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The Five Stages of Splatfest Grief

by Donald Theriault - October 20, 2015, 8:37 am PDT
Total comments: 1

Turns out we’ll never see a Kübler v Ross Splatfest, since it’s one person. #TheMoreYouKnow

Now that we’ve had six Splatfests in North America, I’ve begun to notice a pattern in the way each Splatfest has gone. Aside from Callie being on the right side of history – for all competitions except the Transformers one, because Dinobots wasn’t an option – I’ve pretty much had the same thought process in each one.

As it happens, the process is very similar to the Kübler-Ross model for grief, which is known for its five stages. Before we dive in and explain this, let me just note that I finished the event with a win-loss record of 27-25 (.519 winning percentage) in getting to Car Queen, and I hit level 20 as I made Queen in the prior Splatfest.

Denial

When the Splatfest started, I was hot as hell. Between a good team to open and catching a lot of low-level players, I couldn’t believe how quickly I got from Fangirl to Defender. It was the first time ever that I got to Fiend in the minimum two fights, and I hit Defender six matches later. I couldn’t believe it was this easy, and I even communicated as much with a fellow #TeamCar player who racked up a 90% winning percentage on the day.

But as it turned out, I was tempting fate by daring to call out my record like that.

Sample thought process: “Wait, did I just make So Hot?”

Anger

Apparently my hubris got back to the gods of Splatoon, because the slog of losing began. The first connection error happened around this time, which knocked me off a pretty good team and of course as it happened, the level 40+ players started streaming in. It wasn’t a long losing streak to start, as I was just trading wins and losses for a bit, but there was one match just before I hit Car Champion that ended 6-80 despite nobody on my team dropping.

A few close matches in a row later, I finally hit Champion but was pretty much swearing up a storm knowing what was next.

Sample thought process: “^$&*@*)%&*(@%*(@%&_)@*()_”

Bargaining

If you’re going for royal status in a Splatfest, the hard grind starts when you hit Champion rank. The end is in sight, but you still need more points to get to the crown than you’ve picked up to this point. Knowing that you’re looking at somewhere between 20 and 50 matches in best or worse case scenarios is when the time commitment starts to crystallize.

On this day, this stage saw my record continue slipping toward the .500 mark, with a win, a couple of losses and repeat. The points were climbing slowly, and the time commitment was starting to increase as the streak indicator kept dropping flags.

Sample thought process: “Guys, I’ve got a podcast to edit, can I get a team that doesn’t suck?”

Depression

Finally, the end of the session. My record became a losing one for a few moments, and a couple more connection errors knocked me out of winning teams. The dropping hasn’t been as bad since 2.0, but it’s still rather inducing of despair. I kept up a consistent scoring pace all day, never dropping below 400 once to pick up the extra points where needed, and I went from level 20 to 23. Maybe next Splatfest I’ll get a new weapon out of the deal.

But the match that put me on the throne of cars was a rough one, and I ended up tripping Queen in a 46-40 loss at Blackbelly Skatepark. Finally, it’s over, and I begin to consider whether or not I can still play the game.

Sample thought process: “…”, accompanied by a Wii U GamePad flip that on a scale of 1 to Jose Bautista would be about a 3.

Acceptance

Normally I stay up to get the results so I can make sure I get my Super Sea Snails ASAP. Plus, breaking the news on Twitter is kind of fun. But I had been sick all weekend, so I ended up crashing early that night. It wasn’t until the next morning in which I saw that my effort had been enough, and I was on the winning end of the Splatfest with all the extra snails it entails.

Team Car won on the strength of its battle triumph, so I’d like to think my two extra wins are what made the difference. It’s probably not the case, but like the voting I did earlier in the day of the Splatfest it’s nice to pretend.

Sample thought process: “Wonder what they’ll do on Halloween?”

Talkback

SorenOctober 20, 2015

Splatfests are already starting to feel stale for me. They need to either rotate the maps around every few hours of have different modes. A Splat Zones Splatfest would be a fun change of pace.

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