August 20, 2012 2 Comments
Of these two games, I would not say that the gameplay of either is superior to the other. Each play with their own style and have things I like/dislike about each. As far as the actual game goes for either, I’m Switzerland. Neutral. Gray like Gandalf. I’m pH7 you might say. However, I stopped playing LoL on a regular basis months ago in favor of DotA2. It wasn’t some concrete decision, where I had a moment of choice that I can point to and say, “There, that is why I no longer play”. It was just a gradual subduing of my time spent in game. This weekend, after watching a YouTube video from Riot about the history of their champions, I decided to go give the game a whirl again. All I got was one game before the stark contrast between the total experience of the two games slapped me in the face and reminded me why I never went back – the community.
It started off badly. Within seconds (literally), my 4 teammates were bitching at each other. Calling each other noobs, criticizing choices on champion, spell selection, calling what lane they are going to take, and then being yelled at for going there. Within the champion select, before everyone was locked in, someone even threw out the “GG”. It wasn’t friendly banter; it wasn’t joking humor; it was bitter, vitriolic condemnation of their own teammates and fellow human beings. Did I mention this wasn’t even a ranked game? Just a standard match for fun. The attitude didn’t improve during the length of the game. Not surprisingly, the match didn’t go well. I lasted 12 minutes in game, reading condemnation, proclamations of superiority, and demands of subservience from half of my teammates, before I finally ignored them. That’s a two-edged sword sadly, because once ignored, communication is gone, and a game that relies on teamwork is basically lost. The game finally ended at about the 30 minute mark (the surrender was no-voted). I left the game, closed LoL, and doubt I will return any time soon.
I’m not saying that the community of DotA2 is the gold standard. I wouldn’t even call it the bronze standard. However, it’s not complete shit, and the average interaction is light-years beyond my experience yesterday. Not every game in LoL occurs like mine did, but it’s an indicative example of the aggregate. I talked about it on the forums at Inquisition, and one of the leaders commented something along the lines of “This is the norm in hyper-popular games.”. The norm is not acceptable, and if it’s bad enough to drive away a veteran of online gaming like me, chances are, it will do the same to others.