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Casual/Competitive Conflict

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Karen: Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites.
Gentleman: It's one thing to enjoy leisurely battles, but real battles can be a severe trial. Truly strong Trainers sometimes must be prepared to choose Pokémon that can win rather than their favorite Pokémon.
Pokémon Gold and Silver and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, respectively, demonstrating both sides
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The endless debates between Tournament Play and Casual Play, particularly in the Fighting Game Community (though it can and does spread to other genres), guaranteed to split apart every game fandom in existence. A large cause of Flame Wars and, unfortunately, death threats by a Vocal Minority.

The Hardcore player is the Spirited Competitor — plays for the sake of a challenge and finds deeper immersion how far they can hone their skill. The Casual player is the Cavalier Competitor — treats it like the game it is, not investing themselves too deeply in it and not devoting huge amounts of time into it.

There are some valid reasons to get upset about a game pandering to one end or another, despite it often going too far. Tournament Play thriving can cause a massive gap between player skill levels depending on how much time one is willing and able to spend, which can alienate a lot of players. There are also the subsets of "Stop Having Fun" Guys and Scrubs, who attack players even on their side of the debate if they don't choose the highest-tiered legal settings. However, Casual Play is also dangerous because gross imbalances are ignored due to the assertion that Character Tiers don't exist, and pandering to this area leads to shallow gameplay that stagnates quickly and the game as a whole having an overall shorter shelf life.

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This can also spread into games which has story/backstory in them, including Licensed Games based on a well-established non-video game franchise, creating tension between those who play it for the game and those who play it for the world. Star Trek Online, for example, has arguments between hard-core trekkies who wish the Starfleet missions featured more diplomacy and exploration and less pew-pew, and gamers who point out that it's hard to make that kind of game in an MMO environment.

Note that this doesn't just apply to video games — anything with both a casual and competitive scene, such as sports or tabletop games, can also spiral into this debate.

Debates on this topic can get ugly, fast, especially in cases where the creator of the game takes sides. On This Very Wiki, a large number of pages, especially in the YMMV tab, have to be policed closely because those joining the debate on either side have a tendency to degenerate in the 1% who'd love to start a fight.

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Compare The Great Player Versus Player Debate, which is this spread into MMORPG paradigms; the Console Wars, which usually overlaps in the form of "Casual Nintendo vs. Competitive Everyone Else"; and Technician vs. Performer, a conflict over similar reasons.


Common points of contention:

    open/close all folders 

    Advanced Mechanics 

Advanced Mechanics

  • Hardcore view: A way to add more depth to gameplay once the basics have been mastered, and can make things interesting as one's skill moves higher up.
  • Casual view: Their existence causes a massive, impassable gap between beginners and experts, not to mention that they're hardly ever mentioned in-game (possibly because they were never intended in the first place) and difficult and somewhat ridiculous to pull off.
  • Neutral view: Their existence can provide a gradually expanding gameplay experience if ones' skill level begins to stagnate. However, they shouldn't be so broken as to completely eclipse normal play.
  • Notable cases:
    • Super Smash Bros.:
      • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, "Wavedashing" (a physics exploit where one air dodged towards the ground diagonally to slide, which was often faster than running and allowed the character to perform any attack while moving toward the enemy, instead of just being limited to the dash attack when running) is often blamed for the radical changes made in Brawl, becoming absolutely essential in Tournament Play (though certainly not the only important means of mobility). Interestingly, it was discovered during development, but it was ignored because it was seen as innocuous. The eventual discovery that it significantly increased the skill gap between players was one factor in the sequel's total crackdown on all forms of advanced play.
      • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the crackdown on and removal of all forms of advanced play, including Combos, was met harshly. Although the metagame did evolve, it didn't happen quickly enough for most players to care, and Melee remained popular among the competitive crowd, to the point that Gamecubes and their accessories have lost very little value over time due to the masses of Melee players willing to shell out a lot of money for a Gamecube controller in good condition. The ones who couldn't afford to maintain a Gamecube fixed the problems themselves with...
      • Project M is a serious point of contention in the Smash Bros. fandom for bringing back Melee's mechanics, especially among Brawl's defenders, who accuse it of just being out to ruin what they see as an already-perfect game.
    • Street Fighter III completely overhauled the gameplay of its predecessors, putting heavy emphasis on parrying and counter attacks. The new gameplay, in addition to almost all the old cast being Put on a Bus note  resulted in the casual crowd overwhelmingly rejecting the game. The competitive crowd, on the other hand, holds the series (particularly 3rd Strike) as the silver standard for fighting games (only Super Turbo holds the golden status).

    Big Rosters 

Big Rosters

  • Hardcore view: There's just WAY too many characters in this game, creating a massive imbalance, since most of them can't be viable. Also, it makes competing more frustrating because you have to learn matchups for dozens and dozens of characters, in addition to any variations/loadouts for those characters, as well as any unique synergies in team-based games. How is anyone supposed to learn to play the game when there are more possibilities than any human being can possibly practice and learn to play?
  • Casual view: Wow! I can't believe they put [insert favorite character from other franchise] in this game! It's awesome! I don't care if they suck, because I just play the game for fun! I can't wait to take this character online and fight with them!
  • Neutral view: Yes, it's impossible to learn every single matchup—and that's what makes the game exciting! Even people who follow the competitive scene can get bored of seeing the same exact characters used day in and day out, but immediately get excited seeing a brand new or obscure character. Further, as a franchise continues and adds new characters, it's inevitable that the roster will grow quite large and both casual and competitive players hate when their favorite gets left out. On the other hand, maybe we shouldn't be shooting for a roster in the several dozens. Maybe a compromise is to include Moveset Clones as alternative skins/customizations?
  • Notable cases:
    • Dragon Ball Fighter Z has become infamous for the question "How many Gokus and Vegetas can we put in one game"? To wit, the game launched with both characters in Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan Blue forms and later added Base forms for both, as well as two different fusions: Vegito and Gogeta. It also included Goku Blacknote , and later Bardock (who is Goku's identically-looking father), Kid Goku from Dragon Ball GT for good measure and Ultra Instinct Goku, bringing the total up to 7 Gokus, 3 Vegetas and two fusions of both. But it doesn't end there, because several other characters have alternates as well, such as Gohan (Teen and Adult forms), Broly (Z and Super forms) and Buu (Majin and Kid forms). And furthermore, there are several characters who are not only playable, but appear as either an Assist Character or Fusion half for another character (Gohan appears as both his Teen and Adult selves, and as "Great Saiyaman" for Videl; Android 17 is also an assist for Android 18; Trunks's younger counterpart is half of Gotenks; and Zamasu is both an assist for Goku Black and fuses into Fused Zamasu with him). Fans of the characters in question may enjoy their inclusion, but competitive players have repeatedly expressed disatisfaction with new versions of the same characters being released ad nauseam.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes: Perhaps the very first example of this issue, MVC2 brought back every single character that had ever appeared in a Capcom vs. game, and added several new characters from both sides, and even completely original characters to boot. This resulted in a chaotic mess where only four out of fifty-six characters were considered tournament viable, excepting teams with amazing synergy. Its sequel, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, trimmed the roster considerably, resulting in a more comparatively balanced game, but one fans detracted for being far more "boring" as a result and constantly demanded that old favorites be added as DLC. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite trimmed the roster even further, but this was more due to Executive Meddling by Disney, who wanted to exclude characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four because of the movie rights to those characters being owned by 20th Century Fox.
    • Notably Averted for Mortal Kombat, where both competitive and casual players both complained about the bloated roster of characters. Starting with Mortal Kombat 3, the franchise began adding several characters that (while having their own fans), are considered rather "Meh" by the rest of the fanbase, such as Stryker and Rain. The next few games and spin-offs added even more easily-forgotten characters like Hsu Hao, Kobra, Mavado and Shujinko, and was capped off by Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, which included the entire roster (and several new characters) as part of a Grand Finale for the entire saga. When the series was rebooted with Mortal Kombat 9, it attempted a course-correction that included trimming the cast down to fan-favorites and a few suprises, and then Mortal Kombat X included a new generation of characters who also became memorable in their own right, striking just the right balance for most of the fandom—although a few die-hard fans will still ask for the return of their favorites, such as Mileena or even the obscure Tanya.
    • Street Fighter began to have this problem upon the release of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, which saw the roster of 35 characters expand to 39 with the inclusion of fan-favorite characters Yun, Yang and Evil Ryu, along with the new character Oni. By this point, even prominent Japanese players were stating that there were just too many characters to keep track of. After this, the IV series topped off with Ultra Street Fighter IV, which then included characters and stages which had been created for Street Fighter X Tekken such as Poison, Hugo, Elena and Rolento, as well as the first playable appearance of Decapre—thus bringing the final roster up to 44. Street Fighter V continued the trend, starting out with 16 characters upon release, and then adding another 6 with each annual Season update. As of 2019, the roster stood at 37, with at least a few more being promised with further DLC.
    • Tekken began having this problem starting with Tekken 5, which tried to recapture the glory of Tekken Tag Tournament by including almost every character that appeared in that game. Later, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (by virtue of being a Dream Match Game like its predecessor) included every single character ever added to the roster (including bosses and excepting Guest Fighters) adding up sixty-two, and this was criticized by the competitive community for making the game too complicated due to the ridiculous number of possible team compositions and matchups. Tekken 7 originally launched with fewer characters in arcades, but added more and more with the console release, as well as DLC, with more than a handful being Guest Fighters who were completely new to Tekken (or even fighting games in general). Yet again, complaints began that the roster was becoming too bloated, with a roster of over 40 by 2019.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stands in a class of its own, as the entire tagline for the game was "Everyone is here!", meaning that every single character ever included in past Smash games was present, including those that hadn't appeared in over 15 years (Pichu), and guests who no one thought would ever return, like Snake. The expanded roster also included new Echo Fighters (themselves a contentious subject that had been complained about since Melee) such as Dark Samus, Ken and Princess Daisy, and even brought back both Young Link and Toon Link, two characters who were thought to be mutually exclusive due to them both being younger, smaller, faster versions of Link. The roster also continued to expand with new fan-favorite Guest Fighters such as Banjo & Kazooie and Joker, bafflingly not-so-favorite characters like Piranha Plant, and even brought new Guest Fighters with their own Echoes, such as Simon and Richter Belmont. As of 2019, the roster stood a whopping eighty (eighty-two, if Pokemon Trainer is considered 3 characters in one). Due to this, it became inevitable that pro players would complain about both the sheer volume of characters as well as their resulting imbalance, but Smash is again a special case as the developer, Masahiro Sakurai, has essentially said that he doesn't care and has no plans on stopping any time soon.

    Character Tiers 

Character Tiers

  • Hardcore view: An effective measure to predict the outcome of equally matched players. Nothing can have perfect Competitive Balance throughout the roster — it's just not possible.
  • Casual view: An unreliable method of attempting to railroad play, encouraging use of only the stronger characters. There is no such thing as "equal skill" — any player who's talented enough can beat a Game-Breaker using a Joke Character.
  • Neutral View: Skill is something that cannot be measured in objective terms, because it discounts on-the-spot decision-making and individual growth levels. However, Character Tiers are useful for understanding the tools each player has at their disposal at any given time. Still, just because a player wins with fewer tools doesn't mean they're a "better" player.
  • Notable cases:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee is often considered one of the greatest fighting games ever made, but it still has known flaws, which some suspect led to the removal of fan-favorite Mewtwo due to his sheer ironic weakness. Fan projects such as Project M and Super Smash Flash 2 use the tiers during development to examine the balance and fix it. However, the tiers tend to change often and drastically, which lead some to strongly suspect that tires don exits after all.
    • Virtua Fighter, like any game, has character tiers, but proponents of the series often point out that unlike other titles, every character is tournament viable. There are two things worthy to note, though. First, the VF series is not known for having Loads and Loads of Characters, so balancing them is easier than in a game like, say, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. The second is that although VF is possibly the most respected fighting franchise in existence, it has never enjoyed mainstream appeal. Some gamers have speculated that the lack of a clear god-tier is the cause, with reasons ranging from the series thus having no "villain" to root against (like Magneto/Storm/Sentinel in MvC2 or Fox in Melee) or an overpowered "easy road" to top-level competitive play (like Chun-Li in SFIII: Third Strike or Lars in Tekken 6).
    • Marvel vs. Capcom is notorious for having one of the most lopsided tier lists in any game franchise. In the first game, Red Venom (aka "Carnage") was the unquestioned god-tier, and in the third game, Wolverine (with Akuma assist) and Phoenix dominated the original game while Morrigan (with Doom assist), Zero and Vergil are considered the reigning kings of the roster. But the crowning example is Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, where in a title with 56 playable characters, only four (Cable, Magneto, Storm, and Sentinel, in various combinations) are considered tournament-viable. Good assist characters like Psylocke, Cyclops, Doctor Doom, Strider Hiryu, and Captain Commando notwithstanding, those four characters have dominated the MvC2 scene for more than ten years.
    • In Star Trek Online, a lot of the iconic live-action canon ships that the hardcore trekkie segment of the playerbase really wants to fly are considered decidedly in the lower tiers. For example, because of the way the metagame shook out, every variant of the Galaxy-class relies way too much on tanking in a game where offense is considered the best defense in PVE. (The Galaxy Dreadnought Cruiser has the added problem that its Wave-Motion Gun almost never hits anything and has way too long of a cooldown.) For another, the Jem'Hadar attack ship, rather than the Defiant-class, is generally considered the best escort available to Starfleet. This leads to massive bitching from people who wish their favorite TV-canon ship was better.
    • Pokémon is a good example of the balanced view, as the Smogon fan community organizes characters into strict tiers for metagame informational purposes but players are encouraged to use the ones they like. It helps that the tiers are determined by how often certain Pokémon are used, so their strength is an influence but not the be-all-end-all. The overall idea behind the tiers is not "You must use [X, Y, or Z] if you want to win", but "If you want to use [A, B, or C], then play on a tier where [X, Y, or Z] won't immediately crush them."
    • Fire Emblem is an interesting example of this kind of debate becoming legendary... for a game's single-player campaign. Fire Emblem is a series that is both a Nintendo Hard strategy game with efficient completion of battles requiring a lot of planning and intricate knowledge of game mechanics, and one that encourages the player to treat their soldiers as people rather than expendable pawns, by giving each one a portrait, name, personality and Relationship Values with other soldiers. This has resulted in two different communities forming around how to judge units: one by their gameplay potential and the other by their character, and the two very rarely match up. Many characters who fall on the low end of the Character Tiers have likeable personalities that earn them large fanbases, when leads to a lot of conflict when their fans get involved in tier list debates. Not helping matters is that the hardcore community's hatred of Tier-Induced Scrappies can get quite vicious at times, a common joke is to intentionally let them die in battle or kill them instead of recruiting them, which can come across as Dude, Not Funny! for some. (Units defeated in battle in FE actually die in most cases) Meanwhile, many casual fans of these characters don't fully understand the gameplay and will make misleading arguments for their usefulness, which is a Berserk Button for hardcore players.

    "Cheap"/"Boring" Tactics 

Combat Pragmatism / "Cheap"/"Boring" Tactics

Note: Whether or not these viewpoints are Hardcore or Casual tends to polarize on a case-by-case basis due to the ambiguous definition of "cheap."
  • Negative view: They're Scrappy Mechanics that overcentralize gameplay around defending against one thing. It's generally poor taste to use them. Also they're just plain dull to watch.
  • Positive view: Players who think what they use is fair but what we use isn't are Hypocrites. If you don't know how to beat them, just admit it and don't ruin it for everyone else.
  • Neutral view: While they are valid tactics, just don't be a dick about relying on them. Shake things up a bit to keep things interesting. If a few easily-spammed attacks are breaking the pro scene or making casual players lose interest, then that's an issue that the developer needs to address.
  • Notable cases:
    • In general: Spam Attacks and Ring Outs are generally considered to be escapable, but very annoying and not very fun.
    • Camping in any competitive First-Person Shooter and Turtling in Fighting games. In both cases, it revolves around remaining in a defensive position until the opponent leaves themselves with an opening. Funny thing is this is an contentious strategy on both ends of the spectrum.
    • Pokémon
      • The word "clause" tends to be a Berserk Button in the fandom due to Smogon passing seemingly arbitrary rules, banning things like increasing the Evasion stat (which can turn a match entirely one-sided due to the opponent having to just wish in order to a hit — see Luck-Based Mission.
      • Also from Smogon (big surprise, huh?), there are various controversies over specific moves:
      • Swagger, which boosted the opponent's attack sharply, but gave them a chance of attacking themselves. It was once a legitimate tactic, but as the Prankster ability gives status moves priority and is more widely accessible than ever now, it turns fights against Klefki and Sableye into a gambler's roll — either you kill them with your boosted attack, or they kill you with their now-1000+ Base Power Foul Play. There is no middle ground in these types of matches. While it was eventually banned, even Smogon is divided within about it due to the move being a mainstay in the series for over a decade.
      • Stealth Rock is an unusual case, being the only attack in the game which casual players support banning but competitive player's don't — it's often accused of being a case of Selective Enforcement due to its omnipresence making types such as Fire, Flying, and Bug very risky to use. However, contrary to popular belief, it was tested for banning — the results were, no mediocre pokémon were made any more viable, and good pokémon who were normally countered by it, such as Dragonite and Volcarona, were rendered utterly unstoppable. Also, with the addition since then of Mega Charizard Y and Talonflame, who are still some of the most lethal pokémon in the game even after being damaged by Stealth Rock, it's been rendered even more vital and will not be going away any time soon.
    • In Soulcalibur IV, Hilde possessed a relatively easy combo in the initial release that could ring out any opponent, even if she hit them dead center of the stage. Hilde quickly became a Tier-Induced Scrappy because of how predictable and boring this was, but the tactic was so easy and so effective that within a year, every tournament was at least 70% Hilde. A later patch fixed this, but by then, it was too late.
    • In Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, Kratos, who was intended to be an easy-to-use Skill Gate Character, instead turned out to be too easy to use. Rapidly mashing the Square button would build up his AP Meter at obscene speeds, leading to a quick Finishing Move. Even though most other Game Breakers were patched in later balance updates, Kratos remained completely untouched, even when official support of the game had ended. Even casual players had gotten sick of seeing this abused in every last online match.
    • In Star Trek Online, Battle cloakers, ships that can switch their cloak on while engaged in combat, are reviled by some as being annoying to fight in PVP, since they tend to use Hit-and-Run Tactics: they can and will cloak and escape if they start taking too much damage, then return and decloak for another Alpha Strike. This wasn't so much an issue prior to Legacy of Romulus since only Klingon Birds-of-Prey had battle cloak, but the Romulans have it on every ship they make. Thus there are occasional demands to nerf the mechanic. Opponents of nerfing point out that there are counters available (e.g. investing skill points into Ship Sensors allows you to target cloaked ships within a certain radius, with the other guy's Ship Stealth providing an opposing roll), and that there are builds for Starfleet ships that can do the same "escape if you're hurting too bad" tactic just as easily with no cloak at all.
    • Pinball:
      • Pinball gets hit with this hard. In order to play competitively, it's crucial to at least know how to catch the ball on a flipper to stop its movement completely. This, like nudging (in "Out-of-Game Tactics" below), is a technique to regain control of the ball, a key part of getting the highest scores out of a machine. However, this is frowned upon by ordinary people because it slows the pace of the game down to a snail's pace, especially in tournaments where players may keep the ball trapped for minutes at a time as they think carefully what to do next.
      • Certain circumstances means the best possible thing to do is shoot the same shot over and over, or at least as many times as possible. The pinball term for this is "chopping wood" due to its repetitive, rhythmic, and boring nature. Some machines have a single shot that's easy to aim for and feeds back onto the same flipper, allowing a skilled player to just make this shot dozens or even hundreds of times and slowly but safely overtake someone who plays in a more interesting way. Police Force is an example, with a wide central ramp near the flippers that brings the ball back to the left flipper, where you can shoot the central ramp again. This spammable shot is why you'll almost never see Police Force in competitions.
    • Mario Kart DS introduced "snaking," in which one perpetually drift-boosts even when not cornering. Proponents say it's part of the game and a valid tactic; detractors say it makes the game a boring test of who can mash buttons faster instead of a contest of skill and knowledge of the karts and tracks.
    • Mario Kart 8 has frog/fire hopping, a tactic where the player constantly hops their kart after a boost so the effect lasts longer, which is exploiting a glitch. Like with snaking, the fan base is heavily divided over whether or not the tactic is either fair or cheap and boring. All the time trial records are held by players who abused the technique.
    • Super Smash Bros. had "planking," the tactic of constantly grabbing and re-grabbing a ledge for the invincibility it gave you, for the purposes of stalling out a match. In the first game it was almost worthless, and in Melee only certain characters could do it safely, but in Brawl EVERY character could abuse it to some degree. Given that tournament matches are typically set to a time limit of eight minutes, this quickly became unacceptable even for tournament play, and one of many balance issues the competitive community had with Brawl's engine. Tournaments now typically limit the number of times a player can grab a ledge (counted in the after-match stats), a rare case of competitive play banning a specific tactic.
      • Eventually the Negative View won out; most major game mods such as Balanced Brawl removed Planking in some fashion, as did the fourth game in the series.
    • Non-video game example: The Amazing Race has a notable split in both competitors and fans over which tactics are okay to use. This in a large part focuses on things like the Yield and the U-Turn, game mechanics introduced in later seasons that allow one team to hinder another. Some see such things as perfectly legitimate to use since that's what the producers intended them for, while others feel that teams should run a clean game and try to outperform their opponents rather than sabotage each other.

    Community Division 

Community Division

  • Hardcore View: Competitive play inherently relies upon drawing as many people to the game as possible, and it takes lots and lots of hands to make sure tournaments are well-organized, well-regulated, and well-marketed. As such, trying to fragment the community to promote your own game, genre or play style above others hurts everybody, because in the end, nobody gets what they want.
  • Casual View: The above is easy to say when you're a tourney player and thus get to control what rules are standardized, what games are streamed, and what tactics everyone uses. For people who don't agree with you, it's a constant struggle to even be acknowledged. Especially when the hardcore crowd mocks other games as being not "competitive." It's all well and good to say that everyone should hop on the same bandwagon, apparently so long as it's your bandwagon.
  • Neutral View: Why is any of that stuff important anyway? Professional sports exists alongside college sports and amateur sports, so who cares if everyone plays the same way you do, or if your game isn't getting mainstream attention? Trying to force everyone to do things your way, or else, only makes outsiders look at both sides with revulsion and turns them off from participating in either side.
  • Notable cases:
    • In the Street Fighter II community, after Super Turbo HD Remix was released, the near-two-decade-old Super Turbo community lost its collective mind. Some liked the balance retweakings, updated graphics and music, easier command inputs, and other changes, and declared it the new ST tournament standard. Others proclaimed it The Antichrist of fighting games which ruined the scene forever because the "retweakings" were more like "rebreakings," the new art was too Animesque, the music sounded far different, and the new command inputs made stuff like the formerly Difficult, but Awesome Spinning Piledriver an instant Game-Breaker. For years, the ST community was at war with itself over which version would/should be played, with many players intentionally sabotaging the other game to promote their own. Few players dedicated time to play both, and the new players that HDR brought in quickly lost interest. For a time, both versions disappeared from the scene (aside from extremely dedicated tournaments). In the end, classic ST won, but it was a Pyrrhic Victory for all the damage it did to the ST scene as a whole.
    • On Twitter, pro Smash player HugS asked Smash 4 players why some of them don't play Melee (the long-running gold standard of competitive Smash play). Many players responded that the extreme length of time that the game has been out means that getting anywhere close to competitive level would take months, if not years of investment (and that's with dedication and excellent local competition), and even if they did manage to do so, players also stated that the game had become too twitch-happy, meaning that they would hit a plateau in skill unless they developed lightning-fast reflexes (something not every player will be able to do, and has actually injured some players in the past). And finally, some said they didn't want to face an army of Fox McClouds. The pro-Melee side made accusations of Smash 4 players being lazy, cowardly, being ignorant of Melee's mechanics, and ignoring the viability of low-execution mid-tiers. Let's just say the debate still rages on to this day.
    • Speaking of Super Smash Bros.; there's also something of a split between Smash fans and the wider Fighting Game Community as a whole, mostly because there's not a whole lot of overlap between the two. This can cause problems at major multi-game events like EVO, where smaller "traditional" fighting games can get crowded out by Smash fans who don't particularly care about them.

    Content 

Content

Note: It's debatable whether or not this affects either side at all. Typically, it relies on different definitions of "Hardcore" and "Casual", although it's still often dragged into debates on the topic.

Age Rating

  • Hardcore view: If the game's afraid of the Moral Guardians, how can we have expect the gameplay to be any better?
  • Casual view: If development didn't focus on spending so much time goring out profits, then maybe they actually could focus on gameplay!
  • Neutral view: You Keep Using That Word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
  • Notable Cases:
    • The Console Wars since the third generation can be summed up as such; Nintendo has, since the 16-bit era, been consistently laughed at by the larger community and dismissed as "casual" due to their kiddie-looking games as opposed to the gritty, deep realism of the opposing consoles (first the Sega Genesis, then the PlayStation line, then on the Xbox line).
    • Dead or Alive has gone through this pretty much from the moment it was created, thanks to the series' emphasis on well-endowed female fighters kicking butt in a variety of showy costumes. On the one hand, the game's reputation as a "jiggle fighter" has scared off some potential players who assume it's nothing more than virtual mud-wrestlingnote , but on the other hand some fans focus on its counter-heavy gameplay (which some consider a Spiritual Successor to the Virtua Fighter series) and either don't care about the Fanservice or appreciate the developers' honesty about indulging in it. When Tecmo Koei announced they were going to tone down the fanservice in DOA 5, pressure from the player base caused them to relent (they made the same announcement for DOA 6, but as of this edit it's too soon to say if history will repeat). Similarly, a push among the competitive DOA scene to ban skimpier costumes led to fights between the two sides: hardcore players said it was about preventing Distracted by the Sexy and casuals accused the hardcores of trying to whitewash the game's image just to fish for the wider FGC's respect.

Contents for competitive crowds vs contents for casuals

  • Hardcore view: Gameplay mechanics and Competitive Balance are the core of any game, thus developers have to prioritize them first. Story, customization, and/or more oddball gameplay modes are merely window dressing and thus aren't that important. After all, the game stays on for long because of the mechanics.
  • Casual view: Presentation generates hype and income for the game and thus shouldn't be ignored. Story, aesthetics, unique gameplay modes, and so on enrich the game, making it look appealing. Good presentation can sell the game even to those who can't play the game (or are bad at it) and who prefer to focus on the game's story and the world.
  • Neutral View: While a lack of gameplay balance and unique gameplay mechanics can make gameplay shallow and quickly stale, focusing too much on it does lead to other areas suffering. The development deadline means development time is zero-sum — any attention given to one area takes away from another. The ideal of balancing between good mechanics and good presentation is good, but isn't always possible.
  • Notable cases:
    • The purpose behind Project M is that Super Smash Bros. Brawl had a number of balance issues, which it was dedicated to fixing to create a more lasting game. Being a Game Mod, it was afforded more time to do so.
    • Soulcalibur V is often considered to have the best metagame in the Soul series, but is rather blatantly unfinished everywhere else. The developers have admitted that only one-fourth of the intended game was finished due to Executive Meddling, so the mechanics had to get the most attention and the fastest, which has left some players crying foul as they would rather have had the attention placed on the story that the series was typically known for.
    • Quite similar to the above, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has solid gameplay, but its presentation is said to be very lacking by many people, especially when compared to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, ranging from a lackluster roster, to more "cinematic" graphics (instead of the stylized comic-book-like graphics in the previous game), to the subpar and cheesy story mode. Ironically, they at first looked like they'd cater more to the casual crowd with the premise of a story mode (when previous games had none) and the tweaking of the gameplay to be simpler, as well as taking inspiration from Marvel Cinematic Universe to appeal to a larger crowd. The development of the game apparently ran on a very tight budget, and some of the fans were also rather cautious when the game was announced only 8-9 months before it was released (which implies that they also had a tight development schedule).

    Complacent Gaming Syndrome 

Complacent Gaming Syndrome

  • Hardcore view: A natural consequence of an Arms Race metagame is that players will naturally gravitate towards the stronger options. If players want to choose weaker things for the sake of variety, it's their loss.
  • Casual view: A result of manipulation via the use of arbitrary Character Tiers, whether players admit it or not and whether or not they actually know how to use the "stronger options". Can also stagnate casual communities due to players repeatedly just glancing at the tier list and choosing #1, thinking they'll be unbeatable because of it.
  • Neutral View: While it's generally a very bad thing, it really can't be avoided due to natural gravitation towards stronger options... and besides, you can't very well tell someone who (not) to pick. If the game really is turning into a case of "pick these people or lose", it has balance issues that need to be addressed.
  • Notable cases:
    • In Street Fighter, Ryu and Ken have consistently been the most selected characters throughout the entire series, Ken in particular especially due to being easier to use and combo with.
    • In the Super Smash Bros. Melee community, the "No items, Fox only, Final Destination" meme reflects players' annoyance at the fact that, in a game full of wildly diverse characters and stages, only a few are typically chosen. In this case, items and most stages are disqualified due to Luck being too much of a factor (see that folder).
      • The 3DS/Wii U game attempts to appeal to both groups by having two online modes; "For Fun" is for casual players and allows everything, and "For Glory" is for the hardcore crowd as it enforces "No items, Final Destination" rules. Reactions to this feature remain mixed, particularly among the tournament crowd it was intended to appeal to. This is mostly because Final Destination isn't actually as balanced as the above meme would have you believe, a stereotype the Melee community has failed to shake off for over half a decade.In particular  In addition, the "For Fun" mode only allows for 2-minute timed matches with no stock (as opposed to For Glory where you can play two-stock battles with a longer, more appropriate time limit), to the annoyance of players who like items but prefer to play with stock. In short, the rules for both modes are too rigid. Ultimate later abandoned the system, simply allowing players to choose their own rule preferences and taking them into account during online matchmaking.
      • The following game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, further tries to address the Abridged Arena Array: all stages now have a "Battlefield" version (one main platform and a few secondary ones above it) in addition to "Final Destination" (just one flat platform), which many players feel is more balanced. Players also now have the option to turn off stage hazards on the normal stages, allowing a wider variety of environments without random luck being a factor.
    • In the Pokémon competitive scene, Smogon rules take advantage of the natural trends to choose more powerful characters, setting up its tier system based on frequency of use. The intention is to allow everyone to choose their personal favorites without danger of being swept by a select few who stand out.
      • A pokemon's viability is also largely based on the current metagame. A given Pokémon might become OverUsed because it counters a very popular choice or strategy, or might plummet into RarelyUsedor NeverUsed because a very common Pokemon counters it, despite being otherwise a great pick. Because of this, the metagame is constantly shifting in response to what is or is not popular.
      • The "suspect test" and banning process exists precisely to curb this: if data analysis makes it clear that a specific Pokemon or strategy is omnipresent in a particular tier, and people are having to devote multiple move or team slots to deal with it (especially if they have little use outside of countering that one specific Pokemon or strategy, or if you have to also devote a move or team slot to dealing with the counters to your counter), it's getting suspect tested for overcentralization. The general attitude is that while it is your responsibility to plan and account for common threats in a given tier, a threat that forces you to hobble your team as a whole just so you don't get stomped or walled into oblivion is an unhealthy presence in the tier.
    • In Team Fortress 2, competitive players sometimes only accept one loadout per character as "the right way" to play a character, and any player using a weapon other than their favored three (or four) will get chewed out over chat or mic.
    • In Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer, despite there being a wide variety of characters, weapons, powers, and equipment to use, only specific combinations are considered "viable." Before a match starts, everyone on your team can see what character and loadout (except powers) you've chosen, and if you don't fit their ideal, will either leave or kick you from the game. ME3MP uses a Freemium model (equipment is given randomly through "packs", and each pack takes either hours of gameplay or real money), so players become extremely touchy about wasting their time and in-game money on bad players. However, this attitude especially sucks when you're a new player; how are you supposed to know this new weapon or character you spent days to earn is one of the "bad" ones? And how are you supposed to know why everyone keeps quitting your game and kicking you? This attitude was even worse before later patches, as searching for a Gold match would infallibly lead a player into a Firebase White/Geth match. note 
    • In Overwatch, picking certain characters in competitive matches, mostly from the Defense class, can lead to a lot of flak, including rude comments in chat, accusations of attempting to throw the game, arguments that disturb team coordination, or the offended player actually throwing the game themselves, due to these characters being viewed as underpowered, having little synergy with others or used often by unskilled players. Most often affected heroes are Hanzo, Torbjörn, Widowmaker, Sombra and Symmetra, but sometimes Genji, Mei and even D.Va players get this treatment. Blizzard has recently introduced a revamped report system to combat this phenomenon.

    Demographics 

Demographics

  • Hardcore view: We're the ones who play the game the most and we're the ones who're likely to spend more over a game's lifetime on content, so the game should be catered to us.
  • Casual view: The casual crowd is bigger than the core fanbase and we shouldn't be ignored.
  • Neutral View: Ideally, developers should try to cater to both casual and competitive players to keep everyone happy. (Of course, the purpose of this entire article is about how hard it is to do that...)
  • Notable cases:
    • Has become something of an issue in newer Call of Duty releases, many of which give much more focus on the multiplayer side of things. Eventually, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops III did not come with any sort of campaign mode at all.
    • Capcom vs. SNK 2 was later given an Updated Re Release that introduced the "EO" mechanic, which was designed to make it easier to perform special moves. New players and casual fans were keen on the idea, while members of the FGC complained that it wrecked the gameplay balance and removed most of the skill and strategy.
    • Super Smash Bros.:
      • Super Smash Bros. Brawl suffered from the opposite as Capcom vs. SNK, since a lot of the changes were meant to cater to casual players and removed things from Melee. The biggest would be the removal of advanced mechanics like wave-dashing as well as the addition of random tripping.
      • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U attempted to appeal to both groups by segregating online matches into "For Fun" and "For Glory". Unfortunately, the rulesets for both modes were too restrictive to please most people (details are in the Complacent Gaming Syndrome folder).
      • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, on the other hand, added a number of changes and options for the hardcore crowd, like selecting stages before characters and providing more options to tweak stages so they're more tournament-friendly. Plus a number of Ultimate's new characters were popular fan requests in the hardcore community (such as Ridley, King K. Rool, and Simon Belmont). It also handled splitting the groups differently than in for 3DS and Wii U; now once players rise high enough in the online leaderboards, they can access an exclusive "Elite" lobby where they can challenge other Elites and stay out of the way of the casual players.
    • In a good illustration of this divide, many members of the Fighting Game Community tend to look down on licensed games like the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series for being overly simplistic and too focused on gimmicks and beam struggles. When a more serious, competitively-oriented Dragon Ball game was attempted with Super Dragon Ball Z, it was vastly outsold by the aforementioned Budokai and Tenkaichi series, which held more appeal to casual players. It would be over a decade before someone made another attempt at an FGC-oriented Dragon Ball game with Dragon Ball FighterZ.
    • The Soul series got different accusations of falling to either extremes, depending on which entry you were speaking of. After the relatively obscure first title, Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur II were pretty balanced and beloved by both hardcore and casual fans alike. Then, Soulcalibur III came out for consoles only and had questionable game balance and content (such as Create-A-Fighter and an RPG-like challenge mode) that was strictly for casual fans, with the balancing issues (and well as several glitches and Game-Breaking Bugs) only fixed in the arcade-only revision. SCIV was further accused of being for casuals, especially considering the inclusion of guest fighters from Star Wars who were mechanically different from any other characters. Then, SCV came out and got the exact opposite treatment: mechanically, it's considered one of the best (if not the best) in the series, but its story mode is considered the absolute worst and it sorely lacks content that would interest anyone outside of the competitive scene.
    • Some members of the competitive scene criticized Persona 4: Arena for having an Auto Combo system that was designed to appeal to new players. In response, the developers argued that since Persona is a popular franchise that has many fans who aren't necessarily members of the FGC, it only made sense to try and make the fighting game Spin-Off as accessible as possible.
    • This has been a big issue with Street Fighter V with the game's initial release containing mostly only features for the competitive scene, with features such as challenges and Story Mode delayed to a month or more after launch. The consensus seems to be that the game was probably rushed up a month so that the Capcom Pro Tour could start in February. Additionally, the majority of the game's marketing is focused on tournaments and competition.
    • The Shoot 'em Up player base is an odd case where it's multiplayer that's seen as a casual mode, with the main competitive focus being on single-player. Many casual players like playing co-op with another player for recreation, which leads to complaints of many home ports lacking online multiplayer, which gets to be a bigger issue for games that support more than two players, such as Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony (4 players) and the AC mode of Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours (also 4 players)note . Competitive players are largely apathetic about multiplayer modes, let alone ones with netplay; for them, the focus is on getting good scores by oneself, since going directly head-to-head in score with another player in a shmup doesn't make as much sense compared to, say, playing fighting games head-to-head. Even if one were to play seriously with a second player in co-op play, it's hard to find and synergize with another player and pull off actually-good two-player runs.
    • This has become an issue among Pokémon fans due to consecutive generations being at opposite ends of this spectrum: Pokémon X and Y has a pretty bare-bones story with flat characters but was accompanied by fine-tuning of the battling mechanics, as well as robust and feature-packed online battling, post-game content for very skilled players, and new mechanics catered to competitive play and Competitive Balance. The people who play Pokémon games for immersion and story felt left out, so Game Freak made Pokémon Sun and Moon the most story-intensive Pokémon game yet with a lot of memorable characters and a lot of loose ends for players to think about, but at the expense of the competitive crowd, as the story is quite long and cutscene-heavy and concessions for the competitive battler were not only barely addressed and mostly concentrated in one location, some modes and techniques were either completely un-updated (such as Mega Evolutions) or even removed (such as Triple and Rotation Battling).
    • One of the most hotly-debated aspects of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was the company's stated goal of making it accessible to new players, using the same reasoning as the above-mentioned Persona 4 Arena entry. Critics argued that simplifying the gameplay, removing assists, adding a Persona 4 Arena-style Auto Combo system and focusing mostly on characters from the popular movie series was a slap in the face to the rich history of the Vs. series, while casual gamers (and the company) argued that of course Capcom would want to try and entice new players when dealing with a license with as much broad appeal as Marvel.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has content that pleases the casual crowd (more dungeons, side quests, etc) and the hardcore crowd (PVP, hardcore raids, etc). Casuals feel that the hardcore stuff is too hard and should be toned down for easier access. Hardcore players will say that the game is too casual friendly and needs to have harder content.

    Direct Playstyle Conflict 

Direct Playstyle Conflict

A. The contrast in general.
  • Hardcore view: Casual players are boring to watch and to fight against. They may have varied techniques, but in the end, they aren't "optimal" players because they don't practice the optimal/recommended play style. They should at least try to learn what's best.
  • Casual view: I can't enjoy multiplayer on anything because they have Griefers everywhere I turn, making me lose every match in less than fifteen seconds with those inhuman reflexes that you could only possibly have developed in a basement. Get out, and let me have some fun for once!
  • Neutral view: Be civil, and understand the difference in mindsets and understanding of the game's mechanics between people. If not, at least have the decency to not insult people just because they don't play the way you want them to.

B. In a team play.

  • Hardcore view: If a casual player is on my team, then there's no telling what that idiot will do. I can't plan around them! No matter how good I am, I'll lose for sure if they're allowed in the server, especially on my side!
  • Casual view: Hardcore players are always telling me how to play. I don't mind learning things, but I hate getting yelled at just because I did something they think is "wrong" or "a mistake"!
  • Neutral view: If you people can't get along, why choose to team up with each other in the first place? The basics (and a good sense of teamwork) are good to learn, but past that, things start getting complex and end up separating the two groups. Casual players sometimes really could stand to learn a thing or two from hardcore players and need to listen, while hardcore players need to accept that beginner and intermediate mistakes happen and can be frustrating to deal with, but they do not have a right to shower people with abuse or engage in griefing to punish them.

  • Notable cases:
    • This problem is Older Than They Think. Players nowadays are more used to being able to enjoy a game the way they want to, in the privacy of their own homes. Few people below the age of 20 would know what it's like to rush into an arcade to play your favorite game and find it hogged by someone who doesn't play your way—whether that means tourney players who beat you so fast that you can't have fun or amateurs that get stuck on the same stage for hours and thus ruin a "serious" session. Someone living in the same household as their foil may have a close idea of how it feels, though.
    • With the MOBA genre in general, notably League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, their teamwork based nature causes conflict between people who watch the metagame like a hawk and those who are just there for a good time with their favorite character. it doesn't help that the genre is developing into a serious "E-sport" where thousands of dollars are on the line for those with the skills to win it. People in the queues see pros win that kind of cash and dream of being on that kind of team, woe to anyone who isn't up to their standards.
      • The MOBA genre has also a split between Teamfighting and Split Pushing, which are respectively based around initiating a large-scale fight advantageously, using it to gain objectives uncontested, while Split pushing involves simply pushing lanes, getting a few hits on a tower, then escaping to whittle down targets while the enemy is forced onto the backfoot trying to keep their towers up. Split pushers call Teamfighters a pack of Zerglings while Teamfighters claim Split pushers simply lack the skill to actually play the game. It doesn't help that characters like Magnus, Enigma, Leshrac, Keeper of the Light, Lycan or Nature's Prophet on Dota 2, and Ahri, Lux, Ezreal, Heimerdinger, Nasus or Tristana on League of Legends, are good at one and garbage at the other.
    • Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer: As mentioned above in Complacent Gaming Syndrome, the Freemium model of the game (not to mention the punishingly unfair difficulty) quickly grooms players into elitists that don't take kindly to wasting their time. By the time a player starts getting into Gold or Platinum difficulty (the only profitable way to earn in-game currency), they're conditioned to not tolerate mistakes of any sort. People who play for fun are either complete newbs (meaning they should stick to Silver, or better yet Bronze) or over-powered Super-veterans (who already have all the good stuff and thus both have more room for mistakes and less need for money), but there's a loooong period of difficult gameplay before the former becomes the latter. To get a picture of how annoying these player types can be working together, imagine reckless idiots combined with elitists; the former constantly get themselves killed or hinder objectives, the latter refuses to help a team they feel are "beneath" them, and both Rage Quit the match entirely, leaving anyone else to fend for themselves.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • Speed running dungeons has the community heavily divided. Speed runs are done by having the tank pulling large amounts of enemies at once so that the DPS classes can nuke them with AOE spam and kill everything faster rather than engaging groups one at a time. Engaging dungeons with large pulls is risky because the party can wipe if the tank is not strong enough to survive the dog pile or the healer can't heal enough HP to the tank. Players who are in favor of the speed runs say the speed run tactic is fine and no one should tell them how to play whereas the people against the speed run don't like speeding through everything while also arguing that new players would get screwed over since they won't be prepared for a speed run. If there's fighting within the party over a screwed up speed run, the blame will be placed on everyone and some may just leave the party.
      • Conflict of play styles is a constant source of grief and drama among parties where a player not playing in a certain way can annoy others. You have those who feel people should be able to play the way they want to regardless on what others tell them while the other side feels that not cooperating with the party (as in not following instructions or not using abilities) will either make runs take longer or can cause the party to wipe and redo the boss fight or section of the dungeon.
    • PAYDAY 2 has two groups that generally butt heads; Stealth heisters and Loud heisters. Debate over which is better, more efficient, or fun tend to devolve quickly.
    • Overwatch:
      • "One Tricks" are players that only pick one character, regardless of the map, team composition or the adaptation of the enemy. A high-tier one-trick is often derided as "boosted" and taking advantage of an "OP hero" to climb to high ranks. But at least not many people complain about having high-tier one-tricks on their team. Low-tier one tricks, on the other hand, are often mass-reported for "throwing" even if they are extremely successful with that character. This is fueled by developers' repeated confirmation that the intended design of the game is a Rock-Paper-Scissors style of character balance that forces character swaps, which means any person that plays just one character is technically "handicapping" their team. However, this also runs at odds with the fact that one-tricking a character is usually the fastest way to improve, and the game's MMR system is designed to prevent a player from increasing their rank without showing noticeable improvement. So one-tricking is essentially a practice in which a player focuses entirely on their own play, often at the expense of individual games and the teammates they have in those games, and thus is one of the most contested subjects in the game's community.
      • In 2019, the developers introduced "Role Queue", which is a system that forces two tanks, damage and support characters onto each team. This was met by a lot of division within the OW community. Players who want to play whatever they want whenever they wanted disliked being locked onto one role, especially since they ran the risk of having teammates that couldn't play the other roles well. Some argued that being forced to have two of each hero type made team compositions "boring" and "uncreative", as some of the strongest compositions have had 3 or more of one type. Also, locking roles made queue times longer for everyone, but especially for damage players, who have reported wait times of 30 minutes or even longer. Proponents of the system felt that it was more balanced and promoted more team play, as everyone couldn't simply pick a damage hero and frag out. In 2020, Blizzard expanded the system to allow for a choice of whatever queue the players preferred; naturally, players still continued to argue over which was better, but at least now they could simply play what they wanted.
      • In early 2020, the developers introduced Hero Pools, which were designed to prevent one meta from being too dominant for too long. Characters with high pickrates would have a random chance of being banned for the next week, with odds proportional to their total playtime. In addition to people who hated the idea of character bans on principle and felt that (like Role Queue) it made the game even more restrictive than before, the way that the system was implemented was also flawed. For example, one week resulted in the ban of multiple support heroes, leaving an extremely limited pool of characters support players could choose (this was later fixed by limiting the amount of heroes that can be banned for each "category"). Another week resulted in the banning of every hitscan character except one, which made Pharah and Echo (who can fly and are extremely hard to hit) extremely dominant for that week. And finally, once players realized that they could "game" the system by simply playing the strongest hero one week, playing the second strongest the next, and then going back to the strongest right afterward, the bans became a predictable cycle of the same 2-3 heroes being banned every other week. Finally, Blizzard announced that Hero Pools would only be used in professional Overwatch League matches and no longer online. Even this was met with division, as this became the first time that what League players and online players played would be essentially be two different games.
  • Pokémon has a heavy divide among the hardcore and casual fans in terms how they play the game and against other players. For the hardcore, it's all about having your Pokemon with the most optimized EV and IV points, the best nature, and a move pool that can be used in almost any situation (all which can take a lot of time and luck to achieve). For the casuals, it's about playing with what you like and what works for you without having to worry about whether or not your team is the best. When it comes to facing each other, hardcore players insist that people should learn the metagame and raise their teams properly while casuals feel such things can make games become too one sided, especially against players who haven't even heard about things like EV training.
  • 'Smurfing' and 'Twinking' are often the subject of debate in a game's community when they're possible. Smurfing is when an experienced or competitive player intentionally plays in a division below their skill level, often by making a new account, and is generally associated with MOBAs like League of Legends and DOTA2 or competitive shooters like Overwatch. While benevolent smurfs can show and teach new players what is possible at higher levels of play or practice new characters or tactics in relative peace without having to worry about their standing, malevolent ones can easily crush less-experienced players who annoy them (or simply for fun) and risk driving off casual players who either haven't learned how to play on a competitive level or simply don't want to. Twinking is a related behavior often seen in MMOs like World of Warcraft or Soulslike games like, well, Dark Souls, where a veteran player will use superior game knowledge or multiple accounts to equip a character far beyond what is realistically available at that character's level, giving them an unfair advantage in PvP situations unless their opponent has done the same and causing the same problems as smurfing. In either case, smurfing and twinking occupy an odd place for game developers because while they do drive off players, creating an incentive to stop it, they also mean the person smurfing or twinking is buying more copies or registering more accounts so they can do it, creating an equal disincentive.

    Game Breaker 

Game-Breaker

  • Hardcore view: Sometimes the developers have seriously overlooked something which can overcentralize the metagame around defending against one specific aspect. Bans and patches are essential when this is the case. Yes, even if we like to use them a lot.
  • Casual view: Players should have the right to choose who they want. If the developers have said it was okay to use them, then it's okay to use them. Nerfing usually does more harm than good, because it alienates people who like relying on those tactics.
  • Neutral view: People will either want to play the game or they won't, so as a general rule, don't try to convince other people to think like you do. If you want to be a competitive player in a game where one character gives an unfair advantage, then work on being the best possible player with that character, but be fully prepared to be a Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond in all other circles for it. If you don't want to be competitive (or don't want to use said character), then don't, and find challenge/fun in doing the best you can with limited tools. If you don't want to do either, don't play the game, and don't ruin it for people that do.
  • Notable cases:
    • In Pokémon, with such a large number of characters which are largely left for the players to decide what goes on in their minds, players get attached to their team, and when one is suddenly banned, players can feel that it's a personal attack against their friend and partner. Case in point: Mega Kangaskhan, who was liked for her design but was found to be able to power up rapidly due to her signature ability being paired the move Power-Up Punch. Because of this, she was one of the few non-legendary Pokémon banned by Smogon rules in Pokémon X and Y. A lot of players who were glad that she was finally useful in battle were very cheesed off by this news, and the fact that Breakout Character Lucario's Mega Form was banned as well later has turned discussions about Smogon rather violent.
    • Super Smash Bros.:
      • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Meta Knight, who was the last character still able to Combo after the physics were radically altered due to Creator Backlash against the competitive community, was the only character in the series' history to be banned from Tournament Play. The fact that he's an Ensemble Dark Horse and generally a badass doesn't help.
      • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U has Bayonetta, a character who was commonly criticized for being able to win tournaments with little effort on the part of the player, being able to rack up massive combos with not a lot of effort. There was a lot of discussion about banning her, and bringing it up was a fantastic way to start an argument. She escaped a ban thanks to being significantly nerfed by a patch, but was still considered overpowered. In EVO 2018, the game's farewell before it was replaced by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so many players picked Bayonetta that the audience started booing them; and when the final match became a Bayonetta vs. Bayonetta Mirror Match some of the crowd up and walked out. The finalists, in turn, said "screw you" and trolled the audience by stalling a match until a ref warned that they could both be disqualified if they didn't get on with it.
    • In Tekken 4, everyone came to hate and fear four letters: JFLS. (Just Frame Laser Scraper, an attack possessed by Jin Kazama that was near-instantaneous, safe, spammable, and came with variations which forced you to guess.) At the height of T4's popularity, there was an organized movement to either ban Jin or go back to Tekken Tag Tournament as the marquee Tekken game. More than a decade later, T4 has been partially Vindicated by History, because dedicated players have found new techniques that beat JFLS and open up a new and rewarding metagame. To this day, it has a number of dedicated players that not only consider it a great game, but one of the best in the series that was judged too harshly, too quickly.
    • There are some pinball machines whose scoring is severely lopsided. When its value is significantly lower, players tend to dismiss it. The issue is when the value of something is disproportionately high compared to its difficulty, as it causes players aware of this issue, novice and expert alike, to ignore all other things on the machine and focus solely on this one thing. Such an issue is present on Junk Yard: Collecting the hair dryer changes the mode "Run from Spike" to "Shoot the Dog" (not to be confused with the trope with the same name), which is more difficult and yields about half as many points. In fact, "Run from Spike" is the fastest and safest way to gain points in Junk Yard, and playing competitively on this machine consists mainly of activating the mode and playing it again and again.

    Inmates Running The Asylum 

Running the Asylum

  • Hardcore view: This game scene was made by/refined by/revived by fans and a dedicated community. We know what's best for our scene more than the creators, designers, or even other fans! We don't like outsiders coming in and telling us what to do!
  • Casual view: Your scene is making it impossible for anyone to play the game any other way, and is having a negative effect on the series as a whole either by being the stereotype of how people see gamers or not caring about anyone other than yourselves!
  • Neutral view: If a series goes on for long enough, it is going to eventually have fans who find themselves able to substantially influence the direction of the series and future installments. This is an inevitability. Letting fans have input can greatly enhance a series, but at the end of the day, the developer has to cater to the interests of more casual fans as well, and relying on the input of hardcore fans too much tends to create massive barriers to entry that drives away casual players and causes the scene to wither.
  • Notable cases:
    • The speed-running community is known for having occasional conflicts (especially within a specific game's sub-community) over what categories are seen as valid, whose runs count, what versions of games should be run, etc. For example, it's commonly accepted within a community that the fastest and most consistent version should be run (which usually means a Japanese console, due to Japanese text scrolling faster than English text). That means anyone who wants to be a successful and acclaimed member of the SRC needs to shell out the money for a working, modified Japanese console of whatever game they're running, along with a Japanese cartridge, a means of recording the runs, and a television or converter that can play it on television. These issues are compounded if the person is a live streamer, which requires an expensive computer setup and possibly machinery that keeps time splits. Because of this, there are a number of "sub-sub-communities" which accept runs from different versions of the game, particularly from emulators or domestic consoles, typically because that's all they can afford.
    • The Fighting Game Community is going through this issue, as in The New '10s, the companies that own the most prominent fighting game franchises (Capcom, NetherRealm Studios, Bandai Namco Entertainment, and others) have began sponsoring their events, as well as starting tournament circuits and leagues. While this has been embraced by the community thus far, largely due to higher payouts and better promoting, a number of pro players and personalities are worried that this could result in smaller, community-focused events being supplanted by corporatized ones.

    Luck 

Luck

  • Hardcore view: Affects gameplay negatively by undermining skill — at best it's distracting, and at worst it turns the match around with a lucky roll of the dice.
  • Casual view: Can add excitement and variety to a stale metagame, along with preventing one skilled player from wiping the floor with all others every time. It's also great if you just want some chaotic fun.
  • Neutral view: "Luck" is relative. Good use of randomness may add skill to a game by forcing the players to deal with situations that wouldn't come up otherwise. It's also a skill to take advantage of good luck and minimize bad luck. Ask anyone who's ever played poker, or been in something as chaotic as a gunfight. On the other hand, if a luck-based mechanic is too significant and more or less turns an entire match into glorified coin flips, it's probably worth changing or eliminating. Additionally, mechanics that can be summed up as "the game may randomly decide to punish the players" tend to more frustrating than fun — winning because you chose to use an unreliable move that worked can be exciting, while winning because the game itself randomly screwed over your opponent can leave a sour taste in both players' mouths. Also, if the random elements are not fundamental to the game, why not make them optional (like with the items in the Super Smash Bros. series)?
  • Notable cases:
    • Super Smash Bros.:
      • Competitive players generally hate randomness and try to eliminate it. Items are never seen in tournaments since they spawn at random in random locations. Random stage hazards is one of the reasons most of the available stages are eliminated from tournament play.note  Hence, the "No items, Final Destination" meme.
      • Super Smash Bros. Brawl in specific had random tripping, which couldn't be disabled or worked around (unlike items and stage hazards) and left many a player highly vulnerable, turning many matches completely around. By the time of the fourth game, the hardcore view was by and large the predominant one and random tripping was completely gone.
      • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Hero's moveset is controversial due to its randomness: His Command Selection gives him access to a random selection of spells, with a few of them being particularly useful. On top of that, he can KO early if he gets a random Critical Hit on a smash attack. South Australia banned him on August 15th, 2019, arguing that he's too anti-competitive. This has also been controversial: some prominent smashers agree with it, while others argue that the character has significant counterplay and/or that it's just too early to ban him about two weeks after his release. The general consensus now seems to be that, for a character whose concept revolves around RNG, Hero is actually fairly balanced, and while he can and has pulled off some serious upsets thanks to lucky RNG rolls, he also has serious issue with range and safety, requires absurdly quick reflexes, and is effectively useless if he runs out of mana, all of which have, for the most part, balanced out the insane and ridiculous shit that he has sometimes pulled off.
    • Pokémon:
      • Critical Hits often have the potential to destroy an opponent who otherwise would have survived, especially since the metagame is fast-paced enough to where even the strongest are generally knocked out in two hits.
      • Misses too, for the same reason. Many attacks people consider "competitive" will hit 90-95% of the time, but a few have more like 70-80% accuracy. There are moves with 100% accuracy, but they're much weaker, and not everyone learns them. An unlucky wiff can cost you the match.
      • Smogon has the stated goal of minimizing the effects of luck on matches. While they take little issue with Critical Hits, Paralysis, and other similar aspects of the game (though many players in such circles get annoyed when they come into play, even if it's in their favor), they have banned Abilities like Moody and moves like Double Team due to how they provide nothing skill-based to a game, instead merely introducing luck for its own sake. A number of Smogon's members believe that evasion-boosting isn't nearly as powerful as it once was, but are still against it being unbanned for this reason.
    • Mario Kart gets the debates of "skill versus luck" for nearly every single installment, mostly due to the Spiny Shell item that targets people in first place and nobody else unless other people got in the way of the item. Since the types of items that appear are influenced by RNG and the position of the player when they get the item, the debate takes over from there. It reached a critical mass among racing game fans (in general, not specifically Mario Kart fans) with the release of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, a kart racer aimed at the hardcore and the competitive in mind, where while there is still luck with items, their effects are minimal compared to driving skill and knowledge of the courses. Fans of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed do not get along with Mario Kart fans at all.
    • Mario Party goes through a similar debate from Mario Kart where people argue whether or not skill should be a factor in who wins the game or if luck is the entire point of the game so that anyone can win. Mario Party 9 caused a major divide among fans due to the game easing up on luck based games and events.
    • Pinball faces this issue on two fronts:
      • The first is the accusation of pinball's gameplay being mostly made of luck. The hardcore vehemently argue otherwise but agree that older machines have a stronger element of luck than newer ones. This stigma, in fact, got pinball classified as gambling devices and thus illegal in some cities, most notably New York City, and has not gone away even with Roger Sharpe's courtroom demonstration that proved so convincing that the ban was overturned.
      • The other issue is that while most machines will give out fixed amount of points under predetermined conditions, there are a few machines whose viability for competitive play is under dispute due to there being a strong element of chance to scoring and/or progression, such as Gilligan's Island, Jack*Bot, and Monopoly, which are well-liked tables by those not interested in competition. Some machines are even programmed with a "Tournament Mode" to eliminate randomness in competitions. World Poker Tour, for instance, will provide poker hands of a particular worth in a predetermined order, as opposed to the random hands the machine will ordinarily provide.
  • In Dota2, it is actually the competitive scene that is largely in favour of the RNG because it can be exploited to some degree (pseudorandom number distribution means a string of fails is followed by a near guaranteed success).
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is infamous for having RNG based mechanics that can swing an entire match on one bad roll. Oddly enough, there are different groups in the hardcore and casual groups that both support and hate this for various reasons.
  • While Tetris games do have RNGs that determine the player's next pieces, it's largely never seen as a problem in competitive circles as a lucky permutation of tetrominoes will far from make up for poor stacking abilities. It helps that more modern games have tailored randomizers that bias towards more even piece distributionsnote  so that a player is unlikely to go more than 10 pieces without an I-piece or end up with the dreaded flood of S- and Z-pieces.

    MST 3 K Mantra 

MST3K Mantra

  • Hardcore view: I know it's a game, but this is how I play, this is how I get immersed. I take the engine by the reins and push it to its limits, and you have no idea how thrilling it is. It may not look like much, but trust me, there's nothing more fun than squeezing all you can out of a game.
  • Casual view: You're taking this way too seriously, and it's ruining it for the rest of us who want to actually play the game.
  • Neutral view: You play what you like and I play what I like; people are allowed to enjoy things however they like as long as it doesn't interfere with others' fun.
  • Notable cases:
    • The Guitar Hero and Rock Band fandoms are split between those who just think it's fun to play the electric guitar and fantasize about rock stardom and those who play for the leaderboards, aiming to hit every note perfect and enter Star Power at exactly the right points.
    • In Pokémon, Digimon or any Mons series: do you just go nuts raising adorable superpowered critters, or do you strive To Be a Master?
    • In Star Trek Online, do you strive to boldly go where no man has gone before, immersing yourself in the interstellar world you've grown to love, or do you want to improve the destructive potential of your starship?
    • Is Super Smash Bros. a fun party game where you beat up colorful characters, or a fast-paced all-out battle with deeper potential than Nintendo realizes?
    • Is Hearthstone's relative simplicity the perfect platform for a new card game competitive scene, or is it just a fun game to pop in and play a few games with a deck made for ridiculousness?

    Out-of-Game Tactics 

Out-of-Game Tactics

  • Hardcore View: Trash-talking, pop-offs, being coached by other players, watching the other player's screen, listening for button inputs, stalling between rounds to break the opponent's flow, wearing skimpy, gaudy or offensive clothes/items (or even no clothes at times) to distract the opponent and other things like that, are all considered valid tactics. You're not directly interfering with the player's ability to play, and smart players know how to counter this (such as using a different screen, using quieter buttons, creating "dummy" buttons in the Controls menu, and wearing headphones to drown out background noise). As always, there's ways around everything, so if you want to win, learn to deal with it.
  • Casual View: But what does any of that have to do with skill?! Sure, some of that stuff is ambiguous, but if stalling the game and deliberately ruining someone's momentum is valid, then what about intentionally inducing lag or otherwise dropping the framerate to screw up inputs? What about players who take up too much space in the play area so that you have no room to comfortably use your controller or joystick? And why is being coached by other players during a match okay? If you didn't prepare enough for the match beforehand, shouldn't that be on you?
  • Neutral View: Just compromise. If you think watching another player's screen is vastly unfair, but don't feel that strongly about coaching, then why not ban the former and allow the latter? Or, at the very least, allow some things but create limitations where possible so that fun, exciting matches stay the norm and the emphasis is squarely on in-game skill and decision-making. Furthermore, whether you like it or not, trash talk can never be truly eliminated, so get used to it—good trash talk can add a lot of flavor to casuals or a tournament, and if you've got some good lines, why not bust them out yourself? That said, no one likes trash talk that is overly vulgar, aggressive, mean-spirited, or outright bigoted, and if people tell you that your lines are annoying or cross a line, you need to check yourself for your own good before you piss off the wrong people. Same goes for pop-offs - good pop-offs can be funny and liven up an event and help build a persona, but persistent poor sportsmanship or bad attitudes will make people hate you (unless you want to cultivate that, but it's not recommended). Personal hygiene, meanwhile, should be a non-issue - unless you have a medical condition that causes you to smell awful despite your best efforts, there is no excuse for walking into an event smelling like a landfill.
  • Notable Cases:
    • "Coaching" has been a hot-button issue in many tournaments, especially those where the play area is cut off from the rest of the venue. Some players like allowing their friends or teammates to come to the stage and tell them things they may have noticed. Other players think this is unfair, because it gives an advantage to players who come with a posse, or that are popular with the crowd. Others still think that taking five minutes between a match to talk unnecessarily slows the game down.
      • The slowdown problem with coaching was a serious issue during the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / 3DS portion of APEX 2015. Even though the matches themselves had a shorter duration than even those of Melee, the excessive coaching between rounds slowed the game down to a crawl, and the event was ultimately considered nothing short of disaster.
    • Lag: the bane of a professional player's existence. Lag, frame delay, input drops, etc, directly interferes with a match and randomly makes it possible for a well-practiced technique or combo to fail. Thus, many pros either never play online or refuse to take it seriously. However, with the advent of streaming, LAN parties, and online tournaments, these sorts of problems are becoming more and more unavoidable. Players who primarily play online (or can only play online) don't like having their skill and hard practice invalidated by pros who say they "only" win because of lag or say things like "Play me in real life", and players who only play offline get tired of Online Warriors trash-talking and failing to back it up in a high-stakes, random-free environment. Money also plays a factor; a lot of people certainly do not like it when rich First World people have an actual advantage due to being able to afford faster, more stable internet connections or can afford to travel or outright relocate to where high-level competition can be found; as well as those who can afford to take days off or otherwise find the time to travel. The neutral side is just tired of both sides slap-fighting; it's true that online and real life are two different arenas, but if you're only good in one and not the other, isn't it your problem if you're out of your habitat?
      • Lag and slow performance are actually a big reason why League of Legends is very popular in Venezuela, with a much larger proportion of Venezuelans who play League present in LAN than people from Mexico or Colombia: LOL is pretty forgiving with lag and thus plays pretty well with CANTV, which sells 1 Mbps at the price of American 100 Mbps, and it runs on any computer that would cost less than $500 US dollars but in Venezuela costs more like $7000 US dollars due to jingoistic, almost Juche-like import controls.
      • This is an issue that has hit Splatoon, by far Nintendo's most competitively-tuned game. The problem some have is that its multiplayer is online-only and is very vulnerable to lag or outright disconnections. While a competitive scene has developed almost everywhere it's sold, Japan remains the only country where Splatoon is taken seriously enough to have competitive events due to its lightning-fast Internet. Everywhere else, if it isn't Korea or Scandinavia, gets to deal with teleporting players, impossible kills, and the occasional total paralysis due to a hiccup in one's Internet connection.
      • This became a big problem with the fighting game community during the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak, since large in-person gatherings were being banned all over the world and most of the major competitive fighting games of the time, designed for in-person competition, had abysmal netcode leading to unpredictable lag, stuttering, disconnections, and other problems that made them basically unplayable on a professional level over the internet. EVO 2020, one of the largest fighting-game competitions in the world, had to change its entire game lineup to ones that had more robust, stable netcode, which gave an opening for several new or less-popular fighting games to get a day in the limelight. Unfortunately for them EVO 2020 went on to get cancelled for unrelated reasons.
    • Every Pinball professional knows how to nudge the machine to save the ball, and this has been a part of Pinball since the creation of the genre. However, non-professionals hate it because the use of outside forces to influence the ball's movements feels like cheating. That being said, all pinball machines have a mechanism that penalizes the player for shaking the machine too vigorously, which is turned up to its maximum sensitivity in all major tournaments.
    • DanceDanceRevolution, as well as similar games Pump It Up and In the Groove, have the use of the bar on the arcade cabinet, originally designed for players to have something to hold onto if they fall over and prevent the resulting lawsuits. Many top-level players use the bar to improve their balance and control of their body; it's unheard of for players who play boss songs and go for top scores to not use the bar. Detractors find it boring to watch and do with some deriding it as taking away skill from the game, and point out that on console versions, you don't have a bar to rely on unless you either invest in expensive specialized home pads that come with bars or use a chair of a very specific height. Meanwhile, bar users want every advantage they can get, and official tournaments for all three games permit the use of the bar.
    • Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez has historically been a divisive figure in the fighting game community. While few will debate his ability, he has many detractors due to his trollish competitive persona and overly rude, boastful, and often mean-spirited trash talk. While many people have now accepted that it is all an act and he is generally a pretty decent and approachable person outside of tournaments, there are still quite a few people who will give him credit where credit is due as a player and will also accept that he probably is a cool dude off the clock, but still see him as an obnoxious, showboating douchebag who needs to shut the fuck up and give up the "I love my haters" persona.
    • Du "NuckleDu" Dang, a high-level Street Fighter player, became infamous in 2016 for "Teabagging" (repeatedly crouching on top of a downed player) in tournament matches. This was especially prevalent in his matches because his character, Rainbow Mika, utilizes a mix-up heavy playstyle that can lead to lots and damage and stunning the opponent very quickly. Teabagging has, traditionally, been seen as bad form at the least and childish at the worst. When interviewed about why he does it, however, Du stated that teabagging an opponent was worth the effort if even a LITTLE bit of the thinking power went into shock or disbelief or how to retaliate, because that was thinking power not being spent on evaluating what went wrong.
    • Twice in 2018 (the Street Fighter V Grand Finals at E-League, and the DragonBall FighterZ Grand Finals at Evolution), a player that was losing a set created a long delay which, after play resumed, resulted in them winning the tournament. This sparked serious discussion in the community over whether or not delays should be allowed. There are a lot of factors to consider, including what counts as a "delay" and whether or not it serves another purpose: for example, during the latter event, SonicFox requested to swap player sides with Go1, which Go1 protested. However, Fox's request was not against the rules and thus was allowed. Other reasons for delays can be to change characters or others options, to check one's button setup or ask for another controller, to drink water, or even to ask the judges/organizers a question. Thus, proponents argue that there's no way to ban or penalize delays without also banning or penalizing each of those things. But this also means that both players are allowed to do this whenever needed, which can really drag out a set and make the tournament extremely boring.
    • Christian "IWillDominate" Rivera once received a yearlong ban from playing League of Legends competitively and had all of his accounts permanently banned due to a lengthy and consistent history of extremely poor sportsmanship and verbal abuse towards other players.
    • In April 2019, Yu-Gi-Oh! competitions implemented a hygiene rule, stating that players who show up to these competitions dirty, smelly, or otherwise likely to get people sick would be disqualified. Reactions to this rule has been divisive, with some people strongly in support of the rules and some others arguing that it has nothing to do with how well someone plays. Nevertheless, Konami has continued to hold up this rule to the present, as they consider attending these competitions reasonably clean as good sportsmanship.

    Skill Gate Characters 

Skill Gate Characters

  • Positive View: Most, if not all characters that cause problems for low-level players have glaring weaknesses that make them fall apart against people who know how to reliably exploit them. Quit bitching about how they're OP when they aren't and use them as a reason to get good enough to reliably beat them, rather than just demanding that the developers gut them so your feelings aren't hurt.
  • Negative View: Just because a character can be countered doesn't mean they shouldn't be looked at. Why would anyone bother learning to use a more skillful option if they can just coast by on Easy Mode? Is it really worth it to let the majority of your player base be frustrated just so you can smugly tell us to "git gud"? And even if we do "git gud", it's unfair that simply by making ONE mistake, other lazy players can easily win. Most of us don't have the time to sink hundreds of hours into practicing our skills and just want to enjoy the damn game - this is a pastime for us, not a way of life, and it's impossible to enjoy it when every other match has the same few easy mode characters.
  • Neutral View: It is frustrating for higher-level players to see the game balanced due to requests or complaints from lower-level players who can't handle them, but it is just as frustrating for people who just want to have fun with the game to consistently get destroyed by a character who, to them, is absolutely out of control. Developers have a delicate balancing act on their hands with these things - listen to low-level players too much, and the competitive scene will stagnate and die as the high-levels realize that the developers don't really care about them, followed by the rest of the game once the lower-levels get bored. Listen to high-levels too much, however, and you will alienate the lower-levels who make up the bulk of your playerbase, many of whom will depart, and word will spread that you blindly kowtow to a tiny selection of the playerbase and force everyone else to make do, and the new blood that your game needs simply will not arrive. Depending on the situation at hand, sometimes the lower-levels have to just make do, sometimes the higher-levels have to accept that these characters need to be taken down a bit for the good of the game as a whole, and sometimes you have to figure out a happy median.
    • In League of Legends, there are several characters who have been the bane of lower-level players for the duration of their existence, and of those, Garen and Lee Sin have been some of the most infamous, as well as illustrations of how the devs deal with pubstompers vs. high-level darlings. Garen has almost never been viable in high-level play for a lot of reasons: he has no hard CC or peeling ability, which makes him useless as a tank, falls off hard damage-wise past twenty minutes, has zero range or gap-closing ability, and really isn't that durable under any sort of sustained fire. In low-level play, however, he is a consistently strong choice due to his enormous early damage and lane-bullying abilities and passive Healing Factor, and the developers have said on numerous occasions that the buffs needed to make Garen viable in high-level play would poison the game for low-level players; on the one occasion where Garen actually was viable past Season 1, he was hated by players at all levels for being overtuned due to his generally awkward and outdated kit needing a massive numbers bloat just to be good. Lee Sin, on the other hand, is beloved by high-level players for his versatile design, ability to pull off many different roles, and smooth progression from early and mid-game bully to late-game jack-of-all-trades, while lower-level players see him as a scourge who does everything, does it well, and has no real weaknesses. In Lee Sin's case, the developers have stated on multiple occasions that he is simply too important in high-level play to touch unless he is legitimately problematic in that environment, and that any nerfs due to low-level complaints would trigger substantial backlash from high-level players, so the low-levels simply had to learn to deal.
    • In Overwatch, characters such as Bastion, Reaper and D.Va were despised shortly after release, due to how easy it was for them to get tremendous value out of their abilities , with Bastion and Reaper able to shred even high health characters in seconds and D.Va able to completely nullify the vast majority of offensive abilities—each of which only require ONE button to do. None of them were particularly liked even in later seasons, but both fan perceptions and balance patches have remedied most complaints. However, the same is not true of Mercy, considered by many to be the easiest character in the game; she was launched with the Ultimate ability to Resurrect any teammates who died in her vicinity, which was by far the most reviled ability in the game. It took several more patches (including the demotion of Resurrect to a regular, single-target ability) for the hate to subside, but it still has not died and complaints that Mercy is a "no-brain" hero continue to this day. The absolute pinnacle of the hatred, however, is Brigitte...easily the most divisive character in the game who (depending on whom you ask) is either a fun support that can finally counter DPS heroes or the worst thing to ever happen to the game. Most defenders of these characters will argue that they are immensely simple to defeat by getting better at the game, but that argument will often be ignored or (if the character happens to be meta at the time) outright scoffed at.
    • In Street Fighter V, characters like R. Mika, Balrog, Cammy and especially Abigail, are often derided by the player base for being far too rewarding for how easy they are to play. Each of these characters at one point had a run in the top tiers, but even after being heavily nerfed (some to low tier status), there are still massive complaints. Sometimes from high level players who lost a game after making ONE mistake or bad guess and sometimes from low level players who just don't know how you're supposed to win against these characters without using their direct counters or mastering difficult, high level play mechanics.


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