Tale Of Two Cities
The UKCCL Xmas Frenzy
I got up again about three hours later and stumbled downstairs for a wash and shave before getting started.
A spare computer had been found, so it was moved to a clear table and I set up. Unfortunately the lead on
the headphones I had wouldn't stretch from the back of the tower under the desk to my head, so I ended up
playing most of the weekend deaf!
Still, I had a lot of fun warming up on one of the CTF servers during the morning. I've never really played
over a LAN before, and the sudden change from 400+ ping over the net to less than 20 on the network was
a bit of a shock. "Oh, so that's what the grapple is for" I said, as I swung Tarzan-style around the flag room
in McKinley Revival, my feet never touching the floor.
Early in the afternoon the first rounds of the CTF and one-on-one deathmatch competitions were started.
Several clanless players including myself banded together to form a team for the CTF contest, but after a
strong start we were soon locked out by our opponents and eliminated in the first round, leaving me to
watch the rest of the contest from the sidelines and play on one of the many non-tournament servers
Saturday night saw two of the strangest events of the weekend...
First up at about 11pm was the rail gib world record attempt. A specially designed map had been built consisting
of a huge funnel into which we jumped on at a time. Around 80 players made it into the server, all standing on
each other's heads, before the network and server started to get overloaded. Despite warnings from the admins,
a few people messed around firing their blasters and typing messages to each other which didn't help either.
Finally it got to the point where for every person who managed to connect somebody else was dropped out,
so it was decided to call it a day. The last person joined the server and stood at the top of the funnel. He was
the railgunner, we were to be his victims. The idea was to take out as many people with a single railgun shot
as possible, hopefully beating the world record. Taking careful aim he pulled the trigger .. and the server crashed!
To be fair on both Intel and id, it's hardly surprising. In less than a second over 80 players were killed. That
means that the server had to send out over the network 80 obituaries to 80 players in a fraction of a second - that's
6400 messages! The system simply couldn't take the load, and we all crashed out.
Unfortunately the server crash took the server log with it, so we'll never know how many people were gibbed
before it gave out. Still, it was a brave attempt and if nothing else we almost certainly took the world record
for the world's biggest Quake II marine tower. We all gave ourselves a big round of applause, waited for the
server to reboot, and then carried on the gibbing.
Le Mans Quake
The next event was the Endurance Quake competition, which finally kicked off at about 1am. The idea was to
deathmatch the night away, playing through all 35 of the single player maps from Quake II non-stop, 15 minutes
on each! It didn't matter how well you played, all that counted was that you could keep playing longer than
anyone else. Which gave me the best chance of winning anything that weekend, so I entered myself.
Almost 6 hours later we'd made it as far as the Processing Plant, and only 17 of the almost 70 who had started
out the previous night were still playing. The loud snoring of at least one player who had literally fallen asleep
at his keyboard helped keep the rest of us awake.
Although I was all for carrying on and finishing the whole set (which would have taken another three or four
hours), there was no way we would complete all the levels before the next day's matches were due to begin.
Most of us hadn't even left our seats all night, as we were only allowed to miss part of one map during the
So we decided to call it a day, finishing with a twenty minute free for all on the Warehouse to find the overall
winner. King of the insomniac Quakers was [UNR]Tasan, widely acknowledged as one of the best Quake II
players in the country. As for me, well let's just say I didn't win... ;-)