Last night was busy. At one point we had 14 5punkers on Teamspeak, which was a very happy level of chaos. I think we were all even playing the same game on a couple of occasions. After a couple of foggy recollections over recent weeks I went back to making notes too. Writing things down was something of a theme last night, as Grimmie found out. More on that later though.
The suggestions in the forum thread were leaning towards CoD4, and a few people managed to find it cheap on Amazon. Top tip here – they sell cheap Steam codes for Mac, but Steam doesn’t differentiate between versions – own it for one, you own it for all. I’ve tried it, it works. So, true to 5punky form, we decided Counterstrike Source was a good place to start. It’s having something of a renaissance with us at the moment, and Chickenz requested some Hide & Seek as he hadn’t played it.
Hide and Seek is a funny thing really. You could argue it isn’t very good because if you don’t know the maps then you’ve very little chance of finding everyone, and if you do then you can spot things that are out of place very easily. Nevertheless, we do enjoy it for the silly things that happen. Imagine my dismay though when I spawned as a filing cabinet in a desert map. I still have no idea where I was supposed to hide as that. Chickenz meanwhile had discovered the ‘whistle’ button, which lets hiding players make a random noise to give clues to the hunters. Random noises which include MOO and NEIGH, much to his delight. You only get seven whistles per round, so when he quickly ran out we were treated to him honking over Teamspeak instead. HONK! Naturally the spray tags made another appearance. It now seems to have gone from silly games of hunt the boobs to a porn arms race (which included Spiderman’s tits). Maybe we need a new theme.
In our beardy subforum we have a few tabletop roleplaying games on the go, and Grimmie has put a lot of work into his D&D 3.5 campaign. With a reasonable sized combat due Grimmie had arranged for us to do it over a piece of RPG software called Roll20, as combat on the forum can take a long time. While not normally a Frigames thing, last night was the only time we could all make it. Unfortunately for Grimmie we were in silly Frigames mode. It took a while to get things started, and when they did someone found the text tool. The results, by the end, were remarkable.
The combat itself went well. We’re only level 2, and with a couple of new characters along as heavies for our formerly fighter-light party. Apparently the encounter was listed as being very difficult for our group, but aside from a couple of bitten bums we aced it. Poor Grimmie had more to deal with than remarkably good rolls from us though. It all started with some innocuous pink text questioning the sexuality of the attacking dogs, while proclaiming our group to be true heroes. The euphemisms carried on, text started to point out that the wagon driver was not helping, but rather pointing at the hind quarters of his oxen. The horses were conversing. A stream of IM-style forlorn begging directed at Grimmie slowly filled up one side of the battlefield. By the end of the combat it looked like a 13 year old South Park fan’s doodle-pad. Kudos to Grimmie for taking it all in good humour. You can see the end result here, but I wanted to celebrate the in-character actions of our sturdy wagon driver for the breaker image.
While that was going on a few of the others were playing Payday 2, which seems to have been quite well received. I couldn’t say, and alas because I wasn’t playing I can’t comment on that. Those who were feel free to use your own text-based skills in the comments. With the D&D combat finished and Grimmie suffering from some form of PTSD we, for some reason, decided to have a few rounds of The Ship. We have an odd relationship with The Ship. For one thing I’m not convinced anyone actually likes it that much because it’s so confusing. It’s a good idea in principle though – everyone’s set loose on a cruise ship full of deadly, and not so deadly, weapons with a single target to assassinate. They don’t know who’s out to get them, and you don’t know who’s out to get you. Kill someone in plain sight and you get slung in jail. Kill someone who’s not your target or attacker and you lose points. It’s sometimes hilarious, paranoid, and slapstick. More often than not though everyone gets bored of not having a clue where anyone else is and being picked off by the locals.
Ah. The locals. This is the other part of our relationship (pardon the pun). Once upon a time we descended en masse only to find that the community was ailing and we pretty much doubled their numbers. After that we were hounded for a week or so by the community, inviting us to Steam groups and asking if we were coming back. It was awkward. So we don’t talk to the locals. On this occasion one of the better locals was called Ben Affleck, and as people started to drift away to play Dota others started changing their names for a movie star slaughter. Matt Damon, Team America style, obviously made an appearance, and we discussed briefly how to trick airport tannoy operators into requesting Mert Dermon to come to the desk.
I have a confession to make at this point. While we were transiting between games it came to my attention that the beer I was drinking was fucking horrible. I like beer, but I’m not a snob. I drank Fosters in Air Force bars for ten years so my standards are not high even if I do like a good ale. This one, however, tasted like cider. That’s not a good sign, so it went down the sink. I dread to think how ill I’d have been if I’d have persevered but I was heartbroken none the less.
Phew. Now I have that off my chest, on to a more positive note. We hit a Dota 2 landmark last night – a full, 10-player 5punky game. It’s taken about a year, and it might not happen again, but we did it. Unfortunately for them three were new to the game and had something of a rough time. Don’t worry FJ, Jock and Em, if you’re reading, it happens to everyone. If you want to carry on playing learn to appreciate the small victories while you learn or else you’ll hate it. In the meantime check the guides on the forums. It’s worth pressing on in most cases, although obviously some people will just hate it, but it’s not the most popular genre in the world for nothing.
We had two games, and both were pretty close and good fun. The first was our ten-man 5punky extravaganza. FJ, unfortunately was having some weird rendering problems and couldn’t see what was going on, yet persevered and played the whole game as Nyx Assassin anyway. Em took the more beginner friendly Drow Ranger and played well, even getting first blood. And then apologising for killing them. Fab (Bane) managed to kill me, his teammate, and Tezz got man of the match as Sniper. Fucking Sniper. I played Enchantress, who’s apparently a dedicated jungler and as such I didn’t enjoy much. Game two swapped Em and Tezz for JockGit, leaving us with 4v4. Another fairly close game, Shot2Bits dominated as Riki, much to the other team’s annoyance. I randomed Mirana, who I quite enjoyed but was fairly ineffectual with.