Friday, May 15, 2015

Legitimized Griefing


The above list ain't ET's genetic code or a new pop-song refrain (what's the wer-fox say?) It's a running tally of my last thirty matches in the AoS game Prime World according to the presence of griefers.

represents a normal 5vs5 game. Regardless of their crass stupidity, success or failure, players all stayed in the match to the end and more or less played it out. (Six of those were losses. I may be old and my reflexes hardly up to the standards of ten-year-olds' but I do alright for myself when I'm not getting sabotaged.)

A or E
represent matches in which players on my Allied or Enemy side have:
Failed to connect to the match.
Quit by leaving the game.
Quit by going afk.
Quit by sitting at spawn continually spamming surrender votes.
Quit by refusing to take part in team gameplay and only running around the jungle running out the clock until we lose.

Purposely suicided repeatedly into the opposing team to give them an advantage.

I have been banned from three AoS games so far for swearing at the imbecilic little shits polluting the internet with their stupidity. Swearing. All these games have actually had the standard easy two-click ignore option for chat, but that's beside the point. Even ignoring ignoring, no amount of slander will actually affect the "physical" outcome of a match. You can't talk the enemy's health bar down. You can't talk your allies' crit chance up. You can't talk your way faster across the map, talk the fog of war into lifting or talk a retreating enemy back into range. You certainly can't talk your allies' intelligence up. Talk is not just cheap, but utterly inconsequential, useless except for spewing vitriol at deserving targets. You can never ruin a match by talking, unless you're feeding the enemy information.

However, you can ensure a loss for yourself and four others every game by simply refusing to play. The list above isn't even counting the run-of-the-mill idiocy which can doom a team, about which I was kvetching in this post. I've only been counting instances in which one player decides he gets to "call it" and refuse to play altogether, ruining the match for his side intentionally. This is apparently fine. According to developers like Nival, Ironclad, Riot and HiRez, this is perfectly acceptable behavior.

Of course they'd contest that statement. Each one of these companies has put up some sort of "report" system so that you can recommend teammates for banishment by Game Masters. They like being able to say they're working on improving the game environment, engineering that society. You'd think that if you're trying to better the player-base, then the first criminals on the chopping block would be the ones whose very presence in a match guarantees a loss for their side, the griefers whose idea of gameplay consists of the most egregious violations. Both of those Es up above were easy wins for my side. All but one of the As was a loss for my side. If a red card in football (yielding a 10-11 handicap) is a grievous disadvantage, then a 4v5 is a death sentence. The game is after all a game and not a chat room. Actions which impact the game are the true issue and not empty talk. Look at the list I started with and tell me again whether these companies' idiotic pretense of oversight has anything to do with improving the game experience.

30 games
N = 17
A+E = 13
Close enough to half the matches being invalidated by a quitter that I get to call whoever set up this system for Nival a half-wit.
You. Overpaid knuckledragger who set up an automated matchmaking system which fails to eliminate quitters.
You're a half-wit.

Griefers don't get banned. It's a facetious smokescreen. On one side of things, it just gives players the impression that the injustice they've suffered will be avenged, which given by the sheer number of quitters still merrily ruining match after match in every AoS I've played, never actually happens. LoL, SoaDA, Smite, whatever. Griefers do not get banned. However, if you call one of these shiteating retarded little bitches a shiteating retarded little bitch, you get banned. See, that's in print. Devs get to say they have "evidence" and it's much easier to word-search a text file for swears than to actually watch a replay to see what happened. In other words, the verbal response to an injustice is always worse than the injustice itself. You know who talks about racism? Racists! Obviously. Duh. We don't tolerate righteous indignation here.

Which brings us to another point. Game developers hardly invented this sort of corrupt governance. GMs have a long history of being power-mad petty tyrants from before games were electronic and game companies are just playing out the reactionary complacency of every established power structure in human history. Keep in mind these companies are not so much game designers as game sellers, and griefers fill up slots in a 5v5 game. They're "customers." That they make everyone's life a living hell, meh, who cares, quality schmuality. Every player devs ban, every player that leaves, is money out of their pocket. So they pacify you with the delusion that they're policing griefers so you'll sit through it all, and instead ban any troublemakers who refuse to just shut up and swallow this shit.

Sabotage and treason are no crimes.
Rocking the boat? Calling attention to the company's refusal to police actual crime? That's a sin against the almighty dollar. Or, whatever, almighty ruble in Nival's case.

One more thing, though. I recorded those games in order. Notice a trend? If I'd marked down the games from beforehand as well, you'd see the farther back you went the games would begin to look a lot more like the end of my current list: more Ns, fewer As and Es. This sort of confirms the constant issue with randomized matchmaking of punishing competence. The better you do, the more you start getting placed on teams with idiots you're supposed to carry to an undeserved victory. That's bad enough in itself but it's also a necessary evil to set up evenly-matched games instead of the one-sided slaughterfests you find in any FPS which allows players to switch teams at will.

It becomes truly galling when you realize these are not just incompetents but utterly worthless little snots who throw games on purpose. AoS games have not simply legitimized griefing by punishing the response to it, but are actively rewarding griefers by putting them on teams with players who increase their chances of winning when they don't actively throw a match.

I get why the companies are doing it. To them, it's profit. You worthless cretins who pay them to punish you for playing honestly, what's your excuse you spineless, gutless, dickless mouthbreathers? Why am I the only one willing to say anything about this?

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