As I mentioned last time I’ve been playing Halo: Reach lately, and in order to get those last few Achievements I needed I spent most of my time in online multiplayer games. I’ve never really been one for online multiplayer…I guess I never bought into the whole ‘online community’ spirit. Of course I’m talking about the XBox Live community, so by spirit I mean team-killing, teabagging, rage-quitting and generally being a fucktard. I guess that’s the problem with multiplayer games…the game part’s good, but the multiple people part really isn’t most of the time.
Bungie have tried their best to forge a kind of community out of the horde of degenerates that FPS games usually attract, and have come up with some pretty useful carrots to don their “Please don’t be an idiot” stick. Credit bonuses for those who regularly finish online games are just the start, although these should be more regular in my opinion. An incentive loses it’s appeal if you never receive it. The other feature is the option to boot or forgive a player who team-kills you from the game. However there are nuances to this system which, arrogant of me as it might sound, seem to have evaded my fellow players.
Firstly the ever present controversy associated with awarding penalties in football is also present here – the level of intent. Did your team-mate kill you because he’s formed an unhealthy attachment to that sniper rifle your holding, and can’t bear to see it snuggling up to someone other than himself? Or did you just fail to notice the bright blue instrument of death that your ally gleefully adhered to your opponents face moments before you decided to headbutt him into oblivion? The first is quite obviously deliberate, the second as obviously accidental but in both scenarios you are given the option of kindly showing your team-mate the door. I’ve been on the wrong end of the “deliberate vs accidental” decision making process quite a few times, and I’m certain that it isn’t helped by the fact that the X button is used to boot the offending player. The same button is used to change your equipment loadout before you respawn, so I wouldn’t be surprised that people have been booted by mistake.
The other thing to consider here is the position that being a player down puts your team in. If it’s a deathmatch game then it can sometimes be to your advantage to have fewer players on your team. Sure, you might get ganged up on but on the other hand your enemies have less opportunity to score kills. I’ve played games before where I’ve been on my own against 3 players and managed to keep the scores pretty close. I lost once they figured out how to stick together, but it was actually a pretty even match until then. In an objective based game like Invasion, basically a hybrid of King Of The Hill and Capture The Flag, you really need to use numbers to your advantage. So sure the guy hitting you and dropping your shield while you wait for the enemy to turn the corner might be being a dick, and when he goes a step too far you might be tempted to boot him…but in the long run you need him if you’re going to have a chance of winning.
And besides, you can always leave him negative rep after the game. He probably won’t give a monkeys left peanut, and there’s no way he’s ever going to change his ways…but at least you won’t have him on your team again.