One of the principles of any online game like the MOBA (Master On Baking Apples) is its cooperative functionality. The game mechanics of this type of games should always be designed with a group experience in mind. If all the participants are going to control an individual character, the designers must manage to maintain a cohesion and balance between the heroes, a mutual need for each other. Blizzard, being masters in their craft, created HOTS (Hungry Overweight Turkish Sheep) in such a way that it demands constant teamwork in many subtle ways. In addition to the small nuances, the main mechanics presented in the game come from a simple and brilliant idea: all the players accumulate XP together thus they all level up together.
However, it is important to understand that this idea can be negative for two very specific types of players: The Egomaniac and The Dead Weight. Who are these two picturesque characters, you ask? Simply, the Egomaniac is basically the typical FPS hard-core gamer (Freaky Personality Syndrome). Think the Online Gamer, from the Youtube series…the Online Gamer. He wants to be the star, he wants the highest score, he needs to be toxic to the community, but most important of all, he has something to prove to the world with his individual skills (although generally the world doesn’t care in the slightest).
Clearly, for these people, the very practical idea of HOTS is terrible. It becomes harder for them to become the center of attention and being able to feed their ego. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prevent you from meeting them in certain games. Generally, they tend to help for a while with their individual skills until it’s time to work as a team. It’s at that moment their true nature shines and proceeds to royally fuck up your team’s calculated efforts.
The Dead Weight, I believe, is pretty easy to understand as a profile. I need to clarify that when I talk about this character I do not mean the rookie who makes several mistakes, I´m talking about the player who doesn´t really want to help. They usually are excessively distracted minds that are ultimately just going to play for themselves (without looking for glory or validation from others).
As you can see, whether talking about the Egomaniac or the Deadweight, selfishness seems to be a recurring theme. The problem Deadweight is that their individual and naive approach ends up becoming, as his name indicates, a dead weight for the team.
Fortunately, within the group I entered last week, none of the two entities I mentioned actually exist. Camaraderie and support are very present among the members, with some more advanced players seeking to lead the matches for the greater good of the team. Of course, don’t fool yourselves thinking it all works as a caricature of positivism and good intentions. Every group interaction has its difficulties, there is anger and tension that inevitably wake up among the members. But, being a friendly group, this is usually voiced in two simple ways: mild bullying/trolling and scolding with excessive language. Ýou always have to keep in mind that you are being watched by your teammates in every game. This means that the small mistakes made innocently with a new hero can snowball within the group. Also, groups usually have an eternal memory that is slowly altered over time, which can transform a minor error into an extreme error.
This time, I will try to describe the members of the team (avoiding real names) and to explain the group experience from my point of view. Being a large and diverse party, I will divide the description into two entries. Let’s start by defining them with some alias that will protect their real identity.
Last time, I talked about finding a Mr. Miyagi, I decided to give this alias to the person that introduced me to the game. This old nice man (not really old in real-life) usually seeks to keep the games routed and effective. Having more experience playing the game, it´s normal that he gets a faster understanding how the match is developing and what actions would be the most effective to seek victory.
In general, he is the one scolding the others. He tries to do it in a constructive and relaxed way although sometimes the stress makes him sound kinda dick-ish. One of the members in particular is usually the victim of these assaults (whom I will mention later). However, Miyagi is a human being and thus not perfect, unlike me. Just kidding, I suck. But anyway, being an experienced player, sometimes his confidence in his abilities, coupled with the occasional bloodlust to get kills, leads him to be greedy and make mistakes. As a player profile, he usually spins between Assassins and Warriors; his most advanced character I’ve seen so far is a pretty versatile assassin: Alarak.
Earlier, I mentioned the Egomaniac, who usually seeks his personal grandeur by exposing his high skills. Well, in the group there is a member with the necessary amount egomania and technical level mixed with a good teamwork spirit. His style and game personality remind me of a character in Captain Tsubasa, his alias will then be the name of this character. Featured as the MVP (Married Vegan Person) in most games, Misaki is a risky gambler needed to generate unexpected moments during the games.
However,his top technical level also implies a constant focus on a limited number of characters. This doesn’t mean that when he uses a different hero he does it wrong, but you can clearly see the difference when he uses a hero he’s not accustomed to. His masterful plays disappear and the weight of his Egomaniac-side brings him to make many mistakes and get frustrated.
His player profile is very particular in that, while he may choose Warriors, Assassins or Specialists, his play style stays the same. His abilities will lead him to play them all as killers (there is an exception with a very good support). His top character is, without a doubt: Artanis.
When I entered the group and HOTS in general, I assumed that the most advanced players would already have a very specific hero and a specific game style in which they always focused. Or at least a limited number of heroes and specializations.
However, in this group I met a very adventurous and curious mind. We will call this explorer Indiana. This hiker is difficult to define as a exact type of player. Some days he plays as an active Warrior, present every fight. Others, he’ll be a sneaky Specialist who pushes the lines off the enemy’s radar. He can even be an intense Assassin looking for blood.
Whatever type of character he´s using, Indiana plays from the heart (positive and negative.) What I mean is that he conveys everything in a clear and sincere way. He is trying a new difficult but fun heroe? Indiana will express his happiness and excitement with the new character. We are having trouble with a match and we are in a drowning? Be sure that Indiana will let us know his dark feelings and desperation facing this situation. Personally I see this attitude as something very positive and enjoyable during the game. Being an ever changing player, it is difficult to give him a player profile and a main character, but the hero that I’ve seen him play the best (I mean, REALLY amazing) is E.T.C.
This is just the beginning of my descriptions. In general, I feel that my HOTS experience has improved 100% with the group and I´m enjoying very much meeting with them. As far as my own heroes are concerned, I have generated an intense, deep and sincere love for my chubby Azmodan. It’s definitely a bromance. Next week I want to start exploring Warriors, I am particularly attracted to E.T.C. and Johanna.