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.
I have a couple things in the cue for this series, but I thought
that this time I would address an issue that readers have
been mailing me about: starting or joining a competitive clan.
The easiest way to put all of the concerns together for easy
recognition is to remember that a "clan" is a team. A joint
effort to accomplish a goal. No matter what the play style
or mod a clan plays, you have to remember all that goes into
Let's put skill aside for a few minutes to examine one of
the most overlooked aspects of clan members: attitude. A player
joining a team effort, regardless of skill, must take the
greater good into consideration. Clan leaders must base most
of their decisions upon the greater good of the clan, if the
clan is to rise in serious competition. We'll look at this
from the aspect of a new member, either you trying to join
an already strong clan, or from the point of view of a leader
looking at an applicant.
Each Other Out
If you're a leader, have the new member hang out with the
clan. Most competitive clans have IRC channels that they use
to socialize, organize practices, and discuss strategies.
If you're looking to join a clan, hang out in the channel
and get to know the members. This works for clan leaders much
the same way, and players that ask to join should first be
invited to hang out with the clan's membership. What happens
next is the play, and scrimmage games will pop up. As a new
member, I recommend keeping the trash talking to a minimum,
since you are being watched. Your teamplay is also being watched,
since a smart leader will set you up with teammates and a
strategy to follow. DO NOT try to be the shining star. Play
your best and do as instructed to uphold your part of the
While you're hanging out with a clan, each member will watch
you to decide if he/she likes you and if your skills fit into
the mix. Here's a little advice for the "stars" out there:
don't come at the clan with the attitude that they need you
because of your elite skills. Chances are, they already have
some skills, and that's what drew you to them. Lay back in
attitude and give the gameplay issues your very best.
During this period of being judged, an applicant may start
to get antsy, and ask when membership will be granted. ERROR,
mistake, no, stop! The votes for your membership may be borderline,
and trying to rush it could push you over into the negatives.
Watching to see the patience of a new applicant is a good
tool for leaders, because they get to see how much respect
the applicant has for the clan as a whole. I've actually seen
people just hang with a good clan and not apply for membership,
only to get it offered right out of the blue. In fact, a lot
of the top clans will work that way.
A special note to players who would like to start a clan
from scratch is that you would be better off joining a clan
than starting one with just yourself. Clans usually come into
being as a small group of "game friends" who decide to team
up. Starting a clan from a roster of one always leads to a
rampant search for members, with little regard for gaming
attitude. The usual story is that the player goes out onto
the servers, asking anyone he can to join his clan. I've seen
this actually grow into a clan that plays in the OGL, but
they never last long, or at least with the original members.
If you want to play with a team, join a team.
Choosing a team to join can be hard, since gaining entrance
to the clan could take quite a while, as I outlined above.
Look for a group that you can respect and that has roughly
the same attitude for gaming that you have. Look for a group
of players with the same general level of skill as yourself.
Being the star on a team of newbies is not going to make you
happy for long once the team gets destroyed a few times. Trying
to join a team of highly skilled players as a newbie may just
take more time that you are willing to give, so you would
be better off with a group fairly evenly matched with your
The web is global, baby, but you're actually better off sticking
to your own geographical area when looking for a clan. East,
west, north south, Europe or Korea, try to find players that
live in your area for time zone considerations for games/practices,
ping similarities for server searches, and a general feeling
of fellowship. Having more in common with your future clanmates
is always a good thing. Clan leaders should take note of the
last points I mentioned as well, when it comes to looking
Now let's talk about that skill level again for second. Nothing
brings your personal skill, skill as a team player, or combined
team skill up like practice. Whatever you want to excel at,
be prepared to practice. Make yourself available for practices
as much as you possibly can. Clan leaders will try to establish
a routine for practice times that gets the best turnout. Practicing
your dazzling 1 on 1 skills will not really help the clan
as a whole. It is useful to make you more effective in a fir
fight, but it could actually take you backwards when it comes
to teamplay training, so balance it out.
Next trip to the Hardcore side will be along the same lines,
but we'll get to see what some of the top North American Clans
do for bringing on new members, a practice schedule and team