Imagine for a moment that you’re an aquatic predator, out in the ocean. Yeah, I know, nobody told you that tonight was LARP night at the Diary, but stay with me here, I promise it’s relevant.
So you’re swimming along, and see on the sea bed what looks to be a banded sole. As a flatfish with poisonous spines, that’s one better left alone! So you keep on swimming.
Hey, what’s that up ahead? Something tasty? You get a little closer, then see instead that it’s a deadly lionfish. Whoops! Surely your fortunes will change, right? So you keep on going.
Rounding a coral reef structure, you spot danger up ahead! A dangerous sea snake on the ocean floor. Deciding the area is just too treacherous, you head up and out to better hunting ahead.
And in doing so…you just missed three good meals.
For those not acquainted, meet the mimic octopus. The world is an endlessly fascinating place, and anyone acquainted with things like walking sticks and chameleons will know that in nature, things aren’t always what they seem. Now let’s bring that a little closer to home.
You might, peering in from the outside, conclude that I’ve taken the week off. No updates, falling cups in-game. Even my posts on the Wiki Forum have fallen off a cliff (though in my defense, my moderation hasn’t faltered). What’s going on? Has your humble author joined the exodus of players scaling back their involvement in the wake of the new matchmaker system?
If anything, I’ve spent more time on War Robots-related things this week than I have at any point in the past. So…what gives?
I’m glad you asked.
In clan news, I’ve had a pretty eventful week since the last update. You might recall I mentioned last week that I had bid the Wiki Clan (2Wik) adieu, and thrown my lot in with the new iOS chapter of the Android clan, Aurora Nova. I had good reasons for doing so, not least because some amazing people I’d gotten to know on the Wiki Forum had signed on to get things running.
The first big change was that I was very quickly offered a position of Officer within the clan by Dangit, the clan leader. After all, between the blog and moderation at the Wiki Forum, I wasn’t exactly an unknown commodity. I was happy to accept, but had no way of knowing we’d have a crisis of leadership right around the corner.
Just a few days later, I was stunned to learn of the sudden departure of Dangit, for reasons entirely his own. He was one of the people I was really excited to play alongside, and within days of joining we suddenly had a vacancy at the top. Because of my organizational experience- and because the other clan Officer was himself already a serving Officer on the Android side and didn’t want to overextend himself- I was offered the position of “interim leader.”
As of today, the word “interim” has dropped off.
I’ve gone from clan outsider to clan leader in the space of a couple weeks. It’s been a challenge, but one I’m excited about. After all, as a former owner of a comic and game store, community building is a skill I got to develop on-the-job. I have a lot of things planned, and therein lies the answer to the riddle of where I’ve been this past week:
Yup, I built the clan a website.
One of my longstanding life philosophies dictates that if you want to see something in your life that isn’t there, it’s up to you to make it happen. That is precisely why Gepard Diaries exists- because I wanted to see a War Robots-related blog and couldn’t find what I wanted. Similarly, I thought the clan needed a website. It didn’t have one, so now it does.
I’m a big believer in the overall health of the wider community as well. I’ll be excited to see if what we’re doing catches on with more clans, because we all prosper together when you harness creativity. If any clans out there are interested in learning how to get this going, feel free to comment below!
Now, let’s talk robots, eh? Not a lot of changes to the hangar this week, but let’s talk about some of them.
I’ve retired the Hydra Doc, but he went out on top. This was entirely a reflection of me wanting to diversify my Doc gameplay, so off came the Hydras I worked so hard to level to a respectable point, and out from the mothballs came the Tulumbas.
This represents a substantial change in Doc playstyle. Whereas before, the Hydra Doc had the ability to engage from nearly anywhere, the Tulumbas Doc has to roll up the sleeves and get the hands dirty a little. I say a little, because the range of 500m still allows for plenty of distance between you and your target, but you do have to have a clear line of sight to light up your target.
This severely limits your target selection. You can’t just toggle around the battlefield looking for the terminally injured to bump off. Of course, the trade-off is substantial. You don’t have to wait to finish the work of others, but are in fact a force in your own right. Two of my Tulumbas are at level 8, the other two just a level behind, and I’ll likely be continuing this setup until I’ve attained sufficient experience to write a companion guide to the Hydra Doc guide I wrote a few weeks ago.
I continue to sit on a mighty wide fence on this little fella. This is one of those builds that when it’s good, it’s great, but when it’s bad it’s terrible. The rest of the time it’s just mediocre.
Thus far, the amount of “good” games I’ve had with it are admittedly in the minority. When it was new and novel last week, it was a high-priority option in each game. Now, it’s typically the last bot I select before meching out. If I’m being honest with myself, it still has a lot to prove.
The problem is, it’s just so damn fun to play. In a recent game on Yamantau, I ran into some heavy bot with a Chimera loadout. You know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and none of it making a whole lot of cohesive sense. All I know is that it had a single Gekko, a Nashorn, and God only knows what else. The pilot parked at the far end of the ramp and just pecked at people, and the game was well enough along that I felt happy to bring out the Geppo.
I went right up to the corner of our spawn platform, and just laid into the Chimera. Almost immediately, the pecking stopped for the team, and focused entirely on me. Thanks to the Gepard’s high mobility, I was able to duck in and out of cover, waiting for the triple Gekkos to recharge, so at first his counterattacks just whiffed. The pilot was no dummy though, and he soon began synchronizing his attacks with the recharge time of my weapons…
…but what a colossal waste! I mean, a heavy bot tied up waiting for a Gepard to pop its head above the parapet? I’m increasingly coming to believe that the Gekko really is the troller’s choice, that most annoying of all War Robots weaponry. Credit to my adversary, he did eventually kill me. I’ve found little incentive to level up the Gepard past level 5. It gets no faster, and it’s already a tin can in terms of health. What’s the point? If they get me, I’m dead either way, so I’ve preferred to focus on leveling up other things.
I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to ride out the Geppo. Fun is important, but no matter how fun the bot and loadout combination, not being able to contribute in a meaningful way is a drag. All I can promise right now is that my next rogue build won’t be a Noricum/Gekko Jesse, but everything else is on the table.
I’ve had a longstanding love/hate relationship with the Zeus for awhile now. I’ve played a lot of War Robots games, but a moment I’ll never forget was on Springfield, when I was chasing a critically wounded adversary which had burned me down pretty well. Another shot would do it, and he was about 100m away.
My Zeus came online. In my best Darth Vader voice, I shouted I have you now! I fired, the bolt connected…
…and nothing happened. I had direct line of sight at point-blank range on a field of green grass, and the Zeus whiffed on damage. This is the well-known “Zeus bug” that Pixonic has advised the community that they cannot replicate, but it’s beyond doubt in my mind.
So when I’d amassed enough Workshop Points to afford a Trident, I executed. This saw me running a Zeus/Trident Carnage, which was a little odd, but I’ve since obtained a second Trident. I like the Trident Carnage, but I don’t love it the same way I love the Tulumbas Doc. I’ve talked before about playing the “fun” bot versus the “good” bot, and this guy definitely falls into the latter camp.
Finally, there’s more and more speculation about what we’ll see with the upcoming “dash bots” that are still popping up on the test server. Since a lot of folks seem to have their pet theories about how Pixonic is going to handle rollout, here’s mine.
New bot rollouts will most often be “expansions” of three bots, one of each size, as we saw with the Wild Bunch. The new expansion will be an Event currency exclusive, which will push the last expansion down into broader availability.
So when the Dashes are launched, expect to see the Wild Bunch move down into Gold. Those who are wanting more from Workshop Points are probably going to have to be satisfied with what’s already available.
Or who knows, I could be completely wrong.
Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time.