Every game has its elitists and its casual players. The former take pride in learning every aspect of the game, and squeezing just a couple more percentage points out of a build or skill. The latter prefer just to play the game, have some fun in their free time, but not spend all their time trying to maximize the efficiency of their builds for every conceivable scenario. A lot of us fall somewhere in between. I like to learn new builds, find better ways to do what I do, and have more fun in the game. All of these are perfectly fine, and usually get along well in game. It’s when they don’t that things get ugly.
Casual player or troll?
When does the casual player go from a guy just wanting to have fun to an annoying troll? When he tries to pretend he’s something that he’s not. Everyone has to face that they won’t be good at everything. Your build might be great in certain areas and lacking in others. You might be good at player vs. player, but those same skills don’t translate to world vs. world. When you go around pretending that you are an expert at something you aren’t, it’s fairly obvious right away, and people will call you out on it. Be proud of what you are and thrive on the knowledge that you are having fun and that being a casual player drives our next group of jerks right up the wall.
Most of all, whether you are a casual player that is good at PvE, or WvW, or whatever, be helpful to others that are interested in it. I don’t meet a lot of casual players that are unhelpful, but there are some. Everyone in this game should strive to strengthen the community, be friendly and helpful, give advice without telling people they are wrong, or that their preferred method is bad. Show new guys the ropes, and don’t feed the trolls, both casual and elitist. Just block them.
Elite player or elitist jerk?
I have nothing against elite players, those who have dedicated a lot of time to becoming very good at some part, or all parts of the game. They are the ones that can quote almost every skill from memory, tell you the best combination of equipment and stats, and which builds are best for which area, or against which boss. I also think there’s a huge difference between elite and elitist. Elitist jerks are those who think that there is only one way to play the game…theirs. They think that their ideas are the only important ones, and refuse to accept that some people just want to play the game for a little fun. They look down their noses at people who don’t conform to their definition of ‘pro’, and sneer at people who consider playing the story-line fun. They use phrases like “You aren’t pro unless…” or “You don’t know how to do this, get out noob.” They bring a lot of negativity to the game, and make the rest of the elite crowd look bad by being the loudest and ugliest of the group.
If you are in this elite crowd, but don’t want to be considered an elitist jerk keep the above in mind. If you offer advice and the receiver says something else works better for them, consider for a moment that maybe it does. Play styles differ, some people just like the look or feel of certain skills or weapons, and not everyone is playing a numbers game. Remember that your way isn’t the only way, and by all that’s good remember you were new once. If you come across someone that is struggling at something you are good at, offer to help, and if they shun it then let them go on their way. Don’t deride them, shout at them, or call them names.
Above all boys and girls, keep in mind that we are a community of people sharing space on a game we all love to play. It’s competitive, and it’s easy to let that get to you, but try to remember it’s another person on the other end of the ‘line’. As a couple of famous time travelers once said, “Be excellent to each other.”