Partying up. Warriors. Bubble Shields. Zerging. Stealth. And tears. World of Warcraft and Halo 3 share these common elements, and in this week’s Humpday Challenge, Blizzard themselves descended into our own Molten Core to answer a question posed oh-so-many times: YOU ALLOWED THESE INSECTS TO RUN RAMPANT THROUGH THE HALLOWED CORE? AND NOW YOU LEAD THEM TO MY VERY LAIR? YOU HAVE FAILED ME, EXECUTUS! JUSTICE SHALL BE MET, INDEED!
In this fiery cavern justice was dealt. Like a guild leader using Loot Council to get the best gearz, justice's cold fist was gloved in Tier 6 gauntlets on this night (for the two games I won, the other game was arguably the single most heroic performance in the history of video gaming [and possibly Sport, in general]).
Before we get to the fabled storytelling, here’s who got invited to the last Halo 3 Beta Humpday:Heroes
- Chris Butcher: Buninja07, had 4 level 60s and characters of every class over 40 in WoW. Before he decided it was definitely time to quit..
- Tyson Green: Buninja17, multiple level 60s, leads a top secret guild on one of the 9,000,000 WoW servers. No, we're not telling you where.
- Nathan Walpole: Buninja06 (games 1 and 2), actually LEFT the Humpday because he had to go main tank a dungeon and score epic lootz.
- Charlie Gough: Buninja07, filled in for Nathan then filled up with fury.
- Luke Smith: SCARAB LORD
- Cory Stockton: Class balance, lead designer, Blizzard: Fights like A'lar
- Paul Cazarez: Encounter/dungeon design, Blizzard: Fights like Ebonroc
- Steven Pierce: Outdoor and Event design, Blizzard: Solo-able like Azuregos (was)
- BC: OMG LOOT PINATA
Tone of Game: Razorgore
In World of Warcraft the first time players fight a boss, the typical outcome is you and your teammates’ corpses strewn throughout the room. In an attempt to avoid this scenario, rather than play Bungie versus Blizzard (this time), we let Team Training shuffle the eight of us into what we hoped were fair teams. Two Bungie dudes and two Blizzard dudes on each team seemed fair, right? That config only happened once.
During the pre-game warm-ups, the part of the Humpday where we do lay-ups in matching tracksuits, Nathan Walpole told Blizzard he would kill players on his own team for 5,000 gold. They laughed, not realizing Nathan was deadly serious. He's a gun fo' hire. Cheap, too.
Despite our better efforts, there was still frantic dancing about (think Heigan) and corpses strewn throughout the abandoned military facility, High Ground. The changes to Territories take a little getting used to, lucky for Tyson and I, while Blizzard was getting “used” to the revisions, we were owning newbz.
Despite the 5-2 score, the game was much closer than numbers illustrate. At one point, an invisible hand nearly guided my controller out of my hands and across the room when I saw Chris Butcher almost get an Extermination medal with the Shotgun. He did, ultimately, wipe out our entire team, but the critical medal-crowning fourth kill happened as he died and, he estimates “about a half second too late.” I swear to C'Thun, if ANYONE ever gets an Extermination Medal against a team I’m playing on in a Humpday Challenge, that Humpday will end instantly. I will be the Chewbacca to your See Threepio, but instead of pulling arms out of sockets, I’ll rip my 360 out of the wall and take my toys and tears to another sandbox.Final Score: 5-2, Nerf Paladins
Tone of Game: Fail, EPIC fail.
Remember when Michael Jordan scored a hojillion points in the playoffs against the Celtics in the mid-80s? It was before the Chicago Bulls’ prime, but already Jordan was something special. Before his teammates came into their own, his heroic, nay, Legendary performance served as a rallying point for the Bulls to evolve into a dominating force in the early-mid 90s. By that token, in two years or so, these three Blizzard guys I played with in this game are going to be my Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright and Horace Grant.
In this game, however, it was more like Brad Sellers, Dave Corzine and Will Perdue.
The Celtics spawned behind the High Base, so naturally one player grabbed the Beam Rifle and the other three players rushed the Shotgun. We left the Spartan Laser and sent everyone down to the Shotgun. A Triple Kill later and we’re up 3-2 (somehow two of our guys died). Nonetheless, I feel good about our chances. We have the shotgun, we’re inside, we’re not going outside, we’re camping. Wait, no we’re not. Like flies to a porch zapper folks kept going outside and into Nathan’s beam rifle. At one point it was 24-9 – I had all nine kills. We stayed composed, though. And then Tyson got a Shotgun.
It might be me playing World of Excusecraft, or that Tyson Green is one of the multiplayer leads here, but really, when we’re playing in “exhibition” matches, is it REALLY necessary to go on a Killing Frenzy and perform surgery on an entire other team with the Shotgun? This isn't Nip/Tuck, why you gotta cut hearts out? Matters got even worse when Butcher found a Shotgun. At one point, I got hit with a Shotgun blast composed of hateballs and was literally launched into the air like someone had just pressed “X” to deploy a gravity lift. It was Larry Bird raining threes, Kevin McHale dropping soft floaters from the baseline and Robert Parish controlling the middle – and all I could do was score 63 points in a losing effort.Final Score: 50-26 :(((
Tone of Game: Rancor Pit
He wasn’t showing off, he wasn’t joking – he really had just left because he had a RAID to get to. Nathan Walpole, an animator here at Bungie, bailed out on Game 3 of this epic crossing of swords because he had to go kill monsters for phat lewtz. “I’m the Main Tank, I have to go be the meat shield.” With the Humpday’s critical, yet totally meaningless for anything other than tradition, third game in jeopardy, Butcher ran out and grabbed Charlie Gough, one of the Engineering Super Geniuses and a hyper competitive Halo player, to hop in and try and fill the void left by Nathan’s addiction.
But the Matchmaking Gods did not see it as fit. They put Tyson, Chris and I on the same team and left Charlie to his own devices with the Blizzard guys. Rumors, myths and stories were passed on (as is tradition) orally and told of Charlie’s sagely advice and wise counsel to the Blizzard players. Here is what has been passed down through the hours of the morn’:
The plasma pistol? Yeah, it takes shields down and it stops vehicles now.
We take the bomb from OUR base over to theirs. Then we stay near it and it blows up.
No, you can’t gun in the Warthog when you have the bomb.
That last pro-tip is particularly appropriate, because Tyson wanted us to Zerg the enemy base with great haste, a veritable Blitzkrieg throughout the canyons of Valhalla, but we had issues getting the team synched up and inside the Warthog (i.e., Blizzard dude riding in the passenger seat and I can’t carry the bomb in the gunner seat). So at one point, I stood on top of the Warthog while Tyson sped us through the canyon. Skillful? No. Functional? Yes.
While our offensive efforts lasted roughly less than a minute each time, on defense we erected a house of bricks, and for all of Charlie’s huffing and puffing, the only thing he brought down was a second Sniper Rifle.
Final Score: 2-0