Last night’s gaming was a little hectic and confusing. Did I say that last week? I can’t remember. This was because we branched off into various team games, so Teamspeak descended into various overlapping conversations and exclamations. This isn’t uncommon among 5punkers, and while we could easily remedy this by going into different channels that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. Either way, last night’s theme seems to have been the futility of teamwork. Oh, and axe running, but I’ll get around to that.
The night started off with a dash of Chivalry. Our favourite low gravity server was offline, so we had to make do with as moderate gravity server. That was fine for a change. Roman, meanwhile, had been banished to another room. I’m still not entirely sure why because he was in there when I joined, and the residents of the general gaming room would occasionally pop in to abuse him then come back. Reasons varied from ‘touching his little man’ to ‘swan fondling,’ or ‘fon swandling.’ It all related in some way to him repairing his graphics card, and upon his return he failed completely to get Chiv running. This was stage one of the disjointedness as he patiently waited for us to finish while looking up the hilarious blog of a former member and posting links to the best bits. The less said about that here the better, but it was responsible for most of last night’s jokes.
In Chivalry though Fab and I discovered something wonderful. While I was charging an archer in a lofty perch, trying to lob a throwing axe at him, Fab noticed that the waddling run looked particularly amusing. This prompted most of us to adopt exactly that technique and the server was suddenly filled with knights doing a silly arms-out, head up run which looked like a particular violent but ineffective chav waddling about. The highlight was a sort of race, filmed by Mr Johnson I believe, as we charged blindly down a river in a pack. If the randoms on the server thought anything of it they didn’t say so.
JockGit emerged around this time and since he had just finished downloading Chiv to join in, we naturally decided to play something else (see last week’s 5punky conventions for more on this). More of us have bought PayDay 2 since last week, myself included, so we had an hour or so of that. I have to admit I was sceptical about the game, as I also described last week, but I took a chance on the recommendation of 5punkers. They were absolutely correct too. Describing it as Left 4 Dead with cops is a huge injustice – it has much more tactical consideration and far less panicked blasting. It’s a pity that you pretty much need exactly four 5punkers for a game, or a multiple of. Still, a couple were happy to sit out and carry on browsing the blogs as Roman had started while eight of us robbed some banks.
We always have quite mixed results in Playdate. It’s a perfect example of 5punky teamwork really – when we’re good we’re awesome. We’re all very close, we regularly play a lot of games together, and we pretty much just mesh. When we’re good. When we’re bad we’re like a herd of blind cats. Who are drunk. PlayDate was a bit of a mix. We were trying to do a couple of the missions without setting off the alarms, stealthing them and getting away. It’s how I would prefer to play, but it requires some pretty solid coordination and teamwork and we just weren’t tight enough for that. Even so, it was good fun.
When we’d had enough of PlayDate we moved along to Dota 2, as usual. There was only five of us left by this point so we settled on a bot match. Again, 5punky teamwork was significant here. Last week we utterly demolished a team of medium bots, this week we made a bad start against them and got ground down to an eventual loss. Individual skill (relatively speaking) stopped it being a whitewash, and everyone had at least a xp/min score in the mid 300s, but we did not play well as a team. In hindsight this might have been due to most of us randoming – you can’t arrange a good distribution of roles that way, and we ended up with a team of carries and nukers playing as carries, so nobody could stand up to the other side by mid-game. The bots by comparison had a great balance (deliberately programmed into the AI, I’m sure). It’s something worth bearing in mind, knowing how to play on your own can only carry you so far. You need to learn how to fit into the team in order to win anything but the easiest of matches.