Guilt Over Tilt

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Mercernn and edited by Weevil89.

What is tilt?

Tilt originated as a poker term describing a state of mind characterized by temporary emotional or mental tension that prevents the player from evaluating the state of the game as well as their chances properly. This usually occurs when hard work doesn’t result in the success that you crave so desperately. In short, the more attempts you make without immediate positive feedback, the more tilted you can become. The reason why being tilted causes you to fail more is that oftentimes you adopt a less than optimal strategy or just have bad luck, usually resulting in you becoming overly aggressive – especially when it results in a loss. Some people handle these moments better than others. Are you one of the people that do not handle it very well? Do you feel guilt over tilt at times? Don’t worry, we got you covered and explain throughout the article how one gets tilted in Gwent and how to deal with it.

How does one get tilted in Gwent?

While originally being a term used solely in poker, the phenomenon of tilt has found its way into the lexicon of numerous other competitive card games, Gwent included. There are numerous causes or triggers of tilt: one day you could get tilted by game design, the other by your misplays, or it could also be a technical issue or social determinism which pushes you to your limit. Let’s delve into some of these examples a little further. 

Let’s start with game design. There are many things regarding game design that could make you tilted in Gwent. A very common one, for example, is RNG or random number generator, which is basically a tool that determines what you create, what cards you draw or who will go first in round one. In this particular context, we are talking of RNG that has a higher ceiling than it should have, meaning it is either too powerful or unreasonably reliable given its inherent risk. Think of a card like Bribery. The more good gold cards get added to the game, the more powerful Bribery gets. And the more powerful bribery is, the higher the chance you can get tilted by it. Imagine your opponent playing double Bribery with Stefan Skellen and getting your Madame Luiza and Savolla that wins your opponent the game. Perhaps, one could ask, what is it exactly that makes this seem unfair, unfun or undeserved? Well, if we were to play the psychologist here, we might deduce that people don’t like losing to something that they have no control over, or to something that is way too easy to use despite being very powerful and therefore can be exploited by virtually anyone regardless of their experience. Both of these cases ultimately suppress or even negate the involvement of the player on the receiving end which can lead to frustration. 

To follow up, let’s talk about misplays. A misplay like when you mulligan aggressively and brick your tutor could make you feel like it’s the end of the world. Think about playing a tutor like Naglfar. If you have all your gold cards in hand then Naglfar plays for zero value which means you are basically playing with one card disadvantage. You might despise yourself for being so greedy and it can really disrupt you from playing the game as you want to. There are many other misplays that can get you tilted in Gwent. A simple misplay like accidently shuffling a card back into your deck that you wanted to keep in hand could already make you punch your computer screen.

The third one that we want to further explain is technical issues. We all know that with every patch there will always be new technical issues added by CDPR to the game after fixing some of the old ones. Some people claim CDPR does this on purpose so people can feel important about themselves after sending in a support ticket. One of the main technical issues that gets you tilted is when you are losing your connection when you were 100% sure about winning that match. Or do you remember when Syndicate got released and spenders were able to still spend coins even when they were locked? This made lots of people furious and even caused people to uninstall the game. This resulted in people calling Gwent a “dead game” around that time.

And the last one that we briefly wanted to mention is social determinism. What we mean by this is for example when your opponent is roping every turn or is roping when there is only one card left in the hand. This happens even when the card doesn’t require any usage of the brain. Like, playing a Golyat. Another example of social determinism that can tilt you is whenever your opponent keeps using emotes. Now, of course you can mute your opponent to stop this. But, that means that you are already feeling annoyed and slightly distracted by it, which could result in a misplay, or even roping yourself because you couldn’t find the mute button.

How can you deal with tilt?

As with most problems or conditions, oftentimes the best solution can be found in efficient prevention. If you want to find a way to keep your inner tilt-demons on a short leash, the first necessary step needed will be to realize what is actually happening to you when tilt occurs. Keeping your head cool in such a rush of emotions can be more than tricky, however, try to search for patterns of behavior, particular misplays, emotions, feelings and whatever you can experience to identify the tilt and prevent any future occurrences before they can affect your gameplay. 

Tilt does not exist purely in the vacuum of the game, though, but in the mind of the player. It is an extension of how the player perceives the game, but is rarely (if ever) a reflection of how it actually is. You are the one who can intervene in your attempts to command and conquer, with the style and slyness of an a-tier Temerian general! By rule, you should attempt to prevent these two worlds from mixing and just leave all the luggage that you’re carrying with you the whole day at the checkout before you move on to the fun time place of the game itself. Whether it is a long day at school, work, or a family reunion with several slideshows of holiday pics that your aunt Anna has to provide a sadistically detailed commentary for, all of these issues can (unfortunately) wait for you once you’re done with the game, so do not let them spoil the fun and your chances to win while they last, well, unless you actually enjoy going through 300 pictures of seashells and sand – then you should be fine. 

Mentioning traumatizing events, it would be the right time now to just briefly cover a phenomenon that is partly related to how tilting can affect your playthrough and that is “ladder anxiety”. This term describes (surprisingly) a feeling of anxiety or stress that you experience on (even more surprisingly) the ladder. In this very case it would be either the standard ranked ladder, as well as the pro ladder, but theoretically also the Arena. In its very core, ladder anxiety is characterized by the fear of losing a certain amount of progression that you’ve achieved whether it is a particular rank, MMR, or a mosaic piece, that ultimately puts more pressure on you by catalyzing the amount of tilt that you’re already experiencing. 

Dealing with ladder anxiety can be just as difficult as dealing with tilt, but the easiest solution (at least on paper) is to just stop caring about whatever it is that is haunting you. Lost games, progression, prestige, or just your own skill, can all change with passing time and, therefore, just try washing any worries related to them from your mind, well actually rather from your sweaty hands, as well as your keyboard, mouse, or phone. 

This “player hygiene” has many further applications. If you’re serious about being as efficient as possible, perhaps experimenting with as many variable factors could be the easiest way of suppressing your “tiltorments”. Try listening to music, your favorite podcast or TV show to reduce the stress coming from the competitive nature of the game. Playing with a friend or even letting your friend play while you’re only giving them advice can help too as your perception changes. If you can, try to change the time of day when you play, or the place where you play. Perhaps if it hurts to breathe, just opening the windows could ease your tension. The options are limitless. 

But what if nothing helps? Well, then a more serious case of tilt could be what’s harming your efforts to be the best around and nothing’s gonna take you down, because that’s quite possibly where you already are, right down on the ground, immobilized and about to give up. If this were your case, the best you can do is to just take a short break from the game, immediately and unconditionally. If you need five minutes to cool down, take five minutes, if you need an hour, then an hour off is what you should go for, but turn off the game immediately, otherwise you could be tempted to continue and regain what you have lost. Take a shower, wash the dishes, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, it doesn’t matter – just leave the game and the mindset of a monkey trying to climb as high as possible to reach the sweetest bananas behind and regain your balance and strengths. 

Still tilted even after the break? Then you might consider removing Gwenty cards from your schedule for even a longer period of time. Sometimes depriving oneself of something is the best way of realizing how much we love it. 

There is still a decent chance, though, that your tiltorturer will get resilience and you’ll (un)happily reunite with this old friend of yours in your next play session. If that were the case, acceptance and patience are perhaps the only options you’ve got left. The more time you spend in the game, the more you grow accustomed to any of its imperfections, any tilt-inducing elements included. Therefore, what the arguably best and most efficient solution to tilt is, even though it takes most time, is to just let go, step by step. Don’t let any of the imperfections of the game or yourself discourage you as there is nothing wrong or dishonorable about losing. In fact, the more you lose the more you learn, so one could even be encouraged to lose more! Then again, there are such individuals for whom “losing more” is virtually impossible. *Cough* *cough* definitely not Mercernn *cough* *cough*. In any case, just try again, learn from your mistakes and maybe you’ll win next time. And hey, if you don’t, who cares? Perhaps it’s just a bad day (but not a bad life), so don’t be so harsh on yourself. Take pride in what you do and continue on your path to improvement. 

Final words from us

Dear reader, if there is anything we would like to close this article with, then it would be that you should never feel ashamed for getting tilted, regardless of what the reason for it was. It happens to all of us sometimes. Unfortunately, though, while getting tilted is completely normal and natural, it is by no means useful or productive. We all have to deal with it to not harm ourselves, or our surroundings, and therefore we sincerely hope that the few bits and pieces of advice we’ve managed to put together in this article will help you with finding the proper direction. We wish you the best of luck in your future Gwent matches as well as strong nerves and a lot of patience!