Guide Smith_S9 (monoVertex) - A History


Formerly Smith_S9
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Hello all!

I am monoVertex, formerly known around here as Smith_S9 and I have been a member of this forum since May 2006 (actually earlier than that, but I'll get to that in a moment). That's more than 7 years, which is a lot of time and a lot has happened during this time. My name in real life is Cosmin Stamate and I am currently a student and a Web & Software developer.

Warning, wall of text ahead. Make sure you have time for it :).


It all started when I first got my computer and Internet access, at the beginning of the 8th grade of school. I was around 14 years old. I was definitely interested in video games, and had little idea about how big the Internet was.

Before getting a computer, I played Warcraft III in Internet Cafes with my friends, so, naturally, Warcraft III was one of the first games I installed on my brand new computer. And it didn't take long before I started growing bored with the campaign and discovered it has a Game Editor.

I was no stranger to the Editor style the Blizzard games had. I had previously played with the SC Star Editor, as well as with the Warcraft II Editor, either on friends' computers or at Internet Cafes. I also had a natural ability to find out how stuff works, so I delved into it with eagerness and just started doing stuff.

It wasn't long until I wanted to build a personal project, an EPIC map! (how young and foolish I was :D). I wanted to to a Diablo II map, and I had many (limited) ideas. However, one thing I really wanted to do was to build my own 3D models, because I had found the TH Tutorials website while searching for something else about the Editor and discovered they had a lot of 3D modeling tutorials to use in the World Editor.

I started following a tutorial, but creating new models for W3 has always been problematic, so my model obviously didn't work in Warcraft. So I had to find some help!

First contact

The tutorial had been written by SD_Ryoko and I noticed the Tutorials site had actually came from a forum so I went ahead to that forum. You have to understand, TH was the first forum I encountered, ever. I was pretty clueless about the concept, but I made an account with my Internet persona, Smith_S9 (Smith from Agent Smith, one of my favourite villains, S from my family name and 9 is a number I really like),

I sent a PM to Ryoko, but at that time he was long gone, as I had found out later, so I never even got a response from him.

However, while I waited for a response from him, I started reading the World Edit forum and posting questions. I remember I encountered Daelin then, which had the RotHE project going and he was pretty active back then. I also discovered that he was a Romanian, like me, which was a huge surprise.

At that time, Romania had little Internet culture, so finding a fellow countryman that shared my W3 Edit interests was something big. He was also way more advanced in W3 modding and he knew a lot of stuff about programming in general. We started talking and later became friends. We kept in touch and almost met at one time but in the end we couldn't. Call it fate.

Making new friends and broadening the horizons

Anyway, shortly after starting talking to Daelin and also contacting him off-TH, there came the Great Crash. Suddenly TH was no longer available. I was shocked! It had became my home page in the short time since I registered (I believe that was in February 2006).

Daelin just shrugged it off, saying they probably have issues with the server. For me, it was a disaster. When the site finally came back on, I had discovered my account and all the posts were gone. It was pretty disappointing, but I didn't have that many posts anyway, so I simply registered again and started posting.

That was when I discovered that there are other forums as well besides the World Edit one. The General Discussion and Graphics Zone were really attractive to me and I started being active there as well.

I also discovered new forums, like Daelin's forum for the RotHE project, W3 Campaigns and The Hive. Daelin also started posting several tutorials on TH and I was like "wow, can you do that with WE?!". I was posting all over the place, and was really active in these forums. It was like my gold age of W3 communities :D.

At the time Daelin was a kind of role model, so I started making plans for a campaign of my own, something really big, that expanded upon the elusive Naaru race in the W3 universe (I had just finished reading the official lore). I had (and still have) concept art, story lines, even started making icons and maps.

I also started helping people with their maps, creating icons, art in general, or simply making spells and other similar things. I started making signatures (wow, what a fad that was) and I also started being interested in making my own website.

One of the biggest projects I helped with was Stavious' Orc Campaign, for which I drew some icons and also created items. You can find it Here and the icons are these:

I did many icons over the time, and you can view a lot of my artwork here.

At the time there was a simple free forum system around, for which I designed a theme and started putting the information about my project there. That was my first contact with web design and it is a big milestone in my life.

New projects ahead and even more friends

The project died relatively fast anyway, as I realized I was in over my head and the story was not that great and pretty exaggerated. I started new projects, never finishing anything, I posted my Graphics Archive and I kept being active on various forums, participating in contests and whatnot.

I started meeting new people around TH, talking to them outside the forum. One of the persons I remember the most was the infamous NiKaNoRoU_GR.

We were really good friends and at first he was a great guy, with nice ideas and a good attitude overall. He was from Greece, we even discussed that I might visit him sometime (I had recently been to a trip in Greece, close to him, I planned to do that again). We even started working on the TH map together and we generally got along really well.

However, he started to become annoying really fast. We was simply too hyper-active in general and he was starting to show off his true face. It got discovered pretty soon that he had multiple accounts and was a liar in general. Currently I am not sure if anything of what he told me was true or not, and I haven't spoken to him since. He was kind of an attention wh*re, pardon my language.

After that time started passing really fast. You know how it is, the older you get the faster time passes. Everything I had written so far happened in a year or so.

Jindo, more web development and some other stuff

Besides WE work, I had started getting more and more into web development and it was something really interesting. I started making sites for friends and the first serious site I had developed was for Jindo.

I started talking to Jindo from the Graphics Zone. He was really cool :D. During this time, Daelin started drifting away from the WE stage, as he was going into his 12th year of school (final year of high-scool) and he was really busy with that. Thus, Jindo started to be my role model, I even started writing my posts in a more careful way, with better grammar and punctuation, because he wrote his like that (I remember that after a few months I searched my old posts and I cringed at how bad my English was - I still am cringing).

I went into Flash development because I was really enthusiastic when seeing Jindo's games and I started helping him with his website and forum. That started a friendship which now I remember with nostalgia. He was one of my true Internet friends and a person which I feel has influenced my life in a really positive way. I regret that we have grown apart (Jindo, if you read this, send me a PM, I'd like to get in touch again sometime :D).

World Editor work was getting little and little time from me, as I was growing interested in graphics and more advanced web development. In those days, the only WE work I did was for contests and casual terraining (I really liked terraining).

One of the last serious projects I worked on was Darthfett's, Forest CTF. I did the terrain for his map and I have to say it was the only project in which I had completed my part. I was really proud (and still am) of that terrain!

The start of the lurker

After this, time for TH got shorter and shorter. I still worked with Jindo, I was developing a remake for his site at the time, but never got around finishing it (sorry about that!). I started my first long-term relationship and I was in final year of high-school.

Also, I was no longer that active in WE-related work and I was generally less active. I simply did not feel the need to post something. I guess that is when I started getting bored and lurking.

When I got into college I barely posted anymore and was logging in to TH less frequently than before. Somewhere in the second year of high-school I stopped visiting the forum altogether. WE was no longer an interest to me, I seldom did graphic work anymore and I was really into the programming work I did for college.

It was a mix of feeling like I overstayed my welcome at TH and that I no longer had a feeling of being in a community. Most of my old friends from the forum either changed their names and they seemed foreign, or they became lurkers like me. I saw the newcomers with a suspicious eye (right now I'm not sure why, it seems like such a silly thing).

My current life and coming back to the roots

I am currently entering my fourth year of a bachelor degree's in Computer Science and Engineering and I also have 14 months of experience in my field of study after working through the third year and the summer.

I have grown a lot from that child that opened WE for the first time. I am now 22 years old, soon 23, and I have already started my professional life, but around a week ago I had a moment when I remembered TH and I was wondering what are those guys up to.

I have to say, I owe everything I am right now to Warcraft III modding and to TH for lending me the means to develop myself. I got into programming because I wanted to know Jass for WE. I got into graphics because I wanted to create new skins and icons for my original big project. I got into web development because I wanted to build a website for said project.

Probably, if it wasn't for Warcraft III and TH, I would be probably studying Architecture right now (that was my childhood dream). But I am really happy with my current way and direction in life.

Basically, TH was a big part of my childhood and teenage years, and I just want to thank everyone around here. You guys, old and new, created the community that kept me entertained and educated me during that time and I am really grateful.

I have to say, writing this made me really nostalgic and sent me on a feels trip.



PS: I will expand this if I remember new stuff!


Formerly Smith_S9
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Thank you! Although now when I look at some of my earlier works, I die a little inside and I want to erase those off the face of the Internet :D.


Hot food far all world wide!
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Thank you! Although now when I look at some of my earlier works, I die a little inside and I want to erase those off the face of the Internet :D.

Dont ;), I may be stoned, but it's fun to go through!


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Impressive post Smith, thanks!

It really brought up some nostalgia :)


Formerly Smith_S9
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Due to a missing "]", I lost a big part of my history. Thanks to Dropbox's revision history, I was able to recover it, so make sure you read the New projects ahead and even more friends, as well as the Jindo, more web development and some other stuff sections!
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