The weekly mailbag

Latest issue: January 17th, 1999 - Next week's topic: "What is your opinion on the patches and point releases that Monolith are releasing?" Tune in on January 24th to find out.

Welcome to what is PlanetBlood's Mailbag section, as run by Tom "Mugwum" Bramwell. If you have a point to make about recent events in the online Blood community, or you feel that there is something that no one has picked up on that maybe you feel strongly about, or maybe if you just fancy a rant, drop us a line at mailbag@planetblood.com and we'll see if it deserves inclusion. There are (as with so much in life) a few brief rules.

1) The mail you send should not consist of technical queries, you should use Monolith technical support for those issues.
2) Your mail should not be some sort of personal attack unless you feel that it is relevant for everyone to read.
3) Finally, your messages can have anything to do with either Blood or Blood2, maybe even suggestions for Blood3!
4) I am allowed to grammatically alter messages that are incomprehensible in their native form ;-)

January 17th highlights

Blood3 wishlist
Blood3 bloodbath
bona fida
Blood3 policies should be...
Quick links

Mailbag submission
Email Mugwum personally
Planetblood contacts
Monolith


Blood3 topic - by Chaser

The Blood3 topic is an interesting one. What would I like to see in Bloodbathing in B3. I would be interested in some sort of as yet unthouht of mod. I know that sounds cryptic, but something really original like the QPong thing would be great. What do YOU think Mugwum?

    Mmmm, in Blood and B2 you could kick heads about post-decapitation, maybe something like that except where you have goals and have to shoot into them like a Soccer game (I would say football, but on a mailbag read prodominently by Americans, using the English term football to describe soccer would be stupid) anyway, thanks for asking my opinion. As I say, something like a soccer mod or maybe even a baseball thing with heads. Something sports related.

Blood3 wishlist - by Toyman Carnivalia

Most of what I'd like to see in Blood3 is Blood. Now, stop scratching your heads, I'll explain. In my opinion, Blood 1 and 2 were completely different. I'd go as far to say that Monolith copped out, and bent what the original had to appeal to a wider audience. I think this left many Hardcore Blood followers kinda pissed (including me).

For one thing, I miss the retro 1920's psuedo-victorian look. Sure, it was a little comic-like (thanks to the limitations of build), but the general ambiance witheld a certain threshold of fear. It was frightening - though fears were quickly relieved by Caleb's quick wit and charisma. I think that what came through in Blood2 are only soured reflections of the above, and in no way lived up to the original. Where are the cemetaries? The huge floating cathedrals of death? All of the above were replaced by horrid and anomolous dupes.

Also, in the wake - Caleb lost it. Blood2 completely stripped him of character. For some reason, all I heard were the one-liner s. I never grinned maniacally, thinking, "You go, Caleb." There was no substance.

Blood 3 needs a new lead designer. I'm really sorry, but Jay Wilson didn't execute the world to be loyal to the original. Why throw away the qualities that people liked in the first? Is that the formula for a sequal? No.

Granted, there a few things, but not many, that made me like the game enough not to set the CD on fire. I have high hopes for multiplay. Since I haven't tried it yet, I cannot comment on what I feel is lacking, and would like to see in Blood3.

    You could argue that what you're saying is true of so many sequels, not living up to the game they are following up. Sequels are inferior by their own admission though, however opposite the designers may want the situation to be. Quake2 was a great game, but IMHO never lived up to the "virgin touch" that id had when they were going new places with Quake. Thousands will disagree with me of course, which is another point: You can't have everyone agreeing with you. Whether you respect Jay Wilson for what he did with Blood2 or not (and I know I do, otherwise I wouldn't be working here) you cannot say that he did not satisfy people. I have similar criticisms to you in relation to the abscence of the one-liners which aided Blood's following, but I have come to expect differenciation when moving from original to sequel, and that's why I hope Monolith listen to the public when planning Blood3, because that way, they will be able to appeal better to a wider audience, and only then will they have totally achieved the goals we wanted them to achieve with Blood2.

One-on-one multiplayer - by Bart Connors

Just a quick thought; me and several of my deathmatch buddies are debating something. WHY hasn't anyone in the Half-Life/Quake 2-Engine games versus Lithtech games debate made note of the fact that Lithtech does one-on-one modem deathmatch and Quake 2 engine garbage DOESN'T?? I know LOTS of folks who prefer one-on-one play to Net play, and I don't understand why NO ONE seemed to freak (except me) when I found out Quake 2 had no one-on-one. There's nothing like hunting ONE specific human. It's a totally different kinda deathmatch (sort of). Is this topic too old to debate?

    At last! A kindred spirit! My initial frustration with Blood2 and Quake2 was that modem games with my friends were now impossible. Quake was very popular for modem one-on-oners, and arguably it was more popular in 1on1 matches. Quake2 ruled in one on one on the net, but no modem play via dialing a mate! And Blood2 and others suffer from it. Blood3 is unlikely to support it either sadly, but I agree it would certainly add to the experience.

Fear... - by elicit

The Blood3 topic is a good one. Well done Mugwum, the tone of PlanetBlood is already reacher higher levels. I am interested as to what YOU think though, how should you make it work?

    Why thank you. As for what I think Blood3 Bloodbath should encorporate, well, the one element that most 3d first person shooters deglect to intensify nowadays, fear. In Quake, I had no idea what to expect. I rounded a corner, a door snapped back and it was "f**k me! Raarghh!" and a new set of underwear :] Nowadays, games are more intent on experience than emotion. Take Half Life for example, I was never scared, because the game box hyped up the story and I had heard so much, whereas with Blood, I had no idea what to expect when I first loaded up the shareware and it came as a pleasant surprise to find out that I was facing a bunch of devious level designers trying to make me jump. And they succeeded! Blood3 Bloodbath should be dark-toned men running and tip-toeing around darkened corridors, with only a knife to protect them from a beast of a creature, STALKING THEM. Maybe another player could stalk you as some godforsaken beast and you could sit there crapping yourself over where the hell it was. It may sound crude but the idea is one that has been used efficiently in a different capacity before. On the Spectrum I believe it was, was a T-Rex game where you ran through a maze, trying to get out before HE got you. That incited fear and if companies in the 80s could find ways to stimulate people's emotions, there's no excuse for 90s developers. Obviously, that wouldn't appeal to everyone and other modes would be included, but for once, a mode of net playing where you actually worried about meeting your opponent. Everything seemed quiet and you heard a tip... tap... tip... tap... and you KNEW he was out there. I hope that gives you an incite into my darkened mind. Thank you.

Blood3 bloodbath - by Dennis Vierkant

In blood3 Bloodbath i΄d like to see,

I΄d like to see vehicles as in Shadow Warrior, like boats, tanks, cars and perhaps even flying thingies. I used to make shadow warrior levels (with Build) that contained cool vehicles like gunboats, speedboats, jetskis, tanks, bulldozers, jeeps and more......they were great fun...

And perhaps some cool city levels (like blood2 'bridge' level), with loads of roofs (like blood2 'rooftop' level).

And I΄d also like to see loads of multiplayer settings.....Blood2 already has some very nice settings: ammo, armor, health, powerups, falling damage, auto healing (very handy!). But i΄d like to see even more settings, coz the best network games are network game that can be finetuned to the max..... It also helps to remove lame things in a game that lamerz use to ruin the fun!!...

That΄s all for now......

Greetz,

Dennis Vierkant

    I'll have a look at all your points, in turn. The thing with Shadow Warrior style vehicles. Maybe some sort of special deathmatch "vehicles" mode would be the best way to do it and I certainly agree that it has potential. The levels point is a very variable one, because people could design them AFTER release to suit your needs etc.. so that could be fulfilled fairly easily. Again, the multiplayer settings point is another reasonable one. Modifiable deathmatches are always popular and can make a good game into a great one, and I too hope that they are included.

bona fida - by E-Co-Lie

Blood3 bloodbath should encompass all of the good points from Blood and Blood3 (ie the One-liners from Blood, the great co-ordination of Blood2) and not only that, it should be variable, like options for various things, like ammo, sniping only etc.. or even a Team Fortress style mod with classes and such. Whatever Blood3 offers, I think that it should have an option for modem-to-modem play, because so many game nowadays lack this. (sorry for the rambling nature of this email).

    I agree with pretty much all of that actually! The modem-to-modem point I already discussed along with the variables stuff but I think both are valid points. The Team Fortress mod is an idea I thought that Blood2 could have. When you mention sniping only, I think you are confused with Shogo's sniping weapons, but sniping weapons are excellent and frankly, Blood2 and hopefully Blood3 will be modifiable enough in multi-player to include such modifications to the basic engine. I agree it would rule.

Blood3 policies should be... - by anon (no return address)

Blood3 multiplayer should be made with a more co-ordinated approach. What do I mean? I mean that it is ready to play when released. Yes yes we can hardly expect it to be bug-free, but I think it should at least be playable upon release, not just across networks. A bug-test version (ala Q2test) should be released as a "demo" and feedback required. (it could be time-limited or somesuch) Then Monolith could look at what to fix and release a finished product. I won't argue the merits of unpatched "pure" games, all I will say is that I took SiN back to the shop when I saw the 19Mb download for the patch, and that was f**king unnaceptable and Ritual knew it. It played good in SP until it became repetitive and then sucked in multiplayer. With a little more time it would/could have been so much more and IMHO Blood3 should be better than the initial sum of its parts as a direct result of some forward thinking on the part of a developer for once.

.sig>Sin sucks ass

    You can't argue with anonymity and I think you have the makings of a workable plan there. I wouldn't be so naive as to say that that was wholly achievable but I would most certainly say that you would make a better production manager than some with ideas like that!

     

    That just abouts sums it up for this week. Next week there should be a lot of feedback on the patch situation (and the patch is coming) and remember, I can only print what I'm sent, so get yourself in print! And send an opinion to mailbag@planetblood.com - I will print things related to the topic, and not about how to complete level 4 of Blood on Hard... thankyougoodnight.

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