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Angus and Atomic Clock are Both Wrong
[10/11/2002] [Randall]

One of the problems I've had in Amtgard is the consistency of my friends. That comment may surprise you, since most people wouldn't regard that as a problem, so let me explain a bit. First and foremost, I'm an Air Force brat and I'm unaccostomed to stability. Anyone who knows anything about Air Force families will understand this, since the military moves you every few years. Any friendships I would develop would never last more than three years before I had to start all over. This all ended rather suddenly when we moved to New Mexico and retired. (Yes, the entire family retired. If you don't understand it, I can't explain.)

Anyway, I started Amtgard almost immediately after moving stateside and came to know many of Dragonspine's founders when they were still young -- and by young, I mean in their early twenties. Still, I was just a kid and these people were adults to me. The problem -- and this isn't their fault, because I love 'em dearly -- is that they're still here. No matter how old I get, no matter how much I travel or how many times I serve, I still feel like I'm the kid.

Even so, someone invariably manages to make me feel old.

Considering my backstory, that isn't as hard as you'd think. All it takes these days to get my hackles up is for someone to try to pull tenure on me. I don't like to brag, and I don't like to throw around silly credentials like how long I've been playing, but it never fails to amaze me when I get some mouthy upstart who was barely out of grade school when I gave up on Bard trying to one up me on Amtgard experience. About the only value I get from these situations, apart from continued determination to resist returning to my early 90's 'net flaming roots, is an inkling into the mindset of Aramithris. Surely, if I am stunned into silence by the audacity of some net turd with a big .sig and a bigger mouth, Aramithris is shocked into a drunken, incoherent stupor by the Michaels and Naeses amongst us, so where does that leave me? Other than feeling young in my homeland and old when faced with angry twitches who have something to prove, that is.

I'm speaking, of course, of Lord Angus. For those of you who don't know him, he's Lord Angus Hiatachi, a Dragon Ninja of the Highland Lotus Clan, and a Head Pikeman/Rear Gunner in the Death Raven Wolves.

Rear gunner, indeed.

For those of you who do know him... well, I dunno anyone who knows him, so let's just stick to the important crowd, shall we? For those of you who don't know him, he's being introduced to you now because, like Atomic Clock, he is wrong.

Let me take you back to the Wetlands list, that special corner of the internet where heresy flourishes and the Boston Tea Party is regarded as an amateurish production. It was there where Lord Angus made his ironic pronouncement that Shot in Motion, and not Atomic Clock, is a crutch. He also spent a considerable amount of time thundering his high lotus, but that's not really important.

The important thing is that he's wrong in much the same way Atomic Clock is.

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the guy. I just think he's wrong. Everyone knows that I pretty much like everyone and don't really hate a soul, and I'll gladly have a beer with Angus if he's willing to throw out more of his short and witty barbs, which, despite being all he's got, were pretty funny. I just hope he's got some Shot in Motion wit in him, if you know what I mean.

You see, Atomic Clock follows a standard that encourages speed. It doesn't matter if you get hit as long as you land your shot first. A good fighter knows this and exploits it. At its worst, the system makes it look like everyone is cheating -- and who knows? Maybe they are.

Like Atomic Clock, Lord Angus got his argument out fast and quickly with little finesse or skill. He verbally feinted, he reversed our expectations by turning the Atomic Clock As A Crutch theory on its head and then went in for the kill. His point landed first... but, like Atomic Clock, it wasn't important to defend himself. After all, it doesn't matter how incapable he is after the fact, right? He already got his one shot out, right?

Shot in Motion, on the other hand, encourages both speed and defense. It suddenly does matter if your foes hit you with swords, which, if you'll think about it, is the whole point of our game anyway. You can't rely on your speed alone, knowing you'll hit someone a split second before they hit you. You have to avoid that shot.

That's what makes Shot in Motion better. That is why Atomic Clock, and not Shot in Motion, is a crutch. And that's why Lord Angus is wrong.

Unfortunately for Lord Angus, the world doesn't end when he speaks and real fights don't end when he swings. In an Atomic Clock world, he would point to his post and call the discussion over, but the real world is a bit different and his Atomic Clock personality has proven unsuitable to coping with it. Immediately after his trickery, a counter message pointed out the ludicrious nature of his comments -- a defense, if you will, that threw a shot right after his landed. Like anyone who relies on Atomic Clock, Angus became confused and unfocused, lashing out at his attacker... but by then it was too late. Forced to fight over on fair terms, Angus fell before the superior skills of his foes. Sure, he got his shot out first because he was faster and twitchier, and that might work against feebler enemies. But when faced with cagey veterans who must actually cope with the give and take of intellectual discourse, his lesser skills proved unworthy. He was used to Atomic Clock where he didn't need to defend himself, so when the time came when he had to, he couldn't.

And that's the problem with Atomic Clock. Sure, a good fighter will do well in any system... but a truly great fighter doesn't need to rely on tricks of the game system to beat his opponents decisively.

Until Angus gets that, I'll be in Dragonspine letting my foes Atomic Clock me while I take their shots in motion. And Angus will be probably be off getting rear gunned in the high lotus, content to let his skills atrophy because he believes fighting (and thinking) according to a real standard is a crutch.

And what about the rest of you? If you're good e-Samurai, you'll all be fighting to keep our standards high. The Atomic Clockers? Let 'em have their fifteen nanoseconds of fame. The real fighters will be keeping the shots swinging.

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