Sitrep: A Time to Kill, at Different Times of the Day

Staying Up Late

By on April 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I’ve decided to start sleeping on the gross old couch in the lounge room because a) Emergent alcoholic, and b) Closer to gaming systems. What this means is that sleep, ha, sleep. Sleep doesn’t happen anymore. And so I have become a sparkly vampire like mother always suspected I would, and with these unconventional new sleeping patterns comes a new way of experiencing my git-yer-gun online multiplayer shenanigans. A time to kill, sure, but depending on what time it is that might be easier said than done.

Friday nights are usually where I know I’m not gonna win. This is where the diehards live. They have all the best stuff and know every inch of everything, and many of them will never be happy. Sure can shoot the crap out of me, though. I don’t have to deal with this, though. When you’re playing circa 4am Sydney time, it’s about… 2am in Japan, which goes absolutely no way to explaining why, all of a sudden, so many obviously Japanese players show up with their staid, all-smalls screen names that are pleasingly devoid of any dumbness. They are just living kanji: hosuki-snipe, jp_gun_man, etc.

The way our closest server-mates play their shooters is, I’ve noticed, markedly different than the way AIDS-MONKEY from the US and st0p_t3h_g04tz from AU play their shooters. Those dudes will run and gun no matter the sitch, generally speaking. They are always, always likely to shoot first and ask questions never, return crazy fire even when they’re sure to lose, and you can almost set your watch by the fact a lot of them have weird inferiority complexes and, if you ace them spectacularly, will devote sociopathic amounts of time to trying to “get you back.”

By Japanese contrast, there is a permeable kind of finesse and patience at work that I’ve learnt a lot from. It is almost the diametric opposite of how victory! in FPS shooters is popularly thought of. I have seen them wait, unflinching, for minutes in an advantageous position, knowing full well some opposition are in the process of trying to sniff them out. They’ll wait, and they’ll strike when the frustration of their pursuers has mounted to the point they’ve let their guard wander. I’ve seen them refrain from taking shots that are not guaranteed (but seem likely enough to hit ‘n slay) in favour of keeping their position a secret. Even their loadouts seem geared for subtlety, not explosiveness.

It often reminds me of a game of chess, and is, I sometimes think, maybe a cultural hangover of gamers raised on the considered pace of the turn-based and even the static (visual novels et al). This is what happens when this play philosophy is applied to rapid-fire kineticism, and what it seems to boil down to, ultimately, is the element of surprise. Playing with these guys and gals, the element of surprise seems to trump the element of just-shoot-everything-always nine times out of ten. Resisting the itch in twitch is the real challenge here.

Header image from Amused Pony.

8 comments (Leave your own)

How does this explain the seemingly asian-only craze for melee demoman in TF2 then? Checkmate.


Oh man, i used to be well familiar with this from COD W@W, BF2 and CS:S.

Jap players are zen masters for controlling where players would cycle through on any given map, it was awesome to watch in COD W@W how two players would setup a choke point, forcing others to move in a different direction, then use kill streaks to dominate.

its another level of gaming, in BF3/4 you can stealth up and confuse and disrupt your enemy, but BF4 has removed the long slow play of snipers and long range that was ace in bf2, and quite effective in bf3.

that or i havent had time enough to tbag tobez in beef4..


Toby McCasker


Someone was trying to dunk his balls on my dead face last night and POW, rocket right in the eyes. Geez I had a good day.


Yeah I noticed that with LoL too.
Friday is a no play day for ranked, other no-no’s include after 5pm because the OCE servers tend to lag with all the traffic.
Daytime, the morning is a pretty even playing field.
A good night sleep vs the insane all nighters who are falling off at that point.

Actually let me break it down.

1am-4am No ranked play

4am-7am Some players, though a lot of them tend to DC (likely to go to school/work), it can work for you or against you.

7am-1pm Quite a few players a few good ones, the more hardcore players haven’t slept yet and tend to fall off.

1pm-5pm Good matches, there is usually a lack of skilled players at this time.

5pm-1am Lag… The servers tend to lag heaps due to the load. The players vary a lot, but it’s quite hard to execute those clutch plays when everyone lags a few seconds behind.


Good point the difference in play type is very very interesting, however for those with quick reactions in the CoD genre then the Japanese players often don’t cause much of an issue. Especially for those at CyberGamer leagues level ;)



What TF2 are you playing? I’ve seen loads of melee demomen in pub servers here


Emergent alcoholic, only cool in Australia / UK. Get help.

Toby McCasker


I really like that your name is ‘captainbedtime,’ here, now, in this moment.

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