I've written at length concerning the multiplayer in Pandora Tomorrow, and outside of some strange exploits - things I'd rather not discuss, lest they enter greater circulation - it's a very exciting game to watch or play. The people that are still playing that game on Live (or the PC version, I'd imagine) are so much better than I am that going online hasn't been a source of enjoyment for me in months. Gabe still plays (and succeeds) quite regularly, which should tell you something about his skill level. He and Doctor K can be seen most nights in there, choking or shooting men, depending. They would, anyway, provided they could find other players that actually wanted to play the game they bought and not some game they made up for the fuck of it right then and there.
Most games you join, and I'm here when they jump in so I can see it, are either Deathmatch or Tag - not any of the games you might associate with "stealth." Deathmatch, I hope that's something you can figure out on your own. Tag is somewhat more elaborate. The rules, if I understand it correctly, are as follows:
3 spies versus 1 mercenary, each spy gets one respawn, and the mercenary gets three. If there are only two spies, the merc gets two lives.
Time is unlimited. Warehouse is sometimes used for this gametype, but when playing on Deftech no-one is allowed to enter buildings.
Whoever the mercenary kills first is "it" next game.
I've heard of Predator as well, a three merc/one spy situation if memory serves.
As a person who doesn't actively play it anymore, the prevalence and indeed succession of Tag or Deathmatch as gametypes doesn't really affect me that much. It wouldn't affect them either, if these were sanctioned ways to play the game that were recognized in the interface and could be culled from the list. What happens more often than not is that these games are so widespread that people presume you are playing with the imaginary rules only to become enraged when told otherwise, or they enter the game without any discussion and begin playing the game they think everyone else is playing and lose.
I wonder how something like Halo 2, with its menu driven creation of custom games, will handle this. I absolutely endorse the notion of ginning up your own games in the Splinter Cell context, don't get me wrong about that. I just wish there was some way to identify, or at the very least define mechanically these creative scenarios as being independent from the official ones. As it stands, they've kind of taken over.
in their graves, unknown