Gaming Ghost Towns

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Baldry:
There's something about gaming ghost towns that always scares me. The emptiness of the world doesn't feel right and I always expect something to jump out and scare the living shit out of me.
Also this was beautiful, kinda makes me want to do it, traverse the empty planes of games now past.

It doesn't scare me, but it often saddens me to see my beloved games reduced to a hollow shell. It's like meeting an old friend, and realizing they've changed so much you have nothing in common with them anymore.

I play a lot of old GoldSrc games, and they're very sparsely populated. Most of the time, I have to cobble together a few of my friends on Steam in order to get an even remotely good deathmatch game going.

It really makes me cry to see these older shooters (along with other genres, but that's not what I'm focusing on in my post) get overshadowed by things like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and even Valve's own Team Fortress 2. Nothing against those newer franchises, but I'd like some people to play with on the games that I grew up with. Give them a bit more publicity and realize that they're truly great, you know?

BTW: If any of you want to get together for a few matches, send me a message on Steam. I've been playing a lot more Deathmatch Classic and the Half-Life multiplayer modes recently, if anyone wants to join me.

Gasaraki:
Well that was terrible pretentious crap. The base idea was fine, but I couldn't stop cringing while reading the description of the map on the first page.

Agreed about his writing, but this is still a piece worth reading. So many millions of dollars and man hours are wasted creating worlds that are as inviting as the Salton Sea.

Check this out: http://youtu.be/otIU6Py4K_A

I play Delta Force Black Hawk Down practically every night on PC and was one of the last to play it on the PS2 servers. You get a better sense of teamwork when there's only a few people on that you'll see most nights. We still get a good 30 people on some servers though.

Stephen Wo:
Shattered Horizons and Lead N' Gold hardly have more than 10 people playing total. Kind of sad.

No kidding. Bought them both when they were 5 bucks-ish about a year ago, only to find hardly anyone playing. I'm even having a hard time finding people on Monday Night Combat. A couple full servers, but the rest are a sea of zeroes.

maddog015:

Stephen Wo:
Shattered Horizons and Lead N' Gold hardly have more than 10 people playing total. Kind of sad.

No kidding. Bought them both when they were 5 bucks-ish about a year ago, only to find hardly anyone playing. I'm even having a hard time finding people on Monday Night Combat. A couple full servers, but the rest are a sea of zeroes.

Yeah. Occasionally I can find a few bots. The saddest part is, my single player doesn't work.

Sgt. Sykes:

Really, I must say the art of good multiplayer has been forgotten. Quake 3 is and forever will be the best of its kind. And esentially, so will Counter-Strike. You can make CODs and other all you want, but it won't be the same, or better. Especially since these days, MP is so console-focused that you can't really design good fun maps around it.

Ive never found counterstrike multiplayer that fun, it felt incredibly boring after a while. I think its really overrated.

However i love Quake III.

KO4U:

Gasaraki:
Well that was terrible pretentious crap. The base idea was fine, but I couldn't stop cringing while reading the description of the map on the first page.

Agreed about his writing, but this is still a piece worth reading. So many millions of dollars and man hours are wasted creating worlds that are as inviting as the Salton Sea.

Check this out: http://youtu.be/otIU6Py4K_A

I think I'm going to have to check this place out some day. Thank you for posting this.

cricket chirps:

Tin Man:
That was the most beautiful article I've read on Escapist.

I haven't done anything like this myself, but I think next time I get the chance I shall, just to really see the worlds we play in. In how many games these days do we really pause and reflect on the worlds we inhabit?

When Bioshock 2 eventually dies out, it'll be the first online wasteland I visit methinks.

:) i want to see extra credits cover nastalgia in games. And i too believe this was an amazing article. Even if it just touched on something thats automaticly important to us, it was well written in my opinion.

Agreed, it was an interesting idea to be sure, but the quality of the writing is what struck me most.

And as much as I love EC, I would just rather Tom Rubira wrote for the Escapist again =p

Senor Smoke21:
I logged onto Guild Wars recently after a long time away from the game. Pretty much never saw anyone outside of the major cities. Not so much ghost towns due to the npcs but still very lonely.
It's the same with my WoW server, the population has been slowly declining over the years and it is now a very rare occurrence to meet another player outside of Orgrimmar.

Guild Wars PvP is still pretty active. Well, all the decent players have stopped playing, but there are usually new-ish people in HA.

I love doing this. Really strange, and atmospheric.

I really enjoyed the article; covered a good topic, was well written and evoked feelings of nostalgia.

I remember when Deus Ex got its multiplayer component (as it wasn't there on release), the community was so divided. One half felt it should remain a single player game and that MP couldn't work with the RP aspects, and the other half were desperate to show off their skills and combos.

This article reminded me quite a bit of Neocron 2. That was a game that I played when it came out and just didnt have the time to get into it but stumbled across it awhile back and logged in. The place was pretty much barren save for a handful of hard-core regulars who treated me like some sort of gate-crasher. Its very easy to feel lonely in a cyber punk city but even more so when no one will speak to you because you're a complete noob! I explored the urban jungle for a bit and fought a few rats before deciding, "Bugger this for a game of soldiers.".

I don't get how "servers" operate. I always assumed that I was connecting to someone else's computer when I joined a match, so in that case it could never be possible for a game's multiplayer to "die" if there were people still interested. That doesn't really seem to be the case in multiplayer nowadays with matchmaking and what not.

Anyway the idea of just exploring abandoned gameplay spaces is just incredibly fascinating for some reason.

Beautiful article. I really enjoy loading up old games and trying out the multiplayer mode.

I did that on UT2004. Re-installed it for the hell of it, no one was on most servers but I went on custom map servers and though "damn, wish I started playing earlier"

Im kinda hoping UT3 has servers with custom maps. that's what made it awesome.

Thanks for the great article. It's in my Top 5 list here in Escapist, so far.

Yes, there's a strange, guilty pleasure in wandering around empty servers. God knows I spent many a night walking about 0/08s, 0/16s and 0/32s...

I recently entered a deserted area of the Escapist Minecraft server. It was strange.

Also, here's a video that sums up the feeling of playing on abandoned servers.

Wait, people DON'T do this like me? Damn...

Logged on SupCom (not too old), TA (old) and some others recently, generally do it once a year, more regularly MoHAA.

Now, imagine if while you were doing this, random ghosts of characters and battles past appeared and disappeared, replete with faint echoes of fading sound. That would be a pretty neat "ghost server" experience.

REMINDER:
Thanks to the big publisher's stranglehold on games and gamers, this is no longer possible. If Bobby had control of Deus Ex, he would have shut down the servers long ago but without mods and outside servers, no one would be able to slip into an old multiplayer game like this. Stop supporting games with no dedicated servers or gamer control.

People from Europe still play Jedi Knight Academy lots. That game wasn't even very popular (the multiplayer anyway) and its getting fairly old.

SkittlesKat:
People from Europe still play Jedi Knight Academy lots. That game wasn't even very popular (the multiplayer anyway) and its getting fairly old.

Ah, yes. I sometimes reinstall JKJA, and find myself surprised as to how many servers there are. Also, Neverwinter Nights is still popular... as opposed to NwN 2's multiplayer.

I still run a server for the Half-Life mod The Specialists, largely out of respect for the game and as one of the final gathering places of those who still play. I've felt exactly the way this article describes when I wander around in it sometimes.

TheKruzdawg:
I've had an experience similar to this about 8 years ago. Back before my computer crashed, I used to play the bejeezus out of Jedi Knight. I realize that I got into the game really late (it being released in '97 I believe, while I was playing it for the first time in '01 or '02). One day I randomly decided to try out the multiplayer. Even though I don't think I was ever actually connected to a server, I still created a bunch of different characters and ran around the levels exploring. And I would spend hours doing this, memorizing bits of the map and discovering where my favorite weapons would be located on the random chance that someone did join in.

It was interesting to see places that I recognized (such as Bespin or variations on single-player levels) and roam around discovering all the little surprises. For example, I was very excited to find out that the carbonite chamber in one of the Bespin levels actually worked and you could trap enemies in it. I would even purposefully trap myself in it for the sheer novelty of looking like Han Solo and being placed in carbonite.

I played Jedi Knight : Jedi Academy, or whatever its called....The one with that really annoying apprentice guy, Rosh something...

Anyways, this was back in like '08 or '06. I was really surprised that people were online, if only like, 10 or 11.

SkittlesKat:
People from Europe still play Jedi Knight Academy lots. That game wasn't even very popular (the multiplayer anyway) and its getting fairly old.

Huh? Its still kicking around? I'll have to reinstall it some day and try it out again.

The Wheel of Time game had the best experience of this.

One of the most underrated and ahead-of-its-time masterpieces in multiplayer, it never really took off.

Six years later I logged onto an empty custom map server called "Kinslayer's Tower" and it was one of the most chilling and inspiring gaming experiences I'd ever had.

Some of the custom maps for that game were utterly mindblowing, in a surrealist art horror type way.

I'd heard a while back that some people had managed to get the Dreamcast back online with a custom version on SEGAnet. I would love to see what DC game servers are like :)

around the time DLC for F.E.A.R. 2 came out i played F.E.A.R 1 multiplayer. i was somehow amused how it didnt ask me anything and jut threw me into some server with 8 people all of which was way beyond my level. then i looked up at the list and it was the only server with players along with around 20 servers that are empty. but this is also true to new games. take grand theft auto for example. or Team Fortress 2. Or even the multiplayer giants like Call of Duty. we usualyl filter empty servers away, but actually around 2/3 of existing servers are empty. most of them are generic clones of eachother that are poorly done, true, but they still are there.
but i dont find it strange. when i want to play alone i play singleplayer. when i want tp play multiplayer i want to play with many other people, and i tend to choose those servers that have the most already player, with exception being for servers with game modes that i enjoy more. im not afraid of going from 200 online to 16 online of gamemode is the one i like, but i wouldnt be playing singleplayer in online server there.

This is also an odd hbby of mine, sometimes i will boot up an obsucre game in the hopes of wondering the long deserted multiplayer section like some kind of gaming archaeologist or lone survivor of some long passed gaming rapture. Maybe it is my burning passion for "Dicking around" but i also love to just load up random Gary's Mod maps and take a stroll through their vastness or not so vastness. It feels like an adventure. An empty gaming space is kind of eerie and melancholic.

Zachary Amaranth:

Baldry:
There's something about gaming ghost towns that always scares me. The emptiness of the world doesn't feel right and I always expect something to jump out and scare the living shit out of me.
Also this was beautiful, kinda makes me want to do it, traverse the empty planes of games now past.

It doesn't scare me, but it often saddens me to see my beloved games reduced to a hollow shell. It's like meeting an old friend, and realizing they've changed so much you have nothing in common with them anymore.

Yeah I can understand that but just the idea of loneliness in something so social doesn't seem right to me.

One game that I try and play online is Arcanum Of Steamworks and Magick. Very solid single player story. Can't say the same for the multiplayer as no one plays it.

Nuuu:
Reminds me of WoW after catacalysm came out, the once popular city of Dalaran was completely abandoned by any players, even the portals to the other cities dissapeared there too. It's odd to see a city once filled with hundreds of people clear out once an expansion comes out.

You think thats bad check out Shattrath, if it wasn't for the NPC that city would be an erie ruin. You'd be lucky to find even one other PC.

Baldry:
Yeah I can understand that but just the idea of loneliness in something so social doesn't seem right to me.

Fair enough, I can see how that would work.

I'm still used to game worlds where the population is kind of sparse, so I compare it to that mentally. Granted, even that's changing now, with much more richly populated worlds over the last few years, so one day, I may feel the same.

PrinceofPersia:

Nuuu:
Reminds me of WoW after catacalysm came out, the once popular city of Dalaran was completely abandoned by any players, even the portals to the other cities dissapeared there too. It's odd to see a city once filled with hundreds of people clear out once an expansion comes out.

You think thats bad check out Shattrath, if it wasn't for the NPC that city would be an erie ruin. You'd be lucky to find even one other PC.

True, but like you said, it's really the NPCs there that remove that "ghost town" feel. Shattrath has tons of NPCs and even announcements of a comedy act in the bar every once in a while. In Dalaran, there aren't that many NPCs, they are mostly all inside, giving a much more empty feel, even the portals got up and left after the catacalysm. Plus i joined WoW when WotLK was new, so i have a much bigger attachment to Dalaran than i do to Shattrath.

I was into free MMOs before I landed my job. Last one was Last Chaos, they had launched a new server a few weeks before I quit playing. During my summer off I decided to see what things we're now like on there just to find everywhere empty.

Yet Maplestory just gets more and more crowded...

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here