COD:BO? No Thanks.

Pass. The last CoD game I played was WoW Single Player and it didn’t do much for me. As for Multiplayer these games have been ruined by consoles. When it comes to quasi-military shooters I play with my FPS community, Tactical Gamer. The focus at that community is to slant the game towards realistic tactics as much as possible. Cut my teeth in that community on BF2142, put a good 80 hours into BC2 and then got sick of it since it was shallow as all hell.
When it comes to run-and-gun I’m done with FPS based in reality and/or based in simplistic game play. Sub-32 player TDM is just boring now. Small scale CTF/CP outside of TF2 is similarly boring. I had all of that back in the early FPS days with UT. Just UT.

Since then I’ve moved on to (and some cases beyond) Planetside, World War II Online, BF2142, Project Reality (BF2 mod). I’d still love to play BF2142 on TG’s server, though).

  • 48-64 players players minimum (far more with the MMOFPS).
  • Multiple squads per team with a defined command heirarchy.
  • Expansive maps with huge reach and depth.
  • Large-Scale, mutli-point objectives with structured paths to form fronts.

Any of that sound like 90% of the FPSes made post-Halo? Nope. We’re stuck in the early 2000s thanks to the rise of, and limitations of, the console FPS.

The CoD, MoH series have both moved from the PC to the Console as their target platform. They have ceased to innovate when it comes to scope and depth. In fact they push out innovative titles like MAG (I wish that were a PC title!). So all that is left is the Single-Player campaign.

At $60 a pop?

Yeah, don’t think so.

I’m more than content with my TF2 addiction (creeping up on 500 hours in that game, only WoW and AC has more play time) and the good rounds of BF2142/PR I can get on the TG servers. I’ll subsist on that until a true MP PC FPS comes along. One that expands the scope and depth of team work, command structure, coordination and camaradiere.

But then I am an old-timer and clearly these shooters aimed at the younger audience ain’t for me. 

(Originally posted to the Old Timer’s Guild forums, my MMORPG community.)

 

PvP Game Modes – Not Created Equal

In both MMOs and FPS PvP there are certain game modes which have become standard.  The terms differ between the games so I’ll include a reference to which terms mean which game modes at the end of this post.

To me any PvP game which implements conquest as its primary game mode is really, really, shallow. Or rather the game in that game play mode is very shallow.  This goes for both PvP games I enjoy (BF2142, BC2) and those I don’t (WoW, GA).

The reason is simple, the basic premise of conquest is to avoid conflict. Here’s why. The most common setup is with 3 points. Let’s call them A, B, C. The enemy has A and B, you have C and you need to take another point to gain ground in whatever game mechanic the developers have implemented. A is strongly defended, B is lightly defended. Which do you go for? B, of course! Why go against their main force when you can just mop up a few stragglers?

A is solely defended. B, of course! Why fight when you can have it for free.

At no time in a conquest style map, when you know how the points are defended, will anyone say “Guy, guys, they’re at A, let’s hit them there!

So the end result is a whole bunch of running around hoping you never see the enemy!

If that weren’t bad enough there’s companion problem on defense. Summed up as, “Well, someone’s gotta guard B.” Say the points are fairly linear but there’s no point lockout on what you can take. Someone’s gotta stay back in case there is an unexpected breakthrough. This is especially pernicious in the BF series today with the spawn-on-a-person mechanic. A lone person can quickly become 4-6. So the smart defensive play is to have people hang back from the main action. If there’s no breakout guess what they do? A whole lot of nothing.

This is why most modern games w/PvP include modes other than conquest. Modes which are normally more popular than conquest.

Why?

Conflict.

You can’t avoid the enemy. You can’t just use the default conquest strategy of “Let’s not go there as that’s where the enemy is.” Nope. When your objective is behind those enemies, you must engage them and you must defeat them.

CTF, Payload, CP all have objectives which concentrate the action into fronts. Makes the teams face one another instead of dance around one another. Ensures that even defensive action is going to see action because you can’t just “Cap B and C and hold.”

To win you must fight. Any game mode that discourages that conflict is flawed.

 

Game types and their terms:

Conquest – A map with 3 (or more) points which are open to capture with no restriction on which ones can be captured at any given time.  In MMO spheres the most recognizable example would be WoW’s Arathi Basin.  In FPS it’s pretty much the default mode, so pick a game and it’ll be there.

Capture the Flat (CTF) – Each team has an object which the other team has to capture.  Sometimes their own object needs to be in base for them to capture the other team’s item (as in WoW’s Warsong Gulch) but sometimes it isn’t (as inTF2’s CTF).

Capture Point (CP) – Similar to conquest above except the the points in question cannot be captured in a completely open sequence.  Certain points must be captured before others are open to capture.  The best example of this is TF’2 CP game mode or Planetside’s Lattice for MMOs.

Payload – One team has an objective they can move along a static route by being close to the objective.  The defending team has to prevent the item from making it to the end of that route.  TF2’s Payload or Global Agenda’s Breach serve as good examples of this game play.

 

Five Fuzzy Update

A year and a half ago I wrote a post about why I loathe California.  In it I described how 5 ferrets had been removed from their family because of California’s idiotic law banning ferrets.  In the course of talking with ferret people today I was reminded of that post and those five ferrets.  I checked Wind & Willows Ferret Shelter website.  Looks like four of the five ferrets are still with them.  Since they were to be adopted out as a set I can only assume the fifth one has died. Found a link which stated that Bubba had died.  They’re no longer listed as for adoption, the shelter doesn’t want to up root them again.

I Am Google’s Bitch

First it was newfound appreciation for my Droid.

Today it is the fact I made the decision to move completely from Firefox to Chrome.  I have been bouncing between the two browsers for months now.  Firefox on my gaming rig and one of my Linux VMs because it was what I had grown accustomed to.  Chrome on my Mini 10v because it was lighter and HTML5 videos on Youtube played smoother while using less CPU time.

But then I found the page 15 Killer Google Crome Features You Might Not Know About.  #11, syncing through my Google account, sealed the deal. With my browsing habits spread across 3 physical and virtual machines keeping the settings, addons, and history in sync has been a challenge.  I tried to address it with XMarks but it never really worked well for me.  Mainly because I don’t use bookmarks.  Besides, Chrome only has one annoying feature and I haven’t been bitten by it in weeks.

That leaves tomorrow. With the amount of Netflix and Hulu that my wife and I watch I am so tempted to ask for GoogleTV for Christmas.

I think I now know what it’s like to be an Apple fanboi.