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A Lesson About Farming and Formats

Last night I let another player get under my skin and I decided to teach a little lesson. The names will be changed here to protect the guilty. Let's just call him The Unnamed Player...and you'll understand that to be a much more clever pseudonym if you happen to be from our site. :)

My agitation with a situation actually started building last week as I watched multiple times where this player did nothing but go all try-hard in some very tame public games by farming huge easy points off kids and inexperienced players (I know, you're saying "it's laser tag, nothing new there") and additionally by staking out the newest addition to our arena, a third tablet beacon. This third beacon is great in that it opens up the possibility of more games (like Domination, which I'll talk about shortly), but it also has been programmed in such a way that it can (and does) artificially inflate player averages. Where before the tablets were installed if a player got a 15,000 average it would be honorably earned with skill and strategy, it now takes little more than staking out that beacon for an extra 1000 points here, 750 there or 3x score multiplier. I might sound hypocritical in saying this (as for two weeks I have deliberately been using this strategy myself to make a point), but it irritates me that this can be abused for creating artificially high scores. Couple that with farming points on kids and I just had a moment where I wanted to even things out a bit. So here's what happened...

The Unnamed Player entered the arena first and I hung back in the vesting room. I had my card out ready to sign in properly, then I looked first to the computer and then over to Justin and I told him "we're going to have some fun this round." I changed cards and pulled out a different one (technically I have seven Laserforce membership cards...they are not all from Syracuse) and I scanned in using a special card I rarely pull out because awhile back I had it locked at level one. Why? Oh, for just such an occasion. :)

This game I could not have cared less about my own points or about tagging any public players. I just wanted to show him what farming points feels like when the shoe is on the other foot. So I staked out that beacon and defended it as if it were a base. I kept The Unnamed PIayer from getting any extra points at the beacon and kept his pack down every time we crossed paths. He asked if I was signed in. I said yes (because technically I was). He said it should not take that many shots to deactivate for a level three (are you telling me you were playing down as a level three or that you thought I was?). In any case I agreed (the statement was not untrue). It was not a truly fair match, but was probably a lot more fair to the kids in that game. He knew what I was doing before too hope is that he also understood WHY I was doing it.

I know, I know...I wasn't a model of maturity that round. Neither was The Unnamed Player who rage quit before the end of the game and had his pack turned off so that my little stunt would not disrupt his average. Hmmm... couldn't we all get a 15,000 average if we got to pick and choose which games we let count and just leave out the ones we don't like? I didn't like a couple last week myself, but a true average is made up of both the highs and the lows. :)

Before I had even left the arena this player was mollified by having figured out the status of my card at the front desk. That's fine, it was a one game stunt. I walked out and gave a cheeky, over-exaggerated shrug. In the end my point was made. And if he's reading this now I'll just leave it with my favorite make-it-all-better quote from Ally McBeal..."bygones?" :)

Well, a few games later The Unnamed Player left early, which is a shame because later in the night we finally got to play some Domination!

I have been looking forward to playing this game as it's been a relatively new format here (since the addition of the aforementioned third beacon), but I have not had an opportunity to play until now. I have played Domination with iCombat, but the Laserforce version is quite different (although similar in premise).

I'm not sure I caught all the rules (and we were apparently playing a variation for the public games anyway), but in short the goal is to shoot all three beacons a fixed number of times (I believe the number is 8) and if your team captures all three beacons you get points and perks for every five seconds that they stay within your team's control. Keeping it vague because I need to review the details again. By the time we got to this game Jerome and I were the only members there, each going in with a team of two other public players. Not sure how much they were focused on the beacons (although my team focused on a zone defense at each one) so it was pretty much just Jerome and I following each other around from beacon to beacon trying to undo what the other had just done.

I took my phone out to snap a pic while the green team was in control for an extra long time, but as you can see by the icon in the top right I didn't click fast enough before he was back at another beacon. With eight shots to neutralize and another eight to control this takes a bit of time to do. Although we played three on three I believe this game would definitely be more fun with a larger group. All in all, tag was enjoyable for a myriad of reasons this night. However, it was also a big night for streaming pageant finals (also a big priority in my life), so I left early declaring "no more tag until someone is wearing a crown." Next weekend we'll see whether the home state pageant or a night of tag wins about a tough choice! :)

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