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Tycho / on Wed, Aug 10 2011 at 12:00 am

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Fed Astaire

The communities of DOTA, HoN, and LoL are notorious, even among gamer communities, for being noxious hellholes.  It’s rare that I actually run afoul of these beasts; usually, they’re content to shiver and gasp in their rotting stumps.  Every now and then, though, they do emerge, and I remember: oh, yes.  You senseless things.  Again!

Obviously you have a lot of larvae just learning to be human beings, and I can recognize their wretched, sightless writhings.  But it’s simply a fact that this game is more stressful than other games.  Part of it is almost certainly because the stakes are higher.  On average, a round of League of Legends might be five or six times longer than a round of CoD.  You can only waste a stranger’s time so long before they begin to resent it, and in an environment where there’s little to no repercussions to transgressive behavior there is a high likelihood that you will be transgressed at some point.  I’m not saying it’s an awesome thing to do, just that it is done, and to gird yourself accordingly.

We’re playing LoL, but it doesn’t particularly matter which one you play - games of this unique genre gumbo necessarily have broad concepts in common, and I’m starting to find it problematic.  I don’t even mean in a bad way, I mean that when my time becomes my own, I don’t want to play anything else.  I can summarize why - imagine that these items occupy a set of expanding, concentric rings.

1) Custom Jargon (lane, bot, fed, etc.)

2) Tactical gameplay moment to moment

3) Choice-studded Power Progression Arc

4) Intrinsic/Extrinsic novelty based on party composition (“Deckbuilding”)

5) Persistence

It’s actually interfering with my ability to do my job.  You can see Gabriel as Wukong in panel one and Tycho as Leona (The Radiant Dawn!) in panel two.  For a sidecar of interesting trivia, take a look at how two games - League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth, in this case - approached the exact same archetype from a gameplay perspective.

I have a special note for Omeganauts, and those who follow the Omegathon as it winds its way through PAX:  here are the games you’ll be playing to win a big pile of money and a rad trip to a cool place.

Round 1, 20 to 16 - Double Dash on Gamecube.
Round 2, 16 to 12 – Bananagrams
Round 3, 12 to 8 - Lumines Live! on Xbox 360
Round 4, 8 to 4 - Dance Central 2, Xbox 360
Round 5, 4 to 2 - Portal 2 (Console)

There; that ought to terrify them.

(CW)TB out.


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