Why I’m Not More Of A Console Gamer…

First up – I decided for sure after all that’s happened in the last month that I would like to open up a little more about myself and finally do those Twenty Days of Blogging I keep putting off.

Some anecdotal evidence for you on the OP though…

I play Battlefield 3 once a week with some Real Life(tm?) friends.  Sometimes its just two of us and sometimes up to four.   And I do enjoy the game…most of the time.    But here is how last night went:


Attempt #1:  Server won’t let me join because I don’t have the correct DLC (but I do have it).

Attemot #2:  Game freezes and crashes

Attempt #3:  I miss taking the last spot on the server by less than five seconds, now I have to wait in a queue while my friend plays.  After five minutes of waiting, an admin on the server bumps me back to make room for a friend.

Attempt #4:  Success!  We are finally able to play together.  We get in three whole matches before the server admins switch sides, and some dirty stuff goes down.


Like this, only dirtier.


See, when you have player run servers, players make the rules and get to enforce them.  This has come out of a lot of trial and error and to be honest, is not a bad way to go – be a cheap admin and people will stop playing on your server, and you won’t have enough to start a match or have a decent game.  Most of those have been weeded out by now, but it turns out we found one.


This particular server had two rules listed:  no shotguns (odd, but okay), and no “auto-sniping.”  I have no idea what that means.  I’ve never seen it before, and I’ve logged almost 100 hours in the game and been playing since its launch.   My buddy and I decide they actually mean semiautomatic rifles that are included in the Recon class, that also uses sniper rifles.   For some of those semi-automatic weapons you can unlock 12x sniper scopes.   But it could mean just don’t use those at all, no matter what you are doing…so we steer clear of the SKS and M417, the two guns that fit that description, when we play that class.


But on that fourth match, when the server admins, who were admittedly quite skilled, swapped teams, things changed.  At first I was happy to see that – nobody likes getting plastered, and by switching up teams that meant the poor guys we had beaten the last three matches would have a better shot at winning – thumbs up, no problem.  Much respect even.    But then I died from an M417 at close range, with a close range (RDS) sight on it.


No biggie really, just means we didn’t read the rule correctly, and now we know.   So a few minutes later, I pull out my SKS with a different short range scope (Holo) and, since its one of my favorite guns, and one that I am decently good with, I get on a good run.   Specifically, I take a checkpoint all by myself and kill three of the enemy team in a row in the process.   And I get booted.


You see where this is going right?  I did too, but I asked politely anyway to make sure:  “Why the kick?”


“Using SKS no auto snipers its in the description”


“Actually, it says ‘no auto *sniping” – I didn’t know that using SKS with holo qualified as ‘sniping.’  Not to mention I just died from someone on your team using a 417.”



No response.  Silence.  Oops.  Its okay to cheat when you are on the admin’s team…but not if you are playing against them.  And certainly not if you make them look bad by blowing through them like a hot knife through butter.


And I have zero recourse as a player.   There is nothing to do but find another server and write a nasty complaint letter that nobody will read.


Well, I guess I do have this blog.   So everyone in 603 Company and especially Chewbacca, one of your leaders – enjoy your hollow victories you dirty cheaters.  I hope life repays you appropriately and your attempts to find anyone to play with you fail miserably…oh wait, they already have.   I just wish I had known what your clan was like so I could have avoided your server.


Anyway, now that I have that out of my system…


Answer: Other griefers in an endless cycle of S&M.


That’s why I don’t do more console gaming.   See all that was an issue early on in MMO’s with griefing and kill stealing and so on.  And some MMO’s, even good ones like EVE Online, still allow it or even encourage it.  But for the most part, developers have figured out that is not the way to go.  Players have too – the problem is that every year Dice or whoever else can just drop a new shooter and sucker in a new generation of players who don’t know any better, while the rest of us either wise up and leave or join the system and rent our own server.


Mostly right now I just wish I could have those wasted two hours back.   I could have played a lot more than three matches in tanks in that time.   On the bright side, when I did log into tanks for a few matches after that, I didn’t yell at anyone.  The back and forth of whining and angst in tanks seems tame in comparison to what I had just gone through.  Heck, even Bioware now just seems sad and misguided in comparison to the blatant game-fixing I just went through.


So I’ll take that silver lining and run with it.   And next week, I’ll rent my own server and treat everyone fairly.  Except those 603 guys.  I have an SKS with extra clips waiting for them.