This has been talked about in other places, but I wanted to add my two cents as it’s an issue that will continue to impact the community for some time. If you have the time to read this and an open mind, please humor me by reading this post.
1st – we're getting some new overlay features sometime in the next week or so (http://forums.demigodthegame.com/365437). If things work as advertised, we’ll see some additional information in game including games started/completed, won/lost, and familiarity with other players. Brad’s been pretty clear that indentifying players that have played together before is important to him (Frogboy: “I just got stomped by one too many premades”) and I’d wager, his opinion is pretty similar to new players and MANY puggers.
There’s a phrase I keep hearing over and over and it’s a simple one: premades are fine IF. IF they put PREMADE in their title, IF they only play other premades, IF they will break up their premade to make a more balanced game. Here are some loose definitions of premade and pug so we are all a little closer to being on the same page:
Premade – a team that is made in advance. Some people go to extremes and call it a premade if you’ve simply played a few games with a set group of people. Others only consider a premade a team that typically plays together. Some would even call you a premade if you and 1 buddy play a 4v4 on the same team. It's a term that is used in Demigod because apparently a special word is needed to describe a team in a team based game. If you play with the same group of people, you are not a team, you are a premade.
PUG – Individuals who play pick up games or games where they don’t have a set team. There are degrees with this as well. Some would indicate you are NOT a pugger if you play several games with an individual on the same team. Most consider you a Pugger AS LONG AS you are not in a premade.
The definitions don't really matter much in the end, as premades are generalized and then put in the box of premades are fine IF. We don't hear too much along the lines of pugger's are fine IF. They are just fine and need someone to make sure they aren't abused by premades. And if they get a chance to pass some abuse onto premades, then well... they had it coming for all the PUG stomps (I'm starting the puggers are fine IF list tonight btw).
The biggest complaint people seem to have about premades are PUG stomps. The definition varies on PUG stomps as well. Some would call it a PUG stomp if the teams were even slightly imbalanced. In the extreme (what almost always occurs) they consider any premade game against Pugs imbalanced (unless they win). The other extreme of PUG STOMPS is if the premade team maliciously fights only new players to the game. PUG stomps are pretty much a negative term regardless of your meaning, which makes it is easier to vilify premades if they do anything other than premade vs premade games (premades are fine IF).
To paint a clear picture of how puggers intentionally grief premade teams (because its justified, of course, because premades are fine IF BLANK. Go against their rules and it's ok for them to act like a jerk), see the following list.
Exciting ways to grief premades
· Join their game. Wait until its full. In chat, write, fing premade and leave (see picks of dielan and chemdude8 doing their version of this tonight 9/29/2009 - keeping the world safe for new players)
· If you start losing a game or even die once, ask "premade?" in chat (as in the only possibility YOU could have been killed was if you were up against a premade).
· Join a lobby that's full. Ask the premade to rebalance the game because you just showed up.
· Accuse every premade team you know of PUG stomping. Don't look into it at all as there is no need. (http://www.gamereplays.org/demigod/replays.php?game=51&tab=popular&show=details&id=96864 - see the comments for another example of someone doing the same thing)
· You've been victimized by every premade that ever existed - make sure they know it. FIND A WAY!
And last, for those of you not in a premade, I doubt you understand this all that well, so I'll explain the other side of things that you apparently don't see or don't care to see. It's the part that you don't get that enables you to act like a complete jerk and try to ruin other people's experience.
People in a premade play together because they like playing together. You can often have more competitive games by using voice chat (a feature that obviously should be in the game IMO) and by playing together often with the same group of people. I am a great individual player, but am substantially better by playing with people I know because I can count on a shield or a heal or a stun at the right time. Good players will do that for you sometimes. A good premade will do that for you most of the time. It's not cheating. Its playing the game the way it's actually MEANT to played (a team playing a team game). My premade has over 10 people in it. We all play together from time to time. I've played with some over 100 games and some 3-5 games. I try to play a little every night when I can.
I accept challenges from other premades and search when out of game for premades to play against. When there is not a premade available, I do not wait around 30 minutes for a game. I host a game or someone in my premade hosts a game. I have hosted premade specific games and if no one joins after 5 minutes, host a game that is less descriptive so more people might join. You can call that deceitful, but I call it trying to get a game going because I enjoy playing demigod.
Why don't you try hosting a 5v5 premade only lobby and let me know how long it takes to fill up for you? Just wait it out. What's that? 10 minutes have gone by and your lobby is completely empty? Why not try a 4v4 premade and tell one of your buds to take a hike? Oh, you tried that too and your lobby is still empty? You'd rather just get a game going instead of playing the exciting lobby game? Well, sorry, you're a jerk. You should wait it out. Especially if you want to play with your friends. That's only ok if you don't play with your friends all of the time.
Anyway, I also often break off my from my premade just to do PUG only games and even then I often have people jump in and accuse whoever joined my team of being a premade. Which often causes whoever is in my lobby to leave.
So, that's all I have to say about this for a whole 5 minutes. You may have a problem with premades but I think you should take a break from busting their chops. Now. Consider going after people that actually deserve grief. Belier and Apika are still around exploiting the shite out of the sytem. Our ladder rank #1 guy still playing in Pantheon games against AI only. And I still play on a team and Pug from time to time. Get your priorites right at least.
And now for a few of the people who have righted wrongs today by busting up games I've been in that were not labeled to their specifications, thereby justifying their poor behavior FTW!
Waiting for about 4 minutes after Dielan joined, called premade when the lobby was full and immediately quit.
We had a game up, people joined, chemdude joined, he did his premade cheer and successfully emptied our full lobby. So, we got to wait an additional 10 minutes for it to fill back up.