After reading through thread after thread on these forums where people bicker about who is really the voice of the competitive community, what is best for competitive players, and how best to be like Starcraft, I felt that the rest of us needed a place where we can talk of a game that maybe isn't all about competitive play.
First of all, I love natural selection. I"ve played it since the days of babblers, but never got really good. I couldn't play anything bigger than a lerk with the slightest bit of skill, and had a tendency to rambo as a marine (often to hilarious results). After enough time I became better than average sheerly by playtime, but just got destroyed by any truly skilled or competitive players. These are my credentials, and why I'm someone who would rather the game be fun than competitive.
When I think back to the reasons that I fell in love with NS to begin with, it wasn't the varied gameplay, or the exploits to 'give me an edge' (ie, bunnyhop), or the way that an expert player can dominate an entire team of amateurs; it was sneaking into the marine base and biting the command chair, it was finishing off an onos with a knife, it was sneaking past an alien hive to install a phase gate knowing at any second they'd hear and alert their team, it was a commander accidentally building a turret factory on an elevator so just by pushing the button you could disable their turrets.
NS was a game where a player could take a risk and try something unexpected, and it would either succeed fantastically or fail hilariously, and either way we had a good time. I have no desire to play a game where a poor player can't occasionally beat a good player, whether through luck, creativity, or just trying something silly and it working. I personally think that aiming for competitive play may garner the long term support of a hard-core player base who want a vehicle through which they can compare their skill and reflexes against other competitive players, but there are also those of us who would play the game over and over again just because it's fun, with no desire to eventually join the competitive leagues.
Anybody else feel like their favorite parts of NS were before getting really good at the game? Feel like luck and risk taking add to the fun of a game, not subtract? Don't want the game to go the way of starcraft? Or want to nitpick parts of my argument?
Then post and let's get a discussion going.