First off, I'm 45. Old enough to remember the first Space Invaders cabinets hitting the arcades. Old enough to receive an Atari 2600 as a gift. Video games. On my TV! Man, that was truly amazing. I must have spent thousands of pounds over the years, pumping coins into the slots for my fix. It didn't, however, make me a good player. I didn't mind. You see the difference was, I knew I wasn't a good player and I was ok with that. I'm still not but we'll get to that later. So console after console came and went. SNES, PC Engine, Gameboy, then the big change. The Sega Megadrive. Arcade style graphics in the comfort of my own home. Games I started to get a little good at. Most of all. Games I played, again and again, because of the fun of it (remember those times, guys? When we played for fun?). Then a big dull box came on the market. By Microsoft, of all people. What did they know about video games, I thought? Stupidly, as usual. And that was my first taste of Call Of Duty. This marvellous, life sapping game. Had to get further. Had to get better weapons. Had to finish the game. For the first time ever, I wanted to complete a game. I'd heard of Live but didn't want to entertain it. I didn't see the appeal, to be honest. I wasn't a huge Halo fan, though I played it to its completion. Just not enough to fall in love with it. Like I did with Modern Warfare. That was the turning point. A massive game, personally. With a cinematic storyline. And I started to read more and more about multiplayer. So, one weekend, I tried it. And I haven't looked back since. Being part of a team that mattered. To win objectives. To play together. That was truly awe inspiring. When that game came out, it was truly revolutionary. Then a return to WWII. World At War was a game I loved because it was more or less a level playing field for all. Very few QSers. Players played together for objectives. The Killstreaks were hard to attain. It was a fun game. Why did so many hate it? Probably because they didn't have an advantage over others with lazy play ie QSers and Scorestreak addicts who think they are good players because they get a few kills, usually by camping or QS, then sit back and call in the big boys without any attempt to gain or win objectives. "Look at my K/D. I'm amazing." They'll say. They aren't. At all. It's lazy and is tantamount to legal cheating. But, it goes on. Anyhow, I digress. Zombies was, I think, the first time it really split the community. People tended to only play zombies. Others with just the standard multiplayer. Then the beginning of the end. MW2 was released and the cheaters took over. Noob tubers, which I guess we all were at the start. Campers, of which there were thousands every night. And quickscopers appeared. Yep, the "Hey, I'm not good enough to get Killstreaks through normal play. But, whaddya know? I can use a sniper rifle. At close range? Kill with one shot without any kind of skill at all? I'm having some of that!" So they proliferated throughout the game. And the Killstreaks addicts began too. So, we work our way through, with the games getting steadily worse for people who want to "Play The Game". Not think they're Amazing Players by the amount of Killstreak kills they can get. Or how many they can get by QS. But who do truly want to win the objective. Do want to Capture The Flag, blow up the opposition. Not run around with Ghost on killing everyone who wants to "Play The Game" then dashboard when people are wise to them.
And so to today. I'd become so jaded with MW3, I didn't play it for months. Nor any of the others. Sick of the cheating. Sick of the lack of support for the community that built these games to what they are. Want to know why HC and barebones are no longer supported as well as core? Because they take skill. And practice. I love to watch a good player in my kill cam who has killed me through skill, not some mindless Scorestreak or who is running around with a vastly over powered pistol (QS). But someone who watches the style of the opposing players. Figures out their weaknesses and pounces. Sadly, there are very few left. The drones have taken over. I saw a post this morning which prompted me to write this. A QSer who moaned, when an alternative to close quarters QSing was offered, actually said "us snipers (ha ha ha ha) have already lost aim assist. What should we do. Use an SMG mowing people down?" Well, start to "Play The Game" would be a start. I don't blame them wholly for the demise of the series. That blame falls squarely on developers who allowed this to happen and are quite happy to tend the sheep forever now. The problem is, the core community of these games who try to play with skill, cunning, tactics (HC & real objective players) are leaving in droves. Then Blops 2 is released and is truly the worst game of the series. All the foibles of the bad player are pandered to and the skilful community is so badly let down (HC, lag, the over proliferation of Scorestreaks, over powered weapons) that's it's no wonder this forum is filled with players complaining every day. But, developers won't listen. We'll still buy in the millions. We'll get the maps, the season passes etc. They have it made.
I have, however, found a light at the end of the tunnel, for me at least. Barebones required real skill but was amazingly enjoyable. I am not a good player, by any stretch of the imagination. My K/D is 0.58. My SPM is 217. But I play to win the objective. Primarily domination. Today the light is Combat Training. And the idiots will start to laugh. And the bad players will scoff. But and this is a huge but, there is a real sense of community in there. A very small number of QSers who are removed pretty quickly. Scorestreaks are used for a tactical advantage, not for numbers. And the bots play with some amount of skilful AI. So anyone disheartened by this game, give it a go. After all, what can you lose apart from being shot from four feet away by someone who calls themself a sniper. Actually, here's a thing. Maybe developers could think about installing squad based games into the series. Squads who are only allowed one sniper, who has to support the team. Engineers to blow up the bomb. Infantry to support, tactically. Oh, I forget. The sheep wouldn't like that. We are all zombies, though some with more life than others.