Watching over Overwatch

Yey, a gaming post!

So I identify as a gamer, I love gaming and my PC is very much what it is due to gaming.  However, I also identify as a social being and as a social being, my gaming is regularly impacted.  Normally just after an announcement that I will be gaming/streaming more…I am invariably busy socially.

Couple that with having no car recently and the train journey to work causing me to lose over 2hrs more per day and my gaming time recently has suffered.

I do, however, keep up with what has been going on with my fave games.  Specifically, this means Overwatch at the moment.  There have been a couple of patches and the introduction of Season 2 competitive since I last played.  Heroes have been nerfed, boosted and nerfed again..this will be never ending for Blizzard, as you will never get the balance 100% correct and every change, however minor, will have at least one set of people losing their frickin’ minds.

I did see an interesting video from Stylosa (Unit Lost Gaming) where he refers to Play of the Mercy.  Essentially he finds it exceedingly annoying that Mercy players can just hide out waiting for their team to die, bounce around the corner and resurrect everyone just after the opposition has blown all of the Ultimates to stop/force the push.  He then asks for people in the comments to offer up their thoughts on changing Mercy (if they feel it necessary).  He suggested a casting time for the resurrect or something else that would introduce a delay, the thinking being that it would give the opposition a small chance to take Mercy out before all of their hard work pressing Q was undone.  He also mentions a possible limit to the number of heroes that can be resurrected.

I do understand what he saying, and it is frustrating sometimes…but it’s also frustrating when any other ultimate fires off that can’t be stopped.  Most of them are instant after all.  What he fails to address, however, is what goes into making Mercy be able to resurrect in the first place.

Now, I am pretty much a Lucio main…so I am support focused, I will freely admit that.  That said, I am an average to below average Mercy.  The skill involved in spreading the healing love, when to switch to damage boost, when to risk zipping over to someone closer to the front line and risk death…essentially, actively participating to the game, cannot be underestimated.  Let’s not forget, building your Ultimate requires activity.

If a Mercy player was to spend the whole time at the back line, healing ranged characters and hiding…the Ultimate wouldn’t build much beyond it’s standard rate.  Meaning you might be lucky to get 1 or maybe 2 resurrects per game.

That ignores the fact that the “hiding” that a Mercy needs to do, needs to be close enough to the action to resurrect everyone…you can do it from behind a wall, but there is a range limit.  Getting into that kind of position on a lot of maps, without being seen and focused down, is an art form all of its own.  It also ignores the fact that the video implies that playing Mercy and getting POTG is easy…then a few seconds later refers to himself as a “Terrible Mercy”…unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways.

Now, do I think that the Mercy Ultimate is perfect?  Not at all, but I do think it doesn’t need much doing to it.  When I watch live streams of competitive matches with the pros, you know that they are able to, fairly accurately, work out when Mercy has her Ultimate.  They do this with most Ultimates.  Generally they see it from positioning, or from another Ultimate dropping (combos are fun) etc etc.

So the exact problem that Stylosa is describing isn’t really an issue when you are playing Overwatch with something other than pride on the line.  Tactically, resurrect is a difficult one.  Drop the resurrect in the wrong team fight and you can throw a match…the same goes for holding it back too long.  You really have to be clever with it.

I do think, though, that it should be changed a little bit.  I don’t want to see it slowed down, I don’t want to see the radius reduced…nor do I want to have it limited to X number of heroes.  I would like to see it have a cost and therefore make it a real tactical choice.  For me, if I am resurrected by Mercy, my Ultimate charge should be reset to zero or 50% of what it was…something along those lines.  If I am killed, and go back to spawn, my Ultimate charge stays where it is.  I think that is OK, because I have to get myself back into the fight to use it.  If a team drops a load of Ultimates to, for example, stop a push…having Mercy resurrect them all and have them immediately be able to press Q is where I do tend to agree with Stylosa.  That is frustrating and, perhaps, a little unfair.

If a Mercy using her Ultimate meant that I no longer had my Ultimate available, it would make the usage of resurrect an incredibly tactical decision.  Do you go for the res and try to keep the push going or is there enough time available to head back to spawn, keep your ultimate fully charged and head back into the fray.

It’s not perfect, but it could be a good change.

Other than that, leave her alone…She is most definitely not an easy character to play.

Survival Goodness

You don't even get one of these!!

You don’t even get one of these!!

Survival games on PC are all the rage at the moment.  Mostly with Zombies, but there are a few non-zombie titles too.

Essentially, you are dumped into a world with little or nothing and sent on your way.  Most of them will include crafting, base building, hunting (or indeed being hunted), differing weather conditions and, in a lot of cases, other players.  Some games will have you figure out what you can craft from what, others will employ a kind of levelling up where you get some points and a finite amount of choices.  All of them will involve some level of grind (you need materials to be able to craft things after all).  However, in all of them, the focus is on crafting and gathering.  Even in PVP you need to craft more weapons, better weapons, better armour, some bullets etc.

This is where I should switch off and, quite possibly, fall asleep.  These kind of games are everything I have spent my gaming life trying to avoid.  I have been an FPS player since original Doom, always multiplayer and always looking for a game that gives me the option of a 20 minute “quick fix”…even if I end up then playing for 10 hours.  Occasionally, and MMO would hold my interest briefly, and then back to FPS.

And yet, I love Survival Games now.  I have lots of them (although I confess that the more unforgiving ones are not being played a lot at the moment…yes, I am a scaredycat).

I blame FrankieOnPCin1080p and Sl1pg8r personally.  They are both responsible for my love of Ark: Survival Evolved and Frankie is the reason I bought Arma 2 for the DayZ mod.  They both seemed to be having a great laugh, so I thought “I’ll have me some of that”.

After getting Ark and DayZ Mod, I figured I would try H1Z1, which I also then Miscreated happened, Rust and most recently 7 Days to Die.  I can’t explain it.  I know I should hate these games..but I don’t.  They are fun, even the grindy bits.

The key, is to get some people together that enjoy gaming and that you can have a laugh with and, even the most boring sounding game in the world can be fun.

To that end, I will be posting shortly about the Discombobulatory Ramblings servers that are available.

In the meantime, take some time to head over to Frankie & Sl1pg8rs’ channels, look for their Ark playlists, make yourself comfortable and settle in for a bloody good laugh.  Then, when you buy the game (on PC), let me know and we can join up :D

See you soon

The Laughing Wolf gets all social..and stuff

Social Media 01So, after years of blindly ignoring social media, YouTube and all that other guff..I have taken to streaming live on Twitch whenever I game.  I have precisely 2 followers and I think that I maxed out at 3 people in my channel so far…including me.

You know what, I don’t care.  I enjoy it, and that’s all that matters.  Charlotte and I have even done a video for YouTube together and, guess what, it was a taste test :D

We have all of this technology available to us, and we decided to have some fun with it.  If we will get around to making lots of videos, I don’t know.  I suspect it will be like most things we do, when the mood grabs us and all that.

I have gotten back into my hobbies (yes, gaming qualifies), so I may add the odd blog post about those.

Meh, enough about that…anyone wanna play Dirty Bomb?  See you in there :D

Back once again…

Just recieved another Facebook group invitation…for the renegade master (apologies for the terrible 80’s song reference).

Ok, ok, it’s been a while…I know this, you know this…and yet I write it anyway.

So what has been happening in the land of the Laughing Wolf?   Well..I am officially now bumming around Frankfurt as I am out of work.   It’s not as bad as I thought it might be at first and it is giving me a chance to recharge and more importantly….reflect.

I am giving serious consideration to an out and out break from IT…provided I can support myself and my kids.   I have been under unbelievable stress for the last two years, and am not entirely sure that I want that for myself anymore.   The only problem is living in Germany..once they get your CV at the unemployment place, they pretty much will only consider you for positions that you are skilled for.   Not too much of a problem in normal circumstances and certainly better than being sent to apply for a job as an underwater basket weaver or something when you are in the UK.

Admittedly, I am now being forced into some serious belt tightening exercises..something I have always allowed my ample girth to stop me from doing up until now ;-)

Now onto rant mode….Facebook.

At what point do we think that you can update too much?   Could it be when you feel the need to wish Happy Birthday to your 2 year old.   Not announcing that it is the birthday of your 2 year old, I can kind of understand that…especially if you are horrendously busy trying to prepare a party etc…but actually wishing Happy Birthday to him.   I mean, does he have an active Facebook profile?   If he does then you are raising one ignorant super-genius kid…they didn’t even say thanks.

That said, you did manage to achieve a relatively high number of “Dickhead likes this” thumbs ups though…way to go!   Are we really saying that these people like the fact that your child has managed to get to the age of 2?   Do they doubt your parenting so much that they feel they should celebrate when anything you have to rear   lasts more than 2 weeks….sure you can’t seem to even keep a cactus alive more than 5 minutes and your back garden is what Steven King based Pet Sematary on, but still….feed them, change them, play with them, make sure they go to school (eventually…especially if you don’t want to end up in jail) and you can’t go wrong really..

It gets right on my tits….people will facebook or twitter every time they or some snot nosed relative manages to wipe their own arse unaided, like it’s a bloody masters graduation ceremony or something.

It’s almost as bad as joining a group, where the criteria for doing so seems to lie entirely with making sure that the group is exactly the sort of group that people on your friends list think you should be joining.   We will ignore the fact that 99% of these groups have absolutely zero affiliation outside of Facebook itself, so they are all just pat yourself on the back self-sanctimonious coffee house smoke filled crap.   You would be aswell to forward on those fucking chain emails that insist that Microsoft will donate ?2,000,000 to the Society for Anaemic Grasshopper-Legged Lesser Spotted Wombat Conjuctivitis Research Center in Botswana, for every message forwarded.

Yeah, let’s make a group to protect the <INSERT PERSON AND/OR GROUP> of <INSERT LOCATION> from <INSERT TRAVESTY HERE> because a group of lifeless, friendless tossers who have stopped leaving the house for anything less than mini kievs can succeed where the police and/or government fucking couldn’t…you care..we get it…we do honestly.

If you do follow this notion and decide that joining these groups is really your thing….please don’t expect me to join, or even be grateful for, the 20 or so a day that you spam me with.   It doesn’t make me care less…it really doesn’t.   Let’s be honest, if I have managed to spurn the advances of the combined might of Viagra/Cialis and any number of tempting weightloss and penis enlargement patches…you can imagine how little chance groups, with titles and descriptions WRITTEN ENTIRELY IN CAPS or with teribal missspelingz everwere, stand.

Hmm that felt good….maybe I should get back into this blogging malarky properly

This rant brought to you by an LW idea :-)   Cheers matey, I look forward to destroying Frankfurt with you in a few weeks

I better be careful

CaughtAccording to BBC News bloggers are being arrested all over the place.   Sure, right now it is for what the authorities percieve as causing civil unrest.   How long before I get arrested before causing people to riot in the desperate search for something actually funny?

It’s an interesting twist though when you think about it.   Let’s face it, the Internet provides this supposed shield of anonymity, it’s supposed to be the last bastion of free speech and expression.   It comes to something when simply voicing your opinion on what you view to be a violation of human rights results in your arrest and possible jail time.

I am lucky, I am British, live in Germany, my webserver is with a Polish company and the server is based in Germany somewhere.   I have no issues really, beyond normal legality of course.   I am rarely controversial and will err on the side of humour when at all possible.   That said, I have the option to blog about pretty much what I want without fear of persecution for my beliefs….Every time I post I open myself up to ridicule and choose to do so, and that is pretty much the worst I have to worry about.

It beggars belief that some of these “Nations” feel that their very society could be at risk by the actions of a few people voicing an opinion.   That doesn’t smack to me of a group of people that are entirely confident that their actions would stand up to worldwide scrutiny.   Lets face it, human rights organisations are exposing violations of human rights at a far higher frequency than any single blogger can achieve.   Maybe they feel that, by censoring the people living amongst them, they can dismiss any outsiders opinion as simply misunderstood cultural differences.

It makes no sense if you apply even the smallest amount of logic.   Arresting someone for writing things like this will draw far more attention than simply letting them get on with it.   It is by no means the same thing, but back in the 80s a song was banned in the UK…Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood…it was probably destined for the top 10 and in fact had topped out at number 6.   Banning it instantly made it number 1 for 5 weeks.   It is no different with these blogs…leave them alone and only a few (percentage of the world wise anyway) people will read it.   Arrest and incarcerate the writer and you bring them infamy and half the planet now want to see what was so bad.

Ahh, I see what I did there…logical politics…an oxymoron if ever there was one.

I have absolutely no idea where I am going with this really, I started off with every intention of cracking a joke about my terrible writing style and pending arrest, but realised real quick that this topic pisses me off.   There certainly isn’t much I can do about it, if anything.   I would like to think that, if I could, I would though.

The biggest reported jail sentence give for this is 8 years…that is from one country prosecuting a blogger.   Seeing as I have “spoken out” now about more than one country (technically…although I don’t name them), I could be put away for longer than your average murderer.

Makes you think doesn’t it.

I am off to find somewhere suitable to hide.   Oh, and don’t worry, my next post won’t be anywhere near as serious….I don’t guarantee funny, but I can definately say it won’t be so serious.


Are you a Copy-Cat?

Over at [15 Minute Lunch] there is a regular spot about google searches. Obviously my blog is relatively new, and doesn’t have all that much content, or visitors….

Nevertheless, I like the idea of seeing what people are looking for when they stumble across my little entry into the blogosphere. So with that in mind I regularly review the search terms. Now most of them so far are pretty dull (even to me). People hit my page when searching about Germany, Lee Evans, laughing and for some reason I can’t quite figure out….Steve.

When all said and done, I am not entirely surprised these days to discover a large number of people getting here by searching for “Drunk”

However, a number of them concerned me slightly. I mean who is it that searches for this stuff? And should their nurse really not be monitoring their net useage closer? Anyway, in the true spirit of plagiarism, let me address some of the issues plaguing my visitors…

punishment for joyriding
Well, in all likelihood, you will be banned from driving. Obviously this is the best deterrent available known to the police force and lawmakers…

“You coming out car stealing tonight Jon?”
“Naah, I can’t. I’m banned innit”

an old film when a group of friends from a club sneak into there broth
This is a difficult one, but I am guessing it would National Lampoons Scottish Soup Vacation, where a group of friends….naah I can’t do it.

iv morphine drip theft
Are you a police officer searching the internet for patterns of theft that can be linked back to a potential subject? Maybe you are the thief that is looking for surefire ways to snaffle the “gear” without anyone noticing. Either way, think of the poor patient…it may be me, and I wouldn’t take too kindly to the removal of my wonder juice should I be in hospital at the time.

bar drinks served in drips syringe
I have known a few bars that server smaller measures than they are supposed to, but very few would be able to get away with serving drips. That said, I was given a shot of whiskey delivered by a (needleless) syringe a number of weeks back. The effect was not great, not least of all as I hate whiskey…personally I don’t see a future in it – Unless the syringe holds a liter of beer…maybe this exists already in some Medical Universitys Student Union bar.

i went over a red light at a pelican crossing how to know if there are cameras on it
Most people would have checked in their rearview mirror for the tell-tale flash. Speed cameras are not usually known for subtlety. Neither are traffic cameras, they are huge monstrosities…we could go for a predictive analysis based on the relative size of cameras in the area, along with examples of known camera based traffic light locations and work out an algorythm to determine optim……….screw it – Just remember the flashy light thing..

temperature in frankfurt on saturday 7th june
It was a beautifully sunny day, temperatures over 28 degrees with light showers in the late evening. I can’t quite imagine why you would want to know…person living in the USA. Could this be an internet stalker thing? Did you get told something by someone over here that you can’t quite trust?   Was it me?   I lie a lot…maybe.

wolfie ass traffic
I honestly don’t know what to say. I mean sure, there will probably be a punk band somewhere with this for a name, but what else could have caused this search? And why for the love of all things spangly would you visit a blog based on these search terms. I worry for you my friend, I am also concerned that there is a road somewhere full to bursting with fast moving pictures of my ass. I think I was just sick a little in my mouth…

honesty is the best policy speech
Now, I have had about 10 hits based on searches that are referring to this. I am seriously assuming that you would like to show a speech to someone to highlight how being honest is indeed the best policy.   Clearly you wouldn’t be looking to nick ideas from people?? Wouldn’t that kind of defeat the purpose? Which is why I am glad that the 10 people searching, were clearly all of the mind to use what they found as an educational tool…giving full and frank credit to their source. And if any of you have used any of my stories in your speech…I want royalties :-)

buy strong german applekorn
Is there another kind? That said, as a pastime this comes highly recommended and trust me, if you get the Berentzen brand you can’t go wrong….you can go into a coma..but that isn’t the same as wrong ;-)

More to follow in about 6 months when the real weirdos will have had time to get to my site in bizarre ways.

It's good to be back

Well, I am finally (and this time completely unexpectedly) back on the net. Last week I had a scheduled appointment for an engineer and he never showed. So this week I was waiting for a text message to confirm an appointment, and it didn’t arrive.

Unfortunately on Sunday I fell ill, but I went to work on Monday anyway, struggled through until the end of the day, despite being advised to go home by one of my bosses, and gave up on Tuesday and stayed home to recover.   I wasn’t much better on Wednesday, so stayed off again.   Around 11am I am woken up by the doorbell and am confronted by 2 engineers, here to switch on my phone/internet.

I can honestly say it made me feel better for about an hour or so, but being ill I couldn’t really enjoy it much unfortunately.   Typical.

It is also typical of German Customer Service that they don’t show up for scheduled appointments, and then turn up when I would have been at work as no appointment had been made.

It may explain the surprised look on their faces when I actually answered the door.

Still, whilst not 100%, I headed in to work yesterday and today and am now feeling better, so I should be able to enjoy my internet this weekend 8-)

As a side note, in less than 24 hours I managed to download 47.5gb of *things* 8-O

I r love teh internet5

And so it begins again…

So, I should be getting my internet this week sometime (sound familiar?).   I don’t know if the engineer will bother turning up this time, but I hope so.

I always knew that the internet was vital to my life, but I hadn’t realised just how much until now.   The blog is a small part of it, but becoming more important.   But it is things like my VoIP phone, contacting friends and family, emails, my websites, entertainment.

Pretty much everything I do involves the internet in some way.   This past few weeks has been like losing an arm.   Sad but true.

I am not the most social person some times, I know that.   I lock myself away in my apartment quite often and only surface if invited.   I enjoy watching the football and having a couple of beers.   I enjoy going out and getting wrecked sometimes, but more often than not I would rather be at home.

Since splitting from Sarah, I haven’t been able to retreat to the sanctity of the apartment completely, as my online life isn’t available to me.   I think it is causing me to become more stressed and (god forbid) more insular.   I have no interest in relationships, a lack of interest in socialising and things at work are causing more stress for me than they realistically should.   I am pretty sure that this is directly attributable to the fact that I don’t have my normal outlet for entertainment and relaxation.

I am rapidly running out of shows to watch that I downloaded before I left the old apartment, the money I was expecting to send to Sarah and the kids from the apartment deposit, doesn’t look like it will end up in my pocket.   A number of things at work are really aggravating me to the point of distraction and if I have to use the shitty PCs at the internet cafe much more I will probably go postal.

Still, it’s not all bad.   I have formed a bond with my cats !?!   You see on films the crazy cat lady – I am well on my way to being crazy cat guy.   I talk to them ffs, regularly, I even ask questions and am more than a little surprised when they offer nothing beyond a purr.

Dammit T-Com, don’t you see what you are doing to me here?

On the plus side, the stress (self inflicted or otherwise) has allowed me to lose some weight….which is nice.   I am kind of able to satiate my net needs at work and the internet cafe, but   I kind of feel like the lead character of Moonlight.   A vampire that survives on pre-packed blood instead of the fresh stuff.   Sure, he can survive on it, but when he is out in the desert and needs to feed, it is a bit shit to miss out on the good stuff….

Where am I going with this post?   I have no idea…and neither will anyone reading this.   I can’t even dredge any humour out of the situation at the moment.

Sorry internet, I am sure I will be ecstatic and mildly humourous when you return to me….hopefully this week.

German Customer Service…

Seems to be a bit of an oxymoron to me. I do not have the internet as arranged. I now have to wait an additional week to get it sorted, as the engineer that was supposed to be at my apartment between 08:00 and 16:00 did not show up.

He did however find the time to message his call center that I wasn’t in. Not that he left a “We called you were out” card. He would have actually had to be there to do that.

Deutsche Telekom. Are. Bastards.

With any luck the engineer next week will actually do his job and show up.