This has been bugging me for a long time now and it first came to light when playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare or anything after Halo 2. I remember a time when you played an online match you had to be dedicated to that game to keep your rank leveled or to climb the ladder. It was a challenging time for gamers when online hit consoles and the pressure was definitely there. I had moments when I was getting homework done on time just to meet my clan members on games practicing to learn the maps and my own weaponry because of big matches where we will get a chance to level up. Those were great competitive times and drove you to excel in the good digital fight. So I ask you this, What the F**k happened?
Let’s start where I feel it began on Halo 3 and COD: Modern Warfare 2 came about. Now I am not 100% sure when it started on COD, but I do remember how the leveling system transitioned. I am going to come off as a D*ck right now, but if gaming is too hard you as a gamer have options to be better or move on to another game that you feel comfortable with. I usually took the first option and practiced with friends to get better at a game to enjoy it more, so I can in the end be top tier with the rest of the players and trash talkers. However, when something becomes a disadvantage or if something is too powerful, instead of figuring out the weakness like we are supposed to do. The alternative is to force a change in the game to make it easier or as we say “nerf” certain things. I know this seems like I am going off track, but I believe this leads up to my main point.
Example of bad game results versus a good game result.
I have been playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on both PC and PlayStation 4. I didn’t really dabble on the PC multi-player that much, but when I finally buckled down and entered MP on the PS4, that’s when it truly hit me. Now this is one of the things that you will hardly hear a gamer say, but I sucked horribly in the MP this time around. I know I am bad even though I just started playing, I was going to get better eventually. The problem that urk me so much was the fact that I was leveling up while playing poorly. I guess you can say my pride got in the way being a level 13 with a horrible K/D and winning ratio. You start to feel like that special kid in class for getting medals for doing your best so you won’t be left out or behind. Then things really took a turn for the worse when a person with a second prestige started popping junk, but this “persons’s” K/D was in the 0.1 region. So you telling me no matter how bad I play I will still level, especially on Double XP weekend which made it super easy as many of you know. I might be the minority in this rant, but I don’t want to be rewarded for playing like crap. I can understand being rewarded as a support player while racking up the same points i.e Battlefield, but certain games don’t have that luxury.
The only genre that is keeping that same gameplay style is fighting games. Ultra Street Fighter IV does it well by their rank matches, but you also have the option of just going into endless battles. I love that style because if you are brave enough to go into an online rank match knowing damn well how bad some player networks are then power on. If you lose you will go down in rank and it is disappointing, but that’s what to be expected and you can go into many tutorials and trails to play better. There is an online training option so you can learn how to play with another person to be top tier eventually. This goes for many other genres as well where you either have to beat another player’s score or time. I was told this was done because there are a lot of kids that play FPS now, so leveling them up is simple. I say to hell with that noise those kids can hold up on their own, better than most of the adults if you ask me.
Words from Seph_Dean:
From my point of view multi-player has kind of evolved a bit. Its hard to be competitive now with shooter games cause its getting too repetitive now. So yes we sort of need new challenges or maybe some new rules set in the first person shooter genre. Now that I think about it, Call of Duty doesn’t really have a legit ranking system. for example: Ghost Recon Online has a ranking system where it calculates how much of your skills and actions you made, and based on those actions you either rank up or you will rank down. not only that, but the certain rank your currently in will only let you play against other players in the same rank as you, so you wont have to deal with playing with newbs or higher leveled players that could easily mow you down with higher ranked weapons. so maybe that’s the next thing Call of Duty should work on is a Rank up/down system.
Words from Iselynne:
Look at MMORPGS, for example. Look at WoW (World of Warcraft) when it first came out. You have to be really dedicated and learn a lot of skills to progress in the endgame. People who got good were like celebrities on their servers. But now you can get epic gear by just logging on. I really dislike that Blizzard has made the game too “casual friendly”. And with the huge fan-base that Demon’s Souls has, it is proof that people yearn for more rewarding challenges.
Speaking on the MMO front Iselynne brought in a very good point. I am not going to knock companies that give you a welcome back gift when you log on for example Warframe and Firefall. But I think the hand holding should stop there.
Whats the Solution then?
That is simple, just make online competitive again. I want to truly earn my ranking instead of it just being handed to me just because I played in the game. I had one game where I went 0 – 13, yup make fun because it was a horrible game. I made fun of myself, but yet I was getting medals and leveled up twice…I am literally there asking, “Wtf did I get all that for?” Should of gotten a medal for being a human shield or something. A medal for most times taking bullets. There is a risk here alienating certain gamers I get that and I am not expecting the change, but it wasn’t that bad when it was around. It is all about the sales and giving a game that everyone can play. But is it really fun to be gifted in such a manner without really trying? Isn’t there some sort of ache you get where you don’t feel you earned something? Not saying these games are not for you, but I do think you should get that accomplished feeling.
No more free rides to leveling please! I want to hear your thoughts on this matter. Are you okay with the leveling system in most games? Do you want more of a challenge when it comes that level? Or are cool with things the way they are? I just want the challenge again and to figure out how to overcome that crutch. Stay frosty gamers!