270: A Knife to a Gun Fight

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

A Knife to a Gun Fight

It seems incongruous that so many multiplayer shooter matches can devolve into fisticuffs, but Brett Staebell proves that strong melee weapons actually make shooting more important.

Read Full Article

This may be going off point, but, the melee weapons are a big reason I love Team Fortress 2, as they're not only handy back-ups to your main arsenal, but beyond the standard melee weapons you start off with, all of the unlockable melee weapons have abilities on them that ensure they aren't simply a last resort when your ammo is gone. And some, like the Demoman's 'Eyelander' and 'Scotsman's Skullcutter' the former a broadsword that grants you increased speed via decapitation of your enemies, and the latter a massively powerful albeit slow and heavy battleaxe are designed to be used as primary weapons.

Yet many as you say, still hold on to that sense of superiority of gutting an opponent with ostensibly a weaker or more difficult to use weapon that requires you to be up close and personal. And with TF2, with many of the classes actually being slower than others, a melee kill is even more satisfying, like get a killing blow on a Scout with a Heavy using his fists, glorious!

Melee combat is fun, but when you look at a game like MW2, you realize that it's starting to get a little out of control.

Bill Gardner:
"No matter how over-the-top the ranged attack, it simply can't hold a candle to being inches from your enemy's face as he expires. Letting enemies into the player's personal space gets a reaction like no machine gun can."

I have to disagree with this here. A well-realized Gatling gun or a flamethrower can be just as visceral as smashing your enemy's face in - if not more so. It's too bad they rarely pop up in multiplayer because of "OMG balance".

And yeah, i'd say that melee weapons have gotten slightly out of hand: "insta-kill" is simply way too much for an emergency weapon, especially considering how cramped maps are in MW2.

Truly Halo was the first shooter to specifically have a melee button? I must admit I'm not a huge multiplayer shooter fan, but that's an interesting bit of trivia. Having not been in the loop of the game, I'm finding several articles giving me more appreciation for just what Halo meant to that world of gaming.

I will say, though, that the best thing to do was whip out a knife in Counter-Strike and run like hell!

I think part of the problem is play style it seems to me that sniper rifles are the only weapons that gets used as a ranged weapon.

Sure sometimes you turn a corner and get a knife in the face but mostly I see people with semi-automatic rifles charging headfirst towards an enemy across the open to fire at point blank range.
It's not a balance issue most people just can't aim

Don't change your play style complain about others taking advantage of your mistakes

This made me think that they should make a multiplayer shooter using shields similar to those in Dune. Anyone who has nipped in and out of a bubble shield in Halo will know how I'm seeing this. Melee becomes a drawn out affair and whilst a specialist will still likely win the fight. Somebody who knows how to use their shield will be able to stall them long enough for an ally to help.

I personally dislike the use of a one-hit kill melee button, in my opinion it reduces close range encounters to being a race to press the mystical 'save me' button before the other guy does.

People panic at close range? Good. This rewards the players who are prepared for close combat (namely those who's playstyle is based around it, such as myself) and punishes those who require a sense of saftey at long distance, the weakness of snipers was always supposed to be how helpless they are at close range, by giving them an easy way out it undermines this, you don't see shotgun players being given mortars in case they find themselves pinned down by a sniper so why should snipers have a close range failsafe?

This is one of the reasons I liked Rainbow Six: Vegas, there was no melee button (there was plenty of long range and mid range fights, but close range was very clearly dominated by SMGs and shotguns), if you panic because someone appears in front of you, you die for it and that is something you will have to learn to adapt to, you keep calm and respond appropriately and you have a fair chance of effectively defending yourself with no stabbing or auto-aim lunging required.

I don't mind the melee of games like TF2 and CSS but MW2 can go die. Insta-kill is just rediculous. High damage I get (after all getting a blade impaled through your chest would sting a little), but when melee becomes "who can press thumbstick faster" it becomes a joke... an annoying joke.

I think instakill melee is fair enough. The whole point of it is to teach you to be aware of what's going on around you and not to put yourself in a position where you can easily be stabbed. The thing with modern warfare 2 is that ALL the weapons are powerful. Snipers can easily be 1 shot kills, rapid fire assault rifles are 2 or three shot kills guarunteed with stopping power on, guns still beat knives in almost all cases unless you weren't expecting to get knifed. The main advantage of the knife I find is that it's silent, so you don't show up as a blip on the radar, if it weren't for that I'd just shoot them.

FEAR comes to mind, the only FPS where I really got into the multi-player business.
Oh, how fun the instant-kill jump kicks were. If you were the kicker, that is.
If used more than very rarely, melee quickly became something you hated everyone for using, or that everyone hated you for using.
So I would only do it to people I knew, and only if I happened to sneak up behind them. Because then it was still fun, and thus acceptable.

It's like the gauntlet from Quake 3. Damn near impossible to land a hit on a human target but a few good hits and they are down.

It's an essential when dealing with rail-gun snipers

Daveman:
I think instakill melee is fair enough. The whole point of it is to teach you to be aware of what's going on around you and not to put yourself in a position where you can easily be stabbed. The thing with modern warfare 2 is that ALL the weapons are powerful. Snipers can easily be 1 shot kills, rapid fire assault rifles are 2 or three shot kills guarunteed with stopping power on, guns still beat knives in almost all cases unless you weren't expecting to get knifed. The main advantage of the knife I find is that it's silent, so you don't show up as a blip on the radar, if it weren't for that I'd just shoot them.

That's easy to say when looking at gameplay on paper but when you're actually playing you'll often notice that you'll notice a lot of times that you'll be shooting someone in the torso with a light machine gun yet they will still charge foward and rip your face off in a single fell swoop, this isn't just when people aren't expecting it, it usually happens because as powerful as guns are, they often don't kill fast enough to deny the Khorne Berserker other player an oppertunity to get their instant kill (or the knife player simply moves too fast for the player to even get a shot off, this can be particularly bad if there is lag).

GothmogII:
This may be going off point, but, the melee weapons are a big reason I love Team Fortress 2, as they're not only handy back-ups to your main arsenal, but beyond the standard melee weapons you start off with, all of the unlockable melee weapons have abilities on them that ensure they aren't simply a last resort when your ammo is gone. And some, like the Demoman's 'Eyelander' and 'Scotsman's Skullcutter' the former a broadsword that grants you increased speed via decapitation of your enemies, and the latter a massively powerful albeit slow and heavy battleaxe are designed to be used a primary weapons.

An even clearer case of this is the spy, an entire class based around getting as close as possible, and poking them instead of shooting. I think it distils the thrill of melee combat to it's purest essence, as a high risk, high reward mecahanic, knowing any moment if your distracted enemy turns around you're essentially defenceless.

I guess it take someone like Valve to make something so archaic as stabbing your gun toting foes seem subtle.

I punched once in my whole three day binge with Halo 2. Me and my friend were playing a deathmatch (just one on one offline) and he stepped backwards through a portal (it was some map with all sorts of teleporty type deals) and I went forward through another, he scared me and I hit his character in the back of the head, followed by him saying "HOW DARE YOU DONKEY PUNCH ME!!" at which point my needler beat his pistol. Just thought I share that one moment with you folks, and point out, if I'm in close range, I always use a gun, even if it's a sniper rifle, hell watch me play RE4, I use a snipey snap all the damn time, then get pissed when I'm outta ammo and need to actually snipe a guy.

I dont mind Melee, but intant kill is just stupid. Theres no way a knife and kill a soldier by just slashing them, you have to hit them in specific parts of the body to do so. I think melee should either be:
1) kept as a low damage attack used to strick and daze an enemy long enough for you to either waste his ass or put distance between the two of you, than waste his ass.
2) Be made its own weapon, so you have to select it and cant just press the magic "kill the fucker" button.
3) be made into a stealth weapon, like the TF2's spy's knife. (from what I understand) the knife is only best used on enemies who are not aware of you, i.e. backstab. Making the knife one-hit kill on an enemies back is alot more acceptible to me than the guy running up and slashing me and I die.
4) the Knife doesnt kill right away, but simply causes a bleeding effect that drains health for a short time, until you find a med-kit.
5) make the melee knife kill a long and tedious (and dangerous) affair. No quick slashing, instead when you use the knife, you have something similur to the Halo: Reach Assassination animation, which I beleive can actually be interrupted by someone else, saving the would be assassinated.

BONK!
That's what I always said. Nothing more satysfying than sneaking up on and crit-hitting someone with the Heavy. Or Bonking them into oblivion. Or charging in with a medic and pwning 4 guys with the bonesaw.
Yay melee!

Iron Mal:
That's easy to say when looking at gameplay on paper but when you're actually playing you'll often notice that you'll notice a lot of times that you'll be shooting someone in the torso with a light machine gun yet they will still charge foward and rip your face off in a single fell swoop, this isn't just when people aren't expecting it, it usually happens because as powerful as guns are, they often don't kill fast enough to deny the Khorne Berserker other player an oppertunity to get their instant kill (or the knife player simply moves too fast for the player to even get a shot off, this can be particularly bad if there is lag).

Lol, great use of 'Khorne Berserker' there. I'm going to borrow that phrase, if you don't mind.
Knifing an unaware opponent in the back was always satisfying, but give me a break about these ridiculous tiger pounces through hails of bullets.

The extension of this is taunt killing in TF2. Getting a taunt kill without doing it on an acheivement server is a damn good acheivement.

Brett Staebell:
Snip

A witch blade knifing class?

Care to share?

All I have to bring to this discussion is my long frustration with the irony in these games, where a knife can one-shot while a gun, in 90% of videogame cases, can't so much as make you stumble.

It's just.. well, for me it's just stupid, but then I'm not your average FPS-er.

I've had experience of this from the development end as part of mod team we found to keep people at the right range it was best to scale the mele based on the optimal range of the weapon

so a pistol has really good mele (we made it fast rather than strong though)
an SMG a little slower
a carbine strong but slow
an assault rifle worse again

by the time you get the the ion cannon (rocket launcher ish thing) and the snipper there is no mele

TF2 managed to make every 1 of the nine classes have each a primary, secondary, and melee. In doing so, they managed to balance the weapons against every other classes arsenal and yet still make them fun and gritty in their own way. This however may seem foreign to those who haven't experienced it's brand of genius...

(Also this was made by the people who put the crowbar on the forefront of melee combat)

O well, time to go back to being the guy with the small butterfly knife running around for people to shank...or backstab

Brett Staebell:
A Knife to a Gun Fight

It seems incongruous that so many multiplayer shooter matches can devolve into fisticuffs, but Brett Staebell proves that strong melee weapons actually make shooting more important.

Read Full Article

Two words that go well with this article....S4 LEAGUE

I love stabbing people in the back in FPS's. Sniper on the ground? Stab. Guarding that door, sneak up behind, stab.

Just stabbity stabbity all the live long day.

I find joy in the humilation

"Dude, you let him hit you to death? What, are you stupid? Did all your 6 guns run out of ammo suddenly? No? Did you think he wanted a hug? Moron!"

Even though melee was a "good" addition there was no reason to put in commando!

25% increase in pleasure when you melee someone? Imagine how much more fun it'll be when you hold down melee in Reach and that little awesome animation plays out, at least 100% for me. ;P

They dumbed down the sword in Reach, because now you can block it, and the lunge is a bit smaller, also, they got ride of the double-tap melee as it was a glitch.

Iron Mal:

Daveman:
I think instakill melee is fair enough. The whole point of it is to teach you to be aware of what's going on around you and not to put yourself in a position where you can easily be stabbed. The thing with modern warfare 2 is that ALL the weapons are powerful. Snipers can easily be 1 shot kills, rapid fire assault rifles are 2 or three shot kills guarunteed with stopping power on, guns still beat knives in almost all cases unless you weren't expecting to get knifed. The main advantage of the knife I find is that it's silent, so you don't show up as a blip on the radar, if it weren't for that I'd just shoot them.

That's easy to say when looking at gameplay on paper but when you're actually playing you'll often notice that you'll notice a lot of times that you'll be shooting someone in the torso with a light machine gun yet they will still charge foward and rip your face off in a single fell swoop, this isn't just when people aren't expecting it, it usually happens because as powerful as guns are, they often don't kill fast enough to deny the Khorne Berserker other player an oppertunity to get their instant kill (or the knife player simply moves too fast for the player to even get a shot off, this can be particularly bad if there is lag).

Well that last point could be it as I never get better than a 90ms ping when playing MW2 on my PC so I always just assume it's lag. Or Commando. What's more if you know they're coming you also have the chance to knife. I'm still convinced that in most cases it's fair, of course there are times when people get hitmarkers and people don't go down. I think it's be much better in fact if they lost the hitmarkers. I just think it's cheating being able to know if somebody is behind a wall by shooting through it or tossing a grenade round the corner.

Unfortunately, FPS melee attacks have become the most powerful weapons of the game. Designers are too focused on giving players a 'last chance' weapon and they have made these weapons too powerful, a reusable one-shot kill. I agree that the knife is designed to reset the distances between two opponents to what it should rightfully be, but just because it's designed to do that doesn't mean that is what people are using it as. A hammer is designed to drive nails, but that doesn't mean that it can't be used to bludgeon a pelican to death. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE INGENUITY OF VIDEO GAME PLAYERS THAT ARE LOOKING FOR A COMPETITIVE EDGE.

There are players who tweak out their characters to take advantage of what the designers are offering in order to give them an advantage; there's nothing wrong with that. However, I've often wondered how a knife wound to the ankle is able to instantly kill my adversary, or how a knife can mysteriously bypass all the canteen, gear, uniform, extra ammo, secondary weapon, and body armor that protects my character from BULLETS. Aside from magic knife blades, I've often wondered why programmers/designers offer ways to enhance the close combat fights, but no ways to protect yourself from them. Hey Modern Warfare, how about next time you offer a perk (titanium/fiberglass underarmor bodysuit) that makes knife attacks mostly ineffective? It wouldn't do anything to stop a bullet, but it would force the "witch-blades", "ninjas", and "slashers" to actually shoot their guns in a First Person Shooter.

How about EMP rounds that dissipate energy swords?

How about requiring multiple knife wounds to kill an opponent (you could then add perks to decrease the number of strikes to kill or decrease the time between strikes)?

How about giving different strengths to the frying pan, crowbar, machette, katana, cricket bat, and all the rest so I know which one to use against the Tank, or Jockey, or an effective Charger?

How about giving the Modern Warfare collapsed victim 5 seconds before they die (by bleed-out) to shoot their assailant, you could call it 'knife-victim last-stand' (a additional perk could also allow the slasher to instant kill)?

How about all designers stop making bullets LESS effective than their real life counterparts, and stop making knives MORE effective than their real life counterparts?

There are things that designers can do to return balance to the popular FPSs and return melee weapons to their designed functions as 'last chance' weapons.

Another major innovation that has infiltrated its way into games is the level design has changed over the last few years. I still fondly remember a vast, horseshoe-shaped, canyon multiplayer map in the original Halo, or the sprawling areas of Battlefield 2 (for 360). It seems to me that designers are designing levels that encourage the in-your-face confrontations that make melee fights unavoidable. I understand that these levels are programmed in an effort to maximize realism and excitement while avoiding hardware limitations, but the choice of forcing all of these fights into battlefields that can be measured in acres (as opposed to miles) is that you are encouraging certain types of play by making those tactics more effective.

Players are gonna play and haters are gonna hate. We can all wish that everyone would have a sense of fair-play and fun, but many are only concerned with their win/loss ratio. Until the designers realize that players will not always use a feature for its intended purpose, we will have to suffer the wrath of the melee-focused FPS players. I just hope that the designers realize that FPS games, like real life, are in the midst of an arms-race, and will start to add some anti-melee features to our favorite games.

Not G. Ivingname:

Brett Staebell:
Snip

A witch blade knifing class?

Care to share?

Oh man - you're going to be disappointed if you think I'm talking about THIS witchblade. (note: originally did a Google image search, but discovered it might be a little too NSFW for The Escapist. Search at your own peril~)

The Witchblade is basically just the monicker for a certain set of perks you can choose in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2. THEY ARE...

Lightweight: Lets you run faster (+quicker aim after sprinting for Pro)
Marathon: Infinite Running (+get over obstacles like ladders faster for Pro)
Commando: Melee hits at a greater distance (+no fall damage at pro)

and then, finally, any hand gun + tactical knife, which lets you stab dudes faster.

As usual, Penny Arcade puts it more eloquently than I can (see the link I put to Jerry Holkins in the article), but the gist is that you become super fast and look like you're teleporting the last ten feet or so to get that knife kill. It's called "witchblade" because it more or less looks like you're using wichcraft or some other hocus pocus to stab people nightcrawler style. It's a pretty bogus way to die...but killing the guys who are doing it is every bit as satisfying as dying by their hands is horrible.

I think the insta-kill from behind is a good tool. It keeps people (or it should keep people), on their toes and force them to find cover.

But I think melee from the front should be mostly a random affair, to make it more of a deterrent. You don't want to get into a knife fight because you can't guaranty you'll win. If you can't sneak up behind him, then you should find the range advantage with your gun and shoot him.

Though I'll be the first to admit it is a lot of fun. Melee kills are the most satisfying, except for maybe taking out a vehicle or something. But the best kill of all time was killing someone with the Prod in Worms. Not a cattle prod, mind you, you just prod the other person, and push them forward a slight bit. If you could ever kill someone like this, that was a beautiful day.

D-Ship:

It's called "witchblade" because it more or less looks like you're using wichcraft or some other hocus pocus to stab people nightcrawler style. It's a pretty bogus way to die...but killing the guys who are doing it is every bit as satisfying as dying by their hands is horrible.

Actually, I'm pretty sure it is named after this witchblade. Because she could do stuff like that, suddenly appear in front of you with a knife in your gut. And because it's a classic comic book example of some object giving you amazing powers and "breaking" the real world, just like the Witchblade build "breaks" the world of MW2.

My brother and I always have knife-only fights in MW2. He is an awesome sniper and it is the only way we can compete in PvP.

Also, few things beat the gravity hammer in Halo for pure fun!

I have no problem with melee, as long as it is a situational tool. By this I mean that if someone gets behind an enemy or surprises them, they should be able to take them out quickly with a stab or bash. However, if someone takes a good 10 rounds or so from an assault rifle while charging at their target to stab them, I believe the shooter should win in this situation.

Something like this is a delicate balance. Personally, I'm able to maintain my distance from the enemy most of the time, mitigating the risk of being melee'd. Even when I'm in close quarters and the threat of being ninja'd is very real, I always travel with teammates (usually my IRL friends that I can rely on) who can spot and take out the threat before they get to us (or who can take one for the team and leave the enemy open for counter attack :D)

Instant kill melee weapons turn CQC into a joke. It's alright if you have to get them from behind, since it takes skill to do that. But a one-hit kill even from the front? There's no humiliation for the enemy or pride for the victor from that. What should be a battle of wits has become a mere exercise in reflexes.

"Ultimately, the more important that melee becomes in multiplayer, the more it encourages long-range combat." Oh, really? What then of the preponderance of the Marathon-Lightweight-Command-Tac Knife combo or some variation thereof in MW2? And the point would make sense if the map encouraged long-range combat too, but often there are too many maps that don't. And long-range combat is not something to be encouraged too much or else the incidence of camping increases.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here