March 5, 1998
[PR] Stabralph: Most interviews start with some sort of greeting, so hi or something. How are you doing today and what are you wearing? (I’m not coming on to you, I’m just wondering.)
Myrkul: I’m fine and I’m completely naked, as I always am when I write code.
[PR] Stabralph: Who are you and what do you do? *no more pq questions*
Myrkul: I’m Myrkul. I founded Expert Quake way back when in the early Quakeworld days, and since then I’ve been working on various parts of Expert, coding, maps, and design.
[PR] Stabralph: In a few sentances, explain Expert Quake to someone who has never heard of it.
Myrkul: Expert Quake is a multi-mode modification for Quake and Quake2 that is aimed at creating the highest level of competetion possible. It does that by eliminating randomness and emphasizing very difficult to master skills. As a side effect, games tend to be less frustrating and more fun, at least in my opinion.
[PR] Stabralph: I hate it when people mail me about… *we like to pick your brain. *
Myrkul: I hate it when people mail me questions that are fully and exhaustively explained in the documentation of Expert. Actually, in general I hate getting asked a question that shows that the asker made no attempt to find the answer on his own.
[PR] Stabralph: Is there a later version of Expert Quake in the future? If so, When and what will we all be hooked on now? If not, What will you be working on?
Myrkul: Yes, the Expert team is currently working on Expert for Q2 version 2.0. It will have CTF, teamplay and DM, at minimum. Then we’ll add various arena modes, and after that, custom maps, new teamplay modes.. we’ll explore a bit.
[PR] Stabralph: Defence or Offence? explain.
Myrkul: Offense, generally. I like defense when there’s a total onslaught going on, other than that, I tend to get easily bored.
[PR] Stabralph: Name all the Expert clans out there !
Myrkul: Bup Cheese X Z PR scum NU-B DARK.
[PR] Stabralph: Did you think Expert Quake would become so popular? If not what was your reaction when it did? And if not, why?
Myrkul: I’ve always thought Expert would become gradually more and more popular, basically because there is a certain “type Expert” gamer
out there that just really clicks with Expert, and most of them don’t know it. Expert is hard to advertise, because the differences in play are subtle. We have a lot of players who like Expert because “there’s no campers”, but say they don’t like balanced weapons. You basically have to play Expert to understand how it is different, and how different it is.
[PR] Stabralph: Pronounce MYRKUL in your mic and send me the sound!
Myrkul: Ill send it after the interview…
[PR] Stabralph: Another great thing about Expert is the sounds, why did you add this feature?
Myrkul: The two biggest reasons were team coordination and ambience. I think the team coordination angle worked only somewhat – probably the single meaningful message you can send your team is “base overrun”, which implies that defenders are needed at base. But the military style of the sound makes for great ambience. The simple presence of those sounds occasionally coming over the speakers seems to make people more aware of their team.
[PR] Stabralph: Ever thought of making an Expert lan party? If there was one would you show up?
Myrkul: Did you ever hear the announcement about Roadwar, the touring LAN party from slipgate.com? We hosted them, played a lot of Expert. There have also been a couple of huge meetings (one was 18 ppl) of Expert players in San Francisco. Not LAN parties, just dinner, billiards, etc.
[PR] Stabralph: Ever pictured someone your shooting at, when playing Expert quake? If so, who!?!
Myrkul: Actually, I try not to play angry. I’ve found that I can only slip into that hyper-focused “zone” or “flow” state if I’m calm.
[PR] Stabralph: Hardest kill ever?
Myrkul: Hardest single kill. Hmm. It’s really hard to say, because my level of play varies a lot, so the closest kills come when I’m not playing well. At the top of my game I still find Tika very hard to kill.
[PR] Stabralph: Most frags you have ever had in an Expert game and who had the closest score?
Myrkul: Hmm. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but both Tika and I have had games with ~230 frags with the runner-up at ~60. That happens in games where you are the only competent player on your team.
[PR] Stabralph: Have you checked out the Expert Tournament? If so, you like the idea and if they had an all-star game would you play in it?
Myrkul: I definitely like the idea. The level of play on Expert servers has gotten ridiculously high. You see a game with two completely filled out teams and it’s insane. Watching that kind of game is also good input to tweaking the game for even higher levels of competetion. And yeah, I’d play.
[PR] Stabralph: Ever made any other mods that never made it? If so, What were they called at what did you do?
Myrkul: Way back in the netquake days I was making some basic mods for use just on the server I was running, but they were basically precursors to Expert. Back in those days, I was running a 3v3v3 teamplay and a server I called “Expert CTF” that had no hook. Obviously, that’s where the name is from
[PR] Stabralph: When they give out the ctf quake 2 source code should we all expect a Expert CTF quake 2? if so, What goodies are in it?
Myrkul: The q2 ctf code is already out, and we already have an early version of Expert CTF for Quake2. Everything from QW Expert CTF will be there initially. I want to add a sophisticated status information system in a later release, one that players don’t have to trigger manually. For instance, if your teammate can see the enemy carrier, then you get to know where the carrier is. The teammate could communicate the position of the carrier, but it’s just a hassle for him to do so, so we are going to try the have the server communicate that kind of information automatically. Doing that will free teammates to discuss real strategy if they need to, rather than relay status.