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11 July - to - 17 July, 1998

Friday, July 17, 1998
Thresh and the Death of Competitive Quake- Part Deux:
Thresh wrote a Frontline article a couple of days ago in which he talked about the slow death of competitive Quake in the USA (note - that's competitive Quake, as a fun game he sees it continuing to live on, much like Doom today). Well, he has revisited the subject for some more thoughts.

I gotta say, Thresh really seems to let his hair down with this article, and I hope he keeps this relaxed style up. He writes as smart as he plays Quake, which is to say there aren't many who write stuff this well-considered about the game.

One thing he does is let us know what he really thinks of Quake II:

"The longevity of Quake is largely accredited to its fantastic and "as-of-right-now" unequaled gameplay. It is, in my opinion, the only game (aside from Doom/Doom II) that has successfully mixed an intensely fast-paced, arcade-like game with an arena that allowed players to alter the game's outcome by out-strategizing their opponents".

"I believe the biggest reason why Quake has survived so long is because Quake II isn't living up to many people's expectations. Certainly the 10hz sampling rate, which severely handicaps and lags player controls has something to do with it. I know it has with me. The lack of precision in Quake II controls has made me really frustrated at times. In addition, Quake II lacks the intensity of Quake; rather than a run n' gun type game, there is a bigger emphasis on camping and listening for footsteps."

So why is Thresh playing Quake II? Because, it seems, there are no longer any real competitive challenges left in Quake for him. Like a number of Australian Players who switched to Quake II, he wanted new challenges, and to support the progression that Quake II, however imperfectly, represented. Fair enough, with the PGL switching to Quake II, this is understandable. Thresh also sees a number of top Players in the US and in Europe feeling the same way:

"Some players are finding they are just hitting their prime, whereas others, especially in the U.S. and Europe, are finding that there is rarely anything new to appreciate anymore".

Now, after reading this, it strikes me that Thresh has just admitted that Quake II is not an improvement on Quake. Big deal? Well Quake is apparently going to die out because there aren't any new competitive challenges. Let me pose a hypothetical question, if there were no new games coming to save us, would Quake still die out because there are no more competitive challenges? If a game has been around for more than X years, does this mean it loses its competitive challenges? Do you see my point?

Or is the problem more that, as a Quake community, we have failed to organise national and international competitions worthy of providing that "competitive challenge"? Because excuse me if I'm wrong, but I thought I just read Thresh saying that Quake has unequaled gameplay while Quake 2 ... well, great looking, lots of great ideas, but frankly in terms of gameplay it pretty much sucks!

Like a lot of people, Thresh expects that we will all be saved by the slew of "new games" coming up:

"With the slew of new games coming out, such as SiN, Half-Life, Daikatana, and Duke Nukem Forever, the chances are, there are only a few months left in competitive Quake".

What if we're not saved? Will their "competitive challenge" last long enough? Will anything be different? Now, I'm an optimist, and I do believe that sooner or later some new game is going to really make an improvement on Quake. It's like Quake was Elvis, and we're waiting for the Beatles ;-). But what I'm asking is - where are the competitive structures necessary to ensure a lasting competitive challenge?

Let me finish off with some food for thought from an Australian friend - from another part of the country. Incidentally, his region switched to Quake II pretty soon after it came out. Have a read of this, and then think about what I have been saying, and then ask yourself what needs to be done to ensure the game grows in your region:

"Focusing on the organised competition part, I look at it as the absolutely necessary and essential natural "next-step" for this community. If it doesn't happen, then we are basically stuffed. It sounds sort of dramatic, but its true - the signs of serious and permanent decline are already there in a number of ways, especially in some states.

Your community in NSW is somewhat different to us in the sense that the main direction is influenced primarily by those who still play Q1. As opposed to over here (even Melbourne to some extent), where the direction of ISP's, LAN services, and general proceedings is completely dominated by Q2. Nonetheless, progress waits for no person (or game, as the case exists) so whether its Q1 or Q2 the fact remains: a more organised and concentrated effort towards competitive gaming is the most effective and pressing need for the Aus community. Other countries are making steps towards this, as they already have foreseen the need for it in order for the community to survive and grow.

On a personal note, I think that one of the major reasons people will leave the game after playing it so feverishly for months on end is that without something to shoot for, it becomes very hard to justify the time and sacrifices made in playing Quake. Often these sacrifices involve a direct reduction in other areas of life that need attention from time to time - and simply playing with no ultimate goal can often be a major factor in disillusionment and eventual dissatisfaction with your gaming lifestyle. I can safely say this as not only did it happen to many players here (I actually had a 14 year old come up to me at a LAN last weekend and tell me it wasn't worth the hit on more important life matters!), it happened to me. To be perfectly honest with you, if the PGL- type concept I am developing here doesn't pan out, I am definately done with online gaming".

Weekend Plans:
I'm going to work on a few website chores over the weekend - there's a fantastic article written by Borg I want to publish in the Features section, but that needs a redesign. Then there's the Third AU Vs NZ game I need to write up. Plus there's some other stuff, some exciting stuff, that I will probably announce next week ;-). There's some preparations that need to be made for that.

Next weekend is GibCon'98 - w00 w00!

Like the last couple of weekends, unless something big happens I'll see you again on Monday night, Australian-time. Have a good weekend, and I hope you kick some serious ass in Quake :-).

Thursday, July 16, 1998
Live Australian Coverage of Deathrow Vs Nine:
The organisers of the 9 Vs Deathrow match in Stockholm have offered Challenge.AU proxy hosting which would enable Australian spectators to watch the match live :-) .

"Wanted to ask you if youd be interested in hosting a proxy for Aussie viewers during the match between [9] and DR. Youd be connecting to a server in Sweden i guess, (unless we find a better one ) and you could let Australian quakers connect to your proxy to see the match live".

There are a few options here, and rest assured we'll be looking into them over the next couple of weeks. One option is to use our Challenge.AU ISDN to connect to Sweden and show the matches live on a big screen - would anyone be into that? If you're interested in coming to the Sydney office and watching a bit of a LIVE Quake sportscast let me know by .

Clan Nine Prepartions Continue:
The Nine Studio has released a Button (below of course) and Banner (above of course) for the upcoming match between Clan Nine and Deathrow. An official web page has also been created at http://www.nine.nu/dr

pls distribute

We saw last night that D2-B2 and Clan Deathrow are in serious match preparation, and fully intend to "bring home the gold". So how are Clan Nine doing? As [9] Xenon put it:

"Well I'll tell ya one thing, Its very hard swapping from QW to RQ and vice versa.....but when DR come, we will be ready :D".

Also, there was a comment in the GX MB about a festival that will be taking place in Stockholm during the matches, and the dangers of the Americans (probably used to Bud Light) coming into contact with Tuborg:

"Yes, each year at the beginning of August the Swedish Water Festival begins, its actually quite beautiful so we wouldnt want DR to miss it during their 7 day stay, now would we? (Lets hope we can get them drunk before the games....) jk :)".

There were a lot of things I was curious about with this match, so when one of the organisers from the Nine Studio, Henrik Marik, contacted me about the proxy server, I took the opportunity to ask him some questions:

Who came up with the idea for this match?
Well, i think it was me and my partner, Erik Malmberg, who talked about quake and the problems ( ping ) that makes it difficult to host worldwide championships online. We thought something like wow, wouldnt it be cool to ask DR to...and so on.
How long did it take to reach the stage we are at now?
We first contacted Dr in January, i believe, so it has taken quite some time...
How did you do it?
I think I asked Paralyser of Clan [9] to talk to DR on IRC, he did and I got in contact with Reptile. We kept discussing the event, dates and stuff, and on it went.
Is this just the beginning of more exciting international events at the Nine Studios?
I sure hope so. There are so many things one can do to make gaming more exciting, hosting events like this isnt really that hard. All it takes is initiative and I think its sad that so many in the gaming community lack it. If all goes well with this event and our studio continues to be appreciated by the community, youll definately see more international events.
What us your vision for how the event will "look and feel"?
I think its going to be completely wild and crazy.
Will you have match commentary?
You mean on TV? sure.. CNN, ABC.. j/k =) Expect live updates on the web, interviews, the works. Commentary?.. hmm ill think about how it could be done.
Can you tell us about any sponsorship, advertising, and/or media deals you may be doing?
So far theres no advertising taking place except for the "spreading of the word" via quake-servers and on the internet. Im in discussions with some of the larger websites and other companies but its still a bit to early to go public with this info.. ( youll find out.. =) )
Do you think you'll recoup costs? If it's profitable, what will you invest in?
Hmm.. I hope well break-even on the event although i think we wont, but if we should earn some money i ill invest it in more studios in other places in Europe and in other gaming events.
What sort of feedback are you getting from Swedish Quake players?
Not much in the beginning, Im not sure people believed it would really happen. Now that they realize DR are coming quite a few are jumping me on IRC to ask for 1on1s with Thresh.
Any indications of the level of interest - will you get all the spectators you are planning for or more?
It looks good so far, almost half of the tickets are sold and not many players know of the event. I think well get as many spectators as we have room for. Regarding spectators on the internet, - no idea. I hope many will want to see it.
How much is $200 SKR in $US?
Its about 25 USD.

Who's Who of Irish Quake:
Musician has produced a who's who for Irish Players which you can find here: http://www.quake.ie/help/who/windex.html.

"Spent the whole bloody evening on this and my fingers are knackered. Still I have to reward myself with a game of Quake. Cyas" Musician

One of my favourite Irish Quake Players has got to be Gandalf, perhaps because he sometimes posts messages like "we love you, Bitchy" on Malby's Message Board, and I just happen to have a piccy - so look - now he's an international Quake star :-).

GANDALF
REAL NAME Not given
AGE Errrr 28
CLAN Quake CG/Quake 2 Scream
PLAYS Both, still prefer Q1 Clan Arena mmmmm
LIVES Dublin
OCCUPATION Not a scrounging student anyway
"HOW GOOD DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" I'm a solid CTF and Clan Arena player. I do OK at FFA and Team DM's but suck bigtime at Duels
OTHER COMMENTS Remember "Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out".

The News Will Carry On:
If you saw how Sujoy had some bad luck with his computer melting down, spare a thought for New Zealand's Abaddon, who writes over on the NZ Quake News site at http://www.quakenews.co.nz/:

"Three words: Week From Hell. In chronological order: Computer blew up, preventing me from getting online; was in a car crash, so had to do the whole A&E, injury, ACC, insurance thing; got back to work to find out that half the Publishing Dept of XTRA (where I work) is being "devolved" (that's the latest corporate euphemism for "sacked"). Hopefully I will have a job next week. Anyway, back to the news...

... Ouch. Things are a TOTAL mess here at XTRA right now. Basically noone here knows if they have a job or not, and as I look around the office I can see about 3 people actually working and the rest all working on resumes and CVs. There's a little story on it at Aardvark. The provision of any game services at all at XTRA may be cancelled within the next few days - news as it happens".

Like a true professional, he keeps on writing the news regardless - a true legend :-). Hope it all works out.

Earthworm Jim's Question for Sujoy:
EWJ is the organiser of the Irish DM4 Duel God Competition (see news below) and he emailed me to say that he's off on a break so he'll be unable to get the demo's/reviews together for another few days.

He had a question for Sujoy (Challenge.AU is putting together an interview - you are invited to send in a question if you like):

"When I was spectating a game last week with you duelling 4K_Terminator, I'm pretty sure I saw you do a quad rjump with little or no armour. I've failed at it several times since - how do you do it? Hint - JD reckoned he taught you the move :)".

They're at the HamLan of Course:
You get off the plane in New Zealand this weekend, computer under your arm, and you can't find a single Quake Player? They're all at the Hamlan - http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~rmb1/hamlan/index.html

Hoony's 7 Point Plan:
Was thinking about what Thresh said in his Frontline article - namely that sooner or later competitive Quake will go the way of Doom and it will become a niche game played by enthusiasts.

It seems to me that most of the new, younger Players coming into multiplayer FPS games on the Internet are shooting for the newest game in the shops. For this reason alone, enthusiasts of Quake may need to help "mother nature" along a bit to ensure the survival of the species as a competitive game (assuming niche is not big enough for you).

Don't worry about the people leaving Quake - that's a normal process. Worry about the people not entering Quake, that's where it really matters.

Extinction is going to be pretty permanent. If you love Quake, maybe there is something you can do to prevent it. Here's Hoony's ambitious 7 Point Plan to attract the young Players into Quake and keep it exciting and competitive for everyone :P~

(1) Get Organised - maintain a well organised local and national competitive structure consisting of online and LAN Clan Leagues, 2-on-2 comps, and Duel Comps (primarily - other mods are also important). This will ensure that there is always a competitive challenge for the younger Player looking for something to prove.

The day the comps stop, that's when Quake becomes a niche for old-timers. Don't throw away all that experience you've got, find like-minded pals and organise a comp. Make sure the calendar always has something coming up. Support other comps, get their organisers to support you. Make it a Win-Win game.

(2) Spread the Best Players Out - spread the talent out . Take experienced Players and get them to form at least 3-5 new Clans in the one area with totally new members. Undertake membership drives and invest time in training the young Players in the subtle arts. Compete on the basis of who can form and manage the best Clan.

A common phenomenon is where great Players all join together for the security and comfort of being in a Clan of elite Players. This is a sure-fire recipe for collective death. Your invincible Clan will have no challenges worth your while, you'll soon get bored, and young Players will have a much harder time breaking through.

(3) Form a Regional Team - This is where the best Players can and should get together. Form a regional or State team and arrange for inter-regional or inter-State competitions. Have your local competitions geared towards picking the members of the regional team, this will give both younger Players and elite Players a goal to aim for.

(4) Form a National Team - There's nothing like the challenge of playing for your country. The 5 Nations in Europe is a good example, so is the upcoming match between Deathrow and Clan 9 in Stockholm (even though it's between two great Clans, for all intents and purposes it's USA Vs SWE).

Don't assume that your National team has to consist of 16 Players - the logistics of organising that are horrendous. 1-on-1's are exciting enough, as the Europeans have been showing us. 2-on-2's are another flavour, and 4-on-4's provide legitimate teamplay. Use regional comps to pick the final representatives, have a pool to draw from.

(5) Cover it all Online - The attraction of such a national competitive structure to a young Player wondering which online "code" to choose will be boosted immeasurably by good coverage and promotion. If you can't manage a decent regional News site your task will be that much harder. All your good work will piss off into the darkness, with young Players who would be interested simply not hearing about what you are achieving. Encourage your news hounds by sending them news.

(6) Focus on the Matches and the Players - When you watch sports on the TV or pick up a magazine on your favourite game what do you find? Coverage of matches, features on Players. OK, sure, there'll be the occasional feature on some new technology but the main focus will be on the talent and the performance of the sportsmen and women. I've got nothing against websites that tell us the new 3D driver is out or that Bilbo Baggins has got a job making widgets for the fun factory, but that won't inspire young Players to aim for the competitive heights.

(7) Get Sponsorship - You've done all the work, put in the time, and now you have a vibrant, healthy national competitive scene. You have a structure that nurtures and provides support for young Players, and offers them competitive challenges all the way up to international tournaments. You've got some phenomenal talents. Get some $$$ in and offer the top Players a financial goal to aim for - create a Professional League.

The competitive structure you will have created is stand-alone - it'll be a shitload of fun and it should be able to "adapt" regardless of new games. If this is the case, Quake may be able to "live on" competitively as a code along with the new games :-).

Sheer bloody bollocks or beauty? Feel free to your flames and suggestions.

Wednesday, July 15, 1998
Thresh asks "Is Quake Dead?":
Thresh has written a new Frontline article which observes that "it is an undeniable truth that Quake is on its decline... There are only a handful of servers left that have a steady number of players frequenting them; all of which, combined, are only a fraction of the huge "armada" of Quake servers that once filled the internet".

It appears that this trend is more advanced in the USA than in many other countries (which is not surprising if you accept the view that the USA is ahead by X months). The Scandinavians, for example, appear to be still enthusiastically playing Quake, as are the Irish. In England, it seems Quake 2 is making some inroads. In Australia, some States remain Quake centres - such as NSW.

I would hazard a guess that the international competition occuring in Europe has enriched the life of Quake there - with Players in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany finding many new challenges both online and in international LAN tournaments.

In the USA, they haven't had many fresh competitive challenges in Quake for some time, and a host of new and exciting games such as SiN and Half Life are also nearing market release:

"I've spoken to a lot of the recognized good players about this, and all of them agree that it's about time to move on. Many of them, in fact, are only maintaining their skills solely because there are still a couple of tournaments that, surprisingly, still have Quake 1on1 as their primary game (Quakecon)".

Interestingly, Thresh's article is noteworthy for what he doesn't say about Quake2 - "...some of us ... have moved on and taken the first steps into the new territory. (Quake II possibly?)". Most of the serious Players Challenge.AU has spoken to have expressed the view that Quake delivers superior gameplay to Quake2, both in 1-on-1 and in teamplay.

So how does Thresh conclude? Does he think Quake is dead? I won't tell you here - better to visit his page yourself and have a read :-).

D2 - B2 - "we WILL bring home the gold :)":
After some speculation on the Gamers Extreme Message Board that the Deathrow guys may be a little out of Quake 1 form leading up to the clash with Clan 9 in Stockholm this August, D2 - B2 has reassured fans of the game around the world that Deathrow are in very serious preparation:

"We are going to take this whole thing seriously.. You got my words :)... I've been spending my whole day getting back in shape. I'm pretty sure 20 days will be good enough for us to get back in shape...

I just want to state one more time that we ARE taking this match seriously and we WILL bring home the gold. :) I don't want to lose a single game there... =) -B2".

Excellent news :-)). What a match this is shaping up to be!

LakermaN - Part Deux:
Last week we heard how LakermaN_of_SC won the 1-on-1 at the big Swedish LAN COTs - http://www.fragzone.se/cots/lan/lanweb/. LakermaN is from one of Sweden's oldest clans - the Swedish Chefs (now we have the URL :-).

Swedish Chefs say Gibs anyone?

LakermaN was undefeated in the playoff to reach the final, where he met Sectopod. He has been in the US for a while and is known as a modem player in Sweden, so many Swedes were very impressed that he won a LAN over real LPBs. Some demos are available at the COTS site, and at Methos.

I caught up with LakermaN and he kindly agreed to answer some questions about the tournament, Quaking in the USA compared to Sweden, and the Swedes' views on Clan 9's upcoming battle against Deathrow:

Where did the name LakermaN come from?
"When I moved to San Diego in 93 I started playing basketball and following a team called the Los Angeles Lakers. They sucked that year but I became a huge fan. I like names that have something to do with the person and since my room was full of Lakers posters and hats it was an easy choice :)".
Who was your toughest opponent at COTS?
"Well, I had 3 hard games at COTS. The first game of the playoffs against Shining One was pretty hard. I was very nervous and the fact that they decided to show the game on the big screen didn't make it any easier :). After a loss on dm4 I managed to win dm2 and dm6 pretty comfortably but it wasn't easy. Second round against Nutcase of the same clan as me turned out to be a lot harder than I first thought. I picked dm2 and after being down 5 - -1 and extremly stressed and nervous I managed to get a tie 6-6, which meant a rematch on dm2. I won the rematch 1-0 :). Dm4 was a little easier so I advanced to the semis to face Mastah Killah. Mastah must have been tired or nervous because that game was easier than I thought. Finals against Sectopod was again very hard but I got off to a good start on dm4 and managed to play a bit defensive for the last 8 minutes or so to secure the win. On dm6 I got a horrible start with him getting everything except green armor and gl but I fought back and managed to win that round too".
How did you feel after you won?
"Well, since this was my first big tournament ever and most people didn't think I had a chance of winning made it feel feel very good".
What did you do that night?
"Since I was still at the LAN I couldn't do much celebrating. I played my 2-2 with Nutcase as my partner against Mastah and Secto and we lost. I didn't care much about the loss and went to sleep uncomfortably for a few hours :)".
What's your prediction for the coming DR vs 9 games?
"It's very hard to predict but I think the games will be very close, both the QW games and the NQ games. Hopefully 9 will beat them and the spotlight will be turned to Europe for awhile :)".
What do other Swedish Players and Clans think of Clan 9's international adventures?
"Well, I think some people feel that some players sold out and switched to clan 9 just to get a chance of some fame internationally. A year ago or so each clan used to have a big name, now DOOMer and oKKun switched to 9 which resulted in TB's death and Swedish mob went from an elite clan to an average clan which was bad for the clanscene. I personally think they deserve a chance to get famous. I don't think Sweden as a quakenation would get as much attention without Clan 9".
Are you going to stay in Sweden now or are you going back to the USA?
"I'm back in Sweden for good, and I'm very happy about that :)".
Where did you stay in the USA, and who did you play in 1-on-1's there?
"I was in San francisco and I mostly played 1-1's with ppl from Clan 311, Negative Burn and FITH. At the end of my stay I practiced a lot with #1assasin and Kornelia, both from 311".
What did you think of the standard of play in the USA compared to Sweden?
"Well USA is Waaaaaaaay behind on dm4 but Sweden is Waaaaay behind on dm6 but both countries are pretty equal on dm2. I think both countries are very equal skillwise, but I haven't tried the USA NQ scene and I probably never will :)".

The Soaring Frog:
Robert "Frog" Field has released version 0.11b of the Frogbot - head over to http://www.telefragged.com/metro/. Frog does amazing work, not only in designing bots but in answering all manner of questions about them on his message board:

"I'm thinking of adding aerowalk support (minus rocket jumping) as an interim measure. It wouldn't be in this release but as soon as I did it I'd release it. Any map that doesn't have new features would not take long... I hope people aren't getting hyped over each release since you then raise me to heights which have a long way to fall".

If I did some simpler maps first it would hardly effect when dm2 or dm3 got done. dm2 has not played well for bots because it is a more difficult map. Also, how many bots in dm3 can get the RL or red armor within 30 seconds no matter where they spawn? I'm sure I could fairly quickly get the Frogbot working on these maps to the extent that other bots do but then what would be the point?

I could easily add in some fudge AI to do the rocket jumping but it would not be very adequate. I will be sticking to the philosophies I have since I think it will give a better result in the long run (which is what I'm personally looking at).

Sujoy Questions:
Since I mentioned in yesterday's news that Sujoy has kindly agreed to do an interview with Challenge.AU, and asked if ppl had any questions they'd like to ask him, a few good ones have come in:

VerT from Australia had this one:

Isn't Sujoy some sorta health drink/milk substitute!?

Thanks Vert, for that one :P. VuduChild, also from Australia, offered these two:

1. WTF do UK players use Quad Damage in duels? and...
2. Do you feel that changing the default v_kick values is cheating?

Grudge Duels Happening:
Speaking of VuduChild, saw over on his site - the Duel Manifesto - that QLD Player Warhammer has defeated NSW's SNOT! in the first Grudge Match, played on DM4, DM6 and Aerowalk. The demo, as well as some other great and recent demos of Australian Players in action, can be found at: ftp://ftp.golsyd.net.au/quake.au/dmanifesto.

Tuesday, July 14, 1998
Challenge.AU Pty Ltd:
Challenge.AU is now a company. Sometimes you've just got to go with what you believe in, and in this case, take a decent-sized punt. Challenge.AU has two shareholders - Chairman Hoony and Director Paranoid. In case you haven't heard of Paranoid before, at work he is my boss, but I own his ass in Quake :-).

In fact, Paranoid is Ramin Marzbani, principal of www.consult pty ltd, the Australian Internet research and consulting company where I work as an E-Commerce manager. In Australia, Ramin is pretty well known as a commentator on things Internet, and there is no doubt that without his support I wouldn't have been able to set up the ISDN, to host this website, to have the games with NZ we have had, and the time during an average work day to do various Challenge.AU-related stuff. So cheers, Paranoid, you da man!

What is Challenge.AU going to do? Bloody good question, as always. However, I have a cunning plan...

Webby and Knight Profiles are Up:
Finally got the Profiles up - next thing is the match report from the last AU Vs NZ games. This will be up soon. Knight has a good story to tell about how he came to play such a lot of Quake. Here's a sample:

"The first demo I remember watching was of Bro at A3. He was playing Trog on Dm2. And I felt utterly humbled while watching the demo. Watching this inspired me to practice heaps, and get my hands on as many demos as possible to see how people played".

Sujoy's Machine:
I saw this on Sujoy's website:

"Then this morning I really blew up my hard drive. REALLY blew up, sparks smoke and everything. Handy tip #1: don't leave metal objects on the hard drive's pcb as you turn it on. Suffice to say all the data on my main 6 Gig drive is gone. That's all my installed games and with my Quake cd still at Uni I can't play Quake again for a while (assuming I would want to with my ISDN dead). Also gone is all my passwords for ISP's, mail and web - luckily DBs was around to reset my web password. Gone is my inbox and all my important saved messages - if you had a message waiting for a reply you'd better just send it again. Once I have my mail password I might get around to replying! Gone is my addressbook. Gone are all my photoshop graphics for this website so I can't build images on the same templates (don't all sympathise at once!)".

That sucks! The guy seems very together about it all though, some people would be about ready to jump off a cliff. Sujoy has kindly agreed to do an interview for Challenge.AU, btw, so if anyone has a question they'd like to suggest pls feel free to email it to me .

Surf n Shoot:
Also on Sujoy's site, some coverage of the recent Shoot and Surf LAN Party held in London over the weekend. For more details, Afterglow has some coverage and pics, there are pics on Barrysworld's ftp, and pics and coverage in the Barrysworld report, and Coerj has some good stories. Hakeem and Cheeky both have new websites (both looking good :-), and yet more coverage of the SnS goings-ons.

Choice quote comes from Coerj:

"After about an hour the door rang and up popped Rawmeat and a Banana hed found outside, Meat insisted it was Kage with his Yellow Tracksuit on, but we didnt believe him. Everyone was just getting more and more shandied up and the night ended in the usual fashion with me and Ving chatting outside the room totally out of our faces solving the worlds problems=)".

Coerj

Sujoy

Hakeem

Von Swine's Quake.ie News:
There's some good stuff about the Irish Quake Clan League Finals on the Quake.ie News by Von Swine, as well as a bit on the Irish DM4 Duel God Competition and a collection of cool recent demos, including a DM4 game between Ser and Koopa, a DM6 game between Koopa and Bunny, another between Overlord and Zero, and a couple of Von Swine in action against Braincell and Dest.

"For those that don't know them, Overlord is a hard-drinking, chain smoking ninja and Zero is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, non-stop swearing-machine ninja".

I also saw on the Irish Message Board that Helg is planning to produce a History of Irish Quaking - 1996-1998 :-).

R3V Vs nB:
sCary has some demos of r3v vs nB on his demos page. In the QIL Competition r3v defeated ]X[ 2-0 to become the Western Conference Champions and nB defeated Sov 2-0 to become the Eastern Conference Champions. I wondered if the games were some sort of finals between the two Clans, sCary told me:

"Those werent the QIL finals. R3V would have played sabian/pist/me/warmonger for all 3 matches if they were. I think they were for some other defunct tourney actually, nB and r3v play pickup scrimms nearly every week. There are actually a few good clans out there who dont suffer from ego problems amazingly enough. The QIL finals will probably be at quakecon".

Spectating Through the Eyes:
Saw on various sites that Zoid has released a public BETA of QuakeWorld 2.29. This bit got me all excited:

"New spectator camera. A 'through the eyes' view of the player you are tracking. To enable this, type "cl_chasecam 1" when in spectator mode and chasing a player".

There are a few times (ok, a lot of times) when I've gone and got a beer and had a rest while watching some games in the middle of some marathon online session. Now I might get a bag of chips, a few more beers, some mates and .. shit it'll be like watching the footy! Zoid - you are a bloody legend :-).

Monday, July 13, 1998
Demos Page:
Well, how did the weekend treat you? I did a shitload of work around the house, played some Reaperbots on UltraV and some Frogbots on DM4 and then did a shitload more work around the house. Didn't get to do all the things I'd planned to do on the website, but I did manage to get the new demos page up, so take a look. It's not complete, and never will be complete, cuz demos will always come and go. If you have any suggestions for a demo to go there, feel free to with a location where I can download it from. Pls don't email me a demo, though, as it takes too long.

Deathrow Preparations:
Last week's big news was that the match of the century is set to take place in Stockholm this August, between Sweden's Clan Nine, and the legendary Deathrow. A FAQ page is up on the Clan Nine website, in Swedish. (if you want a translation, check out last weeks archived news).

I asked [9] Xenon how the preparations were going, and he told me:

"We have already started to train RQ day and night, and my guess is that DR are training QW day and night :)".

Well, I asked D2-B2 if the Deathrow guys were practicing QW atm or if their schedules were too busy. What would DR's team preparation involve? B2 told me:

"Honestly, none of the DR guys play much Quake1 anymore. The last time I played Quake 1 seriously was back in January for the PGL season 1 finals... After that, I kinda took a break off Quake and then I started playing Quake2 awhile back. I am probably going to start playing Quake 1 again tomrorow or so, so that I can get back in shape. Hopefully the DR guys will have enough time getting back in shape. Quake 1 servers in the US are very quiet nowadays as well. It seems to be quite hard to find some team games going on. I am not sure how easy it will be for us to find some team practice... Hopefully everything will go fine though!".

Sounds good for Sweden, but how long does it take those DR guys to get into form? My next question had to do with France winning the World Cup - another example of the "home advantage"? I asked B2 if DR had considered how to combat this in Stockholm. What if the Swedes surround them with beautiful Scandinavian women the night before the games - what would his response be?

"Haha... Funny question! :) Going to another country to play in a Quake tournament seems too new to me. It is definitely going to be very interesting, especially with all the cute chicks there watching (at least that's what I hope!). Personally, I play a lot better under pressure... It shouldn't really matter.. Since we're all going to be wearing headphones anyway, right? Unless they hire some hot chicks to give us lap dances during the game and block the monitors..."

Now there's a strategy for the Nine guys! My next question concerned whether the DR guys had been playing any competitive Quake team games lately. Which US Clans have they played since Unforgiven at T3? Have they been playing a lot of Quake2? How would this affect their Quake game? B2 replied:

"Like I said before, we haven't played much Quake team games at all. I don't think we have played any clans after playing against Unforgiven. Yes I have been playing a little bit of Quake 2, Starcraft, etc etc... I'm sure it has affected my Quake game a lot, since I use acceleration in Quake 1 and no acceleration in Quake 2.. I am probably gonna switch to GLquake (i used to use dosquake) and higher up my sensitivity and stuff.. Pretty much gonna try to mess around the config a little bit and hopefully will get the feel back! ".

Man, is B2 throwing us a wide ball here? You be the judge :-). Finally, I asked if he knew how DR's trip was being funded.

"The owner of Clan 9 is paying for the whole trip, including hotels and food I think...".

Impressive :-). This is to my knowledge the first time anyone outside of organisations like the PGL and CPL has done something like this in the world of Quake. It's similar to setting up a title fight in Las Vegas. To recoup the costs of flying Deathrow to Stockholm and putting them up, the Nine Studio must be looking at the revenues from 200 spectators each paying $200skr (about US$25) plus some special advertising and media coverage deals.

My understanding is that the Nine Studio began life as an Internet cafe, but is now moving into new territory partly because general Internet access in Sweden (at home and at work) is very widespread (Sweden has one of the top "Internet use per capita" ratios in the world) and partly because of the continuing growth of interest in online gaming there. Well, IMHO, good luck and I hope it's a huge success - could make a big difference to the future of games like Quake as a spectator sport :-).

Irish Quake Clan League Finals:
On Friday night I posted a message on the Irish Message Board to wish them good luck and to ask for reports and to say I'd be poaching bits for the news. Assuming that they read my message here then are the results of the IQCL Finals.

It looks like they had a great time, ending up at the pub, playing shitloads of Quake...

Celtic Warriors & Clan Trinity

Vexorg posted the names of the organisers, so here they are:

Eddie, - Eddie Rocket
Ray, - Carnate
John, - Cloud
Eric, - Mindphuck
Conor, - Vishnu
Dermot, - Mouserat

The Kiss (is all it said)

MindPhuck summarised the day's games as follows:

"For those who didnt attend.. HAH! you missed an excellent day :) I'll do a full report later, but heres the results of the day.

Round 1
Clan II vs. Guns Islanders - GI's win
Clan Trinity vs. X-Com - CT wins
Fenians vs. na Daghda - nD win
Incarnate vs. Celtic Warriors - Inc win

Round 2
CT v nD - CT win
Inc v GI - Inc win

Final
Inc v CT - CT Win

Congrats to Clan Trinity who played a stormer for the whole day. they must be the most amuzing clan to listen to during a clan match as they slag and insult the sh!t outta each other during game play :) Good Day to be had by all".

For some interesting pics of the event, Hobbes has jpgs and avi's up here. As he says:

"Yea I know, a Q2 player putting up pics on a Q2 clan site of a Q1 finals."

Hobbes

4K_Ser is Ireland's DM4 Duel God 1998:
Earthworm Jim (ewj) posted a message on the Irish Message Board with the results of the Irish DM4 Duel God Competition, which took place at the aforementioned IQCL Finals.

DM4 Duel God Logo

"Like MP, I'll do a full report with demos when the hangover dies down (wednesday?). Here are the preliminary results:

Round 1:
Beast v Rhob: Beast Won
Chaos v Reaper: Reaper Won
Mouserat v Slaan: Slaan Won
Sephiroth v MP: Sephiroth Won
Destroyer v Ser: Ser Won
Helvis v Koopatrooper: Koopatrooper Won
Bunny v Kaile: Kaile Won
Von Swine v Earthworm Jim: ewj Won

Round 2
Reaper v Bunny: Reaper Won
Beast v ewj: Beast Won
Slaan v Koopa: Koopa Won
Sephiroth v Ser: Ser Won

Semis
Reaper v Ser: Ser Won
Koopa v Beast: Beast Won

Final
Beast v Ser: Ser Won

So Ser won the final in a good close game with Beast. He was losing 11:5 with a minute to go when a bit of luck and a lot of skill brought him back to win by 2 frags. There were problems with the servers as we were kind of stuck for time and hadn't a chance to reset some of the custom clan game settings in the default cfg file. In general the games were very defensive, with nobody really standing on anyone or really showing what they were capable of. However I got Ser down to cyberx for on sunday and we had some brilliant games with Ser really showing us what he's made of (and recording amazing demos - I'll stick em on the clan site). 4K_Ser is Irelands DM4 Duel God 1998. Good lad Chris".

I recall that Earthworm Jim had the following idea for the post-match celebrations:

"Afterwards: lots of hot lovemaking with attractive dm4 groupies for the winner. The losing finallist gets a laminated issue of Playgeek".

Confirmation, ewj?

Wrecker's Lithuanian Quake Site:
Wrecker is a really good dude from Lithuania who has an interesting site here, well worth a visit. In particular, there is a great collection of demos there (from Lithuania) - on the demos page of course, and lots more cool stuff. I saw a reference in the demos page to the "first Lithuanian tournament" - a game where Oxio defeats Dziorgas in the finals. I asked Wrecker to tell me tell me some news about the Lithuanian tournament. He told me:

"Well, actually this tournament was held a long time ago, back in 1997, when i was playing with a KEYBOARD :)) (oh i can't imagine myself doing such thing now :P). And I didn't participate in it. Well, as far as i can remember, there were about 30 players in that tournament. IT was held in Lithuania's capitol Vilnius, and since it was first tournament, it was very exciting IMHO. There was second quake tournament at the end of may. It was held through QuakeWorld, and i finished 3rd there, which, i think is really good. This tournament was really interesting for me, because it was my first tournament. Man, i was really nervous in the semifinals :)".

Just because I always suspect that the Russians are completely mad Quake Players, and because Lithuania is vaguely in that direction, I asked him if he'd heard of any Russian Players:

"Hmm. I don't know. We don't have any international matches in lithuania - only one against swedish player. One of the best lithuanian quakers in DM4, TICAL, palyed against Sparrow (hmm, i haven't heard anything about such player and i wonder if you know something :P) and lost. But i'm sure he lost because of terrible ping - TICAL had ~300, and sparrow ~60. What was funny about this match, that they played in lithuanian server, and lithuanian player got really worse ping than a foreigner :))".

Heheh, happens all over the world eh? :-)).


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