Entering a world of pain
clan : fish heads
posts : 910
ive donated to quake.ie!
|I suppose I should explain the long absence on Quake.ie. Irish Quake was hanging by a thread for so long - when Quake 4 came out, it looked like a lifeline, but this did not prove to be the case. And after a dismal Nations Cup campaign, it was time to leave it rest. For a good while, I didn't play any games, but eventually chose to partake in a brief assault on the world of Irish Unreal Tournament. As an ISDNer (with high ping too), I had no interest in playing outside of Irish servers. This is why my CoD2 career lasted only 3 days - even the Irish clan servers are based in UK. It is also important to me to be part of an Irish community - not for any strange social reasons or anything, but simply because I don't have the patience to deal with the lamers and whiners who quit servers and piss you off at every turn. At least in Ireland the muppetry is better disguised, and you can play vs people you know who will pretend not to be pissed off when you smack them around.|
UT itself is not a bad game, with the lightning gun in particular being a great weapon, but it is fatally flawed by the ultra-defensive nature of the shock rifle and shield gun. Unfortunately, for the sake of the community I walked away from that for fear of dragging the place down around me (since even a fucked up community is better than no community). I moved to Dublin, and for awhile I had a dodgy Irish Broadband connection, which was only good for WoW and QuakeWorld (the standard of QuakeWorld in Ireland was low at the time, with lots of new players, and old timers returning to the game, so a good connection was not essential). I got hooked, and I want all of you lurkers who still visit this site to come back into the fold, too.
They say that alcoholism remains with you all your life, even if you have never touched a drink in 40 years. All of you who have read this far are afflicted by a similar maladie. Many of you no longer play Quake, you haven't touched the game in years, but on rainy days you reach for it subconsciously, like an amputated limb. Occasionally, you still reminisce about the old victories. Of those of you who have experienced the rare crunch matches - the critical LAN fixtures or league finals, some of you might recall dragging your team back from the brink with a dramatic quad run, or hiding desperately to hold onto a small lead in the final moments. The elation that consumed your brain for days throbbed to a latent buzz which, to this day, drives you back here again for some vague inspiration. Some of you were INC scum, others played 'for fun' in the smaller teams. A couple of traitorous bastards bailed to Tribes/CounterStrike/UT, but even you check back regularly to read the dribs and drabs of news that really doesn't interest you.
Then there was Quake 3 - the glory days of the IQ3CL, the rivalry and competition of 11 Irish clans battling it out. Quake2 players meeting QuakeWorld players on a level playing field... new maps, new game, and new players. That era fizzled almost as quickly as it had sprung to life, but still there are refugees checking back on good oul Quake.ie. You might have downloaded demos of the final, or played in the IQ3FFAL, or watched All*Blue win the CPL - or get knocked out thanks to a strange bug a year later. You might have been on QTV when Pow3r camped in the bug in ztn3dm1, or when Sonic knocked Fatal1ty into the void on tourney2. It is so faint that you might not realise it, but you suffer from a permanent hangover, because after Quake, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down.
A new generation of Irish Quake rose from the ashes of the first IQ3CL, with FH clumping together bits of dk, 4p, DZR, IR and KCD. Clan Se7en merged with the UK clan Hatstand, adopting the identity of the latter. Q2eers BiO became a British gaming community, as Irish ISDN connections began suck, forcing. Acid folded. PS folded. Bit by bit, people lost the inclination, but you never really lost the interest. Think of all the classic showdowns over the years... PS vs Se7en, nD vs PS at Trinlan, nD vs BiO in the Eurocup Qualifiers, FH vs n8z at Darkside. Not to mention the duel tourneys, the likes of Koopa vs Ser at the CPL qualifiers (1 and 2), Beast vs Ser, m1rv vs Lorcan, Rapp vs Melachi at Darkside, and the infamous Spaceman vs killy on ospdm8. Why leave all that behind simply because you cant be bothered firing up ezQuake and learning how to jump around a map again? At the moment it seems that the QuakeWorld scene in Europe is actually growing, and I know that there are plenty of bitter grudge matches and friendly face-offs to come in the future.
Getting back into Quake is like riding a bike. I don't mean that all of your skills are still there - these have rusted over the years, but a small bit of maintenance can set that right. What I mean is - you would rather drive, (in all fairness, I really cant face getting on that bike in the morning). I think of the torturous battle up steep hills in the lashing rain, and the pain and the frustration that is ahead of me... but its not all that bad. The hills aren't as big as you think, and the great thing is that you get to go down the other side too, weaving in and out of the traffic at 100mph (thats a metaphor for beating the shit out of Mickah on dm4).
QuakeWorld is beans and toast, a truly excellent meal despite its simplicity and over-familiarity. And as you shake off the rust, then it all comes back to you. Standing at YA with the map locked down, aiming at a spawn point. Somewhere on the far side of the map, most likely at the top of RA, I know Mickah is similarly poised, eagerly anticipating the arrival of a hapless spawner. I dont have to worry about Quad - I know that john_rambo or Bunny will look after that, and may choose to dispose of that clown with the launcher who has been hanging around at SNG for the past 6 minutes on 10 health. Ill just sit here and wait for the pathetic enemy spawner to saunter up to me like he does every 30 seconds.
A faint hope stirring from the gloomy depths his teams despair. He spawns at launcher, and there are no enemies in sight. He climbs the steps apprehensively, gaining confidence as he proceeds unmolested to the YA room entrance. He triumphantly spams his status to his teammates, and although he cannot see through the wall to YA (unless hes Brazillian), he knows its there and is excited by its proximity. In a flash of inspiration, he sees himself - armoured and tooled - a golden god gallantly regaining control for his team. Temporarily blinded by this optimistic haze, he doesnt notice the oncoming projectile - he only hears the dull thud of my rocket smacking him on the chest like a wrecking ball, and the agonising wail of his once-proud team crumbling further into oblivion. Dumped on his backside behind RA, isolated and armed with nothing but a pea-shooter, he starts the process again.
This is the glory of asdf. Two good players complimented by two guys who are good at standing still and firing rockets at a spawn. As newcomers, perpetual underdogs, every victory is so much sweeter, enhanced by the fact that half of our team cant even rocket jump from lifts to window. There is no better feeling in online gaming than humiliating a team of over-enthusiastic 24/7ers who lol and sneer in anger and disbelief as the torrent of grenades assault their spawn points. Once you have gained lockdown and built up a healthy lead, you can pour a bit of vinegar into their wounds by playing some games:
1) Switch to boomstick and run away, panicked, so that the guy thinks you are out of ammo. When he chases after you, fire one rocket at the ground to show what a fool he was, and then finish him off with shaft. Axe his corpse.
2) Stack. The more creative the better. Popular venues include mound, low bridge, pent, and RA.
3) Mass suicide - everyone on your team converges in one spot and bores. This leaves four RL packs - you must get back to these before the enemy does. This method has also led to the suicide stack, whereby all members of the 4-man stack simultaneously type kill as the quadded enemy approaches. Note that the latter method does not leave packs behind.
4) The Train - this ingenious set piece was introduced to us recently by the mastermind known only as the krolick. Teammates play follow the leader, traversing the map in single file for as long as possible.
As with any toy you must be gentle or it will break. If the enemy cracks, you might see them discharging in the water and trying to kill their teammates. If you go too far, this may result in their clan imploding. While on first thoughts this may seem like a good thing, I must remind you of the great tragedy of online gaming - the ying and yang of public servers. It is the competitive wankers who ruin the game for us that also sustain it, and without their enthusiastic fervour, the servers would be empty of random aliases and guys who drop after they lose control, and we would never have the pleasure of hammering them .
If you're reading this thinking I'm an asshole for taking pleasure in pissing off others, well you are right. Hours of griefing and corpse camping outside of Booty Bay confirmed that. However, if you're thinking Im rude and arrogant and killing the Quake scene, you could not be more wrong. I am the newbie incarnate... I recently sat at the wrong end of a record thumping on dm2 in a league game - final score of 5-447. I cant even get past the second platform in ztricks. THIS is why I get flooded with adrenaline in the rare occasions when I'm so graciously carried by my teammates that they erect a tent for me at YA and check back every 15 seconds to make sure I'm still alive. Having said all of that now, were about to enter our first league, the EQL, and we will most likely get pulverised. We are in division 4, and by a stroke of bad luck, its the only division that has to play custom maps in addition to the big three (dm2, dm3, e1m2). So the next few days will be spent trying to get up to speed on cmt4 (androm9 remake) and cmt3 (??).
We have more good Quake players in this country than we have had in years. The activity of the Irish qw scene has been fairly well publicised in recent months, and while this country's interest in Quake 4 has dwindled to almost nothing, there has been a Quake 3 resurgence in the past year. Very few of the older Irish Quake 3 players are still playing, but I'm told that Nexus once more unleashes his boundless anger upon certain misfortunate CA/CTF servers. The Irish Guard has stirred - experienced LANners emerging from the BF2 shadows, with plenty of Quake 3 talent - the likes of Pyro, Lucutus, Legion and the mouseaccel masta himself: Rapp. In deepest Portlaoise we have the CTF twins Azghard and rzelky, div1 superstars from Poland and clan PPP. Within the pale, somewhere amidst the stagnant traffic and stacks of syringes known as Dublin we have the likes of div1 Finnish player, brol, from dlx, Polish Quake2 guru, bch, and of course cbs and the Lithuanian lads who will be a handful for anyone on ztn. It has come to my attention that a couple of Ireland's top UT2K4 players have been dabbling in Quake3 also - particularly The Muppet, Jazzy. Of course, without an active community hub, there are always players who slip by unnoticed, and play among themselves quietly. I know that there is lots more talent knocking about, and I have even heard rumours of shiny new Irish players picking up the gauntlet for the first time. Running the Quake4 team.ie trials, I saw that there are even more oldschool players from other countries living Ireland at the moment - so could all of you l33t Russians and Swedes please declare yourself so that we can inform you of our upcoming LANs. The LANs in Ireland have always been so predictable, finally were at the stage where the Quake 3 1v1 tourney is wide open. Legion has mentioned the possibility of QuakeLAN 2 and there have been a handful of comments, so the rest of you pipe up or it wont happen.
There has never been a better time for oldschoolers to return to the game - just drop into #qw.ie two nights a week for a few games while there are still a lot of low skill players for you to play against. If you have 4v4 experience from the old days then it will be really valuable. We need you to help resurrect the bickering and in-fighting that has always featured in the Irish Quake scene - things just arent the same without it. Were like a bunch of cheerful pokemons frolicking in a meadow with candycane axes - we need to bring back the vicious streak and get some decent clan rivalry going. I was going to slander Clan Tayto here and make accusations against them, but then I realised that I play for them too.