Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Not Quite a Guild

The MMO site MassivelyOP had a post by Justin "Syp" Olivetti* about an organization called Permateam whose goal is to reduce the toxic nature of random PvP matches in games such as Overwatch and League of Legends.

Before I could write a post that said "Yeah, good luck with that," I hit pause and let the article and my perusal of the Permateam website percolate in my head for a few days. And I have to admit, it has as good a chance at dealing with the player toxicity found in online PvP matches than anything else.

Permateam is somewhere in that hazy area that is not quite a guild and not quite a fansite. The idea is that you fill out info on what roles you like to play, when you like to play, and what games you play, and Permateam helps you out in selecting players to play Overwatch and League with from their own database. The entire point is that players who sign up with Permateam want to avoid the drama and toxicity by reducing the potential pool of players to the Permateam player lists. Sure, it's not perfect, and people can still be asshats, but how that is dealt with is kind of hazy right now.

Like I said, it's a lot broader in scope than your average guild, but still has a lot of common ground with an MMO player running battlegrounds and arenas with your guildies.

What I find most interesting are the comments, some of which have me scratching my head.

Some people seem to truly believe that if you don't allow purely random match selection, you're not truly opening yourself to the ability to meet people online and you're self selecting a group of players. But for me, I don't see it like that. If a game's toxic player base is so bad that you derive no enjoyment from the game itself, then why play the game at all? Isn't the toxic player base engaging in its own version of self selection, only in a more obnoxious manner?

I realize that some people think this encourages elitism, but I don't believe that what is there now is any different. The current environment in Overwatch or League or DOTA 2 is an elitist environment, because if a player thinks you're not playing well enough they hurl invective and abuse at you until you quit. If you join a guild or join Permateam to get away from the asshats and play with people who are friendly, it's a win-win for everybody; the original asshats get to group the old fashioned way without Permateam directly impacting their fun, the Permateam players get to play with people who share similar gaming values, and the game admins have less stress all the way around.

Do I think that Permateam will last? I believe that the jury is still out on Permateam, because well meaning organizations like this require dedication and support and active interest to keep going. There are plenty of MMO guilds out there that have fallen apart due to personality clashes and general disinterest. If Permateam is to succeed, the players and the management have to keep up their interest in the service.

Best of luck, Permateam. I hope you know what you're doing.

*Yes, the Syp of the BioBreak blog and of the Battle Bards podcast.


  1. In bronze or silver it is easy to win without team.

  2. As much as I appreciate the effort it's basically tilting at windmills. Actively fighting toxic players will yield no result. I believe people in games just have to "man up" and ignore such people.