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  • Team Interro Done Quick - Summer 2017

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  • MONDO

    Gaming before Team Fortress 2

    In mid-1997, I found myself with an excess of personal time and my first "modern" computer - a Packard Bell 133mhz with 32MB of RAM. Although much of my free time was spent dabling in CAD, a friend introduced me to QUAKE. My first PC game was in fact a FPS... which may have largely contributed to my penchant for this type of game. I enjoyed running through the game and killing the beasts, but it was not until I discovered multiplayer gaming With a dial up connection that I found my calling. I began searching for other FPS games, and rotated much of my time between Quake and Duke Nuke'em 3D. This was soon followed up with Quake II and Quake III Arena. (I was disappointed with Q3 Arena, and Q2 with the Rocket Arena mode was much much better gameplay)

    By 2000, I had completed my second go-round with college, married, and started my first official "I.T." job. As many of you know, being in the I.T. field means 2 things - free time and gaming. I became fast friends with a one of my co-workers Charles (gaming name- Dragonwolf) and we spent much of our "work" time in new games. I can credit Charles with much of my online and mp gaming, as well as introducing me to Unreal Tournament, Half-Life, Halo, AVP, and Red Faction. I played online some, but mostly we worked with a group of local friends to hold gaming nights with anywhere from 4 to 10 of us piling into Charles' house and setting up a LAN. Oddly enough, at one point one of the guys introduced us to the orignal Team Fortress.. and I hated it.
    During this 5 year period, friends introduced me to several other games as well. Neverwinter Nights, Starcraft, Battle Realms, and of course.. Diablo 2. We began playing 4+ hours/day and I was hooked. At one point, I purchased the original Diablo... installed it, started the game, and then uninstalled it. I wasn't willing to move backwards in graphics/gameplay. When Diablo 3 releases, expect me to disappear for a while.

    I played a bit of Counter-Strike:Source when it came out, but rarely played other than on gaming nights with the group. When news of Team Fortress 2 surfaced and the first teaser came out, several of us started counting the days. While waiting for it I dove into Guild Wars, which to date is my preferred MMO over WoW and LoTR. TF2 was released about the same time I moved on to a new employer and our gaming nights slowed down.

    Team Fortress 2

    I pre-purchased the game and gained access to it during the final beta. I was a big fan immediately, and spent the next few months trying to find a place I could play and relax. I played for quite a while at VirginiaTF2 (now gone) and really enjoyed the folks there. During my time on their servers, I met Trix, Ice Dragon, Chayoss, and several others. When the folks that ran VirginiaTF2 bailed, I offered to buy the domain and site in order to keep it going, but they would not respond. I tried to keep up with folks on my friends list to find good servers but that was usually a failed effort. Hatespeech, 'pros', asshats... everywhere. I even rented my own gameserver and tried to draw in old friends to start a new community, but my server sat empty for days on end.

    Team Interrobang

    Joining the Team

    One day I joined Trix on one of the Team Interrobang servers. To put it simply - I was home. Great fun, respect, and community. It was like being Norm and walking into Cheers. You were greeted when you entered the server, folks enjoyed having you around, and no one really took things too seriously. We just liked gaming and hanging out. It was like my gaming nights with my friends, but it was every night. Work was tough by then (no more gaming, no more friends at work, you name it) so after having family time and sending everyone off to bed, I knew I could jump on the servers and hang out with Lumbeeman, Blitz, Virgin Bride and the gang. I was welcomed by Pork and Andrew and encouraged to join if I was looking for a home. I'd barely been on the servers for a month before I applied.

    The weekend I posted my application is the same weekend that Andrew departed. Apollo was strugglingto keep the team operating while Rico_MD and Impulsenine cranked out a new site with lightning speed. I was unsure what was ahead, because one of my buddies on the team was bailing out. Thanks to a great core group, the community survived (and has thrived.)

    Shortly after I joined the team, a few of the folks were trying to scrim. They couldn't get use of one of the few servers that Interrobang had at the time because they were in use. I offered up my gameserver which was sitting empty, and it quickly became the T.I. Scrim server. Over time, this also became the Shenanigans server, or any other event we needed it for. I was glad for the server to be used, and it really helped me get to know more team members.

    Promotions

    08/27/08: Full Admin My first month with Team Interrobang was filled with team events. Scrims on my server (few of which I participated in, as my abilities are more for fun that skill), fun nights, you name it. I'd learned quite a bit about admin mods in hosting my server, and I was glad to assist the admins with a few questions they had. I spent a great deal of time on the forums, connecting with members and enjoying the community. I had found my place in a group (thankfully called a 'team' and not a 'clan' for the first time and things were clicking. On my one month anniversary with the team, I logged onto the website and found a post from Maverick stating that I had been promoted to Full Admin. WHAT!? (This was not only my reaction, but also the reaction of many others on the team). In hindsight, I'm not sure if it was my attempts to assist in game, in forums, offering my server, or other contributions. My promotion may have come faster than it should have, but I hope that Arcanus, Apollo, Maverick, and others don't have too many regrets for bringing me on board.

    12/22/08: Senior Admin
    During my time serving as a Full Admin, I worked with Apollo, Arcanus, and Maverick on tuning our gameservers. We waded through many issues and worked to improve the overall gaming experience. I enjoyed my role and working with my fellow FA's and especially with the SA's as I felt anything I had to offer back to the team in exchange for the awesome community they provided was theirs to have. We met often on Ventrilo to talk about team issues and plans, and a few days before Christmas I was pulled into a conversation about Left4Dead, and how we were going to start offering it. Once we discussed the plans and how to set it up, the SA's asked me to join them in the role of Senior Admin. Again - blown away, humbled, and honored.


    01/31/11: Resignation/ Step down to Junior Admin
    My time had come, I no longer was active enough to serve as needed. Good luck, Interrobang.

    The effect of serving as a Senior Admin on friendships

    Over the course of first year that I served as a Senior Admin of the team, it became evident to me that being a leader and being a friend some times cannot go hand it hand. I've lost many of my original friends on the team based on where I stand on certain issues, or based on how I've conducted myself in disagreements. I've seen 2 of my closest friends - Ezell and D3athrow - removed from the team for hacking. I've become less of a friend and more of an acquaintance with many others. One of the toughest parts of serving on this team was having to hold everyone to the same standard. I spent countless hours chatting with Apollo during that time learning the new role. Apollo gets blamed for anything and everything and at that time it seemed as if I was replacing Apollo as the SA that folks had a problem with. In the end, its part of the job. Fortunately, during the time I also spent a great deal of time talking with Arcanus - perhaps one of the most genuine folks you'll meet at Team Interrobang. In the end, getting to know the 2 of them as well as I have has made up for the many friendships that have suffered or have been lost.

    In May of 2010, I was one of the first stops on the Interroloop and hosted Arcanus for an evening. You'll need to ask him some day about watching midgets making out while they were covered in chocolate. It was a pleasant visit, and oddly enough it confirmed every suspicion I had about him: he's a very interesting and genuine person. His gift to me - an awesome panoramic view of my hometown from the top of one of our mountains.


    Roanoke_medium.jpg


    In the original photo you can read the license plates on the cars. Really.


    MONDO's future with Team Interrobang

    I think that all good things must come to an end. Sometimes that end is a fierce battle and ties are broken. Sometimes the relationship just dies. Sometimes that end is a respectful parting of ways. I saw my relationship with Team Interrobang as a good one, but not necessarily as a healthy one. I used to monitor the forums and gameserver rcon most of my work day. I tried to maintain a connection to the team and worried often about how things should be handled. In the end, I decided that the team had outgrown me, and no longer needed my technical expertise nor my brand of leadership.
    My resignation came during a time of inactivity while I was handling real life issues (surgery.) My inactivity offended many of my fellow admins who felt they were doing all the work. They wished to have more, and I simply could no longer give it. I gladly stepped down to allow room for those who had the time and desire to serve the team.