Most of you that follow the forums here know me from posts on Demigod and League of Legends. For those that don’t, I’m generally a very hard core, competitive player in DotA (MOBA) style games. They are my video game bread and butter. That said, the past few days of gaming have me thinking on a topic that’s come up many times in the past for me: being a good sport. For me, its not the easiest thing to balance. By nature, I’m not a very easy going sort of fellow. I play games to win and there is a tendency within me to get angry when teammates don’t meet my expectations. That said, I certainly don’t expect perfection, but I don’t easily accept outright ineptitude. My minds going in a few places on this topic, so hopefully you’ll try to follow me. I’ll try to categorize the various types of players and their attitudes.
- Highly competitive, negative players – Here you end up with folks that not only play to win, but insult anyone in their path that doesn’t meet their standards. An example of this could be a pal that plays one game with you and then you refuse to play with him again because he was lousy in that one game. It’s more of a don’t waste my time sort of attitude and has little patience for teammates that don’t carry their weight. Obviously, that’s subjective, but it could come right down to trolling someone if they die a single time or do something that you disapprove of. Sure, its elitist, but it tends to group the best of the best together. Take for instance the clan CLG from LoL. As I’m sure it was with them, they were all pals at one point. Eventually someone is deemed not good enough and is booted from the team in favor of someone else. That makes sense, but as you can see, friends (or helping them become better) is not the real focus. It’s simply trying to play with only the best and investing your time only there. Anyway, I’ve fallen into the category from time to time.
- Highly competitive, positive players – This is the magical “sweet spot” in my mind. Here the goal is to dominate as well, but when you get frustrated if your teammates let the team down, you don’t tear them a new one (other than perhaps asking X player to be more cautious, etc). And if it’s a pal, you take the time to try to help them get better. A decent example is how Krazikarl deals with me in LoL games. I’m quite confident I frustrate him from time to time, but he offers suggestions on how to change the way I’m doing this or that to improve my game (instead of calling me an ass hat and refusing to play with me) J. Generally speaking, I think most people like having the highly competitive, positive players on their team as they are generally solid players and don’t insult you to no end if you are crap. Anyway, this is personally where I try to keep my attitude, but often fail when I get overly frustrated.
- Casual and/or inexperienced players (mixed attitudes) – Here’s kind of a catch all category for me as it can run a pretty wide range of attitudes, etc. These are folks that, while they would like to win, they don’t really care all that much if they win or lose (read: not really competitive). While you can often find folks from this category being good natured, you can also end up with just bad players making bad decisions and then blaming others. The same could be said of the highly competitive, negative player crowd, of course. I generally think that casual and/or inexperienced players are often incredibly frustrating for the competitive types.
- Trolls – these can be a mix of the highly competitive, negative players that are striving to take their hatred for mankind (read: incompetent players) to new levels. Or just strange, sad, or depressed folks that take some sort of pleasure from trying to ruin other players games by intentionally feeding, refusing to be useful, going afk, etc, generally in an attempt to get a rise out of someone. I usually just immediately mute these sorts of folks along with the knuckle heads that choose to whine at them, etc.
Thus ends my exciting categorization list. Woo. Anyway, I wrote all of this because I seem to vacillate back and forth between those first 2 categories quite a bit. I’m not really a fan of that. Demigod, for instance, often brought out the worst in me; of course, it also brought out the good as well. There would be times when I’d play with anyone on my team, even assuming it would be a loss from the get go, without much of a care. I simply wanted to play some with a pal. But, the trend with me, anyway, is that I can only take so much before I end up becoming that highly competitive, negative bastard. Didn’t really matter how much of a pal you were; before too long, I’d intentionally choose not to play with folks for a bit – or worse, begin to berate someone that is a friend over a silly video game. On the bright side, if I decide to refuse to play with X person, well… that wears off with me after a day or two. After that, I’m right as rain and the process likely slowly repeats itself. Game 1 , if X person is blowing it, I don’t mind or try to encourage them. Game 2, I’m starting to get annoyed, but keep my mouth shut. Game 3 or 4 – well that’s when I either make the decision to take a little break and then play without that person or I start to act like a bit of a dick. I noticed myself doing this with a pal last night during one of my games after he snowballed screw up after screw up. Anyway, that’s not cool. To put it in better perspective, games like league of legends have a normal mode for games and also a ranked mode. I generally play all normal mode games just as seriously as if I was playing a ranked one. I probably shouldn’t let myself get bent out of shape over a normal game, at any rate, but that’s often what happens. That said, its even easier for me to see the flaw in my attitude when I’m the one screwing up like I did in a ranked game last night. I make mistakes, get abused by the team a bit for them (and some rightly so – even on the “highly competitive, positive player” side of things)… anyway, it’s pretty easy to see things from the other persons POV when its thrust upon you.
Well, that’s about all I felt like jabbering about. Thanks for reading!