My next post will be about the stats of Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam, I promise. I had to get this off my chest. I can’t conceivably cover everything the title suggests, so instead I’ll do one of both, the extremes, as I see them.
First, the good: uniqueness of combat. When I hop into Call of Duty or Battlefield, I know on a surface level what to expect based on my knowledge of the maps, generally sound tactics and each gun’s killing power. For CoD, I expect campers with high powered assault rifles or balls-to-the-wall rushers with the overpowered SMG du jour. With Battlefield, I know that the tanks and snipers will be annoying no matter what they do, and I expect there to be a weapon that kills me more often than any other. I also know, after about a day or so of gaming, the general layout of the maps, where the flanking routes are and how best to exploit a particular piece of map design.
What I do not know, however, is how the battle itself is to play out. This is less of a factor with CoD’s indestructible environments, but because players play differently, I don’t know if my favorite flanking route or rushing path will indeed be open to me. Will there be a guy watching it with his sniper rifle or will I be able to do inappropriate things to the backsides of my enemies? Is the other team using its radar, spotting, putting up UAV’s or Spy Planes, throwing motion sensors and TNT or are they rushing blindly? Should I expect my own tactics to be thrown in my face, and will I have to adjust my playstyle to counter what really I should be doing myself?
I love the fact that I’m never quite sure how the match is to play itself out. I can certainly assume certain things based on my knowledge of game mechanics and knowledge, but without knowing the entirety of my team and my enemy’s team, there is no way to call exactly what I’m going to have to do to win…
That being said, I probably have more to say about my own nemesis (at least of the moment) in FPS games: faulty hit registration. This couldn’t have become clearer to me than in a game of Conquest on Panama Canal a couple nights ago. I was running around with a pump action shotgun not caring about anything; it was late, I was tired and loopy, and everything made me laugh (the fail-troll didn’t hurt either). However, I know that had I not been in such a jovial mood, my computer might have suddenly gained a few extra ports, courtesy of my fist. I don’t have nearly enough fingers to count the number of times I shot a guy from directly behind him, got the blood spurt and flinch animations that show the hit, and still have my dear friend turn around and introduce my face to his light machine gun. It took three shells* of the four in the gun to take him down from point blank. Realistically, he should have been paste at that point.
What I’m leading to here is a problem that plagues all games where a projectile needs to move through virtual space and make contact with a target. Heck, the Cabela’s games might apply here. If the code for the game does not recognize that the bullets from your gun have hit their target, there is no way you’ll either kill your desired victim or, for that matter, have any fun. This isn’t limited to host-based games, but the problem is certainly amplified there. Team Fortress 2, which I know you are familiar with, has this problem as well. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve put four solid revolver rounds into a chasing Pyro only to have only two of them actually connect, leading to my rather untimely burnination.
I mentioned host games for a reason (as you could’ve probably guessed). If my connection is crap compared to my target’s, which is the case I want to say 75% of the time, the four shot kill that the stats promise, promise, becomes a five to seven shot kill. And any CoD player knows that if you need to put seven shots into a guy, he’s killed you by the fifth. The three-burst weapons in every game from CoD4 (save maybe World at War) are one burst kills from almost any distance. The M16 wasn’t called the God-Gun in that game for no reason. In Black Ops, it might take two bursts from across most maps, but in general, if all three bullets hit (and register), you have yourself another kill. This is especially true with the G11. However, WoodysGamertag mentioned in one of his videos that on a bad connection, it might take him six bursts with the G11 to down a single guy. Six three-shot bursts with the Demon-Gun of Black Ops!**
It’s stuff like this that ruins a gaming session for me. I expect to take somebody down in a certain number of bullets, be it six or seven bullets in Battlefield or three to four in CoD. When he doesn’t go down at that point, I’m probably sprinting towards my next goal while he shoots me in the back (Second Chance be damned). I’ve had more rage because of stuff like this than I care to say, and it isn’t particularly good for my gaming experience or the leg that’s healing from a prodigious, frustrated beating.
Comment or Die
In the comments, I’d be interested to know what your biggest pet peeves and favorite things are in the games you play, whatever they may be.
* He doesn’t know how to use the three seashells!!! ~WiNG
** I’m leaving the 74u out of this.