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Veteran Member - Level 11
I've been meaning to post this blog for a while now and
truth be told I actually had it nearly written when I made a grievous error and
inadvertently deleted it. Whenever I do something dumb like that I normally
shelve it for a bit because rewriting it the following day is just a bitter
pill to swallow. But it's been creeping back into my mind begging to be posted
so it's finally time to try it again (actually I watched this new TV show
called Stars Earn Stripes a day or two ago and it got me pumped up on
It wasn't too long ago I posted a blog about how firearms
are represented in video games, and while I was working on that blog I had an
idea for another. And then, as if a sign or confirmation, someone made a
comment that really made me think this was decent enough to pursue.
The original blog was titled, The
Evolution Of The Video Game Gun and the specific comment was from tj2424.
"I love the job bf 3
does with its guns. Myself for some reason in games I always like using the
pistol not sure why but I love it. Nice blog as always saint." -tj2424
So, you've probably figured out from the title and that
comment that this blog is going to talk about secondary weapons, which is true,
but more than just that. What I'm going to talk about is when gamers stray from
using their primary weapons for other...alternatives, and whether this is
something the developers planned for or are surprised by.
First up in the discussion is when secondary weapons are
used as primary weapons.
Oh sure, there are a number of reasons how and why this
happens. We'd like to blame the developers for overpowering these weapons...and
sometimes that's true. But not always. Sometimes, gamers and their craftiness
find an advantage or sometimes practice practice practice pays off and a gamer
masters a weapons. A powerful weapon. A weapon that rivals some of the primary
When you meet these people on the battlefield - you with
your high tech state of the art weapon that you've worked diligently to equip
with every imaginable feature and custom paint job you managed to unlock only
after meeting every stringent achievement requirement, and them with their
stock plane Jane secondary weapon with iron sights and regular ammo - and they
dominate you, well that can be a little frustrating to say the least.
You cry foul and whether you accuse them or not (or believe
it or not) the thought crosses your mind that they're cheating. Perhaps a time
or two they are, but I've certainly faced a few friends who are unbelievably
good with their secondary weapons (alas, I am not...at least in video game land).
I could probably come up with a longer list, but here are a
few that just come to mind of the top of my head and without seriously thinking
I used to be one of "those" players...obsessed with
Counter-Strike and played it all of the time. I loved the game and the
competitive nature it inspired, even though admittedly I was never great at it.
I recall a time early in my history of playing the game when I accumulated a
ton of money and noticed my teammate never bought a rifle - he was always
equipped with the Desert Eagle (Deagle). I offered to buy him a weapon of his
choice and he chuckled and responded with a "no thanks" or something along
those lines. He then went on to nearly single handedly kill everyone on the
other team and finished the top of the boards, round after round. He was
But what I discovered after playing the game more and more -
he wasn't the only one who used this strategy and he wasn't the only one that
was amazing. I used to get furious when I would spend nearly every cent I
earned on purchasing body armor and either the M4A1 carbine or the SG-552 Commando
and would lose it in seconds at the hand of the enemy outfitted the Desert
Eagle (that's $3500 compared to $650).
I thought I'd give the Deagle a try and even practiced with
it against bots. I was never able to achieve proficiency good enough to use it
in combat so went back to saving my money, buying the rifles when I could
afford it and hiding from the guys armed with the Desert Eagle.
Another game featuring a particularly powerful pistol, many
argue that the pistol in the original Halo was overpowered. It featured a scope
making it capable of being used as a ranged weapon, a fairly decent rate of
fire for closer range and not too bad as a melee weapon. Now here is a gun I
did master and was pretty decent with.
The pistol in Halo was just about as frustrating as the
Desert Eagle in Counter-Strike. If someone had a bead on you and you didn't see
where the rounds were coming from, you would be dead before you figured it out.
The gun was dropped from follow on games and then came back, but it was never
and I do mean never as awesome as it was in the original Halo. It was standard
issue and all purpose. I'd use it in single player and multiplayer modes and
against any opponent, human or otherwise.
I don't think when the developers were creating Halo they
realized the significance and the attraction gamers would have with the pistol.
But they did/do.
Now, I'm running out of room...but I want to add it isn't
always limited to secondary weapons. I know, I know...that's what the title
says...but it can also be equipment.
Long before we had C4 and Semtex we had remote mines in
GoldenEye 007. There were probably games before this that had a similar weapon,
but this was the game that started it all for me. I would try and play whole
rounds with using only remote mines and no other weapons. Set a trap, lure your
opponent in and take them out with an explosive surprise. After you take out
the same opponent four, five, six times with nothing but remote mines after
running around and hiding, you have to wonder if the developers planned on
gamers abusing the power of remote mines and were aware of the level of
frustration they could cause.
Not all equipment items are designed to kill. Some are
designed to incapacitate and subdue which can be more annoying than just dying.
Yes, I'm talking about the dreaded flashbang. Sure, lots of games feature them
now, but Rainbow Six was one of the most frustrating. You didn't expect people
to use them. Why would they when they could equip a fragmentation grenade
instead? But I've ran into my share of gamers who use them, and use them rather
effectively. There's nothing as annoying as a well-executed plan that goes
south in the first seconds because the enemy tossed a flashbang in the room
just as you charge it. What's worse is when your vision is about to return to
normal, or at least enough for you to get a shot off and you're blasted with
another one. You're left crawling around for what feels like minutes before
finally getting eliminated. Yeah, grenade...give me the grenade any day.
Okay, so I covered secondary weapons...and then equipment. And
now...tactics. Yes, tactics.
Modern Warfare changed the complexion of the First Person
Shooter. It was innovative and creative...brilliantly designed and implemented.
It honed the core elements present in all shooters but added enough extra
features resulting in a spectacular game. The developers had to be pleased with
their efforts and some of the extras they put in the game. When I first
experienced the martyrdom and last stand perks, I couldn't help but think they
were genius. Very creative and original. Little did I know these perks would
evolve into "weapons"? Regardless of your skill level or weapon you were
outfitted with, you could never seem to go a round without being taken out by
players using these perks. Admittedly, last stand wasn't as bad as martyrdom,
but martyrdom really kind of morphed into notorious tactic and somewhat of a
homicidal bomber - just run into a room knowing you were going to get shot...but
once you did, you would drop that final grenade and if you were lucky you would
take out an enemy...but if you were real lucky...the room might have two or three
guys stacked up in the room and you would take them all out. Yeah, I can't
believe the developers predicted this perk would be abused to the point it was.
It was so bad, many servers enacted a "no martyrdom perk" rule or the admins
would kick you if you did use it.
Zerg Rush. The ole Zerg Rush has a spot on Wikipedia and
even the Urban Dictionary.
A common strategy
where a player mass builds a many weak units as he can, then rushes the enemy
base. Usually works best early in the game. Taken from Starcraft, where often
zerglings (really cheap unit that can be built in large droves quickly) would
be sent at the start of the game to kill everyone in the first couple moments.
The premise behind the Zerg Rush is simple. While your
opponent or opponents are off building their bases and developing more powerful
units, the gamer who chooses to do a Zerg rush mass produces the cheapest and
weakest unit with the idea of swarming a smaller force and overwhelming them with
It's that whole "strength in numbers" concept.
Yes, you will suffer heavy losses, but the Zerg rush can be
an effective tactic if your opponent is not expecting you to rush soon after
the battle starts. It became such a wide spread tactic, its iconic status lives
on and has become engrained in video game lore. Again, I definitely don't think
the developers expected this practice to become a phenomenon.
Weapons...equipment...primary...secondary...perks...tactics - they are
a means to an end. They are merely a tool or an implement to be used to achieve
a goal, and that goal is usually the elimination of an opponent. The real
weapon in any game is the mind of a gamer. It's what puts motion to the
weapons, the equipment, the perks and the tactics; it's what guides how we play
and how well we play; it's what tells us to throw caution to the wind and try
anything and everything to find an advantage, and it's what motivates us to use
that advantage to survive and win.
When you're facing an opponent and they have a more powerful
weapon...or maybe they're using a cheap trick...or maybe they're storming the
Don't give up.
Don't give in to it.
Get into it.
"How long should you
try? Until." -Jim Rohn
P.S. How many of you will go to Google and search on Zerg
Rush now? Hah, check it out.