medal of honor multiplayer comments part 2

I’ve already pined way too long about Medal of Honor in a previous post, and while I have no intention to make gaming a major part of this blog, I do have other comments, for closure. Again, this is the xbox version I’m playing. And, again, I still feel the multiplayer game is broken, unfinished, and unplaytested. And combinations of issues such as poor death text, poor player name displays, horrible maps, and no indication of who is talking on voice make this game pretty much impossible to truly play as a team unless you’re all in a party/clan and used to each other. If you tend to play solo or with just a couple buds like I do, the game is broken and useless.

Cons Part 2

  • It bears repeating: multiplayer is not playtested and unfinished. The maps are broken. The menu system is nearly useless. The gametypes are not finished.
  • I like to play Hardcore game modes. Hardcore modes tend to lower player health, remove helpful HUD pieces, and enable friendly fire. This often slows down the game a bit as players need to be a bit more careful. In MOH, not at all. The games are just as frenetic as normal teams.
  • There’s only one Hardcore mode, and it rotates game types between team deathmatch, objective, sabotage, and scenario objective game types. While this is cool to experience different things, unfortunately it means all the players who just want to play team deathmatch fuck up the rest of the dynamic of the other game types. You really need to only have players playing sabotage/objective types who want to and know how to play them. It’s ok to randomize it a little bit, perhaps, but the rotation seems to go way too often to non-team deathmatch modes. Mixing in a different gametype every 10-50 matches wouldn’t be a bad thing…
  • Hardcore sabotage gametypes are broken and useless. Really, what should happen is a team plays as the defenders for a round and then the other team defends, and the winner is whomever completes the objectives quicker. This game has no continuity between sessions, so you can flat out lose even if you get one objective, no matter if you owned the other team the previous game and the next game. Then again, whether you win or lose never matters, since you get no bonus points for a win and there is no tallied record of how you do.
  • Hardcore mode utterly breaks offensive scorechain rewards. The offensive rewards are things like mortar strikes or rocket strikes (like artillery or bombs in COD:MW2). You set them at a target by looking through a device and marking the target. In normal modes, this device (like a pair of binoculars) has a crosshair in the middle. For some absolutely unknown reason, hardcore mode removes this crosshair. This means you’re firing blind and have no idea where you’re really hitting. In fact, I’ve killed myself this way more than enemies! This makes me choose defensive rewards almost every time. Stupid.
  • I’ve had a few games in team deathmatch finish where my team had more kills and more scorechains, but a lower score such that we lost. If you’re going to score a match based on some tally of points, you need to explain the points. My only guess is the other team had longer scorechains or more headshots.
  • Playing hardcore mode yields less points per game. This is backwards from every COD offering. You can do alright in points if you do the sector controlling or objectives, but obviously there are only so many of those that you can do per match. It would be nice if you also got points for winning a match.
  • Teamkills should kill the team-killer. COD:MW2 gets this perfectly, if you ask me. Score penalty is nice, but what happens when you’re maxed?
  • Combat assault, the game mode where a team defends a series of story-like objectives that the other team has to assault, control, or destroy, is kinda fun, but needs work. Instead of a timer, the defenders have only x number of respawns allowed for their team (200?). This means the more players the attackers kill, the more they cause this soft-timer to expire. This means the game should be played by attackers running up to objectives and defending them, then running to the next, and not killing defenders on the way unless they have to. Unfortunately, too many players play this as team deathmatch. As such, I’ve only seen one full completion in this mode. I’d like to have played this with a hard-timer to see how that goes (like 30 minutes). Also, once you get pinned down as attackers at the start, you can pretty much just be screwed. I also see no reason the attacker team should have a respawn timer. Defenders, yes. But attackers? I’d be curious how the dynamic changes without that timer for attackers.
  • I and a buddy have had times where we’ve been able to see glowing outlines of other players *through* walls and boxes, especially before they’ve stepped out from behind them. I think this is a reflection of buggy netcode and whatever graphics code is used to subtly outline enemy players to differentiate them from background textures. Really cheap and silly and it’s bad that this bleeds through sometimes. This only happened in about 1 in 100 matches we played.

Pros Part 2

  • I usually like playing a sniper, but often find them unfun in multiplayer games because you can’t really hide very long or get decent sightlines. In MOH, I actually find sniping rather fun. The shooting mechanism is probably the best I’ve felt in gaming (a pro for the engine moreso than anything to do with multiplayer), despite the buggy netcode. It helps that many maps have a sniper-friendly open feel to them (of course the flip side to this is how the maps break safe-spawning and game flow).
  • There are painfully few maps in multiplayer, but at least in other game modes (maybe just hardcore?) the maps *seem* different because they have different lighting. There are just a few flow changes in them as well (very subtle) and maybe the backgrounds outside the map boundaries change, but overall it’s just enough to make the maps initially disconcerting and seemingly different. It’s amazing how much in game I actually make use of lighting as much as the terrain to get my bearings… It’s a pleasant surprise, even if I still believe the maps are fatally flawed.
  • Combat assault, the game type that forces one team to defense while the other team pursues progressively-placed objectives is kinda fun, but untweaked. Nonetheless, it is a good attempt at the concept and I actually like how those particular maps flow.