Monday, August 6, 2012

LoL - Different Goals

I've existed as one happy half of a functional gaming pair for some time now. That is to say, the wife and I are fortunate enough that "together time" can also equal "gaming time." We generally work well together, and have (hopefully) been a boon to every gaming group we've joined. She's the more social of the pair, I'm the planner/organizer. When we were guild officers, I like to think we proved and effective tandem.

But, as any gaming couple can attest, it isn't always double rainbows and Russian unicorns. Sometimes there are threats of couch sleeping. And pillow throwing. And copious swearing.

Such is the case with League of Legends. It has come to my attention that we likely play better when we are in separate lanes. If that, even. It may be best that we play separate games.

What's the problem? Well, after much, ahem, discussion, it seems that we have completely different goals for the game.

I'm competitive. It's probably borderline psychotic. Winning is a serious thing for me. I don't rage quit or throw a fit if I lose, but I do get a bit surly. I try to keep it in, but wives know. What I don't type in is written plainly on my face... and probably in the grumbles, too.

My wife is social. She plays to enjoy the company of fellow gamers. Winning or losing doesn't matter much to her. Winning is nice, but losing is not a big deal. And any insinuations that she should "try harder" or be more serious are basically personal insults.

So we come to blows. I've been digging into builds and gearing strategies. She's texting friends to join her. I'm trying to explain dynamic group battles. She's commenting on how pretty her character looks. We're on completely different pages.

LoL is a competitive game. As Vince Lombardi once said: "If winning wasn't everything, why do they keep score?" The main point of the game is to beat the opposing team.

Larger than LoL, though, is the fact that the game is online. Any online game has a social component. That is simply truth. The component may vary greatly from game to game, community to community, but it exists.

So what is the solution for us? Can we play LoL in harmony? We're coming from completely different sides of the equation. She views LoL as a fun distraction until the next game drops. I see it as a mountain to conquer.

We've not exactly figured it out yet. Maybe we shouldn't play together on this one. Our temporary fix is where I play some competitive games on my own, and then take a new champion for a test run with her, fully expecting to lose. It is imperfect, but I'm not sure there's a better solution, short of simply going our own way. And where's the fun in that?


  1. My experience is that some games work better if you don't play together. Frex, I never play Diablo with my partner (neither D2 or D3) because he likes to painstakingly pick up every trash drop and then go sell up when his bags are full, and I prefer to keep killing and only pick up the magic items. (This sounds like a minor difference in playstyle but it was just too annoying in practice.)

  2. Yeah, perhaps it's just sometimes better to admit to a difference in goals and move on. In any relationship it is suggested that you employ the art oc "compromise" (I believe that's what it's called :-P), but sometimes I suspect that only serves to lessen the fun on both sides.

    We're completely okay with playing individually... it's just odd in this case because we started out playing together just fine, and have just have completely opposite development paths.