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My Multiplayer Experience AKA: Fook Multiplayer


Corporal Flashback
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Respawn, grab a shotgun. I see a bad guy! SHOTGUN BLAST TO THE FACE AT POINT BLANK. Grr, didn't work. MELEE! MELEE AGAIN! Argh! ANOTHER SHOTGUN BLAST! He's STILL not down! Oh wait, he's melee'd me once:

YOU WERE KILLED BY C0CK80N3

Sounds like you need to get a better internet connection.

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Erm... No. I think you'll find I pay for this service, and I found no option to opt out of all the games of Slayer you dropped me into when I actually wanted to play Oddball. I also found no "Report the racists" button. And that's before I even consider the ones that, even when I give them the benefit of the doubt, look like fucking cheaters. I mean, 33 kills when everyone else literally has a maximum of 6?

This, to be honest, is a big problem with COD/Halo on Xbox Live. There are actually ways to report people, but it's doubtful that anything actually happens - the reason being that Xbox Live is a paid-for service, so Microsoft don't really want to ban people who are disruptive as (let's be honest) the vast majority of people are. People often say "it's just a small number of people ruining it for everyone" but after my time playing Halo/COD online I really don't think that's true anymore.

It's one of the reasons I liked Street Fighter online back when I played it regularly - sure, it was punishing, but as you only played against one person and had no team, you could play randoms no problem (and just mute them) and you didn't lose anything from the game. Playing Armored Core V recently hasn't been so bad, I think that's because it attracts a different type of player.

It's definitely a problem for Live first-person-shooters though, and it totally puts me off getting any of them for online play.

EDIT: I do agree with what some others have said though - don't let Halo put you off online multiplayer altogether. It's not the best game to start with; those of us who liked it had the advantage that, at one time, most people on it were beginners, so that made it easier.

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xbox live is full of cunts, and halo is very unforgiving to new people.

Please don't write off multiplayer based on your experience there :D

Most of the best moments I've had in gaming have been during multiplayer. Get yourself playing left 4 dead co op or something for a better introduction.

I've actually had loads of fun games of L4D with randoms; I got kicked once for being shit and dying a lot because they were playing on a higher difficulty, but most experiences have been pretty pleasant. Even if you're too shy to chat you can get by on AI chatter, but I tend to keep the headset on since a lot of people are generally keen to co-operate. And of course, the thing about playing with randoms is that if you don't like one game, you can hop from one to another in no time.

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Use a headset, engage in conversation, be yourself, have fun. It's pretty easy once you give it a chance.

Admittedly you won't have much luck playing COD and Halo as these games definitely bring out the worst in people. Use the forum and find people who want to play the same games, that too can prove difficult due to the obsession of only playing the latest stuff out but I'm sure many games have a fairly strong community and die hard faithful element attached. Start a thread in online and organise something yourself. Multiplayer rewards those who make an effort to organise. If you expect to get the best with little or no effort on your part you'll only be mixing with the worst of the worst.

Multiplayer when it is done right can be 10 times as rewarding and satisfying than playing a game on your own. Finding people who aren't intimidated by the technology or who don't feel the need to regress to playground tactics and behaviour is worth the effort and will reward you with possible friends for life who you'll come to know based around their gaming habits and skill as worthy opponents or team mates.

If it wasn't for multiplayer and xbox live I'd have given up playing games a long time ago. It's just a shame that kids have caught up and now make up a significant proportion of the LIVE user base. Back in the good old days you only got sensible people sharing a new unique common experience and all utterly amazed by it.

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If it wasn't for multiplayer and xbox live I'd have given up playing games a long time ago. It's just a shame that kids have caught up and now make up a significant proportion of the LIVE user base. Back in the good old days you only got sensible people sharing a new unique common experience and all utterly amazed by it.

Personally, I found that age came to an end the week Halo 2 came out. Not that it was the fault of the game per se, but Live was a lot better before FPS became the "pulse" of Live. I think the reason why I initially warmed to the service was that whilst you could play almost anything in multiplayer on PC at the time, people just didn't play racing games or something like Mechassault or Midtown Madness.

Live was great because it was a multiplayer platform that wasn't dominated by FPS or RTS. Then Halo 2 came out and threw a spanner right in that.

Not that I have a major problem with FPS games, but as has been said, they just seem to bring out the worst of the Live userbase.

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One illusion I had shattered from playing online is that Americans chiefly have a East Coast accent; 90% of the time it's like i've stumbled into a Smokey and the Bandit improv.

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I think you've got a point about the stats thing. Play an objective game and no one goes after te objective, it's just slayer with flags in the bases. I found I'd be a lone wolf stealing the flag with no help from my team and no challenge from the opposition. All because kills count for more than winning.

Take something like Daytona USA though and it's just pure fun. No win loss ratios, just fun driving action. Which is what it should be. Sadly online multiplayer isn't offline but over a wider distance unless playing with friends because people playing online are generally god like. Play Bomberman online and it's average me vs god like uber players because that's all they play. That's more my problem not being better but it takes some of the fun away, especially on older games.

Even stuff like L4D suffer because teams know every perfect spot for every situation now making games very one sided.

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That's twitch shooting for you. I admit that if Xbox Live was there when I was a teen I'd be like the above sorts sniping and stuff on Halo, with less racism. Nowadays I just want to enjoy the online experience more than constantly stress myself and be alert just to be quicker on the trigger than the rest.  Luckily developers seem to have noticed this re: FPS and the popular ones now feature a Horde mode (co-op vs computer) of some kind.

Online play, especially with randoms, isn't really suited to the consoles - outside of the Battle of Reactions, there are sports games, RTS, arcade games that essentially pit one against the other - which more often than not, if a guy feels they're losing will rage quit, meaning you never get to complete a match.

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I still remember a moment early on in the Xbox Live days, before the kiddies took over. I was playing Terrorist Hunt (horde mode) with a few Americans when they noticed I wasn't using a mic; after politely asking a few times they decided I would be more of a hindrance to the mission, so they ganged up on me and 'pushed' me into a small room and blocked the entrance - then threw WPs and fired at me. I got the message :)

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Online play, especially with randoms, isn't really suited to the consoles - outside of the Battle of Reactions, there are sports games, RTS, arcade games that essentially pit one against the other - which more often than not, if a guy feels they're losing will rage quit, meaning you never get to complete a match.

Anecdotal evidence much? I've played thousands of Call of Duty/FIFA matches and a small percentage don't complete. CoD has host migration/mid-match adding of players, FIFA has a search so you can only play people with a low DNF (did not finish) percentage. It's really not as bad as it maybe once was, which you're still exaggerating.

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Even stuff like L4D suffer because teams know every perfect spot for every situation now making games very one sided.

This has made me really want one of two things:

1) An FPS with randomised levels

2) An FPS with very simple levels (which is why I was so excited about Monday Night Combat)

I remember with MW2, I stopped playing for a week (about 2 weeks after launch) and by the time I came back, everyone seemingly had memorised the maps, knowing all the best sniper spots, all the "routes" with the most traffic so they knew where people would be...

Certainly that's fun for the hardcore, which is fine. Personally though I preferred that first week when the maps were new to everyone and what was being tested was your ability to apply your weapons and skills (known quantities) to the maps (which were an unknown quantity), so you were constantly being asked to apply yourself to new and exciting unknown situations. Ditto for Left4Dead 1 on versus on 360, which after 4 weeks from launch suffered from the same issue.

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I know it's almost a cliche at this point but if you fancy an online FPS without a lot of the cuntery then try Battlefield.

Yeah you get games where some sniper cunt shoots you in the head repeatedly from 2km away, but most of the time the games are fun and unlike a lot of other shooters you are not at a huge disadvantage if you aren't having a good game.

Me and some friends played last night and had a Rush game where we won and the top of our team had 5 kills in the whole 20 minutes. I had 3 and came second. We won because we focussed on the objectives. It was a great game that went down to the wire, the final moments were a guy on their team disarming the last M-Com and the guy bottom of our team running through gunfire to throw a blind grenade at the crate to kill him and stop the disarm with 5 tickets left. We all cheered when it happened because it was genuinely thrilling.

Halo is just a cesspool. And Bungie actively hate their userbase with their shitty playlists full of games only spastics enjoy playing and no proper way to just play the games YOU enjoy (because they want people to experience all the facets of the game...bollocks). And if you do get dropped they stop you playing, as you found out.

Call of Duty always did it right. Playlists that tell you exactly what you will be playing. If you can't finish the game then just leave and someone else will take your place. Of course Call of Duty also has an even bigger cunts to rational human beings ratio than Halo so that throws up a problem.

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Can't OP just play co-op modes? I couldn't stand DM Halo or MW (back in the day when I used to bother with them) but getting your team together and trouncing* the opposition never got old. The quickest way to silence idiots is by gentting in a good team and grinding your enemies repeatedly into powder under your bootheels :)

* I never trounced - I was totally the weak link. But the mates I played with were fantastically good.

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Halo is probably just a bad place to start with online MP on XBL, at this time. Reach has been out for a while so most casual players are gone. The core are well practiced and know the maps/power weapon timings. So it's expected that you would die a lot. CoD is the same but feels a bit more equal with greater leeway for skill (to me), plus things relax a bit at xmas with all the new players. BF is much better for teams and gradually learning the ropes in a 'safe' environment. The playerbase as a whole will inevitably improve over time in any game, and these FPSes can become like competitive sports which will seem shitty to new casual players. I think if you get on one of these Halo/CoD/BF trains at some point, you'll find it easier starting with other subsequent FPSes as transferable skills go a long way. If you are not into that maybe just stick to co-op stuff instead.

Definitely play with friends or forum guys, and try games nearer their release. Mute all the randoms and just talk with friends, unless you need to co-ordinate a lot. Maybe play on PC with a (supposedly!) more mature audience if you hate the kids, or just ignore them.

My favourite games ever have been MP with friends/forumites, either co-op or just normal team games. That's when it shouldn't matter if you suck because you're part of the team. I honestly hate slayer/FFA. Things like Minecraft I couldn't play alone after a while because it was a completely different game with others.

Also I read the OP in Jeremy Kyle's voice.

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If at first you get your shit completely wrecked and can't understand that this is because everyone else playing is far better than you at the game, then Halo Reach is probably not for you.

You were probably jumping and everything. People do get 33 kills in a Slayer game.

Anyway, play Battlefield with some people off rllmuk. You can just follow experienced players' leads in that without needing twitch skills.

And then stop discounting online multiplayer with your wrong opinion.

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Anecdotal evidence much? I've played thousands of Call of Duty/FIFA matches and a small percentage don't complete. CoD has host migration/mid-match adding of players, FIFA has a search so you can only play people with a low DNF (did not finish) percentage. It's really not as bad as it maybe once was, which you're still exaggerating.

My girlfriend often plays this pool game and Worms on Live. EVERY TIME she is winning she says she has been quit on. I've had the same experiences with Street Fighter Turbo, FIFA, Pro Evo and other head to head games - to the point where I was surprised that people wouldn't quit just because they lost.

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To be honest, I've never experienced that many people being racist or insulting on Xbox Live. True, when playing with randoms, there's not much in the way of teamwork, smart or friendly banter, or camaraderie - but at the same time I've not experienced that many games involving the density of soul-sapping chatter described in Rob Van Spamme's post above.

Then again, that might be because I mute anyone the instant they do any sort of disruptive audio - breathing heavily or tapping on the mic, or playing music down the mic, or talking in stupid squeaky voices. So maybe I don't hear many racist insults because I've already muted them for other reasons!

I also don't often play with my own headset on, which probably stops me from triggering "tea and crumpets and bad teeth Limey" insults.

(Probably my most memorable encounter with an idiot on Xbox Live was a guy who threatened to hack into my account if I didn't give him the sniper rifle I carried: "Dude, I have a level 50 in Team Snipers! Do you wanna win or not? Give it to me or I'll hack you!" I didn't, and he didn't. :lol:)

As for online Halo being unforgiving to newcomers, I bought Halo 3 long after it came out, and didn't find it tough to get into. I started off in the "New Recruits" playlist they used to have, which was a good place to get the hang of it.

However, after Reach came out, Halo 3 mostly seemed populated by people idling to de-rank, or MLG-l33t players who'd used de-ranked accounts to fight newbies. Having returned Halo 3 again a couple of times in the last couple of days, it's still like that.

Then when I got Reach, it quickly seemed to settle down into reasonably fair, well-matched-up games. I think my win/loss ratio settled down around about 50/50, which is how it should be. Some games I'll get a +10 K-D difference, other games it'll be -10. There are quitters - but half the time they'll be on my team, half the time they'll be on the other team. Far from ideal, but it balances out.

(Never had any success in the MLG Playlist, though. We don't go to Ravenholm MLG. The people there are just scary.)

Then again, maybe I'm just positive about Halo's fairness because I'm comparing it to Counter-Strike. Anything would seem welcoming to newcomers compared to that! (Getting headshotted within a nanosecond of peeking out; fighting people who'd memorised the AK47 recoil pattern; getting shot through walls by people who unlike me knew exactly which bits of walls their bullets would penetrate... streaks of 12 deaths before I'd get my first kill in a match were not uncommon!)

And that's before I even consider the ones that, even when I give them the benefit of the doubt, look like fucking cheaters. I mean, 33 kills when everyone else literally has a maximum of 6?

Yeah, those are probably the alt-account de-rankers trying to manipulate the system into matching them up against newbies. Wankers. Deranker-wankers.

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Online MP with mates is brilliant. It is when non-mates get involved that the whole experience sucks. It was fun being part of the NHL11 RLLMUK team- despite me being shit - but every so often we'd come up against a bunch of people who had hacked the game. Same with the TDU2 club - the RLLMUK Ibiza cruise was just awesomesauce, but the couple of times we tired going against a club it was either Veyron toting rammers or people who had glitched cars. And you can't put it down to bad luck, because it happens far, far too often.

There seems to be no matchmaking option for "people who want to play for fun".

In short, my XBL friends are most excellent, it is everyone else who is a cunt.

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I think you just have to have a bit of a thick skin to enjoy a lot of multiplayer games, human's are shit by and large. Moba's for example are infinitely worse as there's such a high learning curve and people on there are massively intolerant of anything but high-level play - plus they also hate talk of other Moba games.

Imagine never playing football and then going to play in a Sunday league team where nobody will ever meet you again - so there's no ramifications for telling you how shit you are. The odd one will help, the odd one will be a total cunt regardless. Once you get a hang of this football malarkey you're able to feel fulfilled with your own ability and sometimes even as a team but until then people will shout abuse at you. You can replace the sport depending on what game you're playing but CoD/Halo is definitely a football-ish crowd where the majority are cunts.

You need to be able to not let things get to you if you want to go into a game completely fresh. Filter out the cunts from the nice people and if you struggle with that play with some mates. Once you get used to the game you'll enjoy it a lot more.

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Some folks still have this aversion, but Counterstrike is still the best MP game out there. You just need to find a good, well run server. Nothing removes asshats, like the power to ban those asshats. But then you'd need a PC for that sort of thing.

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The rest of your post was good boozy, voted you up, but can you explain this part

If I were your psychiatrist looking for the root cause of your PCphobia, I'd be feverishly scribbling on my clipboard at this point ;)

Can you clarify what you mean by someone being "intimidated by the technology" of playing multiplayer on the 360.

I'm picturing a barely functioning "jam sandwich in the VCR" type trying to plug his telephone into the 360 in order to play cawadoody.

Being able to put a headset on and carry on as normal. Being able to be yourself, engage in conversation, have a laugh. So many people aren't able to get over the point of being able to communicate. It's not a tool to feel self concious about using and never say anything and neither is it a mask to allow you to be a complete fuckwit simply because you're not with fist reach of the person you are engaging with. I guess that was my point.

Off topic - As for my PC Phobia, I was building PCs and installing mods back in the days before xbox Live and online consoles. I've been there and done that. It was a pain in the arse and all you PC guys who have embraced this facet of gaming are welcome to it. I've found the ease of online gaming and the sociability of using a headset through consoles to be a far more engaging and less frustrating experience than the PC. Something which rarely gets mentioned as a negative in all the "wonderful world of PCs" threads.

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