Published on July 20th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
Toxicity, and How to Avoid It While Playing Your Favorite MOBA
As with anything competitive, tempers tend to run high in MOBAs. After all, you’re setting aside anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, or more, of your day to play a match. Since MOBAs like Arena of Valor are team games at their core, any blunders are arguably a collective mistake. So when things go wrong, players tend to point fingers and flame their team. Besides the fact that being adversarial to your team is generally a downer, it also puts the team at a significant morale disadvantage. A player who, to use the common expression, is ‘tilted’ by his/her own teammates is more likely to play badly and make decisions that will lose them, and you, the match. So, how do you avoid this oh-so-common trap of toxicity in MOBAs?
Remember That Winning Isn’t Everything
While winning a game as competitive as Arena of Valor is incredibly satisfying, it’s certainly not the only thing that makes the experience fun. We’ve all been on losing streaks in MOBAs, and if winning was the only reason to play, we wouldn’t keep coming back these games. The gameplay itself is distinct, and you get even more flavour and variety depending on the character you play and the team composition.
This is a genre with endless possibility, and it’s entirely conceivable (preferable, even) to enjoy the gameplay and mechanics without having to win every single match. Sometimes you lose, but you can have fun even while you’re losing a match.
Remember the Human
This is good advice for anything internet-related. Whether you’re on Facebook, some online forum, or a MOBA, it’s easy to be toxic towards a person when all you can see of them is a bunch of pixels on a screen.
While most MOBAs have systems in place to penalise players for bad behavior, there are no real consequences for saying mean or hurtful things to people online. Toxicity is a vicious cycle, and the ones flamed usually flame back, and then no one’s having a good time. A good first step towards making this a non-issue is to ‘remember the human’. Remember that the person you’re talking to is, at the end of the day, another actual person, just like you. You’re playing a game for enjoyment, just like they are, so when things go wrong, take it in your stride and try to adapt instead of unleashing your fury on them.
Use the Mute Button
What if you’re not the one doing the flaming? Well, then the mute or ignore button is a godsend. If you feel like a player is being unnecessarily confrontational or aggressive, hit the button and play your game in peace. It’s tempting to justify your decisions and get into a long, protracted argument, but you know from experience that this is a bad idea.
Getting into an argument only makes it worse, sours your mood, and tilts your teammates. This is how perfectly winnable games are thrown. And, worse, this is how all the fun is sucked out of a match.
Mute the second it starts to get out of hand, and you’ll be better off for it. Communication in MOBAs is helpful only as long as it’s productive.
Positivity Wins Games
Something that doesn’t get acknowledged often enough is that players’ morale has a huge impact on the outcome of a MOBA match. You’re playing a game, it’s supposed to be fun. So if you’re having a good time, you’re more likely to make good in-game decisions. Even small gestures of goodwill can make a significant difference. Simply congratulating a player on a kill or thanking them for assistance will lift the general mood and make people want to bring their A-game.
Don’t Sweat the Little Things
What leads to a player getting ‘tilted’ is very subjective. You might get tilted when another player flames you for goofing up, but it’s also entirely possible that you might get tilted in smaller increments with every last hit that you miss.
Either way, learning to let go of the smaller things can be incredibly liberating and will make the game a more enjoyable experience all around. And as always, remember the human behind those pixels.