I know this will come out long. Stay with me now.
Sometime early last year, an annoyance was occurring that really struck a nerve with a few players. A few people from the Meltdown client were coming onto Yang, pasting messages promoting Meltdown with a link, and then leaving immediately. Some people even took the liberty to host locked rooms for all to see with a room title that would advertise Meltdown. It was a little annoying, but I didn’t find it to be a big deal. I enjoyed both Yang and Melt for what they were: Yang = free-for-all custom maps; Meltdown = 1 v 1 original maps. My plan was for it to stay that way.
Others were greatly bothered by it. The degree of each other’s involvement in the mischief isn’t even completely clear to the criminals themselves, but they were the ones who had to pay the price. Nudek (Australia), Lance (Czech Republic), Cyco (Australia), Paul (Netherlands), and even Fran/Capitao (Brazil) were the ones who paid that price. They logged onto Meltdown and retaliated with the same advertising spiel. Fran wasn’t really a part of their ambitions, but he was being a prick on Meltdown around the same time so he was lumped into the same group of “Gayangers” (dubbed so by the Meltdowners). Fran was going into players’ rooms and spouting the usual tactics he uses to get people to play him. “Scared face me?”, “I make you history in 5 minutes”, “Delete Duke3D folder and reformat PC”, “Come back in 2999”, etc. Generally speaking, the players on Meltdown are pretty skilled, as opposed to Fran, who isn't. People saw right through him pretty quick. No one played him.
The part I found the funniest is that even Fran was hosting locked rooms on Yang with titles saying to go to Meltdown. Fran for a time was really playing exclusively on Meltdown. He probably just enjoyed antagonizing the members. Anyway, his newly found home lasted for maybe a week, when Poda (creator of Meltdown) was online at the same time as him, was rather amused, and banned him completely from Meltdown. Oh, and while he was at it, he banned Nudek, Lance, Cyco, and Paul for their antics, even Replica (Yang creator) for good measure. What a joke.
It was all fun and games for awhile. Fran made a few funny blogs about "Why Americans love ban" on his website, and Lance continually updated his Duke Leaks website with stuff, until Poda released a program for all to download on Meltdown chat that would DDoS the Yang servers. I still remember being in Nudek's room with him pinging 999 with everyone, with Finstar visiting the room to see what the fuss was about (boy, I miss Finstar, haha). Eventually, Replica found that the DDoS attacks were in fact traceable, and blocked the program Poda had released. Replica made amends with Poda behind the scenes. He was unbanned from Meltdown and they cleared their differences up. As punishment for their actions, Replica found it fit to ban Nudek, Lance, Cyco, Paul, and Fran from Yang. With the five banned from both major netplayer clients, that made DukesterX quite active again for about two weeks, haha.
Very rare of him, Fran pleaded forgiveness from Replica as soon as he was banned. Replica let him back, but the other four were not so apologetic. With Nudek being the wiser of the remaining four, he approached Replica about possibly renegotiating the terms laid out for him. Replica said plainly that he would only allow Nudek back if he ditched his buddy Lance. I'm not sure why he would propose that, but my guess would be that Replica didn't like dealing with the issues concerning Lance's pro-communist room titles and the fact that every sentence he writes has something to do with a vagina or penis (Lance is a really weird guy...). Nudek wouldn't have any of it and stood by his friend. There was only one thing left to do: create their own Duke client where they could make their own rules! Duke Matcher was released that Spring.
A Facebook group
was enacted soon. While it started out as a group for all online Dukers no matter where they played, one of the admins decided to promote Nudek and Paul to admin. Great! Eventually the group became a Yang/Duke Matcher only thing. Now, the group is Duke Matcher only, and last I heard even mentioning "Yang" or "Meltdown" results in a ban from the group, no questions asked.
At first, moving to Duke Matcher took some time, but with how small the online Duke community already is, losing 4 consistent players - and more importantly, hosters - made the number of games we played a lot less. Nudek got some guy to make a Linux version of Duke Matcher for Fran, which he threw back in his face. Fran was really the only thing keeping Yang alive. When he disappeared for a few months, Yang was basically done at that point. Eventually, everyone who played free-for-all constantly migrated to Duke Matcher, only coming back to Yang for the multiple time periods I was banned from Duke Matcher. Yes, I was banned from Duke Matcher for a few months on two occasions. Now that's a whole different story.
Guys like me got caught in the middle. I liked the Yangers (now seemingly, "Duke Matchers"), but I also liked hanging around Meltdown too. Poda's actions were not supported by everyone on Meltdown. I promise you, that Duke3D Facebook group was full of so much propaganda it made me sick. Apparently, Meltdown is filled with trojans. Poda implemented a system tray icon so he can spy on your computer at all times. You never know when Poda may strike next to take control of your computer! It was filled with terrible lies. Respect was very cheap to buy. All you had to do was say Meltdown was a piece of garbage and the admins commended you and raised you on a silver platter. Say that Duke Matcher sucked and, well, no one would see your post fast enough to respond anyway. For a group that was at first titled "Duke3D Online!" with no hint of a direct affiliation with any client, they at least made sure to change the name to "Duke3D Online with Duke Matcher!" after they banned me from it. No, I didn't go insane and mouthed off something I shouldn't have. All I did was make a comment about how Meltdown isn't all that bad, and I was blocked from the group. What gets me mad is that the person I commented against (an admin of the group) was complaining about how Poda took control of him and his brother's accounts and changed stuff and that it's the last time they'll ever use Meltdown. Thing is, I still see the guy and his brother using Meltdown from time to time. He knew the right word combinations that would look good in front of everyone else. No integrity at all with some of these guys.
I was banned from Duke Matcher the first time for supposedly telling people through PM's to stop using Duke Matcher, as Nudek told me when he unbanned me Christmas day last year. There is no way I ever did such a thing. I was banned a second time a few months ago for saying something against Lance (who controls Master Server 2 on Duke Matcher). He had a room titled "Vivat North Korea! Death to American imperialism", and I had some beef with that. I was banned from MS2 with assurance from him that "here is censorship". Nudek banned me later that week from MS1, on simple grounds that I was "causing trouble". Lots of people started complaining about my absence from Duke Matcher, which Nudek accordingly responded to by unbanning me last week on grounds that I will have good behavior. I never had bad behavior, so that shouldn't be a problem for me.
My ban still has not been lifted from the Facebook group though. There was a poll started by a good friend of mine (an admin too, so I thought I might be in the clear) that asked whether I should be allowed back in or not. Nudek and Paul vehemently responded absolutely not, with responses claiming I am out to destroy Duke Matcher and that I am in touch with Replica to do his bidding. I have no clue where he heard such an outrageous thing. That screenshot I posted in the Yearly Tournament Idea
thread was during my second banning. To some of these guys, I'm a "Poda-sympathizer" and a "disciple of Replica", and it's pretty much as tragic to them as being a Nazi. It's real sad in all honesty. Fun fact: the Duke Matcher installation file deletes Meltdown if you have it installed.
Nudek is generally a chill guy and I still have respect for him. I might not agree with everything he does, but he has integrity, and that's what counts. The other guys are pretty much insane though. I'm recommending Duke Matcher if you want to play games. But beware, do not get too deep with any of the people I named in this post.