Heroes of the Storm

Conflict between friends who play for fun V play to win

HeroesoftheStorm 6 - Conflict between friends who play for fun V play to win
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I have been playing HOTS for a while now with friends of various skill levels and aims in the game.

I have friends who are pretty competitive and like to win. These are the ones who are fairy decent at the game (have played other MOBAs), and are lot more verbal when things aren't going as they should.

I have other friends who "play for fun". These friends are less skilled, and often outclassed in the games we play.

I'd consider myself in the first group, but if I was really "playing to win" I wouldn't invite my lesser skilled friends to begin with. I don't take HOTS too seriously, but I don't go into games to troll, or make horrible decisions because "YOLO". I don't really care if we win or lose these games but I do have some gripes.

The issue is that my 2 groups of friends have come into conflict due to the following issues:

Friends from the first group like to shot-call, which I think is normal since they are the more experienced players. When the other friends don't listen to them and die, or do something horrible, the former group gets annoyed. They say they can handle the other players being bad mechanically and getting outplayed, but committing to bad decision when you've been told by your betters is akin to trolling/intentionally feeding.

We played mostly ranked 5's or draft if we never had enough, which is supposed to be a "play to win" mode. We often have a strategy in place in draft (I usually split push so I don't see a lot of the team based stuff) but it often goes to shit with nobody doing what they are supposed to do. A big one is fighting a defensive 4v5, which someone always gets caught or takes the bad fight and it's a stomp followed by the former group saying something like, "why did you go in?", "why didn't you wait?", etc. One of the latter group is always the one getting the blame. I can't really be sure because I wasn't looking a lot of the time, but when I am at team fights it does feel that way.

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In the latter group, one drinks a lot, one smokes a lot. Their performance deteriorates along with their involvement in communication as time goes on. This leads to a lot of, "hello? are you even listening to me?" type of stuff which generally becomes escalated if there is no reply, or is accompanied/caused by the following issue.

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This is the one that actually annoys me, and I'm not even sure what to do about it because their other friends don't really say anything so I don't know if they care or not (or maybe don't even realize). A specific player in the second group of players is prone to random AFKing in the middle of games (seemingly just as objectives are coming up, or at the end of the game resulting in a loss) without saying anything before departure, or even apologizing when they return. This has been a catalyst to a recent flamefest in discord which has resulted in both parties no longer wanting to play with each other.

I now have to pick which group of friends I play with, which kinda sucks.

Playing with the former group I certainly feel I win more for doing less. The games are a lot more toxic, but as a league player (and many other games) I've got pretty thick skin and I can take it. It's only annoying when the criticism feels unjustified. I'd fully expect to be chewed out if I went AFK, or got picked off 1v5 before an objective. When I get 2 of these friends in the same game, they're at each others throats and they often hold grudges which result in revenge trolling which results in an insta-loss and quickly ends the game sessions (which might lead to a revenge trolling again next time we play).

Playing with the latter group, especially in the ranked mode, it feels like a 1v5; if I have a bad game it's insta-loss. When an AFK goes off I feel like giving up on the game. The games don't really feel like "play for fun" either, if I wanna go something troll, or try something risky, I get pressured into playing something better. I once missed first ban (cause I'm always the one to ban) because I was doing something else and I got chewed out for it, even more-so when I said it didn't really matter cause we're bronze anyway. For the most part it's a more enjoyable game since I mostly do pretty well. If I didn't enjoy the atmosphere/company (spend some time with them IRL) I'd probably prefer the first group.

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I'm fairly confident that groups composed of these differing players isn't really compatible and will always have issues. It's already resolved now because they aren't going to play with one another for the time being, but I'm just wondering what the communities opinion is on this matter.

Is there any hope of ever getting them back together or am I stuck in the middle?

If you had to choose between these groups, say in a specific ratio of time spent, which would it be?

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