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 The Medic's bonesaw, the Pyro's fire axe, the Soldier's rocket launcher has since been replaced by the Liberty Launcher for the most part...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...
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 The style of game is outdated.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.
Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish
But the CoD method of UNLOCK ALL THE THINGS is ridiculous.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Hypernetic
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.
Originally Posted by soldant
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.
Originally Posted by Heliocentric
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.
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.
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.
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).
Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish
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.
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.
That's a great design choice by the BF3 team.. keep everyone happy.
Originally Posted by Chaz
What sort of MMORPG would you play if you don't like the grinding?
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.
Games are not work, some developers and some players forget this.
You are an enemy of gaming.
Originally Posted by coldvvvave
It may not surprise you to learn that I just logged in to write that myself.
Originally Posted by Drake Sigar
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.
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.
Of course. You are an enemy of an enemy of gaming.
Originally Posted by NathanH
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.
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.
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.
I agree with almost everything you said except this...
Originally Posted by biz
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).