I’ve taken a bit of a diversion from the norm for today’s diary title. It’s no more relevant to last night than any other night, but it’s a meme we roll out quite often that I’ve never mentioned. Mr Johnson has a penchant for Father Ted, and there’s a scene where he describes a spiderbaby. We’ve paraphrased a bit, but it boils down to something having the either the mind of a baby or the body of a spider. Or, as a few weeks ago, the body of a baby and the mind of a bastard. We encountered our own spiderbastard last night, but the theme is more of breaking from convention.
We started the night playing Team Fortress 2. Long ago we found a custom server which had a Bansai style game mode playing where you had to do silly things like Spy Crab walk, rocket jump, not move, not stop moving, type the answer to a simple question. And so on. It’s mostly done in a brightly coloured little arena to very loud game show music. It’s hilarious, but after half an hour or so (or less) we were burned out on the crazy, and still none of us know how to sticky-jump.
After our games of hide & seek over the past few weeks we’ve got a little taste of Counterstrike Source, and it keeps Prof happy because it’s the only game he plays. We had a good old game of it, mostly gun game, but later a few rounds of regular vanilla CS:S. I personally have something of a love/hate relationship with CS:S – I’m not very good, and so I spend a lot of the time watching other people play. As it happens though, from watching the Dota 2 International this summer and the Counterstrike tournament finals at Insomnia 46 last year I’ve started to appreciate spectating other peoples’ games a lot more. It also gave the conversation ample time to mature, and somewhere around this point the subject meandered onto The Hulk’s cock.
For those who read last week, boobs were a strong theme. They made a return in CS:S again and hunting Tezz’s spraytag almost became a minigame. At this point I’m going to apologise for the boobs thing. We’re a puerile bunch of mostly males and, I’m afraid to say, guys like boobs. My wife’s okay with that, our gay and female members on TS last night were okay with that, and the guys on the server seemed okay with it. It’s not something that generally extends to the forum, but we wouldn’t avoid any subject just to avoid being crude. So that’s that. If balance were needed we also spent quite some time talking about balls, mainly dogs’ and the confusion over whether one of the server logos showed one licking them, chewing them, or being conjoined with them.
As it happens, the guys who ran the server were pretty cool. We were as amused by their puerile SMEG tags when we joined as they were by our 5punk ones, the games were friendly, and they were chatty. It’s nice to find other similar communities to ours, although we don’t play competitively like they confessed to do. I’ve dug out their forum and registered to have a chat with them. New people aside, last night was notable for some old friends joining in who we haven’t seen for a long time. Our favourite foul-mouthed Hungarian, Baliame, joined in for TF2 and CS:S, and didn’t disappoint. One of our veteran Americans, Deject, joined in too after a long gaming hiatus caused by real life and time zones. It was great to play with them again and chat. On top of that we had regular listener-in-by-proxy Emeraldsub join in person, and appearances by infrequent voyeurs Tandino and Killavodka. As someone said at the time, it felt like we’d gone back in time three years.
As tradition dictates, we decided to have a few games of Dota 2. With the breakup of our CS:S game and a few people leaving it was all a little foggy and confused, but we seemed to have five of us so we dove into a match against real people. Of course a few minutes in someone came back from getting beer wanting to play, but fortunately was happy to wait and chat while we finished. Moral of the story? Always play a practice game first so you can quit and restart when someone inevitably comes back a few minutes after you start. It might have also prevented us getting battered.
We got a quick match-up in a single draft game, giving us all a choice of three characters. I was met by Slark’s lovely fishy face grinning at me, and being my favourite character had to take advantage of that. It wasn’t a bad team we had, with Bits rolling Warlock for support, MJ with Clockwerk as an initiator and Tezz with Earth Spirit as hard carry, and finally myself and Fab a little gank heavy as Slark and Anti-Mage. In hindsight maybe I should have gone support too, but their setup of Broodmother, Windrunner, Bounty Hunter, Lion, and Sniper was no better balanced.
We quickly fell behind. I think we did okay as individuals towards the end, all of us getting some decent kills on opponents of a higher level, but we’d long since lost the advantage. Maybe we all need to work on our early game tactics a bit, myself included. Star of the match was Broodmother, with the body of a spider and the mind of a psychotic killer. I’m not upset by that, I like playing Broodmother too, and the other guys were okay. Yet another defeat for Slark though.
With only a few of us left wanting to play Dota 2 the suggestion of a game of Left 4 Dead 2 was raised, which seemed like a good idea. I’ve only played something like four hours of it, having missed its initial burst of activity on release. I’m not a huge fan, but I’m happy to join in and play with an open mind. After all, I didn’t like Team Fortress 2, Planetside 2, World of Warcraft, or Dota 2 when I first started playing them. As there were six of us we played a versus game where the teams would alternate as the survivors and zombies, trying to beat each others’ scores. In game terms it was a whitewash. Frequent crashes and dropouts muddled the teams to skew them 4-on-2, and MJ and I on our own were very inexperienced. That’s not the point though. L4D2 in versus mode gives us the opportunity to screw each other over and that’s funny.
I rather enjoyed trying to fuck over the other guys, despite being appalling at it. Johnson and I weren’t hugely successful, but as with many games it’s all about your moments of glory, like when you spit acid all over a downed survivor so they can’t be revived. Best moment of the night came from the other team though, unfortunately for us. Johnson and I were doing okay with a couple of bots until Fab showed up as a tank. I hid in the back of an ambulance with a combat shotgun, hoping to pick him off where he couldn’t get me. The other three were grouped together just outside when Fab announces “oh, I remember you can do this” and lobs a car. Three quarters of the team were splattered by the flying vehicle, and it came to rest against the ambulance doors preventing me from getting out to help. They bled out, and when Fab kindly removed the car there was a hunter ready to eat my face. He got an outrageous score for that, and congratulations on a fine move by both teams. Touché, Fab.