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Full Version: Article: Why ARC? by Atlantis
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Quote:"This is the worst game I've ever seen, Id rather be shot than play this for 5 more minutes" -Atlantis commenting on the game ARC (c. 2000)

When you see this game for the first time I think it's a safe bet that you are not blown away. The graphics are lackluster and the gameplay is very simple. The game just looks so easy and you cannot understand how it can take more than a day to master. Well, I'm sitting here 3 odd years later and I'm going to try to explain why.

Every couple of years there is a game that comes along that will be a huge craze. For me these games were: Stampede (Intellivision), Tecmo Super Bowl, Motor Rotar (something like that, on Turbo Graphics 16), Street Fighter 2, Zombies Ate my Neighbors, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo 2, and lastly Goldeneye. I can say that these are some of my favorite console games of all time and I played them for a good deal of time. Do I still play these games today? Nope. Did I ever get tired of them? Yes. There comes a point in console games where you have gotten to the best you can be and it starts to get boring. There is no variety, even in multiplayer you generally play against the same people over and over. These games are all classics, but I consider ARC to be more fun than all of them now.

Next I'll look at computer games. I only got into 2 computer games besides ARC, those being Command and Conquer: Red Alert and Warcraft III. The 1 player version of these games is good, but the real fun and challenge comes from online play. I got pretty good in both, but never really cared enough to try and improve to the top. Every game online will be different, but there comes a point when you just get tired of building the same units over and over. The games get long and eventually I stopped playing them.

These games have many more variables than ARC and I got bored with them, so why on Earth am I still playing this game?! I believe it is the community that keeps me playing this game. In games like Warcraft tens of thousands of people play and there is no centralized lobby where people come together. You play one game against a random person and the odds of playing against them again are VERY small. I logon to ARC and can tell you fairly well the skill of everyone in the lobby and public GO. Most of the players idle in the same IRC server and this is a good way to keep clans together and run league games.

Clans are the best part of ARC in my opinion. Sure there are clans in other games, but they don't all interact with each other the same way the community does. You can judge a clans skill level the minute it pops up and clans become well known and respected for their performance over time. Clans on ARC differ so much for it having a small community; some will do anything to win, while others just want to have fun. Regardless of what type, it is apparent that most players enjoy the clan life. I can pretty much name every clan on ARC and tell you if they are skilled or not (much more than I can say for any popular computer game). This makes the game more appealing for newcomers, you don't get routed by random people every game, you can tell who the good players and use them as benchmarks to measure your own skill.

So with all these players branching off into clans, it is only logical to have battles between the different clans. Now we come to the competitive side of ARC. This is perhaps what hooks the most people to the game, they want to be the best. The game that looks so simple on the surface actually requires a good amount of practice and teamwork to become successful. I'm sure there are a fair amount of ARCers who like to just play off and on without joining a clan, but they are definitely missing out on the true competition. Without leagues I believe ARC would slowly fade away as they are the primary source of competition. It is obvious that there are better looking and more exciting games than ARC, but none can match a good league game in this little 2-D game (mainly because you know everyone participating in the game and the whole community is interested in the outcome). The amount of individual skill and knowledge of the game necessary to be considered one of the best is immense. People have been playing this game for 5 years and I still feel like there is more to learn about the game. Some may disagree with me, but the fact that people have even stuck with a game for 5 years tells us a lot about its appeal and staying power.

Simplicity is key for a game to withstand the test of time. Sure we might enjoy those games where you have to accomplish one million tasks, but eventually you get mighty sick of them. You can enter a public server on ARC, frag your way through an entire team, and capture their flag all in about 3 minutes. The controls and maps don't change, but the gameplay on any given day will be different. You can go up against the best player in the game and realize that ARC takes years of practice to master (more than I can say for any other game). The strange thing is you look at this game sometimes and wonder why we can't all just emmulate what the best of the best do. The combination of the desire to improve, the tight-knit community, and the simple, yet always different gameplay keep players coming back day after day to this game.

I think I've shown on a general level why we all enjoy to play ARC, but I will tell you on a more personal level how I changed my mind about this game. When my friend first showed me the game, quite frankly I thought it sucked. It took me a couple of times playing against him to turn my opinion. We dueled and he kept crushing me, well we can't have that now can we?? I basically played ARC with the goal of being able to beat him (Nitr0) and another friend (Wuja Wuja). We would play together all the time and eventually I caught up to their skill level, which was awesome because I finally won some duels.

The thing is, as I became better, I started talking to more people in the community. While Nitro and Wuja went more inactive, I found clanlife and had new people to play and improve with. I guess without real life friends to play with at first, I might have never gotten hooked on the game (think about if you never talked to anyone, how boring and pointless this game would seem). Well as my skill level increased, so did my clans, and now I find myself in TnT. I have had only good experiences in clans, and I found new competition by joining each. Just when you start to think you're becoming great, you start playing the next level of opponents and get put in your place. There is always someone a peg above you on the skill chart and this is important to keeping people interested in the game. Would you play a game for more than two years if there was no challenge?? Well I sure as hell would get bored. Even if you are the best 1v1 player in the game, you will understand that ARC is about team competition. You may have mastered one aspect of the game, but have you even come close to your potential in teamwork/flagging/raping? Chances are you haven't and there is ALWAYS room for improvement in this game!

If someone asked me to explain in one sentence why I play this game, I would respond with: The members of my clan, the community as a whole, clanwars, and league games. I definitely think this community is the best of any game I've played just for the fact that everyone knows everyone else. Sure there are those players that we hate, but it makes ARC more interesting and league much more fun. I can't believe we have people willing to be admins and run leagues for free, this is why the community as a whole owns! We all enjoy the game and I have a feeling most of you reading this will be around until ARC is out of commission.

With that being said I can say ARC is my favorite game of all time. It is the game I have played consistently for the longest time and the game I want to play most. Never has there been a game I didn't tire of until good ol' ARC came around!

So anyways, if you reply to this thread, just do me a favor and sum up why you play ARC in one sentence (or more for you writers).
And where is atlantis now?

I do have to say it is pretty accurate about easy to learn hard to master. This seems like it would be a great article to post other game forums to get people to play. Starts off really strong.