Pip once summarized HotS as “an honest game, in which you try to brutally murder each other for 15 minutes” (loosely quoted).
It’s not …wrong, but to me, HotS is a game about being there for the other players. You don’t lend help, or support, nudge them, people may have a hard time doing their job. Their heroes may die. A dead hero is out of the game, and cannot do anything, like lending help, supporting and a host of other things. More may then have a hard time, or die. It’s a chain.
For those 15 minutes, you care about those 4 strangers, because for that time, you are in it together. You share a goal with them, and while achieving it feels good, it’s a polar star in a trip; it’s the trip that matters. Sometimes even a well-fought defeat, shoulder by shoulder, can feel better than a victory.
I was Brightwing in a match that started out awful, with someone going toxic mere minutes in, and then all coalesced in team-work, and helping each other, and taking care of each other; we came back and won. The toxic player was almost nice by the end.
Initially, and for about 10 seconds, I was taken aback by their swearing and being abrasive, and I almost considered not healing them, but…
…I was playing as Brightwing. That, for those who may be reading and don’t play, would be a healer which has almost zero control on who they’re healing: it releases a healing pulse every now and then, and the only way not to heal somebody is to stay away from them.
Maybe it’s not impossible, but it’s certain a lot of extra work to play, let alone win, a game like that; you’d be spending so much time and mental energy fighting your own allies rather than the opponents. So I healed them, and stopped worrying. People make mistakes, life is sometimes better if you give them a second chance.
And, that’s cooperation baked into the game mechanics, for you.
So there I was, a wand-wielding, squeaky-voiced, dragon-fairy that keeps people alive, protecting them from feeling bad, in the real world, but flapping around the battlefield on these butterfly wings and turning enemies into cute piglets with a swirly tail, graceful foxes hopping around, and whatnot. Taking objectives while my team mates were defending me, and defending them in turn when we went out on the offensive, flying back to heal stragglers.
I liked that.
Thanks. I’ve been having that point hammered down recently.