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Flashback

The year 2001

The year went by quietly, like a wave, up and down: some days nobody played a single game, other weeks the number of clangames were overwhelming.
The most exciting things were a new website, several new games were released and also one of the blackest days in our existence occured, when we litterally crawled thru the deepest gates of darkness.
But let's first start with our new website.



The FDNL.NL domain registered (15 May 2001)
Although our old website had some 25,000 (!) visitors during the 17 months of its existence, it could not keep up with the requirements we had for the site itself. We urgently needed:
  • a webhost with much more facilities than supplied by Planet Internet
  • larger webspace
  • email server
  • preferably a registered FDNL.NL domain
We found a new webhost that supplied every facility we needed. We registered May 15th, 2001 our own domain and converted the old site to the new one, introduced a new layout and new facilities for our members at the same time. Intimidate (= Hellice2k) designed the new layout and the current flash menu.



Sponsors

Having an ad-free messageboard, a registered domain and programs for webdevelopment is very expensive. Without the help of our major sponsors BigBr0thr and Imurderu, it would be nearly impossible to maintain the high standards we'd like to have.



worldwide release of Emperor: Battle for Dune (14 June 2001)


A very nice and graphically well designed game with high computer requirements. You were required to have the most up-to-date (= fastest) hardware and a high-quality graphics cards to get the game up and running. Unfortunately the multi-player online requirements were so odd, that it was hardly possible to join an online game. Only very few people succeeded to create and join clan-games and soon the Emperor gaming-servers were almost abandonned.

Even now, with much improved harware, the number of clans showing up in the ranks is dramatically low compared to Tiberian Sun and Red Alert/2-Yuri realms. It is rumored that about 40% of the Emperor: Battle for Dune-games sold in the US were returned and people got their money back.

Only a few patches were released to repair the most severe, gameplay-hurting, problems.
Somewhere in Sep 2001, the development team got new jobs assigned and no new patches will be released ever.



Black Friday - 21 Sep 2001


Dark clouds reaching out for FD-NL

Our Tiberian Sun-clan [FD-NL] suddenly disappeared from the ranking- and browse-lists; all members appeared to be kicked from the clan.
Was the clan hacked? Did someone gave out the passwords? Did the founders stop without leaving a trace? Alot of confusion amongst our members. One of our former coleaders, Dutchtde, temporarely opened a new clan [FD-NL!] to keep on going.

Nor H0LLanD or LordGeo knew what happened and wrote emails to the Tiberian Sun representative asking what happened and requested to restore the clan. Unfortunately, the WW-representatives 'refused' to answer our mails. Then Byterx, an [FD-NL]-member mailed Chojin, a Red Alert Westwood admin. Chojin did answer and revealed that "FD-NL was banned due to multiple reports washing clangames".

Holy Shit! what to do now ?
One of the other problems we encountered in those days were that the gamelogs were down (again), so we couldnot check who 'committed this crime'. Westwood refused to tell us who it was. The clan was deleted, but ALL of our members, including the washers, could go on as usual....

Holland started a long conversation with Chojin asking what exactly happened and why a whole clan was deleted and our "washing" members still could play the game (all our [FD-NL] members still could join the chat channels and play games).
Q: "Unfair, dont you think so, Chojin? How about restoring the clan?"
A: "Impossible to restore the clan", as Chojin said.
Q: "The clanname is still in your Squad Admin, here is a screenshot", H0lland replied
A: "Once deleted, always deleted, but I will talk to the tech staff", replied Chojin

In the mean time, I talked about this problem with several players in US/TON2. My spokesman told me he was absolutely sure "it was illegal to delete a clan this way and he could bet that this would never happen to an american clan."
Someone else told me: "It can be restored, shall we show you how to do it? They (Westwood) tried several times to delete our clan too, but we were so kind to recover the data ourselves and we know of ways to do it for your clan too ".

We refused at that time, because we were still emailing with the Westwood representative and did not want to be accused of hacking. Later on we learned another Dutch clan was deleted that month too. They also did not know why.
Asking Chojin why only two Dutch clans were deleted and some "well-known" USA hacking clans stills existed and were not deleted, was not answered at all.
Chojin just replied: "I want you to stop making racist comments"
Q: "Ehhhh ???? racist comment?".
A: Never heard of Chojin again....

An American relative of LordGeo, a lawyer in WA, stated that: "I read your email and Westwood's responses. I am pretty sure it is illegal to delete a clan without giving any warning or proper reaction to your email. Because you are not American citizens the only way you could go is sue them, but it may cost you alot money and the outcome is unsure. Why do you want to do business with a company like that. Cannot you play another game?".

We did not want to spent alot of money to get our clan back. Because of the loyalty of our members that wanted to play for FDNL, we founded a new clan [FDNL-1] October 6th, 2001. All members joined that new new clan after the monthly score-reset, November 2.



worldwide release of Yuri's Revenge, expansion pack to RA/2 (12 Oct 2001)

A new expansion pack came along with lots of promisses. Some we were willing to buy, others simply refused to buy again any Westwood game ever. But in no-time three clans were populated with players and for some months all priority was giving to this new game; Tiberian Sun was still alive, but low level only.

Again the top of the wave came down. Less games played, one clan closed. Most reverted back to Tiberian Sun again.



Counter Strike (24 Nov 2001)

"Half-Life: Counter-Strike is the ultimate multiplayer gaming experience, combining all the elements of the Half-Life online universe with new single and multiplayer content. At the heart of this package is Counter-Strike, the number one played online action game built as an add-on for Half-Life, the PC CD-ROM named Game of the Year by over 50 publications worldwide."

By the end of November we opened two clans to support the large number of requests from our our members open clan(s) for this game too.
Username:
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