How Montage Clips are Made….or not

I was watching this video from MuzzaFuzza. It’s a Modern Warfare 2 Search and Destroy match on Afghan – a game mode that I don’t tend to play as I don’t have the time to wait three minutes to respawn. It’s got some great gameplay and commentary although I think that the opposing team were seriously outclassed.

The whole video is a good watch – Muzza does a great job on his commentary and gives a lot of information. But the best bit is the montage clip effort at timecode 2:17. Effort – yes, success – not so good. Despite Muzza and his team-mate making multiple attempts at shooting the last guy 360-jump-shot-montage style they don’t get him……and the last guy on the other team fails just as hard at shooting them….

Just watch it – words can’t do it justice:

Peas and loaves

Find me on PSN – EvadLive


The FAL – how many ways do I love thee?

Mmmmm....yummy

Modern Warfare 2 and I were not friends. The FAL and I had a lovers tiff. It just wasn’t performing for me the way it used to and I started to suspect there was someone else. But it was all me. I’d been using the Acog scope as I’m levelling the gun up and it was awful for two reasons – 1: the Acog scope is awful, 2: I’m awful with the Acog scope.

I was also having a bit of a bad run of games so our relationship had gotten a bit rocky. Once I had enough kills to unlock the Thermal Scope the Acog was gone! And on with the Thermal Scope? Not likely! I wanted it back how it was before. I wanted the romance and the sunsets back in our lives. So we slipped away to the sun drenched valley of Afghan where I kitted my beloved FAL out in a slinky little blinged out silencer and holographic sight combo.

We rocked that party. It was just like old times.

Okay, I know that the FAL is not for everyone, and it’s far from ideal in a close quarters situation, but given the right conditions it is a god. The single fire rate is the most off putting thing about the FAL, especially if you are someone who likes to rush. But with practice you can get your trigger finger up to itchy tasty speed. Personally, I prefer a kick arse secondary (or shotgun attachment) for those times when I get into enclosed spaces – but this is a FAL love in, not a secondary woot-fest.

There are two things that make the FAL special – accuracy and power. It is the most powerful assault rifle in the game, but is underused because you can’t walk into a room and spray with it. What it lacks in sprayability it makes up for in taking peoples heads off from across the map. Plus, when you attach the holographic sight you get an extra damage boost which turns it into a two shot killer. Don’t believe me? Are my words not good enough for you? “Pics or it didn’t happen!” I hear you say!? Well, okay I don’t have any footage of me using it, so allow me to direct you to Geoff’s (sasbenjr) FAL expose video:

After I prestiged, that video made me decide to really put some time and effort in to the FAL, and I’m glad I did. The fact it is single shot means that I actually have to take my time and get my aim on before firing a shot so using it has made me a better player (one step up from really rubbish).

Ideally I want to get as far as the extended mags for it – but we’ll see how that goes. I’m glad I went back to the FAL and broke my losing streak 🙂

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE


Improving Your Aim

Let’s get some caveats out of the way before we get to the main feature. These tips are what work for me. I’ve been playing FPS games for almost a decade on and off and have been rubbish at them. But thanks to the wonder of YouTube and the YouTubers who take the time to upload videos and share their tips I’ve been able to improve by analysing what I’m doing compared to what they’re doing. There are two users whose videos I’ve found to be most useful – SeaNanners and Sasbenjr. The reason why I use them as examples out of the 60-odd other people I’m subscribed to on YouTube is that in their videos they explain what they are doing (sasbenjr to a much higher degree than SeaNanners) and because they also use a tactical play style that is more suited to us older (I never thought I’d be calling myself old at 34…..) and slower gamers.

So on with the tips.

#1 – Handicap yourself
This tip is not for everyone. It can cause you to fall out of love with the game, reconsider your life choices and generally cause a complete crisis of confidence – so if you are of sensitive disposition move on to tip #2. In order to improve your aim you need to be able to aim to begin with. Any nugget can pick up a Scar-H or an ACR and be a demon in game. It’s easy when you use a strong recoil-less gun. But that’s a crutch, doesn’t help you improve, and it soon becomes boring using the same thing all the time. What should you do? Use this loadout:
Sleight of Hand
Whatever second perk you like
Steady Aim or Ninja

The FAL

What?! The FAL!? Yes the FAL. It’s single fire which means that YOU will have to stop relying on spray and pray kills and actually learn how to aim properly. Think the FAL is too easy? Then use a pistol. Think the pistol is too easy? Then you don’t need to be reading a post about improving your aim. Using the FAL helps you get into the habit of #2…..

#2 – Make your targets come to you
Okay, there’s nothing you can do about someone zooming around the map using Marathon, Lightweight and Commando getting you in the back, but for everyone else you can pretty much control what happens if you are in the right position. In Modern Warfare 2 it can be difficult to hang back when everyone is running around like the sky is falling. But that’s what you’ve got to do – you already know the high traffic areas of the map (it’s where you die a lot) so your mission is to get a vantage point of that area that gives you a low profile to the enemy while allowing you to easily see them. You need to keep your crosshairs on the traffic area ready to get your victim. Always be looking straight down that corridor so that enemies are running towards or away from you – not across your field of view. It’s much easier to shoot a target when it is stuck in your line of sight rather than moving across it. I wouldn’t stay in the same spot for more than two kills (or a couple of minutes) – best move to another location that also gives you a view of your previous perch in order to ping the guy going for the revenge kill. Moving also prevents you from getting tunnel vision or ‘zoning out’ due to inactivity.

#3 Practice shooting stuff
Set up a Lan game and join it. It’ll be lonely as you’ll be the only one there, but it also means that you won’t spend your time being shot in the face while you attempt to improve your aim. Choose a target, or targets and practice shooting from one to the other. I like HighRise for this as one of the buildings has a clock above a doorway – I run around the corner and bring the aim up to that. If you do this for a couple of minutes before going online proper you should be a bit more prepared.

Target Practice


What you’re trying to achieve is the ability to bring up your sights and hit the target as soon as it comes into view. This skill will aid you when you spot someone while moving around the map. Also try shooting targets at varying distances – the exploding barrels are particularly satisfying targets.

#4 Make your aim true
Your crosshairs should always be where the threat is most likely. In buildings your sights should sweep the corners and then stay on the doorway as you move towards it ready for anyone coming through – apply this to moving through maps like Favela, Karachi and Invasion where there are many streets as well as buildings. When you’re maintaining a strategic presence (or camping) you should be sweeping the areas that the enemy are most likely to be coming from. Keep an eye on your mini map – unless your green triangle buddies start disappearing you should be looking in the opposite direction ready to get anyone who is attempting to flank. When you’re moving keep your sights up – if you find that you’re all over the place, move on to #5.

#5 Choose a sensitivity that suits you
Some people play on sensitivity 10 and treat it as some sort of mark of 1337ness. And good for them. Personally, I’m currently on sensitivity 3 on the PS3. When I had my Cheap Freaks on it was 7. Your level of sensitivity should compliment your playstyle and controller control. If you spend 12 hours a day playing and have the reactions of a rattle snake on speed then chances are that a higher sensitivity would suit you. Conversely, if you play a couple of games a day and are generally ham handed then lower sensitivity will be your thing. In either case you need to find what works for you. The only way to do that is to play – try the exercise in #4 – if you can’t hit the clock on your current sensitivity then try lowering or increasing it depending on your results.

#6 Choose your shots
I think it was Hutch that said “You’ll miss every shot you don’t take” which is true and is especially correct when sniping. But “Nothing gets you killed quicker than giving your position away” – that’s mine. If you are using an unsilenced weapon don’t blast wildly at anything that moves. If you miss, you panic and your aim gets worse, in the meantime the enemy knows where you are and is going to shoot you in the face. Load up a silenced weapon and add Stopping Power – then try it again. The silencer prevents you from showing up on the radar, and in my experience unless you’re standing right in front of the enemy they tend to get all jack rabbitty and hop for cover as they don’t know where they are being hit from instead of returning fire.

#7 Take a breath – relax
This is probably the most important one, at least it is for me. I noticed that when I saw an enemy I would get a bit tense and my aim would be all over the place. This is because that tension made my movements stiff and jerky. By relaxing, my aiming movements were smoother and more controlled. It made sighting running enemy a lot easier. Get into the mindset of “I’m gonna shoot you sucka!” rather than “There’s a guy, has he seen me, can I get him…?”. Make it so that as far as you’re concerned you’ve already won the firefight, the only thing left to do is pull the trigger.

#8 Prefire and burst fire
When just using the crosshairs you can swing around quick and easy, but as soon as you ADS this movement is slowed significantly – even on higher sensitivities (although it is also dependent on the weapon you are using). When you encounter an enemy at closer range who is an active threat (an “Oh shit!” moment where you’ve seen them and they’ve seen you) get your crosshairs over them and fire before bringing up your sights – that initial prefire can be the difference between your killstreak, or just plain being killed. When you are firing a fully automatic weapon ensure that you burst fire by tapping the trigger. This will create a narrower grouping of your rounds. This is especially important when using LMGs, the MP5K, Tar-21 and the F2000 (not that anyone uses that one anyway). Although the recoil can be useful for getting headshots, after the initial kick you’ll be shooting at the sky – and unfortunately you don’t get kills by doing that.

#9 The Strafe Fire
When I first started playing FPS I was given this tip by a guy who played Quake (never my thing). It’s what they would do, back in the day, during the ‘dance of death’. The what? I know, you don’t see it so much anymore due to the lower health and stronger weapons in most games. The Dance of Death was what would happen when two players find themselves toe toe with no melee ability. They would basically circle each other until one had managed to shoot the other to death. Although the Dance of Death is pretty redundant nowadays, the circle strafe technique is not. It’s useful for getting around corners where you suspect there is someone maintaining a stategic presence (yes, camping). So here is how you do it. Find an object like a barrel that you can move freely around. Now put your crosshairs on it, or ADS if you like. Once you’ve done that your task is to move around it in an arc keeping your crosshairs or sight on the target object while maintaining a set distance from it. In order to do this you need to push the movement stick in one direction and the look stick in the opposite direction. Start off slowly with small movements and then build up the pace. You should practice doing this clockwise and anti-clockwise. This is actually easier to show rather than describe…

When I get the capability to record I’ll make a video illustrating these tips.

And so, example videos. First, SeaNanners. There’s not too much commentary regarding what he is actually doing at the time, but he give some good advice on playing the game. Main thing to watch for is where he positions himself, how he moves around the terrain the way he moves from position to position.

SeaNanners in action

Narrowing your profile to the enemy by using cover


Although he’s mobile he is not blindly running and gunning (ignore the Heart Beat Sensor). Watch how his crosshairs are always pointed at his direction of travel and where the enemy will be coming from – the pauses at junctions and minimising his profile to the enemy.

And now sasbenjr. This is the Rundown with M16 video. In contrast to SeaNanner’s video Geoff talks us through what he is doing and why, including cool little graphics to illustrate threat areas.

sasbenjr

Graphics showing threat areas from sasbenjr


Check out the part where he is on the balcony facing the bridges which allows him to control the engagements while maintaining a lower profile with height advantage.

Also check out his FAL videos.

I’d appreciate any feedback on this. If it’s been helpful to you, not helpful, or even if you have some tips of your own. Like I said, these work for me, but I’m always looking for ways to improve.

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE


Practice for Christmas, M4A1 FTW, and Den Kirson

First off, this blog (or ramble amble as it often turns out to be) has been going for pretty much three months now and although I enjoy talking to myself I’d like to thank those of you who also enjoy me talking to myself and keep coming back for more. To make this thanks more real I’d like you go to your nearest mirror and look yourself square in the eye and sincerely thank yourself for dropping by. Actions speak louder than words, so give yourself a chumly pat on the shoulder too – that’s a nice touch.

Okay, on with the ramble amble….

A Surfboard Wrapped in Bubblewrap

Santa was not a happy chappy


Merry Christmas!
<<< What the hell is that?! You're asking yourself. Is it The Mummy after being hit by a steamroller? No, it's my surfboard, packed and ready to be picked up by the courier to go to its new home on the other side of the country. Now here's my top tips if you ever feel the need to sell a surfboard:
1 – Sell it locally
2 – Make sure that your advert says 'pick up only'
3 – Put 'pick up only' in massive red letters
4 – Ensure that there are no postage options on your advert
5 – When tips 1 – 4 are ignored by your buyer purchase 25 metres of bubblewrap and some packing tape
6 – Do some warm up exercises prior to wrapping your ex-surfboard
7 – Make sure the kids are in bed so they can't hear you swearing as you attempt to wrap the surfboard

So there you have it. I suppose it's good practice for Christmas….well it would be if I decided to buy someone a 7'9" oddly shaped wierd thing. But no, I think ahead. At Christmas time, if the item you want does not come in regular box shaped packaging you either don't get it, or you can have it in the store bag it came in. Bah humbug!

But hang on? This is supposed to be a blog about gaming so what has my surfboard got to do with anything? First it was pumpkins and now Christmas? Well the surfboard was sold to part fund my Hauppage purchase. So there we have a chunk of money towards it. In case you're wondering what the Hauppage a Hauppage is you can have a look here. But in a nutshell it’ll allow me to record my gameplay in HD for your viewing horror pleasure.

M4A1 FTW (for the win)
This night was a good gaming night. The weekend is over so it was my turn to be handing out the asses. And hand them out I did. The best thing was the match making – it was fairly even and the games I played were really close, only the first game ended on maximum score, the others went to the wire.

For this evenings entertainment I’d moved away from the FAL set up and was mostly using M4A1 with Red Dot, Spas-12 with Grip, Sleight of Hand, Stopping Power, and Ninja Pro. Claymore and Stuns. Death Streak…..probably Painkiller (I don’t tend to pay attention to that one). UAV, Counter UAV and Predator Missile. Anyway, last time around I hardly used the M4A1 at all as I found it to be really weak compared to every other gun that was shooting me in the face. But now that I’ve found the beauty of Stopping Power, the M4A1 becomes a beasty beauty! The only downside to Stopping Power is that it prevents me from using Cold Blooded which means I get shot while attempting to shoot down the UAV – well, if I’m going to be a big red dot on their radar I may as well be getting my money’s worth!

So here’s how it went:

Scrapyard – Win – 18-1-3
Afghan – Loss – 16-2-5
Invasion – Win – 8-1-5
Favela – Win – 14-0-6

Definitely not beast scores, but much better than how I’ve been doing recently and I had a lot of fun – especially on Favela. It was crazy, all mixed up, people everywhere, not like I normally have it.

Den Kirson

So, who is Den Kirson and why should you care? The answers, I don’t know and if you’re interested in stats. If you’re not interested in stats just skip to the bottom for a really shameless plug. Anyway I was watching a video on YouTube…..this one in fact (a seamless link, neat-o!):

And towards the end he mentions this Den Kirson guy and gives his web address which you can go to by CLICKING HERE. On that page is a really cool tool that shows you the strengths and stats of the guns in Modern Warfare 2. Well, I was impressed. But I like stuff like that. If you like it too, then you should visit his site. If not, then you should definitely visit sasbenjr‘s channel on YouTube (how’s that for a shameless plug? Pick me Geoff!). But seriously – for real effective tactics none compare to Geoff’s vids. They definitely helped me tonight.

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE


Prestige……resistance is futile!

I’ve previously posted here about whether to prestige or not. To quickly recap for those who are not aware of what prestiging is or what it means – in Modern Warfare 2 (and in the whole Call of Duty series) once you reach the highest level you get the option to prestige. To prestige means that you revert to level 1 and all the weapons, perks and whatnots you’ve unlocked are gone, for you to unlock again (tempting, isn’t it).

So this morning I had a spare half an hour and decided to check out what it would be like to go back to level 1, so I loaded up my CheapKills account and played three rounds of Team Death Match (TDM) – Underpass, Invasion, and Afghan. On all those maps I would usually start off using my sniper class, which currently comprises the Intervention, PP2000 (or akimbo M9’s as I was trying to unlock the tactical knife), claymore, stun grenades, Sleight of Hand Pro, Cold Blooded Pro and Ninja Pro. But, being level 1 on this account I didn’t have access to any sniper class, nor any of the perks that I would usually use.

Interestingly, I always assumed that the matchmaking system matched you to players of a relatively similar rank which made it quite surprising to see that the closest rank to my new level 1 was level 56 and the rest of the lobby were 2 higher levels again, 4 first prestige players and the rest were multiple prestige players. So anyone buying the game now is going to have a really hard time of it. The three games I played I went negative on the K/D each time, but that was mainly because I was running around and going for revenge kills.

The first game was Underpass which I joined part way through, so I chose Grenadier Standard Class, mainly because it was the first on the list and being level 1 it didn’t really matter what I chose. I got a couple of kills with the pro-pipe (or noob tube as those on the receiving end like to call it), but my most delicious kill was against a sniper who was using the Barrett, thermal scope, and akimbo 1887s as his secondary. He was in the same place and killed me three times, but while I was on my way to get him one of my teammates killed him so I decided to wait for him to come back to his nest. As he came through the door with his akimbo models I let him have it from the silenced shotgun that comes with the class. I picked up his 1887s but didn’t get a chance to let him have them back (bullets first) before the level ended.

The next level was Invasion, a map that I have a fairly set routine for that harries the other team. I chose the class with the Magnum and Tactical knife for that map, put my routine out the window and went on a stab-fest. Four kill streak – w00t! I ranked up enough from those two games to unlock the Scout Sniper class just in time for Afghan, but you know what, I was having fun with the tactical knife so I didn’t use it.

On Afghan I got fairly trounced, I think it was 9-6 by the end. I was mainly killed by people who play like I usually do so I really did live up to the CheapKills name on that map.

So here’s the thing, being limited and handicapped was fun. It was fun hunting down the players with all the toys and taking them from them. It was also fun levelling up again. Yeah, the AK47 is a beast of a gun, but it’s not much fun doing the same thing again and again.

I think I’m going to prestige, just the once. Up to level 70 you’re basically just learning the maps, techniques and tricks. Once into the prestige the fun really begins – especially as you are forced to use difficult load outs.

Or am I crazy?

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

My First and Last MW2 YouTube Video

I’ve been messing with the idea of recording some of my Modern Warfare 2 gameplay because I’m so awesome at the game I thought it would make a change for people to see an ordinary average player rather than the usual beasted ownage that you see from players like Hutch, SeaNanners, czeko92, theMOODIEswede, tjeb and all the other brilliant players out there.

Anyway, I’d looked at different ways of doing it and as I already had a Dazzle adapter thingy for a video camera I cobbled together a splitter cable. Which was fine except it meant playing in non-HD, and the computer didn’t like the set up. So I went cross-eyed and the PC had a fit.

The next thing was using the video camera to record directly from the screen – a cam, as it were. Again this was fine except for a couple of things:

  • flicker from the screen, it’s a 50hz plasma screen and the slowest shutter speed on the camera is 1/50th so that was unavoidable.
  • Because I was using headphones to play and couldn’t be bothered to make an audio splitter cable there was no actual in game sound
  • Connected directly to the PC I could only get 5 minutes footage before the camera shuts down
  • Couldn’t get the whole screen in without getting a massive border

I made a quick intro bit and stuck some music on it. I avoided the usual Drowning Pool or LaRoux that seems to be popular at the moment and went for something more fitting to my gameplay. It was the first (and only game) I played last night and when I joined the team were already losing. It was on Afghan and I chose my sniper class as I prefer to go sniping on this map. My secondary was the PP2000 which I’ve only just started using and by golly it’s a beast of a gun.

One mistake I made was forgetting that I had claymores equipped which meant that the twice a grenade would have been infinitely more useful I stood in the open and brazenly planted a claymore (although later on it did alert me to the position of the enemy).

And here it is (although not available in Germany due to WMG restrictions):
*UPDATE 08-05-2010- Now not available anywhere due to a copyright strike on my channel)*

I’m not going to make anymore videos for the forseeable future, not because it was difficult, but because I’m not happy with the end quality from the camera set up. But if anyone has an HD PVR that they don’t want I’ll take it off their hands for zero monies (you don’t ask you don’t get).

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE