Editorial: On Teamwork and Gaming

Lusi-fans, I have, as I am sure our readers are no-doubt aware, been playing a great deal of League of Legends in my free time. As a result, I have recently found myself dealing with some of the best and worst (mostly worst) people the Internet has to offer. I have also lately frequently found myself thinking about teamwork, and why it is that gamers often seem to have such a difficult time with it. With three multiplayer online games I have put significant time into, I came to the realization that I have had three vastly different teamwork experiences. Today, I would like to share some of my musings about cooperative gaming experiences.

I do still occasionally play the game, but not very often.

A large number of my positive gaming experiences came from the pre-Freedom CoH era.

City of Heroes was largely a positive experience for me, at least in terms of teamwork. While I have not played much with the game’s community after the release of Freedom, the game I played a few years ago had a wonderful community. The overwhelming majority of teams I was in had excellent communication and capable minds. This almost certainly stems from the relatively high average age of the player base at the time I was playing; if I recall correctly, the median age of a CoH player was around twenty-eight years old. Overall, my time with the old-school City of Heroes community was largely positive. Sure, I can remember the odd negative experience, but the two truly negative dealings I remember from the community are extremely memorable specifically because they were so rare. The first of these two experiences came from my first night with the game, where several people had me flagged as a bad player because I, in my naive youth, committed the unforgivable MMO crime of stealing someone’s kills against a few mobs in-game. Even in this case, however, the players involved were quick to forgive when it became clear that I was just a young and new player with no previous MMORPG experience. The second of my two especially memorable City of Heroes negative encounters came during a long Task Force (the CoH equivalent of a raid, essentially), where tensions ran too high and I was removed from the group, thus wasting several hours of playtime. This too ended relatively positively, however, as both I and the other party immediately realized that mistakes had been made on both sides. Not every online community proved as widely positive an experience for me as the City of community, though.

The Team Fortress 2 community has proved an interesting one when it comes to teamwork in random groups; it seems that many TF2 players do not see the need to communicate. I cannot say that the TF2 community has been a negative one for me to be a part of; indeed the community seems to range from “neutral, with the occasional douche” to “genuinely a great group of people”. I do find it remarkable, though, that I have been in so many silent games, given that Team Fortress 2 is a game that is heavily dependent on team synergy. And of course, I would be a fool if I were to talk about TF2 without mentioning Lusipurr.com’s very own server, without which I would never even have come to write for the site. It is because of the Lusipurr.com server that I will no longer support a multiplayer FPS that does not have dedicated server support; I have simply had too many good nights spent with good friends to ever be willing to support a game without dedicated servers. But unlike City of Heroes, the vast majority of my positive experiences with the Team Fortress 2 community came from my association with the Lusipurr.com server rather than the community at large.

I think it's the blowdarts.

For some reason, it seems like Teemo players are especially prone to douchery.

And now, I come to the third and final community of this article, and this one is a doozy. The League of Legends community is…well, it is a community of sorts. League of Legends attracts all sorts, from the hardcore competitive crowd to the fun-seeking gamer, as well as an obnoxiously high level of idiocy, trolling, and all-around terribleness. Perhaps the most memorable negative experience I have had in recent memory was a recent game where one of our team’s lanes was invaded. An upset player on my team asked why I did not warn them that trouble was coming, to which I and another teammate were quick to respond. I had been elsewhere on the map helping another teammate and did not see the impending invasion. Angry, the upset player then got indignant, telling me I should have been more map-aware. This naturally led to multiple people explaining that if this player was expecting me to be more map-aware, then he or she should also be more aware. This led to the response of, and I quote: “i need kills i dont need to watch the map”, to which I had no good response. This story is but one of many examples of LoL players getting angry over nothing or blaming others for their own shortcomings. The MOBA genre has always been known for its bad communities, and League of Legends is certainly no exception. I love the game, but as other staff members can attest, I frequently find myself dealing with some of the Internet’s worst.

Well, then readers, we come to the end of my community musings. What of you, readers? I know that many of Lusipurr.com’s staff have been involved in the World of Warcraft community for some time now, but what of our readers? I would like to read stories about other peoples’ experiences in online communities; this is one of the subjects in gaming that I am most interested in knowing more about. Comment, dear readers!

One Comment

  1. Mel
    Posted 2012.08.01 at 22:09 | Permalink

    As far as League is concerned, I sympathize. In that instance pinging the map is generally considered a courtesy. Not a requirement, since EVERYONE should be map aware at all times. Enough to know a lane is missing its champs. Still, though, if it was laning phase I would have tried to keep an eye on my lane even if I was out of it to gank or assist or whatnot.

    On a related note, Smite is something I just learned about. It’s a another dota-like that’s key feature is that it’s in an over-the-shoulder third person perspective, not top down. It’s in closed beta, but I’m looking forward to it from what I’ve seen.