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Joining the Losing Team

In most PvP first person shooters there’s this mechanic that every so often place you on the losing team. Especially if you’re playing with three or more friends in a squad.

That has to do with more player slots being free on the losing team due to a high quit frequency on that team before you join. The game’s matchmaking is then trying to balance the teams by filling up the empty slots.

This is very annoying and discouraging.

Still, I don’t really see how it could be fixed; not being able to join matches in progress would have you waiting a thousand years.

The problem is that noobs quit when their team is losing.

And I’m no better. If I’m playing on a team that loses three matches in a row by 600 tickets or so (Conquest in Battlefield), I would rather quit and scan for another server than to play on. That’s wrong but also some form of self-preservation.

To lose a few matches in multiplayer is of course fine. Reasons could simply be you and your team being properly pwned for sucking. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

It’s just that joining a losing match in progress isn’t that fun. And this is much more common than joining the winning team. Actually, one could argue that this situation is in the nature of PvP – helping your team to turn the tide. Although I doubt the average and casual player is that noble to willingly join a bad team to do so.


My Favorite Maps

I got a PlayStation 3 in May 2008. My first Call of Duty installment was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 back in 2009. I didn’t play the infamous multiplayer by then (well I did play multiplayer online, but mostly Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves). And the prequel, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare originally release in 2007, I got as late as two years ago or something like that, which means I just tried out the multiplayer component.

And I never played the World War II games in the series – Call of Duty (2003), Call of Duty 2 (2005), Call of Duty 3 (2006) nor Call of Duty: World at War (2008). So yeah, I’ve missed out of a lot of maps.

Actually, I first got into this shit with Call of Duty: Black Ops in 2010. I bought all the multiplayer map packs – First Strike, Escalation and Annihilation. (The final map pack, Rezurrection, is made up of five only Zombie Mode maps, so I never bother getting it.) But mostly I played random pubs solo.

In 2011, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released and I joined a group of people who played quite frequently. It was great, so much fun – and rage. We all got all the map drops, including the old map Terminal from Modern Warfare 2, which were remade for this game.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II came out in 2012 and I got all four DLC packs (Revolution, Uprising, Vengeance and Apocalypse). Two of the maps, Nuketown 2025 and Studio, were reimaginations of Black Ops’ maps, Nuketown and Firing Range.

Call of Duty: Ghosts was released in November 2013. Initially I played it a lot, but quickly got bored and in the beginning of January 2014 I had stopped playing it. This means that I haven’t played any of the seven new maps of Onslaught and Devastation packs. (I’ve heard there’s an eighth map on Unearthed, which is recycled from Dome of Modern Warfare 3.)

The Maps

So, why is it important with good maps? When you think of it, good and bad map designs really affect the whole experience. No wonder they republish old popular maps in the new games.

To keep this post short, I’ll save you from telling you what I think constitutes a good map, there are way too many parameters. But it short, it has to do with your preferred play style – that is, how the map suits your kung fu. Right.

If I counted correctly, I played 137 multiplayer maps (Face Off maps included, Zombie and Special Ops maps excluded and reimaginations summed as one entry).

Finally, here’s my top 20. And remember, this is my personal list, you may disagree, and that’s cool. You may also take the game’s mechanics respectively into account.

All Time Best Maps of Call of Duty

20. WMD (Black Ops)
19. Octane (Ghosts)
18. Black Box (Modern Warfare 3)
17. Mission (Modern Warfare 3)
16. Piazza (Modern Warfare 3)
15. Freight (Ghosts)
14. Terminal (Modern Warfare 2) / Terminal (Modern Warfare 3)
13. Afghan (Modern Warfare 2)
12. Favela (Modern Warfare 2)
11. Getaway (Modern Warfare 3)
10. Hanoi (Black Ops)
9. Arkaden (Modern Warfare 3)
8. Jungle (Black Ops)
7. Village (Modern Warfare 3)
6. Slums (Black Ops II)
5. Grind (Black Ops II)
4. Prison Break (Ghosts)
3. Firing Range (Black Ops) / Studio (Black Ops II)
2. Standoff (Black Ops II)
1. Lookout (Modern Warfare 3)

About Sniping

I’ve stopped playing Call of Duty and focused on Battlefield 4 (on PS4). I switched because Ghosts bored me to death.

My personal goal in Battlefield 4 was to learn and do well with the Recon class, that is sniping. A worthy challenge for someone like me, coming from Call of Duty with its different set of rules and game mechanics.

Now Battlelog say that I compete in Recon Score Division 1, but I don’t know what the heck it means. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on sniping and equipment in Battlefield 4.

The CS-LR4, which you have from the get-go, is a pretty decent rifle. I actually think it is better than several of the later weapons that you unlock, so stick with it until the very last high powered rifles.

Or, if you own the China Rising expansion, you should unlock the L96A1 by completing the Need Only One assignment. The L96A1 is a good overall gun, not too unlike the CS-LR4, but better in every aspect.

GOL Magnum
And if you got the Second Assault expansion, do the Eagle’s Nest assignment and get the mighty GOL Magnum. My boy Papa Oregano favors this rifle over all the others. He claims he’s able to better calculate the bullet drop and where the bullet lands than the SRR-61. But then again, he’s targeting range is usually not over 300 meters.

For me, I found the GOL Magnum difficult to adjust to. I used the SRR-61 extensively (with its high muzzle velocity and low bullet drop) before trying out the GOL Magnum. My targets are usually on a greater distance than Papa Oregano’s.

Scout Elite
When playing certain braindead maps (Operation Locker and Operation Métro), I chose the Scout Elite due to its high rate of fire. This rifle is great for aggressive recon – up and close combat, but not so much on larger maps.

Oh yeah, I should probably let you know that I play Conquest on large maps. Playing different sorts of Deathmatch, Obliteration or such, in consideration, the Scout Elite should work fine.

My favorite rifle is the SRR-61. I’ve played a little over 37 hours with this gun and have an accuracy of around 29%.

As for the weapon attachments, I earlier used the Rifle Scope (8X) on every sniper rifle together with the accessory Variable Zoom (14X), but recently switched to CL6X. I’m thinking it is easier dealing with enemies within a shorter range with less magnification. I use the Standard Barrel because the cost of stability and muzzle velocity et cetera are too great. As auxiliary I always use Straight Pull, there’s really not any choice to that.

(A thought if you like the GOL Magnum, is to use the SRR-61 and equip it with a suppressor. In that way the SRR-61’s bullet drop might act as the GOL Magnum’s but being suppressed. But you’ll lose the GOL Magnum’s higher rate of fire.)

The two gadgets I run with is PLD (Portable Laser Designator) and C4 Explosive. C4 is one of the most fun gadgets in the entire game, very versatile. I think the PLD is almost overpowered – I can’t think of any other gear in this game, that helped me out as much as the PLD has. But from a strategically point of view, the Radio Beacon is very useful. So if you team up with a Squad with two Recons, one could have the PLD and the other the Radio Beacon.

Field Upgrades: Sniper makes sense for the Recon class.

About the Sidearm, Grenades and Knife, well I don’t really see any real differences between the choices here. I use the 93R, M34 Incendiary and Bayonet, but don’t have any arguments why.

Bugs, Glitches and Other Battlefields

I got bored with Ghosts and instead of falling back to any previous release I gave Battlefield 4 a try. I had it for some time, but never played it.

Battlefield 4 is pretty good. The multiplayer that is, the campaign sucks – I don’t think I’ll ever finish it. Anyway, it took me like five hours or so to adjust to the controller and heavy movements and such, but now I played 30 hours and things are getting easier.

Business As Usual

My usual game modes are Conquest or Obliteration, and occasionally Domination or Rush. A good match is a win and to have a positive K/D, as in any given multiplayer FPS.

I normally play as an Engineer with a Carbine rifle, such as the AK 5C or ACE 52 CQB. I haven’t tried out that many weapons or combinations, because I haven’t unlocked everything. Therefore I had to research forums and threads about guns and my conclusion was these two carbines, and perhaps the UMP-45 for the Engineer class.

I like the Recon class, but to snipe is difficult. It’s fun and rewarding, but takes a lot of grinding before you get any good at it.

I’d like the Designated Marksman Rifles (DMR) to be good, they could be perfect for this game, but in reality they’re not. At least that’s my short experience and what everybody says.

Friend Versus Friend

The ability to play with friends is not satisfying. The interface and setup are simply shit. You can’t start a Squad before you enter a match, and when you join a friend’s nearly full server, you’re likely to enter the opposite team.

There are some sorta workarounds though: on the PS4, I suggest you start a Party to be able to chat, outside the game. Have a friend joining a server with sufficient empty player slots for you and the rest of your friends. Now join this server. Remember to have some margins on the empty player slots – due to having five players joining the same team, could upset the team balance.

About the bugs and glitches. Well, there are some. Quite a few actually, but this post was supposed to be uplifting, so find yo info on the internet.

Compare Shit to Call of Duty

And finally, a comment on the comparison of Battlefield and Call of Duty: they are two different games and play quite differently. Call of Duty is more precise, more based and reaction time and accuracy, and has a much faster pace and feel. Battlefield is more about tactics and teamwork.

Another thing about the pacing, is that the bullet spread increases while moving in Battlefield, meaning you gotta stop and shoot to be more accurate. Whilst in Call of Duty you need to be able to move and keep track of your target at the same time (except for while quickscoping).

Also the health parameter seems different. In Ghosts for example, you kill and die very quickly, but in Battlefield, you’re likely to empty at least half a clip on a assault rifle, before the enemy drops.

I’m not saying which is the best game, just saying they’re different shit. Oh, one more thing, the length of the matches differentiate the games, and it’s a major factor of the experience.

On the PS4, Battlefield 4 looks a little better than Ghosts, but far from what you’d expect from a next-gen gaming console. Let’s hope the developers learn how to handle the hardware until the next iteration of game releases.

P. S. I did play some Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 before this game, but compared to all those hundreds of hours of Call of Duty, it was really nothing.

The Best Classes in Ghosts Part 2

The Sniper Class

Primary: USR (Thermal Scope, Amor-Piercing)
Secondary: P226 (Muzzle Brake)
Perks: Ready Up, Sleight of Hand, Quickdraw, Amplify, Focus
Strike Package: Specialist (Off the Grid, Scavenger, Dead Silence)

The order of the Specialist Strike Package is important, you won’t quickly run outta bullets, so you better have Off the Grid or Dead Silence as the first killstreak bonus. With the USR, aim high. You could attach a Chrome Lined barrel to enlarge the killzone, but the recoil and sway will suffer. Note that the L115 has a little bigger killzone but the USR’s bolt-action/rate of fire is faster and is more agile. (Stats and comparisons for all weapons can be found at Symthic.)

Some time ago the Sniper Rifles got nerfed: ADS, aim assist, Focus and Silencer effects and such took a big hit, in short this means sniping is much harder than when the game first come out.

The Fail-Safe Class

Primary: AK-12 (Silencer, Amor-Piercing)
Perks: Ready Up, Stalker, Dead Silence, Off the Grid, Focus
Strike Package: Specialist (Scavenger, Sleight of Hand, Amplify)

This is an allround class when you have a bad hair day. Stealthy and deadly. You could change place of Dead Silence and Amplify if you not moving that much.

In my opinion, the AK-12 is the best Assault Rifle. (Before the nerf, the MSBS was the best in its class.) The iron sight is good, you won’t need any scopes. And the recoil is manageable, you won’t need Foregrip. It’s simply a good gun. However, the most common choice seems to be the Remington R5; I guess it’s the most favored gun in Ghosts. But to me, it shoots too slow.

The Rush Class

Primary: Vector CRB (Silencer, Rapid Fire)
Perks: Sleight of Hand, Ready Up, Dead Silence, Scavenger, Focus
Strike Package: Assault (Guard Dog, Sentry Gun, Battle Hind)

The runner gunner class. With the submachine guns you won’t need Stalker or Agility. The Vector CRB Fire Rate is slow, that’s why I use the Rapid Fire attachment. Another good SMG is MTAR-X (Red Dot Sight, Muzzle Brake).

Once again I run Dead Silence, because soundwhoring is a big part of this game.

I use Battle Hind here, not a great killstreak but quite alright. The air-support in Ghosts is less frequent than in former Call of Duty games, and harder to bring down. In general I think this is good (remember how the sky was full och shit almost all the time in Black Ops II?). With less air superiority in Ghosts, you don’t really need a dedicated anti-aircraft class setup.

The Hardcore Class

Primary: MR-28 (Thermal Hybrid Scope, Silencer)
Secondary: P226 (Muzzle Brake)
Lethal: I.E.D.
Perks: Ready Up, Sleight of Hand, Marathon, Dead Silence, Amplify,
Strike Package: Assault (Guard Dog, Battle Hind, Gryphon)

With less health in this game mode, you will kill and get killed in 1-2 hits, meaning the Damage of the gun doesn’t really matter. So chose a gun class which might have low Damage but high Fire Rate or Accuracy, e.g. the MR-28 is better suited for Hardcore than the MK14 EBR.

On Hardcore mode there’s initially no minimap, so you could get rid of all anti-radar perks. But do use a suppressor because with no radar up everyone is listening for gunshots. Also Focus is unnecessary, because if you get hit before you have time to respond, you’ll be dead.

The Free-for-All Class

Primary: MK14 EBR (Silencer, Armor-Piercing)
Secondary: P226 (Muzzle Brake)
Lethal: I.E.D.
Perks: Ready Up, Sleight of Hand, Dead Silence Amplify, Focus
Strike Package: Specialist (Off the Grid, Scavenger, ICU)

You need to be quiet, and move with precaution. Watch your six. This is what most people would do in this game mode. With the MK14 EBR you should try to find locations with longer line of sights, then it would be easy to take out any approaching enemy. Although to win in FFA, you need to play aggressively.

On all almost all my classes I use the Focus perk. It makes you flinch less when being shot at and this is useful with almost any weapon.

About Models and Uniforms

Drift0r proves that the hitboxes are quite the same for male and female models and different suits. Even so, I think your visual representation in multiplayer ought to be as small and dark as possible, hence I go with a black woman dressed in a uniform with little gear LOL.

When using the Thermal Scope the outline of the enemies are blurry and sometime when I think I got a clean shot I don’t even get a hit marker, and maybe that is just me aiming slightly of center of the highlighted mass.

The Best Classes in Ghosts Part 1

Okay, so I haven’t tried every single combination but quite many. Here are my preferred classes for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Shit will surly change over time, but until this day, I run these loadouts.

Proclaimer: In this post I only go through my Main Class, in part two I’ll brief on the other useful classes, e.g. Sniper Class, Fail-Safe Class, Rush Class, Hardcore Class and FFA Class. These classes are base on my personal play style; you may find some other loadout to be a better fit for you.

Also, before the big sniper nerf in the end of December last year, I extensively used the Sniper Rifles, mostly the USR and L115. (They shouldn’t have nerfed ‘em, it was unfortunate.) Another gun I used in the beginning – which actually was overpowered – was the MSBS. In this case I think the game balance patch was well-founded.

Let’s get to it.

The Main Class


Primary: MK14 EBR (Silencer, Armor-Piercing)
Secondary: P226 (Muzzle Brake)
Lethal: I.E.D.
Perks: Sleight of Hand, Off the Grid, Scavenger, Focus
Strike Package: Assault (Guard Dog, Sentry Gun, Gryphon)

The Marksman Rifle is pretty new to me, but right now I play 90 percent with this gun. It’s a bit like the XPR-50 from Black Ops II. You can play offensively with the MK14 EBR or at least move from cover to cover (but try to have some distance to the enemy because you can’t quickscope without headshots and dedicated perks). It’s semi-automatic and hasn’t the fastest Fire Rate among the Marksman Rifles, but the highest Damage, which compensate a little for the Silencer. The Armor-Piercing rounds is good when shooting through materials. (The Burst Fire attachment isn’t very useful, it’s too slow, you can easily fire faster manually with your trigger finger.)

For me the P226 with Muzzle Brake is goto standard Secondary. It performs well in close combat and stressful situations.

I never run Tactical equipment, but Lethal. The I.E.D. is somewhat overpowered because it’s so hard to see. It doesn’t always render a kill, but you’ll hear when it goes off and that’d give you heads up.

As for the Perks I go with the Sleight of Hand because I usually fuck up the reload cancelling. Off the Grid works well if you camp or try to be stealthy. Scavenger is necessary if you don’t wanna run outta ammo. With the MK14 EBR you are likely to move between advantage points so you won’t need Fully Loaded. Focus is good on all guns, just use it.

The Assault Strike Package is set from low to mid killstreaks – I usually don’t get 15 kills without dying at least once. The Guard Dog is okay. Actually my dog usually doesn’t get that many kills, if any, while others dogs jump on me all the time. The Sentry Gun is not the best killstreak, but placed on the right location, it could do some good. The Gryphon is fun but it lasts short and you’ll be exposed while flying around.

That’s the first class setup. In part two you’ll get the rest.

Camper’s Paradise

I’ve been pondering on Ghosts some, let’s be real about this game, it is camper’s paradise.

The game has large maps and people are playing more defensively, there are less up-close gun fights due to the high damage weapons – you die so fast – and people are afraid to go out in the open.

Legendary quickscoper Faze Kross seems to share my view on this matter and also presents an idea that the reason you see more campers on Xbox One [and PS4], could also have to do with that it’s (so far) mainly older and “smarter” players on the expensive next-gen. (There’s like ten times more players on the old systems.)

And big boy camper Wings of Redemption embraces Ghosts, he calls it a new kinda shooter, and says “it fits my style better than most things […] I do like to camp a lot.”

I’m in two minds here. Some people claimed I’m in the camping boat, and I do like a more conservative play style, but then again, I’m not alone, which means that every motherfucker is waiting on a noob in a dark corner with a guard dog watching their backs. And the pace of the whole gameplay suffers from this.

P.S. I put an image of the PlayStation 4 teardown on this post, not really related though.

PS4: First Impressions

It hasn’t been a week since the European launch of PlayStation 4, and here are my first impressions. Firstly, let me tell you guys that I guess I will play and I guess I will enjoy the PS4, but it is a small step, far from the giant leap PS3 represented when replacing PS2.

The console itself, well, it’s black and kinda nice looking if you’re into edges. The full installment of games makes it feel a lot faster than the old system.

You need now to pay for multiplayer online, but it’s kinda reasonable priced.

My headset (Turtle Beach PX5) works, but I heard not all headsets work. There’s a rumour of a patch in January for Sony’s line of Bluetooth headsets.

The newly tweaked DUALSHOCK4 felt a bit stiff at first, but it’ll soften over time, and I’m already now getting used to it.

At present I’ve only played, ehum, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and it looks not better that Modern Warfare 2 from 2009. But hopefully the next iteration of games will push to the limit. (Remember, this happened on PS3, e.g. Uncharted looked cool and showed some great potential back in 2007, but it was with the second part, two years later, the game studio really nailed it.)

Anyway, Ghosts is a disappointment. It’s just a another Call of Duty game. Pretty standard. Still, I’ll continue to play multiplayer for some time.

I haven’t yet finished the story, but so far it’s a classic setup: a chosen few — the motherfucking best of the best — goes up against an anonymous enemy. Nothing new. I’m convinced the campaigns of Call of Duty serve, first and foremost, as a graphical showreel, as an interactive tech demo, and the narrative is left in the hands of this purpose. Whatever.

I’ve played less than ten hours of multiplayer, but it’s pretty good. A bit different from before: larger maps, longer distances, more camping, less shotties. I’m sure I’ll have reason to revisit this subject.

Call of Duty: Democracy Promotion

I was watching the Xbox presents Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal, and overall, the game looks damn crisp, slightly cartoonish, but crisp.

Anyways, near the end of the live stream, Eric Hirshberg, president and CEO of Activision Publishing, said:

“Before we go I wanna talk about giving back to the most important fans we have – some of them are here today – the brave men and women who put themselves in harms way and inspire each and everyone of our games, I’m talking about our troops.”

He then wanted to sell a limited edition of the game including dog tags, designed to benefit the Call of Duty Endowment.

Hence, I don’t have a problem with helping service members’ transition to civilian careers after their military service, but I do have a problem with Eric Hirshberg’s definition of “our troops” – as if everybody’s American and that its troops are uplifted as “the most important [Call of Duty] fans”.

Hey, I’m only in it for the gameplay. Moreover, I’m Swedish and I don’t wanna be mixed up with US foreign policy. Actually, I’m a critic of the US imperial role in the world (but don’t call me anti-American). Read ya goddamn Chomsky man!

I try to avoid political topics on this blog – this ain’t the right forum for that.

I think the campaign narratives of the Call of Duty series are mostly rubbish, but I do enjoy multiplayer. The true euphoria and escapism of harassing noobs are totally worthwhile and very much rewarding. And that’s about it.

Eric Hirshberg, man, are you like five years old? Just because you publish a violent video game, don’t think the players around the globe sympathize with US invasions. They don’t, they like video games. You ought to be able to separate fantasy from real life.

P.S. I chatted with some fellow gamers, and it seems like most of us are gonna wait for the PS4 release of Ghosts, not buying it twice (you already do that by getting the Season Pass and DLCs). Rumor has it that the release date in Europe could be November 13, and November 1 in the US. But I’ve seen many different dates on the Internet, so who knows?

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