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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.

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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)

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.

Roundup: The Best Games on PS3

As a new generation of gaming consoles is approaching launch, it might be in place to declare my favorite games on the soon-to-be-replaced iteration, that is, the PlayStation 3.

This list is some sorta The Best Games on PS3, but as I actually haven’t played too many titles, I can’t truthfully claim to produce a complete top list. And yes, this is a totally subjective selection (in no special order). Furthermore, it’s based much on my own relatively limited game library.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

This was a big bang. A beautiful game, a wonderful adventure with great storytelling and responsive gameplay. Not just the campaign was amazing, but multiplayer component was also really good, and I’ve spent many hours pwning noobs there.

Note: Part three, Drake’s Deception, wasn’t a push forward, and felt more or less like the same as ever. Which of course, could be good enough, but it wasn’t. And yeah, Naughty Dog’s other big hit, The Last of Us, was great in many ways, but played quite differently and I didn’t get hooked to the multiplayer, which usually prolong the life span of a game.

Grand Theft Auto IV

One of the first blockbuster to be released on the PS3, wasn’t it? This was the game that made me get the PS3 in the first place.

I’ve always enjoyed the GTA series, and this cut was the best looking of ‘em. And the story and characters were so good.

Of the two DLCs, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, I think the latter was the better.

The multiplayer option was kinda fun for a while. I mostly trolled other players, didn’t play the objective though.

Mass Effect 2

This one was massive. Moreover, BioWare put out quite a lot of DLCs, and I got most of ‘em. The scope, the universe and the plots, the characters were really something extraordinary. A classic sci-fi setting, yes, but at its very best.

Note: I didn’t like the third part, Mass Effect 3 as much, and I’m not only talking about the controversial ending.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

This game offers the best multiplayer online game modes so far. Still a lot of lag, hit detection issues and what have you, but when it works, it’s in my humble opinion, the most fine-tuned Call of Duty game, and perhaps the best fast paced first person shooter of all time, as Kanye would put it.

But the campaign sucked. It was one of the dumbest stories ever written, but then again, who the fuck cares? Black Ops II is a genuine online experience – nothing else matters. Very addictive shit.

Note: When Modern Warfare 2 came out in 2009, I thought it was the best-looking game (in terms of realistic presentation) on a console ever made. And since then, generally the graphics haven’t really improved that much, due to the technical limitations. (The Last of Us may now be the finest on PS3 though.)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I’m not a huge fantasy fan, I into guns and laser and post-apocalyptic sci-fi shit. But this game was so well done. A fanatastic action role-playing, open world video game. A big time consumer, lots of quests and character progression to be made. A very lively world, and hours just disappear. (Although a lot of loading screens as well.)

Assassin’s Creed II

While the first Assassin’s Creed had some nice ideas and great graphics, the second part perfected it. From the first CGI trailers to the open end, what can I say?

Note: Nah, I didn’t like the intrigue of Assassin’s Creed III, even if some sides of the gameplay were even better than in the former releases, the third main part was disappointment for me.

Battlefield 3

You know the drill: bad campaign, good multiplayer – yeah, this game have ‘em both. The story is moronic, it’s like: let’s save the world the American way, through bombs that is. The same with Call of Duty, you don’t expect any sophistication story wise, but you do expect a fucking awesome multiplayer. And with Battlefield 3 you got it. This game rewarded teamwork and strategic approach rather than precision and beasting. (But it was kinda hard to do well without a clan or communication.)

Killzone 2

Once again, a black and white Hollywood-style storytelling – totally silly. But fuck that, Killzone 2 had a most enjoyable multiplayer. Just the sound when you get a kill was so rewarding.

Back in 2009 I was skeptical to play first person shooters on a console. I felt sorta old skool, and thought FPS needed a mouse and a keyboard. But I slowly learned to handle the DualShock controller for this gameplay, yessir, Killzone 2 taught me that.

Note: Compared to what Killzone 2 did back in the days, Killzone 3 didn’t make an impression at all on me.

Red Dead Redemption

One of the finest games ever made. Epic, tragic story. Such a good game. I may be a bit of a Rockstar Game fanboy, but not without reason. The campaign was deep and satisfying, even if the Undead Nightmare DLC was a bit opportunistic, this game really stands out from the crowd.

The multiplayer was alright. I guess I’m just not into third person multiplayers, except for Uncharted 2.

Fallout 3

Big fat game. Great DLCs, all of ‘em. The atmosphere, the freedom, the choices, the slomos. Fuck me, this was a good game. Unfortunately the game was full of bugs (one of the buggiest games I’ve seen).

Note: Fallout: New Vegas was okay, but only a fraction of Fallout 3.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot

Biggest melodrama witnessed on a video game. Everything and everyone is connected somehow. Great visionary graphics. This was one of my first PS3 games, and it really blew my mind. Also the multiplayer was fun. I played it quite a lot the first year (when it was up and running). I think this was my first multiplayer online on the PS3.

So there you have it, some good games on the PS3. Maybe not all, but some. There are a few popular games that strangely enough aren’t represented on this selection, e.g. The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, BioShock, Dragon Age, Borderland, FIFA Soccer, Batman, NBA 2K, God of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infamous, Skate, SingStar, Rock Band, Devil May Cry, Dead Space, Heavy Rain, Dark Souls, Need for Speed, L.A. Noire, Resident Evil, Ninja Gaiden, Far Cry.

Well, some of ‘em are shit I don’t like, some of ‘em are not so shitty but didn’t make it to the top, and some of ‘em I haven’t even played.

Lastly, these games were chosen from the current generation, cross-generation platform releases were not included. A future game like Grand Theft Auto V will most definitely kick ass on PS3. And even if it has not yet been confirmed to be release on the next gen, my educated guess is that it will be.

Properly Pwned Across Map

I was peacefully playing a match of Domination on Rush with my buddy Handy, and in the beginning of the second round this happened.

Clip (A) is my point of view, clip (B) is the killer’s and clip (C) is some kinda free cam fail.

Actually a similar situation did happen to me once before in MW3 (that clip was uploaded one and a half year ago on my YouTube channel.

Return of the Call

After having played 180 hours of Black Ops II and over 300 hours of Modern Warfare 3, I had grown tired of repeating the same routine over and over again, without ever taking it to the next level. For me, the remedy spelled S C O P E.

So some time ago I went on sniper mission – simple enough, only to use different scoped rifles.

Unfortunately this didn’t turn out to be a flawless kill streak as one would hope for. Quite the opposite, my k/d ratio dropped substantially. There are a number of reasons for that, but mainly because I sucked.

Nevertheless, scoping forced me to a different play style, hence Call of Duty felt somewhat fun again.image

My preferred rifles in Black Ops II are: Ballista, DSR 50 and the spammer XPR-50. In Modern Warfare 3: MSR and Barrett .50CAL. Yeah, I like both the bolt-action rifles and semi-automatics.

I also increased my controller sensitivity, from like 7 to 10 (in Back Ops II), and I might even push it further.

As I’m getting better, I try to play more aggressively, moving around more and try to quickscope some. While quickscoping is still hard for me on a long or mid long distances, it’s very rewarding when hitting the targets.

Because I haven’t played with sniper rifles that much before, I haven’t unlocked all Proficiencies or Attachments.

On Black Ops II I got a few different class setups, mostly based on more offensive gameplay. The Perks I use are usually Flak Jacket, Toughness, Dexterity and Tactical Mask. (Not using Suppressor or Ghost as before – no more unnecessary camping right?)

I usually don’t use the Ballistics CPU because I’m trying not to stay scoped in for too long. I rather have the Fast Mag Attachment. I heard the Laser Sight is good for quickscoping due to the ADS time, but I haven’t unlocked it for all guns, and I never no scope.

Try this out if you’re getting bored with Call of Duty, it doesn’t have to be sniper rifles, just different weaponry and approach from your everyday habitual.

Note: The screen shot is a DSR 50 replica built with LEGO bricks by ZaziNombies.

A quickscoping killcam, nothing much to bark about. I don’t expect any likes of comments on this one. I’m just trying the upload thingy out in Black Ops II. This be Ground War.

Get Ya Math Right

For some people the kill/death ratio is kinda holy in Call of Duty. To proper calculate the k/d isn’t that hard – your amount of kills divided by your amount of deaths. But you need to take your total body count in consideration.

If your total were 10000 kills and 8000 deaths, your kill/death ratio would be 1.25.

Now, let’s say you’re going 1.00 (20/20) this would actually slightly drop your k/d, even if it wouldn’t show on three digits. That is, it wouldn’t show the first few matches going 1.00. Also, if you were to kill and die twice as much (40/40), this would drop your k/d ratio even more.

To improve your k/d ratio, in this case, you’d need to do better than 1.25. A match when you’re going 40/20 (2.00 k/d ratio) would slightly improve your overall k/d ratio.

Bigger numbers would render greater effect on your ratio, both up and down. This means that if you were to really beast with 100 kills and 50 deaths (still 2.00 k/d ratio), you’d reach a little higher than with 40/20.

P. S. I have many hours on Black Ops II but rapidly dropped 0.04 in a few weeks, maybe because I got bored with the game and tried to put right by challenging myself – using sniper rifles only.

Thoughts on The Last of Us (Spoiler Free)

Some days ago I finished playing through The Last of Us. I must say I enjoyed that journey, pretty much so.

But I figure the game isn’t for everybody. For example, among my Call of Duty crew, half of them diss The Last of Us, because they rather drive fast, shoot fast, live fast and die young. Yeah, you play shooters together with your homies over and over again, for hundreds of hours. Hail to the clan! Whilst The Last of Us is more like a season or two of a TV series, that lasts for around 15 hours.

And having seen a couple of zombie flicks (and played a couple of post-apocalyptic video games), you should be quite familiar with the premises and settings. Some events here may even seem a bit predictable. But the game’s take on the genre and the scale of it, is mostly impressive. And the craft and artwork is just fantastic.

This is character-driven storytelling at its best. And the characters, their motives and reactions are believable, I think. At least the voice acting and motion captures are perfect.

The game doesn’t play like Uncharted or Gears of War. The graphics might look like a mixture of these titles, but there’s no spraying and praying. Actually not much shooting at all. Instead, patience is golden; you’ll spend most of your time sneaking, finding spots and waiting for the right moment to take down the foes.

The Last of Us has bittersweet mood, perhaps a bit like Red Dead Redemption.

The game also offers online multiplayer, called Factions. I just tried it out for like twenty minutes, therefore I’m not in a position to adequately review it. Though my first impression is, that the stealth and strategic approach doesn’t translate that well to multiplayer gameplay. But that’s just me – remember, I like fast paced FPS.

Here’s an easy way out: if you want something more in depth, read Kirk Hamilton’s well-written review, which shares many of my opinions of the game.

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