BahdKo or Bad Company
I started dooming single player, as a keyboarder, when Doom2 came out. A little over a year later, in early 1996, I found some of Xoleras' demos on ftp.cdrom.com, and was blown away. I switched to mouse+keys, and found several local BBS's in the area (Maryland). I went on with the handle Bad Company.
The first BBS I found was called ICE, and I was there for a while.
On ICE I met up with a 16 year old (at the time) from Glen Burnie with the handle Deathlok. He was one of the top regular players on the board, and was always eager to play me and pound me into the ground. I was a beginning mouse+keys player at the time, and in addition to playing him regularly, I was practicing movement and aim on my own, alone. After a few months, I got to where I began to win over Deathlok, and he basically flipped out and refused to play me from then on. Teenagers, gotta love em!! (eh...). ICE was also the first place I saw Kreuzin, who was an occasional visitor to ICE but was well-known for being the best player there. The score differences people reported between Kreuzin and the other top players on the board were quite large, so large as to be baffling to my intermediete-skilled self.
Most of my crowd ended up moving to a new local BBS named VGC, which stood for Virtual Gaming Community.
While I was on VGC, with Deathlok having flipped out and been passed in terms of doom skill, I knew I had to find people who were better than me to play if I wanted to continue getting better. I began to seek out Kreuzin to play, and started looking around on non-local BBS's. He wasn't hard to find: he was on AlterEgo, Netherworld, and DC Dwango. I played him as frequently as I could manage, until around Fall of 1997. I learned a huge amount of skill related things from him and from watching our recordings, and to this day my Dwango5 Map1 game is just an attempt to play that map like he did.
On VGC in Spring of 1996 I met up with a guy from northern Baltimore County named Strike, real-life name of Richard Morland (or Moreland). Strike was an interesting guy -- he was in his mid-20's to maybe 30 (i cant remember), about 5"10, lean in build, long red hair, facial features that reminded me of Satan, and he was the lead singer in a local hard rock band that sings like Pantera. When he talked he sounded like a normal guy, but when he sang with his band his voice was really deep and low pitched. Strike was also a newbie doomer with a wonderful attitude. Over the summer of 1996 we played a lot and I taught him everything I knew, and by that Fall he was beating me consistantly on Doom2 Map7. Sometime around the beginning of 1997 he began playing Kreuzin on Dwango5 map1, and got to where he would beat me fairly consistantly there. Strike and I were more or less dooming buddies for most of the time I was living in Maryland. Strike if you're reading this, email or ICQ me!!!! I lost your email address!!!
In the Summer of 1996 I started to mess around with IRC for the first time. My oldest surviving logfiles from EFnet #deathmatch begin with the timestamp of Tue Oct 08 03:46:50 1996. By this time I had ops in #deathmatch, and I had been hanging there playing people for a few months before getting ops. The first timestamp from my EFnet #doom2 log is Mon Oct 14 02:21:50 1996, and #doomroom's is Fri Nov 29 03:43:28 1996.
Through Kreuzin, Strike and I found out about the guys who frequented the DC Dwango server, who held occasional netparties in the DC area. We started attending those (sometimes me alone, sometimes me and Strike both). The names I remember of people who were at the various netparties were Avatar, Wendigo, Escort, Havoc, Spamjav, Ronbob, Ismail, Scratchy, Kreuzin, Gunpwdr, Shrew, Phatman, SnakeEyez,.. there were others, but I can't remember them all. At the time they were all nice guys, welcoming us into their crowd and games, even though our skill wasn't quite where their best guys' skill was.
I went to a lot of miscellaneus netparties of varying sizes from mid 1996 on, and had a small one at my moms house in Randallstown, MD. During my netparty, my dog went and hung himself by his eye socket from a hook on the fence in the backyard, and I had to take him to the vet. That sucked. At least the dog's eye was, somehow, ok. Hepcat and his friend came up from the Virginia area to my netparty to play, and they got a speeding ticket on 95 on the way home. Sucky luck in that netparty. I also lanned with Truechamp (Annapolis, MD) a few times, also a guy known as Kream (McLean, VA), and went to a few netparties put on by various DC Dwango people (Beanfly, Yosh, Escort, Kreuzin, Ismail, and one in Ronbob's apartment right before we left for DM-Con2). There were others, at least two by locals in Maryland (Lord of the Night and Viper (i think, it was somewhere in Pasadena)), several in Pennsylvania (RedDrag0n and his friends a few times, RedDrag0n and Krusty once, and a nice couple in Mid-PA who had a really nice grey calico cat), one in the Syracuse, NY area where I met Spinal (this house was, like, Netparty City! Wonderful people there, I wish they were not so far away). I can't remember the names of all of the hosts, but I do remember the netparties themselves.
On the weekend of November 24, 1996, the first DC-Con netparty was held. It was done at a small private collage in Maryland, and I cannot remember the coordinator's name. I have a demo from this netparty named "8wayMap1" in which Captain Stinky (Stinky if you're reading this, ICQ ME !!) made ImmyDM work with an IPX networked Doom2 game. Pretty interesting and unheard of until the recent Doom ports came out, 4 players plus 4+ bots all on Doom2 Map1. Made for a lot of action. Me, Captain Stinky, Lunchin, and a local player who used Steve as his handle were the players in the demo.
By 1997 I'd gotton some experience with helping anyone who cared to get better at Doom2 do so. It's always been my viewpoint that the more high skilled Doom players there are, the stronger the Doom2 scene itself will be. Furthermore, having players around you that are high skilled and hard to beat is preferable to being around people you beat easily, because it's hard to get better playing against people who consistantly underperform. Some of the people who got better under my guidance (aside from Strike) were Sniper (changed to Spider when he started playing Quake), Captain Stinky, BraveHeart, Nick Knight,Viper and his brother. There were others whose handles I can't remember.
During the first three months of 1997 I compiled a zipfile which was intended to take everything I had learned about what helped people get good at Doom2 and put it on the internet for download. I wanted as many skilled doomers as possible to exist in the world, and this seemed one of the best ways to aid that cause. In April of 1997 it was finished, and I named it the Deathmatch Training Facility package, and uploaded it to ftp.cdrom.com. The text documents were never spell-checked.
In the Fall of 1997, Ronbob, Ismail, and I drove in Ronbob's grey Thunderbird to DMcon2, a netparty being held in Ames, Iowa at RI-X's job, Ames.net. On the way out, Ronbob drove the first shift, Ismail drove the second (it rained during his shift), and then I took over around 2:30AM to finish out the trip to Ames. There were lots of really great and oldschool doomers at DMcon2, among them Linx, Embrionic Pete, Leprechaun, PVP, Sslasher, Galiu, Gatekeeper, Czaple, RI-X, and others. This was the first time I had met or heard of the Canadian doom-gods Sslasher and Galiu, who basically cleaned house in the Doom2 tournament we had. It was at Dmcon2 that me, Ronbob, Ismail, and Galiu recorded InsanX4, an insane 4-way on Dwango5 Map2. Also, this was my first real exposure to seriously hardcore map1 gameplay, and I was hooked on it from that weekend on.
Quake1 had come out by that time and was starting to pick up speed. If you like Quake1 and don't want to read nasty things being said about it, jump to the next paragraph. I distinctly remember the first people to leap straight onto Quake1 and proclaim they loved it were the lowest-skilled people on VGC, specifically, the ones who were too lazy to put in the work to get good at Doom2. These were the guys who hated losing such that they wouldn't play good players, the ones who wouldn't watch demos, the ones who pretended that they had nothing to learn from the good players on the board - - thus, they they had continued to have limited skill at Doom2. Quake1 had so little substance to it that it instantly put them on par with absolutely everyone on the BBS, and they reveled in that and declared Quake1 to be a godsend. A few months later (and definately by Fall of 1997), groups of friends (some of them pretty skilled in Doom2) were getting wrapped up in the "Clan" aspect of Quake1. Doom2 just isnt as well suited to teamplay, even if the code itself supported it, because it is a very high speed game held in maps with more linear characteristics compared to Quake1. At first, all of them agreed among themselves that Doom2 was clearly the superior deathmatch game, but they were interested in Quake because they liked being able to play as a team. As time passed, many locals had ceased Dooming and were playing Quake1 instead, some claiming because it was internet playable, others sticking to the "Clan" teamplay benefits.
I was at the netparty where the DC Dwango players started up their Quake clan, Clan Gib. I was there to play Doom, naturally, and by this time I was having to wait for them to finish their Quake matches before they would all start dooming. I don't remember who first came up with the name Clan Gib, but I remember Ronbob saying "Clan Gib... I like that!", and they kept the name. I was surprised they kept it, it sounded kind of doofus compared with the names other clans I had seen on IRC. I didn't tell them that though.
The Canadian Doom-Gods didn't give up so easily on their Doom Skill. Some time in 1997 I started going to netparties in Montreal, driving up from Maryland for long weekends there. They had one about every 4-5 months or so, and I would go. Most memorable were my Map1 games with Galiu, many of which we recorded. Many of the netparties were held at JFL's apartment in Longueuil, one was at Burnout's house, and one was at Adoctors. Regular attendees were JFL, Galiu, Morpheus, and Burnout.
In mid-1997 I began to put a pretend "Quake Clan" together, except we were called... Clan QS, for Clan Quake Sucks! I made a Quake Sucks Homepage on a now-gone shell provider named xeo.net. I made some anti-quake artwork from screenshots and images from screenshots, and invited other people who also disliked Quake to join me and write a profile proclaiming what they disliked about Quake. I think we got up to over 40 Clan QS members before Quake2 came out. When it was done, Ion Storm (John Romero's company) came to the page and saw it, I had a web statistics counter up and it looked like at least half of the company must have come and seen the site. I suspect that at least one guy at ID software also saw it. When Quake2 came out (I forget exactly when that happened, sometime in 1998?), I didn't like it, but didn't hate it enough to keep the Quake Sucks Homepage alive.
Sometime in 1997 there was a DC-Con2. This one was put on by Ronbob, in a University of Maryland College Park room. It was terribly Quake oriented, and it even turned out that that their LAN didn't work well for Doom2, it was apparrently too busy for the IPX packets to stay clean, and Doom played over it stuttered badly. I ended up getting just a few games there, and that was done by making a direct LAN connection to the person I was playing, bypassing the main LAN.
I moved to Massachucetts in late 1997, and lived there through December 1998. I went to a few Montreal netparties while I was in Massachucetts, a limited number of local netparties, and a netparty in Connecticut (Gripp's), but other than that, there wasn't really much happening in terms of my dooming. I didn't practice much, and even though I was playing very high caliber players like Galiu on occasion, I really didn't have much opportunity to do much with Doom in between the netparties. I also got to go to a netparty with Nemesis from NY state, in late fall of 1998.
I moved to Northern Virginia in December 1998. In 1999 the only really interesting Doom thing I got to do was an extended netparty with Yerac. The year 2000 has been more interesting so far. I started up first a Doom2 Deathmatch webpage, and then updated it and built it to be www.doom2.net, an intended informational site for both single player and deathmatch Doom2. I updated some things in the Deathmatch Training Facility package, plus made a wholly web-based version of the main informational text, originally named Manual.doc in the zipfile. The new web-based version has lots of user friendly stuff, like a more clearly catagorized structure, pictures, and some animated .gif's. I had a netparty in July at my apartment where we did some doom playing, and there is more fun Doom stuff that should be happening throughout at least Mid-2001.