The Mailbag


Welcome back to the mailbag. You may notice a rather large change, in that all of the technical questions seem to have disappeared from the area... this is probably because I was sick of people not reading the guidlines :). I have only posted questions which contain opinions or raise a really good point -- the rest of the posts are rants et al. In this weeks' issue... a really big mishmash of stuff. Enjoy!

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. 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. Here we go....


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

March 1st, 1998
Last Issue: February 22nd, 1998

Thresh "US world champ"
submitted by O//Fix\\o
I would love you to correct your article about quakeII and thresh.
He's not the World champ.
He never made a match versus the best europeans deathmatchers.
He won in USA, that's all.
When a world cup will be organized, maybe he'll win, and he'll be the
World CHAMP.
Please stop thinking that USA=World.


Hmm, interesting. I always assumed that the PGL was open to anyone, anywhere, so you don't have to be in USA to enter. However, I checked the PGL official website, and there it is, residents of USA and Canada only. So, you're right... technically, Thresh isn't the world champ, just "North American" (for simplicity's sake, North America = Canada + USA). However, don't count on the PGL expanding to include Europe anytime soon...

DM teamplay non-existant?
submitted by -=BlakNite=-
Well, is it? I mean, has anyone found a decent team play map out of any of 'em that can compare to the strategy in Q1's DM3? Is there going to be someone that is gonna make a decent DM teamplay map pack? Or is Q2 destined to be completely moded for teamplay? (JailBreak, CTF).. It seems that way..Seeing that the only real weapon/item that needs protecting is the BFG now, and even that is pretty easily gotten away from.. any thoughts?

Traditionally, deathmatch is for deathmatch, not teamplay. When the id authors designed the maps, they were probably thinking of making them the best they could be for insane fragfests. With no native support for teamplay in QuakeII, it seems that id is sort of pushing it aside... However, I have not tried teamplay on any of the new dm levels, so it's unfair to say they suck at it. Give it a chance first...
If you want to play on a team, your best bet looks like CTF, or maybe you could wait for Team Fortress II (now THERE is team play at its best!).

Me ranting on inexperienced users and their dangerous ways...
submitted by Mugwum
Well, I've been pissing about with computers since I first got into using them a couple of years ago, and consider myself incredibly technically apt. (Heh, I'm modest too....), but many of the world's computer users ain't too well versed in the ways of messing with drivers for graphics cards and directx crap. Windows95 was supposed to be incredibly easy to use, "the next gen OS", but it's a nightmare for a newbie. My friend, who is not God-like in the ways of hardware, has been disappointed by the fact that he cannot play Jedi Knight/Quake2/Age Of Empires, in the high resolutions my P233 can handle. He has a P100 with 16Mb edo RAM, and I have explained to him that he can upgrade, but it's not for the faint hearted. He listened to my recommendations of more RAM, maybe a better graphics card, a 2D/3D combo, perhaps. He didn't really understand, except that this would speed him up and he wanted it. I explained the hideous idea (to him) of unsheathing his PC's insides and fitting this stuff. "Not only does it cost money," I said, "but it takes a while to sort, too." Many computer-illiterate users will want to upgrade, too. Anyway, he gave up and bought a Saturn, he was easily led away from the hideous upgrade route, but many others won't be. Your Sites and Magazines, may tell them they NEED this and that, no matter the cost, but when they end up frying their motherboard, they will turn on us. And their wrath will be bloody annoying.

Totally... computers are death for the newbie, 'tis true. I remember when I first got Win95... and let's just leave it at that :). You've said enough, I guess...

Great ideas for models...
submitted by Morisato Strife
Hey guys, I know you don't make models or skins (right?),but you probably know many people who do, and therefore can pass on this little idea to them. (please)

Now we all know about the oh so hot game of 1997 Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation. (also coming to the PC next month or so.) And if you've played FFVII, you've seen the awesome battle mode, with (and take note of this) full polygonal characters. If you so happen to be playing right now, take a good look at them. Especially the good guys. Don't some of them (Barret, Vincent) scream Quake2 conversion?
:How about the main bad guys, the Turks? These guys are too cool to pass up, and RUFUS, c'mon! He carries a SHOTGUN! They are destined for Quake2. I implore you, please make any player and skin modelers you know look at Final Fantasy VII and consider the idea!

FvF,---> These models can be both! And if you want to get cute, like the AstroBoy and Snork models, what could cuter than Moogles and Chocobos?

Thanks for reading this!

P.S. (If you do manage to convince your friend skin and player modelers of this idea, try pushing a bit further and hint at doing the other models-Tifa Reno, Sephiroth, even Palmer. You won't regret it!)

Well, I've never played Final Fantasy VII (I know, I suck...) so most of the names mean nothing to me... but I'm sure fans of the game would love to see something like what you're describing. Anyone reading... are you up to it? Or do you know any good skinners/modellers who might be?

And this is my ranting rave-like opinion...
submitted by Morisato Strife
I should've posted this sooner, like when Vanilla was still da bomb, but better late than never I suppose...

A typical Vanilla CTF match, in which I am kicking much gluteus maximus, by the way with the laser grappling hook.
(generic server-whiner--GSW) :hey mori?
(The oh so great Morisato Strife) :yeah?
(GSW) :don't use grapple to kill like that or i'll kick u
(Morisato Strife) :wtf like what?
(GSW) :like rapid fire that's what
(Morisato Strife) :why not!?!
(GSW) :its cheating. use it again i'll kick u
(Morisato Strife) :......(fuming).........

I would like to say one thing about this-WHAT THE F------ F--- IS UP WITH THAT!! It is NOT cheating to use the laser grappling hook to kill-it's done all the time. The rapid fire part (in which one repeatedly clicks the fire button at close range to do maximum damage for every shot) MIGHT be a bug, but since no one has come forward with a patch for that, it must be accepted and therefore must not be that big a deal. The way I see it, a person who is willing to pass up a super shotgun, a railgun, even a BFG10K in favor of the weaker grappling hook SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO USE THE GRAPPLING HOOK! It's too much trouble to switch from weapon to hook to weapon, etc, even with binded keys. Sticking with the hook is much easier.

It's also a bigger challenge for the user, because they HAVE to get in their opponent's face for the grapple to be effective, and he/she won't know if the opponent has a one shot kill weapon ready for them. And if the person is with the flag, that makes more of a challenge, since evrybody's gunning to stop the capture. You ever try clear out a room full of opponents with your grapple and suddenly, THE GRAPPLE JAMS ON YOU? It's not a pretty situation. To capture the flag with that technique should GIVE more respect, right? You probably won't get it from the server, if s/he is on the opposing team, and that team is losing, and s/he has a sore loser personality. I don't know about everybody else, but to ban the use of rapid fire grapple suggest LAMER. It also suggests that the server, who is usually has low ping, has full body armor, and is somehow always armed to the teeth with the Finger Of, I don't know, GOD BFG can't do jack against a lowly flag runner with just a close range hook that's liable to jam up at any given moment.

My rant for the hour
-Morisato Strife

P.S. (People have said that the hook "has unlimited ammo and does max damage on its initial hit" that's why it's cheating. HELLO! Doesn't the BLASTER do same damn thing? Go to planetquake to see)

IMO, anyone who thinks you should be kicked for killing with the grapple shouldn't be playing CTF. I totally agree with you... the grapple is a part of the game, and if you want to use it as a weapon, hell, that should be your choice. It isn't really cheating if anyone can do it, is it?

[no subject]
submitted by mbelfinger
I have been visiting this page ever since the the q2test has come out and have visited it every day since then and think its one of the best on the net. You guys keep up to date on the latest patches and mods and that helps alot to those of us who are not computer geniouses. Hats off to all you folks over at

If you ever have a job opening dont be afraid to wright (

Thanks a lot! Glad to know we're appreciated.

An error on your page!
submitted by TheMAN2
On your main page you wrote:

Now With Super-Kung-Fu Action Grip!
Ridah made an update about the Eraser Bot progress. He has no included some swimming code and says they take to the water just like fish. Keep an eye out to see what other features he has planned for the Eraser's future.

You wrote "no" instead of "now" just thought you might want to know

Hey, you know what? I don't care! You know what else? Nobody else does!

submitted by Zondaro, Prince of GibVille

I have a rant...I bought Quake2 for the soul reason of playing deathmatches. I downloaded the point relase, fired up Game Spy and started fraggin...or so I thought. I don't know what happend between Quake and Quake2, but people seem to be just there to kill. What happend to talking and chatting? It was gib, gib, gib...and the other day someone wrote into PcGamer bitching about the maps being to big, and that there were too few players for them. I havent found a game yet with less that 8 people. I played Jedi Knight for months, and everyone was nice, and games were fun. But, I am pissed off at some of these Quake Players...they never talk, and they write over and over about how you I just playing on the wrong servers? I want to have FUN and make FRIENDS.

Zondaro, Prince of GibVille

It really depends on the situation... sometimes the action is SO intense that people don't have time to chat. Sometimes the people are the shy type who are so concentrated on the game that they don't even notice if you say anything. Sometimes, the people are just lamers... and sometimes they're nice friendly people. It all depends... Here's a word of advice: if you want to make some friends, try Rocket Arena, where most of it is sitting around and watching two OTHER people duke it out. Everyone has lots of time to chat then!

CD-music not playing
submitted by Nathan Viking of Fury
This is in reply to the person who wasn't getting the music. Pop open your case and look for a wire coming out from your CD-ROM drive. It should be a small cable, grey (at least mine is), and about 4-6 inches long. Check to make sure it's plugged into your sound card (there should be a matching male connecter near the top of the card) and if it's not, plug it in! If you're uncomfortable doing this work inside your PC, there are plenty of people who will be willing to help you for a minor service fee. Good Luck and happy Fragging!

Nathan Viking of Fury

P.S. great job on the site, guys, I hit it just about every day, and never fail to be impressed.

This one was just a public service... remember I don't normally post technical stuff! Thanks for the compliments.

To confusing.
submitted by Paul Officer
Doom was great, Doom 2, quake. But this Quake 2 has been a nightmare. Everything I try to its hassle, shitty pings, no skins, cant find maps, new patch out every other day. I try everynight for a while and get pissed off and go and play a great stable game like Diablo. I think its going to be a short time and ID can stick there game were the sun can't see it, but it won,t matter they are busy will patch ver 2948456z.

You did not want to here specific problems, so I am not going to ask. I am not the only one having problems. I just want to play the dam game without out the hassles. You could do that with Doom, play for a half hour of mindless killing and get your bliss not with the latest greatest garbage. Its to bad it looks like a great game, can't even play with the neighbour as the a holes never put in modem play. Its essential for people that live in area's that have been neglected by ma bell.

Thanks for the ear.

Not too many people seem to be impressed with id's apparent inability to release a stable game... one major patch is almost invariably followed by another. It really is a shame, because despite all that, Quake II remains one of the best games ever in my mind! So many people have been soured by the whole experience.
P.S. for modem-to-modem instructions, I believe there's a link to a tutorial in the FAQ.

Helluva good question!
submitted by bEElzebUb
(question from last week's mailbag)
How do i get one of those great jobs where i just sit there and answer email and beat the sh*t outta other players on line all day? I cant believe someone actually gets paid and paid well to play Quake II and answer Quake email. GOD BLESS AMERICA! Im gonna invent a hot new game with all sorts of sick graphics and options and call it monopoly! (end of question)
Hey! There's one helluva good question!
Try this, gain the liking of the previous maintainer of the mailbag, rant on all sorts of subjects, prove that you might be a good candidate to take over, and maybe, just maybe, they'll simply ask you! Oh wait, I guess if that happened then Blitz would just tell you to go to hell and give the job to someone else, like Paubo here. (No offense Paubo, you're great too, but I mean c'mon!)
Blitz, bEElzebUb cordially invites you to KISS HIS ASS! Ehem.

Oh boy, this should be fun (not). For the record, when Sat decided to leave the mailbag a few weeks ago, there was a bit of a mixup. bEElzebUb and me were both offered the job... I ended up with it, and here I am.
bEElzebUb, please don't be bitter or anything... I know you are mad, but Blitz would not have deliberately ignored you. Don't stop sending in the rants et al... and if there is ever an opening here, I will ask them to give it to you. How's that?

We're not id...(Well your site is so good it might as well BE id.)
submitted by Morisato Strife
I just want to say that your site is one of the best around, and keep up the good work!
-Morisato Strife

Thanks a bunch!

Racked off...
submitted by Richard Brown
Hey lads, what's going on?

I've downloaded the 3.12 patch (Point release) recently then a few days later there's 3.13 released. I mean c'mon what the hell is id playing at......It's bad enough they were not given time to finish the game initially and release it half finished, but this is getting ridiculous.

I wouldn't mind the the patch was 1-2 meg long, but 3.12 was 9 meg.
Jesus christ.....
Yours Racked off...
. On a kinder note.....keep up the good work guyz...

Yep, it's the patch controversy again! But then, who wouldn't be mad.. having to wait for half an hour to download something which should have been in the game in the first place. I agree with you, 9 megs is too much. I think they should have released the dm levels seperately... that way people aren't forced to wait for something they might not ever even use! Like the 64-player maps... they handled that very well. Releasing them seperately I mean.

Just a correction or 2
submitted by Surreal
I don't know if you've noticed, but & lt doesn't show up as a < in HTML :) well at least it doesn't in navigator 4.04. Also, Your link to the guidelines at the top of the mailbag page takes you out of frame mode so you don't have the menu on the left anymore :-/ again, at least in navigator 4.04
Actually, maybe it's just that & lt doesn't work followed by certain characters. Apparently it worked when you typed & lt/sarcasm but not & ltsarcasm (in the first letter of the mailbag)

Whoops, my bad... I guess that's what I get for doing ALL of my HTML with Win95 notepad! Down with WYSIWYG editors! Notepad forever! <G>

The wanks that think you're id software
submitted by Surreal
Hi, I'm getting a tad annoyed at the idiots that think you are the makers of quake. Why don't you just put a big sign on the front page "Not to be confused with, creators of quake & quake2" er something like that. That would substantially reduce the mails directed at id, and of course you can laugh all the harder at the morons who still think you made quake :)

Well, they're not necessarily "wanks" per se... just a tad misinformed :)

My force feedback rant
submitted by Surreal
I've got a friend just like peasant boy. More money than sense. It pisses the hell out of me. I'm alot more mature about most issues, but when it comes to force feedback's merits and Microsoft in general, I go berserk. Here goes...

First of all, who the hell in their right mind would buy a microsoft joystick. All gimmick, no gut. Sooo typical of Microsoft. Especially the force feedback, my friend has one of them too. You can't control the bitch for your life, and the joystick lasts all of 5 days before breaking. They're not worth the shrinkwrap they're packed in. Get a real stick like a CH fighterstick.

MDK with force feedback beats the living shit outta quake 2? You MUST be joking. The effects in that are SOO try-hard. Do you really feel a thump in your hand when you take a step? This, IMHO isn't realistic.

"but if it's a play-off between accuracy and FF, there's no competition in my opinion". Grrr. Yer dead right about that, you just forgot which of the two wins. With the mouse, you can aim, like, well! and.. and actually KILL people! Force feedback? like HELL. This in quake would annoy the living sh*t outta me.. You'd be lucky to walk straight. Besides, how long is Force Feedback's gee-whiz appeal gonna last? it's a freakin NOVELTY and it wouldn't last 4 hours. And you consider yourself a die-hard quake player. In your f***ing dreams, I say.

Whew, I feel much better now.

It seems that force feedback support would make the game more realistic... but that is that not a bit of an oxymoron when you think about it? A realistic game? You're fighting aliens, for crying out loud... it's not real life. However, that other guy, (sorry! forget your name) makes a good case for Force Feedback. Maybe we have a debate starting up...

Rant about Q2CTF
submitted by Ed. "QUICK" Quicksall
I have to send a rant about "skins" or Models. First off when I write "you", I am talking to everybody not just I know If I have a tech problem to goto the source. (Good for you! They're getting smarter... - P)

Now my Rant. I play alot of CTF, When I saw a player with a default "skin", I couldn't tell what team they were on. I shot a couple of messages about changing there "skin", but when I found they were using a "skin" and I didn't have that "skin". I immediate disconnected and download the "skins" then jump back on. I was on one server where anybody was yelling about the "skins". WHY can't you players download the skins and play the game.

Also All you developers of mods need to add a 5sec messages Pentity when someone starts slamming messages. Like in All-Star CTF for Quake, after 4 quickly repeated messages the player can't talk for 5 to 10 sec. Nothing is worse than keeping a eye out for team messages and not see it because some A**HOLE is sending 30 messages that say the same thing.

For Now,

Ed.. "QUICK" Quicksall

Yeah, default skins are a problem... most of the time, if you see a default skin, it means YOU don't have the skin, but that doesn't seem to be the problem in your case... There is (was?) a bug in official CTF where players were assigned the default skin if they were using a model other than male or female. If you see someone with a default skin, then politely ask them to change models.
Also, I agree with you, flood/spam control is greatly needed in EVERY multiplayer mod. I can sympathise with you - trying to watch for a team message and having some loser flooding everything...
Thanks for writing.

submitted by Robert Mondore
Looks like this could be a great site...Now, if I could only read it! Poor contrast with very small print makes a great site a poor one.

The site is designed primarily for 800x600 resolution... and the vast majority of users tend not to experience a problem... try adjusting your monitor settings (like maybe the contrast :)

submitted by ToxicW
Here it is from the top...... I bought QII, loaded the full install, fired it up, fell in love. I have a p166mmx with 64mb ram, Intergraph intense 3D voodoo rush graphics, AWE64, and all the other expensive feces one needs to experience orgasmic game play. I tried the game in software and 3dfx openGL video modes and the difference in the graphics were akin to the buzz you get from a glass of milk and stiff shot of tequila. BUT.......the game is as dark as being lodged about 10 feet up a mules ass. I have browsed and browsed and browsed. My butt has gone way past asleep, it is now in an irreversible coma, and all i have accomplished amounts to pissing in the wind. I am sure i will work out all the problems with a little perseverence and a piss bucket next to my computer, but when i came across your moan, bitch and gripe page, i had to stop and throw a tantrum.
P.S.......For god's sake, don't offer any advice, lest i be struck by lightning !!!!
also.......It seems to me that if you take away all the questions, the page is non existant!!

Well, technically this IS a question... but you want it to be a rant, so OK, that's fine. You sure you don't want any advice? Because I probably have a console command or two you could try... and this page doesn't seem very non-existant to me! heheh.

submitted by Pumbert
Hey not every Q2 user that comes to your page has bought it you know. There are alot of people who have Warez and other kinds of versions of Q2. I think you need to put up the cracks for Quake2. Thankyou for your time.

You think we need to put up the cracks? Do you think we are going to actually HELP people illegaly get QuakeII? Man, shut up. id software deserves to be paid for the game they made.

submitted by Overkill
I think that there is too many patches for multiplayer in Quake 2. Pretty soon there will be too many versions of Quake 2. And if you are like me and live in a small city (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada), there is no good internet servers to choose from (they are all dial up connections), so I either waste me limited internet hours downloading new updated patches, or I dont play at all. So it is really getting tedious for me to play anymore. But dont get me wrong on this, Quake 2 is the best game I have ever played, but there has to be a cut down on patches for multiplayer. Thank u for your time.


I believe we've covered this before... but I agree with you anyway. Fewer patches, more beta-testing!

submitted by croper
I had a cool idea. Somebody (like Stomped or something) could make something called an "Update Page." Basically, it would act like the .plan update sections that a lot of Quake pages have at the top of their page. One would go to the "Update Page," and see what Quake news pages have been updated since what time. If the page was good, it could possibly even have some sort of personalization, where after you logged on, it would show you only the pages that you wanted to know about. I know that I've got 5 Quake news pages bookmarked that I check about 3 times a day, and most of them only update once, maybe twice. So, I'm wasting alot of time checking on pages that haven't updated yet. This would help alot, me thinks. But I think it's up to you big name Quake pages to make this work, if you wantd to. Later

Hmm, not a bad idea... but that would be tricky to pull off... mainly because there are so many big sites, and so many people at each site... I don't know.

Bug in v 3.13 single-player game?
submitted by Ronald A. Tyson
Is it me, or is there a bug in either the point release (3.12) or in the 3.13 patch that is not in v. 3.10?

In the single-player game, Unit Four, The Lower Mines, near the end of the level, you are supposed to activate a laser to blast a passage throught the wall so that you can complete the level. Seems as if it isn't working now. The laser comes on, but it doesn't make a hole.

I restarted the level, worked to the same point, killed the Tank, pressed the button on the laser again: No hole.

Have you heard this from anyone else?

Interesting... tried it myslef, and you appear to be right. I've forwarded your message to one of the id software guys, we'll see if he replies.

And so ends my first second mailbag. 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...


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.