Bridge Out Battle: The Evil Geniuses v The Shaft Podcast!

WARNING: This blog post is all kinds of spoilery. You could go watch Kristal’s videos first, if you want to see the action, rather than read about who won (part 1, part 2). If you don’t want to learn stuff about the game’s mechanics, go download the map (the link’s in the next paragraph), grab at least one other person, and play the thing! Then come back and read this!

Do you ever get the urge, in Minecraft, to strap on your armour, pull out your sharpest weapon – be it sword or arrows – and get down to some bloodthirsty PvP action? Well, Kristal and I certainly have – and when we came across Bridge Out Battle (BOB), I opened my big mouth, and threw down the gauntlet to The Shaft Podcast! (Erm, the gauntlet was in my hand, not my mouth – that would be silly.)

BOB is a wonderful PvP map by Jigarbov, with assistance from Faume, TexelElf, and Vladimyr – whose own Bridge Out Capture the Monument was the inspiration. According to Jig, the game is suitable for 1v1 to 10v10, and you’re going to need at least version 1.5.2 of Minecraft in order to get the thing to run properly.

The object of the game is – naturally – to eliminate the opposing team. And you can choose how many extra lives the players will have:

  • none (a 15-minute game)
  • 1 (30-minute)
  • 3 (60-minute)
  • 5 or 10 (no time limits on these selections).

What’s the time limit for? I’ll explain that a little later on…

Each team’s base is a spindly affair, consisting of a network of one-block-wide bedrock platforms up in the air, with a few small areas of coloured wool. Resources drop out of the sky, so you’re going to have to build out platforms to catch them and make use of them – you are helped out a little by some of the logs and planks already being caught on your platform. Widen your base as much as possible, if you don’t want to be knocked off! Oh, and get those platforms lit up, too…

The Bridge Out Battle Arena, helpfully annotated so you know where the hidden goodies are. Don't say I don't give you anything ;) (Picture credit: Jigarbov)

The Bridge Out Battle Arena, helpfully annotated so you know where the hidden goodies are. Don’t say I don’t give you anything 😉 (Picture credit: Jigarbov)

As you can see from the arena screenshot above, there are also some satellite locations, with chests of useful resources. Each side also has a diamond-shaped structure away from the back of the base, with diamonds and emeralds – the latter being handy for some good trades, offered by the villagers. Those villagers respawn, by the way, so killing them off isn’t going to do any good!

At the centre of the arena is the temple area. As well as having still more resources up for grabs, the temple gives with one (disembodied) hand, and takes with the other! After a few minutes of play, the temple will apply potion effects to both teams simultaneously. And if the game hasn’t been won by the end of the aforementioned time limit, the temple will kill everyone, and it’s a draw!

There’s more to the temple, too: If the temple is charged, and you make it to the very centre of the temple area, an effect will be cast on just one of the teams – either a buff for yourself (e.g. invisibility), or a debuff for your opponents (e.g. nausea). You’ll also be given an Ender Pearl, which you could use to get back to base… or invade your opponents’ base!

Oh, and every time someone dies, TNT will fall around the temple, destroying any bridges!

So, Tuesday was the day that we (myself, Kristal, and Sven “SeriousCreeper” Paroth) took on The Shaft, and I figured I’d better take the time to find a video of the game in action, so we’d have some idea of what to expect. As it turned out, Jigarbov had done a recording of one of his games, so I figured that his video would be the best one to go for. It was 47 minutes well spent, because I picked up a few strategic tips which I’d pass on to my teammates.

Sven was going to be hosting the game on his server (thanks, Sven!), so he got everything installed, and invited Kristal and I to make sure everything was OK; it also gave us a chance to figure out the system for getting a game under way. Kristal and I ended up playing a 1v1 game, although for some reason, items stopped spawning for me after a few minutes. I told Kristal I’d try logging out and back in again to see if it would fix the problem – and neither of us knew that it would automatically give Kristal the win! Lesson learned… though we still had a lot of fun in the short time that we played. I was all fired up for the game, and couldn’t wait for 3am my time to get my teeth firmly into combat 😀

Sven showed up a little ahead of time, so we were able to give him a quick rundown of how the game worked, and the stuff we’d learned for strategy. Then Brent and Eric arrived in Skype, so we got them into the call and on the server; while we waited for Wes, it turned out that the guys had forgotten which map we were doing. So we took the two of them through the game rundown (though, strangely enough, we seem to have omitted the strategy tips… ;)). Wes was late to arrive, but it didn’t really matter that much; we gave him a fly-through of the basics, and then it was time to get started!

Kristal and Sven were the really intrepid ones, and even kept all of their extra lives. I’d mainly ended up on resource collection, although I was putting it to good use, particularly in helping to get extra flooring put down. Another vital thing was getting cows penned in: I’d seen this on Jig’s video, and not only would they be useful for meat and leather, the milk would be handy for counteracting the temple’s potion effects. I did take longer than intended, though, and so we ended up with a good few cows roaming the platforms…

The problem for me was that the cows created lag as they accumulated within the pen, and it caused me to fall off and suffer my first death – and mine was the first of the game. Ah, well – three more to go.

The Shaft guys got to the temple first, which was a little worrying, and they did manage to get at least one debuff onto us, and an invisibility buff onto themselves. Also, Brent managed to get to the villagers, whereas we didn’t. Well… that’s not strictly true. I ended up over there, courtesy of a needlessly suicidal move on my part. I’d taken a couple of shots at one of the villagers, intending to wipe them out – until I realised that if we managed to get over there, we’d have no one to trade with. (We found out from Brent, after the game, that the villagers respawn – because he had wiped them out at one point.)

Instead, I realised that there was a way down to the villager area, so long as the first jump down was after a sprint. Amazingly, I managed it, only taking a little damage. I told the others what I was doing – to which they said, “No! Don’t go over there alone!” The only problem was that I was already at the area, and switched to my sword to kill Brent. But after a few swings, I realised that I wasn’t hitting him with a sword – because that had broken earlier, and had been replaced with (I think) was a fermented spider eye! I took way too long to switch to an actual weapon – my bow – but even that wouldn’t really have been much help, with me within melee range. I got maybe two shots off at most before Brent put me out of my misery 😉

On the upside, my bumbling about was well out of the way of Kristal and Sven, who were dealing death and damage more effectively than I. Sven committed five player kills, Kristal placed second with two, and Brent got one, because of my suicidal dash into the villager section 😉

When it came down to the end, the temple was about ready to kill off the survivors, because we’d all taken so long to get anywhere – but Sven and Kristal, who hadn’t lost any lives at all during the main part of the game, who were left battling against Brent. And we’re not sure how he died – but it meant we won!

Sven, Kristal and I had a great time – and I certainly felt more useful than I had in Capture the Record and Race for Wool 😀 And by the sound of things, Brent, Wes and Eric had enjoyed themselves too. I’d be up for a rematch… though maybe I should keep my mouth shut? 😉

And since Sven and Eric also recorded, I’m going to link to their videos here:

If you’ve not played Bridge Out Battle, you really should: It’s a ton of fun, and Kristal and I think it’d be great with even more players per side (I figured about five or six should do it).

Many thanks to Sven and Kristal for stepping up to handle the consequences of my flapping mouth and twitchy gauntlet-throwing hand; to The Shaft Podcast guys, who were great opponents (especially Brent!), and to Jigarbov for creating such an enjoyable PvP arena!

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