Updates: Currently slacking off

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

On Multiplayer gaming

Playing games with other human beings satisfies an urge in us all.
We are a social creatures and I'm sure everyone finds some joy in competition or cooperation.

That said, the internet being what it is and people being what we are; every time you hit that queue button, or join that public lobby, you roll the dice.
Varying communities have a higher chance of that dice landing on a good number, but a natural one will always find you in al alternate reality where competence is something that happens to other people and the first language of at least one (all it takes is one) participant is swearing. Usually not particularly inventive swearing either, which is far more fun.

Here follows my breakdown of the frustrations I face when dealing with the great internet unwashed.

  • New Players
The least offensive of the bunch, which come in several flavours, which I'll simplify and generalise quickly.

The learner; unfamiliar with the game, mechanics or strategies, but wants to learn. Usually delights in taking direction and is a pleasure to play with as you watch improvement and see the mistakes everyone makes when they're starting out.

The ignorant; knows nothing about the game and has very little interest in learning. I have no idea why they are playing games at all and they will endlessly frustrate people by ignoring direction and advice. Will sometimes become offended if offered help. Usually a complete arsehole (but sometimes genuinely ignorant of what they're doing wrong)

The Noob; Has possible never held a controller or operated a keyboard. May actually have pumpkins for hands. Players so bad that they are unable to accomplish even the most basic of tasks, keyboard turnings and those that stand perfectly still while trying to find what button to press next. Usually pretty nice

  • The pants on head retarded
This is an extension of "the noob" or "the ignorant" but applied to long time players.We all know them.
Many will pay for boosts or items in a desperate attempt to appear competent.
Probably knows how bad they are, but may lie to themselves about others having unfair advantages or being discriminated against in community environments.

  • Try hards
Wants to tell everyone what to do at all times.Will repeat advice already given, seemingly unaware that they're doing this.
Usually doesn't have a great understanding of what's going on, but has enough experience to have seen competent play and try to copy it.
Almost always gives bad advice because they don't understand it well enough to know what it is applicable.
Normally pretty nice, but quick to turn nasty if ignored or not praised when things go right.

  • Elitists
If I were outlining "elite" players as a sub category, they come in as many flavours as new players (and largely were the new player of that given type :P) but elite players are not all elitists (indeed, I think most are not)
Two brands of elitists exist, those that are around as good as they think they are, and those that are ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.
Both believe they are superior in every way.
Normally a junky for watching competitive play and listening to plenty of high level commentary they think they are capable of repeating during their own games (but it's very rare in either camp)
Will not deign to instruct others or call shots. Elitists will assume that whatever they are doing is correct and everyone else should be exactly as competent as they believe themselves to be. Team work is not a priority.
If things are not going their way they will immediately want to quit
If things are going their way, expect them to attempt to showboat.
If they succeed expect celebration of how awesome they are, when they fail the team will be blamed.
Expect grand pronouncements based on massive assumptions ("they have X character, we already lost" "we have too many Y class, we already lost")
Watch as they attempt to fulfil their own prophesy by playing terribly and ignoring the "weakness" they pointed out.

  •  The "lets all be friends" guy
This one is not always bad. A lot of my experiences in pick up groups have been made great by an overly friendly person that wants to chat.
Many in this group will also be new players of various types.
The frustration comes when they will be equally magnanimous to disruptive, toxic or incompetent people as anyone else.
I do not want to waste my life being friendly to complete bastards or those that make me miserable. If that makes me a marginally worse human being, then so be it!


To end, I'll say I'm likely some people's worst nightmare to play with.
I'm temperamental, impatient and used to being in charge after 6 years of raid leading.
I dislike playing with random people to such a degree I actively avoid it, and make no secret of my attitude when forced into it, though I'm very quick to warm to anyone being pleasant (and I was raised with manners, so I don't open by calling people douche nozzles)
I probably seem elitist to some (though that is far from true) and certainly resemble the try hard quite a lot.
That said, I don't think I'm a toxic gamer (who does, right?) I'm merely a jaded optimist that thinks we should collectively do better.
I'm always happy to help, but expect me to be grumpy about it.