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A View of What We Are Becoming
[10/16/2006] [Sparhawk]

Another Banner Wars has come and gone and I find myself in the awkward position of being proud to see six months of planning a preparation come to fruitation and being horribly disappointed with the event, my kingdom and the game.

The War itself had all the ingredients needed to turn into a player’s and a spectator’s dream. From the vast array of armor/gear on the field, to Annihalus’s successful use of TOD and their AP rush through the flamewalls, Sir Lief’s choice of the water as his out of the way location for his legend and the myriad of other gimmicks and tricks and tactics that surfaced this year. Instead we all remember the arguments that ensued, the horrible sportsmanship and blatant violence which were allowed on the field and off.

I honestly believe 99% of all the rules missteps that take place on the field are non-purposeful. From my own people trying to use abilities while part of a siege crew, to the GSA’s teleporting pro-magic folks to Annihalus having some non-AP players run and continue to fight through flame walls. When adrenalin is pumping and in the heat of the moment even the most respected people make mistakes. Why in our environment does is automatically escalate to accusations of purposeful malicious cheating and heated on-field arguments instead of letting an on field reeve make a decision?

At what point did it become cool to display such horrible sportsmanship? I can not remember the last time that I have heard that an individual or group earned a victory. Annihalus looked sharper than I have ever seen them, Roger’s Raiders fielded an impressive team, the Dark Riders and Green Dragons both had great use of armor and the GCAs used some stunning tactics yet according to their opponents, few if any of them did anything but cheat their way to the accomplishments of the day. There has been a revolution to treat this game like a sport; I say that we are not mature enough to be a sport. We don’t train our reeves enough to expect them to make solid on field decisions. Worst of all, we are showing the new generation that there are no winners in this game just cheaters. At some point we have to have the humility to admit that the other fighters and companies will sometimes win. We have the patience to point out when somebody breaks or rule so that we can learn together instead of pull apart.

This was the most violent event that I have ever been to. From the Jugging, to the sacred ditch and the war itself, nothing was left untarnished. I arrived at the end of the jugging and witnessed threats of physical violence because of perceived on-field slights. The Friday night ditch was full of hate, clubs, shafts and people swinging for the fences. The war was rift with people swinging with intent not only to intimidate but to harm. Just because your weapon and target may be legal does NOT preclude you from being able to use it in an unsafe fashion. The Saturday night ditch was grudges being carried out and people egging on their friends to do physical harm to other people while others laughed. The off-field fights that took place are reminiscent of old CK events that eventually led to EH boycotting the kingdom for several years… and now we are doing the same things that we condemned them of? While we may not always be able to avoid fights at event we NEVER have to condone them nor allow the parties to stay on-site. Should we do away with the niceties now and officially stop calling ourselves companies and embrace the moniker of gangs?

I am saddened at the state that our hobby is in, I am disgusted with acceptance that this behavior is received and perpetrated and horrorified that this may be the direction that the mob is choosing to go. If the known named players and leaders of this game are not willing to make a stand then we may soon find that we have no foundation left to stand on.

While my company may have won World Banner Wars, it does not feel like a victory.

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