Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why can't we just get along?

I hope a little misunderstanding hasn't ruined some friendships.

Here's the story.

I'm in a squad in Chromehounds and a couple of my friends (met in Gears of War) have the game and wanted to play with people they know so they joined our squad. One of the them played a lot with the squad and in 2 weeks time passed me in achievements for the game (I've been playing for 2 months). Another one is having trouble taking Gears out of his machine in order to put something else in.

We had a rare night when the 6 most active members were all on at the same time. Our nation was in ruins. And we wanted the Nation Resurrector achievement. We would play with a purpose. We spend some time all together playing a mission or two for that catching up that infrequent friends often have to do before splitting up and running missions individually (thus hopefully winning more overall occupation points). Some split up in teams of 2; others on their own.

I was by myself running missions and destroying bases and hounds like a madman. Unfortunately, the maps were reset before we could revive our nation. All that effort wasted. I called it a night and tucked myself into bed. (Thanks to boosters we got the Nation Resurrector achievement later on.)

When I got on the next night I had a boat load of messages waiting for me. And 2 fewer people in our squad. It seems that after we split up our squad leader was talking to one of the newer members that he's thinking about removing people from the squad that don't play. "Deadwood" was the term he used. The newbie assumed that that included the Gears-addicted newbie (who hasn't played much) that we're all friends with. So he left the squad, got the Gears-addict to leave and sent a very upset message that he's starting his own squad just for "newbies and deadwood who just want to play to have fun".

If this was all there was to it, it could easily be fixed. Unfortunately, the whole situation grew a life of it's own. My brother, also a member of the squad, sent a message that he was considering leaving the squad and limiting the number of members so that our "renown per member" wouldn't be as bad as it is now with all the inactive squadmates we have. This then lead to other members wondering if there was going to be any kind of squad left at all. And led to hurt feelings.

What our squad leader was referring to was a couple of members that haven't played in at least 6 wars (as long as I've been a member) and who no longer have the game. If they don't have the game to play why should they be in the squad? They're "deadwood". Not knowing this was what he was referring to, the newbie took the comments personally and left.

Although several of us have tried to smooth things over that great camaraderie we had is gone. We don't laugh and tease each other as much. We play quietly. We keep to the necessary game communications and go about our business.

If this only affected my Chromehounds play it would be easier, but the tension and hurt feelings can be felt when I join those ex-squad mates in a game of Gears of War. Fortunately we've played Gears for so long and with other people not brought into this messy situation that those feelings are getting back to normal. I know I'd love to have both guys back (and another one that was going to join soon) but I don't think it's going to happen. Our squad leader said we'll just play a match against them sometime and get it all out on the battlefield.

I guess that's better than some other violent alternative, but I have to wonder why we can't just all get along?

No comments: