One of the most joyful things that video games (and especially Re-Volt) have brought to my life is online gameplay. Playing online has different ways across different communities, and using an etiquette is one of the things in which the Re-Volt I/O community differs.

Re-Volt I/O has 2 kinds of online sessions: radioactive and peaceful. During radioactive sessions, the players are free to do whatever mechanics the developers have implemented. However, during peaceful sessions, there is an online etiquette, which is enforced on players. This etiquette is available at the Re-Volt I/O site.

While I don't think it's neccessarily bad to have an option like this for hosts, I have some firm opinions against it, and I'd like to list these.

No stopping to utilize weapon could be unfair for the person running in front.

Re-Volt is a game, where one of the main elements are weapons, which cars can shoot at each other. One of these is the electro-zap, using which you can stop the opponent's car for a few seconds if you activate it and get close them. Lots of players use this when racing side by side with each other to slow their enemies down. However, there is a technique called stop and zapping. When a player in front gets a zap, and feels like they could get a bigger advantage by doing this, they can slow down to zap the other car. It is a risky move, since the other car could have a zap as well (or some other weapon, for the matter). The game has these weapons so that people can use it however they want, and gain an advantage in whatever ways possible. If weapons are on, the person, who can use weapons better, should win if they drive equally. Now what happens with the etiquette? The first person could get the best weapon possible (a zap), and could still not stop their opponent who's coming behind. The chances of getting a forward firing weapon or a zap is much higher than getting a backwards firing one, and the ones that fire backwards are less powerful. The game was designed mostly so that people can shoot the cars in front of them, not behind. The only way to break the 2nd place's chance is to make a well-timed move and utilize your weapon like that. That is forbidden by the etiquette. 2nd place players are free to shoot people in 1st, while people in 1st are locked. Which leads me to the next point.

That's not what the game's designers had in mind.

When Acclaim was creating the game in 1999, they probably weren't thinking of a future etiquette where certain things would be banned. A specific track comes to mind: Museum 1. The track was shaped in a way that people can use their weapons for a long while after the U-turn. The designers intentionally made it so that the level would cause the most chaos imaginable. But now, in etiquette enabled sessions, people can't even use weapons on that section. This is also very true for the 2 Ghost Town tracks. The U-turns are that open so that the players can shoot the other lane. Otherwise they could have just put something between the 2 paths.

It's confusing for new online players.

Imagine that you have been playing a game for many years. You decide to try online, since you got bored of playing it alone, or you just want to get into some online fun. There's three ways this could go:

  1. You see the etiquette, and don't understand why you have to obey those rules, since that's not how the game is supposed to be played.
  2. You don't see the etiquette, and wonder why you get kicked from the session.
  3. You see the etiquette and accept it.

However, I feel like long-term players would not go for option 3. Option 2 is more about those, who just want to hop into sessions. They probably won't really read the etiquette and play how they want.

All-in-all, I feel like the etiquette is restrictive of skills and usage of mechanics provided by the game. If people get stop and zapped, they can also stop and zap the other player. This game provides the freedom for this, and that's how it is best played. And if people don't want to get treated by weapons like that, there's always the option to turn them off, and have a pure racing experience. That's my opinion, anyway... stay tuned, and keep on honking!

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