Home Editorial Why you’re wrong about everything in Titanfall

With Titanfall being out for a couple of weeks and a lot more people playing it, a few issues keep cropping up as harsh criticisms of an otherwise great game. These misguided complaints, however, are not the objective truths they insist they are. Today, I’m going to go through some of the more common outcries and explain why they’re wrong, wrong, wrong. There are certainly legitimate issues with Titanfall, but these common sources of whining aren’t among them.

It’s unacceptable that Respawn are charging for map packs

Easy one to start with. As with most DLC, these maps are completely optional. If you don’t want them, no one is forcing you to buy them. This issue is often brought up as part of a slippery slope fallacy to try and reason that Respawn will charge for all additional but that would be a terrifically terrible business move on their part as they’ve already stated that they’ll be releasing a series of free content patches for things that didn’t ship with the game. This kind of criticism is by no means exclusive to Titanfall but do we really have to address it every time a game has DLC? Yes, I miss the days where you got the map packs for free if you were on PC. Yes, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between Bad DLC and Good DLC. Yes, voting with your wallet is still the best way to go about changing things. No, having these new maps isn’t a necessity.

Shotguns are overpowered and desperately need a nerf

Shotguns are close range weapons. If you get close to someone and they have a shotgun, you’re dead if they fire. This is true in Titanfall and every other game that has shotguns. At medium and long range, shotguns can’t do shit. Use this to your advantage. If there’s someone camping an area with a shotgun, you also have a number of options to deal with it. I won’t detail every strategy for dealing with that kind of situation but I will say that small, enclosed spaces plus grenades = instant death zone. Again, not something specific to Titanfall, but it’s coming up to ten years of me having to explain to people that shotguns are close range weapons.

The Smart Pistol is little more than a glorified aimbot

Some people got their wish of a slight damage nerf to the Smart Pistol but that’s still not enough for the most persistent of whiners. The fact that the Smart Pistol can lock on to targets and kill them with one pull of the trigger makes the weapon broken, in their eyes.

They’re wrong.

The Smart Pistol is primarily a farming weapon that is best put to use in Attrition but can be utilised in most modes to help with decreasing Titan build time. You can see this by looking at the time it takes to lock on to different enemies; almost instant on AI minions but substantially longer on Pilots. Ask yourself this: If you were running around, not being fully aware of your surroundings  and constantly in the sights of an enemy Pilot for three to four seconds, do you really think you’re going to make it out of that situation alive? Keep in mind that if you’re getting killed by the lock-on of the Smart Pistol, they had clear line of sight the entire time.

Maybe that’s a problem with your way of getting around rather than the weapon. It’s just like melee executions. It’s not the fault of the player that they were able to sneak up behind you and kill you with one shot, it’s your fault for not noticing you were getting sneaked up on.

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge, people.

Without a built-in Ranked mode I can’t enjoy the game

Are you fucking kidding?

You’re incapable of enjoying a game if it doesn’t have an integrated Ranked mode? Do you not think that if the game was intended to be played competitively, it would have shipped with a Ranked mode? That would certainly be the case if it was seen to be as important by the developer, right? Also, do you have any idea how much work it would take to implement such a mode? You’d need to figure out balancing issues for the weapons, find out if there’s a difference between Ranked/Normal in terms of gameplay, figure out if it’s possible or worthwhile to have separate Ranked modes for people in full parties and by themselves, likely implement a form of Team Registry so you can keep track of who’s in what team in order to track skill level, address if it’s possible to have people as part of more than one team, leaderboards, ranking tables, do you keep everything specific to the regional servers or do it worldwide, whether or not burn cards are allowed… It’s a massive headache to implement something like that into a game.

What baffles me is that every time I’ve suggested that the players themselves run the ranked side of things, they tell me that it’s too complicated and is almost impossible for anyone to run any kind of ranked system for a game that isn’t implemented directly into the game itself. What. Utter. Nonsense. A few years ago? Maybe. In a world where so many games are played competitively and websites like Challonge exist, it’s easier than ever for players to host their own leaderboard, rankings and tournaments.

Hell, if the community is really desperate for it, I’ll create the Titanfall ranking and tournament system as soon as Private Lobbies are introduced.

Speaking as someone who doesn’t require a ranked mode to enjoy a game (that notion still baffles me), I really hope Respawn doesn’t implement a ranked system straight into the game. In every other game I’ve played with an implemented ranking system, I’ve always seen the rank-obsessed dipshits spilling out into not-ranked games with their soul objective being to bitch and moan about how everyone is a ‘noob’ who needs to ‘get on their level’ or they have another account who is rank Super Grandmaster Fly 5000 or some shit.

Respawn, if you’re reading this, please don’t implement a ranked system into Titanfall. Let the players run it themselves outside of the game with their own rules, their own set up, their own community. It’ll save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches this way. There will also be absolutely no contesting that the player-run ranked system is entirely separate to normal play and that unranked is in no way intended to be a training ground for eventual ranked play. Some people dig playing something with a ranking system and I get that, I really do, but some people just want to shoot some folk and have fun that way. We don’t want to hear what rank you are. We don’t care how high up on the table you are. We don’t want to hear if we’re not playing the game ‘properly’. Keep it to yourselves.

In conclusion…

The weapons are fine, the upcoming extra content is fine, if you don’t want to buy the DLC then don’t buy the DLC, and set up the ranking system yourselves if you want it that badly (yes, I was serious when I said I would run a ranked tournament/leaderboard system when private lobbies come out before). Oh yeah, and keep an eye on the sky. You wouldn’t want to get squashed by an incoming robot.

12 replies to this post
  1. Apparently you don’t play Titanfall on PC then, shotguns are not just a short range weapon. Especially when most teams have atleast 2-4 shotgun users. Do your research before writing reviews.

    • I actually do play on PC but that’s not relevant. Please show me something to back up your claim of shotguns not being short range weapons. I especially want to see something showing that the more shotgun users a team has, the more the range on the weapon increases.

  2. The reason we pine for a competitive ranked system is because the game requires some degree of skill to play. Maybe you’re unfamiliar with eSports but all the best companies attempt to make their game competitive because it brings in that crowd. League of Legends and Counter Strike isn’t popular because of its casual player base, let me tell you that right now. (exclude call of duty, trash community)
    I guess the difference between you and the competitive players is that you are a casual gamer, and we play to win and we play with a bit more serious attitude towards winning and doing well. It may be a game, but the very heart of games is in competition. It’s not a cooperative game where we just fight bots, we fight other players, and we want to beat them. You WANT to do better and be good at the game, the lack of a ranked system only says that there is nothing to shoot for, no reason to get better except to stat pad, which nobody can view except you.
    If every game company took notes from Riot and Valve we might see more triple A games staying popular for longer than just 1-2 years. That would help games actually sell their delayed DLC’s too, and there’s also the huge twitch.tv community that LOVES competitive games, and watching good players. If you’re looking for ways for the company to profit off of the “competitive scene” then look no further than Twitch. Companies could broadcast dev blogs/competitive play/tournaments/etc. and generate tons of publicity and revenue that was untapped by the player base that doesn’t make blind purchases without a demo.
    I actually wasn’t going to buy titanfall because I didn’t play the beta, but the hype was enough to make me purchase it, but I won’t be playing it anymore, nor buying any DLC now that I completed gen 1, and outplay 80%+ of the players I find (especially those in later gens).
    I think at the end of the day it is extremely worth it for the company to invest in competitive play. You can set up your own, but if its implemented directly, then it gives everyone access and you wouldn’t have to set up some underground leaderboards that only 200 people out of the 100k know about. The game is super fun, but competition is what drives me, and many other gamers like me, and that’s why we’re not wrong about everything in Titanfall.

    • I’m not unfamiliar with eSports but I think that saying a number of games are only popular because of their competitive scene is inaccurate. For example, you completely ignored CoD games right off the bat. The Half-Life games are extremely popular and don’t have a ranked mode. Pokemon has ranked leaderboards but the larger competitive Pokemon community follows a meta which operates outside of the game itself. Team Fortress 2 is a popular FPS which doesn’t have its own ranked system within the game. Dial back a few years and Counter-Strike, a very popular FPS at the time, didn’t have a ranked system within the game. Whilst a competitive scene can attract new players, it really isn’t the best idea (or sometimes even feasible) to implement a ranked system into the game itself.

      You can perceive me how you like but I play to win. Let’s clear something up: If you’re not making money from playing the game, you’re a casual gamer. If you spend hundreds of hours playing the game, good for you but it doesn’t make you any different from someone who only plays half that much. The whole casual/hardcore divide is something which has, thankfully, been phasing itself out of the community over the last few years.

      Why is it a problem that no one except you can see your stats? That only really sounds like a bad thing if you’re wanting to show off which, as I mentioned above, is an inherent problem of ranked systems in games. In terms of there being nothing to shoot for within the game unless it has a ranked system, there are challenges put in the game for you to work through. There are also challenges you can come up with yourself to make your experience more difficult.

      “but I won’t be playing it anymore, nor buying any DLC now that I completed gen 1, and outplay 80%+ of the players I find (especially those in later gens)”

      Again, good for you but I am curious as to why you’ve then not pushed on to finish the higher regenerations that require you to complete challenges in order to continue. I mean, if the core of games is the competition aspect then surely you should be enjoying yourself immensely by consistently beating four fifths of the players you encounter. Of course, it could always be that there’s a more important core to ever game that isn’t a competition aspect. I think it’s called ‘fen’ or ‘fon’ or something like that.

      It’s only worth it for a company to invest time in competitive play in their game if they can afford to spend a sufficient amount of time maintaining the ranked system until the end of the game’s life cycle and if the system itself isn’t too time consuming to implement. Like I mentioned in the article, the implementation of a ranked system directly into the game is going to be a major headache which will take up time and resources which could be put to better use elsewhere.

      Let’s go with your numbers and say there are 100k people who want to play Titanfall competitively. Of those 100k, let’s say that 70% of them are actually interested enough to do some searching for a competitive community. They end up finding three different leagues: Strict, Lax and Hybrid. 20% of them don’t like the rules in ANY of the leagues and choose instead to complain on various forums about there not being a league that they like. This still leaves more than half of the original 100k people who were interested in playing competitively happy with what they’ve chosen to do. As an added bonus, they all keep their dick measuring contests within those competitive circles rather than bleeding out into the more general Titanfall community.

      If it was guaranteed that the smug elitists and loud-mouthed dolts who want to do nothing but show off were to all disappear into the ranked mode and never bother anyone outside of it then I’d be all for implementing a ranked system in a heartbeat no matter how clunky is was. We both know that isn’t going to happen. Respawn won’t half-ass a job. Morons wielding rulers, their pants already around their ankles, will spill out into any game they can whilst demanding that someone duel them because they’re rank Spooge Circle and everyone else is clearly rank Wank Stain. There will be further division within the community of people who want to play ranked due to disagreements with different rules and policies within the mode.

      Like I said, I’ll run a league quite happily once private lobbies are released. It’ll have a subreddit, a forum, blackjack, hookers, the whole show. It saves Respawn time and money with everyone who wants a competitive scene enjoying themselves too. Problem solves, just be patient. Of course, it’s around that time I’m going to have to write another one of these articles due to the inevitable whinings of the game then needing a spectator mode. It never fucking ends.

      • I ignored COD because I can’t speak knowledgeably on the subject, if I recall, its a titanfall-like level system in place there, but you can check stats. You ignored my statements about the life-span of a ranked game versus that of a casual environment game. Halo 2 and 3 were competitive, had ranked systems, and lasted for years on their own with only a few extra maps every now and then. CoD’s are pumped out yearly like its Madden so its no wonder they don’t implement a system. Pokemon implemented a ranked system! I’m actually building my team on there, and I promise that there is very little negatives to a ranked pokemon system, because that community is one of the nicest, friendliest bunch in my opinion.
        If your argument is that it makes the community more toxic, look no further than halo 2. That game had modders, cheaters, and trash talking like crazy! But that didn’t make me quit the game. It made me want to get better. Granted there wasn’t a bunch of alternatives at the time, but the Gears of war 1 and 2 leaderboard, the halo 3 1-50 skill system, and the starcraft 2 ranked system are actually fantastic, and reasons I kept trying to get better at those games. There was even a divider in halo 3 between ranked and social playlists, and both were highly populated for 2 years straight.
        I guess if you hate the competitive community because you’ve met a few bad eggs on CoD or Halo or whatever game, then I understand your viewpoint, because I’ve experienced those players too. That doesn’t mean all games should be void of ranked systems, and considered casual. It means those players should be muted, or ignored, because they’re jerks.
        I also don’t like your definition of a casual gamer. I make money from games, but not from playing professionally. World of Warcraft has gold sellers (not just oversea farmers). There’s also the steam market for tf2, dota2 (which recently introduced ranked), and cs:go. I think that people who compete on the highest levels of play are the competitive games and the people who shrug off losses as “meh it happens” are the casual gamers. The ones who want to keep getting better and always try to learn new things are competitive. I have a friend who plays league and whenever he dies I would give a pointer on what he did wrong, or what he could have done, but he says “eh, can’t change it now”. That’s the dividing line from my perspective. The players who are okay with being bad at games, and the players who want to be among the best.
        I don’t push onward in Titanfall to complete more gens, because I don’t see the prize in attaining the highest generation in that game. I don’t see the reason anyone would look at a gen 10 and say anything but “wow he has too much time on his hands” and not “wow he must be good.” It’s not a note of skill, its a note of time spent on game. That’s why Halo 4 died within 2 months, and any other game that isn’t COD. That’s why Titanfall will die as soon as there’s a competitive alternative. There just isn’t any glory in casual gaming, you don’t feel good after you win the same way you would a ranked game.
        I’ll briefly mention one more thing. Scientifically, you’re brain rewards you for achieving things. It gives you dopamine and makes you feel good. Because of this, when you work towards, and attain something, that you consider an achievement, you feel good about it. That’s why I am drawn to competitive games, and why so many others are. That’s one of the reasons gaming is such a largely practiced hobby. It helps us escape our mundane or otherwise not astounding lives and really feel like we’re achieving something. That sounds extremely nerdy and sad, but it’s the truth. You can’t tell me that when you beat your first game you didn’t feel good, or that when you outplayed someone in an online game you didn’t feel like you had achieved that victory.
        Another point of your argument was about the mouth-breathing whiney community who will never be happy. That exists in EVERY game, competitive or not. People find ways to deal with their inability to be good at games in different ways. You can play a different game, play casual, or complain that the game isn’t fair because you aren’t winning as much as you think you should. Those people should be ignored through and through. They don’t even generate great ideas, mostly just nonsense they feel would help them to do better (it won’t).

        “If it was guaranteed that the smug elitists and loud-mouthed dolts who want to do nothing but show off were to all disappear into the ranked mode and never bother anyone outside of it then I’d be all for implementing a ranked system in a heartbeat no matter how clunky is was.”
        You think the competitive players like these losers? You would never in a million years find me on any forum complaining about the balance of an AK in CS:GO or a certain champion in league just because I get outskilled by players. I do my best to adapt and learn to beat them. If I don’t, I simply keep trying.
        I’ve played almost every competitive game that existed, and I’ve played way more non-competitive ones and I will always defend the point that a ranked system will always be needed in any player versus player game.
        Oh and as a final incentive, if they were to implement a ranked system in Titanfall, it would seperate the playerbase. High tier players versus high tier players, low tier versus low tier. You wouldn’t have such a sparse distribution of noobs and pros. I wouldn’t be queing into matches against people who just got the game who I’m probably going to ruin their new experience by destroying beyond belief because I’ve had the game for months and they just got it or Christmas or whatever.
        Your argument that it’s not fiscally sound went unnoticed because you ignored my arguments to the contrary. Twitch.tv and company-supported tournaments bring in publicity and new players. It would sell DLC better too. You can’t ignore that; look at Operation Phoenix on CS:GO, Heart of the Swarm for SCII, all the DLC for Halo 3 (their most successful DLC as I recall was actually the one that included a competitive map that was used in tournaments, which they packaged through a 50 dollar game [ODST]).
        Please don’t think so lowly of the competitive community just because you’ve seen the bottom of the barrel, check out pro players on twitch and see how entertaining they are and what a good time they have playing the games. They don’t whine or complain when they lose, they move on and try to continue to get better.

  3. While I see the argument quite often that “Shotguns are for close range” people fail to understand what that actually should translate to in a game. Below is a litany of links that will demonstrate what an effective range on a shotgun is in reality. While I would agree that shotguns are a closER range weapon you need to understand shooting ranges and the size of FPS maps. Maximum effective ranges for pistols are 10-20Y, shotguns are 40-75Y, and rifles (non-sniper users) are 100-400Y for most shooters (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f18/rifle-caliber-distances-22593/).

    Most FPS (Titanfall included) are centered on a close quarters battle environment 20-50Y. Yes there are areas where you can do a 300-400Y shot, but these are not common. 300-400Y shots typically involve a very narrow lines of sight, or leave you completely exposed and are not normally used.

    That said, for most CQB engagements a shotgun is as effective as it should be! Many people get used to the fact that games for many years have under ranged shotguns due to the shortened lengths of the maps. If they made the maps full scale then the distances would become more evident to players, but as of now you can’t say that shotguns are OP (and no I don’t typically use a shotty) they are just as destructive as they should be. Players just need to either clear a building better (not run and gun), or accept that the shotgun fires essentially 12 bullets with 1 trigger pull.

    http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/10-1997.pdf
    Joint Service Combat Shotgun Program
    Page 14
    “(3) Have a maximum effective range of forty meters (fifty meters desired) with the DOD standard 2.75-inch No. 00 buckshot ammunition, and 100 meters (125 meters desired) with slug ammunition.”

    Page 18
    ” British examination of its Malaya experience determined that, to a range of thirty yards (27.4 meters), the probability of hitting a man-sized target with a shotgun was superior to that of all other weapons.”
    “A 1952 British study by the Commander of British Security Forces, compiled from combat action reports, tests, and other studies (including medical), reconfirmed the previous finding that the shotgun was a highly-effective combat weapon at ranges out to seventy-five yards (68.6 meters). ”

    http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/23225.aspx
    “Range Solid shot: 130m / buckshot: 40m”

    http://www.frfrogspad.com/shotgun.htm
    “I think that we can now agree that the riotgun is not the proverbial “death ray,” nor is it a useless very short range only weapon. When properly employed with ammunition of known performance it can provide its user with the ability to control their environment in a 100+ yard radius with almost complete certainty.”
    {{Editorial his 100Y statement was with slug, thou the article demonstrates 50y as perfectly viable for 00Buck}}

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_shotgun
    “The buckshot typically used in a combat shotgun spreads out to a greater or lesser degree depending on the barrel choke, and can be effective at ranges as far as 70 m (75 yards). The delivery of the large number of projectiles simultaneously makes the shotgun the most effective short range weapon commonly used, with a hit probability 45% greater than a sub-machine gun (5 round burst), and twice as great as an assault rifle.’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeW6oAsMudA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G–EsibXYkA
    http://www.fieldandstream.com/answers/guns/shotguns/ammunition/what-max-effective-range-00-buckshot-using-3-shells-out-12-gauge-i-

  4. All I want to say is that it isn’t that the weapons are overpowered. It’s that there’s no reason to use anything other than those weapons in certain game modes.

    Attrition? Smart pistol, or you lose. Even Titans are less likely to beat out points.
    Hardpoint? Eva + satchels, or you likely lose.

    Not that I don’t have any other problems with the shotgun, it’s far too easy to fire blindly and get a kill with it, even at moderate range. There’s not any kick back or cocking period.

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