@kalakh These are just the levels of mental maturity and experience that players will go through. Just like in life when people are children who are full of innocence and vigor for discovering new things, the new players that joined the game has found this new shiny thing that they are passionate about and dives head first in, consequences be damned because like children, they probably don’t even realize what consequences were in the RP world and if there were even any. To them, it’s just a game and they want to have fun which is great.
The toxic player that was described has advanced in maturity but also fallen into the pit that many fall into. A lot of veteran RPers do get past this pit and push through to the next level of RP maturity, some much quicker than others, but some never do and those are usually the toxic players, the only thing that they advance and skills they sharpen is further down the path of that toxicity.
We have all seen those types of players, from the twinkish min-maxers who are super knowledgeable about the game system, the stats, how to game the system and perhaps even learned how to push the boundaries and rules while hiding due to their years of experience. The same with the toxic or even harmful brain parasite pests, attention hogging me-me-me pests, and sex pests on the game, they’ve honed their RP skills while also honed their camouflage skills to stay hidden, to trick players into their circle, etc.
Entering this level of maturity usually happens because RPers who were new and fresh into the RP world have become better at their poses and better at understanding the game rules, the stats systems, etc. This also resulted in other players acknowledging their advances. They usually praise this player in their growth, want to RP with them more because his poses are just so nice and descriptive like in the stories they read, their characters are shiny and strong, and they make great decisions in events that help push the party or group forward to success. This is where some of the players then fall into the pit of becoming toxic, they have tasted success, they have tasted praise, it tastes so sweet, they want more. Much more. As they continue to improve and gain success, they may feel that other players and maybe even staff start treating them like they are the main character. Some games even state that every character is a “Main Character”.
These players begin losing sight these games are cooperative games, not competitive games. So they must continue to be better than others, through stats, character status, player status, they must be on top. They are the chosen one. If they continue to find success and are continued to be consistently fed praise and accolades, this only reinforces it. Sadly, they lose sight of the goal of RP, of the innocence when they first stepped into the RP world, and lose sight of the path to an even more beautiful world where cooperative RP weaves a much grander, more inclusive, richer story.
I believe this is what separates the toxic players (veteran RPers or not) and those who have pushed beyond this layer, who have embraced cooperative story telling and RP. The toxic players have not been enlightened to the fact that in the end, all this isn’t as meaningful as they believe it is. The tighter you grip this concept of self-importance over all others, the easier it is to lose those you RP with, those who you may have considered to be friends and RP partners, lose this image you have tried to build up over time. That what is important, what builds a much stronger foundation, is the story and positive experiences that you create together with others. Games are not eternal, we’ve seen the biggest, most popular games come to a close or become ghost towns. What is eternal are the people who continue to RP, who have moved on to another game, who remember their experiences with you. Who had genuine fun with you and who you had genuine fun with.
We all want that fun that we first discovered that was so vibrant and shiny, it is just that over years and years of RPing, honing our RP skills, layers and layers are built over that shiny fun where sometimes, enough layers are built that we lose sight of the fun.