I’ve been a vegetarian for over twenty years now. I’m very happy being vegetarian. I don’t expect to ever not be vegetarian. But if we were to sit down to dinner at a restaurant, you’d probably only become aware of this fact if you asked why I declined to try a bite of your ribeye. Sure I went through my soapbox period early on, but it doesn’t take long to realize that people are more happy to engage in discussions of belief systems when the person they’re conversing with isn’t a preachy asshole. All the same, the stereotype persists, and not without reason.
While this tendency is often associated with veganism (amongst other things), I’ve come to find anyone who tends to make their life a single-issue identity to be at best one-dimensional, at worst downright unpleasant. I find something similar with players who feel the need to get political in their username, generally at present with some variation of “TRUMP.”
Yep, I’m connecting entertainment and politics for just a moment here. There are a great many Trump supporters out there who are good, decent people- for better or worse, ours is a binary system. And then there are Trump supporters like this guy. And I have to think that when I run into people ingame for whom that visible, upfront identity is so important that they name their pilot or clan after it, they’re probably closer to the latter than they are to Bob Dole thy Penius.
I’ll never forget Bob Dole thy Penius. Ever. There I was on the Darktide server of Asheron’s Call, many years ago, way out in the sticks killing mobs to level up. Darktide was a permanent PVP server, a ruthless and unforgiving place of violence and shifting alliances. Stonehold was a (generally) anti-PK controlled town and home of my guild, The Peacekeepers.
And there, on the remote Northwestern shores, I encountered a player called Bob Dole thy Penius running up the shoreline. Run speed was an improvable skill in that game, so a lower-level player like me could only hope to run for so long that the pursuer gave up and found something better to do.
Bob Dole thy Penius had nothing better to do.
I can look back and laugh about that, even now a great many years on. Random encounters like that made up the tapestry of that incredible, early MMO game. Which brings us today, where I played a game of War Robots that I likely will not be remembering fondly down the line.
I spawned in Shenzhen, dropping- as ever- into my Galahad for the opener. I noticed behind me a Cossack, piloted by tri-TRUMP-phant. The timer ran down, the battle was on, and….boom.
Three Cossacks, dead on the ground. I headed for the first home beacon, wondering if he was just trying some YouTube stunt. The One-Cossack Challenge! We’d seen as much on the Wiki Forum recently with Gareths, so although it was somewhat annoying in terms of my win/loss chances, I could at least understand what was going on- or so I thought.
My moment to look around at the dead Cossack husks prevented me from getting credit for the home beacon cap, as a Griffin turned it blue before I’d arrived. But as late, I’ve noticed I care less and less about beacon capping. Not in the sense that it’s not important, but in the sense that I don’t care who gets credit, I would rather win. If I see a teammate veer off to cap a beacon these days, I’m like as not likely to let him have sole credit rather than delay my attack for co-credit. That’s normal squad behavior, I’m just doing it in random drops as well.
My teammates seemed to swing wide out to the flanks, and the Reds were content to hang back, so I took a gamble and ran in to cap it, then fell to some entrenched midrangers. It quickly flipped to Red thanks to a Stalker.
Out came the Lancelot. My sledgehammer, the Lance excels in positions that require more mailed gauntlet than velvet glove. It was to be a suicide run, however, as my teammates were nowhere to be seen. My misjudgment, in that they were conducting flanking actions, so I deserved what I got. And what I got was getting meched when I’d just turned the beacon back to white.
My midrange Natasha took a good chunk of life off the enemy midrangers across the quad, but there were simply more of them than there were of me. I knocked two within a third of their life, but they were able to Trident me out after I let myself get caught exposed moving from one cover to another for a better angle.
The Aphid Patton- my hangar’s newest addition- actually acquitted itself well, hitting for decent damage when I skillfully aimed my shots. Or, perhaps fairer to say, when the enemy wasn’t expecting a cloud of Aphids to come at them from behind the wall of the quad. I certainly overexposed my Patton, with its slower movement speed, by working inside the courtyard, but did no small amount of damage to the unsuspecting.
Finally, the weaker of my two Galahads took the field, and by this point it was a rolling fight. It engaged in the open courtyard, and went down swinging. My game was over. It had already been weird, but somehow tapping through spectator mode made it feel like I was looking at the Island of Misfit Toys.
The lack of a functioning timer made this a pretty surreal game, and I wasn’t sure it was ever going to end until a mech-out. No thanks to me, however, our side managed to hold on by our fingernails and grind out the win.
And that’s about when I realized that there was no one-Cossack challenge, just some nimrod looking for the express lane to the Leavers’ Queue.
Now writing this a few days later, I can chuckle about it. But here’s to hoping my little jaunt to the War Robots Twilight Zone was a one-time affair.
Juan_arias is my Pilot of the Week this week. Seven kills, four beacons, a ton of damage… that was ten Gold well-earned and well-won. After cycling through spectator mode I came to rest on his Plasmahad (pictured above) fighting fearlessly against two of the Reds. The game might well have gone the other way if not for his contribution. Congratulations, Juan_arias!