I began playing Net Quake back in 1996 when the game was released. I never even tried to play the game in single player mode, but started immediately with deathmatch play. Back then I had a dial-up account with a local ISP, and a 14.4 modem. Although it was fun I spent a lot of time dead because the only good servers were on local college campuses, and the LPB's were always eating me for breakfast.
I discovered a rune mod called Brutal Battle Server which had four runes: Haste, Regeneration, Strength and Resistance as well as a grappling hook. I was hooked, pardon the pun, and I played the game exclusively. I started looking for other rune servers and found most of the early servers running Singe's Runeserver mod. Then came Artifact-RJS quake which was later renamed Rune Quake when taken over by Slot Zero. It was all a lot of fun, but I was still getting eaten alive by the LPB's.
The lag was absolutely unbearable at times, and I longed for the day when I could get a broadband connection so I could keep up with those low ping players! It was great training, though. I had to be very efficient in selecting runes (thus my penchant for fast rune drops) so that I could counterbalance the ping disadvantage. I also had to learn the best way to set up a keyboard and use the hook and my other skills effectively. Even with the ping handicap I was usually one of the top scorers, although rarely in the top two spots.
Finally I got a cable connection and I found that the ping went way down so that the games became a lot more fun, but my favorite server, Gooland, still gave me a high ping and at times internet storms gave me lots of packet loss and poor game performance. But that was life, and I figured the best way to fix that was to run my own server to get a low ping! I started The House of Happy! which ran a Net Quake version of Artifact-RJS which had been modified like Gooland to allow teamplay 1 rules, i.e., you could not hurt yourself with splash damage. That was a very high energy mod with lots of totally crazy firefights with everyone in the room blasting away with quad and Phoenix! Purists hated it, and rightly so, but it sure was fun! I had a few regulars at the server, but the limits of early cable modems made it good only for players that shared the same Road Runner network.
One of my favorite playing buddies dropped out of sight for a while and when he resurfaced he told me that he had been playing Quakeworld. He said it was smoother and faster then Net Quake, and since that was what I was looking for I thought I'd try it out. Holy cow! I was amazed. Movement was smooth and responsive with very little of the old 'wading through mud' feeling I often got from Net Quake servers. I also discovered a whole new bunch of Artifact Rune mods that had interesting differences from each other. Those servers had their own group of fans, and I enjoyed playing each of them. They had names like Kong, Blue Cherry and Hampton Road, along with Artifact-RJS which had a server up too. One of the best parts was automatic downloading of files from the server. Net Quake has no mechanism for downloading custom maps, models or sounds to the clients, so running custom mods is more difficult. Quakeworld opened up a whole new world of custom maps for me. If you have never played Ultraviolence, Aerowalk or Blood Run you just have no idea how much fun you are missing. You can download these maps and others here.
I would try to recruit players from the Net Quake servers to try Quakeworld, but I often heard comments like "the game physics are too weird," or "this game is too fast paced for me!" I just couldn't understand why they were not seeing what I was seeing - that Quakeworld offered a much smoother and enjoyable experience. Well to each his own, I guess, and I just moved on to play quakeworld exclusively. Once in a while when the QW servers were empty I would go back to a Net Quake Server, but that became less and less often.
After a while the Artifact-RJS QW server was shut-down, and I put one up to fill the gap. The most popular rune mod was one called Blue Cherry, and although I was running an Artifact- RJS server very few people ever came. Finally, I took my server offline.
I discovered Slot Zero's web site about the time Rune Quake 3 was being developed, and I noted that the runes and alternate weapons were very similar. I got nostalgic for the good old Artifact-RJS server and decided to dust it off and put it back online. I got a hold of Slot Zero's latest (Rune Quake) release and put it up. At the time there was no Rune Quake QW server online. He mentioned the server on his web page and I started getting some Net Quake players visiting my server. I started hearing all the old complaints about Quakeworld again. I still can't understand why people don't see what I see in Quakeworld, and agree with me that it is far better to play on Quakeworld servers vs. Net Quake servers.
Here is an article written by an Internet researcher that might help explain it all a little better. Now I don't think I will win everyone over to my point of view, but after playing Net Quake for years, both dial-up and broadband, I feel that my opinion is valid and based on legitimate criteria. To add to the debate, Quakeworld clients have come a long way since the first ones came out. My favorite is now Fuhquake, and it is light years ahead of qwcl.exe. There is use of open gl, of course, but it also has a new particle engine and supports 24 bit textures. All I ask is that you read the link, grab a copy of Fuhquake and give it a try. I think you might like it..