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Tycho / on Mon, Apr 22 2002 at 5:23 am

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Today’s comic has plenty of words already, and as such does not require much of an investment on my part.  Suffice it to say that it concerns idiots, briefcases, and Soldier of Fortune 2.  When the illustrious Justice Cat called us pussies for using the crosshairs, I knew then that our race was doomed.  No-one could possibly be smart enough to counteract that much stupid.  So, Universe, it’s been great being bipedal and everything, though I feel like I got fucked out of a grasping tail.  All in all, I give existence an Eight. 

Despite very clear instructions on how to post news properly on non-strip days, Gabe had to rub his monkey hands all over my beautiful machine.  It turned out to be okay, and maybe just BSing on weekends will be something we do around here - but I wanted to add my take on the “boosting” issue he raised.

As I think we’re all fairly clear on by now, Gabe is something of a pickypants.  I showed him Counter-Strike so long ago that I don’t remember when it was, and when he found out that you didn’t come back after you died, he essentially lost interest.  That seemed ridiculous to me, as that death element - and the tension associated with it - are the whole point.  I wasn’t dissuaded.  I got him to play Front Line Force (fuck mod - this is one of the best games ever released) without much hassle, which introduced the “waiting to respawn” concept.  Not long, now - a few seconds, tops.  Then, Return to Castle Wolfenstein suggested that it was not uncommon to wait as long as a half a minute.  Once that process had run its course, I got him to try Medal for one night - and the journey was complete.  He’ll never go back.  He wants death - preferably, that of his opponents - to have ramifications.  But he doesn’t have the CS experience to look back on - experience that would show him that bitching on a server is some kind of universal constant, or that people can and will jump up on each other in some Cirque du Soleil type bullshit if they think it will help them kill you.  That’s really it.  They want to kill you.  And the game allows them to do it, so they do it - a “strat” or strategy instead of an out-and-out exploit.  Where the line is between those, exactly, has always been a sort of ideological hinterland.  This is not like a weapon balance issue, which I will equate (for the purposes of this discussion) to pieces on a game board.  No, we’re talking about the board itself - and if you deploy a technique that allows you to, in effect, go directly from the B&O Railroad to Boardwalk whenever you want, circumventing the intervening space, what is that?  Is that you being, for lack of a better term, a cockmonger?  Or that an example of gameplay that emerges, unforeseen, from the delicious nipple of human ingenuity?  I guess I’d have to ask what the map maker intended.  In the case of the one Gabe was complaining about in SoF2, I’ve done that.  With any luck, he’ll respond.

I can’t seem to get to Pandora Networks right now, haven’t really been able to since they posted the fifty-meg archive of our interview.  I don’t know why they’re down, I don’t think it’s us, but you could probably do without it.  I’m never authorizing another voice interview again.  We are not superstars.  We are fucking dorks.  I sign up for this shit because I think I’m being polite.  If you do get it for whatever reason, maybe you clicked on it by accident, bear the following in mind.

  • I cannot find the words to describe how humiliating it is for the person who is interviewing you to think you are someone else.  I don’t know if he got the mic turned off before I said “What the fuck was that,” but now you know that I said it.

  • I describe the Internet as a junior high cafeteria where people engage each other in spiteful acts which are of no real consequence, referring specifically to the TribalWar “situation.”  That word is a bit grand to describe what happened.  Just so you and I are clear, I said mean things (in the interview and elsewhere) because I enjoy saying mean things.  I don’t actually care about TribalWar, I only stretched out my commentary on the “situation” because I thought it would enrage them.

  • You may detect a point in the interview where I come to a realization regarding the Tribes 2/Fast Attack thing.  It’s that people who play the game competitively are actually looking for a different game, with modified parameters.  The speed of Tribes 2 might not be the best context for ladder play, but it’s sure as shit better for public servers, and whether a Retail Game should be catered specifically toward the percentage of players who compete in organized tournaments is another question altogether.

  • I ended the interview by asking if they needed a DJ, after Gabe had already left to play SoF2 with Kiko, Kara, and Jew.  Those of you who have been with us a while know that I used to run an audio station here, with a playlist that I really enjoyed - but what I really wanted to run was live shows.  This seemed like a good angle into that.  Gabe called me up Sunday night and told me they were on our forum, talking about how he and I were going to do a weekly show, there might be money involved, and whatever else.  I never discussed that any of that with anybody.  So, now it’s off.  Batjew and I are going to do it ourselves.  It’s been a pleasure not doing business with you.

We’re still looking for companies to advertise their FABULOUS PRODUCTS on Penny Arcade for next month, so if you’ve been, you know, just holding off on contacting us please stop doing that.  We need you to contact us right away, in fact!

(CW)TB out.

doing nothing but aging


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