Spawn Trap

BF3Battlefield 3 (BF3) has been out since last November and I have been comparing it to its predecessor Bad Company Battlefield 2. Both are the current top draw for gamers online being that they are shooters and have in their lineage that classic DOOM released way back in 1993. The main difference between then and now is instead of one player against the world we are now using multiplayer to play against each other in groups of up to 12 teammates composed of squads of up to 4 each. While we have made strides in graphics the inclusion of multiplayer has added a thing called latency which when played on a world scale is quite noticeable.

But today’s analysis is on the worst and most frustrating experience one has in partaking in these games. We call it Spawn and Die (S&D). Because this is a killing game you will die and as in real life you are effectively out of the game. However after a short time (unlike real life) you are allowed to be reintroduced into the game with a process called spawning. You magically appear at a location that is either your camp or near a squad member or some other spawn point.

Often after you decide to spawn and just as you are back in the game an enemy kills you. This is S&D. It is most frustrating when having elected to spawn on a teammate you arrive just as they are being killed and find yourself in the same line of fire (or a quick adjustment by the enemy). This can become a vicious cycle.

You are dead so you are anxious to get back in the game and get back at the enemy that killed you. However instead you S&D. Now you are even more anxious so when you S&D again you become furious. Repeat until you are so upset the controller has been forcibly thrown at your HD screen destroying both.

Fortunately most of us realize it is just a game and quit way before that happens. We sulk and seek a fairer game where hopefully we will no longer experience an overwhelming amount of S&D activity.

If this were a real battle no one would be able to magically appear via spawn. In my mind one should always appear out of sight of the enemy. Perhaps in an underground bunker that is beyond their reach. But while that is feasible to implement it eliminates the fun factor of spawning on a friend and avenging their current death by hunting down the enemy and killing them in turn. Also you would need more than one bunker otherwise a concentrated enemy could choke off your teams ability to advance out of your camp thus effectively spawn trapping you.

This effect appears mostly in BF3 conquest whose object is to capture and control bases. Since a captured base becomes a spawn point, once your team owns them all the enemy has nowhere left to spawn other than their own base. When the enemy has no outside spawn points you will find your team as well as yourself in a spawn trap. After all everyone knows where the enemy camp is.  The design of some maps make this a death trap and easy to confine your killing spree to the few avenues of escape available to them.

That makes for the nightmare scenario in which the cycle of S&D repeats continuously and you will lose because of the spawn trap. This is fun? Not a bit, but I have taken part and been on both sides and have to admit that when I am on the winning side it usually turns into a spawn trap for the losers.

The only solution I can present is if you find yourself in that situation where you are unable to avoid an unpleasant experience and it is clear that there is no way to avoid it in the future, get yourself out of the game and thus out of the spawn trap!