25 July - to - 31 July, 1998
Friday, July 31, 1998
NZ AGN LAN Postponed Until Early Next Year:
The AGN guys have announced that the big Kiwi LAN scheduled for September has been postponed until early in the new year due to requests by some sponsors for more time:
"Houston, we have a problem. Due to requests from 2 major sponsors, AGN is being postphoned until February 1999. We hate to do this, both to ourselves and to you, the gamers, but it came down to things like venue and sponsorship. The story goes that without cash, we can not secure the kind of sponsorship we need to make AGN rock like it should, it would still be kickass, but not the event we outlined in our vision. This way, we all get a better event. Other factors have also contributed (Val's recent illness, sponsor stalling, you get the idea) We will be in touch with all of those who have pre-registered and our sponsors in the next few days, again, our apologies. Val and Beacon".
Beacon also told me in an email:
"We have some sponsors that are wanting to help out but not at the September date, and the city council here cant cut thro its red tape in the time we had either... and Jase (ValHallen) has been sick and really busy at work etc. so it all added up".
Look, it sounds like Val Hallen is not feeling very well at all, his website the Faultline has gone offline, replaced by this message:
"We'll be back. Apologies to all and thank you for putting up with my physical and mental problems, I'm a sick, sick puppy and I promise The Faultline will be back within 2 weeks with a new look and lotsa spunky new stuff. ValHallen"
Disappointing as it may be, nothing is worth risking your health for. I personally wish Val a strong recovery from whatever ails him, and I'm sure all of us Aussies do likewise and we will simply look forward to the time when the AGN is back online.
Korean Quake - New English Website:
Matrim from clan KQM in Korea (a friend of Hurd, above) emailed me today to say that the guys had created an English Quake site at KQM which contains info of all the clans ( under construction ), news, demos etc.. in ENGLISH. :-). Cool dudes! There's a news page up with some great demos and this story of how  Nikodemus dropped in from Sweden :-).
"[KQM] Hurd sent a letter to Hoony at Challege-au about the korean quakers and he posted Hurd's letter on his site. thanx to Hoony ^^, wow, the very next moment,  Nikodemus walked in to QWK (Quake World Korea) Server and had a 1-on-1match with Hurd. hmm.. my good friend Hurd lost the match. Here's a demo. It happened so sudden to prepare for the good demo CaM's. The Chase Cam is horrible yet it shows clearly how good Niko played on 400-600 ping miles away server".
Heard from  Xenon that preparations continue for the game against Deathrow. I think about now the pressure will be starting to build up. All I can say is that, that's living life to the hilt guys - it's gonna be a huge rush:
"Basically we are all pretty nervous. We couldnt find any clans to train RQ against till now, so thats a bitch.... I think the matches will be VERY even, especially in QW. Basically we have been training 2on2s and 1on1s. There are no RQ servers around Scandinavia anymore :( Oh, btw, we have all decided to dye our hair blue/yellow for the matches :) That should be a laugh".
DocSnyder emailed me to say that "Decl is starting soon, all clans in Germany looking forward to it". I'll try and find out some more! He also said that Kane is very pleased with Methos placing him as runner up DM4 on his "best player" page:
Kane is really happy about that hoping to be on top someday (nice incident that Methos also posted the Kane vs. Timber demo :P ).
Well done Kane!
AU 2-Player CTF Team:
Loser sends word that JaC DeTH and FlinT have expressed interest in forming the 2-Player team to take on the best of the USA in CTF. I can't really think of a stronger pairing than these two guys :-). I'll be working on getting the set-up sorted out, together with GreySeer, and testing should begin sometime during next week!
Knight emailed me to say he'd been in contact with Irish Player and organiser of the DM4 Duel Gods Tourney, Earthworm Jim, about his trip to Europe. Knight asked the Irish ninja some questions about Quake in Ireland and EWJ emailed him back to say:
Yeppo quake 1 still rules at the moment...quake 2 was almost dead but is now kinda resurging a bit (still nowhere near q1 levels though - I don't like q2 either). Q1 rules for competition and is what all the good players play.
Pub and quake scenes will be no problem :) The "warmer" thing is all relative...let's just say you don't visit Ireland for the weather!
Aerowalk just isn't played over here..in fact I've never seen it, though I've heard a bit about it. Is there some site where I can download it..I'll stick it on the irish servers and you never know how it'll take off :)
I have hazy plans of visiting Australia next year..so we might just swap countries!"
According to EWJ, when Knight goes over he shouldn't have too much trouble setting up some games with Players like Sujoy, Coerj and Timber. Onya Knight!
BTW, this weekend I WILL write up and send my interview questions to Sujoy. GibCon kind of interrupted things last weekend. I've also heard back from Timber that he is going to Stockholm and hopes to play some games against the DR guys, and will answer some questions on his return so am definitely looking forward to that :-).
Methos spotted my news item saying that he ought to come downunder and accepted the challenge in a news item of his own! Sounds like he's been swimming in a Great Lake or something cuz he says he's seen surf and bikinis. We'll just have to get him here one day eh?
Hoony news: "Look, Methos can't make it to Stockholm so maybe we should try and persuade him to come downunda for some surf, sand and VB :-). The poor guy is stuck in Canada, he's probably never seen surf and bikinis. Plus we could have an exhibition game - Hoony Vs Methos, with the winning POV demo to get the Spotlight on his demos page. What do you think? We could call it "Battle of the NewsDudes".
Methos news: "Hoony, I don't need to be persuaded. I will come to AU, I just need the money. I've seen surf and bikinis but, you can never get enough of a good thing. I'll gladly play a match with you and throw the demo in the Spotlight".
Methos' Plan(ned) file: "Okay, Hoony started it so I'll continue. Since I can't go to Sweden, I want to go to Australia for the Challenge.AU comp tourney. The problem is once again, sponsorship money. If you want to sponsor me to go to Australia, you know where to reach me".
TG-Onyx, Head admin of the United Kingdom One on One League Invitational, or UKOOL, emailed me with the suggestion that we check out the UKOOL site for some useful info that might help with our own planned tourney:
"This was an invitational tourney for the top 8 HPW duellers in the UK, held in double elimination (which works better with 16 neway, its just 16 was too many, only the very elite meant to take part) on the internet (not lan). It rocked, and everyone had a cool time. I hope you find some of it useful (such as rules / ko method etc)".
Thanks dude :-).
How AGN Postponement Affects Challenge.AU Tourney:
Heard about the postponement the day after I posted my first news anouncement (if I remember correctly). It means one of two things - (1) we send the team over anyway, being sure to organise something special for when we get over there; or (2) we send the team over in February. I can't wait until February!
Third Major Sponsor:
A third sponsor has pledged to cover the airfare of a Player, bringing the team up to four. I'll make full announcements of who the sponsors are next week, but I can say that they find the concept of a one-day, top-16 Duel Event very exciting :-).
A lot of Players have expressed interest in the idea, including Reload, JaC DeTH, Knight, Faust and K5. I don't think we'll have any problems getting together 16 incredibly talented and exciting Quake Players :-). Here's what Fausty said:
"About the quake duels comp. It would rock. I would love to have the opportunity to play in a comp such as that".
Player feedback suggests they find the concept of playing in front of spectators, with large screens, and one-game-at-a-time sort of thing, highly interesting. Only one guy suggested the Players would be unable to play on supplied machines, but he cited an example where at a LAN Players were asked to use machines that lacked GL cards. Most seem comfortable with the idea provided they can use their mouse, keyboard and configs, and provided the machine is a good one. Some Players have stressed how important practice and warm-up will be, and this is high on my priority list as well. One Player pointed out that some Players would need to be able to use their Linux, and we may simply need to make an exception for such a case. Several Players pointed out that any commentary would be potentially distracting and might give away vital info to one of the contestants during a match. Some Players suggested that the stress of playing on a stage in front of spectators might be such that it would be better to have the Players in a quiet, private room. My feeling on this one is that they should be able to cope with the pressure, and will probably be very focused on their games. Inevitably, some Players suggested that we need to include other States and broaden it to include Quake 2 - both of which would be nice, I agree, but we're going to focus on NSW and Quake :-). For now.
Thursday, July 30, 1998
NZ Vs AU Q2 - The Aftermath:
There have been a few gripes exchanged between some of the New Zealanders and some of the Australians over the aftermath of various Quake2 matches at GibCon. If you find this stuff entertaining, the SOQ have an editorial up examining the NZr's claims, while the NZr's make their case on Ab's News and in Ab's Message Board.
Has this poisoned relations between the two Quaking nations? Nah, it's just the usual post-match stuff with the exception that the two sides happen to be from opposite sides of the Tasman. Nothing that a good game of Quake wouldn't fix.
Borg Review of GibCon:
Borg has written a scathing review of GibCon, with a bourbon by his side as a result of some bastard breaking into his "Superior Outdoor Gear/Special Operations Gear" shop. Probably not the best time to write a review of GibCon, from a GC admin perspective.
The review is a lesson and a very strong warning to anyone contemplating a large comp with lots of people. In sum, he writes that GC suffered from:
"1: Lack of admin staff... 2: Lack of communication... 3: Lack of planning and organization..."Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance." The 7 Pís.
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".
Wireplay's $2,000 Bar Tab:
One thing that did cheer Borg up was Wireplay's $2,000 bar tab:
"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".
Jolt Cola Saga:
One of the GibCon admin, Spam King, has spoken to Godzilla of GolSyd's News Page, regarding claims made by Malby on Quake.AU that something rotten was going on with the sale of Jolt for $1.50 at GibCon when it was supposed (?) to have been free (the story was subsequently removed from Malby's news page). According to Spam King, there was nothing untoward going on and the GC guys were simply trying to cover costs (they're a non-profit outfit).
There are some great demos posted on GolSyd's News Page as "demos of the day" and this is a great site for local news in NSW.
News is pretty thin on the ground right now - might be a good time to d/l SIN!
Wednesday, July 29, 1998
Kornelia Reports on the CPL Event:
Have you checked out the CPL Event coverage yet? Have you surfed over to the CSN page or the Adrenaline Vault coverage and checked out all the awesome piccies and demos? It has to be said, any comparison with the recent GibCon event is not too crash hot, but to be fair the CPL team has been doing this stuff for a long while. I'm over bagging the GibCon guys anyway - there's only so much you can say. It's time to focus on the good stuff.
One of the most dangerous cyberathletes out there (but also one of the sweetest ;-) is Kornelia. Sadly she got knocked out early in the tournament, but as Spookie writes, had she had a little more luck with map selection she would have probably made it to the top 10:
"Kornelia was never able to bounce back because she was knocked out of the competition because of that loss on dm2. Bum deal there. Kornelia definitely would have been one of the top 10 finalists had she been able to play her matches exclusively on dm4 and dm6. However that was not the case. So to all you aspiring players out there hoping for your name in the big bright cyber lights make sure you're well versed on all the big 1 on 1 levels, namely dm2, dm4, dm6 and e1m2".
Kornelia very kindly answered some questions for Challenge.AU about the CPL Event and her experiences there:
The LAN Event:
How well organised was the CPL LAN Event overall?
I think that this was a very well organized event. Things ran pretty smooth and even though we got behind schedule at times, the organizers worked very hard and it paid off.
What were the playing conditions like for you and the other Players? (eg, stuff like - did you have delays, was there too much noise, was the set-up good/bad).
The playing conditions were good compared to the size of the event. There were delays due to the fact that a lot of players needed some extra time to get their drivers working and to get their setup right. The computers were really good and fast machines and no one really had major problems with them. The announcer was mostly keeping quiet during matches so it wasn't distracting the players.
Could spectators watch the games on large screens?
The large screens were set up for the final matches and people could watch there as well as the player's actual screens.
If there were large screens, could the Players playing see them?
The screens were in the players peripheral vision, if they looked 180 degrees to the side than they could see only their own screens projected there.
Was there any commentary on the games (especially the finals)?
No there wasn't. I think it's a pretty bad idea to have a commentary give updated of the ongoing match even if it's a 4 on 4 team game. A commentary during a 1 on 1 sounds like a bad idea since the players could probably hear it even through their headphones.
Any things you would have liked to have seen or things that could have been done better?
It would have been nice if it was double elimination from the beggining not just for the final 16. (I found out about this at the event.) Also having a pepsi machine close by and filled up and reasonably priced food would have been nice.
Any things you thought were particularly well done?
In my opinion the event was very well run overall thanks to Mike (Giggler), Frank (Ignatu) and company.
Do you think the next CPL Events will also be Quake-focused?
I think at this point the CPL has decided that the next CPLevent will be Quake 2.
Were Gamers keen to continue to play Quake, overall?
A lot of the "old school" gamers still prefer Quake to other newer first person shoter games. I think a lot of us have really got used to this game. The balance, the way it handles, maps, weapons, etc. It's hard to start over after nearly 2 years and get used to a very different game.
There's been some feedback on the message board concerning the seeding of the Cyberathletes - have you heard of that stuff and (if so) what's your view? (It was some stuff from a few ppl saying that the Cyberathletes got a "dream run" or something due to seeding).
All players had to work hard for their rankings. Of course we did not get teamed up against each other in the first round and I don't think that it should surprise people. We got seeded so the stronger players would not meet at first therefore the better matches will be toward the end and no one would get eliminated early on.
How did you do in the Event and how did it go for you?
I actually lost in the second round. Me and my opponent were trying to decide on a map. My fav (dm4) was his least liked one and his fav (dm2) was my least liked map so we went to random draw. The random draw was dm2. At that point I knew that I lost. In the past few months I have been really busy with real life stuff so I could not prepare to the CPL as thoroughly as I should/ could have. I did not even practice dm2 I just spent my free time playing dm4 and 6. Of course I lost. My opponent played very well and it was just bad luck on my side.
Did you have a great time?
I had a very good time! It was very cool to get together with the other Cyberathlete players. They are really great guys and we had a lot of fun at the event hanging out, playing and watching games.
What were some of the personal highlights for you?
Mostly it was just cool to see some of my online friends and teammates in person and to hang out with them for a few days. I enjoyed watching exciting and tough games and just enjoying the event.
What can we look forward to next from Kornelia?
Right now I am very excited about the New Zealand Quake tournament and I hope that I'll be able to go and participate. Since professional Quake is probably at it's end, I look forward to trying out and playing other new, cool games.
Were you surprised at the result - Rix winning? How exciting was that final?
Both Gollum and Rix are strong players. When you have 2 good players in a match a lot depends on how lucky you get with spawns and the first spawn of the game.The final was really exciting. Gollum had a very good start scooping up both rl's and ra, taking out Rix. He had control for a long time, killing Rix a couple more times. At that point it looked like he would take it. Rix stole ra at one point and it turned the game around. Gollum was never really able to come back until the last minute when it was too late.
Were you surprised at the top 8 (the new faces)?
I was always hoping that a "no name" a person that no one has ever heard of some day would show up to a major event and wipe everyone out. I think that there were a fewpeople in the top 8 that people didn't expect to see, but they played really well and they deserved their spot.
Did you see much of Steve "sCary" Gibson? How was he doing? How did he enjoy getting to the final 6?
sCary played very well. I was suprised when he beat Thorn on dm4 by one frag. I'm sure that he really enjoyed placing 6th and he did much better than most people have expected.
Was there a big party afterwards? Got any interesting gossip ;-)?
On the first night of the event a few of us went over to Ionstorm and we got a preview of Daikatana. It looks great. I also talked to some people at id and I think Quake Arena is gonna rock. I had to leave for the airport not long after the finals match to catch my plane, so if there was a party I missed it.
I hope you had a really good time at the Event and that your games went well (ie, nothing really unlucky or unfair). I'm still trying to get through the demos.
I got kinda unlucky but it happens. :)
Kiwi GibCon Review and Piccies:
Eraser has written up a very funny report of his experiences coming over with the other Kiwis to GibCon here, and you can also check out some piccies of the NZ team here. Here's a quote which is kind of nice:
"Completly out of the blue, all the Hurri's were called up to the prize giving platform and were presented with a hand held scanner each and a kewl Monster 3D T-shirt. The Aussi's really showed their real appreciation for us here, clapping us and stuff like that. Cheers guys, really made me feel like I was with a few hundered mates. Overall I would do it again tomorrow, I had the time of my life. Thanks very much for having us, and you guys are most certenly welcome to reciprecate and come over to our LANS and get revenge on us Kiwi's :)"
And here's a quote which is kind of more typical of the stories you'll find there:
"Oh yeah, and AB teling us all how he awoke under the table with GoosE_'s butt crack literally pressed into his face....MUAHAHAHAH".
Quake in Turkey:
Izn0 has written a review of the Quake scene in Turkey over on his Quake.World site, which is very interesting:
"Right now there are only about 12 clans in Turkey, but the clanwar scene is slowly growing. They usually play DM3 dmm1 tp2 powerups on, and they also prefer 3on3 because they get better ping to the servers if there aren´t too many people on them. The prefered 1on1 map is DM6 . Up to now there have been two quake tournaments in Turkey, the first one was FFA; and the second one was clanwar".
Izn0 has also got a demo up on his demos page of Ankara vs. Istanbul (Turkey) DM3 - from a LAN party where "the so called Istanbul team met the Ankara team in a 3on3. DM3 dmm1 tp2 powerups. Normal Quake".
76% Say DR will Beat Clan Nine:
Go cast your vote at Gibber's Lair - who do you pick to win?
Gamers Extreme have revamped their Message Boards, and now there are a whole bunch of them for different games and stuff. I saw on the Quake II MB that someone posted one of those periodical rants against Dennis "Thresh" Fong and elicited a response worth repeating:
"Mr. Dennis Fong." Can you say sellout? He wins one tournament, and thinks oh no, now I can't let anyone beat me now, I am supposed to be the best, so he hides behind all his columns and pretends to be too busy to play anymore. If that isn't the case, then why didn't he enter Season 2? We shall see what he does about Season 3, but my guess is that he will be absent once again. Reptile spanked his a$$ before, so that there proves he isn't as high and mighty as he thinks he is.
"I don't hide anywhere -- I just don't play on a regular basis, and usually only try to get in prime shape right before the tournament. I have never, and still do not, think that I am invincible, as proven in the PGL Season I. There are plenty of people out there that have the talent to beat me. All of the top players have their good and bad days, and I'm no exception. Maybe it's just been my day when the tourney rolls around, maybe it's luck, maybe I handle pressure a little better than everyone else, I don't know, but I certainly have not hidden anywhere. I entered into the PGL Season II with my clan, my team, and my friends. I have a responsibility to them to perform the best I can in Quake team games -- Me participating in Quake II would not have allowed me to do that. In fact, I didn't even like Quake II until a couple months ago.
I don't write the column to "waste my time." I have a lot of fun writing, whether I get paid to do it or not. Reptile did beat me in PGL season one, but I came back to win it. He is a great player and a good friend -- Kudos goes out to him. :) Where on earth are you getting that I think I'm "high and mighty?" I don't think I've ever said one condescending or arrogant thing in my life. :P If you want to see "cocky," go listen to some interviews of recent CPL event. ;) I plan on entering PGL Season III Quake II, though I am again having qualms about it, since I will be participating in Quake I Teams, Starcraft, and Quake II. I'm simply trying to figure out whether I should spread myself out thin but try to do well in all three, or go with two. Which two? I dunno yet... :/".
Feedback on the 16 Player Duel Comp:
Thank you to everyone who has emailed me with their feedback on the proposed comp mentioned in last night's news. I will reply to all the emails I got, and will write up a summary of what sort of reponse I got on Friday night's news. Overall, the response has been almost 100% positive, with ppl mostly suggesting ways to fine-tune the concept and warning of possible problems we might encounter. I really appreciate the dialogue - so cheers to all :-).
My fav response was from Methos, who wrote:
"I think it sucks, unless I'm invited, then it would be cool. :)"
Look, Methos can't make it to Stockholm so maybe we should try and persuade him to come downunda for some surf, sand and VB :-). The poor guy is stuck in Canada, he's probably never seen surf and bikinis. Plus we could have an exhibition game - Hoony Vs Methos, with the winning POV demo to get the Spotlight on his demos page. What do you think? We could call it "Battle of the NewsDudes" - if we could get sCary to come down, now that would be nice too. I wonder... :-).
Tuesday, July 28, 1998
Challenge.AU to Send NSW Duel Team to New Zealand:
We have three plane tickets and a fourth will be found, to fly a 4-person NSW duel team to Wellington, to play those damn Kiwis. The AGN LAN is scheduled for late September, so Challenge.AU has until mid-September to select the team. Accomodation over there will be provided, so costs should be kept low for the four challengers.
It's not a national team, but it's a start - and hopefully it will be one more little step of encouragement along the way to our own national Quake/ Quake II/ whatever national competitive scene. Let's do it!!
16-Player Duel Invitational Tournament:
The four-Player Duel team to represent NSW will be determined in a LAN battle organised by Challenge.AU. 16 contenders will be selected for this tournament, by a 9-Person Selection Panel comprised of Hoony, GreySeer, and "7 wise heads". The 7 wise heads will in turn be chosen by Hoony and GreySeer, after consultation with the community.
The "Nine-Brains" will then draw up a list of 16 Players each. They will get on an IRC channel, if necessary, to decide the final list. Players eligible to enter, aside from being recommended by the Selection Panel, must be willing and able to travel to NZ in late September, and able to make it to the tournament (of course!).
A New Idea for A Duel Tournament:
After watching some of the Duel games at GibCon, Hoony has decided to try something radically different. Here's the plan:
- The tournament will take place over the course of a day
- Players will play on two identical computers provided by Challenge.AU, on a stage
- Only two Players will be playing at any one time
- They can bring their own headphones, configs (which will be checked before each game), keyboard, mouse and mousepad
- They will face each other, separated by a large table, like Kasparov and Capablanca
- Spectators will be seated in front of the stage, or standing if there are insufficient chairs
- Spectators will be able to watch the games on two large screens, positioned in such a way that the Players cannot see them
- Sound speakers will be angled away from the Players, to minimise noise disruption from any commentary during a game
- Small "cams" may be focused on the Players, to capture their mugs on small monitors placed near the front of the stage
- Commentary will be provided before and after each match, and possibly during (though not loudly)
- In between Games, loud blood-pumping music might be played, or possibly moody, spooky, music
- Other Players waiting to Play will be in a Ready-Room, where they will be preparing and warming up on other machines before coming on-stage to play their matches. They may also watch from reserved positions out in front of the stage, along with the spectators
- New Players will be announced and introduced as they come on-stage (like Borg Vs McEnroe at Wimbledon). They may be asked a few questions - "So, feeling lucky today?"
- Demos will be recorded of all games and all POVs
What Do You THink?:
This is kind of how I would organise a Duel Tournament - what I'd really like to know is whether people think this would work or not, and why you think what you think about the idea. In particular, do you think it would really attract spectators?
I need you to :
- Would you come along and watch this tournament?
- Would you Play in this tournament, if asked?
- Would you pay to see this tournament, if so - how much?
This last question does not refer to Hoony's get-rich-quick scheme, but rather to the fact that if sufficient ppl were interested and prepared to pay say, $5 per head, then obviously Challenge.AU could get a decent venue and provide a better level of support. If there were any money made out of this, you can be sure that it would go into supporting the comp - not into Hoony or GreySeer's wallets. I'd like to get an idea of what ppl think of this plan.
If I think no-one will come to spectate the games, then stuff going to the trouble of getting a venue - we'll host it at the Challenge.AU offices and ppl will only get to see the demos afterwards. Wouldn't you like to come along and watch LIVE QUAKE? I know I would - I'm just hoping I'm not completely off my rocker.
You can no matter what country you live in. Make suggestions, criticisms, the full nine yards. We need your help!!!
USA Vs Australia CTF 2-on-2 via ISDN:
This is still in the works. I have heard from the local Frightened Old Codgers CTF ninjas, Loser and Koslowski, and the guys are preparing a 2-person team. Meantime, GreySeer and I will be aiming to start some testing with the Americans next week (this week is just a bit hectic for Hoony). So never fear, for the international CTF challenge issued last week by Fatal-Reaction [Clan GIB], President of the League of Capture, is in the pipeline and being worked on :-).
Some GibCon UpDates:
I missed some important stuff in last night's report from the big 2-day LAN held in NSW over the weekend - GibCon. First up, FlinT won the FFA tournament, and with a handy margin. I know Flint from my Multiplay days, and he was always the most dangerous player on those servers. I'm not surprised, in fact, that he came close to beating Reload in the Duel comp. Speaking of which, Reload was not unbeaten on the day - JacDeth and others posted wins against the young tyro. In JacDeth's case, the win was disallowed for some administrative reason. When it counted, Reload won.
All up, I feel that the Players have been very good about the "problems" that they experienced. A lot, in fact, are quite happy to say that they had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the games and meeting people. So there you are, GC organisers - some positive feedback.
Second up, the Kiwis didn't have everything go their way with Quake2 at GibCon. Borg [SOQ] emailed me to say:
"Just thought I should let you know, (not sure if anyone told you) SOQ played the NZ guys in a 4 on 4 team DM match on q2dm8, weapon stay off, friendly fire on, 20 minute timelimit and defeated them 99 - 61. It was a tense game, we dominated most of the weapons and helped each other by throwing weapons and items to each other and generally trying to keep the opponents unarmed. The NZ guys are great players, especially Incubus and GoosE_".
You can find some more SOQ news and views of the GibCon proceedings here.
How it Should Be Done:
Check out the CPL Coverage at CSN, and in particular all those b-e-a-u-tiful demos. I was going to do a CPL write-up tonight, but it's already late, and I've got a big day at work tomorrow, and the CPL Event is fast becoming history. I will say this, that it provides an excellent model for how to run a large LAN-based competition. There is a wealth of experience there, and thank the Quake gods the Clan Ring team are willing to share it.
The CPL finalists, in particular Rix and Gollum, play Quake at the most incredible level. Frank Cabanski has put me in touch with Rix, and I'm hoping to hear from him in the next couple of days. I can't help wondering, what would be the result of Rix Vs Thresh? Why don't we see games between the CPL and the PGL "stars"? Some questions have no good answers.
The only real bit of controversy I saw regarding the CPL was the issue of whether the "CPL Stars" had been seeded unfairly (in such a way as to give them "dream runs" to the finals). Frank wrote this reply on the CSN MB:
"I wasn't directly involved with seeding, so I can't provide a complete clarification. However, I do know that seeding was done according to size of the FFA, and the score result. FFA's should not be generated randomly. The CPL 'stars' were all players who did well at the Frag, and have done well in other competitions. I can say that a ranking system and better results based ways to seed and match players is being established for CPL events".
New SCHROET KOMMANDO Demo Page:
SK-Metzgerr emailed me to say that SK have a new page only for quake demos up at http://www.starbase.de.
"Even a lot more better than ein riesiges bier ! :)".
The SK demos page is one of the best collections out there dammit :-). If you like your demos to reach out from the monitor and smack you around the head violently, then this is the place for you!
More on Scourge done Slick Release:
Catnap emailed me to say that Levelord and Zoid will hopefully be able to make it to the IRC release party as the special guests of the team:
IRC Server: planetquake.3dnet.net, best.3dnet.net, stomped.3dnet.net
IRC Channel: #sds-party
Date/Time: Sunday 26th 6:00am GMT (2:00am Eastern Time, 11:00pm Saturday 25th Pacific Time)
Monday, July 27, 1998
Reload - Australian Quake Duel God:
The GibCon'98 Quake Duel Competition was violently contested by a large field of gib-thirsty Quake Gods - the vast majority of whom were seasoned veterans. The winner was Reload, a young Player who is rapidly establishing an awesome rep in the local scene, and with very good justification. He beat another young Player, JacDeth, in what was apparently a brilliant final (I didn't get to see it, unfortunately). Third and fourth place went to Warhammer and Knight, respectively.
Each of these Players stood out from a strong pack, but Reload, imho, was on another level. Playing with very high mouse sensitivity, Reload's style is to rip his opponents to shreds in lightening fast attacks. Watch him moving in-game and his Player model seems to be missing animations. This is because Reload doesn't simply turn, he instantly switches direction, and with incredible accuracy. Combine this with an aggessive, attacking style and a sharp predictive understanding of his opponent's next move, and you can begin to understand why he was so devastating at GibCon. Reload was also liable to do stuff like rocket jump from outrageous positions, when his health was low, and deliver the killer blow from an angle you least expected. Let's hope he recorded some demos!
A huge number of Players put in performances of real skill and produced many fantastic games, near-misses and upsets. Flint was knocked out by Reload in an elimination by just 3 frags. Knight knocked out 7. Faust knocked out Harsh (picked by many to win), and Traydogg had an upset victory against Malby. There are countless similar stories waiting to be told (and they will be, in the gatherings to come). The really obvious thing missing was an organised approach to recording demos, because sheer masterpieces were created during those games. Did anyone record demos? I asked a few Players, but nobody had seemed to, and their minds were focused on other things.
War - Queenslanders Win "State of Origin":
For the first time in yonks, Victoria, Queensland and NSW were pitted against each other under LAN conditions at GibCon. All the tribes were gathered (well, nearly all). As a result, some incredible pitched battles were fought among the major Australian Clans.
The eventual winners were War, from Queensland (Dethon, Whitey, Trog and Kabas). The map was Death32a, and War controlled the 2 Quads in DM4 and DM2 superbly. They kept up a constant stream of positional updates, they knew when each Quad was due to respawn, and they succeeded in locking down their opponents.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the tournament was the defeat of Ash'Ock from Victoria, which has for a while been regarded by many (including me) as the strongest Clan in Australia. The individual members are all stand-outs, and in their previous Clan matches they have "owned" all challengers. But at GibCon, this was not to be. Their "B" team (Bro, VuduChild, VomitGod and Jojie) were knocked out by War, and their "A" team (Harsh, Malby, 7, and VomitGod) were knocked out by the Bad Mojos of NSW (Faust, Flint, Womb Raider and RJ).
The Mohicans of NSW (Webby, Knight, Hook and Wargel) were another stand-out team for me, defeating Dark Nemesis (Warhammer, Mallanox, Reload and MorphDog), before they were brought down by War. All in all, the Team games were a real display of depth and talent, with the level of planning and coordination being very high.
Incubus - Satan built his railgun:
To understand the meaning of my little sub-header, you'd need to know that Borg [SOQ] is fond of saying that "Jesus built my railgun". Incubus won the GibCon Q2 FFA by just one frag over Borg and Trog (tied for second place).
After the game, Incubus told me that he had a dream start. He had dropped into the water to pick up his beloved railgun when 5 other guys all had the same idea and, with luck, arrived in a nice juicy clump. One rocket and Incubus transformed them into Steed Gibs, and proceeded to plunder their goodies. Incubus then went on a grenade-throwing spree, chucking the little nutcrackers into every melee he came across. This went on for a bit until everyone wised up and the grenades started to disappear. But by then Incubus had a good solid grip on the game.
To say that the Kiwis were elated with their win over Australia is something of an understatement:
"We have defended the honour of NZ gamers over here among the Aussie players by "absolutely owning the motherf**kers" (© GoosE_). We issued two very loud and public challenges to the Aussie Q2 clans, and when they made the fatal mistake of taking us up on them we kicked ass and chewed bubblegum, blah blah blah... ...In the middle of one of the CTF games one of the Aussie players was seen to say "You NZers are like f**king bots!" It really has brought home to us what a high standard of play we are all used to at home. Inc has also been crowned "Rail Gun God" by a crowd of fans, it's almost at the "can I touch you? I'll never wash this hand again... hey guys I touched Incubus!..." stage, totally sickening." (Abaddon, on his News Page, obviously tired out )
GibCon'98 was definitely a Quake 1 tournament, some might say the last big one (though not me). But there were still quite a few strong Quake 2 Players about, such as Borg, and also the Queensland guys (Dethon, Trog, Whitey, Kabas), who now mostly play Q2 and only practiced Q1 in order to play in the Q1 comps at GibCon. The victorious Kiwis are keen to make it to Impulse'98, the huge LAN being organised by the SOQ Clan for later on in the year. I'm sure Borg and the rest of the SOQ guys will be waiting for them :-).
Overall - Hoony's Take on the Event:
OK, some aspects of the organisation of GibCon's events left a lot to be desired, no need to beat around the bush. Here are my opinions on a few of the things that I thought could have been done better:
- The organisers could have communicated what was going on more effectively by assigning that duty to someone skilled at public speaking over the course of the Event (perhaps even assigning a person to a particular area to "look after" the Players in that area)
- A white-board could have been used as a faster and more reliable (if low-tech) means to update the Players on results and future draws than the online HTML table. Similarly, the 2 big screens up the front seemed to be wasted - why didn't they use a screensaver text (for example) to announce the next big Duel (when, who etc)?
- Lag and lock-ups can never be eliminated, so they say... well, I don't have enough experience in setting up such a large network to comment, but it wasn't good enough
- Officials could have encouraged more demo recording, by reminding Players at start-up
- Food could have been organised (the Jolt was not enough!)
There were also lots of positives though, and here are my opinions on those:
- The venue was superb in almost every respect (OK, it got a little hot, but who cares about that really)
- The organisers worked tirelessly and never totally "lost their rag", despite some incredible challenges
- The run-up to the Event, including the sponsorship side, was done extremely well
- Quake was played
- Inter-State battles and an International were played
The most significant thing for me was the fact that the event demonstrated an incredible depth of Quake in Australia. After 2 years, we have a scene with between 5-10 strong Clans and a huge number of highly-skilled Players. Like any sport, it takes a few years to begin to get really good at Quake, and we are starting to see the fruits of the investment Players have put into this game. The result is that the Duels and Team Games were played with real smarts and produced real dramas.
This means that at an event like GibCon, there is sufficient depth to provide for some really exciting Quake. The emergence of new Players with skill levels that are pushing the boundaries indicates good stuff for the future of the game. It seems that there remains enough of a challenge in Quake in Australia for Players to continue to aim for the top. Given how strong the field is right now, and the amount of time and effort that has gone into getting everyone to this point, I'd say we have a damn fine party rocking away now :-). Let me finish up with a quote from Knight:
"People might think that Q2 is taking over from Quake 1. But, from what I saw at Gibcon, Q1 was as strong as ever. Lets keep it that way. "
I had more news to write tonight but, as you may have guessed, lack of sleep and a full day at work today have really taken their toll. So I'll sign off now and catch up with my emails and, in particular, a look at the CPL Event, tomorrow night. Congratulations again to all of the Players at GibCon, and to the organisers who made it all possible.