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!

Autumn Update

The leaves changing colour bring not just the end of summer but the start of a new gaming schedule for our group!  The last few months have featured a broad range of activity as some of us clobbered away at our growing queue of Steam games we haven’t played yet as well as hunkering down with a core group of titles that (caught or have kept) our attention.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds continues to capture imaginations to such a degree that our community has resisted the idea of a scheduled, regular night for the game: largely because they already play it every day!  We have a very large variety of gamers putting time in to PUBG throughout the day, if you’re looking for a good group to play with just pop in to our Discord server and send a message to dox (or post in #battlegrounds or #general) asking to be introduced and we’ll have you set up in short order with a group or partner that you can get tactical with.

Another regular activity is the constant amount of entertainment that the charismatic Overwatch title delivers to our try-pants-wearing-casual crack shots.  Still continuing to largely eschew competitive mode allows for a bunch of interactions and great mixing between our community members,  you can find any combination of our regulars like cc//Fast Eddie, cc//fuegoredux, cc//Rage, cc//Trashcanman and/or cc//Vengeance bouncing around and shooting their way through rounds with a really great group of visitors.  The good times keep pouring in, if you’re looking to see what the ‘try pants’ movement is about then follow same instructions as above, pop in to Discord and get started!

Beyond that, as we aim to complete and define our autumn gaming schedule we’ve got a couple of new nights popping up.  The first one “Free First Mondays” (working title) is an event that pops up on the first Monday of every month exclusively featuring free games.  This week we tried out Black Squad and will be announcing next months selection in the coming weeks.  Additionally we’ve got the beginning of a series of strictly tactical weekly events that will take participants through engagements in titles like Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, Insurgency, Day of Infamy, Rainbow 6 Siege and more.

Hey, in case it’s not clear: everyone is welcome to these so just reach out and join in, there’s a lot of fun to be had!  We cater to career/family oriented adults that are looking for a competitive experience without the time sink – if you have your own requests and ideas we’re also very open to that, just get in touch.  See you in Discord!