The Online Shooter Learning Curve Debate: How Late is Too Late?

Joel Taveras of DualShockers writes, "Whether you’re a casual or a core gamer, at one point or another, we’ve all fallen victim to a good old-fashioned online ass kicking. And sometimes, it’s not because you’re unfamiliar with the genre, or unfamiliar with the control scheme. Sometimes, it just happens because you waited too long to buy it and/or play it. It’s the online shooter learning curve, and it’s a casual’s worst nightmare. However, even core online gamers fall victim to it. Why does this happen?"

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JoelT3022d ago

out there than can get really punishing, really fast. Especially if you haven't been playing since the very beginning. Warhawk is a perfect example of this!

thevokillist3022d ago

I have yet to play Warhawk, but MW2 gets real punishing, real quick when all I see are people camping, boosting, and/or noob tube.

eggbert3022d ago

probably had the most difficult learning curbe i've ever experienced. I got it like 2 years later for $10 though.

evrfighter3022d ago

Keeping up with your skills in cs spefically the ak pretty much means you'll top frag in all new shooters coming out even today.

It's punishing if not used right but godly even against awps if you really know how to use it.

I usually dm cs when i take a break or when a new fps comes out to ensure my domination.

kancerkid3022d ago

Wow, I guess I must be good at games then. I got Battlefield bad Company 1 last year. And after playing it for a week or two I knew everything I needed to know and was doing perfectly fine. And I was only playing with the best people who had the game because I got it years after it launched

MW2 is hard to learn? I play that once in a while when my roommate needs to go to the bathroom and consistently come out on top in any mode. I don't like that game at all, by the way, but it is real easy.

I play BFBC2, but I have taken about 3 months off, and I can guarantee you I will be owning the battles up after one day of play.

Noobs are noobs

NegativeCreepWA3022d ago

Warhawk was a fun game but had way too much auto-aim for my taste.

MmaFanQc3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

with an image of MW2.......kinda funny because MW2 have an aim assist for noobs who think they are badass......

ryhanon3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

I know I am not an exceptionally good FPS player. I know this because I've seen videos of great players and know I simply cannot compete. Depending on the game I'm playing, I get a good beating with no chance of success.

This is probably the biggest reason I personally have always preferred the Halo series to most other online shooters. They use the TrueSkill Matchmaking to try and match players with opponents of a similar skill level, thus keeping things relatively evenly balanced (I know more than Halo utilizes this, but it's a good example).

Despite my lack of skill playing FPS games, whenever I play Halo, or other TrueSkill games, I rarely *feel* like I am not very good. I almost always feel like it is a well balanced match, something I think makes the game more fun.

I suppose one could argue that it makes it harder for people to improve their game if they're never playing against people significantly better... but because it is less frustrating, I think these games have a better lasting appeal than they would otherwise have.

N4g_null3021d ago

What is funny is you can become as good as them. The difference between the two is fear and practice.

I still play high skill based fps almost like a sport.

This is one thing the console gamers are missing out on. The game are so much better when you are trying to kill the best. Killing noobs is very boring.

This article just exsposes how casual the console fps players really are. You can not miss the boat on a game. Also the best games can not be beaten with guides. You will need to develop skill.

Good games require extra effort like practice. For some reason gamers lack this now.

Part of what makes a hardcore gamer is when they first get crushed by a game then when they master it a true hardcore gamers is created. If you've never went thur this then your sort of missing the point of hardcore gaming that makes it fun.

I mean seriously try quake 3 now it's like 10 years old and almost every player knows how to rocket jump and sight rail even in close quarters yet if you can get a good flag run you really do see what makes gaming so epic than any story you could read or watch in a game.

The same happens in most true hardcore games. If your not getting this from your console or pc games then you are being cheated.

Also this is where the so called hate for some games comes from. You are not given the tools to even have a hardcore game. Play with aim bots turned up is not the point

ryhanon3021d ago

Yeah, for the most part I agree with you.

I know this isn't true for everyone, but I think that the amount of time and effort required to build up that level of skill is simply not feasible for many people given the already limited time we have to devote to a game.

About 15 or so years ago I had all the time I needed to play a game and get really good at it and I was absolutely the kind of gamer that cared enough to do so. Unfortunately, that's not a luxury I have any longer and, unless I find myself a sugar-momma willing to fund my video game addiction, I'll likely never find myself with that kind of time again.

Many gamers these days, like myself, are getting older and just don't have the time we once had to master these games. So for us, it's a nice thing that we can just hop in and have fun without having to put in the requisite hours of practice to get really good. If that means I have to play with a little aim-assist or a matchmaking system that matches me with people at a similar skill level (even if they're "noobs" remember that they're a similar skill level as myself, so it's not really "noob killing"), then that's fine by me.

Does that make me a "casual gamer"? Eh, I'm not sure. I never much cared for the two labels, but I like to think I live somewhere between "casual" and "hardcore"... "softcore"?

heh, I dunno.

N4g_null3021d ago

I guess your casual core yet the other will not admit it and carry on like fanboys. Try playing some quake wars I think it's dirt cheap now too. You can just run people over lol great fun unless they shoot you with a tank also great fun.

I can spot and kill 3 snipers pretty quick or just transport players where we need them. It's a great game not to much on consoles can touch it. It got a port but it's not really the same so much was missing.

ZombieNinjaPanda3022d ago

Warhawk, if you haven't been playing from the beginning, you are at the most severe disadvantage ever.

I started from the beginning then took a a break, jumped back on and people were flying circles around me.

Hitman07693022d ago


It was the most difficult I ever experienced in a shooter (EVE Online for MMO) and I picked it up in October after its summer release.

You are a soldier for trooping on though, how do you like it now?

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3021d ago
taz80803022d ago

Playing launch day and learning strategies and the maps can mean the difference between having a good time and having a miserable time. After a few weeks in a game like CoD all the camping spots, explolits, strategies have already been figured out and a new player could be overwhelmed very quickly.

thevokillist3022d ago

I agree with you. And you are able to correctly assume that someone will always be in that spot. After a while, people will stop using those camping spots...

Ninferno3022d ago

this is all very very true. thats why i would never touch a game like counter strike.

Hitman07693022d ago

This is a very common problem and can also mean the difference between people trying out new games and just hating it the first time they pick it up and not giving it a chance. Games like Warhawk suffer from this immensely. Many people would like to buy these games but already know from trying them out that they have "missed the boat" and it's a shame. In the rare case that they do buy a game very late they wonder why they even bothered and fail to master the title. Many attempted solutions to these problems such as minimum and maximum rank limited servers and existing ranking systems do not work as Joel has pointed out here and really it all boils down to game design lacking in compassion for the beginner or novice of said franchise in place of a focus on the needs of those who will master it during the launch window.

booni33022d ago

this is a really good topic, ive thought about this one. its even worrysome when you first start a game, like BFBC2, and you see all the players running around doing things and you arent sure what the objective is. i think the problem is that the devs see the saturation of the shooter genre and figure that after all these halos and call of dutys that everyone should know how to play a shooter by now. they do little to cater to the newer, or casual crowds.

BeaArthur3022d ago

Yeah but if you play online games on a regular basis you should be well versed enough to compete without knowing exactly what is going on. Some games do have a steep learning curve though. I tried the War for Cybertron demo a week after it had been out and I just got destroyed the first few matches until I got the hang of it, but those first few were annoying as sh!t.

Unicron3022d ago

Isn't it uniquely fun though once you get into it? I too got slaughtered until I got into the groove. Every game has its own style and pacing, you just need to hang with it.

BeaArthur3022d ago

Oh yeah, now I love it. I was just using that as an example. Level 23 scout.

ChronoJoe3022d ago

I gotta say I fit right into war for cybertron.

KDR is up @ 4:1 on the PS3 version. I'm not as good with a warrior or leader though. They're good but they don't have the flexibility of Scout/Scientist, and not as good for solo play.

Warhawk is a game I just can't grasp. It has auto-aim on everything and idk what I'm really supposed to do. I fire rockets, they don't die. They fire rockets, I do...

I got the hang of dodging rockets after a while but still what good is that when they dodge my rockets 100% of the time, I still can't kill anyone. (that's a lie, I can. Just not as much as they kill me).

KDR on MW2 3.5... KDR on transformers 3.8...KDR on Warhawk, 0.7? HOW CAN IT BE SO DIFFERENT/HARD. Arggggggggggggggggggggg.

Battlefield games throw me off a bit too. My KDR on those is like 2.0-3.0. But I find myself having to try a lot harder. On transformers/cod, I just run around, on Battlefield I feel a little campy with some of my tactics e_e

raztad3022d ago

The best way is to match the rounds. Noobs with noobs, veterans with veterans. KZ2 does a nice job. It would be extremely frustrating to go and play against Colonels and generals in KZ2. You dont stand a fuking chance.

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