Archive for July, 2011

World of Twats

Posted: 28 July, 2011 in pvp

Going totally off the reservation here, but I’ve been playing quite a bit of World of Tanks lately, and it’s addictive as hell.  For those of you scratching your heads in puzzlement at this stage, it’s not a weird WoW mod that replaces every class with Warriors, it’s a tank sim from a Russian developer, a free to play pvp MMO; and it rocks great big brass bells.  Of course, as with anything online you get more than your fair share of cock-eating retards playing it.  Those of you who spend any length of time in Warcraft playing Battlegrounds will know immediately what I’m talking about, of course.  In World of Warcraft, Battlegrounds are where the arseholes live after all, but the breeds and varieties of arsehole are many and varied, so I felt it behooved me to make a post to elucidate the taxonomy of the anus.  And that’s far too many big words for any intro, so now on with the shit-slinging…

The Armchair General

By far the most common type of twat in any player vs player environment, this is the aggravating moron who thinks he’s Field Marshal Erwin Fucking Rommel (yes, that was his real full name, I looked it up), but doesn’t bother to share his tactical genius with anyone until after his team have lost.  Easily identified in most cases by their spamming their team chat with sentences beginning with “ffs noobs…”  This particular cock-eating oxygen-thief refuses to accept any complicity in his teams’ failure.  They failed because they didn’t listen to the advice that he didn’t give.  They didn’t attack the side that he didn’t suggest.  They didn’t protect the flank that he didn’t tell them to protect.   He got his useless arse killed in the first minute of the battle and he calls you a noob because you didn’t follow any of the priceless advice he didn’t give while he was tabbed out buying gold.  I recently played a WoT game where one of these cretins rushed off immediately down the left flank in his Tank Destroyer without a word to anyone and when the right flank crumbled he stepped up valiantly to save the situation with the following words of tactical genius:

“ffs noobs good job on the right flank!”

By the sacred ivory-handled .45s of General George S. Patton!  That’s it!  We forgot to do a good job on the right flank!  If only he’d spoken sooner we’d have been saved!

The AFK’er.

You’re down to two tanks on each side, and one of yours is an Artillery piece.  The enemy have reached your base, just your lone Artillery and a Mark IV Panzer are all that stand between you and a humiliating defeat.  A Mark II Ausf A Panzer and a Marder II Tank Destroyer drive into shooting range, both showing obvious signs of damage, easy kills for the Mk IV.  “Shoot!” you yell, “To your left!”
The Mark IV doesn’t move.
Arty fires a desperate boresight shot at close range, misses but the splash damage blows the tracks off the Ausf A.  He grinds to a halt twenty metres from the Mark IV, dead in the water.  He can’t miss.  “SHOOT!”
The Mark IV doesn’t move.
His cover blown, Arty desperately scrambles to reverse but the Marder has seen him, he comes to a stop, takes his time to line up his shot but he really can’t miss.  Boom!  Your Artillery is knocked out.  The Ausf A is slowly turning his turret to face the Panzer, the commander must be shitting himself, just waiting for the shot from that deadly 75mm that’s going to take his turret clean off.  The Marder has only just seen the Panzer and is totally exposed with his back to the target.  Two shots.  Two shots to win the game.
The Mark IV doesn’t move.
The Ausf A and Marder spend the next fifteen seconds taking the Mark IV apart, shot by shot.  Yeah, I’ve seen this happen.  There’s a special place in hell for people who join multiplayer pvp games and then go afk in the starting area.  Up to their necks in burning shit.  Doing handstands.

The Herp-a-Derp

The Derp isn’t particularly malicious, spiteful or mean. Chances are they’re actually pretty nice folks.  You’ll never hear the Derp shouting “FFS NOOBS!”, but not because they’re so sweet and good-natured.  You’ll never hear them telling everyone what they should have done because the Derp doesn’t have a clue what he should be doing, let alone what everyone else should be doing.  Now you could argue that the Armchair General also doesn’t have a clue what he or anyone else should be doing, but not so! The Armchair General knows full well what he and everyone else should have done, but only after it’s a) bloody obvious and b) far too late.  The Derp never, at ANY point, has any idea.  At all.  The Derp is the Warrior in your battleground who a) specced Titans’ Grip and b) wields two single-handed swords.  He’s the Priest who clicked on the flag in Warsong Gulch “to see what it would do” and doesn’t know a) what to do with it or b) how to drop it so someone who does know can do something useful with it.  He’s the Elemental Shaman who’s forgotten he’s in his Resoration spec and can’t figure out why his lightning bolts take so long to cast and do so little damage, and why’s this Riptide button on his casting bar?

You get all this and more in World of Tanks too.  My particular pet hate is careless drivers.  Unlike in Warcraft, you can block other players in WoT with your own vehicle.  Now picture this, if you play a mid to high Tier game in WoT and you’re in a Light Tank, your only means of survival is your speed and maneuverability.  I played one game in my VK 1602 Leopard on the Himmelsdorf map, it’s an absolute nightmare for Artillery – tight, winding streets with no clear line of fire on anything, but there’s a road leading up the hill on the east that offers easy access to each sides’ base camp for whoever’s fast enough or strong enough to exploit it.  Enter the Leopard, which can top out at 68 kph.  You just have to get over the hill alive.  I made it to the crest without encountering any opposition, but as I drove over the hilltop my blood froze.  No more than twenty metres away, heading right at me, two medium tanks, a tank destroyer and a self-propelled gun.  I could slam on the brakes, reverse and hope they missed, or go for it.

Of course, you have to go for it.

So you slam your foot on the accelerator and start weaving, swerve around one tank, swerve the other way to get round the next, now you’re past the tank destroyer and still picking up speed.  Fire off a shot, kill the Artillery and screech round the corner at the bottom of the hill before the tanks behind you have even turned round.  Ahead of you, a clear straight road and the enemy flag.  If you’d stopped, you’d have died.  If you’d collided with or so much as bumped any of the enemy vehicles on the way down the hill, you’d have died.  Speed and maneuverability are all that stand between Light Tanks and early graves.  Light tanks are either moving or they’re dead.

So when your own side drive or reverse into you, or block roads and bridges you need to get across, or park next to you in their “I can be seen from across half the map and I don’t care” Heavy Tanks while you’re hiding in a bush and attract the fire of every Artillery piece on the map, it gets mildly frustrating.  Players just derp their way around the maps, not giving a seconds’ thought to anything beyond themselves and the closest red blip on the map.  You get derps who spot a target and immediately come crashing to a halt, right in front of a friendly Tank Destroyer hull down in a sniping spot and then wonder why the backs of their turrets are suddenly exposed to the elements and their ammo rack’s on fire.

I actually had this happen to me quite recently.  I was playing on my VK 3601(H) medium tank, which can be upgraded with an exceptionally accurate and deadly 75mm gun turning it into a surprisingly effective long range sniper.  I’m parked in the treeline of a forest, hidden from view in dense foliage, a perfect sniping spot that covers three different approach angles.  From past experience I know that pretty soon I’ll be in a target-rich environment and as long as I can stay concealed from enemy Artillery I’ll have a few kills under my belt.  Essentially I’m playing the medium tank as if it were a tank-destroyer.  Oh, and here comes a tank-destroyer now.  A dinky little T40, herp-a-derping his merry little way along, announcing his presence to any interested Artillery by lumbering through the wood, knocking over every tree he can see.  And then he comes to a stop.  In the open.  Right in front of me.  When I say “right in front of me”, I mean RIGHT in front of me.  Three metres away.  That’s something else that Derps do, by the way.  They drive their shitty little Light Tanks into perfect hilltop sniping positions (because they’re light tanks and can get there first) and and sit there bouncing their crappy 50mm popgun shells off the hulls of bemused Tigers on the other side of the map while the Jagdpanthers and SU-152s they’re blocking turn the air blue screaming for them to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, MORON!  But it’s not like I was doing this to the T40.  I mean, I was in a wood.  There was cover everywhere.  But no, he was not only going to not sit in cover, he was going to knock over every bit of cover there was on the way to not sitting in cover and he was going to not sit in cover right in front of someone who was, shouting “Here I am!  Shoot me (and the person with me who’s not an oxygen-thieving moron and whose line of fire I’m now completely blocking) please!”

So what can you do?  If I had a horn I’d have beeped it.  After a few seconds of swearing inneffectually at the screen, I rammed him.  Didn’t do any damage, he was only three metres away and it takes slightly more than that to get up past 3kph in a VK3601, but hopefully he got the point.  Except he didn’t.  So I rammed him again.  And again.  Still, the fuckwit just sits there, probably thinking to himself “Hurrrr…  wut dat bangin noize?”  So what else was I supposed to do?

After taking a point blank 75mm high velocity shell in the rear of his open-topped hull, he eventually got the point and moved.  Very slowly.  His engine was pretty fucked and his driver was dead after all.

What?  Don’t look at me like that, I asked him nicely.  Three times.

Captain Obvious

This guy makes my blood boil.  I hate this guy so much I will actually take the time to stop shooting and type a sarcastic reply, even if it means my own death, I hate him that much.  This is the guy who, while you’re in your battleground starting area and waiting for the start timer to expire, helpfully tells everyone “Kill them all and we win, ok?”  The guy who, on the maps with only three routes to and from the enemy base, pings the map on those three routes to helpfully tell everyone where they are.  Just in case, you know, someone forgot they had a minimap.  The guy who, while you’re in the middle of a furious attack, helpfully shouts “Attack!” in team chat.  Presumably people forget what it is they’re actually doing and need prompting from time to time.  Red dots appear on your map?  Captain Obvious will ping them.  Why thank you Captain Obvious, I’d always wondered if there was any correlation between the presence of red dots on my minimap and the sudden appearance of enemy forces in remarkably close proximity to the location of aforementioned red dots.  Your help in clearing up this mystery is very much appreciated.  Thank you for your time.  Now please go choke on shit and die.  Thanks.

The Most Expensive Post On The Blog

Posted: 19 July, 2011 in misc

This post’s going to be almost entirely a bells and whistles-free one, since I’m writing it from my hotel room in New York on the iPad while simultaneously grappling with the WordPress app.


But anyway, a very quiet month on the blog front, due to a number of reasons. First and foremost I’m in the process of retiring from the Royal Navy after 22 years of undetected crime. In a related issue, to celebrate over two decades of state funded, all-expenses paid tourism (with the occasional war thrown in to keep me on my toes) I’m taking it easy at the Peninsula Hotel on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Which is nice. Actually it’s really REALLY nice. The kind of nice where breakfast costs you sixty dollars. But screw it, it’s only money after all. And since as far as I’m aware there’s no prize for best-looking corpse I’m seriously over-indulging in an effort to die fat and exceptionally happy. Fuck you, Royal Navy Fitness Test, your power over me is broken! Broken, I say!

Also I’ve been getting seriously hooked on World of Tanks (no clue how to add a link in the iPad app, just Google it) which is a Russian multiplayer tank battle sim that pretty much does exactly what it says on the box. Shortly leaving for New York I unlocked my PzKpfwVI Tiger, and it’s a lot like driving a huge, angry house around the battlefield.

But Warcraft, wherefore art thou? Well it’s all about the Firelands at the moment, obviously. Our 25 man raid team were 5/7 when I left and according to the website loot links it looks like Majordomo Staghelm just got put on his ass this weekend, too. I have a few reservations about Firelands raid boss difficulty, though. Shannox seems a tad overtuned given that we’re all dripping with heroic Tier 11 gear and we’ve not yet beaten him with less than half the raid dead. The idea of trying to take him on in regular Tier 11 gear or even worse, Zul Gurub/Aman gear, makes my happy parts curl up and shrivel. Of course, as with pretty much any boss in the game, raid or dungeon, most of the difficulty in successful execution comes from how you do it, not what you’re wearing. Getting it right relies more on just pulling him again and doing it rather than whether or not you should have gone for the socket bonus in those new legs. All the same – Shannox – a teeny bit trickier than you’d expect to do right, but (almost) entirely optional so that’s ok, and at the end of the day, he’s dead and most of us aren’t.

The Molten Front dailies present me with something of a conundrum. I’m doing them first and foremost on Calli, my raiding main, which of you think about it, is doing it completely arse about tit (back to front, for those of you whose colloquial English idiom dictionary skipped the last update). Calli has access to raiding 378 gear, and most of her existing gear is 372 from Tier 11 heroics anyway. Molten Front reputation and quest rewards are 365s, so she already outgears them. Even if she didn’t she’s raiding Tier 12 content and by the time she unlocks anything beyond the initial quest rewards she’ll have better raid gear. No, scratch that, she already has better Firelands raid gear. What I should be doing is the Molten Front dailies on characters like Galadan or The Mighty Jingles, toons who actually need the loot. But Blizzard are too clever for me once again. They tied cool mounts and pets and ooh look, a pony, into the Molten Front meta-achievement, and I cannot resist the lure of The Shiny. Curse you Blizzard, you know me too well!

So. What to do? I need the rewards on my myriad of alts but I need the Flamebreaker title and stuff on Calli too. How will I ever find the time?

Oh hang on… I’m retired now… 🙂

(Sections of this post were written while having lunch at Fives Restaurant at the hotel. This post cost me $110, hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed lunch!)