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.

Direct link to this post.

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.

Direct link to this post.

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.

overwatch_fi_13

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.

 

Direct link to this post.

Playing support

The Medic is the most important class in Team fortress 2 (Let the rage begin), if you have one on your team and the other team doesn’t it can significantly increase your chances of winning the game. A half decent medic can drag a pretty useless team to a win, it might take a little longer, but he will get you there.

This post isn’t all about the Medic from TF2, instead its about the mindset of the guy choosing to play the medic and how this type of player can significantly increase your teams chance of winning by never really showing up on the score board.

He/she is not likely to be going for the flag or capturing points: this player is support, this player chooses to defend, this player chooses to fix and maintain. This player does all the jobs that your average FPS/MMO player wont play. So what am i talking about, am i just acting old, do i not understand the young folk – well yes and no.

The following roles are important and should be considered by any player when they see 4 snipers, 6 light weight players or 0 engineers.

Medic, game TF2 – The medic will increase the score everyone on the team and help to push past a sentry nest, or simply clear the field with an uber. If you walk into a game and see a chat log full of “Your mother..” pick up the medic and turn it around.

Heavy, engineer, game Tribes – The class in this instance isn’t overly important. A heavy can be used to grief an enemies reactor and an medium class can be used for pretty much anything. But you need someone to maintain your defences and to protect the reactor. Its not likely to stop every attempt at your flag but it will make it more difficult.

Defending points, most games but specifically WOW PVP – Back in vanilla WOW where only the most dedicated (well geared) players really had a chance of being successful in PVP no one defended points or the flag. You received no bonus  for sitting on a point or scouting out. They have since introduced a buff for holding a point which is nice.

Playing support, game DOTA – Support is a critical part of helping your team make it to the end, of course some support is better than others.

Playing the Healer, most MMO’s – Lets be honest with out a healer in your Raid your fucked, but when was the last time anyone said – “Good job Healers”.

So why play this type of roles? Simply put I want to win the game and I know that plying one of these roles (when no one else has) will server to increase the chance of winning the game. I also like playing support.

I have played support for so long it’s easier for me to play than the attacking roles, but its important to remember that these roles have their own skill sets. It is possible to be bad at support, not healing people when they need it, not prioritising your tank over your DPS, not setting up your sentry in the correct place.

So next time your king of the kills take a look at the top healers or most flags defended and throw a – “Good Game Support” in to the chat window.

“We do it because we care” – Support

Direct link to this post.

Shot to the heart – Ups and downs of FPS fun

After my recent stint of RPG fun with the Witcher I was looking for something where I could just shoot someone in the face. I immediately picked up TF2, something I have sunk allot of time into. However like all good games eventually you drift apart.

Military shooter are not my go to FPS of choice, anything that involves a leveling up aspect, which then rewards you with better guns for being better than everyone else so you can go on being better than everyone else is not my thing. Yes i’m sure that does make me ‘butt hurt’, but if I hear another incoming death thing I might punch the TV.

Having come from UT and Quake 3 I have a love of fast passed multiplayer shooters, quick weapon switching, double jumps, power-up – I love’em all.  Multiplayer FPS which require a larger amount of skill than just knowing the map and being prestige 14 times till your finger bleed – in no way am I trying to say that CoD/Counter strike requires less skill, but when you hit the killing floor in Quake or UT you’re all equal.

Team death matches have a problem, in that you have a team.

The main faction dividing you as players at this point is skill. Team death matches have a problem, in that you have a team. I tend to hit up Death matches, meaning the only person you have to blame for being a bit shit is yourself. Its probably the same reason I have over 100 hours as spy on TF2 – I do better along.

Team play online is rarely equal and you always have the issue of too many ‘x’, in the case of TF2 it always falls down to spy or sniper. Instant kill classes in the hands of a new player are cheap, you would probably end up with less kill than going with a standard cookie cutter class, the same applies to games like Tribes, however Tribes has few diverse classes. I really can’t comment on team play in UT and Quake it is literally something I have never really done, I even hated the introduction of vehicles in UT 2004, I felt it cheapened any skill anyone had.

Games like Left 4 Dead and Boarder Lands never really caught my attention, again the idea of working together with a group of people you dont know or, having to work together to kill a group of people you don’t know. Holds no interest to me. I full respect both games but co-op to this day alludes me.

Whats new: Personally i’m looking forward to Overwatch from blizzard. I hear allot of people say, ‘it’s very TF2’ something I’m actually looking forward to. Watching the games testers play what I assume is their first FPS I have hope that the game will bring some diversity to team oriented play. You can play as a Gorilla with a hammer, what more do you want.

Despite what most people think the bro culture of calling each other mothers a ‘fat piss eating shit monster’ is not something CoD and Halo have a monopoly on. FPS culture has definitely gone into the floor. I could go on about what we could to to change things or what this says about society, but the bottom line is this – Teenagers are angry people and bros are, bros. The best you can do is compliment people, or use sarcasm. Always leave a shit throwing competition and never join in, other wise you get covered in shit, and they get covered in shit, and shit.

Direct link to this post.