I am pleased to say I’ve run into a number of players, usually in beta automatch, who tell me they’ve read Rifles Ready! and really love it. This is really encouraging and it really makes all of us here — myself, Surprise and Adrock, feel very warm, fuzzy etc. inside. Recently however, I ran into several players who have read the blog, then “confront” me with comments like: “man your record in betta sux!!” and “ur like a terrible player, less than average who do u think u are giving advice and acting like ur better than seph and stuff.” Note I have faithfully reproduced the spelling and grammatical errors in these statements for comedic effect.
Indeed, I admit found these players’ remarks mildly amusing. Firstly, my beta record is immaterial, as numerous games consist of me trying out a slew of different random strats (going down right side of Luftwaffe, trying Scout Car spam again, trying 4ES, doing mass Jeeps + Raid, etc.). In any case, let me remind you all that it’s THE BETA. Why there is this fascination with records in the beta, I just don’t know.
My record in the retail game is 51 and 8, and I’m level 8 with U.S. and PE. Back in the vCOH days, I hit level 11 with U.S., which is my highest level to date. Should you suspect me to be a treacherous, deceptive liar, you are free to look up my record in the current retail game — my account name for 1v1s is “Jianshu” which is a Chinese phrase meaning swordplay.
That being said, I freely admit I’m no “pro” — which I guess we can define as perhaps level 11 or higher with a win ratio of say 70% or higher. I’m merely a working reporter trying to get better at COH, making a serious effort at it, and documenting everything I learn. The advice and knowledge of Surprise is an added bonus to this blog.
If you’re concerned that I’m not good enough to offer good advice, please point to something on this blog that turns out to be completely wrong, bad advice, etc. and write a comment or email me. We’re all very open to constructive criticism.
Once more for the record, I certainly don’t think I’m all that good, and I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be as good or better than Sepha or Surprise or anyone else. Now, I firmly believe great players ought to be treated with respect and admiration (it’s really hard and time-consuming to get good at COH or any serious RTS, and if you have a full-time job, harder still).
But I can’t stress enough how dangerous it is and how self-destructive it is for a game’s community to become obsessed with “skill” as defined by somebody’s record. This is how the pressure for a good win/loss ratio is born, which contributes to the birth of drophackers. It also alienates many new or novice players, who get fed up with being treated habitually as a n00bz0rXxx!11!! and so they simply lose interest and leave.
This ain’t good for obvious reasons, as it will eventually thin out the community and with it, the likelihood of continued support from Relic and COH’s chances to become a more visible competitive RTS in the vein of Starcraft.
I want to stress one final point, that I don’t condone poor players acting all uppity. Everyone has a right to not be insulted, and to speak their piece, but if you have a record that’s like 300 to 299, your comments critiquing game balance or the gameplay of someone like ZeroCrack or Aniketos should probably be taken with a shitload of salt.