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4/30/13 - Past the point of no return? (pt. 1)

posted Apr 30, 2013, 2:15 AM by Tyler Bustinza
The turnout at NCR was disappointing, to say the least. I know I didn't help out the situation by effectively not attending but it does raise questions about the future of Tekken. While TTT2 is a great game, the cross over rate (from other games) was not nearly as much as I had expected. Many of those who made the original push to put time into the game fell by the wayside and once again we're reaching stagnation.

It's funny because a few "key", not to be named, community members made a late push for a scene revival but have been effectively AWOL ever since. Even the prior strong online play has been lately hampered by terrible lag, it's extremely hard to find competition with acceptable latency now. I might get 1 out of 20 games without noticeable latency, where only a few months ago was closer to 1 out of 5, with probably 5 out of those 20 games being near unplayable.  So while online is now plagued with lag switchers and general piss-poor connections, offline has slowly been agape with lack of participation and elitism.

Short story, during my WoW "career" I played from TBC to MoP, so I saw the supposed heyday to "this is the worst expansion" followed by "this is the worst expansion" followed by "this is the worst expansion", ad nauseum. I'll actually quote a post of mine from almost two years ago when Cata was reaching a fever pitch of elitism.

"There's actually an incredibe amount of elitism now, I understand where it started from, but I can't understand why it's so prevalent now. I've played since TBC and I can honestly say that it's at an all time high. With RBGs favoring premade teams, who don't want to lose 15+ points carrying lower rated RBG players. With one lockout raids favoring guild runs over PUGs to fully clear content. Arenas favoring FotM classes so incredibly much now, notably in 3s where it never used to matter so much, e.g. Shammy heals notably trumping in 3s. If you don't fit this incredibly tight requirement in practically every aspect of the game, you're immediately shunned. IMO that's really killing the game."

A little background for non-WoW/MMO players, the second expansion "Wrath of the Lich King" (usually shortened to Wrath/WotLK) an infamous add-on was created called "Gear Score" that would tally the then invisible score of your gear, find the average, and then present you with a simple value. With this number it was pretty easy to calculate how well a player would theoretically perform in PVE/PVP content. The idea was simple, the higher the number, the better you could be. What people lost sight of almost instantly was that "could" is very different than "should" and would blindly value gear score over experience. Come the next expansion Cataclysm (usually shortened to Cata) Gear Score became a default add-on and all gear now showed their "iLevel" (or Gear Score weight). Everyone had become "theoretical" crazy.

The gears were in motion and the first of very questionable changes to come, all strengthening favoring the elite over the common. Raids were now segregated 10 vs 25 men, but instead of running your 25 man raid and then running a 10 man version, you must choose one or the other as the "lockout" is shared between the two. The addition of Rated Battlegrounds (RBGs) made it that you'd need to (originally) build a 15 man team to now PvP at high levels, instead of being thrown into a pool of contestants, but would later change the rating system to heavily favor high rated players as carrying new players would have adverse affects on everyone else's rank. Certain classes simply became unplayable in Arenas while others would be incredibly strong and constantly teeter-totter as drastic balance changes were made. So much so it wasn't unusual to see a top player simply re-roll to a completely different character instead of sticking it out and suffering.

The air was hostile. You were either what was needed or you weren't. There was no more middle ground. "Bring the player, not the class", became the laughing stock joke as Blizzard's strange decisions kept coming down the pipe. So came the mass exodus as the casual players simply had no place to go. Low/Med pop servers quickly died off as there was no more competition, you were either Group A or Group B, the only competitive groups left only competing against themselves. If you couldn't get into A/B, you'd leave the server or completely leave the game. This of course would only remain true as long as the distinction between A and B wasn't too dissimilar, once one group was clearly ahead, the other would utterly fail. And so ended the life of A or B, killed by its own quest to remain segregated from the pool of players not in either group.

But that's the point, maybe participation and elitism aren't so different. The creation of elitism leads to the lack of an adequate participant pool, which then in turn leads to Group A and B eventually collapsing upon itself as the weaker group is unable to keep up with the stronger. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Look at two-time MK9 Evo champ Perfect Legend who turned his back on the community after his first Evo win only to come back the next year to win again. What's interesting to think about is maybe the lack of his presence made him harder to play against during Evo, as information about him was purposefully low, the old adage of "save it for tournament" pulled through. There are a lot of "what ifs" but I can honestly say this is definitely not the first time I've noticed this trend in a communal setting.

Now please don't misunderstand me, I'm in no way saying, "elitism is why NCR had such a low turnout" and instead am saying it's part of the reason the game is dying.

PS: Dragunov wish list will be released tomorrow.