If I had to draw an analogy, before its initial opening, QL looked like the sexy girl from out of town a friend of you brought to your birthday party. The fact she turned out being underage and arguably female marked the beginning of a long lasting tormented relationship, which recently had an interesting development. Let’s consider it step by step.
Some will say that overall it wasn’t that bad, and I’m probably with them. Expectations and excitement drove many people to QL. The new webpage features (a classic in any social gaming environment nowadays, but a first for our community), and the tracking of personal records, might have been an incentive for some. Curiosity surely played an important role. Yet, the scream for missing features - possibly powered by the frustration of loving something that never made it to where we had desired, and the bitterness grown with the past experiences with half finished games being released - was there from day one, like the shadow of a colossus, ready to explode its wrath. And that explosion came, sooner than anybody would like to remember.
While the game grew with more and more features, and the community digested some important lacks, getting used and appreciating streaming + casting + irc to name one, the image of quakers being a flock of sheep just could not be killed off. A known and accepted image, maybe, but with the difference that, this time, the chief shepherd dog himself – id Software – was leading the way. Such a worthy leader, but leading where?
It is obvious that, lacking any form of centralized entity, such a quake federation, the sheep can go nowhere on their own. If they ever had any concrete idea about where the holy pastureland lies, they never reached the point of being able to decide for their own good. AGP, a noble intent for sure, never saw the surface, and dramatically sunk to the bottom of a water pool of jokes, where sheep go and drink every now and then, smiling at their own misfortune without even realizing it. G7? The bottom of the pool seems to have plenty of room left...
Among the sheep crowd there are of course differences, and the most popular cast is the one of the pros. Everybody knows two things about them; they are tractor beams for the rest of the community, and they follow the money. They are not really to be blamed for either, but indeed these two facts are major contributors for the changes. In the past pros changed mods and games, and except for embarrassing karaoke shows like painkiller, the community did follow them. In this respect, we surely have to thank iD Software, as the pure fact QL was their last baby did route money for tournaments. A fresh new set of money opportunities for our beloved pros, and if one still needed a reason to switch to QL, the first shout-casted matches settled the deal.
Like Noe’s boat, all sheep on board! In the excitement of the moment, one would lean over the ship's rail and exclaim: “Is that AGP you can see down there, underwater?” causing general amusement. The fact that that could be considered a bad omen for a sailing boat apparently did not matter, but why should one care of one's own short sightedness when there is a brand new boat and endless opportunities and places to explore?
And what a wonderful journey that was. ESL would promote the game as had never been done before. People like Carmac, Xou, 2GD, Joe, Slasher, lvl^ guys and many more put a lot of energy into their work, ultimately to entertain the guests. And like in an ideal world, the sheep enjoyed everything free of charge.
Someone might have asked for how long this could go on. The truth is that it is very easy to grow up like a young pampered bleating noble, pretending everything as a right from birth. The sheep were simply spoiled from the past. The grass on the farm backyard would grow for free, right?
Rumors are an important ingredient of every story. In this particular one, a single but long post including details of the biggest QL update ever would shake the boat from stern to bow. The funny part about it is that, while the concept of premium and pro account was clear before, the real novelty was how big the content update was. You would expect everybody to be happy, right? Everybody yes, except the poor sheep, who started moaning for the upcoming shearing, meant to pay for their own trip to go on.
While the details about the money they will charge are not disclosed yet, there seem to be a more fundamental problem here. People want the game to grow, the pros to make real money so that they can continue to entertain us, and why not, a bit of glory for ourselves. Since, after years of playing quake, we feel like we are the pinnacle of FPS and should be respected for that. But as you know, this is a world where somebody like Cooller or Cypher may be denied visas to participate in tournaments, while a 15 year old girl would consider it appropriate to repeatedly have sex with 11 players of a shitty football team like Thun in a shitty tournament like the Swiss one, because she is a fan of the manshaft and gets free ticket for the matches. Something is really screwed up here, beside the girl.
So, one option is to sit down and cry for all the wrong there is in this world. Another option is to accept how things work, and understand that even if the channel that brings you quake is the holy land of internet where a lot of things are free, at the other end of the cables there is still the same hated world and rules we would like to forget about.
Edited by Memento_Mori at 03:54 CDT, 15 July 2010 - 66430 Hits