Monday, October 29, 2007

Team Fortress 2 - The Spy!

I thought I'd give a few pointers to all those aspiring Spies out there in FPS land. The Spy in Team Fortress can be a deadly class and has a ton of versatility. The first and foremost goal of a Spy is to remove enemy gun turrets. I'll explain how to do this in a second.

The Spy is equipped with four items...
1. Revolver Gun
2. Sapper Charges (2)
3. Butterfly Knife
4. Disguise Kit

The Revolver is nice for show, but shouldn't be used much if you're playing a Spy correctly. The Sapper Charges are placed upon enemy Engineer items such as gun turrets. The Butterfly Knife can be used to get a one-shot kill if you're standing directly behind the player when you are attacking. The Disguise Kit is used to change your appearance into any of the enemy classes.

The first goal of a spy is to get into the enemy base to place Sapper Charges on the enemy gun turrets so your team can progress past the defenses. If you right-click as a Spy you will activate your 10-second cloaking device and can use this to pass through the front lines into the enemy area. You can activate a disguise while you're cloaked, so do this during the 10 seconds are you are cloaked and running through the front lines - you don't want to come uncloaked and not be disguised. Also, try to come uncloaked in a corner where you're out of the enemy sight.

Once you're in their area, try to act like the class you are disguised as. If you disguised as a Scout, then run around in circles and don't stop moving, since Scouts are very mobile. I usually disguise as a Sniper and pretend to be sniping - no one ever attacks me while I disguise as a Sniper, works great.

Once you've established yourself as one of them, and you're cloak timer has reset, start your progress towards the enemy gun turrets. It's best to approach cloaked since Engineers usually shoot at anyone that approaches their turrets. Switch to your Sapper Charges and place them as you come uncloaked. Immediately re-cloak and switch to your knife. The engineer will try and shoot you once and then move to save his turret. When the Engineer turns his focus from you to his turrets, it's time to move in and back-stab him with your knife.

Another thing to remember is to always walk backwards as you descend into their base. By walking backwards you look like a team member just retreating instead of a Spy running into the base in a disguise.

Besides taking out the gun turrets, you're also responsible for taking out enemy Medics. The Heavy-Medic combo is deadly and should be dealt with fast. Just cloak past the deadly-duo and come up behind the medic for the one-shot knife kill. If you're quick you can take both out, but even if you only take out the Medic, your team can now finish off the previously healed Heavy.

One last tip to playing a Spy - avoid all Pyros! The Pyro class is the Spy's worst enemy and should be avoided at all cost. The flame keeps the Spy from re-cloaking and will kill the Spy in a short time if not removed.

Now get out there and back-stab some Medics and destroy some gun turrets!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Orange Box

I purchased "The Orange Box" from Frys for 36.99 last Friday and I've played it for the last week. If you haven't heard already, The Orange Box comes with supposedly five games, but two of the five are just expansions, so-to-speak.

The package comes with...

Half Life 2
--Episode 1 (Half Life Expansion)
--Episode 2 (Half Life Expansion)
Team Fortress 2

I haven't had time to explore Half Life 2 or the accompanied episodes, but I plan to jump head first into the story this weekend. Another portion of the package is called "Portal"; this is a game that encompasses FPS + Puzzle Solving. You are given a portal gun that can shoot two rounds of ammunition. The first round is an entry portal that you can enter, and the second round is an exit portal where you come out of after entering the entrance.

One puzzle you might use the portal to solve, for example, is how to get up to a high ledge; well you could shoot an entrance portal at your feet, and an exit up to the ledge you need to get to, you'd then simply walk through the entrance on the ground and appear up on the ledge where you shot the exit. This adds a ton of options to the puzzle solving genre, and I'm glad to see innovation like this. I haven't explored the game too deeply yet, but this is another title I hope to dive more into soon.

Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer game that allows for extreme replayability. There's plenty of servers out there to join at the moment, and the built in voice chat is flawless. The team that usually sports the best teamwork wins. In TF2 it's not who you are, but who you have on your team, hence the name Team Fortress. I like this as it allows even the crappy aim'ers an important role in the match. There's 9 classes you can be during a map, in which there's 6 maps that shipped with the game, more to follow later.

The 9 classes are as follows...




There's obviously plenty of game time and replayability to be had with the package, so it's a definite recommended buy. If any of you already have the game, or are a general Steam user, then feel free to add me to your friends list; my name on Steam is Keystone

Friday, October 12, 2007

Personal Accountability

So you just ran a PUG and some jackass ninja-looted the item you wanted, what then? Well you could spam his name in general chat for a week straight like Winston from Sargeras in WoW, but that just lowers you to the ninja-looters level and doesn't accomplish much.

The feature I love the most about EvE Online would have to be the single server for all the players. If you know someone playing EvE then you can find them in the game, you don't have to worry about them being on your server because everyone is on a single, large server. This is a great feature for creating community amongst players.

Since EvE is an open PvP game, and everyone is on the same server, you'll notice less players acting the fool. This is because if you act a fool in EvE, then your name gets out there and people will either ignore you, or blow up your hard-earned ship and pod you (kill you).

I love this kind of personal accountability in EvE online, and it reminds me of Siege Perilous from Ultima Online which was a strictly PvP server (Felluca only, no Trammel) and you could only have one character. The fact you only had one character, and it was open PvP meant you better act nice if you don't want to be camped the rest of your days in the game.

I would like this personal accountability extended to other games, but without open PvP I can't see it happening much, but a single character alone would be a nice feature. I've also read in the upcoming DarkFall Online that you can have multiple characters, but they must share the same last name on a single account. This means if Bob Smith kills you, and an hour later you are grouped with a Jane Smith, then you know that's the same person from their last name. I thought this was a genius idea and really adds to personal accountability in the game.

People usually hate open PvP games because they think - notice I said "think", because they usually haven't played on one - the server would be full of asshats and idiots. However, anyone who has played an open PvP game / server will tell you people usually act more pleasant (unless they're enemies, in which there's no expectation for them to act friendly).

The bottom line is open PvP games / servers will have your friends act nicer, and your enemies act meaner. Since there's not much hope of any open PvP games coming out in the near future, I would like to see a single character, or mandatory last name within the game so there is at least SOME form of personal accountability.

Would you be apposed to a shared last name for all your WoW characters, or do you enjoy the anonymity of alts?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Game Update

I haven't purchased the "Orange Box" from Steam yet, but I have been playing the original Team Fortress. I can see a ton of balancing issues in the original TF that I hope are addressed in the new version. I'm assuming most problems are addressed based off all the praise the game has received.

I prefer the Soldier class over the rest because of the simplicity and devastation. They don't have any off-the-wall special abilities, but they get a rocket launcher that can 1-2 shot someone, and they move fast enough to jump circles around your opponent (unlike the Heavy Gunner).

I haven't figured out the medic yet, but I know they can poison, I just don't know how. I looked through the options screen, and checked all my weps, but I don't see how to apply poison to someone. I would like this tactic since I'm a DoT and run type of guy!

If I'm able to find the time this weekend to purchase and download Team Fortress 2, then I'll have some strats & screenshots up by Monday.

Monday, October 1, 2007

WoW Accounts Canceled

I've canceled all four of my World of Warcraft accounts. I didn't play all four, but I did pay for them. The extra accounts were for my family to play on, but as I am quitting due to financial reasons, I canceled all the accounts. I just have too much going on financially with the house payment and a million other bills.

I'm definitely not quitting online gaming, but I will, for the time being, play only free-to-play games. That doesn't mean I won't purchase new games to play, just not monthly-fee based MMO's. So trying TR is out of the question, along with all the upcoming MMO titles.

I plan to purchase the orange box from Steam to play the new Team Fortress 2, since I loved the original, and I've heard nothing but praise for the sequel!

I plan to dive a little more into Guild Wars since I bought it awhile back, but I never gave it a fair chance. Also, I'm going to log into Ultima Online more, since I have maxed out characters with tons of money. I play on the free server, so there's no monthly fee.

I will keep the blog updated with all my current gaming ventures, and any new games I come across. Also, just because I'm not playing MMOs anymore doesn't mean I stopped reading about them, so I still frequent all the blogs on my blogroll and many more.

In short, I'm still here, I'm still a PK, I'm just not massive anymore =)