Now I know I am not a rant-master like Jef, but even fledgling ranters must begin somewhere. And this week, I found just such a place: immature, self-serving, can't-pull-their-thumbs-outta-their-ears-unless-there-is-something-in-it-for-them-gamers in Aion. You know the type -- those who think the world revolves around them. Those whose spoiled-rotten antics ruin groups and legions alike and who are the reason why many a block list is so full. They without whom drama would die a quick death and be a forgotten plague. They're the bane of chat channels everywhere -- they are the trolls.
Throw yourself past the cut for a look at some recent Aion tantrums and sure-fire ways to minimize the effects of blatant immaturity. Careful, though -- I cannot be held responsible for any resemblance to gamers near you.
I am really sick and tired of listening to the self-serving, only-out-for-themselves crowd that infest MMOs when those MMOs actually need teamwork. They clog chat channels with their whining and their "gimmie" attitudes, and my block list just isn't big enough.
Why is it that some people insist on treating an MMO as their own personal single-player game and everyone in it as their NPC plaything when there are actual single-player games out there that cater to that? Since when does MMO stand for Massively Multiplayer Who are Here for My Personal Bidding Online? For those who missed this lesson somewhere in life, I have a news flash: The rest of us don't pay our $15 a month for your personal amusement and gratification. Unbelievable, I know. Yes, Aion told you that you were something special, but it told everyone that. Really.
I could blame it on the fact that I am getting crotchety in my old age (OMG I am not in my 20s anymore!), but I was honestly just as annoyed with immaturity even when I was younger. For all those who approach gaming like adults and understand the word cooperation, the following is not referring to you. You may just read, click your tongue, and nod in sad understanding. To the rest of you, if the following excerpts hit a little too close to home, I have one word of advice: Grow up.
To start, let me make this clear: By immature, I am not talking about young kids with their impulsive actions and lack of forethought. I am talking about the adults in their 20s, 30s, and beyond who throw tantrums that would put a two-year-old to shame. Have you seen Daevas threaten to hold their breath (or not heal, CC, taunt, buff) until they get what they want? I have. How about a Daeva who tears apart a legion with vicious rumors and backbiting because of petty jealousies when another person dares speak to and group with one of her numerous concurrent online trysts? Yeah. Been there, seen that. Had enough.
Now, I am not so lost in LaLa Land that I think I can find any place free from immaturity, but I am of the opinion that we really need to stop catering to spoiled brats in Atreia. If people are going to act that way, we should get a "go to your room" feature that allows us to send the worst of the offenders to time-out (adds this to next my wish list). Or maybe a mandatory glowing neon title like "Spoiled Brat" to warn us of impending childishness.
So what antics precipitated my rant?
What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine
Selfishness unbridled. I am sure you have seen it played out in many ways. There are those who take and take and take but never give, be it items, kinah, or support from legion or friends. Or those who ask everyone to donate to them; certainly it's not like anyone else needs the items or has to save up for things he needs. Why actually work for something -- we should all just fork everything over because they asked, right? Selfishness defines the Klepto who rolls on and takes any loot in group, regardless of whether anyone else really needs or could use it. And we aren't talking just PUGS here -- we're talking legion groups as well.
Even more annoying is when they talk to you like they deserve it. "But I have graced you with my presence, so of course I deserve the rare loot for a class other than my own!" The bewildered Chanter BuffBuff stares dumbfounded as the group insists on giving the item to the appropriate class.
I've watched players literally blackmail their companions, saying they won't do something unless the group first helps them with their personal needs. That's not to say groups can't help each other out, but come on, ultimata? Do we really need that? Stop enabling such behavior! Just say no!
What about when one particular class your group considers crucial is played by someone you'd rather gouge your eyes out with your mouse than group with again, yet you put up with him just for the class? Decide whether the experience is worth dealing with the person; if not, just break free from the situation. Just last night a friend walked out of Besh to get away from a juvenile whine-asaurus in group; if more people did this, then maybe said offender would finally take a hint and realize that in order to be a part of a team he needs to act at least somewhat mature. Even better, boot the whiner.
Ever had the situation arise where a group has had something planned, but when the time came, one person speaks up and says, "You know what? There isn't anything there I need, so I'm not going." Never mind that plans were already set around this person. Even more fun is when someone announces at the last minute that she is unable to go because she already went.
I have heard of a player lamenting to his legion that he lost a precious static group because he said he'd help his legion. And this after said legion sacrificed and helped him out immensely. Seriously? Why not just be with the other group if that's what you care about?
A wide-eyed BuffBuff tries to look contrite. "Oh gosh... I'd love to help, really. But see, I'm locked-out 'cause I went with my uber-cool other group earlier. It was fantastic. Too bad you guys can't experience it like me. Wanna see the awesome stuff I got?"
Rated M for Mature
People need to understand: In Aion, just as in life, there are times when you aren't going to get what you want and times when you are going to do something you don't want to. Maybe because the boss said so and keeping the job is important (gotta pay those subscription fees, right?). Maybe because success in Aion is a team effort and not a solo affair. If everyone were only out for himself in the game and didn't cooperate, large-scale sieges would utterly fail and trips to endgame dungeons like Beshmundir Temple wouldn't be successful.
Too often I see groups and legions bow to the demands of the unreasonable child (talking attitude, not age) instead of putting their feet down, just for the sake of having a certain class or avoiding conflict. Trust me, that isn't doing anyone any favors. There is a simple solution to this behavior: Don't give the inane fools power over you or your groups. Thumb your nose at rigid group dynamics and just move on without the offender. Until corporal punishment is instituted in-game (please let me PK my own faction!), take control of your situation and use that kick button.
Kicking didn't work. Screaming didn't work. Flustered, unable to get his demands met, BuffBuff leaves in a huffhuff. And then there was peace.
OK, maybe I am nowhere near ready to earn my wings of rantiness. But I am not the only one tired of hearing poor behavior excused with a shrug of the shoulders and "s/he is young and immature." Immaturity is not a reason; it's an excuse, and a poor one at that. Without a doubt, I can state that other Daevas aren't there to be your babysitters, your teachers, your ATMs, or your nursemaids. It's not our responsibility to tell you to grow up, but by holding you accountable for your actions, maybe someday you will. Until I get my "you're grounded" feature, I will deal with infantile antics by leaving groups, /ignore-ing, and kicking from my presence those who would test even a saint's patience.
Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.