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Roll The Dice Clan History ~ Volume 18

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Congratulations - Roll The Dice Is Ten Years Old!




Well, here it is - ten years in the making and we are finally here (and I'm finally getting to a post which is a couple of weeks late). But on the 24th of June, 2019 we made it to ten years of existence. Ten years of gaming together and enjoying each others company. Ten years of some amazing highs, as well as a few bumps along the road. Ten years of changes.


I think it's interesting to think about those changes for a moment. Firstly, there's changes to our hobby: online gaming. That encompasses of course both hardware and software and in those areas alone the changes have been vast. To reel off just a few:

  • 4K or Ultra-Wide gaming is now a thing; some of us where on resolutions less than 1080p when we first started out, still at a 4:3 ratio.
  • Windows 7 was released just one month after the clan was formed. Most of us were still on XP, with a few brave souls on Vista (possibly my last clean install).
  • I was running a Logitech G5 mouse and G15 keyboard (gifts from my 21st), which still soldiered on for another seven years or so.
  • SSD storage capacity has skyrocketed while their price has plummeted. HDDs still hang on in their usefulness due to their current sizes and low cost, but when the clan was formed the 2TB HDD had only just been invented.
  • Current consoles included the Xbox 360 and PS3 (and the Wii, whose name we were still laughing at three years after it came out).
  • AMD released the Phenom II and Athlon II. Intel was still on the Core 2 series and then released its first i7. Nvidia were up to the GeForce 200 series (the first time they put the GTX before the number) and AMDs latest cards were the R700s. It could be said that AMD are only now just getting back to relevance in both markets after almost a decade in the wilderness.
  • The latest games included Modern Warfare 2 (which was a disaster from a clan point of view), Uncharted 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Left 4 Dead 2, Plants vs. Zombies and Dragon Age: Origins. I'll be honest, the game I've probably played most that came out in 2009 was Empire: Total War. I'm not sure it was a particularly strong year for games (fight me if you disagree). Of interest, Age of Empires creator, Ensemble Studios, was shutdown in 2009. And now look at how many remakes, remasters and re-releases they've come out with since?!
  • Liam Neeson's daughter was first Taken. The first Hangover came out. As did the first (and to date, only) Avatar. Breaking Bad only had one season out. Game Of Thrones has started and finished in the time we've been gaming. And we've all enjoyed the entire Infinity Saga together (23 movies).
  • Streaming basically did not exist. This includes media streaming and streaming live game content. We have seen the introduction and probably death of the last physical media in our time. But I'm sure few of us miss requiring multiple CDs or DVDs just to install a game; or the trip down to the video store to get a movie. Now we can just endlessly scroll through Netflix for hours and complain we have nothing to watch.
  • Remember when we all just had XFire and maybe Steam? Oh they were good times. But then Origin came along for Battlefield. Well that didn't seem so bad, but it was annoying having another service. Yet of course, since then, the programs we need to have running has exploded as every damn company has tried to implement its own platform. Steam has turned into a behemoth.

  • And then, to try and monitise us further, those same gaming companies went very heavy on the micro transactions. Some of us are old enough to remember when DLC was free. CoD4 came with four extra maps, for free, in the 1.6 patch (which was a whopping 256MB). But even then the writing was on the wall, because while in CoDUO we could run our own maps and mods easily on our own server, CoD4 brought in restrictions making that harder. Even early on some companies decided they didn't want the community running the show, because they couldn't make any money off it.

  • VR has kind of come and gone; it's struggling to find it's niche, but I suspect it still has a future in gaming. It was huge at the early PAX events we attended, but it certainly hasn't been killer technology.

  • Smartphones. We have witnessed one of the biggest changes technology will ever undertake with the smartphone, all basically overlapping with the clan's existence. I bought my fifth smartphone this week (Galaxy S10+), which means I'm averaging a new smartphone every two years. Conversely, the first two Nokia phones I had in the mid 2000s probably did three to four years each. Sure, I could use them to hammer in nails if I needed and their battery lasted a week, but I couldn't check Facebook. Incidentally, I upgraded to the S10+ for better battery life and it occurs to me now that those Nokia phones are probably the last time I did not complain about battery.

  • Speaking of Facebook, social media has exploded. I'm not sure we as a society have really sorted this one out yet - trying to find the balance isn't easy. I abstained from Facebook for a number of years after it was popular because I wasn't sure how well I could control myself if I signed up. Past me was partially right. Some of us here have still resisted the lure of social media and I say kudos to that.

  • The changes in our internet infrastructure is also an interesting one. This decade worth of progress listed above needed to be powered by something. Smartphones, streaming and gaming all demand hundreds of times more data than ten years ago. I believe I was on a 50GB plan in 2009, which I used conservatively on an ADSL connection. Now I'm on unlimited NBN which has faster network speeds than some of the LANs we used to set up at uni (that's presuming we could get the LAN to work at all, am I right @MiniSanders?). As tech affectionados we have all watched the rise and fall of the NBN; the constant problems it has produced, and what could have been if the original plan was implemented. Even now, some of us have it, some of us don't, and some of us have had endless troubles. Ten years ago that is not what we were expecting. Now, 5G is around the corner (I'm hoping to test it with my new phone in Canberra). It will be interesting to see what that brings.


But just as interestingly, there's the personal changes we have all experienced over this time as well. Some current members were almost half their current age when we first formed. Some have gone off to uni and graduated in the time they've been with the clan. Others have been running their own businesses. Some have gone off and got married. Some have started families. And some of us are still in the same flat, sitting at the same desk from ten years ago when Wrecking Ball Wednesday came along and the Founders first parted ways with Wargrounds Australia. Indeed, some of us have been around long enough now that we could go off and join TOG (The Older Gamers have an age limit of 25, which I know many of us used to laugh at back a decade ago). My, times have changed.


But then there's the similarities; the things that haven't changed. As gamers, we are constantly looking at the latest hardware and software to see how our machines compare (you only need to look at @NevilleBartos and @Phobos's discussion on Discord currently - they're like kids at Christmas). We try to squeeze out every extra frame we can manage; anything to possibly give us the upperhand. And then we'll go and do something bizzar like fall off a cliff and miss the water in PUBG (@bprc), where no ultra graphics settings can save us from our own misjudgments. And we usually get to do all that with mates, who will forever laugh at you for that time you crashed a helicopter (@Mr Spontaneous?), or decided to watch a pot plant at training because it seemed like the best tactical decision at the time. Perhaps you fell asleep on TS and everyone just happened to record it (@Awesome). Or, on the flipside, maybe you were part of one our squads who were streamed to the world, seeing all different kinds of success against (and with) some of the best players of our time. Because while we are always here to laugh at each other, we have also spent plenty of time punching above our weight. And that is something I dearly treasure about this clan and also something which hasn't changed since the first day we formed.



The Last Two Years:

Yes, it's actually being two years since we've had a clan history update. I presume last year I just took the Microsoft approach and didn't bother with number nine. Possibly understandable, as while we've been here see changes over a longer period of time as mentioned above, not a lot differs around here year to year. And I'm perfectly okay with that.


We've had two PAX events and that tradition continues this year again (go and sign up now if you haven't already). We've also had at least two weddings, with @Decroxx and @Nath both getting hitched (to different people). I hope I'm not missing anyone there. We have also picked up four recruits since the last report, in @AussieNinja159, @Yeowie@Ra_Panda and @Maniac. So that's always pleasing to see. As you'll see in the stats below, that takes us to 51 official members, which is our highest total. However, we have not had a cull of inactive members in a very long time and that is probably something we should look into in the future.


The last history post mentioned the new forums were now operational - even that seems like a lifetime ago. It also mentioned our DOTA2 team, which I can only presume is still a roaring success.


But in the meantime we've just continued to game. PUBG. Rainbow Six: Siege. Apex Legends. Two Battlefield games in BF1 and BFV, both of which have been interesting, but not enough to gain critical mass with the clan. A number of other FPS games have also been flirted with - looking for that elusive combination that creates group gaming addiction. Golf With Friends still continues to get a laugh. And I'm sure there's others I've forgotten as well.



The Stats:

It wouldn't be a history post without some stats and graphs!






I've made some slight adjustments to the second graph. Previously, we haven't had an official game since BF4 (which as you'll see, is getting close to half of our existence). But I decided to add in both Rainbow Six: Siege and PUBG. Both games have had clannies playing them since they were in beta, and we even had a stab at a competition with PUBG, so I think they're worth including. Maybe I'm missing another game or two that has had long term popularity and would also be worth including?


As always, here's the Dropbox link if you are interested in the spreadsheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8zz2bk68sakaqgv/Full%20Member%20Master%20List.xlsx


Here's a few more numbers:

  • 51 Full Members in the clan, with no current Recruits. Four more than the last history post and also a new high for concurrent members (with the asterisk being we haven't removed anyone for quite some time).
  • 11 competitive squads have represented the clan. Still no changes here, although we have dabbled in a few other events.
  • 87,387 posts made on these forums across 3,414 topics. That's 24 posts per day, which continues to go down as we use Discord more. We've added approximately 4,000 posts and 100 topics in the last two years.
  • 294 people registered on the website (only two more than two years ago, which means our spam defense is working well).
  • 100 members in total have come through the clan, with 87 applications declined (no change).
  • 70 members have stayed with us for longer than a year.
  • In total, the clan has existed for 3,670 days.


Some more forum based graphs:









The Future:

It's impossible to predict exact details about what the future will bring; however I think we can look at the future in broad strokes. I mentioned at the start how streaming has really taken off. It was a real big deal ten years ago just to get shoutcasted (and all that was was audio, with a demo to download later if you were lucky). We saw that transition to live commentary with video during the BF3/BF4 era and now every man and their dog can stream via the likes of Twitch, Steam, etc. We can all be content creators, which has been enhanced even further by the likes of ShadowPlay (the first software I used to record some gameplay was XFire, with @Blueberry, @NOOBshoes and I using our EOD bots in BF3 to take down as many tanks as we could). Indeed, some of our greatest clan videos came about from our Shenanigan nights which would not have been possible even a few years earlier without significantly more time and effort. Obviously the quality of our internet connections has also contributed widely to this; uploading to YouTube, for some of us, was an all day affair ten years ago. What we have now is a future that was hard to predict at the turn of the last decade.


But this next decade I think streaming is going to really change gaming. Not just as content creators, but also as consumers. Google's Stadia (along with what will inevitably be other streaming services from Microsoft, Sony and every other company) could really change the hardware and software game. Sure, it's going to take a long time to mature, especially here in Australia with our distance and still sub-par internet, but imagine not having to do CPU and GPU upgrades on a regular basis because some other server is doing all of the heavy lifting? Could it be that some of us have just done our last major computer builds? I very much doubt it, because we all like to tinker and there'll always be a call for powerful hardware to run more and more demanding software - but we may be just about to hit a point where to play your favourite game at max settings you'll no longer need to check your hardware specifications; just login to your preferred streaming service and game like its no different.


No doubt that the future of gaming is going to be an interesting one. We all still laugh at @PistolKnight for playing PUBG on mobile; but it's also portable, convenient, and today's best phone hardware is almost certainly more powerful than the machines we were gaming on in 2009. Imagine what another decade could do in that space?


So as a bit of an exercise, if you're willing, have a go at posting below what you think your future computer specs will be in a decade's time. It could make a very interesting time capsule.


But what about the future of the clan? Honestly, I don't think much will change. As long as we keep paying our bills on time I hope and believe the website will continue to be our home, with TeamSpeak remaining our place to chat. Throw in the likes of Discord and the other standard software we use and I can't see much of that being different in another ten years. Even the types of games we played previously will continue to hold our fancy into the future. We're always looking for another FPS. Maybe WWII based, maybe a modern setting. Maybe it has Battle Royal (which really came out of nowhere over the past three years or so). Maybe a game will come along with some other mode we enjoy. Or maybe we'll keep playing our spattering of games that currently keep us entertained, in the middle of all those other things that life throws at us to keep us busy. Ultimately it won't matter what we do, because as the Ten Year Anniversary Party once again showed it doesn't matter how long its been since we last gamed together. As soon as we have a gathering it's just old friends enjoying each other's company. As it should be.


This Sunday I'm about to head off to Canberra on camp with a bunch of Year 10 students. Coincidentally, this is also the tenth year in a row I've gone on this camp. As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.


I haven't added a thank you section this time around, because I'm not sure there's anything extra I can say to people that I haven't already said before. But I am thankful we created this clan when the opportunity was presented and I'm thankful I was invited along for the ride. I am very proud of what we have achieved. Those of us at the start weren't really sure what we were doing; but I'm sure if you told us ten years ago what we would achieve and how long we would last then we would be absolutely stoked.


I will say thank you to all our members who are still here, still gaming, and still having fun. I hope it continues for at least another decade yet.


Ten years ago, in the very first history post, I had this to say:

On 9/24/2009 at 3:26 AM, MasterShrive said:

For a clan which may never have existed, and a clan which came about by luck, some forethought and circumstances beyond our control, we have achieved a lot - by any measure.

I stand by that even more so now.


Alea iacta est.



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Just now, MasterShrive said:

So as a bit of an exercise, if you're willing, have a go at posting below what you think your future computer specs will be in a decade's time. It could make a very interesting time capsule.

My uneducated prediction is as follows:
If my current upgrade cycle continues (roughly every 4 to 5 years at present, currently on my sixth PC build), then in ten years time I'll have just done another full build (strange to think that's only two builds away). I imagine it might have some of the following specs:
CPU: Intel 16 cores
GPU: Nvidia 32GB RAM
Storage: 16TB of SSD storage
Optical drive: ha, no.
Monitor: Ultra-Wide at 4K resolutions HDR 240Hz, two other possibly 1440p monitors
Keyboard: Logitech G910 (I'm backing this one to last me the distance)
Internet: 200Mbps (I can currently get 100Mbps with FTTC, but I doubt very much we'll be getting any major upgrades in the next ten years)
OS: Windows 10 (possibly some kind of subscription model)
Virtual Reality: could possibly have a VR headset by this stage
Chair: still in my trusty Secret Lab Omega

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I'm going with a chip in the brain, Games streamed straight to the cerebral cortex from the cloud!

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10 hours ago, MasterShrive said:

But I'm sure few of us miss requiring multiple CDs or DVDs just to install a game; or the trip down to the video store to get a movie.

This sounds like a Shrive problem.


I can see a lot of the heavy lifting in games being done on cloud technology in the future, gonna have to find a use for all these crypto farms.


But in reality we'll probably still be using technology for shit like this  



Edited by NevilleBartos

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Was always nice when the LAN networks finally worked... Usually with little to no help from out "Network" Uni degree man @MasterShrive

As for future PC... who knows... I agree that in 10 years I will be surprised if we have big arse PC's, maybe everyone will just have a console :P

I have only been here a couple of year (3?) but I have made some great(?) friends, and even though I am not as active as I once was, I am still around. (This is mainly due to me realising I suck at FPS's and that is the main thing played :P)

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Good to see we're still rolling on.


The whole Stadia cloud thing could be the future for single player games. It's going to be an interesting next decade..

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Nice write up . i occasionally visit re-watch the Sunday Shenanigans videos for memories. 

Also enjoy showing people our shoutcasted match in the bf4 quarter-finals. I love Underdog wins. 

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