id Software explains divisive Quake Live gameplay changes

Bring Quake "one step closer to being a modern shooter".

id Software has moved to explain recent - and divisive - changes to fast-paced old-school first-person shooter Quake Live.

At QuakeCon last month the studio announced that Quake Live would release on Valve's digital platform Steam - and with the move would come a raft of gameplay changes.

The changes are an attempt to bring Quake to a wider audience, id said in a post on the Quake Live forum, "who could experience, appreciate, and fall in love with all that it has to offer."

Changes include giving the player one single primary weapon of their choice as well as granting more freedom as to which secondary weapon the player spawns with. This "allows players to try out various weapons and become more effective on spawn which has been the key complaint of newcomers", id said.

Also, item timers have been introduced. These present themselves transparently in the world, and relay item respawn information. "The timers should adequately teach players when an item is about to respawn or when it is better to move along even without this knowledge," id said.

And an "auto-hop" mechanic has been added, which lets players hold forward and jump to build up some speed. This is in response to strafe jumping, which id said was "the final hurdle for new players to overcome".

"Because the new bunnyjumping only provides a limited amount of accel gain, and is only effective on straightaways, players will still need to learn strafe jumping over time," id stressed. "We hope that this new mechanic will allow both general movement and gameplay to become more accessible encouraging them to continue to play so that they may over time become more accustom to the finer side of Quake."

Some veteran Quake players have reacted negatively to the changes, which are accused of going too far in affecting the tried and trusted Quake gameplay. But id said they were necessary to "bring Quake one step closer to being a modern shooter".

"Quake is a masterful game of skill, often compared to Chess by its veteran players. However, with that depth has come a challenge to welcome and capture new players long enough for them to discover the joy to be found in what many consider the finest Deathmatch game ever made."

The idea, id said, is that the changes will mean more people play the game, more people who may eventually move over to Quake Live's more challenging areas, such as competitive Duel.

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