Thoughts on Bad habbits and careers

Quite simply, I feel that a lot of the careers as they stand reinforce bad positional habbits on lower levels of play (rec through champ). New players won’t realise what they’re doing wrong if they can get carried through games. To an extent, I like the fact the game puts the emphasis on the player, to discover the mechanics and nuances of the game - but the lack of a detailed tutorial I feel is a real barrier to progressing in ACTUAL skill for some people who don’t want to have to watch J Sat to get all their advice.

I’m not sure what exactly can be done about this but I see it time and time again, and I often fall pray to the same thing.

So take Shade and HM for example. Probably more relevant to HM at least in personal experience. A short time after playing with that career you quickly learn that you can pretty efficiently kill in melee, the problem comes when you take her career skill in to account. It’s very easy to get caught up in killing hordes, realise you are out of position with the rest of your team then have to ult back in to line. Same sort of deal with Shade. Slightly different with Sienna but same relevance, namely Beam pyro but any beam variation will do for the example. Today I gave a lower level beam pyro a chance in a champ QM game I joined, rather than just bailing for selfish reasons. I often give people the benfit of the doubt and it rarely works out for me. She actually ulted the last standing clan rat in an ambient pack of about 5 that I had started cleaving at. In all my time playing I’ve never been so unable to justify an ult use as I was then. She ran around inside the middle of a horde with her beampole out and got beaten down from behind unsurprisingly. The moral of that is I always see a deficiency in melee ability in mages that are overly dependant on their magic.

Has anyone else had any similar thoughts, am I totally wrong? Would like to know people’s thoughts on this and maybe what could be done if anything.

Yes, too many people are relying on crutch meta to win and lose horribly once their crutch is taken away from them. I’ve had a pyro in legend who only functioned as a laser pointer, no beam blast or shotgun, and have had IBs which only know how to stand in front and block, etc. Vermintdie has become both harder and easier to an extent. There is definitely harder content, but there are weapons/abilities that can trivialize said content. A reliance on such meta usually means that the actual player skill does not develop much.

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First I completely agree the skills needed to beat recruit and veteran don’t make people good or smart players, I think for most people champ is a rude awakening that their normal habits are not so good after all.

As for how to fix it… I think More tutorials would help some, but I’d rather see a More community-driven solution. Back in the V1 days I learned to play because pro players helped me learn, and the player-supported wiki had lots of great guides.

Someone else on here (I forget who) said that they regularly go back to recruit and help guide the newbies. I started doing some of that myself and people really appreciate that, and helps to start giving them some good habits.

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It’s true that you can easily learn some bad habits on the lower difficulties, the most blatant being the sudden introduction of friendly fire on Champion. Even if the damage is not huge now, it’s still a bad idea (and distracting) to shoot your friend. That, and others, you have to basically learn again when switching difficulties. Some skills , and especially tactics, are really not learned at all on Recruit and Veteran. Then again, forcing a more difficult start to teach the right mechanisms and skills right away would scare away even more of the potential new players (not to mention being incredibly frustrating).

This I very much agree with. While some things can be taught in tutorials, some others need to be learned in actual play. Also, how you act towards others shape their actions towards you, and by helping new players we get a friendlier and more skilled community.

I don’t play random games myself, and reading the forums (especially Steam-side) has shown me a good reason why. I also know my skill limits. But hopefully the most meta-centric players will, in time, either leave for other games or learn other things besides the “single best build” (Which I doubt really exists).

I’m not sure if careers (or weapons) actually are to blame for those bad habits, though. Sure, some careers and builds are easier to play than others (Waystalker with her Trueflight Volley and regen is still quite forgiving), but everything is playable, even on higher difficulties, and the biggest difference on passing or wiping a run are the players’ skills. Yes, a Waystalker on Recruit might learn to ignore some damage because of the regen, but that will quickly shed off even on Veteran. Yes, an Ironbreaker can stand a lot of punishment, but he will still go down, quite fast even if he only relies on plugging a corridor and blocking.

I feel I could type up some kind of “basic tactics and skills” guide, but in here, it would mostly be seen by those who don’t need one, and in Steam (be it guides or forums) it would get lost behind every other guide trying to give the same info. I highly doubt that many people read even those. The only real way is to try to figure out which of the unskilled players just want to stick to their “meta or nothing” nonsense and which are actually willing to learn, and start teaching the latter ones in-game.

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