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The Westwood Community


By: ShockOps

The Westwood online community has come along way in the past five years, originally the community was small and barely noticeable gaming community. Now the community is one of the biggest gaming communities on the net, and arguably the biggest RTS community. With Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert users could indeed play online, but it was extremely hard for a person to figure out, and the internet was just booming up in those days. Popularity grew and the Westwood Chat become pretty successful, which sadly slowly died and is now shut down. When Tiberian Sun was announced that was the birth of the fansite community, tiberiumsun.com once the most respected and most successful fansite became the first major fansite of its kind, of course there were other websites among the community, but without a doubt Tib Sun was king. Tiberian Sun was released and it was easier than ever for users to play online, the online community exploded. Tiberian Sun was the first game to introduce claning to the community, this became a foundation for real community. But this also became the foundation for cheaters, the competition was huge, and in just a few months a trainer was released to exploit the "Recon Error" which either makes the game a wash, or has the cheater when. People did this when they were about to lose, this of course mad a lot of people mad. The cheat is still widely used in the TS community to this day. And I believe is the cause for the claning communities downfall, of course there is still a claning community today. But it isn't like it once was in the first few months of TS, now everyone is cheating on everyone else. And the people that don’t cheat get accused of cheating, this leaves a lot of people blaming WW. But I wont get into the whole cheating discussion, ill save that for a later article. =)

Red Alert 2, Ra2 was announced and so did that fans. Fansites were be made everywhere, Ra2 had more support for the community than ever before. With official message boards, and with a awesome official website, fans and webmasters were having a blast covering it. Maybe one of the most helpful things for the community, was the fact that the game was announced in August and released in October, fans didn’t have to go threw the long three year wait as they had to do with Tiberian Sun. Red Alert 2 was released and there were already over a dozen successful Westwood fan sites, with the release of Ra2 was the announcement of Emperor, this was new for the community. People were excited, first 3D RTS game Westwood had ever made, giant worms, huge wars, awesome cutscenes, who wouldn’t be excited? Emperors own hype might be the reason for its failure, yes Emperor was a huge let down for the community. You can hardly find anyone online to play with, the game has bugs that need to be patched but probably never will be, and the fansite community is practically dead. So with the down fail of Emperor everyone turned their eyes Yuri's Revenge and Renegade.

Yuri's Revenge was a great boost for the fans, a new side to play with, cutscenes, it was almost a totally new game. And so everyone covered YR, and the community grew and more fansites were born. Yuri's Revenge released on time and was a huge success, as was Red Alert 2. It had a few problems, but they were worked out. Westwood has giving so much support to the Ra2 community, with the release of the map editor, and along with contest and events. And now they just recently released a online filter. The Ra2 community is still growing strong and remains the king RTS community, for now.

Renegade has a long histroy of production, much to extensive to write about in this article. Being the first FPS Westwood has ever made people weren't jumping up and down about the idea of Westwood bringing the Tiberian universe into the FPS genre. Hype for the game grew, and so did the community, more and more fansites being made, hugely successful discussion forums. And a hugely successful beta test, which the Aircraft beta test is in progress right now. There was the announcement of Mod College, then the announcement of the demo, the community was crazy. They had more to be happy about than ever before. After a very rocky 1st week after the demo was released, things smoothed out, and the demo was running great. Renegade released, and its success has yet to be measured. Westwood announced about the Aircraft being in the game in a up coming patch, it looked as though the fans would kill WW with love. Of course there were still the few jerks (which I like to call the "crap of the community") going around the community trying to stir up trouble, and trying to destroy the community. Along with fake mods which turned out to be a trojan, but things could be a lot worse, and your never going to have a picture perfect community.

With the newly announced C&C: Generals which will be taking C&C into the 3D RTS world we can expect the community to only grow bigger, of course people have their doubts about Generals after Emperor. But you really can't compare the two games to each other, Generals is using the Sage engine and is being developed by the same team that created Ra2 and Yuri's Revenge, Emperor was developed by a UK team. Already with nearly a dozen fan sites, the Generals community is thriving.

The Westwood community has had its up and downs for sure, but over all its only improved for the best. Westwood is taking new steps to prevent cheating, more fan sites are appearing on almost a bi-weekly basis. The Westwood community is truly one of the most successful communities in the gaming world.