Thursday, March 27, 2008

How much is a good FPS trainer, anyway?

So I've been trying to get back into playing Halo. I really, really wish I knew how to get better in that game, or in FPSes in general. "Stick together", my teammates say. Yet, it doesn't seem to matter if I'm standing next to a teammate or across the map from them; when I die in two shots, I'm no good to anyone, including myself. When I hit someone in the back, they turn around, give me a noogie, and I keel over dead, HOW DO I FIX THAT?

Here's the thing. I want to actually play the game. To me, playing the game is not spending most of my time watching a respawn timer. That is not fun. Neither is knowing that your team would've won, if it wasn't for your double-digit negative K:D ratio.

The new maps came out this week, and I did get a chance to play on them. Until they get into the main matchmaking playlists, not too many skilled players are voluntarily playing them — which means I've actually been able to play. Unfortunately, it also means I've been able to roll over these real "newbies" (I don't know that it's fair to call them n00bs, unless they really do suck). See, I may get wasted going up against people with real skill, but I do have some skills of my own. My real rank is probably around 20. Anyway, wasting another team isn't fun, either. It's like running around with god mode turned on — sure it's fun for a few laughs, but it gets old very quickly.

So tonight I was playing with some rather skilled players who are on their way to level 40, hoping maybe they could drag me along. Stupid, stupid me. My level in Team Slayer is already up to a laughable 32. I'm sure the other team had a good laugh when they saw my name appear in red over their reticule. "Ha ha, look at that, CyberKnight just hit me in the face with a hammer. *bang* He's dead." "Ha ha, CyberKnight is shooting me in the face with his little water pistol. Watch me take him out with one shot with my battle rifle." "Ha ha, CyberKnight just dropped this grenade under my feet, and he thinks it'll do some damage to me. Little does he know he can't hope to penetrate my Mark VII armor."

In a way, I'm glad I don't have hours to spend trying to improve, because I can't seem to improve at all, and this way I still have an excuse. A flimsy one, to be sure, considering other working parents don't seem to have the same troubles I do. But I guess it'll have to do. I don't see me spending money on a personal trainer because (1) it's just a game, there are more important things to spend the nonexistent money on, and (2) I have my doubts as to how helpful it'll be, since what help my friends have offered seems to be "about as useless as JPEGs to Helen Keller".

It seems, when it comes to playing FPSes online, I'm doomed to mediocrity — which I suppose wouldn't be so bad, if Microsoft's precious "TruSkill" algorithm would do as promised and actually match me up with people at my skill level, instead of constantly matching me with people so much higher (thus frustrating me to no end) or lower (thus boring me) than I am. Believe me, I don't want to be at this skill level, either, but it doesn't seem I have a choice.

No comments: