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Edit: Getting burnt out with games, again. Let me rephrase that: I am burnt out with CHEATS in games!

August 25, 2011

Update (Sep 5th, 2011): This post was originally a rant about how games are finally getting boring to me, and I felt that multiplayer wasn’t very good in FPS games. Well, after playing some Black Ops, I figured out why.

I think  I know what’s going on with multiplayer FPS games. Aimbots, wallhacks, and other cheats are conspicuously omnipresent in online shooters, and it really ruins the experience for me. Out of curiosity I tried out cheats for classic Counter Strike (back around version 1.0, circa 2000), and I was shocked how many other players were using them as well. What sucked, tho, is that it made the game unenjoyable even if everyone was using cheats. It became an arms race to see who could download and install the best hacks, or make the best out of the existing hacks. The game is designed without cheats in mind, so even if everyone does use cheats, the intricate game balance is lost and you are left with a entirely different experience – likely far worse than the original, cheat-free experience.

I had false faith in the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) system. Apparently, it just doesn’t work. The decline in joy I was getting out of TF2 after its release likely correspond with the release of aimbots and whatnot – which probably took a few months to ramp up in usage. I never made the connection. I’m not sure /why/ I missed it, given how prevalent cheating was in Counter Strike. If nothing else, I really believed that VAC worked, and that hacking “wasn’t possible”. If it weren’t for the kill-cam playback in Call of Duty Black Ops, I wouldn’t have ever known. Yet, several times in a row on different servers, I had different players tracking me /through walls/ (and I had the Ninja and Ghost perk – making me effectively undetectable), and shooting me through walls. I’ve seen snipers instashot players without lining up the shot, at all ranges, and on moving targets… repeatedly. A good shot I can believe, an uncanny marksman, no. What was the dead give-away however was the “snapping” and the unnatural, jittering target following I observed in the kill-cam playbacks. If you’ve used an aimbot before, you know what I’m referring to.

It makes a LOT more sense to me now, why I enjoyed TFC much, much more than TF2. Aimbots simply didn’t help out a lot in TFC. Many weapons had slow-travel projectiles, rather than the insta-shot weapons of TF2. You had to lead your target, which an aimbot won’t help with.

Anyway, this all explains a lot, and why I don’t enjoy multiplayer shooter on PCs. I won’t be buying shooters for multiplayer on the PC anymore. I wouldn’t even bother with console multiplayer, but I have several friends that play multiplayer shooters on consoles, and hacking is not NEARLY as easy on a console as it is on a PC.

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