Community News & Information Vol. 117
Written, edited and published by:Snoid
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“LEST WE FORGET”
Every day, most of us engage in a life-or-death struggle on the virtual battlefield. We risk and lose our artificial lives playing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. And when we die, a simple medic’s needle brings us back to life. When that fails, we re-spawn, good as new, in about 30 seconds.
In a few days, on November 11, many of us will put our lives on hold, momentarily, to recognize those who actually sacrificed their lives to serve their country in war.
November 11 is significant because it was the day in 1918 when the First World War finally came to an end after four years. It was often called “The Great War” because of its huge impact on the world, because it was thought that such a war would never be repeated. No such luck. A mere 21 years later, the world would embroil itself, once again, in senseless slaughter: The Second World War, the historical backdrop of Wolfenstein, would last another six years.
In the United Kingdom and Canada, November 11 it is known as Remembrance Day. In the United States, it’s called Veteran’s Day. Different name, identical purpose. Often the day’s ceremonies include the recitation of John McCrae’s haunting poem “In Flanders Fields.” McCrae was a Canadian soldier during the First World War. He penned the poem in the Flanders region of Belgium in 1915. But he did not make it home; he died in 1918, several months before the end of the war. For those unfamiliar with the short poem, we present it here in its entirety:
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
In addition to the usual commentary, let’s use the comments in this thread to share information about people we know – friends, relatives, ancestors – who sacrificed for their country.
Q: Who are you? (real name)... and give us a brief idea of where you grew up, brothers and sisters, and where you now live.
A: Hey all! My usual name is Bill Carlson, I was born and raised in Iowa, United
States, Planet Earth and still live close to that location. My sole sibling is
Thomas, who defected to Minneapolis.
For more details, hit here .
Q: Are you married and do you have children?
A: Married, with children and happy with it all. My wife is the light in my life,
my kids are fields of plenty. Yeah, mushy, I can't help it.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I am currently self-employed as a subcontractor, with a tag "Senior DevOps
Engineer". Really I make Linux systems do the work needed and stay that way. I'm
an overly "do-it-yourself" person, do my own accounting and so forth. Sending
invoices and getting checks back is fun.
Q: It's common knowledge among your friends in the Bunker Community that you've had some serious health problems. What happened?
A: A doctor spent 16 hours taking an unfortunate bit of 2 inch tumor out of the left
temporal region of my brain. One week after that, I was fired from the highest
paying position I had yet obtained. Yeah, ouch.
Q: Are you still suffering the affects of this?
A: I prefer to think I am functioning and serving my family DESPITE this.
Q: What is your gaming history and when did you first discover Wolfenstein ET?
A: My first game was a quarter-paid session of Asteroids. One of the original
magical memories for me was a huge video arcade opening in my home town with at
least 30 games. Over the years, I progressed from single player games to MUDs
(Multi-User Dungeons). By that time, I'd already picked the nickname Kael, based
on a Dungeons & Dragons fighter I had played in a campaign with several college
buddies and my wife. I eventually (decades) reached the spot where multi-player FPSs
attracted my attention and some poking around lead me to Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory
available on Linux. Pretty sure this was about 2007. My boot camp was Bunker1
and it's still my favorite.
Q: How and when did you discover the Bunker Community?
A: At the time I started ET, Bunker servers were high in players all the time.
Bunker1 was always populated with players whenever I wanted to play, good ping
and all that. Other Bunker resources helped me learn and adjust my playing.
Q: Do you play on other clan / community servers?
A: Not much, I was playing on Old Farts servers for a time. Never interested in
clans, part of the attraction of ET for me is that a game is short, play it,
win/lose and repeat as desired. And Bunker, of course, I consider much more than a clan.
Q: What do you like most about the Bunker Community?
A: Key is the same as ET itself: teamwork. Great to get to know folks, laugh and
have fun together. Identify the good and make war on the bad.
Q: What, if anything, needs to be improved? (Bunker Website, servers, community)
A: My personal opinion is balance issues lately, been on several sessions where one
team is nuking several games in a row. Some members try to even out, but it's
really hard to do when the wacky-kpm team has the least players. And of course,
tends to be the defensive team, which leads to long, pointless game, which tends
to make players leave, so on and so on. Shuffle and howfair is never the right
answer, keep wondering what to do. Know it's not a simple item to address.
Q: How often do you play on our servers and which server is your favorite and why?
A: I'm a Bunker1 player, have been from the start. Why? Why not?
I'm playing less these days, couple of times a week, due to little recovery
Q: What are some of your favorite maps and why?
A: I'm better at listing maps I hate, but only when I actually see them.
Variety is what is so great about ET, would never want to play any given map for
months. I do prefer objective-based maps over kill-kill-kill...though 7 minutes
of Panzer Madness is fun.
Q: Do you have a favorite class, and weapon while playing and why?
A: About the only class I don't play much is Soldier, though I do go MG sometimes
if the team needs it.
Otherwise, I play what's needed by the team. I suppose medic does get an edge,
one of my prides is how many revives I get by sacrifice. Ironic, considering
the medic has my most hated etpub item: Poison. That is just Plain Stupid. I
almost throw packs to victims I accidentally poison on occasion....a l m o s t.
Q: Do you like attacking or defending or both equally?
A: I like to do both, about the same. Maybe attacking a little more, since a great
defense means spending a lot of time. Dual objective, very nice!
Q: Even though ET is over 10 years old... it is still a favorite among a hardcore group of players. Why does it still have this appeal?
A: I totally think it's the game play, focusing on objectives instead of just
shoot-kill-collect. The roles are designed well and demand for each changes per
map. Teamwork is what properly wins almost any session. And there's enough
contact with other players to befriend and work together. I tried ET:Quake at
one point and was surprised how awful it was to play, I think it just had a
little too much that ruined the in-the-game feeling.
The immersion I feel while playing is my favorite part, I get to play the Way I
Want to Play, with the controls I want (esdf!!) and with the equipment I want
(Three Button Mouse Man!!). And feel like it's an alternate body I control.
Luckily, no pain centers as well!
Q: What kind of a set up (computer) do you have for playing ET?
A: I'm a Linux person, currently Ubuntu-based. No, not the
lately-default-crap-that-is-Unity, I have a little more custom setup under
xfce4. Nothing special beyond the OS, running ET Legacy.
As an old sysadmin, I have an open addiction to the Three Button Mouse (no, no
wheel, thanks). When I am working in terminals, the three buttons makes it
heavenly to copy and paste text: highlight, middle-click, done. Works in
everything: browser, email client, terminal, document editor, whatever. So, I'm
playing ET with it as well, with my own macros:
- Left click: shoot, duh!
- Middle click: cycle through weapons on each click: main->pistol->knife->main
- Right click: cycle through other items depending on role, so medic: needle->pack->needle
Yeah, one of these days.....nah, there's no way I'm moving away from the Mouse
Q: Do you have any special hobbies or interests outside of Wolfenstein ET you'd like to share with us?
A: Little minor interest in Computer Technology (</sarcasm>).
Fun bit I love to do: Radio Control racing!!
Little tidbits to give the proper feel:
Big Track! (Thanks again to Jesse Robbers for the D8 shock tower, my hero!!)
Q: Have you had the chance to meet any of your ET family face to face?
A: Nope, just the one who I did get into the server for a while: My Son.
Q: Do you travel much and if yes, where have you been?
A: Not really, though my wife has allowed me to accompany her around the States:
Texas, Illinois, Washington DC, Colorado, South Dakota annnnd Wisconsin!
Q: Got a pet peeve?
A: etpub -> poison. That is just so damn stupid. A guy sticks me with a needle and
I can't shoot him? Ridiculous. Hell, why not put poison on the bullets?
Q: What's your favorite kind of music, and band?
A: My favorite of all is The Police. Super lucky me was able to hit their reunion
concert....which also happened to be the very first concert I ever attended, in
As far as flavor, I love the category Sirius put together on channel 33:
Current "new" Discovery: SimpleMind's "Belfast Child", wow.
Q: Have you ever had a close encounter with a famous person?
A: Sure, once was behind Wallace Shawn at the grocery store. Unfortunately, too
dumbstruck to do more than stare at him. Inconceivable!!
Recently managed to get a great autograph session from James Hong. Great guy,
even though he was born in Minnesota.
Q: If you could go on an extended vacation anywhere in the world... where would it be and what would you do?
A: As long as it was with My Wife and Family, where just doesn't matter.
Q: Anything you'd like to add that I haven't asked about?
A: Little tidbit on a topic that needs spread: Open Source.
We usually categorize Open Source in two forms: free-as-in-beer and
ET used to be free-as-in-beer, could get it for free. But, no source. No way to
contribute fixes. Bummer.
ET Legacy is free-as-in-speech, we can fix and create as needed for as long as
we want. It's a good thing!
Linux is free-as-in-speech, remember that the next time Windows or MacOS ticks
Finally, for all:
Live Long and Prosper!
Interview subject this month: Ace
Q: How and when did you first hear about Wolfenstein Enemy Territory?
A: I was never much of a gamer until a few years ago. I had the Nintendo consoles, but never really got too much in to PC gaming. My roommate played WOW all the time, which I usually ignored. But one time I saw him playing a WWII FPS and it looked pretty sweet. So I asked him about it and once he told me ET was free, I downloaded it and played immediately. This was probably around 2007.
Q: Do you remember your first time ever playing? Did anything about the game stand out?
A: So once my roommate told me about ET, I started playing that day. I sucked a lot. I had never played an FPS on a PC before, but it still seemed really fun. All the action going on, playing against real people, the fact that it didn’t seem to lag, it just seemed so awesome.
Q: Initially what did you like about ET to make you want to play it? What did you not like?
A: Honestly, I don’t really remember. Although I thought it was awesome, I didn’t really play that much at first. It just kind of slowly grew over time. I’d play a couple times a month. Then a couple times a week. Then by 2008 I was playing pretty regularly. It helped that the first server to become my home server was very noob friendly. They had a JayMod setup with no FF and adren for all. I’d go flame and juice up and clog choke points. It was so much fun getting ultra and ludicrous kill sprees. However, I still sucked when it came to pretty much any other aspect of the game, except perhaps sniping on sniper servers.
The community I started off at had a main server and a secondary server, both with the same setup, just different maps. I liked the second server better because it had more maps that I liked, and the people who hung out there seemed cooler. That server died off, and I began to hate playing on the main server so I shopped around and eventually found the lovely Bunker community.
I don’t know if that really answers the question, but it’s how I got to Bunker.
Q: What is your favorite class to play, and why?
A: I like playing medic. I feel like it gives me the best opportunity to help my team. I can heal others and help push the team forward toward the objective. Self-heal is also really great. I’ve gotten to be pretty good at this game now – really just a recent thing, probably only in the last year. I got a new internet connection, new monitor, new rig, new keyboard, new mouse. I think the biggest thing was the mouse, since it allowed me to actually get headshots for the first time. I could actually control the mouse well enough to “aim” instead of just point and drool.
So, since I can now usually get more kills than deaths, I like to be medic since I can stay alive longer and knock down the bad guys to help my team. I guess you could call me a rambo medic, but I try to play objectively-oriented.
I also like playing engi. I play to win the map, so if no one is going engi or my guys are having a tough time, I’ll switch over. I’m starting to learn how to be as deadly as Lead with the rnade, but I still have a ways to go. I like planting mines. I think they the most fun way to get kills.
Covi is fun too, but I have a hard time with the weapons. As most of you know, I complain about my lack of knife/poison skill a lot. I like the stealth and trickery that it takes to be a good covi. Satchel kills are fun too.
I don’t really like being soldier anymore, but I enjoyed the challenge of long distance kills on servers with bazooka gravity.
Q: Do you think medics are overpowered, to the point of making the game unbalanced?
A: Not necessarily. I think the problem is the best ET players like to play the class, making it seem unbalanced. This is just because the benefits of being medic help them the most (self-heal). But if good players were forced/chose to play other classes, they would still be just as good.
To me, the best way to have a balanced game is to have balanced teams – which is difficult to do and keep everyone happy.
Q: Over the years what has been the best part of ET? The worst?
A: Bunker’s definitely the best part of ET I know I can go there and always have a good time. There is no bad part of ET, just bad people who try to ruin others’ fun.
Q: At the time you started ET, did you play other video games? Do you still play other video games? If so, which?
A: Back in the day I was rocking a Gamecube :\ although I played my old N64 a lot still. I’m pretty sure I can beat any of you guys at MarioKart 64 or FIFA ‘98. I also liked GoldenEye, but I was just ok at it. It’s funny, my friends and I still play N64 every now and then. Pokemon Stadium’s minigames make great drinking games. Just like with ET, great games will always be great, even if they get old.
Currently, I’m PC-only. I’ve been trying to play mostly free or cheap games, so I don’t have the greatest library. But I really like Borderlands 2. I got it during a Steam sale over the summer for like $5. It’s probably the only other game I play a lot besides ET. A lot of my friends play Chivalry, but I can’t get the hang of it.
I also really liked Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I don’t play it anymore, but I played it through twice and thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly suggest you guys pick it up, it’s probably really cheap now.
Q: What typically makes you enjoy a video game? (Not necessarily ET, just any game)
A: Good gameplay. For multiplayer games, there should be good interaction between the player and other players and the player and the game environment. Roles should be clearly defined, and each should have its pros and cons. AI should be tough, and not predictable. Good graphics are nice, but I think a great storyline is even more important. That’s why I like Deus Ex so much, it has such a great sci-fi story, it feels like I’m playing a movie. But it also had good gameplay, good controls. The ability to have your decisions mean something is important too. In Deus Ex you could play stealthily and sneak around, or you could be aggressive and just shoot everything. Whichever you chose impacted the way the story played out.
Q: What made you play ET over other popular video games such as CoD?
A: Probably just luck. As I said earlier, I happened to see my roommate play ET, and I got hooked. The fact that ET is free definitely helped. But if he were playing CoD, perhaps I would have become interested in that. I stick around in ET because the game is still fun after all these years. Also, Bunker is great community and makes the game that much better.
Q: Have you ever gotten fed up or bored of ET to the point where you took an extended break for other games, besides the occasional rage-quit?
A: Lol, I used to rage-quit a lot, but not so much anymore. If things aren’t going my way, I’ll just quit and do something else, but without the rage now I never really took extended breaks from ET, just when I was on vacation, or super busy with other things. If I have a new game, I might play that more often than ET.
Q: If you were forced to quit ET permanently, what game would you pick up?
A: I’m not sure. I’d check out other multiplayer FPS games for sure. I was hoping TF2 might be the successor to ET, but I hate how long it takes to load, and I just don’t like the game. It’s mostly because I suck at it, but I wasn’t improving at all, so I don’t even play it anymore.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to be playing ET for a long time.
Q: If you could change something within the technical game play of ET, what would you change? (Ie add/remove a class, change guns, etc.)
A: I think it’s pretty good the way it is. I wish the hitboxes and shooting stuff was more similar between mods. I'm way more accurate on Silent than on pub, and I'm absolutely horrible on JayMod and NQ. On N!tmod I have low accuracy, but somehow get lots of headshots. I don't get how they're all so different.
Q: Can you take a stab at describing your personal play-style?
A: I’m pretty aggressive. I like to run in guns blazing. But I try to be tactfully aggressive. I’ll sneak around, and hide behind corners til I can scope out the situation, then I’ll go all in. I also try to rove around. I don’t like camping in one area. I’ll keep moving to different parts of the map.
Despite this, I try to play objectively-oriented. If my team’s on offense, I’ll try to focus my attack so that I can support my team. If I’m on defense, I won’t push too far and stay closer to our objective. For example, on Caen, I’ll rarely go past the bridge if I’m defending.
Q: How did you find and come to Bunker servers? Do you remember the first time playing here?
A: I don’t recall the first time I played on Bunker, but I know I was a regular several years ago for a couple months. I went back to my old server, but once I got tired of them, I looked for Bunker again.
Q: Did you participate in any of the competitive Bunker scrimmages? How did you like it compared to a typical night at B1? Would you do this again?
A: I think I competed in all or most of the ones this past year. They were definitely fun, although very tough. If we were to take these more seriously and actually practice in our scrim teams I think we would do a whole lot better. I would definitely keep participating in the scrims.
They are vastly different from a typical B1 night. First of all, there’s the setup with stopwatch and no xpsave. You also have to have a completely different mindset and style of play for scrims. Good teamwork and communication is essential.
Q: And finally, what is one of your favorite memories of ET? Perhaps a huge killing spree, or a really fun night at B1, anything, just something that really stood out.
A: I can’t think of a particular instance, but pretty much anytime on Bunker is good Some nights I’m just in the zone and I can lineup headshots really easily. Those are the best and I can usually get some pretty good sprees.
Q: Anything else you want to add, or address, please feel free to do so.
A: My favorite color is blue.
I do like Ace of Base. Whenever I go on a 90s binge, Ace of Base is always on the playlist.
I wish more people played on B2 besides just the parties. I like N!tmod and Silent before it, so I wish we could play on there more regularly.
If we could set it up, I’d like to do more scrims or friendly competitions against other communities.
Here is Ace's computer set up.
Edited by Snoid, 01 November 2013 - 03:47 AM.