Monday, November 14, 2011

Kill Camping at its Core

Since we transformed our blog into a place where future DUST 514 players can congregate, players have been concerned with the nature of the game's consequences forcing players to camp or risk losing their equipment, "fits", or other things  they've worked hard for. We have to apologize because we recently listed the "sacred cows" of FPS and we neglected possibly the most popular of them all: CAMPING.

Camping is one of FPS' biggest issues, and  it's no one's fault. The camping  mentality is a mixture of players wanting to avoid dying, the game engine and map size. Let's not forget to mention the player-types falsely accused of camping. Real Snipers and tactical players who move carefully around the battlefield often get a bad rap. With newer games now giving players reasons to advance on the battlefield, older FPS elements have become grossly outdated. While its silly to believe that we can force someone to "not camp" or "move around more" perhaps we can give people reasons to NOT sit in one place. In a nutshell, what we're proposing is CHANGING THE WAY GAMES ARE WON. Giving us a game that is objective-based at its core and that rewards players for advancing and securing areas or objectives. For so long, matches have ended when the last enemy combatant is dead and the side with suvivors has been the victor, but those are deathmatch rules! While we love many of the things BF3 does with their ticket system, we're asking for a paradigm shift so that victories need to be EARNED on a much larger scale than that.

What about a game where in EVERY GAME TYPE each side has multiple obtainable objectives? (3-4 of which are in direct conflict so that there can't be ties) So that in any given match there would be the Primary objective, in addition to Secondary objectives to achieve like downloading data, destroying a weapons cache, blowing up a radar tower or a bridge or anything else the developers can devise for us. The opposition would have similar objectives instead of simply winning by default if the opposing team is unable to achieve their goals. Making Dust into a game where players advance in search of objectives and try to control territory instead of one where we hide behind walls or cover carefully nursing our KDRs. Giving players multiple objectives would do a great job of making players concentrate on controlling the entire battlefield instead of going to a single chokepoint and getting an early advantageous position. In this manner, Camping would not be rewarded, and if the other team controls more of the battlefield than you do--you lose.

The first step in eliminating camping is to change many of the aspects of FPS that encourage players to take up one position and never move from it. Here are some of the ways we can evolve gameplay from the current, outdated elements we see today.

Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Deathmatch - This aspect of FPS needs some serious change. Its 2011 and Deathmatch could be the most cop-out, run-of-the-mill gametype in the history of gaming. A series doing deathmatch in Year One of going online is completely acceptable, doing it in the 5th version of your game prompts us to leave it on the shelf. The sad truth is that even with its varied gametypes, too often objectives in FPS are left ignored and games too frequently turn into "deathmatch with a different name" and we all know it. We've all seen people totally disregard objectives yet be among the highest scoring players at the game's end. Dust fans deserve so much more and CCP has the resources to give us more. Let's leave deathmatch in casual games like COD where it belongs.

More Guesswork - Call us crazy, but the omniscient view and info we get in many videogames so often hurts the experience. The select button with its real-time tally is never more than a button-press away and the kill-feed is constant. We can see around corners, we know the instant someone dies, exactly who killed them and what weapon they used, and we ALWAYS know what the score is. I mean...what DON'T we know? Having to figure out what's going on might bring out the inner detective in some of us, and it could (gasp!) improve gameplay. What if I only knew someone died when I saw their body or was within 10m when they got killed and heard their last words("its too late for me!") and how many sessions of "I can camp harder than you can" could be avoided if only the commander had a real-time tally of the entire battlefield? And wouldn't it add to the sheer excitement of the game? Especially when you asked for a response from your teammates and only heard static over your mic? We tend to think it would. LESS is MORE, people.

Map Size - Some may not agree but many of us were fans of the larger maps of games like MAG, SOCOM 3 and BF3. They provided the area necessary to flank, implement tactics, avoid choke points, maneuver vehicles and come up behind the enemy. They also make camping very risky. These are valuable elements to any shooter that chooses to have the word "tactical" in its name.

Winners Prosper - At its basic level, squad-based shooters are about teamwork. The problem? Online games are usually totally devoid of teamwork without some kind of incentive. SO GIVE US ONE. In the end, players want to progress and advance. MAG encouraged teamwork by giving players twice as much XP for reviving a player than it did for killing one. Make a clear disparity between winners and losers in Dust. here's a novel idea: LET'S STOP REWARDING LOSERS. Too often games in the FPS genre encourage solo play by rewarding players on the losing side for "killing a lot of people". Let's stop this, make TEAM VICTORY the ultimate goal, and nothing will make players work together more than a bigger gap between the rewards for winners and losers. Win and you get all your heart desires, When you lose? You get nothing save the lessons you learned from defeat.


  1. love the idea about more guesswork.


    great idea, but dont forget about hi-sec low-sec and nul-sec space, this is how they will separate the hardcore from the casual and hopefully the losers from the winners am i right?

  3. wait i thougth Dust woud be all about team work not rewarding solo,I know eve does not reward solo bur encourages team work, all of eves contend I think is, is based around team work, (alliance, corporations)and so on..... =Þ

  4. great point you pointed out Anon #1. perhaps hi-sec/nul-sec is how they will separate casual/hardcore players.

    Anon #2 keep in mind we're speculating and communicating elements we'd like to see. We haven't seen evidence that CCP will reward lone-wolfing, we're just looking at the current examples inside FPS.

  5. ^^^^^^^

    lol you are right sinsearly #anon2

  6. Another way of killing the campers is making objectives dynamic. EVE is dynamic. The only thing that stays the same are the systems fought over.

    Wouldn't it be cool to have the person who hired you add an objective on the fly? Or the possibility that defenders can set up their defenses differently every time? Maybe the person who owns the planet can place their structures in wherever they feel is tactically better for them?

    Real time dynamic objectives could be the way that DUST makes a HUGE impact on gaming.

  7. here! here! when you lose the only thing you get is spent ammo.

  8. The guesswork part, though I agree could be fun, can also turn out to ultimately be very frustrating. Not knowing who did what and where he did it is a great way to help those campers you're trying to avoid (on the other hand, snipers everywhere will love this).

    What I would like to see, however, is that instead of limiting (or eliminating) the system, it should be changed to be more Eve like. Make it a skill that commanders have to learn, and make it a module that needs to be equipped to the MCC.

    Of course, that's just a quick idea. I mean, such a module would literally become THE go-to module in the entire game (except for stupid people, but they get what's coming to them). At any rate, I'm against the complete removal of the feature, though I believe that some changes could be made to make the player less omniscient.

  9. I kind of like the idea of eliminating the killfeed...while I do like seeing my name pop up knife after knife, there are many instances that have caused my failure, simply by showing the enemy who killed their team-mates and ESPECIALLY what they were killed with...if it shows a knife or the equivalent thereof, then they KNOW you are near. I'd prefer to get rid of the kill feed...if not then the next best thing would be to make it a module of sorts, mentioned in the previous statement.

  10. Another way to make the guesswork doable would be to have only the squad leader know, from his overlay, who died. The others in the squad will just have to see it for themselves, and if you're sticking together, it won't be a problem. That way, the squad leader takes on a more leader-like role, directing fire, alerting people of snipers, becoming a worthwhile target for said snipers, etc. The further up the command chain, the more information you'd get, since you'll be leading more people. And at the top, the field commander gets to choose what defenses to set up/spend ISK for, where the squads will deploy, and how to react to his battlefield overlay.
    I also think that to remove camping all together is not wise. It should be made into a hard thing to do, so that not anyone can simply pick their sniping loadout, and then viably camp a spot until the match is over.
    I believe that the skill tree for such abilities should reflect an ability to make an impact on the battlefield, and not just KDR's or time stayed alive.
    Perhaps the sniper role could be remade into a scout/recon role where you're given a scoped rifle and allowed to spot out targets of interest, whether it's an enemy squad leader, a turret nest, or some other resource. Then the rest of the squad will be tasked with demolition in the form of paid air strikes, attached explosives, or infantry launched payloads.
    Another way to cut into camping is upping the skill. Making it harder to get a 1-shot 1-kill.
    Headshots only, or including windage and gravity drop (this can be played with by using different purchased ammunitions, or being on a heavier planet).

  11. "The further up the command chain, the more information you'd get, since you'll be leading more people." here! here!