There is something to be said for overcoming overwhelming odds.

I have to wonder if Brother Daniel felt that way when he joined my crew. We asked him to watch the woman sunning herself next to the pool—he was the lowest level player, and she was the only person in isolation—the rest of us had snatches of people, groups of two or four, that we'd have to keep an eye on. Then came the countdown, and panic set in; not on our part, of course. Well, maybe Brother Daniel's—the guy was only level four, after all. But we successfully managed to take all the hostages we required.

And you know what? Brother Daniel was pretty good. By the time we'd finished our heists—and he making pulled pork—he was up at level eleven. I'm fairly confident that he felt great about his accomplishments; after all, he was the best rezzer in the group, saving a bunch of us from immediate imprisonment.

Problem was, he didn't have Skype.

That's, well, that's actually why I'm making as many assumptions as I am. Brother Daniel was a fantastic asset to the team, keeping up with us experienced players, taking direction well, and just all-around being a great teammate... but his mic wouldn't work. Recently, one of the guys I'd heisted with messaged me, talking about the hell of trying to join a random game and having no Skype organization to go along with it, and I believe him.

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I'd never really thought about it before; after all, Brother Daniel's one of the better players I've had the pleasure of playing with, and I hope he gets his mic soon, so we can play together again.

Last week, when I wrote about Payday, I talked about the teamwork required. Skype has played an integral part in our heists. We've committed a lot of crimes, sung The Final Countdown together (terribly), and it's been incredibly great. I've got, I don't know, fifty new Steam friends as a result of the Payday stuff I've done. The teamwork knits us together super well. I don't think anyone's left our games feeling anything less than excited to play more.

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But... yesterday... was different.

Yesterday, we did the impossible.

Yesterday, we did Overdrill.

For those of you not in the know, Overdrill is an achievement earned by solving the hidden vault issue. When it originally launched, it took over two hours to complete; since nobody in our crew was over level 100 until today (our reward, by the way, was twenty levels worth of gold), we hadn't tried it out. Then our resident Viking, Xavus, found out we could do it on any difficulty.

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So... we did it twice in a row.

Overdrill is an achievement centered around the secret, hidden vault in First World Bank (which, as we argued about yesterday, should really be First America Bank, considering that the map has like fifty American flags). To get to it, you have to ensure that certain cameras aren't destroyed, stand in very specific positions to unlock a secret door, wait for the red light to flash, head to the door, defend it from ceaseless waves of enemies for thirty-three minutes (and that's on easy), press the secret hidden tiles without releasing the poisonous gas, and then collect your prize.

Xavus, Mr. Blooey, TastySatsuma, and I represented an international cabal of criminals, hailing from Norway, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, respectively. We shot the breeze while holding off cops, experimented by trying to herd them into little areas, discovered some neat features about Payday we'd never noticed before, talked about things like mental illness and bad games writers... it was just... we had a great deal of fun.

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So much, in fact, that Xavus just asked me if I'd like to do it again. Man, with Payday 2 just around the corner, I really hope there are secrets like this to find; waiting thirty minutes or so is... bizarrely delightful.

About those secrets we found: one triggered after most of us put on Halloween masks; over in the office, a radio with spooky organ music started playing, candelabras with creepy candles were all lit up, and the big painting overlooking the room had become, well... more gruesome. Our "ooooooh" moment was as hilarious as it was awesome, as illustrated in this video.

Another thing I learned—I think Xavus pointed it out—was that you can effectively herd cops. Get too close, and instead of attacking you, some will back away. In the process, we learned that if there's significant lag, the clients seem to... operate on their own. Because I was lagging a bit (being the only American in the crew), I would see AI, but it would be in different locations and engage in different locations than everyone else. I'd still be killing people and they'd still be counted towards my kill counts... but not everyone could see them. This explained why, occasionally, one of us would go down, and another would be able to revive them; I once saw a cloaker that just stood there, rather than killing the person I was covering, which made it a lot easier to help one of the crewmembers who'd been downed.

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So, hey, I'd like to thank Xavus, TastySatsuma, and Mr. Blooey for being pretty regular and awesome crewmembers, and I'd like to thank Brother Daniel for being a great sport and a fantastic new player. Also, some of the guys who've played with us before, like Souls and Tythus, need to pop in and join us, and, as usual, I love playing with people who've never experienced the joys of playing Payday before.

Which... leads me to this: people keep adding me on Steam, all wanting to play Payday, and... it's getting to be a bit of a problem. Right now, I have one hundred and sixty-two friends, fifty or so of which who have friended me in order to play Payday. While that's awesome, it's hard to manage. Worse still, I can only play with three other people at any given time, which means that every time I play, people are messaging me, asking to join, and I don't really have room for them. It's a huge bummer.

So I'm thinking maybe I should just create a Steam group dedicated to playing Payday; if you want to play with us, just join the group. We'll send out announcements on the weekends, and people can join the group chat looking for partners to mess around with.

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Sound good?

Or would you all rather join the awesome Steam group set up by Neryl and mess around in that one? I can negotiate with Neryl how to set up announcements and stuff so we can play Payday whenever—plus, we can do other games as well, like System Shock 2 co-op, Age of Empires II HD, and stuff like that. I'd really like to play the more obscure games than the obvious "everyone knows about this" stuff like, well, Valve games.