The Mailbag


Thank you to the seven people who bothered to read the guidelines. Sometimes I feel guilty when I get a message that says "Please, please, you're my only hope, help me!" and delete it, but hey, what are ya gonna do. They shouldn't have mailed me in the first place!
I am going away very soon (probably already on the road by the time you're reading this). Hopefully r0tfish will be able to do a mailbag while I'm gone, but I'm not sure if that'll work out. We'll see.
This week, we don't really have enough mails to justify having more than 1 category. Maybe we should make this a bi-weekly thing, that would give more time for messages to accumulate.

  • Bleh

    Question of the Week:
    With all the other games out/coming out soon, do you/will you still play Quake 2?
    (I've decided to leave this one up another week). Send replies to

    Remember, if you get tempted to send me a question or problem, DON'T! Check The Unofficial Quake II FAQ which is written and maintained by Richard Connery. He's worked very hard on it so people like me don't have to answer dumb questions. What's that you say? Your question isn't in the FAQ? Well, try the messageboard! There's a link in the frame. Lots of people will read your problem and try and answer it. Another good resource is the Gamer's Guide, which can be found on Blue's.


    P.S. Before submitting anything, read the guidelines.

    July 25th, 1998
    Last Issue: July 19th, 1998.


    submitted by r0tfish
    On this whole USA thing...if you weren't so concerned about being different from England in the first place, maybe you would spell stuff correctly.

    ---Fuk yoo!

    Also, who gives a shit if you're the dominant world power? Sure, you may have the best military in the world, but what gives if you're too scared to use it? If you're so great, why doesn't Bill Clinton's redneck ass march your wonderful military into Iraq and end that crap once and for all?

    ---Why not? Well, uh... hey wait a minute... you confused redneck with hippie! Show some respect next time, dipshit.

    Instead all you do is chuck a few missiles from ships and hope to scare him. Biiig deal. Obviously some of the more intelligent countries (i.e. Canada, England, Austalia...) should be in charge of your damn military, maybe then something would get accomplished.

    ---So what're you saying, missiles aren't scary?

    Now you know why I didn't get involved in this one. *sigh* I really hoped we were through with this whole USA vs. other thing....

    Re: Woohoo, fun stuff...
    submitted by MaStErRaT
    ok I really just want to respond as to how ignorant that post was. OK yes I love in a America and to tell you the truth I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I know this is way off topic as far a quake2 is concerned, but this just really lit me up. First of all, being the most dominate country in the world come with responsibility just like anything else. You can't just walk around nuking' everything and sending missiles across the world. Rather than send the military everywhere, its better to use diplomacy to solve problems. BTW as far as calling the US unintelligent I would just like to ask you one question. Which country did the engineers who built the computer that you used to make those ignorant comments come from?

    Japan. Hehe.
    No, seriously, it would seem that the majority of the people who've written in agree that [P]Korn was way out of line. I would tend to agree... calling a whole country ignorant just because of its foreign policy towards one country is not very clever. However, I kind of do the same thing in my reply to the next letter... fun fun fun.

    submitted by Maven
    From the days of blake stone up untill Quake 1 I was a devoted keyboarder. I played Duke Nukem with the keyboard all the time and absolutely kicked ass at it. But when I got Quake 1 I found my ass getting kicked over and over. I playd with the Reaper Bot for a while and did not come back untill I could kill 3 of em at medium level. I came back keyboard only and did MUCH better. Many people were still beating me and I began to attempt to find out my problem. Welp I figured that since most of the servers don't autoaim and when you play the Reaper Bot it does, aiming was my problem. First thing I did was take off my 2 button microshit mouse and put on my old 3 button logitech mouse. (Got this baby in 1988) I determined that I would use the letter keys to the far left of my keyboard. When I started to play ctf I found that I did not have enough keys! So I move my left hand one row to the right and that gave me access to many more keys. After I set it up I played the Reaper Bot again. I could not even beat that mofo on easy level! I found that I was constantly aiming at the cealing. Well after several months I was starting to get used to it. Around that time my friend just got into the game. He actually binded the keys so one hand was on the keypad and the other was on the letters. He was useing all 10 of his fingers! I played him and he wooped my ass. After a couple months of CTF and more practice. I was getting REALLY good at the mouse/keyboard combination. Mostly because I need precise aiming with the hook quickly. Just for fun I went back to my old keybord settings. I almost laughed at myself! I could not belive that I used it! I went right back to the mouse/keyboard. I played my friend again and shot him up GOOD. He mostly complained that he could not figure out how in the hell I was running around him while shooting at him and jumping over him! Well I found that with the keyboard rocket jumping is pretty useless. But if ya get good enough with the mouse (Q2 Speed 13) you can jump over people while shooting at em! So my suggestion is. If you are useing the keyboard and kicking ass. YOUR PRETTY DAMN GOOD! Not at aiming or anything but actual stragety. Like running away and takeing a corner wide. Then cutting in sharp to be standing right at the corner's edge. The player runs around it looking for you and all you have to do is shoot em in the back. This was my main tactic w/ keyboard. With the mouse though I did this and not only that I ran around the keyboarders in circles. Keyboarders cannot turn around as fast! You can just run around them in circles so they can't even see ya! So the moral is. If you use a keyboard only, try and switch to the combination. You will suck at it of course but with about a month of play and getting your ass kicked you will eventually get REAL good. You can use the same tactics and you will find yourself aiming at people instantly. If you use head phones you will find yourself spinning around in the direction the sound came from looking for what made the sound. If you suck at the game already and your useing keyboard only then switch. I gurantee it will inprove your game. I have been useing the keyboard/mouse combo for a little over a year now. I actually configured Doom to use the mouse for tunning. If you want a copy of my autoexec.cfg file for Quake2 (configures an entire setup) just e-mail me at or leave an ICQ message to me at I will be more than happy to send it to you.

    And on the part of why America won't destory Iraq. Most Americans (ie me) want Iraq destroyed BUT in the past Americans actually gave Iraq weapons to hold off Iran. If Iraq is Destoryed then Iran will become even more powerfull and then there is a new foe just as powerfull as the previos if not more powerfull. And YES, americans are pretty stupid, but there are always those few that are not and in America just about everybody has a chance to live a good life and the smart people who wish to use their knowledge to better the world are paid very well for their gift. Americans are fat because this country is full of a bunch of lazy asses. Some people in this country won't even change the channel on the TV if they have to get up! Here is a couple sang's fo ya. America is full of the Richest poor People. and If you know two languages your Bi-Lingual and if you know one your American.
    heh heh heh.
    Well I have much more to say but I guess most of ya people would not care about it so I will stop writing about it. These are just random thoughts that came in my mind. So many of em may seem confusing or just plain stupid.

    Andy (MaVeN)

    Interesting stuff on the mouse/keyboard, blah blah blah... what's this? Another chance to comment on USA/Iraq? Yes!
    You say you and most other Americans want Iraq destroyed. Why exactly is this? Before you answer, think about it. Did Saddam Hussein invade an American territory, or attack anything remotly related to USA without being attacked first? Not really, if you think about it. The only possible reason to go to war against Iraq is to protect North America's oil supply (Canada jumped on the bandwagon here too, dumb, dumb). Is that worth the death of thousands of people? I mean, wars should not be fought over things so trivial! The only justifiable war I can think of which USA has gotten involved in this century would be World War II, and even then most of the dirty work had already been done by British, French, Canadian, and Australian troops. THAT is why I have a built-in contempt for America. They are too selfish. (I don't mean Americans are selfish, just the way the country has conducted itself over the past few decades.)

    Whoops, time to get back on topic here...

    Question of the Week
    submitted by Pietman
    For Shore....
    Quake 2 will be the best for a few year's to come.

    Great, care to explain why, perhaps? :-)

    submitted by legion
    To answer your question, Yes I will still play Quake II even with all these new games coming out. However, I will most likely replace Unreal with Half-life when HL comes out this late summer or early Fall.

    Now to the reason for me e-mailing you: you wrote "Yes, we all know the game LOOKS really pretty, but how does it PLAY?"

    First, I can tell you one thing that might be obvious already: for many people the LOOKS is the game play! I have people in e-mail defending the weak storyline of Unreal and claiming all kinds of imaginary holes in the storyline of Quake II just to defend Unreal. The reason: because Unreal LOOKS so cool. It is so "immersive" to these people. For the clueless, to plug the holes in the Unreal storyline, I was told that you need to buy those Unreal novels. The story itself as presented in the manual and in the game has a lot of silly holes in it. For instance, a captain of a PRISON SHIP should not be ordering his crew to investigate "Uncharted Magnetic Masses" and other anomalies as if he was Captain Picard of the USS Enterprise. He has a "cargo" to deliver and any delays risk "losing" that cargo. In the NOVEL, I was told that the captain is not exactly a saint and that the "crash" landing was not an accident.

    The gameplay itself does not offer any thing new to the FPS genre. You still do the same thing over and over again: find button, press it, find door, go through it, etc. However, in Quake II you can re-visit previous levels. Unreal takes a step backwards--you can not do such a thing. So if there are health pods left in a previous level, you can forget about it. You might need it but it is gone. Once you visit a level in Unreal, it is gone.

    The AI in Unreal is better. To be specific, the fighting AI is a distinct improvement over Quake II. The monsters can move while they fire, a feature my SGM mod ( had for months. It also has some form of "pathing AI" where it can follow a path from its current location to you. However, most of the "cool, awesome" AI that reviewers like so much are just simple tricks. For instance, the Skaarj that uses the platform to get to you is actually following a script to make it appear that the Skaarj behaves like DM bots. That is just "eye-candy" AI, nothing more. Remember what I said above regarding the "looks".

    The levels are immense. They are HUGE. And, of course, they are pretty also. But for some reason, people with low IQs think that this is a good thing. It is NOT. The reason that the levels are pretty is that the storyline REQUIRES IT! So it is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It is a requirement. It is a requirement that the level match up with the storyline.

    In Quake II, Stroggos do not suppose to look pretty especially since the player landed near an industrial-military complex, not a rainforest. In Unreal, you land near trees and other pretty things. It would be a complete disappointment if the levels did not match up with the storyline. Too bad many reviewers can not put two and two together. Unreal storyline requires a pretty setting so the levels must look pretty. Reviewers should "grade" the level based on its relevance to the storyline.

    Other than super-sized levels, the levels are not populated with too many enemies. Therefore, a player spends a lot of time walking around looking for something to kill. The game ends up being boring for a lot of people. Those who like the game are the ones who like "adventure" type games like Tomb Raider. Also, remember what I said about "looks". Since the game is pretty, a lot of people don't care if there aren't too many monsters. They are too busy looking at the scenery. The word they use a lot is "immersive".

    Did I return Unreal? Of course not, I keep all my games especially if people can modify it to make it better, not to mention the patches being made to make the game better.

    Inside3D (
    Stroggs Gone Mad (
    Star Wars TC (

    Whoa! A mail from someone who knows what he's talking about! Truly I am in awe.
    If you've ever played Myst, and to a lesser extent Riven, you know what a truly immersive game is (aside from several glaring gameplay and flow problems - I'm talking general feeling here). Draw-dropping graphics play a large part in making you feel like you're really there, but it is plot development which really makes a game immersive. Scripted AI sequences play a large part in this. From what I have heard, these will be present in Half-Life, not just to make the gamer go "oooooh", but also to move the plot along. Quake II, and from what I've heard, Unreal, didn't do as well in this department. Having periodic text updates is good enough, cinematics work, but the actual game goes on in between the plot. It should be a part of it. However, it seems like most people don't put too much stock in plot these days, which is a shame.

    submitted by [P]Korn
    Unreal is like Myst and Riven, it's pretty to look at, but the content is crap. The weapons look like little kiddie toys you'd get at Wal-Mart, and they're about as innovative. The graphics are great, but the lighting effects are definitely overdone. I mean, how many different coloured lights are there going to be in a single room unless you're at a disco club? The multiplayer is a joke, which in my opinion kills it on the spot. Bot match is fun for a while, but face it, bots get old, don't ya think? In my opinion, Unreal could've been and should've been a helluva lot better for being in development as long as it was. I think Half-Life is going to be the winner of the post-Quake2 fps's.


    No-one seems to be saying anything about SiN these days, which is interesting. Wonder if it'll get lost in the shuffle. Well, the demo should be out soon. Then we shall see.

    submitted by Eric "GreyHawk" McClary
    Just like to put my 2 cents in about bots....
    Read about them today, downloaded Zbot, ran it on a server, kicked everyone's butt, made shots not humanely possible, and never I never hit the fire button. THIS IS BULL$#@& This will totally destroy the Quake2 community. I love this game (but I'm not the best) but now every time I see or am hit but an excellent shot I'll have to question the shooter. It shouldn't be that way And the shooter shouldn't have to be questioned - there r some very skillful players out there who could make these some of the shots - but the next time i see a guy falling off a ledge, while i'm grappling across the room, blow my head off - I'll know he's cheating. (By the way i did that during my test). Also I've seen the invisible players on Jailbreak twice - kinda funky when a turret is firing but no one is home :-) I see no way around stopping bots, you can't encrypt the info - too much overhead unencrypting it to play - so I'm not sure what my options r anymore. Sorry to rant but I was in total shock this morning. Thanks
    Eric "GreyHawk" McClary

    If you decide to let it bother you, then it will bother you. On the other hand, you can ignore it, and maybe things will turn out OK. If you see someone cheating and it starts to bug you, tell the server op. If you can't contact him, leave. That should work enough. And have some faith in id - if it gets too bad, they'll put a stop to it. A similar crisis occured in the TF community several months back, and it was dealt with by zoid in the latest release of Quakeworld.

    Demo Invisible Player
    submitted by Sentry
    You guys may have already heard of this hack. There was a player on my CTF server that was invisible. It has been rumored before but I never witnessed it myself.

    I have attached a demo made while chase camming the invisible player. I did not witness whether or not the id command still displays his name when you look at him, when you guess where he is. I think it does.

    The demo can also be had from: (133 kb)

    My CTF server runs the L-Fire mod create by Kai Kenner, excellent coding. and the server's IP address is It is running Quake II v3.17 and the latest CTF patch was applied before the L-Fire mod was setup.

    I hope that maybe you guys can post some info about this somewhere.

    If it matters, I have the IP address that they were at when they were connected, I intend to ban them, but if you needed it for some reason, and have a good reason, I can provide it to you.

    The demo was recorded by SeaBass{NCC} of the Clan NCC.

    Greg "Sentry" Ottman

    This would fall under the 'letting it bother you' category. Or, if you prefer, the 'getting something done about it' category. Raising awareness is the first step to solving a problem (the above mail was cc'ed to Xian, don't bother mailing id).

    Guess that's it. Off to the cottage I go! The great thing about living in Southern Ontario, Canada - peace, calm, and serenity on a lake surrounded by an evergreen forest is always only a two hour drive away. Hopefully r0tfish will be authoring the next mailbag. Send him lots of mails!
    If I didn't post your mail, then you didn't read the guidelines! Remember, technical questions will go straight to my trash can. I will try to post submissions which contain ONLY VALID OPINIONS. Read on for the guidlines...


    • Don't send me specific hardware questions; mail them to the respective companies' technical support.

    • Don't send me specific gameplay questions like how to finish a certain level.

    • Don't send me specific problems you're having; mail them to id Software instead.

    • Don't send me questions about a specific mod; mail them to the mod author.

    The Mailbag deals with opinions, not specific questions. Also, I don't reply directly so you'll need to check The Bag each week. If I happen to grin at your submission you are free to send another. Use it to show I was wrong; if you don't send other logic arguments or facts I will grin a lot harder. Send them to


    1998 Paul "Paubo" Teehan & All rights reserved.