New 'Quake' artifacts

I have seen that some ‘Quake’ enhancement mods - such as “Quoth” or “Arcane Dimensions” - bring certain new artifacts into the gameplay. One of them, is the “Trinity” - what in particular does it do?

I thought it was explained in the readme, but there was nothing. Then I remembered that the description for all the changes and new additions in the Quoth mod was available online.

Scroll down to Items section.

This artifact first appeared in “Contract Revoked: The Lost Chapters” which was sort of a extension and sequel to Contract Revoked and a precursor to Quoth.Personally I found Trinity artifact a bit lacking. I mean it’s better than nothing of course, but I think a lot of people would prefer Quad Damage over it any day. The problem with creating new power-ups is that original Quake ones are just so practical (and using Copper mod, are improved even further).

Ha, love it already. So the “Trinity” enhances only the damage dealt with nail-based weapons. Good to know, but bad in case one lacks serious nail-based firepower at the moment given. Guess some good level design comes in handy here.

I also have seen somewhere an artifact called “Nail Piercer” - or sounding familiar. Something like the “Trinity”?

Nail Piercer is from Arcane Dimensions. Nail Piercer makes all nails pass through the monsters, so you can damage all of them if they are in a line. Another powerup from AD is Sharpshooter that reduces the pellet spread of the shotguns.

Here’s what Sock, the author of AD wrote about it himself on func_msgboard:

[quote]The Sharpshooter and Nail Piercer are situational powerups. They are also pretty bad Quake powerups because they don’t work with all weapons. Just like the powerups in Quoth, nobody understands AD powerups easily and they often result in boring gameplay. It is no easy task to create generic powerups that work across multiple weapons, look recognizable, are easy to understand and create fun gameplay!

I think the new AD powerups should be deleted! I liked the idea of them on paperwork, but their implementation is terrible. Creating new Quake powerups needs more time, discussion and thought to really work.[/quote]

@‘SimonOC’ seems to know his stuff well. The “situational” powerups definitely need to be well introduced to the player - in particular if these require or work with only very specific tools - otherwise it is all as good as a quirk.

Speaking of power-ups working with specific tools, is there any melee-only enhancing power-up? I could imagine one. Why not to call it: “Blood of the Lamb”? It may look like an ever-bleeding piece of offal, for example. The mechanics, would enhance the damage dealt with axe, warhammer or any other melee-based weapon, by nine-fold! Correct, it ought to combine with “Quoth” warhammer - albeit, the “Blood of the Lamb” would cancel-out mutually with “Quad Damage” or any other universal damage enhancer, for the sake of not going crazy -.

I saw the “Flashlight” artifact from “Quoth” in one map - it was perhaps the “Ruined Nation” map, if I remember correctly. The “Flashlight” effect, unfortunately works rather janky, to my estimation. Would it not be easier to implement a “Light Rod” of sort, which would simply create an aura of light around the protagonist - such as the one when having collected the “Quad Damage”, only bigger perhaps - with some mild colour filter to it?

Following the “Trinity” idea, one could think about enhancing the regular rifle and shotgun clockworks exclusively, with “Splinter of the Cross” artifact. The “Splinter”, could increase the rate of fire, perhaps.

Func_light. See the shadows fade and change the map fullbright for a while.

  1. Any monster you damage looks for other enemies to infight with - even their own kind (would change the gameplay a little to try NOT to kill outright).

  2. Any monsters you kill will gib+explode - taking out more monsters as they go (would need a wider radius than normal rocket explosions to be noticeable, but probably shouldn’t do much more damage than a rocket).

  3. nearby powerups/ammo/health/weapons periodically fly towards you (would mostly just let the player revisit earlier areas while still getting new pickups, while having an obvious/comic effect, possibly even ‘carry’ them some distance just because).

  4. Any monsters you run into get knocked away/interrupted (more a toy, but might allow some of the tougher melee bosses to be reused without them being too dangerous, just more bullet sponges).

all those might be interesting even if they’re not especially useful. with how long most people have been playing quake now, anything that noticeably changes the gameplay (without forcing it) can only be a good thing.
extra stuff that make the player ‘dance’ while shooting is also a good thing.
I’m not against weapon-specific powerups, but I am against such powerups that time out at the same rate while you’re not even using that weapon, especially when the RL is still stronger despite the powerup.

For some maps, I suspect that a powerup that simply makes a beep sound with faster intervals the closer the player gets to a secret would be a welcome addition…

To say “weapon-specific” is perhaps taking it a half one step too far, if to be particular about the meaning. It is easier to divide weapons by ammo type consumption. The “Trinity” and the “Nail Piercer”, both address the nail-based weapons only; similar solutions, addressing other parts of the weaponry spectrum, emerge sympathetically - albeit, why to assume they all need to work on the very same basis? Some weapons could fire faster, while some weapons - already firing fast enough - would benefit on damage upgrade. Some weapons, instead, having the exclusive trait of dealing a splash damage, could have the range of splash damage increased, speculatively speaking, if that should make any better sense. I think it is not real hard to think of new weapon upgrades - it all boils down to listing out all the operatible variables, the usage of given weapon has to do with, then balancing the proposed solution against background factors.

For the timing out of an upgrade; you mean the upgrade should have an “energy bar” of sort? What about combinations of upgrades?

Going back to the basics, the most successful and notorious upgrade of all time, is the “Quad Damage”. It is universal, it is simple, it is recognizable and it is effective. I think there is lesson to be learned on this example. Simultaneously, I think it is not a good idea to throw a whole bunch of experimental gimmicks into the matrix of gameplay, which furthermore would mostly make sense only under certain stage-specific conditions, effectively limiting the use of such.

If ammo-specific upgrades for weapons ever became staple, I think it would be at the cost of the “Quad Damage” - otherwise, both of these kinds question the purpose of one another. It is harder to make good use of a topic-specific upgrade than a universal one, for certain.

@‘Spike’, for the “beeper” you mentioned, from the design perspective, it would have to react with a beacon - imposed by a map maker - but only with one beacon at a time, for best clarity. There could be multiple beacons, albeit they ought to come in consecutive progression; not all at once. It would be a good waypoint type of thing on some more convoluted maps, without being dead obvious about visually painting the pathway.

“Quad Damage”, bases on a universal principle, shared by all weapons - namely, all weapons deal damage. In ‘Quake’, one can run out of ammo, but one can never run out of possibility to deal damage - having a melee weapon at hand.

Within current terms of view upon topic-specific upgrades - such as the “Trinity” - the player can miss out on the benefits of an upgrade, either being out of ammo for the weapon type in question or simply not having the right weapons at the moment given. That, would be a great failure, design-wise. Which is why, I rather opt against it.

Nothwistanding, not loosing the interest in topic-specific upgrades; a question should be asked: is it possible to merge the universal aspect of a “Quad Damage” with the diverse profile of topic-specific upgrades? I came to conclusion that it is possible, with an upgrade I have roughly baptized: “Morph”.

“Morph” is a weapon upgrade, which upgrades only one weapon at a time - namely, the weapon that protagonist wields the very moment the upgrade is being collected. This way, it leaves no doubt as to what kind of weapon does the upgrade refer to.

“Morph” upgrades the weapon depending on a profile of an upgrade for the specific weapon kind. Furthermore, there could be various kinds of the “Morph” artifact - “Morph”, “Morph II”, “Morph III” and so on; for example, “Morph” would upgrade a “Nailgun” along the “Trinity” profile of upgrade, but “Morph II” would upgrade the “Nailgun” according to the way a “Nail Piercer” does.

With the “Morph”, the player can choose what weapon is destined to be the weapon of choice, from among the momentarily available options. I think the upgrade should still time-out, like the “Quad Damage” does; otherwise, the option is to have the upgrade work until carried ammo for given gun is depleted or until the gun is switched to another - but that, is a very loose standard of rather doubtful boundaries.

Perhaps not as much of an upgrade, but an alternative view for the “Lightning Gun” function - is to make it a chargeable form of “Railgun” equivalent. What I mean by that, is to have the “Lightning Gun” - under the “+attack” action being continuously held - charge up quickly enough with the cell load, in a cumulative manner, up to the limit of - say - maybe 30 or 40 perhaps, expressed in one shot; I am not well versed in the terms of what makes proper sense against the background statistics; that is, how much is enough to one-shot a “Fiend”, for example. Anyhow, as long as the “+attack” action is being pressed by the player, the “Lightning Gun” either charges up or holds up loaded and does fire only upon the action release.

Furthermore, the “Lightning Gun”, would use to have the maximum range increased, since I have seen people waste cells shooting things apparently out of range, which is rather pity. I doubt whether any maximum range, should apply to a “Railgun” equivalent, if to assume so.

Now a quirk: if the protagonist touches water while having the gun charged, the gun will then discharge.

Understandably, the gun cannot charge up with cells beyond corresponding, temporary ammo storage.

The “Triple Barrel Shotgun”, known from ‘Arcane Dimensions’, to my recognition, has become one of the staple ‘Quake’ weapons in the related modern gamescape - for how useful simply it is; even or specifically when it comes to fighting the undead.

For the gibbing power of the “Triple Barrel Shotgun” against common rank opponents, I propose an “Morph”-style upgrade for the weapon; an upgrade, which I would custom-call the “Bloodbath”.

What the “Bloodbath” does, is to restore certain amount of health to the protagonist - say, twenty points of health per valid trigger occurrence - each time the protagonist comes in direct proximity or immerses himself - so to speak - in the blood-cluster of a gibbed opponent. The gibbing effect, lasts very shortly and thus each window of a trigger-event - allowing to benefit from the “Bloodbath” - is also very short. In practice, one ought to practically gib an enemy at zero-distance, pushing forward, having at most like an one-and-a-half second delay allowance. Still useful for melee equivalent slaughter, though.

For the “beeper”, what would be interesting, is that - if there was a possibility to gather intel about beacon locations; then, to simply switch in some “arcane keys” menu, which beacon one wants to resonate with. Among the beacons, there should be present not only locations crucial to gameplay progress, but also it would be good if a player could order to place a ghost “landmark” at will - at least one. Beacons, should also be obtainable through making contact with arbitrary map focal points, as decided and scripted by the mapmakers. The secrets, as you mentioned, @‘Spike’, could be findable like that as well, even though it kind of questions their purpose - to search secrets in order to find secrets, for if the secrets lay out in the open, only indirectly - what kind of secrets these are? Perhaps it asks for a puzzle, maybe.

[quote]Perhaps not as much of an upgrade, but an alternative view for the “Lightning Gun” function - is to make it a chargeable form of “Railgun” equivalent. What I mean by that, is to have the “Lightning Gun” - under the “+attack” action being continuously held - charge up quickly enough with the cell load, in a cumulative manner, up to the limit of - say - maybe 30 or 40 perhaps, expressed in one shot; I am not well versed in the terms of what makes proper sense against the background statistics; that is, how much is enough to one-shot a “Fiend”, for example. Anyhow, as long as the “+attack” action is being pressed by the player, the “Lightning Gun” either charges up or holds up loaded and does fire only upon the action release.

Furthermore, the “Lightning Gun”, would use to have the maximum range increased, since I have seen people waste cells shooting things apparently out of range, which is rather pity. I doubt whether any maximum range, should apply to a “Railgun” equivalent, if to assume so.

Now a quirk: if the protagonist touches water while having the gun charged, the gun will then discharge.

Understandably, the gun cannot charge up with cells beyond corresponding, temporary ammo storage.[/quote]
Ultimate gun, deserves an ultimate upgrade.

Simply, “Morph” style upgrade makes temporary ammo cell storage infinite for the “Thunderbolt”.

This, would make it interesting on a platforming stage with water elements included. Simultaneously, the game would benefit in this regard from having introduced an opponent type that takes damage only if the damage exceeds certain arbitrary, minimum amount; thus forcing the player to decide for charging the weapon up in a game combat scenario. Infinite ammo, does not necessarily equal to gun-spam fight, minding that the “Thunderbolt” does take a certain while to load up, at least for a significant outcome.

For the “Trinity” upgrade - exclusive for Nailguns - so that it did make logistical sense, it ought to bestow the protagonist some 200 pieces of Nails, allowing simultaneously to exceed the maximum storage capacity for Nails, up to - say - 400, if the common maximum equals 200. Upon picking up of the “Trinity”, a “scr_centertime” relevant message should appear, suggesting to use the Nailgun, as long as the upgrade lasts.

Otherwise, the player may emerge underinformed or even confused and the protagonist possibly underequipped with specific ammo in demand. Which, in turn, defies the purpose of entire opportunity.

If to be persistent about it, the “Trinity”, should also bestow a Nailgun.

That “Cross of Protection” thing, is a bamboozle. In the end, why to want that, instead of the “Pentagram of Protection”? Well, one could also ask, why to want “Trinity” instead of the “Quad Damage”?

Furthermore, I dislike the notion of ammo-specific partial immunities among the opponents. It is poorly introduced - speaking of ‘Arcane Dimensions’ - and in some cases, may even be visually unrecognizable; for example, the “Bog Lord” is immune to plasma or cells, but the particle effects of plasma gun, may conceal the crucial visual feedback. There could be a power-up nullifying these specific immunities among foes, but this - is already absurd, like trying to fix a square wheel. First of all, outside of the “readme” file, such things nowhere in the game are being clearly announced or explained, which is a design fault. Second of all, I am against these kinds of gimmicks.

Speaking of the “Shambler” having natively a 50% immunity to rocket damage; looking up certain other parameters implemented by ‘id’, I find it not surprising something arbitrary appears all of a sudden. Nonetheless, ‘id’ did manage to get the game balance look like making basic common sense, at least in the perspective of someone who is used to the ‘Quake’ state of things.

Yes, it’s all obvious in hindsight, I guess the mod/mappack creators try to implement something new, but it’s not necessarily some awesome thing all the time, some things are just mediocre or flat out don’t work. Even sock (main guy behind AD) admitted that creating new powerups for Quake is hard.

Again, exactly the same reason. Even in the official mission packs, like SOA’s Empathy Shield (sends 50% of damage to attacker) or DOE’s Power Shield (absorbs 70% of damage or something) both being inferior/derivative of Pentagram.

I don’t see this mentioned quite often, so I’d say overall this was OK and a success. Yes, some stuff is hard to see. Even reading the documentation, I can’t remember which enemy has resistance to which ammo type, because AD just has so many of them.

For a while when I played Quake in the 90s I didn’t even know that Shambler has this. It’s also not explicitly communicated by the game, unless you notice it. But when you’re playing on keyboard only and don’t have any skill at all yet in this “dark and brown” game, you kinda don’t have time to notice that it took a while to kill this monster with rockets but way faster with SNG, hmmm… It’s also not clearly stated in the manual either - just “he shrugs off explosions”.

At least in the mods documentations it’s all stated more clearly than that. As for Quake balance, I recently listened to some Romero interviews and he was asked if there’s one thing he would change. He replied - “I’d change the balance of all the weapons, except the RL” and another time he said “maybe tone down RL a bit”. Sure they polished and iterated the game, but Quake has it’s quirks for sure, people just got used to them, especially now after 25 years.

Quake weapons and power-ups are just so simple, direct and functional, it’s really hard to come up with something new and useful, unless it’s something like Multi-Rockets (DOE) or Widowmaker (AD) which is basically existing gun, but more powerful. Although I’m fond of SOA’s Laser Cannon a lot. This situation reminds me of Painkiller - the base game had only 5 weapons, which was actually 10, but every weapon had either two different functions or alternate fire. These 5 weapons were so effective and practical that when 2 new weapons were added in the Battle out of Hell expansion, I just though, “why?” - because they were mostly derivative/“bigger” versions of existing ones.

Then I say that both the audial, as well as the visual feedback for an immunity in effect, are not recognizable enough.

I guess that is the point.

These, could be combined. I guess “Bloodbath”, is a simpler name.

Perhaps the “Bloodbath” should also automatically grant either a red armor or some partial damage resistance for the time of an upgrade lasting. The red armor is nice, is a readable touch and even plays with the notion of “Bloodbath”, but there is a risk that the player, would decide to back off from the action, just to save on the armor, if the risk of tearing it down in an open fight, seems like unprofitable deal. On the other hand, if the player chooses only the armor from the entire opportunity, so be it. Another thing with the armor, is that it may unnecessarily divert the attention of a player, suggesting the upgrade, is of defensive nature or promoting a defensive demeanor, rather than an offensive. If to think about it, no upgrade in ‘Quake’, promotes defensive demeanor, albeit we must not take things for granted in the realm of how a player perceives something.

While “Bloodbath” enhances the damage of an axe, the health restoration effect, works independently - as long as the trigger terms are being respected - it to be able to cause the gibs with other tools possibly.

Selective but strong melee damage enhancement - more than twofold as effective as the “Quad Damage” - is an opportunity to conserve ammo in ammo scarcity scenarios, while regaining the health or sustaining oneself for the combat duration, despite taking damage, effectively.

There is also no way to come underequipped within the clockwork of “Bloodbath”, since the axe, is a mandatory weapon and a weapon without ammo limitation. Even though a mapper may decide in some rare cases, to leave the protagonist without an axe, the mapper could as well just decide not to give the protagonist any weapon at all - then, what sense does the “Quad Damage” even make?

Only drawback, are scenarios, in which the enemies, are inaccessible directly; then, the “Bloodbath”, does not make sense. Few enemies at hand, also make the “Bloodbath” an overkill investment; but so should other major upgrades feel like under likewise general conditions.

The presence of “Bloodbath” - symbolically speaking - is to signify that there is a major open combat scenario incoming, in which plenty of average rank enemies, are to engage or downright flood the protagonist.

For the specific upgrade feedback, once the “Bloodbath” is collected, the weapon automatically switches to an axe. The rest of upgrade-in-effect fluff is flying around - the face of the protagonist changes to shocked/inspired, the global colour filter, the illumination ring around the protagonist - maybe a “scr_centertime” style info should as well suggest that the use of an axe, is now recommended; something like: “slice and dice!”.

These could work as power-ups:

Haste: Would increase the attack speed (the rate at which weapons fire and axe swings), and maybe move speed;

Fly: Would give the ability to swim through the air (and through water, slime/acid, and lava alike).

Variants of these can be found in Quake 3 Arena.

I always felt that Quake was missing a ninth weapon (Laser Gun or Rail Gun).

The ‘simonOC’, mentioned “vania”-style upgrades, in one of his articles on the ‘modDB’ portal - within the “Arcane Dimensions” realm. These are permanent upgrades, such as the famous jump-boots, which in some cases, allow even to multiply their effect, by having more than one instance collected. Maybe it is an untimely observation, but the original “Quoth” items - such as the “Trinity” and the “Cross” - could be such, “vania” items. The problem is, tad bit too many of these, and ‘Quake’, turns the tide to become an RPG game.

One missing - or one too much. Perhaps “better type” weapons - such as the perforator, the supershotgun and the rocket launcher - could work on a different basis than they do.

Crowd, is not a good thing to have, even if to speak of weapons.

One could point out, some “early stage” weapons - such as the rifle or the nailgun, also the howitzer - have their applicaton over the more advanced types. It could be, but then - once to realize the case - it becomes a question of balance, maybe of certain alteration.

Point is, it is all theory - the real question is: who truly wants that, beyond just curiosity?

I think people are pretty content, with what ‘Quake’ is and how it is.

For curiosity, here’s the early weapon setup that they had at least as design at one point based on looking at gfx.wad images and filenames names from QTEST1 (February 1996):

1 - Shotgun (no axe)
2 - Super Shotgun
3 - Nailgun
4 - Super Nailgun
5 - Rocket Launcher
6 - Super Rocket Launcher (whatever it means)
7 - Lightning Gun
8 - Super Lightning Gun

Naturally not all of that was implemented as it was probably just a draft. Somewhere else I remember seeing info that additional version of LG was planned at one point (as QTEST1 shows) as a Chain Lightning Gun.

Maybe it would’ve been nice to have another weapon using Cells, but what would be its function?