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I always thought it was funny when people almost raged when talking about "Player Skill" as if people incapable of faster mouse clicks or accurate reaction FPS skills are inferior to someone with a talent for theory-crafting or min/maxing their character specialization, balancing their budget / earning gold for their item accumulation, or simply someone who spends more time in the game than others.
Typically this idea that "Player Skill" is solely derived from FPS skillz br0 came across my mind when thinking of the forums just before Darkfall's initial release, people bashing "carebears", and the constant "bro" crowd which states that ALL mmorpgs would be 100x better with FPS aiming and untargeted spell casts like a FPS game.
Really, I find the whole concept of "Player Skill" pretty laughable. Most pro play in any game genre is almost entirely based on abusing exploits in game mechanics, min/maxing based on the (typically ONE) way to play the game. When I really think about it, all "Skill" is pretty meaningless and laughable, no matter what you're competing in or playing.
Even in real life, intelligence makes one man no more valuable a human than the next. Although the world seems to be impressed by people who can jump higher, run faster, or solve complex math problems rapidly, those people are no more important (arguably less) than many of the "lesser" capable grunts working jobs which are requirements for what society considers "modern living" such as electricians, chinese factory workers, farmers, and plumbers.
I created this thread initially from reading another thread where someone (of many I've seen before) upset that time invested in MMORPG's is more important than other forms of skill. Although I severely dislike games which make players more powerful based solely on their time (as opposed to decisions, talents in other areas, etc.) if I were not a quick reaction player with a lot of gaming experience across all genres, I'd probably think very positively of time progression. After all, why is it fair that one man rofl-stomp others in PvP simply because their brain works differently than yours? That's hardly fun or entertaining. You could however argue the opposite-- why should they beat me when they are clearly inferior players? To each his own, and honestly I'd love to see games which promote a little bit of everything, which I think is what the mainstream has done.
WoW PvP is a great example of this fine tuned balance, IMO. In WoW, a player can be the best solely by time invested (level, gameplay experience), by reaction and FPS skills (such as the difference between those who click to cast and those who WASD or use a gamepad or gaming mouse or complex macros), by simply being the overpowered class (especially in low levels, some classes are rofl-stompingly ridiculously unbalanced), or by getting the right gear or having the right social connections to achieve all of the above.
My biggest problem though, are the min-maxers who exploit EVERYTHING they can for easy wins, despite it taking a large amount of the fun (challenge) out of the game. Those who not only are great players with tons of gaming experience, but also stack this high advantage WITH overpowered classes, AND heavy time investment, MULTIPLIED by gear perfection, twinking, etc.
It is one thing to have tons of different ways to be great at a game. It is entirely another to stack every single advantage on top of one another becoming an overwhelmingly powerful force that can singlehandedly change the battlefield and make the experience of the other 1-19 players an absolutely boring, frustrating, or needlessly unchallenging waste of their time.
WIth this said, WoW is also a great example of a system where someone obsessed with winning at all costs against opponents who provide 0 challenge can rofl-stomp their way to ruining everyone else's fun.
This complaint I am making reminds me of a FPS game I was playing. The server was full, and everyone would normally have a blast but this 1 person was so good, so experienced, with so much a better score than everyone else (they would kill others the moment they'd appear) that the entire server, including his own team, voting to kick him and succeeded. I was the one who initiated the vote. Why? Because out of the 12 people playing, only 1 was having fun while the rest of the 11 were playing on an entirely lower level. This 1 player literally was "so good" he ruined the game for everyone else. His team never got to kill anyone or even fight, because he would kill everyone all across the map. The enemy wouldnt even get to play, as they'd die the moment BEFORE he'd even appear on screen. The moment this player was kicked, against his wishes, everyone started having a blast, providing each other with very challenging gameplay. Even though there were several clear bad players and several clear good ones, the differentiation was not as massive anymore, and even the bad players could have fun enough.
Finally, I'd just like to add that even though I am a huge nerd, I still think people who "pro play" any video game are a laughing stock and a shame on the gaming scene solely because they are exploiting game mechanics and programming balance instead of providing themselves with a form of entertainment focused on having fun as opposed to competition. Although it is fun for them (the only reason I dont think ill of them or suggest NOT having said tournament) I still think it is all quite the joke.
Of course, this is also coming from the same person who thinks those who worship celebrities and make sport players their personal heroes are what I would call the "bottom of the gene pool". No offense, but LOL @ being payed millions and become worshiped for being able to run really fast or catch a ball better than other people. Although I am probably an "elitist" I think that REAL heroes deserve the credit and self-obsessed people who do nothing for society but "pro play" do more harm than good. I mean, it's not like the best teachers are payed millions of dollars and drafted to "pro teach" or anything. Right? Right? It's not like public education suffers due to low pay and atheltic scholarships often trump any form of intellectual persuit. Right? Right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.