Return of the Humpday Challenge:
Last night marked the return of the Bungie Humpday Challenge. We've taken a break from them in the past couple of months in large part because of the move, and also just to make it fresh again. Last night we did something we do every now and then, we went into matchmaking in secret, and played against random groups of people in Team Snipers.
The protagonists were me, Jeremiah (in charge of your playlists, ladies and gentlemen) Andrew and of course, Shishka. Joe Tung tried to join later but missed all the official antics. Actually, later on, Joe and I went on to dominate most of Live matchmaking's King of the Hill games last night for some reason. He's going to be back in full force next week and asking the age-old question: "Are you a hot chick?"
Anyway, we wanted to try Team Snipers, since it's new, has a good mix of skill levels in there and, relative to (some) other types of matchmaking, is a stable, usually friendly place to play. Our first game was a blast.
The Bungie Krunk Juice Spinnaz
- Lord British, Born Here, 1979
– Best Guy of All Time (s)
Ninja on Fire
– Jeremiah, Lord of Matchmaking
– Draws good sometimes.
* Our opponents are there in stats for you to see, but we're not going to subject them to any publicity here, since they had no idea who they were playing against. But I can firmly attest that they played well, fairly and talked minimal smack. For that we're grateful.
Zanzibar , Sniper Rifles
General Tone of Game :
Zanzibar is a great sniping place. There's a ton of cover, relatively fair respawn points and lots of places to knuckle down and hide. There's also a surprising amount of strategy involved. in team Snipers, you can ramp up your score dramatically by simply telling your team mates every time you spot someone. Of course, everyone has their own names for places, so if you're playing with strangers, you should try to speak in clear English, instead of yelling "He's over at pants mountain!" But you tell three other teammates there's a guy at "the windmill" on Zanzibar, chances are, that guy is toast.
The first team we played against was really aggressive and brave. No hiding out for them. They'd get up on the seawall in pairs, or charge right over to the base to try and take cover in the building. I got a lot of kills waiting for them to head to the tower where the Active Camo is hidden, but eventually their aggressiveness sort of infected me, so I'd start wandering too. Shishka, Ninja on Fire and agdTinMan backed up my awesomeness nicely, so thanks to those guys. I genuinely feel they did their part to help me win.
50 to 39 - Bungie Wins a fun match.
Turf, Sniper Rifles
General Tone of Game :
Turf is the craziest Sniper level, because although it has a few long alleyways, it's mostly twisty, turny, urban combat. If you keep moving, you can usually make it to cover. If you spawn in the medic tent, then you're easy meat for campers. For that reason, I say that Turf requires a little more luck than you might associate with the usually clinical Sniper style. And you can see from the stats, that there was a lot of melee and grenade killing going on too, a sure sign that normal sniping strategy is not functioning correctly.
Now right off the bat, I'll make two defenses for our opposing team. First, three of them were sharing a screen and second, one of the players definitely stopped playing for a little while. So the final score, while roughly indicative of how things went, is hardly a fair measure of their performance. If they'd had their own screens, and maybe if they knew that their game stats would be widely read the next day, they'd have done better. of that I have no doubt.
50 to 12 - Bungie Wins. Handily, but in unfair circumstances.
Ascension , Sniper Rifles
General Tone of Game:
Shishka puts it best when he describes how the rest of this game was going to go: "The difference between the third game and the first two was practically palpable. The game began, and I mean within one second of announcer claiming "Slayer!" with me being shot straight through the head from across the map, and that pretty much set the theme for the rest of the game."
And he's right. I spawned beside him and Ninja on Fire, and they both dropped dead in front of me, all you heard was their screams and the patter of skull fragments landing on the Banshee take-off pad.. At first I thought something shady was going on, but we basically discovered we were totally outclassed. But we also learned very quickly that they weren't cheating, they were simply cunning, excellent shots. It wasn't a complete blowout - they had their strengths, and as long as we didn't go to their favorite target zones, we were able to get some kills in. Simply not enough to come anywhere near tipping the balance.
As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever played a more cowardly game. I'd pop up from where the shotgun normally spawns, take a blind pop towards the Banshee pad, and then hide again. Like a frightened stupid baby. With stuff in its diaper. And not good stuff, like jewels or pirate booty. Bad stuff.
In the end, we were relieved this was the last game, because if it had been the first, we'd have suffered spiritually, and been easy meat for the first two teams. Maybe.
50 to 42- Bungie Loses. It felt worse than it looks.
Repeat challenge to Xbox Marketing. Xbox Marketing was going to do it, but admitted they were literally too scared of our epic skillz. And they drive slow in the fast lane. And they merge like, wicked slow, then speed up and down, so that they totally screw the right hand lane for everyone. And when they drive in the empty carpool lane, they go at 30mph because they're scared someone in one of the other lanes will cut in suddenly. And they won't turn right on red, even when it's safe to do so. And they can't parallel park if there's traffic behind them, because they're scared. And they drive Hummers, even though they can hardly get in and out of them with high heels on.