Stolen Pixels #86: Left 4 Dumb: Part 8

By Shamus Posted Friday May 1, 2009

Filed under: Column 20 comments

Another Left 4 Dumb comic.

People keep telling me they enjoy this series, but they can’t possibly be enjoying it as much as I am. It’s nice to have material that’s written ahead of time and to know I’ll be able to get the shots I need from the game. I seem to be coming to some sort of truce with Garry’s mod. Perhaps someday I’ll attain the lofty goal of becoming “competent” with the thing.


From The Archives:

20 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #86: Left 4 Dumb: Part 8

  1. Krellen says:

    Is the push broom actually a weapon you can pick up in the game? Is it an upgrade to the “regular” unarmed attack, like the chainsaw is to the knife in Doom?

  2. Rutskarn says:

    Don’t forget that is’ Freak Free Friday (that’s actually what they call it), people. For 24 hours only, unlock Left 4 Dead for free!

    Of course, it locks back up again afterwards, but at least you get to try it.

  3. Factoid says:

    I feel compelled to point out that the shotgun is actually a much better weapon if you never completely discharge it.

    If you reload constantly after every shot, you never run out of ammo. It reloads a single shot so fast that there’s no excuse for auto-shotty-firing until the chamber is empty.

    If you let the thing empty completely you have to load the weapon and then recock it, which costs you several seconds. If you reload every shot or two, you’ll never have to recock the weapon (except for the pump, obviously). You can basically shoot indefinitely.

    And on top of that the auto shotgun holds 10 rounds in the tube, plus 128 in reserve. I can easily skip half the ammo stations on a map and never come close to running dry, unlike the SMG or assault rifle which I’m lucky if I make it from ammo-spot to ammo-spot before I’m back to pistols.

    The ammo in this game is a little ridiculous, though. Shotgun ammo comes in boxes of 20 I think. Each box probably weighs around 5-7 pounds, depending on guage, and lead vs steel shot. So 138 rounds would be almost 7 boxes of shot and 30-40 pounds of extra weight. Maybe more.

    I like to shoot steel shot when hunting pheasant, personally, because it’s lighter and you have to walk a lot, plus I’ve never noticed that lead works any better at those ranges. For zombies, though, I’d want lead buckshot. First of all because of the extra stopping power from a heavier bullet, but also secondly because lead shells can be self-manufactured, which I think will be important in the zombie apocalypse.

  4. Avaz says:

    I was laughing in just about every single frame, something that has been nigh unachievable for a while.

    (I should preface that with the following: While I do end up laughing at all the comics, it usually comes at the punchline, not the preceding setup frames, so this was exceptionally awesome.) :D

  5. Karizma says:

    I really am enjoying this series. The extra character personality setup reminds me why DM of the Rings was so freaking awesome.

    And the dynamic between Bill, Zoey and Francis is absolutely fantastic. Please don’t stop, good sir.

  6. Ell Jay says:

    I only wish the frames were bigger (or tighter) so we could more easily see the great expressions on their faces.

  7. BeAuMaN says:

    Hey uh… Shamus… I just noticed, but… didn’t Francis “magically” upgrade from double shotguns to double auto shotguns? :p (Could be a new comic too ;))

  8. Den Store Frelser says:

    Do you still instantly finish reloading by using the “unarmed” attack? Unless I was imagining things the times I played the game, that was an excellent way of coping with automatic weapons. Not so much help with shotguns, as you reload one shell at a time, but the trick did stop the recocking, I think. It might not be as neat as the Goldeneye reloading, but (if it still works) it does let you break the rules of physics a little.

  9. Telas says:

    Verisimilitude, meet game balance.

    (Geek Lecture Mode: ON)

    At close range, a shotgun is probably the most devastating weapon you can legally have. Even bird shot at close range will do extensive trauma.

    On the other hand, most “other” firearms can be reloaded pretty quickly. A magazine-fed pistol or rifle in under a second (link). A speedloader-fed revolver in a couple of seconds (link). But a shotgun takes almost a second for each round (link). (And those speedloader tubes and such are not 100% reliable in an adrenaline-heavy situation, IMHO.)

    The only thing slower than a shotgun is a single shot rifle or a bolt action rifle with an internal magazine. Or course, if you’re using one of these, it’s likely that speed isn’t as much of a factor as first-shot accuracy.

    (We’re ignoring muzzle-loaders, you completist bastards.)

    (Geek Lecture Mode: OFF)

  10. Uncle Festy says:


  11. Philip says:

    If I remember correctly Marathon 2 by Bungie had quick reloading shotguns and your caracter could carry two of them at once.

  12. Julian says:

    Nothing beats the Metal Gear Solid approach. Tap R2 twice, and your gun was reloaded. The final boss in MGS3 was ridiculously easy once you figured out you could shoot one rocket a second, instead of one every 4 or 5.

  13. Volatar says:

    Shamus, I hate you so much.

    You linked TV Tropes. I knew I shouldn’t have clicked it. I did.

    I spent the last hour and a half on that site when I could have been playing Dwarf Fortress!

    Your a horrible person! D:

  14. Volatar says:

    Oh, and your L4D series of comics is hilarious.

  15. Kdansky says:

    Curse you, shamus, curse you!

    I have given in an bought L4D. Even thouh I have to play it on settings which are truly hideous, it’s still a good game. Someone come play on the 20sided server.

  16. Factoid says:

    @fresler: You don’t instantly reload, but you can reload one shell inbetween each melee.

  17. Nazgul says:

    Something to keep you going through your next late-night game, Shamus, in case you don’t see my tweet:

    (Off topic: do you use a reader like TweetDeck so you can see @replies from people you aren’t following?)

  18. JP says:

    Ha! Love it! I rarely LOL for real reading Web Comics but I did on this one. Good Job!

  19. Author says:

    It’s piquant how the chick berates two-handed shotgun use while she’s used pistols… two-handed. Exactly the same reloading problem there. Talking about two-hand shooting is a good way to peeve experts and tactics instructors, if you have any among your friends.

  20. RTBones says:

    The broom is hilarious.

    As someone pointed out already, you can make better use of the shotgun if you don’t fully discharge it between reloads. There are issues with that, however, when you get overrun. And as to the girl using two pistols…maybe she just thinks she’s Laura Croft. Or wants to be like Laura Croft like others just want to “be like Mike”. Or its Laura Croft in disguise – she has to take a rest from raiding tombs SOMEtime….

    On a related but different note — anyone know what happened to “Stolen Pixels #84: Left 4 Dumb: Part 6”? For some reason, I am not seeing it in the “Related Reading” pane to the right of the comic. Did I miss a joke somewhere, or was an episode ‘removed?’ Did it not get published?

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