Posts Tagged ‘weapons’

The game has been out less than a week and I have to say it has absorbed quite a bit of my free time.  One of my co-workers has been playing with me a lot online and together we’re pretty hard to beat.  On more than one occasion my fiance has had to work extra hard to pry me away from the PS3.

My Thoughts

I have to say I was a little skeptical about this game.  I was always a huge fan of the Infinity Ward games (particularly Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2) but the new team at Infinity Ward hasn’t impressed me that much.  That said, this game removed all doubt.  The online multiplayer has been revamped and is better than ever.  While I still miss certain features from the Modern Warfare series, I welcome the new changes.

I haven’t played the campaign at all, so I can’t comment on that although I’ve heard its really cool.  I’ve focused strictly on the multiplayer at this point.  Typically my fiance plays the single player portions long before I do.  In my opinion, the campaign is just a bonus feature in these games.  Most of them last less than 5 hours and while they’re usually fun and impressive, I prefer spending my time climbing through the ranks online.

Online, I focus on playing as a sniper.  I have gotten very good over the years and my friends hate to play against me.  This game is very sniper-friendly, so I enjoy it a lot.  There are open lanes on just about every map, unlike previous games where certain maps just didn’t fare well for long range shooting.  I can play well using just about any type of weapon, but my slow and steady play style is better suited to using a weapon that often requires patience to master.

Becoming the Ghillie Monster

On Nov 7th, just before midnight,  just two days after the game released, I unlocked the ghillie suit for my characters.  My performance as a sniper in the game has increased exponentially.  The graphics in the game are extremely good and the ghille suit makes it very easy to blend into the environment.  I’ve had many people run right past me or struggle to see me, simply because I was wearing the suit.  What I’m saying is that it is well worth the effort to get it, and I’m not looking forward to the future when every sniper has it.

In past games, the ghillie suit was typically given to players after they completed certain challenges (several hundred “one-shot kills” I believe), so long as they equipped a sniper rifle as their primary weapon.  This game allows you to equip it to any character, but its a bit more difficult to acquire.

To get the ghillie suit, you need to have the “chrome barrel” attachment on your sniper rifle and complete the 3 chrome barrel challenges.  The first is 100 kills, the second is 250, and the third is 500.  So the total you have to get is 850 kills using the chrome barrel.  Not an easy feat by itself.

However, this game is also unique in that you don’t have access to every challenge at once.  In previous games you unlocked more challenges as you leveled up.  In this one, you’re given a certain amount in each category and they only change if you spend points you’ve earned or wait the 2 weeks between sets.  So in order to get the ghillie suit, you also have to make sure you have the chrome barrel challenges open in the Operations menu.

My suggestion for unlocking the ghillie suit, if you choose to do so, is get rid of all other loadouts that don’t contain a sniper rifle with a chrome barrel.  Doing this will force you to play as a sniper (which is possible on every map) and you’ll develop the play style you have to have instead of flipping back and forth and trying to maintain different skills.

By default you start with 3 loadouts available.  I used one with an ACOG scope and the other two with Variable Zoom scopes.  Variable zoom lets you play well on most of the maps and the ACOG gives you the flexibility you need on smaller or more urban maps.  Set the perks and equipment up for how you like to play (I like perks that hide me and equipment that protects me from behind) and you should be good to go.

Likes

There are a lot of things I like about this game so I’ll just focus on the things I like the most.  Since I haven’t played the campaign yet, this will focus only on the online multiplayer portion.

I really like that they’ve added game types.  I particularly like the addition of Infected.  I remember playing something like that in Halo once at a friends house.  Its a  lot of fun if you play with a group of friends.  Cranked is also pretty neat.  I’ve only played a few times but its different and I like that they tried to add something instead of relying on only what worked in the past.

The maps are really cool.  It takes a while to memorize the maps and until then its just a lot of running around like you’re lost.  Once you figure it out though they all have a lot of unique features.  My favorites by far are Warhawk and Octane since they have something to offer everyone from snipers to those guys with SMGs.

I think they balanced the weapons more.  From the time I’ve spent with the game it seems the weapons have been a little more balanced this time and I like that.  Other people may disagree but I still have nightmares from the first Black Ops where nobody used anything but sub machine guns because they were so powerful.

Dislikes

There are only a few things I don’t like about this game and they’re easy to get past.  During the first few hours I had a tough time with creating a class.  The addition of so many perks and the fact that depending on what specialty you give your character changes which perks you receive early made it a bit confusing.  It was quite a change from previous versions.  After a few hours though it got easier to figure out and now I have no problem at all (though I still prefer the older create a class systems).

While playing a match, the statistics screen (brought up with the select button on the PS3) has been moved.  Instead of being in the center of the screen, its now smaller and at the top right.  The benefit is that it can be left up while you play, but the downside is that its smaller and harder to read.

Muting players online.  This used to be easy from the statistic screen.  You simply highlighted a player and pushed the mute button.  Now you have to open the pause menu and select mute players.  At that point its pretty much the same, highlight a player and push mute.  Unfortunately it takes longer to do while playing and took a while to discover.  That meant I had to sit there listening to chipmunks and 13 year olds cuss back and forth the whole time.

They changed the challenges.  I always thought the challenge system they had was really good.  I don’t feel like the changes they made to that part of the game improved the experience at all.

Conclusion

If you’re a fan of the online portion of past Call of Duty games, Ghosts will not disappoint.  My complaints about the game are minor and not worth worrying about (I’m just one of those people who hate change).  The game is well worth the $60 price tag.  If you don’t like that they release a slightly different version every year just to make money, then don’t buy it.  Its not significantly better than past games, and I definitely wont be trading my old ones in.  But I can say with absolute certainty that when I play a COD game during the next year it will be Ghosts.

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Like I mentioned in my last survival post, securing our homes is key to preventing (or at least deterring) home invasions.  There are a few things you can do to ensure your home is well prepared.

31)  Secure Your Home

Beyond the standard suggestions like “lock your doors”, the book (Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson) provides a checklist of things you can do to help keep your home safe:

  1. Keep valuables in secure locations (like a bank lockbox) instead of inside your home.
  2. Don’t discuss your possessions or valuables with others.  Keep it secret, keep it safe.
  3. Only use licensed workers for in home repairs and always check IDs.  Also, never leave anyone in your home while nobody is there to supervise.
  4. Install motion-activated lights.  These come on when motion is detected and can keep would-be intruders at bay.  They may also alert you to a threat you wouldn’t otherwise have noticed.
  5. Keep everything locked.  Doors, windows, garage doors, etc.  If you’re picking new locks for your home, go with a deadbolt style lock.  These are more difficult to break through.
  6. “Get a guard dog.  Or two.”

One suggestion I would add to the list is a home security system.  Many people say they’re overpriced and that you don’t need them, but its just like my guns:  I would rather have them and never need them than to need them and not have them.

What would you add to the list?  How do you have your home secured?

These three tips go hand in hand.  I thought about posting one each day like I usually do but that would simply be excessive.  Last tip we learned how to make a proper fist, but today we learn how to improve our self defense even more.

26)  Master Basic Fighting Techniques

“The best way to protect yourself from injury (and take out your assailant) is to disable him or her”.  In one of my favorite books of all time, Ender’s Game, Ender fights other children on several occasions   He normally avoided fighting but when he had no choice, he fought to win permanently.  “Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too”.  He wanted to disable his attacker in a way that they would never be able to hurt him again.  That’s the goal of self defense after all, right?

If you really want to learn self defense, you should take a class.  Most gyms in my area offer some type of personal protection class.  Just check around and see what you find.  Here are some basic fighting moves to help you learn to be better prepared until then.

  • Parry:  A “parry” is a defensive move that is used to block an incoming punch or kick.  This is performed by moving your arm or leg in a circular motion in order to force the attack off to the side.  This is not an easy technique to describe in writing so I’ve added the picture to help illustrate the move.
  • Punch:  This is fairly straightforward, but proper technique can improve your strength and effectiveness greatly.  The books says, “Bring your fist to waist level, with your elbow pulled back.  Step forward with the opposite foot as you punch, landing the blow as your foot hits the ground”.
  • Kick:  Again, fairly basic.  Never underestimate the power of a kick though.  Our legs are extremely strong and can inflict a lot of damage if used properly.  To perform a basic kick, lift your foot to about knee level and thrust your foot toward your attacker.  Aim for areas like the stomach, groin, or knees.  Use the momentum you create during the kick to propel you forward so you can get in a quick punch or two before the attacker can recover.

 

27)  Clutch a Roll of Quarters

You might be thinking, “Okay, I understand the point of this suggestion, but who walks around with a roll of quarters in their pocket?”  Well, to be quite honest, I’ve done it on several occasions   Not for self defense reasons though.  I go through lots of quarters at work in the soda machine so when I go to the bank each week I sometimes buy $10 worth of quarters.

Carrying them around is rather cumbersome because they weigh quite a bit.  But that is in fact the best reason to use them for self defense.  Punching someone in the face, or other vital area, is painful enough as it is.  I don’t know a whole lot about physics but I know that adding a pound or two to that punch gives you a good bit more impact.

If you’re headed to an area you aren’t so sure about, swing by the bank and grab some quarters.  If you end up not needing your “weapon”, at least you’ve wasted no money on it.  You can simply turn it back in for $10.

28)  Defend Yourself With Your Keys

I would imagine that every one of my readers keep a set of keys on them every day.  Many people never consider keys as weapons but they can certainly fill the position if need be.  They’re not as sharp as a knife, but they don’t need to be.  Most keys are jagged and at least somewhat pointed.  Punching or slashing (pretend you’re Wolverine) with a set of keys can really hurt someone.

To properly take advantage of this you need to hold your keys in a way that provides maximum effectiveness.  Try holding your keys with one between each finger, extending the points away from you, toward your attacker. Or, if you only have one key, you can hold it like a knife.  Keep the point toward your attacker and slash with the jagged edge toward their body.

Your keys wont do nearly as much damage as some weapons, so don’t rely on them as your main method of personal protection.  But don’t ever feel defenseless with only your keys.  Take a couple practice swings right now, get the feel of it.  As with anything, you’ll want to practice before you need to use the skill.  Trying to learn the best method while being attacked probably wont end with the best results.

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The information in this post is a combination of my own opinions and the information provided in the book, Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson.  Always try to avoid confrontations when possible.  Only resort to using the methods above if there is absolutely no other option.