In an article about two months ago I introduced the term ‘space cowboys’. This random term, or specialized jargon as you may want to call it, was my way of labeling the current generation of rookies renowned for their usage of the western boy set and twin blades. As an aspiring writer, I often find myself making up alternative words and terms for referring to a habit, group or stereotypical image which often are .. interesting, to say at the least. While I am aware that I will probably need to dedicate my next blog entry to explaining that I really am mentally stable and do not smoke weed I want to stick to the matter at hand.
In advance of today’s article I will be introducing three new terms. Smash monkeys are players who are fixated on smash-only playing styles, often not having anything to offer besides that. This term derived from an idea I had that you can put a gun in a monkey’s hand and that he will pull the trigger, but has no idea what he is doing. An alternative explanation is that the smash rifle can kill about anything relatively easily, so a smash monkey can literally SMASH anyone to pieces. For those without much imagination I have attached an image further down. Next, Crow huggers are players whose builds and skilled are fixated around their (crow) counter sword. I figured that these people like to embrace the many good qualities found on a CS, hence the term ‘crow huggers’. Last, Stair Heroes refers to people camping the train and running up the stairs on Station-2 with many fancy jumps. As you continue reading, I ask of you to keep these in mind. Thank you.
Read on for my view on some of S4’s most popular weapons and playing styles. I hope you like hot food, because that is just the way I like my criticism — spicy.
To understand where I come from we need to go back in time a bit, to the day where I joined a Tunnel match. At some point during the match I thought the center had gotten a new safe zone, like those red / blue bars you find near the goalposts. The only difference was that these new lasers were green. Closer inspection revealed that this was not actually a new safe zone, it were ~8 players busy practising the concept of “spray ‘n pray” by .. using, I will just call it, their Smash rifles against each other. As I died within seconds by one of said things, nicely upgraded past lv.10 of course, I could hear the cats ‘meowing’ in the distance. I can understand why they call these things smash rifles, or rather their forcepacks laser cats, as suffering 9/10 deaths at the hand of those give me the urge to SMASH a CAT.
First a run-down of the basics. The ‘SR’ was introduced in the infamous patch 10. With a rapid fire rate, huge ammo clip, decent damage and tight spread it’s bound to ruin the day of those who come across it, sending players (or what little remains of them) home crying. For those who prefer to do things with more STYLE, as this is a ‘Stylish Sports’ game after all, there is the melee function, where one can send the target flying with the back of his hand like some sort of dandy, pimp or shabby womenbeater.
Smash monkeys are a rather unique breed. They are large in number and rapidly multiply. Their biosphere consists of a locked cage in which the hierarchy is decided through the concept of “survival of the fittest”. Together with the fact their brains are not really capable of developing their own thoughts, they imitate their kin in great detail. Smash monkeys are also rather shy, only moving in packs and preferring to stay behind cover.
^ This would be my neutral, slightly sarcastic approach to trying to explain the underlying concept behind smash rifles and their users. ‘Would be’ for the reason it would have been if I were writing this a little bit earlier. Now I just finished another S4 match filled with smash rifles, to the point where the PEW PEW PEW have gotten to my head and I’m loading a gun as we speak to show and ask my neighbour if he also thinks the PEW PEW PEW is annoying. Do not worry, he is a cop so he will probably disarm me and send me to jail within 5 seconds. Alas, see you guys later!
I am back from jail and continuing with the next point for today, Crow Huggers. To understand why I used the term ‘Crow’ instead of ‘Counter Sword’ please step in my shoes and read the following explanation:
The first time I saw a Crow Counter Sword, in my rookie days, my reaction was like this: Wow WTF!! These days things are a bit different, as I get this reaction whenever I see a -normal- counter sword.
Where do I get started. Probably at the point where everyone and their dog has a CCS, and is not too shy to use it either. It’s fast. It’s deadly. It’s strong. It’s un-arguably the best melee weapon in the game. But it’s also dangerous. It leaves people crippled. The following screenshot is from a controversial case earlier this year, where suspect Kittie G. ‘accidentally’ crippled a poor eSper for a lifetime. As stated by witness C. aim, “Omg what have you done, it’s just a game !! no need to cripple her !!”. This is the risk of Crow Counter Swords. People are attracted by its looks, its power and love to use it, but they never fully understand how the weapon works until it’s too late.
And yes, I use a Crow myself. Not only do I like to see other people suffer, I even have a good excuse that I, as a DM player, need something in this mode I never play (TD) to be of use to my team. If I am of use to the team it’s more balanced, which promotes balanced gameplay and thus a high enjoyment value. In short, it’s all for the ‘greater good’. I seriously think I should consider a career in politics. Damn.
The last point I’d like to make for today is that the game seems to have inspired a lot of people to become stand-ins for Batman. Camp the train, grab the ball, head to the bottom of the stairs and look up. Just a few players with melee stand between you and eternal glory. As look over your shoulder to your team, you pull a ‘I’m gonna die for your sake’ smile while a hero cape mysteriously grows out of your back. You start running. Adrenaline is rushing through your veins, time seems to stop, and every moment seems eternal. You feel happy and peaceful.
The reality is a bit less spectacular, where you get smashed to bits in one hit by a CS or go for a freefall lesson across Station-2. While you are licking your wounds, you get called noob by your own team as a thanks for trying. If you are exceptionally lucky, you will also hear that you should learn from the player who is taking the ball and running to do basic anchor trick #1 as we speak. While you are busy with something [x] you wonder where it went wrong. How I know? Simple.
Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I play TD I get amazing teams. The other day I was in a Station-2 and somewhere halfway in this Pro badge joined. He had fancy [*-ClaN TaGs] followed by some 1337EpiCNaMe. Just by looking at it I got hard. I mean seriously, Pros are so awesome are they not? *drool*
This drool is actually foam from my mouth, caused by insane anger issues after said person hero ran the stairs the entire match when there were 5 waiting there with CS and never EVER ran the ramp. Everytime he got killed by one of the CS he called them “CS noob”. Makes me wonder how some Pros earned this rank. Bought the account from a script kiddie from ElitePvPers? Hot damn.
The point I am trying to make .. hero running stairs is fine, if you know what you are doing AND if you don’t do it for the entire match. Patterns are easy to figure out. Don’t be an idiot and hero run when there’s no point to it, bring variety like ramp / anchor / whatever to score.
That will be all. Thank you for reading and until the next time.