Home Editorial Balance The Good and Bad of Shooters

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.

Need I say more?

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.

17 replies to this post
  1. Hit detection glitches definitely rank highest on my list of peeves in FPS games, next to being shot through walls by snipers just outside the enemy spawn. As an avid player of TF2 it’s especially infurating how Source loves to screw up when two players are moving in the same direction touching collision hulls, usually in the form of failstabs, often multiple times in a row.

    Thankfully, there’s usually a warning in the form of the other player appearing to warp back and forth closer and further away from you, but it happens a lot, especially when you’re playing with the full Saharan Spy set utilizing the silent decloak in the form of copious use of stalking (as OMFGNinja coined the technique).

    Anyone else experienced this glitch?

  2. I am a bitter nerd-rager when it comes to getting killed by Snipers in TF2. My logic is that if I get killed by any other class, I likely did something wrong, like I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings and walked into a Demo’s Sticky trap, or I wasn’t checking my back and got stabbed by a Spy, or I wasn’t aiming well enough and got killed by the superior speed of a Scout.

    When I lose to Snipers, my problem was obviously that I wasn’t in range to actually fight them. Wait, how is that my problem on some maps? Badlands’ wide open second point for either team seems to be one of the better examples of this that I can think of. Besides pointlessly unloading a few inaccurate Pistol shots or slow moving, easy to dodge Rockets at a distance, how am I possibly supposed to even just pester a Sniper or stay out of his field of view when I have a point to defend/cap and people are running around all over the place to try and kill me, and I have to focus on them first? I can sneak around behind the guy, maybe, but in many cases this will lead into encounters with other enemies, or will just waste a lot of time. I could go Sniper and try to be a better Sniper, but by God, TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT! The only time I go Sniper is to bodyshot kill a Sniper who’s dominating me and taunt wave to them.

    I just feel really… bothered when I’m killed by a Sniper over and over again. If the same Scout or Spy or anything else keeps killing me, sure I can get agitated, but I can at least respect that I had a chance to fight and learn from my mistakes, and come to terms that I’m either up against a superior player, my class is countered by this other class, or both. Against a Sniper, everything can be over before a single shot is fired, or even before the Sniper is seen. My only mistake was moving into some open area without noticing the cowardly ranger hiding a football field or two away in pure shadows, filling jar after jar after jar of urine because he’s constantly terrified of the thought of getting into real man combat. And sometimes I have almost no options but to move into that field of vision. To be perfectly honest, the most rewarding games of TF2 I’ve played are either on maps that don’t give Snipers a very strong advantage (this is a reason I rarely play Doublecross) or where there are very few or even no Snipers in the game.

    tl;dr, I hate Snipers because they kill me all the time and I complain lots about it. :D No offense to any Snipers out there; I hate the class, not the player. Shame, because I actually like the Sniper’s personality from the videos and such.

    • You really can’t blame a Sniper for killing you. It’s your team which is doing it wrong. It may be right to say that if someone’s a good player, he will have a greater chance to survive battles against most adversaries,


      considering the game’s mechanics and that its most important part is mentioned in its name (no, it’s not ‘Fortress’), one has to admit that the game is all about countering the other team with a good setup of your own team. This might be hard to achieve on a public server, but hey, live sux anyways.

  3. When a backstab doesn’t register, makes me rage, or when you have a dead ringer up and it fails. (Some may say this is merely a myth, and dead ringers don’t fail. Well, luckily I caught proof of one failing in my demo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wLD0jKHdyw&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL )

    As far as snipers. They have the, like the scouts, the lowest hit points with standard loadout. They need to kill from far away. That’s their only advantage. But I understand. I hate certain classes too. Enemy scouts and medics . . . unless the latter uber me.

    • Wow. I never thought that could be possible. It seems to be caused by having your DR and disguise kit up at the same time.

      You can check if players are bots on the scoreboard as bots’ pings always show “BOT”.

      You know you don’t have to change disguise to change the weapon of your disguise? Just press the last disguise key with either your revolver, sapper or knife out and your disguise will switch to primary, secondary or melee respectively.

      • I had thought about the first remark you made too, but haven’t been able to try it.

        As far as BOTS that isn’t always true. nightteam servers will mask bots with ping numbers so you won’t leave the server.

        HaHAHA on the third. I knew the last disguise key would change what your disguise was holding, but didn’t know it change to what “you” held. Cudos for the tip. Epic fail on my part. My humility shines before you all. (hangs his head and weeps)

        Still pretty cool catching that on film, lol. I thought it was funny more than omg.

  4. Hit registration never annoys me because I actually check THE PING OF THE SERVER I JOIN. The only problem there is the people with 500 ping who teleport around. I don’t worry about that though since lagging that bad they have no chance of hitting me.

    • Ping doesn’t really affect hit detection much, especially as on most high ping servers you’ll actually have a very stable connection to, just with higher latency. Of course it gives Source’s (rather excellent) lag compensation code a slightly harder time but all it does is make it roll back time a bit more for each hit check.

      Maybe you’re some kind of demon with less than 50 ping, (living in New Zealand means most of the servers you’ll play on are across at least one ocean and even then it’s only a 10 ping reduction for servers in the same country) but even with 60-70 ping Source will still ruin your shit occasionally.

      It seems like most hit detection errors that could actually be attributed to latency are melee hits that glitch out due to large differences in the client-side/server-side positions of collision hulls, causing that spazzing I was talking about earlier if you get too close to someone.

  5. I play Spy a lot and I hate fail stabs. I love face stabs (I just think of it being random criticals for the knife).

    In Bad Company 2, my biggest peeve is when you and the enemy kill each other with bullets at close range. This is the only game it happens in. I blame it on the fact that they made all bullets projectiles which is how they get them to fall.

  6. Hit registration in TF2 can be a nightmare sometimes. If I have higher than 60 Ping, I won’t play Spy. On a semi-related note, the Sticky Jumper on the Zombie Fortress map “Desert Yard” = rage from all the zombies because you fly across the giant, open map and they can never keep up.

  7. Hit registration in TF2 really can get annoying. I’m in a melee fight with someone, and I can hear the sound of my fist hitting them, and I swear I was dead center in my hit, but it doesn’t count. This has gotten me killed so many times. Same goes for failstabs as Spy.

  8. I’m an avid lover of Pistols in most FPS and I expect to die a lot using them since they by no means are as fast or powerful as every other gun BUT when I’m behind someone going in a straight line and I shoot my 8 bullets into his back where 2-3 register and he does not fall down dying… thus leaving me exposed to the quick 180 and spray that he will do, nothing frustrates me more. A pistol kill is the best kind of kill to me and this hit registration that plagues connection issues and just plain lag.. is annoying.

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