As I noted in my last post, I have been inspired to write down some of my own burgeoning ideas about improving the overall experience of playing League after reading a fellow bloggers post here. I will try to make sense as I write, as these ideas are not yet fully formed in my own mind. Have patience and bear with me!
I happen to be a highly competitive person. I always, and I mean always, play to win, whether it is a video game or board game or card game or sports game. Just ask my family and friends. I am a brutal opponent in that regard. But while I am serious about winning, I do not enjoy winning at the expense of overall enjoyment and for me, enjoying a game is equal parts doing well as an individual and (this is the important part) having a shared experience of joy and fun with the people I am playing with. Ergo, when one of my teammates is ranting at me for my gameplay, I assume they are no longer having fun, thus destroying the shared experience that is so important to me. I don’t mind folks calling me out when my play is not up to snuff, such as “geez, Sarah, you are totally off your game today!”, and I really appreciate it when folks try to lend a friendly hand, like “hey, why don’t you try this?”. But when I can see that my play is destroying their fun, well, I can no longer have fun either.
So this is the question that continues to pester me, given my own personality and gaming quirks – how can you keep the overall game competitive but in a way that equally awards good sportsmanship and friendly team behavior? How can you ensure that the fun of the game doesn’t disappear just because one or more players don’t make exactly the right decision in every single moment? Right now, Normal and Ranked matches have you progress solely on winning (at least that is my rudimentary understanding – feel free to correct me!). I would personally like to have a separate competitive ladder that is based on both winning and overall good sportsmanship and team play, perhaps some magical blending of the method for awarding honor ribbons plus the traditional ELO system. Note that I am not suggesting replacing the current system. I say that because for many players, they really do care most about winning. I respect that. There should be a place for that. But for me, knowing that my teammates are enjoying the game as much as I am is as important to me and my game experience as winning and I want to play with others who feel the same. And to do that, I don’t see how that is possible without there being a separate competitive ladder for me and other like-minded players.
So in a nutshell, that is my crazy idea. Curious to know what you think.