Analysis of Scrubs

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has recently launched. Since I was once intensely excited for it (that is, before I played the horrid beta (up to open beta)), I decided to view a number of fansites to see how most were receiving the game. After reading several posts, something hit me like the blunt smash of an expected blow: the vocal WAR players are absolute scrubs (i.e. poor players with no desire to improve). One needs only to read any thread regarding combat or RvR at Warhammer Alliance to see an abhorrence of personal skill. In this post I will analyze a number of aspects of these scrubs; I will also propose that catering to these weaklings is exactly what causes a game to die.

The scrub exists in all games. The scrub has his uses, primarily as an “Exhibit A” of things one ought not to be. Before we move onto specifics, let us define the scrub: the scrub looks down on those above him (a favorite word of the scrub is “e-peen”); the scrub makes no serious attempt to improve on himself; the scrub likes to feel good instead of actually being good; the scrub is an illogical hypocrite.

One thing that runs rampant through the vocal WAR community is a hatred of sports (or, at the very least, electronic sports). Any desire for some sports-like quality is immediately branded as “e-peen stroking,” usually followed by some espousing of a communistic idea. The detractors of sports are being fallacious as well as self-contradictory. Understand this: it is the scrub that fancies his “e-peen,” not the sportsman who would go through castration in order to improve his abilities. The scrub is threatened by the thought that someone could be better than them, and thus they attempt to belittle the sportsmen and their admirable ways of constant improvement. Imagine if this mentality permeated through something as commonplace as soccer: amateurs would belittle and complain about the professionals, the ones who bleed and sweat in order to compete and to win. If the scrubs had their way, soccer and every other sport would be dead.

With the thought that the scrub has no desire to improve, we come to a specific question: “why doesn’t the scrub want to improve?” The question is a sociological and psychological one, but one I will try to answer, nonetheless. The scrub doesn’t want to improve for two primary reasons: the first is that they don’t think they need to improve, a case of rampant egotism and an example of modern pride. The scrub, firstly of all, believes that he is of competent gaming level (if he was, he wouldn’t be a scrub) and that if someone is able to best him, either the game is broken, or the victor is some type of elitist and/or one that dedicates inordinate amounts of time to the game in question. This is another frequently-spoken phrase of the scrub: “no-lifer.” The scrub, belittling as he is of the superior ones, comforts himself by conjuring some fantasy about how the one who bested him lives with his parents and has no life accomplishments. The scrub is wrong: the “no-lifer” does have a life accomplishment: defeating the scrub. Dedication to a craft is not a pitiable thing; nay, it is a very much admirable thing. But, as mentioned before, the scrub possesses no logic or even any vague philosophy save for some butchered version of Nietzsche.

The second reason that the scrub doesn’t want to improve is this: the scrub does not think they should need to improve, an example of that secret beast that is socialism, creeping as it is through our societies. This mentality follows from the scrub’s egotism, and it actually stands as a testament against socialism; that is, “socialism is both some self giving to everyone and everyone giving to some self.” The scrub seeks hand-outs, medicine pills that will let him appear competent in any given game. But if in a class full of D students one person is a D+ student, does the D+ student really objectively stand as “skilled?” Big fish in small ponds never want to journey to the ocean.

Now that we have discovered what type of person the scrub is, let us analyze how pandering to the scrubs results in game death. I have put forth the nightmarish idea of soccer pandering to the scrubs; that is the model for all competitive experiences that pander to the scrub. In a game that panders to the scrub, those that wish to improve for ever eventually hit a ceiling composed of some unearthly and unbreakable material. And it can be said that the only stagnant thing should be an ideal; any other stagnant thing leads to boredom, which is the closest thing to death in this reality. When skill levels remain the same, boredom injects his weed seed, and like a weed it does grow, swiftly does it destroy the healthy flora. The scrub is victim to this boredom, as well, and as soon as one weed appears, he jumps to some other garden to attract the seeds of boredom there. It is an endless cycle of mad destruction, and it is all fueled by that insane drivel of the scrub: “I’m as good as you are.”

WAR’s doom is spelled by demonic lettering written by WAR’s creators and player base. In order to make every scrub “feel competitive,” WAR has fired a bullet that will reach its own head in due time. Never mind the raves and praises that have been shot out like proud confessions of a practitioner of bestiality. WAR will die and it will last shorter than WoW will.

As I have mentioned before, this is my one desire of Red 5 Studios: that the skilled may rightfully remain over the unskilled. Do not pander to the scrub, for following that path is following the road to Perdition. Do not ask “how high should we make the skill ceiling;” simply give the players an endless sky. Give the sportsman a place to train for ever, for I am most certain he will be thankful.

– The Author


~ by reset3 on September 22, 2008.

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