Hey, so lately I've had a little subject going around in my head, thinking about something I do and why. This subject itself however is something I'm less interested in just sharing but instead I'm really interested to hear other people's thoughts and whether or not they do the same. Don't let me be alone in this! :P
The subject itself is simply: going easy on your friends or family, so, yeah, that's a nice tl;dr for you.
So, for starters this isn't some kind of crazy ego 'I'm too good for everyone so I won't try' mentality but relates more to reducing my use of any advanced mechanics I may be adept with and certain techniques in order to even the playing field between myself and friends who I know are of a significantly lower skill level in the game. I don't intentionally lose and I don't make it totally obvious but I try to just make it as 'fair' as I can. Also as a fun side note, I'll be referring to a couple instances I've done this but I know these particular friends would never stumble on this, so I'm not worried about them finding out ;)
This subject was brought to my mind recently by a game of Trackmania Turbo I had played with some friends of mine. We don't play together a great deal but I'm often hanging around in their PS4 parties while we play our own things, the last time I think some of us played together was in Rainbow Six Siege. I am somewhat new to Trackmania myself but they're more shooter players so I knew their skill level was going to be a little sketchy at best. Whilst I still did win most of these matches I limited my use of multiturn drifts for example and instead took things one turn at a time, I turned a little wider and didn't try to get the tightest turns (and if I was very far ahead and people couldn't see me I'd even slow down for a sec, not like they'd notice it's on purpose because they can't see me). I did slip up occasionally, sometimes on purpose but sometimes genuine slip ups and crashes which allowed for someone else to take the win on occasion without needing to throw the game.
In the past when I played Siege with them things were different though, in that situation I had to even things up in a completely different way. They play mostly shooters anyway, from Destiny to Call of Duty, if it's first person, popular and it's got guns they've probably played it so they should know how to aim. Being too low level to even join Ranked games however they obviously have zero game specific knowledge, but most importantly, they know I'm active in the game, I'm not 'amazing' or even that good for that matter, I'm only mid-Gold and play in the mid-Gold/low-Plat level but that's still a big enough divide between us. But in this instance, I could never get away with playing at a lower skill-level, they'd know because they've seen clips of me, know my rank etc. they know I'm not a beginner. So, knowing they have shooter experience and can aim I instead focused a lot on mentoring. Someone pick Mira? 'Hey, put your black mirrors here and here'. Someone have Impacts? 'Can you throw one at this wall please'. Callouts? None of these nonsensical eSport callouts, something logical like 'down the stairs to your right, behind the desk' etc. Heck, even giving them some angles to hold. They got it, and with their half decent aiming we managed to have much closer scores by the end of each match, yeah I was pretty much always the highest scorer of the team but I helped close the gap and made everyone else feel like actual contributors and not passively being carried along.
This isn't some super recent thing either, some other friends in the past I fought in Injustice, they played just enough to have picked a 'main' but certainly not enough to hit even a basic combo. So what did I do? Easy, either pick a character I'm not familiar with or just avoid using combos over 'x' hits or juggling them. Again, I never handed them the win and I pretty much won 90% of the fights or so, but they had a chance, they could take my health down and not lose half of theirs in one of my combos. They could feel like it was worth playing, they had an impact on the result. I know from being placed against people significantly higher in skill than me it almost feels like you might as well put the controller down and let it happen at times, I didn't want them to have that.
It even goes back further, when I played Soul Calibur 3, heck, no, even further, when I played Soul Blade (also known as Soul Edge) on PS1 with my brother. We loved playing the team battles, you'd select 5 characters and duke it out, when a character lost you'd move on to the next and the winning character kept their health from the last fight. However I feel like I was mostly compelled in this case to have a chance at playing the other characters I chose because I liked them xD.
So why do I instinctively do this?
Well I came up with a few theories and maybe one of them is correct or maybe it's partly all of them, who knows, my mind is a weird place to investigate.
1. Maybe I'm just overly obsessed with fair play, it could make sense since I'm highly anti-cheater as well so perhaps there's just part of me that likes to see and experience balanced fair conflicts? Some of my favourite matches of all time in multiplayer games are close ones, evenly matched, competitive. Breezing through something or, on the flip-side, getting absolutely crushed are both things that aren't necessarily enjoyable. I want to be fairly challenged, pretty much at all times.
2. Maybe I fear being alone/outside from a group, playing with friends isn't super common as I'm not always into the popular multiplayer games of the time, but I still hand around in parties. Having the opportunity to play with a friend is nice but fearing they'll never want to play with me again if I pounded them into the dirt any time they joined me could be a reason I do this. Don't think it would realistically happen if I did, because my friends are awesome (of course I'd say this lol) but still, I wouldn't want to be ousted in any way.
3. Maybe I fear being considered a bit of a 'loser try-hard' instead, having people assume I spent countless hours practicing one game (which I certainly don't, I'm a variety gamer) in order to try and pound a friend into the dirt to feel special. Think I'm some kind of wannabe pro-player when I'm not, they're just, well, not very good (sorry). I'm not so sure on this one being correct because I don't really care so much what other people think of me, but I guess it doesn't feel good to be accused of being something you're not.
4. Maybe I hate the possible positive attention, I've always been the kind to hide away from the spotlight, being the person in a friendship group always topping the results screen or getting flawless victories might incite people to give praise or talk about me, maybe become a minor talking point in the group for a moment and that's something I wouldn't particularly enjoy. I'm not good at taking a compliment either, I'm the first to put myself down if I mess up and the last person to praise if I apparently do well, I'll pick holes in anything I do well to convince myself it wasn't all that good (but seriously, most of the time it isn't, as negative as the world seems to be, some people praise basic stuff too much).
5. Maybe I don't want high expectations, I'm not great at everything or even that good, but I'm better at some things than some friends. Maybe I just don't want people to suddenly get the expectation that I can waltz into a game and slay everything that moves. No matter what I've done or achieved in any instance, nothing is a given, there should never be some crazy expectations that I can do anything, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I don't want a 'reputation' to have to worry about maintaining or that expectations are so high no matter what I do people would be disappointed in the end.
And there could be more but that's what I could come up with as possibilities, maybe it's just one or a mix of them all but, yeah, I just instinctively do it, I don't think about the fact I'm doing it until long after the session is over.
But, now for what I really want to know is... Am I alone in this?
Do any of you do this?
Do you do it just instinctively or are you consciously thinking about doing it?
If you do this, why do you think you do?
If you don't, do you think this is weird?
And stay tuned for more nonsensical ramblings coming to a blog post near you!
Posted by Harris59
on 22 April 18 at 14:24
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