Do Cheap Tactics Ruin Online Multiplayer?

In the final daily Speak-Up on Kotaku of 2010, commenter RascalkingTK wonders if cheap bastards tarnish other people's online multiplayer experience as much as they do his.

One of my favourite things about this generation of consoles is the multiplayer experiences. I own both an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3 and play them on a regular basis. I'm not one to brag, but I tend to do well in most games I play, ranking in the top 5 more often than not.

But I don't necessarily have to do well to have fun. Actually, I have a fun time as long as I have friends to laugh about it with. Then, there are the joy killers.

You've all met them. They employ tactics that cheapen the gaming experience for everyone that they are around. That world you were so immersed in just a moment ago? No longer, as you are now frustrated and slapping your leg at your now poor performance.

I never try to speak ill of my fellow players, but when someone uses a cheap tactic to come out on top I feel like I've been robbed of my fun time. Being repeatedly hit by grenade launchers in any Call of Duty can really make you feel like all the skill in the room just left the lobby. Same thing in Red Dead Redemption when - whoops - who needs another weapon when the high powered pistol can be spammed? And let's not forget the cheap hunting skills of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood when using a hidden gun, getting only 100 points for a kill instead of, say, 400 if you went up close for a stealthy kill.

Granted, this is a small minority of players but it still tends to make me want to leave the game session or go read a book or something else when it happens too often in a row. Anyone else have similar frustrations?

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Comments

    Oh hell yes.

    I recently gave up on Starcraft 2 multiplayer after realising that everyone uses the same cheap build for each race. It's MMM every single damn game.

    It's a tricky one. People play games to have fun, but the competitive edge is one that drives people like no other. Snipers and Grenade Launchers suck, but killing them makes you feel cool.

    YEP.

    I stopped playing Bad Company 2 because of all the stupid pricks boosting their stats instead of actually taking objectives.

      TF2 on Xbox when the host blocks certain classes (like Spies) I just back straight out and find a different match - but there are some people who are that insecure in their ability that they'll host a match, play as Engineer and turn off Spies, Demos and Soldiers

    Absolutely they do... quickscoping interventions absolutely killed Modern Warfare 2 for me, and then there were the teleporters, nade spammers, etc...

    I say this to myself almost every time I play an online game, I don't know why some people bother at all. Why would you pay for a game, a Live subscription, put however many hours in all just to run to the same corner every time and wait for your kills to come to you? It blows my mind, why anyone would camp or use any cheap tactic... you can't be that bad.

    Cry less fool. As long as they aren't hacking or glitching, then you have no right to bitch about how other people choose to play. If someone is using a tactic that you don't like and you're too stupid to come up with an effective counter tactic that's on you, not the player, nor the game.

    I'm so sick of hearing people complain about how every single weapon ever is over powered, or about how if you're not rushing mindlessly into someone's gun sights over and over then you're 'camping' and that that is somehow wrong.

    And whats worse, the developers, who put so much effort into making the game balanced, actually listen to you whiny gits and start nerfing the weapons you think are over powered just so they don't have to listen to you complain all the time. Which screws up their carefully constructed game balance.

    You probably think any tactic that is effective is 'cheap'. but these tactics aren't what ruin the game, people who complain about anything that gets them killed in the game are.

      Lol... chronic cheap player here, clearly =D

      If you're going to tell me that in MW2 the instant-kill-auto-aim-cunt-cannon (or the intervention as it's properly known) and the fact that you could teleport five metres for a knife kill are "balanced" you can't be very good at the game at all. It's easy to come first in an FFA match without firing a single bullet, I've done it and I choose not to play like a complete idiot.

      What I don't get is why people can't play for the challenge and use the whole variety of weapons... no they'd rather just hide in the corner and use the easy guns.

        I dunno, that's sort of like saying "If they aren't breaking the law, don't complain about them being an absolute tool". Just because it's not officially regarded as disallowed doesn't mean that it isn't frustrating and obnoxious.

    I just assumed I was crap...

    I think I may be right.

    I still play CoD4. I play on HC servers with rules that disallow grenade launchers, Martyrdom and Last Stand.
    But still, a lot of people will use them.
    Or they'll just hack...aimbot, wall hack...both together...
    Why even play?

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/playing-to-win-part-1.html

    This was on Rock Paper Shotgun a while ago and I think this article articulates a few good points about video games competition.

    The fact is, with the exception of a bug or a glitch, designers built the game to be a certain way, whether it be that grenades be powerful in an FPS, an attack be particularly strong in a fighting game or a build order in Starcraft 2 be dominant. It's a part of the game. That's why I always find it hilarious when players complain about camping - if it's an effective tool, then players are doing themselves a disservice if they're vowing not to use it. If it's a bug or a glitch then hopefully in due time it will be fixed, but if it's a feature the designers intended to be present, then either stop complaining or move on.

    Partly agree. While I find quick scoping in MW2 was ridiculous, and the nade launcher did seem to be a bit too easy to use to get a large number of kills (ie, requiring somewhat less skill), I find campers to be less of a nuisance. if they get you once, shame on them. If they get you twice, shame on you. You know they're there.

    As for build orders in RTS games, I think things like that need to be monitored to gauge the position of the community. Even if there is an effective counter to it, if no one in the community it utilising it, there must be something going on.

    And I don't think developers really change games to stop whining. Like my point about RTS, if there is a counter, people will use it. Dev's know this, and will generally only change things if the community is really struggling.

    Not to say all changes are for the better.

    Emergent strategies and techniques are part of what makes competitive gaming wonderful and fun.

    Its a fine line between "effective" and "cheap", and often people call it one or the other based on whether they are on the receiving end or not.

    Ultimately, if you dont play the game to its full potential you only have yourself to blame. Its the responsibility of the game designers (and possibly tournament organisers if its a private tourny) to ensure that the game remains fun and competitive when played to its full potential.

    Everyone is free to call something cheap and ragequit if they want, but such childish antics are rarely justified.

    While some of these things are annoying, I think it's unfair to have a go at the players doing it if it's within the rules. Instead, the fault lies with the designers/developers who created the game with unbalanced weapons or whatever else is annoying you.

    Developers need to monitor what's going on in their games post-release, see where things are unbalanced/broken/open to abuse and then update their games accordingly.

    yes.

    God I hate people... victory at the cost of fun...
    sooo stupid...

    at any rate, my best reference would be counter strike. there were lots of 'dick moves' and n00b whining in that too. but you could counter any dick move.

    in general, this is mainly a credit to the game and level design. as such, I generally lay the blame at the feet of the developers if there are many "dick moves". but Zack also has a point, you will never please everyone, ESPECIALLY NOOBS!

    and remember designers: thinking of making your game more n00b friendly at the determent to experienced players? just remember: n00bs are people who have barely played your game, experienced players a players that have played your game a lot and hence probably really like it.

    so who is more important to you?

    n00bs are people who only play your game for a week. simple as that. after that, they have either moved on, or are no longer n00bs. if you cater only to people who will play your game a maximum of a week, you will never grow a community.

    on the other hand, its been a while since counter strike. maybe fun multiplayer has become yet another casualty of the mainstream takeover :(

    If someone's spamming some trick, practise and then beat it. Starcraft BW Mutalisks practically broke the game when people first discovered their 'stacking', but then Protoss/Terran players just innovated and found their own ways to counter it.

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