Archive for category Soapbox

KZ3 Beta: Whine x2

Last night was another night of frustration playing KZ3 beta. On the whole, the evening left me drained.

  1. Initial Spawn Problems
    Why is it when I play Guerilla Warfare, I get killed three seconds after I spawn for the first time. At the beginning of the match. It’s not like I wait around before spawning either. I spawn myself as soon as I can, and there’s a bad guy waiting for me. How does that happen? I’m not just talking about joining a game in progress either. I’m talking about a brand new game. How did they get so close so fast? Do some people get to spawn sooner than others? Are the spawn points for the two teams not far enough apart? It’s very frustrating.
  2. Subsequent Spawn Problems
    When I spawn in Guerilla Warfare, the system should not put me next to a bad guy so that I die right away.
  3. Missing KZ2 Features
    In KZ2, you could go online and check out matches after the fact. Pretty cool, huh? Are we still going to have that for KZ3? What about the ability to create a rotation of games with custom game types and maps? Are we still going to have that? What about squads, and spawning on your squad leader? I don’t see that in the game either. It’s really too bad that KZ3 is missing these neat features. Any I missed?
  4. Maybe Need More Playlists?
    They’ve broken out Team Deathmatch into a separate mode. If we’re not allowed to set up our own custom games (see previous point), maybe GG can set up some additional playlists instead. Like an Assassin playlist, where all you play is two rounds of Assassin, with a possible tie breaker where you both have to kill an enemy target at the same time. Or how about a Capture and Hold playlist? Capture and Hold is a very popular match type. It would be cool if it was broken out too. Ditto for Search and Retrieve.
  5. Scramble+ is Too Powerful
    The Cloaking and Disguise features are too powerful without a counter. The Tactician needs the ability to find these players in order to balance the game.
  6. Dying Moans Are Annoying
    Can’t we please just get rid of them? Please?
  7. Marksmen Should See Other Marksmen
    If you’re a Marksmen, you should be able to see enemy Marksmen a little bit better than your team mates do. The ability to be totally invisible is too powerful.
  8. Die and Choose Class
    I had this same complaint about KZ2, and they never fixed it there. Hopefully they can do something this time around. I don’t want to wait for a Medic. They never arrive. I’d much rather spend those five seconds choosing a class. Instead, I have to wait for the timeout. Every. Single. Time. (Because there are never any medics.) Only then can I choose a class, when I’d much rather be in the game already playing. So please let me choose a class during those five seconds.

On the whole I get the feeling that GG isn’t all that good at game balancing. Often playing Warzone or Operations, things feel so lopsided that I just want to give up. The Spawn and Ammo dump camping are terrible problems, and we don’t even have the turrets to protect our home spawn like we did in KZ2. Plus there’s all the other things I’ve mentioned in this and previous posts.

So far I’ve had two frustrating nights and one fun night playing KZ3. That’s not a good ratio. I hate to bring up CoD, because I know there’s so many anti-CoD fanboys out there who’ll rail on me, but I will anyway. When I play CoD and do badly, I wonder how I can improve my game next time. When I play KZ3 and do badly, I wonder how the game can be fixed. That’s not a good sign.

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KZ3 Beta: Operations

For KZ3 last night I played with a friend and tried Operations, which I hadn’t played a lot of before. Here are my thoughts.

  1. Just like many other shooters, playing with a team that actually communicates makes a big difference.
    Not only did I have my friend on my team, but others on my team were communicating as well. We played several rounds, and had a lot of fun. As Helghast, we never let the ISA get past the first set of doors. As ISA, we always accomplished the first two missions, and got to blow up the dam two times out of three (IIRC). I played a lot better last night than the previous night, which was also a lot of fun. The voice chat is very good. I could always understand my team mates. Why can’t other PS3 games do this?
  2. The Marksmen weren’t a problem this time around.
    Sure, they annoyed a little. I remember one that was majorly corner camping. But on the whole they didn’t annoy me as much this time around. I don’t know if it’s because of the game type, the people I was playing with and against, or what. If most sessions go like this with regards to the Marksmen, I won’t consider them a problem.
  3. Some of the weapons a class starts out with aren’t very good.
    I find myself doing strange things to level up. Like using the Engineer class to get kills to get points to unlock the good weapons on the other classes so that I can finally use them. I don’t know if everyone’s wearing armour or what, but it takes a lot of bullets to kill someone with the Tactician’s SMG. (The Tactician, in case you’re wondering, is my favourite class. I just don’t like the SMG all that much.)
  4. The class system plays a greater role in KZ3 than it does in KZ2.
    I think that’s cool. In KZ2, everyone pretty much chose whatever class they liked playing. But in KZ3, it’s important to have at least one Tactician and Engineer on your team. As to Infiltrator, Marksmen, and Medic, those are all pretty generic classes when it comes to getting things done in the game. But at least there are now two invaluable classes, which mixes things up a bit.
  5. The Infiltrator is the most selfish class in the game.
    People who play the Infiltrator do so for kicks. It’s the danger-close noob-tube class of KZ3. (For those of you who played MW2, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) The Infiltrator is annoying as anything, and last night was no exception. In KZ2 it was much easier to spot an Infiltrator (for an ISA, the blue light on their suit wasn’t on, for Helghast, I think maybe their eyes didn’t glow). But in KZ3, no matter what people say, it’s hard to spot an Infiltrator. Judging by my team mates’ comments, I’m not the only one with this problem. To be honest, I tried the Infiltrator once or twice last night to see what the fuss was about. It is indeed easier to get kills with this class. I walked right up to one guy’s face and blasted him away. He had no idea that I wasn’t his team mate. We were up against a lot of Infiltrators last night, and seeing how easy it is to get kills with this class, I better understand why.
  6. The UI could use some tweaking.
    There are several places where they use text that scrolls back and forth. It’s very hard to read at a glance. It’s also hard to find your name in the stats when you want to see how many kills you had (or didn’t have, in my case).

Am I still bringing back my pre-order? I’m starting to waffle, to be honest. If I can find a group of guys to play with more often, then I think this game can be a lot more fun than my first long exposure was. We’ll have to see. I’ll play the beta some more and make up my mind.

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My Killzone 3 Pre-Order is Going Back

I haven’t been able to play the KZ3 beta very much, just because I couldn’t get online. After the patch last night, however, things were a lot better. I could connect no problem, and so I played several games. I was placed in several Guerilla Warfare matches right at the end, which was frustrating. But I also got to play through several full matches of Guerrilla Warfare and Warzone.

I’m going back to the store and asking for me pre-order money back. There’s no way that this is an enjoyable game. KZ3 is more frustrating than MW2 ever was.

One. It’s not fun being killed by people you can’t see. I was walking along, minding my own business, and a guy right if front of me, who was cloaked, shoots me dead. Sure, it might be fun for the cloaked person. “Tee hee. I was standing right in front of him. Giggle giggle.” But to everyone else, it’s an annoyance of epic proportions. (Well, as epic as annoyances in a video game can get.)

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Sony Needs Babysitting Service

Quick, what was the biggest game launch this year? What was the biggest game launch ever, all time, all platforms? What PS3 game released this year with tons of bugs, lower resolution than the 360 version, bad frame rate issues (also not on the 360 version), and all-around ugliness? The answer to all these questions is “Call of Duty: Black Ops”.

The fact is, Call of Duty: Black Ops runs much better on the 360 than on the PS3. On the 360 the game had some matchmaking and spawn issues that are being ironed out. The PS3 version, well, we’ve gone over that before, but I’ll do a quick recap. First, it is just plain lacking some features that are in the 360 version. Like dual PSN logins and boot-to-multiplayer. Second, it runs at a lower resolution than the 360 version. Third, the bazillions of bugs including frame rate issues and the bad matchmaking and spawns.

This really really makes the PS3 look bad. The biggest game launch ever, and the PS3 version is crap compared to the competition. We know that the PS3 is capable of so much more. Just look at God of War or Uncharted 2 or Killzone 2. Heck, even MW2 runs better than Black Ops. Since Call of Duty is my number one game, I even considered buying a 360 just to play Black Ops. (I came back to my senses… eventually. But I did consider it.)

Sony needs to work alongside developers like Activision for big titles that’ll be in the public eye. Sony can’t afford to have their system look so bad beside the competition, especially when it doesn’t have to. Sony needs to send developers to Activision and make sure that the next big title works just as well (or better) on the PS3 as on the 360. Frankly, it’s too late for Black Ops. That ship has sailed and there’s no fixing the fundamental problems. But Sony can make sure that the next title runs well, and they should do it. Sony needs to remove the egg from its face.

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