Posted by ArchAngel - always loved this post.
Hey war2ers~~ I was on-line earlier and chat started discussion of people who have come and gone and was surprised to see names like Ywfn and Azteca on on some of the lists. I thought, damn, They were old school. Ywfn (Kali reg >1000) and Az (Kali reg 34,000) lasted an extremely long time and you could tell they really enjoyed this game. So it made me think where have the old schoolers been and why they quit playing..
We then went on to talk about people like Warangel, Creed, NOFEAR, TIDES and other 36th chamber members, and more people like Ax, Kith, and myself whove been around playing this game for over a decade! It shocked me that I was one of the only people left who remembered war2 during that era. Nothing has ever been documented on what exactly it was like so I'm going to try and take the time to detail the changes and history of war2 through my experiences.
I can't really put into words how different this game was during the era of Kali as opposed to now. It was just a completely different environment because nobody was established and there was so much fierce competition out there because of that. I mean people had choices when it came to leagues. There was IWL, OzWL, a Mac Warcraft League, NWL, Cases singles and teams, WGL by Gadianton, later there was SGWL and Kpuds, and NWL and IWL rebirths and finally Battlenet's ladder.
I remember logging on to Starlink and Castlenet (Kali servers before Kali went to Kali95) as a brand new player to the on-line environment. I quickly chose the name Deathwing and thought nobody else would be brilliant enough to pick a name of the DRAGON HERO. lol. Eventually I played a few games and wondered how people got so many grunts so fast and then I was hooked. It was not too long after that I learned how to do it and adapt my styles of play to actually compete. Kali was different for those who werent firmiliar with IPX networks. Basically, you launched war2 while on Kali and went to multi-player and a huge list of player names would appear on the left menu. One day I saw someone with colors on their name and thought that was sweet cuz his game stood out. That's when I ventured to the internet to find out you could use ascii codes to color your name. This is how Nebu, or as we used to know him; Schlonglor got his name for himself. He dedicated a website to warcraft 2 detailing strategies such as blowing up peoples gold mines with juggs, a section of warcraft 2 stories with a reall bad sense of humor Razz
Anyway, you would see people with the acronym NWL attached to the end of their name and word spread fast that there was a league out. My friend caleb told me to avoid these games because they were too good of players but I wasn't having that so I kept joining and getting stomped on so many times. The community was so split up. We had fights between which Kali server would own which other Kali server until finally I played and beat down a guy named HeatWaveNWL. He was so impressed with my playing that he invited me to join his team in the National Warcraft League (Burning Blade). Once I was part of the NWL i changed my nickname to ArchAngel and thought it would be so sweet to have the Arch red, and the Angel white.
I quickly grew to get to know the NWL community, starting with Thorax and Xiphoid (the league creators) and burning blade members. People like SKYWALK, Heatwave, IceWave, Crispin and Silk and remember going to that website to see reports and who beat who on what settings and what they had to say about the games, then loading the ranking pages and seing who was dominating the league with names like Elway, Veritech, oo3, Ca$h, P@yback, DarkHelm$, Falkentyne, sky and heat always among the top ranks. I went like 50/200 the 1st season and ended up costing Burning Blade the #1 spot because of my n00bness. Back then all anybody played was fixedgow, pos , or water low res. So instead of booting me, Skywalk ended up teaching me his peon order and how to get a quick level 3 rush off before the next season began. I mean this rush dominated everybody. I played and I grew to 40/8, all the way up to like 300/45 and went back and forth at #1 in the league several times before I finally won it in the end. Once I got recognition of being the #1 NWL player I met players from other leagues like some guys named ^Punkash^, YbloK, Creed and WarAngel and found out that even with all that I have accomplished there were others that needed to get beat down out there. Needless to say I was humbled in a huge huge way. The first time I ever played YbloK I did my normal ass routine on fgow low and crushed him and that was the last time I would beat him in the following 10 games. The idea that a heavy level 3 rush followed quickly with level 7 lust 1st wasnt all that won games was mind boggling since it had worked for so long in NWL. YbloK expanded like the shit was going out of style with DKs and peons everywhere and it just overwhelmed the shit out of my one style type of playing so I figured since I couldn't beat him, I'd join him and YbloK became ~DarkAngel and we went on to learn the 2v2 aspects of this game. With my style of a heavy level 3 fast rush and his style of powering to get fucking huge in the end game we dominated the 2v2 scene for a long time. Once word got out there was a new team dominating going around, I heard from more people out there that needed to get beat down and was finally introduced to Cases Team Ladder.
The time I joined cases was the time a majority of the leagues have died out and we were all merged.. with a new kali channel for war2 named Katan's lair (I believe it was katans) the community became one and the egos just fucking went crazy. Here is where I met players like Tarquinn, Azteca, Ywfn, Meklarin, ut , boozecans, AmishPirate, Allstar, Tdawg, Metal, RevolveR, Warbringer, LynchMob (As you know now as Xicotl), DethMongal, Wlkr, Wish, Cinder, Wave and all of the DT crowd. We met Kith and Axolotl (ax stood out because he was on cases for a record of like 50-0) SandStorm and Devistate, all of the 36th Chamber members, The IN Clan including INcinerate, INhell, INrip, INdalamar.. We met TillerMan, Agent911, Demolitor, Tanthalas, Nerzyman, Pimster, Guan, and later McaDDer, ogwc, and the hehehe clan, we met Stalin (Who sucked a huge dick) and others. Darkangel and I joined this channel mid-debate between Azteca and Creed going off on eachother and Azteca just flaming him to shit after a beat down. Dark and I loaded up the rankings on team IGL and we knew we could get #1 as a team since we've already been playing so god damn well.
We couldn't have been more fucking wrong.
These players were so damn good at team games it made me think, fuck... I want to be that good. We played our asses off day in and day out until finally I caught Azteca's attention and demanded he ally one of his goonies to play us. Not only were we shocked that he said yes, we were shocked to see that he picked high resources. NOBODY played high resources, EXCEPT for Azteca and his goonies. We played and got utterly raped so Dark and I had to learn high res if we wanted to stand out. I learned how to power with a cat and dark learned how to dual and this is what we did. We thought since Azteca is playing high resources, and since his team is #1, we'd have to learn it. The strategy worked exceptionally well vs anybody we played, including those above teams but whenever we played Azteca's team, it failed miserably. We managed to work up a pretty high rank on cases and became well noticed because us, the IN clan, and Az's team were the only ones playing, and winning on high resources. I knew that there was something about Azteca and his strategies that me and dark simply didn't discover yet so I took a break from 2v2 and wanted to go back to 1v1 on cases. Since I knew high resources, and since I had an awesome low res rush that worked a majority of the time, and since mostly everybody else was caught up in the team aspects of the game, I quickly captured the #1 spot on the ladder. I think splitting up from Dark and team games is what made me a team jumper. After being #1 I wanted to get back into the scene of 2v2s. I joined every team known to man. By now there were teams like The OUT clan, Phoenix (renamed from Agents of Creed), and soo many more. I first tried out DT and we all lobied for #1.. INcinerate was definately established as the best high res player out there , and their team was feared on friends.pud... but the 4 main teams of DT, IN, Phoenix, and GRF kept going back and forth and i'm not sure who eventually won. I'm not sure bout it was around here that Pimster decided to rename their team. The hehehe clan wasn't ever really big threat to us top ranked players at the time.
This is when Starcraft finally came out and everybody thought war2 was going to die. It didn't quite die, but we lost a lot of really good players and Katan's became more of a Starcraft hangout than a war2 channel so us war2ers migrated to --> Warcraft II and then people like PhucT~, Dills and Nephron came in for the mix thinking they could compete. We had people who would play only small and weird puds like Trox and that worked for them since they knew how to play them well. Cases was still booming and players like KaliBOSS and Demolitor would have thousands of games under their belt. Somewhere in there we lost most of 36th chamber, by most I mean creed and warangel and they became casual players who all hung out in some weird ass channel as a group of hippies. Eventually I worked my way on to Phoenix and remember me and Azteca beating creed and warangel down. I only had one game against creed, and that was the one. For all the hype he was given, he certainly did not live up to it, you cant really judge from one game but I was not impressed at all. Warangel came into this mix later and I ended up 1v1ing him a bit and winning those as well. This guy had class though and rarely talked shit when he lost. See, war2 back then, more so than now, had shit talk involved in it in a way that now doesn't even scratch the surface. You could lose, but if you talked shit well, you couldn't lose. I remember learning Azteca's team strategies and finally got sick of his trash talk and did some more team jumping and eventually landed on a team that won #1 on cases team ladder. See, DT was great.. but they wouldn't allow members of their team to defend vs top ranks.. If it was a ranked game, Wlkr and Mongal had to participate and I hated that shit so I quit them. Around this time war2 was really into who could dominate who and on what settings.
Then word of battlenet being launched for warcraft 2 came out so I thought it would be fun to venture over to other communities. I joined the Zone and brought some of my friends. We created Final Justice and it was me, darkangel, tdawg, outkast, and I believe a few others. We found out the Zone was so behind in strategy because they didn't take the game nearly as serious as Kali players did, Final Justice won #1 but it wasn't convincing enough. I remember talking to Azteca about bringing a team over to the zone and he created Divine Intervention, I joined up with just him and Metal, and we went on to a #1 90-2 win% which to this day is still documented in the Zone Team ladder hall of fame Smile We met players here like Morphius, Summoner, OjPimpson, DI_Hugh, the entire DI_ clan since it meshed with our name, and so many more people who were just humbled and in awe over our skill. After the zone, we all went back to Kali and found new people in the mix of things. People like Nexus, and KHB came out from behind the scrub curtain and started showing potential and I kept playing fucking extremely well cuz all I did was listen to Azteca bark orders and I followed them to victory. At this time I was playing the absolute best I have ever played in this game. Every single game I played, I played flawlessly and it was incredible because no matter who I played, I knew how to beat them by thinking ahead. DI was in a recruiting phase and I remember Az and I watching Nex and KHB play for a spot on the team. Every game Nex would tool him except neighbor wars and Az loved the fact that KHB knew what the fuck was up in neighboring.. so Nex lost Sad Meanwhile people all went their seperate ways. Players like Allstar, and Stalin joined up in SGWL and started expanding on their game by playing kpuds.
Battlenet came out and suddenly we were all one huge shit talking community. Egos and names like Valkrie got thrown into the mix and it was up to us to beat them the fuck down. The first season on ladder battlenet was hilarious. Nobody really good wanted to play ladder games on a slower speed than even faster so it wasn't as competitive as Blizzard couldve made it. egos meshed and people became hostile all while we were struggling to make an impact. Bots annoyed the shit out of everybody and Pimster's team created clan [24-7] a channel where us kaliers could fucking concentrate. I don't really remember who won the 1st season but I do remember in the midst of all this wanting to get recognized I picked up a hack for the 1st time. I wasn't part of any team while doing it, I was just playing singles games and a few casual 2v2s minding my own business finding it really easy to win which is when I noticed how widespread the hack was by seing others play suspiciously in games. I hacked about 50 games before orkinman caught me upgrading an ogre to level 6. I'm not pissed off I got caught. I'm actually kinda happy I did. I stopped using it and dissapeared for a while before coming back to massive ammounts of shit. I didn't want all that I have gone through to be tainted by fucking cheating so I did whatever I could to change peoples minds and get games. I admit it was fucking pathetic that I used it, and I still do regret it to this day because so much of those 50 games have tainted my character. A majority of them didnt even include games vs our actual community and were more-so pick-ups. However, it was wrong and stupid and certainly blows but theres nothing I can do about it now.
After this I continued playing on and my friend and I re-opened NWL which had over 5,000 games played the 1st week and lasted about 5 months before it actually died. This was a fun fucking time but I think a majority of the bitching going around was due to a split between our community. We had players actually defending the fastest speed as if it took some kind of skill to play. Kali players in general, thought that this speed was implimented only as a joke by Shlonglor - who had recently been hired by blizzard and had a say in what went into the new patch. As a player of now, I could tell you that fastest does have a particular element that does require skill to actually play and learn but not nearly as much skill as it takes to compete in an even faster game. Battlenet teams were formed, cases came in and out and hacking became an extremely fucking annoying issue. Pimster finally stood up for his team and displayed a new showcase of talent that DI had never seen since we were fucking around on the Zone.. Suddenly Stalin became good out of nowhere, this guy Valkrie was pretty good and they had an excellent team. It was a blast watching 24-7 and DI tear eachother to shit but nothing in comparson to what Kali had. Eventually the shit faded out and we lost players one at a time. Players like Buzzbomb, yahmon, scrubbo, prophecy, they all came out of nowhere to us and played well , left and came back left and came back until what we have today in War2 ladder challenges. With myself, and my team Shattered Dreams dominating what's left. =P I think shared vision took so much away from actual skil people had back then.. knowing a strategy and the fact that you had to communicate with your ally cuz he couldnt see what was up made the game so different and more fun in my experience.
Among the names listed in this thread, only a few people still play and if you old schoolers are out there, i invite you to comment on your experiences with war2. I think this thread would make an exceptional look into history of this game.
- Sky Smile
Notable people I forgot to mention: (will add to this as post goes on and on)