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Daily Gaming Experience 05/17


After a maddening couple of matches in Modern Warfare 2 today, I felt the need to illustrate some very general points that may seem obvious but apparently they elude many gamers.  When you’re playing a Deathmatch/Slayer gametype in an online shooter it’s obvious the first team to a certain number of kills wins, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of other things you can do to help your team win besides blasting holes into your opponents.  I’m not perfect or a great player by any means but it’s incredibly frustrating when you’re being totally hung out to dry by your teammates because they simply can’t follow a few very logical rules.  Here’s just a few of them, although I’m sure there are more:

Discretion is the better part of valor To me if you’re going to remember one single thing when playing team deathmatch this is it.  I don’t even care if you forget to hold the controller right side up, I’d rather you remember this:  It’s not the number of kills you register it’s the margin between your kills and how many times you die.  Having 22 kills/20 deaths is not better than 10 kills/5 deaths.  “Duh” you say, but the majority of players don’t understand this.  If they did you wouldn’t see so many scores like the former example.  Hell I regularly see scores such as 21 kills/23 deaths and if that’s your score guess what?  Your team would have been better off if you didn’t play at all!  I could care less what your total kills are at the end of a match.  Anyone can run into a firefight and get a kill before being pulverized.  A good k/d margin shows that you understand the value of discretion.  In other words, when to run head on into the flames and when to pull back and assess the situation.  Notice that’s not the description of “camping” either.  That’s not what I’m saying at all.  What you should be doing is learning the maps and figuring out where you can sneak, where you can dig in, and where you might get holes put through you.  It’s not that hard and a little restraint will go a long way.

You Watch My Back, I’ll Watch Yours Those high traffic areas I just mentioned?  Even if you think one is empty make sure of that before leaving it.  Most of these games are hyper fast and you can’t account for every situation but if a teammate is entering an area that you’re leaving, especially a popular one, don’t leave him hanging by himself unless the last look you take is of the area he’s entering.  Every time a teammate breezes right by me I assume there’s nothing going on in that immediate area and I’m safe to let my guard down by sprinting, switching weapons, etc.  Often times that’s not the case and while I’m fiddling around with my gear or glancing at the score an opponent is squeezing off a few shots right between my eyes.  Thanks a lot.  Your teammates not dying, whether you’re having a good game or not, will increase the probability of your team winning.  If you can see a teammate leaving your area or coming into it you need to be aware of any obstacles or surprises they may encounter.  I’m not asking you to babysit anyone, just saying for the second or two you’re crossing paths make sure they’ll be safe until they’re on their own.

Win, Lose, or….Lose? This one has happened so many times I can’t even begin to guess a number.  Most of the credit goes to my friend Chris for this one since he first brought it up during the highs and lows we experienced in the Halo 2 days.  When the game is tied or very close and one or both teams only need a kill or two to win, don’t run out in the open.  Seriously.  So many times our team would need, say two kills to win and our opponents would need one and like clockwork one of our teammates would die a split second later.  Now obviously this is going to happen by coincidence or bad luck a lot of times, but many times it can be avoided.  If you notice the score get close at what is going to be the very end of a match, STOP.  Take a look at your surroundings.  Where are the entry points?  Can you see any enemies in the distance?  What weapon do you have and is it a rocket launcher or a pea shooter?  All these little things will determine whether you should go for broke and try to end the game or simply stay put and hope the other guys don’t find you first.  Any teammates around?  Great.  Either follow them or if they’re just joining you, dig in so if anyone does happen to come by there’s no possibility of them killing you first.  Like I said most of the time someone on either team is going to get plugged for the final kill no matter what you do but if a few seconds go by and/or things get very quiet, be mindful of your situation and be careful above all else.

Splash Damage and Friendly Fire One of the most frustrating teammate screw-ups that can occur is when someone is using a weapon that they don’t realize can obliterate anyone, including their own teammates.  At the very best you simply respawn back in without having registered a death, at worst the other team just got one free kill closer to victory.  In many games rocket launchers, grenades, possibly mines, etc. either inflict damage on your teammates or kill them outright.  Be mindful of this in narrow corridors or when just entering a firefight.  Sometimes miscommunications will occur.  You can’t always know just as you’re lobbing a grenade that your buddy planned on charging headlong into the fray, but many players have a clear yes or no decision to make when using certain equipment and they disregard it and simply fire away.  Just don’t be stupid.  It’s unproductive in every sense of the word to willingly unload friendly fire on a group if deaths are being calculated because of it.  I don’t care how many enemies you smoke in the process.  Your teammates will be more frustrated and off their game and it usually makes little to no difference in the score anyways.

That’s about all I can think of right now.  I’m sure there are many other smaller tips to give, but this is a good start.  Learn all these things and you’ll do them out of habit sooner than later.  You’ll notice your scores improve and over time you’ll notice you’re not losing quite as much, if not a lot less.

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