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BF2's Persistent Scoring More Harm Than Good? 55

Posted by Zonk
from the i-earned-a-puppy-by-killing dept.
jasoncart writes "Persistent scoring (where your score is counted from one gaming session to another) is the norm in MMORPGs, but using it in arguably less mature genres such as FPSs makes for interesting gameplay. " From the article: "The most prized asset for the competitive, ranking-sensitive Battlefield 2 player are the helicopters. These fearsome death machines are almost ludicrously overpowered, in the right hands. They feature a gunnery position with a nasty cannon (best for troop takedown), and TV-guided missiles (best for vehicles). The pilot, whose job is to grapple with the newbie unfriendly control system, and powerful engine also has access to a bank of effective-in-quantity missiles. Newbies inevitably do get hold of them sometimes, to disastrous effect - they are pretty difficult to fly until you get your head around the control system. I'm reminded of a driving school car around my way that says 'Everyone had to learn once!' on the back."
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BF2's Persistent Scoring More Harm Than Good?

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  • Re:It kills the game (Score:2, Informative)

    by XenoRyet (824514) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:06PM (#13992776)
    The spawn killing you describe does happen, but it's nowhere near as pervasive as you make it out to be. More importantly it only happens if your team is disorganized enough to be forced back into a single spawn point. You may have had a few bad experiences, but for the most part the BF2 system does in fact encourage teamwork. It's hard to get a disorganized team to work together, but when you do, you win. Most people figure this out pretty quickly, and thus are willing to work with others.

    You'll always have the odd asshat around, but they don't dominate the game. The Choppers powerful, but not invincible. A coordinated attack will deal with them as well. Get on a squad and use that VOIP.

  • "Less mature"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3@NosPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:07PM (#13993347) Journal
    In what way, exactly? Couldn't be referring to the classic definition of "mature;" you see a lot more blood and "adult" stuff in FPSes than in MMORPGs. And FPSes have been around longer than MMORPGs, so it couldn't be talking about age, either. The only other thing I can think of is that the maturity levels of the types of players that play the two genres are significantly different, and, well, that would be inaccurate [ytmnsfw.com] (NSFW).

    Rob
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:27PM (#13993521)
    If spawn camping is "interesting gameplay" I really don't want to see dull gameplay. I'd be interested to hear someone defend this as anything other than weak game design.

    OK...

    During every major conflict, control of bridges, roads, etc. (choke points) has been critical. If you know where the enemy is coming from, sending his reinforcements in from, etc., then you can most efficiently use your resources.

    During Operation Enduring Debacle, terrorists attacked a U.S. mess with mortars because going after the "spawn point" (where reinforcements come from) is often most efficient.

    Spawn camping is a good way of killing large numbers of newbies and, occasionally, the odd veteran.

    This is pretty much exactly as it is in the real world: Ambush a choke point and you'll wipe out huge numbers of idiots blithely marching though and idiots assigning resources will keep sending more to die - but anyone with half a clue will quickly find a means to address that inherrent problem.

    Similarly, in a game like BF2, if people keep on respawning at the point they know they just got killed by someone who's infiltrated it, they deserve to die. Anyone with half a clue will immediately change their spawn point and respawn elsewhere, coming in with full health and full ammo to quickly kill someone they know is low on both and likely focused in just one direction.

    Sure, in games where there are only one or two spawn points and it's an absolute point, that may not be the case. BF2 usually has several bases per side (save for the very beginning of rounds or the very end) and will spawn you in any of several different random locations around that point - making it very easy to go and kill the guy who's focused on just one point.

    And that's where the balance comes in - the team whose spawn it is can pour out dozens of guys there - all of which can wittle the guy down; they can respawn elsewhere and run in with an absolute advantage; they can get their CO to put a UAV overhead or run a quick scan to pinpoint the camper, etc. All of those tricks give them a massive advantage over one guy who has a long run to get there and runs out of supplies.

    Unless of course they don't think to use all those advantages - sure, then they're just sheep to the slaughter. But is that the game's fault due to bad design or theirs for not getting it well enough to be competitive?

    Perhaps the problem isn't that the game has fundamentally bad gameplay (to me, it's just an additional interesting dynamic) but rather that those who don't grasp the tactics fall afoul of it just as inexperienced, poorly led troops will in the real world. Of course, just as 95% of drivers consider themselves above average, I'm sure 95% of gamers are unable to accept they may be well below average and thus those that are dying are doing so simply due to their not getting basic tactics.

    The point with BF2, and it is a well balanced game, is that no one strategy ever gives you an upper hand against an intelligent enemy - for more than a couple of minutes:

    Use armor, the enemy will respawn as anti-tank and you and your crew will die before ever getting a shot off. Use helecopters and the same holds true plus they'll be taking AA vehicles, manning the fixed AA (though I would like to see the game add shoulder mounted SAMs) and lobbing grenades at chopper spawn points. Camp a base, they'll spawn elsewhere and flank you. etc.

    A smart player has a whole set of tricks and varies them constantly, as the situation demands, maintaining an overall edge. A stupid one falls victim to the same technique over and over - either from not learning or always being one technique behind a smarter player who varies techniques. But then, if you can't handle playing against constantly evolving smart players, that's what single player with AI difficulty settings is for.
  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:57PM (#13993741) Homepage Journal
    As someone who has been playing (and more often than not enjoying) BF2 since the day that it came out, I want to mention some points. I want to make a disclaimer that I am not a very good chopper pilot, even though I am getting better.

    "Persistent scoring (where your score is counted from one gaming session to another) is the norm in MMORPGs, but using it in arguably less mature genres such as FPSs makes for interesting gameplay. " From the article: "The most prized asset for the competitive, ranking-sensitive Battlefield 2 player are the helicopters. These fearsome death machines are almost ludicrously overpowered, in the right hands. They feature a gunnery position with a nasty cannon (best for troop takedown), and TV-guided missiles (best for vehicles).

    Bull. They're not all that easy to fly and a lot of times you'll get two helicopter pilots in the same level who are skilled and therefore see each other as the threat. So, while they're busy trying to take each other out, I'm busy manning the anti-aircraft or the anti-tank. (Yes, I've actually taken down helicopters with a combination of two anti-tank rounds and the shotgun upgrade.) Having played just short of 100 hours, the times that I've had to deal with helicopter pilots that do nothing but massacre are very rare. And if you find a server with that kind of pilot and no one to counter-act, there are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of other servers that you're more than welcome to connect to. And - believe it or not - vehicle-mounted machines gun can be devastating to helicopters!

    Additionally, being a gunner means shit if the pilot (A) is more focused on his own points and (B) can't get it through his head that the pilot is supposed to line up the shot for the gunner.

    Personally, I find the jets in the hands of a good pilot to be far more devastating than a helicopter.

    The pilot, whose job is to grapple with the newbie unfriendly control system, and powerful engine also has access to a bank of effective-in-quantity missiles. Newbies inevitably do get hold of them sometimes, to disastrous effect - they are pretty difficult to fly until you get your head around the control system. I'm reminded of a driving school car around my way that says 'Everyone had to learn once!' on the back."

    That's why you do one of two things:
    • PLAY THE SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN! There are a number of single player levels that have helicopters and aircraft available to them. In single player, you can do whatever the hell you want because there are no other players to piss off due to being a newbie. The area that you can cover will be small since the single-player campaign is only made of 16-player maps, but you can still get flying skills.
    • Start a multiplayer server that no one has access to. When the game starts, you should still be able to do whatever you want. There won't be another player, of course, so the level won't actually start, but you should still be able to fly. If you have a second (or third) system, you should be able to start a 64-player map on a stand-alone server, connect with one or two other systems, and have the 64-player map to yourself.
    • Find a server where the players really don't have a clue or servers that don't have a lot of players, like the 32-player maps that only have about 10 people on them. (There are quite a few of these.) They other players are usually too busy trying to figure out how to capture bases than figuring out how to fly, giving you ample opportunity to learn.

    This article sounds more to me like sour grapes. "Oh, wah. That helicopter guy is just SO good! How can we ever compete against him!" Well, he was once a helicopter newbie, too. He was once clueless about how to fly it, too. Just because you're not very good now doesn't mean that you can't get to his skill level if you stop whining and do one of the things that I mention above. And once you get your first helicopter-based kill, you'll just be more eager to get even better. So, stop whining and just do it. The other guy did. That's why he's good!!

Get hold of portable property. -- Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"

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