I used to love playing multiplayer games when I was growing up like CS:GO, COD, plenty of others but whenever I try to play these days I just don't have any fun because everybody is just way better than they were when I was growing up. Most of the games I used to play were more idk, hop in and start playing and learn the mechanics as you play, but these days I feel like to play any game well you've got to research what the meta is, strategies to use and then grind for any "rank play" they may have. I get there's a casual component, but casual is just at a pace where nobody else seems to really care about playing so it's more target practice. There just seems to be a huge skill gap between casual and competitive, nobody who cares will play casual (most of the time), and most people who are on competitive have grinded the meta and understand every core mechanic even at the lowest ranks.
Because of this, I've theorized that this is because while other people who were like me, casual gamers who play on their free time and have taken months-years breaks are at the mercy of game mechanics becoming over familiar. Look at how Fortnite began as an arena shooter to now where to even play you've gotta learn the build function and get good at switching your building style, and the change in community once the mechanics are meta.
Also, now that I've sort of thought this through I realize that whatever I'm saying is essentially known, but if anybody else would like to add anything to the discussion, I'd love to discuss. Also, if anybody knows any fun multiplayer games where it's not like sloughing through the ranks but you can still play against people who care (basically non-tryhard type games where everybody seems to grind out 4-5 core mechanics which creates a high barrier to play, because I'm not really interested in having to watch a bunch of Youtube videos to learn smoke placements, flash placements etc when I've hardly even gotten to enjoy the game beforehand), then please let me know!
After some good discussion with the people here, these seem to be the reasons why:
- Games were pick up and learn mainly due to internet capabilities at the time restricting you to local matches which reduces the skill barrier because you're essentially getting used to a homogenized skillset in games.
- Internet and PC video game popularity has really exploded in the last 5-6 years, raising the skill gap a significant amount as games became less intuition reliant and instead more skill-focused training if that makes sense?
- Mechanics have become far more complex to learn and master as games have become more tooled for the increasingly better top-segment of gamers who understand most gaming mechanics, which in turn causes the lower-casual players to suffer because these mechanics give a significant advantage at the lower levels.
- Video game titles are becoming more optimized(?) and most ideas for the popular games are recycled so carry-over experience has maintained whatever barriers were in place prior.
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