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Black Ops II and Multiplayer: The Death of Competitive Gaming

When it comes to online gaming, there are hundreds of options to choose from: Minecraft, Halo, Madden, World of Warcraft (for the so-addicted). But I have noticed a disturbing trend in Call of Duty in particular. Black Ops 2 has once again revolutionized the first-person shooter, with the Pick 10 system, incredible level design, innovative game types and rooms always full of players. But all that is being undermined by players looking to become the highest Prestige level in the shortest amount of time. Welcome to the death of competitive gaming.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For any player who doesn’t want crappy guns for a long time, the experience system of the CoD series is a great source of feeling accomplished. Each level brings new equipment, perks and scorestreaks to make your experience richer and more individualized. After you have run through your first Prestige, even if you used all of your unlock tokens, there are still new items to explore. By the second Prestige’s end, all items could have been tried and a few viable strategies may be formed.

Any game type may be used to accomplish this. The easiest are Team Deathmatch and Free-For-All. The objective is to attain the winning number of kills within a time limit as a group or individually, respectively. Kills earn points, which grants experience, and therefore makes it easier to unlock that new PETA-protested Guard Dog Streak, or the delightful ACOG scope for long-distance ease of access to organs. But its when you get into any other game mode that you see the problem of the leveling system.

The Last Enemy

As a large fan of the Domination game mode, I found myself enjoying it until the end of the first week. Taking points, having teammates do the same, and defending the ones we had, we functioned as an effective team against another with the same goal. After that first week, when players knew the maps better, sought out camping spots and pitched their non-dirty tents, Domination became more of a struggle, but still a fun game type. Today, I got yelled out for taking a point because it would “make the game run out faster,” and the player would “get less kills.”

This would be fine, chalked up to another whiny brat, playing a game he was too young to be playing in the first place, but as I joined more games, I came across the same conversation from folks who were decided older, yet no more mature. There were groups of people who were in these games just to boost their experience totals. I decided to try other game types, like Capture the Flag, Search and Destroy and Hardpoint, but in more than half of the games, the same Boosting groups existed. The ability to rack up scores when objectives were not the focus was impressive, but while there was more time for kills, there was less fun in the game.

And what’s the point of playing a game if you aren’t having fun with it? I enjoy a good Team Deathmatch. Hell, I played it exclusively for the original Modern Warfare, before I cared for these modes and knew their charms. To put it simply, these games aren’t the place to put stats above entertainment.

Five Stages of Relief

Because we can’t force other players to do what we want, one must counter tactics where we can. As we all know, it is better to get even than to get upset, and as the great Klingon proverb states, revenge is a dish best served cold. The following describes five ways to fight against this infuriating trend.

1. Denial

Don’t allow random players to get on your team. Get together a group of friends, enough to make up a full team in a given game type. With a full team dedicated to the objective, you force the other team to take points in order to try and extend the game, achieving focus on the right thing.

2. Anger

Create classes specifically to fight campers, or just to irritate the opposing player. Tossing flashbangs against snipers or EMP grenades toward anyone with a Millimeter Scanner or Target Finder can be enough to make opponents change their tactics.

3. Bargaining

Search forums, chat rooms, even Youtube, for sources to fight camping in all its forms in order to learn how to combat these fun-leechers and send them crying to the inattentive parents who bought them the game.

4. Depression

Feel sorry that other players have to resort to such measures to entertain themselves. Each kill will bring a new sense of joy, while each death will only make you pity them more. Might seem arrogant, but it sure beats feeling inferior to someone with nothing better to do than make 4th Prestige in a day.

5. Acceptance

The realization that players will be doing this will help you keep a straight head. Some will reach the highest level and not play anymore, while newer players down the road will be employing such tactics just to catch up to the average player. Don’t hate them, but don’t let them ruin your fun on a game that cost you $60 either.

Hopefully this little rant helped you have a more fulfilling time on Black Ops 2 Multiplayer. It is a wonderful game, made by talented developers, for the fun of the millions of people who would be picking it up. They are not responsible for the actions of players who care more about their shiny emblems than the fun of everyone else in the room. And if you are one of those players, watch your backs…

We’re coming for you.

What was your best story of justice served in Black Ops 2? Drop your comments below!


About RedGuinness

Andrew Shortall (RedGuinness) is the Writer, Editor, Administrator and founder of Stay-At-Home Gaming. He also suffers from sleepless nights, summer new release withdrawals and trying to behave himself in front of his new nephew.

One comment on “Black Ops II and Multiplayer: The Death of Competitive Gaming

  1. Pingback: Young Men Dying and Old Men Talking: Battlefield vs Call of Duty « Stay-At-Home Gaming

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2012 by in Editorial, Gaming Non-Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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