So, please... help me understand. What IS a Casual player? What IS a Competitive player? Or are they, as I deeply suspect, just made up labels to categorize, insult/demean/belittle, or even boost the ego of players like so many other terms we have heard throughout the series(Noob,Scrub,Camper,Headless Chicken,etc)?
I think you hit the nail on the head there.
I jump on call of duty 2 or 3 times week maybe 2 hours at a time myself .When i do play i play to win.With that said i'm not the best player but can hold my own.So where does this put me? May be i'm a competitive causal player.
This is a great opportunity to make the observation that the "competitive community" is simply a sub-group of those which used to refer to itself as the "hardcore" or "dedicated" community.
Set aside preferences in playstyle and and we're left with a group of fans who share two very common elements:
- Experiencing fun from repeated execution of the game. (Playing to win.)
- A level of investment, or passion, within the franchise or genre which warrants the need to share input and vision as it moves forward.
Thus I believe it's better to have the labels of "casual" and "dedicated."
Players who invest in a franchise or title as either a byproduct of social interaction or a means of entertainment obtained through the “experience” of the game’s single player, multiplayer, or cooperative game modes. These players may also consume multimedia content generated by others and engage in light discussion of a game in social circles which are not focused primarily on gaming.
Players who invest in a franchise or title and derive entertainment through the repeated “execution” of the game’s single player, multiplayer, or co-operative game modes. These players not only consume multimedia, but may also create it. They may also engage in heavy discussion regarding technical aspects of a game and how those elements impact the end-user experience. These players have also either developed their own social circles or are part of larger communities which focus on either specific or multiple franchises, titles, and genres.
Yes the lines blur really fast.
I myself am a dedicated (hardcore) FPS fan and a casual MMORPG fan.
I think Foxy did a nice job of defining the two. I would add my thoughts on "catering to casuals" and "only listening to MLG".
The catering to casuals has been around (from my POV) since WaW. COD4 drew a lot of new regular players (i played COD2/3 MP sparingly). With WaW, ou started to hear how it catered to casuals with the MP40 and betties. This continued with each subsequent title with complaints of early unlock OP weapons and the rise in "stealth" perks. I personally dismiss that POV. With BO2 and Ghosts, however, there have been real elements added to the game to make it easier for new players to see early success. The tracker and thermal sights. While not exclusively for new players... they sure help.... but... veteran players use them and gain a lot of advantage, too. In the end... I think "catering to casuals" is mor of an urban legend than reality.
Catering to MLG... this has a little more fire to the smoke... but only a little.
BO2 had a stated mission to grow eSports. It brought in COD casting and league play and wholeheartedly engaged the competitive community. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing but it does fracture the COD community as a whole. How? They develop COD with weapons ABC, perks 123, and streaks XYZ for the general player yet eSports use weapons AC, perks 3, and streaks XZ. The new casual fan will watch them play and two things will happen:
- They don't get/like/prefer why they play with different rules and attachments than they do.
- They prefer the modified rules and will no longer play the standard modes.
Thus, you get a fractured community in terms of play and perspective. This is not a healthy thing for us all.
If they simply developed the game with a single rule system... there goes a lot of that problem.
I use the term competitive to refer to players that play against other organized players or teams outside of regular public matches (private matches or LAN events). I think of a casual player as someone who gets on a couple times a week and plays a few public matches.
I think the "catering to noobs" argument is used when describing items in the game that have a very small skill gap and allow for a lesser skilled player to easily kill a more skilled player. MW2 noob tubes come to mind. You could have an excellent player and an average player on two different teams using the typical tube setup and there probably wouldn't be a very noticeable difference in their skill levels. The decent player would also have a good chance of being able to kill the excellent player. If you keep the same situation, but give them a setup with a famas or another gun that requires good aim, then there would be a noticeable skill gap between the excellent player and decent player.
You are correct in your synopsis of what "catering to noobs" means. I just think that it's often used as an excuse for those that simply think that they shouldn't die. These items can lower the skill gap for certain but in doing so it forces the more experienced player to develop their game play to a higher level and thus the skill gap is restored not through items but actual skill. I dare say the that "catering to noobs" has done more to separate the truly skilled from those that just thought that they were than anything else. And that my friend I believe is the argument that the OP is making. Those that are truly skilled will overcome. These "noob" items only level the playing field between the actual noobs and the somewhat less nooby players. That much does help noobs develop without having to get smashed as much but it doesn't make them skilled. Or even competitive with skilled players. It only gives them some aid to get started. Skilled players certainly know how to maximize the benefit of these items but they are just as effective without them.
I think that the only way you could really identify who is "skilled" vs those who are less "skilled" would be to have them play a vanilla version of the game, all using the same weapons, no perks, several times on the same map. Statistically, the skilled players would consistently score better than lesser skilled players.
I think the irony in all of this is that what some people call "Catering to Noobs" has actually made the game MORE competitive. And THAT is why some of the self-proclaimed "Elite" or "Pro' Players complain.
I have been of the mindset for some time that it is difficult to truly define "Skill" in CoD, because I don't think you can just look at one category.
In a vacuum, one would think quick reaction and hand/eye coordination would make a player "skilled" in CoD, and maybe when it comes down the basic elements, that would be right. So you have your "skilled" players that just naturally have the tools to succeed.
But I think, over the course of the game's history, "skill" has evolved beyond that. Some players are more tactically or strategically skilled. Some players have leadership skills and work well with teammates. Some players are purely academic... they learn fast and figure things out using logic or just plain repetition and use this knowledge effectively in game to outsmart opponents. It goes on and on, there are numerous types of skilled players these days, not just the ones with greater dexterity with the controller (those still tend to have great success, but its harder for them to do so than it was earlier in CoD's life cycle).
The early games had a vanilla quality that really allowed those with superior reaction times and hand/eye to dominate regularly. As the years went by, maps changed, equipment was removed and added, and game elements were introduced that allowed for a broader set of players to be able to have consistent success. Not everyone has great ability on the sticks, just like on a battlefield not everyone is Rambo... but everyone has something to bring to the table. And sometimes providing these tools allows for players with a variety of skills to have success, and thus makes the game more competitive for all, and not just a select few.
good topic and before I start I will state I am not well written so bear with me.( no secret there)
For me I consider myself a casual player outside of clan wars while very dedicated , so combining the terms dedicated and competitive really does not work for me. I will read many of the threads where others have listed there experiences or certain map advantages . What was nerfed what was buffed to keep an understanding of what is going on with the game.
For the most part I don't buy the game caters to "noobs" since everyone has the same opportunity , sure people can use thermal scopes but it isn't limited to any individual and if it gave someone an advantage over you figure out how to counter it . That term is used way too much IMO because you got beat they used a "noob" load out ? nah you got beat because they beat you. During my casual play is where I will work for certain patches or achievements and take a much more relaxed approach to the game.
During clan wars I consider myself competitive , in the past it may have been lone wolf challenges to clan ops but during those time frames I approached it as a competition and felt like a competitor. I put in the time to learn the rules come up with strategies enlist people and go through the whole recruitment process to have a group people that are casual but when it comes to cw play very competitively . These are just personal views though as I don't impose them on others outside of my clan . I enjoy playing during clan wars more people tend to play the objectives which makes certain game modes a lot more fun during these times win or lose.
I Don't view competitive players as being limited to esports or mlg as there are plenty that don't try to impose their views on the Dev's but play the game as it is delivered.
With me it would depend on when you ask as to what type of player I am but that is how I view it . So I don't think there would be one solid answer that would be correct but more of a situational one.
It could also be in how I view the term competitive and what it means to me. My views on mlg and esports are something different and comes down to preference .
Proposing that we as a community refrain from referring the the community who enjoy eSports or ladder-style-competition(s) as "competitive" and instead simply refer to them as "league" or "bracket" players.
This way all players may not only state that they are competitive in nature, but further refine where they are competitive.
Example 1. - I consider myself to be quite competitive when playing Call of Duty and I enjoy the [hard]core variant of public matches.
Example 2. - I consider myself to be quite competitive when playing Call of Duty and I enjoy matches of the [League Play / Clan vs. Clan / GameBattles / Major League Gaming / eSports] variant.
Preemptive commentary on the term "Pub" or "Pubs" used as a classification and, or, insult: Equate this to being called a tryhard. Ignore it and laugh at the label.
If used in an argument such as "you don't understand because you're a Pub," then the only response is "I have an opinion, but I feel you need to better explain your position and thoughts on the matter."