So what if I play with bots?

Some of my favorite games since I started really getting into PC gaming include Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2004, Rainbow Six Vegas (1 & 2), Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Mass Effect. It’s fair to say that I love the first-person stuff. Big time. And as I’ve gotten older and my attention span has waned (side note: Chrono Trigger is still awesome), my desire for hard-core shooting action has only grown. However—and this is a big however—I almost never game online.

"Dustin," I can hear you say, "most of these games are great because of their online component. Why don’t you like playing online?" Well, simply put, I suck. Your follow-up, I’m sure: "Well, if you play online, you’ll get better." That’s true, but what if I don’t care? What if I don’t want to? What if I’m perfectly content hammering the bots in Quake Wars on Easy mode?

I’m writing this because I can’t be the only person in the world who doesn’t mind—and is in fact perfectly content—playing with bots. The online gaming scene has really exploded over the past few years, but I’ve elected to stay by the wayside. I have good reasons for it. While playing these games with friends and family is fun, and LAN parties are a blast, I simply don’t like playing with the usual online folks. Playing online usually means some combination of the following: griefers, cheaters, jerks, horrible sound macros, being told to "learn to play noob" or an abbreviation thereof, and often just getting pulverized. From a technical perspective, I’m also vulnerable to Merciless Ping, God of Latency, and although my Radeon HD 4870 is more than happy to hold up its side of the bargain, there’s no accounting for how random an Internet connection can be.

If I play with bots, however, I can control how difficult the game is. I don’t have to worry about coordinating with other players, and I can lone-wolf it the way I like. I learned a long time ago I’m not much of a team player, and I can’t be alone in not wanting to coordinate massive strikes. Quake Wars is a fantastic game, but the kind of teamwork required for playing online is something I just don’t have in me. I’m no strategist. Bots may not be as random or clever as human players can be, but they get the job done, and some games (particularly the Unreal Tournament series, but also Quake Wars, surprisingly) have fantastic AI that creates a perfectly enjoyable solo experience.

The point toward which I’m carefully meandering is that, unfortunately, a lack of bots has made otherwise good games fall by the wayside for me. Prey could be salvaged by its bizarre deathmatch, but finding people to play that with me is like finding a needle in a haystack. Team Fortress 2 is a major offender, because it just plain doesn’t have any kind of "practice" mode to speak of to acquaint you with the mechanics of the game. It’s a fantastic game that has virtually no appeal for me whatsoever because of its strict, online-only design. I play the odd game with my girlfriend or my sister, but I get bored and tired after a little while because I don’t have the opportunity to feel the game out or play it the way I’d like.

Bots could make games like these a bit more appealing for folks like me who don’t actually want to go online but do want to enjoy a good deathmatch or multiplayer shooting environment. I’d spend absurd amounts of time in the deathmatch mode of even something like Doom 3 if there were some halfway decent bots running around with me (though in fairness, I love Doom 3‘s deathmatch for some unfathomable reason).

Finally, I am here to say that I can’t be the only person who likes playing deathmatch and multiplayer-style games by myself. I don’t have to hit the dance floor to listen to techno, and I don’t have to hop online to see the appeal of a good shooter. So what about the rest of you? Would some of you rather see bots materialize in games more often, or am I hopelessly alone and cowering in a corner here?

Comments closed
    • rechicero
    • 11 years ago

    I neither play with bots nor compete online. For me the games offers 2 things: A story and challenges (to myself, I don’t see the challenge in winning a match against any other than myself). That’s all. An games like L4D are like Hell to me (I think I lasted about 15 minutes before I uninstalled that **** piece of ****).

    Of course, all of this is IMHO. Different persons, different tastes ;-).

    • ShadowEyez
    • 11 years ago

    Playing Online – just because you can doesn’t mean you should

    • balzi
    • 11 years ago

    #117, sorry for the confusion.. I only wanted to chime in and give my support to the blogger’s complaint about un-bot-ted games these days.. my apology was me trying to pre-empt anyone saying “But Joint ops was already discussed… read the posts first! geez!”.

    I did read 10-20, but there’s time wasting, and then there’s time wasting. I am at work at the moment. So i opted for time wasting*.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    * see first time wasting reference which is obviously of lower impact than the second one.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Everybody loves Internet drama!

    • balzi
    • 11 years ago

    can’t be bothered reading 110 previous posts. sorry!
    but I wanted to chime in say I am exactly the same.. I grabbed Joint Operations a year ago and I play the training missions more than anything because there’s some (clueless yet comforting) friendlies that the computer runs around, they are at best cover-fire guys, at worst cannon-fodder.

    but that’s ok… I’m not fussy about the company I keep.. so long as I have some company. Unfortunately the CO-OP missions don’t spawn any friendly bots.. which is annoying. I’ll just stick to “Base Defense” and “Base Assault”.

    really is a shame though.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      if you can’t read any previous posts, why did you bother posting? Nobody else has time either.

        • BooTs
        • 11 years ago

        He said he didn’t read 110 posts. He didn’t say he read zero.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 11 years ago

          he didn’t say he read any; he only said he wanted to add his voice to the un-read masses.

    • ryko
    • 11 years ago

    well i’m with you …all bots all the time. i just don’t have time to deal with finding a good server and all that when my gaming sessions are limited to about 20-30 minutes once a week if i am lucky.

    i just fire up any fps, mow down a few bad guys, and before i know it the wife is letting me know something around the house needs to be taken care of…. or it will be something work related….plus the animal farm that i am running. (3 dogs and 4 cats).

    • sydbot
    • 11 years ago

    I will have to say, I played a lot of UT2k3 with bots. A LOT. Helps when I didn’t have a net connection to my gaming PC for a while. But it paid off, when I got around to LANing 2k3 with my friends, I stomped them with 2:1 kill ratios and an unblemished record. 2k4 and ONS tightened up the competition between us, but I was definitely the king of us in of tokora forest, et al.

    • ihira
    • 11 years ago

    Interesting. I honestly never knew there were people that felt like you.

    The multi FPSs I play are only Valve ones but I can’t even imagine playing those with bots.
    IMO bots lack the challenge, mindgames, strategy, and accomplishment whatsoever.
    And I like the simple feeling of being there and playing with lots of people.(For multi FPSs, I enjoy SIngle FPSs too!)

    If your concern was ‘I suck’ I was going to say ‘try TF2’ until i read this part which I feel like I have to argue some points
    /[

    • A_Pickle
    • 11 years ago

    Online gaming was fun before idiots figured out how to get online. Now, I’m inclined to agree: Gaming online is almost never fun for me. There are assholes, there are griefers, there are campers, there are never admin on the servers, there are cheaters and every once in awhile, on a full moon in Tunisia whence the desert winds blow dry, there is a server full of good, decent, people wanting to play a good game without any stupid custom sounds and crap like that.

    Nowadays, I mostly avoid online play with anyone that I don’t know in person, except in Counter-Strike: Source. I have no idea why THAT particular magnet of imbeciles has any entertainment value to me, but for some reason, sucking horribly at it while consistently dealing with the obnoxious microphones (and terrible sound quality of them), poorly-typed server chat, griefers and cheaters… I enjoy it for varying amounts of time.

    I really don’t know why. But in general, I’m inclined to agree. That said, the dull repetitiveness and easy predictability of any bots is completely uninteresting to me, as well. I find that I play games at LAN parties… and… well, that’s pretty much it.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    It appears that Dustin…

    …likes to play with himself.

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHY!!!!!

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      And you like reading about it.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        yes, so?

      • Lucky Jack Aubrey
      • 11 years ago

      BY himself, sir – BY himself.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        If I’d written it like that, I wouldn’t have gotten to use my awesome Pete Townshend scream.

    • matic
    • 11 years ago

    Since when I played my first online game (it was a combat flying simulator) there is no point for me to play with bots. It’s not because I’m that good, it’s just that I hate the idea of being humiliated by a stupid computer. However I do agree that the possibility to set the lever of bot A.I. helps in fitting the game to yours specific needs. When I had time to play games I used to set the difficulty of each game to Easy just to finish it off in relatively short time since I got bored quite soon by videogames with a plot. For example, I didn’t finish HalfLife 2… Another use of this specific feature is to set up a level of barely awaken bots that work just fine as targets for a 15 minutes relaxing time.

    When online if I end up in a server that is nothing but a “slap my face festival” I learned that the only solution is to log out and find another one. And if I find another similar, then it’s not the right evening to play. At least you have a girlfriend…

    • provoko
    • 11 years ago

    What a noob rant. Haha.

    But seriously, it sounds like you’re scared to lose. There’s nothing wrong with dying in a game, it’s enjoying your self that matters.

      • scpulp
      • 11 years ago

      I’m not scared to lose, but I also don’t care to just be beaten so soundly there’s no point in even trying.

      What I’m trying to figure out is what it is about this blog, which isn’t even much of a rant, that seems to make people think it’s okay to be rude.

        • burntham77
        • 11 years ago

        I enjoy bots because they behave in a variety of ways. Online, back in the early UT days, there were just too many snipers and campers and not enough coordination among teams. Nothing quite beats the excitement of both teams rushing right at each other at the same time, guns blazing. Yee haw.

    • satchmobob
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t really game anymore but i used to do exactly the same as Dustin. And i really enjoyed it. Used to love Unreal2k3 with loads of bots, instagib on and quad jump. Set it for first to 50 kills and just blast the hell outa them bots! Frikkin excellent. Quake III arena was another i only used to play the bots.

    Why would i be interested in learning tactics? Spending time working out a game plan? I just wanted to let off a bit of steam and let my brain veg out. Great fun!

    • calyth
    • 11 years ago

    I’d play with friends, especially Left 4 Dead, because my friends chose to host the servers locally, so even though i’m going over the net, the latency is usually not bad enough for me to stop trying.

    That and I’m actually playing with people I know, where we understand when we’re playing seriously, when we’re just dicking around.

    Otherwise I agree. I hate playing online. I don’t need the extra stress.

    • PerfectCr
    • 11 years ago

    I *never* play online games with people I don’t know. Friends only. I only play MP games on Xbox Live with people on Friends List, and for PC I only play with TR people. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      I’m right with you when it comes to golf games…we had some fun playing TW on PC.

      When it comes to…well…most other types of games, I take it a step farther – I generally only play with people I know IRL.

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    I play RTS with AI about 99.99% of the time. Mostly because I can pause/quit anytime I want to. FPS, if multiplayer, I play online. Sure theres jerks out there, but there are also good communities out there. My first online FPS experience was with TFC, and somehow found a great community for it. I’m still friends with several of the players on there even after TFC’s popularity waned. We just move on to different games.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    heh, this site is doing more blogs than articles nowg{<.<}g

    • SonicSilicon
    • 11 years ago

    When I started playing Unreal Tournament, bots made the sale. I had no intention of either playing a FPS nor being stuck with online-only play. U.T. eliminated both issues by being fun and having A.I. good enough to play against, then topped it off with a level editor and mutators (mods that can stack.)

    For a while I had no choice than to play off-line since latency was too much off of a free dial-up account. I still go back to it when I’m bored and it is fairly fun, though the bots do have idiosyncrasies to exploit. Customizing their behavior is something worth trying. I did it once and managed to introduce more human style movement so it felt less like a shooting gallery after years of online play. This topic has inspired enough to try again.

    Btw; is it okay to shamelessly plug a favorite server of mine?

    • The Stench
    • 11 years ago

    I have played Halo since the release of Halo 2. I played the crap out of the campaigns of both Halo: CE and Halo 2 (on Legendary difficulty, I might add). Only played multiplayer with a few close friends, and only then very rarely. When Halo 3 came out, I beat the campaign, and then set out on the multiplayer. I became /[

      • SHOES
      • 11 years ago

      Summary: I am really good at halo!.

    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    I’m a big FPS shooter fan. I really got addicted to playing COD2 online. I played so much I almost always landed 1st with about double the score of second place and I always got on the big game rooms 20 or more players. The best part about online gaming are the people, not the talking or chatting but just the strategies and mix of players. I feel very rewarded when I can out smart a fellow human player then have em turn around and outsmart me. Even getting familiar with certain player and learning how to deal with em. To sum up it’s always been fun knowing I’ve pissed off some guy half way around the world than just playing a computer which doesn’t get upset.

    But a good game is a good game. I’m currently playing Bio Shock, I got it for 5 bucks from Steam over the holidays, that game is awesome. I’m not done with it yet but I’m really enjoying it. Though it doesn’t require lighting fast reaction times and battle field awareness, it has lots of other elements that are just really enjoyable. HL and HL2 great game.

    But I’ll tell you I don’t really care much for bots online. COD4 is ruined by the Helicopter, there’s nothing fun about its impossible reaction time and there so little ammo in the game it’s pointless to shoot at it. This game is a really a step back for skilled players compared to COD2.

    I would imagine if you like playing bots Left for Dead might be a good game. I don’t have it yet but it looks great.

      • Firestarter
      • 11 years ago

      I heartedly agree with you on the joy of outsmarting others, only to get royally pwned by them seconds later. I’ve had many a good game on public servers this way, alone or with a buddy on teamspeak.

      As for COD4, I’d like to point out that many share your dislike for the heli, and many servers have it neutered so that it crashes as soon as it gets hit by a stray bullet.

    • TheBob!
    • 11 years ago

    I totally used to feel the way you did. I played with bots on unreal 2004. Would crush them on the hardest settings then go online and get wiped. People were always jerks too. I don’t understand how some people can be so mean to someone they have never met.
    I got the orange box and beat HL2 and portal so I tried TF2. I tried it on and off feeling the same way. I found a community for TF2 (which I will withhold the name of because I am not here to pimp my clan) that runs 5 servers that are aimed at noobies. I am a admin now and usually one of the better players on most of the puplic servers, though it depends on the day. We are very quick to help out a new person and even quicker to kick a dbag. It has changed my views of online gaming. That said UT3 still intimates the heck out of me.

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 11 years ago

      Is it the TF2 newbies only! server by any chance? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m an online jerk. It’s the internet and I can pretend to be whatever i want to be, so why not be the tough guy for a change?

        • TheBob!
        • 11 years ago

        It’s fine to be the tough guy, but why insult random people just because they are new.

        Also have I played with you? TheBob! in TF2 as well.

          • SHOES
          • 11 years ago

          ya u just gotta find the right server buddy some ppl will kick players for acting like idiots. If your not comfortable with yourself the way you are and need to bring down others in order for you to feel worth something, do us all a favor and get a psychiatrist.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 11 years ago

    I’m not a big fan of sitting around by myself playing bots/computer AIs, but I think it’s fun to play with friends in teams against them in all sorts of games. Playing online doesn’t have to be purely competitive.

    • Philldoe
    • 11 years ago

    I’m with ya. I don’t like playing games online at all. I play, mostly,a mix of FPS’s and RTS’s. Most FPS’s I play are made for online play, like UT3 and ET:QW. Alas, wuth UT3 it’s no harder than playing with mid to high leveled bots, excepts bots actually play as a tema making it a bit more of a challenge and a crap load more fun.

    With ET:QW playing online means that people are going to pick a kit they are good at (Or they think that anyway) which means you have half a team of snipers and half a team of splody dudes… Again, the AI can be a better shot and will often times balance the kits out makign the game play a lot more fun.

    RTS’s are a differant story and it would take a lot of typing for me to explain why I like bots better in RTS’s.

    • shaq_mobile
    • 11 years ago

    UT w/ bots in assault mode… theres no other way to play it!

    i think some games yield themselves to bottery far better than others. counterstrike… not so much. ut and q3… excellent!

    ‘realistic’ games usually play aweful with bots, because they dont act like… real people. deathmatch games arent about real people, its sci fi. its perfectly fitting to duke it out digitally with computer controlled ‘people’.

    rts’s are a blast with bots as well. civilization, red alert, age of empires… theres not likely to be one person in this post who hasn’t challenged a silicon soldier.

    ah, i remember it like it was 10 years ago. minigun blazing, flak cannons firing, ripper blades bouncing and redeemers … redeeming. what pissed me off about bots is the invisibility belt never worked on them >:(

    • clone
    • 11 years ago

    my first online FPS gaming was Unreal Tournament and it was awesome back in 1998 but after 2 years I preferred bots because they offered more variety.

    many humans love to camp and snipe…. they’ll spend hours in single player mode searching for secret spots then go online to use them….. then everyone online learns them and eventually so many are camping and sniping that a demographic loses interest and moves on.

    when Unreal 2004 came out and it too was awesome……. not the deathmatch garbage which was just more rinse and repeat but Onslaught which really made camping and sniping less rewarding as camping in one place while a control node elsewhere was being taken would cost players the match and losing is the ultimate motivator.

    the vehicles really made the game just plain fun and it was a golden era for a while but humans being humans over time players would look for places to camp and snipe control points instead of taking them….. the ultimate spawn killing zone away from the spawn points as it were which became uber rinse and repeat….. this didn’t kill my interest although it did make finding decent matches hard, in the end aimbots ruined the game.

    Team Fortress 2 was really creative for a while but it got old.

    I don’t bother with any multiplayer that isn’t co operative and am amazed that so few games offer it given the massive success of all those MMORPG’s.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    In the good old days Quake 3 Arena gave me a lot of pure playtime for my money simply because of the bots. It was my first serious fps game, and it’s responsible for 98% of my mouse handling and aim tactics today. By the time we got broadband internet, I didn’t want to play online much because I knew those people would kick my ass, but eventually I gave in and played once in a while but only after finishing the entire game on Nightmare difficulty first. That was a pain in the ass, but it was a pain well worth it.

    Yes, that sounds wrong, but whatever.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    I used to want to play with bots, but they stopped wanting to play with me.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      You play stuff?

    • echo_seven
    • 11 years ago

    A lot of the “i don’t play online because I suck” arguments remind me of my first experience with Counterstrike.

    CS was my first FPS experience since the original Doom. I am more or less pre-disposed to suck at shooters because my hand-eye coordination is bad and my reaction time is horrible. When I started playing CS (b/c of my roomate) I’d just get pwned every which way, every single time. I’d just be walking and–*blam*–awped, or –*blam*–shot from the back. I’d lose every single one-on-one firefight, at any range–my hands couldn’t move the mouse fast enough or precisely enough.

    I distinctly remember thinking how hopeless I was with shooters. And I remember taking that as a challenge. I wrote out exactly, point-by-point, why I kept losing, and for each point, wrote down exactly what I was going to do about it. I forced myself to focus while playing to always remember those points so that I wouldn’t just do whatever I wanted during the game. I dutifully recorded every single kill and every single death I had in CS for more or less one year, and plotted it on an excel spreadsheet.

    At the end I finally got to averaging about 0.8 (kills per death) on my university’s CS server. At the end, when I finally decided to stop (b/c by this point I had become addicted…), I remember looking back at that spreadsheet and feeling this incredible feeling of accomplishment, because I had taken something that was hopeless and made it not-hopeless through a year’s worth of hard work.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my excessive nostalgia. I’m not able to weigh in generally on all the reasons why someone would play a game online (or not), but reading the comments reminded me of this story…

    (I never really got much better at hand-eye coordination. I still generally lose to random strangers on one-on-one gunfights. What I did get better at was listening real carefully to footsteps to locate enemies, and reading the radar to figure out which map direction the enemy team was “rushing”. You can do a lot of damage if you catch the entire team with their backs facing you…)

    • jeffry55
    • 11 years ago

    I too like playing against the computer and stay away from online gaming. It takes me a while to figure out the style of play that will be successful on a particular game. I play for fun and from my perspective, the online gaming communities are dominated by jerks and punks, which translates to no fun for me online.

    I buy the games for my own entertainment and play the games in the way that gives me the most satisfaction. I really enjoy making a spectacular sniper head shot multiple times. I have zero desire to be someone else’s “entertainment”. I have nothing against people that enjoy online gaming, it’s just not for me.

    Thanks for writing this article.

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    I thought I’d completely disagree with you as I began reading, but by the end I realized that you hit the nail on the head. A major reason I stopped playing Counter Strike was that the online community sucked (and the game got political, but that’s another matter). If I were to get into these games again, having bots would be the way I’d go.

    • Sahrin
    • 11 years ago

    Thank you, Dustin – I know *exactly* what you mean. I am terrible at shooters; but that does not stop me from loving them. Playing online is often a humiliating experience. It doesn’t mean that I don’t do it, or don’t enjoy it – but it does mean that given the choice, playing the computer is oftentimes more enjoyable (nobody likes losing, and ‘nobody’ is my middle name).

    Another game/genre I can’t stand to play online are RTS’s – particularly C&C 3. I *love* the gameplay and mechanics of the C&C series (particularly the Tiberium storyline) – but so often playing online degenerates into a pointless buildup and onslaught of forces (a la China during the Korean War). I love to finesse my way through a good RTS, and finesse a 5,000-strong Zone Trooper attack group is not.

    • Kulith
    • 11 years ago

    I like playing with bots until I get the hang of the AI, whenever I start to always win it gets no fun anymore.

    UT3 for instance; the bots always stay still for a second right before they teleport, which makes it really easy to head snipe them, even on hard, after you get used to them.

    Online the sniper rifle is virtually useless. People never stop moving or jumping.

      • glacius555
      • 11 years ago

      You will be surprised if I introduced you to one of my pro-friends. People complain that he is a cheater, since they don’t wanna accept that he killed them using the sniper rifle:) He says it is all about practicing!

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      Sniper and Shock Rifle are my weapons of choice in all of the Unreal Tournament games. I am still able to pull off snap headshots against nimble opponents.

      It just takes practice and experience to get a feel for them. The shock rifle is more versatile of the two weapons.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        Instagib is a great way to practice.

      • Jigar
      • 11 years ago

      You will hate me, cause my weapon of choice is shock gun, that is enough for me to kill big guns in god like mode. it’s only practice that makes you perfect. and btw play god like mode they don’t stand still.

    • lordT
    • 11 years ago

    The AI in single player games are nice and dandy. Online only games are a lot better off with real players specially for the varied strategies and the unpredictability factor. They may rush you, wait for you or just poke and run away.

    Think of it like the difference between masturbation and sex.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 11 years ago

    i always prefer to use bots to experiment and try technics and learn weapons and control schemes, i think a multiplayer game should mandate bots, even if they can’t fly planes(battlefield franchise), because if they don’t then every newb is forced into the harsh online world prematurely, especially in console games where controls are so much different game to game.

    • khands
    • 11 years ago

    +1 for the bot man. Although I do both about evenly, I enjoy bots when I want to try something out (ironing out a new strategy, or whatnot) or if I know there’s no one I care about playing online right then, or for any number of other reasons.

    • glynor
    • 11 years ago

    I am just like you, Dustin. Speak on, brother.

    • grantmeaname
    • 11 years ago

    I hate how the older a game gets, the more hardcore you have to be to stand half a chance online. UT2003 online is absolutely insane nowadays, for example.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      You meant UT2004. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        he meant “posting on the front page”.

    • donkeycrock
    • 11 years ago

    Don’t you have the will to get better? Or are you ok with mediocrity? And if you say yes, than you should give back all your technology(4870), because if everybody was like you, we wouldnt have great things in this world like cars, computers, cell phones, electricity. We’d all still be back in the stone age because we dont want a challenge, we can just sit by the camp fire, gather fruit, and throw rocks at birds to get food at night.
    Your basically saying you have no motivation in life to be great. Especially since you love something so much. I play alot of FPS, pretty much the only thing i play any more. But I love TF2, Working together, and doing awesome. It doesnt happen all the time, but when it does happen it is really gratifying. And over time you do get better, smarter, bots are really dumb, all they have on there side is precision.
    Anyways i’m inviting you to my next lan party so i can OWN YOUR NOOB ASS.

      • zima
      • 11 years ago

      Way to insult everybody preffering to/working better when alone. And also those who are picky when choosing with whom to socialise with.

      Nevermind that games are for fun of the player, and that’s it.

      • scpulp
      • 11 years ago

      Well, certainly I wouldn’t have the 4870 because I appreciate how it makes my games look when I’m sucking at them.

      Games exist to entertain. Just because I don’t want to pwn n00bs at CoD4 doesn’t mean I have no drive whatsoever to improve myself as a human being, and to make that assumption is absurd. I’m in college for crying out loud. I’m planning on grad school. Clearly, I care not for my own development.

      Games aren’t supposed to be work, and once I realized that I stopped caring so much if I ever got to play Guitar Hero on hard mode and diverted my energy toward improving skills that would actually allow me to progress in LIFE.

        • glacius555
        • 11 years ago

        Exactly my point. How about progressing in LIFE? Career and a happy family with two kids? If I am to choose between beating n00bz and having better grades that consequently turn into more zeros when I get payed, I go with the second!
        Remember, both things require time investment and it is not some freaking Matrix we live in today!:)

      • tocatl
      • 11 years ago

      Nice way to be a jerk, saying “ohh im soo good at fps”, well other guys could tell you “you suck at gaming because you only play fps, where are you mad skills at racing games, strategy, fighthing, flight combat, puzzle, sport games ? ” , easy mode and bots where meant to make the games fun and more accesible to rookie players, a regular person that wants to play fps is not going yo have any fun trying to beat doom 2 in nightmare mode, L4D + Easy mode is lots of fun, also in Battlefield 1942 AI can be quite brutal…

      • Aquineas
      • 11 years ago

      To #20. Grow the @*!!$ up.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      This is a leisure activity, not his job. It’s not school, it’s not a career, it’s not a relationship with his friends or family. It’s a freaking video game. For all you know he may be excelling in every area of his life /[

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      On a scale from 1 to 42, how big a doofus are you?

        • donkeycrock
        • 11 years ago

        I’m actually not a doofus, and are quite nice to game with, i love team work, lan parties, and building custom cases. I just posted that to give the other side of a story. Playing with humans is just another level of mental challenge.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          Your posting style was the mental challenge.

    • pikaporeon
    • 11 years ago

    i always play with bots and bots alone

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    I still play a lot of TF2 because it’s really easy to drop in and out of a game on a whim. Valve’s anti-cheating measures work most of the time and the potential for griefing is very limited.

    The best thing to do is search out a few good custom maps and then bookmark servers that run them, along with any clan-run pubs. They usually tend to attract a group of loyal regulars and stay under the radar of the casual 12yo-with-attitude segment, while having better-than-average admins.

    The next best thing to do is disable player sprays and disable voice chat. That wipes out about 85% of the Obnoxious Factor right up front.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      The Legion is a great TF2 server.

        • donkeycrock
        • 11 years ago

        i like the original rules, no fast respawn times.

          • TheBob!
          • 11 years ago

          Fast respawns always end up being stalemates and cluster#^$*s

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    You released this just in time to be relevant with some research discussed on ArsTechnica!

    ยง[<http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/02/humans-think-different-when-told-theyre-playing-a-human.ars<]ยง

    • PRIME1
    • 11 years ago

    UT bots are actually fun to play against. Sometimes the online servers are too busy or require too many downloads or some other problem.

    I played a lot of BF1942 against bots because they don’t all rush for the vehicles leaving me to walk.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    You’re not alone.

    I used to play on-line huge back in the day (the last game I played on-line in any sort of seriousness was CS 1.6 and CnC Renegade). Since then I’ve got a select few games I like to fire up and play against some ‘bots (UT Classic, UT 2k4, CnC RA2 and CNC 3).

    My big thing is I just can’t be bothered to download new maps, deal with latency, and all that other stuff.

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve been wondering if the lack of UT3 servers is caused by the veteran UT players switching to just LAN or bot play.

    Personally, I’ve never played shooters over the internet. LAN play or bots for me. But I am a big UT player and have played it tons at LAN parties and while at college those 9 years ago. UT3 is more of the same for me and my UT buddies.

    I really just don’t like dealing with online servers. All the dumb mods that have to be downloaded. The lag. The fact that the players aren’t in the same room as me. It’s just not worth the effort IMO.

      • Contingency
      • 11 years ago

      I played Onslaught competitively for most of 2k4’s lifespan.
      UT3 did not take off with us for many reasons, but primarily a lack of balanced maps, no client side demo support for anticheat, simplified gameplay (Epic forgot the second half of “easy to learn, difficult to master”), and most importantly, a lack of new players. Many of us watched our playerbase move to WoW, then BF2. UT3 out of the box had to compete with COD4 and TF2; there just wasn’t enough people around to make a community viable then, much less six months after release. And since Epic tried their best to show they didn’t want our business anyway (anything remotely critical of UT3 resulted in a ban on their forums), most of us played COD4/TF2 instead.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      UT3’s steeper requirements has alienated the UT99-fans, while UT2K4 fans do not like the feel of UT3 or UT99.

      It does not that help UT3 for a while had lackluster server and client support. Patch 1.03 had resolve most of the original problems, but the menu UI still screams “consoles!”.

      I still do fire up my dedicated UT3 server, but activity is hit or miss.

        • shaq_mobile
        • 11 years ago

        none of the UT’s played liek the OG UT though. UT3 least of all.

        the newer they got the more they played like a wide open q3. i had a tough time getting into anything other than 2003, after ’99 lost its shine.
        i dunno about you guys, i just didnt feel much of the UT spirit after ’99. the combat was faster, movement was ‘squishier’, weapons didnt feel as crisp. it just felt like q3 in one of those inflatable structures you jump in when youre 10.

          • Krogoth
          • 11 years ago

          UT3 feels like UT99. There are only a few differences here and there. Namely that UT3’s sniper rifle has a much slower rate of fire and has a tracer.

            • shaq_mobile
            • 11 years ago

            i never gave it more than 45 seconds of play before quitting. it ran really bad on my 6800gt amd64 3500.

            im tired of them removing and adding stupid gameplay modes while treating assault as if it was pointless. yeah, they came up with some interesting ideas and cool game modes… but for gosh sakes, just put in assault. maybe its just and everyone i know that played assault and facing worlds religiously.

            it felt like they were the parent that instead of giving what you asked for on your christmas list, they gave you somethign different, to expand your horizons. you ask for a Red Ryder BB Gun, they give you a pink bunny suit :p. i want assault, not bombing run… as cool as that may be, i want assault. im just grumpy.

            • Krogoth
            • 11 years ago

            I do agree that Assault mode is best and requires solid teamwork to be very enjoyable. IMHO, UT2K4 perfected it.
            UT3’s Warfare mode (mix of Onslaught and Assault) is meh.

            Bombing Run is also very fun if you got adept players on each team. Bots cannot play BR for the life of them.

            • shaq_mobile
            • 11 years ago

            i might have to bust out some UT at a lan party. all this talk has got me itchin, and i need to scratch. might have to try 2k4 assault with some friends, just for a little change of pace.

    • MixedPower
    • 11 years ago

    I can usually hold my own in FPS online multiplayer games, but I generally find bots more fun. There’s no team-killing, no cheating, no idle banning threats every five seconds, no ongoing philosophical discussions in the team chat box. Just me, some bots, and my weapon of choice.

    Plus, if I’m in the mood to kill everything that moves I simply load up a ton of easy bots and get to massacring.

    • Dashak
    • 11 years ago

    You must be out in the boonies if you’re having tribute problems with the “God of Latency” in the current day… I mostly play Steam games and in online scenarios, my ping averages around 40.

    That said, your point about the teenage element is sometimes true. Not always, but sometimes.

    • Tarx
    • 11 years ago

    Very much – bots should be available for all multiplayer games!
    e.g. I’d love to see TF2 with bots!
    I don’t pick up these FPS very quickly and not very good when I finally do (as proved repeatedly at the few LAN parties I’ve been to) so I would want to at least practice.
    Also, time is tough to judge – if late at night, I might have time to play for 30 minutes or so, but if the baby cries I have to pause the game to deal with her. Just stopping/pausing with no notice for an undetermined amount of time just doesn’t work well online.

      • Delphis
      • 11 years ago

      Absolutely, I wanted to play TF2 but I was bummed there was no bot support for it.

      Another thing that makes me not want to do online gaming is that you’re on someone elses time too. If you join a multiplayer game but feel you should get to bed, or the baby wakes up, or you just plain gotta pee then you’re not free to do as you wish. If you just quit out then that’s not fair to others.

      For the most part the games I play are RTS like CnC3/KW, also FPS like Half-Life2. I can normally take on 2 Hard AI’s in CnC3 these days. That’s often a fun game, and I can put it down and come back to it when I wish.

    • mbutrovich
    • 11 years ago

    If you’re playing all of these multiplayer games by yourself you’re really missing the point. Get some friends to buy the same games as you.

    Left 4 Dead, the Battlefield series, and UT2k4 (especially Assault mode) are at their best when you’re playing with buddies. If you’re frustrated with the random people you’re playing against, you’re on the wrong servers.

    There are plenty of people that share the dislike of shouting 12 year olds and griefers, and as such there are servers that specifically cater to those players. Gaming communities like 2old2play and Colony of Gamers are great places to start looking for like-minded players.

    Can’t do much about the ping though. ๐Ÿ™

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      As long as he’s having fun, how is he ‘missing the point’ ? Isn’t the only point of creating and playing games to enjoy playing them?

      I totally sympathize with the fun of playing against bots. Sometimes it’s just not any fun to worry about the highly-competitive nature of online gaming. Sometimes it is, but I can definitely agree it’s not for everyone.

        • BooTs
        • 11 years ago

        The design of a multiplayer FPS is specific in that it is supposed to be a vessle for interacting with other people, either with teamwork or by working against each other. Most FPS games single player components are designed to entertain one person by also offering story line and scripted events (boss fights, etc).

        Playing the multiplayer mode of an FPS without other players seems like a symptom of a personality disorder. No offense intended.

          • Tamale
          • 11 years ago

          ‘multiplayer’ simply means you’re not alone. Whether the opponents you’re playing against are controlled by artificial intelligence or real people simply doesn’t matter that much to people who aren’t driven by the need to ‘compete’

          that being said, even playing against bots can be seen as a way to compete against one’s self.

          It’s awfully ignorant for you to assume anyone playing against bots by preference has a personality disorder. It’d be just as ridiculous for someone to claim that anyone who prefers only playing against other people has a disorder.

            • BooTs
            • 11 years ago

            If you read his article it is yelling “Asperger’s”. Add to that the fact he is writing about video games on a tech web page and it increases the likelyhood he has at least a mild case of Aspergers.

            Read the article again.

            “I don’t have to *[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome<]ยง

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            You seem to be embarking on a hyperbole. The fact he likes to play on his own doesn’t automatically point to a disorder. This probably means that Cyril has Asperger because he enjoys playing Mirror’s Edge, or that Scott has Asperger because he does most of his reviews without teamwork involved.

            It’s time for a reality check. Not everyone enjoys being with stingy random people as much as you do, or has the time or opportunity to arrange acquainted groups so often. That doesn’t mean they’re abnormal.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            takes one to know one?

            • scpulp
            • 11 years ago

            That’s a pretty bold analysis to make without actually knowing me.

            But it’s cool. Armchair diagnosing someone with autism based on a blog and using a typo-addled Wikipedia article for reference material is totally reasonable behavior. Suggesting something is wrong with a person for preferring to play games by themselves instead of with complete-potentially-asshole strangers on the internet is completely reasonable, in fact I’m surprised you didn’t mark my reticence to play games with strangers as not only the presence of a socially crippling disease but also totally un-American.

            Oh well, at least you didn’t call me a “noob” who “doesn’t get the point” like some of the other posters. You just called me retarded in a fancy way instead.

            • BooTs
            • 11 years ago

            Yes it is a weak “armchair diagnosis” as you put it. And I know using wikipedia is also a weak refference but relative to this conversation I didn’t think it was /[

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Aaah, I see. You suspect Asperger *[

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            he does have a disorder, it’s pretty obvious. He’s projecting his flaws upon other people.

            • BooTs
            • 11 years ago

            Yeah, maybe you guys are right. I still wouldn’t say that I “suspect Asperger’s at random.” Apologies to anyone who felt insulted.

            I think the blog here missed a big point in that there are a lot of aging FPS gamers like myself who no longer play enough to pwn like its 1999 since we grew up and got lives.

            To gamers in this situation, FPS with bots with adjustable difficulty could be fun because it would be reminiscent of playing the old FPS shooters we loved without the embrasement of no longer pwning n00bs.

            I don’t have time to play the new FPS games as much as I would have to to bring my A-game and blow up the scoreboard, so I don’t play many new FPS games. I would personally never play bots instead of people, but I could see gamers like me playing against bots as real life takes over all of your free time.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 11 years ago

    I would argue that people play video games for four reasons. One is for the cultural or artistic value with games such as Half Life 2 or Bioshock. Another is for the competition with other players (Counterstrike) or accomplishment (puzzle games). A third is for the camaraderie with your friends when playing together. And the final is as a form of escapism.

    Personally I try my very best to never be part of the fourth group because I can’t help but feel that my time is being wasted and that I could be doing something else (like the first three). Bot support is great as an extra feature, but I can’t help but wonder what the developers could be doing besides that in order to improve the experience for the first three types of gamers.

    As a side note, when I was younger I used to play BF 1942 with bots (I had dial up). It was a ton of fun, but once I got online with the game, the bots just didn’t cut it anymore. I really haven’t been able to play any game against bots since I started playing online. The experience is just too predictable and it seems repetitive.

      • MixedPower
      • 11 years ago

      q[

        • TurtlePerson2
        • 11 years ago

        For some people the point of any mass culture entertainment is escapism.

      • Aquineas
      • 11 years ago

      Good commentary, but I am not sure reason 1 (artistic) and reason 3 (escapism) are not variations of the same concept. People go to movies for reasons 1 and 3, right? Well why are games any different? This is something the general non-gaming public is still wrapping their heads around, but games are a super-set of movies, not a subset. Games are like movies where you can dynamically control the outcome of the story. One step along the way to a holodeck..

        • TurtlePerson2
        • 11 years ago

        I think the difference isn’t necessarily on the side of the creator. Half Life 2 is both escapism and art, but it depends on the consumer to decide what he gets out of it. Just like some people can listen to music and never think about what the singer is singing, people can play great games and not appreciate anything other than the gameplay.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      And I could argue that you have that exactly backwards. If you’re looking for “cultural or artistic value” then you should be /[

        • echo_seven
        • 11 years ago

        What about the people who “play” Microsoft Flight Simulator (R.I.P.), to the point where they’re taking turns being air traffic control and pretty much doing everything other than the actual plane itself? I mean, going out and doing the real thing is nice but when the real thing costs $10000 an hour…

        mainly my point is that games do have real productive value in playing them. The challenges you face (and overcome) in games, they’re often the same challenges that you face in life, just wrapped a different form, and you don’t get killed/dumped/failed/fired when you screw up.

        I remember telling a family friend of my parents (a father with kids 8-10) that he should let his kids play RPGs, if not always, at least once in their childhood. I argued that the insight gained from going through the game was well worth the time invested in it, that it would encourage thinking that would inspire oneself and others in the future. How is playing a video game for enlightenment any different than reading a book for the same?

        (and yes, Chrono Trigger is still awesome…definitely one of those aforementioned “once in a lifetime” games)

          • TurtlePerson2
          • 11 years ago

          I guess I hadn’t thought of the educational value, which is why people watch certain films or read certain books. I learned a ton by playing Civilization 3 back when I was in middle school.

    • anand
    • 11 years ago

    I used to love playing UT in a one on one match against a single bot set to the hardest setting. I was way outmatched by the bot which made it more fun. I spent more time running and hiding than anything else. It wasn’t very often, but when I did manage to beat the computer I was always proud of myself ๐Ÿ™‚

    I try to play online every now and then but never get into it. When I play a death match I usually spend most of my time dying. When I play a cooperative mode, I still spend most of time dying along with feeling guilty about not helping my team out more. So I just go back to bots, they don’t judge me.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    Same. ๐Ÿ™‚ I get my butt handed to me everytime I play online and it just ain’t fun. So I shoot bots instead.

      • bittermann
      • 11 years ago

      Ditto….BOTS for the win!

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    Amen brother. I’ve never played UT/UT2k3/UT2k4/UT3 online, but have probably 100 hours or so at LAN parties, and probably another 600 hours or so playing against the bots.

      • Lucky Jack Aubrey
      • 11 years ago

      Sure you have – you’ve played with Krogoth and PerfectCr and me on several occasions, and our server was often (but not always) open to the public.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 11 years ago

        Ok, that’s true. I meant more on random web servers. I consider playing with TR guys closer to LAN. Hmm. You are right though.

    • glacius555
    • 11 years ago

    I second your opinion. When it comes to FPS, I am a lone-wolf just like you. This is probably the reason why I LOVE Mass Effect! I often play UT3 online and it doesn’t really make a difference for me, if I compare with bots. The only difference is that people would always use a rocket launcher online, if they can.

    The experience is somewhat different when it comes to RTS. Each game is unique is this genre and online players make it really fun. There is however one problem, 90% of online players are rushers with lame tactics. It is fine if it’s all about ranking, but you don’t get to use more than half of your units cos’ the game is finished within 4-5 minutes!

    This might be the reason why I play exclusively team deathmatch when I play UT3 online..

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 11 years ago

      RTS online is kind of a victim of the cult following. There’s no opportunity for average players to get into the system since they get trounced so often when they’re starting out.

      I’ve been part of the top players in certain RTS games, but recently I just haven’t wanted to devote my time to that.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    BF2 is a game that cannot be satisfactorily played with bots.

      • brsett
      • 11 years ago

      Nor can it be played satisfactorily with people. ๐Ÿ™

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    I used to play the original UT with as many bots as I could and let them auto-scale to my skill level.
    I also loved playing Halo on Easy. Running into a group of monsters and taking out the toughest with Jedi reflexes would cause the rest to flee in terror. Good times.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This