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Tiv Got Her Groove Back

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tiv Got Her Groove Back

Yesterday I shared a bit about my first experience playing at Zero Gravity in Albany, but now I have to talk a bit about what took place when I returned for a second consecutive day of laser tag while I was out in the capital region. In no uncertain terms...I got my groove back, big time.

I walked in and said hello to some of the staff I had met the night before. Unlike my usual Saturday night haunts they do not offer an all night special on the weekends (though they do on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which might be a reason to end my work day at my secondary office now and again). So, without a "start to finish" commitment I just bought a three game package for the night and waited to be called in to the first game. With around 30 people in each game it was busier than the night before and there were plenty of targets. Of course that makes a difference when you are going for high scores...but what happened tonight took me beyond my typical expectation (based on previous experience in different arenas). Of course I always say that score is relative to the average/expectations of the specific arena and they are not all apples to apples. But regardless, I was elated when this happened in my first game of the night...

High Score.jpg

(To clarify, these are two out of four screen shots representing the game because

they can't fit all of the player results on one screen. There were 29 in this game.)

I played as Darth Vader. And you are reading that right. I racked up 33,500 in a single game, which is more than the second and third place finishers in that game combined...unbelievable! From what I understand that is not unheard of in this arena, but still awesome on any scale and a score I've never hit elsewhere. One question I really should have asked for the sake of objective comparison is what is the point value of hitting the packs and for hitting the base? If any of the game masters from Zero Gravity are reading this please drop me a note with that info.

So I left that game recognizing that the previous night when I thought I "tore it up"...not even in the same stratosphere. And anyone who has been following what's been going on with me the last couple of weeks knows I've been in a bit of a "second place slump", so to nail that game made me feel like my old mantra was relevant again..."that's how this Tivia rolls". It also jump started my momentum for the night.

I won the next two games as well. Three in a row for my three game run with my next two scores being between 21,000-22,000 points...again the scale of the arena is an important factor, but this night really helped give me back some of my laser tag mojo. After playing in the same place fairly regularly for the last month maybe I just needed a change of scenery to get back on track. That's what I felt happened last night.

Something else happened...I was able to observe the playing style of some of the Saturday night crowd and a few things surprised me. First, by my estimation nobody was even concerning themselves with taking the base. I'm accustomed to that being the very first move with everyone immediately either going after that goal or trying to protect that goal, but not once in the two nights I was there did I ever encounter a guarded base. Collectively they might just as well have said "free candy, please take it". Now, we didn't get the full spiel each time, which is typical if the players have all played there before, but if you are a regular player, how is that not something you are aware of?

I went in employing a degree of strategy that I drew out on a map a few weeks ago. For the last two games I used the "mix-in" technique to follow the opposing team's flow pattern once in the arena...the colors to execute this were actually the same as when I drew it out red vs. blue, just starting on opposite sides. After zapping a few of the opposing team players out for good measure at the start I then went straight for the base. Finally, it was off to the bridge to get some altitude above the players below. While in the first game there were not so many people paying attention to the bridge, the second two games there were a ton of people under foot...literally. It was interesting to me that the rules clearly state some of the typical things like "no running, no foul language" and even "no following" (which I think is the least relevant to safety), but apparently things like "no sitting, kneeling or lying down" were not on the radar. To me, these are the things I would take greatest issue with, but in at least one of the games there were people practically camping on the bridge (and by that I don't just mean waiting for an opponent to pass by. I mean they were sitting on the floor...they could have had a tent and some toasted marshmallows) and I was tempted to raise the concern because they were literally close to getting stepped on. Don't get me wrong. They were playing the game, not just having a social chat or anything, but no wonder racking up the points against them was easier...although they were trying to use this position for benefit, but you just can't get much game action like this.

People kept trying to take me out on the bridge, but a hit here or there was of little consequence compared to having that vantage point to take out large clusters of players below or from a distance. My accuracy these games was decent and I was focused less on the players who were right on top of me on the bridge and more on those I could see further away in other parts of the arena. I really like the actual arena layout, but am surprised that more of the "regulars" didn't use the bridge for a greater advantage than just trying to keep others off of it. It may have been my viewpoint as a newcomer who didn't yet know the other players, but it just didn't seem like too many people were working together as a team. So, flying solo was fine for me. And it clearly worked out. To win each game that I played had me riding high for the evening, but it also makes me feel like my slump is over regardless of which arena I go to next weekend. I was glad I had a second evening available in Albany to return to this arena because I walked out with more than just a high score...I also left really feeling like I was back. Awesome night.

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