Its a marathon not a sprint

Often when I play a game its sprint to the finish. Mostly I stick to one game at a time, however due to a current influx in consoles, games and a massive back log its turned in to a marathon of switching between multiple games and finishing them when i can.

Even now I have multiple games on the go; some would call me a bit of a player, jks… please help me.

Currently I’m working through Witcher 3 including all add-ons, FF14, Zelda: Breath of the wild and occasionally a game of Overwatch. My back log, includes Mass Effect Andromeda, Warhammer Total War, Mario Kart, Arms, Splatoon, Draksouls 3 and Dishonoured 2.

Most open world games can drag you in for 100 hours, and some I’m choosing to slow down such as BOTW a game I just don’t want to end. Of cause MMO never end but in this regard i set myself a goal and once its achieved – I quit. Unless its WoW which is basically crack to me.

Its proving more difficult to keep up with gaming the older i get. I think its time to change my mindset and just play what I’m feeling and eventually I’ll work my way through it. And if a game comes out i just want to smash my way through, then thats what I’ll do.

This post was bought to you by: First World Problem.

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Community

Community makes up allot in the world of online gaming and nothing is more prolific and controversial than the world of online FPS. CoD is known for it “fuck your mother” attitude and does allot in the way of alienating people away from playing a casual game of virtual war against their fellow man.

So what is it about shooting people in the face that makes people so angry.

Coming from Tribes, TF2, Halo, CoD, Overwatch, Quake and UT.  I have seen allot of different communities and its safe to say things have gotten worse. This can be contributed to more people clogging up the internet pipes with their “Go die in a car crash” attitudes but in the most part people have some kind of anonymity playing on the web, so shouting horrible shit at people has become a norm. It’s the truest form of ones self, you know, being a dick.

Team based games are one of the worst ways to find out someones fucking your mum. If your team gets trounced then its the first person to type “Fucking scrubs”. This highlights to the other team that; in no way did you contribute to this clown fuck of a game. When in actual fact the clue is in the game – Team based.

I always had better luck with Deathmatch/slayer. It’s a bit like golf. I guess, in away. Of course this doesn’t stop bitching and dirty play. CoD/Battlefield always suffered from campers, despite their best attempts they still do, in fact any game that has such a low thresh hold for mistake has a good camping problem. Arena shooter like Halo, UT or Quake always gave you a little bit of a chance to recover from an ambush.

So is it possible to remove griefer’s entirely from the FPS community, unlikely.

Is it the worst thing in the world? Being pissed at your fellow players has always helped to drive people to be better than their competition, fighters use it all the time to hype up a fight and get the mental advantage. If we can take this need to be better than the troll sending us verbal abuse down the packet tube, does this not lead us to do better.

Being accused of cheating or hacking when your clearly not, and having it followed up with a torrent of abuse is somewhat gratifying. Destroying your griefers on the score board after a bad game is also a lovely boost. But what we are really aiming for is the rage quit. Sometimes being pissed off leads us to play at our best and fuels us with determination to win.

Admittedly some abuse is just straight up illegal. I’m not denying that some people need to be muted immediately, just a shame that community management can sometimes be a little lacking. Or support for victims lacks  any real support from the community managers.

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PUG’s

PUGs or Pick up groups originated from MMO’s. It’s a group of people who have been put together by the server or by a lonely person looking to progress in the game but having no friend to help them. Normally used in a negative way; PUGs have become a staple of not only MMO’s but also FPS.

Although people have been throwing themselves into Team Death matches, etc with unknowns for a while its only recently been used to describe computer generated groups in FPS’s. And I think thats the point, the server puts people together; you don’t pick a server or a team. It’s completely random. Exactly like a group finder in WoW.

So what can we do to curve the stigma around this often negative term. Well for a start stop blaming everyone on your team for being “NOOBs”. At the end of the day its a team thing. You will find players that look at a teams loosing as the fault of everyone else other than them, and when that happens your chats going to fill up with abuse.

Most people are just hear to kill something. They might only play 5-10 hours a week (if not less), they probably have a family and this is just something to kill time. Then you have people who are here because no one else will play with them and thats the person shouting abuse at you in the chat window.

Apart from when I was at university most of my group experiences in games have fallen down to playing with PUGs and you get to learn a little bit about the types of groups that will win and the types of groups which will loose. Or the types of groups who will kill the raid boss; and the types of groups who get crushed in to elf paste.

Despite what 80% of PUG players think, people are not psychic talking about what your going to do, or what your team needs; is essential. Start the dialogue early. Outline what your group is missing, highlight what you group doesn’t need. Talk about tactics and ask if everyone is okay with the up and coming boss fight. If you get the chat flowing early people will be clear on what they need to do.

In order to keep it positive shut down negativity. It’s okay to get annoyed 10 mins into a game because everyones face planting a heavy-medic combo in TF2. Or your team has 3 Blackwidows in Overwatch. Provide constructive criticism, help people see the issue.

The types of people you want to shutdown are the ones who 2 mins into the game are shouting in caps and calling everyone a “noob” because they went off on their own and died.

So block, mute, kick, stab these people. They do nothing but shit on the game.

It’s okay to loose. Yep its fine. Someone has to loose its just ensuring everyone had fun getting their.

If you do loose a game drop in a “GG”, fuck the haters it was still a good game. I watched my team get shot in the head continuously by a sniper. Despite this we gave it a good go but in the end we couldn’t break through the last checkpoint. So at the end of the game I told the sniper he did a good job and he thanked me. The next game I didn’t get shot in the head once.

Its okay to disagree with someone on your team. Sometimes you might learn something. I had an issue with someone telling me what class to play. So I questioned why it was an issue. They then highlighted that Zenyatta was actually quite a weak hero and would require a decent buff before he could be usable as a support class. This was not that new to me but we did a a little test and Mercy performed much better.

WoW introduced PUG Raids about a year ago. The the role of a PUG Raid was to get people who only play part times through the end game content. After all they still pay the same as a hardcore gamer but they normally miss out on half the content. Normally a Raid is led by a tank, so if you have no interest in speaking to anyone I suggest you avoid this role.

Its rare but sometimes you will drop into a game, say nothing and steam role the opposition/Raid. It can happen. Sometimes you loose 20 games in a row. When this happens go watch a film your in no fit mental state to handle another lose.

Finally – you will never beat a pre-made group with a PUG.

Keep it positive.

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Playing support: Overwatch addition

Overwatch has quickly over taken Team Fortress 2 as my new class based shoot and with a large roster of interesting and colourful character it can seem a bit daunting entering a new game. Luckily the learning curve for Overwatch is low and the characters are quick to pick up.

Your chance of winning in Overwatch greatly increase if you have at least one support character, and what better way to learn the game than by helping your fellow team.

Overwatch comes with 4 support hero’s Lúcio, Mercy, Symmetra, Zenyatta each one providing various perks to your team which will help boost their efficiency and hopefully lead to a win. As stated in the previous intro to playing support one of these classes can significantly turn around a team chances if your suffering (unless you play Symmetra). I have seen mediocre teams pull out two Mercy’s and steam-role the game.

FPS healing is very different to MMO healing. Although in Overwatch you have a tank they are mainly their to provide cover or disrupt the enemy. Its important not to strictly stick to healing the tank, in the case of Mercy and Zenyatta  who can only heal one team member at a time you should keep your eyes open for low health players walking around with 10 hp. Its also important to avoid following DPS as they charge head first into the enemy. You want to stay around people as much as possible. Also never be afraid to save yourself, its better you live and heal someone else than everyone dies because you couldn’t avoid damage.

Mercy provides your standard “Cookie cutter” healing class. She is very efficient at healing one player at a time. She heals 50 points per seconds and also has “Guardian Angel”  which allows her to keep up with even the most dexterous of players; by gliding over to their position. Left on her own she will die – having only a standard pistol for defence. Her ultimate move is mass resurrection which you should try and use when more than one of your team mates is dead around you; this will allow for its maximum usage. Common sense is also a big factor when using resurrection.

Overwatch has no over-healing functionality so it important that when you have healed a player to its fullest, and you have no one left to heal that you use the main weapons secondary ability which boosts the player your targeting’s damage output. Mercy excels at most game types, but in my opinion she shines at pushing the payload. Your whole team generally sticks together near one location allowing her to keep track of everyone’s health easily. Overall Mercy is a simple, yet efficient healer who anyone new to the game will be able to pick up quickly.

Lúcio has been highlighted a few times as a “must have” hero when it comes to taking control points or holding a king of the hill match. His ability to AOE heal along with his speed boost makes him highly efficient at both securing points and holding them. If the other team has no Lucio they will likely reach the point last – giving you the advantage.

The secondary ability on his main weapon is a push back mechanic which helps keep the enemy off the point. His ultimate ability is an AOE boost to your teammates shield which comes in very useful when your struggling to keep a point. Lucio “Amp It Up” ability boosts the active buff you have running at the time, this increases the speed from 30% to 110% and healing from 25 points per 2 seconds – to 120 hp per 3 seconds. Lucio may not give the direct healing punch you get from Mercy but if your team is tightly grouped and reasonably competent he can provide some extra damage and speed Mercy is unable to provide.

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Zenyatta comes under the “no nubs” category of play. Having the lowest health in the game mean he dies if you look at him. He makes up for this trait by having “Orb of Discord” which once attached to an opponent increases the damage they take. His main attack also hits reasonably hard (35 damage per hit) and from a distance – meaning he can take out an enemy with hast. His healing ability “Orb of Harmony” will heal a character at 30hp per second, he only has to maintain line of sight with the player he is healing for the orb to stay active and the same applies to “Orb of Discord”.

All this line-of-sight mechanic means that Zenyatta is a player who stay at the back. Hovering around the edges of a battle throwing buffs and de-buffs up where needed. Zenyatta is a hero very much built for defensive play, he hangs back and heals from the outside. Despite this his ultimate is very much the opposite. ” Transcendence” makes him immune to damage and does an AOE heal of 100hp per second. Essentially healing everyone back to full health, very useful on the last point where its all or nothing.

If the team needs to group up or push a payload, where staying together is an essential play its probably more preferable to play Lúcio or Mercy. Defensively Zenyatta can provide a decent amount of DPS whilst also providing healing to your tank from a distance.

Symmetra is very unique in this line-up. She has no direct healing mechanic. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a bad support character it just means that your likely going to want a healer with you. Unless on the one rare occasion where you have a good team able to manage their own health. Symmetra aim is to support her team just in the none healing way. One of her main abilities is “Photon Shield” which she can cast of a friendly hero to give them a +25 shield which persists whilst the player stays alive.

She also has the ability put up very annoying turret on pretty much any surface. She can place 3 turret initially, then she generates more as time goes by. These turret can be placed in chokepoint and other niche location to force the enemy to bottleneck the main trail. Although the damage is minimal per turret you can bunch them together to do more damage. They also come with the added ability of slowing the enemy. Fun.

Her main ability is the “Photon Projector”. The primary function of this weapon is a beam which latches on to an enemy player and increases in damage over time. I personally prefer her main weapons secondary ability which is a charged up heavy hitting orb. It moves slowly but that isn’t a bad thing and on a bottle neck can do some pretty devastating damage.

Symmetra is fun to play and I suggest using her in a defensive situation where her turrets can be used to close down back routes and side ally. Unfortunately i don’t believe she makes a great support character and with a lack of any real healing she’s not going to help a weak team. So use her with one of the other support characters.

Overwatch is a team based game which requires all character types to create a successful team remember this next time you have 3 McCree.

Good luck.

 

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The rise of FPS F2P

Over the next few months will be seeing a surge in the amount of FTP (free to play) FPS (don’t be stupid) hitting the market. The free to play model mostly receives negative reviews. For me its getting so bad that any mobile game I see marked as free I ignore, these types of games follow a standard trend something which has been mentioned in previouse posts.

The game most people think of when we talk about FTP FPS is the much loved TF2 from Steam, a game I have a huge amount of time invested in. When the game went FTP about 4 years ago I had no idea what to expect, at this time FTP was a relatively new thing something people didn’t quite know how to handle. Steam used TF2 as a marketing platform, this clever piece of marketing has helped them to gain a larger audience on the steam platform and to help promote games they sell through it. With the introduction of game specific skins and weapons to tie the promoted game – into TF2.

This post will mostly be looking at Arena based FPS

Paying to make yourself look like the baddest mother fucker in the arena: yes, paying so you have instant kill death eyes: NO.

The good thing about this FTP approach means that the game-play suffers very little, all weapons, to my knowledge within TF2 are equal (and if they are ‘OP’ we can safely assume the nerf trains a’comin ). I still play with the original weapons in TF2 and find some of the classic far out weigh the new sparkly contraptions. I hope that this type of ‘selling’ is what will get with the up and coming wave of FTP FPS as I feel nothing would kill these games faster than a ‘pay-to-win’ attitude. Paying to make yourself look like the baddest mother fucker in the arena: yes, paying so you have instant kill death eyes: NO.

What can we expect over the next year?

Overwatch

I can’t hide the fact i’m a massive fan of Blizzard, however this is all leveled out with my mass hatred of Activsion so.. none-biased?

After whatever happened to Titan(?), Blizzard had some left over parts to play with and so decided to head in the FPS market place. This isn’t blizzards first rodio when it comes to FTP they also have the much loved Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. Admittedly I didn’t much enjoy Hearthstone but this could be due to the fact I suck at it, and have never been a massive fan of MOBA’s.

Overall I’m looking forward to Overwatch – allot, and despite the bleating of – “It’s a TF2 clone, boo” I believe it will add allot of diversity to the ‘Team based arena’ genera.

LawBreakers

From the director of Gears of War comes LawBreakers an arena based FPS which looks somewhere within the realms of UT, but with classes. I never much cared for the Gear of War and to this day fail to see its a appeal. I hear good things about the multiplayer and from the first game-play trailer from LawBreakers things look to be about on track for some arena based fun – if not a little generic.

Unreal Tournament

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Basically the king/daddy/daddy-king of all FPS, has gone FTP. Its been along time coming, since i’m fairly sure they have the worlds smallest development team on the job, but by taking their time and releasing what they can over a long period of time it looking like we might get a game the players felt they had a hand in molding. Its all available for free now from the website. However i’m still waiting for something a little more stable to come out before I get my head-shot groove back on.

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