My apologies for silently making fun of your video gaming addictions. In my head I have, every time you mentioned HalfLife 2 in your journal, snarked.
I now eat my unspoken words. I am completely addicted to Enemy Territory: QUAKE WARS so much so that I bought this. This, in my opinion, is probably the greatest online multi-player action ever created.
It really is like war. It supports voice-talk for simulated combat radio chatter.
It's entirely team based and player-class integrated. If there are no medics, your team loses. If there are no engineers, your team loses. If there are no snipers, your team loses. Everyone must work together to win. If people are not actively working together, the team loses. If mission objectives are not completed or not completed on time, the team loses.
People develop reputations. Clicks develop. It's a happening scene. I dig it.
In most cases, you cannot join a team that has a clear advantage. If there are more players on one team than other, you can't join the team that has more; or it will rotate-out spawn you to discourage that kind of practice. Also, it's mostly a closed system; if you get on a 'ranked' server, you're going to know how good everyone on that server is upon join, so you know if you're in over your head.
30 or 60 people on a server, split into two teams; one GDF(human) and one Strogg(Alien). Action packed from the get-go, and chuck-full of real time, in-line strategy.
It's a fucking beautiful game.
I will no longer hate on my brothers who game.
I am also playing Doom3 and Command & Conquer Generals again (...and the entire C&C series).
Just so you know, they have a key-mapping for the ZBoard for Halflife2. Just saying...