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Gold Farming of Gamers

Here’s how to fool gamers, take their money that is.

It goes a bit like this: make a video game and market it as a standalone, complete game but sell it in parts.

Have the consumer pre-order the game to receive in-game gadgets, like two extra skins for the playable character or its weapons (but add nothing that change gameplay or the overall experience).

Go ahead, charge full price for a three-quarters of a game at best. It’s alright, just release the rest as DLCs.

If the game focuses on multiplayer mode, e.g. lots of first person shooters, then hold on to half of the maps and ration them out in four DLCs during the game’s lifecycle, together with some uncanny weapons that didn’t make it past alpha phase.

And if the game is story driven, then release two or three DLCs with a few hours worth of side-quest gameplay. You should have made these already at launch, but withhold from the original release.

Anyhow, the total sum of these DLCs can almost reach the price point of the game itself. Yeah, you’re getting double paid. If you want money in the bank, then sell a season pass so that players can gain access to all content to something you should call, “a great price”. And to appeal to these fanboys, promise that they will get it a week earlier than the suckers buying the DLCs piece by piece.

Then – if the game proves to be any successful after a year – release a Game of the Year edition. Include everything above and be nice, and run a time-limited promotional pricing campaign for a short while before charing full price again.

After that you can always make a remake of the game, on whatever future current generation of gaming platform is; be sure to save your high resolution textures for this. Or you may just re-release the game and add “10th Anniversary Edition”.

That’s how to earning money on video games. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways, but these are the most obvious and common.

Create a Class

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare features a total of 34 weapons. Still everybody seems to choose the same few guns on Public Matches. Talking about Primary weapons, nowadays most people use the Bal-27 Assault Rifle, the ASM1 Submachine Gun or the MORS Sniper Rifle, and their variants. (Variants can be unlocked in Supply Drops.) Before, many ran with the AK12 Assault Rifle and the KF5 Submachine Gun.

Of course you see other guns in the game, like SN6 Submachine Gun, Atlas 20mm Sniper Rifle or Bulldog Shotgun, but those weapons are not as common.

So, let’s start with a few class suggestions:

The Generic Assault Classes

  • Primary: AK12.
  • Attachments: Red Dot Sight (precision sight), Stock (move faster when aiming down the sights), Suppressor (invisible on enemy mini-maps when firing).
  • Note: The AK12 has very low recoil, meaning you don’t need Foregrip (vertical foregrip for reduced recoil). Remember, generally Foregrip helps a lot.
  • Primary: Bal-27.
  • Attachments: Stock, Foregrip, Suppressor.
  • Note: The Bal-27 seems to be the most popular gun in Advanced Warfare multiplayer, and not without reasons.

The Quickscope Sniper Classes

  • Primary: MORS.
  • Attachments: Ballistic CPU (reduces sway when aiming through the scope).
  • Note: As of today, regular sniper sights are broken (read: off center). Therefore you could pick Variable Zoom Scope (a variable zoom scope with 3 levels of zoom) for a proper align sight, but you can’t have this and the Ballistic CPU. Also, the zoom levels differ from the default scope. Quickscoping in Advanced Warfare is real, but is more of a glitch and some connoisseurs call it Blackscoping, due to the small (and black) timeframe when you scope in. Although in practice it works quite the same. You might as well chose a variant, like MORS – Pummeler with -1 Damage, -1 Accuracy, but with +1 Fire Rate, +1 Handling. However, Damage doesn’t seem to drop, so this variant is a one shot kill on the torso and head.

The Rush SMG Classes

  • Primary: KF5.
  • Attachments: Red Dot Sight, Foregrip, Suppressor.
  • Note: This SMG has good Range for its class. Bear in mind that you don’t need Stock on any of the SMGs.
  • Primary: ASM1.
  • Attachments: Foregrip, Suppressor, Rapid Fire (increased fire rate).
  • Note: You could choose a variant of the weapon, like the ASM1 – Rigor, and get +2 Accuracy and -2 Handling. And with Foregrip you get another +2 Accuracy, meaning you could chose Rapid Fire to get the +2 Fire Rate (+25% rate of fire), and take the -2 Accuracy (-15% recoil) penalty and still go positive on Accuracy.

Balance Your Weapon

Actually, you could try to counter any reduction on your weapons by adding Attachments. E.g. on the Bal-27 – Obsidian Steed (which has increased Damage but reduced Accuracy), put Foregrip and perhaps Red Dot Sight to even out the Accuracy nerf.

Perk Management

There are 13 slots to be filled with a combination of everything, and you need to make your decision based on your play style. Usually, I pick three Wildcards to max the Primary weapon and Perks, sacrificing Scorestreaks.

If I’m to choose only one Scorestreak, I’d pick System Hack (an autonomous cyber attack that disables enemy HUD, radar, and reticles).

  • Wildcard 1: Primary Gunfighter (take a third Primary attachment).
  • Wildcard 2: Perk 1 Greed (take a second Perk 1).
  • Wildcard 3: Perk 3 Greed (take a second Perk 3).
  • Perk 1: Lightweight (move faster), Low Profile (invisible to UAVs, Tracking Rounds, and Exo Ping).
  • Perk 2: Cold-Blooded (immune to Thermal, Target Enhancer, Threat Grenade, and enemy call outs. No name or reticle color change when targeted).
  • Perk 3: Toughness (flinch less when shot), Hard Wired (immune to System Hack, EMP, Nano Swarms, Stun Grenades, and Scramblers. Scorestreaks remain vulnerable).

Exo Suits and Vertical Maps

In brief, the major change from earlier Call of Duty games is how you move. With the Exo abilities you can jump, dash, dodge, slam, slide and fuck around in several new ways. Also the map structures are adapted for this; routes of navigation are increased verticality, and you need to watch the rooftops more than before.

A final tip is to try to learn how to boost jump and shoot – you will need to adjust to the new pace to be successful.

My Stats Don’t Show Me Love

First things first, Call of Duty has always been a difficult game around midnight on Fridays – that’s when all the hardcore gamers unite and take over.

And that’s when casual gamers (like yours truly) drinks a glass of wine and competes with kids worldwide for accuracy and reaction time. Not so clever. And yes, Advanced Warfare is very punishable.

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At the time of writing my K/D ratio is 0.93 with eleven and a halv hours online. To me the figures are poor, a drop from my usual 1.1-1.3 in earlier Call of Duty games (over 1.5 in Black Ops II). It is what it is, and you may of course think whatever you like about K/D as a yardstick.

In AW it’s not so much about who sees who first, as before in previous games. The time to kill (TTK) is relatively long. Instead you need to aim well (headshot or upper body, that is). In other words, precision is rewarded as much as reflexes.

Although AW is a fast paced game. Camping is dead and even the not-strictly-rush-classes are fast and furious.

Traditional drop shots still work surprisingly well in AW, and to me they are more plausible than the panic state of badly controlled boost abilities.

Sniping is damn awesome in AW. Don’t know what it is. There are many indications that sniping should be awful: (A) Quickscoping is totally nerfed, (B) the bullet doesn’t shoot straight, but off center, (C) there is a disproportionate amount of sway aiming down the sight. And of course, the enemies move much faster and more erratic than ever. Still, it doesn’t feel too hard to hit a running target. It takes some practice, possibly.

I don’t have any good advices, but I suggest you adopt an aggressive play style and forget about camping altogether. I think that is one of the most important things to do, to dominate in AW – but then again, my stats don’t show me love.

Some early sniper gameplay of Call of Duty: Advance Warfare. Montage, no quad feeds, trick shot or anything. Sorry about that. Mostly hard and dragscoping, one quickscope. Recorded at 720p30 (using the integrated capturing of PS4 Share), which means the game actually looksat least twice as pretty. So why did I even bother uploading this? Fuck me.

Before Final Stand

Some time ago, Battlefield 4 got a new add-on and an update. One could almost argue that the DLC with its shiny…

  • new title,
  • (four) new infantry-focused maps,
  • new game mode,
  • new Trophies/Achievements,
  • new weapons and gadgets,

…paired with the so called Fall Update, that patched…

  • several core changes,
  • rebalanced stats,
  • brought back old game modes and
  • made many customization options tweakable to just mention a few fine tuning for the player experience,

…almost sounds like a whole new game. But it’s not. Quite the opposite – we’re nearing the end of its life cycle.

Epic conclusion or not, in my opinion, Battlefield 4 turned out to be a very good multiplayer game, it took some time, but over the year Ive had so much fun with it.

Now, what will Battlefield Hardline bring other than a new cops and criminals theme?

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.

The Death of Video Game Consoles

It’s not a prediction, but the eighth generation of video game consoles, i.e. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, might be the last.

I figure streaming devices like PlayStation TV – or even future smart TVs – will replace video game consoles in the living room (and elsewhere).

In other words, streaming games over a broadband connection is the future. And the future is now. The technology is here: the game runs remotely on hardware in a data center, and only the visuals and sound are sent in real-time to the player’s budget system.

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Sony already launched PlayStation Vita TV in Japan last November, bringing games, movies, and music and remote access to the PS4 on a shared local Wi-Fi network via Remote Play.

PlayStation TV is a small micro-console box with support for PlayStation Now streaming service (which access PS3 games), PS Vita, PSP and PlayStation One classics.

And its potential might just be the death of video game consoles as we’re used to know ‘em.

Specs and Features

PlayStation TV has a quad-core processor, 1GB of internal memory and supports video output of 720p/1080i. In essence, it’s a stationary version of the PlayStation Vita. It also supports Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11n, HDMI, Ethernet, USB and Sony’s proprietary Vita memory card slot. It supports both DualShock 3 and 4 controllers.

At launch (beta use on July 31, 2014 in the US) PlayStation TV will grant consumers access to nearly a thousand games. Device due for launch in Europe this fall.

Second coming

A blueprint of the video game console killer I’m talking of, is a standalone model – let’s call it PlayStation TV 2. It should support all the current features and then some. Send even higher resolution with no noticeable render downsampling or compression; an evolved system with relevant content. Flawless integration with PlayStation Now, that should include all future games.

Now, how does that sound to you?

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.

CS-LR4
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.

L96A1
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.

SRR-61
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.

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