You may remember several weeks ago we planned to take on Will Clan 4 Food, but because of some miscommunication, a bunch of us failed to show up and we weren’t able to play them. So the next day we ran a Halo 3 Humpday instead. Well, last night both Frankie and I (as well as others) had issues connecting to Xbox Live, so thank Will Clan 4 Food yet again for haxxing our megahurtz and forcing us to make another H3 Humpday.
Last night before going home, the Bungie Community team held a few Free-For-Alls on a certain map. It was actually much the same build that we had our EGM and media friends play for their visit. We played four games but the first one has to be thrown out because Noguchi tainted it with his, ahem, taint. Don’t ask. We don’t have the exact durations or scores, nor did we pay much attention to particulars since we didn’t know we’d be writing about it today. And this map is set on Earth, FYI. You'll see more on it later.
Game 1: Slayer
Classified, random weapons
Game duration: Several Minutes
General Tone of Game: Explodey
In the first game we had only Ninja 0n fire, Frankie, Sketchfactor and I. Stosh was trying to find a way to get on the same network as the rest of us (we have different networks within the studios for various purposes and security reasons, some can’t talk with others), the Mclees are on vacation and Staten has gone into a hole for a little while. An actual, literal hole.
Stosh and I are both really familiar with this map so we had the upper hand from the start. Since Stosh wasn’t in the game, I had an almost unfair advantage. We started with random weapons, which we probably would not have done if we’d known that this’d go down in writing. Suffice it to say that most of our spawns were with unconfirmed or unannounced weapons (one of which may be revealed soon). I can tell you that, of the weapons spawning on the map, I leaned toward the shotgun and the assault rifle. There’s no shortage of sticky nades on this map either, so I made ample use of them.
We played a moderately paced game in which a lot of the action focused on a wide open portion of the map. Sometimes Frankie or Ninja would set up with a sniper at one end of the space. Frankie likes to stand waist deep in water, a-la Zanzibar. Generally, though, since they were out in the open, it was easy enough for one of use to hit them with AR fire and knock them out of scope and rain grenades down upon them.
Though Ninja jumped out to an early lead, I was able to surmount this by killing Frankie. Repeatedly. KP wins.
Game 2: Slayer
Classified, random weapons
Game duration: Shorter
General Tone of Game: Funderful
Stosh finally figured out how to get on the same network as us so the carnage factor was upped slightly. Same gametype, same weapons set, same map. Since it’s all still relatively new to us, coupled with the random weapons, it was still a dynamic experience and we didn’t notice any patterns of gameplay emerging like you would with a game that’s been out for a while (which is to say that you don’t know to go for weapon A or alternatively weapon B, you just play).
The extra player made for extra carnage. What did happen in this game that didn’t in the previous was that Ninja found a good area to set up with the sniper. A covered and indeed, camouflaged position that let him poke his head out, get a headshot or two and then hide away. After we figured out exactly where he was, it was just a matter of time before one of us was able to flank and dislodge him from that area. He racked up a killing spree from there, however, and took a sizable lead.
Having played many a Humpday by this point, I’m no stranger to seemingly insurmountable leads and devastating, crushing defeats. So I was not deterred. I kept on going and eventually got a killing spree of my own to tie Ninja at 24-24. With my trusty friend, the shotgun, I tracked down Stosh and gave him a blast to the face to end the game. KP wins. Was Stosh actually playing at that point? Who's to say?
Game 3: Slayer
Classified, random weapons
Game Duration: Shorter still
General Tone of Game: “I think we should take KP’s Dev Kit away” –Sketch
This game actually shifted focus from some of the open areas in the middle of the map into some of the structures available to us. There was a lot more close-range combat, when compared to the prior two games where there was a lot of mid-range combat with some long-range sprinkled in. People were making greater use of close-range alternatives and it made for a closer match.
It was fun to watch everyone familiarize themselves with the inner-workings of the level. The obvious choices like bouncing grenades around corners and trying to jump down on top of people apply. Shooting fusion cores in an attempt to blow people up was also a popular option. Eventually, for one reason or another, the fight drifted back outside and into the open.
It was during this game that Frankie realized that the host had left on “bottomless_clip” (a command available only from the debug console that is available to developers, don’t worry we won’t ship with chetz.) so he was running around with a rocket launcher racking up a ton of kills. Of course he didn’t share this with the rest of us this until after the game.
Despite Frankie’s shenaniganry, Ninja and I had another close match with Sketch, Frankie and Stosh closer than before. Still, though, KP wins.
Good times were had by all, as always, and once again we apologize to Will Clan 4 Food, but at least this time it wasn't our fault.