5 Reasons Why Sauerbraten Is Dying

[This is a commentary based purely on the author’s personal opinion.]

We all know Sauerbraten isn’t really dead – after all, there were quite a few participants in last week’s tournament – but the overall downward trend is obvious. Many times I have seen people put forward their ideas as to why our beloved game is in such a sorry state, so I compiled my own list.


  1. The time between releases has been increasing tremendously. New releases give new incentives to play the game, but without them it can get dull. A look at the release history confirms that.

  2. When new releases came out in the past, lots of people were left behind in the old version because there was no auto-updater and usually not even a global message that would let them know  their game was outdated.

  3. Many veterans of the first generation have opted out at one point or another because they are working full-time jobs now. This group of people was the most productive one the community has seen so far. In this period many of the great clans were founded and the Premier Sauerbraten League was organized. Unfortunately, the influx of new players could never really compensate for the loss of these oldies.

  4. DDoS attacks have become a plague in recent years, destroying the last professionally organized competitive league SWL and regularly emptying public servers. Guarding yourself against these attacks is time-comsuming and costs money, which is why some decide the effort is not worth it anymore.

  5. External factors, such as old-school FPS games going out of fashion (cf. Quake), teenagers being too spoilt by new hyper-realistic video games, etc.

What do you guys think about the current state of the game and the aspects mentioned in the commentary?

Drop your own opinion in the comments!

71 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Sauerbraten Is Dying

  1. Yeah, I agree with you here and would like to add one more point which makes newcomers never come back again. I saw many times in game when newbs join mixes and old players instead of helping them, or at least kindly answer why they cannot join the game yet, just give them shit answers like “/quit spectator” or anything like that. We will never have new players if we act like that. People who do this just don’t give a fuck about the game’s future. Sad but true.

    1. AS IF THAT WOULD BE A SOLE REASON FOR THEM TO LEAVE THE WHOLE GAME BEHIND….
      come on be reasonable… you can’t start playing football in the world cup finals, neither…
      stupid bitch shit

      1. yeah, how about explaining noobs what they are watching? there is no visible name for this, they see it as a public server which they cannot join

      2. I remember myself being new and I never cared about such things, I just wanted to play on a server where I saw players. I think it’s important to be kind to new players, explain them things they don’t understand, give some advice to make them understand things faster. Doesn’t matter that you believe it’s not a big help, even small things can make a big impact when you do them constantly.

      3. sadly dear geany, there are as many kids not understanding LOCKED servers, as those who just troll and get angry, even after you explained it. then there is also often a language barrier and they either seem not to respond to our requests or they just don’t understand it at all.
        I’ve explained shit to those kids many many times, I’m sick of it now. I’d rather get rid of them and have fun MYSELF, as opposed to getting into an argument with some random asshole MIDGAME.

  2. Could not have said it better myself. I also think that the large amount of options that gamers have these days makes it difficult for an old game like sauer.

    There is next to no marketing – the game isn’t on steam – considerable effort is required for a new player to find this game.

    1. i actually agree with this. A lot of old players left to start families and focus on careers, but others just went to play different games. Back in 2009 sauer had less competition

  3. The game is not improving, no new features. Only mods made by people who play this game, not the developers improve it in some way, but most of newbies don’t know about them, just like most of them don’t know about this website..

    1. I would also like to say that auto-update would be one of the best solutions so far. For example once the new official release is published, when you start the game, it’s being automatically updated. Just make a launcher for that, like you launch games via steam, make sauer launch via launcher. Will solve many problems.

  4. For once I don’t disagree, auto update would be cool but uh we’d need a new update first..

  5. Agree to the most things, auto-updater would be much cooler for new maps or mods.

    During the years the friendly support to newbies changed more and more unfriendly answers. Instead of working together some people prefer to troll/insult other old community members *hust* don’t wanna list known names ;-)

      1. lol it’s so fucked up… devs made it so slow compared to old good quake 3 arena.. meh i dont like it, wouldn’t want some shit like that ever happen to sauer

  6. Your reasons are very specific, this is how I see the big picture:

    People have different reasons why they play.

    Examples:

    – a community/friends
    – competition
    – stats/achievements/reward systems
    – mindless entertainment
    – endless opportunities for new activities

    When people can no longer find what they seek in sauer, the game loses its appeal.

  7. Bring back instaprotect and regen capture for best games.
    What fagsty said.
    Mappers also should stop dicking around and make good maps that look good (and don’t bitch at me for not mapping, caustic quadropolis fucks, I’ve put my work into the game already).

  8. Quake Champions! Something I’m going to be very excited about!

    Sauer has a literal zero chance of growing and becoming as successful as other fps games are today. There’s no example of a game ever coming back from the graves and maintaining that popularity for long. Even Quake Live when it moved to steam has lost the momentum it gained from being front page. At best it’s simply increased longevity by a bit, but not saved itself from its inevitable drop to irrelevance.

    Better to work on the current community and focus efforts on the competitive/communal side of the game, if you so wish to contribute, that is.

      1. youre joking me, right?

        From being front page. That’s usually at release. So when the game was first release there was an influx of players, which QL has now mostly lost as your graph demonstrates.

        Idiot.

      2. But couldnt you play QL on the web for many years, before they forced you to have steam to play? And then the quake players were unhappy and stuff and the game lost momentum?

        i dont know, im not a quakepro expert lol

  9. We can keep stressing how bad everything is in Sauer, how terribly people like Bengu1 fuck up the fun, how the playerbase is decreasing and how a new release is probably still far away.

    We can also realize there have been two tournaments in the last month, that old players like Asylum were online again last couple weeks, that this site/forum is active, that we have an IRC network where you can ask for a duel and get one within a reasonable time, that there’s high level locked games almost every night, that a newbie like me can get all sorts of useful advice for learning FFA, etc…..

    I vote for the second view.

  10. I played competitively for 2 straight years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, but there just isn’t any talent left. Everyone has either stopped playing games, or moved on to another game. Me personally, I just moved on, not because of the game its self, but because its boring playing vs the same people who already peaked in skill.
    I moved on to csgo because the community is bigger, I’m not even close to being the best, and esports is taking off, so I like the potential to make money playing a game I love.

    Anyway, I showed up in 2012, thats around the time the “legends” went inactive. Me and nighty were probably the last new players to be good at the game. Being the new noobs, we didn’t really notice, we just wanted to be the best. The only way to get this game active again is to recruit new noobs and make them better. Imagine if we took 100 noobs off venice and pastaland and made them into 100 acuertas… the scene would be a lot more fun and competitive.

    1. I have tried to do exactly that, but it didnt work. Nobody is interersted in becoming better. They play 5h a day but unfortunately lack the time to practice as I was told. It seems that you and me got a different mindset than the majority of the playerbase. I dont enjoy playing this game, I dont enjoy stomping noobs, but what I do enjoy is competition. If I work hard to be good and this hard work pays off – Thats the fun for me. As the time moved on, this challenge disappeared from the game as we all know. Clanwars did not happen anymore, good players became rare, and playing duels against the same 5 guys over and over again seemed to be pretty worthless.
      Without real competetition, without rivalries, there is no reason for me to play there is no reason for me to play this game anymore, especially since there are plenty of other competitive games left to play, which all got that active community that sauer misses. In my prediction, the casual players will stay till the servers get shut down, but the core community, or lets better call it the clan scene will just fade away into nothingness. A lot of people left already and others will eventually follow.

      1. you mean people who seek for competitiveness but there are still players who stay because of the community they are in. though the less of the main community left, the less reasons to stay. I am more speaking for myself but I am sure there are players who share this opinion with me.

      2. The good players are competitive. People who play casually (just for fun) make up majority of the game is what i mean. It’s definitely not a good thing though.

      3. I disagree that there are no people who want to become better. When I met Mysterycube he was noobie, so was I, and playing together vs each other, playing clanwars, fun matches, mixes we became better. It’s just one example, I know at least 5 people who were noobs before I gave them a suggestion how to become better, most of them joined good clans afterwards like rC. We can still find some newbies who’s are interested in a competitive scene. It’s only a matter if they are ready to practice, because on first stage they are gonna be fragged all the time, and I guess that’s not fun when you can’t hit a shit :D

    2. There are not enough players /clans who took players from venice and pastaland and recruit them and make training with them. Clans just wanna win every clanwar to say ” we are the best” or “we are better than you. I just understand the competition but where is the competition if all competentive player left? Some clans should think about to let join newbies who wanna get competentive and should train them instead of beeing a half inactive clan with around 3-6 players… I know loosing a game doesn’t make fun at all but i prefer to loose a few games with my new clanmates /newbies in my clan to give them the motivation to train and get better. Sadly to see that alot of clans are stupid and deny applicants because lack of skill instead of let them staying longer as applicant (or as clanmember) and teach them how to play better…. This kind of clans just dig the graves of their clan and the community.. The other problems just told Sweeper.. There are alot of players who don’t wanna play competentive or in a clan(dont need to say the known names), but there are also a few palyers who wanna get competentive..

      A half year/year ago i was thinking about to do a trainingschool with a good coolaboration to the active clans and doing newbies Tournaments but there were many people who said ” i play against everyone duels” ” we let everyone play mixes” or ” There are alot of informationwebsites with tips+tricks(gave me seven links 5 of them are offline and two in spanish). In fact mostly the “known” names play mixes and they are
      preferentially to play mixes instead of waiting “nonames”.

      1. >> i prefer to loose a few games with my new clanmates /newbies in my clan to give them the motivation to train and get better.

        said who? I remember you not letting applicants to play a clanwar against !s because you were afraid of losing it. pleeeeease. empty words

      2. see IRC and you get your answer . We don’t let applicants play clanwars until they walk through some points while their application. If they reached that point they can play cw’s and also tournaments( see !sL)
        Nothing has to do with Skill. In your case the applicant doesn’t reached that point and also got a negative reply at his application. #Dontfeedthetroll

  11. You named a lot of reason why it doesnt work.

    I still can see you to play this “dead” game. What about more effort and less vanity? Effort to get your mates to play cws? Not just waiting for mix one and half hour ;)

    Idc if this game is dying or not. I am not gonna stop to play it anyway.

    HF.

  12. Well, I agree with Aqrta. Reason written by him are obvious. Sauer is not well known game, a lot of younger player prefer games which you have ranks, are slower, where you can grind skins, because there is some kind of reason/motivation to play for them. Also games like Sauer, quake are easy to play but hard to master, so they are getting pissed often that they suck. Graphics can be reason too.

    But, I saw comment about “unfriendly behaviour like /quit spectator” or “we should take care about newbs, teach em, help em” blabla. First of all, everytime we search for games, we see server list, where is magic yellow “locked” in description, that means something, or maybe not?But let’s say our brave new player survived that part of finding game, joined server…He can’t spawn, he is in spectator mode. In every fucking game you have spectator mode, to watch games…I think it’s obvious he/she can’t join game. Esspecialy when there are other players in spectator mode ;) And still server is LOCKED. Also, since Sauerbraten is not well known game(that means he was searching for cube/arena game or it was totally accidentcuz he wanted receipe for mum to make sauerbraten), most of us are 17+, it’s really hard to belive that our brave new player can’t understand why he can’t play. From the other side, if behaviour like “quit spectator” makes him sad and cry, that he/she won’t play anymore, how the hell he/she can survive getting rekt in games everry time in first weeks?Lol
    About new players…To get better you have to want get better, sorry but if player will want to get good, will find way to do that, like ask players. We are not babysitters, I am best example, in first weeks I was playing so much duels, asking players to play vs me all the fucking time(jawer/hades).
    So about makeing newb kindegarden, I doubt if it will work. Esspecialy that you have everything on Sauerworld and noone uses it rreally.Hamon said “clans should recruit players” clans recruit players, if someone has potential, we could help him, but well, player must WANT to get better.
    By they way, it’s funny that we search for newbs, to get good players. We have a lot of newbs, sorry guys but MOST of US are medium skilled players, how about instead of waiting for newbs who will improove, we guys will try to get better?At the moment there are few good players…But yeah, it”s better to sit on ass and cry, some of you play game for 6 years and are’t so good, please, wtf is that.

    1. While i totally agree with most of this, its worth noting that the ‘no hand holding, get good lol’ attitude can get taken too far. Quakelive is/was legitimately toxic. When you have to sit through weeks/months of ceaseless “you are trash, kill yourself and uninstall,” followed by kick from server, its quite hard to get into the game. It’s almost more amazing to me that anyone does. It’s gotten better in the last year with the elo capped 8v8 servers that are safe from bans and easy to start playing on, but by now its way too late.

      But yea have some perspective, the sauer community is seriously tame.

      1. Almost all online communites are toxic, and quake is not even the worst. Counter strike, League of Legends and Dota are the most succesful titles at the moment, even though, their respective communities are mostly made of socially awkward and overly toxic people. If anything, then toxic people are a direct result of the games competitiveness. People dont like to carry players that are mainly deadwheight, especially if they go through a tough training routine themselves. Saying this, the toxicity can be encuraging to people and motivate them to become better players. What drives games to extinction is this noob friendly casual atmosphere, that reduces everything to plain, pointless fun and takes away every need to improve at the game. The guy that practices to become better, will play his hours and thus be active. He will also be more likely to get in touch with the community than the casual guys. I guss that you could compare it to a stores regular customers and the ones that randomly show up every now and then. The main problem is that the new players are from another generation than we are. People these days are spoiled, lazy and overly narcisstic. They want it all, but with zero effort. Everyone needs safe spaces, because they can not endure heated arguments or different opionons. Skilled people are not praised for their skill anymore, but hated for it – Because they take away the fun of the noobs. Just think about it for a while and you will understand what a sick logic that is. By their opinion is not their fault that they are too bad, but it is your fault that you are too good and thus you have to go in order to make things better for them. And dont you dare to argue with that, because this will automatically make you an arrogant and evil person. It is absolutely insane, up to the point of ridiculousness and highly reminds me of todays politcal discussions. A few last words: The seeds of sucess are dedication and discipline. Without them, there wont be any results. Everyone of us grinded his way to the top at some point and I think that we all can agree at the point that this was a lot thougher in the past than it is now. We can discuss for ages about what we can do better and where we fucked up, but in the end, we did our jobs. Its now the job of the newcomers to go and find their place within this game and wheather they will make it or not, is entirely up to their work setting and nothing else.

      2. “What drives games to extinction is this noob friendly casual atmosphere, that reduces everything to plain, pointless fun and takes away every need to improve at the game.”

        Yea, Sweeper, no. if that were true, Overwatch would be dead. instead it thrives because its designed to give a casual rewarding atmosphere even to shitty players, while having enough depth to reward diehards.

        For some of us, the competitiveness drives us to become good even at the toxic games. But the average player wants to have fun, and won’t stand for seething insults and being kicked out of games (again, this stuff doesn’t really happen in sauer, so I’m just discussing generally). Good matchmaking is crucial to prevent this, which all the games you mention have and which quake doesn’t. You need casual players to populate a game in order for a competitive community to thrive on top of it. Otherwise the whole thing implodes.

        Also, I dunno about Dota but I know LoL is even curated to avoid the kind of toxicity we’re discussing.

        I agree that to get real skill you have to shake off this shitty victim attitude. But a game still needs these shitty victims as well as the hardcore players. You don’t have to respect it, its just the way it is, for better or worse.

      3. Game communities are toxic because it’s the internet which is basically just a safe place to blow off steam. There is no one set of specific circumstances to make a game thrive, in my opinion. It depends on what the game is built for and the reasons people play them. Sauer is a community driven open-sourced game, I doubt you’d find another competitive community from a game like this. The best reason I can think of for a competitive guy to stay with sauer is cause he has a old pc (low fps) and has made friends here.

        Also I disagree that skilled players are all hated. Just look at how many people are still dickriding on Acuerta :D

      4. When I could play quake (Windows), I was lucky enough to run into some people who would beat the shit out of me, but play with me at least until someone interesting showed up. Then, they’d kindly requested that I forfeit and watch them and learn from them.

        Kindly. And pointed out things I was doing that were stupid, and how to correct them.

        ” What drives games to extinction is this noob friendly casual atmosphere, that reduces everything to plain, pointless fun and takes away every need to improve at the game.” ~ Sweeper
        I think notas was misinterpreting what the guy with a voice 3 octaves lower than the rest of ours was saying. Things have become TOO casual, and there’s no incentive to get better. He’s not saying “be a dick to n00bs.” I think.

      5. Swat, in duel people tend to be nicer – until you win. Other modes are a bigger problem.

        It’s possible I misinterpreted what sweeper meant a bit, if so, sorry to Sweeper. I was trying to make a broader point about games other than sauer.

        Like i said way back at the beginning responding to greenadiss, all online games are “toxic” to some degree, just like sweeper says. And sauer is a very tame example.

  13. I definitely agree with you guys about training players especially on friteq’s comment. I Played since 2010 and am nowhere near the skill level of Acuerta. Funny thing is, me and sweeper started out playing on venice and his skill level went off the roof when he joined a skilled clan.

  14. Game communities are toxic because it’s the internet which is basically just a safe place to blow off steam. There is no one set of specific circumstances to make a game thrive, in my opinion. It depends on what the game is built for and the reasons people play them. Sauer is a community driven open-sourced game, I doubt you’d find another competitive community from a game like this. The best reason I can think of for a competitive guy to stay with sauer is cause he has a old pc (low fps) and has made friends here.

    Also I disagree that skilled players are all hated. Just look at how many people are still dickriding on Acuerta :D

  15. Remember the cancer mods (zombies) 100% retard. I have heard many times regen players complaining about that “0 regen cus zombies mod” Or that the servers only have permanent and immovable instactf, Some of the competent players today, I am sure, will remember themselves starting in regen (or ffa public games?) there are some ffa novice players waiting patiently to play ffa Looking at the list of servers……….
    Instead of creating stupid mods or servers with useless master owners
    Do something different If there were more variety in the game, there would be more people

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