Are you a team player or do you not play well with the
other kids? Spyke and Lee'Mon fight it out in this week's
Welcome to the "The Gauntlet"! They say that there are two
sides to every argument, and the debates within the Quake
community are no exception. That's why we created "The
Our top two PlanetQuake staff writers, Spyke and Lee'Mon,
often find themselves on opposite sides of an argument. We
could have them each post their own editorial, but PQ readers
have let us know what they really want: bloody combat!
So, we squared the two off in a custom arena, and let them
use whatever facts, opinions, arguments, and insults necessary
to make their point. Then we let you, the readers, decide
the outcome! So watch and read as these two enter the battle
royal, and vote on which side you agree with!
This week's topic: The Mission Pack madness continues. Spyke
continues to live up to his "I Frag Alone" moniker by admonishing
the Mission Pack's focus on teamplay. Lee'Mon, on the other
hand, welcomes id's attempt to turn Q3A into an excellent
team-building game. The argument has escalated, and the two
now find themselves in a full-blown argument about teamplay
in general. So stand back, because it's Teamplay vs. Free-For-All,
and it's gonna get messy.
Lee'Mon: First off, judging by a couple of emails,
some messageboard posts, and this
article at the 6th Floor, Spyke's claims of a Columbine
map were sorely mistaken. The map in question is not Columbine,
was made before the shooting, and happens to be a fairly well-liked
map amongst Action Quake2 fans. So, before we go into Rant
Mode, Spyke here will first go into Retraction Mode. Take
it away, Spyke!
Spyke: In last week's Gauntlet, I made some statements
that have turned out to be completely false and harmful in
nature. I'd like to say I'm the victim of misinformation,
but unfortunately I'm the victim of ignorance in this case.
Thus, I would like to apologize to anyone I have offended
with my statements, and retract those statements, which I
do now wholly regret making. Thanks for understanding.
Lee'Mon: I'd like to thank the readers that pointed
this out, as well as the AQ fans that pulled in enough votes
for me to once again reign victorious. Anyhow, enough with
the apologies. It's time to rant!
Has anyone not figured out my first impressions of the Q3A
Mission Pack? id has the potential to take the Q3A engine
and develop a completely new team-based game around it. While
that's probably not quite what's going to happen (most of
the weapons will likely stay, for example), I'm anticipating
an excellent pack. Q3A's graphics combined with some real
teamplay... it's a match made in heaven.
Now, teamplay's a game mode that's closer to my heart. But
I've got a feeling Mr. Renegade is a bit more of a loner.
So, I'll give him a chance to persuade to you that teamplay
is useless. [snort]
Spyke: Useless, I tell you.
Let's start by taking a look at id Software. More importantly,
the name "id Software". Most specifically, the word "id".
The id is the part of the human psyche that Freud theorized
contains the most primal urges of man. Man, by instinct, is
a loner. The phrase "every man for himself" is not uncommon.
Thus, we must presume that within the id of every man is the
instinct to go about something by one's self.
Now, let's relate this to gaming. Again, we look at id Software.
Beginning with Doom, we had deathmatch. A pittance of man
vs. man, in a free for all battle to rise to the top. Sure,
we had co-op, but that didn't pit teams vs. each other. Even
in Quake, id focused on deathmatch. Until mods, everyone played
DM. But Quake marked the emergence of teamplay.
I don't like teamplay; I've had that established for a while.
I don't like having to depend upon others to help me win.
I don't want to have to help watch someone's back. I want
to win, and I want to win by myself. If I lose, I lost by
myself; I didn't have someone else dragging me down. I guess
it's a dignity thing.
Lee'Mon: No, it's a trust thing. Weren't you ever
taught that "united we stand, divided we fall"? I'd make a
joke about intimacy issues, but I believe I just did.
ManKIND, by instinct, only desires food, clothing, and shelter.
However, mankind has grown, evolved, and developed a social
structure. We have organized into groups, and in the context
of war, we have fought together, in an organized fashion.
I hate to bring back the same argument I used last week,
but some players have just desired more than a free-for-all.
They're tired of the solitary feel of multiplayer and the
Internet in general. If I want to feel like it's me against
the world, I'll play single-player. If I want to feel like
the other faces out there are actual people, I'll look for
Spyke: There's another problem with teamplay. The
"actual people" part of it. In my experiences playing pickup
games of both team DM and CTF, many people can be megalomaniacal,
ordering you around like they were God, or completely lackadaisical,
sitting around doing nothing, hiding in a corner somewhere.
People's personalities in real life extend to the net, and
if they're tyrants in real life, they'll be tyrants online,
and so on.
In addition, if the "actual people" you're looking to play
with happen to be your friends or a clan, you're stuck with
waiting on them if you want to play. I don't know about you,
but if I were wanting to play with my friends, I definitely
wouldn't want to be waiting on them. When I want to play,
I want to play now, and FFA offers me that chance.
Whaddya know, here's another thing! Joining teams in the
middle of a game is awkward. Sometimes you don't know if they
want you to join in or not, and in many cases it's hard to
catch up. The same is true for free-for-all, but it's definitely
easier because of the short-lived nature of the game.
Lee'Mon: Always gotta win by the numbers, eh? Personally,
I've had plenty of fun jumping in on pickup games with five
minutes left, joining the losing team, and trying desperately
to bring back some sense of defense to the home base, even
if it's to no avail. Why? Because those occasional times that
I can be the deciding factor, the one who swings it around
for my team, I get a sense of satisfaction I've never gotten
from FFA... ever.
You find just as many arses in teamplay as you do in FFA.
Your only contentment is that the other team has just as many
of them. Most people can deal with the overly bossy "leaders"
and the corner-sitters, but strangely enough, the players
that are the most annoying are the ones that act like they're
playing a friggin' Free-For-All.
Spyke: Well obviously those people are poor souls
who have been misled by the evil people who play team games.
Liberate our lost brethren!
So you have fun losing? That's a new one. But again, I like
doing things for myself, by myself, and when I win, I get
the satisfaction that my mad skizzles have helped me achieve
this. Not someone else's skizzles, mine. And if I lose, there's
no one I can blame but myself. Not that idiot who mindlessly
fired grenades into a small room, not the guy who sat in the
corner the whole time, me. I look out for number one.
And this, my friend, is why I think FFA games are superior
to team games. They require fast action and adrenaline, not
slow careful planning. They emphasize the id, rather than
the superego team games demand. They're fast.
Lee'Mon: I heard the exact same argument when Q2 came
out. Old-school Quakers felt that fast action and adrenaline
was superior to strategy and planning. Well, that's not entirely
the case. Strategy and action aren't better than one another.
They're just different.
A great deal of players have craved more than the pure adrenaline
action of FFA. They want to try and put the community of gamers
to a bit of use, and act together as socialized people (context
of the game nonwithstanding.) Sure, Americans tend to emphasize
the individual, but most other countries recognize the importance
of a group effort.
So, let's see... team players prefer the mind-stretching
strategy of team games, along with the socialization of a
group of players working together. Whereas FFA has... umm...
help me out here...
Spyke: The triumph of an individual showcasing the
skills of one compared to another, whereas teams can easily
be unbalanced. FFA has players reacting quickly to rapidly
moving opponents, and worrying about everyone, not just the
players on the other team.
So in short, FFA = one-man pw33ning army, fast action, not
having to fret over teammates' faults. Care to wrap things
up on your end?
Lee'Mon: Teamplay = Intense strategy, the camraderie
of teammates, the thrill of being something larger than just
you... and plenty of action to spare.
Well, we're at a deadlock here. Guess people should just
play what they like the best. If you've only fragged alone,
go ahead and try teamplay. If you can find some friends to
team up with you, so much the better. But if it's not your
cup of tea(m), you can just go frag yourself. ;^)
Spyke: Man, that was just a bad pun. I think you must
Um.. what can I say.. Real men frag alone? Just think of
all those great action movies where the hero doesn't cooperate
with anyone! That's what FFA is like! Vote for me!
Lee'Mon: Heh... you'd love for me to forfeit. Shall
we leave this one in the hands of the fans?
Spyke: Alas, I fear we must. (Spyke slips the readers
Lee'Mon: Guess you gotta go with your strengths...
Spyke trusts no one!
Lee'Mon refuses to go out for groceries without a Demoman
and Pyro for backup.