Quake Live
February 25, 2009 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Prepare to feel old: Quake III Arena came out nearly ten years ago. Prepare to feel young again: Quake Live can be played in your browser for free. The long-anticipated beta opened to the public yesterday. John Carmack says that they hope to be improving and polishing the game for the next decade.

It only works in Windows with either IE or Firefox, although they promise Linux, Mac, Safari, and Opera support will follow shortly. Prepare for a wait, there's a bit of a line to login (better than crashing the servers, I guess).
posted by Plutor (49 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
QIIIA... on my browser?

Cause I'm a rocket MAAAAANNNN

Sniping you behind every camping spottttttt....
posted by cavalier at 11:09 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Position in queue: 45561

posted by cavalier at 11:11 AM on February 25, 2009

I was hoping for a second it was done in HTML 5. Anyway, it's amazing that it used to take 100% of a top-of-the-line PC to do this stuff. Nutty.
posted by GuyZero at 11:11 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I really like how the game attempts to match you with people having similar (in)abilities. So much better than turning up on some random server and getting completely destroyed because you're a noob.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 11:12 AM on February 25, 2009

...Quake Live compatibility "is going to be a much bigger factor in [the Mac and Linux markets] for people wanting to play the game than it is on the Win32 market where you have so many more options."

Yeah, Linux has really fallen behind Windows in the standards and languages it supports.

posted by DU at 11:15 AM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Why not allow people to run their own servers, like the original game let you do. This way, there'd be no waiting in line.

I can't wait to get on and start accusing everyone of hacking.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:16 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Man, did I love me some Quake 3. Sigh.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:18 AM on February 25, 2009

Quake III Arena is ten years old?
Wow, I remember not being able to play it (and Quake II) because my computer was too old at the time. Quake I was awesome though.
posted by Memo at 11:28 AM on February 25, 2009

Man this is cool. (:
posted by amanzi at 11:33 AM on February 25, 2009

I would like to check this out (and have an invite) but it wont work on my linux boxes :(

Still, I have much love for iD. Not all of their games are great, but they have probably done more for the "community" than other developer. I hope this is a success (and that they add platforms!).
posted by rosswald at 11:36 AM on February 25, 2009

Wow, I remember not being able to play it

I remember sucking at it. Man, those were the days...
posted by daniel_charms at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2009

posted by cazoo at 11:57 AM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

Wow, I remember not being able to play it (and Quake II) because my computer was too old at the time.

Well then, you should have been smart like me and bought a Dreamcast! With its built-in 56k modem, it was the premier online gaming console for about 6 months. Not only could you play QIIIA online against other Dreamcast owners, you could also test your thumbstick skills against keyboard and mouse wielding PC gamers.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:01 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've been hearing about this for months from my buddy who is a pro UT guy....

MTV Multiplayer: So after all that, can we expect it to work on Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari…

Carmack: Actually, I don’t think Safari is currently one of the supported platforms. Though we are currently under development and support for Linux and Macintosh.

Marty Stratton: FireFox and Internet Explorer. Oh yeah, and FireFox on Mac.

So has anyone tried this in FF on a mac yet?
posted by butterstick at 12:21 PM on February 25, 2009

I assure you that the fact that a game which was once used for benchmarking high-end gaming computers can now be played in the browser does not make me feel young.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:23 PM on February 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

Q: What is a plugin and why must I install one?

* A plugin is a browser component that allows our game to run from within inside your web browser, making QUAKE LIVE's game and website one unified interactive entity. The ActiveX plugin allows the game to run in your browser utilizing files that it downloads from our site and stores on your computer. The plugin ensures that these files are up-to-date every time you visit the site to play, streaming new content and updates to you without the need for you to download and install game patches.

So no mac stuff, but I think if this is just a file manager it can be done with Java Web Start as well. It sounds like they really ran into serious HTML rendering issues when developing this. I'm really curious about the tech involved here...
posted by butterstick at 12:29 PM on February 25, 2009


I got in on the beta thanks to a fellow MeFighter and it's great. My wired mouse feels a little sluggish on my gaming PC but it's a minor quibble. I still manage to finish in the top 3 of most matches I join, so yeah, I am picking up where I left off many moons ago. Except without IRC to coordinate matches this time.
posted by m0nm0n at 12:34 PM on February 25, 2009

I was a lucky private Beta dude, and as a Q3A die hard I can say with certainty that this game is everything the original was and then some. The skill matching is pretty dead on, even with rails only instagib.
posted by DrDreidel at 12:49 PM on February 25, 2009

yeah, how come I went from low 30K then all the way up to 45K?
posted by docpops at 1:05 PM on February 25, 2009

Many hours lost due to Quake, and prior to that Doom. Very addicting stuff. There is a cure though:
* Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
* Step 2 - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
posted by caddis at 1:08 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

*Step 3 - Came to admit that that Power was Blizzard Entertainment
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:10 PM on February 25, 2009 [5 favorites]

well, no mac support yet, bastards.

but i've registered, so I got my nick in place, once the queue drops from 55k+ users.
posted by mrzarquon at 1:32 PM on February 25, 2009

By the time I get to the front of that queue, I *will* be old.

Y'all quit fraggin each other now and give me a turn.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:33 PM on February 25, 2009

Position in queue: 54206

Yeah, fuck you too.
posted by Phanx at 1:33 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

for mac users wanting a q3a fix, you can download open arena here
posted by mrzarquon at 1:34 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Get your railgun off my DM3 lawn.
posted by fleacircus at 1:34 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Camping bitch.
posted by SNACKeR at 1:40 PM on February 25, 2009

it was ten years ago ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:42 PM on February 25, 2009

I am the alpha and the omega!
but I'm still at 33,455 in the queue
posted by Chuckles at 2:11 PM on February 25, 2009

I remember the demo for this back before it came out... I remember it because it was the moment I realized that I'd never be the best gamer amongst my group of friends.

There was a map that had lots of the jump plates that fired you through the air over great distances. I watched a co-worker grab a railgun and as he was being blasted through the air, he was calmly picking off people on the opposite platform, nearly the full distance of the map away.

And this was just a couple of days after it had come out, so it wasn't like he had practiced the move for months or anything.

It was amazing and a little humbling to realize that not only are you not as good, you aren't even playing in the same stadium.
posted by quin at 2:15 PM on February 25, 2009

I expected to find a torrent of abuse for Punkbuster on here - MF must be losing it's snark

Licensee understands and agrees that the information that may be inspected and reported by PunkBuster software includes, but is not limited to;

Licensee's Internet Protocol Address,
devices and any files residing on the hard-drive and in the memory of the computer on which PunkBuster software is installed.

Licensee acknowledges and agrees that if Licensee does not want Licensor to collect and process such information, Licensee should not use the PunkBuster software

I know it's id and all, but my DRM hackles just went all pointy - Cory must be standing behind me.
posted by fistynuts at 2:33 PM on February 25, 2009

24854 in queue.

I haven't seen a queue that long since The Krazy House in Liverpool in the late 90s.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:00 PM on February 25, 2009

Get off my LAN.
posted by autodidact at 9:01 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Meh. I'm waiting for Daikatana.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:35 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

The first couple of the days of the open beta have been a clusterfuck, unfortunately, but I've been in the closed beta for many months, and it's the same old Q3 I used to love.

Hopefully they'll throw some more hardware at the network to resolve the capacity issues and things will smooth out. Hopefully also they'll put up some servers in Asia, because Q3 at 300 ping even for an elite bastard like me is pretty much unplayable (although I've gotten on to some servers in LA that I was pinging at about 160ms, which wasn't too bad).

Friend me once you get in -- I'm (predictably) wonderchicken (because, like so many damned website and apps, they have a 20 character hard limit on usernames).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:57 PM on February 25, 2009

I'm not sure why people think it's impressive that this is running in a browser. You can do anything with a browser plugin that you can do with a regular application. The primary difference between a plugin and having a same-sized window containing the app positioned over the browser is that the plugin can dispense with the OS chrome, and will scroll with the page. The technical achievement here is along the lines of, instead of double-clicking the Q3A icon on your desktop when you want to play, instead when you browse to the appropriate page, Firefox does the double-clicking for you. Woo.

Now that I've said that, I should say plugins can support some interaction with the rest of the page, so you can make a fairly compelling out-of-game UI with HTML. So it's a good idea from a usability perspective to make a plugin. But it's far from technically impressive. Stop being impressed, people!

Not to crap on id; Quake Live looks well-designed and fun.
posted by breath at 10:58 PM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

It does seem weird, fisty, but maybe you weren't around in 2001. Hacking and cheating were rampant in online FPS games. Punkbuster was the first time anybody really stepped up with a solution. They get a lot of goodwill for making Quake 3, CS, and TFC playable back in the day.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:16 AM on February 26, 2009

Made it in (insomnia for the win) and the performance is great.
However, I kept getting kicked after about 5 minutes for "punkbuster" violations and had to use CTRL+ to get in.
Seeing as I'm playing on my SOs' computer, and she never plays any online games, I'm thinking it may need some work.
posted by vapidave at 12:22 AM on February 26, 2009

Cool idea, but...

The window is open in the background for almost 2 hours already, but only 500 places down.
posted by Smaaz at 1:55 AM on February 26, 2009

Yeah, they're getting slammed. I really can't understand why after such an incredibly long closed beta they didn't anticipate the demand.

That said, it's good in a way, because more people trying to get in hopefully means a bigger ongoing userbase, which means more ingame ad revenue for them (that's the poorly-timed business model they're trying), which means ongoing development and lots of people to frag. I just hope a lot of the people trying to sign up and being shoved in that stupid queue don't give up.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:00 AM on February 26, 2009

posted by Onanist at 4:40 AM on February 26, 2009

Q3 is ten years old? Damn. My fondest quake memories are still the 6 original multiplayer maps from the Q1 demo.
posted by jeffj at 4:40 AM on February 26, 2009

Claustrophobopolis FTW. Also: The Cistern. SWOON!
posted by butterstick at 10:52 AM on February 26, 2009

Humm, that PunkBuster business is creepy. I hope when they implement it for Firefox, they use some data-storage mechanism that doesn't give it access to anything it wants to look at on the hard drive besides its own data. Actually, doesn't FF3 have a whole mechanism for providing exactly that sort of capability? The whole SQLite / "Offline Storage" thing? That seems like it would be just what this sort of application calls for. Significantly cooler than making Gmail into a desktop MUA, which is the only other thing I've heard of that uses it, so far.

I read somewhere (Wired, maybe) in the past few months that NVidia is doing research into implementing thin clients where the GPU acts as the bridge to the far-end system. Rather than sending application data down the wire, you send vector information down, and the client machine just has a GPU and a display, and performs the final rendering. The goal is sophisticated, graphics-rich games on thin-client platforms, like netbooks. Struck me as a pretty neat idea, although I wonder if you'd need an order of magnitude increase in broadband speeds in order to make it practical.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:56 AM on February 26, 2009

The line for Quake Live is all of a sudden really short. I got in after about a 30-second wait.
posted by Plutor at 4:50 PM on February 26, 2009

#1477, player name is Nieriel.
posted by deborah at 6:10 PM on February 26, 2009

should I assume that basically any coputer made in the last three years is capable of running this thing at full power?
posted by tylerfulltilt at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2009

Ayup. Even the most anemic recent PC, including netbooks, ought to be able to run this quite well indeed. The game engine's 10 years old, after all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:17 AM on March 1, 2009

tylerfulltilt: "should I assume that basically any coputer made in the last three years is capable of running this thing at full power?"

When I posted this, I had a five-year-old desktop (Athon 64 3000+ with an ATI Radeon 9600XT) and it ran for me with absolutely no problems.
posted by Plutor at 6:41 AM on March 23, 2009

« Older *Now* have you found what you're looking for?   |   The Great Bank Fail Out Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments