#1 Edited by Verendus (363 posts) -

I'm not sure if I should've added (blog) to thread title but here it goes..

Am I only one who doesn't understand this trend? I fear I'm witnessing my 3rd FPS franchise fall victim to this idiocy. First with Call Of Duty (to some extent), then Halo and now Battlefield 4. What is wrong with letting good players being good and bad ones learning the ropes until you're in "league" with the good ones.

3 series and I'll sum them up what happened. Take my points of CoD with grain of salt, because only game I genuinely enjoyed was CoD4, which wasn't always about skill, but it was a lot more than it's current games.

Call Of Duty

  • Jacked up kill times, a lot. Now it's more about seeing a guy first, rather than handling your gun better, killstreaks are key to success.
  • Death streaks, someone is on a roll? Stop them by dying enough to get a feat to ease out the killing for you.
  • Map design and spawns. Place spawns so at some point of the game you're bound to spawn behind a guy who just killed you, just to make sure you'll get that revenge at some point.


  • Halo Reach - Armor Abilities: These could've worked if they would've been balanced enough and not play such a major role in gameplay. They turned out making game a glorified Rock/Paper/Scissors. Invincibilty should play a role in FPS games, Jet Pack ruined map control and invisibility + sniper made sure you had one teammate who had no intention to play the objective
  • Halo Reach - Armor Lock: Part of armor abilities, does anyone know a FPS game where invincibility at press of a button was a good idea?
  • Halo Reach - Grenades: They used to be for popping out shields with PERFECTLY placed grenade, and then finishing guy off with a headshot. In Reach they were just spamming grenades and avoiding them with Armor Lock.
  • Halo Reach - Bloom: Intention was to increase the size of reticle to make people pace their shots at longer ranges. At short range, fights were spamming the trigger and hoping you got lucky enough to get that headshot before guy fighting you did. Randomness shouldn't play such major factor in FPS games.
  • Halo 4 - Jacked up Kill times. What people liked about Halo 2/3, that you could take out 2 or 3 or even more people with skilled strafing and gun/grenade usage. In Halo 4 you'll die instantly if you're being shot by 2 or more people who have even mediocre aim.
  • Halo 4 - Loadouts and randomizing weapon spawns. Halo used to be everybody starting out with same weapon and better team controlled the maps keypoints and weapon spawns. Now with loadouts you'll never know if you should go after the guy behind the corner in case he had switched his loadout to short range weapon instead. Tide could easily turn in tight battles because power maps happened to spawn near other team.


Note: Some/Most of these are about Battlefield 4, which isn't even out yet and things are still likely to change, but some points from what we've heard/seen so far.

Battlefield 3 - Suppression/Random deviation. Gun fights turned from guy with better aim wins into, guy who shoots first has major advantage. Your gun's barrel basically turned into boiled sphagetti even if they didn't hit you. This got fixed for Battlefield 4 though.

Battlefield 4 - High Value Target. Now if you get 6 kill streak, enemy commander can paint you as high value target. Meaning the enemy player killing you will get increased points, making more people run after you. This would be fine, but the worst part is You are visible and spotted to enemy team for 45 seconds once you've been assigned as HVT by Commander. Making people who enjoy stealthy gameplay, or use guns like sniper rifles extremely hard. People using bolt-actions already have to pick their fights closely, now with god knows how many people running after you for those sweet extra points, odds of you surviving are low. And with you spotted, they can see you coming, and just lie down with their gun pointed at the corner they know you're coming from.

Battlefield 4 - .50 Cal semi-auto sniper: What I've always loved about Battlefield, is that you need to pull that headshot to kill in one hit. Sniping has learning curve, but it's very rewarding once you can do it. Much like Jets. Now they've obviously listened to a lot of "snipers" coming from CoD games whining that sniping at long range is hard, and sniper rifles should be One Hit Kill no matter where in the body you hit. Thank god this is only available as pick-up and has 22 bullets which can't be replenished. They've also added gear like range finder, ability to zero your scope and 20x/40x scopes to make things easier, this would've been enough in my opinion. As much as I love playing as Recon, I have to admit they'll never be as vital to teamwork as assault or engineer for example.

Now, before you trash me for being MLG elitist dudebro, I'm not. I love FPS games, but I don't play them competitively. "Why do you whine then?" you might ask? Because key to enjoyable FPS game is BALANCE. I'll take a fair beating over good game because game made it easy for me any day. Plus, on most games, there are a lot of ways being useful to your team than just being a killing machine. Unless you're just playing team deathmatch. I don't know if it's people not finding the game fun unless they aren't instantly good at it, have too short attention span to learn the ropes or something else, I dislike this everybody must get equal amount of kills mentality.

Thoughts? If you severely disagree or consider me a complete asshole, go ahead and say it. Every opinion is welcome. It'd be interesting to hear your opinions and what kind of gamer are you so we can compare the differences on this subject.

#2 Posted by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -

I understand it. Some people don't want to spend forever playing the game to get good at it but companies want those people to buy DLC and continue to play the game so they make the experience more pleasant for them by giving them a pat on the head even if they do awful. Personally, I miss the days of stuff like Battletoads victory was earned through raw skill and the reward was way way sweeter once you finally overcame the hurdles. All of these decisions go back to the business end of things.

#3 Edited by ekajarmstro (435 posts) -

I agree with basically all of your points. I played so much Halo 2 and 3 but Reach wasn't as fun (and I didn't even bother trying 4 with all the Call of Duty type stuff they added). Pretty much the only shooter I play now is CS:GO on the PC.

#4 Posted by believer258 (13552 posts) -

I understand. This seems to be the trend these days - close the gap between the terrible players and the good ones. Maybe this is why I felt like I was bad at Halo Reach and 4, I used to be able to handle two or three guys with skill and a bit of luck in 3 but I felt like Reach and 4 knocked me down a peg.

Also seems to be the trend with virtually everything else, too.

#5 Edited by Verendus (363 posts) -

@demoskinos: I get your point, but on (most) these games, you can do well/good without sacrificing balanced gameplay. Now it seems to be the easy way out to punish the good players in order to help the bad ones. There are a lot of people who enjoy FPS games despite them not necessarily being good at it. If the trend continues, it could be considered as somewhat standard when making FPS games.

Just look at Call Of Duty's popularity, and the fact that it's about as challenging as tying your shoes and is there any game franchise that has benefited from making their game "Cod-like" (bad choice of words, but making it easier)? One could argue Battlefield 3, but I'd say what lured people to it was more the (so called) destruction, vehicles and grapevine, and to some people...balanced gameplay.

Part of Call Of Duty's success is how it's easy to learn and play, but look at the games that have tried to jump on it's territory. The games have managed to piss off the fans of traditional game, and Call of Duty fans will get back to CoD when new one is being released. They sure as hell won't be back to buy new DLC.

#7 Posted by froesti (106 posts) -

That's why you just stick to Counterstrike-

#8 Posted by falserelic (5725 posts) -

Cus nowadays people wants to feel like a beast, without actually taking to long to get the hang of things. Anyway I don't have much to add to this thread. Since its already been mentioned, and besides nobody wouldn't care to hear my thoughts on it.

#9 Edited by Nekroskop (2831 posts) -

When I first played Halo: CE back in the day I was disgusted over how easy it was. Recharging shields was the biggest offender of the bunch and has lead to the dumbed down gameplay we see in most FPSs.today(strawberry jam on your screen! Hide behind cover!)

Halo is basically Fisher Price Presents: Baby's First FPS.

#10 Edited by senrat (356 posts) -

I think the game mode matters to a certain extent. CoD search and destroy is no respawns and therefore low killstreaks. I remember all of the best players played search and destroy because it was the most skill based. Of course I havent played CoD in a few years.

#11 Edited by DharmaBum (1077 posts) -

I agree with just about all your points regarding Halo. Reach was a disaster when it came to balance, and sadly 4 went in the same direction. They've since "fixed" 4 (for the most part) by bringing back the 4-shot BR and having a Team Throwdown playlist that gets rid of all the bullshit. But there are still some frustrating mechanics that don't belong - flinch instead of descoping, mandatory sprint, not being able to drop the flag, etc.

I just wish 343 would invite people from the community who have proven they know what Halo is about and have them playtest the game extensively before it comes out. Otherwise they patch the game later on and it's always too little, too late. I'm sure they do have a rigorous playtest process to make the game accessible for everyone, but in reality they should cater to the highest skill level - the people that deeply understand the game and all of its potential exploits.

That way there's a trickle down effect - people that play at the highest level will have a balanced game to take seriously, while those who play casually won't even notice the design decisions.

#12 Posted by Spoonman671 (5364 posts) -

Players who are better at the game still win. I don't see the problem. No reason the losers shouldn't be able to enjoy the ride. If you don't like the way new games are doing things, then you should probably continue playing old games.

#13 Posted by Vuud (2052 posts) -

I'm getting burnt out on the unlock grind in every online FPS these days. So I'm going back to CSGO. You kill dudes to get money, you buy guns with that money. Everyone is on a level playing field, and you don't get owned by some 12 year old who blew 45 bucks on the shortcut packs.

#14 Posted by Fredchuckdave (8856 posts) -


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FPS multiplayer has always been a twitchfest in terms of skill, which doesn't involve anything other than being excessively twitchy (or mouth jibbering) and/or playing the game a whole bunch. Map knowledge is by far the most interesting part of FPS games, knowing when and where to attack in order to flank your opponent; the who points and clicks faster competition is just dumb. Maps need at minimum about 24 players to have any reliable predictability and thus any game that has like 16 or 8 doesn't work out so great. There's no reason to pay any great deal of attention to how it is designed except for maps. Incidentally CoD: World at War probably had the best map with Station, though it did have just straight up reskins of weapons from CoD 4 with the exact same damage and spread. Smoke grenades were wonderful, only real way to break a stalemate; but if I'm not mistaken they've added in perks and counter perks for basically every ability in the game (thus defeating the purpose of having those perks in the first place). It's already the same game every year, it takes talent to make it more boring than that.

#15 Edited by DharmaBum (1077 posts) -

@nekroskop said:

When I first played Halo: CE back in the day I was disgusted over how easy it was.

lol you must've been playing against some pretty bad players. Shields won't save you from a 3-shot, less-than-a-second kill time pistol.

#16 Edited by Sploder (918 posts) -

That HVT system seems like it could be a real pain, especially since I always do pretty well in Battlefield. Oh well.

#17 Posted by Slag (6382 posts) -

It's the same reason DOTA 2 doesn't display MMR to players. If people play multiplayer and they are bad, a large number of them tend to quit and never play again.That's something no multiplayer game can afford as it shrinks the player pool eventually to the point where the community is dead.

So instead of fixing the matchmaking system it's easier/cheaper to make it easier for the bad players to win in hopes they will stick with it longer.

#18 Edited by cmblasko (1875 posts) -

Players who are better at the game still win. I don't see the problem. No reason the losers shouldn't be able to enjoy the ride. If you don't like the way new games are doing things, then you should probably continue playing old games.

This. Unless you've competed in high-level play in one or more of these games you really don't have any say in whether or not a game is really "easier" than its predecessor.

#19 Posted by rachelepithet (1646 posts) -

@verendus: Halo Reach felt different than Halo 3 but not worse, I mean, added features meant to justify buying a new game always end up hurting the core gameplay people are used to, look at Halo 2's dual wielding killing the Halo 1 strategy of pistol use.

But Halo 4 had significant changes to health HP, accuracy, vehicle life HP, damage and other stats that ruined the way the game is played. You die far quicker, and from much farther away, and you're right 2 vs 1 always wins for the 2. Vehicles are useless unless you have a host advantage that keeps spray bullets from connecting. Otherwise people can just shoot your ghost down head on without even jumping over it or using grenades. Much of its fault is the weapon that was like an enhanced BR, a BR with sniper range, pistol fire rate, and shotgun damage. On Valhalla, people at the other base can be shooting down your Banshee just as its rising up out of your base, thanks to that new rifle.

#20 Edited by Party (133 posts) -

I'm terrible at games, so I like games that have some sort of cushion for making losing not feel like losing. Yeah, I still end up getting a crappy kill-death ratio at the end of it all, but I still end up with some kills that help my team.... Even if they were mostly just flukes/the game helping me out after dying over and over again. Am I a bad person? Am I the reason skill-based multiplayer games are dying?

#21 Posted by Verendus (363 posts) -

@sploder: My initial thoughts about it exactly..I use a bolt-action and pick my fights so I won't have to go toe-to-toe against 3 players. It'll be hard to be stealthy with having a giant crazy-taxi arrow "SHOOT THIS GUY HERE" on me

@slagBF3 didn't have a matchmaking system and is still very popular, Halo 3 had one to some extent but still remained very popular. If the game is good, people will keep playing, even if they aren't complete "beast mode" material.

#22 Posted by jimmy_p (279 posts) -

I dont mind a FPS game that rewards experienced players who have more game sense and ability to work together. Which is why I let myself get stomped on by better players in Counter Strike GO daily.

#25 Posted by GreggD (4595 posts) -

Honestly, I think Black Ops II is a pretty well-balanced game. (no deathstreaks in that, btw) Also, Battlefield is pretty damn balanced, too. I dunno, I guess I just never had a problem with any of the stuff you're talking about, except for deathstreaks. Thankfully, Treyarch never included those in their games.

#26 Posted by beeftothetaco (438 posts) -

I agree. That's the problem with most big game publishers these days: they push their developers to appeal to a broader audience, which often results in "dumbing down" central game mechanics, adding things like deathstreaks, ect.

#27 Posted by Humanity (13459 posts) -

I guess developers want more people to have fun instead of getting dominated constantly online because they can't afford to play a game 40 hours a week. The people who are good will continue being good, and in a way I think they would appreciate the challenge. When I used to play Modern Warfare 2 and be pretty good at it, then some person would come into the match with dual shotguns or grenade launchers and start racking up high kills because of how easy those weapons were it motivated me to hunt them down and win using regular assault rifles. Were "noob tubes" annoying? Sure, but it was really satisfying to beat someone using a noob tube and watch them get mad about it.

#28 Posted by Verendus (363 posts) -

@humanity: Playing 40 hours a week isn't a requirement to be good in FPS games. I think it's one of the genres where time spent doesn't equal being good at it. Unless unlocking system grants you something godlike on later levels, but that isn't exactly relevant.

@greggd I personally preferred BO1 over BO2. I'm not fan of extremely fast kill times, it makes both seeing the person first and having a better connection play bigger role. BO2 did some fantastic additions, Scorestreaks being one of them, but gameplay in general was something that made me decide that this was my last attempt at enjoying a CoD game anymore. When you're expecting for re-skinned CoD4 you're bound to be dissapointed I guess haha.

@boocreepyfootdoctor While Halo Reach didn't f up with core mechanics of the game as badly as Halo 4 did. It certainly felt worse than Halo 3 did. Even the AA's aside, lowered jump height, slower base player movement speed and removal of shield bleedthrough made it feel like it was intended to either 1) Make armor abilities play bigger role. No more "trick jumping" or very good strafing (Bloom rendered it near useless anyway). 2) To make it easier for new players to hit veterans who knew how to jump crouch and strafe.

#29 Posted by Humanity (13459 posts) -

@verendus: Every game takes time to get good at it and the more time you play it the better you are.

#30 Posted by YOU_DIED (712 posts) -

@party said:

I'm terrible at games, so I like games that have some sort of cushion for making losing not feel like losing. Yeah, I still end up getting a crappy kill-death ratio at the end of it all, but I still end up with some kills that help my team.... Even if they were mostly just flukes/the game helping me out after dying over and over again. Am I a bad person? Am I the reason skill-based multiplayer games are dying?


#31 Edited by Noblenerf (455 posts) -

The creators of the game aren't thinking about the players when they design the game in this manner, they're thinking about their own pockets.

They design it as a positive feedback loop to ensure players keep.. playing. The longer they play, the more invested in the game they become, and the more likely they are to buy all the downloadable content that becomes available, and perhaps even the sequel down the road.

Free-to-play game design philosophies are seeping into non-f2p game designs. I do not approve.

#33 Edited by Lien_the_swede (26 posts) -

I just want to start by saying that I love FPS's.

I started out with Wolf 3d, and other clones at the time. but I really got into Doom. I never played multiplayer until Quake came out. I remember playing multiplayer at a local internet cafe using only the keyboard (it was hard running around using page up and down to look up and down. My biggest gaming achievement was beating one of the best guys at the place with keyboard, him using mouse and keyboard.

I was forever hooked on FPS games after that.

Later I played alot of Counter Strike, it was still in Beta and I think I got into it around the time de_dust was released. I became an avid CS player while still playing the UT games and Battlefield 1942 + Modern Combat.

I feel that the last game that championed skill over rubber banding, like Mario Kart, was Battlefield Bad Company 2.

After BC2 skill is not a major factor anymore. Am I a god at BLOPS2, no! However, I do feel that COD is too easy, same goes for BF3. The weapons are too similar to each other and as OP says, the first one who pulls the trigger wins more often than not.

Maybe I am a sadist, but I love a game where it takes alot of patience to learn the mechanics of every gun, shooting a rifle accurately in real life is not easy. I sucked at BF2142 but I wanted to get better! In COD I just get irritated that "I saw you first you die" is the norm.

In a time where my 11 year old nephew thinks that he is the ish at everything he plays (and me proving him wrong), there has to pop up an alternative to the "Everybody wins" mentality of current FPS's.

Having to really put an effort into a game makes it so much more worth playing it!