DPS Divas: A Short Rant From A Support Player

Nice sword you have. So who maintains it for you?

Well, this is certainly a “first” for me.

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Those of you who’ve been following my stuff on GameSkinny know that lately, I’ve been on this “anti-group-kick” spree. The “kick” mechanic is one that is, in my humble opinion, destructive to MMO gameplay by telling players that they have the power to punish teammates for not being “perfect” enough to play with them. Combined with the brilliant idea to allow people to group rage-quit without penalty (“disband group” is a bad idea), and you get a society of players who play MMOs as if they were always online single player games. It’s all about themselves. I’m starting to call these people DPS Divas.

So what’s the “first” thing I mentioned above? Someone attempted to kick me out of a group because I was doing my role.

No, seriously. A “DPS Diva” wanted to boot me for performing my role is in the game. Not overdoing it, not underdoing it, but just being “good”. I should probably explain.

Controllers have two jobs in DC Universe Online. One is power output, replenish the power bar (mana bar if you will). The other is crowd control, meaning I can render opponents incapable of attacking or moving out of an area. It’s a simple thing. I have a “Freeze” which can lock opponents into one space, I have a “hamster ball” which locks two opponents into an impenetrable sphere, and a “sleep dart” that puts one target to sleep.

The problem was the hamster ball, which is a backbone ability of controllers. All three “controller” power sets have similar powers to this. When an opponent is in the sphere, and you hit the sphere, it rolls. Duh. Somehow, this person has never, ever, seen this before and they were so offended at having to chase down these balls that they attempted to kick me out for doing it. They claim to have “politely told” me 5 times to stop, but looking through chat, there was no such “polite” conversation.

After the instance, I told this person that out of the years of playing, nobody has ever said a word about it before, let alone kick someone from a group for doing their role. The response?  Read for yourself.

 

Where to begin….

I suppose the place to begin is going backwards. If you ask someone to stop doing something, and it’s important, you wait for a response that they heard and understood. That’s how people in the real world do things when it’s important. “Hey Joe! Can you hold off on the hammering for a minute? I need to listen for something.” “Ok Bob!”  Done.

Or simply put: “The world does not stop for you because you’re being a inconvenienced.”  Your messages do not have priority over the other 50 we see scroll by in three seconds.  I’m sorry that your text isn’t highlighted in neon pink and doesn’t hit me in the face with your feather boa as you whipped it over your shoulder.  If it’s important, you wait until the combat is over, you stop moving, and you say what you need to say.  We will respond to you when it’s safe to do so, not a minute before.

The next is the my inability to believe this person has never seen this kind of power before.  Not only did they act like it was the first time, but they tried to kick someone else from the group for doing it!  How do you reach the end content of a game without seeing nor learning how the core mechanics of other roles work?  Ok, I’ll give them that, not everyone wants to play a support role so it’s possible that they’ve never seen it before.  But given that you have to play for hours to reach end content and hours of end content to get to these raids, it’s almost impossible to have not seen it at end game.  Then again…

 
*yeah, like Divas fold their own laundry…*

Third, and the big one, everyone wants to be the star of the instance. In effect, we’re all Divas.  We look at the score card, and want to top the DPS list. I realized a long time ago a simple thing about real world combat. An F-16 pilot may get all the glory, but the thousands of soldiers doing maintenance, storage, prep, flight deck maintenance, air traffic and dozens of other support roles keeps his sorry tail in the air. Everyone wants to be “Maverick,” nobody wants to be the guy putting lubricant on the missile release hooks, even if it’s a vital role.  Without support, you simply can not function.

With that in mind, I was the only “support” role in the group, the other three were pure damage.

No healer, no tank. So my job shifted from only supplying power to keeping the bad guys at a manageable size. This meant “hamster balling” multiple opponents and shooting the ball down hallways to keep bad guys well out of the fight. This meant determining the most dangerous opponent and sleep-darting them. This meant looking at the health bars on the side of the screen, seeing who’s badly damaged, locking their opponents down and giving them the few seconds it would take to down a healing potion so they won’t keel over.

And my reward? Being yelled at by the “Divas” who couldn’t get the maximum damage output because I sent their target skittering away while they had less than a pixel of health left on the bar. “I COULDA GOTTEN 100 MORE POINTS ON HIM!”  This is the curse of support.  Everyone bitches about construction workers on the highway but without them, you wouldn’t have a road in a few years to drive on.  People grumble, but keep driving.  But in MMOs?  We’re accessible, so we get it with both barrels if we’re not up to an unrealistic standard.  Then you people wonder why nobody plays a healer?  Good lord, a DPS Diva’s health bar dips under 80% and you get kicked for being a “bad healer”!

To be honest though, this person’s reaction is not shocking to me.

MMO gameplay has shifted from being team oriented to individual “everybody wins,” so why should I be surprised? But also, this is a person who I wouldn’t share my camp fire with, if you get my meaning. The whole situation reminded me of a 5-year-old who throws a temper tantrum because they got vanilla ice cream, and not chocolate. Except in this case the kid has the power to have their parents arrested for not getting them chocolate. This isn’t someone who I’d spend time with outside of the game because they’re apparently self-centered.

I only wish there was a way to make support roles “sexy” in the same way DPS is. Everyone sees damage output and says “woah.” Nobody sees the locking down of 30 opponents or the epic heals or the “I managed to keep 5 dragons occupied on me while the party downed health potions and I lived through it,” in the same way. It’s seen as “you did your job,” not “you just saved the whole party.” If anyone has a way to statistically track x-factor play like that, I’m all ears.  Until then, “DPS Divas” will point at their statistic and say “I’m most important!  Now get me a cool ice water.”

Meanwhile, I’m hoping that this person sees this article and thinks about it. They never will, but I can hope. Most players are so caught up in their own glory, or getting all the loot, or getting all the points on the scorecard, they forget that MMO means multiplayer. The people on your team sacrifice the sexy DPS output to keep you standing, the least you can be is grateful.  If you’re not, well, in some games, healers will choose to not heal you if you’re being a snot.  Be thankful that DCUO won’t give me that option.


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TygerWDR
I'm a gamer. I'm a reality junkie. I'm a cynic. I'm a dinosaur. I'm a writer. I'm so much more than a paragraph can say. You want more? Ok. I started a video game show on the internet some time ago. See, I've played video games since Intellivision and Atari 2600 and PONG back in the day. Retro-gaming doesn't really fire me up as much as seeing how the community ticks. And after seeing way too many "I'm too young to have played this game when it first came out but it MAKES ME SO ANGRY" reviewers who would happily eviscerate my childhood for lulz... yeah I tossed my hat into the ring. the quickly scooped it back up, I'm told I have a bald spot that needs covering. Outside of gaming... yes I go outside shut up... I like to play paintball when I can. I snowboard a lot, when I can. I go mountain biking, when I can... seeing a trend yet? I prefer reality to video games, but at 4 AM it's hard to find a paintball game going on. Lately I livestream a lot, playing video games for an audience.