The History of Trench Wars/The Renaissance
- (September 1999 – January 2000)
The main problem at this time with Trench Wars was that it was still primarily a great newbie zone. Even with all the efforts by Staff, the zone was still primarily people who did not even know all the basic controls of the game, and it was very hard to get anything serious going on in the zone. There were attempts of course, and some event arenas such as ?go racing and ?go turf existed where the Staff tried for some special events but they were generally rare. Meanwhile, special events hosted inside Elim began to appear at this time in the form of ER or Mod hosted team Elimination, where teams of 3-7 players would battle each other for supremacy.
With Crown of Thorns in charge of Staff it quickly grew, with the Moderators staying more professional and becoming the domain of the older and more mature players, while less mature or less well known individuals were trusted with what was viewed as the lesser job of <ER>. The Mods and ERs also had different chats and rarely conversed with each other, while the Mods shared a chat with the Sysops and Smods.
One of the problems with staff during this time was that few staff members would ever host any league games as many would pretend to be away or just flat out refuse. Arilou Lalee’lay must be given credit for single-handedly keeping the leagues alive by being at many times, the only guy who hosted the leagues.
Before the summer, Childrn of Light disappeared and his squad LAME promptly died. In an effort to salvage the group, the members of LAME created OBSiDEON which for a while played in the leagues as a competitive squad and was right at the top of the rankings. The squad would become less and less active until its final collapse in October 1999. This led to a lot of legends of the game including phalanx and NCrawler among others to quit the game. Meanwhile, TW Elites had stopped becoming a force in Trench Wars and somewhat paralleling what Childrn of Light and Childrn of Darkness had done with LAME, FRAKTURE was established also captained by TOFU and Booyaa as what they called “TW Elites Elite”.
It was during this period when Elim reached a peak point of competitiveness, with Rampage (formerly Burnt) players dominating the top of the standings, along with a few others such as FieryFire and Jeraden. New players desperately tried their best to enter the standings. One of the more influential newbie squads of the time were War Time… (later became –Knightz-), where the next generation of great players such as Sir> Elim Killer, Banzi Fuq (aka Influx_), Elicit and Skater hailed from. Slowly climbing the charts to the top were newcomers Jack Kiefer, Epinephrine, Fireballz, Digitalwave, and Eric is God. Also, antiwarp was finally added to the Elim arena, making the Warbird Elim much more fun to play in.
The old order was crumbling, and the new players were getting into positions of power. A number of people were newly hired into the staff as a whole. cROMe SolJa (who had started off with Prophacy) and Soul Burner both created new powerhouse Elim squads, Emerge and Deceit while Digitalwave, a former Paladen member created yet another elite Elim squad, eVox. In mid-October, Emerge and Deceit would merge to become Siege, the first Supersquad in Trench Wars.
Meanwhile back in the public arenas, the main public map, which had been a mainstay since the early days with few variations changed drastically. SuperDave (Postal) perhaps one of the greatest mapmakers in Trench Wars history, created a new maps for the zone along with Arilou Lalee’lay. Eventually the three-entrance base map was decided upon by the players after a very lengthy demonstration process and the dynamics of the basing game changed forever. Even the old main entrance - the main tunnel – changed as it now had two holes in the platform which blocked direct access to the tunnel. Before, it was guaranteed that whoever owned the tunnel owned the base, but now everything was different.
SuperDave (Postal) also created the first great event in Trench Wars in the form of Ghoul Games. A completely new map, with different and original graphics, and easy to learn rules for the many fun games led to an instant classic. Other events such as ?go rabbit and ?go turretwars would be added in this time.
In December 1999 to January 2000, the final changes, which finally put Trench Wars on the map, took place. At the end of December FRAKTURE and Rampage would merge, and along with the addition of eVox in January 2000 and a bunch of Pro League players, a new Supersquad under the leadership of Epinephrine called Elusive was created. Elusive quickly became the most hated squad in TW history as the squad filled with both egos, and generally insulting players. Siege quickly moved in as the arch-nemesis of Elusive proclaiming that Elusive would never last, and establishing itself as a favourite of players who knew that Siege was really the only other squad capable of challenging Elusive in both Elim and in the Warbird Leagues. Trench Wars veterans quickly took interest in joining these squads as they quickly saw that these squads would create history. They represented the old vs. the new; Elusive comprised of mostly veterans, whether from Trench Wars itself or from other parts of Subspace, while Siege was mostly composed of new talent.
In the leagues, TWL Season 2 was set to begin in January 2000, and the clash of these two Supersquads and of the old favourites –Final- and Paladen were greatly anticipated. Meanwhile the bulk of TW squads remained on TWDL and TWBL and generally ignored TWL.
During this period, Elim was reaching a highpoint of popularity and competitiveness. There were a great number of players at this time who all tried their absolute best to get better and better ratings. Elim was gaining more respectability and coming into its own from an obscure part of Trench Wars where few players played, into an arena where some of the most well known names in the public arenas would gather with the new class of mostly Elim-only players to talk and discuss all matters. From now on, half of the Staff would consist of mostly Elim-only players, and it would also be a staging area for most of the leagues except for the basing league. Elusive managed to claim the Elim crown in early January 2000 with the top 5 players, and 8 of the top 10, a feat which was never to be repeated by any squad ever again.
Over the Christmas break Digitalwave, created a new Elim map. The old map was basically the old pub map base for Javs on the top, with a big rectangular area for Warbirds in the middle. Jav games usually consisted of constantly bombing the middle tunnel, and thus getting into the base was almost impossible. Urged by a suggestion of Epinephrine to add in three different entrances to the Elim base, Digitalwave agreed, and made the three-entrance map, of which the modern Elim arena base is based upon. The dynamics of the Jav game were forever changed. Just like in pub, domination of the main tunnel was no longer as important, and popularity for the Jav game took off. It is also important to mention that with the new support for a serious Jav game, a serious complaint was raised. Random shrapnel with the doubly devastating effect of random damage was hurting the game, many asserted, a complaint, which would be ignored by the upper Staff even until today.
Also in this time, as was mentioned before, Team Elims were very popular in Elim as hosted events by the Mods. The friends and squad mates FieryFire and Epinephrine took it to the next level. With some of the greatest hosting ever seen in the zone, they managed to take the games to the next level. Constantly creating new games such as Dodgeball (by FieryFire) and Save the Queen, the games came to a highpoint when Epinephrine adapted from a scenario that he played in another zone, and thus managed to create one of the most popular games in all of TW, Zombies. Originally with differing rules depending on whether FieryFire or Epinephrine hosted it, Epinephrine decided to concrete the rules of the game.
With some nagging of the Sysop DoCk>, Epinephrine was able to convince DoCk>, to allow the creation of an independent Zombies arena. The first Zombies game in January 2000 was the single most successful event held in Trench Wars history up to that point. Almost 100 players turned out, so much in fact that many players lagged out due to the strain on the server. With a map which was borrowed from the old Running Zone, and the first sub-arena with ships that had different settings than the public arenas, the game was instantly loved by all and demands for the game quickly crept up. A rule that Zombies should only be hosted on weekends was quickly urged by Epinephrine and implemented in order that the game would never lose its lustre. This rule would later be extended into many other events in the zone.
Another event that was created in this time was Deathmatch. Team Elims were now pushed from the Elim map and onto the Deathmatch map. From now on, with some exceptions, Elim would stay dedicated to Robo Ref and the Elimination game. Deathmatch was a player and Mod classic, and was constantly hosted and enjoyed by players across the entire zone.
Finally with a real map Turretwars started to become a frequently hosted game as well, although it never took on the popularity of Deathmatch or its other contemporaries.
Finally at the end of January, the first great league game happened. The long awaited Elusive vs. Siege game happened as the first game of TWL Season 2. The game set attendance records for any league game in TW history, a feat that would be repeated by every single Siege and Elusive encounter for the next year. The game would be won by Elusive and would eventually go on to determine the result of the entire season. Unfortunately the next TWL season would not start for quite a while which left many restless. This was one of the only real qualms most had with TWL and it never went away.
All in all by the end of January 2000, Trench Wars was definitely on the rise. The population was at record levels with roughly 200 people on at peak times. Elim was now very established and would even be imitated by Trench Wars’ competitors. The new maps in Elim and Pub would change the game for the better. The first two Supersquads would appear in the zone to be imitated by many. Staff was getting bigger and better. A new generation of players had taken over the zone and were committed to it. Finally the greatest feature of all of Trench Wars, the weekly and daily events had begun in earnest with the start of Zombies and Deathmatch. The time was ripe for the picking, and Trench Wars was all over it.