regular Quake when playing over LAN. The slower movement calls for a far more strategic play, although limiting performance of some of the inherent tricks.

    Impact. Nobody who has an idea about the gaming industry, no matter how much they dislike Quake/QuakeWorld can, purely objectively, say that QuakeWorld was of little significance. This game COMPLETELY redefined online gaming, setting the foundations for netcode, and refining if not creating creating concepts such as client side prediction and pushlatency.

    Although not a game unto itself, QuakeWorld has played a massive role in accelerating and compounding the success of Quake by making it popular online, as well as providing a much easier base for authors to create mods for (such as Team Fortress).


    Bibliography:
    1: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/quakeworld_a.shtm - "The History of QuakeWorld" - accessed 17th August 2000. Update 6th September 2000 - URL has changed to http://www.gamespy.com/legacy/articles/quakeworld_a.shtm
    2: http://www.bluesnews.com/guide/qw.htm - "The Guide - QuakeWorld" - accessed 17th August 2000.
  • Playing QuakeWorld was an experience. When it first came out, online gaming over the net was still sort of a new thing, and it felt like it needed something to make it grow up. Quakeworld was that thing. Ads did a great job of describing it above, but there needs to be a little more explaination.

    Back in the day, I played Quake; a lot of quake. I was on a really good college LAN for the time, and that meant that my clan was all good to play as a low-ping team. A couple of teams we had to play were on modems, or a couple of times I played while I was at home. QuakeWorld was evil, and prediction was the name of the beast.

    You see, you'd get a great framerate if you were the only one in the room. Predicition would suceed, and you could roam around freely, without a care in the world. It was wonderful. But when it came down to actually trading rockets, the experienced QuakeWorld fiend would get the experienced LAN Quaker every time; prediction would fail, and your aim would be off. QuakeWorld, you see, needed a new mentality: don't fire where they are, fire where prediction says they will be. People who got more used to the prediction algorithms, and how they felt in-game got really good at exploiting them; not only to run faster, but to nail players while in that first burst of lag when another player is around.

    It definitely took some getting used to. Luckily I was slightly immune on my LAN, and the teams we played were basically other college kids, so we didn't have to worry about it. QuakeWorld was the 56K modem user's dream, but the LAN player's nightmare.

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