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2, Issue 4
December 1, 1999
Six Months in the Life of the OGL
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, its not half as much fun when you dont
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.
to try the Online Gaming League.
Id met a lot of the people behind the OGL at QuakeCon99,
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, Im 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...Id gotten a forfeit. Oookie, so I get to
jump up the ladder a few slots. Cool!
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 didnt 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.
someone else. Another forfeit.
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. Id spawn...Id die. Spawn...die.
I dont think I ever made it fully across the map with one
life, he was amazing. So, I lost pretty hideously. But I learned
that Id better get the hang of the rail gun.
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 didnt 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,
youre bound to realize you missed a match. But I guess not.
someone else, got a match, showed up this time, and won. Really
nice guy too, but it wasnt a fair match, I won by some gross
margin. Which just isnt fun.
on challenging a few more times, got a few more forfeits, until
I got sick of that. I sat in the 70s 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
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 its 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 hes
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 youre
looking to meet people), and I did learn a few valuable lessons
about playing really good gamers. But all in all? Ill
sit on the ladder for a while, play if Im challenged,
but Ill 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 weeks 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.
PMS-Bobbi on D!...Im 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.
Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman needs to come up with better
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