It all began near the end of 2003. I installed Jedi Academy (JA) on my PC and began playing. The single player was funny, although less charismatic then its predecessor Jedi Outcast because of the main character (an anonymous academy student compared to Kyle Katarn? Please…).
But why not trying it online? With a saber staff (“staffa” for friends), the double bladed light saber used by Darth Maul (who was the undisputed source of the best fights in Star Wars movies).
So I began working my saber on a few servers. For some reason I can’t quite recall I played on a network of US servers who kept track of stats and rankings, wihtout realizing that a 200 ms ping was quite tragic for reaction times and playability… Still, I wasn’t doing too bad. My first master, if so I can say, was LoI-Fate, who taught me the basics and a few particular techniques to use the saber staff.
Slowly I began joining the Italian NGI servers, where thanks to my glorious Fastweb connection I managed to have 0 ping (and everyone kept asking me if I owned the server :asd:)! I definitely noticed the difference, I could play way better, and I also began duelling with and getting to know some Italian players, so I permanently moved on those servers.
After improving a bit I was noticed by a couple of clans, but in particular by a bunch of jerks dressed up as Sith :rotfl:, who were accidentally the strongest Italian JA clan: =RS=, Renegade Sith.
I wasn’t particularly interested in joining a clan, especially because I didn’t want to be forced to be available X days a week, or playing Y hours a day; I had fun with a few duels with whoever was around, and that’s it. But Dexter pushed and talked so much that I decided to join, also because I was told I had no particular obligations, except for writing on the forum and showing up in game sometimes.
February 2004, I had officially become =RS=DarthDeve! :metal:
Well, now it’s hard trying to recount what happened in a way that is comprehensible to people who never belonged to the JA world… but maybe it’s better this way, it’s right that the various “lamma”, “naab”, “magniii”, “spinnone”, “bf spammer”, “ano”, “frontale di rossa”, “hs”, “zot = dio”, “fullato”, “rosik”, “scattino”, “ownato” remain in that world of continous duels, of constant lolling and, well, inevitable nerdiness wneddance:
Of those two-three years of gaming I can’t but recall my first 2vs2 challenge with uncle Kertal, yellow style trainings with master Windu, Zot’s total class with any weapon on any mod, the craziest techniques Dex came up with… and the fights for Athena’s ladder, with 2vs4 me and Gene played against the weakest clans (but then Gene never accepted to challenge me :nono:), and of course Clanwars against our eternal rivals: SS, 999, SgS, faced in high tension challenges, which you could tell by listening to the headphones connected to the clan’s Teamspeak channel… and the real life meeting with the “nordics” Vash and Aresius, and buying a private server, and the meetings in Rome, going crazy at the LAN and at the hostel :rotfl:
But also defections and “rosik”, bugs, mods and thousands of server settings, the constrasts between clans, the attempts to revitalize the game and the progressive disappearance of the community. Between 2006 and 2007, JA had made its time and the clan, despite the constant but vain wait for a new Star Wars saber game, decided to find a new configuration on a new front, by doubling on both JA and America’s Army. JA kept slowly agonizing, many historic players left, new ones joined; needless to say that to me America’s Army wasn’t even remotely as appealing as a Star Wars game. I tried it and didn’t mind it, but it didn’t make me go crazy and I couldn’t dedicate it all the time that would have been needed; so I switched to a status of non playing, forum lurker member, while the clan’s activity on JA had officially ceased, with the clan leaving as the undisputed Italian dominator of the JA era.
So, why this post? Well, recently the story seems to have repeated itself: a few America’s Army players left the clan, the community is going a bit insanse with bans and witch hunting to find some phantomatic cheaters, and RS [same two letters, but on the new game the acronym meant Renegade Soldiers, or in a wider sense just Renegades] found themselves in trouble: with not enough members and unable to aim for victory, the choice was to join another America’s Army clan, the 9th Folgore, abandoning their tag and their name.
So an era ended, a period of 4 years for me, something more for others; so good luck to the ex-RS, anyway I trust we’ll meet at some LAN to kick each other’s ass in multiplayer… and who knows, it might always happen that one day, maybe, the Renegades will once again dominate the dark side of the net…