As promised in the last segment of this series I’m going to get into vehicle usage today. This article will be mostly oriented toward games I’ve recently played such as Halo PC and Unreal Tournament 3. I will have to save weapons for a future article, however, as this became longer than I had intended.
The title refers to one of the most popular and well-designed game vehicles to my knowledge, the Warthog of Halo. The jeep-like utility vehicle is very basic, a simple construction with limited options, but it is highly drivable especially in the PC version. Players (like myself) of driving age find to their delight that the physics of this offroad automobile are so close to real-life that their physical driving skills apply to the Warthog piloting experience. Starting and steering, particularly when using a mouse, are a driver’s delight. But this responsiveness is a double-edged sword, because it makes the ‘hog highly vulnerable to terrain and other game conditions. This makes skilled drivers a necessity, and they are highly valued.
Last time I covered mobilization strategies and explained how flexibility and cooperation will enable the success of a team. Now we’ll get into the old argument of Offense vs Defense and demonstrate the superior importance of the former.
Distilling gaming principles into simple terms can often be disingenuous, but this one tenet always holds true: offense wins games. Defense, on the other hand, can only secure an already sure win.
The typical multiplayer game has one or more goal types, among them capturing objectives, amassing resources or slaying opponents. The one element in common is that aggression is required to achieve these and similar goals. Passivley sniping from remote locations is a strategy that resides in the middle of offensive and defensive postures but as long as the target accomplishment of racking up virtual kills is being met, players are obviously aggressively pursuing enemies through their scope.
This is Part 2 in the First Person Teaming series.
In the Introduction to this series I outlined the general purpose and goals I have in mind and indicated I would begin with this subject: Observation and Communication (I reversed the order from the Intro for logical purposes).
The reason to start here is simple: without effective employment of those skills, you don’t and can’t have teaming in multiplayer games… especially in a virtual environment where real-world physical contextual cues are completely missing. Oddly enough, implementing these skills is simple too, but for reasons that escape me their proper use is rare in my experience. I’d hazard to guess that in the First-Person Shooter (FPS) games I play no more than twenty percent of the players truly get the concepts we’re going to cover today. So let’s improve that, shall we?
No, this isn’t a new oxymoronic phrase for your buzzword bingo cards– as noted on the Play page here I’m beginning a series of tutorials on effective team play in First Person Shooter (FPS) games. I will reference certain ones to illustrate examples (especially Halo CE for the PC) but for the most part I will generalize. The vast majority of the tactics I cite are applicable to any FPS game, regardless of its unique aspects.
First Person Shooters go way back, but Doom can be considered the seminal origin for what we play today. It was such an advent and so solidly designed that many of its elements persist, decades later.
There are many modes but the core ones go by names such as Slayer, Capture the Flag (CTF), Assault, Invasion, etc. Most of my focus in this series will be on CTF and related objective-based modes.
My goal is to share the value of my experience in effective teamplay strategies. I will be the first to admit I am not a very good pistoleer or sniper. In fact I have little respect for the latter, sorry (I’m a mix-it-up-in-the-middle kinda player, not a squatter). But what I am decent at is melding with a group of mediocre-to-good players and leading them to victory using a variety of time-proven techniques.
Above and Beyond
Some may trivialize this series, but I counter that people who master what I will present will develop a teaming mindset applicable to every aspect of their lives. They will learn to make leadership, interaction and team support a natural part of their default beahaviors.
Let it be noted I am not against individualism. On the contrary, I believe a well-functioning team is a collection of individuals using their unique skills toward a common goal. Personal victories, such as flag captures and enemy kills, are to be celebrated as long as they support the team objectives.
The first article in the series will cover the basics: communication and observation. Stay tuned!