Anxiety, Morality, Sportsmanship in fast paced multiplayer games. How do you deal with it?

Until recently I have almost exclusively been a player of single-player games. I tried to get into Multiplayer FPS back in the days of Unreal Tournament 2004 and Quake 3 Arena, but I got sick of constantly being pitted against people who seemed to take the game far too seriously. You couldn’t really have fun because you’d be cannon fodder for the guys who devote their energies to mastering the multi-player aspect of the game.

Then recently, feeling like an outsider to all the Call of Duty conversations that happened at work I decided to get Modern Warfare 2 on the condition that I would ‘force’ myself to approach it in a laid back way. I would tell myself not to get worked up or care much if I do badly. I would tell myself to ignore the ‘douches’ (not your typical English-usage word for these people but it seems to be the one that’s stuck). I would tell myself, most of all, that no matter how badly I do, if I just keep playing I’ll get less and less bad.
Cut to now: I stick to Free For All (that’s no teams, kill everyone, everyone for themselves) and one on one third person cage match (over the shoulder game against one other player). And I am, at the risk of being big-headed, pretty good. I consistently come in the top 3, lately winning a lot of FFA. (I have always consistantly won the cage matches but that’s easier)

But because I am capable of doing well I feel like I have to maintain that, so when I play the game I feel anxiety. And I get really annoyed if I do badly even if it’s for a small portion of the match. I can do well in a match and still there’ll be a portion of it where I did badly (often it’s when I foolishly have a vendetta against someone who’s doing something I don’t agree with, but keep getting killed trying to get this one player)

I’m not a douche. I limit my ‘camping’ to less than ten seconds per spot, and only to ‘compose’ myself. I used to take advantage of the fact you can see round corners in the cage matches without being seen, but I don’t do that any more. I don’t boost. I am polite to other players in the chat. If I’m playing really badly I try to make light of it. I refuse to use unrealistic perks and weapons (I don’t use commando or tactical knife despite being a ‘knife guy’)

Basically anything I as a player get to know as being assholish I will try to avoid doing myself.

But I get anxious because of the desire to live up to my abilities and because of the fact that the game (PC version at least) seems to be attracting increasing numbers of cheaters, boosters, hackers, and general dickheads.

So lately if I put the game on I try to tell myself the same things I told myself when I first got the game. I try to relax. I try to accept that I might do badly. It’s just a game. This doesn’t always work though.
Anyway, Sorry for waffling. I wanted to get other people’s perspective on the ‘politics’ of multiplayer FPS gaming…

[ul]

[li]How do you deal with anxiety when you play the game?[/li]
[li]What do you think about people who abuse the game? Do you see them as challenges who increase the fun (the satisfaction you could gain from bettering them without cheating) or as bastards who ruin the fun?[/li]
[li]How do you deal with players who are not abusing the game, but outclass you? Do you feign politeness? are you genuinely polite? Or do you get angry and ‘rage-quit’?[/li]
[li]Have you any anecdotes of beating game-abusers that left you feeling satisfied?[/li]
[/ul]

The only multiplayer game I play regularly is Diablo II, and I’m constantly laughing behind my hand at all the folks who use hacks, since I and the other Dopers (mostly who I play with) figured out a long time ago how to get nearly the same advantages perfectly honestly.

I present to you two pills. You can make a choice at this point.

With Pill A, you’re just out there having fun and killing time. You don’t have a set of regular people that you play with or anyone that you even go into FFA matches with. You’re fine with wherever you place, because it’s all a nice diversion from the world.

With Pill B, you’re actively trying to win every game. You can do so by using every and any advantage you can use, or you can pick and choose more “honorable” avenues. You start getting some regular folks you play with and learn their strengths and weaknesses.

There is some overlap between the two worlds, however. You’re pretty much there now. You say you’re getting good, you place top 3 consistently, you don’t camp (too long) and you don’t do some douchey things. I played a lot of Halo 3 with a few groups of people. If I didn’t have a set of people to go into matchmaking with, I either didn’t play or I didn’t play ranked games. (The chances are that I just didn’t play, which didn’t happen often, because my Friends List is loaded with folks that played a lot of Halo.) I was a lot more competitive with it, watched game footage, learned little quirks in map geometry and studied spawn points. With Call of Duty, there’s a little bit of strategy, but I just don’t care as much. I don’t want to win that game as much as I did Halo.

Ah, to address another point, if there’s a popular game, it’ll have the same crew of racist punk, snot-nosed twerps, cheaters, glitchers, or boosters. That’s the price for playing a very popular game. There are ways to avoid and limit that, though. Number one for you is to ditch FFA.

I don’t think that’s going to happen as FFA is my favourite mode. I mustn’t be a team player because I’m rubbish at the games with objectives other than “Kill as many people as possible” (and to a lesser extent - kill as many people as possible, but not your own team. I can do ok at TDM or Mercenary TDM)

And to the thread: I was hoping to get a broader range of posts on this to get a general feel for how people deal with multiplayer gaming.

See, team play, for me, is a much more rewarding experience for me. I’ve got people that I play with and don’t mes with randoms. It’s nice to have a rapport and to be able to cover someone and to be covered and to know it’s there.

But that’s still fine. You’re still at that crossroads. Soon, you’ll have to make the decision of whether or not to slip further into douche-dom. Camp. Call of Duty is MADE for camping, with the congested maps and powerful weapons, especially at short range. Use everything to your advantage.

I used to play a terrible, terrible lot of Team Fortress 2. I do feel some anxiety, I guess, but not all that much. If I’m not having fun, I switch servers – like if the balancing features have been disabled and one team is just getting plowed over repeatedly.

I just tend to alter my playstyle. If I’m playing with friends, I work more cooperatively. Otherwise, as a Medic, I’ll just go around healing folks and use my ubercharge (invincibility ray, basically) on whoever seems the least stupid person of an appropriate class. Who cares if you win? Yeah, try to win, but it’s not always possible for you to make it happen.

It helps to find a game where you aren’t really rewarded for being a douche. That’s the nice thing about TF2; objectives move around, and the maps are well designed enough (in general) that you can’t just go shooting through the wall to someone’s spawn point. Stick with one tactic, the other team changes classes and defeats that tactic.

Whatever you do, just remember the context you are playing in and it will be fine. Don’t go all “play to win, stop having fun guys!” on a random Server with some relaxed dudes, and don’t complain about people playing unfair in a clan match or something. Just find whats fun in the game and go with it. Most problems in online gaming really come from mixing scrubs and stop having fun guys. None of this two types of players are doing it wrong or right (no matter what this sirlin guy will try to tell you), but if you mix them, Bad Things Happen. If people annoy you, just quit, there is nothing to prove there.

Try to find some regulars, some friends you can play with. That’s a lot more fun.

The only multiplayer game I play is Team Fortress 2, and I break it out every few months, play it for an hour or so, and remember why I quit. It’s very rare for me to find a server full of people that are actually fun to play with: folks who talk tactics together, make light jokes, don’t spray porn everywhere, don’t jack up the chat channels with revolting Aryan Nation music, don’t call one another faggots and make mouthbreather sex jokes all the time.

When I find a good server, it can be a helluva lot of fun. But that rarely happens–so I put it away for another few months.

I used to play a lot of Quake 2, 3. I also love Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Haven’t really gotten into the multiplayer aspects of any other game since because I enjoyed the speed of Quake 3 too much and the objective-based style of Wolfestein a lot. Anything else just seems like a downgrade

I don’t usually have anxiety. I play for fun. If I’m winning, that’s great, but I don’t have any pressures to maintain a good score like you. Though it helps that usually my score isn’t so good :wink:

I played a bit of Counterstrike but got sick of the cheaters. Or maybe I just sucked that much, I don’t know. That turned me off that game completely. So I guess to answer your question, I don’t deal with them, I just leave.

With really good players, I can usually deal with them by either completely avoiding them, or blowing them up with the game’s version of the rocket launcher. Prioritize getting the best weapons then going after that one guy that just doesn’t seem to die. Flank him with teammates and eventually he’ll go down. Once he dies, he’s back to square one like everyone else. This is why I loved Quake 3 so much. The rocket launcher and the BFG can kill anyone in a shot or two, no matter how much armor or health he has, and you don’t even have to hit him, just hit the ground near him. Cheap as it may be, it was a great equalizer and had just enough ammo to make it worth the risk but not to dominate a match.