The Tale of a Wizard.

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The Tale of a Wizard.

Post by ColoFett on Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:04 am

February 2014. In about 4 months from now, 8 years ago something happened that eventually lead to this moment. A single decision that would directly influence the lives of over 2000 individuals, and probably many more indirectly. 8 Years filled with impulses & emotions, the forging of friendships & the realizing of dreams and ambitions. One choice that helped shape me, made me what I have become. Even though many people I know in real life will never understand, or even know what I did or who I was, I have no regrets. I am proud of what I have achieved together with many wonderful people. 

People that play online games often have two faces. One of them is their real face: the person they are in real life while meeting friends, talking to family or while doing sports or going out. The other face is the mask they put on while being online. Anonymity has many advantages: Being the friendly person you wish people would see you while not wearing your mask, pretending to be more grown up. Or being the asshole that feeds on other people's emotions like a leech. 

With the increasing popularity of programs & sites like Steam & Facebook many a people have buried their masks out of fear to be exposed or banned. 

My mask? Mine changed throughout the past 8 years. I remember being afraid to show weakness and being highly inflammable, taking every comment as a personal offence without considering it being constructive feedback. The gap between Online life (OL) and real life (RL) was comparable to the Grand Canyon. Only a few people in RL knew what I was up to and certainly I wouldn't tell my family about my secret hobbies in 'a stupid pc game'. I was afraid to give away my RL identity as trolls were everywhere and giving away personal details would do more harm than good. Over the years, things changed and during the last few months, I like to think the words dedication and passionate are suitable descriptions while time had moved the tectonic plates and made the gap between OL and RL smaller than ever. People I've 'known' (more on that later) for many years are now my (Facebook) friends, have my phone number and hell, I'd trust some of them with my bank account details. It's funny how you can become friends with people whose face you've never seen. 

How did it all go down the way it did? I hope I can reconstruct it in this 'blog'. It's mostly for myself to read some day when I'm older but seeing that you, reader, are probably part of it I'll post it public here. I'll be writing it bit by bit and hope that if you have any additions you speak up and help me reconstruct the past. 

This is the tale of a Wizard.


Chapter 0 - Prologue

I vaguely remember the years before any of this took place. Somewhere between 1998 and 2002 I played some classic games like Warcraft 2, Prince of Persia 1 and Red Alert 2. All offline because internet these days meant no phone connection and the games were provided by a friend of my dad. (Arrrr matey) One of my first online experiences were with the game Freelancer. A friend of mine, better known to you as Drayn, gave me a copy and we played together on one of the modded servers. Around the same time (2002) I started to discover Star Wars games such as Podracer, the episode 1 game and Jedi Outcast. This last one became one of my favourites because: lightsabers, 'nuff said. Too bad I never managed to kill the final boss because he was overpowered. (And don't tell me I sucked).

Starting to play freelancer, I needed a nickname to call my pilot. Using my own name was obviously out of the question so I had to choose something. I've been trying hard to recall why I chose it but I guess Harry Potter had something to do with it, and so my first and longlasting nickname became: Wizzard. - Yes with double 'z' because that's how you write it, right? Right??

In September 2003 the sequel of Jedi Outcast was released: Jedi Academy. My parents gave it to me as a present during Sinterklaas and seeing that it was an original copy I could actually swing my lightsaber at other people on countless servers, and it didn't take long for this hobby to transmute into an addiction. 

My favourite gametype was 'Siege': either be on team red or blue and assault or defend some objectives. Even though there were only 3 maps, the thrill of outsmarting other players kept me pretty entertained on rainy Sundays and evenings after school. I figured that people with the same symbols and letters in front of their name were probably in a group together, and so I became aware of clans. It didn't take long before I found myself in one of them, called the Republic Commando Battalion (RCB). We didn't use teamspeak, or skype back there. We had a forum where we discussed strategies and obtained promotions. We contacted each other trough Xfire, a chat program that shows what game you are playing and on what server. We never heard each other's voices nor did we saw the actual person sitting behind the computer. 

At some point I got lectured for the so many-th time that 'Wizard' is spelled with 1 'Z' and so I made the first change to my nickname. This probably took place just before I started to use Xfire seeing that my username there is spelled right. 


I was ambitious and climbed the promotion ladder, seeking recognition and reputation. Eventually I was the clan trainer and organized practices on a locked server where I'd demonstrate tricks on how to launch allies with sticky bombs to skip objectives . It was not only fun, but also made me realize I liked helping other people; train them to pursue a shared goal. We had organized matches with other clans and I usually was on the A-team. We weren't the best, but we weren't the worst either. At least we had fun and I guess that's what mattered. In the end it was a game of course. 

RCB was my first experience with people from all over the world, drawn to each other by the interest for the same game. I didn't know any of these people and I had no idea what their faces looked like. Whenever I would talk to one of them or spoke about them I'd picture their forum avatar and judge their character solely based on the things they posted on the forum, the way they behaved ingame and their skills in combat. I believe that many of them weren't so much different ingame as on the internet. Especially because we were in the same clan. 

Like every community, also RCB had it's fair share of drama and I won't deny I was *partially* responsible for some of it. In a team with so many different personalities and backgrounds, clashes are inevitable. I recall having pointless arguments with others about subjects I don't remember, but probably weren't that important. We had a leader whom went inactive and a co-leader who stepped up and made the clan better than before. This person, only known as MajorMajor was an inspiration to me on what a good leader should look and act like. There was a council that I was part of and at some point got kicked from after argument #4554. It made me realize that I had issues with taking orders from people that I didn't agree with, and made me think how it would be to have my own clan... 

Chapter I - The dawn of Clan Ätlantis 

Even though I enjoyed Siege, sometimes I needed a break from it and I would fire up another gametype. I liked FFA and randomly would join a server with a lot of people on it. Then some day I stumbled on a server where maps looked slightly different than normal, and people were talking about stashhunting and levelling up an account. My first experience with a Lugormod server was a fact and I didn't need a lot of convincing to visit that same server more times. The concept was simple. You register an account, choose either Force-user (lightsaber and force powers) or Mercenary (guns and items) and hunt for a small datapad containing credits. There was only 1 of at a time and the whole server (up to 32 people) were after it. Once you found it your character would glow so everyone who saw you would know you have it. The hardest part was to find a 'bank' terminal and deposit the stash during 10 seconds of interacting with the panel without getting blown up. Credits meant levelling up and extra skills that would help you find the stash or boost your defence. 

Stashhunting was great, but nothing compared to the other features of the mod. Admins on a server were capable of placing every single model, effect, sound and item on any spot they would want, allowing server owners to shape their own worlds and create houses, bases, forests, npc encounters and mini games. THIS is what I wanted, and would do for the next 3 years. 

I downloaded the mod and fired up a LAN server to practice building. It was hard because everything was done by typing long sentences of codes that needed the right attributes or nothing would happen. One would have to define the dimensions of the bouncing box around a model, the angle, the size and the target and targetname if it was an object to be interacted with. An example would be /place misc_model_breakable 0 model,map_objects/factory/f_con1,spawnflags,8193,message,^3payswitch 10 credits,credits,10,target,paid1,count,10 to make a simple switch that would cost 10 credits to interact with. 

The problem with a LAN server is that other people can't enjoy it and so I hopped around servers, trying to bluff myself into the admin team. It was hard because I had no clan (in FFA/lugormod) and I was a stranger. But one day luck was with me and I found a server called Uuniversal Lugormod. (again, no spelling error here). A guy named GuarDian owned the server and happened to be looking for other people to join the build team. I demonstrated my skills and got on board. 

...

There was one small issue. Having an online server costed money, something an unemployed school-attending fellow like me didn't have. Let alone pay for it every month! And so I went
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Re: The Tale of a Wizard.

Post by ColoFett on Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:04 am

Kudos to Wizard of CA for this
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Re: The Tale of a Wizard.

Post by LATTEH on Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:20 pm

When did he post this?

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Re: The Tale of a Wizard.

Post by ColoFett on Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:58 pm

ummmm last week i think
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