Are you a sniper? Are you a camper? Do you hate one? Do
you hate both? Read on, and then vote your opinion in our
Welcome to the first edition of "The Gauntlet"! They say that
there are two sides to every argument, and the debates within
the Quake community are no exception. That's why we created
Our top two PlanetQuake staff writers, Spyke and Lee'Mon,
often find themselves on opposite sides of an argument. We
could have them each post their own editorial, but PQ readers
have let us know what they really want: bloody combat!
So, we squared the two off in a custom arena, and let them
use whatever facts, opinions, arguments, and insults necessary
to make their point. Then we let you, the readers, decide
the outcome! So watch and read as these two enter the battle
royal, and vote on which side you agree with!
This week's topic: Campers and Snipers. You love 'em. More
likely, you hate 'em. Perhaps you love to hate them. But when
it comes right down to it, which is the lesser of the two
evils? spyke argues for the "art" of camping, while Lee'Mon
stands for the "skill" of sniping.
Lee'Mon: Well, since this is the all-important first edition,
there's certain bragging rights to being the one who goes
first. [Examines Railgun in his hands.] I think it's
easy to figure out who gets to start...
Spyke: [Points BFG at Lee'Mon's head.] Ahem...whoever
holds the spork gets to speak.
Lee'Mon: [Frowns] Fine, go ahead. I'm not afraid
of that llama weapon; I just don't want to have to readjust
Spyke: So this is Camping vs. Sniping, right? Well,
I'm all for camping. But it depends on your definition of
"camping". The way I see it, camping is simply staying in
one place, in a strategic spot, during a game. Be it behind
a pillar, in a secret room, or, for that matter, in the middle
of a nice open area; if you're staying still, you're camping.
And there's nothing wrong with it. People will bitch if you're
beside a weapon or item, but that's their problem. They've
got to come up with their own strategy.
Lee'Mon: Well, I can play that game as well. I define
"sniping" as extensive and repetitive use of the railgun,
usually from long distances, often while "camping", and typically
by extreme LPBs and/or very good railers. However, the primary
requirement is you're constantly using the railgun, even if
you have the BFG and full ammo. Again, people hate it, but
in sniping's case, it's typically because 90% of them can't
Spyke: Can't do it? I suppose you're on to something
there; not everyone has mad rail skillz. However, they could
if they wanted to. Camping prevails over sniping because it's
exponentially less annoying. It's better to have a guy sitting
behind a pillar or next to the rocket launcher than to have
a guy way out on a platform with the rail. It's easier to
even out the situation; eliminating a camper takes ingenuity,
where eliminating a sniper takes pure luck.
Lee'Mon: So go back in your tent and cry about it.
As a sniper, I'm using a weapon that everyone else has equal
access to; I'm just far better at it. Campers, on the other
hand, typically do their work by denying everyone access to
a crucial weapon or powerup. As for your looser definition,
hiding anywhere is just unnatural. The lion doesn't wait for
the prey to come to him; he goes to the prey.
Spyke: Okay, let's take a specific example, and this
is the one where sniping hurts the most. Q3DM17, The Longest
Yard. If sniping on that map, you're out on the far platform,
where the railgun is conveniently located. You're denying
access to a weapon. Granted, sniping doesn't cause that all
the time, but we go back to my loose definition of camping.
Provided you camp at a weapon, say the rail or the rocket
launcher, people are going to go for it. They want that weapon,
and if you're camping there, they'll gang up on you to get
that weapon. However, if you're camping somewhere else, away
from a weapon or item, you're simply staying still. There's
nothing wrong with that. As for the lion stalking the prey,
not vice versa, it's simply a defensive gameplan.
Lee'Mon: To paraphrase a famous line, defense means
never having to say you're shot. Hide-and-go-seek is a cop-out.
Granted, camp-sniping the rail on Q3DM17 is one of the lamest
battle strategies in existence, but you call it sniping, while
I call it camping. Who's to say who's right?
Spyke: Who's to say who's right? I'd like to say I
am, but I'm not. But still, camping is definitely more fair
than sniping. With sniping, you have the advantage of being
able to survey a large area and pick off anyone who enters
it. When you camp, you're usually in a small area, and have
to get the jump quickly on anyone who's not smart enough to
fire in a rocket or grenade just in case. Therein lies my
argument...camping is fairer.
Lee'Mon: The converse is true, as well. When you snipe,
you're visible to a huge area of people, and you have a slow-firing,
extremely precise weapon. If you have more than one randomly
moving target, you're in serious trouble. A camper, however,
can often take on all comers, simply because he plants himself
on the high ground.
One of my first experiences with camping was on one of ztn's
Quake 2 maps. Someone had procured the grenade launcher and
a load of grenades, and proceeded to grapple to the top platform
of the main arena and grenade spam the level. No one could
get close enough to remove him, and everyone was getting frustrated
fast. How did we remove him? I sniped him. In that case, the
players were far more appreciative of sniping than camping.
Spyke: I suppose it all depends on the situation,
looking at it. I still maintain that, on a server with a player
base of mixed experience (i.e., some newbies, some veterans,
and some intermediate), camping is infinitely more fair than
sniping. It keeps the game fun by not requiring that a sniper
be taken out by unwarranted teamwork or pure chance, and is
easier to deal with.
Lee'Mon: [laughs] Had to be the first one to
back down, eh? Oh, well, since I value your worth as future
"Gauntlet" fragbait, I'll try to bring a consensus to this.
So stop me if I have this wrong:
I feel I have a right to use the railgun as much as I want.
You think it's not fair to the other players. Personally,
I think that it may not be fair to less skilled players, but
it probably isn't bad in its purest sense. You only get good
by playing against someone better than you.
You feel it's alright to play hide-and-go-boom in the Quake
levels. I think it goes against everything DeathMatch stands
for, but I suppose times are changing. So I suppose that nowadays,
hiding/camping/standing still/whatever is a viable -- although
still chickenhearted -- method of combat.
However, we both seem to lash out against those whose primary
goal is not combat, but the control of a specific point in
the level, usually (but not always) with a crucial powerup.
It's a zone that only the crudest campers and snipers delve
into. Since I refuse to call them snipers, and you refuse
to call them campers, what are they?
Spyke: I suppose now is the time for me to wrap things
up as well, although I hardly propose a consensus. I believe
this debate is a lot like pi; it is irrational and thus can
never be truly solved.
You can never get gamers to agree on anything. Small groups
will agree on little issues, and on a rare occasion, big issues.
However, Camping vs. Sniping is not one of them. I've been
playing for a while now, and when I first started, camping
and sniping were big deals. I even recall a mod that wouldn't
let you stay in one place for 10 seconds, or you'd get booted
from the server. Not too much fun for us stealthy types. So
I suppose that neither is the lesser of two evils, and that
both should be socially acceptable, if that is possible in
online gaming. Even though I'm right. And Lee'Mon's defense
has more holes in it than John Carmack's door after Paul Steed
has been on a methamphetamine rampage.
Lee'Mon: Okay, that's it. You, me, Q3Tourney6, right
after we finish this article. Feel free to camp the BFG all
Spyke: You got it, sucka! [silence] Hey...wait....6?
Uh oh...I can't camp on that one!
Lee'Mon: Sure you can...[grins]...and I can
Spyke has strategically placed a rocket launcher under
Lee'Mon's kitchen sink and is gleefully awaiting the day when
it's his turn to do the dishes.
Lee'Mon was last seen loading his railgun and heading
for a location eight blocks from spyke's house.