Goblin Army – Lagwar Presents Show #8

Lagwar Presents! Clan Spotlight for 10-4-08 on Goblin Army, a Call of Duty 4 clan is here for your listening pleasure. This week Brilen and Ziss present Goblin Army from COD4. Simply use our built in player, Lagwar on iTunes, or you can simply right click on the download link above and select “Save Target As.” Then when prompted, choose a location on your computer you would like the file to be saved to. Then listen and enjoy! Please be sure to leave iTunes reviews and/or comments. We love feedback!!

You can also visit Goblin Army for a great group of players in Call of Duty 4. The two Goblin Army servers I have played on regularly are among the best COD4 servers I have ever experienced. As well as the S&D server being one of if not the most prominent server you’ll ever find. Although we weren’t able to snag an audio interview for the podcast, we were able to land a superb written interview with KockGoblin, the fearless leader of Goblin Army. This is one written interview I was more than impressed with. Read the complete interview below.

Here’s an overview of what you’ll hear in Show #8:
*Introducing Goblin Army – Call of Duty 4 Clan
*Brilen and Ziss review our interview with GA’s leading gobbo
*Goblin Army COD4 server information and reviews
*Goblin Army community news

Subscribe to Lagwar Presents! at the iTunes store today! Please send us your feedback, comments, suggestions, or guild and clan info to Show@Lagwar.com.

“Lagwar.com Interview with KockGoblin of Goblin Army – Call of Duty 4 Clan”

[LW] So first off, what is Goblin Army and how many members do you currently have?

GoBlinARMY has evolved a bit over the years. I guess as it stands right now it’s an online FPS gaming community comprised of casual to hardcore gamers (leaning more on the casual side). We intend to branch out in other genres in the near future, but at the moment, there aren’t any non-FPS games that I think are worth investing in. In an MMO world, finding Grade A non-MMO’s is quite difficult. All developers want the next WoW, not the next Counter-Strike.

We currently have around 40+ active Members. There are a dozen or so that are inactive for numerous reasons, ranging from college, work schedules, family business, etc. We’re pretty lenient on activity amongst the Members. We understand that not everyone can be glued in front of their computers gaming 24/7. Our community consists mainly of college kids, husbands and wives with children, and young adults pursuing careers. I try to stress that GA should always be secondary to anything outside of their gaming schedules.

[LW]  How did GA get started? What games are GA active currently in?

GA started late in 2003. I was an Admin on my friend’s Counter-Strike community, but it was a Newbie only server so at some point when your skills evolve, you can’t really justify playing on a server like that. So I created my own server running a new Warcraft 3 mod made by a developer named Ryan. It was a pretty huge success but it ran on a dedicated T1 line shared by my buddy’s server, so it was limited to 16 players. Shortly after I moved the server over to a game server host and have been outsourcing our servers ever since. It’s just grown from there, mainly thanks to our community’s hub, the forums.

Currently the only game we are active in is COD4. In my personal opinion, it’s the only online FPS that is doing well for gaming communities like ours. The Counter-Strike community was horribly divided when Source was released and now it seems to me the community is comprised mainly of competitive players and Asian internet cafe players. It’s a shame that Valve let such a great franchise go down the tubes. But maybe CS2 will revitalize it.

[LW] To reiterate some parts from question 2, what different games has GA been a part of and for how long? Any competitive play?

In chronological order, CS 1.5, CS:CZ, CS:S, DOD:S, TF2, COD4 and a few modded HL2 games in-between. We had our longest runs with CS 1.5, CS:CZ and DOD:S. We’ve always tried to push the GA community along with the rest of the gaming community. PC gaming’s so fickle. One day it’s one game, the next day it’s something else. That’s why we try to find games that have lasting power and community support (as in gamers, not the developers) behind the game such as CS, DOD and COD4. A lot of our current gamers were long time CS and DOD players. It’s always a hard transition to get players to stop playing their favorite games and try something completely different. It’s understandably frustrating for some. But that’s why so many gaming communities die off so quickly. They jump in at the peak of a game’s popularity and then have nowhere to go when the game’s populations starts to dwindle. Especially with the console market being so competitive with PC gaming now (didn’t used to be that way), you have to be flexible and willing to try new games or you’re going to wind up with empty servers and disgruntled members.

As far as competitive play, we’ve always been against the idea. We try to maintain a friendly/fun atmosphere for our community and competitive gameplay can be taken a little too seriously at times. We have on occasion held our own tournaments and leagues amongst our regulars. Much respect for what leagues such as CAL and TWL do for the gaming community, it’s just not our thing.

[LW]  How many estimated active GA members have been around since the start of GA?

I would estimate somewhere around 10 from the very beginning, close to 20 from within the first 6-8 months.

[LW]  What attracted GA to COD4?

It’s undeniably a solid game. Even with all of it’s flaws (which all great games have), you can’t deny it’s one of the best FPS’s since Counter-Strike.

[LW]  Is GA anticipating having a presence in COD5? Are there any upcoming releases that GA is looking at?

COD5 or COD:WW? Either way, we plan on having both. We’re hoping COD:WW will attract some of our old DOD players that don’t seem to have any interest in COD4.

[LW]  What do you find special about the particular leagues GA participates in?

We don’t currently participate in any leagues.

[LW] Can you give a short rant on your thoughts on COD4? Any of the new maps in particular you really enjoy or certain mods? Any disappointments in COD4?

As much as I love COD4, there is plenty to gripe about. Most notably, being an Admin, is the lack of server side support. IW has a great player community rep in fourzerotwo, but when it comes to the backend support of the servers, you have to search high and low on non-IW related websites to find the answers you’re looking for. Valve is better, but not by much. A stronger forum presence would be nice across the board (with all developers). Whenever there’s a major bug with a game and people are reporting it, a simple “We’re working on it” or “Yes we confirm this bug is valid and it will be addressed in our next update” would be better than completely ignoring the community that is supporting your game. I was just talking to someone the other day about how spectacular it is that a developer can release a multiplayer online game without providing dedicated servers, just because they are guaranteed that there will be X number of people out there willing to invest their own time and money to support the developer’s entire community for them. That’s like opening a McDonalds and knowing that you’ll have a a full staff and building selling your burgers for absolutely free. Amazing. Where else can you get away with something like that?

Another major gripe is how they divided the stock and modded community. I’m new to the COD community, but having to “mod” your server to have custom maps or to disable certain game properties is an awful way to divide a community. Don’t like airstrikes? Well you can dismiss 80-99% of your possible pool of players by modding your server to disable them. Want 1 custom map added to your server’s rotation? Be prepared to do the same. Also be prepared to pay for the bandwidth needed to share out 50+ MB maps out to 10-32 players all at once. Not too tech savvy? Casual gamer? You better hope you know how to adjust your in-game server browser filters or you won’t be playing on any modded servers. You won’t even know they exist! There’s no excuse that things are the way they are. 24/7 Shipment servers already bypass rank/achievement unlocking, so you can’t hide behind that excuse. There’s no reason that if an Admin runs a Sabotage server and he wants to disable the Kill Icon for the bomb carrier, that he should have to resort to modding his server. As much as IW or mod developers may dismiss this point, the fact remains that if you go to Game-Monitor and track how many players are playing on stock and modded servers, the numbers are astronomically different from each other. The only gametype that stands a chance on a modded server is S&D and my guess would be only due to League play. All other gametypes have a fraction of their population playing on modded servers.

Being so late in the game’s life cycle, it’s almost too late to even address any of these problems.

[LW] Can you give a story or description about a specific match (comp or non-comp) GA has had that really stands out?

We’ve had two servers that have ranked in the top 10 most populated servers on Game-Monitor. Our DOD:S server, which held the #1 spot for quite some time and our current COD4 S&D server, which still ranks as the #1 24 player S&D server, top 10 of all S&D servers. Hopefully that speaks for itself.

[LW] What different methods and tactics have you had to implement to be a successful clan? Did any methods not work out, and you had to change to a different method?

Establishing ourselves as a gaming community and not a clan has always worked for us. The word “clan” always brings to mind hardcore gamers looking down on players that aren’t “as good” as they are in a game. That whole elitist attitude in gaming, IMO, is one of the major factors of a lot of casual PC gamers flocking to console gaming. Who has time to “prove their worth” to a bunch of 13 year old kids. I just want to jump in a server, joke around with a bunch of people and just have fun. That’s what we try to promote in our servers and on our forums. Don’t get me wrong though, there are some great clans out there. But most in my experience perpetuate the stereotype.

[LW]  What type of players does GA look for when recruiting? What are your recruitment requirements and processes?

Usually older more mature players. Casual or hardcore gamers with a sense of sportsmanship, because afterall e-sports are a sport. The level of respect and responsibility should be the same if anyone ever wants gaming to be taken seriously. But really we just look for down to Earth folks. We’re not looking for the best of the best. We’d rather you have a sense of humor or interests/hobbies outside of just gaming. Possibly talked to a girl in real life at some point so you don’t scare off any of our female gamers. Basically, well rounded individuals. We also have much respect and appreciation for military gamers. We have a few in our ranks presently (and always have, guess they are attracted to the ARMY part of the name), so enlisted gamers are always welcome.

We basically recruit every quarter (3 months). Presently our process is for players to come to the forums, post in our “Recruiting” section and then just get to know everyone in the community through our forums and in the server. Once it’s time to recruit, the current Members and Admins get together and vote on any prospects. Sometimes we vote a few in, sometimes we vote just one. Sometimes we don’t vote any. It’s hit or miss. Our Members usually have a good feel for the community and can tell when someone is ready to take on the responsibility of being a Member. If we just let anyone into GA, we’d have a lot of abusers in there making life miserable for everyone, which is what we try to avoid. Some people are skeptical of our methods and the pace of our recruiting, but we do it this way with the community in mind. The next Member could be the deciding factor on whether or not someone like yourself may want to continue playing on our servers or never come back again. We take that pretty seriously.

[LW] Is there anything GA would like to throw in this article that hasn’t been mentioned? Anything at all?

Yes, support PC gaming! Buy your games, don’t download them or play on cracked servers! All games these days have some sort of beta test or trial download, if you like the game, support it! Don’t let the consoles win the war! Both platform should be able to co-exist, but piracy is a much bigger problem on our side. Give developers a reason to keep developing on the PC platform! Also support community developed gaming sites such as PBBans, Punksbusted, Bash and Slash and this one. They’re all part of a much bigger machine out there that’s supporting PC gaming as a whole. Oh and stop feeding the WoW machine.

Also if you have played on our servers or if you’re just a fellow gamer, come by our forums and drop us a line. The heart of our community resides there, not in the servers.

[LW]  Anything you wanna plug before we say goodbye?

No need to plug myself, but if I could plug everyone in the community I’d say, a big shout out to:

R@V3N, dig, Surface, quik, Boon, BuRy, Linux, Tepes, TK, Lee, Tea, Kihiah, Bob, Armstrong, Bad Karma, Bartok, Tuna, Cinek, Col. Bat Guano (all things TDM), CRUSH!!, DeathDealer, dkcha, DrMcNinja, duck, Adrenaline, Epiphany, JoJo, Mag, Insanest, Jester, kyu, Louie, Shake, Hyde, murder, Picket, Prime, sleshy, Speed, Uthanak, Stinky, Trappy, tuTone, Flat, Overkast, Poq, Neodragon, dik, Thomas/Hunter, Wis3boi, Ged, Lactose, Spoon, Kevin, baggedmazda, vexxed, Nickel45, XiLeD, chem04, Alien, NES_bOy, L3gendarY, Tun1t, KeVin05, Weinerlicious, Pieces, Nilla, lion the tiger, Mctrooper, juGGernaut, Airsupport, Stu, TheCleaner, Coyote, GreenMonstah, Clean, Beefsticks, EL_Mariachi, Baal, WarDog, trigga, alen12, DopeFish, Vickstar, all the GA ninjas, Steaz, cpt.morgan and the rest of the S&D/TDM gang.

Postscript:  After this interview took place, Lagwar received word from KockGoblin that Goblin Army has an established World of Warcraft guild that we were unaware of.  But that’s for another Lagwar Spotlight!

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