Monday, September 25, 2017

Side tracked by winning

I meant to start Agents of Mayhem over the weekend but a 14 gig patch that spontaneously disappeared and the game uninstalling itself prevented it. That patch is larger than the game's install. I would mind this less if PSN's download speed was in any way respectable. Instead of jumped feet first into Marvel vs Capcom Infinite's online mode and things went better than expected.

My team is still Rocket/Hulk, though I have changed my gem from Time (air dash) to Space (pull the enemies closer or put them in a big box). Rocket's land mines are great combo starters and pulling someone into one from across the screen is endlessly amusing. Amusing is all I really hoped for in Marvel. I have already played Infinite more than 3 without breaking anything.

Not only did this work but I actually won a few matches. Other bottom dwellers liked to mash light punch from across the screen, hoping to stumble into an auto-combo. Whatever shall I do? Super from across the screen works as does the aforementioned mine into space pull. Even more fun is walking up with Hulk and just punching the person through their jabs thanks to his armored moves. Deflating someone with a cool looking (but easy) air combo for 25% life sustained me.

Somewhere between losing and winning at Marvel I lamented to Chance that I was aggressively bad at the game. He suggested that I be aggressively bad at Overwatch instead and I could find no argument against it. I stuck to Bastion, we played four on four deathmatches (Alex was there as well) and we won. My Bastion was covered by shields and heals and filled many opponents with holes. It was both fun and, well, embarrassing, because I understood why I had so little fun with Overwatch the last time that we played.

This stems from a brief discussion of PuBG and how I did not understand its popularity. It was described as a witches brew of things that I hate: rogue-like progress resets and no overriding narrative.  That and being reliant on the cooperation of other people are things that just cannot abide.

I cannot create my own narrative in a game. The time in PuBG between being dropped, nearly naked, into a field and later dying and losing my scrounged collection of weapons and clothing is wasted time. There was no story told and everything that I gained was lost. It is popular because it creates shorter stories in the players' heads, one for each attempt, that are satisfying. I hate the very thing that everyone else enjoys.

The same is true for relying on others in Overwatch. The first time I played online I lost almost every game. This made the ten or so minutes of gameplay that preceded it a 'waste of time' because I did not achieve the goal and was in no way rewarded for the effort. XP towards loot boxes does nothing for me. When I was winning, in no way thanks to my own ability, I did enjoy it, but my mediocre contribution made that enjoyment embarrassing.

This is why, when I am playing well, fighting games are fun. I won. And this is why my interest in them sways wildly from playing nothing but them to cursing their existence. When I lose, I lose. No story is told, no progress gained, I lost.

...I may have just confessed to being a sociopath.

...

Marvel's true calling for me, a spectator sport, is alive and well. Watching SCR was a blast and Yipes and Tasty Steve on the mic were a delight. Once I am done playing the game I will still enjoy watching the game. I am not sure how Capcom benefits from this, as spectating does not require the purchase of a season pass, but Capcom has proved time and again that it really doesn't know what its doing, anyway.

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