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The year 2000

growing and growing
Looked upon as a magical year, although the real Millenium change is not earlier than the year 2001, it also was the start of a sudden growth of the clan. Early Jan 2000 we welcomed the 20th member in our clan and we had a long list of requests for tryouts. One clan (max 20 members as directed by Westwood) was hardly enough to cope with this 'problem'. We did not want to say "no" to all those players on the waiting list and founded a new clan: [FD_NL], our second legion.

Still growing (strong?) we opened the third clan on Feb 26 [FDNL], the third legion. We even had a training clan [S-FDNL] Scouts-clan, founded 26 April 2000. Some called it a Kindergarden, but actually we used this clan to see if young people (aged 10-13) had the potential to become members of our regular clans.

And we were there, whether on the Europe, the US or the UK-servers, everybody knew all about FDNL. Ye all must remember those Good Ole Days in the chat, how they "spoke" about us, liked or disliked our clan or their members or just cursed us all the way to Hell (however, it was way too early to do so, our Diablo clan was only founded a year later ).

Some day we noticed that another Dutch clan, [$atan], had the same 'problems' in the chat-channels, like we did: always being accused of the worst, being attacked constantly from the outside on their messageboard and even from the inside by their own members.
When we met in the chatchannels, we always had some smalltalk or played clangames or FFA with them. In the final days of [$atan] we discussed the possibility of a clanmerge and we both consulted our members. The vote ended in a draw: 50% voted Yah and 50% Nea. Then Imurderu and some of his clanmates decided to leave [$atan] and join [FD-NL]. Imurderu, now an important sponsor and coleader, is still a member of our clan, the other [$atan]-members left the clan later on.

Although we played several maps, our favorite clangame-map was Forest Fires. It took Pretvlek (aka: Abigbombr, Urdeadman, Xsublime1, joined 7 Mar 2000) to make us play Terrace and bring the clanscores right into the top-25: tnx Pret, for educating us

We played a huge number of games, we hardly refused any game and the number of clan games played by our members belonged to the highest ever on the Westwood servers.

new game - FireStorm (released 25 Mar 2000)
Firestorm, the expansion pack to Tiberian Sun. Alas, thrown over the fence into the public way to early. It was so buggy, nearly everyone found glitches, backdoors and loopholes they could exploit to have an easy win: the real start of the Era of Cheats and the beginning of the End. We all do remember the sell last building cheat after surrender and the prevent an enemy harvester to unload-cheats, followed by build anywhere, reconnection error, etc.
Although it weren't the first cheats in the C&C/TS world, the impact was surely more severe. Trainers and cheat programs were released and now everybody could "win" a game, having skills or not.
Westwood was begged many, many times to fix these bugs. All in vein: they were deaf and did not want to hear us. After a few months everybody was tired of playing FireStorm, mainly because of the cheats. In the latter days our members only played FireStorm for fun and no more clangames ever were played.

It was in those days too that the whole C&C-community was plagued by the horrific problems with the gamelogs and squad admin, that took WW nearly three months to fix (probably caused by the fact that since the introduction of Firestorm it was allowed to use mixed upper/lowercase characters in a nickname --Unix aint Windows, guys-- !!).
It was never possible to create ranking-webpages for our FireStorm clans. When Westwood finally fixed all the problems, our members had abandonned FireStorm completely.

our messageboard [14 May 2000 (old) and 17 Sep 2000 (new)]
Informing our members about events became too difficult using the Westwood-chat only (not everybody was willing, or allowed by there parents, to give us their email-addresses and not everybody was online at the same time). Creating a messageboard, hosted by InsideTheWeb, filled the gap.
This messagboard, although primitive, was highly appreciated by our members. It was possible to give information about the clan, the members could leave messages to schedule appointments for gaming, exchange jokes, warn members for cheat-clans, etc. We loved it.
However, early September InsideTheWeb, our host, announced the shut down of the messageboard due to a bankruptcy, like alot of other boards suffered from too: too few revenues. Visitors did not like the pop-up of ads and used popup-killers massively and thereby reducing the income of the host.

Sep, 17th we opened a new one, with much more facilities at EzBoard (seperate forums, members-only forums, customable setup, etc). We opened a public forum for every visitor, a members-only forums to discuss clanmatters and admin forums for the clanfounders and coleaders. New games, new forums. The messageflow is rather high for the relatively low number of members we have (some 400 registered users).

It's online, it's huge, it's still there. Pay us a visit and leave a message just to say Hello, you are just one click away from FDNL's MessageBoard to take you there.

Secure Area - 17 May 2000
Several members wanted to share their Build Orders and their tips 'n tricks with other members of the clan. Unfortunately it was impossible to have password protected pages with our current host. We had to open an account at Hosted Scripts and created the required password protected page over there, with links too.

The S.A. was supposed to be accessible by a selected group of members only. Some smart guys found a way to trick the, not so very protected, system.

[FDNL*N] The Flying Dutchmen Newbies clan (October 2000)
Just for fun Pretvlek founded a new clan with some old friends and called it "The Newbies clan", because alot of clans thought about FDNL: 'just a n00b clan'. Well, they showed very convincing how "newb's" played this game.
The nicknames used for the 'newb-clan' were derived from bicycle parts:
  • Binneband (inner tube) - Pretvlek3
  • Buiteband (tyre) - Rank22
  • Fietsband (cycle tyre) - Outlaw17
  • Legeband (flat tyre) - Neutronic
  • Spatbord (mud guard) - Corp2001
They managed to make it into the top-10 with these players only, where Binneband and Buiteband played most of the games!
On our old website, click the link in the header of this page, you may find the scores of this clan.

another new game - Red Alert/2 (released 26 Oct 2000)

The long awaited day, Oct 26th, finally arrived, when Red Alert/2 hit the store shelves. Nearly everybody of the C&C-community camped in front of the shops, to be the first buying this game. The majority of FD-NL also purchased Red Alert and two clans were founded. Nearly all our members entered the RA/2 battlefields.

Although many switched to play Red Alert, it became clear very soon that the game was released too early and not enough testing had been performed. Many errors freezed the game, for example, when switching or refreshing the chat-channels; it was also impossible to page (clan)members when in the gameroom and the most severe: you could alter official gamemaps being unnoticed ...!!...

It took Westwood 7 (!!) months to fix these problems free of charge (Westwood first announced that "all problems will be fixed when the expansion pack Yuri's Revenge is released.......". When Westwood noticed that the feelings ran high in the whole RA/2 community and people were not willing to buy the expansion pack, they 'suddenly' announced that "of course a free fix for RA/2 will be released and the problem was due to a certain 'miscommunication'" - yeah, sure!).

Nowadays, regularly new maps are still released, most of them created by external mapmakers.

Diablo II (classic) and 'Lord of Destruction' expansion - 20 nov 2000

Although the two clanfouders played Diablo-II online since 8 Oct 2000, we did not know of other members playing this game too. Only during an ICQ-chat, when the Westwood servers were down, we learned a few other members played Diablo-II too. Mid november we decided to open up a clan and a forum on our messageboard. We also created a small web-section for our Diablo players.

Although Diablo-II doesnot know about clans (aka Guilds), all our players had a clantag [FDNL] attachted to their account- and characternames, to distinquish them from the rest of the pack.

An open forum was created, allowing each and everyone to discuss the important 'Battle for Hell' topics with us. Then, somewhere from the outerest regions in the deepest undercrofts where Diablo himself resides, in wicked minds a dreary and horrible idea found its way to full consciousness to spam our beloved forum. You do not want to know about the filt spread by those creatures. All forces were summoned to halt this fearsome attacks. Spells were succesfully casted and from now on, Sunday 27 Jan 2002, the forum is hidden to all not being touched with The Holy Zakarum by the Master of Heavens.

Early 2002 the game came to a full stop because of the cheats, dupes and hacks, that lasted till Blizzard send out several patches to prevent misuse of the major loopholes and backdoors and the clan was revived again.

Because Diablo does not have a clan-system (Guilds), it is impossible to kick someone from the clan. That's why we maintain a memberlist on our own website. Only when your name shows up on that list, you are considered to be a real FDNL-member. Our coleaders take care of:
  • promotional activities in the Diablo chat-channels
  • answering questions
  • accept new members
  • kick members
  • maintain the spare-item-chest (mule), i.e items donated by our members that may be shared with others

A major Organizational Change (December 2000) - part I

By the end of the year it became clear that the two clanfounders could not play clangames and talk to all the members and do all the tryouts and do the selections and update the webpages and maintain the messageboard and make new webdesigns and be available at MSN and ... etc, etc.
Too many clans, too many changes, too many tasks.

So H0lland and I decided to assign co-clanleaders per game and delegate tasks, like selection of new members, play tryout games, give a helping hand to new members, advice to kick members from the clan that do not want to obey the rules or are using cheats or calling names to other players or gave away free-games, etc.
It worked-out wonderfully well. Later-on coleaders were handed the joinpasswords of the clans and they were able to have new members join the clan immediately, without waiting for the clanfounders to tell the passwords.

More about this change, later.


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