A Midsummer Night’s Update

There’s been plenty happening around the ole crack fire, for those of you that haven’t been sitting with us beside it I may as well share with you some of the stories that have been being passed around with the s’mores, hotdogs and high fives; it’s long overdue in any case.

Squad has continued to engage us taken us along another path: we’ve been hosting a Squad server that has been providing a lot of good games for members and visitors alike. It seems to be doing really well, largely in part to the support we receive both in-game and financial from our Patreon campaign not to mention the awesome feedback we get from caring players. It’s really a lot of fun and we’d like to issue a shout-out to the entire server population and remind you that you can come in at any time to our Discord and give us your feedback, suggestions, criticisms or just share a cool/fun video moment that you had in the server.

In other news we’ve begun to sink back in to multi-gaming by way of doing a whole bunch of stuff. We’ve always got guys like cc//Fast Eddie and cc//fuegoredux putting time in to League of Legends or stomping around with Mechs and/or trying out the latest and greatest new releases. We’ve also had a couple of organized events like this week where we’re reaching back to oldies-but-goodies like Tuesday’s Battlefield Bad Company 2 night where we loaded up 10 of us in to a server after re-installing the game and marveled at how well it’s aged (aside from the whole can’t run while strafing thing). It’s almost sure to return next week as the two hours that we put in to the game’s excellent Rush mode implementation simply wasn’t enough to fully scratch that itch.

We’re also trying out things like Post Scriptum Wednesdays which are a natural extension of our Squad activities but it doesn’t prevent us from firing up other titles like the latest No Man’s Sky patch and giving it a go or bringing interested people up to speed on our own Rust server and assembling a raid (tonight!) to spread our wings and see what else we can pull off.

As always we are super keen on getting good people together for good games and encourage our membership to tell the rest as to what’s got their attention and how to play together. We also seem to be collecting more interest in sharing our experiences with video so there’s some anticipation that we’ll be firing that activity up again soon after a long hiatus so stay tuned for that (and if you’d like to contribute then let us know!)

Squad Growing and.. we’re 20!

Hi, it’s dox here. I’ll start with the big stuff because – though I’ve seen it coming for a while – it’s only become real now. We’re 20. Yup. 20. Twenty. Twenty years of character and camaraderie as Crack Clan has plowed through what’s turned out to be the vast majority of my gaming life. We started by mailing out speakerphones and hosting conference calls and now we’re using Discord. We used to play on dial-up and now we’re on fiber optic connections. We used to save up for our Monster 3D cards and now what comes default on our motherboards (and phones) kicks the crap out of them. Someone, please pass me my cane..

I think it’s almost impossible to talk about these last two decades without slurping through a pile of nostalgia.. but I think I’ve spilled enough of it up front and, since it appears we’ve achieved the impossible, I might as well surf the wave. Let’s get this out of the way: I didn’t plan it. This whole thing grew way longer and further and bigger than most things I’ve even done or even dreamed and it sure as heck wasn’t my sole doing. It’s been such a truly epic journey that has been so integral to my existence for so long that it’s easy to start forgetting the countless details and interactions that have happened over two decades. What’s impossible to forget is the reality that I’ve been gifted by so many people: voices that turned in to high5s that turned in to great friends. Relationships that led to laughter, betrayal, births, deaths, jobs, firings, tears, fears, joy and trust. The countless times where effort and support for a pastime ended up being real and sustained and more than just playing games.

Bottom-line? Thank-you!! Having such an amazing group of people who have stuck together and worked toward building something together that delivers so much, is so easy to access and regularly delivers experiences to an uncommon standard is really unprecedented in online experiences. The group has grown from teenagers and 20-somethings into people with families and careers and those that are left have found a way to and have adapted toward working all of these elements in to a balanced life is the model set by my gaming brethren that I am most proud of being a part of. That the group remains open to adding people of all abilities and backgrounds is even more amazing. Thank you!

Squad Update: the NAS experience
Let’s move on to Squad: we were warm to the game months ago but it’s really taken on a bigger life and reached awesome heights this past Sunday as Crack Clan represented in a competitive event hosted by the guys at NAS. The rough plan is to have 4 clans face off against 4 clans in an organized battle in a non-toxic environment and NAS delivered! Crack Clan had a great showing and led both sides in the last competitive event of our teen years, our roster did the clan proud. It’s an incredible way to kick things up a notch and though we’re currently limited to 9 people per squad we’re open to having more come up and help increase the amount of time we can spend with the game. Salutes to the 10 soldiers that represented and let me play alongside them: cc//FifthYangPro, cc//Healslut, cc//John Flenaly, cc//PyroCarp, cc//Smithy, cc//BigDaddyScott, cc//xelldaa, cc//Nolag, cc//d3monicrampage3, cc//AmselD

A busy update to begin 2018

We’ve found ourselves spinning inside of a whirlwind of activity so we’re going to attempt to jam everything tightly into today’s update and dispense with the usual flourishes:

Squad Success
Squad events have taken off! We’re enjoying operations on Monday and Friday evenings, and are also recruiting “Weekend Warriors” for Saturday afternoons. Our roster has entered the stage where good chemistry is taking grip as we deploy crews between 9 and 18 soldiers to fight the good fight. Just click and join our Discord server to introduce yourself and we’ll get started!

New Members and Staff
Discord usage has been red hot over the last few months and with the addition of some new initiatives we are also welcoming some new members and staff roles.

We’d like to formally introduce an incredible addition to the group made up of people that felt like they’ve been here with us from the start: Blue, cadash, John Flenaly, Shamywow, Sig_Schecter, and Xiscorr all received their cc// tags in the last few weeks. We’re also cheering with the return of Atlas, our longtime friend from the Desert Combat days!

Joining the ranks of Staff are longtime members Rage and Vengeance who will be overseeing our Overwatch, Gathering and General Growth tasks. Woohoo!

Game Nights
In addition to regular Squad (Mon/Fri/Sat) we have a few more events on offer that you can schedule and fit in to your calendar: currently on a dynamic schedule, Overwatch will be adding a special night every Sunday (as soon as the Superbowl ends) and provide a solid event you can count on – some of the team has started streaming so sometimes you can see multiple perspectives at once, check the #announcements channel in Discord!

We’re also proud to announce the return of Battlefield Wednesdays which, after a community-wide vote, will kick off with BF4 (with fingers crossed that BF1 follows).

Last but not least it appears that both PUBG and Minecraft players have been active every single night so you can pop in during the evening and enjoy the competent and entertaining mixed groups across three continents (!) gathering in search of diamonds and/or tasty chicken dinners.

With all of this action spread across various servers, and our 20th anniversary coming up (along with The Gathering so many of us are looking forward to) we’ve restructured how we fund the total operation. Patreon has risen to notice by being an easy, recognized, trustworthy and effective platform for creators to be able to provide the great experiences that their followers enjoy. To that end, we’re announcing the launch of our Patreon page which is currently geared to allow us to meet our community requests and continue to deliver gaming events to career and family focused gamers. Check it out!

As always, none of this is possible without the incredible personalities that make it happen – deep thanks to everyone for continuing to make great memories for all of us and thanks for reading – we’re going to have to do these more frequently!

Winter Update

Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees in the northern hemisphere which means: time for your Crack Clan winter update – this one is about Squad, Gathering and Staff so tuck on in and enjoy:

The Building of a Squad
Squad is a tactical FPS that a few of us have been following for a few years (it’s still considered ‘early access’ but they’ve been building on it over time and it’s coming close to release) and seems to represent the perfect balance between our Battlefield and ARMA communities. Toward that end we’re combining Yang and Smithy’s extensive ‘milsim’ leadership experience with dox’s competitive e-sports experience and presenting a bespoke option for anyone who wishes to apply. The goal is simple: 9+ squadmates that will employ standardized communications and infantry tactics once a week on Mondays plus an additional “operation” in a 40v40 environment that lies between military simulation and competitive e-sports.

Our first night was a great success! Please get in touch (our squad was full!) to obtain a slot and be brought up to speed (as well as gain your certification for special operations tactical training) – we’re intent on providing a window in to what goes on through video. If you’ve never seen it before we’re sure that you’ll like what we’re coming up with, but for the time being please take a look at dox totally missing a bad guy poking his head out while he takes cover and the rest of the fellas clear the building after he tossed a grenade out the window 😉

Plans for the next Gathering
In other news, our 20th anniversary is rapidly approaching and plans for the Gathering are under way! It’s going to be a special one which aims to combine the best elements of all the years passed and deliver an experience you won’t want to miss. The jury is still deliberating on location but the details are becoming settled and we already know that it’ll be happening around the weekend of May 4th, 2018. Though it’s currently a toss up between countries in North America we also have some compelling arguments to take it to the Caribbean or Iceland so make sure you sound off your opinion in Discord!

Battlefield Decision Making
It also appears that our Battlefield activities have been sorely missed – especially with some of us being let down with the Battlefront II option – we’ll be bringing back BF nights on Sundays but have to decide if it’s going to be BF1, BF4 or both so heads up: poll coming your way and we will resume our epic Battlefield legacy as soon as we finish collecting those opinions from you – we know there’s some excitement about this so we’ll try to get it done especially right this time! 🙂

Annual Survey Results
Last, but not least, we have completed reading the feedback from the annual survey you were all kind enough to fill out and will be drawing the random game winner in the coming days. There was a lot of value offered and it will be instrumental toward guiding our direction for the foreseeable future. Some assumptions were challenged and we aim to continue to adjust toward the needs of our community and anticipate new activities and direction including firing up our video channels again (contact dox if you’re a content creator!) as well as providing more fun and clarity and continue in to our 20th year together.

New Staff
We’ve recently added FifthYangPro and Smithy to Staff roles (for Squad) as well as DeTH for a new Overwatch competitive and Hearthstone initiative so make sure you highfive them and check out what’s on offer, it’s always exciting! Thanks again, none of this is possible without your participation and support, we’re super keen on what’s coming up next and look forward to spending it with you!