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Dear Killzone 3 Medic,

Dear Killzone 3 Medic,

By the time you read this, I will already be dead.

Guerilla has only given me a couple of seconds to write before my bullet-riddled body expires, provided that one of our adversaries doesn’t come running by and deliver the coup de grace before the “Wait for Medic” screen expires and I just hit X to respawn.

I was just doing my Tactician job, charging headlong into danger to secure tactical spawn areas and making sure we all don’t start back at square one when we die defending control points or trying to maintain a strong front. But then, out of nowhere, xXxSinfulMeatxXx came out of nowhere and blew me away with his shotgun. Now, I’m laying here just waiting for you to come revive me. I’m laying here next to the tactical spawn area I captured for you. Look on your mini-map, I’m the first aid cross.

But I know you won’t come, and I will just die like I have some 556 times according to my statisics. Because you’re not doing your god damned job. Haven’t you heard of the Hippocratic Oath?

What the hell are you doing while your teammates are lying there bleeding out? Are you playing this game like Call of Duty, just running around and racking up kills? I hate to tell you Sergeant Slaughter, there aren’t any killstreaks here. Or are you admiring the many variations of “blown up building” that make up the terrain we’re fighting across? Or could it be that you just don’t have a clue as to what a Medic is supposed to do in a game like this?

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This is a team-based game. This is an objective-based game. And most importantly this is a class-based game. And we need your skills to win this battle.

I know it sucks that you only get 25 points for revive, which is half as much as killing Private Newbie, and I agree that you deserve a more equivalent reward. But we’ve got to play what we’re dealt right now. Maybe they’ll tweak it up for us in a patch and make the Medic more lucrative for the points-farmers among you.

Here’s my advice. Stick with your squadmates but hang back and don’t go rushing in to try to wax some bad guys. Cover their six, and stay low. Watch for them to go down and spring into action with that revival tool when they do. If they’re defending a spot, we’ll be able to hold it much longer. If we’re on the hunt, we’ll save valuable seconds since they won’t have to march all the way back out into the field. Or, you could just play another class. I hear that the Marksman gets to shoot people up real good.

I’m sure all of this is falling on deaf ears and you’ll likely continue running around shooting at people and boosting your holy and sacred K/D ratio. All I can say is that I hope that when xXxtEhGrAnDwIzZaRdxXx waxes you, that there is no one there to revive you so that you’ll feel the pain of all of the squadmates you’ve failed to aid.

It’s getting dim now. Time to press X to respawn.

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Motheramercy, is this the end of Crackedlcd75?

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

22 thoughts to “Dear Killzone 3 Medic,”

  1. This is why i hate “roles” in FPS games. Nobody ever acctually co-operates unless it’s convienient for them. People will only pick the medic cause they want something the medic has for offensive tactics and then won’t even toss you a medikit when you’re crapping a brick behind a box cause you only have 2 points of health left.

    Personaly I think kills should be low down on the rewards. If it’s co-op, you should get tons of health for a revive, and about the same as a kill for a heal or ammo drop.

  2. Ugh. Sadly, this is all too typical. I think that Team Fortress 2 is still the only game to get actually decent Medic players within simply because they made properly playing that role worthwhile. Give Medic roles more points for actually doing the job that they’re supposed to perform in the game and the results would probably be better.

  3. Well, this is the one thing that I think Bad Company 2 does better than KZ3 (other than the building destruction)- I felt like it was more rewarding of doing your job.

    Also, having played BC2 for a long time now, something you see happen over time is that the toolbags who apparently don’t notice that class=job=responisibility to team eventually leave the game. If you go play BC2 right now, your odds of getting into a random squad with people who play the game CORRECTLY are hugely improved. The last few games I played of it were great because everyone played to class and it was awesome. For all of the talk about how headsets are mandatory, it really isn’t as long as you pay attention to your squad/team and DO YOUR JOB.

    KZ3 really needed a “soldier” class. In BC2, their only real job other than to shoot people is to drop ammo boxes…which is important, but not nearly as important as the other jobs. In KZ3, all the classes are more specific. Marksman is the only “pure killing” class, and that’s still highly specialized since it’s all long rifles and stealth.

    There is at least one kind-of fix for the KZ3 Medic, the Medi-Droid (you can see it in that picture) offers a healing effect if you’re in its area. So you don’t have to count on the kid playing the Medic to drop a kit. But he’s still got to do the revival.

  4. This is why you play team based games with friends (either the ones you know or the ones you “know”). And it’s also why I prefer playing on the PC for games like this. Find a server you like, with people you have played with before and you can always go back there and play with them some more.

    Also, why do we have medics in games like this anymore? Either no one plays them because the medic class is lame or they’re useless because health packs are everywhere or they make themselves useless because they think they’re Rambo. TF2 is the only game I’ve ever seen with a worthwhile medic class and even then, good luck getting a full heal (let alone an ubercharge) as anything other than a heavy.

  5. I almost think Medics shouldn’t even have weapons and work solely as a support class…but then NO ONE would pick them.

    I would…I think it’d be really cool.

    Another thing could be for the medic to set up triage stations, similar to how an Engineer sets up turrets. Just a healing area that folks could run to and take a hit off of to top off after a firefight.

  6. Well, that’s obviously a great point. Play with people you know and the problem dissipates. Sometimes.

    There is an issue in the game though, between the short bleed-out and the low reward it doesn’t make the Medic very viable. That’s on Guerilla’s end, and I hope they fix it.

    I think there’s all kinds of creative ways to do a Medic class, just no one is doing them.

    Adjunct to my idea of a “no weapon” Medic…there could be a penalty to a player for killing a Medic. You might be willing to take it if you’ve got a Marksman and can pick off the other team’s Medic and keep them from healing up at a control point or something.

  7. This is the reason I loved BC2. I don’t think i’ve ever come a cross a team of people who didn’t play to the job they had chosen.

    Now if only the medic wouldn’t revive me while the person who killed me was still in the area life would be sweet…

  8. Me too, but BC2 wasn’t like that at all in the first couple of weeks it was out. My first impressions of it were “hey, this would be really cool if people did their jobs.” Like I said though, now if you’re not doing your job you’re the odd man out.

    I’m really, really hoping that the KZ3 hangers-on go back to playing Black Ops soon and folks serious about playing it as it’s meant to be played stick around.

  9. yeah, I think BC2 has the right balance of rewarding working as a team, but being able to survive on your own.

    MAG got it fairly wrong. When you die it takes three years to bleed out, all the medics ignore you, you take thirty seconds to respawn in a paradrop and end up getting sniped on the way down.

    That got boring fast.

  10. BC2 is my favourite team based shooter, but the key is, as you say, to find the right server and/or the right group of people. The great thing about games like BC2 is that provides a role for even the least proficient of us.

  11. Well I haven’t played MAG so I can’t really comment on that. I avoided it like the plague. I love games, especially multiplayer games, that reward you for playing in different ways. Especially if the rewards are plentiful!

  12. I’d be interested in something like that, too, with different classes of troop 100% playing their role and nothing beyond it. You could maybe get a group playing a more hardcore shooter (something like Arma II or Red Orchestra) to go in for such a setup, but I just don’t know if it would work in a more mainstream game.

    The triage station idea is something that would make sense for pretty much any style of shooter, though. That would work pretty well.

  13. I’d love to see a game with very rigid roles, one that had the guts to say “you don’t get a gun” unless you’re a soldier or fighting-specific class.

    In this theoretical game, the Tactician class (or analog) would be more focused on setting objectives, selecting spawn points, and maintaining cohesion. You could even do something radical borrowed from that old PC game Majesty and set flags on the map, when squadmates go to them they’re rewarded with points for following orders. BC2 does something kind of like that with giving orders to go to objectives. I thought that was cool.

    Then you could also have a Recon class that would be strictly about gathering intel. Their job would be to keep enemies on the map, similar to what the Tactician does in KZ3 or spotting in BC2. They could intercept Tactician orders if they were in line of sight. Or there could be a counterintelligence class that could jam orders and scramble Recon.

    Medics, of course, would be strictly focused on tending to the wounded and keeping people alive. Not on shooting people. That’s one of BC2′s biggest flaws, giving the Medics HMGs. It makes no sense. I think they did that just to get people to play the class. Damn red berets…

    Lots of cool stuff could come out of getting away from established class models in FPS games…I’m really interested to see what Brink does with it, particularly with its “on the fly” mission generation system.

  14. I would absolutely love to see a system like that. Recon troops who gain points/credit/merit/whatever for actually patrolling and probing (and for God’s sake, DON’T give them bloody sniper rifles or all they’ll do is lie prone and shoot occasionally!). Medics score for setting up triage stations/med tents and healing the wounded. Hell, I’d take it a level further and say that there are specialized driver classes for people who want to run tanks around the map. And if some sort of model could be figured out to have them actually support infantry (and be supported by infantry in return) instead of trying to be an Abrams driving Lone Ranger out there, that wouldn’t suck either.

    Brink is definitely a game that I hope to see some improvement to the player types in. Maybe Battlefield 3 will really step up the class system as well.

  15. Dearest Other Players of KZ3,

    I sincerely apologize for not reviving you, but until the latest update (today I believe) my hands were tied.

    Unfortunately your death occurred in an open area or in a doorway. For me to revive you, I have to be pretty much standing on top of you. Were you able to kill the guy that downed you? No? Don’t you think that person (usually an invisible sniper) is still there? Is it a good idea to go stand still in the exact same place you just got shot (while my medic juice is doing it’s thing)?

    Look, I wanted to help you heal up before any of this occurred. I would have thrown you a health pack, but I can’t any longer! Why oh why did you keep running away from my invisible healing aura?

    Yours in health,

    Killzone 3 Medic

    All joking aside, I play medic in any and all games that have one. The medic in KZ3 is/was a broken, unnecessary class. Not many people understand how to get healed, but it’s rarely needed as player health regenerates quickly anyway. There is no hanging back and reviving as it took over 25 seconds until the revive ability was ready for use again. Even with good communication, the chances of either that teammate sticking around or the medic staying alive are slim.

    As you mentioned, KZ3 also doesn’t reward the medic very much (unlike say TF2, BF:BC2, or even Resistance 2). A revive is worth 1/2 a kill and how many points do I earn for general healing……. ZERO! I still play medic in the game (’cause that’s how I roll), I just find myself not wanting to play the game that often.

    Hopefully the KZ3 update released today (which seemed fixated on the medic) resolves some of these issues. I’m hopeful, but doubtful.

  16. LOL Great article.

    Bribery and withholding are the two necessary elements in ensuring developers create a great class-based, teamwork focused game. Give out XP or score liberally for any act supporting your team, and withhold stats information on kill death ratio. Suddenly everyone will be doing their job.

    The biggest complaint I hear about Medics in BC2 is that they revive too much.

    As Michael mentioned in a comment above, Brink is the one to watch as it will be solving just about every class-based, teamwork focused problem out there, including tossing syringes out so the player can revive himself, rather than get revived into a storm of bullets only to die again.

  17. Well played sir, well played!

    I didn’t hear about the update, how timely that I posted this today.

    We’ll see what gets fixed…They really should SHOW that you’re in the Medi-Droid’s range somehow…

  18. I don’t own a PS3, but I have several hundred hours as Medic in TF2, and also prefer playing Supporting roles in general. I think the reason it is so fun in other games (BFBC2 and MNC being other great examples) is that you not only earn rewards for healing and reviving, but also have interesting gameplay that makes you want to do those things anyway. The medic’s ubercharge is the most obvious example; you want to heal so that you can keep yourself alive on defense and block a capture or push out on offense and wreck an emplaced defense. Just giving people the ability to heal without any real need for it and the ability to revive with lots of restrictions doesn’t sound like fun.

  19. Agreed. The Medic in TF2 is the most valuable player to a team. They control the ability to move the front forward. Valve did a smart thing in that they made it fun to heal….. and if that wasn’t enough they gave you the most powerful weapon in the game!

  20. No one would pick them because what you describe doesn’t sound fun. Don’t take my word for it though. Try it yourself:

    Play TF2. Go engineer. You’re not allowed to use your guns and the only thing you can build is a dispenser.

  21. You would have LOVED the commander role in Battlefield 2…except no one ever did what the commander says and it was often the most frustrating experience ever. There were a few “golden moments” where you’d get a squad who didn’t have their head up their ass and would do what was asked, or at least if they didn’t follow command, let you know what was up and why.

    Along the same lines, Battlefield 2 (and to an extent BC2, because let’s be honest, they’re the same game but without the commander role in the later) had the same issue with medics – having to facehump your patient to get your defib to register, people not playing their class correctly, etc. The one thing I can say about the Battlefield series of medic though is that it is singlehandly the easiest class to rack up a rediculous amounts of points by simply doing what should be done and that in itself should have been enough for folks to play it “right”.

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