Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Night Ninja Wasp

Last night I had a dream about this game (it was with pans, you split up different kitchen pans and knives, and then one person would put down a pan, and the next person had to put one down that was bigger. It made sense at the time). Then, a guy put the knives in the dishwasher, but they were sticking up. In the dream I then went to push them down, but one of the knives got stuck, and stabbed me in the finger. I said "ahh, that hurt", but I couldn't see a mark, and he said "yeah, I saw that coming".

Then, still in the dream, I walked to another kitchen to get more pans to play again, and suddenly I heard this buzz and jumped up in pain. On the bed lay a wasp, and I must have rolled over and put my hand on it and it stung me. In the dream I must have quickly thought that it was a sharp knife that hurt, and all happened fast enough for the dream to briefly continue before the pain fully hit. How bizarre. I didn't want to get revenge on the wasp, so I got it in a glass and threw it outside.

I had recently said I wanted to know what a wasp sting felt like now, since the last time I was stung I was very young, and it was on my toe while I was on the swing, bare footed, in the garden. It actually hurt a lot more than I would have thought.

The rest of the night was spent having nightmares that the room was full of wasp nests.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Online Gaming: My Memoirs

I like to play computer games. This started when my parents had an oldschool game thing that apparently only worked when the TV volume was at a certain level. They then bought a Megadrive when I was 4. I played a few different PC games as I got older, but I didn't start properly playing until I was 10. Here are my memoirs:

Microsoft Ants - 1998 (Aged 10)
First real online gaming. Me and Leigh became a good team (for two 10 year olds that just started playing the game). We made a clan called 'PTDC'. Until this day I don't think I had told anyone what it meant. I didn't quite realise what clan tags were, but knew it had to be initials. All I could think about was (and don't judge me, I was 10) the initials of my 4 main teddy bears, Panda, Ted, Dog, and Cheekaboo. I only remember one other person in our clan, PTDC_OAKER2000 (maybe 3000). Back then I was known simply as PTDC_Andy. I wasn't every imaginative.

Quake 2 Demo - 1998 (Aged 10)
Since Antz was on the Microsoft Zone network, I spent most of my time on that. I noticed another popular free game, which was the multiplayer version of the Quake 2 Demo. Me and Leigh occasionally went on this and it was fun. This was where I first learned how to use console commands (much to my moms amusement), such as sv_gravity -10, followed by sv_gravity 3000.

Worms Armageddon - 1999 (Aged 11)
Looking for other games, me and Leigh started playing Worms Armageddon. We actually got surprisingly good at it, and as PTDC we became one of the better known clans. We had a big rivalry with another clan, known as XMEN. We were generally better than them, and had another guy named 'PTDC_Nameless', real name Omar Sultan, an Egyption.

A memorable time was once, during a clan match with XMEN (I believe it may have been our final ever clan match with them), we were drawing 1 game each, and towards the end of the game one of our own players suicide killed our final worm. In the lobby chat after he laughed, and revealed he was actually the deputy of the XMEN clan. They got the last laugh there.

TFC 1.5 - June 1999 (Aged 11)
While on a caravan club rally I bought an issue of PC Gamer, which had a huge feature about Half-Life in it. After playing the Quake 2 demo, I decided to give it a go. The Half-Life multiplayer wasn't that fun, but I tried 'Team Fortress 1.5', which a shortcut to was sneakily added to to my desktop when installing Half-Life. I loved it, and played it for quite a while. I originally had the name PTDC_Andy (not realising the correct format was [Clan Tag]). I then dropped the clan tag, since I wasn't in a TFC clan.

Later on I met a guy named 'Dazz', who was the leader of a clan and he let me join his. Later on I was in a game and a guy asked me about the clan, and what I thought of the leader. I said he seemed like a really nice guy, he then realved himself to be Dazz, and was testing me. I still speak to him occasionaly on Facebook, 12 years later.
A while later in TFC I decided to make my own clan. While in a public server 2 other guys said they wanted to make one too. One was called Jeff, who suggested we be called Dark Knights From Hell, or [DKFH]. I still have [DKFH]Jeff on Facebook, but I didn't ever get the ICQ name of the other guy, and never saw him again.

Counter-strike Beta 5.2+ - February 2000 - 2004 (aged 12 - 16)
While playing TFC, it was noticable that more and more players were leaving to play Counter-strike. This was a lot more realistic shooting game, so I didn't warm to it right away. After giving in I started to play. My first game was with Dazz, and I think it was either on de_dust or cs_747, andt my score was something along the lines of 0 - 34. I distinctly remember not being able to kill anyone. Eventually I picked it up more and became addicted. This was the first time I would say I became obsessed with a game, playing every day. My first name was Assassin2k, though I went through many.

My friends soon started playing this, and it quickly spread to lots of people in the school. The growth of Counter-strike was phenomenal. Since I'm no longer in school I can't compare it to Call of Duty, but when I look at the games now I think "pah, it will never be like counter-strike was". Everyday after school we all played together. We had many clans, such as RR (Russian Revolution), and a monkey one, where we were all named monkey names. My name was "Funky_Monkey", which it stuck at for a while, my friends had names such as "Lumpy_Monkey", and "Spunky_Monkey". Leigh was called "The Monkey of Chaos", but made it a bit better later with "Chaos Monkey".

During this time we frequented servers such as Shady (where I hated most people), and Mr Kitty's (who had a really nice admin that I used to speak to on MSN). We later got our own clan server, and always abused our powers with 'slap'.

Towards the end of my Counter-Strike times I joined BP, and was known as $kill$hot, later Skillshot, and left BP settled in WA (Whoopass) with a clan leader DaFunk (a Northern Irish guy name Kyle Byrne, also on my Facebook). Other memorable people were Sami and Emmanual. Leigh stayed in BP, and went on to run TheSGL with the leader of BP.

Counter-strike was the first game that we started to go by the name 'omgLAN', later 'omglan', when we went to each others house and set our clan tag as such and played on the same team.

The Specialists - 2003 (aged 15)
I feel like The Specialists should get an honourable mention. I used to play many mods. One that I loved was The Opera, a mostly single player mod where you could shoot while diving, using akimbo guns (also taught me what akimbo meant). Later on I played The Specialists, like The Opera, but multiplayer, slow motion, you could run up wall, stop bullets, etc. It was amazing. Me and Neil played this quite a lot, and I got known as one of the best kung-fu people in the game, being able to top score lists without even using guns. My equal was known as "Bruce lee", not a very original game name.

World of Warcraft Dec 2004  - July 2007 (aged 17 - 20)
In the second year of college, Liam introduced me to World of Warcraft. I've never been into fantasy things, but for some reason I instantly decided I wanted to play. This was either a great idea or a huge mistake. World of Warcraft is the most addictive game ever. My character was called Trionell Blackspeed, named after my computer, though I had to drop the Blackspeed initially since you can't have spaces.

By this time, Leigh, my original gaming partner, was spending most of his time working on TheSGL and not playing games. I had convinced Neil to play, though it was a bit after I had started so we rarely got to work together, since we were different level (similar to Me and Liam, who aside from seeing him once, I had never played with). Some weekends Neil would come over to my house with his laptop and we would play most of the night.

I wasn't very good at the game initially, getting to level 60 and still not really knowing how to play. Still upset that my name didn't have the 'Blackspeed', I started a 'guild' (new word for clan, apparently) called 'Blackspeed', so my name was full. I decided to invite as many people in the server as I could, and Blackspeed instantly became one of the biggest (far from best) clans on the original Burning Legion server (same as the original Nihilum guild). One memorable person from our guild was 'Niffer', infamous for ninja-looting one of the rarest items in the game, the Barons horse.

Later on I started taking the game more seriously, and lost almost every waking hour to it during college. It was pretty much the reason I did badly. I joined a new server, Ahn'Quiraj, created a Gnome mage (also called Trionell), and the top PvP guild and quickly became Grand Marshall on the server (top PVP rank). This is when I would class myself as a hardcore game. The guild started doing PvE (fighting in top instances) and I started leading the raids and organising everything. I had some good friends, such as an Italian couple.

I mostly lost interest after this became I realise I had spent ridiculous amounts of time playing the game over 2 years and didn't have much to show for it. I finally broke myself away from playing it, but often have flashbacks.

Playstation 3 - August 2007 (aged 20+)
This was the point that I stopped really playing games as much. I went to University (I can't really say I had less time...), but always stopped myself playing WoW, because I knew it would mean I would completely fail.  My days being a 'hardcore gamer' stopped, and I became casual.