Man, 5 years, huh? That's quite a long time to keep a project going in this online world, no matter how you slice it. Never mind that the game it focuses on was itself about as old when this server was launched, which makes us reaching this milestone now all that more meaningful and remarkable. Getting a game server off the ground and slowly working up the ladder of popularity to its top echelons, all the while learning how to improve the quality it delivers in net experience and content, as well as cultivating a healthy and brimming community around it at the same time, doesn't just happen by accident either. It takes all sorts of people believing in the project and working together, each from their position with their unique expertise and skillset, passionately and consistently each week of every month of every year to first help the server make a name for itself among the rest and earn the trust of a growing group of regulars, and to keep going upwards from there. And having gone as far as we've come, it's exactly those people, I think, that is most fitting we pause and acknowledge today for all their help and crucial contributions to CEONSS becoming a leading ONS[Plus] UT2004 server.
- laboRHeinz, aka the Old Boss, aka the Hardware Whisperer, aka ketchupnub : founder
- Cat1981England, aka the Boss: longtime contributing regular and handpicked by Heinz as the best suited to be his successor, Cat took to the job like
- Our Ingame Admins, Gollum, Ten and Funky, aka the Boys in Blue: each of them a distinguished CEONSS regular with plenty of experience under their belt even before their appointment, they all answered our call for help lightening the ingame monitoring load and have generously volunteered their services in the name of keeping CEONSS as cheat-free and friendly a place to frag as possible - the most senior one, Golly, approaching 2 years on that position. Gradually, their entrusted jurisdiction grew to encompass all aspects of Rules and Anti-Cheat Enforcement, with them reviewing cases and handling infractions in the Reports, Bans & Appeals section of the msg. board as an autonomous team led by the Boss - they also got their own staff subforum and mini-fridge in the Admin section too! It goes without saying that their role has been vital in keeping the server a place people want to keep coming back to day after day, and for that they deserve our appreciation and praise. Thank you for your services, gentlemen!
- Our g.mods, past and present, aka the
- Our contributing content creators, mappers, Uscript devs et al. As they say, critiquing others' work is easy, but mustering the knowledge, skills and, most importantly, the courage to set out and create something of your own to share with others is far from it. Throughout CEONSS' path, we've been fortunate enough to've drawn the attention of some quite skilled and inspired authors, whose contributions have made the server's hosted content that much more diverse, interesting and, ultimately, better for everyone playing there, and, on occasion, also those of us monitoring or evaluating that progress. From the more seasoned individuals in their respective fields - like, for example, Wormbo, Crusha and VK - to those still eager and curious enough to keep learning and honing their UEd skills - like Kentaro, GLoups, and even our own Cat and Ten - you're all to thank for keeping new blood coursing through this server's veins, and in the most practical way maintaining the community's confidence that this game[type], although aging, refuses to resign itself in stagnation, but will keep on evolving as long as you're around to lend a hand and inspire others to follow in your footsteps. We salute your efforts and promise that, as long as you keep on tinkering, we'll be here to help you make your creations the best they can be for all to enjoy.
- And of course, last, but by no means least, all our players, community members and friends/affiliates from other communities. There's no gaming server without players, there's no community without people caring enough to take a closer look, sign up n' offer feedback, and there's no success without both of those pillars being present and active. If we've stuck with this experiment for so long, it's because you all were around to encourage us and let us know we're on the right track by being there, or here on the msg. board, and contributing your time, effort, feedback n' constructive criticism, good will, word of mouth - even money! - so that we can become even better. Hell, once in a while, some members even manage to distinguish themselves enough for the CEONSS team to decide and ask 'em to become a part of it as older staffers retire, so, in a way, the future makeup of the team will be entirely of your own making. Back to the previous point though, let me assure you that all of the CEONSS staff are keenly mindful of and deeply humbled by this trust each n' every day and in all our actions n' decisions running this community. Even in hobby/non-professional terms, having an audience isn't a perk, but an honour and a responsibility, so as long as you're around, placing your trust in us, we'll keep on striving to live up to it. Thank you all for riding along with us on this half a decade journey and being a great community!
I believe that covers everyone, so as a parting thought, I'll leave you with this. Like I said up top, 5 years in online gaming terms is a pretty long time, and CEONSS has definitely had its ups n' downs during that period; many have left, many others have joined, and, even from a content perspective, the server is pretty much completely different from when we started. One thing that remains the same, however, is our conviction to continue delivering the best ONS we can in terms of balance and variety, and even though we're likely to not get it right with each n' every change, the one thing we can promise you is that, just like with the global climate, our overall trend will remain upward and towards evolving the gametype into something better, beyond just attempts of derivative sameness.
Truth is, we don't know how much longer this server may manage to stay viably populated; the game itself is quite long in the tooth now, there are many other established, prominent titles competing in the same genre (TF2, CS, etc.), and even though UT3 failed to become the next successful step in the Unreal Tournament franchise and absorb all its previous titles' remaining players, there's now another iteration in development that's theoretically poised to do the same. This boat, too, will eventually sink. As I've said before though, just staying alive is not where the main purpose of CEONSS lies. We're here because we believe this specific gametype of this specific game represents a design achievement still worth playing, even among the torrent of competing ideas in the arena of genres that Onslaught straddles, FPS and strategy. In my book, as long as we can manage to refine and polish it to its best possible state, to embed it with worthwhile new elements, evolve and develop it even beyond what its original creators envisioned, the idea itself can become a message able to survive even the extinction of the game that gave birth to it, and, by way of inspiration, seed itself into subsequent ones, through which it might live on forever. That's the ultimate goal IMO, that's the bigger picture we shouldn't lose track of, even if it's kinda bittersweet to any personal investment everyone here may've made all this time to one another. Still, just because we should keep this in mind doesn't mean it has to reside at the front and center and constantly be getting us down. For now, our favourite server just hit a significant milestone, so let's go out there and celebrate that achievement by doing what we do best: fragging each other silly !
Happy 5th, CEONSS, and here's to many more!
Alright, now to go n' see what kinda trouble I can get into ingame ...aww, crap, everyone's gone for the night. Fml.