The Concept – ‘Hardfought’ as it’s come to be was actually over a year in the making and planning, which came to fruition on October 22nd, 2000. I had started with a dual P3-500 box that I built that was to be a Quake3 server only… months had passed before I had finally found a place to co-locate my server at… ocxi.net in Fort Worth, TX. They had a point of presence with Digex’s network. I kept my server there a total of two weeks due to Digex’s traffic shaping schema… absolutely awful. People from an hours drive from the server would have their data packets sent all the way up to Chicago or Detroit and back, making many players experience very high pings. Another month had passed when I spoke to a friend of mine who worked as a network engineer for a Dallas-based company known as ArcDSL (formerly known as Directlink.net, now out of business) and he was able to get my server into their co-location facility (for a monthly fee of course), which had points of presence with several major high-end network communication backbones, such as UUNET, Sprint and SouthWestern Bell locally. This all happened back in November of 2000, and the Hardfought server was reborn again, still touting itself as a Quake3 server. This same person who worked for ArcDSL had asked that I bring up a Half-Life: CounterStrike port as well sometime soon, and a few weeks later I did. The player base for Hardfought shifted from that point on from Quake3 to CounterStrike almost a hundred-fold… the rest is history. Hardfought’s primary theme is CounterStrike but it has and will evolve into anything that I might find enjoyable for myself and others to play online. There are plans to expand Hardfought’s influence into the RPG scene when Bioware releases Neverwinter Nights later this year. Halo is another game that has serious potential to find it’s way into the Hardfought scene once it’s released. Time will tell…

See below for updates…

The Hardware – The Hardfought web/email server is currently being hosted at home on a dedicated business line, we’ve now come full-circle since the beginning. Game servers – NetHack w/ variants, see updates below for details.

The Rules – When playing on any Hardfought gaming servers, there are certain rules and guidelines which everyone is expected to follow. Some of these rules and guidelines are all-encompassing while others are game platform-specific. Any and all of these rules are subject to change at a moments notice –

  • Cheating – any player caught cheating or *severely* exploiting a bug/feature during game play will be permanently banned without warning. Forms of cheating are (but are not limited to) the following: aimbots, auto-shooters, wall hacks, invisibility cheats, teleportation hacks, speed cheats, IP spoofing, denial of service or other related attacks, ping flooding, using hacked and/or modified game executables/dll’s and player models.
  • Racism – while profanity is not censored, racism in any form or fashion (racist aliases, phrases, binds, etc) will not be tolerated, and will result in a permanent ban of the offending player from the server without warning.
  • Behavior – during gameplay tempers can flare and sometimes things are said and comments made that shouldn’t have been made… that is understandable. However, any excessive severe derogatory behavior exhibited towards anyone on the server, whether it be another player, an admin or a spectator, will not be tolerated, and can result in the offending player being kicked, temporarily banned or permanently banned from the server.
  • Team Killing/Team Wounding – Hardfought has hosted games from time to time that allow members of the same team to be damaged and/or killed by their own teammates. This is not to promote team killing or wounding, but to heighten the realism and skill required to play and to win. Therefore, intentionally team wounding and/or killing your own teammates on a game server hosted by Hardfought that was configured in this way is not permitted, and can result in the offending player being kicked, temporarily banned, and if done repeatedly, permanently banned from the server.
  • Server Admins – Hardfought tries to employ as game admins those people who are fair, level-headed and professional to ensure that yours and theirs gaming expereince is a fun one. Server admins are not exempt from the rules however; in fact they must abide by them implicitly. Over the years it has very rarely been an issue, but should you as a player see an admin abuse their privileges in an adverse way, report it to our admin staff – if your claim is valid, it will be dealt with swiftly.

Update, 12/15/2001 – the Hardfought server has since moved to a different location, still within the DFW area. I have since dropped support for Quake3 and CounterStrike, and am now hosting Return to Castle Wolfenstein at the moment. I still have plans to support Halo and Neverwinter Nights once those games are released.

Update, 6/19/2002 – a very long overdue update indeed… the Hardfought RtCW had to be taken down just a couple months after it went up. Many of the regulars from both CS and RtCW joined together to form a Dark Age of Camelot guild on the Guinevere server/Midgard realm. That guild is no more however, and has since dissolved just a couple days before this update. Why? Because Neverwinter Nights has finally gone gold and is being shipped here as I type this. I’ll be running two NWN servers starting out, one public as a PvP arena, the other one private (at first) and will be the stage for a full-blown multi-level campaign. And so begins Chapter Three in the Hardfought saga…

Update, 10/28/2002 – at this moment there are no game servers at all associated with Hardfought. The DAoC guild that had formed around Hardfought has also disbanded and it’s members have gone elsewhere. I have since discontinued running the Hardfought web/email server from home and am now using HostRocket as a web/email-hosting service. I have since enlisted in the United States Army (infantry) and will be shipping off in a few weeks time from this update, so for the time being things will just have to coast along, for possibly quite awhile.

Update, 9/18/2003 – the Hardfought game server has been brought back into existence, with hosting provided by theplanet.com, who are based out of Dallas, TX. Put up a CS port on it for a few weeks, but will be dropping it and instead will be hosting a Halo port very soon and possibly a port for HL2/CS2 when those titles are released. I’m currently stationed with the 25th ID in Hawai’i, and will be leaving for Afghanistan in Febuary 2004 for 6-9 months to help Americas fight against terrorism. Hoping to bring Hardfought back to its glory days with Halo and HL2 before I ship out.

Update, 5/3/2004 – Plans changed, turns out my unit (1-27 Wolfhounds) has been deployed to Iraq instead for a year long tour, we’ll be here until Febuary 2005, already three months in as of this update. The Hardfought Halo servers were a huge success, however I took them down right before the new year (2004) because of my upcoming deployment, and also because of the blantant lack of server admin backend support for Halo from the company who ported it to the PC (gearboxsoftware.com). Still waiting patiently for HL2/CS2 to make its debut, no other games out really stand out as being ‘Hardfought server-worthy’. Will be interesting to see what’s out and about once I return home.

Update, 10/7/2006 – Oh snap… over two years since the last info update. Quite a bit has happened between now and then. CS: Source made its debut in November of 2004, with Hardfought being the very first to offer public servers for that title, other than those hosted by Valve themselves. For a good solid year, we had two to three public CS:S servers up and running, that were populated most of the time. We also hosted Day of Defeat: Source for a short period of time while that title was fresh and new. Battlefield 2 made its debut in June of 2005, and we hosted two ranked servers for the game, with one of them being one of the most popular urban-only map servers for a few months. For a stretch of about three months, there were over one hundred users playing either CS:S or BF2 on Hardfought at any given time. We also saw an official Hardfought clan for CS:S come to life – we competed at the CPL 2005 summer tournament, and our CAL team made it to CAL-M twice. For the year 2006, we’ve seen a decline – BF2 all but faded away along with a significant amount of other BF2 servers. CS: Source is still offered, but it has also declined over the past few months, as we’re down to just one server, which gets minimal play at best… mostly because we’ve had to play ‘musical IP’s’, having had the server go down/come up/go down/come up again too many times in one timespan. The Hardfought CS:S clan was hijacked by the majority of the remaining core players who wanted to take the team into a different direction a couple months ago, and founded ‘TeamHF’.

So, looking forward to 2007 – there are three titles we’re currently looking at to host, with Team Fortress 2 being at the forefront. Neverwinter Nights 2, and Unreal Tournament 2007, are also strong contenders for us to host. CS: Source will probably be retired for good at this point – the community just isn’t what it once was. However, we’re looking forward to the possibilities that await in the months and years ahead. As stated once before almost six years ago, time will tell…

Update, 4/11/2009 – A lot has happened since the last update to this page. We hosted Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tounrmanent 2007, and Crysis, with TF2 and CoD4 being a huge success. Played a lot of good matches and met some great people during that time. Unfortunately the game servers came down again back in March of 2008. I was currently deployed (again) to Iraq when that happened, so there was really nothing that could be done about it. Thanks to Boomhauer for hosting the servers for as long as he did. Hardfought has pretty much coasted along since then. I’m back from Iraq finally, for good this time. The website has seen a major overhaul and has moved to a much better hosting site. Getting ready to move to the New England area… maybe I’ll find a new home for the game servers there and revive them once again. Stay tuned people ;-)

Update, 3/30/2017 – Nearly eight years since anything significant has happened around here. The web-server is no longer on shared hosting, and is now hosted here at home again. With the help of some good friends, we’ve started our own NetHack server (runs on the same box as the web-server), which has been up for just over a month now. Finally running a server for one of my all-time favorite games! As of this update, we’re running NetHack ‘vanilla’ versions 3.4.3 and 3.6.1-dev (bleeding edge), UnNetHack 5.3.1 and our own update to GruntHack (version 0.2.1). It’s getting some decent play and things are stable, but when Junethack starts in June this year, that will be the true test. Can’t wait!

Update, 9/22/2022 – Over five years running now as a NetHack server, and it’s been one hell of a fun ride. Game servers are present now in the US, London, and Sydney (AWS instances), and we make available just about every NetHack variant out there. Forums were retired, but the community is still present on IRC (libera.chat) and now also on Discord. Hardfought is a significant presence during the Junethack tournament, and a newer tournament known as ‘The November NetHack Tournament’ (TNNT for short) is hosted here exclusively, going on five years now.