I know there are a lot of people in the bit-tech community that object to Modern Warfare 2 either out of practicality (“oh, how it lags!”) or principle (“No dedicated servers means no buy!”), but I’m not going to delve into all that right now. I’ve had a very good experience with Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer and the more I play it the more I love it. That’s a fact.

One thing that’s been bothering me lately though, is the amount of abuse that gets bandied around in-game and how I’ve never been able to play a game without someone crying about overuse of the noobtube. It’s something I seriously don’t understand.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about then here’s a quick explanation; the noobtube is an under-barrel grenade launcher that attaches to most assault rifles. It takes up an attachment slot on that gun and comes with two shots only, though you can resupply if you’ve got relevant perks. The grenade it fires explodes on impact but is affected by gravity and it must travel a set range before exploding – making it useless at short range. It’s a powerful weapon, but the appeal is curtailed by the low ammo count, restricted range, long reload times and fact that it fills an attachment slot.
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As the slang term indicates though it’s something that lots of people – mainly the ones who are being noobtubed – look down on. They cry, cry, cry about people who use it as a main weapon. It’s that bit I can’t understand because, to me, the grenade launcher seems a perfectly valid tactic. Good players should be able to adapt to it instead of resorting to whining.

I Noobtube I, Noobtuber
The Way It Was Meant To Be Played?

I use the grenade launcher myself. Not all the time and not for my preferred class (SCAR-H with ACOG Scope and FMJ as my primary and a Stinger as a secondary weapon), but I do have custom classes which incorporate it and I’m happy to use it when the need arises – though when I do then the abuse inevitably starts, if it hasn’t already.

I can understand part of the problem; that people don’t like losing and they’d prefer it if the whole game was fought on a level playing field with everyone in the same big skirmish – but if that’s what they want then why aren’t they playing Quake? In Quake everyone had the same weapons and the same abilities. The main appeal of Modern Warfare 2 is that it isn’t like that. You can customise your loadout to suit your tastes and complement your skills, adjusting your role in the battle to what you want it to be.

If there’s someone sat on a hill with a sniper rifle killing everyone then you can call him a camper if you want, but surely he’s just doing the same as you? He’s playing the game as he wants to play it and how he plays it best. It should be obvious that rather than wasting the time to type out a badly abbreviated insult you’d be better off getting behind him and laying your hands on a revenge bonus.

We all have our peeves in the game. I don’t like people who use smoke bombs and thermal imaging together because to me that seems a little cheap…but I tolerate it because, well, I have to. It’s part of the game and I know that if I whine about it then all I get is a loss of self-respect and time, so I just wait for the smoke to clear. What that person was doing was a perfectly valid tactic.

I Noobtube I, Noobtuber
What makes it good

Why is the grenade launcher so different and why is there no distinction drawn between relevance and reliance? It seems that if you use the launcher at all then you’ll be labelled a noobtuber immediately even if the in-game situation called for it. To me, that’s foolish – there’s a distinct line between someone using the launcher correctly and someone who is blatantly exploiting the structure of the game.

At the end of the day what really irks me is the judgement that’s incorporated into the slang – the noobtube. I see a lot of ‘pro’ gamers and people in clans (who usually ram the fact home but also insist they don’t have entitlement issues) complaining about noobtubers, but I never see the grenadiers whining that the other side is using FMJ or scopes or melee attacks and that that is unfair. To me, that speaks volumes about the type of people who initiate the abuse.

I’ll end with a nice little quote on the topic which I’ve stolen from Garry of Garry’s Mod. He sums it up rather nicely, I think.

It seems like whatever weapon I use in MW2 everyone thinks I’m doing it wrong. If I snipe I’m a camper. If I use the grenade launcher I’m a noob tuber. If I use Tactical Insertion I’m a TA Exploiter. What’s next – you’re a violence noob if you try to kill the other team – because you should get the diplomat unlock and try to settle your differences with a mutual agreement outside the game?

Let me know your thoughts in the forums.

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