Expanding beyond Titanfall’s server limitations

You're pitting my love of giant robots against my loathing of FPS games.  That's not fair, people.  Not fair at all.

A game about giant robots can now be played almost entirely with robots.

Last week, Titanfall set up what I think is a very fair penalty system.  If you are caught cheating, you are not banned, you’re simply banished to a server where everyone else is also a damn cheater.  So you will be more than able to enjoy the game, if what genuinely makes the game fun for you is playing amidst a field of cheating bastards.

Incidentally, that was the original title for Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” I believe.

I feel this is an excellent first step, but by no means the final one.  This is a brilliant concept that is almost infinitely expandable, allowing companies to ensure that players get to live with the people what will nurture and understand them.  Or at least understand them.  All right, that’s not really what I’m concerned about so much.  There are toxic and vile people on the internet who seem to enjoy spreading vile toxicity into the games that we love, and perhaps we could use this same methodology to deal with people best surrounded by one another in the hopes that they may realize “wow, I am extremely annoying.”

I wouldn't say that TF2 was the greatest spot for chest-pounding machismo, no, but there was enough of a sense running through that I got kind of leery quickly.

Only in your mind, good fellow.

The chest-pounding bastions of machismo: There is always someone like this, everywhere.  I’m not talking about skilled players, I’m talking about the players who feel the need to let you know on a regular basis just how skilled they are.  These are the people who try to find the most eye-catching mount possible in World of Warcraft and stand in a public space, hoping to bask in all of the awed glances of those around.  (Really, the glances are just “huh, that looks neat, how do I get that” at which point the player is forgotten.)  They’re the first to tell you that any content which troubles you isn’t really that hard and I can do it without even trying.

If you are found to be among this group, you shall be placed on a server wherein you are immediately given everything.  All the best armor, all the rarest drops, all of it.  There, you may spend your days in quiet contemplation of how you are obviously the best and everyone around you is just as good.  Until you try grouping up to do something, of course, at which point it will become obvious that someone’s always better than you.

Or maybe you’ll all be super-happy together, I don’t know.

The takers of names: I do not need to see another character named Cloud or Sephiroth or Legolas or Danaerys or whatever.  No one else does, either.  Seriously, I give more credit to the guy who named his character Steve Stevepants, because at least he summoned up his own creativity for that nomenclature.  It wasn’t much, but bless him, he did try.  You just tried to find a way around the other hundred people whose creativity starts and stops with parroting back popular culture.

On your new server, you won’t be burdened with choosing your name.  Your name will be randomly assigned out of a small pool of available names, most of them drawn from Sesame Street.  Any attempts to type the offending names will result in your character suffering a series of random movements, possibly off of the nearest vertical drop.

The rage-quitters: When the going gets tough, these players get going.  As in they leave, immediately, often with a parting curse for their teammates.  No one wants to take part in a slow and unavoidable loss, of course, but these are the people who just give up as soon as there’s any indication that you may not win.  They are cowards, feeling it’s better to live with the knowledge that they ran instead of living with the idea that they tried but failed.

Mercifully, these players will be moved to a new server wherein it shan’t be an issue.  The server will automatically disconnect players at random intervals, always timed just right to ensure that no matches are finished, no dungeons are cleared, no content is completed.  Forever they will exist in this cycle, venturing nothing, failing never, accomplishing zilch.

It's low-hanging fruit, sure, but sometimes that's all you really wanted.

Because when I play this game, I think libraries.

The homophobic, transphobic, racist, misogynistic screaming twit: Well, this one’s rather simple.  You won’t even need a new server.  Just change this individual’s game shortcut to point to League of Legends and refuse to change it back.  Yes, it’s likely a completely different game, but odds are they’ll never notice the difference on a community level.

The unwanted teacher: In any online game, you can count on at least one player who has taken it upon themselves to teach you how you ought to be playing.  Not, mind you, to point out something you may not have realized, nor to offer pointers or strategies.  No, this individual has deduced the method by which one may guided to victory, using words not unlike how most players use other game controls.  You know it’s a tremendous burden to do this, because this player also reminds you at every opportunity that they are so tired of having to teach people how to play the game.

This player is also most often not all that good at playing in the first place, adding a delicious slice of irony to the procedure.

A new server will be added just for these players, where their every move will be broadcast to everyone playing the game.  And not just in the game, either.  If your “sniper” is screaming directions whilst he’s tabbed away reading Cracked, the game will helpfully let everyone know that as well.

The lone wolf: In any sort of group-based game, it’s important that everyone is on the same page regarding what the group as a whole will be doing.  This player, however, is adamant that they will play the game as they want and you can’t tell them otherwise.  When everyone else agrees on going left, this player goes right.  And usually yells at anyone who goes left, but that goes without saying.  Often this is accompanied by a sense of entitlement and the player refusing to even acknowledge that they’re on a team; sometimes they’ll specifically sabotage their own team for laughs.

A new server for this sort should be easy to construct.  Just have all of these people play together.  It should be a revealing experience.

The people who genuinely wants another game in which a bunch of stubble-dusted men shoot at a bunch of other stubble-dusted men no matter how many times they claim to be tired of it, dutifully buying each new installment of Call of Duty or Battlefield even as they claim that the innovation is dwindling, decrying the popularity whilst bolstering the numbers of these games: There’s no sequestering these folks.  They have taken the world; it is theirs.  We are in their hands.

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About expostninja

I've been playing video games and MMOs for years, I read a great deal of design articles, and I work for a news site. This, of course, means that I want to spend more time talking about them. I am not a ninja.

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