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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Good Online FPS Games/Servers For Beginners? 804

An anonymous reader writes "I have been playing videogames for years, but only recently got a DSL line in my house and so have never played any online games before now, as dial up was always too slow. Now that I have a fast connection, I want to get into online gaming, FPS gaming in particular. My problem is that Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike, Quake and all the other popular games seem to be dominated by people using cheats, and by established clans of players who are a lot better than me. Are there any online FPS games or servers whose barriers to entry are not too high for the average player? I am looking for something that I can just connect to for a half an hour now and then when I am bored and can have fun with."
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Good Online FPS Games/Servers For Beginners?

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  • America's Army (Score:5, Interesting)

    by servicepack158 ( 678320 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:18PM (#8229186) Homepage
    America's Army is free i just downloaded it :) it's pretty sweet. go check it out. It's more realistic too, ie no missle super guns and cheats that I know of.
    • Website (Score:4, Informative)

      by TheAngryMob ( 49125 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#8229370) Homepage

      Someone forgot to put a URL...

      americasarmy.com [americasarmy.com]

    • Recommending America's Army is cruel. AA has a VERY steep learning curve. It takes a while to get the hang of working with teammates (which you really have to do), navigating the maps, keeping your head down, knowing the objectives, using the weapons correctly etc. For one thing, in AA, your weapon doesn't fire strait. If you machine gun someone who is a ways away, you'll be lucky to hit them once while they sight a shot and 1-hit kill you.

      That said, I think the person saying it's all about grenades i

    • Re:America's Army (Score:5, Informative)

      by randyest ( 589159 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:45PM (#8229661) Homepage
      Easier to play than AA (and much better, IMHO) is Battlefield 1942 [battlefield1942.com], particularly the free Desert Combat [desertcombat.com] modern warfare mod you can download for it.

      There are very few (useful) cheats, and the latest 1.6 patch includes PunkBuster [evenbalance.com] and that's almost eliminated all traces of cheating. Even before PunkBuster, cheats were pretty rare, especially if you play on "pure" servers (which is most of them).

      Not unlike the awesome old Team Fortress, BF1942 has a variety of classes you can play (assault, anti-armor, medic, engineer, scout, etc.) so there's a spot on the team for everyone, even those without the experience or trigger-happy twitch fingers.

      And, very much unlike all other FPS games, there are vehicles. Planes, tanks, battleships, humvees, helicopters, motorcycles, artillery, etc. This, to me, add so much to the genre that I have trouble playing other FPSs without getting bored quickly. Vehicles can also be a good equalizer -- no matter how twitch fast that enemy is, if you're in a tank, and he's on foot, he's toast.

      As an added bonus, you can find 64-man games pretty easily, which makes it even easier to get along without a lot of expertise. You can play a support role (engineer, medic) effectively with little practice, and so you'll be able to help your team win even while learning your skills.

      You can pick up a copy in the stores for about $35-40, or online for $20 or less. There are two "offical" addons: Rode To Rome ($15) and Secret Weapons ($20), but neither are required to play. And, if you gravitate toward the DC mod (as most have, based on recent server stats), the add-ons are totally useless.

      Oh, and the number one most important thing you need to work on to be good at FPS games is your config. That is, how you assign your player functions to your mouse and keyboard keys (please resist any temptation you may have to not use your mouse for looking around). Think about this carefully before you just slop something together. Otherwise you'll get used to a bad config and have trouble switching from it later when you realize that you need to be able to do action A and B together a lot, but you've got them both assigned to keys that use the same finger.

    • AA Tracker (Score:3, Informative)

      by Numeric ( 22250 ) *

      One of the primary reason that I play AA is to track my frag rate.

      1) Yes there is a learning curve but most games do, don't they? Find a map that you enjoy and play it over and over and over til you master it. If you are new to FPS, I think map memorization is key.

      2) Follow an EXP. player. If one of your teammates has a good FR (10fr/3deaths), follow them around and see what they are doing. Even after you die, switch to the person and follow them. Watch their kill style and
  • Savage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperQ ( 431 ) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:19PM (#8229209) Homepage
    I've been playing Savage a bunch recently, it's a great combo FPS, and RTS.. I saw it at Best Buy for $20, and after playing the demo.. what a deal. (the demo is a bit bugy, but fun, the retail version update 2.0 fixes all the previous bugs)

    info: http://www.s2games.com
    • Re:Savage (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperQ ( 431 ) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:22PM (#8229262) Homepage
      I forgot to mention, it's got Windows and Linux binaries.
    • Re:Savage (Score:4, Informative)

      by 13Echo ( 209846 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:18PM (#8230126) Homepage Journal
      Definately! Savage is the must-have game of late 2003 - early 2004. The demo does not do it justice. I purchased my copy online, from iGames, for Linux, and I've been hooked ever since.

      Savage is definately one of the best PC games that I've played for years. Give the demo a try, but don't judge it too hard. The demo is buggy, but the 2.00 version of the official game is fantastic and has a ton of extras.

      I can't wait for S2's next game. I hope that a Linux game is in the future as well.
  • RtCWeT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:19PM (#8229211) Homepage
    Return to Castle Wolfenstine Enemy Territory...

    excellent game that REQUIRES team play and has lots of friendly people if you are interested in actually being a team member...

    I'ts one of the very few I play on a regular basis..
    • Re:RtCWeT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:26PM (#8229352)
      There is a heirarchy of difficulty for a given game.

      1) The hardest servers will be fully patched to the newest version.

      2) Much easier servers are servers that were never patched. Many noobs here, young kids, etc that didn't play enough to want to patch, or don't know that a patch exists.

      3) Easier still is the demo version. Almost entirely newbs here, everyone at all serious layed out the $40 long ago.

      So, using Return to Castle Wolfenstien as an example,

      - The 1.4 servers are tough. Clans live here.
      - The 1.33 servers are much easier
      - The Wolf MP test beta is easier still.

      BTW Wolf has punkbuster. Just because someone gets constant headshots does not mean they are cheating. I can regularly dominate a match, but I also routinely get owned by peole who are simply phenominal.
      • Re:RtCWeT (Score:3, Informative)

        by tunah ( 530328 )
        If anyone's confused, the parent is talking about Return to Castle Wolfenstein, not Wolfenstein Enemy Terrirory, for which the current version is 1.01 IIRC.
    • Re:RtCWeT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chip7 ( 587423 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:28PM (#8229375)
      Also, RTCW:ET uses punkbuster. It doesn't catch all cheats but does a decent job keeping the game fair.

    • Re:RtCWeT (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JuliusRV ( 742529 )
      Yes! It's fun, it's free (as in beer) and you can play it under Linux!
      But be prepared to get addicted... after a few days, your vocabulary will be reduced to the messages of the quickchat, as happened to the people in the video on this page (hilarious, a must see!):

    • PunkBuster (Score:5, Informative)

      by grolschie ( 610666 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:31PM (#8229436)
      Plus ET has punkbuster [punkbuster.com] to detect cheaters and kick them. Often new cheats are detected quite quickly too. Other games with punkbuster are RTCW, Americas Army, Battlefield 1942, Quake3 Arena, Call of Duty (soon to have pb), Rainbow 6:3, etc.

      ET is an awesome game. Can't get enough. It's completely freeware, and there are stacks of user made levels to download. Highly addictive! Plays great on 56k modem (hardware modem, not win-modem) too.
    • Re:RtCWeT (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NutscrapeSucks ( 446616 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:31PM (#8229443)
      I love RTCW:ET, but I wouldn't recommend it for the casual player.

      The maps are very large and there's a complex set of objectives which have to be accomplished. Basically, you have to know where to be and where to go or else you are largely going to be useless.

      I tried it with some friends of mine -- while in standard RTCW you could just bumrush the Map Room or whatever, these guys never really got the hang of ET and were always wandering around the wrong side of the map.

      The good thing about the games is that if you aren't the best FPS shooter, you can be a Medic or Engineer and just play defense.
    • by mindaktiviti ( 630001 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:36PM (#8229520)
      Urban Terror [urbanterror.net] of Silicon Ice fame is getting ported to RtCW: Enemy Territory since they released the source (I think, or at least Silicon Ice Development has it) so they'll release an official version 1 (no beta this time) which is the equivalent of version 3.3 (I think).

      Urban Terror will guarrantee that you fail at least one course because of it. :D
    • Re:RtCWeT (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Akki ( 722261 )
      Seconded. ET was the first multiplayer FPS I ever got into. It was absolutely confusing at first, but once I stepped back and ran through the maps locally to figure out what the hell was going on, I loved it. You really get a sense of accomplishment from team-based FPSs that deathmatching can't get you. And ET is a wonderful team-based FPS. When you're new, the people on your side can take up your slack a little and you can learn from watching them. Strategy and tactics are very important. I'm still disc
    • Re:RtCWeT (Score:3, Informative)

      by 74nova ( 737399 )
      you know, i played that for the first time the other day and was in awe at the quality i got for free. beautiful maps, relatively smooth graphics, and pretty nice gameplay. the objectives and style of play involving teamplay are great.

      however, i found that a lot of people dont tolerate noobs. i hit a couple of mines in a game and they almost voted me out. pissed me off that i had been playing 15 minutes and they just coudlnt stand somebody new playing.

      without a doubt ill play again, however.
  • LORD! (Score:5, Funny)

    by coronaride ( 222264 ) <coronaride@nOsPam.yahoo.com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:19PM (#8229214)
    Legend of the Red Dragon on someone's telnet BBS. Oh wait..he said FPS! oops!
  • bzflag (Score:3, Informative)

    by pherris ( 314792 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:20PM (#8229226) Homepage Journal
    bzflag [bzflag.org] is great. Easy to start, easy on the eyes and it's OSS.
  • Well (Score:5, Informative)

    by doomy ( 7461 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:20PM (#8229231) Homepage Journal
    Most online FPS use punkbuster or something similar now, and cheats are almost non-existant. You might wanna try out America's Army, it's a free download and free online FSP shooter (pretty detailed and fun).
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CompWerks ( 684874 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:23PM (#8229296)
      If you think there aren't any cheats that circumvent PunkBuster/Steam then you are't looking very hard.
      • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tricops ( 635353 )
        Be that as it may, I don't understand everyone's automatic assumption that so many people are cheating.
        Granted, I know there are people out there who do cheat, but people have a tendency to blame cheating
        any time someone is much better than them. If it were anywhere near as bad as some people make it out
        to be there would be a ratio of like one person not cheating for every 3-50 who are. :-p
        • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

          by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:53PM (#8229782)
          I don't understand everyone's automatic assumption that so many people are cheating

          Here is what I base my assumption on. I've always been good at online games, usually finishing first or near first place of any game I was in. However, over the years, as cheating has grown more common, I've noticed that my apparent skills have followed a pattern. When a new game comes out, I do very good at it. However after a few months of playing, once the cheats start spreading, I find myself doing worse and worse. Eventually it gets to the point that I feel like I'm a n00b at the game. When a new but very similar game comes out, again I find I'm very good at the new game for a few months, but gradually start getting worse again. Now it may be innocent coincidence, but I have a hard time believing that either a) my skill level declines with practice, or b)other players get better than me but are somehow unable to transfer those skills over to other games, and thus take months of practice to surpass me again.

          I've reached the point that I've just given up on online games completely.
      • Re:Well (Score:3, Interesting)

        by doomy ( 7461 )
        I'm a good FPS player, when ever I get on an online game there are half the people who bitch about me cheating, but I'm not. And I know this happens to several others.

        The anti-cheat stuff like punkbuster is pretty solid now, and the only complaints I have are from noobs.

        In light of this, a honor system like that in America's Army is a very nice bonus. But this does not seem to solve the problem at all. I think it would be better if game servers are dedicated to three different classes of players (newbies,
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shalda ( 560388 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:51PM (#8229745) Homepage Journal
        That brings to mind the biggest problem with playing games online. People are weenies. That's why I've given up on the Internet and gone back to LAN parties.
        • Re:Well (Score:3, Funny)

          by randyest ( 589159 )
          Damn straight! I mean, who needs people? I find it so much more fun to play at my own LAN party, with all my life-sized celebrity cardboard cut-outs posed appropriately at each station.

          They're not very good players, unfortunately. But at least they're not weenies.
        • Anti-social people (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bonch ( 38532 )
          Online FPS are dominated by anti-social people...kids who don't have social lives and so spend all their time in UT2003/CS chatrooms and servers.

          So, it's hard for a beginner to start because these kids have all the time in the world to become either frighteningly extreme experts or lame cheaters. And if you somehow do manage to beat someone--like you mentioned, they become weenies about it.

          LAN parties are where it's at. You get to play with your buddies, you get to have fun. Yell insults at each other
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:32PM (#8229461) Homepage
      Another thing to note -- if you aren't experienced in the game you have no way of knowing if someone is using a cheat or not. Even if you're good it can be hard to tell.

      I'm a decent FPS player (on public servers I usually rank in the top 2-3%; good enough to get accused of cheating from time to time), but I have a friend that can beat the crap out of me. To the point that I won't ever get a kill unless he goofs around. And I know he's not cheating -- he's just that much better than me.

      If you're not familiar with the game then you're not going to be able to tell if you just died to some l33t script kiddie that is using an autoaim hack or to someone that just knows how to play.

      Even if you only play 1/2 hour a day you'll get better (unless you just have no tendancy towards being able to play well), but you're going to spend a lot of time just dieing at the start. It simply takes awhile to learn the feel of the game -- what weapons work well where, how to navigate certain maps, etc. It's just like anything else.
  • LAN with Friends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:20PM (#8229234) Journal
    Honestly, just get some friends together on a LAN and play. It's more entertaining than playing with a mass of immature idiots online anyhow. ;-)

    It'll also give you the opportunity to build up those skills to get good enough to compete with the losers^wpros who spend all their time playing FPS games.
    • by blanks ( 108019 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:28PM (#8229380) Homepage Journal
      "Honestly, just get some friends together on a LAN and play. It's more entertaining than playing with a mass of immature idiots online anyhow. ;-)"

      Compared to what? playing with a mass of immature idiots in your living room?
    • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:39PM (#8229576) Homepage
      Amen - not only that, but with LANs you can run all the most obscure mods you want. Before you say "who has a home LAN" - think it through, most geeks out there have a few old P166 boxen around. Anything above that level can run HL or Q2 - Voodoo2 cards are like $20 if you hunt for them. Just from keeping old computers around when they get replaced, I've got a 7-PC lan of computers faster than 166 at my family's house.

      If its an older lan (p133 and up) get Quake 2 for Superheros Q2, Weapons Factory, Transformers Quake 2, and Action Quake 2. And get BattleZone. Half Life if you've got Voodoos. If you get HL, don't be afraid to hunt for the more obscure mods - my fave mod for HL is an obscure little action/racing hybrid named Turbo. Very fast, very violent, very cheap.

      Good introductory games:
      UT - easiest deathmatch FPS ever. An endless supply of good mods exist, and unlike in HL you can mix and match them.
      Nerf ArenaBlast - UT for the kiddies!
      Cube - simple, but painfully fast. wouter.fov120.com/cube
      Serious Sam - easiest FPS to learn, no getting lost, no thinking - just shooting.

      The newer FPS games I've played have all been harder, faster games. UT2k3 lost the whole "Quake for newbs/girls" appeal that the old UT had.

      Oh, and BattleZone 1 is the greatest RTS/FPS hybrid ever.
    • by Skweetis ( 46377 )
      I'm glad this was modded insightful. I actually find that I enjoy LAN parties so much more than online gaming that I usually don't bother with online play anymore. There are a few reasons for this:
      • All those latency problems disappear (unless you have a really crappy hub, or something).
      • It's easier to choose who you play with, important as FPSs are much more fun when players are evenly matched.
      • It's a social event. Get some pizza and beer, and enjoy yourself! (The beer may even help improve the skills
  • by Meridun ( 120516 ) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:21PM (#8229235) Homepage
    Why don't you try playing single player, or perhaps set up a LAN game filled with some bots while you bring yourself up to speed with the games?

    I know that the question specified "online", but if you consider yourself a beginner, then you probably need to practice some before you get online and swim with the sharks. Many of the current FPS games allow for single-player with bots, and the bots are often good enough to mimic real players, with the useful difference that you can adjust their difficulty. I know that my officemates and I practiced with Tribes 2 that way for several hours when we bought the game before we logged into the online servers, and it made a world of difference in our enjoyment.

    • by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:40PM (#8229591)
      Why don't you try playing single player, or perhaps set up a LAN game filled with some bots while you bring yourself up to speed with the games?

      Because you never get up to speed playing maybe a couple hours per week, like the guy in question does. You play that infrequently, and you still get your ass kicked.

      Bottom line is he (and many of us!) want servers where one can be capabibility-matched, so as to have a fun and competitive game regardless of skill level. Basically the idea is to vent some real-life frustration without making the game a full-time job.

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:44PM (#8229636)
      You know, it's all well and good to tell the guy to practice, but has anyone ever considered the possibility that he doesn't _want_ to get that good. I know I fall into that category. I just don't have the dedication (or inclination) to practice that much (nor the inherent skill that makes practice unnecesary).

      What would be nice is some sort of in game system that could filter servers by skill level. Maybe just a ladder would be enough. Set it up so if one player dominates, he gets booted to another server with a higher rating, and the weakest players get booted to a lower level server. Throw in some load balancing for good measure and you might have something accessible for newbies.

      • by dubl-u ( 51156 ) * <2523987012@NOSpaM.pota.to> on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:36PM (#8230420)
        What would be nice is some sort of in game system that could filter servers by skill level. Maybe just a ladder would be enough. Set it up so if one player dominates, he gets booted to another server with a higher rating, and the weakest players get booted to a lower level server. Throw in some load balancing for good measure and you might have something accessible for newbies.

        Bravo! This is a great solution to the problem. It is also what happens in real sports.

        Another option is the sporting notion of a handicap. If somebody is really good, then the server makes it harder on them. If the server makes the handicap public, then they still get to be known as a bad-ass, while everybody still gets to have fun.
      • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:06PM (#8230910) Homepage
        You have a good point, but I think you're jumping too quickly to a solution in the wrong direction, IMHO. You want servers filtered and segregated by skill level. I don't think this will work. Here's why:

        Intermediate-to-advanced players will surely occasionally hop onto a n00b server to shoot some fish in a barrel, take out some frustration, test a new tecchnique, or whatever. This will annoy and discourage players who are "expecting" to do well because of server skill settings.

        Some new players may even incorrectly assume that they don't have to bother with the (relatively high) learning curve of the controls and coordination required for most FPS games.

        A sort of Peter principle kicks in: as soon as you have one or a few games where you start to do much better than the preset skill level for that server, you have to move on. It would be hard to tune the system to choose the "break-point" at a proper time for everyone. If I get lucky and a wild grenade kills 10 enemies, am I ready to move on? A tough AI problem, for sure.

        The idea of filtering by skill quickly gets reduced to filtering by score, or at best aggregate average scores. This can work if you have a game with uniqie id's and centralized tracking [bftracks.com]. But then you'll need to account for multiple player for the same game CD, which allows for "cheating" the system by creating new "n00b" accounts.

        Even if you work around the problems above, note that score is really not strongly related to player skill. Scores are more a combination of relative player skills, the maps, and playing styles used in each game. Bad players can get high scores and good players can gwet low scores, especially in team games, depending on the class and role they are playing.

        In fact, some team-based mods are now actually not tracking individual player scores, but only team scores. This is to encourage more teamwork and less Rambo-style play. Some players get very high scores by baseraping with planes or whatever, yet still play poorly (by definition) because their team loses, and they don't help. If team victory is the goal, individual scores don't do well to promote it.

        The above emphasise the problems with determining "skill" in terms of segregating servers and enforcing the segregation, and it also leads into my suggestion.

        With class-based games, you have the option of focusing on 5 or 6 different skill sets / strategies. If you're not the best/fastest twitch finger in the West, consider playing classes other than assault/soldier and choosing not to run head-first into the front lines. Maybe you would be better playing medic, or engineer, or artillery support. I play a variety of classes (mostly in BF1942 [battlefield.com]), and each one is a very different experience requiring totally different skills and play styles. Please consider trying them all a little and see what you may have a natural knack for, and enjoy.
  • Halo isn't too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mantrid ( 250133 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:21PM (#8229237) Journal
    I've found Halo to be pretty fun for what your describing...log on play for 15-20 minutes and quit. The vehicles make it interesting, although the game is not without its problems. But if your just playing casually on line it isn't going to be too big of a deal.
  • TexanGirlz Servers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by miketang16 ( 585602 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:21PM (#8229249) Journal
    I've been playing on the Texangirlz Counter-Strike servers for almost a year now. It's a great recreational place to have fun. Generally the servers are filled with all levels of players too.

    Check them out: Texangirlz [texangirlz.com]
  • Enemy Territory (Score:4, Informative)

    by S. Bolle ( 631631 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:21PM (#8229251)
    Enemy Territory [activision.com] is an incredibly fun team-based game and completely free. Most people are migrating from the (dead) RTCW now, so if you want to join teams and grow along, this is the time.
  • BF1942 (Score:4, Informative)

    by scumbucket ( 680352 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:22PM (#8229264)
    Get Battlefield 1942 [battlefield1942.com]. It's really fun!

    Once you get the hang of it, get the Desert Combat [desertcombat.com] mod. Updates the weapons, vehicles, and maps to present day.

    • Re:BF1942 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tophorn ( 65492 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:30PM (#8229416) Journal
      I would agree with this statement. I've played Counter-Strike for about 4 years now and recently started playing BattleField's Desert Combat mod. Mostly the maps allow for beginners to "run-around" somewhere that will allow them to stay out of the action and work on whatever skill you feel you need to improve. Also it's got pretty graphics.
    • Definately BF1942 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phorm ( 591458 )
      I've been playing DC for a little while not, and the gameplay is incredible. With the levels that are really loaded, you have a huge array of things you can do.

      Walk around with your gun... get shot by a tank
      Respawn, grab a helicopter or a bomber, blast the tank... get blown away by a jet
      Jump into an AA gunsite, or a tank with AA... blow away the jet.

      The vehicles greatly enhance what you can do, and of course there's also joy in just trekking around on foot. Nothing quite like the joy of actually takin
  • ArmageTRON (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stavr0 ( 35032 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:22PM (#8229279) Homepage Journal
    FP Light Cycle Game (open source, multiplatform) just like the movie.
  • Delta Force Series (Score:3, Informative)

    by Knacklappen ( 526643 ) <knacklappen@gmx.net> on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:23PM (#8229288) Journal
    The Delta Force [novalogic.com] series from Novalogic [novalogic.com] has some rooms servers especially for newbies.
  • Tribes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AstrumPreliator ( 708436 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:23PM (#8229297)
    Try Starsiege: Tribes. It's an old game but people still play it. It's actually a pretty easy game to pick up, but damn hard to master. You will lose the first couple games, but thats going to happen in any FPS you pick up. Tribes takes advantage of the third dimension (jet pack) so it teaches you to lead properly and it gives you a good feel for hitting someone with a projectile. Once you get good at Tribes you're almost garunteed to be good at another FPS.
  • UT2k3 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:23PM (#8229298) Journal
    If your machine can handle Unreal Tournament 2003 it's good against cheaters and you can usually find public servers with enough other n00bz to have a good time... also if you can find an invasion server that isn't using the RPG mod then you don't play against other players, it's human players v. computer aliens.
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:24PM (#8229300) Homepage Journal
    Find the newest game on the market. Most are all pretty much the same now-a-days, and if you want to get on a game that has no established game gurus, and no cheats, you need to get the bleeding edge game that no one has had a chance to master and/or crack.

    Honestly, any game someone mentions thats a bit older (like Enemy Territory) is a bit too complex for a 'fps newbie'. A fps newbie should get used to playing a standard deathmatch, and learning things like circle strafing... THEN get into a game that requires complex strategies and team play.... that's when things get really fun :-)
  • Your best bet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jacer ( 574383 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:24PM (#8229307) Homepage
    Your best bet is a LAN party with your friends. Your real friends, who, if you catch cheat, you can nail tacks through their, well, ya know. Online gaming is dominated by cheaters and fourteen year old kids who threaten to hax0r your computer when you're doing better than them. Though they rarely know what an IP address is, let alone a port. If I sound a bit bitter, it's because I play a lot of Warcraft, and the maturity level is insane. I don't talk to people when I play, and all I can stand to lay is team games with my room mate. I played a lot of C-strike in the day, but it just lost its appeal after having played Aztec for the hundred-thousandth time. Not to mention all of the kids who use aim bot. I have it a bit easy, where lan games can be arranged by walking down the dorm hallway and yelling at the kids on my floor. It's really hard, and a lot of people ruin the fun. Though, I guess your other option is to just get insanely good and hop around all the servers screaming "3a7 my r0ck37 biz0tch" as you let loose your fury in such an unholy manner everyone just assumes you ARE cheating, and ban you.
  • BF1942 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dfj225 ( 587560 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:25PM (#8229331) Homepage Journal
    I would suggest battlefield 1942. You can hop in to a game quickly, and it uses punkbuster, so there is little to no cheating. BF1942 is not one of those games where people get insanely good and know every little inch of the map. Plus, if WW2 isn't your bag, you can always download destert combat for some modern action. I personaly like DC better than the original, but thats just me.
  • Desert Combat (Score:3, Informative)

    by bbk ( 33798 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:25PM (#8229336) Homepage
    Check out www.desertcombat.com [desertcombat.com]

    It's a mod on Battlefield 1942, and offers modern weapons and vehicles. It also has a fairly gentle learning curve - you can start off just play infantry, move up to Humvees and Tanks, and then work on the planes and helicopters. The gameplay is the best I've seen in any FPS that includes vehicles.

    It's also a teamwork game - nothing like flying a blackhawk full of guys through a city, having two guys on the chainguns mowing people down, and the rest paratrooping in to take a base.

    I've been playing it for a few months now, and it keeps getting better with every new release.

  • by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <agnosticpopeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:26PM (#8229349) Journal
    I've played quite a bit of CS, and one of the biggest problems is lack of balance between servers and players. It doesn't matter if a player's cheating or not, but if the player's 30-3 someone should kick them. They're either playing against people who are much worse than them in which case they should join a server with better players or else they need to stop cheating. I'd like to see more servers with kick votes to help with this kind of stuff.
    • My idea... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by throbbingbrain.com ( 443482 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:04PM (#8229912)
      but if the player's 30-3 someone should kick them
      I play Unreal INF and there's usually someone on each server that is so much better than the rest that it lowers the fun-factor for everyone else.
      I think the player with the highest score should glow in some eye-popping color and have access to only the lowest hit weapons. When their score drops, they go back to normal and the next highest takes their place. Call it an equalizer.
  • Day of Defeat (Score:3, Informative)

    by michtu ( 541114 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:26PM (#8229355)
    Day of Defeat is a great WWII mod for half-life. It's easy enough grasp the game play and to pop on for a while and servers are starting use cheating death or other software to crack down on cheaters. I also like Americas Army, but it requires you to pass some training and sign up before you can get online. However because of that and the experience point system it uses, there is a lot less morons team killing for the fun of it like you see in DOD or counter strike.
  • bzflag (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BadBlood ( 134525 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#8229362)

    The game is like the old Battlezone game where tanks move around trying to simply kill each other. The flag part is where you run over flags and get different "power-ups" depending on the type of flag.

    It's cross-platform, simple, and the graphics are scalable such that it can be run on a variety of machines varying horsepower.
  • Enemy Territory (Score:5, Informative)

    by Quill_28 ( 553921 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:27PM (#8229372) Journal
    It's free and so far I have been pleased with it.

    Team play is crucial and the overall maturity seems higher(relatively) than some games like warcraft and counter-strike.

    Also, the different classes allow the not-so-quick trigger-finger-player to still play a vital role.

    Folks seem friendly, but that may not last.

  • by HappyFunnyFoo ( 586089 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:28PM (#8229381)
    If you are referring to UT2003, try GibGames.com port 2206 or 2225 for the more "skilled" players, or just connect to one of the countless deathmatch servers. Cheaters are rarely a problem; I encounter a cheater once in every twenty matches on UT2003. With Quake 3 your best bet is to only join servers with punkbuster enabled (this should have been obvious already) as it seems to stop cheating to some degree.

    Some inexperienced FPS players automatically assume that someone's cheating when they get smacked down, often repeatedly. 99% of the time it's just skill, in my experience. I often thought the same way when people would have 20 frags and no deaths. However, I now realize that it's just talent. I am not in any way saying that you are one of these people, it's just that cheating is a lot rarer on online FPS games than one might expect from reading this post.

    I have no experience with Half-Life: Counterstrike. This only applies to Q3 and UT2003.
  • by j-turkey ( 187775 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:28PM (#8229382) Homepage

    (I haven't played UT in a few years, so I don't know what's what with the UT community as of late)

    When I played UT, all of the best servers ran CSHP [unrealadmin.org]. There's a little more info here [planetunreal.com]. (Sorry, I didn't have time to find better links -- the CSHP home page seems to have gone away.) CSHP stands for Client Side Hack Protection. This is a aimbot/cheat protection mod that makes sure that everybody is playing on a level field. All of the servers running is, advertised it.

    I just don't get it. What's the point of playing an online game if you have to cheat to win? What a way to ruin a game for everyone. (eyeroll)

  • by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:29PM (#8229408) Homepage Journal
    Beginners should play single player first. Get yourself a copy of doom. Beat the game on at least hurt me plenty mode. Then beat doom 2 the same way. It doesn't take long. Then beat quake 2 single player on normal. Forget quake 1. Then beat half-life single player on normal. After that you should have amassed enough fps skill to rock the house.

    Play some good old team fortress classic. It isn't that popular anymore, but people still play. It will train you to apply your already existing fps skills against real players. Once you've got the multiplayer fps groove and the skills to avoid being called a n00b pick your game of choice. You can go for a slower paced lower skilled game like america's army, BF1942. A middle of the road game like UT. Or the high skill fierce competition games like CS and natural selection.

    There are lots of fpses out there, and one of them is right for you. But don't jump right into the online world like you're in the polar bears club. Remember, you're going up against guys like me who've been fpsing since wolf3d on dos and the game wont be fun for you if I frag you in two seconds every time. Go through the same skill building process we did. You have the luxury of not having to wait years for new games to come out, so take advantage of it.

    As for me lately the only fps I'm into is NS.
    • by benzapp ( 464105 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:47PM (#8230573)
      Beginners should play single player first. Get yourself a copy of doom. Beat the game on at least hurt me plenty mode. Then beat doom 2 the same way. It doesn't take long. Then beat quake 2 single player on normal. Forget quake 1. Then beat half-life single player on normal. After that you should have amassed enough fps skill to rock the house.

      Just because it has taken you 10 years to learn how to play a FPS doesn't mean the average geek reading this site will require that much time.

      Doom I??? Doom II??? I haven't heard of anyone playing either of those games in at least 5 years. My god, they had a Doom release on the Atari Jaguar!!! Think about that!

      I think you have dedicated way too much of your life to playing these games.

      In the amount of time that has expired since Doom I came out, you could have gotten your undergrad degree, gone to medical school, AND finished your residency. You would be a real, licened, ready to probe the vagina gynecologist.

      Lets get our priorities straight here. Games should be a minor diversion, not an activity which requires 15% of your life to master.
  • Check out Tribes2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by marklyon ( 251926 ) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:29PM (#8229414) Homepage
    I'd suggest you check out Tribes. Not only can you play different roles in the game, but lots of the servers are pretty evenly balanced between newbies and "game gods".

    I play on the T2War server http://www.tribeswar.com.

    Server name: -2004 TRIBESWAR.COM
    IP Address:
    Daily restart time: Approx. 5 AM PST

    For more information about the game, and how great being able to play different roles than just "deathmatcher" or "flag grabber" check out: http://www.dansdata.com/t2bastard.htm
  • by NitroWolf ( 72977 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:31PM (#8229445)
    I've been playing Battlefield 1942 with the Desert Combat mod a lot lately.

    I've not played FPS's since Doom 2 (no joke), because they are all pretty much the same old, same old. Couple that with the rampant cheating, and I was just totally turned off by the genre until last month.

    My brother came to visit and convinced me to play, and I was pretty much hooked after awhile. You can pick up BF1942 for $30 or less and the DC mod is free... and it's a killer mod. It's worth the $30 to give it a shot and see if you like it.

    Like any online game and FPS, though, there's an adjustment period where you feel like a dumb ass. I was very frustrated and felt like a total noob the first week or two I played, but now I'm getting pretty decent, and make it into the top ten fairly often. I still get pwned by a lot of the better peeps, and I think there are still a few cheats out there, even with PB supposedly protecting a server, but it's not terrible, and maybe some of those cheats really are god-like players *shrug*.

    It's worth the $30 if you want to try out an online game, IMHO.
  • Terracorps (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spleen ( 9387 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:32PM (#8229455)
    Terracorps [terracorps.com] is an online armored combat game that does not have huge hardware requirements. This is a very simple shooter type game, anyone can play, but the strategy behind it can become incredibly complex. This game pulled me away from Quake III and C&C Generals.
  • by foxtrot ( 14140 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:33PM (#8229472)
    It must be good!

    Don't make the mistake of thinking that way. It probably matters a little less what game you play (though I highly recommend Enemy Territory).

    Find a fairly small server, maybe ten people total. This will have the benefit that you'll be able to hear yourself think. You might actually see some of the map more than a dozen yards from your spawn area.

    Most games have an in-game chat function, and messages will show up on your screen. People will try to point you in the right direction.

    If you do decide to try out Enemy Territory, try out the Medic class; you give everyone on your team extra hit points just for being there as a medic. Pick someone and follow him, he'll wind up showing you the objectives as he tries to achieve them. And you'll be able to keep him healthy and revive him as you go. It's not a bad way to learn.

  • Natural Selection (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CeleronXL ( 726844 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:35PM (#8229508) Homepage
    Natural Selection [natural-selection.org] is quite good. It's a Half-Life mod that has an excellent player community - very few nubs, and almost zero hackers. Relatively complicated gameplay, but once you learn it, it is very fun.
  • Day Of Defeat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DR SoB ( 749180 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:36PM (#8229518) Journal
    This is a half-life mod similar to Counter Strike, only 1000 X's better. It does not have the cheating issue's that CS has. I have been playing it since the release of Half Life, and it is amazing. Everyone that plays it with me is instantly hooked. I can't say enough good about this game. I have been a gamer since Sierra's earliest days (yes, I still have my original copy of Police Quest 1.).
  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:36PM (#8229523) Journal
    > seem to be dominated by people using cheats, and by established clans of players who are a lot better than me.

    With any game this is going to happen. Its like playing football with other people, sometimes the other team is going to have big bulky guys and sometimes you are going to lose.

    Play and have fun. Its no fun losing 0-10 but thats why you have rotating maps and teams get mixed up. And you will get better.

    My suggestions:
    1. Learn the maps. Learn the guns.
    2. Follow another player. Do what they do. Talk in game to them. (use team talk)
    3. Try and play as a team. Say thank you. Joke around (Sexual jokes are welcomed. Homosexual jokes more so.)
    4. Enjoy the excitement with playing with pretty guns and the thrill of shooting them off.
  • by Rexz ( 724700 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:37PM (#8229545)
    Online FPS gaming is very different from its offline counterpart. The optimum strategies are often counter-intuitive, your enemy actually thinks, and you are forced to rely on other people in order to stay alive.

    Most people playing online have been doing so for months if not years. They've developed the reflexes, knowledge of game systems and maps, and tactical know-how to stay alive. Unfortunately, the only way to gain these skills is practise.

    I suggest you download Wolfenstein: ET [4players.de]. First of all, it's free so if you decide online gaming isn't for you after all, you haven't lost anything but a little time.

    Secondly, the penalties for death aren't too harsh. Unlike Counter-Strike, where you have to wait up to 5 minutes after dying to play again, you'll be back in the game within 30 seconds.

    Thirdly, it's "easy-to-learn, hard-to-master", to use the cliche. You don't have to learn complex firing patterns or master the intricacies of every weapon in order to play competently. You can introduce more complicated elements and strategies at your own pace without being left behind.

    Finally, during your 30 seconds of waiting to respawn, you have the option to view one of your team mates through their eyes. Watch what they do. Think about what they do wrong and what you'd do differently. See if they charge too easily or hesitate too much. Don't treat online gaming like linear, formulaic single player games. Always think and try to learn from your mistakes.

  • by quakeroatz ( 242632 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:38PM (#8229568) Journal
    All three of those games are hardcore, teeth cutting, high paced, footsolider FPS'.

    While they are fabulous games, they are not for beginners not willing to take a few thousand gibs before they make top 5 in a full server. I you're not prepared to commit the time and take an prolonged asswhipping until you get the rust out, try BF1942. The vehicle aspect and adjustable bot play allows even the newbiest newb to find enjoyment. More specifically, Desert Combat is the mod of your eye.

    Only in DC can a first timer drop a Scud into a highly skilled pack of clanners and smear them across the terrain.
  • Perfect Timing (Score:3, Informative)

    by mapmaker ( 140036 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:40PM (#8229593)
    The demo version of Unreal Tournament 2004 is to be released this week. The full retail version is coming soon after.

    Download the demo when it comes out and you'll be getting in on the ground floor with a new game that no one else knows any better than you. And there won't be any cheats yet either since it's a new game, although that will most likely not be the case in a few months time.

  • Legends! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nulltransfer ( 725809 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:49PM (#8229707)
    It's free (~80 MB download), runs under Linux, Windows and Mac OS 9/X, and comes with both server and client for all three platforms...

    Loosely based on Tribes...

    http://hosted.tribalwar.com/legends/ [tribalwar.com]

  • by Antilles ( 49894 ) <jpatterson@@@realtycenter...com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:51PM (#8229748)
    examples of these would be, www.stoofoo.net and www.shacknews.com ... in the comments section, almost daily 'stoobattles' and 'shackbattles' are announced with much fanfare, and scheduled to begin at around 9pm EST. if you play regularly, and frequent the boards, you learn the games, when new patches come out, and meet a lot of cool people. Also, you get to know the people you play with, and it gets to be better than any lan game you can play because you play against / with these people on a regular basis. Plus, its much easier than transporting yer whole rig to a spot, and its almost like your favorite sitcom that comes on 'every tues at Xpm', you just know to show up.

  • by OzJeep ( 583190 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:52PM (#8229769)
    You might be interested in PlaneShift [planeshift.it]. It's an open source and free-to-play MMORPG. I have been interested in it, both as a player and to help out, but have not done either at this point. Laziness mostly. Anyway, YMMV, but looks like you can download it for Windows or Linux and start playing quick enough.
  • by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:53PM (#8229783)
    seem to be dominated by people using cheats

    While people using cheats do exist, they're not nearly as prevalent as you seem to think, you're just unable to accept that people are that good.

    Take Quake 3, for example. I got tired of having my butt handed to me by people with the railgun. So, I limitted myself to *only* using the railgun. In time, I got pretty good. With more time, I got really good. With even more time, I got fan-freaking-tastic. When you're single, don't own a home, and have a 1-megabit pipe into your apartment, it's amazing how much time you can dedicate/waste on those things!

    So, what did that get me? A bunch of whining cry-babies yelling "Aimbot! Cheater!" every time I killed them. After they did it enough to annoy me, I'd chase them down and kill them with the gauntlet. At that point, they'd generally just leave the game.

  • by jejagua ( 738519 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:00PM (#8229871) Homepage
    Don't play with other newbies. You will get better, faster if you play against challenging opponents.

    Play on lightly populated servers. Generally, the LEET get bored on these and move on to higher frag opportunities.

    Watch for hacks. There are plenty of servers that allow cheats. Read the MOTD. Often servers will identify their exploit policies and installed mods. It won't take you long to realize if you've fallen victim to wall hacking or other exploits. Observe the other players during your dirt-nap to see if they're cheating.

    Get a fast video card, plenty of RAM of of course a decent processor. Lower the vid. quality if necessary to get a decent frame rate; a consistent 60 FPS+. Lots of folks disagree on this because your eyes can only detect something like 32 FPS+ or less, but trust me on this. Lots of other factors come into play and a high frame rate removes other bottlenecks and quickens reaction time.

    Buy a decent mouse. USB Optical mice work best in my experience, and there are mice available that are specifically designed for game play.

    Listen to the environment. Get a decent surround speaker system. It is a great advantage to hear a shot or footsteps with 360 degree accuracy. If you can't afford this, play with good headphones. Remove distractions.

    Don't drink beer. I haven't formulated a precise equation, but you can expect your frags to decrease exponentially per ounce of alcohol consumed. Other intoxicants will lead to misplace your icons.
  • Day of Defeat (Score:4, Informative)

    by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:08PM (#8229959) Homepage
    Get into Day of Defeat, learn it, and don't worry about how well you do compared to others. There are plenty of clans, don't let it bother you. It's rare that a server is domainated by a clan at any given time.

    Another game to consider is Ricochet. It has few players, but there are no clans and it's extremely fast-paced with no teams, just everybody vs. everybody. Of course, as a newb you'll get your ass kicked in ways that you didn't even know possible, but you'll catch on.
  • by Daemongar ( 176180 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:14PM (#8230071) Homepage
    I would strongly recommend TFC for beginners, as it allows a player: 10 different classes with different abilities to play, instant respawn, team play, runs on the Half-Life engine, is a free download to owners of Half-Life, and doesn't allow team kill*. Also, as an added bonus, someday TF2 will be released http://tf2.sierra.com/ but the last update was in 2001 - so I wouldn't go preordering anytime soon.

    No matter what game you play, tho, make sure of the following:

    1. Snipers - learn how to snipe, for God's sake - they rock
    2. Encourage team play - CS is great, but all it takes is a server with Friendly Fire turned on to make everyone unhappy - BF1942 usually has this turned on to drive me crazy.
    3. Make sure you are enjoying yourself - I have played a lot of online games, and at the end of 2 hours was pissed off something fierce. Then I thought "WTF am I doing?!" and promptly moved on.
    4. You play on the same server regularly and get to know people a little. Doesn't hurt if there is an active admin who can kick nincompoops, either.

    Good luck, and if you see RevCo online - just log out and save yourself a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
  • by Kagenin ( 19124 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:17PM (#8230106)
    I've found that Day of Defeat, an add-on for Half-Life, kicks much ass. My Girlfriend, who has always had a penchant for Quake (and Quake-alikes), took to this WWII-based mod like a fish to water. Teamwork is MORE prevalent in this than say Counter-Strike, where I've found most players as of recently are only concerned with their individual statistics than the team score (and getting the bomb planted/diffused).

    Certain objectives reqire two teammates to complete on some maps. And did I mention that the elaborate, detailed maps are some of the best maps I've played in any game? Many maps are Cap'n'Hold, a "king of the hill" like variant of Capture the Flag, some are Attack or Defend (one side has the objective to blow something up before time runs out, the other team has to wait for time to expire before their shit blows up...), some are mixes of the two - one map has one side seeking plans from a downed plane (a la one-flag CTF), the other team has to blow up tanks with shoulder- mounted Rocket Launchers before the other team caps the plans.

    Sure, less people play it than CS, but this can be a good thing - I've found players are of a better calibre than CS. They don't cheat as much, they appriciate good teamwork, and don't TK as much when Friendly Fire is on.

    I used to play some FPS games on Dial-up, up until about a year or two before we got DSL. Things were great when most gamers only had Dial-up - I used to play A LOT of Quake 2 (especially ExpertCTF) on Dial-up, and during one of my binges, found my name on theclq.com's listings of the top ExpertCTF players in the world for a week (in the top 150!). But then the prices of DSL started to drop, and the early adopters were rewarded with lower latency, fewer dropped packets, and an easier time lining up sniper rounds.

    I've also been playing a lot of Team Fortress Classic - again, less players than CS, but a better player you'll find, usually.

    And Practice makes Perfect. FPS games are no exception. Sure, some are born with killer instincts, but the rest of us have to learn the maps (and appropriate tactics) on our own.

    If yer ever playing DoD, and you bump into "The Outsider" (me), "Kagenin" (me again), lulu (my girlfriend), or "General Spanky" (my sister's boyfriend), say "Hi!" or something.

  • BF1942 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:18PM (#8230121) Homepage
    BF1942 is good for beginners. You can play with only bots for a while, and now, when you play online with the 1.6 patch, it can search for Punkbuster only servers, which blocks cheats (most at least). Plus, if you get on well populated server, odds are there will be someone suckier than you.

    Also, why not learn it like the rest of us did? Keep playing against the guys who keep getting head shots on you, and if you practice long enough, suddenly you start getting head shots on them.

    Nobody ever got better at a game by playing against a bunch of people who are worse than them.

  • by {tele}machus_*1 ( 117577 ) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:38PM (#8230440) Journal
    I only play FPS games online every once in a while. When I started out, I learned some useful fundamental skills that still allow me to have fun even though I'm never the best player on the server.

    In general, I will echo some comments already made: (1) if you are just starting out, don't assume excellent players are cheating; chances are, they are just much better than you. (2) Don't be intimidated. And don't be afraid to suck, because you will suck mightily for a long time. (3) It's probably not a good idea to play round-based games at first, because you will spend a lot of frustrating time waiting for the round to end if (when) you are the first person to get killed.

    More specifically, if you need to buff up your aiming, dodging and moving skills, play Quake 3 against the bots on the second hardest difficulty level until you are consistently winning the map. You just need to build up your twitch-gaming skills.

    If you want to play C-S, here are some specific tips to help you avoid common newbie mistakes:

    (1) Concentrate on staying alive, not racking up kills. Don't lead the rush into a hail of bullets. You learn a lot more by staying alive through a whole round than you do trying to get one kill right away and then waiting out most of the round after dying in the first rush. Plus you can actually learn your way around the map.

    (2) Contrary to your instinct, don't bother playing with other beginners. You will learn more playing with advanced players, because your mistakes will be punished and your good habits will be reinforced. If you only play against bad players, you will only develop bad habits.

    (3) Use headphones, unless you have a top-notch surround-sound speaker set-up. With headphones you can get a better sense of directional sound. It makes it easier to locate people by the sound of their footsteps or gunfire.

    (4) Use controlled, 1-3 bullet bursts. You can stand right next to a guy, and if you empty your clip at him in a long continuous burst, there's a good chance he will blow your head off before you kill him (I have seen this happen, and it has happened to me).

    (5) Learn to compensate for recoil. The easiest way to get used to recoil is with the AK-47. With the Ak, aim at your enemy's upper chest and fire a short, 3-bullet burst. You'll find that the third bullet will most likely be a headshot.

    (6) Learn the Buy menu. Don't worry if everyone is long gone by the time you finish buying your gear in your first few rounds. Once you figure it out, you'll be ready to go with the team.

    (7) Don't use the sniper rifles. Just don't bother. You don't learn anything by hiding and trying to pick off targets from a distance.
  • WWIIonline (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lodragandraoidh ( 639696 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:49PM (#8230615) Journal
    World War II Online [wwiionline.com] is the best battlefield simulation - bar none. It is also a FPS - in that you can only view the environment from the first person perspective, whether you are an infantryman, a tank, a ship or a plane. However, it is not for people with short attention spans, or folks who want instant action. It more than makes up for this with the following capabilities:

    1. Massive Map. The map is of Western Europe; you could spawn into Holland, and walk all the way to Switzerland if you wanted to (1/4 scale - with accurate elevations and terrain features that nearly match the real map of Europe) - this would take you days, if not weeks to do this. There is no 'zoning' between smaller areas like in other online games - and the map is humongous compared to any FPS currently on the market. You don't have to worry about running into a wall when you are trying to maneuver - and battles don't end up being 'frontal assaults through a bottleneck' - with interesting results and possibilities for offense and defense.

    2. Visual Distance. The edge of the 'fog' curtain at the edge of your vision is 6 or more kilometers away. You can see men with your avatar's naked eye out to 2 Kilometers, ground vehicles out to 3 kilometers, and much larger vehicles, such as ships out to the edge of the fog (6km or more). Optics, such as binoculars or telescopic weapon sites allow you to see further for each type. Tank battles typically occur between 500 and 2000 meters.

    3. Damage System. The damage system is very realistic - going so far as to break up different parts of your infantry avatar (head, torso, extremities) - and apply damage based on the physics of the weapon that is impacting the 'part' of the body or vehicle (or both).

    4. Combined Arms. The game includes Air, Land and Sea forces that all operate on the same battlefield; while there are a few games that do this (such as Battlefield 1942) - none have the same feeling or realism that engagements in WWIIonline have. Whereas in an infantry based FPS (like Socom, or the Rainbow 6 series) - you can pretty much ignore the other components, in WWIIonline you must work together with other branches to succeed. Calling in an airstrike on an enemy position, or doing an amphibious assault (river patrol, destroyer and transport ships currently modeled), or flying as a pilot, or being a ship commander, or a tanker, or an infantryman (sappers, riflemen, light machine gunners, and soon rifle grenade equipped infantry - plus smoke and frag grenades - as well as knife) and all working together move the map.

    5. No Gankers. You can not kill your own side. That being said, that does take away from the realism a bit - but more than makes up for it in the playability department - unlike other games where griefers use team killing to get the choice equipment, or just disrupt the gameplay.

    6. Night and Day. Currently the system has a fast clock that has a 'day' that lasts 6 hours (don't quote me on that), and a night that lasts half that time (3 hours?). There are clouds - but currently no weather effects - but that is planned for future development.

    The game begins with a 'map reset' - where the starting 'frontline' positions are set to the defaults. The game commences immediately and the map runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week until a winner is declared. The winner is the side that captures the vast majority of the enemy's towns (large towns/cities count more than small towns - but are also harder to take). Maps last anywhere from a week to several months. After a winner is declared automatically, the map is reset and the war begins again.

    The equipment is based on WWII types, with a more historic approach than other games (such as BF1942) that start off with the Tiger tank (for example). Instead you will learn to use the PZII, PZ38, PZIII, Sd232 on the Axis side, and the Sumoa, Char 1B, Renault, and Panhard on the French, and Matilda, A13, and Vickers on the British (they
  • FPS tips (Score:5, Informative)

    by xihr ( 556141 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @05:56PM (#8230748) Homepage
    Here's an FPS tips site [bosskey.net] which includes tutorials and information on Quake, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Wolfenstein.
  • by xihr ( 556141 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:00PM (#8230815) Homepage

    Although cheating is a serious problem on some servers, the fact is most claims of cheating are false. It's the beginners who see cheating when it's not there. They come from newbies who don't realize that although they think they are good, there are people much, much better than them. There's a hierarchy of tiers of player skill in FPS games, just like there is in life. Even people in the top tiers will get trounced by people on the even higher tiers.

    All the problems that come with people cheating can be eliminated simply by playing on a good, reliable, well-administrated server that you've come to trust. It can take time to find one, but it's worth the investment. In short, don't sell out Quake, Counter-Strike, and its progeny just yet.

  • by msimm ( 580077 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:09PM (#8230957) Homepage
    Team killing is always really popular. If possible (depending on game) throw gernades, light team mates on fire or generally stand around in peoples way.

    If someone shoots you a lot and you cant seem to touch them, that means their cheating. Its always best to call them a cheater out loud. This will show the other players that you just want to play a fair game.

    Monopolize. If your playing on a level with any 'scarce' items its probably best if you get to them first then run directly over to the enemy side and open up! Just to show them how leet you are (they'll apprecaite you donating the weapon too).

    Talk shit. Players really respect a player who knows how to talk shit. If your losing, insult the enemy team! This goes great along with accusing enemy players of cheating.

    Finally, if *your* using a cheat its probably best to start accusing enemy players of cheating *as soon as you log in*. Your team mates will apprecaite this and admire you for your honesty.

    Don't forget to bunny hop! Good gaming!
  • by TyrranzzX ( 617713 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @06:26PM (#8231194) Journal
    If you don't want to practice and put in the time to get good(which tends to make you decent at a number of games when you get good at one), then stick to single player games. There's simply no way you're going to be able to go out and have a good time in FPS games without spending some time learning a game well. Expect to, especially when the game is as difficult as tribes, get your ass handed to you on silver platter for the first few months, and that's if you're putting in a few hours a night and you've got the talent. I know a guy in my clan who is 40 somethin years old, a retired marine and he's k3wl as fsck, but even after years of tribes he can't mid air a guy jetting up and down. He can do other things and be a sneaky bastard but he can't mid air people consistantly (last time I played with him, that is).

    There simply is no multiplayer FPS game that exists that doesn't have the skilled players and cheats and clans (whom almost all usually cheat to some degree, usually the highest clans either don't cheat at all or cheat like a mofo with custom stuff). That's the reality of it.

    With that said, there are some excellent single player games out there like morrowind (if you've got the super powerful hardware) or Deus Ex, Chrome, and a couple others. There are also some low-skill multiplayer games like planetside, halo, and everquest that are designed for someone like yourself, but obviously some have a monthly fee. (I'm taking this in comparison to high skill games like tribes, BF1942, and to a lesser extent Q3, UT2K3, Natural selection, etc).
  • by superultra ( 670002 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @07:44PM (#8232193) Homepage
    ...is playing with other people." - gabe, Penny Arcade

    If you're wanting to avoid these crackshot players who've been playing since the day the game came out, you're going to have to start playing the day a game comes out. What's worse is that a lot of these people are just darn good at FPS anyway. A team game might be just what the doctor ordered in that case, except that it means getting into clan.

    My suggestion, and one that I haven't seen mentioned, is to first find an FPS with a much smaller following. Tron 2.0, NOLF 1&2, for example, are great games with such small followings that even though they're really great, they're so desperate for other players that these guys will take you by the hand and help you get good if only to have fresh blood.

    I remember then the now completely forgotten Legends of Might & Magic came out, I happened to get a free copy at work. Think Counter-Strike + Might and Magic but suckier. The thing is that there were only 5-10 servers, but everyone was really nice and a very tight group, and they were more than happy to show newbies the ropes. Even though the game design really blew, the community made it much more playable.

    So, to summarize, my first suggestion would be to get in on day one on some upcoming FPS, maybe Far Cry. My second, and more realistic, is to find one of these small FPS games you like and just jump in. =)

  • by terminal.dk ( 102718 ) on Monday February 09, 2004 @08:27PM (#8232644) Homepage
    Respawn really kills the game, people don't act realistic in any way, and uses bazookas all the time to blow themself up, sometimes killing someone else as well.

    Games without respawn is way better. A good current example is Rainbow Six. Start playing cooperativew games to learn. Mature gamers, friendly atmosphere. Have yet to meet coop cheaters. This game rocks.

    Otherwise go for strategy games, like some of the best out there. Myth II Soulblighter rocks.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?