As I’ve talked with my eldest about how to be a responsible gamer in online games, one of the topics has been how adults take care of themselves, rather than over-relying on others. A good teammate doesn’t need the rest of the team to save them all the time. If you don’t want to be a drag on the group you are playing with, you need to mind your health.
When you play a video game by yourself, you are only responsible to yourself. When you play a video game in co-op mode, you are now responsible to those in your party. If your character dies in single-player, you simply restart. But if your character dies in multiplayer, your team has to either revive you or move on with one less party member. You become a burden to the team if you can’t keep yourself alive.
So watch your health bar. Heal yourself before it’s a dance between will the enemy kill me in one hit and do I have time to take this healing potion. Learn to carry as many healing items as you can stuff in your bags. There is no shame in healing early and often. A live player is always preferred to a dead player.
Preventing Damage Saves On Heals
Make sure your defense is where it needs to be for the enemy you are facing. Have the highest level armor you can, and tweak it to match what the enemy is throwing at you. If you are going into a mission where you will be hit with fire, make yourself strong against or immune to fire. Same for poison or ice or any other damage type. The better your defense the less you have to watch your health bar.
Don’t Take Damage Unnecessarily
It’s always best to play clever. Know your playing style and your characters strengths and weaknesses. If you are going to be a tank, be ready to hold the line and enemy in place. You must be a wall able to accept large hits. If you’re not a tank don’t stand up in the front line. Magic casters are called glass cannons for a reason, they are really powerful, but have low defense and will shatter if pounded on. If you’re not built for the frontlines, don’t be in the front lines. Healing yourself is important, but if you take damage constantly because of poor playing or mismatched class playing style, you aren’t doing yourself or your stash of healing potions any favors. And your team will definitely notice and may choose to not play with you again.
Healing Spells Won’t Make You Invincible
Spells can be very effective self-heals. But don’t assume they make you invincible. The echo-mending tanks in Guild Wars were famous not for being able to stay alive, but for over relying on a set of spells that made many players act like they could take on anything. They died. A Lot.
Take Care of the Team
Healing yourself and being able to stay alive is great, but you will get brownie points for healing others. We’re not talking about being a healer class here. We’re talking about things like bringing Life Powder on a hunt in Monster Hunter. Nothing says “I got your back” like a teammate throwing the life powder before you faint. You only get three chances in Monster Hunter and each teammate who faints eats away at those chances. So bring as much as you can. And always look for group heals you can bring in whichever game you play. Bringing a resurrection item or spell on top of that is golden.
Sometimes You Fail
Sometimes, you just are outclassed and cannot stay alive. It might just be you. Maybe you brought the wrong armor for the fight. Or your friends brought you into a high level area to get you experience points faster. Sometimes it’s the whole group who can’t stay alive. Perhaps as a group you stepped into an area that is far beyond what you all can handle. In such cases, and believe me when I say everyone has them, take it as lesson learned and have a good laugh about it.
Hopefully this happens to you in a group of people who know that you don’t usually have a massively catastrophic fail. But if it happens to you in a group of new people, do not stress about it. As I said, it happens to everyone. And if you are playing with good people they will be understanding, have some laughs with you, and give you another shot at playing with them. If they ditch you, spew vitriol, and such, then you’ve been saved from playing with toxic people.
Guide to Raising Responsible Gamers
As our eldest goes online, I’ll be sharing with you the lessons I gave him about online gaming. At times these lessons will be from something that happened to him online. You can find these lessons linked under the Parent Page for the Guide to Raising Responsible Gamers series. I hope you find our journey into online gaming helpful for your own family.