Urban Terror 4.1

So we…err, let me rephrase that the development team released Urban Terror 4.1 on December 22. At that time, I was unavailable to actually be part of the release and for the first time since 1.0 I missed the festivities. It seemed to be a rather low key affair with nothing more than a post on the web site and some news on only a few gaming sites (thanks Roger at QuakeUnity, as always).

Unfortunately during that time I really had no free time to put towards the game, including playing. I did not bother playing any test versions or adding my opinion to any QA related threads. I feel game play decisions were better left to those gamers and development team members who play on a regular basis.

It was not until last week I actually got to download 4.1, install it and play it. I don’t use any fancy scripts or binds, nor do I waste my time with third party applications that query servers, I don’t even use Team Speak, Xfire or Ventrilo when playing. Why bother? The in game browser works and will allow me to connect to any game I need to. Last time I checked this was a fast paced, action shooter, not a visual representation of an IRC chat room. So thus my decision not to use a comm program.

Based on the years I have put in on Urban Terror and the hours I have played the game, 4.0/4.1 represents some of the best work to date from the development team. It makes me wonder what could have been accomplished years ago if we had a dedicated core group, like we do now designing Urban Terror say 5 years ago. At this point we can only play the “What if…” game.

Unlike many of the fanatical gamers in the community I only play for enjoyment. I don’t care about my score, number of head shots, needing to be the best player on the server. Hell rarely is my kill:death ratio in the black, but the bottom line is my enjoyment. I have a great time every time I connect to a server and play. Sometimes I end up being a bit of a chatty bitch because of a barrage of questions from inquisitive gamers who are looking for answers.

Nonetheless my hat is off to those who spent time after 4.0 to help troubleshoot 4.1 and helped get it released. Yeah, I know 4.1 was supposed to be a “quick fix” and I think I recall myself saying that on Urban Radio back in April, 2007 during the 4.0 release. But shit happens. Look at it this way, at least it did not take a year for an update.

Thanks for all the support from the community, even those haters, I still think we have one of the best, strongest and most knowledgeable game communities going.

Stop the bitching!

Holy hell! Would those gamers in the Urban Terror community who continually think they are owed something stop the god damn bitching! Let’s rewind to the week before April 1, if I recall it was a Saturday and I was on the air with Urban Radio. If memory serves me correct (if that doesn’t the recording of the show will) I announced that the development team would be releasing a stand alone client using ioQuake 3, which would allow gamers not owning a retail copy of Quake III Arena a chance to play Urban Terror. This WAS a big point of contention prior to this announcement because requiring a retail copy of Quake III Arena would effectively target a smaller group of gamers. So the stand alone was a breath of fresh air and there were many excited gamers, both inside and outside the community.

That same day it was also announced by myself we would NOT be providing any anti-cheat for the stand alone version of the game. Why? Well, last time I checked our development is for Urban Terror, not an anti-cheat. Secondly, most anti-cheat programs are third party development and run concurrently or as part of the game. We made this clear (as mud for some) that it was not OUR responsibility. Yet some gamers feel we have neglected this fact and think it was our responsibility to take protective measures for our game.

There was an announcement made the following week that Sable, developer of BattlEye was going to code an anti-cheat for Urban Terror (Thanks to woekele for busting his ass on this!) There was some code started for the anti-cheat, unfortunately last week Sable announced he would not finish the program as his priority had changed and was moving on to a project for financial gain. Since that announcement the community (okay, some) have gotten their manties in a serious bunch and have hoped on the “It’s the dev team’s problem and their responsibility.”

To those individuals I call “bullshit!” We have busted our asses for 8 years on this game. The game, not an anti-cheat. It is not our job as developers to include an anti-cheat. PunkBuster was nice when it was supported for Quake III Arena, but even then it was not a fail safe. There were still issues discussed daily about the number of cheaters in the community.

Yet maybe gamers forget our responsibility to the community. That was to develop a game they helped have a hand in. Maybe the development team did get too involved in the community and now you all (okay, most of you) are spoiled by how you are treated by the development team. We have been very open about the development and the direction things were going. But recently there has been as increase in hostility towards the team, most of which is unfounded.

So will leagues taste success without an anti-cheat? In my opinion I think they will. ClanBase has finally decided to give it a chance as they open leagues on April 19. This does means gamers who take on the role of admins will have more work in front of them. Demos will be required and if any question arises regarding a player, their score of the possibility of cheating, them these demos will be requested, reviewed and a decision rendered. Hopefully STA keeps a close eye on ClanBase. Maybe they too will take off their manties, grow a pair and see that io version of Urban Terror can be played on a competitive league without an anti-cheat.

Oswald Rant: East Coast Roadie

Unlike previous rants, you really cannot disagree with what I am about to say. Sorry, maybe next time. This past week I had the opportunity to make a roadie to the East Coast to visit some of the gamers in the Urban Terror Community. MFDoom basically gave me an open invitation to make the trip months ago, but due to my work schedule and the daily routine I was unable to make it. But this past Wednesday, the 21st I boarding a jet bound for Philadelphia.

After a four and a half hour flight, stuck in a economy class, with a middle seat, I was more than happy to get my ass off that plane and start in on my “vacation.” As I walked past security upon arrival I see a motley looking bunch holding a sign reading, “[SID]Oswald” followed by the question, “Okay do you know who we all are?” At the airport to meet me were MFDoom, CaptPorno and Fragging_Newby. Of course the weather was crap, overcast and raining. At least I did get hit with the “smell” of the East Coast…oh yeah, wait that is Jersey that stinks.

The real reason for the visit, aside from hanging out was to go shooting with these guys, as AGBD (agiantblackdude) has a complete arsenal that could arm an entire army. You name it, he seems to have it! But before shooting, as promised CHEESESTEAKS!!! We returned to AGBD’s, where I was going to stay. You know he is on house arrest, right? After changing and hanging out at AGBD’s, FSKGhozt arrived. I got to partake in a REAL cheesesteak. While it was not Pat’s it was still damn good. Beats anything I have had out in SoCal, then again we are not known for our cheesesteaks.

There was a lot of drinking, just ask CaptPorno about his $44 bar bill. No, not for the entire group, but for him. Dude was getting “funky” with some chick as she was playing darts, with her boyfriend next to her side. It was hysterical! You had to be there, but Porno DEFINATELY living up to his name. We shot pool and drank for the next 4 hours or so.

The following day was meant for shooting! The weather decided to cooperate and did not rain. While it was windy and overcast most of the day, it did make for a comfortable shooting day. We hit the Ommelanden Range in Delaware for some skeet and sporting clay shooting. Before this day, I had never handled a double barreled shotgun before. For my first time shooting something larger than a BB gun I think I did rather well, even have the bruise on my right shoulder to prove it. Of course, Doom, Porno, Fragging_Newby and AGBD were right on the mark nearly every time, as Ghozt sat back, listening to these old f*cks call me a “newby” because I rented a shotgun that had a bright orange handle. I believe there was a Viagra reference thrown their way by AGBD, as these old lard asses waddled onto the range. Ghozt then headed off to the indoor range to tear it up with his AR-15 (pictured here).

While skeet shooting was cool (think ut_skeet), the sporting clays was where it was at. Multiple targets being launch in numerous directions, both airborne and on the ground. Out of 24 rounds (some with more than two shots) I score 19 hits. Again, I was new to this and quite surprised at how well I felt I did. I am sure Urban Terror and other FPS games are to thank for this “skill.” AGBD rocked, as did Porno and MFDoom, along with Fragging_Newby and his pump action shotty! With fun like this I could even be convinced to purchase a shotty and a handgun. Check out the “gun nuts” after a day of shooting. Speaking of handguns, I was all to excited to hold a 9mm Luger. While quite rare, this was a high point in my trip (no offense to my hosts), but this weapon is so beautiful. Unfortunately, with a shortened stay I was unable to have the chance to try my accuracy on a range. Next time!

The other reason for the trip was the invite to the {TRIAD} LAN Party in Jersey. Yeah, “smelly” New Jersey. Of course I am from SoCal, so what the hell do I know. MFDoom and I drove about an hour and a half to Dragonne and QueenBee’s house. Upon arrival we played a bit of Urban Terror and stormed the house…lol. They were all in the basement playing the mod. Surprise, right?

It was quite a scene as we walked in on the LAN. Introductions were made: Dragonne, QueenBee, our hosts, Spellbinder, NoLeafClover, Limey, 625, Omita and Lloyd. MFDoom and I took our places and got into the fragging action. While UTZ-Vampyress was not physically at the LAN see completely sw0ned me. Every corner I turned, she was there to greet me an SR-8 shot in the head or ass. Needless to say, I spent quite a bit of time watching the round rather than playing.

It was a blast to meet some of these dedicated gamers who continue to play and support the community, taking an active interest to better the community. Unfortunately, I had not planned on staying the weekend at the {TRIAD} LAN, as we had to head back to Delaware about 6 hours later. Regardless, I do want to thank all those at the LAN, especially Dragonne and QueenBee for the invite.

I also had to cut the trip short due to unforeseen “issues” back in SoCal. So, instead of staying a few more days and drinking, eating and shooting I caught a flight Saturday afternoon back to SoCal. I did not get to hook up with my sister in Virginia or with a group of shoutcasters from TsN. Maybe next time. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to MFDoom for the invite and AGBD for the accommodations. Thanks for a great trip!