Hello all my little AC noobs :D
It seems all biographies are quite long so... have fun and enjoy :)
Yes, I am an X-Ray_Dog and for some reason you are willing to read my little story (Biography) about my journey into the AC world. It all started for me back in V18.104.22.168 in mid October of 2010 thanks to my lovely friend JB|JustinBieber. The very first time I played I was using a touch pad and wasn't all that great. However, in the first few days I decided to go ahead and make X-Ray_Dog my main username for the game. Once I got the hang of the controls a little bit, I found a good mouse to use. My skills for never playing before were actually decent compared to this unarmed guy most of the time. I was keeping close to 1.0 ratios and learned to strafe run before I even knew what it was. But like anyone who had just joined the community, I was a complete noob (and still am :D).
After being in the game for about a week at this point, I noticed people had these special tags in front of their names to indicate the clan that they were in. I didn't care for clans at all and didn't really know too much about them. However, a kid named Phantom came to me with his |KILL| tag and asked if I wanted to join and lead it with him into something great. Of course I accepted as any noob would. He however had a forum in place for the clan already to be used. Once I became acquainted with the forum and its tools, we went off to noob recruit and spam AC.
Surprisingly (as any new clan seems to be able to do) we got members rolling in instantly. It was the simple "you want in? Ok done." As more members came into the clan, I decided to look into hosting a server for an even better influence on the AC community. I eventually got my server going in as basic of a format as possible. I had no custom server switches and did everything from the server wizard itself. To me, it was a pain to maintain the server in this way for obvious reasons now, and much later discovered the use of the config files. This was also about the same time I discovered how to pull up a vote for maps and kicks.
As we entered our second week, we had a good list of members that had just "jumped" in per say, so I decided to look into some rules and maybe a recruitment system. I talked it over to Phantom and we agreed and so we put quite the simple system in. However, I continued to grow in my gaming skill, while the clan seemed to be at its high point. About mid to later October, I went into edit mode for the first time in single player mode. I was so confused at its first sight and had absolutely no knowledge about it at all. I figured out some of the stuff such as using the selector tool and scroll wheel to move blocks up and down. I also hit right click and found all of the map models, however placing them really messed me up. Anyways, I later spent more time into learning mapping and got pretty good at it too come later.
As time passed on some more, maybe another week, members went inactive or left for something else. We went down to the original members and so I thought we really needed to get something done. I then introduced a webs website to Phantom and we soon moved to this and left the forums. However, it seemed good at first and members did actually come to the new site as hoped. What I found great with webs was that I was able to create a better look and distribute more information easier than a forum while using the (Dot) webs own forum. It seemed to work for another week or two, now leading into November. Ultimately the clan didn't seem to be going anywhere seeing as all of our members had just about left. It was now back to me and Phantom. Well I didn't care for it at this point anymore either so we shutdown and I went without a clan in AC for a short time again.
With the spare time at hand without managing a clan, I was able to get back to focusing on my in game skills and explore more of the world of mapping. I even went back to look more into the servers thing as well. I was able to get to know the game a little more and learn more about my available tools inside my AC file folder as well. I was just turning into a complete addict to this game. I met nice people in game and eventually had people to talk to every now and then. But then, about a week just after leaving |KILL|, Mr. Ares came along with his |FOX| tag.
The Ares Meet
Upon first reference he did not ask me to join and I didn't want to ask; however we went into a server privately and just got to know each other a little in peace. I had seen these |FOX| guys before and was quite curious as to what it actually was.
Something you should know about me: I have always had an attraction to the Fox animal as a favorite (Not a furry) way before I saw this clan come along, so of course it drew my attention.
Continuing, he showed me a map of his and asked for some feedback on it. I told him what he should try out and he was cool with it and we played a few rounds. At this time, we were about evenly skilled with me being a little better than him. He was quite impressed with this of course. Just before we parted the server, he asked if I had wanted to join his clan and I said that I would think about it. He gave me the site address fox3.webs.com and I said I would take a look at it later.
Well a week went by before I was able to see him again. I learned that Fox was originally for the motocross team Fox, but I still thought it was a pretty legit clan. His site was clean, and quite organized compared to my previous works. Anyways, I applied and he accepted me in and the fun began.
The beginning of |FOX|
Once again, I became the dedicated server host and hosted two servers for Fox for free. I had a clan server, and a coop edit server (now knowing the use of server switches). It's now into mid to late November when I get introduced into the AC forums from ares. He was apparently being blacklisted and wanted me to help back him up. Well I made a forums account but his thread was closed. I wasn't going to stop there (ha) so I explored these forums and got a good look around.
In Fox, ares had a good liking to me because of my hosting abilities and favored many of my opinions towards the clan and eventually made me a site moderator. I introduced a nice set of rules and a decent recruitment system. The clan seemed to be quite successful for it was up past 20 members in no time. The cool thing was, it had returning members who didn't too often quit. I had made good friends with some of the members which later affect my AC future.
Well coming into December, school was nearing its winter break where the climax of this story so far comes from. Tensions had arisen between me and ares because he let clan power get to his head. He was arguing more and more with everyone and became frustrated more easily than ever before. He was constantly using me as a tool and wasn't getting as much as he had wanted. I guess he had hit the top and wanted to change everything. Anyways, it all came down to just one wintery night not long after Christmas day when me and ares hit it off for good. He went to abuse admin beyond what he should have and accused people of the stupidest crap with admin. He banned left and right and if you contradicted him, even if you were right, he would have you blacklisted. Because of this I wiped out his admin password temporarily.
A predictable demise
This of course angered him immediately and came to me in wonder. I said chill, you will have it back shortly. However, me and my fellow friend Thrawn had talked in privately about how we could get control of the Fox clan from ares, possibly by even sneaking it under from him. However this plan was soon foiled when he caught on and ultimately kicked me from the clan. I didn't care too much since I was able to now get away from him. What I did though is I joined |TOB| whom the leader was also a good friend to me.
|TOB| Team Of Beasts
|TOB| was good since I was playing with more suited players to my skill and age and made friends with the people there. I had also convinced Thrawn to come along and join the party which of course he did. During my time in this clan, I basically kicked back and chilled out with AC and went into another exploration phase. During this time however, ares kept up his anger and aggression towards me and repeatedly tried to have me blacklisted with me almost edging him on to try you could say.
Back to |FOX|
About almost a week later, his clan Fox had fallen apart completely (apparently I had great influence on the members o.0) and the members were gone for the most part. Ares was left with nothing, no members, no servers, absolute despair on his part. He later came to me and asked if I wanted full control over Fox as he came to realize he made a huge mistake. I considered it and came to accept it on December 30th, 2010. I immediately changed all account passwords and info to make sure he was unable to get back on and then I had full control. First thing I did, told |TOB| and asked them how they felt. They weren't exactly happy but ultimately I got Thrawn to return to |FOX|.
My next step was to create a new clan site (now known as acfox) and it turned out to be a really nice looking site. Ares didn't like that I changed and so he Pm'd me asking not to change but I said forget you and went with it. As soon as I had the new site set up enough for good usage, the clan officially transferred. We got some of the more dedicated members back real fast with reconsideration from the others that had left.
To summarize recent events
|TOB| ultimately met its' closure with most of their members actually coming to join |FOX|. During this less hectic time, Fox transformed going into January as the month that we transferred to the new site. We discussed all that needed to change and got feedback from our members. We set a higher level of respect and created a list of rules to keep this in tact.
During this time I got into Cube Script and wrote my own "Zombies.cfg" script which simply uses AC's own bot system. I also got heavily into IRC scripting as another one of my adventures.
|FOX|: A clan I myself thought was great and had great members I could easily relate to without problems. It was mostly my clan but with Thrawn right at my side. I took pride in what I could give and the members I had accumulated did show improvement, at least the ones that tried. A lot of updates happened along with members coming and going. It was mostly original members that decided to stay true to the clan while gaining another dedicated for every two that played the join and leave card. The site design was changed once from dirt to a wood theme. We had began to evolve around IRC and got over silly little personal imbedded chats. The clan still had the attitude of focusing more on its members than worry about outside AC so it was a very private clan, which is why the forums remained locked to outsiders. We still enjoyed the occasional match but kept things chill too. It was a clan unlike any other I have ever seen so far.
The End of |FOX|
Ah the great closure. It was sad for me being that |FOX| was truly a clan that was apart of me. I know I wasn't the one to start it however I felt it was something I could call mine. It prospered for a while and at times began to dwindle but it lasted. However Thrawn and I did not close the clan for inactivity reasons or even critic responses. No, it was closed due to personal reasons between myself and Thrawn as well as a few other "perks." I continued the clan and the only reason I kept it going was because of our team decisions which I felt began to dwindle at times. Get another owner? No. |FOX| is my clan whom I shared greatly with Thrawn and its members. Me and Thrawn will be the only ones to ever have control over the name. Closed on October 6th, 2011.
Another chapter reopened
Well this left me alone to fight with AC and school. I still craved AC but due to school pulling at my hair, there wasn't much I could do. I threw out threats of leaving but I always managed to put "enough" time in to want to keep going. I released another version of my zombie bots script and focused mainly on CS. I didn't know when I would join another clan as I seemed fine alone. However the lack of having a group of friends to turn to for anything like help or even for a normal conversation was irritating to me. I began to look at clans I was more aware of, clans whose chat channel I idled in regularly, clans with members I knew a bit about including its leader. I was down to two but am glad to have gotten what I did.
While on my search for a new clan, I was promoted to Brigadier status on the wiki due to all of my clan adding/misc edits. I had now officially created a standing with the AC community. I love AC itself and I have always felt the wiki was a great place to show off what I could possibly do and now I am here writing this biography. I like the wiki as my "show off" preference in that it doesn't get a lot of daily traffic, but I can still feel like I did something that matters.
On October 31st, I officially joined eQuilibrium. I was quite the happy dog seeing as the clan pertained of only a few members who were quite competitive and fairly active. I Was glad to be in a clan where I really knew the leader, MaiMeeTur, with some amazing members whom I got to know rather personally. I feel while I was in this clan I was able to really get to know AC players a little better rather than focusing on the game as much. I still continued to work on the AC wiki was often as I could and as always staying forum active no matter how harsh real life was treating me. Somewhere in there from my wiki/clan editing frenzy, I was promoted to be an AC forum moderator on February 21st of 2012 making me the only mod in eQ.| clan. I can't say I accomplished much clan wise unfortunately for I was only in eQ.| for almost 5 months before it went dreadfully inactive and closed on March 24th, 2012. This was definitely one of the clans I fit well into whether it be attitude or skill or both.
Regarding forum moderation, I can't say I deserved it seeing as I was perfectly capable without it but to know such trust has been established with the community is an awesome feeling so with such established power, I suppose I replace the less active moderators. I may have been one of the youngest (17 at the time) and fastest (1yr 3m) noobs to get moderation in the history of AC. I still act very immature with a temper at times but I never let that control my power over other users seeing as I do my best to just walk away when I can.
A clan that seemed to bring a shine to the AC scene, I figured after some alone time, this may make a great choice to apply to. My original application was on March 24th of 2012 but unfortunately there seems to be a lot of inner clan issues going on at the time and so to avoid additional stress on everyone, I had decided to withdraw.
However after letting the dust settle a little while, I reapplied on May 28th, 2012. I was soon accepted and joined the Presidential Bodyguards B} on June 11th 2012. I was rather excited to finally join what I believed to be one of the most stable and active clans in AC. I knew a lot of the members and was fond of decent skill levels to my own and great people to just hang out with and talk to. Unfortunately not long into the clan, a good AC pal MaiMeeTur made the fateful decision to quit the clan. However keeping my hopes up and still fresh to B}, I was ready to reengage with AC. Regular inters occurred for a while and then eventually school started back up for everyone leaving a steady decline in activity in both the clan and AC in general. However that didn't stop me from trying to host servers for the clan which at one point in time had chat linked to my personal IRC channel. Not too long after this, my good pal Thrawn finally decided it was time to reapply to what other than the B}'s on December 15th, 2012 and accepted on January 16th, 2013.
The gamers and the lazy
Well finishing out the year 2012, AC's most active players and "pros" seems to tire of the lack of a new release and a steady decline in great gameplay of inters seemed to be occurring. However on August 9th, 2012, I was promoted on the wiki to Bureaucrat which is something of being just under a wiki admin which was another great accomplishment. As well on March 16th, 2013, Bukz promoted me to a forum admin. My contribution however only goes as far as forum administration and near full wiki control. Once gaining forum admin, I wasn't sure what to do or whether it was even going to last as it seemed it was simply a friend doing a friend a favor. However truth behold, it was permanent. Just like when I gained moderator powers, I was again overjoyed. Tons of new buttons and tons of new ways I could gain information and for the better. Seeing as I am a regular IRC goer, I can deal with issues new users bring up in IRC regarding the forum such as activating accounts, etc.
Aside from the main forum, I ended up purchasing my first real VPS (Virtual Private Server) on March 7th, 2013 with a new domain. I was able to fairly quickly move all of my internet services over to it including my IRC bouncer, AC servers and website. It was really cool to say I owned a VPS where I can do so much more. And just like that, I began to expand with my new service. I opened a sub domain for Bukz off of my own domain and hosted a site for him on my web server. This was also the intro to getting me connected to the site ac-akimbo.net. Along with akimbo, I had started hosting an IRC bot which announces new file uploads to the akimbo site to IRC as made by Ironzorg. In addition, Bukz was off to testing php search engines using my web host to search akimbo files remotely and cfg cleaners for AC maps and soon in April 2013, I was convinced by both him and Lucas to start a file mirror for akimbo. The next version of AC (Currently SVN or 1.2) incorporates an auto downloader of missing custom content so I got into contact with one of the head AC devs and the owner of akimbo, Cleaner, and set up a file mirror to help with bandwidth for file hosting. Overall, I feel I have been tied into the technical aspect of AC more than the gaming side these last few months.
Over the next few months, around June through September, AC services began to have a few problems dealing with unhappy player(s) who find it funny to cheat and not expect consequences. In this case, the main site and Master Server were being DDoS'ed and occasionally taken offline. The attacks had worsened to the point that the site would black out for weeks at a time but luckily the Master Server had priority and worked most days that the site did not. This was a bummer for the summer competitions being organized on the forum between clans but the games went on and players still fought to the death! At this point, B} is still going strong, recruiting some of my close IRC friends in and keeping the bouncer alive and well. Thinking back on it, I didn't do a whole lot over the summer months. However I was still around and doing whatever I could do to try and help out with the DDoS attacks continuing.
Eventually, jamz (The head server guy for all of AC) basically gave up trying to host the website seeing as it was constantly being shut down due to the attacks after many persistent attempts to keep everything running. Akimbo alongside was being hosted on a separate server and was also being shut down in addition to a few random clan websites. I wasn't ready to see AC go into a prolonged blackout or worse, die or lose a large portion of the community so I attempted to offer hosting. Once Akimbo was back up around September as hosted by [email protected] at the time, the Master Server was moved to the Akimbo Server and hosted for a little while. He wasn't ready to offer hosting for the forum and was more focused on the main aspect of having the game playable again for online players. After a little debating, I gained a reasonable amount of trust and a huge privilege to take over hosting for the forum and this very wiki on my own VPS. On September 26th and after a little debugging, the wiki and the forums were temporarily back online again. This created a split hosting so that if one server went down, we still had a second server to fall back on.
As good thinking as it was to have two servers, it didn't even matter in the end. The attacks continued on the Akimbo server and even became worse now that it had the Master Server as we believe it was the main point of interest for the attackers. Eventually the attacks moved to my server. Everything remained online for the duration of the attacks on my side of hosting but the Master Server was suffering. The attacks on my server seemed to be far less worse than the ones on the main Akimbo server. Sure enough, [email protected] announced that he is giving up trying to host for AC and Akimbo due to the attacks. Basically, I was the only one left still running a working server. Quickly enough, just a few weeks in, everything was now moved to my server and I was running the entire shebang; Master Server, Forum, Website, and wiki. Once I had the Master Server, I found rather quickly that as expected, the attacks worsened and were almost on an hourly basis which is absolutely absurd on any level. I knew pretty quickly I needed to find a different host but this was a difficult task.
Sure enough in my search for a new host, my current setup contacts me letting me know I needed to take action against the attacks "or else". I was already on my way out anyways but in light of not pissing them off any further, I manually shut down everything for about two or three days so I could keep access to my files as necessary (The attackers were still trying to attack during downtime!). In the two to three day downtime, I moved to a new host with better coverage and had everything setup once again. As soon as the domain pointed to my new web server, AC was back in business and since September, I continue to host everything AC to this day. Many questions were asked like why didn't I just use CloudFlare or similar proxy? This is because CloudFlare provides very basic protection for websites and was not rated for the type of attack I was receiving. My new host however provides an IP that when attacked, will not affect my actual web server (In this case, like a beefy CloudFlare that does protect against all types of DDoS). Since moving to the new server, I have not been made aware of any new attacks or else the attacks have all been waded off. Either way, I'm not looking for any more attacks but I'm hoping to be ready should they start to become apparent again.
End of 2013
It's now two days from 2014 and in the last year, I became admin over the wiki and the forum. Soon after, a shining light pointed at me and I took over hosting everything AC. It's the best feeling in the world that a game I have dedicated years to has come down to this. I don't need any rewards or special attention; having AC is all I have ever wanted and I've pretty much just hit the jackpot and my main goal. I'm not going anywhere any time soon and I hope this means AC won't either.
So I've been forgetting about this for a while, surely something has happened during 2014. Honestly, I can't remember much. Either that or not much has happened. That might be an issue or it may be a good thing. I've been able to keep all services up and updated and continued learning how everything works between different people. On that note, AC gained two more developers to help out with the code: Stef and Grenadier. This shows a new promise for AC as we hope to push for new features for the game such as a brand new Master Server and new methods to kick off cheaters. For now, we keep weeding through the trolls.
Unfortunately, a game changer for me personally, we ended up losing a community leader in the process of gaining our two new ones (But not because of). Jamz is a great friend of mine whom I thought of greatly as a personal mentor in my coming of AC but he's needing to vacation from AC for a little while, just to take a break from the madness that is AC. We had frequent late night (For me) IRC chats about everything from personal interests to catching cheaters. We spent a lot of time working side by side to help build a better community but unfortunately, the community remained chaotic between admins and regulars alike. Many blame a lack of communication and understanding between our main coders and veterans alike. I cannot pin point the situation exactly and neither can anyone else, but it feels like I lost a good friend in the process. AC was our common interest but if he's doing better now, then I'm happy. The real unfortunate situation for me is this meant I'm pretty much the community leader for the most part now and the main Master Server blacklist administrator. In other words, it used to be only Jamz until I came along and now it's only me and occasionally a random appearance from RandumKiwi.
To put the cherry on the cake though, I suffered a seriously strong DDoS attack on my web server once more just after these prior events. Unfortunately this shit fest left the site to struggle as it was being flooded with thousands and thousands of requests. Mitigation kicked in but it couldn't filter fast enough and keep up. I previously stated that CloudFlare seemed out of question but with little to do, I gave it another try. At first it didn't really do anything either but it let me mask my IP while I changed some things in order to buy me time. The Master Server in the mean time remained up due to it being in plain text and quick to load even when flooded. Eventually the attack stopped after nearly two weeks, and the main benefit I've discovered with CloudFlare is the offline site caching which is good for our main site.
We're not too far into the year yet so alas we wait for more stuff to write. In the mean time, my buddy Thrawn has started committing doc changes to AC which is a great start. Many places to go from here...
History is made daily, where do you stand?