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Monthly Archives: September 2016

there’s a new blair witch movie coming and that makes me sad. found footage so often sucks. but there’s a found footage movie that doesn’t suck. it’s one of my personal favorite films, and i cannot even remember how i found it, but it’s a delightfully hilarious, dark norwegian movie called Trollhunter. unfortunately, as a norwegian movie, it is in norsk, so if you can’t handle subtitles, this movie isn’t for you. but if reading dialogue isn’t too hard for you… man i love this movie. i watched it again last night and wanted to gush so much i decided to write this and delay thoughts on how i kinda liked suicide squad. i would like a trailer here but the official trailer has a couple of spoilers i’d rather avoid in it. sad day.

trollhunter features thomas, kalle, and johanna, film students who track down and film “bear poacher” hans. of course this movie is called “troll” hunter, not “bear” hunter, so it’s not much of a reveal when he’s actually out hunting and tracking trolls for the norwegian government, and using bear carcasses to cover up the trolls’ damage. yes, this is a fiercely low budget affair, so the troll visuals are poor, but it’s usually hidden through distance, night-vision camera effects, low lighting, and in one instance, a rear view mirror. the director was well aware of this movie’s limitations and planned accordingly.

trollhunter masquerades as a blair witch style found footage suspense horror thriller. if it attempts this in earnest, it fails miserably but becomes a goodbad movie. to me the ideas in this thing are so absurd that it really seems to be a parody of the genre that also pays homage to norse folklore. (not that i know any norse folklore, the internet told me that it’s full of references to it.) there is a scene with a literal troll under a literal bridge. in this scene, hans, who has trucked these students around in his jeep with a camper trailer behind it, mysteriously comes up with not one, not two, but three sheep to use as bait. he also produces a bucket of a christian man’s blood–trolls despise the smell of a christian according to this movie, and hans isn’t sure how this applies to other religions–seemingly from nowhere. after hunting trolls for the first hour of the film in standard outdoorsman gear, he appears suddenly wearing a suit of armor made of sheets of scrap metal, because he needs armor to get a blood sample from this particular troll. with a perfect marvin the paranoid android intonation, he moans, “god, i hate this crap.” later he lures an extra-deadly troll by blasting over a loudspeaker, in norsk of course, the hymn “what a friend we have in jesus.” you cannot convince me this is a serious movie.

thomas is your on-camera talent of the trio. he bumbles somewhat and is a little too bold, both in how he bluntly follows hans around at first, and how he casually leads his team into what should be certain danger. he shoots an intro to a scene using a toothbrush like it’s his mic, and even after he notices and puts it down, forgets and raises it back up again. he’s reasonably naive until the stakes are raised somewhere around the 4th act.

johanna does audio, and as such spends almost the entire movie waving a boom mic around and wearing headphones. others will say “did you hear that?” but her line becomes “i’m picking up some strange noises.” she’s the most cynical that they’re actually going to go hunt trolls with this hans, but when they catch one on camera she’s the most excited and i think its her (hard to tell because everyone is shouting over each other and subtitles) who says “i told you!”

kalle spends most of the movie off screen because he operates the camera. he’s also the most nervous of the bunch, which does at least keep the camera out of danger the vast majority of the time, and also leads him to use the night vision to find out where danger is. that lets us see the trolls without also seeing how bad they look, haha.

finally we come to hans. after initially being paranoid about the film crew and brushing them off, once they actually follow him one night, he decides to let them tag along with him because he’s sick of his job. (maybe. spoilers at the end of this will speculate about that.) he talks matter of factly about troll species, their territory, their number of heads, and the disgusting way everything smells. “so i can approach with out them noticing,” he explains. as the film progresses he goes from protecting what he knows to trying to help thomas find scientific troll information, explaining his job, even showing off his forms and stuff.

so yeah. it starts a little bit rough, but after about 10-15 minutes i become a tremendous fan of this movie. i’m not sure why they set out to film a documentary about a poacher, and judging by their reaction to the first troll that was actually their real target, but the movie doesn’t really make that clear at all. they never film an introduction or anything. but once they follow hans into the night it starts running and never stops. if you’re a fan of goofy darkish farce, or if you want a parody of found footage, troll hunter is just outstanding and you should watch it. my favorite scenes are the bridge troll (which is longer than that clip) and the polish painters, which i can’t find a clip of except him saying (in english) “why problem make when you no problem have you don’t want to make?”

this is the spoiler bit. the blog is over if you haven’t seen it.

if you’ve seen this movie: does anyone else think hans is kind of entertaining the film crew for fun, and once they’ve videotaped evidence, planned to hand them over to finn the whole time? he points them to the road as he takes off on foot to finish off the giant, and the first cars to show up just so happen to be finn? how did finn find out? he only told the vet about what he was doing up there in the plateau. i think he never really expected any of the kids to actually get hurt, so when kalle dies in the mine he immediately starts talking about them going home, and sends them away from the very next troll (the giant) and straight to finn? that’s kind of my working theory. hans played along to see where this would go, and when it got real he decided to lose them and their evidence while he was at it. it also would explain why finn only kind of makes any attempt to get the tapes from them before the end.

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overwatch is unplayable tonight because of ddos affecting people from certain service providers so i thought i’d play no man’s sky instead, then remembered last time i played i got stuck an hour from any planet because i beat a pirate raid and the game refused to let me boost or warp anyplace because of pirate influence that now shouldn’t exist and fukkadat. so, let’s write about overwatch since i can’t play it.

symmetra is a horribly underutilized, situationally powerful denier of areas and returner of teammates to the fight. she’s misunderstood and looked down on, and totally absent from the pro scene because pro flankers will kill your teleporter in a hurry. but in our scrubby pub games, symmetra can get your team that point A defense that almost guarantees your team delicious MMR.

in season 1 I pulled 61% winrate on this hero, and so far in season 2 on PTR i’m 5-1 on her. on PC her season 1 winrate was 63.87% per Overbuff, which is easily the highest. yet her pick rate is only higher than hapless widow, brainless bastion, worthless until late in the season zenyatta, and brand new ana.

her pick rate is so low because her utility is limited to the first point of capture and hybrid maps. but her winrate is so high because she’s SO GOOD in that situation. i’ma talk a bit about how i utilize her because i can’t play her right now because of that ddos i mentioned.

its all about the teep

part of why teams lose hard on the capture and hybrid maps is the first point drops as soon as you lose a single fight. all the capture maps are designed so the attackers have a spawn distance advantage for point A. this reverses for point B of course, but once you die at point A, it takes the defenders a much longer time to get back and fight than it does the attackers. that’s why her teleporter is such a game breaker. you can cut a full 10-15 seconds from that return trip and suddenly there isn’t an advantage anymore. what was going to be 6v4 after your teams traded evenly and theirs  got back faster, is 6v6 now.

other parts of symmetra’s kit are nice. the aim-free weapon is great for killing slippery targets like lucio and genji, and the alt-fire makes the safe area behind reinhardt actually deadly, but that teleporter is why you want the hero instead of some other damage dealer or a second healer. so your goal is and HAS to be charging and placing the teleporter as quickly as possible.

more than once i’ve been told as a game started not to put my turrets there, because they were gonna be destroyed quickly. um i can make more guys. it’s not like the sentry is in front of the choke, just in the open behind it. i have more places i want to put them soon anyway. all i care about is that they do damage quickly. preferably loads of it, but as long as you get some it’s fine because the warp charges really quickly. ideally you want 2 or 3 covering the initial choke point and at least one on each flanking route around it for vision purposes. (tell your team when someone runs through a flank sentry, or destroys it.) you’ll want another 2-3 in a common route teams take after running through the choke. that’s your kill room. poke from in there and spam your alt fire at reinhardt, plus MELT anyone who walks in. feeding the zarya is going to happen here but it’s pretty worth it to have the teleporter.

on volskaya and anubis i can often get a TP up within 45 seconds. hanamura takes a few seconds longer. (usually i don’t play her on hybrid maps, but she’s strong on king’s row. it’s harder to find the right sentry spots on numbani and the teleport is always dealt with on hollywood because there is always a genji. eichenwalde i haven’t tried yet.)

don’t place the teleporter THAT close to the point, because it will be easily found and killed. if it’s a few seconds’ walk away you’re still cutting a ton of the advantage the attackers had, and the TP doesn’t get murdered immediately. as soon as you place it drop at least two sentries on it. it won’t kill an enemy before they kill the teleporter, but it might buy you time to get there and kill them before they can do the deed. you should always know the flank route to your teleporter and keep an eye on it for incoming buzzkills.

when a teleporter gets destroyed or runs out of charges, for the love of jeff DO NOT PLACE THE NEXT ONE IN THE SAME SPOT. they KNOW WHERE IT IS BECAUSE THEY KILLED IT or THEY SAW YOUR TEAM RUN IN FROM IT.

and that’s pretty much it. now TP is up you can use your sentries more conservatively, to deny health packs around the point and the point itself, use your primary fire to melt lucios and naked dvas and genjis, and hope you don’t have to farm up another porter without having ten seconds to reset your setup.

helping symmetra

if your team has a symmetra (and it makes sense) you can help her in a few important ways.

  • make damn sure there’s a primary healer. that means lucio or mercy, preferably lucio since resurrect isn’t as powerful when a teleporter is up. a solo zen or ana isn’t going to output enough healing unless you have seagull on ana.
  • hold enemies in the sentries. this means mei and roadhog specifically should play around the sentries, and to a lesser extent dva. the longer they get zapped, the faster your team has a teleporter.
  • sentry turrets slow the enemies they’re zapping. mccree, soldier, irritating hanzo main, this means easy headshots SO USE THEM.
  • if you get picked off and a fight doesn’t break out, especially if you have movement abilities, just run back. you can tell by watching the kill feed and the tab screen. if nobody else dies (on either side, but especially on yours) and the point isn’t under attack, just run back. we might need that teleporter charge soon.
  • when you do teleport in, run in front of symmetra at your earliest convenience. the shield key will prompt her to shield you. this also applies to dva every time she gets in or out of meka.
  • know where the TP is and help protect it, if not physically, by calling out flankers headed in its direction so symmetra can meet them there.

switch off

  • if you lose point A. no one needs a teleporter at point B or the payload section worse than they need a second healer, tank, or DPS, and unless you dominate you will get allchat flamed for not switching.
  • if they have a winston that decimates you and your kill room instantly. you don’t have time to reset and he hard counters you. bring more heals when you respawn.
  • if teleporter is down and you don’t have time to farm a new one. bring heals for the last defense or two, and if the point falls you don’t have to start over on ultimate charge for B.

finally, do NOT FIGHT REINHARDT OR MEI. winston, use judgement. the other tanks you can often hold your own against (roadhog needs to be distracted), but REINHARDT = NO unless he’s super low and mei will either freeze you before you kill her or just hide in an ice block and then freeze you before you kill her. your priority targets are genji, lucio, naked dva, distracted reapers, and tracer while you can reach her, basically in that order, and all can be easily soloed. symmetra, like winston, can secure kills easily on hard targets to shoot, and the deathlaser goes through reflect.

this took much longer than i expected to write up but i am proud of the words here and if you think i can improve these advices in any way you know where i live on twitter. please learn to play this hero, we need more of them, and happy teeping 🙂