As I was playing a match online about a week ago, all the players seemed to be having a good time together and I thought it would be nice to have a chat room for everyone to chat in after a game. I don't understand why these major elements of a gaming community (IRC, QL itself & streaming) aren't combined, or if its even possible.
My idea centers around IRC, QL & streaming to be meshed as a single interface. I've never done it before, but as I understand it, in pickup channels you can do something akin to "!CTF" and when there is enough players, a game is spawned. Organize servers by location as they are now, but make channels for each gametype (i.e. #dallas.tdm, #chicago.ctf, etc.) or if not for each gametype then a room per server, and allow ppl in the channel to declare what gametype they are waiting for by doing the !TDM, which adds them to a list, waiting for more players. With private servers available for clans, this could come in handy so you could create a lockable chat room for your members to come into, spawn a game for scrims, league matches, or just team practice, all the while controlling who is able to come in.
It boils down to a chat network able to spawn servers (or admins on it that are able) for players waiting in IRC, and a stream channel linked to the IRC room which spectators can chat while watching them game without disrupting everyone in the server. The streaming aspect of this could actually remove the need for spectator slots entirely, except if they want to use them for coach slots, admins, teammates, etc.
Okay, side-effect I can think of about chat-room game spawning would be that the way the skill tier system is right now, you could be spawned into a game with people much better than you. To remedy that, before the game is spawned, the system could send you a message that lists the players and what level the game would be compared to your skill level, the equivalent of the little arrow(s) up/down on the page right now that display how easy/hard the game will be for you.
Or, a command that lets you set the min/max skill of the game you wish to play- like !TDM.t3 (for tier), or a set of menu options that does the same, then before spawning the server it tells you something like "This match will be (Your Skill Level/Difficult/Very Difficult/Below Your Skill), and not let you join one the equivalent of 2-down arrows below your skill, then "Do you wish to join? Y/N"
For Spectators: I think it would be a good idea also if the spectators had a miniature overhead view of the map, which would tell them the players' location & movements, to get a "bird's-eye view" of the action, see how teams are moving, etc. Also nice would be a spec option to see the amount of health/armor the opponent has without having to switch to their POV. In my mind I see something like how when you get an "Impressive" that little rail icon appears over your head, except with health/armor values, which someone could see by a command that can be bound for when spectating.
Also, I wondered the possibility of when a server is spawned, for there to be a link created that anyone can click and spectate the match. You can already post a link to a game for someone else to join, imo it would be great if the same could be done for a stream.
Now, I don't know what any of this would mean to someone trying to shoutcast a game, but surely there could be menu options for shoutcasting.
Could Quake Live merge with Quakenet to make this possible? Could id acquire a streaming service to also merge with this, making all this available from quakelive.com? If (I know, big "if") id is going to make something from this browser-based game, then why not make all these other browser-based elements together in one system?
I would like your input, ESR. Suggestions? Ideas? I have no doubts there will be comments.