Full credit for the research and writing of this article goes to the great Lu_Xun_17.
If we know no year can be compared to another in SupCom history, this one showed the beginning of how SupCom community would begin to look like after its old gpgnet days. The activity was still dynamic around the game, but in a quite different way from what we had seen until now.
January 2008 began with more complains about the current bugs and balance problems : The Seraphim regenfield upgrade (right arm) on the ACU is unarguably defined as imba (short name of imbalanced. The term "imba" tends to get a stronger meaning nowadays). As well the T3 air aeon Restorer 9min rush is the strategy that a lot of players would like to see nerfed.14th January 2008, breaking news! Chris Taylor at CES Las Vegas, announces to the press a new AddOn : Supreme Commander : The Experimentals. The community gets hope again and understands more the lack of patches.
Note : As you may know, this add on has never been released, gpg stopped working with THQ, who refused to publish this 2nd Addon.
During this time, the pro scene was still waiting for the patch, but also waiting for major tournaments. They expected to see in February a new Faction Cup from Gpg, but this never happened. TheBigOne and VerseauX launched the very ambicious season2 of SCL Coliseum, with an incredible number of signed in clans :
Division 1 : TAG, AKC, RIP, ISU, VAS, TFU, VoW, SCL
Division 2 : WW, Fus, Lo4, Cyn, BSM, S_D, MIB, 2hot
The day one was a total success! This evening gpgnet was establishing a new best peak of 1350 players online while the 16 clans (more than 100 players) were fighting under the voices of Deman and Gowerly.
28th February 2007, IN-Agent911 publishes patch 3599. A pretty big disapointment from the community: a 5 lines patchnote, ignoring the main bugs and balance problems, now 4 months since the release of FA.
This thread gives some representation of the community's reaction
Note : Since THQ and gpg stopped working together, any attempt from gpg to patch FA was locked by THQ. That's why Gpgnet will still have 3599 as last official version until its end in March 2012 !
Fortunately some more events were maintaining some dynamism around gpgnet!
2 famous unit mods, started since Vanilla, became a lot more played by the community this year. Those 2 mods arrived in the top list of the mod vault :
- Blackops Unleashed, by hawkeye and OrangeKnight,
Adding more than 60 new units to the game, but suffering too badly from balance problems to be played in 1vs1. This mod got improved each year with also a new ACU upgrade system, and some other new units.
- Orbital Wars, by asdrubaelvect,
Adding some new heavy experimentals, this mod became very famous with a >200000 views youtube trailer
An other major project was emmerging in gpgnet community : The programmer Mancer helped by an entier team of modders was presenting Galactic War . Galactic War was a very ambitious lobby plan, where you fight for your favorite faction in a war where you would have to conquer the galaxy.At this time, there were no other way than Gpgnet (and Hamachi, and direct IP) to play online, so creating an all-new lobby to host galactic war was making all the FA community very excited about it. Every one was speculating which faction the top 10 players would choose and was expecting to live a cool galactic experience !
This huge project was supposed to start a beta in June 2008, which happened, but Mancer had to take an important break in the devlopment. Then the new teams planned to wait for the 2nd Add On The Experimentals to publish Galactic War, but as you now know, this never happened.
Note : Mancer in 2010 planned to adapt Galactic War to Sup Com 2, but once more time the project was requiring more work than the free time he had. It was finally in January 2013, after a sucessfull crowd founded new start, than ZePilot publised Galactic War inside FAForever lobby. After 6 years of dives and climbs, the community finaly could play GW.
In March 2008, SupCom Alliance website announces the ... upcom-dor/ Sup Com d'Or : a ceremony to celebrate the 1 year since Supreme Commander release. At the beginning designed for the french community, all the countries followed and voted the different categories. The event was a bigger success than expected.
Of course, as stated above, it was initialy designed for the french community, who was the major part of the votes. This probably explains some subjective winners.
Fun facts around those results :
-Blackjuge became pretty popular in the french community after winning a ranked game against BlueScreenISU.
-In march, Sir_loui was probably objectivly not at his best level compared to the other 4 nominees, but won the "heart of the public"
-Few players know than Gitzi, made some videomaking (from Lo4 clan, he's known as one of the best 2009-2010 players)
-Back in the days, the CoreMaximizer was a tool designed to balance equal charges between the 2 cores of a dual core processor.
High level playEdit
As you just saw, some projects, mods, maps were emmerging from everywhere, but those were sadly not feeding the pro scene.
End of March, start of April 2008, let's come back to the SCL coliseum who sadly went in troubles and darkness. After many freewins because of not enough involved clans, the season 2 was looking to lose interest week after week. After TFU forfeit and RIP disband, the SCL players starting to leave SupCom and play some Blizzard games. At this same moment, TheBigOne decided to give up the Coliseum organization despite a sucessfull and serious 2nd division. At this time a lot of top players were bored of waiting forever some more cashprize and patches from gpg. FA had the talents around, but those could not find enough challenge in SupCom.
After few weeks of interruption, near to the death, the Coliseum got rescued by GameReplay. Org : Gnats3 finished to host the season 2.
In the end, Division 2 was won by MenInBlack clan (MiB) with the solid plays of BumHunter and SBS (known as Smurf_Hunter in FAF) and Division 1 got never finished because of too many forfeits.
By April 2008 GameReplay is growing and is not seen anymore as an only replay base. Gnats3, Poita and Supertribe, from GR staff (but also top50 players) finally decide to organize a major 1vs1 tournament.
Even if the cashprize was not bigger than 200€, all the still active top players signed in this tournament which really deserves a special focus : April was the transicion between old and new generation of top players. This tournament (with a ko elimination for round 1 and 2, then a double elimination system for higher rounds) was the opportunity to see who was the still able to (or not anymore) go far in an important tournament.
The result of the final was then a 2-1 victory by Ridley against Mephy .
To note some interesting parts of these results trees:
- A very important concentration of good players ! Only Zock, Mentel, BlueScreen and TLO looks to be missing.
- Bad performance of Brainsteel, Sir_Loui, GovtCheese, Dark-Ragnos and PINK_ who are eliminated before reaching the double elimination tree. Those players were expected to be seen in a top16 or more.
- Good performance from the VAS player ArnO who wins Loui and sends mephy to the loser bracket, before losing to Ridley.
- Also an unexpected Kryo from VoW, who wins Govtcheese, Zulan, then loses to matiz_pl from TFU, but continues to win in the loser bracket, winning against the supposed better duris_ and MelkorISU to attain a 4th place which is by far his best performance on FA.
- Now, to focus on the top 3 : The Ukrainian TAG : Mephy (favorite of the tournament) made an incredible strike in the loser bracket : winning against MAD_, ArnO, Zulan, Bhaal, Kryo, he then wins the Loser bracket final against Matiz_pl, to finaly offer a close Bo3 fight to the winner bracket winner : Ridley from VoW clan, who wins a very significant tournament.
- Overall, this tournament shows pretty well the new wave of players, especially Mephy and VoW clan winning more to other former champions.
After such a success, in May-June, GameReplay continue to lead the FA community by hosting a 3rd season of the Coliseum clanleague, which they decided to call season I of the GR. Org Coliseum (it's complicated, but i think they wanted to find a way to show the coliseum was still existing, but no more belonging to SCL.) After the dramas around last season , hosting a new clanleague was a risky challenge. This time it was organized by Kryo from VoW, Nebu (Lo4 clanleader) and Grumbll ( WW clanleader). A not such attractive season, because only 2 good clans signed in : VoW and VAS. Voices of War won the season I, and GR shedulded a season II for October.
Concerning the Ranked, the 2vs2 and 3vs3 ranked were not active for months, however the fight for 1vs1 was still there. A new trend was to buy an other FA cd key and get a smurf with very high winratio. Govtcheese, most active top ranked player, was at this time controlling half of the top10. Quite a lot of complains followed this smurf invasion, but Gpg Admins allowed this, as it was profitable to FA sales.
Here is the entier top 100 on 21st June 2008, with added a few notes, and also a color code :
Green : Still active today (November 2013) on FAF.
Orange : Still around, sometimes connected to FAF.
Red : Stopped playing FA a long time ago.
After a reign of 2 months, Dark-Ragnos would lose rank 1 to Mephy, but Ridley and GovtCheese's smurfs army will give the ukrainian TAG a hard work to keep the throne.
Even if GovtCheese will manage to hold up the first place only few days, Mephy will be the first to reach the 2500 symbolic rating and keep the #1 throne until October, when Ridley will take #1 rank until the end of the year. At this time Mephy was considered at FA what Sir_loui was at Vanilla.