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Covering life on the home front.

Posts Tagged ‘Team-Fortress 2

Putting the Team back into Team Fortress

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Since Matthieu’s been on holiday we’ve had daily Team Fortress 2 matches (I’m currently missing today’s match by writing this). Because we’re two people playing it’s very easy to use the teamwork apects which Team Fortress encourages. The best example of this is the Heavy-Medic pair which you’ll become increaingly familiar with if you play TF2. However, just because these two classes were engineered to be a perfect match doesn’t mean that other classes are incapable of working together to defeat an opponent, how about a Demoman-Pyro strike squad?

Me and Matthieu decided we’d work together as Engineers. Engineers are generally overlooked on Capture-The-Flag maps like 2Fort, but where they come into their element is on Payload or Control Point maps. On such maps there are normally long distances and choke points. What isn’t normally recognised is that teams of engineers can level up sentry turrets at a fantastic speed. If you can get past the initial time taken to set up a turret then you can secure a corridoor for the rest of the players to rush through and take a Control Point or move the Payload forward. Admittedly Engineers are far better at defence than attack, that’s because their role is more to provide support than to shoot other players.


We also found that Spy teams also work exceptionally well. It’s because they lull the opponent into a false sense of security. The same sort of effect can be imitated by disguising as an enemy Spy. And as Engineers we found that Spies can often inflict great acts of sabotage by disguising as Scouts, sprinting behind enemy lines and sapping all the ‘entrance’ teleporters. The reason the damage is so great is that because the teleporters aren’t two-way an Engineer can’t return to sort it out. These ‘hit and run’ sabotage attempts are normally very easy to spot but they’re so dam fast that by the time the Spy is dead the damage has already been done.

One thing which annoyed me greatly was when an exit teleporter was being sapped but players were still crowding round it trying to get through to the other side of the map. End result was that I couldn’t get through to fix the problem, the teleporter went, the players on that side of the map were stranded without support and we lost large amounts of ground; it was a full 10 minutes before we regained that territory. The rule should be that they who build the teleporter should have priority in using it.


Go Team!


Written by Pierre

July 23, 2009 at 10:30

Posted in gaming

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I hate Exams.

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I did German listening and Business Studies yesterday. They were supposed to be at the same time so I took the Business test about 5 minutes after the German one. I’ve done a 3 hour exam streak before – when I did my French A-Level. But this was different because they were two different subjects and you have to change from thinking about German to thinking about Business. Not only that but I forgot I needed a calculator for Business but I hadn’t taken it out of my bag for German and when the Business test started I knew that I needed a calculator and I knew that it was in my bag. Then I asked for a calculator from the invigilator and she gave me two. Two calculators which I may hasten to add were completely broken. Eventually I was able to borrow one off Harry to whom I extent my warmest gratitude. When I got out of the exam I asked around and uncovered that actually I got the question wrong because it was the current ratio and I hadn’t put it in ratio form. That’s what pressure does to you, it blocks you from thinking properly.

When it was all over I went to summertown and bought the paper, an off sandwich (it was on the ‘reduced for quick sale’ shelf) and some chips. I had planned as a dare to go to watch Hannah Montana with some friends at the cinema but I only wanted to go on condition that I wasn’t the only boy in the cinema. The guy who issued the dare in the first place eventually agreed to go but by then my brain had melted under pressure and I was tired to the point I was in no condition to go anywhere but my bed or my desk. The reason I was so tired was because Matthieu wanted to watch Gladiatress and sort of dragged me along, I gave up after a while and went to plunder the depths of Facebook and was persuaded by someone to re-download skype so that I could explain exactly what was wrong with the education system face-to-face.

Unfortunately this soon degraded because I’m a better writer than a public speaker so I just gave a quick tour of my room using the power of video. I tried explaining the reasons why computer game violence doesn’t affect teenagers half as much as adults think it does (in fact the large majority of what we do can be attributed to an overdose of hormones. And that’s a process which happens naturally which we have absolutely no control over).  I was even ready to explain large chunks of game theory.  But as always it returned to showing the transition from ‘the Sims’ (which girls love for some unknown reason) to ‘Halo 2’ (which received the female verbal equivalent of someone vomiting on the screen).

Christine also woke me up every morning at 6:30 for no reason whatsoever. Now it’s Saturday and my body clock aligned to waking up at 6:30 which I did really punctually but to my surprise Christine was still asleep. She even came to me after the exam and in an attempt to comfort me said “don’t worry if you’ve failed: you can always take it again next year”. She came back about ten minutes later with “Actually it doesn’t matter if you fail with only Bs and Cs, look at Peter, he only got Bs and Cs and he’s got a great job!”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was actually making me feel worse.

If you put me under pressure I will just dislike you more and more.

In my semi-depressed state I made some commemorative images of the Spy and Sniper updates in Team Fortress 2. It’s said that artists make better art when they’re in states of emotional unrest. In which case teenagers would be perfect artists because we’re always experiencing mood swings and are incredibly emotional.

This is what the Spy image looks like as a desktop background. The original is avaliable here.


The Sniper picture wasn’t as good, I tried doing a Spy versus Sniper one but it failed on account of Team Fortress props in Gmod doing odd things when the head is the only thing locking a prop in place. I think it’s got something to do with the model physics: they’re totally unrealistic and when taken out of Team Fortress 2 they look unbalanced and silly. It might be because of the new engine but It’s too much hassle to download the Left4Dead props to find out.


Hopefully I’ll have the time to update more because the first heat of exams is over and I’ve got a week of ‘revision-at-home’ otherwise known as ‘holidays’.

Written by Pierre

May 23, 2009 at 13:01

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Yesterday I tried out the one-man canoes from the canoe club with Peter. It was absolute mayhem – which is pretty good for a sortie in those canoes because I didn’t actually fall in. I had a run in with a rowing boat which seemed to be coxed by a drunk. After a while the wind picked up I practically sailed upriver to the Univeristy boathouses by which time Peter was convinced that I had fallen in and was considering going back to help me. I was literally in sight of the boathouses when a sudden gust pushed me into the bank. And it started raining. Once I finally got out of the boat the wind made it nigh impossible to get away from the bank. I eventually set off side on to the river and picked a time when the wind had died down a bit to launch into a crazy rush for the far bank, which I achieved quite well. On the way back I made a portage at another boathouse near 2 low bridges and it was fairly uneventful. I did without an improvised knee rest in the misguided impression that it would improve my stability. As a result my right knee feels like it’s been crushed. Pulling off from the bank I almost tipped over and grabbed the side in an attempt to stabilise myself. However on the side was a large bolt which smashed my left thumb and left a bruise. As a result of all the instability I put unreasonable amounts of constant stress on my core stomach muscles so as soon as I got off the water I vomited a bit (but swallowed it) and felt nauseous for the rest of the day.

After that I played Team Fortress 2 in an attempt to cheer myself up and due to my sore wrist was killed 8 times in a row. Eventually on Turbine I camped as heavy near the ‘flood area’ Control Point on Tc_Hydro and got loads of kills.

I grabbed the people who killed me:



I also finished a brilliant film today called The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb. Without revealing the plot

There’s a 10-ish cm short boy called tom thumb born in a small house, he’s looked after by a kind father until some man in a suit takes him away and puts him in a laboratory. He escapes the laboratory with a friendly creature who is then killed by other people who are the same height as Tom and see the creature as an outcast. A warrior then takes pity on Tom and takes him into his home where he sort-of explains his hatred of humans. Then he blows up his own house and seeks out a human to kill, he finds Tom’s father’s friends and poisons them with a dart, meanwhile Tom’s father has lost Tom’s mother and has gone with another woman. He learns of his friend’s poisoning and recognizes it to be the work of Tom, he goes out to meet him and Tom and his father are reunited, the other warrior guy comes along too. Then Tom’s father’s friend comes back and sees Tom, Tom’s father and his friend get into a fight which ultimately results in Tom’s father’s death. In the meantime Tom and his warrior friend escapes to the man who kidnapped Tom to take him to the laboratory in the first place, they sedate him and then I think he dies. Then they go to the laboratory and get inside some sort of lightning chamber and it blows up. Then in a perfect universe a normal-sized Tom is born with a father who looks similar, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Highlight that to read it. It sure was a mouthful.

Tomorrow I’ve got an English exam, which is probably why this post is so disjointed.

Written by Pierre

May 18, 2009 at 20:55

Posted in gaming, life, school

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