Today I presented a friend with Quake2World, he promptly responded with a question. He asked me "Why should I play Quake2World?"
That is a very loaded while valid question. This is my public response to that individual and others who may be asking the same question. It is not in-depth, just a summary of my personal feelings about the current state of some attributes of Quake2World, hopefully a justification as to "Why Quake2World?"
The game is backed by competent gamers and developers, some with professional experience, that can make educated choices both in technology as well as game-play. The community is welcoming and not overly nationalistic, egotistic, or elitist. The developers are responsive and open to suggestions but have well-set priorities. There is a lack of players but that would be expected in a game that hasn't yet had a release. The community also heavily contributes, with almost every active community member submitting material or knowledge. There is very little drama, but always intelligent argument, making a friendly and diverse environment that promotes thinking – that kind of community fuels developers to make the right decisions with their game.
Quake2World is a fast-paced death-match game that keeps its roots in the Quake series while still giving itself an original feel. The game is fast but still keeps you orientated, and forces you to stay aware. The physics are differentiated from other games, yet keeping familiarity with the usual tricks: bunny-hopping, strafe-jumping, weapon tricks, ramp-sliding, double-jumping (ala Q2), et al. Weapons are mostly polished and refined versions of the original Quake 2 weapons; although I'm hoping a lightning gun is a prospect for the future, along with other weapon modifications. Most maps use a scale similar or slightly larger than Quake 2 maps which are very fitting in consideration of Quake2World physics. The maps are multi-layered and have weapon placements that are quite good in my opinion. Quake2World comes with a few original maps, as well as many maps ported from the Quake series. The maps are not easy to dominate, with most making a suitable environment for 1v1 or 2-8 player death-matches. There is a lack of capture the flag maps and large maps to facilitate a large amount of players. The game contains many standard game-play modes and modifications such as death-match, team death-match, capture the flag, rocket arena, and instagib. But unfortunately the game does not yet have highly original or exotic game-play modes.
Quake2World has a design philosophy which advocates equal consideration of performance and graphical splendor; it is one of the few games I truly do not change any graphical options from default when I play. The performance is very good, and should be very playable on older hardware but still look very nice on it.
The graphics have a good level of clarity. The textures in maps are very crisp, but still look smooth, uniform, and seamless. The maps have a good level of detail but details are not overused in a way that heavily reduces performance. Models for weapons are non-existent. Many player-models are nipped from other games but generally look pretty good. Health, armor, and other item models are well-done but lack character in terms of the textures. Although there are many contributors helping with the art and art direction! There are also quite realistic lens-flares that are not too obtrusive; they are subtle and no-doubt add to the atmosphere. A material system is available to add animated textures, environmental mapping, and many other things. Atmospheric effects such as fog, snow, and rain are also available at the mapper's discretion.
Quake2World has net-code that, in the credible words of Jay Dolan, should be able to run a sixteen player death-match on a good cable connection with no slowdowns. It allows for customizable packet rates (sv_packetrate), defaulting to 20, which can allow for a smoother game-play experience than the original Quake 2 allowed for. The net-code lacks anti-lag. Jay Dolan has stated that he does not have enough information at this moment on the subject to make the decision of whether it will be implemented in the future or not.
The game has yet to be released, so hopefully all areas will be polished, and I'll have no major gripes with the game at that time. I'll try to make a more in-depth and updated response to "Why Quake2World?" when it hits its first official release.