I Met The Best Kind Of Heroes Of The Storm Teammate Last Night

I Met The Best Kind Of Heroes Of The Storm Teammate Last Night

When talking about MOBAs, gamers often focus on the toxic elements of their culture. Too rarely do we look at their opposite: the people who are just plain nice. I met one such player last night in Heroes of the Storm, and was so taken aback by his good manners and civility that I feel the need to honour him.

We were 11 minutes into the game with a strong lead when a fight threatened to break out amongst the five players on our team. The person playing as Sylvanas, a lithe undead archer lady from the Warcraft universe, suddenly decided to start calling us out on what she saw as a poor move the other four of us made. She thought that we'd dragged our feet returning from a map-specific objective, which had given the enemy team more than enough time to attack the mercenary camps on the map — thereby summoning powerful NPC monsters to attack our base's defences.

Dealing with mercenaries (most players just refer to them as "mercs") can be a real pain. We were already two levels ahead of our opposition experience-wise and therefore have a strong lead in the match, though, which helped soften the impact of the enemy mercs. But that didn't stop our Sylvanas from calling all of us bad players...and continuing to press the point even after none of us had tried to retort.

You can see how the conversation played out in real time in this short clip I captured from the game. Pay attention to the lines of white-coloured text that pop up at the bottom-center of the screen. That's where the important stuff is happening.

Here's a transcript of the critical moment:

Sylvanas: u guys

Sylvanas: are so slow

Sylvanas: gave them both mercs

(Nobody says anything for almost 30 seconds)

Sylvanas: watch the replay on this and ull se how bad u are

Muradin: dont be mean

Muradin: we're 2 [levels] up

Muradin: thanks for the feedback

Muradin: we'll do better next time

I've played 571 games of Heroes of the Storm at this point. Never before have I seen a player defuse a situation quite this deftly and respectfully.

Again, keep in mind that my team was two levels ahead by the time Sylvanas chose to call us out. The vast majority of ugly inter-term fights that I've experienced in MOBAs happen when you're losing a game, get upset, and start blaming each other for whatever the hell went wrong. I can therefore only see two reasons why this Sylvanas felt the need to lash out. Either she:

  1. Wanted to offer constructive feedback to help us do better in other future games, or...

  2. She wanted to pick a fight.

Since she made a blanket statement about us being "bad" players and waited a full half a minute (that's a very long time in MOBAs, especially since HOTS is fast-paced compared to its competitors).

Muradin's response is, quite simply, perfect. Rather than escalating the situation with any sort of retort, he acknowledged the player's disappointment while simultaneously making the key point that you shouldn't just start being a jerk. He recognised something important in the process: it isn't really worth trying to argue with a person like this. Really, it doesn't even matter if the play in question was good or bad. Trying to defend yourself is only going to make things worse.

I wish I could say that I would have done the same exact thing as Muridan did here. But that would be a lie. Honestly, the dwarven warrior's response cut me off from snapping back at Sylvanas with some snarky line like: Hey, Sylvanas, do you really need to be a dick when we're so far ahead in this game already?

Sylvanas was being a total dick by trying to egg us on. But what Muradin was able to realise that I wasn't was that nobody responds well to accusations about their character in the middle of a heated match in a super-competitive multiplayer game like Heroes of the Storm. There's a key difference between saying "don't be mean" and calling a person an arsehole. It's the same distinction between telling a group of people they're all bad players and saying something more suggestive about a specific manoeuvre that went awry. When I reached out to the Muradin player post-game to say how impressed I was by his response to Sylvanas, he explained that he feels he has to respond to aggressive players this way.

"Lots of kids in these games," he wrote to me over Battle.net. Someone has to give them a positive example to try and emulate.

Someone really does. We need more MOBA players like this Muradin I met last night, and less like the bristling teammate he managed to talk down.


    We need more of this, a regular acknowledgment that not all gamers are Toxic, that some of us will stop and help others for no other reason than to help everyone enjoy the game currently being played..

    I was on WoW last night doing a garrison campaign mission that had just dropped and having done all i could see needed to be done turned and left the area, i suddenly get a whisper asking me if i had picked up the pet that drops in that particular area/off that NPC - i'd not only not known about it but also hadn't seen the shiny..so i ran back, the person helping (coincidentally my raid leader) was waiting there running around the item so i knew where to look..

    We're not all immature jerks, but unfortunately we usually only hear about those guys/girls when we discuss in game events.

    Last edited 15/07/15 2:22 pm

    I usually reply with "Eat a bag of dicks. I'm gonna suicide against the forts because you're a dick have fun with that." Then read a book. Even if I'm not the target of the abuse.

    I play for fun. Mistakes can be made. You ruin everybodies fun with abuse.... Enjoy 10-15mins of pointlessness.

    I'm sure I've been reported, it's unfair on the other 2-3 but fuck toxic abusers.

      ^^^ you are the cancer that kill's MOBA's

      If pixels on a screen from an anonymous stranger upset you that much then don't even log in.

        You're the reason I do it...

        I exist because you exist.

        Last edited 16/07/15 9:33 am

      Your solution is worse than the problem.

      Your behaviour is pretty toxic if you are willing to ruin the game of 3 other people who have done nothing wrong.

      Nah man, not the way to go - two negatives don't make a positive :P I was yelled at for not handing in coins (pirate map) and losing some when I was killed, but I just said "Dude, I tried to hand in the coins, but got killed, there was no backup - I'm a new player, chill" (I am new) and I didn't hear anything after that.

      It's a tough genre to get into, but I knew that coming in. Every game is gonna have butt hurt people, but it's how you react to them, that will ultimately dictate how your long term game experience will evolve.

      Why do I suspect your player name is 'Alphawolf' or the like (in reference to OP)?

      Last edited 15/07/15 9:08 pm

    I go off like crazy if the easiest kill in the world is missed like 2 days ago. Ally walked past chasing a full health hero while I got killed (as malfurion) by a kerrigan but got her to 10 health and she literally walked the whole lane back to base. Could have changed the whole match... I should really use my microphone always... Objectives + mercs + seige damage and ambushing when mercs taken, lanes not pushed and objective is down. These are the basics.

    I don't get why people bother battling them or replying at all. As soon as someone says something silly , hit tab , click mute on their name. Never hear from them again.

      Yeah, I generally just ignore these people. Usually they're doing really badly in the game themselves and are just taking it out on everyone else. Also, I'll probably never see them again in a PUG match anyway, so why bother arguing with them.

    This really isn't that toxic. I have seen much, much, MUCH worse. If the drow was a good player and you all were slow and responsible for a bad play and the enemy team rallying, then he/she has every right to call you out on it. This player has actually identified the cause(being slow), the effect(mercs spawning), and the solution for next time(watch the replay). A replay doesn't lie. That person isn't there to gloat over you while you watch it, nor do they know if you watched it at all.

    The nature of MOBA's is that you need your team to win. In dota, if someone makes a good play, I'll commend them on it, and if someone makes really bad plays, I'll probably call them on it too. Not dying once or twice, but bad plays like consistently feeding or overextending with no vision. The goal of this is twofold... to vent the inevitable frustration, and to teach. Not to be toxic. Think of it like a rolled up newspaper... it's violent, but not really. The carrot and stick approach to learning is a tried and true method of learning. And yeah there are more diplomatic ways of getting a message across, but it's a lot to ask of the average person.

      And it's possible to do all that without being a jerk. You are a part of the problem. You'd never put it like this in real life, so why in a game?

        Do you always see the world in black and white? In the original versions of Dota, they had a thing called a banlist. You could basically get rid of the bad players... those that were actually bad players, that had connection problems or abandoned, and perhaps if they were EXTREMELY abusive. But actually, dota was a really unforgiving game. Unforgiving. I'm not making that word up... between the snowballing, the time investment, and the learning curve, that's what it is. The goal of a banlist was to ultimately have good games. When you learnt, it was a trial by fire, and if everything was perfect, you could have AMAZING games. You don't have amazing games when a teammate sabotages you and it ends up a 6v4 that's impossible to win. The "smack to the bottom" shock hopefully makes them remember for next time, and it is comparatively tame and self-therapeutic.

        And yes, I actually have put it like that in real life. I'm not a coward. I've played the Marvel VS games a lot, and they are similarly unforgiving. Depending on the crowd, there is actually a lot of smack/trash talk, designed to build hype, to goad people and build hunger to knock the gloater off their pedestal, and to generally make the whole experience more exciting. It's hard to describe, but it's like building pressure to forge a diamond, and you need to do it without actually mentally hurting a person. I guess a good pseudo example is that two of my friends flew out to Las Vegas(from Brisbane) a few days ago to compete in the #1 video game fighting tournament in the world: Evolution... and a few others told them that if they didn't win, not to come back. Basically the rolled up newspaper isn't designed to make you curl up into a foetal position and cry. Maybe a better example is telling someone with BO that they need to put some deodorant on and/or purge the bad bacteria. Maybe it's rude and doesn't need to be done, but it's self-improving advice that helps the world.

        Btw I'm against toxic players, but I just have a different definition of "toxic".

    Anyone who keeps hitting enter before their sentence is finished usually isn't worth listening to, in my experience. I seem to see this a lot more in MOBAs than other games. I thought it was to keep activity up at first, but if you're taking time out to complain while you're in the middle of some critical action that requires regular updates, you're doing it wrong.

    If you're dead or on the way somewhere, there's no excuse.

      Yeah I do fragments sometimes to maintain activity, I think it's actually a sign of a good player. And it's hard to know what they're doing on their end(even when you're dead you can sometimes want to check something with priority over communicating), so the formatting doesn't bug me. Other times it's on purpose for dramatic effect. Like

      I get if you don't like it... I guess it's just acceptable to me since I read a lot of comic books. =)

        I'll preface this by saying that this comment isn't about you in particular, just a general comment. I don't know how you type in games so I can't say if the way you do it is okay or not.

        Problem is it takes more attention away from the game, both for the person typing and for the person reading. I consider it the sign of a bad player, certainly not a good one based on anecdotal experience.

        Reading is something we can do really fast, our brains have pretty cool look-ahead and prediction abilities built in that mean we don't have to read every word, just the key ones. When the sentence we're reading is fragmented and with delays between pieces our ability to do that is broken and it requires quite a bit more attention (relatively speaking) to piece the sentence together than it would if it was complete.

        The example in the article isn't especially egregious but I've seen stupid splits of a single sentence over 4-5 messages. If there's not at least a comprehensible message done in two lines at most, I won't be reading the rest. (For example, 'holy fuck', 'you guys', 'are', at this point it's just wasting my time and diverting my attention, so I ignore the rest)

        Last edited 16/07/15 4:01 pm

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