By morecowbell24 2 Comments
So you’re playing a game of Dota, and it’s going poorly. You’re getting rolled into the ground. You look at the scoreboard and see you’ve managed to get a few kills and a good number of assists, but you’ve racked up a hefty number of deaths too. Everybody on your team is doing about the same or worse. Who’s going to start it? Probably the one who said, “good luck have fun everyone :D” before the match began. Call it a hunch. Call it instinct. You know it’s going to be them. Why wouldn’t it be? Are you a wizard or a fortuneteller, or have you now played enough Dota to know that the community is as two-faced as someone like Two-Face? Well, the eyes are on you because everyone else has died, and you’re going to whiff on your ultimate ability that probably wouldn’t have even netted you a kill had you landed it anyway, because in case you forgot, you’re getting rolled.
“lol noob void”
You’re just going to let it go though, because that’s the better thing to do. Hold the phone. This one has more to say.
“noob void report”
Your teammate has turned into a spam bot, and the chat is now filled with comments calling you a noob and telling everyone to report you. You decide you can’t let this one go like the rest, so you tell him to calm down, that you’re having a bad game and no one else is doing much better. Who is going to come to your aid? Well, no one, because your other teammates are now in cahoots with this one, and they seem quite content to throw you under the bus. You know how in Good Will Hunting Robin Williams says, “It’s not your fault”? Well, it’s all your fault. All of this is on you, because it’s certainly not on any of them.
“I’ve never seen a shit void on ranked”
Well, you’ve had enough. It’s time to lash out.
“I’ve never seen a shit doctor”
It’s over. You’ve lost, but now you’re in it. You have to fight this losing battle. You know you don’t have to, but you even check the score to see that this person giving you the most grief is indeed doing the worst on the team, and it isn’t even close. Even so, your pleas for reason fall on deaf ears, because you weren’t the first to whine and point your finger. You are going to be the one getting reported for whatever it is you did wrong. Perhaps fighting back made it worse, and you deserve some form of punishment. The next day when you see that you’ve gotten no word of action being taken against anyone, and that you’re in the low priority punishment pool, you’ll know why.
This is the fundamental problem with Dota 2. It’s distressing that a game’s biggest issue isn’t some technical flaw or core gameplay fault, but it’s actually the people who are playing it. The multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) culture is distracting. When you’re consistently placed in a negative environment it’s hard to tell if playing these games is worth your time.
Valve seems to at least be aware of the plagued culture that engulfs the MOBA genre. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a punishment pool. The commendation and report system within Dota 2 also must be a result of that knowledge, but it doesn’t appear to do any more than delude us into thinking we’re making the community a better place when in fact nothing is changing.
I no longer stand up for myself, believing that part of the issue as to why I got placed in a low priority punishment pool was because I defended myself. But guess what? I still get placed in the low priority punishment pool. I could play ten matches in a row and help my team win, but because I played poorly in the eleventh I’m in the low priority punishment pool.
It feels like the report system ought to do more. Although I suppose it might make things worse if reports did much more than put you in a low priority match, especially when having a bad game is enough of a reason for punishment.
You can report people for communication abuse, intentional feeding and intentional ability abuse. Feeding is the term people use to describe dying over and over, thus giving the opposing team more money to work with. An example of ability abuse would be something like teleporting a teammate to a place in which they die or are trapped. It’s rare, but sometimes these things do happen. The report function states these things have to be intentional, but the community doesn’t think so.
Here are some common phrases of the Dota community vernacular.
“*insert hero name here* noob”
“X noob report”
“this team… report X and Y”
So what are the grounds for people to start slinging accusations of noobery around and demand the reporting of said noobery. Well, I’ve started a list that certainly isn’t limited to the following…
- · Not running in and dying after your teammate has run in and died
- · Running in and dying after your teammate has run in and died
- · Dying: also known as “feeding”
- · When your teammate initiates a fight by himself and you weren’t there to help
- · Not finishing someone off
- · Finishing someone off
- · When you’re farming
- · When you’re not farming
- · Making an item your teammate thinks you shouldn’t have made
- · Not making an item your teammate thinks you should make
- · Not having good items at any given point
- · Missing on an ability or using an ability not to your teammate’s standards
- · Attacking creeps
- · Getting last hits on creeps
- · Not getting last hits on creeps
- · Not denying creeps
- · For not knowing something
- · Straying from the team for any reason at all
- · Not sticking to the role your teammate thinks you ought to fill
- · Picking a certain hero
- · Not picking a certain hero
- · When you’re winning
- · When you’re losing
- · When you’re doing or not doing just about anything
“Commend me,” is another common expression, and it is often used by the kind of people that spout garbage like “report” and “noob.” After every match it seems like someone is requesting commendations. It might be a form of trash talk I haven’t quite identified as such, but for the most part it seems commendations are misused like reports. Commendations don’t appear to do anything other than provide some semblance of self-satisfaction that others might think you’re a good person, or more likely, good at Dota. Doing well isn’t a category for commendations, but it seems that much of the community thinks that is whole point of the system. You can commend a player for being friendly, forgiving, for being a teacher or for leadership. I have not yet found where I can commend someone for "wrecking scrubs and talking down."
I’m sure plenty of people use the systems Valve has created the way Valve intended, but sometimes I get curious. When the a player on the opposing team typed into the chat, “your Magnus sucks,” I wondered what kind of reputation this person must have. Lo and behold, I am as in tune with my wizardry and fortunetelling talents as ever as this person had 25 commendations for friendliness, much more than most players I’ve bothered to check. It might be I just don’t know how to make friends, because the only reply on my team was “yep,” by a player faring much worse than the Magnus. Who knew the path to making friends was to make the first thing you say an unwarranted insult? It might be worth mentioning that I was playing as Magnus, and that is what prompted my investigation. Otherwise, I probably would have just ignored it had it been another player like my other three teammates did. Maybe that is part of the problem.
Even if no one on your team is playing the blame game, chances are the other team is. I would say that the losing team gets all of the negativity, but even when you’re rolling through the other team, teammates are still capable of lashing out. You might happen to get a kill that wasn’t “yours,” so they brand you a kill thief, or you might die in an silly way and a teammate accuses you of throwing the game, even though that was your first death and everyone else has died seven or more times already. Whether a team is winning or losing, the people playing lash out over some of the smallest details.
Regardless of reputation systems, the maliciousness of other MOBA communities is pretty out in the open. To go into the psychology of what makes these people say the petty things they say might prove interesting. Were they having a bad day? Did someone just say the same about them? Have they lost every match they can remember playing recently? Perhaps these questions might lead to solutions, perhaps not. Perhaps malicious people don’t deserve a response. Perhaps the people saying these hurtful things deserve our pity more than our retaliation, but maybe telling them as much is far more hurtful than anything they’ve said. Killing them with kindness might still kill them after all. What’s apparent is that Dota 2 is often turned into something it wasn’t supposed to be, a game of blame.
Dota 2 ought to be a good competitive arena, a great one even, but it is dragged down by a problem everyone seems to know about and finds easier to accept rather than fix. The community is exceedingly hateful and unforgiving. With how loud the bad ones get, it sure doesn’t seem like the few good people or even the silent exist. It would be a lot easier to determine if playing Dota 2 was worth the time and effort it takes to play it (which is a lot more than most games), if every other match didn’t result in insults and finger pointing.