Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Thesis on the Human Condition...or 'Campers Suck'

Now that I have broadband back, I decided to get back into online gaming.

So, looking through my paltry game collection (well, it’s not that small, but nothing like it’s former glory when I was in England, and didn’t have to worry about buying luxuries such as food or electricity), I decided I’d wet my feet again with the original Halo.

I loved it. I wondered why I’d put off playing online for so long. Then after a few games, the answer hit me.

Because other people are idiots.

For the non-gamers out there, let me explain what I’m talking about.

Ever played Paintball? Or more precisely ‘Capture the Flag’?

The aim of the game is this: Fight your way, as a team, into the opponent’s base, grab their flag, fight your way back to your own base, and when you touch their flag to yours, you score a point. The other team is trying to do the same thing.

It gets pretty tactical. How many people do you leave behind to guard your own base? Do you send some people off as a diversion while you sneak into the base from the opposite direction? Do you have a vehicle stashed away somewhere, and have it perfectly timed so just as your flag carrier charges out of the enemy base, it arrives on the scene, while your other troops provide cover fire?

Basically, Halo’s Capture the Flag game mode is just like that, only without having to breathe that nasty fresh air, or do any (shudder) exercise.

It should be fun, like a fast paced game of chess.

Unfortunately, other people put the stops on that.

You see, unless you’re playing with actual friends and people you know, you get a mixed bag.

Now most of this is forgivable. You can’t really expect a bunch of strangers to form a cohesive team, especially since a lot of the time they’re from 5 different countries speaking 5 different languages.

That doesn’t make it any less annoying when you come charging out of the base with the flag in your hand, being hotly pursued by the opposing team, and a member of your own team appears from nowhere, jumps in your vehicle, drives off with it, before crashing directly into a tree. (I’m not joking, this has happened to me a number of times).

Then you get the real idiots. The people who think every single weapon, vehicle or power-up is their own personal property…and decide to shoot you in the back of the head because you took the vehicle they wanted.

However, the most annoying thing about online games is two fold. The first part is completely clueless people…and the second is that these clueless people are also whiny idiots who don’t understand the rules, or just appear to like verbal abuse. They have ‘Computer-Aided Bravery Syndrome’.

Let me explain this.

First I need to explain ‘camping’. Capture the Flag is just one game type. There are others from straight ‘Every man for himself’, to team battles where you fight for a particular amount of time, and the team with the highest number of ‘kills’ at the end wins.

Campers are annoying people who have picked a particular spot in the environment. A spot that gives them great cover, but a view of a high traffic area. They then spend the entire game ‘camping’ there, and shoot anyone who comes by.

Great tactics, but not very fun or sporting. The worst of these is the ‘Spawn Camper’. A ‘spawn’ point is where you re-enter the game after you’ve been killed. These people wait just outside this spot with a rocket launcher or something, and just blast away.

You can imagine how annoying this is. Boom, dead, wait… respawn. Boom, dead, wait… respawn. You don’t get the chance to take cover or shoot back, so your team suffers massive losses, while the camper racks up the kills.

Got it?

Now while regular ‘camping’ is unacceptable in a straight shooting match. In CTF, it’s just tactics and the actual point of the game.

Basically, you’re trying to defend your flag, so you’ll stand guard over it at a point on the map that acts as a choke point.

This doesn’t stop the clueless whining.

For example, in my game of Halo, there’s a cliff that overlooks the approach to the base. So my team had a couple of tanks, and a couple of snipers up there. A nice strong defense.

Then the messages start appearing:


(Oh, and apparently, ‘misbehaving’ in an online game appears to be the work of homosexuals. Apparently ‘camping’ is the Gay National Pastime.)



It’s not camping, you blithering idiot. It’s called defending! Try going around the other way. Jump in a Banshee (aircraft) and fire some rockets at us! We defend, you try to break through…understand?

What do they expect? Hmm, shall I defend my flag? No, that’s camping, I’ll just run around and let them through. Oh look, it’s the entire opposing army! Shall we open fire from this highly secure choke point? Nah, that’s camping! Lets run out into the open where they can pick us off at their leisure!

The other major pastime for the clueless is accusing everyone of cheating, because they’re repeatedly getting their ass handed to them.

You see, many people play the single player game before going to multiplayer…and the thing is, the absolute worst human player is much better than the average computer controlled opponent. You see, in the single player game, you’re meant to kill a few hundred of them on your own. In multi-player, everyone has the same chance or survival.

Basically, one guy will stand perfectly still, out in the open, with his gun blazing, or single handedly charge about 5 members of your team, people who will actually dodge and send a hail of bullets back his way…and then act all surprised that he died.

I mean, I landed at least 3 bullets! Why is he still standing while I’m dead on the floor?

It’s called body-armor, fuckwit. I actually picked some up. Oh, and while you where standing stock still, I ducked and shot you in the head. You gun isn’t as accurate or as powerful as mine. I’m not computer controlled. I don’t have 1/10th the armor and health you have, and I’m not programmed to stand still and shoot slowly at you.

Ahem…this brings me quite smoothly to my next point.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more annoying in an online game than C.A.D.S.

You see, the game is anonymous. Doing something ‘wrong’, like say, shooting a member of the other team, leads to twenty minutes of badly spelled verbal abuse.

These people are basically crap at the game, and just can’t stand losing. If you use a rocket launcher, you’re a “fucken rocket fag’, because the rocket launcher is apparently an unfair weapon. The fact that they could easily get one of their own doesn’t come into it.

I once saw a player who, after getting killed a lot, decided that pretty much every weapon was unfair. Apparently,the reason, the one and only reason he was losing was because my team apparently where using the evil forbidden weapons. Shotgun? For ‘fags’. Assault rifle? Fags. Sniper rifle? Fags.

This is an open message to all of these people:

Getting shot and killed is all part of the game. Rather than rant impotently at someone you don’t know, and chances are will never come into contact with again, try actually playing the game and shooting back. If you lose, you lose. You can’t claim foul play because the game is a controlled environment where everyone has the same chance.

If you get beat, it’s because the other player is better than you. They may get the occasional lucky shot, but if someone is consistently spanking you, it’s because they’re better.

Oh, and to the guy who was on my team in Star Wars : Battlefront today: It’s not considered good form to continually unload your rocket launcher into a tight grouping of your own team-mates, just to take out one member of the opposition.

That is all.


rayray said...

I saw restrict the whiny lil bitches to pointed sticks until they learn good sportsmanship.
Let em defend themselves with bananas until they say "please sir, I've learned my lesson. now may I have my WMD back?"

MC Etcher said...

Morons like that are why I avoid playing online.

Playing with a headset and communicating verbally would be even more annoying when they start whining... No thanks.