Thursday, 28 August 2008

KernowLAN#6 – The Review

Should you have read my previous two posts you will know already that KernowLAN Gaming Networks held their 6th LANparty event on Monday and Tuesday.
The event lasted 24 hours, starting at noon on Monday 25th August and ended at noon on Tuesday the 26th.
This, the 6th event, dubbed K-LAN#6 was once again held at St Austell Church Hall, which can accommodate up to around 50 gamers, each of which can bring and set up their own gaming PC's.

Personally this is my favourite aspect of the LANparty, being able to look around at at all the other hardware, see how it is 'crafted' by each owner, looking at the variations in style, in hardware choices, in tidiness and in ability.

There were many very different PC's at K-LAN#6, including Rufus' aka Santhenar's infamous Acer laptop, an ancient (by today's standard) piece of kit that will strangely run most of the games he wanted to partake in quite happily. Also in the “odd to see” category was a Dell PC that Liam aka RogueFighter, brought along, sporting not only dust, but also a large mass of cobwebs.

A couple of the more exciting computers were brought along by Sam aka Rookie and Tom aka It's You.
Sam's SLi'd 8800GTS's housed in a huge Antec P182 certainly showed that he was a serious gamer. My one criticism of Sam's rig though, was that it was far too dusty for my liking, and showed not enough respect [I'm sure he will be upset with me for that comment].
Tom's ThermalTake Shark case looked big and mean and very impressive; after seeing it I would, if I were currently in the market for a new case, buy one.
He made some good hardware choices too. The 8800GTS is a firm favourite amongst the KernowLAN members, several people were displaying them at #6, while there were some at #5 too back in December also. Also, a ASUS Striker Extreme RoG Edition motherboard, with it's impressive heatpipe cooling and fantastic overclocking capability showed how serious he was about his tech.

It was great being able to talk to people about there future plans for their PC's.
Terry aka Cubedout, is a little hard up at the moment, but plans some good choice upgrades in the near future to bring his PC up to a similar spec to that of the best machines at K-LAN#6, while Matt aka MattFerrit is looking into a new case to replace his modded Aerocool Black M40 MATX Cube case with something along the lines of the Antec P182 or similar.
I'd think Liam is also considering a major case upgrade too, since his Dell cost him a great deal of ridicule!

I'd like to think that my PC also showed off some good technology, but alas it was far from the best when it came to the most modern hardware. My 2.1GHz dual core AMD Athlon X2 5200 was a far cry from the prowess of some of the Intel Core 2 Quad CPU's running in some of the PC's, but I am proud to say that I think mine was the only PC their running 8GB of RAM or a 9800GTX graphics card! Additionally, I am proud to say that I honestly believe my PC was likely the tidiest, cleanest machine their too.

The tournaments that were played included Unreal Tournament 2004, Counter Strike: Source and Call Of Duty 4.
The winner of the Unreal Tournament 2004 match was Sam Pascoe, playing as Rookie. He really showed off some fantastic skill, and even his closest competitors were usually a good 12 or more frags behind him on the leader board. He thoroughly deserved his prize of a 2GB of Crucial Ballistix RAM!

Matt Ferrit aka MattFerrit (see what he did there?) walked away with a Hanns-G 19” Widescreen TFT kindly donated by Microtest Ltd after winning the Call Of Duty 4 tournament in which he truly excelled, despite having never played the game before. I had a few issues in this game, whereby I had to downgrade to the same earlier version as all the other players by reinstalling the game on my PC which unfortunately held up the tournament for about 40 minutes (sorry guys).

Lastly the Counter Strike: Source tournament was won by Liam... kind of. By this I mean that the tournament was actually won by Matt, who having already won a prize kindly offered his prize of an Inno3D Nvidia 9600GT graphics card, once again donated by Microtest Ltd.
He was especially pleased with his prize, since he was currently running an ageing 8600GT card.
However since his Dell PSU could not accommodate the power needs of his new card, I ran home to grab a spare PSU I had laying around for him.

After all the tournaments had finished, people started playing their own choices of games among themselves.
I finally got to re-challenge Rufus (Santhenar) to an InstaGib match in Unreal Tournament 2004 since our match back in December was never finished.
It was a very close contest, but for a while I was really worried as somehow Santhenar was seriously kicking my arse, however by the end of the round we were fragging neck and neck, but the eventual outcome was 24-23 frags to me. DieselLives once again!

Tarí Táralóm aka Ros, the only girl-gamer at K-LAN#6 and I'm hoping to get a chance to interview her for this blog. I didn't get the chance to do so at K-LAN#6 since everyone was so busy playing, but hopefully will soon as a female perspective on gaming could make an interesting read.

All in all the event was a lot of fun for everyone involved, but also very tiring. 24 hours of sitting in front of a computer screen, concentrating intently on fast moving images is harder than it may sound, but highly rewarding too.

There are a few suggestions I have for the KernowLAN Crew, some of which were also made by the other gamers too.
i.The tournaments good have done with a little more structure, and definitive layout.
ii.There should have been more tournaments. Games should be held throughout the night, with several tournaments running at the same time. Maybe a survey could be placed on the KernowLAN website asking which games people want to play?
iii.Refreshments were available, such as Relentless energy drinks, as well as hot dogs and pasta, but there were no snacks on hand or other cold drinks. Tea was available, but I didn't see any coffee.
iv.There were too many quiet times, especially after 1a.m. when people were starting to feel tired. The music should have continued to play, or maybe some game video's on the projector etc., something to fill the silence would have enhanced people's experience.
v.I would have liked to have seen more encouragement for people to partake in some of the additional activities on offer, such as the AudioSurf tournament and the Wii bowling games. Also the Lego building Contest and Pub Quiz did not take place. I especially missed the Pub Quiz since it was a lot of fun at K-LAN#5.
vi.Mood lighting, not really something important, but the lights on or off didn't enhance the experience enough. There was stage lighting, a mirror ball and so forth available, they should have been used.
All in all, KernowLAN was a success. Everyone had a great time and the prizes were worth winning. I, along with all the others, am looking forward to KernowLAN#7, which is pencilled in for the week between this Christmas and New Year.

If you would like to see the photo's, or read more in to what KernowLAN is all about, please go along to the KernowLAN website.

If you have enjoyed this review, or if you attended K-LAN#6 please feel free to post your comments below.


  1. "somehow Santhenar was seriously kicking my arse"

    I think you mean "OBVIOUSLY Santhenar was kicking my arse, but I managed to pull it back purely by cheating."

    I'm kidding, Diesels victory was well deserved indeed.

    Yeah I'm really looking forward to the next event, and I just had a great idea for what it needs...
    -Great big foam mallets! If someone beats you at a game then you can challenge them to a foam fight in the real world!

    Seriously, I better tell Steve.

  2. I think that would be a great event... Foam Mallet Beatings for the winner. At least I'd only get one beating... from you! lol
    Honestly though, a few more good ideas like that, provided they are put into action, would be great fun.
    nice one Santh!

  3. Snacks: Definitely need a ‘shop’ like KernowLAN#5. Again maybe a survey should be done before for what types on snacks should be available and these acquired beforehand and on sale from the start. I’d be happy to be shop lady as well as door lady.
    Tournaments: Probably been the most organised yet but still could have been improved a lot! As there was a schedule, we probably should have kept to it. It always happens that someone needs the game or patch or something (can’t be helped really!) so maybe quicker access for games/patches should be made available. A suggestion was made of having a separate gaming server or external hardrive containing every game and patch you will need while there (for scheduled tournaments at least). It did all feel a bit scatty not knowing where to go for each game when needed.
    Lighting: The disco ball should definitely have been used!

  4. An FTP was provided with all patches, and was given to anyone needing it (ftp://quads), me running around logging into random places was because people had come without the game installed, and it would be ilegall for us to distribute them. Also, we have to wait for people to patch and be ready, so while the schedule was better kept to this time, we were still waiting.

    I would also have liked to see more use in other tournaments/fun games, but no one wanted to (apart from audio surf). The disco ball was used for a bit, but it is un-healthy for marks's and others medical issues.

    A small shop was not run this time, as finance did not allow (we were charged more for the hall this time).

    On a happy note, christmas LAN soon!


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