Its been happening. Everywhere. The gaming community has been dissolving. Whether or not quake3 can fix things, I do not know. A lot of people have already disavowed the game. It seems the online world has been thrown into chaos. What has done it, I do not know. All I do know anymore is that nothing holds true, nothing is sacred. People don’t even bother to use their own names on pubs anymore. Most people won’t even go to play on pubs, for fear of “llamas.” But ask yourselves guys. Who are the real llamas?
I distinctly remember the first time I played quake2 CTF with a mouse. It was at a friend’s house. He was the first guy on the block to have a cable modem. The exact date I do not remember, all I know is it was spring of my sophomore year (I am a senior now). I cannot go on pontificating about the old days because to tell you the truth I don’t remember them that well. My friend and I would call each other after school and go frag on YYZ, or whatever other server we could find. This was before the days when YYZ had its own domain. I had a p1 200 w/out mmx, and probably the worst internet connection ever. Software mode does not do wonders for your game.
Despite all this, the game was fun. It wasn’t about winning, it was about the excitement. Sure I wasn’t too good, but in time I got better. In may of that year I even got a cable modem. That was exciting. I was actually able to move. I still had the Pentium 1 however. I decided it was time for a new computer, and with the help of a friend, built one (although it took the entire summer due to a fry’s defective floppy drive). So now its a week before my junior year. I have a cable modem (which at the time were ungodly machines of speed) and a pretty good computer. Life was good. I started getting drawn into the online culture, little by little. Things were not lame back then. Instead of kicking it for a night in irc, we kicked it for the night on the server itself. A community developed around YYZ. They even came out with t-shirts “It’s not the lag you just can’t hang” and “bind d drop monkeys.” The clans on YYZ generally got along: nc, 99VC, h8, es, KT, CIT. Everyone liked each other. Something has happened since that time.
Eventually my clan, nc, realized it was not going to go any further in the realm of quake. We realized, despite the camaraderie, and the bond we felt between each other, that it was time to go our separate ways. So we did. That’s how I landed at 99VC. 99VC was not the most loved clan ever, and a few choice words by a person I will not name from another clan did not set things off to a wonderful start. Still, 99VC stood for a lot of things I believed in. Tradition, honor, fair play. Only two people had ever “quit” 99VC and they had been kicked out, placed mysteriously in the hall of shame. 99VC had a domain. I came to know and love (not “prison style though”) every member of the clan. We had some wonderful times together. Slowly, the clan started to erode. People started retiring during this first disaffection with quake. I guess a lot of people were just tired with it. 99VC dropped out of competition. During the summer, lets call it a rebuilding period. We had maybe an average of 10 people in our irc channel at night. As lame as it seems, those times are perhaps my fondest memories of quake.
Fast forward a couple months. Something has changed in the CTF community. Something nobody can quite put their finger on, but we all know its there. There’s an element of extreme discontent that had not manifested itself before. It probably has something to do with the letdown a lot of people have felt with the announcement of certain things about quake3. At any rate, our community has changed, and not for the better. It is something that has happened over time. Maybe its a natural progression, but if it is then I think that nature sucks. I have too much time and effort invested in this community to watch it crumble while doing nothing. Yet there is nothing that one single person can do, except watch and wait. The story I have just told evokes a feeling of nostalgia in me. Something like what the Romantic poets felt.
Maybe its just a few elements which are turning this community to mush. I do not think so. If something has been fermenting it has been the result of everyone’s wishes. As I said before, I don’t think anything can really turn the community back to what it was. People simply do not get along like they did. There used to be this sense of openness, full disclosure. Now all I see is a community shrouded in lies, mischief, cheating, timers, whining, quitting, behind the back conversations on irc, and worst of all fighting. There is no longer such thing as friendly competition, and this is not the fault of just one person, it is the fault of EVERYONE. Including me. Some may ask what was the point of writing this. I am telling everyone who reads this to do what they can to return this community to what it was. Maybe that is not possible, but I do not see a bright future for gaming if we cannot at least step back from what we have become and ask ourselves what we really want. It is, in fact, our community, and lets start to treat it like that.
I understand everything that you are saying Jose. Except for L-Fire and Lexerst’s attitude, the YYZ community was great. Everyone knew each other. Everyone knew what was going on in every other clan. And we all enjoyed it. There were always a group of specs talking to each other during the public games on YYZ. I don’t believe the east coast ever had a community or togetherness like we all did during those 6? months. I think there is one main reason why everything fell apart. The game was exciting and entertaining to play at first. Then it just became dull for a lot of people. The only way that it was fun anymore was if you won. A lot of the clans left the community. These clans were filled with players who just played for the enjoyment more than for the win. Once they quit, all that was left were the hardcore players who only really enjoyed playing if they could kick ass. This is where the huge power clans came into play. The best players (who were tired of losing) from all the smaller teams started joining a select group of clans. Pretty soon there were just 5-6 clans with a huge number of highly skilled players who dominated everyone else. Naturally there were still some small, less skilled, clans around who r playing for fun. But, when they keep getting massacred by the power clans they start leaving too. So eventually you are left with a few teams with all-star players who are just trying to get to number 1 at all costs. If they aren’t at #1, then they aren’t having fun and either 1) join the team with the best chance at getting #1 2) quit quake2 . Now, I think you can understand why the community….well….just sux.