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The Horror of Elitist Gameplay

Posted by t0nyd Tuesday October 5 2010 at 3:39AM
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 When I get a bit nostalgic, I log into some of the old mmorpgs and subscribe for a month. It is usually fun for a while. You reminisce with friends about past challenges conquered and fun times. At some point you begin to remember all the major flaws of the game and your fun begins to sour.

  Recently I decided, what the hell, I will resub to Dark Age of Camelot. I heard that they added the ability to gain aurulite from PvP and this idea intrigued me. Not being able to attain gear through battlegrounds has always been a major flaw of DAoC, in my opinion. I would say that the idea, the theory of DAoC draws a crowd that enjoys competitive PvP above all else. In practice and by mechanics, this game still draws in the wrong crowd, an elitest crowd.

 What I mean by " Elitiest Gameplay " is a game that caters to the elite players overly in such a way that it does not allow the vast majority of players to compete. DAoC still has its horrible buff system in which it caters to those elite players in a very big way.  A majority of the current players still own multiple accounts which allows them to run a buff bot to give them that edge in PvP. This brings to mind that the biggest flaw to DAoC is the players themselves. These players, usually by Thidranki, scare off almost all newcomers that would delve into the PvP environment.

 I have always played games under the assumption that fair play equals fun. What I mean by fair play is that every part of the game runs in such a way that makes combat challenging and fair. We have all played those games that are unbalanced in such a huge way that make the game feel unfair and playing it feels like a lesson in masochism. You know, those games like DAoC, where you walk across a bridge at level 24 in Thidranki, and die about the same time the Shadowblade appears, cause you know that Shadowblade is running a template as well as buffs from his bot.

 Everyone enjoys to win, but at what cost. Players seem driven to what I would call " Insanity " by losing. It seems that if you do not win 100% of your confrontations, a player must in turn " Rage " to the world and then find a new way to defeat the player that beat them by any means necessary, be that running 3 accounts, whatever it takes. I have to find that mechanic thats a bit off and abuse it til patch day. Then after a year of play, this Rager wonders, " Why am I playing this game alone? ".

 One day a game will come out with little to no abuseable mechanics. A game where everyone has fun competeing with each other. A game that embraces intelligent character creation choices. A game    where, by player choice, that determines the style to which the character/player enters combat. A game where your decisions make or break you. So much emphasis has been put on items that the main point of role playing games are set aside, that point being " Personal Choice ". Yes, we all want gear and skill to be involved, but at what point does the mind have to take a role.

  At what point do we balance twitch reaction with intelligent decisions like a classic role playing game. Are your most memorable rpg moments, " Man I really clicked Q then R fast while aiming well and of course I have 9000 more health than him due to my epics, I own " or are they " Damn we were outnumbered, I made a good decision there and saved a teammate from  death, while getting the kill  ".

 The day a game comes out that is less time intentsive. A game that focuses less on the trinity of grind, gear, win. A game that takes player intelligence into account more than gear or skill. A game where everyone has a chance to compete in an environment that punishes the elitests.  i doubt anyone will play it, because it seems that people can not tolerate the enjoyment of others. Its all about me. I must win.

Mistmouse writes:

An enjoyable read. I miss the old days of Daoc before RR ranks and ToA. Maybe one day some company will make a game where player choices and tactics will be more important than gear and levels, we can wish cant we?

Tue Oct 05 2010 4:16AM Report
Morkreth writes:

I realized this too. I finally raged one day playing WoW when I encountered an opponent AFK in a full suit of Molten Core armor (this was about 6 months after release). I could not land a single spell on him (every single spell I casted except one Curse of Agony was resisted). I went through 4 bars of mana before he finally came back to his keyboard and began to defend himself. The man could barely move properly and it seemed he did not use a mouse. I gave up and finally just started hitting him with my warlock sword and firestone. It took awhile but he finally killed me slowly with shadowbolts.

It was at this moment that I had had enough of poor design choices in games, especially MMOs. I quit my retail management job and went back to school for 3d game development. Im doing well and will graduate in a few quarters (its been a rough 4 years). I played DAoC and many others (only one I never played was UO). I also grew up on paperback D&D roleplaying games.

The point of this post? I am going to attempt to create Mistmouse asked for. I have wanted it for over a decade. I'm tired of waiting and even more tired of rich, elitest developers ruining some of the best IPs ever created. *cough* microsoft shadowrun *cough*. I will try but damn alot of companies have really put a sour taste in investors mouths. Its not going to be easy but I did not come all this way for nothing. It's sad when I go to the store and there is nothing worth purchasing anymore. I don't want to be a developer but I'm tired of our gaming situation. I want to make a game where I can go to the store and feel proud to purchase it off the shelf. (Yes I am going to buy my own game. I really want to make a point to the industry).

Fri Oct 08 2010 2:04AM Report
Shinami writes:

If you have to get a second account in order to make a character to buff you. You know there is an unfair element in the game. In order to make things FAIR you are forced into going beyond normal means as most people wont think of buff botting in games. 


Problem with Elites are the misinterpretations...


I will go and say "I am elite" but let me stop you there. I don't mean ELITE in the sense I can get "uber" equipment. Or ELITE in the attitude that if players dont understand my frame of mind I put them down. That is NOT what I mean....


Elite in the sense I have experience. I can adapt and can scope a situation in the real world and in the game world...get a team together and solve it under any means necessary. 


A level 60 character killing a Level 10 character who is defenseless or a Level 60 one-shotting an enemy half their level is NOT being ELITE. Its being a bully and its looked down by many.


A player like myself...who can mentality look at players and sense a position change and make myself harder to kill in a shooter, while taking risky but calculated shots....EVEN IF I LOSE THE MATCH to another player, does not eliminate my own experience in the matter.


I grew up on console RPGs and TableTop RPGs and whoever came up with the idea that being ELITE means to become a bully and showoff gratuitious accomplishments throughout a server and annoy/irritate players truly deserves to be sacked. 


I currently tend to play games on Linux + Wine fully configured in a way that while I still break the 60 FPS barrier and retain over 60 in Network Games with Network optimization...I get lower ping than playing the same game on Windows. 


Took me a lot of work, and even chills and nightmares, but everytime I deal with the GUILD/CLAN attitudes of Elitism, It always makes me wonder if such game or group is the only thing they have in their lives preventing them from going under to a mass depression.


I am serious. I had a person talk me down because I refused to do a "Time Attack" challenge in a game made for 13 year olds with the AI and Sustainability of an amoeba. I was being talked down by an "Elite" adult...


...This is an issue every person has to deal with. Please do me the favor of not confusing "Hard Core, Overbearing Games which are heavy timesinks" to what real elitism is all about....Experience, Confidence and real skill, along with the knowledge and RESPECT for others in your caliber. 


Elitism is a negative connotation but those who live and prove under the real definition deserve real respect. ^_^

Mon Oct 18 2010 4:20AM Report
Vargur writes:

The buff system in DAoC was terrible, but one of the few mistakes Mythic made at release. There were some balancing issues and crafted gear was inferior to dropped gear (better quality, but no SC for a long while), but I dislike the notion that the players were elitists. The community on Guinevere server was awesome, and any bad attitudes there towards new players was most likely a result of all the various abilities, skills, artifacts, etc. that made it impossible to explain to anyone how a class worked if they had little knowledge of the game mechanics.

Tue Feb 08 2011 8:49AM Report writes:
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