Friday Diary: Playdate

Last night was a little disjointed. I think we managed maybe nine of us, but we didn’t unite in a single game until about midnight. Sometimes this happens, as a result of the fragmentation you get in large groups of 5punkers where there’s always one person who doesn’t have any given game. Last night that was me, so since we’re talking about 5punky constants I’ll take to opportunity to go over a few.

Another day in Manchester

Another day in Manchester

The game in question was Payday 2, which I accidentally called Playday 2 at one point, and which now seems to have stuck as Playdate 2. This is how 5punky names (you’ll see these quite often in the diaries) are born. Holy shit, why did we not combine Quad and BEEF to christen Battlefield 4 QUEEF? Probably because only Deject plays it. Well I digress. I didn’t buy Playdate 2 because I wasn’t a huge fan of Left 4 Dead and had no interest in the concept the same concept played out with policemen. It’s just too outlandish – trying to put the survival genre in a realistic setting while simultaneously using that setting for First World War scale mass slaughter of police officers. I dunno, most people don’t care but it’s all very uncanny valley for me. However, reports of carefully coordinated heists which concentrate on getting in and out without drawing the attention of the police equivalent of the 1943 Soviet army do pique my interest. We’ll see. In the meantime one of the seven people who were playing it last night please feel free to fill in the gaps on how that went in the comments.

While this was going on it got me thinking. There are a few things which are consistently true in 5punky gaming, and at least three of these were seen last night. None are in the least bit constructive, but then if you expected anything different you should go back and read a few more diaries. It is uncanny though how often these things happen. I’m going to list them like commandments for comedy effect.

Thou Shalt not all be in possession of the same game

In order for us to play a game we all need to own it, and 5punkers being the considerate types they are will generally not play a game if it means leaving someone out. These factors mean that in any group of 5punkers the chances of everyone owning a game are indirectly proportional to the size of the group.

Thou shalt stop playing any game which a 5punker has to download to join in.

It happens almost weekly. We’ll all be playing a game and the guy who doesn’t have it (see point above) will start to download it. They spend the whole game waiting for the game to download, and just as they’re ready to announce that they’re about to join in people start to quit the game. It’s not a deliberate, spiteful act. It’s almost like group prescience, the collective senses that the non-playing 5punker is almost ready and immediately gets bored of the game. The chances of this happening are higher if you bought the game specifically to join in that night.

Uttering the name of Counterstrike thrice will summon the Prof

Prof Hawkins is, I assume, some kind of Counterstrike seeking robot from the future. In fact you don’t even need to mention it, just playing it (or a variation) will suffice. I only added the ‘saying his name three times’ thing because it sounded funny. I know what you’re thinking. “He sees you all playing it on Steam and joins in, dumbass.” Well firstly, how rude. Secondly, he’s not usually on Steam or else we would have just told him. “Okay then, he’s a clever bloke, he uses Steam API to alert him on his phone.” Yep, we thought of that too and he denies it. “Fuck knows then, some sort of robot magic or something.” Yeah, that’s our conclusion as well.

Thou shalt descend into silence in reverence of a glorious pun

It is known as the Pun Silence. Someone makes a particularly good pun, and a flurry of counterpuns of varying quality are lobbed around, then everyone goes quiet for about thirty seconds. The phenomenon is caused by everyone on Teamspeak desperately trying to think of a pun of their own with which to upset the group. Wild thoughts race through our heads. “A fish pun. Shit, quick before someone else thinks of one. Erm… fish fish, shark. Is that a fish? Yeah. Erm.. maybe whales. Wales? Nah, too tenuous. Penguins! Fuck, they’re not fish.” And so on until someone breaks the stalemate with either a pun or an exclamation about the game.

Thou shalt not play more than five minutes of the first game of Dota

It applies to any game which you can’t easily jump into really, but it happens almost without fail in Dota 2, twice even last night. We’ll spend ages pissing around before we get organised into a game, but is doesn’t matter how long we take. Within five minutes of starting the game someone will pop into Teamspeak to join in. Not that anyone makes demands, the new joiner is invariably content to simply wait, but as I mentioned earlier, we’re not like that. So we quit the match and start again. By extension, but not as common, is any game with a set number of players. You can start that game of Dawn of War 2 Last Stand, but thirty seconds in a fourth person will enter Teamspeak.

Bumming is allowed though

Bumming is allowed though

Once Playdate was finished we moved on to Dota 2. I would normally interject at this point with an overview of the comedy conversations we had in the intervening time, but I couldn’t in good conscience commit it to written word. My kids might read this one day. By way of indication though it involved sitting on your hand until it was numb, a plank of wood with a hole in it, and shouting at yourself.

This being Chinese New Year Valve has decided to run a themed event, along with introducing a couple of new characters. We’ve pretty much decided that these events are a grind and that we don’t give a shit about them, but the new characters are interesting. Phoenix, who is a fiery bastard of slow painful death, and Terrorblade, who is a one-monster army with a name thought up by a twelve-year-old boy.  The Youtube commenter in me wants to scream that they’re overpowered, but we’ll see what time brings to them.

Game one was a 5punky extravaganza, nine of us in a practice game. It wasn’t a huge scoring game and only took 34 minutes. We had Roman as Terrorblade on the winning side and Bits as Phoenix on the other, who despite losing had the highest XP/min in the game. Both were causing the other team trouble, although Pete got victorious Radiant’s man of the match as Lina, on XP/min.

Game two was another 5punky practice with seven players. Another Radiant win, and good play all round. Bali got 33 kills and showed us all how to play Tiny, who we normally see as a Bot whipping boy, although Roman’s Anti-Mage took top player for both team and game. I took the top slot for the defeated Dire as Drow Ranger on only 1 XP/min less.

Terrorblade demolishes most of our team

Terrorblade demolishes most of our team

The last game was four of us and a random versus real meat opponents. We rarely fare well in these games and this was no exception. We were holding our own for a while, but Terrorblade had become a killing machine by mid game and despite a few satisfying kills we struggled to hold him. He actually sat back for a while and let the rest of his team have some fun, but it was just prolonging the inevitable. Our random was the worst kind of useless, spending half the match jungling and shouting stupid orders, then calling us noobs at the end. Oddly enough though, despite the beating, it’s always enjoyable to see a character played well. I did enjoy the game, the Terrorblade player was courteous and fearsome to watch.

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