Pressure Playing Online?

Have you ever played with a good player and felt really conscious about your own play?

Sword Art Online_ Lost Song_20160318034546.jpg

This may be more of a real thing than you think…

Fortunately I have played the game long enough to be able to have experienced both sides of this crazy phenomenon. >.<

Let me warn you now: this is going to be a long and boring story that no one should care about…

But If you are like me and put a lot of thought into the way you play and are conscious of all the kinds of decisions you make, you already play with a certain amount of pressure on yourself to be better at the game.

But it’s possible that when you are playing with a player(s) you consider to be very good, you put even more pressure on yourself to play to the best of your ability. Its not so much as wanting to be recognized or wanting to impress, its more like…… you want to not be a burden or you don’t want to fall behind the others.

I can’t find a vivid way to explain it. But it is real.

When I started Lost Song back in November 2015 I soon met a few extremely good Japanese players online. I was amazed at the way they were playing and their level of understanding of the game. Granted the game had been out in Japan some 9 months already, I was still very impressed. I observed a lot and I learned a lot.

But because I was both scared and stubborn, I never actually asked them any in-depth questions about the game. I can speak and understand Japanese but I kinda downplayed the real reason of being scared to something along the lines of “I’m not even that good at JP. I don’t want to ask them something and have a communication gap or something…”

At this point I had already been playing the game for a couple months and had a few okay Lv1000 characters. But when I would play with them and do the Lost Song quest, I felt like I just wasn’t good enough to keep up with them. If I died during the quest I would get extremely frustrated with myself and think things like “Come on BK. What the hell was that. You have to do better.”

That was when I came up the idea to focus on one character and build them up to be a “Lost Killer”.

I picked a  Custom Salamander because they get both Sharpness & Weakness and went into a week of offline training. For a week, I leveled his skills and got his Katana and 2Hand Sword to 1000 by hitting a Lv1000 Heidrun with square…

At the end of that week I was really tired. But I had a Level 250 Salamander with 1000 Weapon Proficiency on Katana and 2Hand Sword. He also had Maxed Sharpness and Enhance Fire.

Bahamut, The Lost Killer

At around Level 500 I took him into Solo Lost Song Runs online. I practiced not getting hit throughout the quest and also hitting two Base Crystals at the same time with Zangetsu. By the time he was Lv1000 I started getting pretty good at doing Lost Song with this character.

It was strange. Maybe because I spent so long training, but I didn’t feel any additional pressure I would put on myself by playing with players I thought were very good. Is it because I was able to believe in myself and believe in the character I made? Is it because I could now accept my own skill level?

Honestly, I don’t know. but looking back, I think I WAS SO STUPID.

I would like to go back and slap myself through the space-time continuum. There was no reason to be so hard on myself for something that I made up on my own. It was such a stupid complex to have. orz

On the bright side, I got better at the game. So it wasn’t all bad. But thinking I wasn’t good enough to play with a group of players was, in itself, stupid. Those guys just wanted to play the game. Sure, when it was time for an efficient Lost Song, they wouldn’t think of calling  on me. But it doesn’t mean that they didn’t want to play with players of a lower skill level for ever and ever.

Recently, I met a new player who said that he knew me from my YouTube videos. We played a little bit together and he actually messaged me and said something like “Sorry, I’m not good enough to play with you. I’m bad at this game.”

It hit me.

I felt like I was looking at myself in a way and kinda also maybe sorta wanted to slap him through the space-time continuum for thinking this way >.<

I told him properly:

“There’s no such thing as not being good enough to play with another player.. Just have fun with the game ^..^”

Well. in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t listen if someone told me that when I was obsessing over getting better…

But the point is: No one cares.

If you are putting pressure on yourself from your own imaginings, its ultimately  something you, yourself have to overcome.

I’m not someone who won’t play with you because you’re not one of the best players in the game. The worst thing that will happen is that I won’t invite you to a 4-man Lost Song efficient room.

Players you might consider very good got that way by playing the game a lot. The only way to catch up to them is by doing the same thing. But since it is a game, never forget the main purpose of playing it which is to have fun.

I had fun building my character up and learning how to Solo Lost Song. But I don’t think I needed to push myself that hard to be better at the game. Especially in such a short space of time.

If I was going to play as much as I have, it would have come naturally.