From QuakeWorld Wiki
QuakeWorld, abbreviated as QW, is an update to id Software's Quake, that enhances the game's multiplayer features (namely TCP/IP support) to allow people with dial-up modems to achieve greatly improved responsiveness when playing on Internet game servers. Modern broadband connections such as cable and DSL also benefit greatly from the improved network handling and game physics.
1996 - QuakeWorld is Born
Quake's network code, the part of the software that handles multiplayer gaming over a network, was designed for low-latency play over a LAN. The original Quake did not address the fact that Internet connections have generally much higher latency and packet loss compared to a LAN connection, and for most people, Quake was unplayable over the Internet.
QuakeWorld, written by John Carmack with help from John Cash and Christian Antkow, was released in December 1996. Further development was later taken over by David Kirsch (a.k.a. "Zoid" from Threewave, of Capture the Flag fame) and Jack 'morbid' Mathews. It included a useful program called QuakeSpy, written by Mathews, which later evolved into GameSpy.
1997 - Global Ranking, Maturing Client, Team Fortress
For the first four months of its existence from December 1996 until April 1997, QuakeWorld (Version 1.25) sported its own global player ranking system where users were required to log into id Software's master server with their own unique identifications each time so that game statistics were logged in a central location. This spurred competition between players striving to attain the highest rank, but also controversy over the fairness of the formula used in its calculation. This, and more significantly, the incredible network and manpower load placed on id software's servers overwhelmed the company's rankings system that led them to abandon rankings entirely with the release of QuakeWorld Version 1.5 early in April 1997. The master servers thereafter only provided a list of active QuakeWorld servers.
The most popular QuakeWorld modification to date, Team Fortress, was released in Dec 1996 for QuakeWorld. During 1997 Team Fortress received praise from players and industry media alike and quickly gathered a base of thousands of players and hundreds of clans.[claim disputed]
2007 - QuakeWorld Back in Big Tournament Play
In June 26, 2007 a gaming tournament called Quad Damage was announced. The tournament is part of the QuakeCon 2007 event, which is held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas from August 2-5. The 1on1 main tournament features all the major Quake releases to date with QuakeWorld replacing the original Quake. Boasting $100,000USD in prize money the event is helping a resurgence in the decade-old game.[claim disputed]
QuakeWorld's most arguably important feature is its rewritten networking code (for player prediction and delta compression). Player prediction allowed QuakeWorld clients to compensate for high latency, thus allowing dialup users to move around correctly in the virtual world without being affected by the disorienting effects of latency. This opened up Quake network play for all, as opposed to the privileged few who had LAN or broadband connections at the time.
It did not address what some consider exploits, namely bunny hopping, wall-hugging, and zig-zagging. These bugs have shaped the recent part of QuakeWorld's life, allowing for additional dimensions to playing style, and are thus seen as features.
QuakeWorld is considered even today by many die-hard players to be the best multiplayer game, such that several games featuring QuakeWorld-like gameplay elements have been developed, including a Quake III Arena mod (Challenge ProMode Arena), a stand-alone game (Painkiller), and a mod for Quake 4 called Quake4World.[claim disputed]
In December of 1999, John Carmack of id Software released the server and client source code of Quake and QuakeWorld under the GNU General Public License as a Christmas present to the world, and this spawned a plethora of 21st century updates to this famous game first released in 1996. Few years later John Romero released the map sources under the GNU General Public License in October of 2006. Among the popular clients today are ezQuake, FuhQuake and More QuakeWorld, with ezQuake and FuhQuake being most popular.[claim disputed]