Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gaming Etiquette

There are many different types of games out there and there are many different styles of play but somewhere there is a line where there should be such a thing as appropriate gaming etiquette.

I've played a lot of games and have seen gaming etiquette being thrown to the wind with the excuse always being that is how I like to play.

While I have always been a huge supporter of the concept of play the game how you want to play it I can not accept people that do things that I consider to be rude in a community sense.

Some things people might call gaming etiquette are almost black and white.  Need before greed for example is the perfect case that seems to be simple enough to understand.   However, once you delve into things a little deeper and even need before greed has a built in problem with it when it comes to people that do not follow gaming etiquette.

Someone might not need an item but they might need the gold it sells for because they don't have much gold.  They might need the crystal it will disenchant to because they need to upgrade their enchants and do not have the needed crystals.

This is where gaming etiquette starts to actually come into play.  The basic need before greed principle works just fine for most people.  Without even saying anything most people understand that means you need the gear.  Anything less than needing the gear because it is an upgrade and you can (and will) equip it immediately and use it as soon as it is gemmed and enchanted means you want it less then someone else that actively needs it, hence, you want it for greedy reasons.

Needing it for gold or the crystal is being greedy basically.  The majority of the gaming player base knows that and lives by that but not all do.

I've noticed a trend more and more in gaming, and not just WoW, and that is having etiquette is starting to be considered a failing.  The attitude of, if you are not going to need it I will, seems to be spreading more and more.

It is almost as if the games themselves are starting to teach people, and more importantly young people, that you need to worry about yourself and yourself only.

I noticed this early on in WoW when it came to PvP.  It seems PvP has always been designed that way.  It is for people that care about no one else but themselves.  That is why you always used to see people camping lower level towns killing everything and basically screwing up the game play of the low level players.

Doing things like that is bad gaming etiquette but games like WoW and many others actually support this type of game play.  They support the concept of just having fun.  While in theory the concept of just having fun is just fine and dandy there are some times where fun comes at the expense of others and even if you are the type of person that gets off on ruining someone else's fun it is wrong.

This was where I first noticed gaming etiquette falling apart.  While it is more prevalent in the PvP environment when it comes to WoW it is in every aspect of the game and all games online.  The me, me, me attitude has taken the place of gaming etiquette.

It is hard to blame the player for the break down in gaming etiquette all the time.  In some cases it might be easy to blame the player but not all.  It is the game that teaches people to be that way.  This game and basically any multi player game.

The perfect examples of games teaching people to embrace the me, me, me attitude comes from games like evony, grepolis and games of the like.

While playing one online game after two months of working myself up I went to war with a neighboring town.  They where of basically equal development having only started 2 days after I had and after 2 months a 2 day difference is so minimal that it was actually unnoticeable.

I wiped him out, completely, no sign of life, in less then 6 hours.  I felt bad for him.  He worked 2 months, just like I did.  Probably put in a decent time investment and poof, everything he worked for was gone in one well organized attack.

I guess the difference there was I read a lot about how to arrange attack waves and how to defend and he must not have.  Doesn't change the fact that I felt bad.  Two months work and you are wiped off the map and have to choose to start all over again or quit.

As odd as it might sound, I was the one that ended up quitting.  I did not feel right destroying someone like that.  That is how someone else was having fun and I totally destroyed their fun.  I turned everything they did in the last two months into a complete waste of time.  It was not like WoW where you run back to your dead body and all is well again.  This person was removed from the game completely.  If they wanted to play more they needed to start from the beginning.

It is games like that which are teaching people, and more so young people, that it is perfectly fine and actually a gaming goal, to ruin the fun of other players.

I quit that game because I felt bad about ruining the game for someone else.  No, they did not mail me complaining, they did not even make a peep.  They went down fighting and lost.  Maybe they where fine with it but I wasn't.  I can not actively ruin another person game play even if the games are designed that I am supposed to do that to succeed at it.

I won't let the games compromise my morals or what I consider to be good gaming etiquette.  Good gaming etiquette means you do not do things to actively ruin the game play of someone else. 

Sadly, it seems so many others are adapting to this style of game play and ruing the game for others and turning all games into a game of me, me, me.  Into a game of, if I can ruin the game for others it must mean I am having more fun myself.

I'm sorry, I just can not play that way.  When I play on a PvP server I will never kill someone that is a lower level then me (unless they attack me first).  I will never kill someone that is already in another battle.  I will never compromise my gaming etiquette just because the game tells me I should.

You take one step in that direction, stopping to kill a level 20 on your 85 and the next thing you know you are rolling need on everything while on your enchanter instead of disenchant just so you can get all the items and not only the ones you are lucky enough to win with the disenchant roll.

Games are teaching people bad manners.  It used to be that gaming etiquette was a nice way to teach young people right from wrong, in a way.  There were a set of rules and they where based on morals.  Not so much any more.

I see it more and more often.  People rolling need on the goodie bags in ZG because they need the materials.  People rolling need on items just to disenchant them themselves the second they get them.  People rolling need on items they do not need just to get something to sell and even worse, to keep it from someone else.

Where is real gaming etiquette going?

I'll tell you, it is going the way of the dodo bird, because that is what the games are teaching the newer players.

I think the games need to start worrying more about everyone having fun instead of people have fun at the expense of others.  It just does not feel right.

I still feel like crap for wiping that guy out.  Two months for nothing for him.  How can anyone really feel comfortable ruining the game for someone like that?

These games are teaching everyone that is the acceptable way to play.  Those people, and their misconception of good game play, are appearing more and more in WoW and bringing their horrible ruin it for others because it is all about me attitude with them.

The entire gaming community is falling into a pit and gaming etiquette is disappearing with it.

1 comment:

  1. Ya know, I have missed out on a lot of items in WoW because I do not automatically roll need on everything. I do often wait now to see how others are rolling, the few times I get into a PUG, before rolling myself unless it is an item that I will use as an upgrade (and usually only on soulbound ones at that). To some extent I suppose that is why I much prefer vent guild runs, so I am able to ask about such.

    Regarding war games such as you mentioned about the two months work being wiped out, that is simply the price of playing such a game. If a player isn't willing to pay such a cost, then the player should not be playing.

    That does go both ways too, so I applaud your decision to quit playing. On the other hand, if the other player made nary a protest and fought back as best he/she could, then I am willing to bet that the other was willing to accept the loss and move on with the lessons learned from playing out a loss being as valuable to that player as any of your online research.

    Now sure, it may well be that the person was so unhappy about the loss that quitting was the only option. But I doubt that was the case. It more likely was a case of "mad", "how did I lose so badly", and "what did I do wrong" and "how can I correct it next time." In fact for more folks than you are probably willing to believe, the fun comes from learning to play the game by playing, not by studying it to death before hand.