There are good memories but if you stop and look at the 1) items and 2) maps, you have to see how horrible it was. Either that or you never really played it enough to appreciate this.
Or perhaps you played with US rules which was even worse!
It had potential (eg 2 jackets + belt or 2 jackets + keg) but the epic mappers* insisted on forcing 1jacket + 1belt + 1pads on every single map. Sometimes no jacket (so out of control played with the equivalent of a green armor that did not stack vs mega+100armor) Also every weapon and full ammo at most weapon spawns.
*and the community 1v1 maps too, yay. Not that q3 was any better in this regard, there were better duel maps floating around for a long time, yet only ztn was commonly used in earlier years.
The jacket/belt spawn time overlap was retarded. The maps we dueled on were laughable. Tempest, seriously? Probably better than playing morpheus or fetid, but really?
Good things.. combat wise you could play any way you wanted, aim, no aim, whatever, and still do well. This, imo, was ut99s strongest attribute. Even more than quakelive you could play without aim. However the bizarre mapping decisions held it back. I know, I know, most people on esr will point to the lack of movement as the biggest thing holding it back, but honestly if you think a game is going to play well by giving one player more than twice the health via pickup than the other player and then allowing them to freely pressure the weaker play on the next spawn then.. you have no hope. Movement or no the item system was broken.
Have to thank epic for turning 2k3/4 into an lg/shock primary hitscan-fest and not fixing the stupid armor spawns. Also adding quad to duel, woo! Will duel in ut4 fix any of these possible problems? Doubtful, epic are set in their ways.