The PvP Season 1 extension comes as no surprise, as players lost two days' worth of PvP play due to problems in the roll-out of Spec Ops 4. Not an altogether unwelcome development, but given the pattern of rising and falling (mostly falling) ELO scores in PvP, it isn't the most clamored-for fix.

Speaking of falling ELO, over the course of several days that I was away from active PvP, my ELO plummetted down to 1500+ from almost 1800. Nevertheless, after examining my Battle Records, I found that it could have been far worse, as roughly half of my AFK fights were wins, the ELO loss being attributable to the ELO gain/loss difference. Seems that the AI takes to the Blade Rush V.2 setup well enough to hold its own against a human player, which is one of our goals in using this setup.

As I'm writing this, I'm slowly inching my way back into the Adamantium League. My objective in this run is to go as far up into the rankings as possible to achieve two things. First, I want to create an ELO buffer to protect me from the continuous AFK attacks, so that even if I fall back into Vibranium League, I can still inch back into Adamantium in perhaps an hour of continuous PvP play. This will be most applicable to the last few days of Season 1, as Season 1 now ends at approximately 6-7AM in my time zone, so my window to regain any lost ground will be rather small. Second, I want to place myself out of range of those players in the 1400-1500 range who are the most active in playing PvP, under the earlier theory I posited that a combination of high Agent level and high ELO can force the PvP match pairing system to skip me over in favor of other players closer in ELO to those agents in my level range. At the moment, that ELO range seems to be fairly wide, given the continuous elevation of the mean average ELO score in my Agent level range (I assume that to be Lvl 190 +/-25, based on the largest level disparity I've encountered so far).

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In an earlier blog post, fellow Wiki blogger PKB pointed out his counter-strategy to AFK Blade Rush V.2 in the Comments area. If you are seeing a number of players in your level range using IW in any suit, I suggest that you give his comment a thorough look and consider his insight. Personally I rarely, if at all, encounter IW - I think I've only come across one player other than PKB who uses her - so the prospect of my Agent activating Po4 whle Force Caged doesn't worry me that much. (Although I did, for a brief moment, substitute IW for Mockingbird just to see how an AFK Agent reacts to Force Cage. Seeing it use Po4 despite being Force-Caged *is* quite hilarious!)

If I were, however, worried about my Agent killing himself out of Force Cage-induced claustrophobia, I would probably reconfigure my AFK agent to be more of a support agent than an attack one. One of these days I'll try to check what non-Subtle/Self Agent gear works through Force Cage to have a better idea. Needless to say, in an environment where IW is prevalent, the team I would field would be vastly different.

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The new Spec Ops 4 weapon "Grief" has definitely gotten me excited. I've gone up against two teams with an Agent using this, and I am very much impressed by its damage potential in conjunction with Po4 and Arc Reactor. (NB - I lost both times!) If nothing else, I am going to aim to get Grief more than Ghost Rider in this Spec Op.

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