news of December 2001
Is there something the C&C community should know? Mail it to MacMark@t-online.de and let's all read it here!
It was another interesting year with C&C on WChat. For those who missed the party, I will give a short review of the major events here:
In January the ladder was in major trouble. Many players got no rank. Furthermore ACnDC drove it too far with his hacking and harrassing, he was hunted by the FBI and since then never seen really again on WChat anymore.
In February DragoNod spreaded a virus. ACnDC made a website looking a little bit like mine and filled it up with his own thoughts err... lies. All players got their ranking again, except ACnDC, who was point reduced for cheating.
In March, Westwood turned the possibility of user made chat channels off and gave no more prizes for the winners. LordSSB turned into a software pirate and ACnDC was pointreduced to zero for cheating. Sounds like last month, doesn't it?
In April Beasty was hacking on WChat and got help from LordSSB for that. My headline was "terrorism on WChat" for Beasty's other activities during this month. The FBI investigated ACnDC and his homepage was removed.
In May I was on holidays for some weeks and so I only published how ACnDC payed the bill.
In June a new found bug that allows to control the enemy was in the rumors. Furthermore the free win rushing looked bigger than ever.
In July Beasty lost his illegal hacker site several times. Each time he published it elsewhere, it was taken down again. I was bored by this cat and mouse game and ignored him in our 3rd round. Since then his site was never updated again and Westwood's sysops made some changes on the server to make his attempts useless. The other major event was a new unit cheat enabling gunboats and visceroids to be buildable. That cheat was too obvious and not used in the future.
In August Beasty added a new virus to his hacker tools. I made the visitor statistics of this site public. Since then you can use the link on the front page to see who is visiting here. Currently over 50 countries are visiting this site.
September was a boring month because nothing really interesting happened in the C&C world. In contrast to that the real world had some bad news. Even on my forum the terrorism was the only topic for a long time.
In October NKOslider started a tourney on his page.
In November the top100 site closed due to technical problems.
In December we were hunting free win rushers, I found Westwood workers in the C&C movies and ElPaladin discovered some interesting settings. Despite of opposite claims on my forum, many players have no idea what the mobile headquarters is for and how it works.
ElPaladin sent me some thoughts and research results regarding Mseop1. I forward this to Westwood's ladder team too and we will see what they think about it:
He included these three screenshots:
Thanks for the mail. I hope you read One rule and no exceptions ;-)
We guess C&C players must have a brain, right? Sure, they need it for the game and to do the right maneuvers on the battle field. But, in despite of this, there's one simple fact 99% of all players don't get into their heads:
1 nick per month to play ladder
To state it again: There're no exceptions! None! If you use more than 1 nick to play ladder during one month, you break the rules and should expect to be punished.
For the new year 2002 you all should make the resolve to stop using multiple nicks! I made my own resolve too ;-)
If you have knowledge about multiple nick users, feel free to inform me and Westwood's ladder team by using my report formular.
Thanks to a hint from ElPaladin I found out what the mobile headquarters vehicle is for. That unit was mentioned in some C&C documentations like the C&C strategy FAQ, but until now, I had no idea, what it's good for. In some single player missions you can see that vehicle, but in multi player matches, I never saw it surfacing - until today. ElPaladin told us on my forum, that he played "bases off" and "capture the flag" and saw that unit then:
I tried it myself and found it's true. Look at my screenshot for a new started match on Green Acres with bases off, capture the flag and 18 units.
picture of the "Mobile HQ" (mobile headquarters) vehicle
You might know, if you play capture the flag, you have to move the enemy flag with a vehicle to the starting point of your flag. If the enemy flag arrives there, you win and all enemy units explode. The starting point of the flag is always right next to your construction yard and before you deploy it, the mobile construction yard holds the flag. But that's only possible with "bases on" games. I never thought what whould happen to the flag on the MCV / CY (mobile construction vehicle / construction yard) if you turn bases off. You don't get the MCV /CY with bases off and thus no flag. Instead of that you get the mobile headquarters.
What's up with the Mobile HQ in those "bases off / capture the flag" games? The goal is to protect your own Mobile HQ and to destroy the enemy Mobile HQ. I tried it today and it's really great fun. You need completely different tactics compared to "bases on / AI off" games. For that kind of settings no tactics are published anywhere yet and I think it's a totally new kind of battlefield in this classic game.
I strongly recommend you to try theses "bases off / capture the flag" settings. It's thrilling!
I've to admit that it's my own fault not having that fun earlier, because in the C&C strategy FAQ is written:
[2-2-19] Mobile HQ
These units only appear in multiplayer games of capture the flag, when bases are turned off. They are unarmed, and are weak units. You must protect your own mobile HQ while destroying your opponents' mobile HQs.
Keep them surrounded by your units. Even a Hummer can destroy one in a few shots.
Well, what can I say more?
According to an email I got recently, we've several multiple nick users on the ladder. It's not allowed to use more than 1 nick per month to play tourney. I forwarded that email to Westwood's ladder team and asked them to check this issue. I expect them to do something (again) if this turns out to be true. But read for yourself:
I put the screenshots sent to me together into one picture.
I got a new email giving some corrections to above informations:
Again I put the screenshots sent to me into one picture. Why does the blue guy only surface 1 time? Strange.
Today the last open question was answered and I can publish the completed picture as it looks now for me. This is the up to date - composed - screenshot of the multi-namers. According to it these players are outlaws:
Using multiple names for playing ladder during one month is not allowed.
The mail for the latest update was:
Now it's Westwood's turn to verify all this and punish them if necessary. I informed Westwood's ladder team today about it again.
Westwood workers in C&C movies
If you played the missions completely you see the ending movie and a list of people starring in the movies. Those of you who look closer to it will find that some guys from Westwood were playing in the movies as NOD or GDI persons. The name "Sperry" e.g. appears not only in the cast list, but in the "$perry financial networks" and some more.
But most interesting for me, Virtual Ted himself played a role as a NOD officer in the movies. In one screenshot you see his name and on the other screenshot you see him on the left side being a hardliner of NOD.
Did you see the photos of Westwood people already on my site?
Some guys give themselves free wins on the ladder (not allowed). Be it by using multiple names of their own (not allowed) or be it by a free win rush team featuring several players bringing one guy to the top (not allowed).
Compared to all other cheats, the free win rush "FWR" is somewhat harder to recognize by Westwood's ladder team. Due to this fact some covert operations were necessary to trace those FWR activities. When the November ladder ended, a few FWRers were detected and disqualified according to the ladder rules.
You might ask what these covert operations are, but I cannot reveal them, because we need them and they would be useless if I tell you too much about it. The reason I'm writing this at all is: I want these FWR guys to know that their free wins won't be of any use for them any longer. You can go and spend the rest of your life with FWR, but all your time will be wasted, because you will be disqualified and all your hard work will be completely in vain! Instead of that, the guys, who didn't cheat will pass you after the ladder check at the end of each month and will be listed instead of you in the hall of fame.
I cannot stress this fact enough again and again since years: Cheating in any way won't help you much, because sooner or later you will be caught and punished. If your life depends on your ladder position, then try this:
And now, take a deep breath, change your life, be a good guy and learn this game from scratch!
And for all the good guys out there: Keep on reporting! If you see someone cheating, give Westwood and me a hint and the "special forces" are on the way. Well, they're on the way so or so, but you can speed up things and help us with your reports to focus on certain targets.