Modern Warfare 2 + Xbox-Live, A GQ and tips

First, The General Questions:

My kids got an X-Box 360 for Christmas. We’ve got it connected to X-Box Live so we can play MW2 against a few million other gamers.

  1. Are the people we’re playing against also playing on X-Box only? Or are there also PC gamers and possibly other platforms accessing the X-Box Live pool?

  2. In reponse to witnessing what I consider “godlike” reflexes and killin’ skillz, I have spent a bit of time as a spectator witnessing gameplay from the perspective of some kick-ass players. Based on what I’ve seen I have to ask: Are they using the same controllers I’m using? I mean, if we’re all using the same hardware then there’s a chance I can get that good, but if I’m playing against aftermarket controllers and different platforms then the playing field isn’t level and I can just get used to competing against my own personal best. Which is fine, but I’d like to know.

  3. My connection is a N+ adapter connecting to a cable modem. The connection signal bars that display next to your character summary after every game are always nice and green, indicating a good signal. Do I/Can I tap directly into my router with a cable for better gameplay? Seems fine to me right now, but you can’t win a horse race with a pony either.

  4. Somewhere between 20-40% of the games I play end up with connection problems with results ranging from temporarily jittery game play to total loss of server connection. I want to blame my own connection, but I never get booted from X-Box Live, just the game I’m playing. Am I the problem or is something else going on?

Tips: Give me tips. My best games are run & gun with lots of knife kills. I think my best ever game was 15 kills (Team Deathmatch) which also had my best-ever streak: 6. typical game is going to be 5-10 kills with maybe 1 or 2 3-kill streaks.

  1. Only xbox players. No reason why PS3 player’s wouldn’t be allowed to add to the player pool, except politics and money. PC is another story. M&K would dominate and it wouldn’t be a fair fight vs console gamers unless you gave them some heavy duty aim assist and aim lock - but then you’d be tilting the unfairness gage their way. Essentially it would be a balancing issue.

  2. I’ve seen people get really good with a controller, mind you aim assist and autolock contribute a lot to their skill and it still doesn’t compare to M&K, but yeah, there can definitely be a big difference in skill when using a controller.

However, there ARE hackers on the xbox 360, and there are people using special after market controllers. Anything from controllers that have macro buttons, to interfaces that allow you to use a mouse. So no it’s not always fair, but I think 9 out of 10 times it’s just someone that’s better than you and not a hacker/someone with a better input device.

  1. Those bar indicate latency. That is - the time it takes a packet of information to travel to the server and back. the lower the better, and yes, you probably are adding latency to your connection when using a wireless adapter. However, if it’s fine most of the time now, there is no need to use a wired connection.

  2. Welcome to the console world of peer to peer and auto matching online gaming. It’s why we PC gamers toss heavy furniture about when games don’t allow private server.

I can use aim assist in live play? That’s not just for the main story-line game? How do I do that?

It is built in to the multi-player, though less forceful than the one found in the single player campaign. Console games will often also feature larger hit boxes as a way to compensate for the controller’s lack of accuracy.

Hmm, reading my statement above it might sound like I’m saying that the console aims for you so you must really suck :slight_smile:

That’s not what I mean. The aids are there to combat the inherent issues with playinf FPS games on a controller. You still need skill to:

  • Properly take advantage of those built in aids
  • Use the right weapons at the right time and have a good command of using various buttons/abilities.
  • Use proper tactics and make sure you do a good job of looking around, navigating, etc.
  • And you may get help aiming, but you still need to get that reticle somewhere close to your enemy, quickly.
  1. It’s been answered already. You’re just playing against Xbox 360 folks.

  2. The people you’re playing against are almost all using the same controller you’re using. Some might have some non-Microsoft branded ones, which are still perfectly legit, and some others are using modded controllers that essentially act as turbo controllers. How do you know when you bump into them? Oh, you know.

  3. Those bars by your name aren’t necessarily *your *connection, they denote your connection to the host of the game. More bars does equal better, though.

  4. Loss of server connection happened most frequently in Call of Duty when Infinity Ward was running the show (see Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2). Most other AAA titles have host migration (including Treyarch, the developer of Call of Duty in the opposing years, by the way) but Infinity Ward didn’t see the need for that. The number one reason you get the “disconnected from server” message is because the host of the game quits out or loses their connection, thereby ending the game prematurely. Blame the developer on that one.
    Tips: Don’t play Modern Warfare 2. It’s really a crappy game. Modern Warfare 1 is a better game, and Black Ops is even better, although it’s having some actual netcode problems (again, blame the developer on that one). For the gold standard in console FPS, look to Halo.

How to be successful at Modern Warfare 2:

  1. Pracice a lot. You’re way behind the learning curve. The only people that stuck behind are the ones that “game” the system, either because Infinity Ward didn’t limit how fast semi-automatic weapons could be fired, thereby inducing a scourge of turbo controllers, the ones that camp only to get high killstreaks/nukes and end the game that way, even on objective games, and also, the people left playing know the maps REALLY good. It’ll take a little while for you to get to that level of map knowledge.

  2. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Are you accurate? Go with the Famas/M16. Are you playing hardcore? Go with the semi-automatic rifles. Are you a camper? Look to semi-automatic weapons.

  3. Want to make the game as easy as possible? Work on getting the perks Danger Close Pro and One Man Army Pro, unlock the grenade launcher for your favorite weapon, and there you go. Danger Close makes your explosives more lethal, and One Man Army lets you have unlimited ammo, essentially (the Pro version just does it faster). Just pop out the noob tubes and let it rain fire. Not only that, but find the choke points and build your killstreak perks up. Because Infinity Ward let your killstreaks build to other killstreaks, kill to get to 5 for Predator missile, take two people out with that to get to 7 and bring in the Harrier, then kill two more with your harrier to bring the Pavelow in at 9. See? You really had to kill only 5 people, and then your killstreaks did the rest of the work for you. When you get more adventurous, you may want to bump the last killstreak up to the nuke.

Modern Warfare 2 has host migration - if the host quits using start button/leave game or if his connection starts to degrade it will host migrate. What it doesn’t have is coding for if the host disconnects suddenly - either by pulling their network cable or hitting the xbox button and choosing “xbox dashboard” (collectively referred to as “dashboarding”). Hosting in Modern Warfare 2 provides you with a small advantage over the other players, and thus the host doesn’t dashboard that often because they usually do at least ok.
Call of Duty: Black ops (Treyarch) has essentially the same solution as modern warfare 2 - Quitting via the menu host migrates, dashboarding ends the game - but because of some coding to “delay” the host to make the game more fair hosts tend to do more poorly and thus dashboard more often - the game ends early for me probably 10x as often in Black ops vs Modern Warfare 2.
The only game I have personally played that will host migrate if the host dashboards is the Halo series - there probably are other games but I don’t know of them. I know Gears of War 2 is similar to Call of Duty, and gears of war 1 had no host migration at all - no matter how the host left the game ended.