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In these games where mashing 3 keys in succession rapidly is somehow deemed a skill, its hard to put a finger on why some people excell at it and some people are hopelessly bad no matter how much they play. Underneath all the forum drama that many of us love to read, or even partake in, there is a obscure fascinating battle between two people or two groups of people, but how does one really determine the winner and loser of such a trivial contest? Of course the answer is going to vary from game to game, but I am purposefully ignoring that obvious fact for this topic because I believe it all comes down to one simple and largely intangible trait.
We can talk about gear, class choice, and game mechanic knowledge, and thats all very relevent. But there are always exceptions to this rule, theres always going to be one guy who plays one of the worst classes, doesnt have an endless reseviour of knowledge to tap into, and doesnt have access to all the highend gear, who will stomp your face over and over again. Its happend to everyone, and its going to happen again and again pretty much regardless of the game.
Im a huge fan of the NFL, and I think there is a comparisson that can be drawn here, as funny as that is. Professional football is a brutal struggle, and theres just some that simply strive on that struggle and those who fold like a lawn chair. For every Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Terry Bradshaw there are 100's of Kevin Kolbs, Rob Johnsons, and Curtis Painters. Now the latter are all mechanically sound quarterbacks, they all have tools that should in theory allow them to achieve arguably as much in the game. To even reach this level you have to put in an incredible amount of work, and its a rarity when work ethic is the failing of a profesional football player (Hello JaMarcus Russell). But what really makes the Brady's and Montana's of the world better? They hate to lose, its a gut wrenching feeling that they will carry with them for the better part of their adult lives.
Its simple will, to know in your mind that you will win, you will do whatever it takes to win, that you will destroy the other guy, thats what it takes. And suprisingly so many of us just arent born with that. You DO have to be an asshole to be any measure of champion. Michael Jordan, huge asshole. And arguably greatest competitor any of us will ever see, maybe even our children will ever see. This guy would develop close friendships with rivals like Patrick Ewing and then take them apart when it was game time, he manipulated it and used it to his advantage.
Its this trait that alienates the l33t speaking PVPer from his peers that makes him such a success at ruining your play time, he's a bigger asshole than you, and he's going to win, and you're going to hate him for it. If MMORPG's were entertaining for other people to watch, and they wanted to see it, these guys would be your superstars, these would be who everyone wants to see. Not some dude decorating his house, or grinding mobs to get that +5 ring.
And all of us do want to see it, thats why were here. I think this is the very basis of MMO's to begin with. At least it was at the core of where they started from before they evolved into something else.