Pretty sure this is my first ‘rant‘ on the updated site. Quite surprising really. I used to do quite a few of them on the old design. I guess I generally had a lots of insignificant things to spend far too much time losing my rag over than would ever sanely be considered necessary than I do these days. Going to have to change that. There’s plenty of non-events to blow out of all proportions and I’m just the man to do it!
The reason for today’s diatribe-lite is the comms chat on Team Fortress 2. I’ve been playing the game a fair bit recently. I’m still shockingly bad and I seem to have the ‘Wanted‘ effect on sniper bullets – as in they will bend around walls, rock formations and even other team-mates to find their way to my skull. To say I’m a bullet magnet would be unfair to the shot, flame, grenades, bombs, bats and axeheads I also manage to attract with alarming regularity. If I’m anywhere higher than mid-table on the team leaderboard, you know I’m stuck with a bunch of hopeless players sailing on the good ship Sure Loss.
But it’s the people who use the voice comms system to chat to team-mates that I want to talk about. Basically, I’ve boiled it down to a simple rule of thumb for spotting people really who shouldn’t use voice comms. It’s ‘Do you have voice comms?‘. If you answered ‘Yes!‘ (or most probably ‘Why, yes I do, I’m often regaling my team-mates with a highly amusing running commentary!”), then it’s fairly certain that you damn well shouldn’t be using voice comms because it’d be a miracle if you’re actually one of those one-in-a-million players who makes good use of it in-game.
There’s a pretty limited number of phrases you’ll hear over voice comms, it seems…
- “Spy!” – my personal favourite. Do they give you any indication of his location? Or what class it might be parading as? Do they bugger like. Pointing out there’s a spy is like pointing out every other damn thing you’ve passed as you’re running along to the capture point as it’s always a safe bet there’s a spy playing on the opposition. I fully expect to hear “Steps!”, “Barn!”, “Resupply Locker!” any one of these days.
- “Go! Go! Go!” or “Get ’em!” or “Capture the point!”. I call these the ‘stating the bloody obvious’ selection. The worse thing about the chuckleheads usually spouting these lines is they just love the sound of their own voice and they’re most probably tin-pot generals with it. I know hearing isn’t particularly finite but I always feel I’m wasting my ears just having to suffer these idiots.
- “Mmfghmuuhhgaafurrmt!”. Yeah, I’ve no idea what these fools are saying but if they’re trying to pull off the perfect impression of the Pyro, they’re almost perfect. Seriously, if you’re going to pollute the game with your voice, at least make sure you’ve got the mic set up properly and all the volume levels checked. If you’re too quiet, mumble like you’ve been kicked in the mouth by a mule or just sound like you’re playing through a flash flood that’s submerged your room, shut the fuck up, you’re not helping anyone.
- “Spy! To your left!”. Probably worse than the first case as these people believe everyone else playing the game possesses special psychic powers that allows them to divine who the hell they’re talking about. End result, the fifteen other players on the team are suddenly distracted checking to their left and take a bullet. Sorry… fourteen players take a bullet, one takes a knife to the back as the damn spy has circled around him already.
And this is before you’ve even got on to the morons who think they’re at an open-mic night at the comedy club and are providing lacklustre improv entertainment to their team-mates. No, you’re not funny. You never were. Go back to applying homophobic spray images to the base walls.
Sometimes, you come across a real gem of a player. They provide useful information on opposition movements with reference to actual locations in the map. They offer up strategy and advice (not in that “Do this… NOW!” way that makes you just want to do the opposite right off the bat, either). And mostly, they’re speaking clearly while they do it. But these people are soooo few and far between.
So if you’re one of the clueless listed above, stand. Stand up from your computer desk and slowly turn in a circle. Keep turning. Hopefully you’ll not notice the cable of your voice comms headset tightening around your neck as you turn and with any luck, we’ll be short one moron with a mic before too long.