As part of Xbox Live’s birthday celebration, a handful of us from Bungie were online today with streamers and noisemakers as a part of Microsoft's Game with Fame promotion. We played for a little while this afternoon, personally witnessed some awesome sportsmanship and some sad reminders of how folks behave on the Internet. Hot Pockets AND chocolate milk were demanded by some of the folks we played against, but none of that found its way into this week's Humpday Challenge.
We deleted millions of messages each and jumped in for some Matchmaking – where we deleted millions more messages, ignored chat requests and got down to the business of Halo 3. Since there were five of us, Social Slayer seemed like a delicious mix, but our Moderate NAT at the supremely secure Bungie Towers had other plans.
Evil Otto – Dave Candland, UI wizard
Ske7ch – Brian Jarrard, Community/Franchise overlord, also AFK cookies for most of today
Thug Larz – Lars Bakken, Multiplayer Designer, Peaceful, kindred spirit
Chee Yeez, Raj Nattam, 3D Artist, Fellow NPD Superfan
TJ Scoot – Lukems, Content dude, the Bungie version of Rick Mahorn (making New0001 Bill Laimbeer)
Shotty Snipers on The Pit
Tone of Game: Bullish
With Social Slayer in our sights – our fearsome fivesome (not rly) set out into the Internet’z chilly waters, seafaring amongst the Matchmaking community. Somewhere between the forming our merry crew and getting into our first game, we lost Evil Otto. Moderate NAT was foiling our fun and IT ninjas were dispatched.
Down one man, it Lars, Raj, Sketch and I would have to desperately scramble to eek out a win on The Pit in a mode we’re admittedly terrible at, Shotty Snipers. Ske7ch began the game on a disasterous streak, prompting all kinds of horrible jabbing and mouth running on my part. Have you ever read the book The Jordan Rules? It was a lot like that, with me in the role of Mike and Ske7ch playing the part of Bill Cartwright.
Like Bill Cartwright, some folks around here talk about how good Ske7ch used to be. The glory days, he calls them. This was his first game in over a month – he’s been on vacation and he had a lot of rust on his training wheels. But in this battle, his fingers moved with the dexterity of the Ske7ch years past. Once Ske7ch got into a groove we rode the wave to victory.
Final Score: 50-31, Bungie wins (we were almost headed to Outback)
Team Slayer, Narrows
Tone of Game: CQC
We had the same FAIL on joining as a group and lost Candland again, and this time we were sent to the frigid Forerunner bridge where the opposition relentlessly zerged with the Mauler. Relentlessly. Zerged. Mauler rushing was a really powerful tool at the very beginning of Halo 3 and maybe we’re technically still in the early phase of Halo 3 so folks are still using it, however, backing up and just loading up foes with rounds from the Assault Rifle is a pretty handy counter to the mauler. Better come up with new strategies, folks.
Weiner Cake and his merry band of adventurers met justice swiftly, largely due to Lars and I being shocked at Ske7ch's performance in the previous match. Ske7ch cooled down and played like he’d just returned from an island get away. Raj doesn’t really have any excuses beyond Paul Bertone standing over him and critiquing his performance. And by critiquing I mean mocking, chiding and humiliating him.
Final Score: 50-40, Bungie wins
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla
Tone of Game: See-sawing with sadness and AFK
In between this game and the other 5v5 games we separated to sort out the NAT issues. The whole point was to play 5v5 not play shorthanded like Sidney Crosby in a Penguins game. When we reconvened, Ske7ch moved us into the Objective hopper – he can’t get enough CTF – and lo and behold the first game to come up was Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla.
In a surprising show of teamwork, a rarity for Bungie Humpdays (especially ones with slapdash and hastily put together teams) we used a little bit of coordination and a dollop of strategy in Multi Flag. Ske7ch, and I stayed at the base at the beginning of the round, but when he started to go AFK to get snacks, talk to other dudes and lose his situational awareness, Bakken heard my plight and came back to play defense. Raj and Candland kept making flag runs and once Ske7ch was back at his console I moved out to the middle of the map and attempted – sometimes with great success, other times with all of the skill of an armless monkey to control the center of the map.
Somehow our "strategy" and "teamwork" found great success and after the game we all agreed that it’d be nice to be able to get more Flag games out of our Halo 3 experience.
Final Score: 3-1, Bungie wins
No Humpday next week, as we’ll all be stuffing our faces full of turkey and time off.