From the Hardcore Side
There are people who play Quake, and then there are people
who live and breathe it. In the first part of "From the
Hardcore Side", a new semi-regular feature at PQ, Pappy-R
brings all his hardcore gaming experience to you and talks
about what's going on in the hardcore scene today.
A lot of people wonder what it's like in the ranks of a truely
"hardcore" clan, or what it takes to be a hardcore gamer. Well
the first and easiest answer is time. How much of your day is
devoted to playing and improving your game. It's a big part
of me and I've been like this since the beginning. There's no
real reason other than pure love of gaming.
I've been into everything and anything I could get my mits
on since Pong. I drooled over Pong before it came out, and
that was just a few pixels on a screen that you had some control
over. My lust was fueled and I yearned for more. Atari, Coleco,
Nintendo and anything they dared put in the arcade was mine
to conquer. Those were the days of "beating" a game. Once
beaten, the game would draw nothing from you but a snear and
a sideways glance; it must now cower in your presence. Hacking
games on a Commadore was child's play to an already "hardcore
gamer". Then I picked up a disc with a cool graphic ad for
a game called DOOM. Shareware? What the hell was shareware?
Popping this in changed my life and started me on a road that
has yet to stop. First Person Shooters became the way, the
means and the power. Multiplayer came by LAN and by modem
and changed me forever. When I first played multiplayer Quake
I was truly in heaven. This IS gaming, it must be!
Now you know how my lust started; let's take a look at others
of my kind.
I was recently invited to attend a match/party with a clan
known as Xeno to watch
them carry on their success in the QIL
or Quake Invitational League. This was a fine opportunity
to watch them in action and if I agreed, they would play the
match from a Cyber Cafe in Toronto. I agreed, they agreed
and spread the word of a mini event. Let me take a moment
to explain that the QIL
is the big league, and has such clans as Death Row, K9, StickMen
and Negative Burn, just to mention a few. Basically the cream
of the crop in North America. xeno
is a Canadian clan and has really shown their stuff early
on in the matches taking both the Stickmen and Negative Burn
for the top slot in the MidWest division. I had a couple friends
in xeno and I was happy and excited to see them and a Canadian
clan doing so well in a league that elite. I wanted to see
them in action.
The night came (Friday, February 4, 2000), and my long time
frag buddy Charger showed up to be my ride to the event. On
the way we would stop and pick up another buddy you may all
know from his many "trick jumping" demos and tutorials, Julios.
After a couple hours in the car talking nothing but Quake,
Quake 2 and Q3A, we arrived at our destination, the CyberMax
in Toronto. There are no pics with this piece because we had
a stroke of bad luck with both digital cameras that were to
be present. That was a shame, but the night carried on regardless.
I was greeted warmly by those that I knew and those that I
hadn't met yet. A couple hours still to go till game time,
so we had a few laughs and I got aqquainted with most of the
members of the xeno troop who all showed up. Our hosts Nicholas,
Leo and Charles made sure we were all comfy on the nice new
PIII 500 w/ TNT2 Ultra's they had, so we threw some smack
down for a while. What a hoot as Sinz would realize the obscene
name of his team part way through a game and shout with surprise.
Dy-syng, Famine, Versatile, T-Man, Cyptoxic and Eva were all
in heated battles for quite a while. I don't think I saw Nirox
play at all...hmm. It's a fact, xeno
is the loudest bunch of players you will ever see. I thought
that was just a rumour from Quakecon, but trust me it's true.
We did some FFA Q3A that was just too much fun. It was great
to be on a server where you were completely surrounded by
such skill. I love newbies and enjoy spending time introducing
them to the games, but sometimes it's just great to fear for
your life from every angle. Seeing players Like Dy-syng, Famine
and Cryptoxic go at it in the middle of the RL room on Q3DM7
is just a treat. Of course my biggest treat was getting a
kill in on Dy-syng with rail. I knew this was a crew to be
taken seriously. Some team action was next, and that was pure
heaven for me. Seeing a teammate consider my health and weapon
condition before jumping on an item was a refreshing change.
Coordinated attacks and Quad control were the order of the
day as I got to dance with these gents. All this, and it was
just a warmup. I also saw a lot of tactics that I knew my
old friend Charger was behind, since he and I had been developing
strats since Quake 1, I can tell his work from a mile off.
This was a hardcore group that put some serious time into
Then people and friends of people began to show up and the
small cybercafe got filled to the brim so badly, I had to
go meet people out in the hallway. All the more, all the more
fun. This however turned into a "not great" setup when match
time rolled around. Three of the players for the QIL match
that night against Clan Kapitol were to be playing from the
cafe and one from his home (yo Emplate). A LAN situation would
normally be a great thing except for two factors I saw early
on. Number one was a roster change, and the second was that
the spectators were crowding in and, so far, were quite vocal.
You can't mess around when you play a team as well trained
as Clan Kapitol, or any in the QIL for that matter. Well,
it all went down and xeno took their first loss that night.
Understandable and quite acceptable, and a big congrats to
Clan Kapitol for
their level control. I'd talk more about them, but they didn't
invite me out that night. :)
After the match, we got more play time in as the crew shook
off the loss, and by the time we had to pull out, it was all
over but the beer. Yeah, I said beer; after all, we are Canadians
and of age, so off we went to a little place the crew knew
of. We all talked about the "Canadian presence" in the Quake
community and how it's getting up there. Clan leaders Niall,
Brainfire and Dy-syng had filled me in on the history of xeno
and impressed me by the dedication and skill they brought
to the game, and their desire to make "xeno" a name to be
So to break the stereotypical mold of being Canadian, what
do they do but drag me to a bar that on the inside looks like
a big log cabin. Well, that was too much and it was the door
for me, except that these guys were far too much fun and shared
my "hardcore" background. They regaled me with stories of
eight day LANs and one member who I won't name living in another's
closet to be close to a good connection. I hear it was a really
big closet, though. No I didn't walk out, I stayed and laughed
and by the nights end, was welcomed as a new member to the
clan. This wasn't planned when I went to cover the event,
but it sure is a nice reminder.
So I'll see you on the servers, that's it on this one. Look
for more from "the hardcore side" here at PQ.