The Tools of the Trade

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The Tools of the Trade

What's old is new again.

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Shots fired. Accurately, with a mouse.

Nice creative tag use again. The only reason I can think of needing a console controller would be for something like Super Meat Boy or badly done ports - and I really shouldn't be spending money on the latter in the first place.

Such weapons were crafted by the gods for the master race not to be sullied by the unwashed masses!

I'd say that sounds about right.

I thought I enjoyed Skyrim on my 360...then I experienced the wonder and joy of playing it with a mouse and keyboard once I picked it up on Steam. Quote: "HOLY SHIT! I CAN ACTUALLY PLAY IN 3RD PERSON MODE AND FIGHT WITH RESPONSIVE ACCURACY!!!"

You let me know when a Keyboard + Mouse is best for anything but shooters, MOBAs, and RTS. Make no mistake, I love me some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and I wouldn't consider playing it with a gamepad, but there's so many games that are simply better with a controller. Every platformer ever, anything by Platinum, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, most JRPGs (although they're often best suited for Wii U or 3DS, something with analog movement AND a touchscreen), Metal Gear, racing games (better still with a wheel unless it's Mario Kart, but my point stands), twin-stick arcade shooters... Anyone who thinks one single control method is the de facto best doesn't play a wide enough variety of games.

P.S. Thanks

I do HAVE a PS-style controler for my PC. Though I rarely use it :P

Anyways...
A week ago the Wargaming World of Tanks European finals were here in Sofia Bulgaria.
After the end of the the final battle on the second day, I decided to hang out with the show host (my World of Tanks Clan Leader) and some of the contestants (namely people from Kazna Kru the winners, WUSA and Penta).
We played WoT on the Xbox 360. It has a 360 edition.

And DEAR GOD, both the professional elite gamers and champions and I ( a good player) were fairly bad at the game. Well, not in positioning or tactics, we still BEAT the Xbox 360 players due to being better then the average player by a very big margin, but it sure was...
Strange. It was both hard to drive AND to shoot well.

Not a way id like to play WoT :P

The frame rate did not help either. People play like this? :(

Perfect time for one of those Edna Krabapple "HAH" clips.

Covarr:
You let me know when a Keyboard + Mouse is best for anything but shooters, MOBAs, and RTS. Make no mistake, I love me some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and I wouldn't consider playing it with a gamepad, but there's so many games that are simply better with a controller. Every platformer ever, anything by Platinum, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, most JRPGs (although they're often best suited for Wii U or 3DS, something with analog movement AND a touchscreen), Metal Gear, racing games (better still with a wheel unless it's Mario Kart, but my point stands), twin-stick arcade shooters... Anyone who thinks one single control method is the de facto best doesn't play a wide enough variety of games.

P.S. Thanks

That's why PC has a variety of options for controllers. I can plug my xbox controller into my PC if I want. Or better yet, I can use my Logitech G13 to get the benefits of an analog stick for movement while still getting my mouse for accuracy in aiming.

The standard controller is a good well rounded controller for a variety of games, but it is very rarely the best option for any single genre. I still usually use them for 3rd person action games and racing games (since I don't play enough to justify buying a wheel) but more often than not I prefer my G13+mouse for the majority of games.

Covarr:
You let me know when a Keyboard + Mouse is best for anything but shooters, MOBAs, and RTS. Make no mistake, I love me some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and I wouldn't consider playing it with a gamepad, but there's so many games that are simply better with a controller. Every platformer ever, anything by Platinum, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, most JRPGs (although they're often best suited for Wii U or 3DS, something with analog movement AND a touchscreen), Metal Gear, racing games (better still with a wheel unless it's Mario Kart, but my point stands), twin-stick arcade shooters... Anyone who thinks one single control method is the de facto best doesn't play a wide enough variety of games.

P.S. Thanks

If a game like a platformer only uses 8-directional movement then there's really no competitive difference between a dpad, analogue stick, or keyboard controls. Personally since the 8-bit days as a kid I've been a big proponent of fingers over thumbs, always played those Nintendo/Sega games with my fingers on the controller buttons. Modern controllers aren't very friendly in that regard for a fast pace 2D game, so if I'm playing something like the Ys III remake or Dust: An Elysium Tale on Steam I use just the keyboard. Some games like Bastion you lose a little but I still prefer keyboard & mouse, though if I could have my perfect setup for that it would be a wii nunchuk + mouse.

Well, now I'm upset... Not because of the how the new controller looks, per se, but the fact that it's looks like it's not even wireless! #loosethewires

I wish. I may get into console gaming then. Shallow I know but I'm not willing to play shooters on a controller because my skill goes down the drain.

Barbas:
Nice creative tag use again. The only reason I can think of needing a console controller would be for something like Supe rMeat Boy or badly done ports - and I really shouldn't be spending money on the latter in the first place.

Eh, I think the 360 pad is pretty much mandatory for PC gaming for a few years now. There's too many games that just play better with the pad due to their basic design (any 3rd person game where movement takes precedence over aiming, really).

Also: it appears I fucked up the publish date for this strip, so enjoy it a day early, I guess.

Covarr:
You let me know when a Keyboard + Mouse is best for anything but shooters, MOBAs, and RTS. Make no mistake, I love me some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and I wouldn't consider playing it with a gamepad, but there's so many games that are simply better with a controller. Every platformer ever, anything by Platinum, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, most JRPGs (although they're often best suited for Wii U or 3DS, something with analog movement AND a touchscreen), Metal Gear, racing games (better still with a wheel unless it's Mario Kart, but my point stands), twin-stick arcade shooters... Anyone who thinks one single control method is the de facto best doesn't play a wide enough variety of games.

P.S. Thanks

You usually can't get jRPGs on the PC anyway unless they are emulated, but there's no reason you couldn't make commands point-and-click. Most console players who prefer controllers discount the role of the mouse in these things. When a game is designed for a keyboard/mouse, it tends to be better with it. You point to a bunch of games that were designed specifically to play on the controller and then complain they don't work as well with a keyboard/mouse. Point-and-click interfaces are almost simpler and faster when they are designed to be such.

Naturally I started out with controllers like the vast majority of people, and I found out that pretty much everything felt easier on keyboard/mouse. It can certainly be a preference thing. I've played racing games before on the PC (along with other games where you drive cars and other vehicles, one of my favorite games in World of Warplanes), and competitive racing games in particular might be a bit easier on the gamepad, but not as much as you might think.

Charcharo:

The frame rate did not help either. People play like this? :(

It's a FEATURE! Damn you pc elitists with you higher framerate, mouse accurate precision and Steam sales.

Captcha: dogs and cats living together

The Wooster:

Barbas:
Nice creative tag use again. The only reason I can think of needing a console controller would be for something like Supe rMeat Boy or badly done ports - and I really shouldn't be spending money on the latter in the first place.

Eh, I think the 360 pad is pretty much mandatory for PC gaming for a few years now. There's too many games that just play better with the pad due to their basic design (any 3rd person game where movement takes precedence over aiming, really).

Also: it appears I fucked up the publish date for this strip, so enjoy it a day early, I guess.

Hmmm. I mostly play RTSs and FPSs, but I have to admit that I do like the fact that you can often mosey along at several speeds that match finger pressure when you're pushing a joystick along, as opposed to just land speed record or duckwalk. That sort of control is very nice to have...reminds me of crouch-sliding out of walls and shooting people in Goldeneye 007, little shitbag that I was, heheheh. I may have to pull my head out, swallow my pride and get a controller to see about doing that again!

The Wooster:

Barbas:
Nice creative tag use again. The only reason I can think of needing a console controller would be for something like Supe rMeat Boy or badly done ports - and I really shouldn't be spending money on the latter in the first place.

Eh, I think the 360 pad is pretty much mandatory for PC gaming for a few years now. There's too many games that just play better with the pad due to their basic design (any 3rd person game where movement takes precedence over aiming, really).

Also: it appears I fucked up the publish date for this strip, so enjoy it a day early, I guess.

Yeah, I've been using my 360 controller for PC gaming a lot recently. Games like Dark Souls seem unplayable with mouse and keyboard.

You guys have been on a real hot streak lately in terms of comedic quality. Keep it up!

Fappy:

Yeah, I've been using my 360 controller for PC gaming a lot recently. Games like Dark Souls seem unplayable with mouse and keyboard.

Because Dark Souls is a notoriously shoddy port. When designed by people who know what they are doing any game works perfectly fine with K&M.

m19:

Fappy:

Yeah, I've been using my 360 controller for PC gaming a lot recently. Games like Dark Souls seem unplayable with mouse and keyboard.

Because Dark Souls is a notoriously shoddy port. When designed by people who know what they are doing any game works perfectly fine with K&M.

The port is more or less fine when using the DSFix mod. They even purged GFWL earlier this year.

I'd honestly like to see anyone play a 3D fighter with a mouse and keyboard and actually perform well. Some genres just don't compliment mouse and keyboard in the same sense that you'll have a bad experience playing an RTS with a controller.

The Wooster:

Barbas:
Nice creative tag use again. The only reason I can think of needing a console controller would be for something like Supe rMeat Boy or badly done ports - and I really shouldn't be spending money on the latter in the first place.

Eh, I think the 360 pad is pretty much mandatory for PC gaming for a few years now. There's too many games that just play better with the pad due to their basic design (any 3rd person game where movement takes precedence over aiming, really).

And I honestly don't mind. If anything, I prefer it. All the advantages of PC gaming with the relaxed laid-back-ness of playing with a controller while lounging. It's the first thing that actually popped into my mind when I saw Cities: Skylines looking up to be really good: "Awesome! But aw shucks I can't play it with a controller."

It's why I can't bring myself to play more of TOXIKK either; while it really is shaping up to be a fantastic UT99-style arena shooter I just...really don't want to be sitting behind my desk to play games these days. And I think it's like that a lot for console gamers.

Fappy:

The port is more or less fine when using the DSFix mod. They even purged GFWL earlier this year.

I'd honestly like to see anyone play a 3D fighter with a mouse and keyboard and actually perform well. Some genres just don't compliment mouse and keyboard in the same sense that you'll have a bad experience playing an RTS with a controller.

Yes, some, I agree. Fighting, driving, sports.

Covarr:
You let me know when a Keyboard + Mouse is best for anything but shooters, MOBAs, and RTS. Make no mistake, I love me some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and I wouldn't consider playing it with a gamepad, but there's so many games that are simply better with a controller. Every platformer ever, anything by Platinum, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, most JRPGs (although they're often best suited for Wii U or 3DS, something with analog movement AND a touchscreen), Metal Gear, racing games (better still with a wheel unless it's Mario Kart, but my point stands), twin-stick arcade shooters... Anyone who thinks one single control method is the de facto best doesn't play a wide enough variety of games.

P.S. Thanks

OK, should I start now? It is best for RPGs, definitely best for ARPGs, turn based strategy games, point and click adventure games, games like plants vs. zombies and action games like Mount & Blade. Oh, and of course I must mention Typing of the Dead.

That being said there are definitely games which play best with a traditional controller, namely things like Spelunky, Rayman, Rogue Legacy, Super Meat Boy, Bastion, etc. Of course many of those are perfectly playable with a keyboard and mouse. That is one of the things I love about playing games on my PC, I can choose to use a wireless 360 controller for games like I mentioned above, keyboard and mouse for almost everything else, and of course joysticks and racing wheels where appropriate. I have a super wide range of possible input devices to use.

RandV80:

Covarr:
You let me know when a Keyboard + Mouse is best for anything but shooters, MOBAs, and RTS. Make no mistake, I love me some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and I wouldn't consider playing it with a gamepad, but there's so many games that are simply better with a controller. Every platformer ever, anything by Platinum, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, most JRPGs (although they're often best suited for Wii U or 3DS, something with analog movement AND a touchscreen), Metal Gear, racing games (better still with a wheel unless it's Mario Kart, but my point stands), twin-stick arcade shooters... Anyone who thinks one single control method is the de facto best doesn't play a wide enough variety of games.

P.S. Thanks

If a game like a platformer only uses 8-directional movement then there's really no competitive difference between a dpad, analogue stick, or keyboard controls. Personally since the 8-bit days as a kid I've been a big proponent of fingers over thumbs, always played those Nintendo/Sega games with my fingers on the controller buttons. Modern controllers aren't very friendly in that regard for a fast pace 2D game, so if I'm playing something like the Ys III remake or Dust: An Elysium Tale on Steam I use just the keyboard. Some games like Bastion you lose a little but I still prefer keyboard & mouse, though if I could have my perfect setup for that it would be a wii nunchuk + mouse.

This touches on some things I've been contemplating for quite a while with control methods. We could do better than keyboard and mouse, we really could. I think in many cases flightstick and mouse is closer to ideal, while other times something like a razer orbweaver and mouse is better, and I don't think the orbweaver is all that great either(especially for its price), I'd probably still buy one if the thumb-stick was analogue.

I've been thinking controllers could be improved by adding scrollwheels on the back, or replacing a shoulder button, and possibly adding a trackball.

Gyroscopic controls are underused outside of phone apps as well, and could certainly be used to add more options/layers of control to game controllers. Imagine having movement, camera control, and scrolling available simultaneously, for example.

I'll never understand why people think a keyboard is best for FPS and 3rd person games. Maybe a mouse can aim quicker than a controller joystick. Maybe. But whenever I play a PC shooter, I have to use a 360 controller. Every button I need is literally close to hand, no pun needed. Whereas on a keyboard, you practicaly have to play an entire piano movement just to crouch, throw a grenade, reload and uncrouch.

And yes you can reassign keyboard buttons, but isn't that passively admitting keyboards suck at this? Surely it'd be easier to just plug in and play with a controller.

Now RTS, where you nee. 30+ buttons and the like, sure. Mouse/keyboard. But anything else? Controller, thank you very much.

Fappy:

m19:

I'd honestly like to see anyone play a 3D fighter with a mouse and keyboard and actually perform well.

If the fighting game is based around an 8-directional movement system and digital button inputs, a keyboard is no different than using a controller or a fighting pad. In fact, a friend of mine (who's been an absolute die-hard fighting game fan for roughly two decades) actually prefers a keyboard when playing some if his fighting games, simply because he can input moves faster using his fingers than he can with his thumbs.

[quote]Some genres just don't compliment mouse and keyboard in the same sense that you'll have a bad experience playing an RTS with a controller.

While I agree most racing games, and to a degree many sports or 3D platformer games, function better with analog movement inputs, a non-standard RTS can function just fine with a controller. They're few and far between, mind you, but it can be done.

Hell, after some practice, I could even micro in Halo: Wars. It all comes down to the method of interaction. As long as the RTS isn't reliant on a standard, free-cursor style of input, it can be worked into a controller-based setup.

Silentpony:
I'll never understand why people think a keyboard is best for FPS and 3rd person games. Maybe a mouse can aim quicker than a controller joystick. Maybe. But whenever I play a PC shooter, I have to use a 360 controller. Every button I need is literally close to hand, no pun needed. Whereas on a keyboard, you practicaly have to play an entire piano movement just to crouch, throw a grenade, reload and uncrouch.

And yes you can reassign keyboard buttons, but isn't that passively admitting keyboards suck at this? Surely it'd be easier to just plug in and play with a controller.

Now RTS, where you nee. 30+ buttons and the like, sure. Mouse/keyboard. But anything else? Controller, thank you very much.

It's not just quicker, it's more accurate. That's not opinion, it's what the mouse was designed for: accurately and quickly pointing at things. I've never had had the "piano" experience you mentioned in any modern action game, and if such an experience were to be had, it would be the fault of the game developer for bad UI design, not the keyboard(hint: if there are too many actions to comfortably assign to a small grouping of keys, there are too many actions to assign to a controller at all).

Don't get me wrong, I use my XBox 360 controller for most action games that don't require accuracy just for the sake of convenience(partly because I game from my couch, so any keyboard use is done with said device sitting on my lap), but your arguments against KB/M are greatly flawed. You may not be acclimated to its use, but there is nothing more or less difficult about pressing keys on a keyboard than pressing buttons on a controller, given a competently designed layout.

And no, the ability to reassign buttons is not a weakness of the keyboard. It's the opposite of that(though to be fair, any competently designed game will let you reassign buttons on a controller as well).

Silentpony:
I'll never understand why people think a keyboard is best for FPS and 3rd person games. Maybe a mouse can aim quicker than a controller joystick. Maybe.

Uh, no maybe involved. It's a definitive yes. A mouse is just objectively better for precision and speed than an analog stick. I remember reading a case study (don't recall the university it was done in) wherein player performance was gauged by method of input. The mouse users almost unanimously outperformed the joystick/controller users on speed, accuracy, and response time.

Even members of the industry have noticed the discrepancy in performance -
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ms-killed-pc-xbox-cross-platform-play
http://www.academia.edu/1480363/Measuring_the_Impact_of_Game_Controllers_on_Player_Experience_in_FPS_Games
http://www.dailydot.com/esports/titanfall-exertus-free-refills-pc-console/

That said: It doesn't matter. When it comes to one's personal enjoyment, go with what's comfortable. That's the mantra I follow. I wish others would do the same.

But whenever I play a PC shooter, I have to use a 360 controller. Every button I need is literally close to hand, no pun needed. Whereas on a keyboard, you practicaly have to play an entire piano movement just to crouch, throw a grenade, reload and uncrouch.

I have no idea what games you've been playing, but I have rarely ever had to "play an entire piano movement" when I play a first-person or third-person game with a keyboard and mouse. And in the few occasions where I did, it was for extraordinarily complicated games that would never function properly on a controller - not without cutting many control options out.

I can appreciate one not being familiar enough with a keyboard to effectively press the requisite keys at the proper times, but let's be real here: you can press more keys, and do so more quickly and in larger combinations, when using a keyboard than when using a controller. In fact, not counting WASD, with your hand centered on the left side of the keyboard, you have easy access to 18 buttons. All without having to move your hand. So I fail to see how button access is easier or less complicated on a controller.

But again, in the grand scheme of player enjoyment, that doesn't matter.

And yes you can reassign keyboard buttons, but isn't that passively admitting keyboards suck at this? Surely it'd be easier to just plug in and play with a controller.

I'm sorry, but what the hell are you on about? How is reassigning keys on a keyboard any different than reassigning buttons on a controller? How is the option to remap controls an admission of failure?

Seriously. How does that make any kind of sense?

What the hell is up with Erin's right eye in the second panel? It's like it's phasing through her hair.

The thing about having a gaming laptop (dodges brick) is that it makes you too lazy and complacent to get out of bed and sit on a desk to plug in the mouse anyway, so I end up using a 360 controller for a majority of the games I play anyway (yes, even FPS games) because fuck sitting in front of my desk. So I'm pretty indifferent when it comes to this topic.

jhoroz:
The thing about having a gaming laptop (dodges brick) is that it makes you too lazy and complacent to get out of bed and sit on a desk to plug in the mouse anyway, so I end up using a 360 controller for a majority of the games I play anyway (yes, even FPS games) because fuck sitting in front of my desk. So I'm pretty indifferent when it comes to this topic.

I treat my laptop just as I would a desktop, to be honest.

The reason I'm indifferent to the topic is that I don't understand why anyone thinks the ability to use a controller in addition to the ability to use keyboard+mouse is a negative. "Well I should be able to just use K+M" seems like such a pointless argument to me when a big part of the beauty of PC gaming is its flexibility. It's inconvenient that some PC ports are sold with abysmal K+M support, but if you have a controller anyway there's no reason to not set it up for use with your PC. If you just want to refuse to get a controller because of some weird "purity" principle that dictates you must play every game forever with nothing except K+M, then okay, but I think you're severely limiting yourself for completely arbitrary reasons. I mean, it's not like joysticks were a huge thing for PC games 20+ years ago or anything.

Shooters (that aren't Halo)? Yes.

MMOs? Yes.

RTS? Yes.

RPGs of most stripes, fighting games (especially newer ones), action games, hack'n'slash etc.?

Controllers reign supreme, not only for ease of use but also for comfort and sensible control schemes.

Bullseye! The first reason I didn't buy a console when they came out. I was reeeeaaalllly excited and told all my friends how great it would be to switch all games to console, and then .. wait what? no mouse/keyboard? I have to buy a weirdo controller? Why is that - the controller is 3x the price of a mouse + keyboard! Oh, NOW I know why - to sell a proprietary controller. Well, how does it work? .... holy crap this is bad for aiming. I could see a driving game, but a shooting one? no way.

And then came the next shock - wait, games are all proprietary too? I can't play the games I want, just the ones for whichever console I own? How would I play with friends online if they don't own the same console?

So I was like - ok console makers, count me out of your little 4x game in the marketplace. I'll just keep paying (more) to upgrade my PC so I can play games well and play with friends online regardless of what brand of PC they bought. Your loss.

Asclepion:
Shots fired. Accurately, with a mouse.

Funny comic gets the perfect response in the very first post. Well done sir.

OT: one of these days I'll get a controller. I've found KB&M perfectly adequate for every game.. but then I have consciously avoided playing some of my games as I know they'll be better with an analogue stick.

I don't play much in the way of third person actiony type games, but I have played the Arkham games. Never thought I was hindered there by not using a controller - in fact again I've appreciated just how fast I can move the camera thanks to the mouse.

Cerebrawl:

This touches on some things I've been contemplating for quite a while with control methods. We could do better than keyboard and mouse, we really could. I think in many cases flightstick and mouse is closer to ideal, while other times something like a razer orbweaver and mouse is better, and I don't think the orbweaver is all that great either(especially for its price), I'd probably still buy one if the thumb-stick was analogue.

I've been thinking controllers could be improved by adding scrollwheels on the back, or replacing a shoulder button, and possibly adding a trackball.

Gyroscopic controls are underused outside of phone apps as well, and could certainly be used to add more options/layers of control to game controllers. Imagine having movement, camera control, and scrolling available simultaneously, for example.

For that last bit it's not quite the same but technically you could cover all that with the wii-mote/nunchuk. Unfortunately console gamers have been married to long to their PS/Xbox control layout with both hands attached to a single hunk of plastic and never looked passed the gimmicky waggle stuff to consider actual extended output options it can provide.

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