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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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  • by Anonymous Coward
    People gathering around the planes/helos is nothing new. The persistant scoring allows for long term strategies as well as "best in the round" type goals.

    As for the disarray, I couldn't agree more. I'd be surprised if it took more than 6 organized people on a map of 40+ players to win a game of BF2.
  • ...as the most sought-after vehicle. This is true. And the article describes a couple different ways players fight over them. My buddy is quite skilled at flying the attack helicopters; he gets them to do things that cause experienced players to bail out. Flying in vertical loops, regularly coming within inches of obstacles...it's like riding a roller coaster without safeties.

    But I like flying gunner on the Black Hawk (or Chinese or MEC equiv.) better; and my buddy likes to pilot. Starting from scratch,
  • Everyone just sits around and waits for the helepicopters. There's no teamwork. There's no cooperation. Just helicopters.
  • The Helis are way overpowered, no doubt about it. It also keeps people from playing - you finally spawn (after the 10minute wait to finally join a game) and in 5 seconds a whoop-whoop-whoop helicopter sound is heard, and the screen goes red, and you die. That happens 30 seconds later when you spawn again. Then again. When you finally get into a tank, cool - now you're safe! Uh, no, actually you aren't...

    A newbie can typically last longer than 30 secs in other multiplayer FPS games like Counterstrike, so I
    • The Helis are way overpowered, no doubt about it. It also keeps people from playing - you finally spawn (after the 10minute wait to finally join a game) and in 5 seconds a whoop-whoop-whoop helicopter sound is heard, and the screen goes red, and you die. That happens 30 seconds later when you spawn again. Then again. When you finally get into a tank, cool - now you're safe! Uh, no, actually you aren't...

      Welcome to warfare. Air superiority matters.

      • Black Hawk Down.

        Read it or watch it. Air superiority is important, but in the real world, helicopters make easy targets.
        • You don't need to look that early in history. Look at Vietnam. The US lost about 2 fuckloads of helicopters.

          But the original poster is kind of spot on, mostly. The first, in my opinion, major conflict that was won in part of control of the air was the Spanish civil war. The Pacific theater in WWII was next, thanks to the US's use of carriers.
        • Too damn right - even a Hind can be taken down with a single RPG (look at the Russian experience in Afghanistan). Why in BF2 does it take about five anti-tank rockets to down a single bloody Blackhawk?

          They should make helocopters much more vunerable, as they were in BF:Vietnam; or introduce Desert Combat style anti-aircraft infantry.

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

      by XenoRyet (824514)
      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 alwa

      • It's not the choppers that make it a problem. In Gulf of Oman, if the USMC team gets stuck on the carrier, while the MEC holds all the capture points, it's pretty much game over.

        Wait for an aircraft to spawn? You'll be dead before the pilot lifts off, having been bombed to pieces by enemy aircraft. Go for the boats belowdecks? If there are any left, you can expect to be shot to pieces by armor on shore.

        Wake Island 2007 is even worse.
    • The attack helicopters are very powerful, yes. The only time I've thought them to be overpowered was during one game where two guys (obviously very practiced) from a clan flew the Mi-28 on the Sharqi Peninsula map. The pilot was very good at flying and the gunner was extremely accurate. They effectively controlled most of the map by themselves... They made regular sweeps of the main USMC base easily killing all infantry and destroying the SuperCobra before it even got an inch off the roof, and captured a
    • Two snipers with the .50 cal upgrade can chase a heli away. That rifle actually does a decent little chunk of damage, plus the shots go through the glass. Two snipers can injure the pilot and scare him away or whittle away at the heli till it has to leave. Combine that with an anti-tank troop spotting the heli and making his missile warning alarm go off and you negate the effectiveness of the heli.
      • I get a good number of heli kills using the Support Kit. If they are fresh, I can at least get them to head home to repair.
        • Yup... a few guys with Support kits turning their muzzles skyward for a bit are generally enough to chase off all but the most suicidal of pilots. I rarely get kills but frequently inflict enough damage to get them to back off. Also works well for shredding door gunners.
    • I've taken out Helis by myself as an Anti Tank infantry... Then again, I haven't played since August because I got back into WoW, so I have no idea what the latest patch is like.
  • 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.
    • 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 "s
      • Good arguments, thanks (mod parent up !). I suppose what's needed is a way to ensure that this kind of mechanic doesn't interfere with a newbie's positive experience of the game. But then, the same could be said of a great many games.
        • If a newbie gets just as positive an experience as a veteran, what incentive remains to practice, improve, etc.?

          Games are rewarding because they're a challenge that you ultimately get to feel you're getting better at. Make newbies just as successful as veterans and you lose any sense of them improving and thus any reason to keep trying.
  • Why, Zonk, why?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbren (682133) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:03PM (#13992752) Homepage
    Wait... what? This made it to slashdot's main page? I read the article, looking for anything that might be new, thought provoking or mildly interesting. What I found, however, was a rant about helicopters in BF2. It's the same type of rant you see all the time on gaming forums. It was fairly well-written, but the article really didn't even have much to do with persistent scoring. Mod me as a troll or whatever, but this really isn't slashdot material. It would find a better home on digg.com, a site without a traditional editorial system like /.
    • Well, not being a BF2 player myself, I found it interesting, even more so when reading the ./ comunnity's take on it.

      Calm down, Zonk isn't apokolips. Yet.
    • Mod me as a troll or whatever, but this really isn't slashdot material.
      On the contrary, "Why the hell is this on the main page" comments invariably end up as +5. You may be right, but eventually it comes down to "You acutally have no say in what makes it to the main page". K5 might be that way, but /. never has been.

      This karma-whoring tip brought to you by Microsfot - Where do you want to whore today?

  • You're kidding me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DingerX (847589) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @06:38PM (#13993097) Journal
    Keeping persistent score records results in score-whoring? Who woula thunk it?

    Ah, yeah, brings back to mind the good old days of Air Warrior and Warbirds, before I even played them, where there was a "bomber" ranking for the most damage. Someone figured which hangars got the highest score, and would fly around the map bombing those. Or heck, before that, on that PLATO MP flight sim, I recall...

    Basic law folks: when you make recognition A depend on artificial measure B, you generate experts in achieving B. "No child left behind" or "Battlefield 2" -- it's the same thing: you make everything depend on a test, and you generate good test-takers.

    Of course, in a game where there are other metrics than the personal one, you won't get all score-whores, but you will get your share. Welcome to teh intardnet.
    • MMORPGs are resistent to this because they model a real economy- if something is being whored, the excess supply will bring its price and value down until it's not considered worth whoring any more (in theory). FPSes don't have this ability- there's an infinite supply of everything. Perhaps that's the main mistake of Battlefield- it should have some system by which if everyone and their brother jump into helicopters then helicopters become rarer or weaker automatically. (Or the game could just be unbalanced
  • "Less mature"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pluvius (734915) <{pluvius3} {at} {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
    • Yes, mod parent up, +1 Correct.

      Other people have realized that this is just someone's rant on helicopters veiled as a commentary on persistent scoring. The "less mature" potshot he takes only serves to drive home the point that the author's completely uninterested in actually saying anything worthwhile.

      Article Synopsis: omg lay off u heli fag0t
  • Huh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thesnarky1 (846799) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @07:08PM (#13993357) Homepage

    I think this article is somewhat one sided. It appears the author (who admits to being addicted, I feel his pain *grin*) only has bad experiences playing.

    Yea, I see people standing in lines 3 or 4 deep to get a plane or some such, and it is foolish. However, I also think many players eventually realize that fundamentally this is a team game. Yea, 6 organized players can easily win if everyone else is just running around. Heck, I've been places with one other buddy, and we can quite easily orchestrate a victory just by knowing the map and playing off the fact that people don't know how to team play (think support and engineer at a good ambush point, or spec ops and support, or medic and sniper, etc).

    But I also have played on servers where admins *are* around all the time, where people get booted immediatly for TKing intentionally, or not playing for the team, but padding. You just have to go find a good server. As far as that goes, also playing in a clan is wonderful. I'm a member of COT (Covert Operations and tactics) and everynight I play with two or three guys from it. We have our own TeamSpeak server, that allows for effective communication, and we use XFire to track each other and allies in other servers.

    Basically, if you play by yourself, and ignore that nice new "favorites" button on servers, yea, its gonna suck a lot of the time. But if you play with people you know and can train with, and on servers where you know admins are real close, I think that most of the points made in TFA aren't valid.

    In a well trained group, or even just a group good at team play, you'll have two good guys in the chopper, that's their job. No one else waits for it, as they're filling another role. This all comes down to the maturity of the player, and how much they'll play for the team and listen to the commander, versus playing for themselves and their stats.

    • Re:Huh (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Short Circuit (52384) *
      Hm. Must be admins that keep kicking me.

      For whatever reason, sometimes, when I join a server, my teammates don't have the right uniform. Or the titles are red where they should be blue. (Yes, I'm aware of which team I'm on.) So I'll spawn, knock off one or two baddies who look like they're trying to cap the spawn point, see "mikemol6453 [teamkills] soandso", and realize there's something screwy going on again, and cope with it.

      And after a few minutes of playing, I'll get, "You have been kicked. This is
      • Now, I did not comment on bugs in the game, merely gameplay itself. But yes, I know its very buggy. However, if you realize that you've got that bug (and its not hard to notice after the first teamkills notice) merely logging back fixes it. I'm not defending buggy software, just noting that most people complain about the bug in game, rather then just log back in. As for getting kicked, server's have an upper limit of TKs before you get kicked, though that can be turned off, I believe. Your score might be un

        • I didn't say I didn't like the software. When it works, it's the most enjoyable FPS I've played. And to echo others' comments, all you need to do is cooperate with one or two other organized players, and winning a map become fairly easy.
    • by Rhys (96510)
      It isn't like this same problem comes up and keeps coming up in other games. Warcraft has the same problem in the battlegrounds. Some people are tools and just want to frag the enemy "to gain rank." (which is minor compared to the gain for winning the match but hey what do I know? I'm only rank 3 at level 29.)

      Thankfully those idiots apparently have moved out of the 20-29 bracket on my server, because there's now competition to run the flag. So now I and my friends (coordinated on teamspeak as well) sit midf
    • by Thrymm (662097)
      I agree.

      I love the team aspect and always try to find a squad of competent players unless im playing with people I am friends with. I mainly use medic and dont bother with the planes/choppers. I will take time on single player mode some day and learn as I did with Desert Combat.

      The thing that gets to me the most is when you have a squad leader who is just flying around in his 2 man helicopter and thus killing the chance to have a squad spawn on him. But that isnt a big issue when you can leave to create you
  • Everything Electronic Arts Does Is More Harm Than Good.
  • 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!!
    • 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!!

      Yeah except he probably did it for eight hours a day for two months. I'm a decent copter pilot, but some of the people that play that game really are cheap.

      Oh yeah, and the missiles are still a joke. If it were that easy to evade them in real life, nobody would ever get shot down, even the Iraqis during Desert Storm.

    • You took out a chopper with 2 AT rockets and a shotgun? Must've been some pretty darned noob opponents. Contrary to popular belief, just because you can hover and hose a spawn point with machine gun fire doesn't mean you should. Hovering means you're vulnerable.

      There are approximately three ways to take out a helicopter with a decent pilot. The first and least likely is with AT rockets. Don't get me wrong, I love playing anti-tank, but you'll never hit a moving helicopter unless you get the perfect shot
      • You took out a chopper with 2 AT rockets and a shotgun? Must've been some pretty darned noob opponents. Contrary to popular belief, just because you can hover and hose a spawn point with machine gun fire doesn't mean you should. Hovering means you're vulnerable. Don't get me wrong, I love playing anti-tank, but you'll never hit a moving helicopter unless you get the perfect shot lined up.

        Actually, when you learn how to lead properly, it's not that difficult to hit a moving chopper with AT unless he's mo
      • You forgot the fourth.. but not many people use it well.

        The almighty .50 cal sniper rifle. It's tough as nails to get a good shot lined up on a heli pilot, but when you get one it's like heaven shined down on you for a moment. I always love watching a fairly noob pilot (I say fairly because they have to learn how to hover first) hover over a spawn point. They always act surprised when suddenly they're slumping over the controls and the heli drops like a rock into the awaiting defense force.

  • This reminds me of a story back with quake 1.. the best link I could find was in the shugashack archives [shugashack.com].

    The basic idea is that you needed 250 kills on monitored servers in order to qualify for a tournament. Thresh was so well known, that whenever he joined a server, everyone else would leave, assuming that it would no longer be useful to stick around. In the end, he just got a bye.
  • Maybe he's playing on the wrong servers or something. I'm a crappy chopper pilot, but nobody ever flies them so I usually hop in them from time to time just so they don't sit there, alone, waiting, unused.
  • Its funny they mention the cannons on choppers because I was under the impression that they are more ineffective than the stock anti tank machine gun. Seriously, I've sat there and shot at some guy in the head and put about 30 rounds into him, registering hits, and he didn't die.

    As for the controls....well, it makes hovering a bit easier, but I like a lot of other pre-bf2 desert combat chopper whores much preferred flying the old choppers. Sure, it wasn't exactly realistic, but made for MUCH better gamepl

    • Seriously, I've sat there and shot at some guy in the head and put about 30 rounds into him, registering hits, and he didn't die.

      It's an explosive shell. For whatever reason, explosive weapons don't seem to hit player models directly. Aim at the ground under them, and let the explosion harm them.

      I WILL admit the TV is a very cool weapon, but usually only when you're on teamspeak as it usually requires communication to line up correctly.

      Yeah, it's hard if the pilot's rotating a great deal. But if he's hea
  • Most if not all of the article are things that do need to be looked at, but really most of them are avoidable now. If you don't care about stats play on unranked servers... there is a variety out there with all kinds of settings; including NO helicopters.

    Stat padders and spawn campers are owned regularly by good admins. If you play on a ranked server visit the website/forums that support them! Get into the communities so you know what to expect. Works wonders!

    So far they have been relatively good at ban
    • Also if you did a search on the most played maps... Strike at Karkand would come up #1 with the other urban maps right behind it.

      How true. Karkand has definately become the 'Omaha Beach' map of BF2.......

  • As in all online games, it depends on the server. I have had fantastic games of BF2, working as a squad, with medics, support and assault all working together. Of course there are servers with camping snipers, no teamwork and a commander who doesn't know which buttons to click, but there are alternatives.

    Another issue is the maps - I always play the more urban maps like Sharqi, where helicopters and tanks have much less advantage. I don't know why they bothered putting in the AntiAir missiles as they are so
  • check this out: http://acssr.slowchop.com/ [slowchop.com]

    from the FAQ:

    How are statistics collected?
    Your data is collected by doing a server query to every server once every two minutes. The server returns a list of players, their current score and how long they've been in the server for.

    How is the score measured?
    I've tried to calculate your score fairly. If you have a high P/M (points per minute) value but only have played for an hour, your score will be lower then someone with the same P/M over a longer time. On the othe
  • I don't think the weapons on the choppers are overpowered, I expect their weapons to be devastating. I think the choppers are just too well armored. It should never take three anti-tank rockets to take down a helicopter. Flying the choppers should be as much about limiting your exposure to enemy fire as launching rockets. When in a vehicle you can use the surroundings to your advantage to limit aircrafts' avenues of attack. Don't expect to park an M1A1 in the middle of an open field and not attract som

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