Clan FAQ
    This page will answer the most questions we've gotten on Doom Connector. It's everything you need to know about Clan ORB (and some stuff you probably don't, too!).

General Questions
What exactly is Clan ORB?
Who are the main members?
What does ORB stand for?
Uh, there are other "Clan ORB"s out there, doesn't it get confusing?

Joining the Clan
What's that stuff on the join page for?
I sent my info, why am I not on the site?
I use Skulltag. How can I join?
Is there any initiation or test?
What is the password used for?
Open rooms? Closed Rooms? What are those?
How do I enter the members area?
What do I have to do to be/stay in the clan?
I use Skulltag/IDE instead. How can I keep up with you?
What about other clans, can I join any of those?
This group I want to join isn't a clan... that's okay, right?
What about those "Inactive" Members?
Why is this guy's clan tag different from mine?
What's the difference between the "ranks?"
What's your policy on the information on the members page?

Playing Online
What the heck is this Doom Connector you keep talking about?
What are source ports and which ones do you use?
What the heck are Skulltag and IDE?
What are these things next to peoples' names?
What clans are there on Doom Connector?
Can I play with this other clan's members?
Do we ever have clan wars?
So what, do we never play Deathmatch?
What are the rules of online play?

Wad Creation
What program(s) do you use to crate wads?
How long have you been mapping?
Do I have to become a mapper to join ORB?
Why are there missing textures in my wad even when I put the right texture there?
Something else went wrong with my wad, can you help?

General Questions

What exactly is Clan ORB?
As stated on the front page, Clan ORB is a clan of players and mappers with an emphasis on good single-player and cooperative levels. It's a little more complicated than that, actually; that's just it in a nutshell. Read on...

Who are the main members?
Currently, the members with special ranks are as follows:
NetNomad: One of the two founders of Clan ORB, who updates the site and also wrote this FAQ. Myep, that's me. ;-)
MegaZzZeux: Another of the Clan ORB founders. You may see him online a bit more than me, so ask him about joining, I'll be on sooner or later.
Omega_Phoenix/RoneKyakone/Ermac: These three members we have selected for a special status. You can read more about it farther down...

What does ORB stand for?
A lot of people ask this. While most clan tags are an acronym, ORB is not. To understand the meaning of ORB, you'd need to understand one of our basic philosophies. This is, that we believe good map-making is an art. Good art is often rare, but this rare stuff tends to be the best. It's like finding a rare trading card. And in Doom, all the orb-like objects (inviso, soul sphere, etc) are rare and cool. See? That's why I included the megasphere in the site header graphic.

Then again, we don't necessarily mean to say we're all excellent mappers... far from it. But we hope to reach this point!

Uh, there are other "Clan ORB"s out there, doesn't it get confusing?
Nope, not really. I recently did a search for "Clan ORB," and I didn't even get to our site in the several pages that mention a "Clan Orb." There is, in fact, a clanorb.com. But as far as I've seen, those Clan Orbs aren't Doom clans; the Doom Community is small enough to have room for a Clan ORB. ;-)

Joining the Clan

What's that stuff on the join page for?
The info on that page (Doom Connector name, favorite wads, etc) is basically just some background info that we'd like you to send us. This info goes on the members page, so people can get to know ya better! ;-)

I sent my info, why am I not on the site?
Usually, before we ask a new member to send info, both of us founders (NetNomad and MegaZzZeux) have talked to this person. We both want to see you first, get to know you. If you haven't seen one of us, we'll be on sooner or later to talk to you.

I use Skulltag. How can I join?
Recently, Clan ORB has branched out onto Skulltag's public servers. The drawback is that generally, us founders don't go there often, so we can't really do recruiting business there. Fortunatly our advisors do, so contact them about joining. They have the [=ORB=] tag on their names. Word will eventually get to us and we'll set up a meeting with you somehow, be it on DC, AIM, or otherwise. :-P

On a side note: since our "base of operations" is Doom Connector, we do require you to get that program. It plays Skulltag anyway, so nothing's lost by getting it.

Is there any initiation or test?
Unlike most clans, we don't believe in an initiation or a test. We've never seen the point in it. So you don't have to worry there. :-)
However, we'd like to play a game or two with you first. That's about as close as we come to initiation...

What is the password used for?
Clan ORB uses a common password for our clan rooms on Doom Connector. We tell you this password after you join, and you can use it to enter our clan rooms. They appear on Doom Connector every so often when we have business to discuss or when we just want to play a game. This password is also used to get into the members area. On Skulltag, you may find ORB servers locked with this password as well.
If the password is ever changed for one reason or another, you will recieve the new one in PM (Private Message) form on Doom Connector.

Open rooms? Closed Rooms? What are those?
Most rooms are closed, which means they use the clan password to lock them. Some rooms will be open, or unlocked. At present, it's usually I (NetNomad) or MegaZzZeux who create clan rooms, but we pass moderation ability sometimes for a variety of reasons. However, we ask that you don't create any open clan rooms; only us two will create and moderate such rooms, as we use them to recruit people. If we should need to pass moderation ability to someone else, we will lock the room first.

How do I enter the members area?
Usually, when you send your info and are on the members page, you're also in the members database. This database is hosted by Bravenet, the company that supports our interactive features. To log in, simply go to the entrance on the front page. On the next page, you'll need to login. Your username is the same as your Doom Connector name, without the ORB tag. And your password is the clan password.
If you are not in the database, just bug me (NetNomad), and I'll see what I can do about it. :-)

What do I have to do to be/stay in the clan?
The only real "rule" you must follow is to actually show an interest in clan activity. This means actually getting on Doom Connector and hang out once in awhile. We've seen a lot of people who never come on anymore, and we really don't consider some of those people clan members anymore... but hey, if you love Doom as much as we do it shouldn't be a problem. Other than this, staying in the clan is only a matter of being courteous to your fellow gamers online... which is what you should do even if you aren't in a clan.

I use Skulltag/IDE instead. How can I keep up with you?
While we now support these places, our base of operations is still on Doom Connector. If you intend to hang out mostly on the other servers, you may get new info later than some other people. I would advise that you get on Doom Connector as well; it plays Skulltag anyway, so it's not like you wouldn't be able to play.

What about other clans, can I join those?
Not many people make such a big deal about this, but we're some of them. The practice of being in multiple clans, or multiclanning, is not allowed. First of all, it's looked down upon by much of Doom Connector (and makes you look like a real n00b)... but most importantly, it's a question of loyalty. If you want to be in ORB, that's making a comittment... and joining other clans makes us question your ability to keep that comittment.
I believe it was best put by one of our advisors, RoneKyakone:

I feel a certain degree of devotion needs to exist when you join a clan. You canít just join a clan for the hell of it. The people who do are probably the most likely to be the people who donít stick just a single clan, or jump from clan to clan. Anyway, my point is that a clan is a commitment, and if youíre not willing to make that commitment, just donít join. 
So, bottom line is: if you like another clan, that's ok. Just don't expect to stay in ours.

This group I want to join isn't a clan... that's okay, right?
This issue has surfaced a couple of times so far. Some groups have formed on Doom Connector that do not call themselves clans, and instead focus specifically on mapping or some other element of the Doom game, such as mod-making. To some they may seem like clans, but it is not our business to question them as such.

It is, however, our business to enforce our rule against multiclanning... however since we don't technically acknowledge them as clans, this creates a sort of gray area in the multiclanning rule. So can you join this group that doesn't call themselves a clan? It depends. Tell us, one of the clan leaders or advisors, of this group you want to join... if we don't know of them we'll ask. We'll figure something out. For future refrence, however: you may not join such a group without clearing it with us first.

If we conclude that the group in question is indeed not a clan, and you do join it, you may not wear that group's tag. Wearing multiple tags tends to confuse people, because tags on Doom Connector or any other multiplayer zone are considered clan tags by default. That said, you will have to inform the leaders of this group that you will not be able to wear their tag. If they are not a clan, they should not care so much; a mention of the group in your DC profile should be enough. If they insist on your wearing their tag, then you can't join them... ORB will not make exceptions to this rule.

What about those "Inactive" Members?
From time to time we have to remove people from the members page (if they lose their DC accounts, for instance). For some of these people, it can't be helped. As long as there is still some way to reach these people, we find it unfair to remove them for reasons beyond their control. So they become "inactive" members, listed at the bottom of the members page, until they are able to be part of clan activities again.

Why is this guy's clan tag different from mine?
Certain members have special ranks. As of right now there are only four such people. The two creators have the tag (*ORB*), and our advisors use (=ORB=). Other than these people, all members use (-ORB-) as their tag.

What's the difference between the "ranks?"
You know already from above that there are two creators: NetNomad and MegaZzZeux. We two manage the clan and have complete control over this site. Advisors, shown by the tag (=ORB=), are usually people who joined us early on and/or get online most often. Other than that, they aren't much different from normal members, but when it comes down to a decision over who should moderate a clan room after us, we'll always leave it in the hands of an advisor. These people also have the job of keeping up with news and recruiting on the Skulltag public servers.

What's your policy on the information on the members page?
The members page contains links to some of the files that we've uploaded to the site, that aren't meant to be seen by non-members. For this reason, you may NOT distribute the files you get from there, the addresses of those files, or the address of the members page. You do, you get kicked. Simple as that. The members page was set up to allow you access to some of the unfinished wads we test on Doom Connector - but it's not for the public to see.

Playing Online

What the heck is this Doom Connector you keep talking about?
Doom Connector is pretty much the ultimate online Dooming program. Like most site-based online gaming programs, Doom Connector (aka "DC") members can create or join rooms, setup, launch, or join games, and generally have a really good time. ;-)

You will notice ORB clan rooms usually near the top of the room list... they usually appear as "(ORB) Clan Room." Unless the room is open, you'll need to use the clan password to enter it.

You can download Doom Connector from this website.

What are source ports and which ones do you use?
Source ports, sometimes referred to as engines, are programs that work with Doom to add extra features and support. Basically, using one of these means your game should run clearer and faster and have extra features you can't normally use in Doom (jumping and looking up and down, for instance).

Doom Connector supports most of the major source ports. If you don't have one of them, you should download them; Doomworld is a good place to do so. Most of us use Doom Legacy for online play, as it tends be simple and pretty reliable. Just ask around; someone will send you a copy. Some of us may use other ports such as ZDoom or JDoom, but Legacy proves to be the easiest to use on DC.

Public server ports are another choice. ZDaemon and Skulltag are the two most commonly used of these ports, and they are represented online in their own programs. However, Doom Connector supports these as well. Skulltag is now supported by ORB; see below.

What the heck are Skulltag and IDE?
Skulltag is a source port just like the others, except it was built off of ZDoom. It's based off public masterservers and comes with its own program for playing online. IDE, or Internet Doom Explorer, usually comes packaged with Skulltag as well. This program allows you to browse all the Skulltag servers as well as ZDaemon and csDoom, two similar ports (that ORB does not support as of this writing). The difference between it and Doom Connector is that there's no real chatting involed, except in-game. If you join a server, you go directly to the game.

Generally you won't find ORB servers on Skulltag as often as you would on Doom Connector, but they may appear. Unless the server is open, you'll need to use the clan password to join it.

You can download Skulltag from this website. Be careful not to get an older version.

What are these things next to people's names?
That's their clan insignia or tag. It's just like what we use, too. The tag shows what clan you're in, but it actually has nothing to do with DC or Skulltag specifically... it's just part of your username.

What other clans are there on Doom Connector/Skulltag?
There are several... however, new clans are frequently created and/or disbanded, so making a reliable list is next to impossible. If you want to know, the best idea is to ask someone what their clan tag means... or one of us probably knows. It never hurts to ask!

Can I play with this other clan's members?
I don't see why not. We don't have any silly rules about what clans to play with (actually, I don't know of anyone on DC or Skulltag who does), so go ahead and play with anyone.

Do we ever have clan wars?
No. There's really no point to them. We don't think we have to "prove" ourselves to any other clan. While you can rest assured we have many average/above-average Deathmatch players, if you're looking for a clan that focuses on true, competitive Deathmatches, look elsewhere. Or better yet, look on ZDaemon. ¬_¬

So what, do we never play Deathmatch?
Sure we do, every once in awhile. It's just, we do friendly Deathmatches, ones that don't count for anything. Which is not to say you can't participate in tournaments; tournaments are just for fun anyways. We don't make any, though... you'd be looking for a DC-wide tourney to participate in. I don't know if tournaments are ever hosted on Skulltag, but it doesn't hurt to ask around.

What are the rules of online play?
I advise you pay close attention to this answer... at one time we had to kick someone from the ORB clan for repeatedly breaking these rules.

They really aren't "rules," per se, but are just pieces of etiquitte that should always be followed in cooperative play. These rules include:
* Don't repeatedly shoot at your partner when they ask you to stop. In case you didn't know, it wastes armor, forcing them to go back and get some more.
* Don't run ahead of the pack all the time. It's called cooperative for a reason, and if you tend to run ahead and blast everything in sight, no one else gets a chance at any kills. This is not to say that you must always stick together; in fact, in some cases it's best to split up (a perfect example: E2M6 of the original Doom, where there is the red key and the yellow key to find). But if you choose to go off by yourself for a bit, be sure to wait up for the others at some point (a locked door is a good marker, for instance).
* This one should just be common sense... but don't turn off your messages (F8). If it seems to you that no one's talking, or answering your chat, then you may have accidentally turned it off. But never keep it off intentionally, because an open line of communication is important in coop... especially if you're breaking one of these other "rules" and someone wants to tell you so.
* Don't exit the level until you ask first. One or two players may be in bad shape and need to find health and ammo. Or worse, someone may have just been killed and may need to pick up weapons again. This is especially true of games with more than four players, because players 5 and up end up at deathmatch starts (which are frequently placed in the middle of monsters). A good guideline to follow is, wait for everyone to be in the exit room before you leave (unless the straggler(s) tell you to go ahead anyway).
* This one is VERY important. The room's moderator is in charge of changing settings for the game, and they have to do this using the menu. Since the game does not stop when you bring up the menu, the mod is open to attack during this time... and therefore they have to pause. When the mod pauses, everyone else waits for the mod to unpause. That's not debatable. If you unpause while the mod changes settings you're putting him or her in a nasty situation.

Wad Creation

What programs do you use to create wads?
Perhaps you've heard of the addictive free-time activity known as wad creation. It may seem like a hard thing to learn, but not with the right program.

Many of us would reccomend WadAuthor as a level-editing program. It's interface is simple; you place rooms and then edit them as you need to, whereas in most editors you must manually draw the lines that make up a room and hope they hook up.

WadAuthor's main limitation is that, as of right now, it cannot edit sound, music, or graphics. Those of us who include these types of things in our wads use Wintex or a similar program to do so.

Some clan members may use more than one utility (such as DeePsea or Doom Builder), so you may want to ask around.

How long have you been mapping?
On average, ORB members are not experienced mappers... but some of us have been mapping longer than others. Personally, I and MegaZzZeux have been mapping for about a year now.

Do I have to become a mapper to join ORB?
No, you don't. But if you join, we'd like to see you grab yourself an editor or two and take up a project of your own! ;-)

Why are there missing textures in my wad even when I place a texture there?
This is really not a clan-related question, but it is a common problem. WadAuthor is among several editors that build the level data in a somewhat older style than other editors. The process is actually called node building, but it's very complicated. The bottom line is, some ports do not like the nodes that WadAuthor creates, and so they show HOMs where textures should be. HOMs, if you didn't know, can be blank walls, abysses, or flashing colors... it's what you see when you use IDCLIP and walk through walls (HOM stands for Hall of Mirror effect).

Fortunately, there's a way around this problem. You just can't use a source port that uses GL effects. GL effects include "realistic" 3-D enemy models and glowing lights. Some ports, like JDoom, are always GL, and so you can't use them. With Legacy, however, you can turn GL off. Just go to Legacy Setup in Doom Connector, go to options, and check out "Video Renderer." Select this list and choose Software.

Another, more complicated option is to download a GL-based node builder. But keep in mind this will make your wad considerably larger in size.

Something else went wrong with my wad, can you help?
Sure, that's one of the things we do as a clan. Different members will use different programs, but chances are one of us can help you. We can also play your wad with you and examine the problem, or perhaps fix it ourselves. And if we can't, we can probably find someone who can.