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Beat the Stooge

How to Maximize Your Chances Against That Knucklehead

If you're going to be playing against the StoogeBot, you need to know how to deal with it. Even if you aren't planning on playing against it, you need to know how, because if you play Internet deathmatch, chances are you will run into a StoogeBot sooner or later. Furthermore, tactics for StoogeFighting will largely apply to other advanced client-side bots as well.

First, learn to recognize the StoogeBot. It will have a player name with the prefix SsBot. However, keep in mind that there are other bots besides the Stooge, so lack of this prefix doesn't guarantee an unaugmented player. If you are subject to an unwanted Stooge, or a player you suspect of being a bot, ask the server administrator to add "No Bots" announcement to their welcome screen, or see our FAQ.

Assuming you are playing against the StoogeBot, there are certain things you can do to minimize its advantages. Having Stooge fire control is an advantage sort of like having low ping, except more so. In combat between otherwise equal players, the player with the Stooge will win. But if you truly outclass the Stooge player, you have a chance at beating him, especially if there are other players in the game. Using the following tips, you can turn what might otherwise be complete humiliation into a challenge and a chance to test your skills.

What he sees is not what you get.

Remember that where the Stooge is looking is not necessarily where the driver is looking (and the driver can shoot too!). The only way you can get a hint of where the driver is looking is when you see the Stooge executing a difficult maneuver. For example, a Stooge driver climbing the ramp to the red armor in DM3 is most likely looking up the ramp or to the left, not straight back.

Don't go toe-to-toe.

Most StoogeBot kills will be from afar. If you close in on the Stooge, every shot will hit you, and that is always a Bad Thing. If the bot is using a RL and you are super-healthy, you can try to work your way in close to get him to kill himself with splash damage. However, a smart Stoogified player would just switch weapons in this situation and tear you up. Like all Stooge-beating maxims, you can forget this one in certain situations, including if the Stooge player is a complete idiot, or if he is currently very weak. Certainly, if you have a chance to finish off the Stooge, take it.

Deny the Lightning Gun.

The LG is the Stooge's best friend. It is fast, does buckets of damage, and it can't splash-damage the Stooge at close range. On a deathmatch 1 server, run a cycle to pick up the LG so the Stooge can't have it. Or even guard the thing. On deathmatch 2, well, just do your best. Try to kill the Stooge before it obtains the LG.

Minimize your exposure.

If there is a line of sight between you and the Stooge, you are in danger. For example, when moving along a free-standing walkway, you should stay to the middle rather than running along an edge. Similarly, don't charge around corners or leap off of ledges. If a StoogeBot has a line of sight to the area you are about to enter, it can often predict your motion well enough to make sure that you meet a rocket the moment you round that corner. Instead, make a feint at the corner (or ledge edge), backing away at the last minute, and see if any Stooge-fired projectiles come whistling past. If not, it is probably safe to proceed.

Track the StoogeBot.

Know its colors. Try to figure out where it is based on the game messages and sounds. Your goal is to STAY THE HELL AWAY from the Stooge until you can engage it on your own terms, with some advantage (terrain? weaponry?) to offset its fire-control advantage. Never turn your back on the Stooge. If at all possible, if you need to run away from it, run backwards and dodge. If this is not possible, run erratically to mess with its motion prediction.

Learn to dodge rockets.

Assuming you are staying an appropriate distance from the Stooge, and it doesn't have the LG (or you are out of its range), you will probably have some rockets coming your way. Don't panic. Stooge-fired rockets are aimed based on an extrapolation of your motion, so all you have to do is wait until the rocket is fired and then reverse your current movement. But be aware that a clever Stooge player will manually fire a rocket every now and then to mess you up, or switch to another weapon with faster projectiles.

Play for frags.

Remember that the goal is to get frags, not revenge. Your best chance to place highly, if there are plenty of other players on the level, is to minimize firefights with the Stooge, stay healthy, and pick off other players.

Psychoanalyze the Stooge.

While it can be a bit tricky, you may be able to tell which mode the 'Bot is being played in, and use that knowledge to your advantage.

If the 'Bot is in Curly Mode, it will be ping-ponging between all available targets. If there are multiple players in the bot's field of view, you may have extra time to smack the bot upside the head with a rocket or two before he gets around to returning the favor, or to duck in-and-out from behind cover while the bots attention is elsewhere

If the Stooge is in Larry Mode, you want to be extra careful to stay out of its way if you are high on the frag board. However, there will likely be a lot of weakened-but-not-quite-dead players roaming around for you to victimize as per the previous tip.

If the player has chosen Moe or Shemp Mode, it will be difficult to match his score by hunting the fringes, as the bot will tend to finish off anybody he begins firing at. However, when a Stooge is in these modes, it is easier to kill. If you happen to see it shooting at someone other than you (and not instantly killing them), then banzai !! Chances are the driver is watching the current target too, especially if he is chasing the target -- if so, you may be able to sneak up and shoot the Stooge in the back, you coward, you.