Thursday, February 25, 2016

Awesomenauts - 8/20 hours

I don't know why the world insists on humbling me. Do I give off an aura of hubris? Am I the sort of self-regarding narcissist who deserves to be taken down a peg? Have I, all this time, been laboring under the delusion that I'm better than I really am?

Which is to say, my multiplayer Awesomenauts career did not get off to an auspicious start. I've played 10 matches so far and I've only won 2. Which is not too bad, I guess, for a beginner, but I have to credit that to the luck of the draw with regards to matchmaking, because when you look at my kill-to-death ratio it's 7-42,  and it becomes clear that I am . . . not skilled.

Which wouldn't be such a problem, if it weren't for the fact that the game mechanics make a team's weak link into a double liability. Not only was I failing to provide useful ground control for my team, but every time I died, I provided xp to our enemies, allowing them to pull farther and farther ahead. Basically, my teams would have been better off if I'd just hung out in the base and not done much of anything.

Of course, it's possible that all new players are as raw as I am, and this is just a phase everyone has to go through, but it's hard to tell. Before I started playing multiplayer, I thought it would be one of those things where everyone wore headsets and talked with each other over the internet to coordinate their tactics and make good use of their resources, but as far as I could tell, that never happened (though I'd be super-embarrassed if I were wrong about this and I just had voice-chat turned off). I never really learned what I was doing wrong, and my inexperience more or less had to speak for itself.

I found it an awkward and unpleasant experience. I have to figure that anyone who has been playing Awesomenauts online has learned to cope with useless dipshits such as myself, but everytime I wind up hanging out in my little launch capsule, waiting to join back in after an ignominious death, I imagine the players on the other end of the internet, cursing impotently, their fully-justified rage fading into the silence of the absent voice-chat.

I'm probably being over-sensitive about it, but discovering my suckitude was kind of a jarring experience. I always fancied myself an "average" gamer, no match for many, of course, but better than some. I figured if the computer is matching me fairly, I should have a win percentage of about 50% and close to  a 1-1 kill-death ratio. I mean, I don't have a lot of specific experience with Awesomenauts, but the sheer number of Mario, Sonic, and Mega Man games I've played over the years, I figured some of those skills would have transferred over. To have my illusions shattered so abruptly has not been great for my self-image.

I guess what I ought to do is go back to practice mode for a few hours and polish my technique. I had a 100% win rate against the easy bots, but it is now apparent that I wasn't ready for real human foes. I should try out the harder bot difficulties and only go for multiplayer once I've managed to get credibly proficient against the hardest ones.

Hmm . . . If I'm acknowledging now that I need more practice, that means that when I started, I was under the impression that I didn't need practice and could just jump right in.

Maybe I needed to be humbled after all.

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