Balance Complaints PSA

7 months ago

Hello fellow commanders, I wanted to address something that I have seen in the community for a really long time, and it is a problem that I think plagues most RTS communities. I have recognized a trend where a player will lose or begin to lose their game, and will immediately withdraw into a mental state where they are most concerned about what is wrong with the game they are playing and not with how they are playing that game. This is most frustrating when in a team game with random players and a teammate begins to take a few losses and vents such a frustration in the game chat. Instead of making concrete changes to their build or tactics, the player instead focuses on what they cannot possibly change; the game itself. This is perhaps a mental defense mechanism to convince the player that they are good at the game, the game just isn't good and it is therefor not their fault for failing. I find this mentality damaging to the gaming experience of all involved as so. It is damaging to the players teammate because it becomes immediately apparent that the current game is a loss. After entering such a mental state you become generally incapable of making intelligent decisions that could reverse your circumstances, and your teammate therefor can do nothing besides accept doom, even if their side of the game was going well and they could have helped turn the entire match around. The "blame" mentality is damaging to your opponent because it strips them of their earned victory. Upon striking a decisive blow or outplaying their opponent, they are met with a complaint of balance in all chat. The blaming player obviously did not find the victory their opponent achieved compelling enough to question their own skill and deem their opponent the better player, and so instead complain about game balance. Finally, the blame mental state damages the blaming player perhaps more than anyone else. Upon being faced with a scenario where they could learn and grow as a player, the blaming player will instead mentally retreat to what they perceive as safety instead of pushing through the fires of failure and coming out the other side stronger for it.

For those of you who find yourselves falling into this bad habit, here is my proposal to you. Every time you lose a game, try and maintain composure and assess what happened in that game. Look at your actions and consider what you could have done differently. This reflection on gameplay is the number one zone to improve your game. Considering your build comes next, as you may have not had the right tools to defeat your opponent, or not had the required tools when you needed them. Finally you should consider the metagame: what do you personally see frequently, and what do you need to build and do to best that meta. Do not pay ANY heed to the meta you read about online. The game's meta shifts a lot as you shift from bracket to bracket and from mode to mode (from low rank to high and from 3v3 to 2v2 etc.). Make your own observations and you will see an immediate improvement in your gameplay. Remember what kills you and remember what kills your opponent and never be afraid to change! Our game is not perfectly balanced, but at most of our level the inadequacies of the game are not what is holding us back, it is our own gameplay and strategies. By changing my own mentality, I went from high 600's as my highest rank to having all my ranks drop below 100 at some point or another, with my highest ever being rank 2 (though I only held that position for a single game).

The point is that blaming game balance for your own failures keeps you mired in your shit gameplay habits. Don't let yourself get bogged down! Find a strategy that works and win! You can do it with any faction, and it is never the cheesy "easy" way to win as a given faction. Good luck!

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