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Pickup: 2005 Edition (80 comments)
Posted by amarc @ 16:15 CST, 30 March 2005 - iMsg
Pickup (sometimes called gather) channels are places where gamers meet to play more organised games together away from the hassle of public servers, usually using league/competition settings and tactics that would normally be found in clan matches. Over the years the number & variety of pickup channels available has increased considerably, from small beginnings when the concept was mainly used for Quake up to the present day where gamers of practically any discipline can find a channel where they can enjoy serious, competitive play. Although rules & practices differ from channel to channel, they're generally free from the dregs of online gaming - aliasers, newbies, cheats & exploiters. Channels are mostly run by volunteer individuals for the benefit of their scene, though some are run by gather organisations, hosting companies or clans. All channels covered in this guide are on the QuakeNet IRC network & some require you to auth with the network's Q service bot to join (channel mode +r), see this page for details on how to do so if you're unfamiliar with the procedure. Here's the 2005 rundown of popular & active pickup channels sorted by game, gametype & region.

This list has been made as conclusive & accurate as possible, however if there are any errors, omissions or an update needed please inform me so that this can be the definitive list.

Many thanks to james, whose original concept I've updated.
Edited by amarc at 16:27 GMT, 8th Apr 2005 - 36629 Hits
Last Dinosaur 2 (66 comments)
Posted by amarc @ 16:52 CDT, 6 September 2004 - iMsg

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Rating: 8.8 (29 votes)
What can I say? I am lost for words! This movie is absolutely incredible, I make no overstatement when I say it is absolutely the best frag movie my eyes have ever had the privilege to witness. It displays the skills of clan LD| as they cap and defend during intense Japanese TFC league matches. The action alone makes this movie well worth watching (especially if you are not familiar with competitive TFC), however it really excels in its editing. APM's work surpasses anything I have seen over the last four years, combining a fast faced soundtrack with visuals that beg the viewer to watch Last Dinosaur 2 again and again and...

In fact, I'm off to watch it once more. Enjoy!

Edited by THERAILMCCOY at 16:18 GMT, 7th Sep 2004 - 58195 Hits
I wonder why some people bother... (5 comments)
Posted by amarc @ 22:13 CDT, 12 April 2004 - iMsg
Tonight I played a few pcws with my clan. The game we play is Natural-Selection (web info or IRC for the uninitiated) a teamplay Half-Life mod that is a RTS/FPS crossbreed. Not exactly TDM, but just as intense and very enjoyable.

The first map played didn't really test us at all, we cruised to victory in both our alien and marine rounds making it 2-0 to us. There was a little bit of whining from them regarding their choke, but as this is client side we simply dismissed it as whine. Upon investigation it is seen that said player was using cl_updaterate 20, a connection setting suitable for those on <56k. This player latency to our UK server from Germany (60) meant that he obviously had a better connection than that and was simply abusing the variable to make himself that little more unhittable. However, on our server we set the servers allowed sv_minupdaterate for clients to 60, ensuring fair playing conditions for both teams as the value cannot be exploited.

Yet on their server for the second map, they insist upon using minrate 0 and fully exploiting this, even when we protested. After all, according to them it is "only a pcw" - since when was this an excuse to allow exploiting? Their Fades (expensive warrior class of the alien team) had previously been easy to take down and below average attackers suddenly became Gods, strolling around the map absorbing bullets like sponges.

This isn't the first time I've seen the Half-Life netcode abused, and I'm sad to predict it won't be the last, but what saddens me is the blatant abuse and bareface cheek of abusing rates to win a map in a game that, according to them, is "only a pcw".

Rate abuse disgusts me as it is more deceitful than out-and-out cheating. Only someone competant with rcon access and who knows what to look for will spot rate abusers, and the main reason I know so much about it is due to years of game adminning. If our game was more popular it would be easy to say "cu@LAN" and observe what they are like with default settings and <5 latency, but due to the nature of the game it's not exactly going to become the next Counter-Strike with frequent LAN events.

These people site behind their computers exploiting their way to victory for what? How can they attain any sense of satisfaction from a dishonest win? We completed the game under stupid conditions out of sportsmanship, and they didn't even afford us the courtesy of playing us on decent terms. What's even worse is I am the ClanBase Mod Supervisor for this game, and this clan will apply for the next OpenCup season. It doesn't give me a favourable opinion of them, and any judgement regarding their clan will now be looked upon as "biased". Oh well, at least minrates are set to decent values under CB rules.

Online gaming is such a great thing, it becomes an artform at competitive level, every game an exhibition of unbelievable skill, every kill a spectacle and every player a warrior in their own right. But then I look at the problems inherant to it, such as the exploiting detailed here, and I am engulfed with disgust and contempt for those happy to ruin everthing the community strives for. It's times like this, at 3:11am on a Monday morning when I dismay at how people like this creep into every corner of life and piss on my parade. Time to finish this cigarette and find some suitable competition.

Until next time, play fair.
Edited by amarc at 01:02 GMT, 29th Apr 2004 - 5253 Hits
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