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History of Clan Rum

January 1, 2000
By Crash


I started writing this history at the request of -=CT=-The Lady who was working on the CT page and wanted a short Rum history to put up since CT and Rum were good friends. I only intended for it to be a page or so long but as I started working on it, I realized that I was starting to forget a lot of the dates and sequence of events from when Rum was started. I also realized that most our newer members have no clue about how Rum began and it's history. Rum has been around for a long time. It was started by people who were friends in real life long before Quake came out. Many friendships have been built in Rum and even some romances. For sure we've had a lot of fun and gone through some good and bad times. I didn't want to lose our history so I poured through email, ICQ message history and talked to our original members to document the path we traveled to get to where we are now. It turned into a pretty big narrative. It's mostly for our members and others may find it boring. Read it if you're interested, if not then click on another link and move on...

PART I - 1997

I was never much of a gamer but when I discovered id software's 1st person action game Doom, I was addicted. The idea of being in the game and moving around in the environment, interacting with the monsters was really cool... But the thing that really blew me away was that the game was multiplayer. You could actually connect with somebody else via modem and play together with no loss of speed. I made it known on the BBS I was running at the time that I was available to play Doom most nights and I had no shortage of people wanting to play. Three users on my BBS that I played with frequently were Warped, Viper and Twat. Particularly with Warped and Viper, I spent tens, maybe hundreds, of hours playing Doom and later Heretic with them... Another friend of mine, who I had introduced to my BBS, was becoming quite addicted to some of the door games on there. He played several of them religiously (LORD, Exitilius), logging on several times a day. I never played Doom with LashRum but he was a fixture on my BBS.

When id software announced the pending release of their revolutionary new game Quake, I could not wait to get my hands on it. Although I heard that it supported internet play, I never really took that claim seriously. It just didn't seem feasible for an action game like Quake to be playable over the internet without serious lag. When Quake finally came out and I got my copy, the first thing I did was find somebody to play against modem to modem... My first attempt was discouraging - we could never get a successful connection. I tried it with others and when we could get connected, the lag was horrible. Still convinced that internet play would have to be even worse than modem to modem, I never even tried it. Disgusted with the multiplayer support, I just shelved Quake and went back to playing Doom.

One night, months later, in April of 97 LashRum was on my BBS playing his door games. He paged me and we chatted a bit and then he asked me to play some Quake with him over the internet. Still thinking internet play would suck, I said I didn't want to but he finally convinced me to meet him on a server and play for a bit. He warned me before I connected that I might see some people sticking to the ceiling or flying through the air. I followed his instructions to connect and found myself in the middle of a large CTF game on Elder God Shrine. Incredibly, I was not lagged... LashRum quickly told me how to make the hook work but being a keyboarder and a total Quake rookie I was lucky to stay alive for more than a minute before being blown away. That made no difference though - I was totally in awe of the fact that I was in the middle of a huge multiplayer game, totally free and accessible over my internet connection. There for me to play any time of day or night without having to hunt down a partner. I was instantly and totally addicted - even worse than my moderate addiction to Doom (which I quickly abandoned in favor of Quake).

I started playing regularly with LashRum and another mutual friend of our's. LashRum decided we should form a clan. A clan called, of course, Rum... So, in April 97, the Clan of Rum was born. I kept the nick I used on my BBS, Crash. Our friend used the name Papa. LashRum became Blessed[Rum]...

Blessed and I were talking on the phone one night and we started talking about how nice it would be if we had our own server... Thoughts of T1 lines to my house and all kinds of other cost prohibitive ideas where going through my head when all of a sudden I remembered that a friend of mine, Teak, had a Linux box on the net. He had made me an account and was always asking me why I never logged in... Well, I never had any use for a shell account - until now. That very night I started uploading the id pak files... The next day I located the dedicated server, compiled the bsp and qc files and put up the server. Rum had our first server, in May, 97. We ran it as a public server, non-custom pretty much like our current server at If we needed it for a match or scrim, I just switched it to a secret port...

Shortly after we got our server up, a guy by the name of Redrum showed up and asked if he could join Rum. We didn't really know him but he seemed nice and the name fit. At the time we were flattered that anybody would want to join our rookie clan so we said sure... Redrum played with us a little at first and always stayed in contact but he was never a very active member. Right after Redrum joined, I got my Doom buddies Warped and Twat interested in Quake and they became our fifth and sixth members. So as of May, 97 Rum consisted of Blessed, Crash, Papa, Redrum, Twat and Warped...

Also some time in May, I was playing on a server which eventually emptied down to me and one other guy. We started talking and he wound up going to get two friends of his so we could do a 2v2. One of his friends turned out to be LagOmatic[MCO]. I started hanging out with Lago and his MCO clan mates in their IRC channel. Lago and I became good friends and played together often. One of Lago's clan mates was a guy that went by the nick Solace... Solace eventually quit MCO and joined Rum on June 24, 1997. Solace was a good player but he had a temper and sometimes he was a little devious... More on that later.

Our next member after Warped and Twat was one of my favorite people in the world... Dumb Rum. Dumb showed up on our server one day in early June... He had just bought Quake that very day and I think Rum was the first server he connected to. Blessed liked him for some reason and asked him if he wanted to join Rum. Dumb said he didn't even know how to play yet but Blessed assured him we could fix that... Dumb was always very special to us. He has an incredible sense of humor and used to amuse me constantly by sending me these twisted stories/plays he was always writing. And his nick has always been one of my favorite Rum names. Dumb Rum, that just fucking rocks :)

Unknown to me, my Doom buddy Viper had started playing Quake. My memory of the exact chain of events is a little foggy now... Viper and Blessed didn't know each other but Viper tells me they just happened to meet on some server in early June and Blessed asked him to join the clan. Viper accepted having no idea that I was in Rum. Of course it was only a matter of time before I would have asked him to join anyway...

One night in May 97, I was playing on a server (which one I long ago forgot) and soon noticed that this one player by the name of Phobia was doing some major damage. Clearly he was the best player on the server. At the time I was a total newbie at Quake so naturally I was very impressed when I saw this guy who seemed to be invincible. I remember perching on the inside top of the door leading into the red flag room on Necropolis thinking I had the perfect defense spot. Phobia stood behind the door, out of my sight, and whaled on me until I was dead. I could not understand how he could kill me from that spot when I could not even see him myself. Eventually everybody left the server except Phobia and me so I took the opportunity to ask him about his trick. We talked for a while, he gave me some pointers and we wound up exchanging email addresses (this is before either one of us knew about ICQ). We began emailing each other when we played at night, letting each other know what server we were on. We became fast friends and on June 19, 1997 Phobia joined the Clan of Rum.

Solace was our next member, joining on June 24. Around that same time, Viper and I were on Indigo and we met a guy named Shank. We gave him the address for the Rum server and asked him to come play there sometime. Shank used to join us on the Rum server almost nightly and he, Viper and I would play until the early morning hours. Eventually it would just be us three. Viper's always been my buddy and teammate so it would always wind up me and Viper against Shank after everybody else had left. Needless to say that arrangement wasn't exactly fair but Shank never complained a single time. We grew really fond of him and one day we surprised him with the news that he was an official Rum...

I think it was also during June that we had our first game against another clan. It was a spur of the minute scrim with our new friends MCO. We were on our server messing around when the MCO guys started connecting... I remember staring at the screen as the MCO guys, including Lago, joined the server. As each name appeared in the scoreboard, their clan insignia lined up perfectly out to the far right. I started to become nervous as I watched them join. The sight of their MCO tags, all perfectly lined up compared to our Rum tags, which were all different, rattled me. I remember thinking to myself, "we're going to get our asses stomped". Turns out we stomped MCO's butt instead which gave us a huge ego boost.

Toward the end of June, one of our guys (Warped I think) called me to the Rum server. He said there was a guy on there talking big and wanting to challenge Rum to a match. The guy was Cheeze[DAOD] who ran a clan called Dark Angels of Destruction. He was a big talking, mouthy, arrogant sort of guy. I played a few games that night against him and he was damn good, at least relative to me at the time. We eventually set up a match with DAOD for July 1, 1997, our first official match. After the spanking we gave MCO, our confidence level was high but I knew Cheeze could kick my butt so I was a little nervous about the outcome of this match. I sure didn't want Rum to loose our first ever match. Match night rolled around and for some reason Cheeze decided not to play himself. Playing for Rum was Blessed, Crash, Phobia and Viper. We played on the Rum server with our stock Threewave mod running in non-custom mode. To start the game, I just reset the map and away we went. Not the best way to start since people enter the game at different times, depending on how fast their computer loads the map. We played Slipgate Complex and Necropolis and we whipped DAOD badly. Another ego booster for Rum, at that point we thought we were the bomb.

Right after the DAOD match, during the first week of July, 97, I noticed a guy on cltonline one night playing really well. He was at the top of the scores and low and behold he was throwing ammo to his teammates in base... Not something you see often on public threewave servers. I asked him for his UIN and invited him to come play on our server. He followed me back that very night and a few days later we asked him to join. Redneck joined Rum on July 5, 1997.

On July 6, we played our third game, a scrim with the original clan MOP, Monks of Psychedelia. I set the scrim up with Lim-Dul[MOP], who I grew to really like over time. Playing for Rum was Blessed, Crash, Solace, Redneck and Warped. Playing for MOP was El Hefe, Lim-Dul, Toast, Shiguru and Mayhem. We played Slipgate Complex and Castle of the Damned. After our MCO and DAOD wins, we were pumped up about this game and sure we were going to win. Were we ever wrong. MOP whiped the floor with us. I remember I got pent in the beginning, headed to blue base, got their flag and somehow all five of them surrounded me at the end of the hall leading out and pinned me so that I couldn't move. They were on me like angry bees and as the pent wore off they pumped me full of nails until they killed me and retrieved their flag. Anyway, watching that demo today, it is funny to see how green we were back then. No wonder they beat us but when we played them again a month later, it was a different story...

Two days after the DAOD match, a 12 year old kid calling himself Twinsen arrived on our server. Like Dumb, Twinsen showed up the same day he bought Quake. Unlike Dumb his arrival wasn't by chance. Twinsen lived in Atlanta as did Blessed, Viper and Warped and I. Twin had done some sort of search for Atlanta Quake servers and the Rum server turned up in his hits. Blessed was on the server when Twin connected and when he found out he was from Atlanta, he asked him to join. He was our youngest member... He was and still is one of the smartest kids I have ever known. Unfortunately his maturity level didn't match his intelligence level and he was always one of our problem children when it comes to behavior. His behavior problems are more the result of his explosive energy rather than anything malicious and for the most part, he has grown out of that now. Twinsen sucked for the longest time but we felt like he had potential. I called him "jumping bean"... He wasn't easy to kill because he bounced around while you were firing at him. Only prob is he forgot to fire back so you didn't have to worry about him killing you. Eventually you hit him with enough splash damage to take him out. Twin's playing improved greatly but he goes through long periods of inactivity and has never matched for us very much.

Toward the end of July, we scrimmed a clan called KOC (Klan of Komics). They were an argumentative, cranky bunch of guys. The game was supposed to be a 5v5 but they only had four. We talked them into playing a man short since it was only a scrim and none of our guys wanted to drop. KOC played well and we won but 5v4 was hardly a fair game. Shortly after that scrim one of their players approached us about joining Rum. Hulk was a good player and he had a great attitude. He didn't seem to fit in with the ill tempered KOC guys anyway. That same week, Lago quit MCO. By that time he was good friends with everybody in Rum so on August 1, 1997 Hulk and LagOmatic joined Rum.

So, by August 1, 1997 - four months after Rum was born we had 15 members. Clan of Rum consisted of Blessed, Crash, Dumb, Hulk, LagOmatic, Papa, Phobia, Redrum, Redneck, Shank, Solace, Twat, Twinsen, Warped, and Viper. Check out the original Rum page.

On August 7, we had our second scrim with MOP. After the first scrim Lim-Dul had remarked (in a good natured way) that we needed a little better organization. Well, this time we were organized. MOP picked Azure Agony and we picked Ogre Citadel. Oddly enough, at the time, each clan would generally pick the color for their map choice. Even more odd back then since we only played id maps where bases are almost always uneven. We picked blue base on Ogre Citadel, clearly the better base. The only rocket launcher sits at the entrance within easy sniping range of the cliff above. We were totally unfamiliar with Azure Agony though and I could not talk Lim-Dul out of selecting it for their map. Blessed spent the week prior to the scrim pouring over every detail of Azure Agony and developing a strategy. He worked with our lineup daily. No telling how many hours we spent on that map before the scrim but it was a hell of a lot. The plan was for Lago to continuously run the five quads to keep them from MOP. Hulk and Blessed were offense and their plan was to meet up at the pond outside blue base before attacking. Hulk would be the suicide man and attack first, creating a distraction and then Blessed would enter, hook up to the flag, drop down behind it, teleport and haul ass back to base. The plan worked perfectly until they wised up and started defending in the hall leading to blue base. Regardless, we beat them badly on both maps. The Rum lineup was Blessed, Lago, Phobia, Redneck and Hulk. The MOP lineup was Lim-Dul, Aros, Slice, El Hefe and a 13 year old kid who called himself Shiva Jr. Six months later, Shiva Jr would join Rum and become an important part of the clan.

The day after the MOP scrim, August 8, we had our sixth game against another clan and our second official match. We played TMAT on Slipgate Complex and Castle of the Damned and won both maps. Playing for Rum was Blessed, Crash, Dumb, Hulk and Redneck.

Around the time of the MOP and TMAT games, we had two more tryouts. One, Nina, was a friend of Phobia's. She beat me by a couple points in a tryout and since we liked her attitude and Phobia wanted her in badly, Nina became our first female member on August 9, 1997. Nina is now known as Soji... Our other tryout was Vazon, Warped's cousin. I remember Vazon called in late for work just so he could make it to his tryout. Vazon joined Rum the same day as Soji.

Later in August, Teak lost his free ethernet access for his server and with it went our Quake server. There was a chance Teak would be able to get his access back and we waited anxiously for that day to come but it never did... On August 20, we added another member, Shamby. Shamby was very young, 10 I think, but he was a good player. Because of his age though, his access to the computer was very limited and Shamby was never an active member of the group, although he made occasional appearances at Rum practice for the next couple years.

Toward the end of August, 97 Blessed and I started to have some disagreements on who and how decisions were made within Rum. We were having trouble coming to an agreement and it actually reached the point where we had decided to split and go our own ways, each one of us taking the members who were most loyal to them. Solace seemed to be covering his bets and trying to make each of us think he was loyal only to us. Oddly enough when we realized he was playing us against each other, we seemed to snap out of our disagreement... We booted Solace out and came to an agreement on how Rum would be managed. We decided that all decisions would be agreed to by Blessed, Papa and myself. Papa was already starting to lose interest in Rum, however. He was never a hard core gamer and he really didn't like 3D action games in the first place. He played Quake because it was one of the few multiplayer internet games available. Blessed and I were the co-leaders from there on out and we have remained good friends ever since. As for running the clan, I concentrated on the administrative stuff and Blessed did all the training, strategy and anything related to game play. Poor Solace was the first and one of the few people ever booted from Rum, even though he probably did us a favor by getting Blessed and I to come to our senses and keep Rum together.

Around this same time a guy that called himself Dark Knight approached me about joining. As was our practice, and still is today, we invited Dark Knight to practice and play with us in order to get to know him and make sure he would be a good fit. At the time he wasn't the best player but he was so good natured, considerate and polite that we just feel in love with him and on September 13, he shortened his name to Dark (to make room for the Rum insignia) and we made him an official Rum. Dark's skill improved dramatically and he later became a critical part of the group.

Having had our own server almost since day one, Rum culture has always centered around it. We do, and have always have, played there daily as a group. By the end of September we were really starting to miss having one. In early October, I broke down and decided to pay to co-locate my own server which would become, giving us another a Quake server, our own email, web and ftp. I found a small, inexpensive ISP to co-locate the server. Unfortunately, the connection was horrible and I struggled with the hardware and software configuration for two months before finally coming to the conclusion that the problem had nothing to do with the server. I moved it to another ISP in December and we finally had a decent server again.

I spent an enormous amount of time working on our new server in October and November. And without a decent server to practice on we idled during that time, playing on public servers and doing no scrims or matches other than one scrim with Kitten Litter on October 17. Lim Dul had a falling out with MOP and had joined KL. He told me one day that he was trying to set up some games for KL's younger members and asked if we'd like to scrim them with our under 18 set. We did but the game turned out to be a disaster. The people playing for KL turned out to be rude, arrogant and belligerent, Satan[KL] being the worst of the group. That left a bad taste in our mouth for KL and we haven't played them again since. It also caused a falling out between myself and Lim-Dul and I have only spoken to him a couple times since.

In late November we got a challenge from Blackfoot of clan Xtreme Supremacy. This match was going to wind up being a real turning point for Rum for several reasons. Founded in 1996, X was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, CTF clans. They were well known and they were good. Prior to the X match, we had played other clans only infrequently and we had never played anybody that we weren't fairly sure we'd win against. We disliked CTF maps and only played id. We had never played on a clan ring server before. In other words, we were green. All that changed for good with the X match...

PART II - 1998

The challenge from Xtreme Supremacy was our first from an established, well known and skilled clan. At that point in time, we probably would not have had the balls to challenge a clan of X's caliber ourselves but we were somewhat flattered that a clan like that even knew who we were. We didn't expect to win the match but we decided to give it our all and wanted to see just how well we could do against a really skilled clan. It was to be an lpb match, even though we really didn't have an lpb squad.. Hulk and Bigworm were our only true lpbs. Bigworm was a personal friend of Blessed's and had joined the clan on November 12, 1997. Blessed planned on playing from Papa's dorm room. Phobia had gone cable but it was only one-way. With this match, we decided that it was time to get serious. For the first time ever, we choose a CTF map for our map choice and I installed the clan ring mod on our server so we could become familiar with it. Although we didn't expect to win this match, we did at least want to win our map. We decided on a very large, complex Threewave map for our choice - Ruins of Neominonk. Although we had never played Ruins before, as with Azure Agony against MOP back in August, we went over the map inch by inch, developed a plan and practiced the hell out of it for the week or two prior to the match. I set the match up with Blackfoot who I really grew to like and respect over time. For their map choice, X picked Warzone. We had never played Warzone as a clan before but it was because of our experience with it in the X match that we later adopted it as our official map. McKinnley Base was decided on as the tie breaker. We couldn't quite shake all of our Threewave roots, however. As part of the agreement, I asked for a 35 minute time limit (the Threewave default) hehe...

Blackfoot was out of town so I dealt with Deadman on the night of the match, December 6, 1997. When he found out what map we had chosen he almost had a cow. He made me go to IRC with him where he proceeded to beg, plead and demand that we choose another one. I refused of course and the match proceeded with the original map choices. Deadman and I watched in observer as X floundered on our map, losing 150 to 469. He commented that they may not know our map but he assured me they knew Warzone very well. Know it they did, they beat us 588 to 98. And we lost the tie breaker as well, 493 to 153. We didn't expect to win this match but we were pleased that we won our map choice. X were great sports and we enjoyed the game even though it was our first match loss.

Later in December Blackfoot messaged me late one night and asked if we'd be interested in participating in a private tournament. He said there was one slot still open. I said I'd be interested in hearing the details and so he pulled me into a chat with the tournament organizer who turned out to be T-Bird, the leader of Crimson Tide. I had never heard of T-Bird or CT and I didn't have much confidence in this home baked tournament he was organizing. He said he had a preliminary copy of the rules and asked if I'd like to have a look. After reviewing the document he sent me, I immediately had a change of heart. The rules were comprehensive and well thought out. I signed us up on the spot. The tournament was called WSNet War I, or WWI. It included clans such as Gibbering Idiots, Alcholics Anonymous, Unforgiven Gunmen, Xtreme Supremacy, Nobody's Children, Storm Troopers of Death, Crimson Tide, Order of the Eye and Elder Gods of Hell.

The X match had been a turning point for us... With this match we started playing Threewave CTF maps and we learned to use the clan ring mod for matches and practice. Even though X beat us badly on Warzone, they introduced us to the map and it later became our best map. Rum and Warzone are now synonymous... Blackfoot got us in WWI, our first tournament. We even signed up for a second tourney, 420's IQC. We went from matching once every couple months to an aggressive schedule of three matches a week. In a single month, Rum transformed from a casual no-name clan into serious competitors. In fact, a little too serious...

The day before the X match, I finally gave up on the ISP where I had co-located our server and moved it to a new ISP. Once again, we had a lag free private server of our own. After we joined WWI and IQC, we started having nightly practices to prepare for our upcoming matches. Things seemed to really be coming together for us and we were very pumped up about it. WWI required that you submit a roster to them and once the tournament started (Jan 1, 1998), you couldn't add to it. Although Rum now had about 21 members, many just weren't committed enough for this level of competition. Big Worm and Hulk were both lpbs and wouldn't be able to play in the WWI and IQC matches. We used Blessed, Phobia, Redneck, Lago, Viper, Dark and myself in the first few matches. After that, we used only Blessed, Phobia, Dark and myself. That group really had their teamwork down and Blessed and I were afraid to deviate from it even though it meant that some of our other capable players were not getting to play much. It worked from the standpoint of matching but it was not a good policy. Just one of many mistakes we were starting to make in our drive to be successful.

On January 10, 1998 we had our first match for WWI against Storm Troopers of Death and won 2 to 0. This was the first of many, many times that we selected Warzone for our map. A couple hours later, that same night, we also had our first match for IQC against Pyrostorm. The leader of Pyrostorm was Nightmare (later of xUx fame). Also in the PS lineup was a player that went by the name of Punx who later became Hard[ROC], Goofy[RuM], somebody xUx (don't recall his xUx name) and Conker[Anti]. Again, we played Warzone for our map and beat Pyrostorm on it by a substantial margin but we lost the other two maps by a couple caps each. The night after our SOD and PS matches, we played Crimson Tide and lost again although we did win our map, Warzone.

Blessed had always been an incredible player but around this period of time he was at his peak for net Quake CTF. His skill was beyond belief and to this day we have never had a player even come close to him in ability. Phobia was also very good. Dark and myself were certainly competent, but not at the same level as Blessed and Phobia. We used this team for most of the remaining WWI and IQC matches and with each match our teamwork and ability increased. Although we got off to a bad start, we plowed our way through the next 11 matches losing only to xUx (although again winning our map, Warzone) and Xtreme Supremacy. X beat us 2 to 0 and it was the first time we had lost Warzone since our previous game with them back in December. We made it to the WWI playoffs and we were very excited about it. Unfortunately, in a terrible streak of bad luck, we got knocked out of the finals after our first match. The game was against Alcholics Anonymous, who we had beat in the regular season. This night though, three of the four Rums were so lagged that we could barely move. AA appeared to be fine as did Lago but Blessed, Dark and I could barely move. I recall having to hit the key four or five times just to switch weapons. Had we won the AA match, it's unlikely we would have made it any further anyway. Next we would have had to face xUx and then X, both clans who we had lost against in the regular season. So we had a great run in WWI and we were very pleased.

By the end of WWI in March, 1998, we were more active than we had ever been before. We were playing great, we had a nice server of our own, we were having nightly practices and we had a strong team. We were flying high... Or so we thought. There was a time bomb ticking away, one that we weren't aware of yet but would be soon enough. During the course of WWI, Blessed and I had been aggressively recruiting new players. We felt like we needed more people because of how active Rum had become. We focused on skill rather than compatibility with the group. At Hulk's request Rum formed an official LPB squad and Blessed and I put him in charge of it. He was also aggressively recruiting. We let these people in quickly, deviating from our old policy of having recruits play with us for weeks or months before letting them join. This policy would eventually backfire and explode in our faces.

We finished our last match for WWI on March 1, 1998. We had added 10 new members since the first of the year and were already starting to have problems with many of them. By the end of March, three had already quit and two had been booted. We realized we were having some problems but at that point we still considered them fairly minor. We had no idea that things were about to get much worse and continue to get worse for several more months...

Phobia had been becoming more and more difficult to schedule for matches toward the end of WWI. It seemed as if every match was an imposition for him. After our X match on February 22 I had decided to give him a rest and not play him anymore for a while. About a month later he said he was starting to miss matching and wanted to play again. I scheduled him for our match against Knights of the Black Rose on March 22 and a Blood Brothers match we had on March 31. Phobia told me he had a very small window of time that he would be able to play on the night of the BB match. He would not be able to play much past 9pm and the match was scheduled to start at 8:00. I made it clear to Poizon[BB] that we would have to start on time else some of our people would not have time to finish. We agreed in advance to play on the Rum server but when BB arrived on the night of the match they informed us that they wanted a different server. We moved to a new server but that one was unacceptable to them as well. We were becoming annoyed at the delays and Phobia was growing even more agitated. 40 minutes later, too late to be able to finish before Phobia had to leave, we still had not been able to agree on a new server. The situation had become very tense with Rum wanting one server and BB threatening to forfeit us if we didn't play on the server they wanted. To our surprise, Phobia sided with BB and when we refused to play on their server choice, he quit and stormed off the server. Disgusted by the entire situation, I called the match off and we left. The very next day, three of our new people all walked out at the same time, citing Phobia being "kicked out" as their reason for leaving.

Having four people walk out within 24 hours, including one of our original members was a huge blow to our morale. To add insult to injury, Poizon[BB] hounded us for the next two days with two negative write-ups in their news and numerous emails to (what he thought) was our mailing list. It was obvious from the circumstances that the situation shouldn't be taken at face value. The very next day Phobia was in xUx and the other three went straight to 420. Phobia later admitted that he had been wanting to leave to play for a more elite clan for some time and had just used the situation as an excuse to quit. The other three also later admitted that they just seized the opportunity as an excuse to quit as they had wanted to join 420 all along but they were not taking new members at the time they joined Rum. All this was obvious to me at the time but regardless, the damage had been done.

Blessed had just started college a few months earlier and it was starting to consume more of his time. Around the first of April he announced that he needed to concentrate more on school and would not be at practice or playing in matches with us for the time being. School was a real issue but I also knew that it had been a real blow to him when Phobia left. Phobia had been the first core member to ever quit. His leaving and the problems we were having with so many of the new people combined with our heavy schedule had taken it's toll on him. Things were never going to be the same for him again. This new development was a shock for us. Blessed was the Rum founder. He was by far our best player ever. He decided what maps we would practice and play and he decided how we would play them. He wasn't just a good player, he was a smart player and the rest of us were always learning from him. He had played in virtually every match we had ever had. The prospect of having to play without him was frightening to say the least. If it hadn't ended with the fiasco surrounding the BB match, then it ended for sure now. Rum's honeymoon period was officially over...

Several days after the BB fiasco I was approached by the leader of New World Order (nWo), Buff. nWo were Rum allies and close friends of ours. Many of their members had started out playing on the Rum servers and most had always been interested in joining. They were like junior Rum to us and we had always helped them as much as we could, letting them practice with us and use our servers for matches. Buff told me that he was growing tired of running a clan and asked if we would be willing to absorb their members if he decided to disband. After consulting with Blessed I told him that we would be glad to take them in and that very day he announced that nWo would disband. On April 8, 1998 we picked up five of their members.

On April 12, we had our first LPB match. We played Tusa and playing for Rum was Hulk, Pepsi, Lagomatic (who had just gone lpb) and two of our new nWo guys, Tupac and Yrufat (Hall). We played Warzone and then Elder God Shrine twice. We won Warzone and each side won Elder once. Amazingly both Tusa and Rum each won Elder by a single point. Our next match was to be our first hpb match without Blessed. And of all the luck it was against Silent Riot, a temporary clan comprised of skilled mercenary players ala TLM, KFC, blah blah blah. This time it was Purge (Esteme) and Unixpeon (Shaft). Of course we didn't know this at the time, all we knew was that they were not bad and that Hismom was a member and had been dogging us for a match for several weeks. To our credit, even without Blessed, we managed to beat them on Warzone by a pretty good margin but Spill the Blood was a massacre. I didn't play but I remember sitting in observer thinking "please god, let this be over soon". We were also badly mangled on McKinnley Base.

Dark had announced right before the SR match that it would be his last match playing Q1. He had been having major lag problems and Quake 2 with it's heavy prediction seemed to be much better for him. He hung around for a while after that, waiting to see if we would decide to play Q2. I let him stay for a while, hoping that maybe he would change his mind but eventually I gave him my blessing to leave for a Q2 clan. We were not going to start playing Q2 primarily because it just flat out blows. In honor of his contributions to the clan, we put him on our retired list and kept him on the mailing list for the next couple years. At the beginning of 2000 he joined Gibbering Idiots to play Q3 and at that point his status changed from retired to former member.

On top of all the other problems we'd had in April, on the night of the 20th, while we were on the server practicing, somebody broke in and deleted the entire file system. I had to pick the server up and bring it home to do a fresh install and rebuild everything from scratch. It was down for seven days while I worked on putting everything back like it was before. The logs were destroyed along with the file system which made tracking down the hacker a little more difficult. Difficult, but not impossible. With Teak's help and a lot of detective work, we had our man after working on it continuously for four days. On May 22 at 3am in the morning he was arrested and all of his computers seized. The attacker turned out to be just a malicious script kiddie, unrelated to anything having to do with Quake. The server was down for seven days but on April 27 everything was back up and running exactly like before.

After the SR match and with Dark leaving, I started laying the guilt trip on Blessed and he agreed to return. His heart just wasn't in it though and he seldom practiced with us, mainly just showing up for matches. Many of the new people were continuing to be a behavior problem for us and practices were becoming more and more unpleasant. The instability was a major distraction. We had lost our focus and had virtually no teamwork. WWII started up on May 18 and we stumbled our way through it booking no other hpb matches outside of that tournament. From May through July we played seven matches and only won two (not including forfeits). On June 27, 1998 I went to Vietnam with some friends of mine. I returned on July 11 to find out four more of our new members had quit or were going to quit. By this time, it had become exceeding clear that taking on so many new members so quickly had been a huge mistake and was a large part of our problems, if not the entire part. It was also very clear that we were in bad shape and the first thing that needed to happen for us to pull out of it was for us to get rid of all of our problem people. So when I returned from Vietnam to find out four people had left, the news was not so bad. I had been putting pressure on everybody to either lose the bad attitudes or be booted. Usually the offenders just wound up quitting because of the pressure I was putting on them which is exactly what we wanted.

By the middle of July, 1998 most of the new people we had added that year had quit including virtually all of the problem people. For personal reasons Hulk would be unable to play for the next few months leaving responsibility for our fledgling lpb team with Pepsi and me. And lastly, Blessed announced that he was retiring for good. Our concentration had gone to hell because of all the distractions and we had no teamwork within our decimated roster. We were a mess and the only thing left to do was start over again. I put a freeze on matches and refused to sign us up for any new tournaments. All challenges were declined. We stopped matching completely between July and September. During that time we added a few more carefully selected players and practiced and practiced and practiced some more to rebuild our teamwork. After three months of not matching at all we signed up for Bannockburn and on September 12, 1998 had our first match for that league against Crimson Tide. We won that match and it was the beginning of a winning streak that continued for 15 games until we were defeated by xUx on December 7.

In December, we started our own tournament/league. Redneck came up with the name, Lagapalooza, and designed the first web page. We had some trouble with a few problem clans during the year, including Clan Seraphim and Xtreme Domination. Members of those two clans even went so far as to invade our private server one night during practice and disrupted it to the point that we had to call practice off. We wanted nothing to do with problem clans like this, least of all having to match them which was guaranteed to be problematic and unpleasant. It seemed like at least one of these problem clans or individuals was involved with most of the leagues or tournaments we considered participating in. For that reason, we decided to start our own league and the theme was an event free of trouble makers and problem clans. Feedback from the participating clans was great and we were pleased with the league.

Despite all the problems we had during our "recruiting spree" at the beginning of 1998, we still managed to pick up some good people during the year who remained with us (although some went inactive). The first was Pepsi, who was a friend of Hulk's in real life and joined on January 31. He's an lpb and has always been one of our better players which is pretty impressive considering he is completely deaf.

Next was the kid from the MOP scrim back in August 97, Shiva Jr. Blessed and I had seen Shiva playing on the Rum Threewave server. For the next week or so we kept spotting him and every time he was kicking major ass. We were pretty impressed and one night we approached him about joining. He seemed receptive but didn't come right out and agree so we made a deal with him. If our two best hpbs could beat him, he'd have to quit all his other clans and join Rum. Blessed played him first and needless to say, Shiva could barely get a frag on him. We wanted to put Phobia in for the next game but he wasn't online so we got one of our new guys, Stabbed, to play him. Even though Stabbed was a damn good player, especially in 1v1's, he barely managed to get a single frag on Shiva. We thought we had lost the deal... Surprisingly though, Shiva seemed to be in better spirits after beating the crap out of Stabbed. Blessed played him again and went easy on him, staying just a frag or two ahead. At the end of that game, Shiva was excited about joining Rum and he immediately went to quit Kitten Litter, MGK and no telling how many other clans. On that night, February 14, Shiva Jr put his clan whoring days behind him and has been a loyal member of Rum ever since. Shiva has some anger problems that we can't seem to cure him of. He is one of the few people I have ever seen who can finish a 4v4 game 50 points higher than the next highest player and still spam "I fkn suck!" a million times across the screen. Despite his problems, he is actually a pretty good kid. One thing you can say about him is that he is one of our most loyal and dedicated members. Good or bad, he is one of the pieces that make Rum what it is and we wouldn't have it any other way. We do try to keep him pumped full of thorzine though :)

Tupac was one of the nWo guys we picked up on April 8 and he's the only one from that group who stuck around. Tupac continued to improve after joining until eventually he was our best lpb. Unfortunately, he left school and went to work as a fireman losing his ethernet connection in the process. Being a fireman, his hours make it hard for him to play as much as he used to but he still manages to get some playing in occasionally. We picked Crimsongun up on May 9 after his clan Fierce Fighters broke up. Crim wasn't very good but he was determined to join Rum. His enthusiasm about Rum was the quality that got him in and he has maintained that loyalty and enthusiasm to this day. And he's no longer lacking in the skill department either :) We picked up Who on the same day as Crim, May 9. Unknown to me, Blessed had invited Who to Rum practice. Not knowing who he was and thinking his name was fake, I kicked him off the server. He reconnected but wasn't able to blurt out what he was doing there fast enough before I kicked him again. He tried one more time and was finally able to explain that he had been invited before I kicked him again. Then I found out that he was friends with the three guys who had walked out the day after Phobia quit so I distrusted him because of that. The poor kid had a rough tryout but he was so good natured and handled himself so well despite the pressure that he won me and everybody else over. Because of his maturity and even temper, I depend on him more than anybody else to help me manage the clan. On top of that, he's also one of our best players. Man, am I glad he had the balls to come back that third time :) Cyrus joined on May 16. I came to know Cyrus after I had gotten this meek email from him a couple months before asking why he never saw me on our public servers. Apparently he had seen my name on our web page but unlike most of our other members, he had never seen me on a server. I sent him back a hasty two sentence email saying I did get on our public servers occasionally but I did most of my playing during Rum practice. Then I get another email from him very shyly asking if it would be possible for him to come to a Rum practice. His shyness kind of tugged at my heartstrings so I said sure, that could be arranged. For the longest time he barely said a word during practice. We started letting him play some and eventually he just became part of the group. Back then he sucked but that's sure not the case today :) Freak joined on July 27. Freak was a friend of Cyrus's in real life and we had been letting him come to practice as Cyrus's guest. Freakster was a total Quake newbie and was even worse than Cyrus. Eventually he decided he wanted to be an official Rum too and got up the nerve to ask. I wasn't sure we needed another newbie and especially one so young (Cyrus and Freak were both only 13 at the time). I mulled over different ways of saying no or putting him off but the more I thought about it the more I realized that there was no way I was going to have the heart to tell this kid no. Freak improved a lot too but unlike Cyrus, he hasn't stuck with it and has found other things that keep him away from Quake. Brodie joined on October 13. I had met Brodie months before when he was a member of a DM clan called White Coastal Goats. He and his clan mates were on our threewave server one night when somebody really messed it up using that server command stuffing bug. I mistakenly thought the WCG guys were responsible. Turns out they were trying to stuff the correct settings back to the server to fix it which is why I mistakenly thought they were the ones who had messed it up. After I realized that not only had they not messed it up but were actually trying to fix it, I gave them a private server to practice on to make amends for accusing them. We all became good friends and when WCG broke up Brodie joined Rum. Masterp joined on October 27. He is one of those people that is so good natured and even tempered that everybody likes him. Venom joined on November 23. Venom is Who's first cousin. He's even more good natured than Who, if that is possible. Venom was pretty much a newbie when he joined but over time he got really good. Unfortunately his parents tend to take away his computer privileges pretty frequently so his ability to play comes and goes.

By the end of 1998, we were back on track again. We had managed to get rid of all the people with attitude problems, morale was good, our teamwork was excellent and we were playing good again. We had started out the year flying high, crashed and burned during the middle of the year and then come back strong again at the end. History tends to repeat itself though and to our surprise, 1999 has taken us on a very similar course...

PART III - 1999

Coming soon...