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Author Topic: Anti-drama strategy  (Read 2020 times)
Raptor Claus

HvZ at SUNY Oneonta since 2009

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« on: December 22, 2012, 03:42:29 am »

In reviewing the tactics in this section, I'm comforted to see that there are individuals who are also committed to the training styles and field tactics I favor. When playing at my school, we normally get 90-110 players for out week-long game. To some of you this sounds small, but I assure you the smaller campus makes encounters a given. I have participated in nine full games excluding invitationals and day-long events, and in every full game there is eventually drama between the players in several areas.

Maybe you're one of the last humans and you narrowly escape a building through an unknown exit, wasting the three hours that zombies waited outside. Maybe you form a squad early on and patrol campus to escort new players or keep tabs on the zombies who aren't yet numerous enough to take you on. Perhaps you're in the middle of a mission and humans are looking to you or a decision when suddenly, another human is unsatisfied with the groups direction and causes a scene. I am sure zombies have there share of these events, but I am quite unfamiliar with horde membership.

My question to you here is, how is it possible to avoid drama when gameplay gets heated and people get frustrated? Have any of you seen activities or strategies that have worked to alleviate tension among the more hardcore players?
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Dyslexda
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 04:55:34 am »

Heh. As a former hot headed player who was either the cause of, or simply involved in, much of our game's drama, I'm slightly an expert here. Long story short, you just need to appeal to players' maturity. For me, it was quite simply a matter of growing the fuck up. I have no excuse for my behavior as a younger player other than not yet being mature. Had a couple veteran players sit me down and explain that I, like all higher profile players (if only because of my propensity for being loud), was more than just another player, more than just another name. I was a character in the game, for better or worse, and my actions directly impacted the game as a whole, not just whatever the current situation was. Eventually, after much bone headedness on my part, it was driven into my head that it is a game. If you're getting legitimately pissed off (something that happened to me more than once), you're doing something seriously wrong. Take a step back and breathe, then ask yourself, did whatever that just happened really matter? Chances are, no.

If you see someone get a bit hot headed, don't think too much of it the first time; anyone can snap at any time. However, if you see it being a repeated occurrence, sit the player down and talk to them, peer to peer. Explain what I said above, about the game being more than the sum of a series of interactions and how the player's actions negatively impact the game. Remind the player it is a damn game. If nothing else works, then make the appeal to the player's maturity level. Sometimes, especially in the case of a younger player, all you need is an upperclassman pointing out how much of a jackass you're being.
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BluEncore
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SCAD HvZ - VIGIL Eternal

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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2012, 04:35:55 pm »

I tend to diffuse the sort of things you're talking about with humor. It often includes reminding people that there's a children's toy in their hands they're using to cull the horde. Like Dyslexda said, it's a matter of being able to hand the situation maturely. I treat it a lot like my retail job at Toys R Us. It's Christmas season, so I've had dozens of extremely angry customers for one reason or another. It's important not to let yourself get impatient and keep cool when others are heated--it really applies in HvZ just as well as it would a store. When you're the only screaming voice, you quickly feel embarrassed and silly when you realize you're the only one shouting and everyone around has their eyes on you.
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 04:54:03 am »

-Snip-

This. On so many levels, this.
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gnomeofdoom
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 03:56:31 pm »

My tactic, and the one I've been pushing at my campus for a long time: DBAD. If people are getting upset it's easy to say calmly "dude... ? really?" Over time our game has become fairly mellow because we've instilled a culture where getting upset is just not acceptable. Hotheaded people either calm down or they don't come back. We don't actively kick people out, but the pressure to relax I think makes some people feel they do not fit. The hardest part is not getting angry yourself: keep a level head and just try to adopt an attitude of "this isn't fun, let's have fun"

Also, do not expect a change over night, it's taken a couple years to chill everyone out, and there's always some freshmen that come in ready to shake things up again, but it's great watching them mellow out and blend in with the group too.
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 08:30:41 am »

See, here's the important thing about all this (and one thing I stress at my NIC wars, since I am merely a guest player for HvZ):  We are grown-ass men and women playing around with little kiddie toys.  If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong.

Is it frustrating to have poured time and money into a new blaster only to get tagged by an OZ and never fire a shot?  Absolutely.  Are questionable calls annoying?  Sure.  Are you playing a game of complicated tag?  Damn straight, so why the heck are you getting upset about it?
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Raptor Claus

HvZ at SUNY Oneonta since 2009

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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 06:37:24 am »

Thanks for the input, guys. It really helps. I think a large part of the problem is when the veterans disagree over how something is handled as well, because players start to read between the lines and take sides. Unfortunately when a bunch of committed and passionate nerds all gather, everyone wants to be right all the time since we're all self-appointed experts in something (myself included). It's one thing to have to take a minute and calm down after a heated battle and think to yourself, "Did I really get hit and just not feel it?" It's entirely another when players are mad at each other over who has the best attack plan and who is a d-bag because they escaped yet another ambush. It gets to the point where players are attempting to use the voice of many to make another person wrong just to get a tag/stun. The mob mentality is what I fear the most, because people often do not take a step back and breathe before attempting to persuade or sometimes coerce with much yelling and butthurt. I'm going to ask to make a speech before our game starts on this topic, and I am definitely going to read some of the stuff you posted. In general, I feel that everyone needs reminding that there should be a desire that both teams feel to honor the game above all, and not insult it by being tools. Good to hear it's not just Oneonta that has problems like this though, I'll work on bringing people together on the matter.
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