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GOL Cast: Fragging Bots And Testing New Maps In Xonotic

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We would like to interrupt our stream of news about AAA games and bring you some critique on the new Xonotic 0.8 version. So, enjoy!

I think you all are familiar with Xonotic or at least its predecessor Nexuiz, so I'll keep the introduction short. Xonotic is an open source multiplayer first-person shooter that was forked from Nexuiz after the Nexuiz name was licensed to IllFonic to create a similar proprietary game. Recently the 0.8 version of Xonotic was released with new maps and a new weapon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yifp1-cNopw

Xonotic was my personal open source game of the year in our little awards and for a good reason. It has very nice graphics, some of the best I've seen in open source games, and gameplay to match. It's very fast paced and combining bunny hopping and blaster/rocket jumps allows you to pull off some really neat tricks.

The new version of Xonotic brought three new maps, Catharsis, implosion and Vorix and I'm happy to say that all of these new maps are very interesting and each one plays differently. Like I expected, implosion is all about extremely high jumps, while Catharsis and Vorix are more closed. All in all they bring a very neat addition to CTF games and I also found implosion to be a nice TDM map as well.

The new gun, Arc, was a bit of a disappointment though. It's not objectively bad and you can use it quite effectively, especially when combined with the strength power-up, but in my opinion it's very boring. It doesn't really do anything interesting. Nearly all of the weapons in Xonotic have their own alternate fire modes or special functionality. With the shotgun you can use your alt-fire to bash your opponents with it, dealing some nice damage, Electro can fire small energy balls that will stay on the ground for a while and if you shoot at them they will explode and with rocket launcher, now named Devastator, you can guide the rocket if you hold the fire button down. Arc doesn't do any of that. You just point it at an enemy and hold the fire button down until the enemy is dead. And the alt-fire only fires the gun until it overheats, dealing some extra damage. Boring.

Xonotic has two big issues that it's facing at the moment. First of all, the bot AI is pretty dumb. Yeah, I get that the multiplayer is the main point of the game but sometimes you just can't or don't want to play multiplayer and you are left with the bots. The bots can very easily get confused on some levels and they will simply find a corner or a hole and stand there doing nothing. On CTF maps the bots tend to hang back and won't really go on offense, making the games very one-sided.

The second thing partially ties in with the first one. There aren't that many people playing Xonotic. The current community is very small and it seems to consist mainly of more experienced players. This creates a difficulty curve that can be difficult to overcome when you are just starting to get into the game. And because the bots are sometimes quite stupid, you can't really practice with them for the multiplayer matches. It also doesn't help that many distros are still not shipping Xonotic in the default repositories. Instead they ship Nexuiz, which is pretty much dead in the water by this point.

Xonotic is pretty fantastic and definitely has a lot of potential. It only really needs more players. There is no reason not to recommend it, it's free, it looks pretty and plays very nicely on almost anything. I've played it on my laptop with Intel HD Graphics 3000 and I only have to knock down a couple of settings to get it to play out at smooth 60 FPS.

Download the game from: http://www.xonotic.org/

I've also been thinking about organizing a Xonotic event of some sort on GOL. Now I'm not promising anything but I do think it would be neat. Any ideas how we should do that? Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I'm a Linux gamer from Finland. I like reading, long walks on the beach, dying repeatedly in roguelikes and ripping and tearing in FPS games. I also sometimes write code and sometimes that includes hobbyist game development.
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The comments on this article are closed.
4 comments

ElectricPrism 29 Jan, 2015
I enjoyed the gamecast, I can't wait to download and try it out.

They really should release this on Steam as FreeToPlay, it would significantly help them to have a distribution mechanism keeping all users at the latest version automatically.
Beamboom 29 Jan, 2015
Great to see an article about Xonotic, cause this game is an excellent, classic arena shooter ala Unreal Tournament & co. I'd love to see more gamers in this game too. Come on folks what's to lose? It's FREE after all!

So I take this opportunity to tell Ubuntu gamers out there that there is a PPA that maintains packets of most of the bigger open-source games out there.
http://www.playdeb.net/welcome/

Add their PPA and install Xonotic now! Go here for instructions:
http://www.playdeb.net/updates#how_to_install

See you in the Xonotic arenas! :)
loggfreak 30 Jan, 2015
arena shooters are pretty much dead now, the only one that has over 50 people online atm is quake live
lave 30 Jan, 2015
Quoting: ElectricPrismIThey really should release this on Steam as FreeToPlay, it would significantly help them to have a distribution mechanism keeping all users at the latest version automatically.

they basically said they cant. maybe they will at somepoint but right now its not possible due to ressources to tinker the game into the steam framework and they would have to let go of xenostats in favour of steamstats, which after they put so much effort into it is no good option (plus inferious in their eyes, as far as i understood)

but yes, either this going to steam and building up a community or the game is pretty much at a dead end. it got quite some focus when one of the best movie makers of QL moved over in 2012 and advertised it within the quake community, but its slowly dying ever since.

xonotic (going to steam) or reflex (going for linux native) are pretty much the only hopes for arena shooters on linux right now. i know, i know.. theres unreal tournament. but i hate the clonky movement so ill just pretent it doesnt even exist :D
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