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Old 07-05-2002, 08:13 AM   #18
Krayt Tion
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Has the public Jedi Knight community gone the way of the Quake? For the most part, yes. But you must know it wasn't always so.

From the best of my recollection, most in 1997 were happy just to be wielding the lightsabre, the force, and playing against each other online in the Star Wars universe with the release of JK.

Browser-based message boards like the fledgling UBB, featured on such important community sites as jediknight.net, were still relatively new and exciting for users to post on and interact with. Sure, back then we still had our fair shair of abused anonymity problems inherent with internet communication, but overall you found a much friendlier, cooperative Jedi Knight community. At this time there was a stark contrast between the communities of Quake and Jedi Knight.

Believe it or not this comparison was true of the early Jedi Knight clan scene as well. There was of course your fair share of overly-zealous, winning-at-all-costs, egocentric braggarts who formed up for Jedi Knignt multiplayer. For every one of those clans, however, there seemed to be at least two dedicated roleplaying clans who took up the saber or conc. I remember browsing through endless humble geocities webpages of the roleplaying clans, reading things like their devotion to the light or dark sides of the force and their fictional Jedi or mercenary backgrounds. A major distinction between the 'Skull-Raper' clans that dominated the Quake scene to be sure.

So why have things gone downhill since then?

For starters, look no further than the game itself; the strength and quality of a game often has a symbiotic relationship with its gaming community. Raven's game is easily the weakest in the Dark Forces series when judged against its contemporaries and by the degree of innovation as compared to previous games in the series. This is sure to drive many of those experienced, wiser and sometimes more intelligent JK community dinosaurs away- or at the very least prevent them from participating as much as they did with DF or JK.

These forums (which represent the single largest gathering of JO players under one electronic roof and therefore can be argued is the most influential web-based community for the game) have degraded because of a number of factors.

Blame the growth of PCs and internet access in the average household. Blame the ever-changing, increasingly-youthful pc gamer demographic. These forums have certainly witnessed an influx of riff-raff that could easily be considered 'Quake-ish' (if one were making gross generalizations) that over-whelmed both the existing sensible members as well as those mods who wanted to support them.

There is hope.

Still, you will see flickers of the respectable, old school enthusiasm and maturity amongst the community if you squint closely. Follow the faint yet distinguishable scent of burning passion for the game and there you will find the editors. With their creative energy and love for the game they seem to me to be the best candidates to carry the torch and rekindle this community into the blazing pride fire it once was.

Mohc knows there are also pockets of mature Jedi Outcast gamers around us, but they have come to play and interact privately, having removed themselves from the spectacle of stupidity and immaturity that has infested traditional public forums and servers.

The Jedi Knight community was once an example of the one of the more mature, successful gaming communities on the web. Know this you must. Yet acknowledge I do that the community has been tumbling down into the sarlacc for a while now. Things often look as dark as the beast's foul belly.

Never forget though- we can always write our own ending. Boba fought his way out, after all.
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