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    PlanetQuake | Features | Articles | From the Hardcore Side - 02/18/00
   

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.
  — by Pappy-R


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 their gaming.

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 remembered.

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.

  — Pappy-R


Liked it? Loved it? Would rather pull your own teeth out without novacaine than read any more? Let us know in the PQ feedback!

 


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