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Aim Assist, fracturing of the fanbase and the casualization of gamers

Treize

I’m back, been ignoring Black Ops 2 and having fun testing out the terrible netcode that was used in Modern Warfare 3 (While avoiding the plethora of hackers), though that’s a moot point since the same shitty netcode is used for BO2. (With the lag comp putting me at least a half second behind everyone else and the chief reason I’ll never play a WiiU CoD game again until it’s addressed with aim assist.)

 

From the looks of it, not much has changed except Treyarch is subscribing to the Valve formula for balancing overpowered mechanics and that’s giving everyone the overpowered mechanic. (Not that aim assists helps with the wiimote) So I’m going to make the end all post on why aim assist completely kills one of the only unique selling points for the WiiU Call of Duty and as a result Treyarch is intentionally sabotaging the market and creating a self fulfilling prophecy that the WiiU can’t push software. (Since Wii players won't care for the game since the Wiimote's ability has been neutered and the new base would rather play the game on the 360/PS3.)

 

Anyways, let's get down to it. (I've been slowly writing this over the past few months and didn't care enough to proof read it throughly, do excuse rambling parts or misspellings.)

 

 

What is aim assist?

 

Aim Assist, or Auto Aim, the process where the game pulls your crosshairs onto an enemy target if it is deemed close enough. It can apply to both being in Aim Down Sight mode and your aim is pulled onto it, or snapping on, where you go into aim down sight mode and you automatically lock onto your target (This is much more prevalent in the Single Player campaign on easy modes.)

 

An example of aim assist and the various degrees of its functionality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-MrSFgaMpg

 

 

Why do we need aim assist?

 

At the heart of the matter, it’s to speed up the game and make it faster paced. Since precise aiming is done for the player, all they have to do is get their crosshairs in proximity of the enemy, lock on and fire, and move onto the next thing. Another reason is due to the design of the game, being on a flat plain most of the time, rather than multiple levels. One has to just swivel around to be able to shoot at someone, also it's he reason why dropshooters are bain of most players, because most operate only on an X axis and not a Y one. So while it seems like a good idea to have it, the problem is Treyarch cranked up the aim assist to absurd levels for Black Ops 2. Here’s also examples of it being so strong that it pulls the player towards the enemy

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT2fuXnmNbQ

 

So why is aim assist a problem for the WiiU?

 

The big issue that affects the WiiU version is the fact that there are two types of controllers that can be used. The Gamepad, which is a traditional controller, and the wiimote. By giving the traditional controller a highly buffed aim assist; the wiimote is put at a disadvantage, because while it has more precision, the game does more work for the traditional controller users to get kills. While the Wiimote has aim assist itself, it is nowhere near as useful as the traditional controller version since a slight movement can break the aim assist lock. To make matters worse for the Wiimote, when the game was initially released, the IR function was completely bugged which made for inaccurate aiming and the lack of ability to fine tune sensitivity. In affect, Treyarch was and is throwing one of the most unique features of the WiiU version under the bus.

 

Who’s to blame and why?

 

So the question is, why would Treyarch intentionally nerf the Wiimote and give traditional controllers such extremely powerful aim assist? The answer to that is the fact that the Wiimote gives the user more precision aiming, not to the degree to a mouse, but enough to give them an edge if the user is competent. Case in point, Microsoft created a project to make a shooter that could have Xbox and PC players face off in a cross platform game only to scrap the project because PC users with the mouse and keyboard completely outplayed their Controller counterparts

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ms-killed-pc-xbox-cross-platform-play

http://gizmodo.com/5593116/were-pc-gamers-too-good-for-microsofts-cross+platform -gaming-project

 

Now, before you say this is heresy and rumor, here’s a video of someone using a keyboard and mouse in Black Ops for the Xbox 360. The precision and moves he is able to do is nearly impossible for a traditional controller and he ends up dominating the enemy team because of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxLPmrZbWjw

 

You can’t do some of those moves and get that precision with a traditional controller that you can do with the mouse. And while the Wiimote allows for better free aim it doesn’t have the precision of the mouse due to how you use your arm and wrist. (One requires you to hold the entire arm up, the other prone on a solid surface.) Regardless,

 

Treyarch knew that they were trying to court a new audience for the WiiU, who would be more likely not be using the Wiimote, but instead, the gamepad, which is still a traditional controller. This would put the new players at a disadvantage against veterans of the series who use the Wiimote and if new players were thoroughly thrashed enough, would no longer have fun with the game and would stop playing it thus, shrinking the player base and potential profit for DLC and future games.

 

Now the alternative is Treyarch was just inept and can’t properly play test or fine-tune their own games and thus release them as both buggy and incomplete with the intention to patch them after the fact because the developers in charge of the WiiU version should have detected several major/gamebreaking bugs that could have been dealt with during the testing/development phase. That would make more sense due to the huge amount of issues that simple playtesting would have detected

 

 

So why is this bad?

  1. Basically, the Call of Duty doctrine is to level the playing field where old and new players all have an equal footing, this is seen through the fact that most weapons are literally interchangeable and all are easy to get kills with as the game holds your hand to get them too boot with aim assist. The major problem with this is it has created a perception of how shooter games should be developed as is noted by Tripwire’s president John Gibson.

 

http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/03/13/call-of-duty-red-orchestra-2-interview/

 

By making games almost play for themselves rather than relying solely on the player a newer, less intuitive and downright inferior generation of gamers is being created. Just look at what the playtesters response to the new Ducktales game is.

 

http://gonintendo.com/?mode=viewstory&id=200929

 

It’s the over simplication and casualization of the video games which leads to less intelligent gamers.

 

  1. By sticking to the dogma of a ‘level playing field’ Treyarch has literally killed off the one major selling point that differentiates the WiiU version of the game from the 360 and PS3. By giving controllers an edge over Wiimote, they’ve basically made the game the same for all 3 platforms, this makes it highly unlikely for new people who have played the 360 or PS3 version to switch over to the WiiU version and actually makes it more likely for people who had the Wii versions to switch due to superior patching and support that the 360 and PS3 enjoys. And the more obious, they have a much larger player base. Why spend over $300 for an new game when you can get a 360/PS3 for dirt cheap now? Also the player base that used the Wiimote has been diminished significantly with a majority of players having switched over from the wiimote to the controller. Why is that? It’s not because they like controllers better, it’s because they give them better results due to aim assist, where all you have to is be the first person to have someone else in your line of sight to win a gun fight.

 

 

If there is an official reason for why the Wiimote sensitivity and aiming was so buggy when it was released. I’m more than willing to hear it because it sates my curiosity and puts to rest the hearsay which I know Treyarch doesn’t appreciate. Also with Black Ops 2 being readied to be tossed aside for Ghosts as per Activision’s planned obsolescence policy, I know this postwon't change anything, but I felt it was worth pointing out that Treyarch did just as much harm to the building a WiiU fanbase more than  a the lack of WiiUs being sold ever did.

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