The Friendly Attitude

Written by Alcator.

A few weeks ago, I presented to you the list of stupid things to do in Trackmania. Some of them I witnessed myself while playing on-line, particularly the “Hallo, ist das die deutsche spiele-server?” question on “Air Time United” server in USA.

Today, I’m offering you a set of guidelines for improving your chances of getting friends and turning foes into friends.

1. The first and foremost rule is “Respect the others”. You may be a better driver, you may have better hardware or you may have more coppers or world records, you may even be the number 1 racer in your country, but that doesn’t mean you’re anything more than the others. Thing to keep in mind is:if there were no opponents, there would be no winners. If there were no competitors in contests, there would be no coppers that you win. So the bottom line is: You need the others to be able to stand out. And I’m only considering the racing-related things here; but it may very well be that the admin or capitalist of a particular server is not a very good driver, yet you need him much more than he needs you, so just because you beat scottmc or Rose Tattoo or MrA in-race shouldn’t lead to your mocking them.

2. Number two rule immediately follows from the first rule: Don’t annoy. And by “don’t annoy”, I’m not referring only to the most obvious ways of annoying, like posting dozens of messages every minute or asking off-topic questions; it also means that if you use the animation of bouncing female chest or the horn sound that resembles something recorded during adult movie production, you are constantly annoying those players that have growing children that play as well; just like there need to be rules for adult content on the internet, there are rules for such content in-game. So really, consider identifying yourself with your nation rather than your dark fantasies, identifying yourself with your team rather than with the sound of your vomiting…

3. Be decent when announcing your victory; I myself had a lot of trouble when I – after a team match that I participated a bit in – needlessly used the sentence “Our team heroically stood against the noobishness of xxx” on ATP’s forums – the losing opponents read that remark and a large scale flame war was the consequence. If I restricted myself to “Good game, guys”, none of that would’ve happened.

4. Don’t mock people that you’re not sure will accept it. People tend to forget that on the internet, you don’t know who the other guy is, and way too often use remarks about others that may be hurting. If you’re 18-years-old, Island may seem very playable to you, but trust me, as your eyes and nerves start aging, you’ll find it harder and harder, and at some point, you may start crashing into walls that you would previously easily avoid; therefore, if a new player on a server crashes into walls, think twice before you say something “funny” – that person may be old, ill, tired, it may be his or her first encounter to that environment, and maybe the author of the map thought it would be a good idea not to use any lights to light the map… Of course, if you’re Insane and the other guy is Mariusz and you know you’re the two best players on the team, go ahead and try to provoke the other into better performance by mocking remarks – but keep it between you two, not someone who may live in a different time zone and may be up for 20 hours already.

5. Count to hundred when anger blows. Sure, maybe you asked all players not to type /++ and /–, but if someone does that and you call him a “******** ***** that should **** the **** **”, it’s YOU who is doing an ill service to the server (and consequently, the game as well), not the tresspassing guy who maybe didn’t notice your request. So, even if you just met the worst retard of your life and you would like to smite him with your angelic blade in His or Her honor, calling him F-words, S-words and P-words is not the right way. Count to a hundred and either ignore the person, or assertively ask him to RTFM or leave.

6. Don’t cheat. People may forgive you if you lose a nerve and send someone to hell. They may forgive you if you occasionally mock someone who lost in a spectacularly huge manner. But they will not forgive you if they find out that you’re cheating – in any way that may include.

7. When criticizing, try to be constructive. This is something that you learn with age and experience, and it’s understandable and somewhat tolerable if you don’t know the right way to criticize in younger age, but it never hurts to at least try. The thing is – most people dislike being criticized (being told they did something wrong or in a wrong way). Therefore, your criticism should provide some escape routes from an embarrassing situation (such as by naming the errors in a “correctable” fashion, so that the criticized person say “Aha, thank you, I’ll correct that”), or by also listing the positive aspects of the criticized thingy (such as by saying “this track has good challenges, but they are not connected very well. But I believe you will soon learn how to connect them to make a fun track”). But most important is that your criticism should concentrate on a product, not person. Don’t tell a person “You’re stupid”; if you really need to use that word, say “You placed that loop in a stupid spot”. And second important thing is – avoid vague remarks. “Bad layout” doesn’t provide tips for improving; “Loop is placed so that the player has no warning before he enters it” does.

8. Unless you’re the king of the world, don’t label yourself “King of the world”. People don’t like bragging and pretending. Some players spend hours and hours writing their nickname using Arabic and Hebrew letters, decorating every letter with different color, but 90% of players don’t want to see 10 different colors flash in the lower left corner whenever a player chats; if anything, they want to see him race, providing a challenge (and eventual points for being better). Really try to reconsider if the others wouldn’t like you more if you raced instead of chit-chatting in dozens of colors.

9. Post awards at TMX for tracks that you like playing. And that goes for you award-haters as well:just because you think the award system is flawed or just because you’re fed with the fact that no-one awards your tracks, that doesn’t mean you should boycott the system. A tip I can give you is this: When playing, open a browser, and whenever you come across a track that you like, alt-tab to the browser, find the track on TMX and post a simple award “I enjoyed this on-line”. Nothing more is needed.

10. Don’t forget it’s a game, and the highest goal of every game is to have fun. It’s not work, it’s not politics, it’s not a matter of life and death and it’s also probably not a matter of getting a date or remaining alone; have fun, and don’t take it too seriously.

Do you have any tips on how to have the correct attitude? Post them in the comments below 😀

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7 Responses to The Friendly Attitude

  1. JumperJack says:

    and you’re totally correct alcator… 😉

  2. insane says:

    “Of course, if you’re Insane and the other guy is Mariusz and you know you’re the two best players on the team”
    Wait a moment, did you speak of me or some insane person? (really should change my nick, those puns are annoying) 😛
    else the article is really good, but its sad that all those things arent obvious, at least some people act like they werent

  3. T_Z_ says:

    Nice article Alcator, all of this is very very right and unfortunately they’re all very very true… A flaming thread in offtopic Pit of TMX would be cool 😛

  4. Alcator says:

    insane: Yep, it’s you, but no pun intended, you really ARE fast.

  5. djoszee says:

    I think it’s annoying when people constantly speak italian or french (or any other language other then English) on an english server… I compare that with chatbox spamming.

  6. micster says:

    Great Article, really hope this helps others. 🙂

  7. alcator says:

    Addition (November 2007): 11. When commenting an article, comment the article, not the author.

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