One of the greatest features of Hearthstone (an incredible online collectible card game you should check out if you haven't) is that it limits the online talk of its players to six straightforward emotes: Thanks, Well Played, Greetings, Sorry, Oops, and Threaten. It’s simple but effective communication that makes it easy to display good game etiquette. Of course, you still have to have some idea of what good game etiquette actually IS. After playing this game for quite some time, it’s clear that many of you missed the day (or the entire childhood) where they were teaching this stuff. Never fear, my friends. I am here to help you with a breakdown of each emote and how to PROPERLY use it. Pay attention, whipper-snapper! I’m about to teach you some manners!
This is the polite and proper response when someone says or does something nice for you. In Hearthstone, this should follow any time your opponent uses the “Good Game” emote to compliment you on your play. Also, appropriate (but not necessary) if an opponent plays a mutually beneficial card that does something fun or cool for you, too. Do NOT use this emote sarcastically to whine at your opponent when they destroy your favorite creature or wipe your board. That’s petty.
Unless your opponent is a sociopathic monster, you must press this emote at least once per game. If your opponent does something clever or cool, “Well Played” is a fine compliment to pay them. However, regardless of how they played, regardless of whether you won or lost, at the end of every game you tell your opponent “Well Played.” That’s not a bot your playing. That’s a person on the other side of the table. It’s a person that just spent time doing something that helped you enjoy yourself. Yes, they did it because they were having fun, too. So what. At the end of ANY game, you thank your fellow players for taking the time to play with you. In Hearthstone, the emote to say this is “Well Played.”
This emote is mostly pointless. You can say a generic greeting at your opponent at the start of the game to say hello, but after several games this starts to get old. It doesn’t really show appreciation in any meaningful way. However, if your opponent is taking a long time on their turn and doesn’t seem to be doing anything, you can give a single “Greetings” to check that they know it’s still their turn. Also, pointless though it may be, if someone greets you at the start of the game, you GREET THEM BACK. That’s just common decency.
It can be tempting to say sorry when you destroy your opponent’s board or otherwise swing the game strongly in your favor. Don’t. It’s a competitive game. Everyone gets that. Apologizing for playing effectively is just condescending. That said, Hearthstone has a lot of cards with random effects that sometimes swing the game in unfair ways. When a random effect unbalances the game in your favor, a sympathetic “Sorry” is a good way to indicate that you know you’re not about to win due to any particular skill or strategy on your part. Also, “Sorry” is a fine way to express sympathy if your opponent makes an obvious misplay and calls it out by pressing the “oops” emote.
This emote is a little self-serving. It’s only exists for you to press when you screw up and only so you can prove to your opponent that you’re not dumb because you know you screwed up. Then, you can imagine they’re laughing along with you at your ridiculous mistake. Press it if you’re really that worried about an anonymous stranger judging your intellect. Do NOT press it to point out an opponent’s mistake. When an opponent misplays, emoting “Sorry” says “I sympathize. Obviously, that didn’t work out how you’d hoped.” Emoting “Oops” say “I’m a snarky jerk who thinks I’m sooooo superior to your incredibly feeble play skills.”
What are you 12? Obviously you shouldn’t threaten people you’re playing a game with. True, the threat emote is too ridiculous to be threatening. However, it’s not ridiculous ENOUGH to be ironic or funny. It’s just juvenile and pointless. And when you press “Threaten” after losing a game, what is that about? Do you think you’re the villain in my hero’s story and that’s your dramatic finish? Well it’s not. It’s dumb. Grow up.
Remember folks, even when communication is limited, its important to show respect to those we play against. Without those players, there would be no meaningful game to play. Let’s all play well together and have fun! (And seriously, just press "Well Played" at the end of a game. It's right there on the left. Just. Press. It.)
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