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Input Wars


Sam P
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As mentioned in our HALO 2 clan thread here, there are already concerns over a new device by Lik Sang that lets you connect a Keyboard and Mouse to your XBOX (or PS2) and play First Person Shooters the way you would on a PC.

 

What are everyone's thoughts on this? Assuming it works as intended, this will give the KB/Mouse player a significant advantage in terms of aiming, over a player using the analog stick.

 

The obvious stance is to frown upon it. But should we? I mean, people use Steering Wheel attachments for racing games and some gain significant advantages using those but those are seldom begrudged. What about using Light Guns for shooters? Certainly no argument ever arise over those.

 

Someone mentioned that using a KB/Mouse no longer constitutes "playing the game as the developers intended." Ok, but is this grounds for frowning upon the use of such devices? I don't think it falls into the realm of exploits/cheats because you haven't altered the game world (cheats/hacks) and you aren't taking advantage of a flaw in the game world (exploits) but you are doing something to gain an advantage over your opponents. But who are we to stop people from gaining an advantage? People gain advantages when they purchase a bigger display so they can see enemies better, people gain advantages when they hook up 5.1 sound and people gain advantages when they buy aftermarket gamepads that suit their playing style or hands better. Are we going to say that those aren't intended methods of play, either? We've had FPS gamepads for ages now.

 

All the Lik Sang device does is alters the method of input. They haven't changed the game world, they haven't found an exploit -- they've simply changed the device used to inputing signals into the XBOX. And this is done anytime someone plugs in a peripheral or aftermarket controller.

 

But of course, unlike those, you can potentially gain a monumental advantage with the KB/Mouse. We spend all day clicking away on our computers and have perfected the ability to move the cursor quickly over a desired spot, whereas we spend comparitively little time doing the same with an analog stick.

 

But still, can we govern what peripherals others can use, whether it be TVs, speakers, or controllers?

 

What do you guys think?

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The obvious stance is to frown upon it. But should we? I mean, people use Steering Wheel attachments for racing games and some gain significant advantages using those but those are seldom begrudged. What about using Light Guns for shooters? Certainly no argument ever arise over those.

 

I didn't know significant advantages could be gained through wheels. As far as I know, using a steering wheel is always a handicap. Even playing GT3 with the limited edition GT3 steering wheel and a good amount of practice time, my times were always a good 5+ seconds above what I could do with a controller. With other setups, like the Madcatz Dreamcast wheel and DC racing games, there was even a bigger disparity. So, I don't think there will be much complaint about wheels since they handicap the user.

 

Light guns don't cause arguments to arise because they 1) are the designated control device for lightgun games and 2) light gun games aren't played in an on-line competitive environment. However, try an experiment: Use a light gun to play Time Crisis, and make your friend use a controller. Then gloat about outscoring him, and see if there are any arguments over light guns.

 

As for the KB and mouse, I don't like the idea of them being used on Xbox Live because they might ruin what is supposed to be a level playing field. However, I don't think the impact is worth getting too upset over since the advantage will be very limited due to the auto-aim in console shooters and the fact that the mouse has to operate within the controller's sensitivity limits. It might make it a bit easier, but shooters on Xbox Live are won by knowing the right spots to go to and where to aim to compensate for lag, not 1337 aiming speed. It doesn't take much skill to get the giant reticles in R63 over someone's head with a controller.

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Obviously you can't govern what other people use and in all likelihood you'll never know. It'll probably degenerate to a point where someone gets completely owned and accuses other players of using the device, it might not be the same as an action replay or a cheat device but I think it'll wind up having the stigma of one. Oddly enough I haven't really seen this discussed anywhere but here. :?:

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QUOTE

 

The obvious stance is to frown upon it. But should we? I mean, people use Steering Wheel attachments for racing games and some gain significant advantages using those but those are seldom begrudged. What about using Light Guns for shooters? Certainly no argument ever arise over those.

 

 

I didn't know significant advantages could be gained through wheels. As far as I know, using a steering wheel is always a handicap. Even playing GT3 with the limited edition GT3 steering wheel and a good amount of practice time, my times were always a good 5+ seconds above what I could do with a controller. With other setups, like the Madcatz Dreamcast wheel and DC racing games, there was even a bigger disparity. So, I don't think there will be much complaint about wheels since they handicap the user.

 

If you go to some of the bigger gran turismo forums. You'll run into a lot of people that swear by wheels. And with or without a wheel I can't touch their times. I know personally in GT3, it was much easier for me to get gold medals on the license tests.

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Originally posted by Darius@Oct 17 2004, 10:23 PM

QUOTE

 

The obvious stance is to frown upon it. But should we? I mean, people use Steering Wheel attachments for racing games and some gain significant advantages using those but those are seldom begrudged. What about using Light Guns for shooters? Certainly no argument ever arise over those.

 

 

I didn't know significant advantages could be gained through wheels. As far as I know, using a steering wheel is always a handicap. Even playing GT3 with the limited edition GT3 steering wheel and a good amount of practice time, my times were always a good 5+ seconds above what I could do with a controller. With other setups, like the Madcatz Dreamcast wheel and DC racing games, there was even a bigger disparity. So, I don't think there will be much complaint about wheels since they handicap the user.

 

If you go to some of the bigger gran turismo forums. You'll run into a lot of people that swear by wheels. And with or without a wheel I can't touch their times. I know personally in GT3, it was much easier for me to get gold medals on the license tests.

Also, we can't foget that there is a problem with the throttle pedal (or was it brake) of some of the offiical wheels where you only get 80% travel, which results in slower times.

 

The fact is, Big Daddy, that there are alot of people out there faster with the wheel. You may not, but they are there.

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Irrespective of the wheel argument, I don't know very many 'hardcore' fighter fans that don't swear by their arcade stick of choice. Yet the idea of complaining that they are somehow 'cheating' by using a proper controller rather than the generic pad is silly (unless you've been lumbered with a pad yourself, in which case weaseling out by blaming your controls is practically mandatory, obviously ;))

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The obvious stance is to frown upon it. But should we? I mean, people use Steering Wheel attachments for racing games and some gain significant advantages using those but those are seldom begrudged. What about using Light Guns for shooters? Certainly no argument ever arise over those.

 

 

I think that we should. In racing games, I can see people using a steering wheel. Heck,what is used in real life? The same thing goes for light gun games. They were designed for use with one.

 

There is a reason that Microsoft hasn't come out with a k/m combo for the Xbox. It's not a computer.Period. No matter who wishes it to be.

 

It is a gaming console. And Halo/Halo 2/every other game for said Xbox is designed with a gamepad input in mind. Not a keyboard & mouse. PC gamers who can use a k/m play 1st person shooters on the PC really well. But the games for the PC are designed for use with it.

 

I've said it before, & I'll say it again. If I wanted to use a k/m input,then I'd be playing on my PC,at a desk,in front of a monitor. But,since I like to play my games on a nice comfy chair,in front of a big TV, & play on a level playing field, therein goes my love for console games.

 

And if MS did put out some k/m input device,or made games for the Xbox used with one,then I wouldn't be trying to run a clan. Leave the keyboards to the PC & Phantom...

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My inelegant solution would be for online games to somehow (if it were possible, heck if I know :P) note what types of controller the players were using and give options for locking out particular types.

 

So if you wanted an all keyboard/mouse game, you could get it, or you wanted to stop them from messing up your joystick-only battle you could do that too.

 

It's not great, but it's one of the only options I see because keyboard/mouse vs. joystick is hardly what I'd call a fair fight.

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There's on problem comparing the use of KB/Mouse to the steering wheel. A number of racing games actually support the steering wheels, since the steering wheels are offically licensed products. The KB/Mouse combo isn't offically supported by the game and the device used isn't offically supported and tricks the console into thinking it's a gamepad.

 

Now if MS or one of the 3rd parties released a KB/Mouse combo that used 2 controller ports and the games supported it, it would be a different story.

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This is where the beauty of the matchmaking feature of Halo 2 will come in:

 

If the KB/M combo does give users such a significant advantage, they will rise to the top and will then only be able to play against players of their own ilk. I don't think we have any rankings whores on LCVG, so it's never a big deal to us about who has the best online ranking.

 

Those of us who want to play the game the way the developers intended, will just have to be content with being in the lower eschelon, but at least we'll know we are always playing against those with similar skills, even if those skills are enhanced by the device. If the KB/m combo is so advantageous, we can take comfort in knowing that they HAD to use it to get up to our level.

 

If and when I get MK:Deception or DOA:U, you can bet I'll use my SC2 fighting stick (as long as it works). It may help ME do better, but I'll still suck compared to others. I have a friend who owned me with the controller against my fightings stick. It helps me do better, but it doesn't make me unbeatable. And I will ALWAYS let my opponent(s) know that I am using it. In the Midway contest we are having, I used it for Joust (to make with the flapping). I let everyone in the contest know I was using it, and they were all very gracious and said go for it. We have a great bunch here. But had they objected, I would have readily retracted my score and used the controller only.

 

I say go for it you want it, but I'm with Calvin. Give me a comfy chair or couch and let me lay back and play. Hunched over a KB/m is not my idea of fun for playing hours and hours of Halo 2.

 

If the matchmaking in Halo2 works well, I'm sure we'll see other new games adopt similar approaches.

 

And if we really want to level the playing field, I say NO CORRECTED VISION! :P

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I don't think the mouse/KB combo gives anyone an unfair advantage in Halo 2 on xbox. The game is designed (and designed well) for the controller, there aren't a lot of extra buttons you save by using the keyboard. In fact, I would think it might be a disadvantage.

 

For example, you only have two weapons at any time. So what if you map them to the #1 and #2 keys for hot switch? You just press Y on the controller to switch. So what will using two buttons instead of one save you? Also there is a lot of driving and flying in Halo 2 (at least it looks that way.) As mentioned above, for these situations it is actually much easier to using a joystick type control over either a KB or mouse.

 

It just doens't seem to be an issue for me. If someone kicks my butt in Halo 2 I don't doubt it will be either their 733t skills or my lack thereof ;) Mouse/KB will be a much smaller factor than the skill of playing the game IMHO.

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I'm 12th in the world on Carve.

 

We rule...I hear that LCVG holds about 20% of the world rankings for October...five players in the top 25. ;)

 

As far as this K/M thing, I blame Microsoft. They should have had a keyboard/mouse from the very beginning, and games that support it.

 

But when you play games on Live with a K/M, the game would recognize it (and advertise it to the other Live players). Players hosting would have the ability to create a joypad-only game if they choose.

 

If we'd had this official K/M, nobody ever would have bothered making this adaptor (which will be inferior to a real K/M as it has to work through joypad emulation...directional analog control instead of positional analog control), and 'cheating' would be a complete non-issue.

 

Ignoring the keyboard/mouse market has resulted in this problem.

 

So has this K/M combo even been proven to be advantageous?

 

It won't be as fast/instant as native mouse support, because it will be constrained by the coded limits of joypad support. For example, you won't be about to whip around 180 degrees in .01 seconds like you can with true native mouse support; you also probably won't be able to target as quickly. There is also the disadvantage of no analog movement (run/retreat/strafe) with the keyboard.

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If we could tell who was using what controller, no problem. But I don't want mouse aimers silently thrown into the mix on Live.

 

In my experience a bigger TV and surround sound is only a slight advantage. It definitely makes things more enjoyable, but when I get into a gunfight it still just comes down to aiming with the thumbstick.

 

This is where the beauty of the matchmaking feature of Halo 2 will come in:

 

If the KB/M combo does give users such a significant advantage, they will rise to the top and will then only be able to play against players of their own ilk. I don't think we have any rankings whores on LCVG, so it's never a big deal to us about who has the best online ranking.

 

You can care about your ranking, and competitive online play, without being a "stat whore".

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I'm all about using a controller, with the rumble feedback, analog movement and triggers to pull. It helps to make the gameplay more immersive IMO.

 

I'm waiting to see how well this thing works before I get worried about people using it on LIVE. Not to mention that the headset needs to be attatched to the memory card slot on the adapter, which requires either a wireless headset or headset extension cords to make work, which makes it a PITA to use online. I even think Allen would need some kind of extension cord to use voice with this adapter!!

 

I see this as being more of a offline input choice because of the above hassles. After all, they are the same inconveniences that keep people from using wireless controllers for LIVE gaming.

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Not to mention that the headset needs to be attatched to the memory card slot on the adapter, which requires either a wireless headset or headset extension cords to make work, which makes it a PITA to use online.

 

That's not true for all. I play on my PC monitor (with an X2VGA). I barely have to lean in my chair to reach the Xbox.

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