Or at least another way, a better way than the ones usually held here and in East.
From 2003 thru 2005 I made slow public cs runs with friends and strangers. Sometime in 2005-2006, frustrated with cs run pkers on USWest, I started a channel for cs runners. From 2001 thru 2003 there had been 'kill all' runs from the river waypt to Diablo, taking about 5 minutes. As monster life grew five-fold this became tedious and the sora run from the year 2000-1 was resurrected. However, many people wanted the runs to go a bit slower than the 45 sec to 3 min sora run, especially if u didn't have a hammerdin or blizzard sorc or bo/popper barb. So there were riverwalks, safewalks, starwalks, etc...
But since these took 7 minutes or so, pkers found these to be the games of choice to screw up. It was because the speed of sora runs made them hard to reach: a necro getting thru to the star? A cold sorc when people knew all about hawkmail, thawing pots and cold res gear? A hammerdin when there were other hammerdins, not to mention ww barbs, spirit throwers, cold sorcies, etc. So the pkers chose the weaker cs walk people to harass. Because of them, I created a separate channel, which in a matter of months became the leading or second leading channel in Classic USWest! This was not expected. What better a way to gather your friends and exclude pkers, either by sheer numbers or simply using a passworded private game now and then to keep them off balance. I chose an obvious name to gather peeps: Op cswalk. The channel frequently overflowed, with up to 20 or so players. It was sometimes mentioned here, for about 2 years.
It was a mixed success. The channel still continues, altho empty 80% of the time, a shadow of its glory years. We unfortunately got a lot of newbies who were fairly young and eager to form clans to get around there insecurity. Because of a general channel, they delayed making such clans for a few years, instead opting for a loose confederation of friends. I didn't have a channel bot with welcoming greetings or quizzes, but did have ban power against trolls. There was a lot of criticism that there wasn't a 24 hour bot to add pizzazz. No one else got the password to the channel account, which is helpful for banning or running the channel bot. After about 2 years, one of the most popular members got mad at me one day and became enraged, leaving the channel after cussing loudly and being temp banned. He formed his own channel, which was quite popular, and not uncoincidentally this occurred at the same time as the Act5 entry cheat. So these two events siphoned off most of the members, and within another year people would come visit and see no one there.
It was interesting that pking created the channel and the Act5 cheat nearly wiped it out. Most of the abandoning members used the Act5 cheat to gain exp and socket quests. I told them that if they were cheating, not to come to the channel and give out info about how to do it. So that sank the channel, gradually, eventually, the Act5 cheating went on for about 1 1/2 years, over the course of a few ladders, until Blizzard finally plugged it. Bored and competitive, a lot of seemingly good players got sucked into the cheating. I also noticed tho that about half the most mature, best players, got up and left the game entirely because of it.
That's how it nearly ended, but let's talk about how well it did before those gloomy days.
The idea was to make a cs run which played by the maker's rules, not the default fastest possible run, delivering the maximum amount of L-dopa to our receptors, a person I derisively referred to as a "crackbrain". It was a slower run where a necro or zon could keep up. Some of the runs were 'Starwalks', where the run would begin at the star and then was a kill-all thru the seals, with no tele'ing or charging to get ahead of everyone. No seal or loot hogging. Helping anyone who died and no gold/potion stealing. This last part is utterly unheard of in boring LoD Baal runs. A starwalk also helped to keep a few minutes ahead of pkers who still favored public walks.
Some of the character types I developed were very effective against pkers. Hardly anyone back in those days knew how to neuter a Blizzard sorc, or use CE to repeatedly destroy some din deep in the cs (Hint: never reap champ corpses! always save). Ppl would run back to town and equip against poison, but could hardly do the same to the 50-50 fire-physical dmg of a high lvl CorpseExplosion. There was a great deal of hostility to my kind of run before making the channel. The channel turned things around. It made a great impression on the realm, and for a while affected runs in the nonladder. Also, banning pkers from being partied in any game eventually wore them down over the years, most of them.
Let me go into detail about the extensive hostility one can encounter. One of the leading cs runners in the middle of 2003, a lvl 93+ sorc, began entering my games and absolutely demanding that they speed up. Telling her to go elsewhere didn't work. Finally she found out the power of wielding a shard and using warcry on her silly build, she had to exit the game, having no fhr items equipped. In the early years of 1.10 I would enter a public channel with some of my non-cookie cutter chars, such as my pnova necro (build in the stickys above at this forum). This necro had an soj, wormskull, +2 ammy, +2 wand and silks. Now the last item was laughed at, due to the 100 str req and being obvious in channel. This pnova/summoner cursing necro just didn't die and was like lvl 92, so he could afford 100 str to get the extra 10% dmg afforded by the extra +1 to all skills. Now, all the high necros have silks here in Classic. This is just one example of having to ignore the papparozzi and staying the course.
In its glory days, the channel was responsible for most of the cs runs going on, actually outnumbering the sora runs. But this didn't last long: the Act5 bugaboo was right around the corner. Still, it was a dream come true while it lasted. There were many, many loyal friends and players who went thru those games. They took notice of the builds I made and succeeded in making their own. Some had some nice avengers and HolyBolt healer/killers. Having a crew with a diverse range of complimentary or buffing skills is exhilarating and really the only reason for continuing to play this game year after year. This feeling can only happen when weaker players team up with the right combos. The din/blizz/bo cookie cutter builds are a drag, a blight on the people who really want a truly enjoyable team experience.
Several of my channel members pk'd any bot runs in Classic during recent years. Also a certain member purposefully got the Act5 cheat just to pk them and drive their runs underground. I never did get it, altho it would have been a treat to observe.
I wished I had posted this back in 2009 or so, when it was more relevant. I've posted about 1000 times here in 11 years, just hardly at all in the past few. Back in late 2003, I made the first high level poison nova necro in Classic. He accidentally was converted to LoD and was the top pnova necro over there, before bots took over the ladders. Also, within a couple ladders after 1.10, I noticed the great power of chant and that it was always underdeveloped and thus in late 2004 made the first high or max level chanter in Classic. It was quite a surprise back in those early years. Also, I made the first max warcrier with the synergies, reminiscent of 'Babacry', a lvl 93 from 2003. With amp, he was real good. He had a predecessor in LoD, in the top 50 barbs, at lvl 96. I was surprised this build would work in Classic. And I made one of the few frenziers over the years, they became much harder in 1.10. Because of the max chant, and multiple computers, my frenziers and ww barbs and zealots and conviction bowpallys did major damage to the non-fire immunes. Btw, the river had mostly fire susceptibles and this bowpally cleaned up amazingly. Why would anyone make a bowazon without that kind of 'fire power'? The conviction aura just completely blows away any bowazon skills. I hope D3 has some of these same opportunities.
For those of you who helped and enjoyed the runs, thanks. This is an East forum mostly, so you here haven't enjoyed the power of warcry over stompers, or a conviction bowadin (ranger), or any sort of diversity in your csruns. Too bad.
What mortal fardel knows what is in store for the future of the channel as new life is breathed into it and new forms of life control its latest reincarnation??