Not a joke, real deal. And it's up-to-date with current ql.com game version.
Update: The world has not ended, Christmas is coming, here's a gift. Dec 17th, 2012 updated.
What custom stuff can you use?
Well, right about anything. Installing custom stuff is as easy as drag & drop. Basically, find the custom pk3's, make sure they're ql encoded and put them in your baseq3. Make sure you name your pk3's zz-xyz.pk3 because in ql the last letter of alphabet overrides all before it (basically, zz-custompak.pk3 with ads overrides ql's ads).
Quake Live's pk3 is just an encoded zip, to decode it use the qldec tool that can be found here: http://aluigi.org/papers.htm (you can also use the same tool to reencode/encode to ql pk3 format). Let's say you want only tdm premium scoreboard ql pak. Head over to your quake live's baseq3 folder and copy pak06.pk3 from there to the folder where you put quakelivedec.exe in. Decode the pk3 (command to do that is quakelivedec.exe <existing pk3> <new pk3>) and just unzip from that point on. You'll see 3 folders when it's unzipped, now just pack the ui/ folder and .dummy file, reencode in the same manner as you decoded and put it to your baseq3. Ofcourse, you shouldn't go through all that hustle so just copy & paste the pak06.pk3 to your local baseq3 and you're done.
What about Q3 maps? Yet again, just grab the Q3 pk3 files and encode them for QL using qldec tool. When you're done just place them in local ql baseq3 folder. One bit of advice tho, when converting Q3 ctf maps, open them up in radiant and remove team arena content there and make sure the weapons are properly placed, because 3w map pack includes all the TA holdables + powerups by default to appear on the map. If you're a map maker you can also test your own maps directly on QL, no need to test it with cpma guys anymore.
Additional content? Well, there's the brightskins for almost all models, download them from http://www.mediafire.com/?2gk2x5yak5bd84o. I think Quake Unity has some weapon models as well (if not, google it, shouldn't be too hard to find). CPMA flags also work in QL, if you're lucky maybe even blood works (if id didn't remove the blood code from QL). Finally, you can make your own content and put it on the server. Here's some ideas for people with free time, make custom spectator huds (QL one is awful), score tabs, game models, gtv, etc...
Hope you will enjoy it and make proper use of it.
So, why use this over ql.com?
Top advantages would most definitely be the following
1) Help your local community grow - make a lan for starters, no id assistance required!
2) Maps and other custom content. Self explainable.
3) Tweak the game to your own liking - want defrag in QL? No problem, just go to the server console and set up the parameters.
4) It's 100% FREE (aside from traffic costs that might pop up if you decide to host a dedicated server) and with all ql features (and more) enabled for everyone playing.
Major disadvantages compared to ql.com
1) It's very hard to update the server/client (fortunately id updates the game few times a year and mostly never does changes to server), and probably impossible if you're just an end user who doesn't know shit bout computers.
2) No service that tracks your stats (unless you code one yourself). :(
3) Server is 64bit linux only.
4) Getting caught.
5) No official support and no telling when will we push to same version as ql.com (usually only in case of major release & changes).
How to not get caught?
1) Never EVER connect from quakelive.com to one of the servers because id will probably notice it.
2) Don't advertise your servers.
3) Since the server or the custom client aren't sending anything to id or master server, make sure you follow the rules above and you and your friends/community/whatever will be safe.
Now, to the important part...
Running your server
1) Download and extract the server, and follow both README files (one is in baseq3 as well).
2) Asuming you did what was requested of you in baseq3README, go back to top level and run one of those qll-ctf/tdm/duel init scripts. Make sure they're executable (chmod +x qll* to be sure). Btw, the settings in there are default ones, so feel free to change things according to your settings (open ports, edit configs, etc).
That's it as far as starting the server goes, on to the client...
Setting up your client
1) Download and extract the client, and do exactly what the README tells you to do
2) Start the client and do what you wish. Be it online play, botplay or just watching demos, hf. :)
1) Unpure client: this one means that you have some files (pk3's to be precise) in your local ql dir that are not in server's baseq3 folder. Go through your local ql dir and compare to server's, remove the intruders and hf. If you don't feel like removing stuff from your baseq3 then just /reconnect in console and it should all be good.
2) Wrong version of libpng: only occurs on linux, if you happen to get that bug (you'll know it by seeing white blocks instead of text once you start the game) just do the following, install libpng12 from your repos, and start the client from console, like this: LD_PRELOAD="/usr/lib/libpng12.so.0" ./qloff.x64
3) Server segfaults while loading qagamex library (suse related bug, might occur on some other distros as well):
a) either start the server with default binary (qll64) and remove qagamex64.so from your baseq3 once your server is running, or;
b) edit the init scripts to run qll64-suse, patched binary for suse servers
That's it. Hopefully you don't run into problems with setting up. Have fun!
* Full package: http://ompldr.org/vZ3NrYg
* Server & Client (win/tux/x32/x64): http://omploader.org/vYnZucQ
Edited by ql4all at 13:35 CST, 22 December 2012 - 240130 Hits