I am a big fan of first-person shooters (FPS) and thoroughly enjoy playing them. But there are certain aspects of FPS gaming that I have come to really despise. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to the things that ruin FPS gaming because they simply cannot be completely eliminated, but I have come across many gamers who have stopped playing FPS games simply due to the behavior of other gamers.

As much as I would like to see the following five negative traits of FPS gaming completely eliminated, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. The point of outlining these flaws in FPS gaming is to raise awareness about them and to possibly give a wakeup call to players who fall into these categories.

Attitude of Gamers

Most FPS gamers fall into these three categories:

Friendly — Usually casual gamers who play purely for the entertainment factor. Gamers with a friendly attitude towards other players are rarely seen, but they are present in the gaming community. In my opinion, friendly gamers are holding together most gaming servers from descending into anarchy. I’m not saying friendly gamers are saints, but they usually know where to draw the line.

Abusive — Generally, these are players who feel the need to launch verbal attacks on enemy players. Abusive players are often trolls or ‘keyboard warriors’ who seem to enjoy acting tough behind a computer screen. Abusive gamers are found in abundance in the gaming community and leave a bad impression of the FPS genre on new gamers.

Competitive — I have no problem with competitive gamers provided that they don’t put down other players for not performing to their standards. I encourage competitive gaming, but it should be restricted to servers specifically designated for serious matches.

Hackers

Ah, hackers. They have been around since the FPS genre started and it seems that nothing can stop them. Hackers take the enjoyment out of every game they play and cause frustration for others gamers. As a player on a server, there is not much you can do other than report the hacker or call the server administrator. Believe it or not, abusing or asking the hacker to stop will not make them stop. If anything, it gives them reason to continue their cheating.

There is little you can do to eliminate hackers. Reporting them seemingly does not get them banned and many server administrators seem to abandon a server after it gains popularity, so hackers get free reign. It is surprising how easy it is to glitch in FPS games and I feel that little to no preventive measures are being taken by game developers. One can only hope that, someday, first-person shooters will be free of hackers.

Lazy Moderators

Moderators have a fairly simple job: enforce server rules and ban hackers. Their job is made easier with auto-kicking systems in place, but the lack of dedication and conviction from many server moderators comes as a surprise to me. A moderator is a volunteer position, so you would be right in thinking that the person taking on the role would presumably want to take on the extra responsibility. But, as I have come to experience from my own clan, moderators are often just there for namesake. Don’t get me wrong; many moderators do an excellent job in maintaining their server so that it is enjoyable for people who play there, but what annoys me is when moderators encourage gamers to play on their server but don’t do any housekeeping there.

Server Crashes

This mainly applies to PC gaming servers. Server crashes are unpredictable and out of our hands; in the event of a server crash, not much can be done but to wait for the server to come back online. It is frustrating, though, as servers only seem to crash at crucial points in a match, which leads to an angry mob of gamers. For the prices charged by hosting companies, I would like to see server hosts provide better customer support as most of the time the client is left hanging in the event of a server crash.

Obsession with Kill to Death Ratios

This only applies to a minority of gamers, but it does ruin the game for the whole team if one player is obsessed with his kill to death ratio (KDR). The reason for this is because first-person shooting games are team-oriented, which means that they require the participation of all team members. If one player decides to play as an individual, it has a negative effect on the team score. This is particularly an issue in Call of Duty games as it encourages individual achievements by providing kill-streaks. In my time, there have been many instances where a few players use other team players as decoys so that they can expose and take out enemy players. Some may consider this strategic play, but it is against the spirit of the game and ruins the experience for other gamers.

What do you think detracts from the overall enjoyment of first-person shooters? Leave a comment below!

CC licensed Flickr photo by Luke Hayfield Photography