If Modern Warfare revitalized the first person shooter, then MAG truly reinvents it. Are you a quadruple prestige who can’t seem to make any hay in MAG? Or are you a Modern Warfare Johnny come lately looking to escape the camp infested spawn points in MW2? If you find enjoyment in Modern Warfare, MAG should offer you hours of fun, but with most things in life its all in the approach.
Trying Something New
First and foremost, you are going to have to add some new plays to your playbook. If you forgo tactics in favor of ultimate camping expeditions you will find MAG is an up hill battle. Unrequested camping leaves your squad more vulnerable to being mowed down. Working in tandem with your squad is essential.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Learn the different game types and what the objectives are. Generally in Domination it is not time to fix the bunkers when your terminals are live. For Acquisition there should be a coordinated effort to destroying the prototype vehicles when they get loose and it’s your job to defend them. On the flip side gates and blockades have to come down when its your team’s job to steal the prototype vehicles.
Make New Friends
Join a clan in MAG, one that is growing preferably. Sure its cool to join the ultra elite crews who require certain KDRs, at the end of the day a half way decent group of guys armed with a bit of common sense goes a long way. A squad of eight that communicate well and take advantage of leadership perks is a force to be reckoned with.
Get out of Your Comfort Zone
If you are the “I can only Snipe” kind of player, you will need to be open to a larger variety of game styles. Sniping has a role in MAG, but not at the expense of the objectives. Sniping for just kills (outside of Suppression) may yield a good KDR, but lead to defeats for your squad and PMC. That being said Sniping works best when it covers an objective. In some game modes a well placed sniper can be a dark horse repairman too.
Don’t be Shy and Speak with Purpose
Get a mic. Now seriously, go buy a blue-tooth headset. The official PS3 headset works great, but almost any headset should work with PS3. The key to using a headset is conveying useful information everyone can understand, quickly. Saying “hey behind you to the left” doesn’t really help anyone. Behind who and to the left of what? BOOM your dead. Keep track of North, South, East, West, make directions relative to your objectives. This constant highlight of the objective will help your squad’s eye on the ball. One caveat is anyone in your vicinity will hear you through the game, this includes enemy.
The Drawing Board
Have a plan, any plan – a bad plan is better then no plan as a bad plan can be retooled. Instead of everyone heading from the spawn point directly to the objective, the squad leader should setup an additional waypoint that flanks the typical enemy positions. As that flank becomes overrun the squad should communicate this so the squad leader can relocate the waypoint, the FRAGO point or both. If you are a squad leader or platoon leader and it is becoming a burden or you don’t know what you are doing, pass the baton to someone who does. Otherwise you might find yourself getting the boot.
Making Your Way to the Goal
When executing a plan it is not in your best interest to engage every enemy you see. MAG is all about the objectives, sticking with individual tactics that only pad your stats will generally lead to poor teamwork and will keep victory out of reach. Keeping yourself off enemy radar by NOT shooting and running will help you get to where you need to go. Finding good cover will assist in firefights and defense.
Help point out targets, let any leadership in your squad know of good targets that you come across visually. For example, “there is at least a squad of troops just north of the mortar battery”. Always include an indication of the number of troops as this will help the leadership prioritize the resources available and maximize the damage.
Squad Support Turns Tides
Medics should be looking for opportunities to heal and revive people. It is unwise to wait for people to fall to get the 10xp, as keeping people up and alive can allow them to play as a tank. Give your medics the heads up on who needs healing or remind people to heal themselves. Healing doesn’t show up on enemy radar but shooting and running does, keep this in mind as it’s often wiser to heal before you shoot unless you have already been spotted. Try to revive people that need it first, this includes people outside of your squad. You never know who has the revive skill as well and the more medics the merrier in MAG. A good medic can save squad members 5+ minutes in any given game session just by avoiding the spawn delay and worse yet, the walk back.
Why So Serious?
For sanity’s sake keep things fun and light hearted. I play as Raven and we kick ass in Acquisition and Sabotage, but Domination can be craptasitic and painful. The 256 player mode offers quite a challenge as it’s possible for a couple squads to overwhelm your squad. As squad leader and things are looking grim, I will make jokes. Announce we need to find the enemy Officer in Charge and negotiate the terms of our surrender. It will usually get a laugh and make the defeat sting a little less. MAG can be very easy to take too seriously, but is more fun if you can laugh at some of the mayhem.
With a little practice and some good squad mates M-A-G can be the brand new way to spell F-U-N.