I’m not an ET veteran, but a veteran in general online FPS gaming. Before going online I played many games as well, including Wolf3D.
The online gaming story started late 2001 (I was 18 years old), when I worked at Office Centre (part of the Staples company from the USA), an office supply store for small businesses and freelancers. I worked at the computer dept., where we also had a limited collection of games. It was my first full-time job and I spent my first salary on a new PC and an ADSL connection. Speeds were 512kbps down/128 up back then. One day at work a game named “Medal of Honor: Allied Assault” (MOHAA) came in and I bought it. I was still quite new to the internet and didn’t know about torrents and such. Anyway, I played through the game and then went online on public servers, which became boring after a couple of months. In the summer of 2002 I found a clan named 104th Dutch Raiders Squad and joined them. They had their own server box in Amsterdam, on which they could install servers for any game that has dedicated server software. After a meeting on a clan LAN party, about 6 months later, they made me an admin with full privileges. We soon became one of the -if not the- biggest Dutch MOHAA clan. Because we had so many members, who all wanted to play scrims on clan base, we decided to break the clan up in squads, A, B and C. Each with their own leader, the sergeant. (We used ranks back then). I became the corporal (and later the sergeant) of A squad, my younger brother became the sergeant of the C squad, aka the C kids .
As we grew bigger we dumped the rank system, as it didn’t have any point and the only difference was the tag. After a while we merged with 2 other clans, whom got their own sub-divisions in our clan. I joined one of the divisions (Beasts of Prey) as a substitute, because they played matches every day, sometimes even 2 or more. And my own squad was full of old farts (the clan founders and their friends). I got to play a lot with them and they (we) reached the 1st place on the clanbase Benelux ladder, which they could defend for a long time. On the European ladder they were steady in the top 10.
When ET came out most of the clanmembers met eachother in real life once or twice already, as we organised lan-parties and the leader invited the clan to his wedding . One of my new friends introduced the clan to ET, which was supposed to be awesome and above all: Free. Boy, was he right… We couldn’t get many more members of our clan to play ET but there were still about 8 of us who liked it so I set up a public ET server running ETPro. It was heavily used but one day another game came out: Call of Duty. Soon I found myself to be playing ET alone on public servers, as our clan leader and server owner wanted me to take down the ET server because it generated lots of traffic and none of it was caused by clanmates . He had a point… Out of boredom I stopped playing ET and went on to CoD.
Let’s skip time a bit… I played through all the CoD titles up to Black Ops. My clan became less than a shadow of what it once was… We were left with about 5 regulars and some “once a week” guys… Again I found myself playing alone. At that time I started to get nostalgic and had a sudden urge to play the golden oldies again. First I revisited BF1942 (I loved the dog fights in the air) but the only active servers were in the USA (bad ping) and most of them ran only 1 map. So I went on to MOHAA again, but those servers were all heavily modded and were nothing like the good days I remembered.
Then I got to ET again (2011).
The first servers I joined all had bots on them, very annoying. As the ingame browser kinda sucks I reïnstalled an old-skool browser named HLSW.
This allowed me to filter out certain servers and “HOUSE OF ROX” appeared on top. I joined this server, but it was full of maps I didn’t know, I only knew the standard ones. On several occasions I informed my teammates of the fact that I was a true noob and they were all cool about it. Some people (Slime, Suiz, ReactoR and those I forgot) were a big help when I needed to know where to go or what to do. Around this time I fell in love with R*X and haven’t played anywhere else, since. (Unless both servers are empty but I don’t think I need 10 fingers to count those times). After a couple of months of fun (2012) I got a PM from DRAZA. He told me that I should apply and that he wasn’t the only one who thought so. He wasn’t the first person to ask me this but he was the one who finally made me do it . So I became a member of R*X and that pretty much completes my story. I’m still having fun with all of you, even with those who seem to have bad days 6 times a week.