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The Social Benefits of Online Gaming Communities

Forget the stereotype of the lonely teen gamer in his parents’ basement, playing alone for 12 hours a day. Enter the modern gamer – connected to gaming communities through an array of digital social tools built right into the system, with people who share the same passions. Evident by the breadth of research on the topic of game-based social interactions, plenty of health sciences and information technology experts almost always point to a Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC) that’s present in both old and new forms of gaming. While some of the earliest social studies on gaming tend to zero in on how games can intensify loneliness and anti-social personality traits, even the experts can no longer ignore how gaming can foster fellowship and genuine social interaction.

Level Skip points to a joint survey by Pew Research Center and the MacArthur Foundation on the cooperative nature of console games. Two-thirds of the young gamers they surveyed said that they play video games as a way to socialize with friends and family face-to-face, including the opportunity to discuss game strategies for either competitive or cooperative play – ultimately a way to improve young people’s conversation skills. And indeed, just like any social activity, games are a great excuse to interact with other humans over a shared interest, regardless of age, race, or background. Today, the connected technologies that are available to modern gamers create even more opportunities for such interactions.
This is actually what GameTree is all about. Whether you’re trying to find the best strategies for PUBG Battle Royale, looking for the best RPG or action games on mobile, or want to be the best Dungeon Master you can be, we’re the online social network you’re looking for. This is where you can get smart recommendations on which games to try out next – both by the algorithm and fellow gamers – covering over 200,000 games for consoles, PCs, mobile, or tabletop – yes, including board games. The goal is to get you playing the games that can offer you the best experiences based on your personal goals and preferences – through engaging with a live and evolving gaming community who shares your passions.
Even in the highly competitive world of Esports, the social benefits of online gaming communities are highly apparent. Apart from providing both young and old gamers plenty of opportunities to earn a paycheck via their skill in a popular game, the burgeoning communities around Esports allow even more people to participate in the joy of healthy competition. Nick Murphy’s Esports guide on Ladbrokes sheds some light into just how large this community has become, with tens of thousands of players competing in tournaments worldwide. In the US, there are over 9,500 registered professional players, while it’s 2,685 in China, 2,579 in Korea, and 2,479 in Germany. There are a lot fewer pros in the UK, but almost every Premier League soccer club now has its own professional Esports player, connecting the UK’s most coveted soccer players to a new breed of digital fans. Meanwhile, the popular game streaming site Twitch now boasts 299 million viewers, with expert estimates saying that the number could balloon to 427 million worldwide by 2019, thanks to Esports.

Gaming has come a long way from its dark, dank, Mountain Dew-addled days on the stained couch in your parents’ old basement. Today, that basement has been remodeled into a sleek, air-conditioned, and connected game room. In it, players share strategies and insights face-to-face, stream League of Legends or Fortnite Battle Royale and check on the current stats of their favorite Esports athlete from overseas. They’re also reading reviews of the next games on their GameTree recommendations and creating and developing a digitally connected community of like-minded individuals in the comfort of their own homes.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Multiplayer Total War Campaigns

Many do not realize, but multiplayer campaigns are the Holy Grail of how to keep Total War campaigns fun, fresh, and interesting after the boring plateaus of early-game snowball, predictable AI, and artificially unfair difficulty adjustments.

Multiplayer campaigns can be an improved gaming experience whether you are roleplaying, challenging each other directly, or even just filling in for AI in each other’s “single-player” campaigns. It is only in the last six months that I myself have discovered this Grail, and I have been blessed with the best Total War experiences I’ve ever had just when I thought the glory days were behind me.

 

Why multiplayer Total War campaigns are the way to go:

1. Improve Your Skills

You will learn more about, and have a higher appreciation of, Total war game mechanics and strategies by playing with other people.

2. More Interesting/Less predictable Campaign Evolutions

With another player expanding and influencing the campaign map, the power dynamics will shift in new unique ways, and all sorts of memorable landscapes will emerge.

3. More Interesting/Less Predictable Battles

You get to experience a wide variety of authentic battles against other generals instead of a computer re-running the same scripts and calculations to (im)perfection.

4. More Faction Variety in Battles

It gets tiring using, and battling against, the same units over and over. In a multiplayer campaign you get to try your hand at using different factions across the map.

5. More Battle Challenge Without Unimmersive Buffs/Debuffs

A live-human will be adapting to your tactics, and parrying with their own, so you no longer need to crank-up the battle difficulty to have a challenge or rely on un-immersive heroic victories.

6. More Campaign Challenge Without Unimmersive Buffs/Debuffs

You can play on Normal difficulty without all the artificial player debuffs and enemy buffs, while still having a challenge due to harder battles, a late-game player threat, and someone working against you diplomatically to make sure you don’t snowball.

7. Greater Sense of Pride

Whether you win or lose, playing with others results in better stories and a greater sense of fulfillment.

8. Make Friends

At the end of the day, our relationships with our co-stars are the most important thing in the world. Multiplayer gaming is a great way to keep in touch with friends or make new ones.

 

But I don’t have friends to play multiplayer campaigns with!

There are plenty of forums and their linked Discord channels to find gamer friends. You can also recruit your existing friends or download GameTree, an app we made for this exact purpose. It’s the best option because it considers your overall tastes, personality, and play styles when making matches, in addition to filtering options like age and location.

But Total War campaigns are not balanced for multiplayer!

Read on below, and they WILL be balanced for multiplayer!


The 5 Commandments of Multiplayer Total War Campaigns:

The commandments are derived from four veteran players playing in over twenty campaigns. Many of those campaigns were ruined due to cheese and balance issues from not following the commandments. We have iterated from the experience of our own failures, so do yourself a favor and learn from them.

1. Thou shalt not ghost upon thy enemies.

Life gets busy, your mood changes, or you’re not having fun, and you don’t want to play anymore after the first session of your campaign. Don’t burn the bridge by ghosting on the other player, it’s bad karma and you may decide you want to play with them later. If it’s the player you don’t want to play with, do them the courtesy and favor of letting them know why.

2. Thou shalt conduct thyself with honor.

Don’t spring an ambush from triple speed. Don’t bore your enemy to death by running out the clock. If you are considering a strategy your opponent will consider game-breaking unimmersive trolling: don’t do it.

3. Thou shalt ensure balanced start positions.

Total War factions are not the same. Consider initial, expansion, and faction match-up difficulties when deciding your starting factions. Custom rules are allowable to offset the asymmetrical imbalances.

4. Thou shalt autoresolve trivial battles.

If the balance of power bar is more than 70% in one side’s favor, auto-resolve it, even if it will result in your taking more losses than fighting it would. Multiplayer games are harder to coordinate by their nature, so keeping things fast will ensure progress, while also not boring your enemy with repetitive fights they are guaranteed to lose.

5. Thou shalt respect house rules.

Creative Assembly focuses on the singleplayer campaign experience, so house rules are necessary to have a fun balanced multiplayer game. Honor those rules! Without them, you are less than a barbarian.

The following are house rules we use in Rome 2 campaigns. Most of them can be adapted to all Total War games or otherwise serve as good inspiration for your own campaigns. We play with the Divide Et Impera [DEI] mod, the biggest mod ever made for a Total War game. We highly recommend trying it.

 

Example House Rules (Rome 2):

1. No sieging with tiny armies.

It’s a cheesy unimmersive way to prevent attrition on a larger supporting army. Alternatively, it is used to halt enemy building/recruitment and lower their income. The AI/player must then attack on their turn and a swift mounted solitary general can run away then continuously re-siege.

2. Wait until Imperium 2 to initiate hostile actions against one another.

This allows time to expand a little and build up your economy. Otherwise, the game can degenerate to a low-tech slug-fest with constant frustrations.

3. No allying, client stating, or otherwise baiting Rome into declaring war.

Rome is the most powerful faction in the game, so getting it on your side can be more important than all the other actions you actually do. Using Rome eliminates the need for, and importance of, skill at the game when Rome can just do everything for you while spamming massive armies. Tip: Give money/gifts to big nations without any enemies to prevent your opponent from coaxing them into declaring war on you.

4. No diplomatic missions.

This is a recently implemented mechanic. It is essentially a lottery bag of random rewards and punishments that has no place in a strategy game. The results can be game-breaking such as getting gifted free regions next to your enemy.

5. Three trade agreement limit per Imperium.

With infinite trade agreements the whole world loves you, you get huge amounts of free trade deal income, and whoever declares war first pisses everybody else off resulting in diplomatic snowballs that can end games before wars even start. Games are more fair, balanced, and interesting by limiting trade agreements. This rule also allows landlocked factions to compete with those starting with a coastal region.

6. Autoresolve Civilized vs Uncivilized faction naval battles.

A well-micromanaged civilized faction navy can unimmersively and brokenly defeat an infinite number of uncivilized faction ships due to their slow move-speed and inability to ram.

7. In forts + small towns, whoever holds the point is the defender.

Running around the map indefinitely until the clock runs out for a win is bad sportsmanship.

8. No Night Commander talent.

The ability for a general to isolate one force from a reinforcing one right next to it is too unimmersive and overpowered, especially for just one skill point.

As you can see, it doesn’t take too many house rules to clean up some rough edges that can bring a multiplayer campaign from toxic to immersive and fun. Discord is a good communication app so you can chat during each other’s turns. Doing so helps with coordinating stuff, learning from each other, not getting bored, and creating friendships. I’ve spent hours talking to people out-of-game after having played with them.

We hope you are inspired to up your game at Total War by playing with friends.  Again, you can download GameTree to meet friends with appropriate skill level, playstyles, and timezones. If you have any good Total War house rules or cool stories, please share below; we’d love to hear them!

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How To Get the Most Out of Dungeons & Dragons With Personality Psychology

Dungeons and Dragons, the tabletop game that inspired the RPG industry as well as countless books, movies, and shows, is meant to be played orally in the imaginations of you and your friends. In this game, the personalities and play-styles of your characters are key to the game’s enjoyment.

A technique to quickly design such characters, used by many veteran authors, screenwriters, and yes, even Dungeon Masters, is to utilize pre-existing personality archetypes based on the psychology framework commonly known as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Jungian Typology, and the 16 Types. You can read here to learn more about this psychology and to discover your personality type.

What many don’t realize is that, in D&D, you can enhance a game by applying this psychology directly to yourself and the actual players in the game. In this article, we explore the races and classes people with similar personalities to you enjoy playing most, as well as the ways to Dungeon Master a game to maximize its enjoyment for your players.

 

Four Categories of Players


Explorers

People who are are highly practical and spend a lot of their time in their senses are known as Explorers. As a Dungeon Master for this down-to-earth type, you should expect them to remember small details like retrieving a rope, using a potion when it’s needed most, and so on, and to also reward them accordingly. Keep them in situations where they can succeed in the allocation of limited resources, such as rations and arrows, and require of them keen observations and quick thinking. As survivalists, they will seek self-preservation over good and evil. Explorer types are known to be highly into character design aesthetics, putting time and effort into the creation process while also describing everything their character does in all of its gore and glory. Make them happy by bringing to life a vivid and detailed world in similar terms.
     
Preferred Races & Classes
Since Explorers relish immersing in their senses and want to be prepared at any moment, they are often seen playing as the following:


ESTP – The Dynamic Maverick

Races: Half-orc, Goliath, Human, Dwarf

Classes: Barbarian, Monk, Fighter


ISTP – Capable Pragmatist

Races: Gnome, Human, Dwarf, Kenku

Classes: Ranger, Fighter, Rogue


ESFP – Enthusiastic Improviser

Races: Elf, Human, Tiefling, Tabaxi

Classes: Bard, Rogue, Barbarian


ISFP – Sensuous Protector

Races: Elf, Halfling, Gnome, Tabaxi

Classes: Rogue, Ranger, Monk

 

Guardians

Ready to protect, Guardians are known to be lawful, virtuous, and traditional. Play with themes of law and justice, chaos versus order, tribe vs the greater good, and tradition versus progress to maximize their fun. Do make sure there are always clear goals though. You can make things interesting by bringing in divine beings while fighting for the holy missions of gods, serving as their hands of judgment and always ready to take an ultimate sacrifice for the well-being of the team. Every DM should know that they draw lessons and inspiration from familiar tropes as starting points, so begin campaigns and sessions in more vanilla ways before descending deeper into the occult. Beware that this type has a strong memory for details, so use consistency in your game mechanics, plot, characters, and world design.

Preferred Races & Classes
Since Guardians are a shield of any party, they are most frequently seen playing one of the following:

ESTJ – Efficient Driver

Races: Aasimar, Triton, Human, Hobgoblin

Classes: Paladin, Fighter, Monk


ISTJ – Responsible Executor

Races: Aasimar, Triton, Human, Dwarf

Classes: Paladin, Fighter, Monk


ESFJ – The Committed Altruist

Races: Aasimar, Human, Dragonborn, Dwarf

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Paladin


ISFJ – Compassionate Steward

Races: Aasimar, Human, Merfolk, Halfling

Classes: Cleric, Paladin, Monk

 

Diplomats

These players enjoy abstract puzzles, especially with personal and large-scale moral implications; that’s why they are known as the Diplomats. They will tell you the most important part of an adventure is the mission. These players want to feel like their cause is super important and can be counted on to help a bunch of people along the way, so make sure to place many opportunities for this into your game and show gratitude for their help. They will come alive most in non-linear plots with a lot of roleplaying and unpredictable tangents. As a game master – don’t expect them to take as many harsh and cruel actions, since they will often solve a problem with minimal to no fighting, or utilize their powerful magic or guerilla tactics to come up with unexpected solutions. They are as likely to feed and befriend those wolves in the forest, as slay them.

Preferred Races & Classes

Since Diplomats like to have many ways of overcoming obstacles besides direct conflict, they are most frequently seen playing one of the following:

ENFJ – Engaging Mobilizer

Races: Half-elf, Dragonborn, Human, Tiefling

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Fighter


INFJ – Insightful Supporter

Races: Half-elf, Elf, Gnome, Merfolk

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Wizard


ENFP – Impassioned Evangelist

Races: Elf, Tabaxi, Anything but Human

Classes: Bard, Druid, Sorcerer


INFP – Inspired Idealist

Races: Human, Elf, Genasi, Drow

Classes: Rogue, Druid, Cleric

 

Rationals

Don’t be afraid to get technical if you are playing with Rationals, because they definitely will. Representatives of this group adore having their limits pushed with puzzles and encounters, just make sure no two are the same. They love strategically combining things, so give them a lot of utility they can use. Let them taste extreme levels of power, but only as a reward for being clever. Even though they may forget to do these things in real life, streamline the game by assuming they will do potentially obvious actions like refilling water at a stream. This part of D&D isn’t fun for them unless you explicitly push it to an extreme. Rationals may fight for either good or bad, without pledging too much of an allegiance to any side of the conflict, so keep an open and flexible mind when preparing your sessions.

Preferred Races & Classes

Since Rationals delight in designing powerful, but fragile, characters with a lot of utility, they are frequently seen playing one of the following:

ENTP – Innovative Explorer

Races: Halfling, Human, Gnome, Tiefling

Classes: Fighter, Wizard, Sorcerer


INTP – The Expansive Analyzer

Races: Kenku, Drow, Human, Elf

Classes: Warlock, Wizard, Rogue


ENTJ – Strategic Director

Races: Dragonborn, Human, Half-elf, Goliath

Classes: Bard, Fighter, Paladin


INTJ – The Visionary Mastermind

Races: Human, Elf, Tiefling, Drow

Classes: Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer


Playing Outside the Box

Despite all these tendencies, for many players the beauty of roleplaying games is to try new perspectives and ways of thinking. As such, you may very well enjoy playing races and classes quite the opposite of your personality — and that’s great! Living life as an alternative version of yourself in a vibrant fantasy, or as a tool of exploring new sides to yourself and pushing the flexibility of your thinking, are both great ways to enjoy D&D and other roleplaying games.

Remember while playing that you are in a tribe, and to appreciate the diversity and new experiences that different people bring to the table. An Explorer may bring more vivid imagery and immersion to the game, a Guardian may sacrifice themselves for you in a sentimentally beautiful way, a Diplomat may deliver a speech so rousing that a skill check isn’t even needed, and a Rationalist may give you tips to get the most out of your equipment and abilities to survive the toughest situations.

If you are looking to create an awesome party and find teammates for your upcoming D&D adventures – you can find your tribe at GameTree

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Personality Psychology and RPGs: Interview with GeekPsychology

Recently we’ve had an incredible experience talking to Matt from GeekPsychology, a YouTube channel where he is combining gaming and personality psychology in an interesting way for years already while living in Japan.

We’ve used this time to ask Matt about how he got to where he is and keeps developing the projects he’s working on, including his YouTube channel, a book, that’s going to help beginners in psychology and a game made to be suitable for the real world.

He says, that knowing your type and other’s people type gives you permission to be yourself, embrace who you are, and grow as a personality. For Matt himself, the journey into psychology has given motivations, freedom to be who he really is, and open up to new possibilities. One of his brightest achievements is a framework comparing types to races, classes, and monsters in games (RPG’s in his case). It actually changes the way how one thinks, perceives, sees the world.

Matt is comparing life to a questing raid, with obstacles, trials and bosses – and that’s where personality psychology really shines. Not everybody is the same “class” as you, and it goes a long way to bring together other people’s skills and use those to help yourself and others. The point is, that only through specializing, putting all your “points” and effort into one field a person can achieve success.

As well as that, Matt is working on a game, that’s going to take those classes and bring them to a tangled world with decision making, changes, and evolving them. He believes, that his game is going to be great for anyone trying to explore himself, because it gives real-life lessons, that hold incredible value.

You are welcome to watch our latest video and join us for some awesome time with GeekPsychology!

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Better Together – The Top 5 Anticipated Co-Op Games

A new year has begun, and it’s already quite promising! Here are five awesome upcoming coop games that we are definitely looking forward to. Those titles are a great opportunity to hang out and play with your friends, and that’s why we love them!  

Anthem Suit LFG

#5. Our number five is “Anthem” by EA. In the world of Anthem, you and your friends are Freelancers – heroes who leave the walls of safe cities to explore the world and protect humanity. Sounds great, huh? Add insane mech-like suits and you’re set to go! The world looks truly beautiful and fun to explore with mates while taking on vicious beasts and ravaging marauders. Looks like the developers are making this game to stick for a while – keeping up with players who want to play both solo and in groups. Overall – we are cautiously excited since it is coming from EA and we’re still sore over Battlefront 2. Still, if you want to become amongst first players to get on top of leaderboards you may want to find people to play Anthem with beforehand, since the release date is already said to be in early 2019 – we can’t wait for it!

 

A way out

#4. “A Way Out” Now this is a truly unique game to keep your eye on. This action title has two players escaping prison and living life on the run from the authorities. What makes this game interesting is how it manages to synchronize both players’ actions on a split-screen or online, with one occasionally watching a cutscene while the other is busy completing the task for their good. Acknowledging potential problems of requiring two players to progress, Hazelight studios made it so you can play the game either locally or via the internet with just one copy – way easier to LFG!    

 

State of decay

#3. Get ready for some zombie co-op action “State of Decay 2”!  If you’re curious about how you and your buddies would survive a zombie apocalypse and you’re not satisfied by the other games in the genre – this one’s for you! Up to four players can team up to gather resources, build and protect shelter and, overall, survive in this harsh world. This includes great character customization and progression, as well as hard decisions: do you wish to keep up with your group or betray them for supplies? Well, anyway, at some point in time you might have to overstep any differences and decide, if your buddy is going to live or die, for example – if he or she gets bitten. Anyway, this is a great overall experience and coop is just the thing that the first game lacked, so if you find some awesome teammates for it – there will be fun time for everyone.

 

Sea of Thieves LFG

#2 Yarr! Buckle up for the “Sea of Thieves”!  While there are many games that allow you to tackle campaigns and side missions with friends, there are few that have fully settled into the good old pirate theme (not counting space pirates, of course). You and a couple of friends are able to head out to an open sea, sink other ships, battle for gold and reputation, and discover great treasures! This Xbox One / Windows 10 exclusive is the first game developed by Rare after those awkward years of making Kinect games. They are now ready to set sail for a new legacy, and so are we!

 

Red Dead Redemption 2, RDR2, people to play with

#1 And our number one pick is, of course, “Red Dead Redemption 2”! It has been a long time since we’ve seen a Red Dead franchise. The first game was an immersive open-world set in the wild west, where players could become infamous outlaws – robbing trains, playing poker and needlessly challenging others to deadly duels. Those were the days! Now, take those same experiences, update them with modern-day graphics and technologies and then – add your friends to the mix! Now we know that the single-player aspect is going to be great, but Rockstar is making emphasis on online and coop features of the game, and we already can see ourselves spending hours messing around with our buddies doing outlaw stuff. According to the recent leak, Red Dead Redemption 2’s online component will feature ‘Battle Royale’, ‘Revive and Survive’, and ‘Money Grab’ modes – and that’s exciting!

  • It remains unknown whether Battle Royale will operate in a similar fashion to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or Fortnite, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Rockstar hopes to capitalise on the popularity of those two titles.
  • Revive and Survive pits two teams against each other as they try to stay alive. You’ll have a limited amount of time to revive your teammates before they are eliminated.
  • Finally, Money Grab features two teams fighting to procure bags of money in a central location. You’re expected to collect and return them to your base as quickly as possible.

Playing co-op games surely doesn’t have to be hard, and we hope you are as excited as we are about those titles. Even though game developers are leaning towards online multiplayer features for their new releases, some of them still aim for audience that wants to play together, not against each other. Furthermore, those titles are incredibly fitting for any “lan-party” or simply staying at home with your buddies, and focus on people, that will not simply play around for a week or two, but will continue doing so for quite some time. This list of games, of course, can be expanded, and we hope new games will be coming out later this year and later. Prepare yourselves, and also make sure to hang out and play them with some friends, and if you are looking for some – GameTree app has got you covered with advanced personality psychology algorithms, that help you find your perfect co-op team!

 

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What’s behind PUBG and Battle Royale’s success?

Lately, an emerging trend has covered our small quiet gaming world: Battle royale – styled games. Since PUBG transformed from a small mod for ArmA into a beast of a game to play and stream more and more games have implemented some type of “last to survive” game modes, and even a movie was filmed.

But the true question remains: WHY IS IT HAPPENING? PUBG, Fortnite, Warface, Minecraft minigames and so on – it’s everywhere. The answer is simple: it’s the best combination of human psychology and perfect timing to release a game that made so big of an impact.
The first factor is incredibly easy to understand – the game makes our blood boil. It’s the adrenaline, it’s the immersion that you get every time that plane (or anything else) comes over a distant island, filled with weapons, vehicles and other cool stuff. And the basics of this issue is simple: it’s in our DNA. Our genetics have, pretty much, been hacked, to offer the best chance to try and survive, and that is one of our main goals.

Avoiding conflict, taking a risk for guns or gear, killing for the sake of killing – any one of us can find something for themselves there. For example, ESTJ, ISTJ, and INTJ types are more risk-averse and prone to defending, and that makes them rarely engage in combat. We’ve seen some top players of PUBG camp for an entire match just to make one shot – and that one shot puts them directly in the first place – ISTP, ENTJ, ENFJ, and INTP‘s are calculated risk takers – all they do is more tactical and thoughtful. Others go all-out and attack other players, lacking patience and behaving quite like animals, or more – just as predators, and ESTP, ESFP and ENFP types are just like this. And, of course, some of us are unpredictable and, sort of, random – those types include ENTP and ESFJ. Sure, everybody has his or her’s own way to play the game, but those are some general properties of some types. And, if you want to know more about your own personality type – you’re welcome to take a quick test 🙂 

Those games simply offer players what they want deep inside, and that’s what made them popular.

Flak – Member of Fortnite developing company, EPIC

I love shooters, that’s the biggest reason for me. I also love the adrenaline you get as you get down to the top 10. I don’t mind the wait times because they aren’t all that long, and it affords me the ability to run around the house and throw in some laundry, answer some emails or take out my dog. Most of all, it’s just loads of fun for me.

On the other hand – PUBG came out as a perfect game to stream. A lot of people enjoy simply watching live gameplay of their favorite streamer massacring some other random dudes while cooking or playing some other games. The game offers a lot of repetitive content, that doesn’t feel boring, because one as a player receives a chance to start in different locations of the map, drop from the plane earlier or later, and this makes each game sort of unique. As well as that – there’s drama and tension. People die left and right, streamers get rekt and have to start all over, and we all love ourselves some funny and unexpected content.

Paradoxial-Error – Fortnite’s community member

It’s a buzz, it gets the heart pumping.

It’s a bit slower, gives streamers a chance to interact with their chat and audience members, and then there’s action later. As streamers become more and more impactful on video gaming community, this trend will definitely grow.
Those are the reasons why most of the shooter fans are into those types of games. Moreover, battle royale is a great basis for a movie, tv series and any other type of content that can be made nowadays, giving people intense action and adrenaline rush.
Of course, if you are a hardcore shooter fan like myself – PUBG is not enough for you. I enjoy taking my time before shots, actually valuing my life as a digital character and behaving like a real soldier on the battlefield, and that’s why I don’t play this type of games. Nevertheless, I admire the time and effort put into the creation of such a phenomenon, and totally understand the explosion in gaming sphere it has caused.

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How newly introduced Dota 2 heroes affect matchmaking

     Of course, everyone likes some new content to their favorite games. However, sometimes it can be frustrating even while being super well-created. How does it happen?

A couple of days ago Valve announced the fact that is going to bring two new heroes to Dota 2 with The Dueling Fates update, and while everyone is going to try and play them in a competitive environment, some negative consequences are inevitable.

     The day a new hero comes out every Dota player is excited to use him in battle, and ones that fail to do so will be incredibly upset and demoralized. Moreover, any player using brand new heroes will be blamed for each and every mistake they make, ruining the game experience for others. Further down the line, Dota’s “hero ban” system does not provide 100% chance to avoid select heroes, so this is going to happen in the majority of matches after patch launch.



To be honest, Valve is definitely unable to deal with this case. Toxic players are and will be existing in the community, so each and every one of us, players, has to deal with the issue himself. It is hard to remain calm during such cases, but if your entire team consists of select players, that are going to go soft on such events – you are set and done to try out new heroes and have fun.

     And it’s not only Dota that has such issues – most competitive games share them. However, free-to-play games are more prone to having team conflicts based on such scenario, because, let’s say, Rainbow Six Siege and League of Legends have a system where a player needs to pay to acquire new characters, and further the game is balanced around it. Moreover, it can still bring negative experience to the gameplay and team creation is far more important during these periods of time.

     Luckily, anyone can avoid this situation by using GameTree app to connect and assemble a team of people that share your interests and views!

Have fun and good luck!

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Eastern Europe’s Toxic Gamer Problem

Imagine playing with a Donald Trump in every online game; someone who throws hissy fits and treats every encounter like a win-lose situation. This is the sad reality most of the time in Eastern Europe. Together we’ll inspect this toxic gamer epidemic, how their/our misery is being monetized for personal profit and strategies on how we can deal with trolls.

Our research

GameTree unsuspectingly stumbled into this hornet’s nest at the behest of numerous write-in responses about gaming desires while conducting market research for our startup. 60% of gamers would “very much” like to play games with “more courteous, less toxic players”. This is according to 478 respondents in Europe and America on a four point scale about their gaming desires.

*based on 478 Europeans and Americans

Playing games with less toxic players was rated twice as high as second place. Sorry guys, no “discovering new games and genres you would like, but otherwise, never know about” for you.

Americans and Western Europeans ranked every gaming desire stronger than Eastern Europeans except one: playing with non-toxic gamers. The differences weren’t even small, they were extreme.

The data tell us that:

  1. Americans and Western Europeans are needy babies, and
  2. Eastern Europe has a severe toxic gamer problem

A staggering 86% of respondents said “Post-Soviet Countries (Russia, Ukraine, etc…)” have the most toxicity. This follow-up poll was conducted to confirm the prior result

*based on 2,566 Eastern Europeans

The reality from complaints around the internet seems to mirror our data. Though edited for clarity, this statement from a thread on Steam sums it up:

“My friends and I have met very different sorts of players from all over Europe. We’ve encountered ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s from nearly everywhere, but there is clearly an abundance of players in the East (sorry if someone here is from the East).”

79% of League of Legends matches in Eastern Europe contain toxic players, reported a frustrated Reddit user enerccio who recorded toxicity from 100 matches. He even made an infographic detailing types and frequencies of toxicity. Playing DotA, a similar game, I encounter toxicity in a large majority of my games on Eastern European servers though only in about half of my games on American servers.

*In Western Europe, the main consideration when selecting a Planetside 2 server is how few Russians are on it

I was reminded of this reality coming back from a recent two-week DotA hiatus in Ukraine where my first match was greeted by a player first-picking sniper. This is a hero who is easy to counter, annoying to play against, and who should be picked last to optimize your team’s chance of winning. Even though I live in Eastern Europe, I now exclusively queue for Western Europe to avoid toxic players.

Meet the Professional Trolls of Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe, professional trolling is a big industry. Most of the GameTree team in Ukraine was familiar with famous Twitch trolls. As an American gamer, I never even knew professional trolling existed.

Karina Kozyreva, also known as Karina Sichova, also known as Shkuragaming

Wouldn’t you like to be trolled by this goddess? Shkuragaming’s YouTube channel has 750,000 subscribers and she rakes in an estimated $6,500,000 per year. She initially gained popularity for being a hot DotA player. After constantly complaining to her fans who would donate to her with the worst notes they could say, she eventually gave in. Karina’s channel is now a joke where her fans pay so they can publicly troll her, she acknowledges the post with disappointment and begs them not to do it again, then she trolls people in-game with purposefully poor performance while screaming and shouting at them.

Denis Petrov, aka Penis Detrov, aka Glad Valakas, aka Valeriy Albertovich Zhmyshenko, aka GladiatorPWNZ

GladiatorPWNZ’s face looks like it was just made to be punched. Or at least that’s the feeling he’s trying to invoke when he chose his avatar. In reality, he’s a Russian in his middle-twenties with voice modification software. Online he’s a 54 year-old ex-Russian marine, firefighter, or bomber pilot with a chip on his shoulder. His 120,000 Twitch subscribers pay him approximately $850,000 per year to be the biggest asshole on Earth he can be, abusing all in-game mechanics he can to make his teammates’ lives worse. His preferred weapons are World of Tanks, DotA, CS: Go, Rust, and Skype.

What Causes This Toxic Waste

The large majority of toxicity comes from ordinary people just having a bad day. This is what a major study by League of Legends creator Riot Games reported, and we confirmed this with our own GameTree poll.

*based on 2,228 Eastern European gamers

A Slayer’s Guide to Trolls

Not all toxicity is the same. To defeat your enemy, you must know your enemy:

1. The “Bad Day” Gamer

Maybe this person’s only way to get to experience gaming at all is with lag, or they just had to walk through five miles of snow – their fingers are numb and emotions volatile. The key is to keep an upbeat atmosphere and the team focused on winning. Criticizing people only makes them play worse. Understand that tomorrow, you could be the unwitting troll.

2. The Selfish Gamer

The odds are this person is not actually a troll and there is another reason. Maybe they are super close to leveling up or got stuck in a role they don’t like for the last five games. Again, the best thing you can do is just work with them and focus on the game. Be sympathetic and understanding knowing they’re probably somebody just like you.

3. The Emotionally Immature Gamer

Many things like in-game violence and high competitiveness can make people react poorly to what’s going on. This gamer’s personality cannot withstand such pressure and, subsequently, collapses on their teammates. To deal with this type, you should help them emotionally by supporting them.

4. The Miscommunicator

We are all unknowing trolls sometimes because we are biased by our own personalities and world views. What is friendly advice to one person is cruelty to another. It pays to know your personality type to understand your biases and minimize miscommunications.

5. The Troll:

This so-called “gamer” lives off of negative energy. Feeding it only makes it stronger. Defeat it by ignoring it.

How to deal with it?

Toxicity isn’t just another problem. It is a disaster level threat to our community, that manages to poison us through MOBA’s, shooters, and other competitive games. High levels of stress and pressure from team-based gameplay make us irritated even after a single mistake. Everyone at least once was toxic in one way or another. As research suggests, almost all toxicity comes from a regular guy, who just had a bad day.

The truth is you can’t really make people less toxic, but you can control what games you play and who you play them with. Taking out the anonymity of your teammates will make you care more about the game and be confident in those you play with.

Games are a more pleasant experience if played with people you know. Find your tribe, download GameTree for free.

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Bullshots: How Video Game Creators Deceive Their Customers

sean_murray_laughing

False advertisement is not as strong as before, but you can still find instances of it. Unfortunately, one of the places where this problem is greatly at large is the gaming industry. Countless times we saw trailers, gameplay footages or even live demos that promised so much, but in the end, did not deliver.

Why does this keep happening?

Well, the reason for why the developers do this is obvious – to make people more excited for the game. But the real question is why are they allowed to keep doing this? More often than not, there were no penalties when something like this happened. Let’s look at a recent example when there actually were some consequences – No Man’s Sky. Hello Games – the developers – kept talking about such great features as multiplayer, a nearly infinite number of randomly-generated planets with different climates, flora, and fauna. In the end, we got some of the things they promised, but not much. Graphically the game was good, but everything else was not. Not much to do, boring grinding, no multiplayer – people were disappointed. All this lead to terrible reviews and eventually, investigation for false advertisement. So why has No Man’s Sky bombed, but other titles didn’t? Simply because it was an indie game? Not really, as Mighty No.9, a Kickstarter project, got mixed reactions to say the least but never got into that much trouble. Then what was it?

Watch Dogs E3 downgrade graphics

It’s all about crossing the line

The reason Hello Games suffered such a blow was probably due to the fact that they simply overdid it. In every interview, every convention and showcase they talked about how great the game will be and all the features it will include, that by the time they presented their product the whiplash was too much. Something similar happened when we first saw trailers of project Natal, later known as Xbox Kinect. I remember my jaw dropping when I watched that video, it looked like Microsoft made a leap in time and brought some next-generation technology with them. But it turned out that unfortunately, all that footage did not depict the ending product at all. The camera quality was worse, the sensors less responsive and the overall experience did not match up. But they did tone it down with the boasting when it came to real live demonstrations of the software, so people had a better idea of what they were actually buying. So, usually when other developers – be it AAA giants or other independent folks – do some embellishing, they are much more discreet. For example, one of such important aspects is the appearance of the “in-game footage” disclaimer on any trailer that shows off gameplay, since its absence almost guarantees, that the game will not look as good, if even similar at all. It was a huge uproar when after promising a survival-horror Alien game, SEGA released the plain and uninventive Colonial Marines. Developers also often save themselves by promising DLCs and patches if something goes badly like studio DICE did with Battlefield 4. But No Man’s Sky had no excuses, nothing to redeem themselves with. Even if they were a big company, something like this could not be overlooked by an over-hyped crowd. This goes to show that, fortunately, we live in the time when consumers’ opinion matters.

no-mans-sky-best-refund-simulator

So, will this ever change?

Probably no, not really. No matter how strict the rules get, people always find a way to sprinkle lies in order to make their product look better. So what we need to do is stay vigilant, not let ourselves be fooled by pretty words and work on improving the gaming community. One of the ways to do it is by becoming a member of GameTree. We thoroughly analyze all the information for our database to make sure that every game that we recommend to our customers will satisfy their personal tastes so that both their money and their time will not be wasted.

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What Your Personality Says About You as a Gamer

Playing TableTop Game

Personality typing has acquired popularity in many spheres of life due to its huge practical use. What does your personality type say about you as a gamer? According to the MBTI theory, you either have a preference for Extroversion or Introversion, iNtuition or Sensing , Feeling or Thinking, Perception or Judging.

preferencepairsfeb16502

Briefly about each type

  • Extrovert (E) focusing on the outside world: other people, actions, events
  • Introvert (I) focusing on the internal world: thoughts, emotions, experiences
  • Sensing (S) focuses on the present: current events and facts
  • iNtuition (N) focuses on the future: new opportunities and ideas
  • Thinking (T) makes decision objectively, using logic
  • Feeling (F) makes decision subjectively, using emotions
  • Judging (J) acts according to a plan, consistent
  • Perceiving (P) acts according to a situation, flexible and impulsive

More detailed explanation

Personality types

Find out which is your personality type (from 16 varieties) by picking the category that matches you best in each of the four pairs. The types are also referenced within four “quadras” (NF, NT, SP, SJ) based on similar characteristics of types.

quadras

 It’s actually very interesting and exciting to learn about yourself this way – your tastes, the reasons why you have to do X and not Y. And even more interesting to understand the other people and how you relate to them.

Briefly about each quadra

persuasiontable16

 

 

What about gamers?

We carried out the research examining each of the 16 personality types, grouping them by functions (extroversion, introversion, intuition, sensing, feeling, thinking, perception, judgment) and quadras (NF, NT, SP, SJ). We asked gamers who knew their personality types:

  • what types of platforms they game on?
  • how much they trust and use different review sources when choosing a game?
  • what are their gaming desires?

Game Platforms

Preferences vary most between extroverts and introverts, intuitives and sensors.

board games infographic

As you see extroverts prefer board games more because it’s a social activity. It has a natural preference among extroverts. It’s a source of energy for them, unlike introverts whose source of energy is their inner world, emotions, and experiences. Also, extroverts have a strong desire for console games.

playstation infographic

As for mobile games, it’s interesting that intuitives give them much more benefits than sensorsIt can be explained by the opportunity to have a rest and spend some time in their personal space and “world”.

mobile games infographic
How We Choose Games?

 

games in brain level up

We were curious how do people make a decision, whom they trust before buying a game. So we asked which of these do they use as a marker of how good the game is:

  • Aggregated ratings
  • Large gaming news companies
  • Independent gaming blogs
  • YouTube vloggers
  • Friend referrals
  • Community forums
  • Game stores

As we can see Thinkers trust aggregated ratings more, because they are more inclined to analyze, compare, and criticize than Feelers. They care less about an individual’s taste and prefer to look at data.

agrrt

And Perceivers are more likely to believe that there are many ways to approach something.

arp

Here’s a quadra breakdown of the aggregated rating preference:

agrtq

As we can see NT quadra reveals the most trust but this situation was also observed to some other sources:

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igbq

Why do we see such a dominance of NT? Answering the question why it is worth mentioning that NT has many “should knows” combined with the desire and great ability to see the “big picture”.

Now let’s reveal the brightest secrets trust to YouTube vloggers!

youtvp

Perceivers have the urge to keep on looking for new information and new opportunities. And also they like flexible and spontaneous approach more than Judgers.

It’s curious that SJ quadra as we see trusts them most of all:

youtvsj

Which can not be said about Game stores (like Steam):

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Representatives of SJ quadra are realists who study everything carefully and make decisions quickly. Because of this vloggers satisfy their needs in the best way, unlike Game stores source which they need to study in details for a long time.

As to the community forums here are again interesting facts between the dichotomy pairs:

cft

Forums are exactly the source where Thinkers can get information about the emotions of people who have used something which usually lacks this type. They usually attend several forums then analyze information and draw conclusions.

cfp

Perceivers prefer to keep things open and seek openness to issues and forums give such opportunity as well as freedom of thought which is important for them too.

Quadras surprised us with their variegated results:

cfq

As you can see SP quadra prefer this source by a wide margin from others. This is caused by the predisposition to freedom in making decisions, a tendency to live fully in the present and due to their practicality take practical results into account.

Gaming desires

It was also interesting to find out what gamers want from the games. That turned out that all quadras have a strong desire for discovering new games and genres.

Gamers desires tables infoUnlike dividing by quadras, division by function is less variegated. Here are some of the brightest moments:

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That’s it for this post, but we have way more data to share with you.
Follow us for more research articles on MBTI and gaming.

And as always, please share your opinion on the topic in the comment section!