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What are we thinking of Blackops 4? (20 comments)
Posted by Unho @ 02:10 CDT, 19 October 2018 - iMsg
My opinion : fast arcade gameplay, some of the multiplayer modes are actually quite good and the constant unlocks/medals is addicting, keeps me coming back. I play it more than QC

Fuck blackout btw - I had it with all this slow -run around for 5 mins- BR crap.
Edited by Unho at 02:11 CDT, 19 October 2018 - 8492 Hits
Old fart not able to coop with speed of the gaming industry (17 comments)
Posted by Unho @ 03:17 CDT, 28 September 2018 - iMsg
Lately I'm having issues enjoying gaming. It's still something I spend 2-3 hours a day on as it beats TV but I simply do not enjoy them as much anymore. At this point I game out of a habit rather than real enjoyment. Now, the easiest reasoning would be 'yeah dude, all normal, as we age we lose interest in these things' and I would agree to some extent but for me it's almost like the speed of industry is moving too fast for middle class working old(er) farts like me.

First, there is simply too much released. Game development is announced one month and the early access/beta is there as soon as you fart, you have a constant release of AAA titles combined with gems of indie games and due to the popularity of some genres you have a constant barrage of add-ons/dlcs for existing games. Marketing has never been this good with mind boggling trailers, early announcements and genuinely peaking interest.

Second, digital platforms make it so easy to buy fast, cheap and instant. Result : cluttering my library to +180 games. Never ever in this lifetime I will get to play them all unless I become unemployed, wifeless and a bum. Yet, I continue to buy any wish-listed game that is discounted over 60%. It's legitimately a game I want so why miss out on the discount!

Third, everything is tailored so much to multiplayer nowadays that you feel the constant urge to compete. I love to compete but I just need to be honest and consider my age and real lack of dedicated time due to professional/personal reasons. As such concluding I'm simply another average gamer hurts.

Fourth, even if want to be really good in anything it's mostly about commitment to one game but there is simply SO MUCH to explore right now. You have QC, R6Siege, PUBG, COD:BO4, Insurgency SS, Scum and all of them are really good games. I want to play them all AND be good in them. It's almost like I used to be such a competitive gamer in Quake that I simply can't stand being a casual in anything.

Five, constantly playing online really kills any SP FPS as it becomes really obvious on how shitty AI still is. I'm honestly baffled that there is no major advancement in AI anymore, some games even have worse AI than games for 2005. But what's even worse is that I'm now so used to competing that I immediately feel the 'emptiness' in a single player game. Result : I never enjoy them longer than 2 hours.

Six, time issues. I'd love to get back in a very lengthy RPG or sim builder but I have limited time and there is just SO much to play nowadays (see 1 and 2) that I never really start them because I know any online FPS can provide me instant action, maximizing the investment I get out of my time.

Simply put, I'm in a situation that I can't deal with the speed and complexity of the game industry anymore. I'm over saturated :D . You know you get old when sayings like 'it used to be simpler in my time' get value.

On the other hand : I have +180 games in steam and have 100 on my wishlist. I'm probably an idiot.
Edited by Unho at 03:26 CDT, 28 September 2018 - 19410 Hits
Resolution (5 comments)
Posted by Unho @ 06:39 CDT, 2 July 2017 - iMsg
So - what resolution do you guys play at? Any advantages nowadays to go lower than native? What are our dear pros using?

Been messing around with some resolutions but seeing that QC is already a visual mess at times, lowering it and therefor have less sharper graphics seems to make it worse at times.
2708 Hits
The Unholy Memoirs - part 2 (12 comments)
Posted by Unho @ 08:57 CST, 7 March 2016 - iMsg
Part 1 here

In the next few months I kept getting better and better but something far more interesting was lurking around the corner. The first true definition of an online gaming community was forming. The same people would appear on the same servers and it didn't take long before your mind started to wrap an idea around the concept of a virtual family. Sure, just like a real family you had some really obnoxious uncles running around on your party. Didn't really matter, family is family we thought and secretly you cherished the diversity of characters. I mean, what a boring place it would be if we all act, feel and speak the same way, right?

With that sense of community there was a sudden boom of clans. The early clans at that time were quite simply nothing more than a bunch of people & friends that wanted to play together, or at least simulate the very idea of sticking together and improving each other along the way. Of course competing and kicking other clans asses had a nice ring to it as well so challenges were thrown around quite often. You could say in a way online rivalry and competition was born in 1996 and matured rapidly in 1997 thanks to Quake. Clans to me sounded very exotic but oh so appealing. Side note : I still think using the word 'Clan' was a genius decision. It just sounded way more cooler than 'team' and for some reason it fitted the cyberworld perfectly. We were online warriors in a clan. A brotherhood of elite gamers . A blood pact signed between the hardcore to play quake, together, forever. Not just pc gaming kids in a group ... I mean how lame sounding is that??

So this clan thing sure did sound interesting to me and while I enjoyed quake tremendously I admit there was little bit that feeling of isolation. Fragging as the bad ass lone wolf has a nice catch to it but ultimately wolves are pack animals and so was I. Little did I know it would become very hard for me the find a pack I'd love.

I'm really a social guy, or rather I like to hang out with people so a clan sounded like the best thing out there. Building up virtual social relationship with fellow quakers, what is not to like about it? A logical dilemma appeared : how does one go about that? Do I join one or do I create one? Creating one sure sounded like great fun but I didn't have the slightest idea of team tactics or team experience so naturally I felt this was not going to end well, as a result I was set on finding a clan and joining one. At the age of 13-14 the only thing that was important for me is really simple : it needed to have an awesome and cool sounding name! Whatever, judge me all you want but building simplicity in my way of decision making appeared to be a great skill later in life, for example, at age 16 the simplicity just changed to 'blonde and big boobs' and I was all set, or maybe not because I ended up with a brunette, initially ...

There was a small problem though, I was constantly playing on the same Dutch servers and I was not even aware of a Belgian community silently forming without me knowing about it. Back then people kinda sticked to 'their' server but there was also a good reason for that as typically it was the server which granted you the best connection and provided the best map pool. For that specific reason I also sticked to the same Dutch servers and thanks to my skill I ended up joining a few dutch clans over the next few weeks/months. I mean most of these clans were FFA clans and the only purpose was to dominate the servers with a bunch of people and end on top of the playerlist - or at least try to. Most of these clans disbanded quickly or didn't really play any teamwars. It was all ok for me, just like this entire thing was new for me it was also new for them. It was a learning curve for all of us. PS. Just a note here : teamspeak and other voice tools did not even exist back then so communication was done via the serverchat and in a later stage via IRC.

Before we continue on describing the first pillar of a gaming community I would like to highlight another important aspect of quake here. While quakeworld was rapidly developing and replacing netquake in EU some other nice things were happening. The guys at id Software already decided earlier on with Doom that ultimately your game shines or dies with the community so providing the possibility to have your game modded and 'hacked' was stimulated by id Software. Result? A shitload of awesome mods were released to the gaming community. Essentially you had two kinds of mods : The total conversions and the normal mods altering something in the original quake. The total conversions were really changing everything in quake : The guns, the scenery, enemy models, etc. For example : I still remember me playing Star Wars quake (there was even a map with an AT-T, you needed the grappling hook for that), Paintball Quake, etc. One might ask - Great dude but why do you mention this? Well, how do you think CTF, Rocket arena, and Team Fortress exist in nowadays landscape? ;) Feel free to add it to the list of accomplishments that your grandfather was responsible for.

So back to this blonde and big boobs, errr clan thing. If remember correctly I played my first ever war with a clan -which I don't recall the exact name of anymore- were one of the members was called like a certain Roman emperor : Caligula. If I really need to venture a guess here I think the clan tag was 'ICE'. Caligula, ff you would ever read this : back then you owned the shit out of me! Now while I managed to be in a clan and started to build up some first virtual relationships I was still not aware on how this quake community was truly spreading all over the globe. I just kept fragging around on FFA servers and did so for a few months, I was happy as a camper (pun intended) and it's safe to say the first signs of gaming addiction were on the horizon. Keep in mind I was on boarding school but from Friday to Sunday I played ridiculously long, don't even get me started on holidays. How was that possible? Well, I was one of these kids with a PC in his own room in 1997. I was spoiled, nowadays it's common but back then I was really an exception among my friends. Yeah, I was one of the coolest nerds on the playground..

But what was the first real sign? Well, I'd say my mother receiving a telephone bill worth a nice month salary cascading down to her cutting the 'telephony cable' in full rage mode with a scissor is a good start. End result? Me crying like the 5 year old Unholy that just received a slap on the face for spoiling chocolate milk on a brand new white carpet. (sadly also a memory) Once they figured out that this is not normal usage for a scissor some new rules were established. I was now limited to X amount of game time per day and if my grades dropped they would even stop coughing up the dough for the internet. You couldn't tell from my behavior but at least my parents were responsible buggers. Ironically it made me even better as I was more focused during my game time. Didn't help for the overall addiction though, most of my free time I was drawing out map layouts on paper, thinking of my next moves and theorizing on how I should improve. I was playing, living and dreaming Quake during these days.

Quakeworld BE Community

As months were passing by I learned about some Belgian servers but I had this very weird plan in my mind. I want to join these Belgian servers only to come out on top and I wanted everyone to think 'who the fuck is this guy and where does he come from' so I kept playing Dutch servers to polish my skills until one afternoon I joined a Belgian server for the very first time. The map was DM4 (sweet memories) and I kicked total ass, I pulverized the competition and surely thought I was the best Belgian quaker out there. Of course I was an ignorant little kid, little did I know that a clan scene already formed in Belgium and that some of them were even organizing LANS. The server that I was playing on was nothing more than another pub with average players. Still, a next mission was conjured and cooked : who/what is the Belgian gaming community and how do I join one of it's clans. I felt it was time to settle for something real and make name in the scene, I wanted to beat the top Belgian players.

So over time I explored the Belgian gaming community and I figured out -to my surprise- that were actually a lot of clans and -even bigger surprise- they had quite good players. Some of them even much better than me!
During this awesome period I learned of clans such as Linkwars (Uberfrag, Darkhold,Loeke, Thorn, ..), Frenzy (Venom and co), Dimension X (quite possible one of the oldest BE clans out there, still exists today - well done guys!), Batida Swing, Vendetta (Seti), Dominion (Matrix, Chainsaw, ..) Gods of Hellfire and many many others. A sad personal record for me is that I joined/left most of them, some because they lacked the skill I was looking for, others because I guess I had a hard time finding a true home. Even sadder is that it probably made me the first official clanwhore of Belgium, but more on that later on.

Also across EU a lot of great and even legendary clans were up to the challenge during 1997. In the Netherlands we had Allied Campus Quakers [ACQ], a bunch of university quakers leeching of the campus T1 with the evil Zandaa-Ji (more on him later) and Dutch Deathmatch Alliance (DDA). These two were on top of the game but generally the Dutch had a lot of skilled clans : Firing Squad, Foot Soldiers, SUX and many others. In Germany you had Schroet Kommando (SK), Ocrana (OCR) and Braindead (BD) owning up the place. In the UK you had Demonic Core and the Lords kicking ass. But truly a special scene is and was always the Nordics, the amount of top players and clans that this region generated was just staggering (what the hell is in the air there?). Clan 9 was just mythical and there wasn't a single clan out there who didn't put them on a pedestal.

Slipgate back to Belgium : So Linkwars was considered the best clan of that era and naturally I wanted to be a part of that group. Happy to report that I succeeded in this. Linkwars was quite possible the only team I really really liked and it was also the first clan ever that I accompanied to a LAN. : Global Wars. So by the time I got a lot better and was a member of Linkwars I picked up a lot skills, experience and knowledge of the game. I mean, the BE community was my new home and family but we all knew that the true 'pro' scene existed in central and northern Europe (Germany, Uk, Scandinavia) and demos of top level players were flooding the internet. Keep in mind, we're still talking modem days so downloading a demo was sometimes a days adventure adding up to the telephone bills again (trauma of scissors imminent).

Anyway, next to watching team demos I learned about the duel mode and I was mesmerized and enchanted by players who ultimately would become my quake heroes. Quake gods such as Lakerman, Kane, Sniket, Sectopod, Sujoy and many many more were dominating the scene. Not only did they dominate, they played the maps in such a way that I didn't even thought of in the first place. Truly talented guys. Of course all these bastards had the advantage of a great connection and a far bigger and skilled player base. Curve wise they went up the curve much quicker than we did but still, we were tiny compared to these guys. Watching 1n1 demo's created this idea for me that I wanted to do that as well. The thrill of beating another player in direct combat just sounds appealing, if I would let anyone down it would only be myself and not an entire team. Less responsibilities to worry about provided me clearer gameplay and I started to excel in this mode.

See - I do enjoy teamplay a lot but I was never the best teamplayer (nor dueller, but ok these are my memoirs. I have the right to picture myself better here) as I always had some trouble to focus on all the shit that was going on. I mean Quake was already a very fast and hectic game but now you needed to watch out for not instagibbing teammembers, there was a need of protecting certain areas instead of wandering around, you had the constant flood of teammessages and on LAN people were constantly shouting around to each other. It messed up my focus level and most often I had a hard time getting truly into the zone. I did reasonably well though but I knew duels were going to be a more rewarding experience.

Global Wars was the first lan I ever visited, it was in a relatively small location in -if I recall correctly- Aarschot. For some reason Aarschot was the birthplace of a lot of good and dedicated Belgian quake players but god only knows why. Fun fact : if you would translate Aarschot in English and with some imagination you'll end up with 'Assbang'. You could say I visited an Assbanging LAN that weekend - however you want to interpret that one...

This was a complete new experience for me. Picture a skinny 14 year old hauling his PC (OK) and heavy monitor (less OK) to a table, setting it up and plugging in the network cables with sweaty hands and you get it. This was already quite the adventure but man, these low pings of 15 MS were fucking awesome. Technically, I actually needed to adjust my rate setting to enjoy it the most and as HPB I really needed to adjust one hour to these low pings. Remember, in 1997 when playing online with 120MS you build in a certain compensation for your latency, you learn to play and coop with that and anticipation is an import asset. With the lower pings I needed to adjust that compensation and get used to it. Another complete new thing was to socialize with all these strangers that I called my clanmates. Shit, talking to them in cyberspace seemed easy but I just realized these guys are complete strangers to me. Did I also mention that all other linkwars members were on average 4 to 5 years older than me? So as most youngster do on their first LAN, they keep quiet and learn as much as possible. At 14 you lack the necessary social experience and skills to build up a friendly relationship with 19 year olds and I didn't want to come over as 'that' kid.

That LAN I also pulled my first all nighter and by the end of the weekend I was sleeping on my keyboard. Back on the way home everything was a blur and once I finally reached my bed it felt like a majestic golden palace of fluff. During the LAN I played a lot of semi-official duels and if I'm not mistaken I actually won from some 'established' names like Venom, Uberfrag, Fragtykoen etc so in a way I established myself as one of the best in Belgium. I was particular good in DM6, a map that was highly build around prediction and enemy awareness - two things that served a HPB good on the internet and an LPB even better on the LAN. Later on I would also become good on DM4 when practicing with Despo aka Desperado. One of the guys that I would form an own clan with later in time.

I went to multiple LANS during that time but another one really stands out, while I forgot the name I remember that the famous Dutch clan ACQ was also attending. By this time I was quite known in the BE scene and people respected my skills. It's even safe to say I was one of the better duellers at the time so a chance to compete against these Dutch guys on a LAN sounded awesome. All went well as I continued to beat a lot of players but I learned a valuable lesson when I lost from ACQ.Zandaa-Ji. I ended up losing on DM6 and at one point I was yelling not so nice things across the room. While I don't remember the exact words it was something like 'stop running away you f*!@$ coward', see Zandaa-Ji was one of the first players I encountered that was not afraid of +backing and running away when leading with 3 frags. I was totaly unprepared for this and my tactics for this type of gameplay were non existing. After that game I was a bit devastated that people even dared to do that in quake! Quake is full-on fragging and facing eachother in the heat of the batlle, right? Wrong, I think anno 2016 it's proven that tactics -no matter if frowned upon- can equally win you games as aim can.

Anyways, fuck you Zandaa-ji, you Dutch +back pussy! :P. But also thank you, because I must did something really good as I was actually invited to join ACQ. A feat that was a big thing back then, a Belgian young kid joining the almighty Allied Campus Quakers? Amazing ... for a month, because that's how long it lasted. Truth is I never liked it in a Dutch team. Their mentality and way of interacting was just too far off from my mentality. I immediately felt a little bit 'homesick' and ended up going back to one of the BE clans. Nothing against the Dutch however, as I grew older and more socially capable that problem went away and I started to appreciate them much more.

In any case, around this time a few bad personal mentality problems slowly surfaced the horizon ..

Before we move over to my mental instability (overreacting, keep your pants on) a few other quake facts. In 1997 the ultimate Quake hero stood up, his name? Thresh. This guy managed to beat the competition in an event that won him John Carmacks turbocharged Ferrari, not bad for a payout in 1997 eeh? Needless to say he was instantly famous, this kid was playing PC games and won a ferrari? Other people work their entire life and end up with a small French car, and we all know these are the worst. In quake history Thresh would become one of the pioneers in progaming and dominated the NA Q1 scene and later on the Q2 scene. Now I specifically said the NA scene because for some idiotic reason the NA scene sticked to Netquake instead of Quakeworld, meanwhile the Europeans were rapidly evolving and learning new tricks and tips in QW. Stuff that the Americans lacked in Netquake. Thresh was part of the famous clan Deathrow and at certain point their clan was invited to Sweden to battle that other famous EU clan : Clan 9. Quake biggest showdown in history led to Clan 9 beating the living shit out Deathrow. Games were played in Netquake and Quakeworld for fairness but Clan 9 was even winning the majority of netquake games. This was not only due to aim but due to Clan 9 knowing the game mechanics inside out, they bunnyhopped circles around everyone & exploited game bugs while Deathrow appeared dated, out of shape and out of luck.

Community wise a lot of things were also happening. You had the natural evolution of newly formed clans while other got disbanded. Players moved from one clan to the other but in general I can say most Belgians sticked to their group and it was a quite stable community. With a community you also need a good online medium so multiple initiatives grew amongst the years. From Linkwars to Shrimpwars, Fragland and various other BE community sites to clansites and individuals sharing their information. Internationally there were a lot of famous leagues and cups started, some of these still lasted well into 2005 onwards. Gaming wise people continued to frag away.

Unfortunately some very evil spirits were lurking behind the corner and tried to cut down our precious playerbase...
Edited by Unho at 11:03 CST, 7 March 2016 - 8208 Hits
The Unholy Memoirs (12 comments)
Posted by Unho @ 01:27 CST, 4 March 2016 - iMsg
Personal Introduction

Blog site

Disclaimer : I'm not a writer, English is not my native language and these are my personal memoirs. If you don't like them or like my writing style ...well, "Suck it down!" (c) Romero

Disclaimer2 : I'm not the 'US' Unholy but a pure Belgian creation :p I started gaming with this nick back in 1996 and it's not the most creative one so chances are high multiple Unholy exist. Although I'm unlucky the US one is even more famous.

My nickname is Unholy (Real name Phil) but during my gaming career I actually had several nicknames, in the end though I was known as Unholy or Unho. After more than 15 years I suddenly felt very nostalgic and started looking up how the quake scene evolved and noticed the QW scene is still alive. Don't ask me why but I started waybackmachining some sites I remembered from these top days and suddenly I felt the urge to write my experience on my gaming experience, quake career and other life thoughts in general. Take it for what it is, maybe someone will enjoy it. If not, I enjoyed it and ultimately we need to do stuff for ourselves once in a while ...

Let's start with my introduction to gaming : Wolfenstein 3D. One of my neighborhood friend's father was a teacher and toyed around with computers. I guess he probably was the only guy within 20 miles, little did we know. One good day we found some weird ass floppy drives with the mythical Wolfenstein 3D title written on it. There we were, 2 11 year olds figuring out how to install a game on this PC. Naturally our parents objected a lot against us gaming (go behave like normal kids! This is bad for your brain! You will wear glasses at age 13!) but it was too late, we were hooked for life. I also don't wear glasses at age 34 so I would theorize genetics are more important here :p

So when the sun was shining we were doing normal outdoor activities such as building camps, soccer, cycling and -of course- be guilty of small mischief. But boy when the rain and the cold was upon us we locked ourselves away in that little study room and together we played wolfenstein 3D over and over again until 'Mein Leben' became the first thing we said when greeting each other. We also decided that to both enjoy the game at the same time we needed to play together on the same pc. Solution : let one guy control the firebutton and the other the movement buttons :-). Coop at it's core boys and girls, share one keyboard with 2 guys and successfully shoot Hitler to bits and pieces ..

After that we moved on to Doom and needless to say that this game was -for us- the ultimate shit. Monsters, demons, 3D experience (kind of), shotguns, blood, gore, exploding bodies, dark & gloomy and hell in one game. All of that combined with superb smoothness and fluidity. Genius! Now, I really started true gaming on my own in 1994 when Doom 2 was released, my Stepdad was a businessman and his laptop served as my first introduction in gaming and IT in general. Well .. laptop .. the thing was as heavy as car, made the nostalgic rattling noise when the hard disk was working and the emitted heat could probably melt the polar caps but whatever, it ran Doom .. an introduction to the world of real FPS, created by the masters at id Software.

This is ultimately where I hit the point of no return, gaming would become a huge part of my life but who knew that this first introduction would also lead to my future career, my passion and my interests? At that time internet, laptops and computers in general were considered very exotic and only for professional usage, 12 year old kids were not supposed to even touch computers let alone play gory and dark games on it. Surely my brain would melt from all this carnage and I would become the next psychopath? Well, none of that, gaming made me very independent, self-aware and 'internet social' at an early age, strangely enough.

Needless to say I was instantly hooked and mesmerized by gaming, pc's and IT in general. I wanted to know everything about this machine - how it worked, what is important, what is the future, etc.

I need to mention that back then internet was like the ultimate nerd dream. It was uncommon, expensive and required certain technical knowledge to get it up and running. Apart from the money part there was no help I could get from my family and quickly searching up things on google via my iphone was non existent. To be honest, I loved these time in retrospect, I was forced to figure out stuff on my own rather than this fast food knowledge solution that google serves us every day. Back then I learned things, today I read stuff and forget about it within the week. (or is it my age? Who knows).

Anyway, I continued to play Doom and Doom 2 on this laptop whenever I had the chance and never even thought of playing this over a network, let alone over the internet. Back then the average gamer was an offline warrior competing virtually with his friends bragging about game difficulty (we always lied to each other, no keyboard ninja was able to do this on the highest difficulity), kill percentages in levels, the time that you completed a map or talk about the amount of cyberdemons you fragged to a puddle of goo. Secret areas were memorized and shared with the elite group of kids on the playground that actually played games as well. At a certain moment this group of friends grew so big that we could finally sit at a round table of 4 .. (yes, sarcasm there). Reality is that back then gaming was really considered underground and we kids naturally felt that it was underground as well, other kids gaming experience was console or handheld based. Before I forget, apart from PC gaming I was also an avid NES fan of course. One time I played Mario so much that when closing my eyes I was still seeing Mario jumping around. It scared the shit out of me, I though I finally had permanent brain damage. Luckily in a later stage of my life I closed my eyes and pictured beautiful girls so all turned out to be ok, relatively.

A quick side note on my life before we move on : On early age (8) I was sent to boarding school due to my parents busy life, this was probably a good decision as I was forced to study properly and get good grades. but I also became very independent very early in my life which is one of the things that I cherish most. My grades were generally good but I'm the kind of guy that needs to be interested in something before I accelerate in it and unfortunately half of the stuff was plain boring. However, these old farts that we called parents were smart enough to understand my gaming passion and in a certain year they promised me my own PC if my grades went up significantly. Boy, did they understood how to fire my engine up :). The year I'm talking about was 1996

Quake Introduction

So, 1996. A year like another? Wrong! Early in this magnificent year id Software decided to release QTEST on their FTP server. The king of games was about to make huge impact on a lot of peoples life. In fact, it would pave the way for what we consider esports nowadays : tons of competitions, leagues and teams would emerge out of the creation of quake and lay the foundation for many years to come. In many ways gamers and FPS fans need to understand that one of their grandfathers would be quake ...

Most viruses would be jealous on the rate that Qtest spread amongst gamers and it didn't take too long before literally every gamer was drooling on the first real 3D fps experience out there. As time passed on and as Quake became officially available on the shelves reviews were popping up here and there. Unfortunately I did not have any internet and the only information I found was in this obscure gaming magazine called PC Gameplay (now Gameplay, the biggest magazine of the benelux. Good job guys!). I don't remember all the details in the review but needless to say also these seasoned reviewers were raving about it, in fact it was kinda hard to find a person that was not ecstatic about quake.

I've read certain books twice and that is the maximum for me but I can tell you that I read that article probably 50 times. People needed a a cleaning crew to mob up the drool around me.It was also the longest year in my life. Every single day I was I looking forward to get my own PC to be able to play Quake. I was spending very little of my weekly allowance just to be able to chip in more if needed, and more importantly to buy this great carton box with Quake engraved on it. BTW, buying games was fun back then. Nice boxes, printed manuals, goodies, flyers, etc. The old fart in me understands that digital downloads are yet another fast food solution for the I-want-it-now generation but it was nice to go in small specialized gaming shops and their shelves filled with magical boxes. Fun note : for some reason the guys owning the shops always had long hair, liked metal music and were into magic the gathering :)

Let's fast forward to me getting my own PC, installing Quake on it and booting it up for the very first time. I was shocked in awe, soul struck, mesmerized and totally excited.How excited one might ask? Well, you know this abdominal feeling when you are really really really excited about something? I had that multiplied with 100. Suddenly Doom 2 was an old game and completely left my area of interests. This new game was the future. I can look up and down? Real 3D? Innovative physics? Awesome weapons? Jaw dropping graphics? What is this evil sorcery!!

I played it for hours and hours straight. Food, toilet, conversations, homework, everything needed to wait for Quake. Quake, at that moment, was the best friend a kid can imagine.

The game was one of a kind, no discussion possible. This lovecraftian, medieval blend of high tech and demonic environment (which was ultimately the result of a feud between Romero and Carmack) provided a gaming experience that it still not matched until this day. Was it a fluke? Who knows, judging the recent id games one might say that, but back then it ruled the shit out of anything else for years to come. It was also incredibly fast but yet felt very natural as Doom was already a fast game as well. Nowadays generation of gamers forgot their roots and went on with slow ass gaming experiences where hiding behind a impenetrable trashcan is considered a skill. Whatever, I don't blame them. It's evolution and people evolve with it. No way to stop it...

People were also starting to talk about multiplayer capabilities in Quake and how great it was, both gameplay and technically. What, multiplayer? Me playing quake versus actual persons? Competing in a virtual world against my friends, or even total strangers? Online competition?! The next wet dream just became reality. It wanted it and I wanted it fast. I annoyed my parents for weeks to come...

Luckily, around this time internet was also breaking through with the general public, it was still ridiculous expensive and the only options for me at that moment were modem based (22,8K/33.6k/56K) but it was becoming more and more real. Just like modern times things were evolving so fast it was hard to keep up, especially in these technology-wise primitive times. Everything was booming like crazy. My parents decided that it was time to opt-in for internet@home but were unsure on which provider to choose. Back then Planet internet and other companies were providing demo CD's attached to computer magazines, meaning if you had a modem you could use the dial-in details in this magazine to trial their internet services for 30 days, 60 days, or something like that. All that was left was to buy a modem (US Robotics 22,8, yeah!), buy one of these magazines and get started. The first ISP ever in my home was planet internet. The trial service was perfect to understand how everything was going to work.

In the next couple of weeks a few magical moments occurred :

The sound of a dial up modem connecting you to the internet. Seriously, you might as well call it a drug because that sound was a huge endorphin release, every fucking single time.

Figuring out how to connect to a quake server.
Bring out the pampers because I'm wetting my pants while the status is displaying 'connecting to server ...'

Boys and girls, joining a quake server in 1997 for the very first time ever is hard to describe in words. Seeing an actual stranger moving around a map in a game I loved is one my greatest gaming memories to date, if not the greatest.

Sure it was all choppy, little did I know I had a ping of 600MS and was considered a HPB (High Ping Bastard). Keep in mind that this was Netquake, quakeworld with the optimized netcode came in a later stage. I continued to 'glide' around the maps for hours to come, managed to shoot some people but it's fair to say I sucked hard. Couldn't care less, I naturally felt I was suddenly part of an underground group of like-minded people and I also instinctively felt they were all equally on the road of complete addiction and respect for this game.

So, I'm going to repeat myself but needless to say every other minor activity was put on hold. I found a new ambition in life : become one of the best players in this game.
Dicking around with my ping of 600MS I was not able to get any better and it took until Quakeworld was released and more technical knowledge (figuring out what ping means) that I was really getting competitive in this game.

I actually felt I was gifted and talented in this game, an experience I would never find again in other games. Other games were extensive amount of hours/practice that led to good results but Quake 1 was pure passion and motivation that drove me. Now, I'm usually passionate about a lot of things but it fades away quickly, however, the quake passion would never fade out. Even after all these years I still think it's the best game ever and I can vividly recall ambient sounds and details of the game.


By the time that Quakeworld (pet project by John Carmack on optimizing the netcode) was released I also switched to an ISP I would keep for a very long time : xs4all 56.6K. XS4ALL was actually one of the ISPs that fully embraced Quake/online gaming and can truly be considered a pioneer here. XS4ALL was hosting Quake servers and having a connection with XS4all was a big benefit.

Safe to say I was getting consumed by this game by early 1997. Quakeworld was yet another level of awesomeness on top of quake. Great netcode, gamemode features, customization with player skins and all kinds of other neat features. I learned that there was a big difference between LPB and HPB and that as HPB you were truly in a disadvantage. The next weeks I learned all tricks and trades of the game really.

One specific thing I really feel like mentioning is the skins. Most people don't know this in recent games but back then player customization was a huge thing. You could model your own player skin and actually have it distributed to other players via the official servers. Skins were a huge part of the community and served as an icon for your clan. Every clan would create their own skins and seeing all this different skins in game led to a feeling of diversity. Of course people also later on figured out that you can create 'brigh'skins for extra visibility and over time normal playerskins were only used by the newbs who didn't have a clue anyway. Brightskins were even a development feature created for later games like painkiller etc..

Anyway, I was rapidly getting better in this game, ending up on top in FFA almost every game. If I was beaten then it was usually by a LPB player who had the technical advantage. Low ping bastards at that time were usually Dutch university students that had a T1 connection available. These guys were running around with pings of 30 to 50 while I was running around with 120-140 during daytime and 90 during nighttime. Yes, the time of day made a difference ....

Next part soon.
Quakeworld continued (the rise of the BE community, international scene, clan history, famous players, my clanwhoring adventures and much much more)
Edited by Unho at 02:35 CST, 4 March 2016 - 7429 Hits
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