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LANParty 12 (August 4-6 2006)

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     Ah yes. That time has come again. More kickass gaming nonstop for a whole weekend! This was the first time Kyle got a chance to use his new PC at a LANParty. Since his computer is spec'd the same as mine, we both had the most powerful PCs there. Dave didn't show up. He tried to, he wanted to, and he wanted to bring his PC, but it just didnt work out cuz he was working the entire weekend. He hasn't been to a LANParty since 9 last October. Finally, we were able to get Chris to come, and he stayed for the whole thing, which is another rare occurrence. Kirk was bitching the entire time that I took his favorite spot for my bro's PC, but he was gonna have to physically fight me to get it back, and I know his ass was too damn scared to do that. He should give it up once in a while, Im never in the same place twice. I usually never get the best spots. Kirk sat where I sat last time, and I didn't complain my ass off. Man, I brought so much stuff it took me over an hour and a half to set up. Jay thought I was having problems and needed his help, but I also spent alot of time creating the most ideal, organized setup. And I had to set up my bro's PC too cuz he was at work. I brought my handy but heavy UPS in order to regulate power and provide power if there was a blackout to stop my PC from being unstable. Lord knows that's the thing that kills a LANParty. Glad I also went through the trouble of bringing my speaker system, I needed the 5.1 surroud sound to here bamas and bitches sneaking up on my ass, and to find the action when I got seperated from it (handy in both an FPS and an RTS game, where I get easily confused).

      We rocked some new games we've never played before, like Rainbow Six: Raven Shield. We played co-op on that. It was tons of fun, and it ended up being the surprise hit of the LAN. We almost gave up on playing it at first because we couldnt get it to work reliably. We found out that we all had to switch over from Dynamic IP allocation to making up our own static IP addresses. That's something we've only done once before with Justin, using his networking expertise, but it was easy enough to figure out. We also ditched the switch, cuz even with the router to control network traffic the switch still screws everything up. We really need an 8-port router, but they cost too much. Kirk gave up wired connectivity and connected with his wireless card, which worked this time only because his PC was right on top of the damn router. We tried to get Serious Sam 1: The Second Encounter working (and it also wanted static IPs), but the game would freeze on Kirk's PC. Chris and I had to leave soon anyways, so we didn't have time to go through Serious Sam anyways. Too bad, running all the way through those games co-op is vicious. We got our RTS-thang goin' on rockin' StarCraft, WarCraft III (I even installed WarCraft II but no one wanted to play it), and other games I'm about to mention. Only Kirk and Kyle were able to play Rome: Total War - which looked like a VICIOUS game - because when Chris Jay and I tried to patch it, it gave us errors. We couldn't figure it out and wasted too much time trying to do that. I dislike HomeWorld 2 cuz its too hard to play or figure out, but Jay and Kirk love it so they played it a bit when the rest of us were installing games or eating. Aside from the RTSes, another game we had a ton of fun with (which Jay missed cuz he went to bed early on the first night, damn pussy) was Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, which was pretty damn sick. You can really customize the hell outta your mech, and playing a huge deathmatch with 4 of us and like 10 bots was crazy. Using the new patch for Quake IV, we had some awesome matches. I usually come out on top in Quake games becayse twitch shooters are my thang. Prey was another new game we rocked, and thanks to the crazy weapons and even crazier multiplayer levels the games was an absolute blast. Not that many levels though, but I think the guys got tired of it quick so whatever. I got tired of Kirk and Jay playing Homeworld 2 (at any LAN), but they didnt play it that much this time around. Everyone was really focused, and no one wasted any time on anything.

      Probably the best thing that could have happened to us was that Jay lost his Internet access like two weeks before, and didn't get it back until Sunday, near the LANParty's end. Why was this good? Not only did it force us to prepare before the LAN started, it also minimized downtime because people wouldn't get bored and go play WoW for a few minutes (which would turn into a loooong ass time). Cuz as soon as we did get Internet access, Kyle went to go join his guild for a raid, and Jay hopped on cuz he hadnt played for two or more weeks, and Kirk played too cuz he was bored and the LAN was ending. Doesn't matter to me or Chris, we were packing up. Once again I must mention the presence of Cat, or fortunately for us this time, the lack therof. She was there when we were setting up, but she left and I don't recall seeing her again 'till I was packing up to go home. Thank God Almighty and Jesus who saves us. That was a miracle. Cuz while she was there, she did try to find something to watch on TV, or she was watching something on Jay's computer with Jay. That would have been ANNOYING to no end if she did that during the LAN, as she tends to do. Since she was not there, she didn't pull Jay away from it either. Good shiznit. Also, apparently she was working all weekend, so no damn phone calls either to disrupt Jay. Cat not being there is part of what made this LANParty so successful. Damnit just wish more people like Adam and Dave were there. Still all in all, I'm very pleased with how things went, and with how much fun we had. And when there was downtime, it was focused downtime. We were trying to fix problems, trying to get things done, and/or just taking a break to eat. Stay up all night 'till like 5 am, then struggle to get up at noon or so, grab some food and continue on with the fraggin' (or as was the case alot of the time in this LANParty, the conquering). Probably the best weekend, and a good mini-vacation, that I've had in a loooong time. Thanks to a handy checklist, Chris and I didn't leave anything at home that we had to go back for, plus I brought some snacks and drinks for both of us to help during those marathon sessions when we didn't have food. Sucks for the rest of the guys though. I dunno how they can drink so much beer though. Shit fucks up my bowelz. Since I only had two bottles of BAWLS, the Vault came in very handy. I'm glad we grabbed some after gettin' some dinner the first night. Props to Kirk for that. The smoking was still a huge problem (I'm looking at Kyle), but Chris and I had a housefan to create our no-smoking section, as Ive done for the past few LANParties. Anyways on to the pics. The last 6 pics were taken by Kirk, and the two before that by Kyle. All the blurry pics of me were taken by my bro. Near the end you'll notice Kyle's PC was turned around, this was so he could use a shorter Ethernet cable so the longer one he was using could be used to connect the router to the cable modem for Internet access. As usual, all the dark pictures show the actual lighting conditions that we play in, and the bright white ones show that same dark room with the flash on. Jay's basement got those wrestling and movie posters around, which is cool, but not very gaming-oriented. If it wuz me, woulda had some kickass gaming posters, like how I roll up in my crib.

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