” Go free. Get clean.” – Confusion, 2015
Or not. That quote is actually from me ending a conversation with him because I needed to shower. Then again, in this weather, you can shower every hour and still find yourself stinking of sweat, that’s how hot it is for me currently. Hot weather, particularly heatwaves, make one stressed. As do video games. That line actually fits quite well with this article. It’s genuinely surprising how annoyed I get at video games, even when my team wins. I’m calmer now though. What’s even more surprising is how annoyed people get while discussing video games!
There’s certainly a lot of passion being poured into video game balance. People will spend weeks arguing about things. Mention random critical hits on the League of Legends discussion boards, people will start complaining that it makes the game less competitive or that their removal will nerf Attack Damage Carries (ADCs) (since critical hits generally only ally to auto attacks), while others still will point out that it ruins ADC VS ADC fights since whoever wins is whoever crits first. The same argument on a TF2 forum will have all of the it’s-not-balanced, it’s-not-competitive, it’s-not-fair posts versus, um… uh… some weapons may need tweaking? It’s fun? I dunno. I used to be a pro-crit person but crockets basically ruined that.
The above is a single, minor mechanic. It sparks gigantic debates. So when we start talking about something slightly bigger, like, say, a single weapon, we’re at it for days. The Gunslinger has always been a favourite to argue about. We’ll go on for weeks about how it’s either a noobish, easy to use pile of crap that pisses off Scouts, or a pleasant change from the constant maintenance of a level 3 sentry, giving Engineer more of a role on offense. Like most things, the real answer lies somewhere in the middle. But I think the Gunslinger is finally in an okay spot.
Then someone says that a class is unbalanced. Those discussions don’t end until some poor soul derails the thread entirely, occasionally turning it into yet another anti-Sniper, Demoman or Engineer thread. Even if you were originally talking about Heavies. This is where the arguments get intense, since people have a lot more bias for their favourite class than they do their favourite weapon. And even more bias against the things they dislike.
Where am I going with all this, I hear all five of you ask? Of course, if everyone agreed with each other, the world would quickly become stale and we’d all shrivel up and die in a giant circle-jerking lump of agreement. We need disagreements, arguments, competition, it’s part of what drives us. It’s instinct. Buuuuuuut sometimes we just need to calm down a little and explain things more clearly.
When you argue, you need to bring in evidence to prove your point. Anecdotes are often the worst way to argue your point, since you might as well be making it up – very possible when talking about a video game on a forum. What’s also pretty bad is when you bring in rank – whether it’s your rank in League of Legends, your MMR in Dota or your hours played in TF2. Hours played is always sketchy, because you may have been playing for 2000 hours, you might not be that great. Pulling in rank for other games is equally lame and just angers whoever you’re arguing with. Trust me, you’ll never win by saying “shut up and listen because I am better than you!”.
Many a time though, these arguments shrink into fallacies. Then they drop down into name calling. Which is pretty stupid. We have a problem, we’re addicted to arguing about trivial things like video game balance. We don’t know when to stop. You can’t always convince someone that X item is OP or Y item is useless, people are stubborn and opinions are hard to change. Sometimes we need to agree to disagree.
Calm yourself. Take a deep breath. Then type something nice for a change.