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 A One Lifer Take on S4

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PostSubject: A One Lifer Take on S4   Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:05 pm

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN THE SOCOM.COM BETA FORUM

Prior to receiving a private beta code, I remained optimistic in the months leading up to beta play; wanting to see it, play it and feel it for myself before I judged it.

With code in hand, I keyed in the information and eagerly waited for the beta to download. As the data transfer was underway I started thinking of all the prior SOCOM's experienced, all the people I have met along the way and the irreplaceable times we shared, the evolution of our clan and all the friendships that have developed.

I started to reflect on all the years that have gone by since I first fell in love with the One Lifer gameplay, all the phone calls ignored, all the girlfriends neglected, all the parties put off, all the time invested into training, competing, developing and growing our clan, and all the 24 hour marathon gaming sessions.

Then I started to think about all the money I have invested into this experience, from the burned out consoles, to new releases, to the scratched disks, to smashed controllers, to thrown headsets, to patch work on my walls, to kicked in TV's, to the electric bill and the internet bill for maxed out speeds, to the surround sound systems, to the flat screens and their expensive accessories.

I also reflected on how I have evolved over the years in both my gameplay and in my persona, and the positive impact this evolution has had on my personal life. I started thinking about the fact that my clan was in truth, my entrepreneurial incubator, and is the reason I was confident enough to start my own companies five years ago. Then I started to think how this gaming experience has positively impacted others that I know. There was a lot of gratitude involved in this thought.

Once the patch was finished, the adrenaline kicked in and it was gametime. The last year of anticipation was finally over, and this new universe was finally mine to discover.

After an 8 hour gaming session with a handful of my men I turned off my console, feeling defeated, neglected, ignored, used, cheated and deceived. I was devastated with disappointment, and the heart that I had put into this franchise for so many years felt broken; I felt like I had just ended a long term relationship with a girl that I loved. As a Cleveland Browns fan, I know this feeling well.

After a half hour of sulking I fired the PS3 back up and joined the rest of my men on the Confrontation servers. They have never seen their leader so defeated, and I have never been so grateful to be able to play Confrontation with our community as I was that night.

The next day those of us that had played the beta came to a simple and obvious conclusion, S4 is not SOCOM. We went in expecting it to be some kind of recognizable version of the game we fell in love with, the game that birthed the One Lifers, the game that had defined us as gamers for so many years, and because it wasn't, our crash from the heights of a true next-gen SOCOM expectation was devastating.

There are so many reasons why S4 is not SOCOM, reasons I will not get into in this post; gamers like r_e_v, LUKENBAUCHER, DarthViper, Dr_McNoob, and SUKMYTURBAN to name a few are already on the job, and they have brought their lunch pales.

Going into our second gaming session on the beta, we decided to accept that which we could not control for the time being, and see what we could really do with this new environment. After a few hours the competitive blood started flowing and we started focusing less on our disappointments and more on adapting and overcoming. We started to loosen up and have fun. After a 12 hour gaming session we walked away feeling slightly better about migrating into the S4 universe.

That day we bumped into a One Lifer on the S4 beta servers by the name of KILLMO_ and he shared with us his S4 perspective. It was this interaction that really helped my personal progression from anger and disappointment, to a positive determination to overcome and succeed. Thank you KILLMO_.

The transition from being consumed with extremely negative emotions after day one, to a positive determination to succeed with the tools we have been given today has not been an easy one. From time to time I find myself slipping back into the "fock it" mentality, but then I am reminded that as the President of The Division, I have a responsibility to my men to serve by example, and this responsibility is greater than gameplay dynamics; I took an oath of service before my community, an oath we take very serious.

When I feel myself reverting back to the original mentality I possessed after day one of beta play I have to ask myself a few questions: How can I expect my men to maintain a positive attitude when faced with adversity if I do not? How can I expect them to fight to the last second of the last round if I give up on this process? How can I expect the young men in our community, who we work with to mentor and encourage on life issues, to take me seriously if I do not continue to lead our team to success? How can I condemn selfishness if I stomp my feet and cry I don't like, I don't like, I don't like? How can I work to motivate my men to overcome any obstacle life throws at them if I do not overcome my own personal disappointment and conquer the S4 obstacle?

The answer is simple; I cannot.

Due to my responsibility to The Division I find myself in a unique position as a One Lifer, one that I am ultimately grateful to be in, and from this I am reminded that no matter the universe, the SOCOM community is greater than the game it exists in.

This is the consistent dynamic that has never changed, this we can control and affect positively, and ultimately, this is the reason why the One Lifer picks up his/her controller. In all of our disappointments, the "community" is what has kept us going since SOCOM 2.

Personally, it has been years since I fired up my station to just "play a game," not since my Madden days has it been this way. "We" are the experience, and as long as we stay committed to one another and the relationships that have developed as a result, SOCOM lives on and so to does the One Lifer, regardless of what the next developer does.

I have learned a lot over the past few months, it is through change that we find an opportunity to grow. I have gone through a analysis of my online persona over the years since becoming a member of this community, the good, the bad and the ugly. From age 22 to 30 I have certainly made a lot of mistakes, pissed a lot of people off, and failed to be of maximum service in many ways.

In the same light I, as well as the men that serve with me, have stayed committed to progression and have helped many, created, developed and preserved a sub community that today is a positive force not only within the whole of the SOCOM community, but in the individual lives of all of its participants. As a human being, I have certainly grown from being a member of this community; being a One Lifer has taught me many things that are interchangeable in both my personal and professional pursuits.

Wow... who knew this experience could be so powerful. It transcends the boundaries and limitations of our virtual world.

Eight days into the beta, every one of our members has had to grow through the transition as they arrive to the new environment, working through the same emotions we felt on day one. Slowly but surely, the desire to overcome and the determination to succeed kicks in, and the strength of our community becomes their driving force.

Because "we" are greater than the game, this whole experience has made me reassess my position on the respawners. With the wave of young, inexperienced gamers that will surely follow into these new servers comes another opportunity to lead by example, to teach honor, discipline, self control, respect, to be a positive force in the lives of an entirely new generation of gamers, to be a difference maker and continue the legacy of the One Lifer.

If I am where I am today because many hands have touched my life over 30 years and helped me to overcome and succeed, who am I to raise my nose and snub the next young man in need of direction and positive reinforcement simply because he is a respawner? When you take a step back from the confines of the video game perspective and look at the dynamics of our world, the young respawner represents the very generation that needs to be reached.

Whoa, now that's a paradigm shift.

Yes, yes it is.

Each one teach one.




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PostSubject: Re: A One Lifer Take on S4   Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:33 am

Wow.. ......that was pretty deep. Too bad you guys arent going to be on confrontation anymore. We need all the quality people on there we can get.
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PostSubject: Re: A One Lifer Take on S4   Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:34 am

ya'll will be missed on con.
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PostSubject: Re: A One Lifer Take on S4   Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:53 am

Thats a hell of a post, Blue.

I know that the beginning of the beta was much the same for me. Overwhelming disappointment, anger, and all-encompassing frustration. I could only play for so long before I had to stop, lest my feelings overwhelm me completely. Everytime i play the beta, those feelings bubble up that THIS IS NOT SOCOM.

And all the time that I was playing, I'm receiving messages from my friends and clan mates asking about the game. I know how most of us will feel, but at the same time I don't want to influence their decision or do anything to alter how they will perceive it the first time they get to play it. So all I can really tell them is "Its not socom".

Regardless, I DO enjoy playing the game, in a way similar but seperate from CoD. I feel that its a CoD game that I paly a little more Tactically and a little more carefully . . . and it does get a little intense, and gets my blood pumping. I can have a lot of fun playing this game, especially when playing with friends.

I guess that in the end, I would be okay with it if it didn't have "Socom 4" as the title. It's nothing like MAG, other than the graphics, so i don't agree with the MAG comparisons at all, so it really needs to stand on its own. I would have more respect for it if it did, but nontheless, I enjoy it and hope that my clan mates come to the same or similar conclusions, and in so doing, we can all play together again. Especially cause my "core" clan hasn't really been together since Combined Assault. Even though most of us have played Confrontation and been together for the Call of Duty's, our "socom" clan hasn't really been together for "socom" in a long time and I want a game that we can all play together on again.


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PostSubject: Re: A One Lifer Take on S4   Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:05 pm

We aren't going to permanently leave the Con servers, as a matter of fact, we have a few gamers that wont be migrating until Zipper makes some much needed adjustments.

Thank you for your responses gentlemen, and I am glad the sentiment was felt.


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