27/02/2013

Catharsis

Today, I have a little story for you. Once upon a time, there was a Sage healer who drew my attention in warzones for a variety of reasons: he seemed to be very good at what he did, he appeared to be a decent guy, and most of all he had a really odd character/legacy name combination. I think it was that last point that really made me notice him time and again.

To say that I admired him would probably be an exaggeration, but I certainly had a positive opinion of him. I was always happy when lady luck put him on my team. I also remember a Voidstar game where he ended up being ops leader and eventually led a slightly clueless group to what was a very entertaining victory. I think I even mentioned it on the blog at the time... ah yes, here it is, in a post from over a year ago.

Then one day, as I was levelling my own Sage alt through warzones, I ended up in a Civil War game with the guy's alt - once again easily recognisable by the odd character/legacy name combination. "Excellent," I thought. However, the game didn't go so well for us. At some point we lost a turret I was fighting at with several other people, and suddenly the aforementioned guy burst into rage in ops chat, specifically calling me out as supposedly being terrible and costing us the match.

I barely had time to recover from the shock and confusion of this outburst when the next warzone pop put us into a Voidstar game together, and the same thing happened again as soon as we lost a door while on defense. Somehow it was all my fault, I was the worst player ever, surely I must have been an Imperial spy sent to sabotage the Republic team because I was helping the enemy more than my supposed allies, and so on and so forth. I argued with him in chat for a bit until the rest of the team got tired of it and told us both to shut up.

I know you're not supposed to let that kind of thing get to you, but I was honestly kind of shaken after those two games. Usually when I get abuse in a warzone I at least have some sort of idea why, but in this case it was a complete mystery to me why the guy had decided to pick on me, considering that there had always been other people fighting with me. Worst of all though, he wasn't just some random punter - he was someone of whom I had had a pretty high opinion before. I was deeply disappointed.

Eventually I found some solace by talking to friends who assured me that it wasn't just me and that they had had bad experiences with him as well. Still, for some reason the memory of this particular incident stuck. It probably didn't help that the guy had a lot of alts and did a lot of PvP. Even as the PvP community on Luka Sene was shrinking, his name was one that kept popping up in my random warzones over and over again, and every time I couldn't help but be reminded of how mean he had been to me. Initially I was almost scared, always worried that he'd recognise me and have a go at me again, but he showed no sign of remembering me either way. I never saw him rage in quite the same way again either. Eventually I got less tense when seeing him around, though there was always that lingering feeling of: "I looked up to you because you know how to play, damn it, why did you have to be such a dick?"

Fast forward to the present day and the other night, when a friend from another guild roped me into running a story mode operation with his guildies. Lo and behold, one of the people in the group was That Guy. I decided to ignore him to the best of my ability, but it was hard. He actually seemed to act like a decent person again, and one or two of his comments made me smile. But no! Remember the bad times!

In the end I had a lot of fun with the group though, and we decided to do some PvP after finishing the operation. After a few games I relogged to my main (as I had been on an alt before), and then it suddenly happened. That Guy piped up with: "Shintar... were you on Luka Sene? I think I remember you." "Yes, I was on Luka Sene," I replied, "and I definitely remember you. In fact, you were my hero when I just started getting into warzones, until that one day when..." And just like that it all bubbled out of me, not in an accusing fashion, just as something that seemed kind of silly after we had spent all evening playing together with no issue whatsoever.

When I got to the part about him piling abuse on me on my alt, everyone on Mumble burst out laughing. "That... does sound a lot like me actually," he admitted in a tone of voice that wavered between amused and slightly sheepish. "Yep, that's him alright," his guildies agreed.

That Guy whispers: sorry im half italian so the red mist rises quickly
Me: lol, no worries
Me: it was oddly cathargic to tell you that story though :D
That Guy: lol

In our next PvP match I piled heals on him until I was out of ammo, and then some again. When he eventually called it a night, he apologised a second time and offered me a /hug. I was genuinely touched. It felt very odd to get an apology for a stupid outburst that happened a long time ago, but it also made me happy. I still frown at people raging and trolling people in warzones all the same, but if the PvP in this game has taught me anything it's that a little bit of empathy and willingness to give people a second chance can go a very long way.

8 comments:

  1. You know, I wondered where this story would end with a title like Catharsis, and I have to say I'm surprised that it ended as well as it did.

    That was damn lucky, Shin.

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    1. Heh, how did you think it was going to end?

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    2. I figured he'd blow up and drop group, validating your opinion of him.

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  2. Lovely story!

    I really dislike people raging in WZs and I'll never do it myself, but there's this really sweet guy in my guild that's just like the one you describe above. Just reminds me to try to look through the surface. :)

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    1. We have our very own "warzone rager" in my own guild as well. He was on an extended hiatus back when I joined, and when he returned I was like: "Oh god, not him, I remember him!" I tried my best to avoid him initially, but the more time I spent with him on TeamSpeak the more I got used to him. By now I can joke around with him like with anyone else, and when he goes into one of his rages I just sigh and roll my eyes a little (or even poke fun at him). Funny how these things work.

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    2. When I was having login issues on my main I logged into my commando on Coruscant just for a quick session of some missions. Within five minutes I felt like logging off as some vile (insert random expletive) had given such a tirade at me daring to 'steal' mission items from him (the switches respawn in a few seconds). He swore at me then blocked me before I could say much more than "I was there first, ok?". Then he followed me around the area using the spit emote or laughing constantly.

      Naturally I screenshoted all this and reported him, the swearing I could have ignored but following me around was so unnecessary (the character was male so I'm using he/him for simplicity).

      Honestly, I'd barely stepped foot back in the game and I'd had a "Barrens" moment. I'll have to give it another try when the expansion comes out but to be honest I'd rather not see him again than get catharsis down the line :-/

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    3. would that be Will by any chance Rav? Cos Will is awesome if not a little crazy in PvP :P

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  3. Nice story. I reckon I go into rage mode about 2-3x a year (can be in LFR or BGs, as a WoW player, both are infuriating places), and once I did it in-guild. It sometimes occurs to me, "What if there is a person that only meets me once, and would think I was a psychotic rager all the time", and sometimes (not always) that inspires me to hold my temper.

    From now on that potential observer, that guardian angel, will have a name, and I'll try to think "What would Shintar say if she'd never met me and saw this spew of anger"!

    Cheerio,
    /boxerdogs

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