Game Night: A little pre-fourth of July camping.

Camping is always a highly controversial strategy in any First Person Shooter, even more so when people’s egos and patience are on the line. Typically while playing a game such as Modern Warfare 2 you will come up against campers, who can be just as annoying as the player who spends the whole match running around knifing people rather than engaging the enemy in a firefight.

In the interest of fair disclosure, I will happily admit that I have camped and more often than not my game strategy appears to be camping.  With that said, let me paint you a picture of tonight’s events my fearless readers.

While playing a session of Modern Warfare 2 in order to play the new resurgence map pack I just purchased, I happened into a particularly fruitful lobby. I typically play Team Deathmatch and after growing tired of the objective game types I went back to my usual stomping grounds. Over the course of several matches I had some of the best games I have ever had on MW2 and it was all due to a sound strategy of not running around.

The accepted method of playing FPS games seems to be that one must run around all the time, relying primarily on twitch reflexes to pull your gun on your enemy before he can get the drop on you, if you have twitch reflexes then I commend and congratulate you. The honest fact of the matter is that as I grow older my twitch response has lowered significantly, whether that’s a facet of growing older I couldn’t tell you I’m not a doctor but the fact still remains. In order to combat this deterioration of my said reflexes I have developed a new strategy, which I call containment. While on a map I stake a claim to a bit of real estate and hold that turf until the ebb and flow of the game play takes the hot zone away or I am killed and my spot is taken by the enemy.

By most definitions, camping is the act of staying in one place waiting for the enemy to come by and you are able to get the drop on them with little or no danger to yourself. Once you have a kill, you simply rinse and repeat the process until you are flushed out or get bored and move on. I happily acknowledge that I have at times camped, its a legitimate strategy and when the chips are down and you are being torn to shreds sometimes a little R&R on the battlefield is the best remedy. The matches previously mentioned were not included in the camping omissions.

Playing on the map “Invasion” I secured the rear area of the map at spawn and utilizing the elevated position facing the video store, I supported the sniper who had also taken up position there. Over the course of several minutes  the rest of the team gravitated around us and we held our turf as the opposing team rushed forward and broke against our bullets like so many waves against the coastal rocks. Cue a few well time killstreaks and one theft of a killstreak from the enemy and I ended on a 24-6 kill to death count. The next game went quite similarly on “Strike” which had my team holding a specific building and with the use of some well placed claymores and taking full advantage of the scavenger perk we were able to setup a well contained death zone for the enemy. I split my time between covering the back door, front balcony, and a side balcony which granted me a long sight line to the other side of the map. The claymores watching my back scored as many kills as my bullets did and again with a few well timed killstreak rewards I was able to pull off another impressive personal best. Sadly my team lost again, thanks in no small part to a gamer on the opposing team who was besting or matching my kill stats each match. Keep this fellow in mind as we progress since he will play a major role coming up shortly.

For the last of the three matches we ended on “Terminal” Our team spawned below escalators and we fought upwards. Due to the two pronged attack we were pushed to the back of the airport map at which point I setup in baggage check to cover two distinct sight lines while my team pressed the attack. From the baggage check counter and back office I was able to cover both the bookstore approach and provide over watch for my team pressing into the plane. This proved a worthwhile position as the other team seemed determined to break out through that hatch on the plane rather than flanking. Only momentarily did I think they might push in on us from the burger town kiosk, or through the bookshop but both incursions were put down pretty quickly by concentrated fire from the team. It’s at this point I have to point out that I would not have had such an impressive set of games had my team not acted just as they did. Even though we were all strangers to each other and not communicating over voice(I’m self conscious about trying to do call outs with strangers because I can never remember the jargon when I need it) we acted as a well oiled machine. Against the typical flow of online matchmaking, we chose to fight together rather than split up and run around half cocked looking for a fight. This match ended in a win with me holding the third place slot(my lowest showing of the three matches) with a 14-3 stat mark. For those playing the home game that meant I had a great kill to death ratio, I just didn’t happen to be the top killer of the match. I did have more assists this game as more often than not my teammates who were closer to action often finished off those kills I started.

Throughout these three matches I had an imaginary contest going between myself and a gamer by the name of wtmike. I say imaginary because we didn’t communicate with each other over the matches or acknowledge each other’s existence throughout. When I play I often times like to find someone on the opposite team to compete with, someone whom is also performing very well and therefore make an excellent benchmark with which to compare my performance to. I do this for no other reason than to push myself and have a bit of fun while I’m at it. At the end of this match the session was ended as my disk errored and I was forced to reboot the console. Upon my return I found I had a message waiting for me. wtmike had felt compelled to send me a voice message, at first I thought he perhaps had sent a “good game” message or perhaps even offering friendship as is common when players perform very well. I will say that I had almost been hoping that was the case. I’m not one to try and make friends via Xbox Live, but my friendslist does suffer for this habit of mine and having a skilled player to play with from time to time would be useful in that it would keep me working hard as we played. I had also considered sending him a message to say “good game” but decided against it as I didn’t want to appear to be out for something or a plot of that sort.

The message said something along the lines of ” So that’s how you’re going to play it huh? sitting in one spot waiting to shoot someone? not very cool but whatever I don’t take this game that seriously anyway. Later” that was essentially the gist of it. With a glance at his profile, he seemed to be the type of person one could play with. his motto states that he’s just here to have fun playing games and not to take anything too seriously. Fair enough, I think its safe to say we all want to do that. So it threw me off that this gentlemen felt compelled to take the time to complain to me about my behavior in a game he didn’t take “too” seriously. I sent a text back saying “glad to hear you’re not taking it “too” serious. 😀 Either way, good game.” I couldn’t help but take a good natured jab at his statement, but wanted to make it clear it was good natured and that I thought he played very well. On the scale of messages I’ve often received on Xbox Live, his was far more tame than anything I’ve gotten previous and I fully recognize that he could have been well frustrated. I want to make it clear at this point that I do not bear this gamer any ill will, and in fact I still full heartedly respect his gaming skill and wish that I would have been able to see him play and learn from him. I reference this conversation purely as a comment on how much of a fire barrel the camping strategy can be. I found these events interesting and humorous enough to pass them along to you, the reader. As of the posting of this article I haven’t received a response nor do I expect one. Thanks to all my team and those I played for a few fun matches, and most respectful thank you to wtmike for several good games and the material I needed to comment on the camping issue as a whole.

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