Borg on Bourbon and Gibcon ’98
What an interesting few days it has been. Highs and lows a plenty, a true roller coaster ride to the extremes. As most of you would know, a convoy of Victorian Quake and Q2 diehards traveled far and wide to Sydney for Gibcon 98. The event that was advertised as being the biggest and best in Australia’s history, and was promoted pretty well, attracted the attention of sponsors, players and media.
From the outside Gibcon 98 looked as though it was going to be a good event. And I wasn’t the only one who was fooled. A few of us had our doubts that it would quite be what is was supposed to be, but not one of us thought it would turn out as bad as it did. Unfortunately even the most pessimistic of the Victorian contingent weren’t prepared for what was to come. Gibcon exceeded everyone’s darkest fears concerning a LAN event. I have read a few sentences saying something to the effect of ‘It was pretty good,’ and even ‘I dare someone else to try’ blah blah, but I can only respond to that by saying you mustn’t have been to many other LAN events. In short, Gibcon 98 was fairly pathetic in many respects, and I will elaborate more on this in just a moment. First I will explain the reason for my current feelings, just so everyone knows how annoyed I am, and why so.
Before I go on I should make mention of a few facts. Not everything about the last few days has been all that bad. Yet, some of it has been disastrous, and for me that goes beyond the Gibcon 98 experience itself.
Necro, Hill and I returned home late last night and immediately started downloading Sin. Got it, played it, slept. I wake up this morning to a phone call from my partner at our shop ‘Superior Outdoor Gear/Special Operations gear.’ He had some great news for me, and it was this:
“We have been rolled. Break in overnight, $100,000 worth of stock stolen. Knives, Duty equipment, including batons, handcuffs, holsters, packs, 160 prs of boots, sleeping bags, thermal and windproof clothing, compasses, infact almost everything in the store gone.” A great start to the day as you can see.
Given our insurance doesn’t cover anywhere near what we need to recover our costs I can safely tell everyone here and now that SOG closes it doors. Our only hope of financial recovery to any degree is ‘Loss of business insurance’ which pretty much seals the deal. Regardless, we would have no hope of recovery whatsoever. So, suffice to say I not a happy camper, not even if you give me a Quad Railgun. My only comfort at this very point is a bottle of bourbon.
I thought I would share that with everyone before I say anything else about Gibcon 98. I had planned to be very subdued and diplomatic in my impressions of Gibcon 98, but right now I am thinking ‘Fuck it’ it has to be said. I promise to keep this rant short. I could, with the assistance of a few people easily write a document titled ‘101 things that went wrong with GC98’. If we were really challenged we could probably come up with the top 666 things that went wrong. I won’t go into fine specific details, I am not in the mood. I might elaborate later on, but for now I will simply give you some basics.
I know that people could suggest that I was always going to sling shit on Gibcon given my position, especially after having to read several patronizing comments through their press releases and interviews. I have also heard several comments that Gibcon had allegedly made about I97. In fact I have heard so many such comments I have decided that I am allowed a little room to retort, especially tonight. Yet I remained positive about it all, and that’s the main reason I went.
Hill, Necro, Snow, Krazy and I spent four days in Sydney, and were all there for two reasons. We spent half the weekend socializing and partying, and the other half observing. It was quite educational to say the least. We were partly there to see what stood out about Gibcon, and what, if anything, let it down. Every new LAN event is still a learning lesson for us all. We knew the GC guys would make a few mistakes, someone always overlooks something in these events. But we certainly weren’t prepared for this at all.
OK, rather than carry on about why GC sucked, I will simply say it, and if I get any pressure to do so I will explain myself some other time.
1: Lack of admin staff. – One of the things I saw on the GC98 website was a comment about how an admin guy would be assigned to your area. Was that just me? Honestly, if, anyone felt that they did have an admin guy hanging around them, why was there always so much confusion? 7 P’s.
2: Lack of communication: Throughout the event, communication with admin and players was terrible. Honestly, I know there was some degree of it, but it really did seem that many of them had little idea what was going on, and the guys that did have a clue were always too busy to help. Announcements to players were few and far between, and too often done during team games and other inadvertant moments. I even watched with bemusement as the Mohicans finished up their team game, and an admin guy steps up hastily and says: “OK guys, you won? Be in blah server now, the other team are waiting.’ The Mhcns were still wearing their headphones and didn’t catch a word of it. The admin guy didn’t bother to check if they had heard him. Lucky I did, otherwise they would have been just another victim of similar circumstances that many others suffered.
I actually ended up playing in a comp, (which I hadn’t counted on,) and got to experience a true taste of what the other players had endured all weekend. If nothing else had reminded me of how ignorant GC admin has been to other events, this certainly hammered it home. In my matches, at no stage did anyone at the console type ‘Go’. Nor ‘when the map changes match starts’ or nothing remotely like it. At best you could hope for ‘Match starts in 10 minutes’ and if it didn’t take 2 hours after then, or end up being played on some other server than you were told, it started unexpectedly, and on many occasions games were started and played through with players not knowing that the game actually counted.
In my playoff round I encountered what most players did all weekend long. That was disconnects. They lasted anywhere between 15 – 100 seconds, sometimes more. In fact I lucked out for 2 minutes in that game and still managed to qualify. I didn’t know that game counted, but no excuse, because I suspected as much – I had seen it all weekend long. I played better in the final, on a machine that was in a position where disconnects were non existent and had a good game. Crap start, strong finish. Incubus from NZ piped me at the post by one frag. Trog and I drew on 68 frags, Incubus 69. 16 players, q2dm1, weapstay on.
That particular match most players didn’t even know the game had started. And, after all it was the final which is why I am bringing it up. On that note, SOQ played a NZ team in a team DM game, 4 on 4. Q2dm8. SOQ 99 – NZ 61. Using borrowed PC’s, (mine sucked) and having had no warm up, whereas the NZ guys were all on PS systems, some using SLI, and had been playing for hours, and we still cainned them. GC admin seemed keen for this match to happen, even held back their own event for it, then didn’t even announce it was being played, and afterwards who actually won it. They simply forgot all about it.
The NZ guys won a couple of CTF matches, but not against any actual CTF clans. Two of them are good players yes, but if that is their best, then OZ Q2 players really do have it over them. I make mention of this because they have spammed all over the place about their wins, but not acknowledged what happened to them when they played SOQ. WAR would have thumped them as well had they played.
3: Lack of planning and organization. This was disastrous. The admin guys had a few probs yes, but there were many chances for them to start one event and get rounds out of the way whilst they were trying to figure out other issues. We saw the openings time and again. The Q2 FFA suffered badly as a result of doing this, as did the TF comp. (The TF players had to organize their own comp, GC98 guys simply forgot all about it, or if they didn’t they certainly didn’t mention it. Nor did they mention anything about the Q2 Novelty. They did for some reason start a RA comp, but never finished it. The duels ended up being changed to single elim as opposed to double elim, and the same happened for team DM matches. At no stage was this actually announced though. This became apparent when certain players got told they had been knocked out after losing once, and a few players after losing none!
There was no marshals to ensure everyone was in the right servers, and the url they relied upon for everyone to source info was half done, and didn’t have the info that it needed. I could go on about this for ever, but I will stop on this here. If I go much further I will take ever to stop. For now I will simply say this:
“Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance.” The 7 P’s.
What really gets me about GC98 is that after so many events, so many mistakes, so many lessons to be learnt, and somehow it manages to be worse than them all. That is a harsh thing to say I know. Don’t believe me? Check out Malby’s and Harsh’s reviews of GC98 on Quake-AU and you will see what I mean. I don’t want to talk about it too much more.
I will simply add this:
What upsets me the most about GC98 is that it serves only to deter players from participating in future events, sponsors for being involved, and after promising so much and failing to deliver much at all, it truly hampers the ability for others to really help get this thing to where it should be. GC98 decided to ignore all the warning signs of A3, Impulse 97, Frag U, Invisage, etc.
Poor show lads.
Now, simply because I cannot stand to think of GC98 any more, here is some good news.
Digital Xstreams (Wireplay Admin) put on a little gathering at the Iguana bar in Kings Cross on the Friday night. After placing a $2000 tab on the bar, inviting us all to get shitfaced. This we all did. Some of us faster than others *cough* *KrazyIvan* *cough* and generally had a great time. Was great to put faces to the names. We all had a great time (except for Groo – who regretted it all the next day) and look forward to the next bash. It was more than just a piss up though – more on that another time.
As I said before, SOQ defeated NZ (we played no other matches) 99 – 61.
Oh, and I won a Voodoo 2 12 meg card for my effort in the FFA. I have GC to thank for that at least.
Other than that things are pretty grim. All of the shit about GC seems to mean nothing right now. That’s why I could not be bothered going into it. Let’s just say it sucked bad, nuff said for now.
Regarding the break in at my shop, I will say this.
I know it was an industry job. Whoever got in had a shopping list, and we have some fairly good clues as to who did it. This is going to keep me busy for the next few days. I will find out who did it, no matter how long it takes.
To those in Sydney that I had told I would email or contact in the next few days, I am going to be occupied for a bit, so if I get back to you late you know why.
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