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Respecting Different Play Styles: Don’t Be a Scrub.

Far too many times in gaming have I seen people complain about how their opponent plays.  Not that they are using an insanely overpowered character (Broken), using a mod to exploit the game, or even a known problem the developers missed  and will update to fix (Universally accepted  broken glitches); they choose to complain solely because their opponent chooses to play the game differently than they do.

In this article, I want to explain why people should respect the varying play styles that are present in gaming; be it aggressive, defensive, adaptive, or even nonsensical and non-ethic.  There is only one rule in gaming: Win.  So be a Pro, not a Scrub.

-[ A Thousand Ways to Play a Game ]-

Just like a finger print, the way everyone plays is unique.  The reason everyone plays unique is because everyone’s thought pattern is different.  In games that do not hinder players with maximizing their score or getting through a level the fastest, we do not have to attempt to follow the same path as someone else in order to achieve the best possible outcome; we can use our own style to its full potential.  There are Hardcore Gamers, Casual Gamers, Professional Gamers, Solo and Team Based Gamers, and many other different times depending on what game they’re playing.  Offensive, Defensive, Adaptive; there are probably nearly as many styles as there are players.

Offensive based players may always love to “rush down” in fighting games such as using Rufus in Super Street Fighter IV or Wesker Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Use the most dominant kill streaks like Harrier Strike and perks like Marathon in Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 2, or even wall bounce like crazy and are close quarters shotgun happy with the Gnasher in Gears of War.

Defensive based players, on the other hand, may sit back with Dhalsim in Super Street Fighter IV and Dormammu in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Use limiting kill streaks like the EMP and perks like Ninja in Call of duty: Modern Warfare 2, or even lay down assault rifle fire like crazy with the Lancer and are defensively positioned with the Sawed-Off Shotgun in Gears of War 3.

Adaptive players (Such as Daigo Umehara) normally do not play a certain way, but act depending on what the opponent does, and most professional players are actually quite adaptive(Though not all, such as Filipino  Champ who favors defensive play, or Marn who favors rush down).  They often counter pick in maps and capitalize and exploit a single tactic or weakness over and over that effects an opponent.

Again, there are many other styles and there are many other styles that branch off from these, near limitless in their possibilities.  No people play the exact same game completely alike, no one would make 100/100 choices exactly the same.  Once you open up your mind to all the new possibilities, you will begin to gain new strategies, techniques, and the ability to not be predictable and explore avenues you may not know existed in games.  Even in Devil May Cry 3, if you favor Sword Master, try running through the game with Gun Slinger or Dopple Ganger to see how those play.

With all of these things, people will not confine themselves to a single style when one may fit their personality and their talents better.

-[ Why so Angry? ]-

Something that grinds my gears is people’s unacceptability of the fact that there really is more than one way to play a game, and really no “Proper Way” in order to do so.  Loads of people get stuck in one particular style of gaming and expect everyone else to conform to their way as it is the “best” way; If they don’t, I’ve seen a lot of people get mad, break their game discs, demean their fellow gamers, and in some cases threaten to never play the game or with the gamer again.  Rage quit out of games is not very uncommon, and I’ve gotten loads and loads of hate mail based on the way I was playing, even if it was not much different at all from how my opponent was playing, or even if the reason I was playing that way in the first place was because my opponent had a certain strategy I knew how to counter.  This close-minded thinking when it comes to different play styles stumps individuality of one’s own style and attempts to force everyone to be clones of each other.

Often times, more-than-not, people are the way they are because of “Imaginary Rules” they have made up in their head about the game; Things that are “honorable” and “unhonorable”, “cheap” and what is “fair”.  In Gears of War 2, something that is present is called the “Two-Piece”, which is a melee attack into a close-ranged shotgun blast while your opponent is still stunned from the melee, resulting often times in an instant kill people call cheap (because of this outcry, the ability to do this is extremely limited in Gears 3).  The “Sys2” clan leader “Sys2Amaze” of the Gears of War series actually tried to belittle me because I used the Two-Piece as part of my play style when we are close to our opponents and because I melee to down enemies if they are already damaged, call it a “noob” thing to do.  My argument was why walk back and forth blindly shotgunning and hoping to gib the other person when there was a way, regardless of lag, to make sure you win the exchange?  Fact is, made up rules in a world where no rules exist except the ones built into the game by the developers.  It is ridiculous.

Not everyone will play the same way you do, nor do they have to.  A fighting game does not have to be played purely offensively, a shooting game does not require you to always storm towards your enemies base, nor does an Action/Adventure game have to be played with the most stylish approach possible.  It is idiotic to believe that your way is the ONLY correct way to play.  Also, how can someone call someone else a “scrub” or a “noob” if they themselves cannot counter what is constantly beating them?

Somethings however, I can understand crying foul at.  Overpowered things which take no skill to win with, such as the Sawed-Off Shotgun in Gears of War 3, Dark Phoenix in Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Akuma in Super Street Fighter II.  However, there is a difference of cheapness that comes with skill that has to be hard learned, such as Magneto or Sentinel in Marvel vs Capcom 2.  But often enough, people are only complaining about the way someone plays and not these things.

I’ve found many people actually limiting their abilities by not accepting and playing against players of different origins of skill.  When people play Call of Duty, I often do hear complaints about camping; but it shows you where people are most likely to be so you now know to figure out a way around it to kill them as an Offensive player.  You know where to set up C4 or Claymores because those are the areas that Defensive players are most likely to go.  Defensive players in fighting games learn what can and cannot be punished quicker because they are busy defending, they have very good blocking skills and even the greatest offense is not good against something that stops every attack perfectly.  Yet, knowing how to deal with these things and being exposed to them better sets you up to conquer them when you are faced down with them.  A big example of what I am talking about can be described when playing my friend, who I believe has even more potential than me when it comes to fighting games, but her gaming style often makes her hit a wall.

I have a friend whois a capable gamer, able to do advance combos in Fighting Games with her only practice coming primarily from actual matches and not any type of Training Mode.  She favors aggressive tactics, very good at “Mix-Up”, and recognizes the play style and mechanics of the game she’s currently working with, even better than me on occassions.  However, as impressive as these things are, they are also things that hold her back.  She’s able to be so amazing at games without hitting the Training Mode, would become an even bigger beast and reach a whole new plateau if she put in the necessary hours to come up with additional stuff.  Often times we will play a game and I will win starting off because I have practiced thoroughly, once she gets the in-game experience she comes in and often beats me and counters whatever I do with Mix-Ups and frustrating resets.  However, once I learn all of these I am able to anticipate and counter them and from that point it becomes harder for her because she doe not have Training Mode to practice situational or impractical combos that are only possible in strict conditions, and learning how to make an otherwise impossible situation possible.  Also, as far as actually modifying her combos even further and maximizing the damage per combo.  Eventually, she can master a character with her method (Her Juri in SSFIV and the beginnings of a Ibuki beast) but it can take far longer without the boost of training mode.  Something else is because she hates defense with a passion, and hates anyone that is excessively on guard, but it is also her greatest weakness.

She is the very reason I had to change my play style from Offensive to Adaptive.  Before that, I was a Rush Down King in every game that I played; but I had to learn to be Defensive against someone who was an even greater rush down threat than I was.  Learning how to be Defensive and take the onslaught helped me to better be good in pressure situations where I cannot seem to get my offense going, and must counter attack rather than locking down my opponent to make them second-guess their moves.  I would never know how to do that had I not met someone who forced me to change my style in order to beat someone who beat me in an aspect I had not been defeated in yet.  So while she is a Queen of Offense, her defense is often lacking; and she’s an example of a player who has ridiculously high potential but is capped off by her own hate for a particular play style.

-[ In Conclusion ]-

With so many different ways to play a game, it is idiotic to thing that everyone shares your opinion that a game is rightfully played a particular way.  Either find or start a group that plays only the way you like it, or step up and learn how to deal with it.  There’s a big wide world out of there and I find that it is pointless to hate on something that you could possibly learn from.

Be open minded, be respectful, and keep your eyes open to learn something.  You never know until you try, and in gaming, the person with the most knowledge and the most experience often wins; the person who knows how to deal with everything tightens his weaknesses while those who cannot deal with certain things are in trouble when exploited.  Think about it.

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About The Author

RoK the Reaper
A serious gamer & hardcore otaku who loves anything gaming, anime, or manga! I hope to bring you the best content for these subjects I love in the form of news, reviews, interviews, and in-depth editorials! さよăȘら!

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4 Replies to “Respecting Different Play Styles: Don’t Be a Scrub.”

  1. True, but you must also speak on certain aspects of playing that is frowned upon. Despite the fact that certain playstyles are more predominant than others. How many akuma/sentinel/ryu teams have I seen in my life? All Ryus play the same. All Akumas play the same. Shinkuu hadokens back to back. Tatsu back to back.

    Some play styles, while legit, just are NOT fun to play against. Not because they're NOT easy, but because :

    1) they're cheesy. No substance. You won't improve playing them, despite the difficulty in getting around certain things.

    2) there's no "wow" factor, no skill being exhibited…so the match is more of a combo tutorial/blocking tutorial.

    Example: taskmaster on point with a beam assist…how many times have we seen someone become tempted with consistantly firing off supers + beam assist. Its hardly punishable, highly predictable, highly chipping…so someone with five bars and x factor becomes retard rage. Sub in Ryu instead for maximum carnage.

    You can, of course x factor as well, but if its late in the match…you're done. And its easily beatable…maybe. did you learn anything? No. Just that ryu has hella chipping properties. Not against the rules. Not fun either.

    And that's the difference between what you're saying, and reality.

    Just because its fair, doesn't make it fun. Its the difference between two people adapting, and one person simply baiting. Is there anything to adapt to? No. You just have to bait back. Its not fun. At that point you're just playing to win – and you're not getting paid for it.

  2. Any game you play you are playing to win. If you aren't playing to win, then you're playing for fun where winning and losing doesn't matter.

  3. You're right Rok..people online definitely need to learn how to lose gracefully and learn from the loss regardless of how they lost. I've got hate mail from people that I beat playing the matchup the way it was suppose to be played..

    The most surprising thing though, is that the majority of hatemail from is high BP players, A and B+ Ranked players in SSF4AE. These are players that should know more than anyone else that losing is a part of the game…but yet still hatemail mainly comes from them…weird..

  4. Well, I think that is mainly because they put so much time into the game and think they should win every match when they should know more than anything that everyone loses. They blame the way you play when it was something they just could not adapt to at that time, which is funny. I do find that the people who complain and hatemail the most are generally higher ranked for some reason, weird.

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