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hampton2003 Blog

online "special" co-op modes are the latest greatest trend in FPS

We've all talked about it for years, wishing we could team up with other human players againist wave after wave of AI enemies. Well over the past few yearsour wishes have been answered. Im sure its been around longer than that but its finally mainstream because these co-op modes are in popular high rated games.Below is a list of the most recent popular games which incorporated such modes, some of which ive played, some i havent.

1) COD:WAW with its NAZI ZOMBIE mode, which granted at first was just a slapped on bonus feature that quickly (due to popular demand) got expanded upon over 3 map packs;andwith eachnew NZ mapadding something new and fun and "addictive". Its such a blast to play that people want a full fleged game dedicated to NZ, and it has even put up some decent competition againist L4D; a full fleged game already.

pros: has matchmaking sys as well as friend invites, game never ends till you lose, plenty of weapons and tools to kill your zombies, gets harder the longer you play, can be played solo.

cons: only 4 maps so far, 3 of which must be bought for 800 points each($10 US), for those who just want the NZ maps and not the muli player maps, tough luck, theres no option yet to seperate NZ from the map packs and price them at 200 points each.

2)While I myself have yet to play Gears of war 2 or the Horde Mode, its the same idea. You and a groups of 3 others fight waves of increasingly tougher foes. Since i havent played it i wont give a pro/con but its relevance in this blog is still valid.People like it, it has matchmaking, leaderboards etc.

3)halo3:ODST and its firefight mode, brand spanking new game that joins the club. Firefight is addictive and everything you want from a halo game: constant action and omg holy **** moments. with all the chaos around you its easy to love this mode. However there are some cons which i believe cripple this mode and hopefully its patched soon(listed below).The mode puts you and 3 otherplayers(noticing the trend here?) againist a ton of enemies divided up into waves, rounds, and sets. 5 waves per round, 3 rounds per set, 3+ sets. With each round a skull is turned on further increasing the difficulty(and yes these skulls stack).

pros: in your face action that never stops(remembers 3 brutes with hammers chasing me), alot of maps to choose from, can inivte your friends, can be played solo.

cons: No matchmaking!! which means if your firends are not online your SOL....

3)COD: MW2 (coming soon) and its co-op mode dubbed special ops. This game will break the trend by only letting you player with up to 2 players max(and its designed to let you win, as opposed to just fight till you die), but the scenarios are designed for this so im sure its not a big deal. Expect plenty of Oh Crap! moments in crazy situations that didnt make the final cut for the campaign. # of maps is unkown but 3+confirmed. There wont be any custom kits here, your stuck with the gear they give you. Earn stars by completing each map on a certain difficulty, veteran get you 3 stars, hardened 2, normal 1. You start with 3-4 maps and you'll need to earn 14 stars to unlock additional scenarios to play (and thats just the first set of maps, probably more sets to unlock). Hopefully it will have a matchmaking sys because this look very promising.

Key componentsfor a successfulonline co-op mode:

1)addictive, challenging, replayable gameplay

2)Matchmaking sys so your never alone, friend invites and the ability to play solo

3)3-4 maps minimum, the more the better

4)leaderboards to show off your score/stats

5)(optional) replay sys to watch your game from different angles, etc

6)I dont want just 3 ways to kill my enemies, give me 20 ways to slaughter them, I want mas weapons baby!

I can see this becoming a staple in FPS games as well as other genres, and about time too.

my sigs(personal notes to myself), no comments/reading please

1. "Two men walk into a bar. The first man orders a scotch and soda. The second man remembers something he'd forgotten, and it doubles him over with pain. He falls to the floor shaking and then through the floor and into the Earth. He looks back up at the first man, but he doesn't call out to him. They're not that close." Wesely from Angel

2. "come home with this shield or upon it." -a spartan mother equips her son

3. "spartans do not ask how many, but where they are." -?

4. Spartans MIA: Sam, spartan 001- last seen onboard on covenant ship before it blew. Holly, spartanG003- defending spartan kelly from a hunter on planet onyx. Will, spartan 043-fighting 2 hunters in hand to hand combat. Kurt, spartan 051/lieutenant commander kurtAmbrose-destroyed a covenant army on onyx with 2 nukes. Spartans dont die.

5. "you want peace, prepare for war."

6. true story: german soldierLt. Eberhard von Loebbecke stood ona secured bridge on the don river when a russian T-34 appear on the road ahead of him.the Lt. who had lost hisarm by a frence machingunner in france stood upright before the T-34. The russian tank fires a round at him, and and itticked his empty sleeve and explodeds a few yards behind him. he's knocked to the ground but imeadialty bounces back up on his feet to direct return fire. In their open turret, the Soviet crew stared in amazment at the man who had apparently lost his arm to the shell and yet bounced up off the ground without any discomfort. While they hesitated, a German AT gun put a found into the T-34, and it blew in front of Loebbeckes eyes. -page 193-194 in the book enemy at the gates the battle for stalingrad.

7. An old man wandering around the Olympic Games looking for a seat was jeered at by the crowd until he reached the seats of the Spartans, whereupon every Spartan younger than him, and some that were older, stood up and offered him their seat. The crowd applauded and the old man turned to them with a sigh, saying "All Greeks know what is right, but only the Spartans do it."

8. "Because we fight close to the enemy." King Agesilaos when asked why their swords were so short.

9. "Add a step forward to it." A Spartan mother to her son when he complained his sword was too short.

10. "Why is it you Spartan women are the only ones who rule over your men?" An Athenian Woman. "Because we are the only women too who give birth to real men." a Spartan woman.

My dream last night of a great game that should exist!!!!!!!!!!!

here what the game would play on:

Platform:  PC

Genre:  Real time strategy/turnbased strategy

Sort of like rome total war (which i started playing again yesterday), because its about world war 2 and you make things on the global map, and then move your pieces around until two armies reach and then the real timebattles happen.  Yesterday i was watching the military and history channel and saw a docum.  on ww2 about planes, tanks, troops, and artillery supporting one another.  And they should in a game.  In my dream all i remember was i was around greece and my tanks/troop/artillery armie (US/allies) board piece was at some forest, and the germans on the other side, when the battle began i first look and the size on the battle field.............. omg it was huge!!  twice as big as any map in rome total war and for good reason....artillery. Once set up they can fire anywhere on the map, but have to have enemy units spoted(fog of war), and the tanks are controlled in groups of five and soldiers groups of ten(so its like rome total war but without line formations and hundreds of men clumped together).  if you had any planes in that army you could use them once per two minutes to either scout, bomb, or shoot the enemy(depending on what planes in had in the army for this battle).  Now artillery would seem to be very powerful right.... wrong.  you need ammo, and they enter the field of battle with maybe 25 to 50 rounds to each gun, and remember back in those days artillery was acurate but not that acurate, and you will have to cross you fingers and hope for a direct hit.  another thing about the maps being so big is because tanks need realistc battle fields in order for there weapon range to be relistic, for example a german tiger tank can fire 1000 km away in real life, so why not put that into a game.  And tanks can somtimes be killed with just one hit depending on where they were hit, the enemys projectile caliber etc.... and infantry are far from worthless they are needed to take cities and support their tanks in case the tanks themselves are over run by infantry.

And this hole ammo thing seems stupid right?  well thats because you need ammo/supply trucks arriving on you side of the battle field to re-supply(fuel, etc)/re-arm/heal your units.  these units have a limited effect them selves, these truck can only re-arm so much, heal so much, etc. before they run out and leave. but they come back every three minutes.  the bad news is supply trucks can only arrive on the battlefield from a neighbor friendly territory, and if your surrounded by the enemy, no help is coming for the long fight.  But infantry can capture enemy supply trucks if left undefended, to aid there own side.

Bombers and fighters in the global map act as special agent like in rome tw, you can send them to bomb and target like an enemy army/city and its key production facilities.  but you can only do this once per turn(per unit of bombers/fighters, once they did there job they have to wait till next turn to do it again), and theres no gauranty how much damage you'll inflict, enemy casualties, etc.  But if the enemy has air units where your attacking or aa guns then thats also computed/autoresolved to determine how succesful you were and how many of your and you enemys planes survived. 

This game will only focus on the war in europe not the pacific theatre, you can't invade america, because the map would be two big and complicated with naval/air battles, which is hard to do in an turn based rts.  the factions will be germany, french, english, italy, russia, with some unplayable ones like the polish, etc.  but to eliminate america all you have to do is crush the few amer. cities in europe and britian.  the allies starting cities in the uk and france will be divided up betwee the home country and america so they can produce stuff, without the trouble of bringing it from the US continent(that is too slow, realistic!! but slow).  The campiagn will be divided into two times the time before d day where france and the uk are alone againist germany and italy and the time after where the US and russia finally are involved ( it doesnt mean if you choose the early age the US wont eventually come to help, the russians are still present just not at war, yet.... starts neutral, but US and russia are unplayable unless you choose the later time).

I know this may sound familar to other games, and it is (axis and allies, rome tw, etc.)but i think this works, it would be one of the top games of the year, and all the details i thought of are realistic in terms of what is possible right now for computer games.  there are alot of ok ww2 rts games out there but there isn't a solid perfered ww2 game that every wants to recomend(like rome tw is for rts games that focus on swords and archers, every knows about rome and if a friend asked you which game should he buy if he was looking for medieval type warfare with huge armies.... you would instantly say rome total war)  this game could be the game every knows about when considering which ww2 rts game someone should buy.

coments anyone? hampton2003

the war game of the future.....

I've had this in my head for a long time:

First person shooter war game, but you pick your side(nations to play as), sort of like battlefield 2, only spicyer.  The games creators will host all servers as well as make up the generals/leaders of the fighting nations( normal players will later rise to these ranks by certain skill in a battle and are promoted, allowing the game creators to resign, etc).  Then each day the leaders will email all players of the battle plans for the day i.e. where we are attacking etc.  And in the game you will see where the enemy is on the global strategic map , territories, etc.  And each day both sides will host a few battle over 10 to 30 territories, some battles taking place at the same time to meet the huge number of online players.  by the time this game can be achieved online shooters should be able to have up to 300 players in a single match!  And everyone has a rank and is assigned to squads and you fight with these squads or not at all.  so you get to know your fellow soldiers quickly, of course you dont need to be shacked up with complete strangers, you can create you own squad and invite members/friends.  Maximum # of squads a player can be apart of (incase all you friends in one squad is offline one day) is five, which also allows you to decide which battle you will participate in each day, do you choose to fight in sqd 1 now and in a hour fight with sqd 5?  all modern weapons and vehicles and get this the content will be updateable such as when you reach a new rank and you want a specific gun, you get to choose from a list online from a gun encyclopedia and download the gun you want(becuase lets face it you couldn't store all the guns on your computers memory so you only download what you want to use).  The only thing you computer stores is the all the guns visuals and statistics.

There will be infantry sqds, tank sqds, air sqds, and these sqds take up slots in you 5 sqd slots, so you can have all five be infantry, or tank/ vehicle or air, but you decision determines your playing for that squad, for example the infantry sqd can only be infantry, but can enter humvees, etc but not tanks or anything heavy, and if your playing a tank sqd then your stuck in your tank, you can bail out but you weapons avaible to tank soldiers will be small machine guns so dont think you can be in a tank at one pt and then bail out and be a infantry guy becuase your equipment will not stand up for long againist other "infantry sqd" soldiers.  And depending on which sqds people decide to play as in a match determines what vehicle classes participate, so if the US side is fighting in a teritory and the sqds playing are all infantry with one air then you gonna see alot of humvees and troops and maybe 3 to 10 planes in the air, while if the enemy has a well balanced selection they will have an advantage(good mix a troops, tanks, and air power.

And the game is realistic meaning if 300 players are playing each player gets only 3 respawns total if killed or none!  And damage is real if you get shot in the right spot (no armor) your dead, so its a game where quick accurate shooters win(real life.. boys). 

And so the nations fight it out unitl they have all the territories, and then start over....

So yeah............. its not fully thought out yet but the basic ideas are covered. its a little mix of strategy and fps meets massive online ongoing tournaments 

graphic coolness limiting gameplay?

Star wars empire at war is a great game but unfortunatly there are some problems worth noting.  First the land battles dont have the same.................. feeling.............  you know what i mean. it doesn't feel very spectacular only because theirs a popular cap.  In most real time strategy games ive played and believe me ive played alot, their was always a big pop cap.  But this time around the focus is on stratgey of limited number of forces on the ground, the only reason they did this is because the graphics are to good for their own good.  what i mean is if a game is turning out to be spectacular graphically but then the  limitations arise such as how many units onscreen, then maybe developers should take a step back and really think: should this be the best looking game or should it look good enough but also deliver on gameplay?  The space battles are the best part in the game but the population cap here is still a problem.   The game looks great, no problems here but i would have perfered a downgrade in the graphics department if it meant i could have at least 20 to 30 ships at once in a space battle.  Yah i know, im complaining but its midnight and i'm bored, pluss this is my first blog and i've been a member for 3 years.  My point is i'm a believer that gamplay decides if a game is good, graphics takes a back seat to gameplay every time (in my opinion), yes a game should look decent but really games should be first developed based on cool gameplay with decent graphics and if theres time near end of production polish the graphics only if your not sacrificing the epic scale of a game.  My thought. hampton2003007