Welcome to Challenge Number 04.
If you don’t know what the Challenge Series 2009 is all about, please read the Introduction.
Onto the Fourth challenge.
I challenge you to completely remove your Heads Up Display AKA HUD.
Open the console and type “cl_drawhud 0“, to re-enable them open the console and type “cl_drawhud 1“.
Put simply: because we rely too much on the information the HUD supplies. I remember playing a mod called Operation Black Thunder. For some reason I lost the HUD during the game, I’m pretty certain it was a bug but I wanted to continue playing the mod, so I just had to ignore it and play.
At first it was really hard and I am quite sure I died a lot but as I became frustrated at dying my gameplay style changed. I began to assume that I was low on health and ammo and as such I became more cautious.
If I think about the times I have played my best it’s when I have had very little health, in fact I remember a number of occasions when I only had 1 health point and played really well. I had to. Every attack from an enemy was potentially a kill or be killed situation.
A while ago I asked in Poll Question 048 whether players wanted a one-shot one-kill gameplay mode. Most said “no” but for short periods I think it would be fun.
Take the health and shield indicators. They tells us exactly how much health and shield power we have. But in reality it is telling us how reckless we can be. What I mean is that if I have lots of health points I don’t have to be super cautious; I can be a little wild and “run and gun” a bit more than if I had very few health points.
They don’t really help you in your quest to find and use more health points either.
If you have 99 health, does that stop you from collecting health? No, of course not, although from a tactical point of view you might be better to wait until you really need it if you can (I’m talking about the medkits here, not the wall chargers). The same could be said of the shield power. In most maps and mods, there is enough to collect even if you don’t really need it, so why worry?
Without knowing exactly how much health you have you might only collect health if you felt you really needed it, and that may help in the long term as you get better and better and play at higher difficulty settings where there is less health available (effectively).
By not knowing the exact amount of health or shield power you have, you will either collect health when you should have waited or you will play in a more careful manner if you suspect you health is low.
With the ammo it’s a little different. Personally I see it like this. If I don’t know how much ammo I have I am more careful. That’s probably true for everybody, don’t you think? It would also encourage me to use inferior weapons more often unless I really have to use the “big guns”. When I am down to my last bullets, I’d prefer them to be the AR2 or Shotgun’s rather than the pistol’s.
More aware players may be able to count the number of shots they take and have an approximate number in their head but I am lucky if I can remember my name when playing, let alone how many of each bullet I might have left.
Another aspect is conserving some ammo. Specifically I am thinking about the crossbow. If possible I try to save one bolt at all times. That way I can use the superior zone capabilities that the crossbow has over the HEV suit.
This kinda ties in with the idea of My Playing Stats. You’d be more cautious if you had a final figure at the end of each map or mod displaying how shots you took, how much ammo you have, etc.
The HUD also tells us which weapons we have and how much battery life is left but those details are not really needed. Am I missing anything?
The problem is that we have all become dependant on the in formation we receive via the HUD. Not just that, but the idea is used in almost all our daily life, we can’t avoid it. When I switch channels on my TV, I get a kind of HUD, telling me the channel number, the show’s name etc etc. There are probably lots of other examples too. Even in games we have information overload.
I’m certainly not suggesting that HUDs are a bad idea, just that we only really appreciate them when they are gone. If you remove yours now for a little while, learn to live without it, then feel the joy and relief when you put it back.
I can’t deny that I had wished I had thought more about each challenge and had been able to offer a specific map or mod to use with each challenge, but I haven’t.
If you think you know of a perfect map or mod to play with this challenge, please comment and if I agree I’ll add it to the top part of the post.
Don’t forget a major part of the challenge series is to share our experiences. Don’t let my questions limit you but here are some to get you started:
- What did you miss the most; health or ammo info?
- Did you notice a change in your tactics?
- Once the challenge is over will you continue playing without it?