The NHFFA code of misconduct - A Brood War Guide for a Post-Irony World.
Have you ever been unable to enjoy a game unless others have explained to you explicitly how to have fun? Is the very act of playing a game of ‘Brood War’ a grueling assault on your psyche that you are petrified of even participating out of some misguided idea that anything you do has some inherent value; therefore there would be some sort of loss of standing or self-worth when victory is not assured?
If this is the case, then no god can save you, and engaging in NHFFA will not only exacerbate the symptoms but will show the world (condensed to potentially a maximum of 7 witnesses) your stagnant psyche and your unwitting contribution to the rot of civilization. It is, however, for people like you that I write this.
Even the densest of invertebrates can understand the initial humorous intent and implied sarcasm in the creation of NHFFA, yet sadly even satire can no longer apply as we’ve managed to break even that wafer thin veneer.
The ~NoHunters Free-for-all is quite simple. 8 players of the Starcraft Brood War join a game on the melee setting. Allied victory is not allowed - only a single participant is the victor, the last player standing (biological or otherwise).
And this is where we encounter an inherent misunderstanding in the initial premise. NHFFA is about using every facility you have to prevent others from winning, — sometimes, incidentally, resulting in your own victory.
The idea is that NHFFA allows the underdog, the perpetual noob, bad player, the chobo, the casual and, yes, even the occasional yet rare ‘new player’ to be thrown into the vibrant incandescent fires of hell that is Brood War multiplayer and experience (mostly) human interaction and gameplay beyond the usual torture of 1v1. It is to prepare those willing to improve, to show them the abyssal plane of torment they must endure to get anywhere in this game.
Those just beginning are embarking on a journey of self-flagellation. Losing because of a single mistake or oversight, a momentary lapse in gameplay knowledge from a library that spans multiple decades.
Wrong are they to think things will become better — indulging in the filthy heretical idea that this game is to be won. No. This is not the coddling world of fluff and butter of today’s mainstream gameplay promises. There is no gentle endorphin pump of compliments for ‘not being perfect’.
I weep for the children that will never feel the true pain of seeing a hard fought victory slip from their grasp, all that effort — gone forever; with only a replay to remind them of every detail that led to their defeat. No points, no participation trophies or pointless account progression, only hard lessons; a callus growing on their soul.
It is the duty of the NHFFA player to do whatever is in their power to make the taste of defeat that much bitter. Yes, even at the cost of your own victory: seek your targets, grow your rivalries, and find what hurts them most.
Find alliances with the depraved, the wounded and the scorned. Aid in their vengeance, perhaps only to see it taken from them. Find those that seek victory at all costs, and relish in their indignity.
It is here, and only here, that you speak to your foes. Help them, lie to them, push them and manipulate them. Speech is as much a tool as APM, and one most important for those unable to wield the latter.
Squirm, burrow and hide. Slink away in the shadows, skulk towards your target with your knife drawn, while groveling in their majesty.
Now, you ask: “But why, as an above average player, should I subject myself to this potential ridicule? To willingly enter the arena with these lesser beings, to allow them to mob me and strip me of my honour?”
Yes, yes. This is exactly the issue I prefaced at the start. It’s about FUN see? It’s about having a good time! Happy, happy, happy! Lalala! See!? HAPPY!! Why aren’t you smiling?
No, for you it’s about fear. To face the challenge of stepping outside the carefully maintained bounds of regular Brood War, to step into the arena as a gladiator, a target for entertainment in chaos. If you enter this battle with those mundane ideas stuck in your head, of optimal play, fairness, balance … Phah! Then you are indeed doomed, and should perhaps open yourself to a few lessons.
For those who are driven by only victory and efficiency - to see all of this as merely a waste of time — why that is the very focus of all this blithering nonsense now isn’t it. For you are the death of the community. Oh yes, I am quite serious, there must be leisure — there must be those that bow down deep from their immaculate, towering pedestals to entertain the children on their own level; outside the misguided dreams of high end competition.
All an NHFFA can offer you is resilience in the face of adversity and glory in other things than victory. And that is not unimportant.
It is still inconceivable that I am to write this, to make an attempt to communicate in this way, for there are those that have anchored their identity in achieving predetermined methods of success in games so deeply, that the very idea of approaching things differently has now become offensive.
Toxicity is a sickness that has infected so many realms of gameplay, so many that dwell in the limbo of self delusion, unable of even the slightest introspection. Indeed, a sad mirror of society as a whole. And so it is paramount that we take this step to defend our little pit of revelry and continue on like we always have — teaching the ways of the carnival to any who have the misfortune of wandering too far from the flock.