People complain about the level of activity in our community and especially the TDM-community. Teams seem to have a hard time finding an opponent to play a "random" match with. This is all rather strange to be honest considering the fact that a lot of teams sign up for cups and leagues. So why is it like this? Since I'm very far from being an all knowing creature I can only guess, but after giving it a bit of thought I've come up two ideas to help things a long a bit.
The perhaps biggest and easiest problem to solve is the fact that the TDM-community doesn't really have a place we all hangout in. Sure we got sites like inunreal.de and other sites, but most of them only work for a certain part of Europe since there is language barrier. So what about UnrealNorth you say? Well of course we got UnrealNorth and I'm happy to tell you that the site is getting new members everyday. I'm personally very proud of the way this site has grown and how it has helped to bring the community closer together so that is all and good. But even if we have site that "everone" visits it doesn't really help you to find opponents. What we need is an IRC-channel that every single TDM-clan has at least one representative in. I suggest using a channel that has been around for quite some time but seem to have been forgotten by most: #ut2k4.tdm.
Now I don't think that this would be an impossible task considering the fact that IRC is pretty much a demand for a clan to function and that joining a channel isn??t something that you can call hard labour. As usual it's all up to us and I do hope that you will join the channel when you read this, if your clan plays TDM that is, and also that you will help spread the word to your local communities. If you are from Spain spread the word to all Spaniards. If you are from Germany tell all germans. If you are from the Netherlands make sure all dutch know the deal. If... well I think you get the picture by now. Granted just having everyone in the same channel will not solve the problem by itself but at least it will make it so much easier to find a suitable opponent simply because the amount of potential opponents is so much greater.
The other thing that I've been thinking quite a bit about is the state of the ClanBase Ladder. Now I know that the ladders have never had any real "status" in the TDM community ever since Unreal Tournament 2003, but why? I can't speak for everyone, but I would much rather play a ladder game every day than a practice game. Granted a win on the ladder will never be as prestigious as a win in a cup but at least it will count for something(?). If you got something to lose, or win, from a game it tends to get that much more intense, which in turn makes a lot more fun. I believe that having an active ladder would without a doubt make it more enjoyable to play TDM with your between the cup matches which to me is extremely important. S3xy will start playing in the ladder as of now and I hope more teams will join us. I'm no fool though, I know that we, we as in ClanBase, are going to have to make some changes to attract new clans to the ladder. I have some ideas, but I'll keep those to myself for now since I want to know what changes you think the ladder needs in order to make your team join the fun.
So there you have it. Join an IRC-channel and a ladder, doesn't sound that hard does it? With any luck it will help out the community a great deal and make the gaming experience much more enjoyable for us all.
Shortly after publishing this article I was contacted by Ethernasports, they wanted to help out in trying to make #ut2k4.tdm the channel for all TDM-clans and shortly after inUnreal joined in as well. On behalf of UnrealNorth and I hope the whole UT2004-community I thank both sites for their support of this game that we all know and love.
I can't speak for everyone, but I would much rather play a ladder game every day than a practice game. Granted a win on the ladder will never be as prestigious as a win in a cup but at least it will count for something(?). If you got something to lose, or win, from a game it tends to get that much more intense, which in turn makes a lot more fun.
Couldn't agree more, I've tryed to explain this to my clanmates, but all I get is smth like "more bitching and more arranging and it's not active anyway" etc etc etc blabla..
On IRC instead of
/amsg searching ut2k4 4on4 tdm prac
I'd like to see _something like_ that:
1) /amsg searching ut2k4 4on4 tdm CB ladder game
2) if the players find a suitable server
3) make it an official CW @ clanbase
4) play the game
5) enter the results
You could switch 4) and 3), but I guess that'd create problems with some not-so-nice clans..
A thing that would attract me to a ladder would be instant challenges, like they had/Have? on esl, where you clicked a button for indicating you wanted a game, and it anyone else also had clicked the button it would fix you a game, it would ofcouse not pick players/teams that were way higher og way lower ranked than yourself, but someone that were lying pretty close.
you could compare it to how gigaliga fastchallenge works, since that really kicks ass imo, and as you saw it attracted a lot of players (ofc a lot of them because the actualy prizes you could win etc.)
but yeah, that would make it so much easier to find games :)
well i hope the irc channel will work, but what about #ut.duell? i know there are a lot of 1on1 request there but 4on4 also, so i think its a good and crowded place eventhough its german :x ( no offence, well maybe a lilttle but hey to the point ) I think the ladders are a good idea, especially for newer / lower-skilled clans to compete with better skilled clans and get better in a short amount of time, so yeah good idea. And hugh respect to iT clan for doing a 4on4 tdm tourney, i think we should make these events once a month or sumin. Maybe in later stage with prizes or sumin (not necessairy tho, the competition is a gift to the community in my ut-addicted eyes)..
BTW: i think we have to act up to all the lame TAM-ers and let em play tdm like they used to!!! (un1ty?? :x), dont let the tammers beat us! beat em back!
mmm i always join #ut2k4.tdm and #ut.duell when serching for tdm, i leav when i dont look, so if only the people in there were looking for pcw's then it would be better, instead of 200 idlers. rather make it a 10 man channel (1 person per clan or sumthing :D ) so u know thees 10 are the real deal and not a other idler that dosent realy wanna play.
ah well prices are always good and some clans will join because of the prizes, however always the same clans will win the money but hey most of em join the cup because of the fun and for the community, im not saying the prize-winning clans dont have fun tho.
Nice article, and with the growing number of cups to join instead of just clanbase, wont be so much more of a problem, eh? I just joined a ancient UT2004 UK TDM channel (#TDM.uk) and I think it needs reviving :(.
For starters the ladderidea can be tossed out, there is no level of prestige there, it has a history of being "noob". Its almost impossible to revive that ladder. But instead of the ladder, we could organise weekly cups, i myself organise TAM and ado organises the duel cups for OCC-OUTPOST. What i suggest is that all the communitys and websites work together in this. OCC-OUTPOST i think is one of the main organisers for the quickcups and we're happy to help out in this mather. We've got sponsors and the Digital Coverage team behind us. I can be found in #OCC-OUTPOST on quakenet. If you have any ideas pm me and we'll c what we can do.
Why instead? Why couldn't there be both, the cups and the ladder(s)? There'll never be that many cups that you could play an "official" game every (other) night..
Besides, mostly, in cup-game you would like your clan to play with best line-up. Playoff system -- one mistake and you're out. But that's not the case in ladder games -- you could have your worst line-up play against some "lesser" clan and if you lose, no harm done! But it would be much more serious game than standard practise game found amsging at IRC channels. IMHO.
blah, I can't express myself very well. Anyway, I think that ladder would be a happy medium between cups and "praccies".
Tbh I think yet another special purpose channel is not really the remedy the one or the other fellow reader is searching for. Its not like we wouldnt have enough communitychannels and that people wouldnt be able to reach others if they like so. Somewhat better teams are supposed to get their matches via this 1337 channel anyways, aint they?
The aim is not to cater to the so called "better" teams, as far as I am concerned they get all the breaks as it is. Not to mention that they probably know how to find each other anyways and dont want to search for praccs in public... It's the same thing with the ladders tbh. The best team will without a doubt show no interest in it whatsoever as they only seem interested in cups that can get them either money or at least some reputation. But the community isn't made up of good teams, most teams are mid/low skilled and a ladder and a dedicated channel will help them to get experience as well as get to better know other teams which imo is very important...
I would take the view that ladders are "enhanced practice". Cups are the big deal, I think everyone will agree with that. But like Nosnos said, they add a whole new dimension. I much prefer playing ladder matches than casual practices, for the simple reason that they *do* mean something.
Also, one other important thing about the ladders is that it looks much better for the whole game. If I was a player from another game who wanted a change of pace and a new set of horizons to explore, I'd check the game laddder stats on CB, and a game with virtually no ladder activity is hardly a big draw. While they may not be the major competition, ladders help the whole community.