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LAN Parties: Dead?

OptimumSlinky

Senior member
Nov 3, 2009
345
1
76
It's kind of sad that with the rise of Xbox Live, broadband internet, and always-on DRM, the LAN party has kind of died a quiet death. It's especially kind of sad because LCD TVs/monitors, HDMI, gaming laptops, and even this generation consoles would make it easier than ever to set up and get going.

Some of my best memories of high school were linking computers into a 10/100 ethernet hub and playing 4v4 CS and Halo on the original Xbox. Nothing beats being able to actually curse and scream at the other players in the room with you without suffering the awfulness of split-screen graphics.
 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,451
4
81
Used to play a lot with friends in college, but now I don't really know anyone who plays the same games as I do. They all got sucked into the MW/COD cycle of banality and I got left alone.
 

MarkLuvsCS

Senior member
Jun 13, 2004
740
0
76
I remember shortly after getting my license driving to a nearby town where most of my clan was so we could have a lan party. Ended up going to a few lan parties within two years. The convenience factor puts lan parties to something done rarely if ever. It definitely is a different feel though gaming with people you've known for a while coming together in a place and having some long game sessions lol. Counter-strike and DotA were my favs though.
 

QuantumPion

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2005
6,017
1
76
The point of LAN parties was to have low latency back in the day when most people only had dialup. It's kind of obsolete now, unless you are playing some kind of pro-gamer team competition stuff. But in that case the purpose is just to watch the players playing live as a sort of spectator sport. For typical gamers there is not much purpose for them.
 

alent1234

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2002
3,915
0
0
i bet a lot of people that used to do this have kids now and no time to do a lan party. playing on xbox live at 9pm is OK though
 

Alienwho

Diamond Member
Apr 22, 2001
6,766
0
76
i bet a lot of people that used to do this have kids now and no time to do a lan party. playing on xbox live at 9pm is OK though
Exactly. And the current generation never had to do LAN parties thanks to high speed internet. Also they are too comfortable calling people the N word online and would not know how to behave in a room where everybody could kick their ass if they got out of line.

Having all night LAN parties in an abandoned warehouse with all my friends from my high school and our spider network of friends from all high schools in a 50 mile radius were some of the funnest times in high school I ever had and significantly increased my social group. Now these same guys consist of my job/linked-in network and we are always communicating about job prospects.

Honestly those high school lan parties were significantly more beneficial for me in creating a quality professional network than grad school was.
 

OptimumSlinky

Senior member
Nov 3, 2009
345
1
76
You're right that broadband has mitigated some of the latency issues. And it's definitely more convenient to just link up on XBL. I just miss the "event" of LAN partying. Getting a room set up with opposing screens, getting the chairs, routers, desks, hell even the snacks. And then just the social aspect of it, being able to throw an empty beer/soda can at the guy that just n00b tubed you randomly from across the map.

It's just a different experience that's sadly dead, and VOIP and XBL can't replace, no matter how convenient they are.
 

alent1234

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2002
3,915
0
0
the way iOS is going ipod/ipad/iphone will be the lan party of the future. give it a few more years
 

PowerYoga

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2001
4,603
0
0
We have small ones with a bunch of friends, 8-10 people. Enough to fill a warcraft game + 2 people playing smash bros or wii tennis. Still fun to yell at each other over beers and kabobs (yes we make kabobs).
 

JamesV

Platinum Member
Jul 9, 2011
2,003
2
76
I love LAN parties. Of course back in the day the major reason was going from a 350ish 56K ping to a ping of 20, but after going you find many more reasons to continue to go.

I went to a yearly clan LAN (for Tribes/etc) for about 5 years, where we had 10-30 people, and were setup in locales from the local school system (where a member was the IT guy) to an Oxy Clean management building (another member was a manager for them). Great times.

Then I literally did hundreds of 'at some guys house' LANs with 3-10 people, and the biggest was probably UVALAN in Virginia with 500+ people.

Even at our small clan LANs, we got stuff from Voodoo (brand new top of the line video cards), caffeine stuff (soap, beverages, mints, etc)... literally twice the money we all spent to make the lan in goodies. Add that to meeting people you've always played with, the inevitable 'shots and game mode', and being apart of a conversation while playing - priceless.

I really miss LANs... somebody just needs to figure out how to make one work today.
 

ICXRa

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
5,924
0
71
We have one every year or two. We have had the same gang together for online play for years, and it seemingly comes around to a point we everyone drives to the Atlanta area, as it's the most centralized area, from literally all over. It really just a good reason for us old gamers to keep in touch, and do a little partying. We did one last July, and Quake III, BF2 and mods of it, got the majority of play time. It's fun to talk smack at each other in person, as opposed to over the headset.
On the downside, it's a lot of work, and power almost always becomes a problem. Last year we had 18 or 19 people, so lots of random breaker trips, followed with extension cords to various places all of the house.
 

ichy

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2006
6,940
5
81
This would be impossible to organize, but it would be great to get a decent sized number of EVE Online players in one place and running a big fleet to stop on people. It would be hard to beat having everyone in the same room.
 

OVerLoRDI

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2006
5,492
2
81
I still try to keep them going from time to time. Problem is that they require lots of planning and effort on many people's behalf.

1. Games distributed beforehand (this can be really frustrating)
2. Get electricity distribution right so you don't trip circuits
3. Having enough lan wires and switches
4. Good seating arrangements. What is the point of a LAN party if everyone is strewn about the house randomly.
5. Selecting games that everyone can play
6. Convincing people to move their computers. LCDs have helped in this regard though.
7. Getting the right number of people. Anything more than 8 rules out a lot of games.

Best lan party I had was an 8 man where we all owned left 4 dead 2. We played vs on a few campaigns and the games were so close. One game my team won by 10 points overall. The adrenaline and yelling was INSANE.
 
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shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
76,577
9,699
126
Broadband internet is so much easier. You can play with anyone in the world. Sure theres issues like high ping and such, but it doesnt seem to be killing the popularity.
Only downside is when a game never includes LAN to begin with, gets popular, then the company suddenly dies and theres no matchmaking service. Boneyards had this problem, I think.
Or worse when the matching making just doesnt work right. Dawn of War definitely has this problem. Test Drive Unlimited as well.
 

zokudu

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2009
4,364
1
81
What my CS clan has done and are doing again this summer is renting out a lan center/cyber cafe type deal. We go in at like 4 PM the night before and leave 10 AM the next day or something. All the computers are setup with Steam and most of the popular games are installed like CSS, TF2, CoD. You just log in as you're own Steam account or can use one of the Lan Centers to play with everyone in the room. It's a huge blast and we normally make a weekend out of it with a group Barbecue the next day.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,555
20
81
We have LANs at work sometimes. I'm lucky to have coworkers who are also PC gamers.

I also have LANs on a regular basis with my friends. We play lots of RTS games (Company of Heros, Supreme Commander, Dawn of War) and shooters (Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, and Cawadooty). We usually have ~8 people. Not huge, but enough for some good lannage.

My friends are awesome. <3
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,209
151
106
I have a 6 PC LAN setup (2 laptops make it 8) with some spare ports on the 24 port Switch to add more units. The only downside really is the lack of games that have LAN support built into them, most are coming with online lobbies and no offline LAN support.

Been hosting LAN parties for friends and colleagues for nearly 10 years now, can't see me stopping for a few more years, if only to replace the room with a HD projector & lazy boys.
 

M0oG0oGaiPan

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2000
7,859
0
0
digitalgamedeals.com
It's a PITA to move my stuff. Lan parties were more social for me personally. It was nice being able to spawn lan copies of Starcraft. Can't really do that anymore.

Playing online is convenient and quality of players might be better, but lan experience is more fun. It was awesome when we'd go to the lan center (PC Bang) and there'd be a big 10+vs10+ dust2 match filled with people in the same room talking trash and everything. Even playing an online pub is better because strats are easier.

Some of my friends still do the lan thing but I'm too lazy to move my machine nowadays and I hate using someone elses setup.
 

AstroManLuca

Lifer
Jun 24, 2004
15,633
5
81
The point of LAN parties was to have low latency back in the day when most people only had dialup. It's kind of obsolete now, unless you are playing some kind of pro-gamer team competition stuff. But in that case the purpose is just to watch the players playing live as a sort of spectator sport. For typical gamers there is not much purpose for them.
Totally the opposite of the truth. The point of LAN parties is the social aspect. It's not the same if you only play online.

I think the reason they're slowing down (or the reason they SEEM to be slowing down) is we're getting older. I know I'm much less likely to go to a LAN party now than I was a few years ago, just because I have more responsibilities and I don't want to move my stuff.

Also, game companies are doing stuff that undermines LAN parties. DRM, removing LAN play entirely (Blizzard is the guilty party here), and a dearth of console games that support split screen all make it more difficult.
 

videogames101

Diamond Member
Aug 24, 2005
6,769
5
81
I had a LAN party 3 days ago, they're not dead yet!

9 of us were there, we spent 1-2 hours setting up/eating food then fired up an 8-player game of Age of Empires 2. (2v2v2v2 Large Arena, Conquest) Man, it reminded me of why I game at all, we spent probably 6 or 7 hours in that one match. Empires rose and fell, only to have one villager escape and rise again! Sneak attacks through the trees with onagers, trebuchets taking down castles, alliances forged and plenty of backstabbing, even market manipulation, stone prices were too damn high!

Followed that up with some CS, but by then most of us were passing out. (6am, also It probably helps we're all in college)

I don't know why anyone buys new games, seriously, they all suck compared to the old LAN standbys.

It takes quite a bit of effort by whoever is hosting to have the room, power distribution, and switch setup to get everyone up and running, but I've been hosting them for ~5 years now so most of the infrastructure is already there, the most difficult part is getting people to pack up their rigs and show up! :mad:
 
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OptimumSlinky

Senior member
Nov 3, 2009
345
1
76
I can see why PC LAN gaming is struggling, with new titles requiring always-on DRM and/or no LAN play. But I'm just surprised when even console gamers don't do it anymore. It takes maybe 5 minutes to set up an Xbox 360, and it sure isn't big or bulky. Games like Halo with the Forge editing assets were just BUILT for LAN. Even COD supports LAN games.

I guess the convenience of XBL just wins out 90% of the time.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
134
106
LAN Parties: Dead?
I hope so.

The steady proliferation of high-speed broadband internet has eliminated the need for them.

10 years ago, when most of the country was still on dial-up, they made sense.
 
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Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,555
20
81
I hope so.

The steady proliferation of high-speed broadband internet has eliminated the need for them.

10 years ago, when most of the country was still on dial-up, they made sense.
Then you're missing the point. LAN parties are about getting together with friends, playing games side-by-side, staying up late, eating pizza, talking trash, and generally shooting the shit.

Unless your high-speed broadband internet connection can really accomplish all of that, LANs are here to stay. It's also a bit damning to hope for the death of a wholesome social activity which many of us still enjoy.
 

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