Interesting piece of news popped up in my FB feed today:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the research showed that people who played the most matches per week (more than 64) had the largest increase in skill over time. But playing lots of games wasn’t the most efficient way to improve skill. Looking at the data another way — in terms of which groups showed the most improvement per match rather an over time — showed markedly different results. That analysis showed that, over their first 200 matches, those who played four to eight matches week gained the most skill per match, followed by those who played eight to 16 matches.
The study showed that one major difference between more skilled and less skilled players was the effective use of “hotkeys” — customized keyboard shortcuts that enable commands to be given quickly to unit groups. Less skilled players used hotkeys less, opting instead to point and click commands to individual units with a mouse. But all elite players made copious use of hotkeys, using them to issue up to 200 actions per minute during a typical match.
But the important thing wasn’t just the fact that elite players use the hotkeys more, it’s that they form unique and consistent habits in how they use them. Those habits were so unique and consistent, in fact, that the researchers were able to identify specific players with more than 90 percent accuracy just by looking at their hotkey patterns. It’s likely, the researchers say, that those habits become almost second nature, enabling players to keep cool and issue commands when the pressure of the game ratchets up.
So it seems like gamers "get good" in the same way athletes do: by not training excessively and by building efficiency through muscle memory.
In other words, there's hope for multiplayer gamers with less and less time to devote to games. This article spoke to me because I have less time to devote to these games, I'm still able to sit on top of scoreboards in games like Battlefront by playing when I can and embracing hotkeys (alt-a and alt-d forever). The only downside is I have to pick and choose which games I devote time to, because I can't be good at 'em all--at least until my wife lets me be a stay-at-home husband.
Does this match your experiences?
(And hi by the way. It's been a while)