"In war, there is no substitute for victory." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Online games are unique in the realm of gaming because unlike other games,
there is no set of written rules for what you can and cannot do. Players are
bound only by what is possible and by their own code of conduct. The server
host may impose rules of his own, but by and large, the rules are agreed upon
by those who are playing the game.
Much like actual warfare, this is all fine and dandy - as long as everyone
agrees to the same set of rules. However, what do you do when one person refuses
to play according to those rules? Either you have to beat him at his own game,
or you have to live with the fact that you can't do anything about it (unless
of course, you can do something about it, in which case you do).
This article is designed to provide some guidelines as to specific issues in
NOLF of which there is some debate. Be aware that there is debate about every
topic that is listed here, and you will find people who stand on both sides
of the fence.
Issue 1: The bunny hop
Bunny hopping is a tactic that is frequently attacked by newer players. Despite
its criticism, all of the best players in the game bunny hop. I have never
seen a great player who didn't (except for a few snipers *cough*Kyz*cough*).
Pioneered by players like Snoop and Fuzzy, the bunny hop makes you much more
difficult to hit.
Opponents of the bunny hop tend to use arguments like "It's really lame" or "That
is so gay..." Unfortunately, these arguments (in my opinion) hold no real weight.
It's like asking someone to stand still so that you can shoot them easier,
or asking for someone to wait until you pick up the guns and armor before they
start attacking you. If you would like to run in a straight line and get killed
every time, that is your choice. While no one lives forever, I attempt to stay
alive as long as possible, and therefore the bunny hop, so far as I'm concerned,
gets two thumbs up.
Issue #2: Mountain Climbing
In various levels, it is possible to climb on mountains on the outskirts of
the map. Many people feel that since this is something that is possible in
the game and available to everyone, it should be acceptable.
While respecting that viewpoint, I must respectfully disagree for two reasons.
1) Monolith attempted to stop mountain climbing through various means in the
updates. 2) It places the player outside of the "normal bounds" of the map
and play. In addition, hill climbing really does not benefit anyone. You are
in fact easier to kill on the hill than off of it once someone finds you. To
reverse the argument from issue 1, none of the best players mountain climb,
not only because it isn't worth their effort, but they have decided that mountain
climbing is not kosher.
Issue #3: Spawn Killing
This is an issue that particularly crops up in the two most played AM maps,
Blizzard and Hydro. In each of these maps, scorers are presented with many
targets who are spawning in the base. Often, newer players are unhappy about
being spawn killed, and I will certainly agree that being spawn killed is not
fun. However, I will also submit that it is unavoidable.
First, the arguments against spawn killing are very similar to the arguments
against bunny hopping: it's lame and it's gay. Once again, these arguments
hold very little weight. A more solid argument in the case of spawn killing
is that it "Isn't nice" and frustrates newer players. I do agree that spawn
killing is sometimes not in the best interests of keeping players in a game,
but it is important to view the other side of the argument as well.
The arguments in favor of spawn killing are slightly more constructive. First,
if you are in the enemy's base, it is foolish to "be polite" and let the enemy
pick up guns, ammo and armor so that he can have a better chance to kill you.
Spawn killing is particularly hated on hydro where two attackers on the towers
can cover all but 2 or 3 of the spawn points. However, it is important to note
that many of the people who spawn kill from towers don't take pictures - they
spawn kill for points. Asking an experienced player to stop spawn killing is
like asking him not to take pictures.
As such, my response would be that spawn killing is simply a way of life. Good
players realize that it is impossible to stop, and difficult to get out of.
However, they also know that spawn killing runs both ways - both teams have
that opportunity, and it is just as difficult for either side to get out. It
is not uncommon for one team to be down because of a spawn killing run, only
to see the other team go on a run of its own.
There is one caveat to this: when playing against newer players, there is really
no need to incessantly spawn kill. It is much better to play and practice skills
than to continue a rampant killing spree which will only result in newer players
leaving the server and the community.
When it comes to spawn killing, all sides need to use common sense. On one
hand, it is extremely discouraging for the team that is getting murdered. On
the other, it is silly to ask players to not kill you until you get weapons
and armor. Both sides need to respect the other.
Issue #4: Chatkilling
Vlad has an excellent article on this. Go read
it. My personal thoughts: NOLF is not IRC. If you're chatting and you get
killed, you have no excuse. After all, you are the one who allowed yourself
to become vulnerable. However, I also don't think you should go out of your
way to chatkill someone either. Chatkills run both ways.
Issue #5: Camping
Defined in broad terms, camping basically means players who sit in one place
and wait for other players to come to them. It usually involves guarding certain
points that are often visited and hoping to kill people who pass by.
There are two different situations to this. The first occurs in DM. While I
am not a big Deathmatch player, I think that most of the ones I have talked
to would say that camping is frowned upon in deathmatch, especially in a 1
on 1 match - for obvious reasons.
In AM, the story is slightly different. Harm vs Unity requires something which
is not present in deathmatch: teamwork. In AM games, team assignments (especially
defensive assignments) often include guarding a specific point or weapon so
that it doesn't fall into the hands of the enemy. For instance, many levels
have a limited number of access points into either base. A smart defender will
defend those points. In such cases, "camping" is the only intelligent thing
Issue #6: Weapon use
"NO MINES!!!" "Ok, can you please stop using that weapon..." "I think we've had
enough of the briefcase..."
How many times have I heard these quotes. The sad truth is, however, that everyone
on the level has the same access to all the weapons. No one has any right to
complain about people's use of weapons except for the server host.
There is one exception to this: mining. The server is forced to keep up with
each mine that is thrown. As more and more are thrown, the server has more
and more points to keep up with. This increases the amount of data it must
process and send, and therefore the amount of lag on the server. If someone
is complaining about mines because they don't like them, I generally don't
listen. If they're complaining because of lag, that is a different story. Mines
are effective and important. Everyone has the opportunity to use them. If you
choose not to use them, that is your choice, but remember that it is not binding
on the others who are playing with you.
It is important to remember that these are general guidelines. Like I said
before, depending on the server and people in the game, these guidelines may
vary widely. The list posted above is mainly from an experienced players perspective.
It isn't hard and fast, but is a good indication of how many "good" players
play the game.