epic.LAN – Day 1

Well… we’re here, we’re alive and we’re set-up… sort of. FYI; I’ve also not showered and have my PJ bottoms on as underwear… Living the dream or what??

12:00 to 13:15
My car wasn’t ready so our learned friend Mr Ashcroft kindly made his way from Manchester to Uttoxeter via Chesterfield. He arrived at 11:00 and by 12:15 we were away (“I hardly even faffed at all” – Ado exaggerated). The drive down was standard, save for the 15 mins in traffic on our Uttox approach in which our dastardly driver was heard to say “…someone better have died, else it’s not worth it”.

13:15 to 13:45
Feeling rather famished after the morning’s efforts we stopped in at our favourite American chicken eatery. As we walked in the colonel seemed to have a rather unsettling look in his eye and we didn’t have to wait long to find out why. As we began to order we were all told, in turn, “I’m afraid we have no pieces chicken”… Yep, that’s right, KFC had NO CHICKEN… well for at least a half hour. Bemused but rendered powerless by the white-suited warriors secret special scent, we ordered our burgers and waited.

Putting the ass back in fast food

Arrival at the LAN and initial set-up. Everything seemed to be going so well… until…

15:00 to 15:45
PC break-down. The nightmare of every LANer. At approximately 15:00 Gazz changed his power configuration, simply unplugging his base and monitor from the main supply into a 4-gang splitter. Imediately tragedy hit, nothing on the monitor, no signal and no PC :o(

For the next 45 minutes we collectively tried to save her. Plugging the monitor and graphics output in to various different pieces of equipment to evaluated what the problem may be. Trying every different config we could think of but to no avail. The power was on throughout, but no-one was home with-in.

Eventually the monitor sprung to life, connected through VGA (instead of DVi) into another machine. Whilst this was good, the bad news was that the PC was at fault with the most likely suspect being the graphics card.

16:00 to 16:30
Graphics being isolated as the possible scupper to plans of LANtertainment, Gazz struck out to resolve the issue. The guy from Kustom PC had arrived with his boxes of goodies, but upon questioning had inexplicably brought no graphics cards… One quick Google search later revealed several component shops in striking distance, a few phone calls later and we had a winner. A GeForce 9600 for £80 and just a spit away. Our chauffeur had to leave for a Motor Head gig in Manchester at 17:00 (and they call me disorganised) so Gazz and he made their way to the jalopy and sped their way to retrieve the requisite part.

16:30 to 17:00
Upon their return the task was took in hand with speed (well, WoW Mountain Dew – Gamer Fuel/Jolt Cola (or beer for the men amongst us -Gazz)). The card inserted and the machine powered up, but still nothing. People crowded, suggested solutions, tweaked and prodded but nothing would work. Time of death was declared at 17:05


Our transportation master had to leave, but he would return after the gig and he promised to bring a laptop on which the increasingly unfortunate Gazz could game forth. Until that time, however, he would try his hand at the epic.LAN ARG using the machine now left vacant. That was until that all went a bit squiffey too.

17:30 to 18:30
Thought worry ye not Owen (and laugh ye not at the luckless Mr. Gazz’s plight), after a few epic.ADMIN looks at the browser and a soft reset or two later, connections were restored and displays relit. On with the gaming I say… OOONNNNNNN!!!!

I don’t play many FPS games, quite a disadvantadge at a LAN event, however epic.LAN has a rather fiendish ARG style treasure hunt to exercise my cerebral muscles. Starting as I have, much later than my fellow gamers, I have no chance of finishing first today; in fact people finished before we arrived. However, the grand prize is won tomorrow, so all is not lost. I am currently up to a puzzle that involves locating areas shown in a video clip, presumabley for letters or clues left there. Unfortunately it is now dark and doesn’t exactly lend itself to clue hunting. I may need to return to this tomorrow.

Maybe it was the break and the clarity it gave but as soon as I editted this, I went back to the puzzle and it jumped straight out at me. That was the final clue too, until 12 noon tomorrow. Wish me luck 🙂

Well Gazz is happily playing a bit of Battlefield 2 on Ashcroft’s machine, and me? Me dear reader, I’m sat here waiting for the patch to be uploaded into the FTP for me to apply before I can join in. What was that? Download it you say? Ah yes, well I would but it’s a 2Gb patch from the original disc version I have. I just hope they get it there in time for me to play in the “Big Game” at 21:00. It’s one of my favourite games too, only let down by the lack of “Fritz” to fight. Now I wait in hope…

Still waiting… and Gazz has moved on to King’s Bounty now. Much more his style I think.
Woot!! They are here, so very relieved…

King’s Bounty was a little wordy for a LAN game, maybe when I have more time to get immersed it will be fun, just not right now. It’s ok though, the ‘big game’ of BF2 started at 9. Turns out it’s quite good fun to play as the Arabs and kill the infidels.  Right time for a bit of Champions Online to help me stop the trigger-finger-twitch

Ok, interesting things going on all around, but I’m not involved :o( Counter Strike Source is being played 1v1 knock-out for a trifle as main prize and there’s a group of people playing a game called “Werewolves” over at the other dies of the bar (they’re rowdy but I can’t seem to figure out why or what’s going on). A small number of folks are playing L4D2 and a growing number watching videos of one type or another. Oh and there’s a Trance DJ set on, not my thing but it’s inoffensive enough for me to ignore.

As for your intrepid Stup. Ed.s; After losing patience with the FPS style, Gazz has paid the extortionate sum of £2.99 is downloading Civ3:Complete and I’m doing an install run of Fallout 3. It was either that or Bioshock, as that’s still in it’s shrink wrap, but I was advised to finish one first before starting the other.

You see, it doesn’t matter that we’re not playing against each other, just that we’re all playing here together… ahhhh

And now it is to bed I must go, or at least the floor about 10 yards away. I’ve watched an updated a lot of stuff in this time, prepared my shares for tomorrow and Gazz has played many games of “Werewolves”. I think it may be something you all come to know more about, I’m sure he’ll explain tomorrow. Night night…