Elitist or Elated?

So Happy Together

Many people will disagree, but I stand by the fact that I’ve had better experience with the community of Guild Wars 2 than I have had with any community in MMO gaming (other than LOTRO, before Free 2 Play). Still, there are always some things that make me step back, look, and shake my head.

One of these things was highlighted in a recent experience I had in WvW. Honestly, it was a strange experience that perhaps I misread, but I’ve seen it a few times. There were two tags running around in the particular borderlands and my wife and I, after roaming for a while, decided to run towards the tag who was taking a tower. We figured this would be a great opportunity to jump on some fun battles and capture some places for our world!

The first tag’s commander messaged us and honestly, in retrospect, they weren’t really rude (although I took it as rather rude at the time). They messaged us insisting we “join [guild tag] thx.” Frankly, I wasn’t impressed. I left them alone and we started roaming some more. Then we encountered another tag and thought: “Hey, this’ll be great.” Until we noticed it was another guild who seemed rather abrupt with us (without going into detail).

Finally, we swapped borderlands and saw repeatedly through map chat: “join Mumble on this channel, or gtfo.” I get it that people want to increase the world score; I understand that there’s a competitive element to this part of the game; I know that sometimes people can be overly insistent. Still, to angrily push that people join their channel or get lost? This is toxic.

Please note that this is not normally my experience! I usually love WvW and thoroughly enjoy it some days!

To be honest, an open Mumble, VoIP, or TS service to do WvW is an awesome idea and I wholeheartedly support. The issue is when it moves from the elation of the competition to an elitist atmosphere being created. Think of this from three angles:

1) The Newcomer

How does a person who’s brand new to the game get involved in WvW? If there’s an elitist attitude that’s pushed through, that’s going to isolate quite a few and stop them from getting involved. The thing is, WvW is a phenomenal opportunity to game with a little bit of a PvP environment, but with much less pressure to succeed. There’s often freedom and opportunity for somebody who has no clue how to play the game, to make lots of mistakes under the wing of those who are much more experienced. This is how I’ve learned a lot about the game.

Should we force (as opposed to encourage) others to join, use, or operate under a very specific set of rules, we’re going to miss out on new players that want to explore what WvW has to offer them. Once again, I’m not saying we shouldn’t encourage Mumble to be used, but with a ‘gtfo’ attitude we’re going to host a toxic community for anybody wanting to join.

A balance must be struck between competition & community.
2) The GW2 Player Who Fears PvP

I’m sensitive to this one, because I’m rather terrified by PvP. People say I do great, but I’m constantly feeling the pressure of not disappointing my team, especially if it’s a PuG of people (oh, how I adore Guild PvP nights!). WvW, being a great in-between of PvE and PvP offers less pressure. Because of my sensitivity to those who feel the same as me, I worry when the attitude is overly driven. Should we say: “oh whatever, who cares”? No. Definitely not. I want my world to succeed in WvW and be the top. Still, there is a balance that must be struck between competition and community, and WvW can make that difficult in the upper tiers.

3) The Experienced WvW Gamer

I know of many experienced WvWers (is that a word now?) who are insanely friendly and supportive. I can think of one guild in specific (who will remain nameless) that I get excited when I see them roaming. Often, they’ve allowed me to roam with their guild on and off, so long as I wasn’t getting in the way or being a jerk. Only once did they ask me to back down, and I listened immediately (all the while, I got carried away because we were all laughing so hard).

Still, there’s the reality that when high-achievers gather for a purpose, great things will happen–but at what expense? To have that out-of-left-field experience was pretty surprising, but I’ve been noticing it more and more the past few months. Sure, I get that guilds will do guild-only events in WvW and that’s great, but exclusivity on a grand-scale isn’t going to be healthy. Will we hit a point in our Guild Wars 2 community where those who are more experienced will push out those who are less experienced, all for the sake of victory? I’m not sure this is right. What’s the balance between the competition and the community? I’m not sure I have a real answer.

Elitist vs. Elated

I think it’s important that we recognize that in our passion for this amazing game that tends to bring us great joy and happiness (at least, it does for me), we don’t let our zeal become something that ruins the opportunity we have to continue building a better community. Elitism is never a healthy solution, but being competitive in a healthy manner can be. It’s all about respect. So Tyrians, let’s think outside ourselves and our passions to honestly think through the impact we have when we make ultimatums for others in their gaming. Perhaps this isn’t a solution, but it’s definitely something we ought to consider.

I guess it all comes down to remembering that, like drivers behind the wheel of a car, gamers behind the avatars are real people too.

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13 thoughts on “Elitist or Elated?

  1. I am sorry you encountered these elitist attitudes. Let me assure that there are people that are not like that. My guild and I try to promote in WvW, all the opposite contentions to this elitist mentality. I was once a full time pve-er that fell in love with WvW. Now at 1607 WvW rank, I feel no better then my newest guild member. Because we all die in fights, we all win fights we all take things and don’t take things. New players to WvW are the life blood of it.

    My guild and I welcome everyone in WvW with open arms, we have taken it upon ourselves to teach, train, and empower. These people don’t always stay with us, they find the guild that fits them but I am just happy there is one more person to play this game aspect with me. Elitism can be found in every facet of this game. It is the fastest detriment to any game. PVE even has its own issues with people getting kicked from dungeon teams because they aren’t playing a meta build. The truth is your article is about a much broader source then WvW. It is just quicker to be noticed here.

    We are on TC, a Tier 1 server and you will find everything here from the super elite to the people like me who just love to take out a Santa Zerg with reindeer’s and doll’s following him… just to confuse and amaze…

    • And that’s totally the heart of what I think needs to be in the game! I KNOW they’re out there. I was honestly shocked by my experience–so shocked that I felt it was blog-worthy!

      As a whole, I think people are less elitist here than most games I’ve played. 😉

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. This is why Sanctum of Rall imploded. The big guilds butted heads big time between inclusive or elitist. Could we survive as a Tier 1 server being inclusive? Nope… asplosion!

    I think though every group (especially havoc groups often requiring high communication) do not have to be inclusive. So it’s bad form to trail after one that is asking you to leave them alone. However, each map should be inclusive, or at least the “elites” should understand that filthy casuals will be present making a mess of things.

  3. There definitely are some good reasons to have exclusive parties in this game. However rudeness is never appreciated anywhere in the game. An exclusive party should have a person asking others not to run with them and why. If that person has a clipboard saver they could just cut and paste the message into chat.

    • Yes! I wholeheartedly support exclusive parties at times. It’s the heart and attitude that’s expressed that has the bigger impact on the game. I don’t think we need complete inclusivity, but perhaps some better manners from those who are exclusive. 😉 Thanks Bob!

  4. I’ve encountered that “Mumble or GTFO” attitude many times. In the end, I ended up GTFO and just going to the borderlands for map completion. (The exclusion of WvW maps for World Completion were happy news for me!)
    I like to play for fun, and I feel like that’s impossible for me in PvP or WvW maps beacuse I’m lucky enough to find mainly the rude players. :/
    Still, I don’t see it as a GW2 problem, since I played another MMO game where the PvP was even more toxic.

    • Thanks for weighing in, Aster. Honestly, I usually find WvW isn’t that toxic at all. Nowhere near it. I’m sad you had that experience though. To be honest, one guild named [JOY] is ASTOUNDING. I love them. I adore them. I think Zen Master whatever in the world he is, is one of the best people to be around in WvW. If he’s commanding, I’m game.

      Still, sad that it happens.

      • I wouldn’t say WvW was always that toxic whenever I played in the borderlands. (Again, I find the GW2 communty to be less rude than other communities I’ve been part of). I just happen to be on one of the more populated servers (Tarnished Coast) and I don’t have a single competitive gene in my body, so I don’t tend to mesh well, when playing with competitive driven people. People simply expect me to know what I should be doing, and I guess at some point I just decided I Was better not bothering anyone staying in PvE maps/Edge of the Mists.

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