Making amends in Rainmaker

2nd February 2016 – 5.36 pm

A particularly good start in this Rainmaker battle on Camp Triggerfish. The standard Aerospray MG plus Seeker manoeuvre works well, splatting an inkling when bursting the shield, but grabbing the Rainmaker and squidding around to the side has a bit of situational awareness too. I see the inkling waiting to encounter me, and jump down to the lower platform, charging the firing the Rainmaker to splat him. Him and another inkling, apparently.

Another inkling is on his way, using a super-jump. I get the Rainmaker charged, but don't manage to splat the inkling on landing. Instead, I get splatted. That was a mistake, as I should have at least moved forwards, and probably just let my squidmates take care of that super-jumping inkling. It's not the only mistake I make either.

At least I stay out of the way of the Bubbled inkling, in a decent hiding place, jumping out to splat him. But why do I break out the Inkzooka when I know I can't aim that thing for toffee? I could have stuck with the rapid-firing Aerospray to splat the Rainmaker squidding past me. Instead, he gets away and eventually takes the lead away from us. I think I just got carried away with the fact that my special had charged.

Their lead is increased, and it is close to the podium. We'll have a job to beat that. An Inkstrike helps with the shield, and I try to make amends for my mistake by reseting the Rainmaker. I head off to cover up all the teal ink around the podium. We can't have them squidding all the way back there so easily. But a Kraken gets in my way. Thank goodness for the rapid fire! I avoid him, head back around, and make the path orange again.

It may be for nought, as they get the Rainmaker and get it close to approaching our podium again. Thankfully, I notice the change of direction, although a squidmate was on the case. Regaining the Rainmaker, he sacrifices himself in the water to reset the Rainmaker. One failed carry only has my trying again.

This second time, a couple of charges and some good support from my squidmates gets me up to and past the netting along the side route. One last shot with the Rainmaker, and I'm squidding to and up the podium for a knockout dunking!

A little misdirection in Rainmaker

1st February 2016 – 5.03 pm

Another great start to Camp Triggerfish Rainmaker. I lurk for a bit after bursting the shield to refill my ink tank, to see if someone foolishly rushes in to grab it. No one this time, so I take the Rainmaker for myself and squid along with squidmate support around the side route.

We get pretty far, getting a healthy lead early on. There follows quite a tussle in that corner of the map, with the Rainmaker changing suction cups a few times. When purple finally gets it out of that zone, the inkling either makes a poor jump or deliberately jumps in to the water. It's a bit peculiar to do that deliberately, though, despite the pressure he's under.

Losing the Rainmaker where it is impossible to recover—water being the prime example—resets the Rainmaker to its initial position. As the inkling carrying the Rainmaker was only a couple of seconds away from there anyway, it seems a bit odd to sacrifice yourself for so little gain. Either way, it gives us another shot with the Rainmaker.

I try for a little misdirection. The central route is arguably more difficult to progress down, because of the direct line-of-sight the opponents have from their base. I make a start in that direction, hoping it will draw the purple inklings this way, then double-back and go the side route anyway.

Does it work? Maybe. It's hard to say. The ink is certainly coming from platforms in the central corridor, so maybe I did pull them the wrong way to start with, causing them to be in the wrong place. But I also have good support from my squidmates, and I do well to notice the inkling about to flank me, holding back until the way forwards is clear. Woomy!

Getting the rest of the way with the Rainmaker

31st January 2016 – 5.55 pm

I throw the standard Aerospray MG Seeker to help get us quickly to the centre of Camp Triggerfish, where we make short work of bursting the Rainmaker's shield, splatting two of the other team in the process. That shield has a large burst radius, and it can easily catch you off-guard. I run out of ink for a bit, frustrating my attempts to be threatening, so pause to refill my tank. That has my loitering for long enough to see a super-jump incoming, and I hang around to splat him before moving on.

My squidmate with the Rainmaker is pushing forwards, and I catch up to cover him. We make it a fair distance up the netting before we encounter trouble. I move ahead to provide support, splatting an opponent and taking one for the team. Rather me than the Rainmaker. Even so, with less support, the Rainmaker inkling gets splatted.

I return to the action using a super-jump, which conveniently lands me in a position to outflank the opponents currently bursting the shield. I splat one, but the other moves forwards and takes the Rainmaker. I give chase, pausing to splat the rather formidable Splatling, and catching up with the Rainmaker to splat him too.

We make short work of the Rainmaker's shield, and I grab it and head back the way I came. I take a bit of care approaching the end of the netting, as we are getting much closer to the opponents' base, but my squidmates are there and inking the way, as well as suppressing the other team. It's looking good!

I avoid a Splat Bomb and go for the podium, which has a covering of yellow ink I can't squid up. Except for the back, which has been inked by my squidmates, allowing for a strategic jump to get me up to the top and dunk the Rainmaker for a knockout victory. Woomy!

Nearly dunking the Rainmaker

30th January 2016 – 5.08 pm

The Walleye Warehouse podium must be one of the hardest to reach. At least, it feels like it, with those ink-proof slopes and chokepoint right by the podium. But having said that, our opponents got a knockout victory against us a couple of times during the evening's session, so maybe it's not at difficult as I think it is.

I chuck out a Seeker to get us to the Rainmaker quickly, and this time jump up the crates and keep going. Sometimes it helps to move past the Rainmaker and prevent the enemy from shooting the shield than it does to actually shoot the shield. In this case, I get a bit lucky as a squid dive-bombs in to a Seeker I throw. It all helps, and we burst the shield, grab the Rainmaker, and make some decent progress up the map.

Of course, we get stopped soon enough, such is the nature of moving closer to the opponents' base. And that Heavy Splatling has some serious inkpower. But what you can't beat head-on, you can be crafty and sneak around the side. Returning to the fray, a super-jump lands me next to a Rainmaker waiting to be picked up. I think I just get lucky. Or unlucky, as it tends to get me splatted. But every point closer towards the goal makes a victory more likely.

I take a side-route for the next push, but that doesn't really help too much. It keeps me safe until I need to go in to the open, and I suppose that's a benefit, but then I'm just as vulnerable to a splatting. The other team gets a go with the Rainmaker, and it's a decent go, squidding the Rainmaker quite a distance in to our territory. Thankfully, we stop them. Reclaiming the Rainmaker, I take the other side route, which is more protected and bypasses some of the ink-resistant turf, and is a bit trickier to get to. The block up to the grate is specific to Rainmaker battles, and it needs a little jump to get to the grate and onwards.

A bit of trouble with the Rainmaker's ink has my progress thwarted, but not over. I make my way back along the same route, and accidentally pick up the Rainmaker again. Does no one else want to carry it? The benefits of this route become more obvious, as the crate offers protection, and the only ink-resistant turf I need to cross can be jumped over. I get to the podium, squid up it, and shout 'Woomy!'—only to be splatted. Latency, thou art a harsh mistress.

The Rainmaker is right next to the podium, though, as are my squidmates. Before I can even respawn and super-jump back to the action, the Rainmaker has been dunked. That deserves a 'woomy'!

Turning it around on Camp Triggerfish Rainmaker

29th January 2016 – 5.22 pm

I'm sticking with the Aerospray MG on Camp Triggerfish. I send out a Seeker to get us to the Rainmaker, which works really well. It's probably better on this map than some others, though. And despite the Aerospray's rapid rate of fire, the other team is up at the Rainmaker and out-inking us. We lose half our squad when the Rainmaker's shield bursts.

The opposition take the Rainmaker down the side route, which we move to defend. Splatting the carrier, they again spray more ink than us and burst the Rainmaker's shield. But, for some reason, they are slow to grab the Rainmaker. I seize the opportunity, grab the Rainmaker, and turn around to take it back to the centre along the central route, and a little beyond.

I don't get too far, though, and the Rainmaker changes suction cups again. A second push by the opposition goes along the same route as before, and again we manage to stop it. But we haven't done much positive so far. The battle is not looking good for us. We can keep trying, though.

We burst the shield, and again I turn around and run the Rainmaker back up the centre, away from attention. At least, that's the plan. Attention has a habit of finding whoever is carrying the Rainmaker, and I am encouraged to drop it. This push, the opposition come straight up the centre, but I stop that nicely. Now to go around the side, with some good squidmates at my back. When I am nearly up and over the netting, it's time to ink the path ahead, but the kickback on the Rainmaker pushes me in to a Killer Wail. Oops.

We still have squids near the Rainmaker, and super-jumping to their position looks good for a final push. A squidmate has the Rainmaker, so I go ahead to ink the path, podium, and to clear any opponents out of the way. It works well, as one blue inkling focusses on trying to splat me, as the Rainmaker gets dunked behind his back. Woomy!

So close to dunking the Rainmaker

28th January 2016 – 5.36 pm

Sticking with the Aerospray MG for Rainmaker, and we're on Camp Triggerfish again. The rush to the centre has our team firmly in control, and two of their inklings get splatted when the Rainmaker's shield bursts. With some good support around me, I grab the Rainmaker and push forwards, straight down the middle this time.

As I get to the first of the gates, probably the better one to use, my support is still helping keeping me from being splatted, but trying to ink the gate with the Rainmaker is hindered by my finger slipping off the trigger a couple of times. I swear I know how to use the Rainmaker!

I get it sorted as a squidmate comes to my aid, and we climb up to round the corner towards the podium. That first patch of turf at the top of the gate is ink-resistant, so it takes a slow plod to get to the corner. My squidmate turning in to a Kraken is perfect timing! An invincible squid that can swim through opponent ink, whilst inking a path in our own colour!

I don't know why the Kraken turns left first. Maybe he saw an opponent, or was waiting for me to follow. A quick review sees a shadow of an inkling running up the netting, so he was protecting me. But we're being assaulted from both sides, which is only to be expected this close to the opponent's base, and I am splatted before I can dunk the Rainmaker.

That's a shame, as there are few little pleasures in life equal to the feeling of dunking the Rainmaker. But we've got a good lead that's going to be hard to beat. Back in to the fray, we need to defend the lead and keeping the Rainmaker out of the opponents' suction cups.

There's a lot of scuffling near the centre of the map, but the opponents manage to get the Rainmaker along our side route. It doesn't look good when a Bubbler is popped, shared, and the Rainmaker is surrounded, but I manage to stay whole and sneak some ink between the bubbles to splat the Rainmaker. I even dodge some Rainmaker blasts, and a Killer Wail, but going toe-to-toe with another inkling gets us both splatted, just as the Rainmaker is in squidding distance of the podium. It was a good battle, and they deserve the victory.

Rainmaker there for the taking

27th January 2016 – 5.44 pm

The Rainmaker Ranked battle mode involves taking control of a special weapon and transporting it to a podium deep in opponent territory. Carrying the Rainmaker makes you glow, even when squidding in ink, so you can't hide. It also slows you down a little, as well as preventing use of your own weapon, sub, and special. But it does give you a powerful weapon that works like a charger and fires like the Inkzooka.

For Rainmaker battles, I wondered what weapon would work best. I settled for the Aerospray MG. I find myself comfortable with the weapon itself, with its rapid fire but short range, but the Seeker sub and Inkzooka special seem useful for supporting the Rainmaker. Seekers are automated bombs that zoom ahead of you, and home in on any opponents. Importantly, they ink a path as they move. Firing a Seeker ahead of you, without any opponents around, can give the Rainmaker a clear, straight path to squid down. The Inkzooka is a powerful special, which blasts a surge of ink in a straight line which also inks the turf. Again, another method of inking a straight path for the Rainmaker.

As is usual in Rainmaker battles, there is an initial surge to burst the Rainmaker's shield and take control. On Camp Triggerfish, this means rushing down the main corridor as quickly as possible. I fire a Seeker when I'm sure I'm pointing in the right direction, and that lets me squid ahead quicker than inking and moving, and get close to the Rainmaker's shield. I start shooting, managing to avoid the Suction Bomb thrown over the top of the Rainmaker, but the opponents all have good shooters and take control. The Rainmaker's shield bursts, splatting me. And only me.

I squid back to the middle and fire a Seeker, hoping to take out whoever is carrying the Rainmaker. But it turns out no one is, as everyone is still tussling for control over the zone. I kinda accidentally squid in to the Rainmaker, picking it up. Rather than head forwards, even with the Seeker inking a path, I decide not to run directly in to trouble, and instead turn back to take the more common side route.

A blast with the Rainmaker gives me a path to squid down. I miss the boards for a bit, but cover the block with some ink. That's fine, as I often use that block to hide or climb over, and a little jump doesn't slow me down. Another blast around the corner and I'm free to squid up to the netting. I can't ink the netting, and squidding on it means falling through, so I have to slowly plod along it. Thankfully, I reach it in the nick of time, as a Killer Wail erupts just behind me. That was close!

I don't see another inkling on my stroll up to the podium, but that doesn't mean I've gone unnoticed. That green Killer Wail was out to get me, and one from a squidmate covers me as I ink my way towards the podium. They had my back. It is still perhaps the easiest Rainmaker battle I've been in.

Tower Control mayhem on Blackbelly Skatepark

26th January 2016 – 5.08 pm

A quick rush to the tower as is usual, and I take control. Noticing the trail of pink ink below me, I infer the presence of the opposition and aim to splat him, which I do. I fall off the tower in the process of getting the splat, which can be a little awkward on Blackberry Skatepark, as the tower ends up off the ground. Not too far off the ground in this case, so a little ink up the side, and I can jump, squid, and climb back on to get the tower moving again. Until I'm splatted.

Going back for the tower squids me in to the path of multiple opponents, and I don't last long. I take a different route, looking to flank any attackers, which seems to work. I help a squidmate as he rides the tower, and maybe use my Bubbler Special a little early. But we push the tower quite close to the goal.

But look at all those rapid shooters! So much ink is being sprayed around by our opponents, it all seems a little overwhelming at times. And how that Seeker missed me at 2'33", given that they home in on inklings, I don't know. It's no surprise that they get control of the tower and threaten even our good lead.

A bit of height advantage and a Tri-slosher helps to suppress the opponents for a bit, but I need to stop for ink too. Rather than continue to throw myself at the opponents down the narrow corridor, I squid through the middle, letting me ink turf for us to move through, charge my Special, and hopefully catch some squids by surprise.

In the end, our lead holds. It's a good result, and one that shows the importance of controlling the tower, and not just preventing the other team from controlling it. Resetting the tower is okay, but riding it beyond its starting position gives the opponents further to ride it, and us more time to retake control.

Having it in for Eddie

25th January 2016 – 5.59 pm

It's not my first game of Tower Control for the evening. Even so, I'm impressed by how smoothly I'm running with the Tri-slosher, getting to the central column and on the tower in no time. What I notice next is that I splat Eddie, then I splat Eddie again. As a main problem with curating so many Splatoon gameplay videos is coming up with titles, seeing Eddie splatted twice so quickly gives me the title I need. To hell with accuracy, it's good enough and helps me differentiate the games. That's all that really matters.

I get to editing the video. Trim the edges first, to get rid of extraneous footage. This lets me see, at the end of the battle, I've got fifteen splats. Fifteen! First, I love how the tri-slosher can bag me so many splats so consistently. Second, can I really title a video 'Having it in for Eddie' if I get so many splats that aren't him? Of course I can! But I review the footage anyway, just to see how many times I actually splatted him.

I review the footage because it gives me two options. I can either excuse the title as being something that's difficult to conjure and I just noticed Eddie as being the victim of my first two splats. Like above, essentially. Or I can point out that, even with fifteen splats to my name, with four squids on the other team, Eddie was perhaps incidentally my target more than the others. What I didn't expect to find was that I splatted Eddie nine times. Nine times. If I splatted him any more, he'd barf up a lung.

Amusingly, the ninth time I splat Eddie is when the battle's over. Sorry, Eddie. It's nothing personal.

Landing feet first on Tower Control

24th January 2016 – 5.39 pm

I can move fast with the Tri-slosher, but not Inkbrush-fast. The only problem with the start is us bumping in to each other. Having to deal with long-range weapons like the Squelcher, when I'm wielding the short-range Tri-slosher comes in second, though.

Our early lead is protected, and then I go in to denial-of-squid mode. Denial of squids can be a good tactic, as long as your team is tending to move forwards, and ours was. The less time they have squids up and squidding, the less pressure there is on us, and hopefully the us that is on the tower.

Flanking works quite well on Blackbelly Skatepark too. The tower head down one of the side channels, and that channel is often focussed on by the defending team. It's easy to do, because there is a direct route from the base where you spawn, and going the long way around could be costly. But coming from the other direction doesn't cost too much time, and has the opportunity to pay off quite well.

In this case, no one seems to notice a rogue squid coming from the side. This is made more fun by having that one squid run on the grate above me without apparently noticing me, until he's splatted. From there, I catch the others by surprise as they think they've pushed us back. Top kek, as they say.

The final push works well. I pop my Bubbler and share it with those on the tower, then press forwards off the tower. The other squids can push the tower forwards, and with my bubble I am better off clearing the other team out of the tower's way. I may get splatted, but I get my feet on the tower for the victory.