Archive for May, 2012

I haven’t got the words for you, all your diction dripping with disdain

by Ashelia. 7 Comments

I had a friend imply I was bad at League of Legends a few weeks ago. They’d just reached 1800 elo and thought they were really good, total pro-gamer status, and in the mood to put someone else down to celebrate their victory.

I haven’t had a good game since.

Almost two years ago, I had a magazine editor contact me to write for her magazine. It was flattering–she said I was truly gifted and my articles were awesome. She accepted two of my pitches. I began to write them, I poured my heart into one of them.

She tore my article to shreds. After rewrite and rewrite–a process that took about a month and countless hours–she told me I wasn’t going to work out and withdrew the article. My style just didn’t fit her magazine, she explained, even though she’d approached me in the first place.

I haven’t written about video games since.

When I was younger, failure really empowered me. I was a tall kid and tall kids can’t typically do gymnastics, but when I was told I couldn’t do the rings or twirl on the bars, I’d try over a thousand times until I finally could. I had something to prove and so I proved it.

And when people said a female couldn’t play Counter-Strike seriously, I 1v1’d on that game until my eyes bled. Until I could do that perfect headshot from around a corner. Until I could carry my weight.

But as I got older, the more people said I couldn’t, the more it’s damaged me and made me unsure. I used to play League of Legends at a pretty high level. My CS was decent, my calls were good, and I rarely missed skillshots like Ahri’s charm or Kog’s ultimate.

Now I’m lucky if I land a single charm all game.

I don’t know what to do about it. I want to succeed. I talk to myself and tell myself to snap out of it as I play poorly, but nothing comes of it. I don’t want to be like this–I mean, I’d love to get back into the game and to play at a high level. I’d love to write again, too. But I crumble under pressure nowadays. Insults from strangers or anonymous figures in the dark don’t matter, but insults from people I respect or personally know do.

When someone I care about says I can’t, I can’t.

And no matter how much someone else says I can, that one person lingers in my head.

How do you get over a psychological break like that? How do you stop one person’s actions from ruining the rest of everyone’s positive energy? How do you not hear them every time you fuck up?

I don’t know.

Diablo 3: Not Sanctuary From Boredom

by Ashelia. 0 Comments

I kind of hate myself for saying this, but I don’t love Diablo 3.

I mean, I like it. The game is fun. If I gave a review, I’d say that it was worth the wait. I’d say it was a solid 9/10 experience. I’d put some good adjectives to describe my emotions when I looted my first legendary. And the weekend I spent with it, the twenty hour marathon on release I achieved–well, that was fun and memorable enough.

But for whatever reason, D3 didn’t have staying power with me. Ultimately, as I neared the end of Nightmare mode, I lost sight of my will to log back into the game.

It all came down to loot. The loot isn’t as fun as it was in Diablo 2. The system wasn’t as addicting. It felt more spread out than most ARPGs and a lot less satisfying. In addition to scarcity of drops, the legendaries and rares I got were always outclassed by the blues I’d already equipped. This ended up taking a lot of fun out of the never-ending search for loot. There was little incentive to keep grinding because I couldn’t catch a break with the RNG Gods. And because I was so unlucky with gear, I got pushed against a wall during my co-op sessions: mobs grew harder when a friend would join my game, but my Wizard did half the damage she was supposed to, so it was frustrating and I got regulated into a CC bot.

I know I could always keep powering through it. I could turn to the auction house. I could struggle through Hell difficulty, hoping to get my big payout. I could master my Wizard. But I didn’t really want to after a certain point. The break in loot led to a break in the Diablo 3 experience and I saw the game for what it was: an endless and somewhat pointless quest for epics. It’s not really Blizzard’s fault, though some blogs have been quick to analyze D3’s loot–it’s more of my fault.

I mean, I play ARPGs to smash faces and loot a lot of things.

And unfortunately, when neither happen in large quantities, I get bored. But hey, that’s the genre for you–right?