Camping, Defense, and the First Person Shooter

So in another thread we got onto a side discussion of “Camping”, what it is, and whether or not it’s detrimental to the First Person Shooter experience.

My thoughts are as follows: In deathmatch and team deathmatch, it’s too often either a comparatively useless tactic or a entirely overpowered one–depending entirely on whether the game in question has grenades that can reach the camping spots from safety.

In any kind of objective-based game, however, there oughtn’t be any stigma to camping whatsoever. When there’s an objective in play, I’d argue that it’s more disruptive to the game for no one to play defense–at that point, you’re essentially playing a team deathmatch scrum in the middle anyway.

In truth, I don’t think there should be any stigma to camping in any modern FPS. They all universally seem to be designed such that it’s not a usable deathmatch strategy (count the number of good, defensible sniper posts on a MW or MW2 map that have cover and a good sightline to someplace useful. Find a room with only one entrance, for that matter.) and the strategic usefulness of tactical immobility is highly valuable in objective-based games.
Can you tell I play an engineer-type in TFC/TF2/etc and a sniper-type in CS/MW/etc? :smiley:

My games of choice are the Halo games. Usually what the people I play with and I do is we don’t even play all the maps. There are maps that are released that don’t fit a certain playstyle that we do, so I rarely, if ever, see them. Weapon spawns and powerups are normalized and put on a timer. Then we go through setups and strategies and how to hold spawns/sections of the maps, how to break those setups, and how to get from one place to another on a map through as many avenues as possible.

Camping isn’t a crime, because it ends up porking your own team, the way we play and how we play. It’s also pretty close to impossible to do.

Gametypes switch and move between slayer and objective variants and switch maps after every game, so you can’t just (usually) slay, unless the rest of the team is built to let you ignore the objective and have you do that.

So that’s pretty much my stance on the issue. Camping is a by product of bad map design. Call of Duty lends itself to more camping because of cruddy maps and because every weapon is so damned lethal.

Also, I could never get into Team Fortress 2. Hated it, although I played it on the 360.

Yeeup. If a map or game is well-designed, then a camper can be routed out of his spot with some planning and/or skill. His predictability is his weakness. Even in a poorly-designed map/game, while it may be cheap, it’s still just using the tools the game gives you. Either cope or find a different game.

As long as they’re not actively cheating or exploiting bugs, then don’t hate the player, hate the game.

I don’t mind camping, it’s just another tactic like a zerg rush or mining the hell out of your base.

Tactical Gamers?

And yeah, camping is bad because it slows down the game. That’s why most games are designed to prevent it, which is what makes it a bad idea. If the game isn’t designed to control it, you shouldn’t play the game because it’s going to suck.

Bosstone is right. Camping is a fundamentally flawed strategy. You can’t pre-aim and pre-fire for the people who pop around the corner. They can pre-aim and pre-fire for your spot though. with MLG rules.

Camping is fundamentally flawed so long as there’s communication and people call out where the camper is. If everyone keeps quiet, people march into the trap.
Also, let’s iron out the definition of “camping”. The example I gave earlier, with someone hiding behind a box with a shotgun is an extreme example, of course.

Camping certainly isn’t a flawed tactic, especailly if it’s done as a group.

Camping makes sense, if done with overlapping fields of fire, covering each others backs, it can be an extremely efficient way to destroy even an organized opponent.

For instance, in CoD Modern Warfare 2 on the map Highrise one of the best tactics is (if the goal is to get a lot of kills):

  1. Running Class (Marathon/Lightweight) darts out of the spawn, if spawned on the north side (red building) than runs through the basement and tries to get on the white roof with a tactical insertion.
  2. Someone with a sniper tries to spawn snipe through the windows.
  3. Someone with an LMG (AUG) runs to cover the North-South Axis.
  4. Someone with an Assault Rifle blows up the propane tank, and then gets on top of the Elevator building, then blows up the tank on top of the white building.
  5. Assault Rifle/Tube class gets on top of the helicopter pad
  6. Usually a claymore/scavenger UMP or SCAR, to protect the basements.

The person top of the white building camps with a one man army class (that has a tactical insertion on it) and either a sniper, or Assault Rifle with Grenade launcher, and with someone on top of the helipad, in the basement, on the elevators and holding down the center, someone can get a chopper gunner and the red building has windows all down the side, you can just spawn kill them repeatedly.
Typically, the team with better organization and communication wins. Individual skill shouldn’t play as much into it as group teamwork. But group team work only plays a factor when people play together for a while.

MW2 is pretty high on the list of shitty games to just avoid.

If camping is a viable tactic, then why shouldn’t I use it? Sure, nobody likes to be killed by a camper, but then, nobody likes to get killed by any method. And you can’t exactly complain that a camper has no skill: If you’re more skilled than him, then why is he the one standing over your corpse?

That said, if you want to design a game or map in such a way that camping isn’t a viable tactic, then that’s fine, too. Part of mastering a game is and should be figuring out which tactics will work well in any given situation. If that sometimes means camping and sometimes means flushing out the campers, so be it.

As a general rule, I’d go for “always acceptable”, even if it can get annoying. However, when the FPS operates on a round by round basis (ie nobody respawns until one side has killed the other) and there’s only one player left on each side of a big map, then yeah, I get annoyed if one (or god forbid, BOTH) camps his ass out. Get this shit moving, have a damn Hign Noon face-off in Main Street and let other players fucking play !

But other than that specific situation, camp away. It’s not like you’ll ever get to kill me twice from that spot.

Camping can be fun for both sides given the right game. I give you Duke Nukem and the Pipebomb. There were a couple of maps where you could toss the pipebomb off the edge of a building or down a shaft. Time it right and you get your man. Of course, DN had ways of avoiding those traps.

There are whiny babies in every game.

“Fucking chainsaws! You HAVE to use the fucking chainsaw kill me! Fucking newbs, man!”
“Fucking noobtubes! You couldn’t win without them! Fucking newbs, man!”

Camping is a viable tactic. This is coming from someone who doesn’t camp.

As long as the camper doesn’t complain when they do get noob-tubed.
I have a specific build that I use to root out campers in MW2 and it works well for me.

OTOH, I have said before that MW2 is the best balanced game ever since everyone is pissed off by something…

That is a very astute observation. Balance as the quasi-Zen art of finding harmony in the bitching… I like it.
And it’s so true that whenever a portion of the player base (of any game whatsoever) is in open conflict with the others and tells them to shut up, l2p, “use tactics!!” and that the game is JUST FINE the way it is, a nerf is long overdue 99% of the time ;).

I voted “always”, though it’s not quite “always” acceptable. Only in very badly balanced games is it really unacceptable; most games provide a way to deal with campers.

The one time that I would argue that camping is truly and always unacceptable is when you’ve managed to camp in an easily defended location that allows you to fire at the enemy spawn point. That’s not to say it’s wrong to attack a spawn point, but if the spawning players have no reasonable way to shoot at you or root you out, then it’s really unfair. Only very badly designed maps have that sort of place, though.

Sometimes it’s the game that enables a spawn trap. Bungie seems wed to having assault rifle starts in their games, which makes fending snipers off on large boards impossible.

Is that what the young fellers are calling it these days? When I was young, it was called “fortifying” or “entrenching.” A good general used both camping and strategies for busting fortifications. In general, camping is always good, especially when a small force can overcome a much larger force. For example, in Master of Orion, if there is even one ship orbiting a planet, the enemy will use their weapons on the ship first, causing the enemy to waste weapons and the planet defenses to strike first. In all war games I’ve played, it’s ridiculously simple to bust a fortification simply by attacking supply lines and having good movement.

I don’t play FPS games though (back in the day, Doom made me nauseous.) In my opinion, if you are facing somebody who is camping, what you should do is immediately counter-camp. Force them to come out to get you, seige-style. Whoever loses patience first loses.

In fps the trick is to flank.

The career camper doesn’t stay in the same spot though. Also they will choose situations where the target must pass though a choke point which has a myriad of places that provide LOS. Ideally involving an opening door which signals the presence of the victim. Also they will occupy a spot where you can’t afford to look first, as the likelihood of enemies is much greater elsewhere (being behind a door is a bonus)

If the game doesn’t allow these scenarios, all well and good, but then it’s not the cheap scoring that I associate with the term.

Time limits make that worthless.