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How Steam Revived a Dead Game

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the price-is-right dept.

PC Games (Games) 234

Ask Stenum writes "Rock Paper Shotgun has an interesting write-up about how Unreal Tournament 3 has risen from the dead after Epic Games patched it, made a deal with Valve to put it on Steam and making it available for free for a weekend. It's interesting to see how a multiplayer game that's almost one and a half years old suddenly has become what it never could be; a game with multiple players. What other (maybe older?) online multiplayer games would you like to see make a comeback?" UT3's resurgence was mentioned here briefly last week as part of our discussion on the future of game pricing.

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Advertising (5, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237251)

Advertising is key for game sales. Great games have come and gone virtually unnoticed without sufficient marketing (ex. Beyond Good & Evil).

Good quality racks up great word-of-mouth(which takes time to circulate!), but these big bursts of sales only come when there's enough people aware of the game so that they can take time to consider it.

The free-weekend though was a fantastic idea. Getting to see exactly what you're paying for relieves a lot of the doubts that a potential buyer may have.

Re:Advertising (4, Informative)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237285)

Further to the above, a lot of really mediocre games get great sales through advertising...

Re:Advertising (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237993)

HALOHALOHALOHALO
*cough*

in that case it's the reverse (4, Funny)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239057)

Halo sold to mediocre gamers

</anti:ms>

Re:Advertising (5, Insightful)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237307)

Great game + great advertising = long-time sales. Great game + No, or inadequate advertising = Sleeper hit. Bad game + Great advertising = Over-hyped P.O.S. Bad game + Bad Advertising = Daikatana :P

Re:Advertising (2, Funny)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237473)

wait, Daikatana was a game?

Re:Advertising (3, Funny)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237691)

Actually it's just an internet meme of what would have happened if one of the id developers for doom had gone rouge and blown his entire fortune making a terrible game and blogging about it in a creatively named website named afterhimself. Fortunately that has never happened so we can all safely assume something that awful has never, and will never happen. And if it did happen, we'd never speak of it. Because you were joking when you replied to that guy, right?

Right?

Re:Advertising (4, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238095)

...if one of the id developers for doom had gone rouge and blown...

*blush*

Re:Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238539)

Daikatana was Old Man Murray's greatest hoax.

Re:Advertising (2, Interesting)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237499)

With all the hype surrounding Daikatana for years prior to its release, I don't understand how anyone could accuse it of being a game with bad advertising.

Re:Advertising (3, Funny)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237587)

You don't remember the full-page magazine ads for Daikatana which said, "John Romero wants to make you his bitch. Suck it down!"?

http://www.firingsquad.com/games/daikatana/ [firingsquad.com]

Re:Advertising (2, Interesting)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237621)

Here, found a pict of the actual ad:

http://cache.kotaku.com/assets/resources/2008/01/Bitchadmikewilson.jpg [kotaku.com]

Re:Advertising (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237975)

You forgot one: Non-existent game + years of hype = Duke Nukem Forever

Re:Advertising (1)

800DeadCCs (996359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237979)

I remember a while after Daikatana came out, we got a bunch of copies for prizes at our lan party.
Usually gave them out as the boobie prize.
A couple copies we took out back, put m-80's in the box, through the hole in the CD, doused with gas... it was tons of pyro fun.

Re:Advertising (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239361)

You know whats sad to say i still have a copy of Daikatana in a box its become one of my odd items to have in my game collection right next to the old Bible games for NES lol.

Worms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237257)

I would love to play worms again! Valve doesn't have to come out with a crazy price like $9.99; I'd be willing to pay up to $24.99 to play again.

Re:Worms! (1)

erayd (1131355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237329)

I second and third this - worms was (is) awesome!

Re:Worms! (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237485)

I would love to play worms again!

They're still making Worms games, you know. There's even a downloadable version on XBox Live with online multiplayer.

Of course, us Wii users got SCREWED when multiplayer was removed from Worms: A Space Oddity shortly before hitting the shelves. I was really looking forward to that game! But noooo. Yet another developer takes a dump on Wii players. And then the megacorp game companies wonder why third parties can't sell Wii games. (Here's a hint guys: It helps to make games that people want to buy.)

Re:Worms! (1)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238355)

Have a look out for Worms World Party.
I'm a die hard worms fan, and hated any of the '3D' versions they brought out.

WWP is the perfect combo, imo, of features, weapons, fun, while staying true to the sidescroller format.

More interesting to note, it's still played in reasonable numbers [10 - 50 people at once] on the servers - lag isn't a concern so much, so it's always fun.

Incidentally: With a combination of the ISO + a few no CD patches you CAN play online.
Took me about 2 hours of fiddling w/ patch files, but you can do it!

Battlefield 1942 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237273)

Desert Combat Mod

Starcraft 1.08 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237299)

Not the first time it happened, and won't be the last.

http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/StarCraft_version_history#Patch_1.08

Re:Starcraft 1.08 (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238895)

You ruined 4 hours of my life with this link!

Epic needs to fire its marketing staff (1)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237311)

I consider myself a pretty serious gamer, and I had no idea that UT3 was even out, until all this fuss started up with Steam. I remember playing the game at PAX, thinking it was a pre-release.

I don't mean to malign Steam; it's having a tremendous impact on gaming, and it's mostly for the better. That being said, though, I don't think the turnaround would be this dramatic if Epic hadn't *completely* failed to get the word out.

Re:Epic needs to fire its marketing staff (2, Funny)

Panzor (1372841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237507)

Wait, this game was released over a year ago? I've been telling people that I've been getting a launch title for twelve bucks o_o. I'm with this guy *points to above post*

Re:Epic needs to fire its marketing staff (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237719)

I only heard of UT3 in a forum two months ago (January 2009!) when one guy pointed out that he built his "rig" for UT3 and then that died so he went to TF2 instead. My response was "buh?". If anyone does a halfway competent study on video game advertising, they should figure out who they advertised with and through what mediums, and completely avoid those, because they're obviously flawed and people with actual money to buy games clearly don't read those magazines/websites. Whoever had the advertising portfolio for UT3 completely dropped the ball. Hell, valve was advertising L4D in NYC subways and did wacky promotions like the L4D 4 pack and all that. Valve is like the southwest airlines of the video game developers.

Re:Epic needs to fire its marketing staff (2, Interesting)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238429)

One problem with UT3 might be the name. I remembered playing the UT4 demo years ago, so when I first heard about the free weekend for 3 I thought "wow, that's a *really* old game!". It was only when I saw this slashdot entry mention "one and a half years ago" that I realized something was amiss. I checked wikipedia and sure enough, the game I remembered playing was UT 2004

Re:Epic needs to fire its marketing staff (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238481)

If you were a "serious" FPS gamer, you'd KNOW UT3 were being released.

Unless, you know, you didn't play the UT series.
Everyone who played UT series "seriously", knew about UT3. And quite frankly, most steered away from it purposely.

I agree, though, that regular gamers, had no idea this game came out. There was hardly any advertisement. The only real advertise I saw, was when the demo came out back in the days. After that, it became rather stall.

A game I'd love to see (5, Interesting)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237359)

Tribes 2. Those who played it know it was revolutionary, even to this day many games struggle to find the depth this game held. It's free now, and although Sierra shutdown the master servers a while back the community of die hard players stepped up and created several workarounds. I'm happy to report that on any given Friday night there is at least one server with close to (or up to ) 60 players picking teams and playing 3 maps. Friday Night Fights. The best part is gaming rigs have finally caught up to the task of running this game smoothly, when it first came out it was pushing the bleeding edge of machines to run it like it deserved.

Re:A game I'd love to see (1)

useless4321 (1497401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237407)

I'll second this, as long as they bring the original Tribes along for the ride.

Re:A game I'd love to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237463)

Sign me up I would play that game again.

The modding community was unlike any FPS I've every played.

Sometimes I just need to strap on a backpack that turns into a jet so I can go capture a flag game equivalent kilometers away from my base.

CS doesn't give me that.

Re:A game I'd love to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237505)

Tribes 2? It was terrible.

The reason it flopped was it lost everything that made Tribes 1 a great game.

Tribes 1 was fast paced, requires little skill to start, but incredible amounts to master, and was just plain stupidly fun. Queue Tribes 2: For starters, slow, too easy, skiing was nerfed considerably etc etc. Why would anyone leave T1?

Re:A game I'd love to see (0, Offtopic)

SkeezerDoodle (1178213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238777)

Tribes 2? It was terrible.

The reason it flopped was it lost everything that made Tribes 1 a great game.

Tribes 1 was fast paced, requires little skill to start, but incredible amounts to master, and was just plain stupidly fun. Cue Tribes 2: For starters, slow, too easy, skiing was nerfed considerably etc etc. Why would anyone leave T1?

There...fixed that for you. Not to be a grammar Nazi, but this is definitely a first for me...even on /.

Re:A game I'd love to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237509)

I completely agree with you on that count. T2 is hands down the most fun and challenging FPS I've ever played. Don't get me wrong, Quake 3 was a great FPS, but IMO, nothing compares to T2 (except maybe T1) because there is nothing quite like the satisfaction you get when you nail a guy 100 meters away in mid air with the spinfusor. Long live Tribes!

Master Servers Pulled (1)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237579)

Sierra / Vivendi Games pulled the Tribes 2 master servers and various other classic Sierra Online games last November. Sad thing is that Tribes 2 never had a patch released to make it possible to play online without the authentication system through Sierra's master servers. Sure there are currently a few workarounds, but none are realistic. So basically once Sierra killed the master server I lost my ability to play Tribes 2 online that I paid for six years ago. Hell I even bought the Linux port from tuxgames additional to the Windows release because I enjoyed playing it both on my Linux and Windows machines.

Sierra has pretty much written off the Tribes franchise since the major failure of Tribes Vengeance. There was a rumor a few years back that Sierra was willing to hand over the entire franchise to anybody around $100,000 or so I heard. Apparently its considered worthless to them. Not only would I like to see Tribes 2 return, but also an upgraded Descent 2. Sure there's the D2X and variants projects, but I want a true completely redone Descent 2 for current hardware. I personally didn't care for Descent 3 at all. I always thought that a Descent game for xbox 360 arcade might bring back popularity for the game and give it a chance for current generation of gamers. But of course I'd prefer a PC version (Linux especially ;).

Re:Master Servers Pulled (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237793)

There was a rumor a few years back that Sierra was willing to hand over the entire franchise to anybody around $100,000 or so I heard. Apparently its considered worthless to them.

It's no longer a rumor [kotaku.com] , InterActiveCorp/GarageGames bought the entire Starsiege IP from Activision late last year at what I can only assume was a fire sale price. They're going to be relaunching Tribes 1 as a browser game.

Re:Master Servers Pulled (2, Informative)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238835)

The work around really are not hat hard. If you want to play on Friday night fights it consists of registering your nick on a website, loading the game in LAN mode and then when listing the servers hitting "insert" and the valid IP of a server running it.(hint)208.101.7.64:28000 Complete Instructions can be found at http://www.elitewarriorsonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=137:t2-bouncer-authentication-via-lan [elitewarriorsonline.com]

Re:A game I'd love to see (4, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237745)

download it here: http://www.tribesnext.com/ [tribesnext.com]

play it here:
66.162.166.53
98.233.154.66

Re:A game I'd love to see (4, Interesting)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238451)

I thought of trying out Tribes 2 once, a while ago, when I heard fans recounting how great it was. But they also told me that everyone who still plays it is a master by now, and for a newbie to pick it up would be an exercise in pain. The fans actually explicitly advised me not to try their favorite game.

Re:A game I'd love to see (1)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238847)

There are still new players coming to this game all the time. And the learning curve has always been steep on this game, but in a friendly atmosphere I would encourage anyone who wants to try possibly the best FPS game ever made to give it a few games before giving up. YES you will die, but in tribes you get to re spawn so it's not like counterstrike where your going to be sitting out waiting for the round to end. Also there are a variety of roles to play, all of them important you may not start out as a flag grabber but in Tribes2 you can have a really good time even helping expand the sensor net.

This is great! (1)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239067)

Thanks mate. I have never laughed as hard or as much as I have playing Tribes 1 Annhilation though. That was the best mod ever... proper base building, character classes, and all in a mad fast fps. Just unreal.

Re:A game I'd love to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237845)

Tribes 1 is coming back as a browser-based game.
http://kotaku.com/5171349/instantaction-brings-tribes-to-your-web-browser
Legions is good stuff too.

Re:Tribes 2 sux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237977)

Tribes vengeance is much better, too much of a learning curve for most noobs though...

Re:A game I'd love to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238581)

Makes my heart warm - every good multiplayer memory of mine is in tribes universe somewhere. goooo jetpack

Re:A game I'd love to see (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239041)

Tribes 2.

You know why that one failed? Because it was shit compared to the original. Didn't stand up at all.

Tribes 2 never existed.

The price sealed the deal (5, Insightful)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237375)

UT3 is worth $12 and not a cent more, IMHO. I'll probably play it for a few weeks and move on (I purchased it during Steam's holiday sale and finally installed it to check out the update). So the cost/entertainment ratio is pretty good.

Truthfully, most games aren't worth $20, let alone $50. I was browsing Steam the other day and noticed that EndWar -- a months-old console port with an attractive 67/100 Metacritic rating -- is being sold for the same price as Empire Total War and Dawn of War II. Hell, you can buy World in Conflict Gold for $30. So why on earth should I pay $50 for EndWar? Don't get me wrong, EndWar could provide a few days of stupid RTS fun, but it's simply not worth the asking price.

Anyway, thanks to Steam, Impulse, Gamersgate and GOG, I can buy 5 (maybe more) games for the same price as a new one. Good games are always good, ya know? So not only are publishers competing with current games, they're competing with dirt cheap oldies, too.

Enough with the arbitrary $50 price point. Some games are absolutely worth $50; most are not.

Re:The price sealed the deal (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238255)

If games cost half of what they do now, I'd buy more than twice the amount I do now.

Re:The price sealed the deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238417)

If games cost half of what they do now, I'd buy more than twice the amount I do now.

You would have to buy them more than twice the number of games for them to make the same profit. Halving the MSRP doesn't halve the costs per unit.

I guess that is why steam is such a good method of distribution; It minimizes per unit costs.

Re:The price sealed the deal (1)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238665)

wasn't that probably his point?
i don't know how much the overhead costs are with steam (maintaining it/bandwidth costs), but if they are small enough, sales would just have to increase a bit more than double when you offer things at half the price to get the same revenue

Re:The price sealed the deal (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238551)

Well but many publishers seem to believe their 50$ games are worth 50$ to enough people. They'll use advertising just to make sure. Meanwhile cheaper games get developed for their final price (e.g. Serious Sam was released at half the regular PC game price initially) and badly selling games get pricedrops (on the PC it happens to well-selling games too as evidenced by the pile of old GOTY contenders on the 10€ pile, console games don't drop in price nearly as fast despite having used game sales to deal with). Sometimes games get lower prices in other regions after failing to perform in one (Castlevania Judgment, for example, is getting released at half price in the PAL regions after getting panned by critics who hated the game for its art style and occassionally even made up complaints just to give it a 1/10 score). However, the situation on the consoles is generally pretty bad when you're hunting for cheaper games, especially on the 360. Games start out at 70€ (PC and Wii use 45€ as the base price) and pricedrops are rare. I spent less on the games for my 360 than the system itself so far and I got the system when it was pricedropped to 200€ for the Pro simply because the number of really interesting games is very low and the lesser interesting games (pretty much anything that's gray-brown and gritty so about 99% of the non-sports games) never reach the acceptable price region for lesser interesting games.

Me, I think I'll pick UT3 up at the 12€ price now, I spent a LOT of time on UT200X and it's really not much money so I guess I can take the risk of ending up with a terrible framerate (then again minimum settings in most games seem to run fine on my system even though I upgraded to it back when Doom 3 was still the pinnacle of gaming tech).

Re:The price sealed the deal (1)

FlyveHest (105693) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239191)

How come that 50$ for "a few days of stupid RTS fun" is unreasonable, but 10-12$ for two hours of cinema-fun is ok?

Or 20$ for 30 minutes of eating-out fun?

I really don't know where this opposition to paying for games comes from, a 50$ game that provides 10 hours of gaming, equals to 5$/hr for a fun ride, which really isn't all that expensive. (And most games provide more than 10 hours of entertainment)

XvT ported to Linux! (2, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237379)

I want that game back!!! All time most favorite and addicting game ever. I found myself calling in sick to work so I could finish a mission.

Re:XvT ported to Linux! (2, Interesting)

The_Myth (84113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237467)

Or just Xwing Vs Tie Fighter on any format that is playable. I had a copy and have moved and been unable to find it.

I know they tacked part of this onto SWG and called it Jump to Light Speed but it just wasnt the same. I miss being able to go head to head at a lan party with different fighter configurations.

Re:XvT ported to Linux! (1)

DJNephilim (832695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237575)

Oh, I would *so* be there.

It is my firm belief that they should re-release all the original X-Wing/TIE Fighter games with updated graphics, etc. I would buy them again in a heartbeat.

Re:XvT ported to Linux! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237775)

If you want a bit free of Xwing/TIE fighter - like fun, try This! [game-warden.com]

Free Battlestar Galactica sim. Very XvsT And amazing considering its cost (Did I say it was free?)

Re:XvT ported to Linux! (2, Informative)

Rennt (582550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238879)

I just discovered the FreeSpace Open project, its not Starwars, but with the beam weapons and laser fire and HEAPS of shit going on at once it often reminds me of the epic Reaver space battle in Serenity

Get the original game files from GOG for $5.95 then upgrade [fsoinstaller.com] to the open-sourced engine with modern resolutions and stunning effects.

There is even a Starwars full conversion in progress. The models being created look amazing - they could almost be used to make a film - and one of the aims is to make it "look and play like the Battle of Endor" how cool it that!

Freespace (1)

xiromez (1096851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237417)

Space sims FTW.

Re:Freespace (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237461)

Heck yeah, that game an its expansions were amazing!

Re:Freespace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238029)

*ahem* On that note, let me direct you to http://scp.indiegames.us/ - the Freespace Source Code project. It's a revamp and update of the FS engine, models, and textures. It requires the original Freespace 2, though. FS1 can be played with the FS1 port mod.
  Here's an excellent vid from 2006: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6VhyMzu12c

  It's progressed since then. Here's a more recent, but less explodey and more trailerish video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZuA9zvxs0Q

There are other space sims under development using the engine, too, including the excellent Battlestar Galactica game, Beyond the Red Line:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzyTT-OjeSA

Ultima Online circa 1998 (1)

Robopath (962680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237483)

Simply put, a revival of the 1997-1998 version of the game offered for free download and a very low monthly fee would make this the greatest revival in gaming history. It was the first time I ever saw a game developer patch a winner into a looser.

Re:Ultima Online circa 1998 (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237581)

If you purchase the Unreal Deal Pack [steampowered.com] on Steam for $39.99 you get the following:

Unreal 2: The Awakening (Reg. $9.99)
Unreal Gold (Reg. $9.99)
Unreal Tournament 2004: Editor's Choice Edition (Reg. $14.99)
Unreal Tournament 3 Black (Reg. $11.99)
Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition (Reg. $9.99)

That's all 5 Unreal games for $16.96 less than you'd pay for them at the normal Steam price (total $56.95), which is already heavily discounted. Of course, if you just want Unreal or Unreal Tournament, you can get it for $9.99 and be happy. No monthly fees!

Re:Ultima Online circa 1998 (-1, Flamebait)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237929)

Or PirateBay them all for free.. And no STEAMy pile of you_know_what.

Pirate Bay to all Steam players: No Network? No problem!

FUCK developers, and FUCK their rights! (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237967)

I hear you, brother! FUCK the developers at Epic who worked on the games to make a living! FUCK their rights! Artists are our slaves.

Re:FUCK developers, and FUCK their rights! (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238089)

Be careful! The mods may be humor-impared.

Re:FUCK developers, and FUCK their rights! (1)

theclaw1 (1006811) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238215)

You forgot to post as Anonymous Coward, bonch.

Re:FUCK developers, and FUCK their rights! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238899)

I'm glad you see it my way.

Re:Ultima Online circa 1998 (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237645)

Honestly, I think that's unlikely. There's no shortage of emulated shards, most of which are designed to simulate the halcyon days of free-range stealing, pre-Trammel and precasting... and the total number of users across all of them probably counts in the low thousands at best. Simply put, the vast majority of people who were kicking back and kicking ass in early UO have busy lives now. Even the youngest would be college age now, and the rest have families.

UO changed because the carebears were a more lucrative audience. UO kept getting expansions, filled with virgin land ready for people to plop houses down on, because so many of them are so crazy about their loot that they'll pay for four or five separate accounts to store it all (and to plop down more houses to store it all).

Re:Ultima Online circa 1998 (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238509)

Oh hell yeah. Please re-release UO pre-Second Age.
oh, if you could, pre-PK patch too.

Setting up a macro program, to walk around a chair as a ghost for 6 hours per kill to avoid skill loss, was just so... fun?

Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (4, Informative)

nedwidek (98930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237489)

Still looks moribund.

http://www.game-monitor.com/search.php?game=ut3 [game-monitor.com]

700 servers and 361 players right now.

BF2 has over 5000 people playing right now.
CoD4 over 8000.
L4D over 6000.
TF2 7001.

And how is this for insult to injury. UT2004 currently has 641 players. Almost double UT3. UT3 just seemed like a tech demo. More to sell the engine to other game makers.

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (3, Insightful)

Endymion (12816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237651)

UT3 was just at tech demo.

They completely failed to stay with the feature that made UT2004 a joy to play: pacing. UT2004 is manic. You run fast, the game-flow is fast. There's no room for error, and you get the feeling that standing still for even a second is a fatal mistake. When I first played UT3, though, it felt like everything was slowed way down. They lost the frantic twitch aspect, and therefor lost the feature that make their franchise distinctive.

It's something that started with DOOM/Quake1, really - the "throw realism to the wind, let's just make it fast and fun" theory. UT seemed to be following in that style - doom3 certainly wasn't - but that's over now it seems.

Hell, if they just remade the UT2004 gameplay straight into the UT3 engine, that could be a major win right there. Maybe they'll figure it out from the slow-sales of UT3. Well, one can hope...

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238005)

The funny thing about UT3 is that everyone agrees that it failed to live up to UT2004's awesomeness, but nobody can agree on the reasons for it.

Beyond the excellent onslaught mode and all the good stuff it succeeded in carrying over from UT, there was something ephemeral to UT2004's success. A lot of people say that UT3's fault is that it was developed for the PS3. I'm not sure how true that is. But UT2004 was a reboot of UT2003; maybe the Titan Pack can serve as the same kind of reboot for UT3, maybe not. I hope it will, or that Epic will make something unreal again to return it to popularity, because the Unreal series rocks.

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (4, Informative)

Endymion (12816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238073)

UT2004 was a perfect mix of many things.

- The graphics hit a point where things no longer looked blatantly texture-mapped (the DOOM/early-quake problem)
- The pacing was incredible
- The weapons were surprisingly balanced. It's not like Q1 where it's "rockets or nothing"; every weapon is useful at some point.
- Very customizable. (lots of FPS games have that, but it's still a point in UT2004's favor)
- A variety of modes, that were generally well done. Ok, "double dominate" blows, but I still find myself playing a Bombing Run match and such just because it's crazy and different.
- Very gameplay-oriented level design. Sure, some of the maps look totally absurd, but the look that way because they have specific choke-points, carefully designed flow, etc.
- An extra level of polish across the board. I never really found myself saying "if it only had this feature, it'd be perfect". Even the little stuff like settings to change the crosshairs on a per-weapon basis - it showed a level of caring about the gameplay (the "fun"!) that most games skimp on.

I can't speak to how customizable UT3 is, but it(and many other games sense then) skimped on many of these features. The engine is there, though. It is potentially something that could be solved by simply adding a bunch of polish, little features, and playtesting a LOT to get the pacing/balance/etc right.

Maybe we'll get lucky and see a "UT3.5" remake where they get it right... they did show they can "reboot" things once before.

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238609)

UT2004 might have been so good because they had the chance to collect experience with 2003 what works and what doesn't, after all people complained to no end about 2003. They could also reuse a ton of material from 2003, freeing up more dev time for polish and additions rather than groundwork.

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239123)

Isn't amazing that Epic was able to take nearly ALL of the good things about the game and ruin them? I've been a rabid fan of UT from the start. We've run a little UT clan for 9 years now.
 
And after UT3, I don't know that I'll buy another UT game. It would take a very, VERY large amount of positive press for me to send Epic another cent. I truly don't understand how anyone familiar with previous UT versions could have released UT3.

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239265)

The weapons were surprisingly balanced. It's not like Q1 where it's "rockets or nothing"; every weapon is useful at some point.

Aww, the lightning gun was at least somewhat useful. Particularly in the pool on DM3. *evil grin*

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238067)

That might have to do with the fact that UT 2004 has been available for some time from gog.com. I'm sure there were places where one could get it more or less continuously.

Re:Not exactly looking good in the MP arena. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238327)

Counter-strike 1.6:

servers: 42715
Players: 76,726

Long live gameplay and short live graphics

What? That's not obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237525)

Starcraft of course. Though "comeback" would be a gross misapplication of the English language.

Hans (because I'm lazier than I am anonymous)

Quakelive?? (3, Interesting)

1+(smarterThanYou) (539258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237603)

Quake 3 Arena is like 8 years old and is alive, well, and growing again thanks to id's free beta. Looks like Epic's strategy of copying everything id does is finally paying off...(kidding, mostly)

Well, having a better product also helps (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237721)

Consider what happened to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadows of Chernobyl, also available on Steam. When it came out, reviews were universally panning the game for its huge amount of bugs, yet by the time I bought it for $5 during one of Steam's weekend deals, the game was already on its fifth patch and with barely a bug to be found so I found instead one of the best FPSs of this decade, IMHO.

With UT3 something similar happened. I got it during Steam's X-Mas sale and, while fun and very polished, the relative lack of game modes made many go back to UT2004, myself included. Yet with the latest patch Epic not only added achievements but also two new modes that take UT3's focus on fast-paced action and push it even further, making it even more visceral and enjoyable than its predecessors were. Of course, it also helped that in the year-and-half since its original release, the number of people with computers capable of running it has increased tenfold, too.

As for other games I'd like to see revived, how about Medieval II: Total War? largely ignored by players and critics alike after being squeezed in between the critically-acclaimed Rome and Empire, yet so far my favorite from the series, it'd be nice to see it gather attention, and more than a handful of servers online.

Steam astroturfing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237785)

Recently, posts about Steam are filled with sound-alike postings all singing its praises in similar ways, or then, this type of gushing post.

Yet Steam still sucks.

Did Valve read all the bad press Steam was getting on Slashdot, and send astroturfers out in force?

Because nothing about Steam has changed. Only the postings.

UT: ToG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27237809)

They need to use the same music they used in the original game on Coret, Face, et cetera. The tempo on Coret was perfect for racing from flag to flag while leaving a path of destruction in one's wake.

quake (1)

koutbo6 (1134545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237811)

will we need a 56kbps modem though?

Return to Castle Wolfenstein (1)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237961)

Definitely RTCW. Best online game I've played bar none - I got hooked into it for about a month solid. Sadly when I went back after several more months, it'd pretty much died. I've not found anything to come close to the gameplay (well, except Battlefield 2) and the way you get teamwork even from random folks on a public server.

Re:Return to Castle Wolfenstein (1)

cadu (876004) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238383)

RTCW: Enemy Territory is still pretty alive in certain countries, here in Japan we have 2 servers that are almost always full after 12:00pm.....one has a 42 player limit and the other, 30....you have to FIGHT or come earlier and spectate several games if you wanna play when you're free...

also we have here a bunch of not-so-crowded but fun TRICK JUMP servers in which you challenge yourself in leaping over several nice places, or climbing places which seem impossible...fun!

Re:Return to Castle Wolfenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238779)

If you have HL2, you might want to try the mod Fortress Forever(www.fortress-forever.com) (assuming your like Team Fortress type games), which is a more true successor to TFC then TF2 is imo. A lot of people I knew in TFC also loved ET, though I haven't played ET myself.

It's extremely fast-paced twitchy game, with several fun gamemodes and relatively easy to start with, but if you want to master everything it'll take some time although they have put in a lot of work to make it easier to master. In a game with decent players the people doing the offense will get upto 70 deaths in half an hour. :)

Re:Return to Castle Wolfenstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239309)

RTCW still alive and kicking, this month crossfire.nu is doing a online cup with some old glories of RTCW.
And also, you have Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory (NOT QUAKE WARS) as one of the top xfire games list.
The only game i play is Wolfenstein: Enemy territory, almost all days at night. (pubs are full and you can easily find ppl to scrim with)

Quake Expansion Pack... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27237991)

I loved how Steam brought back the Quake expansion packs since I never played them when they first came. After recently reinstalling Quake with an open source engine, I remembered why I loved the mouse view in Quake II. Alas, I'm passing on the expansion packs.

Re:Quake Expansion Pack... (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238731)

+mlook

No need to thank me.

Goldeneye!! (1)

mcarmstrong14 (954208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238133)

I would love to get Goldeneye 64 on Steam to be played as an online multiplayer game. There was a mod for Counter Strike that enabled people to play a Golden Eye styled game but it wasnt the same.

Re:Goldeneye!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238365)

I'm not sure Valve have any immediate plans to port Steam to the N64, but you never know. Maybe once Nintendo release some kind of addon to let you connect your 13-year-old console to the internet.

Re:Goldeneye!! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238651)

Nintendo is already re-releasing N64 games on the Wii and could theoretically add online multiplayer. However the dev studio that made it and owns at least some of the rights got sold to Microsoft and the James Bond license is in someone else's hands too.

Re:Goldeneye!! (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238813)

There's a Source mod instead: http://goldeneyesource.net/ [goldeneyesource.net]

One word : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238283)

MAGESTORM.

http://www.onlinegamesinn.com/showgame/1786/Magestorm/

Open Hover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238457)

Open Hover is the latest remake of an online hover craft racing game. You can race people from all over the world in this 3d game. The networking in the game needs fixed because it was written before most homes had routers.

Pacwars and Duke Nukem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238465)

Heyup

Pacwars just because you could hack the maps, that was the whole point. Make better secret hiding places than your nmes and not just a map with no artifacts, that was lame.

http://pw2.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php

Duke Nukem 3D (DN3D)

Simply because of the bug jumps, collecting them was gaming at its finest, knowing you could get one over and planning your attack just because of them, although I miss the jet pack too.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/duke-nukem-3d/screenshots

rgds
tmy

Bah, FUD (3, Interesting)

icsx (1107185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238513)

Now after the weekend is over and it has been more than a week already, the players count has dropped rapidly. Nice warmping up for old game but it just didnt last. It should be updated regularely to keep people's interest on it. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ [steampowered.com] (Click link view stats per game)

How Verizon Killed Steam (2, Interesting)

teridon (139550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27238801)

Every time I see a story mentioning Steam, I'm reminded how my Verizon-provided Actiontec router can't handle the Steam server browser [dslreports.com] . My only option appears to be to replace the provided router with my own.

I haven't tried fighting with Verizon about how their router sucks. I guess I have the feeling they're not going to do anything about it no matter what I do.

That said, they are still better than Comcast :-/

M.U.L.E. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27238951)

There's definite need to release M.U.L.E. to this generation.. It was the best multiplayer games on 8-bit era. Unfortunately game designer died years ago, but I'm sure someone could give permission to do it officially.

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