I’ve been reading this article on Moneyball moving into the NBA and was wondering how it could apply to competitive or even casual gaming.
I’m not a pro gamer so I’ll talk about pick up games (PUG’s). And the game of choice is, of course, Call of Duty 4.
Like all PUG’s, each member of each team is driven by own self-interest, and it’s not always to do the best or to win. I consider myself a pretty decent PUG player, mainly because I choose survival as my goal. In a typical team deathmatch, the person with the best kill to death difference (so if your final record is 45-12, it would be +33). I find myself on top of the list quite often.
However, I also found that the more people in a server, the less likely my individual score will have an impact on the final outcome of a match. It’s likely because of my emphasis on self-preservation that I end up leaving my teammates out to dry.
So my next challenge is to use my individual talent to help the team win, likely at the expense of flashy stats. There are a couple of things I’ve picked up from the article that are applicable.
Stop their best player. Do whatever it takes to slow that person down, even if it means breaking a kill streak from time to time. That means selecting weapons and tactic gears specifically towards stopping that person. The best players have the tendency to feed off of the worst. Of course, the challenge here is to find their best player. That leads to.
Help out your teammates. This is where your stats will suffer. In large games, the chaos and lack of maneuverability will cost you many lives and shorten your temper. But at least you’ll guarantee you’ll find their best player. He’ll be the one on your teammate’s six ready to flank them.
Do whatever it takes to get out of a jam. Spawn killing is a major problem in Call of Duty 4. While I have criticized Call of Duty World at War’s spawning system as sporadic and unrealistic, at least it is not predictable. In a large game, you will find yourself spawning right by the spot you were killed until that area is completely devoid of allies. An opposing team could rack up many kills just by herding the other team in a corner. So if it means packing 3 frags and an LMG, do it. Even I feel sick suggesting that, but do what it takes to help your team to get out of a jam.
Know the map. That’s easy. If you consider yourself good, then that’s already being done. In addition though, understanding how traffic flows during a match will help you devise tactics to help your team. So studying how both your allies AND enemies move will go a long way.
I will continue to list tips as I discover them. Hopefully, mastering the team game in a PUG will translate to more competitive aspects of gaming.