The Citizens Coup Network was originally created in 2003 by Violent Dave as a personal website, web log, and medium to broadcast his UO Autobiography from being an avid player of an Ultima Online MMORPG emulated server, In Por Yelm. A few short months later the site was taken down due to lack of hosting and lack of interest from all parties involved. Eventually the emulated server shut down and was reduced to just a forum which only lasted a few months before the forum was shut down as well. The community from the forum was scattered to the wind.

At the time, two of that forum’s users and long time Ultima Online players Tarzan and Bud Weiser already had a site up called Fromunda.net that was not seeing much traffic. Violent Dave came on board giving the site a much needed design overhaul and the three set off to reassemble the shattered community. Not much headway was made in the months to follow; few members of the community survived the transition to the new website.

The trio continued to press forward until eventually Bud Weiser fell off the face of the earth and landed in WoW rarely to be seen again. Tarzan and Violent Dave were left manning the helm but without much direction the site was quickly dying. More months had passed and hits, posts, and updates were few and far between. Eventually the two mustered some additional motivation to press onward and continue to produce content regardless of the lackluster community involvement.

More time had passed and another website the community was known to frequent, wtfman.com put out an open call for new front page writers. Due to the legacy within the MMORPG community, Violent Dave jumped at the chance to submit an article. Afterwards the interaction around Fromunda.net was seeing growth and the Fromunda Network Gaming league was formed with the idea of running network games across a Hamachi network, tournament style, with front page reports with game play-by-plays.

The popularity of FNG was a big improvement and community involvement began to pick up. Eventually Violent Dave was picked up as a writer for wtfman.com. Violent Dave continued to write for both websites. As the FNG tournaments continued, while researching a game for next month, Violent Dave and Tarzan came across GTA 2’s network multiplayer. This eventually lead into the discovery that GTA:San Andreas also has a multiplayer modification along with MMORPG style game servers, going back to the roots of what the community enjoyed.

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Violent Dave posted an open call on both websites for anyone who’d like to join up and form a gang with the rest of the community. The response was unexpected and on any given night, the Fromunda Gang was fielding 15-25 members. The server the gang was playing on did not receive the unofficial gang very well and all members were promptly banned from the server with the curt statement that, “Player formed gangs are not permitted.” Disheartened, the group attempted to seek out additional servers with the same MMORPG play style to join but were met with additional absurdities that prevented the group from having fun such as massive administrative staffs, unbearably hardcore roleplay rules, immature kicks and bans, and other such things.

Unwilling to accept that such a great medium for gaming should go completely wasted, Violent Dave contacted Ryan McAdams of RunUO to see if he’d be interested in hosting a GTA server seeming that he had offered hosting in the past and hosted wtfman.com’s website. Ryan agreed and in September of 2007 WTFGTA was born. Wtfman.com and by proximity fromunda.net continued to prosper and grow as the GTA servers popularity.

Fromunda.net increased its staff members for the website to include Beer, Budd, and a few other administrators to moderate and provide content for the website. Violent Dave’s time grew sparse because of the high demand for new code for the GTA server however an outstanding team was able to keep Fromunda.net fresh and interactive. Wtfman.com had also added new writers to their team when Violent Dave was brought on however due to the site’s antiquated news posting, implementing fresh content was cumbersome and the community interaction was stifled except in the forums. Regardless, the wtfman.com GTA forums quickly became the most viewed and used forums on the site.

During open beta the website Something Awful jumped on board and the server and website’s population skyrocketed. With the high population of the server, fundamental flaws in the GTA code began to surface and work began on a new overhaul widely known as the “gang patch.” Unfortunate circumstances struck Violent Dave and his computer had a catastrophic hardware failure that would cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Production ceased on the gang code but the site continued to prosper and grow with the new staff under Tarzan.

The community eventually rallied enough donation money to repair the then, broke as hell, Violent Dave’s computer and the gang code was released shortly afterwards. MrBarragan, an old school fromunda.net member was brought on to assist the staff and lent his extraordinary coding talents to the newly formed GTA coding team. Success did not come with a price however. While the websites and GTA server continued to prosper Tarzan grew continually spiteful of the sites members and staff. Opting out of interaction with the server, then later denouncing involvement with fromunda.net, the former founder went rogue with administrative rights across the board.

Members were banned from the website, vent server, and formerly banned members of the site were unbanned and in some instances granted admin rights to the site to cause issue. Quickly Violent Dave purchased a new vent server and repaired the damage to the site, transferring the domain solely into his name. The rogue former administrator was removed and damaged quickly fixed. Fromunda.net was no longer fitting nor was it especially well liked by the new owner Violent Dave so the Citizens Coup Network was reborn.

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The server and website continued on adding additional staff members such as duCe and writers to continue providing content for the website and server. A radio station was eventually added to the list of services around the time when the GTA server hit the number 1 game server in the world on gamemonitor.com. The celebration was relatively short lived. The server GTA was hosted on suffered a raid array failure and all of the account information for the GTA server was lost.

Without much choice but to begin again, the coding team for the Citizens Coup Network took this as an opportunity to rebuild and restructure the code to handle the volume of players previously achieved. The original script was not making best use of newer technologies that would allow for easier backup and better operations. Development on the new restructuring was slow and going with a major lack of communication between the developers and the host, Ryan.

The Citizens Coup Network (CCN) continued to grow and provide fresh content and material despite losing its flagship game server. The community took an impressive stance and stood by the website and its staff while development was underway. WTFman.com came back online with a new server. The owner of wtfman.com presented Violent Dave with an ultimatum to either abandon CCN or leave staff at that site upon the sites return. Not allowing for much response, Violent Dave was removed as a WTFMan and Ryan informed Violent Dave that the server was in fact ready for quite some time and available for the GTA server purposely stalling the development.w

CCN quickly acquired a new game server and development resumed again. The server launched shortly after quickly filling it’s population and skyrocketing up the charts on its first day of operation but it wasn't meant to last.  The website during the re-launch boasted nearly 3000 members with a large, mature, dedicated, and talented staff ranging from moderators, in game admins, front page writers, and actual employees. CCN offered its community a Ventrilo server, GTA game server, a robust web forum, and was spread across three separate dedicated servers.  Once again real life time issues made maintaining CCNGTA nearly impossible for Violent Dave and the server was shut down only a few short months after the re-launch.  You can read about the rise and fall of CCNGTA by clicking here.

CCN has been vigilant to establish itself as a community first, a webpage second, and a game server third with the idea that community interaction is the main goal.  CCNGTA spawned a considerable number of communities and even years afterward there's still echo's of the servers legacy.  CCN the webpage is now solely operated by Citizen Alpha, formerly known as Violent Dave, and is a considerably lighter version of its former self.  Much of the old offerings have been eliminated for the sake of maintainability and the content you can now see on the site focuses more on general gaming and CCN specific information.  The site still has a nice following of old members checking in and your visits are welcome.  Maybe one day soon CCN will once again have a flagship game server.

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