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Dark Places Latest Build
It seems that the significance of Lord Havoc's latest build has slipped under the radar screen. It has full support for Q3 maps; he just casually mentions this in his release notes -- except, you have to use Lord Havoc's lighting methods instead of Ydnar's (though it DP accepts Q3map compilations without a problem).

I spent the weekend testing it -- I made unGodly huge levels in the CZG07 style, and the engine handled them better than Q3Arena; I tested 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 poly models of my custom misc_models and it handled them without choking. I noticed no performance hit in the 2,000 and 5,000 poly models. Also, I experimented with in map curved meshing, and I can report no problems in the engines handling of them.

I'm working on a map custom made for the new DP. It was intended to be a remake of E1M6 just for comparison purposes, but so far it does not look anything like it because the curved meshing of Q3 gives me a level of design freedom I feel compelled to take advantage of it.

BTW, the complaint that Dark Places looks too grainy is true for low detail 16-bit textures but it cleans up significantly for high detail textures like the Episode I retexture project.
'(though it DP accepts Q3map compilations without a problem)'

This little bit of illiteracy on my part should read, 'though DP accepts Q3map2 compilations without a problem'

Sorry for any misunderstanding. 
'(though it DP accepts Q3map compilations without a problem)'

This little bit of illiteracy on my part should read, 'though DP accepts Q3map2 compilations without a problem'

Sorry for any misunderstanding. 
Darkplaces has a channel now to,
#darkplaces on 
New threads are for discussion of ideas and such, not annoucments. The General Abuse thread is where things like this belong.

Oh, and a URL to get Darkplaces would be nice.

(just to point out how things run here, no offence meant) 
Sorry, I actually read the FAQ after I posted and realized, 'uh-oh, wrong place there.' Though I was truly amazed noone else seemed to pick up on this news, even on PlanetQuake, they didn't mention the most significant factor of the new build. I'll end this right here and do as you requested. :) 
This Will Do If You Need A Darkplaces Thread. 
To Get A Discussion Started 
Are there even people here using Darkplaces, except me.
Over the years i got the impression that many mappers here avoid this engine, due to "unfaithfullness".
Correct me if i'm wrong.

Darkplace greatest strength are total conversions anyhow.
I for my part enjoy all the features it has to offer.
For example beeing able to combine q3bsp and thereof q3map2s high resolution lightmaps with darkplaces realtime lighting, things like offsetmapping, virtualy none of the limits you have to cope with in q1 or q3... yadda yadda yadda.

Ok, FTE might be even more advanced in that regard, but it stroke me never as "as finished" or "stable" as darkplaces.
Might only be my impression though.

On the other hand i often read about a certain querkiness of dp regarding qc, which interests me to hear more about, as i am not deep enough in qc territory to understand it myself yet. 
for one, avoid it after seeing that some entities which behaved different on Darkplaces, and the sheer amount of resources it uses and time to load.

It was several years ago so i do not remember well, but one case was a map i was making were I had several exploboxes close to each other. In other engines i tested making one of them explode would not reach the others, but if doing it on Darkplaces all would get affected and explode together. If i remember well it had to do with the explosions going through the walls or not. 
The year was 2017 and i was getting back to quake, so i tried darkplaces because youtube videos said it was the best engine. I was playing a custom map and i noticed the silver key wasn't in the place where it should be. Darkplaces made the key fall through the level.

i dont't know if this bug was fixed, but i never tried darkplaces again.

the end 
Well if you need to go hog wild with new rendering features and new Quake C extensions then DP or FTE are your choices.

In general DP is not the greatest at playing good old "Quake" per se, either the original campaign or any addon maps/mods that are not meant to be DP-specific. Some differences in lighting even when you try to make it "faithful", and little differences in physics or gamecode that can break stuff, especially since most map releases these days are not tested against DP. So that's the context in which you'll see DP mentioned around here.

It's not _bad_ by any means. And it used to be the best choice many years ago (which is why there's a lot of info laying around on the Internet still telling people to use it).

And if you really want to make a new game then I think the days of choosing to use a Quake-based engine are gone. Unless like the Wrath guys your whole hook is being Quake-like. 
For me, Darkplaces is an engine with Quake roots mostly fit for custom projects, while retaining a fair bit of Quake-compatibility. As far as I can tell, if Darkplaces breaks Quake or its mission packs, this is still considered a bug.

Note that Darkplaces contains a few cvars to control fixes for (in most cases) clear bugs or oversights in original Quake. Just search for "gameplayfix" on - the downside is that content dependent on the original quirks may break.

The renderer has changed enough that getting it to look "quite exactly" like the original renderer is not easily in the cards. For instance, dynamic lights won't shine through walls, which is of course "correct", but on the start map for mission pack 1, the original quirk was used for a "running light"-effect that won't work show in Darkplaces. It's things like that some people don't consider "faithful", but then again it depends a bit on your reference point. For instance, I consider GLQuake (albeit from id) to be even less faithful (missing fullbrights and overbrights).

One neat thing in Darkplaces is its networking capabilities. Want a single-player-capable engine without the need for being "super-faithful", but also join NetQuake or QuakeWorld servers with server browser and that stuff? Well, then you could do worse than Darkplaces, IMO. You can also check out FTE, of course. 
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