There are moments in gaming when you realize that you really screwed up, a circumstance most popularly categorised by the phrase: “I immediately regret my decision.”
That moment when you forget to stock up on potions before heading out into the wilderness, or when you run down a pathway towards a group of enemies with a shotgun, hoping that they would miss every shot before you get to them.
If you have ever played a video game before, then chances are that you can relate to at least one of these moments.
Reloading your LMG
The LMG, also known as the light machine gun, is a powerful and effective weapon in most first person shooters, if used correctly.
“Used correctly” is the key phrase here. Able to lay down a proverbial blanket of bullets, whether for suppression or the intent to kill, few weapons are able to achieve what a finely tuned LMG can.
It all comes down to a sustained rate of fire, courtesy of a fairly large magazine size. It’s great, until you reload that is.
In virtually any game that has them, the LMG’s biggest downfall is its reload time, particularly when an opponent will come careening around the corner the moment you start to reload.
Or, having just dispatched a number of opponents, you hit the reload button in spite of a considerable number of bullets remaining in the magazine. Preemptively loading is a popular practice after all.
As is the way of things, you’ll immediately regret your decision because the moment you do is when the buddy of those gamers you just dispatched will arrive.
As you slowly open up the gun to take out the magazine, then closes it up and latch it closed again, a process of what seems like many hours, you consider just dying and respawning with a fresh magazine.
A sad lack of revival potions
The entire game has led up to this moment, the moment when you face off against the final boss.
You have spent sleepless nights levelling up your characters and equipping the best of the best items. It all comes down to this, and you are so ready.
As the battle goes on and the difficulty increases, you slowly start to wonder if you should have purchased a few more potions before taking on this fight, but you are determined to end this.
Your party members start to fall one by one, you continue to revive them as you do, until you realize that you are out of phoenix downs.
It then hits you that although you spent a dozen hours grinding, you never visited that travelling merchant that walked past you a dozen times.
You’re inevitably going to lose, die and have to take the boss on once more, but not before visiting the shop prior to the final area.
That’s the magic of saving your game the opportune times. You did remember to save, didn’t you?
Missing the save point because who needs it
We play hundreds of games, and some of us get relatively good at them as a result, it’s only natural.
After all, you’ve just dispatched enemy after enemy with little to no effort; your characters are definitely ready for the next fight.
Before you reach the final boss, however, you’re offered one last chance to save, a pointless comfort for those too weak to meet the challenge.
Being the arrogant gamers we are, you head into the battle without heeding the implied warning of a save point, only to realize that the difficulty spike between recent encounters and this boss is far from subtle; your ass is promptly kicked.
As much as you try to fight the boss, he soon shows you that the save point, which you ignored out of pure arrogance, was there for a reason.
You’ve just lost hours upon hours of grinding; fun!
Onward, army of clones
Putting together an intimidating army in an RTS is a rewarding feeling.
Best of all, you’ve chosen the most powerful units at the highest tier of your army’s tech tree; no one can defeat you.
You build as many as you possibly can in an attempt to spam your opponent with all of the cheese you’re able to muster. The win is in the bag.
And then, all too quickly I might add, you realise your opponent has an army that consists almost entirely of the counter to yours.
It quickly becomes obvious that this match is over; your opponent’s army making short work of yours. For us, it’s best described as the ‘Kirov Effect’.
Native to Red Alert 2, it’s the moment your armada of Kirov Airships, a sizeable investment, gets torn apart by fewer, far, far cheaper IFVs. That’s when you immediately regret your decision.
Worst of all is when your opponent’s clearly balanced army, though smaller in number, crushes you out of sheer strategic foresight.
A grenade and player meet, and neither refuses the meeting
Why risk dealing with the lone player right now, who may very well end you with a well placed shot or two, when you can take cover behind that rock.
And then, a gentle pitter patter reminds you that a grenade has neatly been placed at your feat, a simple but powerful gesture by the other player.
The only thing worse is choosing to face your opponent in a confrontation of skill, only to have a sticky grenade find itself stuck to your face.
In whichever shape the developer determines, usually an audio cue or a flashing icon on your HUD, you’re warned about imminent death. Unfortunately you’re for all intents and purposes already dead.
We prefer to go out, guns blazing.
Selling a rare item by mistake
At times our inventories start to feel like the garage of a hoarder, and we need to clean it up once in a while.
You head to the local shop and start spamming the “sell” button. As we see the max weight go down, you feel relieved that there’s some space for a new adventure, and that you have got rid of all that unwanted trash.
Heading out into the world, you realize that you have just sold the sword that took HOURS of grinding to find.
You rush back to the shop to buy it back , a common practice among NPC vendors, only to find that the sneaky bugger is now selling the sword for 10 times the price that you sold it for.
It’s either that or the game has no buyback feature the moment you leave town; your item is gone for good.
Setting your team up for death
There comes a time in a tactical title where you’ll feel awfully fond of your neatly placed squad; there’s an odd symmetry to it.
It took a few turns to get them to exactly where you wanted them, and only once the grenade leaves the hand of an opposing enemy do you notice the impending team wipe.
Perhaps more regrettable is when your team, a group of players, follows your every command, a faithful bunch who believe in your tactical expertise.
After all, you’ve just pointed out how wrong they all are; how incompetent they are at all walks of life, but particularly this game, and they should blindly follow you.
I mean, it was mostly through swearing your face off—90% of it mother jokes—but your intentions are clearly just.
Your team breaks out of the fog—a sheen of certainty in their voice—only to meet the wrong end of a proximity mine, mortar shell, gank or opposing team bait.
For a brief moment, your friends hate you with all of their heart. You deserved that.