When Quake III first hit our screens in the middle of '99 it was as a test version intended to help Id ship a game not encumbered with the usual patch requirements. Two years on we're still downloading and installing new patches - the latest of which is called 1.29f Beta - and it's difficult to be reticent with our criticism of it. Firstly, it's another Beta, with nearly an entire page of "notable" changes before we even reach the minor ones. Of course, updates to the network code (intended to try and help modem players better enjoy the game) have once again skewered backwards compatibility with previous versions, but that's something of a pre-requisite for any Id Software patch nowadays. Friendly additions include a few "pro" map updates from new Id employee Fred Nilsson, who as an avid fan of tournament deathmatch went through and modified a number of popular maps, a new AutoUpdate system to try and keep players onside with the latest updates, and several new weapon effects for the railgun, rocket launcher, plasma rifle and lightning gun. Although cheating doesn't seem to be as much of a problem in Quake III as it is in Counter-Strike, that's largely because CS players outnumber Quakers by 10 to 1. Because there is a problem, Id have taken measures to try and keep it under control by tightening areas that were unhealthily loose. Joining these graceful additions are pages of bug fixes that once again show us how "it's never done". If you would like to amuse yourself with them, a complete listing can be viewed here. A complete list of download mirrors for the 25Mb file can be found at QuakeIIIArena.com, but they are under a lot of strain at the moment.
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