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Patrick Swayze
02-10-2012, 10:39 AM
Is anyone else tired of the constant meta game of levelling up that Call Of Duty seems to have inspired in nearly every first person shooter going?

Don't get me wrong I like being ranked in a game (See: Halo 2's ranking system, there's been nothing as good) but I'm tired of it been about how long I've played rather than how successful I've been.

It's really annoying how weapons to fit my play style are squirrelled away under some distant rank or how accessories are locked away by the need to attain so many kills and what not.

Are games too scared to give us everything up front? Is just blatant copy-catting or are they afraid the game won't stand up to scrutiny if you're given everything at once?

My recent time with a certain robot themed FPS has recently reminded me of just how fun multiplayer gaming can be without the need to constantly level up, at how good the joy of combat and competition can be.

I wish we could get back to the quake/unreal days of just lots of maps and a hefty dose of skill

Jesus_Phish
02-10-2012, 10:47 AM
I agree with your statements, but I understand why the companies are doing it.

It's the thing to do. CoD is the best selling FPS series out there at the minute and you have to copy the big name. There's also so many releases in that genre now that you have to find a way to keep people playing, so that when you release your map pack, they'll pick it up. So many people who play CoD (and other games with unlock systems that are copies of it) are actually playing for the leveling up, to prestige and then to start over to get a new badge. They're playing more for a habit/slight addiction/sense of enjoyment they get from "progression" rather than the fun of killing a bunch of dudes online.

It's why we don't get Unreal/Doom/Quake arena shooters much anymore, where all the guns are laid out on the map and the best guns are often tucked away in tricky locations.

I wish there was no leveling system, FPS games don't need them for anything other than as a mechanism to keep people playing their games, so they can sell them DLC.

For me I find it harder to play multiplayer games without a community. Ever since playing WoW and going to LANs with my friends, I don't like pug multiplayer anymore where I don't feel like I know anyone. That was the main reason for my joining the RPS forums in fact.

Wheelz
02-10-2012, 10:48 AM
I feel similarly.

I haven't got the time or desire to invest in unlocking every unlock in games like Battlefield 3, and it annoys me that its the only way I'm able play with all of the weapons, even though sometimes I'd like to just dick around with certain toys (EoD for example). Worst experience I've had with unlocks would have to go to the recent War of The Roses beta, Where everything is locked away, meaning you can't jump straight into mounted combat or archery, you have to level up first.

I believe its because developers think its the only way to keep people playing there games, which in my opinion speaks volumes about their own thoughts on the quality of there game.

But yeah, I'd like to see some games just offer everything up front, and let the player enjoy playing the game, rather than be forced into a tedious grind.

Heliocentric
02-10-2012, 11:11 AM
Is anyone else tired of the constant meta game of levelling up that Call Of Duty seems to have inspired in nearly every first person shooter going?

Yes, so I stopped playing games where your "level" effects your tools available (except Assassins Creed Brotherhood's multiplayer which is too unique to ignore).

Looking at GameRankings timeline of FPS games it all went to pot in 2007.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars kept the levelling in the match, much like Alien swarm(not an fps), Killing Floor and Crysis, whereas Team Fortress 2 had no unlocks(see also Unreal Tournament III), it was perfect in its arrangement. Everyone had access to everything and it was good.*sighs*

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, Far Cry 2, Fear 2 and Wolfenstein had more of a "quake style" pick guns up off the floor mentality.

But then the XP train was rolling, Call of Duty 4(etc), Section 8,BioShock 2, Medal of Honor, Crysis 2, Brink, Homefront and the cherry on the Pie the disgusting explosion in an unlock factory that is Batlefield 3, and Somewhere along the way Team fortress 2 lost its way and turned into a grind/pay to win. Getting killed by equipment you cant even try out is extremely annoying.

By my understanding Red Orchestra 2 is one of the few recent FPS without a levelling up system which withholds equipment,

Really, I'd just suggest not playing these unlock games with the consideration that if you genuinely want to play them you remember that you are promoting this behaviour in further development.

Hypernetic
02-10-2012, 11:13 AM
Is anyone else tired of the constant meta game of levelling up that Call Of Duty seems to have inspired in nearly every first person shooter going?

Don't get me wrong I like being ranked in a game (See: Halo 2's ranking system, there's been nothing as good) but I'm tired of it been about how long I've played rather than how successful I've been.

It's really annoying how weapons to fit my play style are squirrelled away under some distant rank or how accessories are locked away by the need to attain so many kills and what not.

Are games too scared to give us everything up front? Is just blatant copy-catting or are they afraid the game won't stand up to scrutiny if you're given everything at once?

My recent time with a certain robot themed FPS has recently reminded me of just how fun multiplayer gaming can be without the need to constantly level up, at how good the joy of combat and competition can be.

I wish we could get back to the quake/unreal days of just lots of maps and a hefty dose of skill

Certain robot themed game will have things locked away behind a grind when it comes out =[


But yeah, I totally agree. The unlocking system probably keeps a good portion of players playing for an extra couple weeks than they would have without it, maybe, but for the core/hardcore audience? I don't think it matters. Most of the hardcore players I know farm (i.e. basically "cheating") all the unlocks so they have everything immediately anyway.

One of the main problems I have with locking things away behind grind walls is that, for me at least, it increases the learning curve in some types of games. I tend to have an easier time learning about all the weapons/equipment in a game by actually using it rather than by being killed with it. So basically, if something keeps killing me and I don't really understand why, I'll play that class or use that weapon until I learn how to counter it. It's hard to do that when things are locked away behind a grind.

I like having lots of options though, I just want them available to me from the get go.

Jesus_Phish
02-10-2012, 11:17 AM
Although it was still an unlock system and annoying, Gotham City Imposters had what I think was the right idea. As you leveled up in that you got tokens and coins which would let you unlock weapons. So you got to pick what you unlocked and when, as opposed to something like CoDs, "you hit level 34, here's a random SMG, a skin for something and a perk!".

airtekh
02-10-2012, 11:19 AM
I'm not tired of multiplayer, but I am annoyed whenever I come across that kind of system in a game.

One of the best multiplayer experiences I've had recently was with Assassin's Creed Brotherhood/Revelations; . The basic gameplay involves you stalking your given target and assassinating them, whilst avoiding the person who is out to kill you. It's very tense, but new players are at an immediate disadvantage due to the leveling system which gives you upgrades and better gear.

I'm pretty sure AC3 will use a similar system in its multiplayer, and that's a shame.

It's not all doom and gloom though, not everybody is using it. I'll be playing Natural Selection 2 in a few weeks which has no leveling system in sight, just pure gameplay from day one.




Somewhere along the way Team fortress 2 lost its way and turned into a grind/pay to win

Please stop spreading this blatant misinformation. Team Fortress 2 is NOT 'pay to win'.

Heliocentric
02-10-2012, 11:40 AM
Team Fortress 2 is NOT 'pay to win'.

You quote me, and then immediately misquote me. I said "grind/pay to win", maybe i should have wrote "{grind, pay} to win" or something, you absolutely do not need to pay... But paying remains an option so it would be unfair of me to suggest grinding was the only option.

airtekh
02-10-2012, 11:55 AM
You're right, I did misquote you. TF2 isn't grind-to-win either.

The stock weapons in TF2 are perfectly capable of holding their own in a game. I should know, since I use most of them when I play it.

The weapons that you can buy or receive from drops merely offer alternatives to the standard weapons, but they come with negative attributes as well as positive ones, thus balancing them out.

They're 'sidegrades', not upgrades.

Heliocentric
02-10-2012, 12:38 PM
If I have 1 option and you have 5 (even if balance us perfect) you can adapt in 4 more ways than me, now consider there are dozens of pieces of equipment which will synergise in various ways.

That is why the side grade argument doesn't work. Less options is not equal.

Gorzan
02-10-2012, 12:47 PM
Games wich have this kind of meta-game going on should do what Space Marine does, and let you copy the loadout of the guy wh's just killed you.

shaydeeadi
02-10-2012, 12:52 PM
Less options can be superior though if you get so handy with that one weapon that it won't matter what the other guy has, since you know the nuances and limits of it.

I'll admit it's a bit annoying not having things other people have. I spent ages getting the necessaries for a black box on TF2, only to go back to the stock RPG for soldier since I thought that was still better than the other options all round.

Skull
02-10-2012, 01:13 PM
Team fortress 2 lost its way and turned into a grind/pay to win. Getting killed by equipment you cant even try out is extremely annoying.

This isn't really correct. You can try out any weapon in the store for free for up to a week. If you decide you like it you also get a discount if you decide to pay real money for it. Of course, on the rare occasion I pay for something I always "try-before-I-buy" and then just get it at the discounted rate every time :P.

But as Airtekh said, the stock weapons in TF2 do the job just as good as the bought items. I've never felt like I had to buy a new weapon, just like to throw some money at the game every now and then for being fun. Skill is much more important than how much you have payed.

Hypernetic
02-10-2012, 01:34 PM
This isn't really correct. You can try out any weapon in the store for free for up to a week. If you decide you like it you also get a discount if you decide to pay real money for it. Of course, on the rare occasion I pay for something I always "try-before-I-buy" and then just get it at the discounted rate every time :P.

But as Airtekh said, the stock weapons in TF2 do the job just as good as the bought items. I've never felt like I had to buy a new weapon, just like to throw some money at the game every now and then for being fun. Skill is much more important than how much you have payed.

You can't try new weapons, it's usually like a month or two before you can.

In all honesty though, like 99% of the weapons released in TF2 are garbage (not including the class update weapons i.e. ubersaw, axetinguisher, dead ringer, etc, etc, etc).

TF2 is not pay 2 win though at all, especially since there is player to player trading. Of course someone will come along and say "I don't like trading and I'm too anti-social to ask a friend for a weapon, so TF2 is pay to win".

Mohorovicic
02-10-2012, 01:36 PM
Don't get me wrong I like being ranked in a game (See: Halo 2's ranking system, there's been nothing as good) but I'm tired of it been about how long I've played rather than how successful I've been.

First of all, most unlocks are granted by some kind of score-based system so the more "successful" you are in a game the faster you get them.

Second of all, if an unlock is plain out better than what is available to you normally then that's the problem with the unlock itself, not the whole thing. These should be sidegrades, not plain upgrades.

Xercies
02-10-2012, 01:40 PM
I do miss the unreal Tournament quake style of doing things, COD and stuff you can't really do the play with your friends quick game of fun really anymore since your friends will have various levels and various different equipment. It can be good the level system in the right game but most use it just to copy COD without actually knowing why they use it

Heliocentric
02-10-2012, 01:41 PM
WOW A DISCOUNT ON A GUN? THAT'S HARDLY LIKE PAYING FOR IT ALL.

Heh, people really get programmed.

The scout 'stunning' baseball is not a side grade, there is plenty of others that are better, in my opinion at least.

Skull
02-10-2012, 01:49 PM
I was actually commenting on your point that you were finding "getting killed by equipment you can't try out is extremely annoying" Helio. The discount is just a nice bonus to have once you have tried it out FOR FREE. Anyway, you don't have to pay for stuff in TF2 if you don't want to, I will just craft if I want something that bad, I don't see any other micro-transaction games letting me do this.

Hypernetic
02-10-2012, 01:50 PM
I was actually commenting on your point that you were finding "getting killed by equipment you can't try out is extremely annoying" Helio. The discount is just a nice bonus to have once you have tried it out FOR FREE. Anyway, you don't have to pay for stuff in TF2 if you don't want to, I will just craft if I want something that bad, I don't see any other micro-transaction games letting me do this.

You can't rent new weapons.

squirrel
02-10-2012, 01:52 PM
Competitive, ranked multiplayer with better ingame equippment unlockable with exp point.

Doesn't this coincide with the real world in which better skilled people are to be rewarded with better tools? That's what motivate us to do better in a game.

soldant
02-10-2012, 02:04 PM
I agree for the most part. Battlefield 3 I think was the worst - why the hell would you take away essential tools like the defibrillator? Also some things were blatant upgrades. It's artificially extending the life span of the game, and in some cases it just encourages pointless grind as opposed to playing the game.

I'll also add in that TF2 went too far with adding in content. Although I think that it significantly polluted the game's visual style, my main issue is that it's become a mess of new weapons (many of which were pointless, some of which are straight upgrades) to the point where I have no idea what's going on sometimes. And the new items don't extend the game - the new maps do, and unfortunately Valve have dropped the ball lately (Man v Machine was a bit of a disappointment).

Regarding stock TF2 weapons - some of them are good, but others have long since been rendered useless. The Medic's bonesaw, the Pyro's fire axe, the Soldier's rocket launcher has since been replaced by the Liberty Launcher for the most part... most of the stock melee weapons have straight upgrades, and even some of the primary weapons have been creeping in that direction.

With that said...


It's why we don't get Unreal/Doom/Quake arena shooters much anymore, where all the guns are laid out on the map and the best guns are often tucked away in tricky locations.
No, we lost the arena shooters because they were predominately twitch deathmatches where new players were absolutely destroyed without so much as a hope while veterans rocket jumped around like bunnies with rocket boots... and without an influx of new people, they all died off. Team Fortress (QTF) firmly cemented team play in FPS gaming and since then the arena FPS has been on a steady decline to the point where it's pretty much dead. The style of game is outdated. Picking up weapons and powerups leads mostly to camping those areas and clusters everyone in small parts of the map in practice.

But the CoD method of UNLOCK ALL THE THINGS is ridiculous.

NathanH
02-10-2012, 02:06 PM
I hate multiplayer games, unless it is something like Blood Bowl or Duels of the Planeswalkers where I can pretend the opponent is just a machine. But even in those games people sometimes talk to me, and then I want to run away.

Team games obviously I hate the most.

Skull
02-10-2012, 02:06 PM
You can't rent new weapons.

So you have to wait a month? Is that really a problem? You wait 30 days and then you can try the weapon for free...this is why TF2 is the most generous and least grindy out of all the free2play games.

Jesus_Phish
02-10-2012, 02:15 PM
No, we lost the arena shooters because they were predominately twitch deathmatches where new players were absolutely destroyed without so much as a hope while veterans rocket jumped around like bunnies with rocket boots... and without an influx of new people, they all died off. Team Fortress (QTF) firmly cemented team play in FPS gaming and since then the arena FPS has been on a steady decline to the point where it's pretty much dead. The style of game is outdated. Picking up weapons and powerups leads mostly to camping those areas and clusters everyone in small parts of the map in practice.

But the CoD method of UNLOCK ALL THE THINGS is ridiculous.

And the most popular sort of game type played in any fps now is what? CTF? KOTH? Or Team DM? That's right, team dm, where it's all about twitch deathmatches where new players are absolutely destroyed without so much as a hope while veterans use unlocked weapons and map experience. Then the next one comes out and it starts over. CoDs progression system just keeps bad players playing because the idea of leveling up makes them think they are doing well.

Misnomer
02-10-2012, 02:17 PM
Yes, so I stopped playing games where your "level" effects your tools available (except Assassins Creed Brotherhood's multiplayer which is too unique to ignore).

Looking at GameRankings timeline of FPS games it all went to pot in 2007.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars kept the levelling in the match, much like Alien swarm(not an fps), Killing Floor and Crysis, whereas Team Fortress 2 had no unlocks(see also Unreal Tournament III), it was perfect in its arrangement. Everyone had access to everything and it was good.*sighs*

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, Far Cry 2, Fear 2 and Wolfenstein had more of a "quake style" pick guns up off the floor mentality.

But then the XP train was rolling, Call of Duty 4(etc), Section 8,BioShock 2, Medal of Honor, Crysis 2, Brink, Homefront and the cherry on the Pie the disgusting explosion in an unlock factory that is Batlefield 3, and Somewhere along the way Team fortress 2 lost its way and turned into a grind/pay to win. Getting killed by equipment you cant even try out is extremely annoying.

By my understanding Red Orchestra 2 is one of the few recent FPS without a levelling up system which withholds equipment,

Really, I'd just suggest not playing these unlock games with the consideration that if you genuinely want to play them you remember that you are promoting this behaviour in further development.

Some of these are quite wrong. RO2 only recently added a standardized no-unlock mode and that is basically outside the ranking system. Before that RO2 had one of the most obnoxious ranking systems ever created, preventing you from using base weapons without unlocks once you earned the new ones.

Technically BF3 has an all unlock mode too, but you will never find a non-competition server running it and it will show up as unranked on the browser. BC2 had a similar mode built in too.

Killing Floor lets you access all the weapons, but is a grind-athon with massive benefits for persistent levels (cheaper class weapons, faster reload, larger mag size).

Far Cry 2 had persistent levels and unlocks for guns, I am not sure where you got that from. There were no guns on the map as far as I know. I don't remember guns on the floor for FEAR 2 at all, but I will admit I didn't play that game much. I don't think it had unlocks, but there were no guns on the ground.

Battlefield 2 had persistent unlocks in 2005. BF 2142 was full blown unlocking everything even grenade types and body armor in 2006, so it is hard to say that everything was corrupted by Call of Duty.

Ironically enough, COD4 actually had a guns on the floor mode called Old School --- No one played it.


I personally agree with your assessment of TF2 as people on this forum well know, but the history of leveling in FPS games is a bit wrong here.

I am not sure blame even matters. What matters today is that gamers get "bored" and fill forums with complaints about having nothing to do when leveling is either short (BC2) or gives them no benefits on top of the numbers reached after the short leveling. Gamers are the problem, not the games because even when the mode you are talking about exists or is the core of a game... people don't play it.

MeltdownInteractiveMedia
02-10-2012, 02:20 PM
One of the classic game design principles is to give user's the sense of achievement.
Sure, going 100% skill with all weapons available is great, the original Unreal Tournament's mulitiplayer did this perfectly.

Yet nowadays things are different and have evolved, providing achievements and unlocks appeals to many people. Many people out there want to be more l33t than their friends because they are at a certain level.. or have unlocked a certain weapon... games are just starting to incorporate more and more of these mechanics to maximise the target audience.. the more reasons you give people to play your game.. the more chance they will spend their money on it.

hamster
02-10-2012, 02:27 PM
The leveling stuff is cool coz it adds progression. But if the gameplay is crap then the gameplay is crap.

Games like Q3 died because of the learning curve. You have 10 weapons and each of them aren't hit scan and they all fire differently with different projectile speeds. Then you have a sprawling map with complex layout and tons of weapons and items to pick up and all of them have respawn time. You're juggling 10 things at once. The game does absolutely nothing to ease the player into playing.

A reasonable middle ground imo is to include easy maps for low level players with simple layouts and only a small number of items/weapons placed in the map, then work your way up from there with gradually more sophisticated maps.

The game was also replete with arbitrary, non-obvious mechanics like bunny hopping which made v. little sense even within the game world. No idea why you would want to focus the game on bunny hopping. How about something more grounded in reality like a proprietary movement system consisting of wall jumps and stuff like that?

I'm also curious as to how effectively the game plays in a TDM scenario.

soldant
02-10-2012, 02:50 PM
That's right, team dm
Exactly, team play. Most online FPS games end up devolving into team DM anyway (at least on pub servers) but the fact is that people don't want to run around an arena with floating weapons and powerups, nor do they want the classic deathmatch. Strangely enough the 'team DM' aspect is popular only insofar as CoD is popular since it's closest to the pure team DM experience. By comparison although Counter-Strike matches often ended up being pointless deathmatches, it too has team-oriented goals (save the hostages, bomb the site, whatever).

Otherwise I totally agree that the team-DM as implemented by CoD is terrible and it still caters to "Veterans" (being those with the most unlocks) being too good. IMHO CS sort of got it right by awarding money and allowing players to buy their gear.

Chaz
02-10-2012, 02:51 PM
I didn't like the whole leveling up to unlock stuff right from BF2, however at least with BF2 you had the option of playing on a non ranked server with all the toys at your disposal. I've never liked grinding in MMORPG's and I like it even less in competative FPS's.

As far as multiplayer goes these days my tastes err heavily on the side of co-op play.

MeltdownInteractiveMedia
02-10-2012, 02:56 PM
I didn't like the whole leveling up to unlock stuff right from BF2, however at least with BF2 you had the option of playing on a non ranked server with all the toys at your disposal. I've never liked grinding in MMORPG's and I like it even less in competative FPS's.

That's a great design choice by the BF3 team.. keep everyone happy.
What sort of MMORPG would you play if you don't like the grinding?

coldvvvave
02-10-2012, 03:29 PM
I'm kind of tired of games that are not doing this. I like to be reminded that I achieved something. Otherwise I just can't bring myself to play. Example - M&B: Napoleonic Wars. Sure it's an interesting game and lots of people play it but it just feels pointless, every time I kill a dude or capture point or my team wins I get nothing out of this. There is no persistence and thus there is no( admittedly fake) feeling of "completed work". I'ts so boring my hands are itching and there is a dull pain in the base of my palms. Other example - DoW2 mp, 1v1 mode. I love it and have almost 2000 hours in it, but just playing aginst random people is not enough. I want a ladder, I want scores, I want pointless unlocks. Seeing myself advancing on the scoreboard actually helps me to stay focused.

Heliocentric
02-10-2012, 04:47 PM
Games are not work, some developers and some players forget this.

Drake Sigar
02-10-2012, 04:58 PM
I'm kind of tired of games that are not doing this. I like to be reminded that I achieved something. Otherwise I just can't bring myself to play. Example - M&B: Napoleonic Wars. Sure it's an interesting game and lots of people play it but it just feels pointless, every time I kill a dude or capture point or my team wins I get nothing out of this. There is no persistence and thus there is no( admittedly fake) feeling of "completed work"You are an enemy of gaming.

NathanH
02-10-2012, 05:14 PM
You are an enemy of gaming.

It may not surprise you to learn that I just logged in to write that myself.

b0rsuk
02-10-2012, 05:47 PM
Better get used to it. It's much cheaper to pit players against each other than to develop a good AI for a game. Game AI is practically a lost discipline. Not to mention, it's hard.

ShowMeTheMonkey
02-10-2012, 05:56 PM
Just for peoples information:

Red Orchestra 2 does have a levelling system that locks things off. Admittedly they are mostly attachments to certain guns. However these are all direct improvement upgrades. Things such as unmovable bayonets, 71-round drum magazines and scopes. It's quite annoying just how much you have to actually do to get these unlocks! However there is a mode called "Classic" which does away with all this crap and lets everyone have the base guns (Albeit in short supply).

Another thing is that as you level up you gain bonuses to your stamina and aiming speed. Again, all of these stats are direct improvements. In the end though these stat increases are extremely marginal and ineffective to produce a bias.

Drake Sigar
02-10-2012, 06:35 PM
It may not surprise you to learn that I just logged in to write that myself.

Of course. You are an enemy of an enemy of gaming.

Sketch
02-10-2012, 07:15 PM
I like how the Halo games do it. (I'll say Halo 2 because it's a PC game)

Unlockable armour, which is unlocked through gameplay and not buying, with all weapons available from the get go. That said I generally prefer games where you start the round with the same weapon. A nice simple ranking system too, that indicates veterancy, but other than that is fairly meaningless.

biz
02-10-2012, 07:29 PM
QL is still running. You might not find the matches you want frequently, but they do happen
ETQW is still running too. depending on the server, it are usually played with no unlocks. (maybe W:ET is alive too. haven't checked in years)

as for newer games, they have a really hard time penetrating the market because they would have to be basically perfect for anyone to even care, and even then they wouldn't try them just because they're different and cost more than 0 dollars and take some time to get good at.

the market for skill-based shooters is very small. those people are extremely picky and tend to understand games well enough to have strong feelings for some particular design, which makes it impossible to build up hype for something different. They're too passionate about what they play to switch to something else. even if you manage to attract them to a game, they're very unlikely to stick around and spend the time learning it.

when warsow launched, didn't it answer what everyone was complaining about? Nobody even tried it, despite it being completely free.

most people want games about seeing the enemy first so that they can get lucky and "pwn" people better than them. they want to be rewarded regardless of how much they suck or how poorly they learn the game. if you reward things like teamwork and decision-making you are definitely going to alienate this audience.

the same reasoning follows within individual games. people will drag the community down towards the simplest modes that are just about competing over something simple like aim. players strive to eliminate strategy and eliminate choices. it's why CS got popular and stayed popular whereas Quake (the real Quake, not Clan Arena) has slowly dwindled.

tldr;
That "old school" FPS community has no clue what it wants, so nobody can develop a game for them.
Community wants things to be new and different, but they hate change.
Community wants to play things are skill-based, but they want to avoid modes that reward actual skill.
Community wants there to be a skill curve, but they want to hop in and master the game right away.
Community wants the game to have a decent budget, but they don't want to pay money for it.

Misnomer
02-10-2012, 10:15 PM
if you reward things like teamwork and decision-making you are definitely going to alienate this audience.


I agree with almost everything you said except this...

Generally this is true and you don't have to be snide or elitist about it. Put simply, imagine playing a game of doubles tennis where your teammate ALWAYS goes for the kill whether or not it is a makable shot. It is obnoxious and not fun. It doesn't mean that doubles tennis can't be fun, it means that it is much less fun with bad teamwork.

Teamwork games come with a risk of bad teamwork. People who have played TF2 on a bad team know that that game still requires quite a lot of teamwork even in the pubs because it becomes rapidly not fun if you team sucks. TF2 is an example of a popular game that still requires teamwork, but manages to trick its players into helping their teams when they do individually awesome things (this sometimes fails and that is when we start complaining about Spies and Snipers dragging down the team).

BF3 is actually a decent example of this as well. If you want to get the most points on a server, teamwork actions get you there faster than KDR. KDR is a big push, but points wise you are rewarded for teamplay. (There is a joke in that community that the fastest way to level is to drop bag of ammo on Metro because in that meat grinder map, giving ammo gets you more points than kills). Rush is the BF game mode that actually requires the most teamwork and that is why it is one of the least played modes in BF3 (that plus the maps being bad). Conquest is far easier to still have a good time in when your team is failing. If your team fails in Rush you might get pushed into your spawn and just have to wait it out. BF3 still rewards combos.... like soflam + javelin, vehicle perk combos, medics with defib.

Sadly, all the stuff DICE and Valve put into Tf2 and BF3 to make teamwork fun and part of everyday play is horribly overpowered if people do start working as a team. Look at competition in either game, they have to ban almost everything.

COD doesn't do this, the theory in COD is making each person feel awesome.

So teamwork does still exist in games, but the only ones that are popular are the ones that find ways for people to be tricked into doing things for their team while acting in self interest. Anything more and you should be playing CO-OP most likely. Even ArmA 2 is mostly played against AI (bots don't get pissed because their team sucks and they have lost 4 rounds in a row without getting a shot off).

archonsod
02-10-2012, 11:46 PM
Worst experience I've had with unlocks would have to go to the recent War of The Roses beta, Where everything is locked away, meaning you can't jump straight into mounted combat or archery, you have to level up first.


The unlock system is one of the better ones there though. It forces a logical progression on the player so not only does it act like a bit of a tutorial (pretty hard to do otherwise in an online only game) but it also makes sure players have at least some basic ability with say melee combat before they can pick the more advanced melee classes. It's somewhat necessary in a team based game. Otherwise it'd end up like Mount & Blade, where you get some dull battles because half the team think cavalry are an excellent choice to defend castle walls and similar idiocy.

Drake Sigar
03-10-2012, 12:00 AM
Indeed. There have been countless multiplayer modes where I wished players were forced to undergo a tutorial before being thrust into competitive multiplayer situation which required them to ask me to explain tactics, weapons, objectives, and in general what in the blue hell is going on. Even in games with both single player campaigns and a multiplayer mode, it's not unheard of for players to skip the campaign and move straight to the multiplayer with zero experience under their belt.

People asked me how to shoot in Left 4 Dead.

MD!
03-10-2012, 12:22 AM
The style of game is outdated. Picking up weapons and powerups leads mostly to camping those areas and clusters everyone in small parts of the map in practice.

Nonono. A well-designed Quake map does exactly the opposite. The items are laid out in such a way that you need to move around the map and control different areas at different times. In fact, the items are exactly what makes camping a bad idea. You're camping the Red Armour? Okay, I just picked up every other item on the map, and I know when the RA is going to spawn, so I'm coming to take it and/or frag you now. When there are four important pickups spawning at 25-35 second intervals, not to mention weapons and ammo, plus major powerups if we're talking about team modes, it is the attempt to control them that makes the game tactically interesting.


I wish we could get back to the quake/unreal days of just lots of maps and a hefty dose of skill

Quake never went away :)
http://www.quakelive.com/

Chaz
03-10-2012, 10:12 AM
What sort of MMORPG would you play if you don't like the grinding?

Not a Korean one.

Jesus_Phish
03-10-2012, 10:46 AM
I wonder if you took team DM out of CoD would the player base drop off rapidly. TDM in that game, and other games like it, reward people with no skill for being on a good team. Because everyone plays as John Rambo, the winners are ultimately the side with the best John Rambo(s). So I can be terrible at the game, but because I sneak up on a few guys and get some kills and then some guy whose amazing happens to be on my team, I win. It's a false sense of achievement.

Its why I think sports like football shouldn't be in the olympics. You could have such good defenders that the goalie doesn't have to do anything and if you win the goalie still gets a medal.

Heliocentric
03-10-2012, 10:51 AM
Cod4 used to have small groups of clanners who would get lmgs and "shoot through wall" perks and spawn camp through concrete.

Yeah... I could do without that kind of teamwork.

Jesus_Phish
03-10-2012, 10:58 AM
That's just bad game design though.

Heliocentric
03-10-2012, 12:14 PM
That's just bad game design though.

TBH, shooting through cover was an excellent features, the "bad game design" was small maps and procedural spawming that means the opposing team can decide where you spawn by standing near the other spawns, also small maps.

Yeah.... I hate CoD games because the maps are too tiny, make them 16 times bigger and I'd eat that stuff up.

Jesus_Phish
03-10-2012, 12:17 PM
TBH, shooting through cover was an excellent features, the "bad game design" was small maps and procedural spawming that means the opposing team can decide where you spawn by standing near the other spawns, also small maps.

Yeah.... I hate CoD games because the maps are too tiny, make them 16 times bigger and I'd eat that stuff up.

Agreed, I remember seeing a video before of one of the cods, not sure which, where two guys on a clan team ended up on a silly amount of kills because they had figured out with their team how to force the opponents to spawn in one location. So while most of the team camps the spawn points to force them into this place, another stands nearby with a knife and another sprays the location from a helicopter kill streak.

Hypernetic
03-10-2012, 10:14 PM
Big maps can be boring sometimes though. Walking for 10 minutes to get to the action isn't exactly exciting.

Heliocentric
03-10-2012, 11:20 PM
Big maps can be boring sometimes though. Walking for 10 minutes to get to the action isn't exactly exciting.

Big maps are an opportunity for the designer, them wasting the opportunity is a totally different problem.

Why not use halo style one way man catapults, or plentiful vehicles. But while walking is an option? The space matters.

Hypernetic
03-10-2012, 11:35 PM
Big maps are an opportunity for the designer, them wasting the opportunity is a totally different problem.

Why not use halo style one way man catapults, or plentiful vehicles. But while walking is an option? The space matters.

Which is why I said "sometimes".

Ritashi
04-10-2012, 01:59 AM
Persistency and a sense of achievement ARE extremely important in competitive online games. You need to get something beyond simply the "you win" or "you lose" screen to make it seem worthwhile, especially when you're just starting out and don't know how the game works very well yet. However, unlock systems like CoD are the wrong way to do this. I quickly lost interest in CoD because winning and losing felt irrelevant. All of the skill was individual, yet winning and losing was measured per team; it made no sense. I played for a while, liked it for a while (MW 2 if anyone's wondering which), got a bunch of unlocks, but logging back on to play felt like grinding in an MMO, but without the promise of cool stuff at the level cap. It's the reason I've stopped trying to level in GW2; there's nothing waiting for me there but more of the same. If you want to use unlocks to motivate, they need to be things that are really cool and unique, and which change the game fundamentally, such as champions in League of Legends. But that alone just isn't enough. You need to also have some sense of achievement for victories, and sense of responsibility for losses. Sure, not everyone needs this, but I think that a lot of players do. I play games to win. That doesn't mean I'm super hardcore, or that I rage, or even that I don't have fun when I lose. But fundamentally, when I play games (RPGs and their ilk being a major exception), I do everything in my power to win the game (fairly, mind you). I like being good at games, I like improving at games, and I like the thrill of competition. Put me in a high-pressure situation where the outcome of something important rests on me, and I'm happy, even if I fail. For me to enjoy a game, I have to feel like those moments matter. I need to feel like the game is a competition between some number of groups, under some known constraints and working towards some known goal. And in a game where you just hop on, play for a while, and leave, I don't get that. It's why I haven't done that much of Planetside 2. Basically, a game needs to be designed to make it clear to players that their goal is to win the game. Don't reward players for things that aren't related to winning, and definitely don't tie any sort of progression system to anything except time played and whether you won or lost.

soldant
04-10-2012, 06:44 AM
Persistency and a sense of achievement ARE extremely important in competitive online games. You need to get something beyond simply the "you win" or "you lose" screen to make it seem worthwhile, especially when you're just starting out and don't know how the game works very well yet.
Thing is most online games don't lend themselves to progression. Each match tends to be self-contained and really, pretty much everything in gaming progression means a grand total of "absolutely nothing" at the end of the day. I don't know what sort of progression you can have which is really meaningful and doesn't result in CoD-style issues. I didn't play LoL extensively so I can't comment on that, but TF2's items (for the most part) being mostly sidegrades or (pointlessly?) cosmetic allow for variety and for a sense of progression without fundamentally changing the game - the really different weapons offer different playstyles which don't necessarily give an inherent advantage. Then again some of them do, some are straight upgrades from stock weapons, but nevermind that.

The issue with the TF2 system is that they've made it entirely arbitrary. Back when things started you'd get weapons for completing achievements. Now you get them whenever the item servers decide to give them to you. There's no achievement or real progression there. But if it went back to achievements (including some for team play and not just individual success) with the same sort of items you'd give people a bit of progression without screwing up the game.

Fundamental changes to reward progression, if done incorrectly, just creates an artificial advantage which destroys the playing field and is made worse by further player skill progression.

Hypernetic
04-10-2012, 07:16 AM
Thing is most online games don't lend themselves to progression. Each match tends to be self-contained and really, pretty much everything in gaming progression means a grand total of "absolutely nothing" at the end of the day. I don't know what sort of progression you can have which is really meaningful and doesn't result in CoD-style issues. I didn't play LoL extensively so I can't comment on that, but TF2's items (for the most part) being mostly sidegrades or (pointlessly?) cosmetic allow for variety and for a sense of progression without fundamentally changing the game - the really different weapons offer different playstyles which don't necessarily give an inherent advantage. Then again some of them do, some are straight upgrades from stock weapons, but nevermind that.

The issue with the TF2 system is that they've made it entirely arbitrary. Back when things started you'd get weapons for completing achievements. Now you get them whenever the item servers decide to give them to you. There's no achievement or real progression there. But if it went back to achievements (including some for team play and not just individual success) with the same sort of items you'd give people a bit of progression without screwing up the game.

Fundamental changes to reward progression, if done incorrectly, just creates an artificial advantage which destroys the playing field and is made worse by further player skill progression.

I think TF2 actually has a really cool player progression system, if you can call it that. I'm not talking about items, but those little popups you might not have seen in a long time if you are a veteran player. The ones that would pop up and say something like "You killed more enemies that life than your previous best" or "You did more healing that round than your previous best" and it would show the number of kills or whatever statistic it was recording on the screen. Those little popups are a pretty cool way of rewarding a player and giving them a sense of accomplishment without actually giving them an item or some other form of unlock. The popups even create a positive feedback loop in the form of challenging the player to continue beating his best scores by getting more kills, living longer, completing objectives, and whatever else. I wish more games had that.


side rant:

There is progression in the form of rankings, but that doesn't really work so well in most team games. LoL has an Elo system for ranking, but it's hardly an accurate evaluation of an individuals skill. Your Elo in solo queue LoL is based on your wins and losses, nothing more. When your win/loss ratio is largely dependent on your 4 teammates your Elo can be skewed greatly beyond what it should be (in either direction). Not to mention there are people who make "troll accounts" in LoL to play ranked and throw games on purpose by intentionally feeding and other such business just to ruin other people's day, but that's a topic for another day.

/side rant.

hamster
04-10-2012, 07:19 AM
Imagine if completing an objective adds +x amount of kills to your score tally and moreover, players on the other team actually die. So, for example, capture the bunker = 5 players on the other team get vaporized. You get to see it, kill cam and everything, with an appropriate in-game explanation. I'm sure those hunter-gatherer lone wolf types would be dying to complete the objective then. Would be even cooler if the player who completes the objective gets to control the fragging. So maybe he could be put into the cockpit of a missile defense system, or maybe he gets put into a machine gun hauling mech that is locked into a room with squishy human baddies from the other team. I'm sure there are methods that aren't so contrived to reward attaining team objectives involving mass murder that pampers the ego with +x to the scoreboard next to your name.

Hypernetic
04-10-2012, 07:22 AM
Imagine if completing an objective adds +x amount of kills to your score tally and moreover, players on the other team actually die. So, for example, capture the bunker = 5 players on the other team get vaporized. You get to see it, kill cam and everything, with an appropriate in-game explanation. I'm sure those hunter-gatherer lone wolf types would be dying to complete the objective then. Would be even cooler if the player who completes the objective gets to control the fragging. So maybe he could be put into the cockpit of a missile defense system, or maybe he gets put into a machine gun hauling mech that is locked into a room with squishy human baddies from the other team. I'm sure there are methods that aren't so contrived to reward attaining team objectives involving mass murder that pampers the ego with +x to the scoreboard next to your name.

Oh god I can see it now. People screaming various racial slurs at each other for stealing "THEIR" objective and getting the bonus kills thing you described. It would be funny.

Mohorovicic
04-10-2012, 10:02 AM
I'm sure there are methods that aren't so contrived to reward attaining team objectives involving mass murder that pampers the ego with +x to the scoreboard next to your name.

If someone lonewolves with a positive K/D and yet it doesn't help his team that's a problem with game mechanics. If I kill someone in BF2142 that puts him out of the game for fifteen seconds, and possibly much more depending on his respawn options.

Hypernetic
04-10-2012, 10:46 AM
If someone lonewolves with a positive K/D and yet it doesn't help his team that's a problem with game mechanics. If I kill someone in BF2142 that puts him out of the game for fifteen seconds, and possibly much more depending on his respawn options.

It's not necessarily a problem with game mechanics. More often than not it's just an imbalance in the two teams' skill levels. For instance I can run around as spy in TF2 and maintain a pretty decent KDR and even take out sentry nests, teleporters, and medics along the way, but if my team is garbage we aren't going to win. In a small game (say nothing over 6v6 or so) one lone wolf can definitely carry his team. When it's 12v12 or 16v16? Not really. I mean, you definitely CAN carry the team, but not if the enemy team is completely stacked with skilled players and your team is full of noobs, it's just not going to happen.

airtekh
04-10-2012, 11:28 AM
The issue with the TF2 system is that they've made it entirely arbitrary. Back when things started you'd get weapons for completing achievements. Now you get them whenever the item servers decide to give them to you. There's no achievement or real progression there. But if it went back to achievements (including some for team play and not just individual success) with the same sort of items you'd give people a bit of progression without screwing up the game.

You can still get items for completing achievements, in addition to random item drops.

The two systems run concurrently.

Scumbag
04-10-2012, 12:08 PM
RO2 only recently added a standardized no-unlock mode and that is basically outside the ranking system. Before that RO2 had one of the most obnoxious ranking systems ever created, preventing you from using base weapons without unlocks once you earned the new ones.

Just feel like being pickey here. There were (are?) a grand total of 6 Guns that required to be unlocked in RO2, two being Semi-Auto Snipers, two Pistols and the last two being the elite assault weapons. The Assault weapons were horrifically unbalanced I admit where the Russian one was nigh on useless and the German one being godlike.
The Regular guns had a ranking system to them and that was a bit obnoxious (like the fact you had to level the PPSh to get the standard issue magazine (!)) but in comparison to other games it was not too bad. Issue I always felt with RO2 was it introduced a ranking system to a game that previously rejected rankings and leveling up aggressively.
Not saying it was not obnoxious, just it was an unnecessary addition to the series.

hamster
04-10-2012, 02:56 PM
It's not necessarily a problem with game mechanics. More often than not it's just an imbalance in the two teams' skill levels. For instance I can run around as spy in TF2 and maintain a pretty decent KDR and even take out sentry nests, teleporters, and medics along the way, but if my team is garbage we aren't going to win. In a small game (say nothing over 6v6 or so) one lone wolf can definitely carry his team. When it's 12v12 or 16v16? Not really. I mean, you definitely CAN carry the team, but not if the enemy team is completely stacked with skilled players and your team is full of noobs, it's just not going to happen.

The thing is there are two obvious ways to encourage teamwork. Reward players for teamwork oriented actions OR make players co-dependent on each other. TF2 operates under the latter. If the other team has a medic and you don't, your team is largely screwed. You need medics for uber. If there are sentry guns guarded by engineers you aren't getting past them without an uber, or a spy, possible both.

You could of course under the former school of design offer soft rewards like points, or even kills, but it just isn't as immediately satisfying - cognitively - as fragging someone.


Oh god I can see it now. People screaming various racial slurs at each other for stealing "THEIR" objective and getting the bonus kills thing you described. It would be funny.

This is a small, small price to pay because it at least gives an incentive to loners to actually complete the objective. This might actually in practice mean cooperating together. And who knows, maybe after doing it once they realize its actually pretty fulfilling to work together.

You could of course also be rewarded by stuff like extra XP which is already something implemented in current games. But imagine if the system was designed with a bit more care so you really do have to work together for the xp reward. Perhaps it could track the amount of time spent around teammates. Perhaps it could be prompted by the player himself. For example, you could specify a "teamwork command" from a drop down list. The other player hears it, follows it, and the system recognizes it because you've specified it, and upon completion a sizeable amount of XP for both. Yay!

Mohorovicic
04-10-2012, 03:10 PM
It's not necessarily a problem with game mechanics. More often than not it's just an imbalance in the two teams' skill levels. For instance I can run around as spy in TF2 and maintain a pretty decent KDR and even take out sentry nests, teleporters, and medics along the way, but if my team is garbage we aren't going to win.

And that's wrong?

Misnomer
04-10-2012, 06:36 PM
You could of course also be rewarded by stuff like extra XP which is already something implemented in current games. But imagine if the system was designed with a bit more care so you really do have to work together for the xp reward. Perhaps it could track the amount of time spent around teammates. Perhaps it could be prompted by the player himself. For example, you could specify a "teamwork command" from a drop down list. The other player hears it, follows it, and the system recognizes it because you've specified it, and upon completion a sizeable amount of XP for both. Yay!


People don't seem to realize that BF3 has a system like this. Join a game, create a squad and as squad leader keep giving commands by using the comm rose "Give Order" on flag icons. If your teammate do things within that area you get more points. In fact, if you are very cynical and your team doesn't follow orders, you just keep moving your "command" to wherever they are going. You will almost always end up in the top 5 on the server if you do this....

Also BF3 gives you more points for team actions if they are done to your squad. More for reviving squad members, more for giving ammo to squad members, more for killing the person who just killed your squad mate (I think though that one may just be for the team). Stuff like that.

As you said though, most people don't notice and points don't have the psychological impact of a kill. People want to be doing something when playing. Being an MAV pilot may be one of the best team oriented activities in BF3, but people would rather whine for DICE to nerf the soflam than take a crucial individual action to help the team win. How do you design teamwork around that?