It's really quite simple.
All game communities start off small, and if any good, expand a great deal beyond their initial numbers of devoted players. The reason why many people who were there from the start think everyone was so much nicer in the beginning is because of two of many intardnet rules: "the more anonymous people on top of each other, the more retards find their way from under the groups's growing weight
" and "the more retards emerge, the more nice guys give up and leave annoyed
I've been part of the original UT's european community, and I lasted 4 years before I had no more time to compete with the top ranking players/clans. In those 4 years, the public servers as well as our Quakenet IRC channels changed drastically. I witnessed the introduction of the never-ending spawning of "n00b"-callers who did so at everything they thought was funny or frustrating. I witnessed cups of lower skilllevel get more bloated with clans/players who were out to wage war on anything they could set their eyes on. Eventually, I witnessed young kids with too much free time on their hands who had an offensive vocabulary and no respect penetrate the higher ranks, because most of these simpeltons had enough time to practice (although barren of any talent). Where no good punks came, I witnessed good and mature people growing tired and leave. Other oldskool people simply don't care or reply as offensively towards such idiots, and smaller part of these were so skilled (albeit a bit
arrogant :emb: ) at the game that they wouldn't be discouraged by offensive behaviour at all.
You end up with arrogant, cocky, idiotic, intolerant, and noisy people as a major part of the community. Yay. Things get copied from people, people adjust, and then you have a common behaviour that isn't as friendly as could be.
Within the UT community, we were often compared to the CS community, and we ended up saying: "See? Things aren't so bad here, yet.
" It was true for a very obvious reason ofcourse. The CS community is huge even when compared to UT's community, thus you have more cheaters, more idiots, and so on. Probably more nice guys too, but still.
If you want a friendly community, find a starting one with no apparent connection to an existing one.