[Story submitted by our resident PC gaming organisation]
Tonight I opened up Steam, clicked Counter-Strike: Source and waited for the game to load. Once I was in, I clicked on "Find Servers" and set my filter to show only "Africa" servers: something very interesting happened after this action…
I noticed that for the first time in long, I couldn’t get onto any one of the popular Source servers. I waited for 9 minutes to get into dahshur_pro – a server which usually opens up quickly because some noob has rage quit life for the next 5 minutes.
A total of a 106 players were online, at once, not just idling, but actually playing Source! It might be my imagination. but has this s##tty update (which I must say is not so s##tty now – apart from the occasional FPS drop and bug here and there) made people want to play the Sauce more? I think the last time I had to wait several minutes to get onto a popular server like IS Sniperless or IS Dahshur was back in early 2007 when 1.6 was on its death bed, hooked up to its ventilator – trying to mumble its will and testament to all the #pickup players on IRC.
Whats more is that the not-so-noob-friendly IS Dust2, which has sniper rifles enabled had kept certain players entertained on the server for 4 hours. For those of you out there who don’t know the history of this server, it is renowned, for the ‘professional‘ or more seasoned players joining the server under a random alias, and racking up 30 to 50 quick kills and only dying twice, bvd`konvict and mint * Cha0tiX can be blamed for tonights slaughter of the lambs.
Tonight everyone was just happy, playing the game they once loved, as always some complained, some camped and some well just, yeah just some. Most of the players on the server didn’t care about the lag they were getting from their ISP, or the bug where you see your teammate as a terrorist, and kill him with an amazing pro-flick-unscoped-awp-across-the-map-shot which would mean you got a kill and 25 points which would surely unlock your "Dust2 veteran achievement". This usually warrants you getting flamed at, for being incompetent and you are immediately labeled a ‘noob‘. Yes, you all know that bug I’m talking about, which has league teams pulling their hair out… from their armpits. And as for the player who flamed you, well thats the guy who I said would quit the server and life for the next 5 minutes.
I have not yet mentioned how popular ‘mixes‘ have become, why, just tonight I got over 14 invitations to join different mixes, 14! The average mix takes about 45 minutes, had I joined I would’ve been sitting at my computer for a solid 10 hours. Thats crazy… hold on, I just got another invite to join a mix, -_\\. These games start – or, well, carry on from as early as 7 o clock in the morning and end at well, err, 7 the next morning. And don’t come here with your bloody agent comments saying ‘this has never happened‘ – it has because I was the instigator the one night who made it happen, ask zound.
In closing, I guess what I’m trying to say is that we (meaning the IRC community – cause thats where all the bitching goes on, it’s also where all the cool kids hang out – you know like those kids who used to smoke in the bathrooms at school) should stop trying so hard to keep bringing back 1.6. I’m not saying we shouldn’t keep playing it and prepare for tournaments that Arena77 and various other competition hosts will hold in the future. But maybe make the transition over to Source now, "Feel it, it is here" and has been for the past few years.
But Source has a place in the South African community. Stop saying "it’s not internationally recognized", it is! CGS saw a great game and made it even greater by adding some of the most well known 1.6 teams to it’s franchise. The company just ran it poorly and tried to make too many changes to what was an already good game. Source is also very popular in Europe. Teams such as Dignitas and Reason are mostly known for their killer Source teams. And I’m sorry to say that those organisations have achieved more individually then all our competition organisers, MGOs, teams and players combined have in their existence. We should stop trying to fight whats in our gaming culture, yes 1.6 was and most probably to this day (apart from Quake) is the most testing game of the individual FPS player to date, but you also have to realise times have changed.
We need to embrace the times ahead, instead of trying to nit-pick and find the negative in everything. I know once Mr. James "I’m insane- hey everyone look at me, I’m insane." Wijnberg reads this bottom bit, as well as a few other die hard 1.6ers, I will most probably be so flamed at, that I would be better off putting my head into a microwave. This was not an attempt to break down a community, merely an article directed at a community that must now unite, and embrace it’s future – the Call of Duty 4 community has already done it, we can too.
Daniel "merc" Balusik
Daniel "merc" Balusik | CEO – miNt Gaming South Africa | www.mintgaming.co.za
Last Updated: July 16, 2010