This year’s QuakeCon was a blast. The Gaylord Texan is freaking huge, and I even got the Notorious DLG to go. He denies it, but in years past I was unable to get him or others like him to go since the misconception has always been that if you weren’t a huge fan of id’s offerings, you might as well not go.

One thing I noticed more of this year is the behavior. Perhaps I was just oblivious to it in the past, or perhaps I was just more aware due to the “niceness” of this place. The first night some dude spit off a balcony and/or poured some beer out. He got himself and the others in his room kicked out. Some other people got kicked out as well – and the Gaylord goes the extra step of banning you, reportedly for life. Also I noticed a lot more drinking and drunk people, but again this might just be me being more observant.

I’ve mentioned in the past on the changing demographics of QuakeCon and this year was no different – and several people were calling attention to it. There were definitely a lot more women there this year – and not just the E3 “booth babe” variety. As much as I don’t have a problem with it, I’m already seeing some backlash. It makes perfect sense – when your activity is populated primarily by geeks it’s only natural that a certian percentage of them flock to that activity to escape the social situations that rejected them – i.e., girls. Now that women are getting into this activity these people are hostile to being placed in situations where they are surrounded by the same people whose rejection pushed them into this sort of thing in the first place. Oh well, they’ll get over it – heck, now they have something in common with them.

It’s almost a shame I can’t play DOOM 3 online for shit – my system does an admirable job of playing the single player portion, but it’s just not swift enough for online. Perhaps if I bumped the resolution back down. Just getting in to a DOOM 3 match is a problem though – the in-game browser is completely worthless and although The All-Seeing Eye is tremendously better, the issue is getting the one of four spots on a server in time (since the game takes a while to load) – I wonder if it reserves a spot for you? If not it should.

But the most bang for your buck, multiplayer-wise, continues to be Unreal Tournament 2004. Onslaught is amazing and the game just generally plays great. It’s funny – one of the original slams against the game has wound up being its strength – since Unreal Tournament 2003 mods are compatible with UT2004, the game has a wealth of content it wouldn’t ordinarily have if it started from zero. Ironic that at an id event I was playing a lot of UT2004 but whatever. I played a lot of Quake 3: Arena as well but ironically, I didn’t know what client-side mods were popular, so I was limited to the out of the box servers or server-side mods.

Too bad I didn’t get to go to some of the workshops I wanted to – like editing DOOM 3 maps or the presentation of the Enemy Territory Fortress mod for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Yeah, I was surprised as shit when ET released a map editor and source – now people can make a mod for a standalone game that’s free. I’m kinda surprised that more people haven’t latched onto that idea – but I guess what you really have a lot of is people holding off and making the most of their opporunity.

The best thing this year was the freebies – I have five T-shirts and two hats as a result of free crap giveaways. Jimmy and crew were enthralled with the playable EverQuest II demo. It’s funny – I wasn’t that impressed with it. It looks good, but not any better than say Far Cry. And what’s the use of high-end rendering technology if all it does is make better looking rats to kill? Then again, they’re not as enamored with DOOM 3 as I am – but I think I like DOOM 3 since I’m predisposed to, like they are with EverQuest II. All I know is I’m happy I don’t have to play DOOM 3 on an Xbox – it looks ok and has a steadier framerate than my PC, but it’s simply worse looking with lower poly monsters, etc.

So that was QuakeCon – I hear for the next two years they’ve got it at the Gaylord. Next year I’m definitely getting a room there – the hour drive to and from Frisco is for the birds.