You have traversed the depths of the C-Blogs and found your way here; a shabby cabin at the piss-end of nowehere, littered with discarded wine bottles and cigarette ends. You peer through the darkness to see five faint outlines in front of you. One sits composed and dignified in a desk chair by a badly damaged table, reading a textbook on human anatomy. He pays no attention to your arrival, and continues to read through unknown means in the darkness. To your left, in the corner, a shockingly handsome man in a plaid shirt sits behind a desk, smiles at you warmly, and refuses to break eye contact. To your right, on a stool, a surly woman in a nurses outfit cradles a cigarette in her outstrecthed claw, glaring at you with scorn that even the dark cannot disguise. The fourth figure sits on the floor, smiling dimly and fiddling with the laces of his white trainers and the dangly bits of his brown hoodie whilst puzzling over a particularly tricky section in his colouring book.
Finally, at the back of the room, you finally spot a familiar face, framed by scruffy hair and uneven sideburns. The man you recognise as jebussaves88 stands before you, nursing a half empty glass of Rioja, and yet this is not the man you once knew...
Welcome to the blog of the Astonishingly Badass clan, a group who met in the distant past of 2009 in the Versus mode of Left 4 Dead 2. Whilst our numbers were once strong, we five still stand united with two objectives; save humanity from not having enough of us in their lives, and to make silly gaming related videos. We feel Destructoid would be a good home for our upcoming video series "The Astonishingly Badass Show", as well as any future blogging content we may conjure up.
We all love having friends. Who doesn’t? Whether it be consuming toxic liquids together to decrease intelligence, skipping stones by the lake, or a good old fashioned friendly mugging, we as humans have constantly found ways to enhance our time on this Earth through shared experiences with those we care for and admire. As the twenty-first century dawned, a new way to meet and befriend people quickly took shape; online competitive gaming.
To an outsider, this brave new world may look vast, ugly and intimidating. Well fear no longer, because just for you, Professor Astonishingly Badass is here to gently coax you in to a world of gunfire, laughter and smiles. You lucky people.
In my studies, I have traversed the deep chasms of online multiplayer, hitchhiked through Steam, taken a seaplane to Xbox Live, and spelunked my way even to the scary underworld of Playstation branded fun. I have collected the notes in my journal and formed an easy to read “Handbook for the Online Gaming Curious”; a volume devoted to ensure you fare well amongst the apparent savages of these lands, and don’t end up tied to a plank and spit roasted. Please note: these several pointers have been written for newcomers to online gaming (or “n00b” as it is known in the local tongue), to ensure that you blend right in to this colourful, occasionally greyish brown world.
Don’t the natives colourful matching attire intimidate you. You’re the boss here!
1. Complain frequently of Team Imbalance If Team Deathmatch is your poison, then this first step is a must. When first starting out in your adventure, it is worth bearing in mind that you are ill equipped for the road ahead. No matter how many times you’ve completed the single player version of your chosen game, you will not have the skills required to survive for long in this cutthroat land. To blend in straight away, you must immediately question the fairness of the teams when your team is losing and the other is winning. It is obviously not your fault that the group you have been assigned to could be considered to be less skilled than the other eight random folks who happen to have also stumbled upon your chosen server. You can tackle this injustice easily.
1. Continuously write comments to the effect of “IMBALANCE,” “TEAM SHUFFLE VOTE GUYS” and “WHY YOU FUCKING VOTE NO? IMBALANCE! LOL”. Whether your efforts are successful or not, it is important to voice your concern to the natives, as they value your feedback.
2. Repeat Step 1 constantly. Don’t give up.
3. Also, make sure to attempt to call a Team Shuffle Vote as much as your chosen game will allow you to, assuming the game has this option.
Follow these steps, and results are guaranteed. These results may vary however.
2. Compliment a skilled opponent on his use of alternative software within the game Sometimes, life defeats you. Other times, it’s a guy on the Counter-Terrorist side with an AWP who is quite proficient with his chosen sniper rifle. Lord knows he may have worked hard during the opening few rounds to obtain his chosen weapon, so now you have to play the cards you have been dealt. Why should you be adjusting your tactics just to appease the laws of the universe and the aforementioned Counter-Terrorist sniper with the username “L33TSniper420”. Luckily, God has given you a voice, and you must use your voice to air your concerns about the legitimacy of your dominant opponent’s apparent skill with his chosen weapon. In my time with the natives, I discovered a popular chant which you may use to your advantage:
HAX(plural of hack): The collective term for alternative software used to artificially enhance the aiming capabilities of a player in a competitive online shooter. Derived from the Native Indian hackora, a term used to describe the invention of the musket.
This utterance should be shouted through the microphone, or typed in the chatbox, to alert your fellow players that you suspect foul play is at hand. Very often, this may not be the case, but when you’re out in the jungle, you can never be cautious enough.
3. The “RAGEQUIT (LOL)” A term which gained momentum with the 2008 video game “Left 4 Dead,” used to describe the actions of someone who foresees imminent defeat, and rather than face the music, will take flight away from the fight before allowing their opponents the satisfaction of triumphing over them. This is a move which should only be used when all your tools have been expended. The opposing team refuses to acknowledge your potential, disputes your accusations of aim-assisting software, and wants to continue stamping your face into the metaphorical dirt, so why hang around? There are other fights to join, potential victories to be had, so cut your losses, tuck your tail firmly between your legs, and hit that Quit Game button with your head held high. You can be the bigger man here, don’t let L33TSnipers have his way with you!
4. Use alternative software within the game to enhance your own abilities. In any walk of life, people love a winner. Don’t fall for that old cliché of “people love an underdog”. That’s bollocks. People want to bask in the glow of someone who has inexplicably killed twelve opponents in one round with a (normally) highly inaccurate machine gun, cutting through them like a knife through butter, despite the obvious handicap of them being on the other side of the level, a wall or any other bullet-penetrable barrier you can conceive. Aim assisting software is a God-send for the weary traveller who does not have time to master the different routes through levels, likely choke points, or the benefits of certain weapons over others. The modern man or woman demands results fast, and hacking the game to pieces will deliver those results faster than you can reload a sidearm. There may be those who accuse you weakly of somehow cheating, but you can rest easily in the knowledge they are merely jealous of your initiative, and are probably cheating anyway.
Use of “Hax” will also make your game appear more colourful, Like that movie Tron!
5. Spend extra attention on female players In my time in the jungle, in rare instances, myself and my teammates would be confronted with a rare opportunity; meeting a female in this barren wasteland. I myself mistakenly kept myself to myself and carried on playing. Much to my dismay, I found I had committed a faux par. My comrades, as well as my opponents, immediately sprang into action, as if they had been training for this moment all their lives. The mating call of the male online gamer may confuse and alienate those from the outside world, but I can only assume that the female player did indeed send pictures of her breasts to “UberGamer95” and “UKCS: JokerACMilanRfags” as requested. You may not see this opportunity arise in all your travels, but as soon as a female emerges from the vegetation, follow the suit of your fellow players, unless, like AC Milan Football Club, you wish to be branded a “fag”. Which leads me on to my next advice…
6. Question the sexuality of your fellow players and discriminate against your chosen sexuality for them. We as civilised human beings have long thrown away the shackles of an oppressive regime of abuse against those outside of a mixed gender relationship. We treat each other as equals, no matter what their choice of night time companion is. The natives of the gaming world, as a whole, have not reached this stage of development yet. In fact, it does not even matter if their chosen target of criticism is of the gay persuasion. This “insult” can be levelled at near enough anyone, be they stronger or weaker on the battlefield, straight or gay, male or female (see section 5), or black or white. As soon as you successfully release your torrent of accusations, a new pecking order will be established, and you, as the hetrosexual male gamer you may or may not be, will sit comfortably at the top! (Or at least above the poor sod you just called a “bummer”)
7. When all else fails, crouch crouch crouch The online gamer is a varied species. They may not all speak the same language, but one tool of communication is universal; the “Teabagging”. A movement long thought to be well overdue of dying out which persists to this very day, the act of teabagging (miming dipping parts of your possibly male genitalia into the face of a fallen opponent) is a language spoken by everyone. By standing over your fallen prey and continuously pressing Ctrl or the left thumbstick button, you’re planting your flag, sounding the trumpet of victory over the opponent stupid enough to get in the way of your bullets. Stand tall reader (and then squat, and then stand tall, and then squat), you are now inducted into the tribe!
We hope you have enjoyed this Astonishingly Badass publication. For more like this, why not read Why Japanese Games Suck and DmC: WtF?