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URL: http://www.loonygames.com/content/2.4/gsm/


Vol. 2, Issue 4
December 1, 1999
Game, Set, Match!

Six Months in the Life of the OGL

by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman

In early May of this year, I was one of the many who eagerly downloaded the first release of the Quake III Test. I had played QuakeWorld competitively, and although I kind of hated Quake 2, I still participated in clan matches. Now Quake III was out...a game that looked to be exactly what I had been hoping for. I played a few matches on random servers, but soon found that being on a T-1 made for extremely unfair competition, and I was winning matches more often from ping than from skill. As any competitive gamer knows, it’s not half as much fun when you don’t fight for your win. The best games, the most exciting matches, are the hard ones...where you fight for every frag, and jump in fear when you see your opponent. I set out to find some good matches, some tough opponents.

I decided to try the Online Gaming League. I’d met a lot of the people behind the OGL at QuakeCon’99, I knew a lot of other people who played on their ladders and it seemed like a good place to get some decent games going. I entered the Quake III Open ladder at 250 and immediately challenged an opponent higher on the ladder. Call me silly, but I was really excited! I was going to work my way up the ladder, dammit, and be the best! (ok, I’m not delusional about how good I really am, but it sounds good) A few days went by, and I got an e-mail from the OGL...I’d gotten a forfeit. Oookie, so I get to jump up the ladder a few slots. Cool!

I immediately challenged someone else. This time they replied within a few hours, and we quickly scheduled a match. I was hoping for a really good game, honestly, I didn’t care who won, I just wanted a good, fair match. The time for the match came...and went, without the person I was to play coming online. Another forfeit.

I challenged someone else. Another forfeit.

I challenged someone else...and they showed up for the match! I have to say, this guy, my god. I learned a really good lesson...never play Q3test2 with a rail monkey. I’d spawn...I’d die. Spawn...die. I don’t think I ever made it fully across the map with one life, he was amazing. So, I lost pretty hideously. But I learned that I’d better get the hang of the rail gun.

And then it was my turn to be the putz...I challenged someone, and forgot about the match we scheduled. I went to the website and e-mailed the ladder admin, telling him I forfeit, and I didn’t want to hang up the person I was to play any longer (as you cannot schedule another match until your current one comes to some kind of end, be that win/loss/forfeit). The ladder admin replied, saying thanks, and that nobody had ever done that before. I was kind of amazed, it only seemed like common sense, I mean, at some point, you’re bound to realize you missed a match. But I guess not.

Challenged someone else, got a match, showed up this time, and won. Really nice guy too, but it wasn’t a fair match, I won by some gross margin. Which just isn’t fun.

I went on challenging a few more times, got a few more forfeits, until I got sick of that. I sat in the 70’s for a while on the ladder, and got my first challenge, that being from Hanif. Now, Hanif, dammit, knew full well he could beat me, as he did exactly that at QuakeCon, and he did beat me when we finally played a match.

I asked Hanif what he thought about the ladder and the OGL, to see if his experience had been the same as mine. I found that it had, “Yeah I have had fun on the ladder, even though there is a serious lack of player involvement and most of my matches have been forfeit, etc. I think the OGL is more about meeting new people and coming together to play the game than a real ladder. In that sense it has been very fun, however the OGL has its faults too, and they begin with the obvious Internet play and distribution of players across the world. In addition, the OGL seems to lack the involvement of the tried and true professional gamers, etc. the list can continue for each side forever.”

Hanif sums it up pretty well. The OGL is fun, and you do meet people (when they show up/respond to e-mails), but it’s not exactly the place for premiere online competition. There is a major problem with people sitting on the ladders and not playing or responding to e-mails. However, when I looked at the website, I could not find a place to leave a ladder. I assume that e-mailing the ladder admin would do that, but...is a button on the user panel too much to ask? Might make it much easier for that guy who joined the Quake III ladder on a whim (when he’s really an OGL member for the Magic: The Gathering ladder) to get off.

Six months after joining the OGL, I sit at number 70 on the ladder, and have played 3 matches, one I won by a landslide, and two where I had my ass handed to me on a plate. I did meet people, albeit not many (I think irc would be more productive if you’re looking to meet people), and I did learn a few valuable lessons about playing really good gamers. But all in all? I’ll sit on the ladder for a while, play if I’m challenged, but I’ll probably be e-mailing the ladder admin as soon as the retail version of Quake III hits the shelves and tournaments start up.


To follow up on (and debug) last week’s article a bit, I received e-mail from both Angel Munoz from the CPL and Frank Cabanski from i2e2 pointing out that their organizations do not exist to make money off of gamers. That said, I would like to point out neither organization is classified as non-profit. :) Angel Munoz also wanted to point out that Frank Cabanski was not a founder of the CPL, as I said in the last column (i2e2 press releases list him as former Commissioner of the CPL, I apologize for the error). Rix (of “Gollum and Rix”! First professional level Quake match I saw in person was Gollum vs. Rix. It sounds corny, but I really never have forgotten it...it was amazing) also wrote in, making sure that I pointed out that although the CPL may not have gone by that exact name at the time the PGL started, it was very much the organization it currently is today at that time.

Future columns will feature interviews with Angel Munoz, Frank Cabanski, Rix, and more covering these and other issues.

‘till then, “PMS-Bobbi on D!”...I’m off to find a TWCTF server. With the release of Quake III around the corner, it looks like I may be saying goodbye to QuakeWorld soon. But...we’ll see...

- Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman needs to come up with better taglines.


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