Greedy Goblin

Friday, July 10, 2009

On griefing

Spinks linked to a scientific report, and also commented it. I couldn't disagree her more.

The researcher started a character, Twixt on City of Heroes/Villains, went to the PvP zone and ... PvP! The players hated him so much to start message boards and forums dedicated only for abusing him, several of them get banned for writing abusive whispers to him, even such as "I kill you IRL".

The gamer community, even the friends of Spinks considered his actions "griefing". I always found it a strange thing, it's somehow related to "node ninja". Spinks finds the reactions normal and caused by game designer errors.

At first she blames the PvP being imbalanced, as Twixt had some kind of "ultimate" weapon. Like balanced PvP could ever exist in an MMO, where class skills and gear differences exist. Even in games like Counter-strike and Starcraft (where the player abilities are equal) there are ongoing debates if the small map differences make or break the game. In WoW it's officially declared that 1 vs 1 PvP is not and never will be balanced. Even 2 vs 2 is too hard to balance, so Blizzard tries to discourage players from doing 2v2 arenas.

I'd like to note that every character could talent into the same "teleport foe" ability that Twixt used, so they could use against him any time. Actually "teleport foe" is nothing overpowered, it is identical to the DK's death grip. What Twixt did was simply standing next to NPC guards and death-grip enemy players, so the guards kill them. Other people choose to not talent into this as it would be "twixt-like" = lowly.

Then she blamed the devs for not "fixing" the game according to the whiners. I blame this comment on Blizzard. WoW players are too used to get whatever they whine for that they find it normal. I think the CoH developers found it "working as intended" and did not changed their minds instantly for a few spoiled kids.

The game worked as intended. Players played it as not intended. Instead of trying to win the zone PvP (like WG), they tried to farm NPC-s for high XP/hour for their alts. He played it right and therefore he won. In turn, they hated him.

Social people uphold the belief that - by magical means - their social groups holds the power to decide what's right and what's not. When their expectations are not met, they call the activity "griefing", "ninjaing" or "asshattery". This is plain stupid. There are only two kind of activity: legal and illegal (cheating in games). Everything what is not illegal is legal. There is no such thing as griefing.

As always, there is only one true moral rule in the world.

His most important result is (read his whole article): "the social order within CoH/V seemed to operate quite independently of game rules and almost solely for the sake of its own preservation. It did not seem within the purview of social orders and ordering within CoH/V to recognize (much less nurture) any sort of rationality"

The funniest thing came from my favorite crybaby: "By teleporting (the action described) villains into a row of firing squad computer-generated enemies, he would give the other character debt. This debt would impede the character’s ability to gain experience by cutting it in half for a certain period of time. Thus, anyone who suffered from what Twixt did would pay for it by having their progress cut in half the next time they got the opportunity to play. A full portion of debt could take upwards of 3 hours of nonstop play to be worked off." Terrible! Causing damage to an opponent! Oh no!

In the dumb-friendly games like WoW, losing has no consequence at all (Oh wait, it has, you get 1 badge and honor for it). In real life losing in a team sport can make or break your next season's contract. In business, losing a big customer to a competitor can drive you bankrupt. If you lose in the high school basketball, you lose the shiny cup and being called "champ" by others.

Losing is part of the life. Be faster, be stronger, or be more careful. No one forced you to the only PvP zone of City of Heroes. "I am entitled for nothing but rewards" is another stupid social norm. You will lose sometimes.

There is one good question remains: why there is PvP in WoW? I mean if the social norms of CoH are anti-PvP, how come that the very "casual"-friendly atmosphere of WoW tolerates PvP? The answer is simple: unlike CoH, WoW does not allow cross-faction communication. For social people, expressing feelings make the other object "human". So if there are two identical pixel characters, but one of them send me whispers, I will consider it a human being and will respect its feelings during my actions. Well, I mean if I were a social person, I would. Would CoH remove cross-faction communication, the PvP zone would turn into a gankfest.

PS: for trolls asking "what would you do if someone corpsecamp you?" the answer is simply "there is a reason why the spirit healer is in the game". Oh, you can't afford it? I can feel your pain :-)

PS2: did I mention my favorite kind of PvP?

Note: Seth made a great experiment, read it!


Thunderhorns said...

You're defending "griefing" and activities like corpse camping? Why? You really don't believe their should be rule for being polite?

Illegal and legal aka law came about by common law which is little more than agreed upon social standards. For example, if you offended me it was legal for me to call you out and kill you if you weren't a good enough warrior. But because social standards decided this was no longer proper behavior, they made it law.

I see no reason why a group can't enforce social standards into somewhat enforceable forms of behavior in a video game environment. That is exactly how real laws developed over time. So it is not surprising that a virtual video game world in the absence of legally enforceable laws would start to use social pressure and other such means to enact social standards for the community.

I think every human group does it. It's why we have culture and why they differ.

It would be amusing if you lived in one of those bygone times where legal and illegal didn't much exist and everything was decided not by money, but by physical and martial power. Then I imagine you would argue that threat of death enforced social norms.

I fail to see how being polite is an unwelcome trait in a person. "griefing" and "node ninjaing" are jerk moves, kind of like being loud and obnoxious in real life. No real way to legally enforce it, but you can ostracize the person or refuse to associate with them. Nothing wrong with that action as a reaction to their poor behavior.

Anonymous said...

If stealing wasn't illegal would you do it?

Anonymous said...

Thunder, my post was @ gevlon btw, not at you. You must have posted right as I was typing.

Molinu said...

Griefing bothers me because it's a pointless activity. It wastes your time, it wastes your opponents time.

Griefing is not PvP. In PvP, there are rewards for overcoming your opponent - honor, badges, arena points, etc.

Griefing is just killing people because you can. The flaw in the quoted research paper is that the 'griefer' received no benefit for the firing-squad kills. Since his foe was finished off by invincible NPC's, he was given no reward. The net result was that he wasted his time and wasted the time and resources of his opponent. He was NOT following the stated intent of the PvP zone any more than the socials were. If he was, he would have found ways to fight and kill his foes himself, so that he (and not the NPC's) would get the credit and rewards for the kills.

I'm not condoning the *response* to his actions. Threatening real-life violence over a video game is absurd. The logical solution for the players would be to keep a healthy distance from the NPC's, so that he couldn't reach them without exposing himself. I'm just saying that the researcher in question isn't exactly a paragon of goblinism.

Anonymous said...

If you don’t like being ganked and killed for no reason at all, go join a role-playing game/server. If stealing were not illegal, we would all see it differently, just as if we grew up thinking the colour orange was called green, we wouldn’t think anything of it.

The problem begins with this current generation of cotton wool wrapped children, which is only getting worse with each generation. Like kids sports day at the moment has completely changed so that the kids don’t compete, because it’s “bad for them”. Teaching… them… nothing.

For a change Gevlon, I totally agree.

SimonB said...

The "research" paper you are citing is so worthless that I'm suprised you've even bothered to comment on it. "If I act like an asshole people will be annoyed at me" (shock, horror). Who the hell made the funding decision for that paper?

If you want to embrace a win-at-all-costs attitude I would suggest that you're probably better of playing a FPS, and even they have "social" rules such as no spawn point camping which the rules do not always technically enforce.

Just because something is not technically illegal doesn't mean that you shouldn't do. There is nothing in the rules of football to stop me from breakdancing on the pitch for the entire game if I so choose but I imagine my fellow players would prefer I didn't - its a social game and you follow the unwritten rules as well.

Seriously Gevlon, if people have no desire to confirm to at least the vaguest of social norms and decency that why the hell are they playing multiplayer online games?

If you have no desire for social interaction in your games go play guitar hero in your bedroom.


Joe said...


This is a game, where people play in PVP areas, anything that consists of killing someone of the opposite faction, is PART of the whole element of PVP. Rewards? The only reward you need is knowing you killed someone of the opposite faction. Or they were daft enough to fall for you "death grip" ploy.

I couldn't agree more with Gevlon on this one.

Ephemeron said...

"Threatening real-life violence over a video game is absurd."

Not absurd, merely ineffective (unless, of course, the threatening party is capable of delivering on its threats). Historically, people have resorted to violence over all kinds of insignificant things; why should video games be an exception?

Carra said...

So there is only one PVP zone with lots of rewards. And instead of pvping, the players work together to get those extra rewards. It's pure profit and the smart thing to do!

And it's also a bad game design as a PVP zone is meant to PVP. A better system would be like WoW did with wintergrasp. PVP for a while and the winners get the super rewards (an easy peasy instace with nice drops).

Davide said...

Funny: my first comment here, and it's not about WOW-economy. Let me say i have read a lot of Gevlon's production, and i REALLY appreciated goblin's way!

Back to the topic, i think that a lot of people missed the crucial point. I suggest you to focus on the following:

- it was a PVP zone, this alone make me think that in that game there also must be not-PVP zone;
- some comments suggest that it was a very particular portion of the whole PVP zone, or otherwise a very particular PVP zone between the 2 - 10 - 1.000 PVP zones the game has (the thing that it has only Heroes MOB, and no Villains MOB at all tell me so... the other option is that the whole game is heavy unbalanced);
- yet people wanted to go on questing in that area, more than this they wanted to go on questing undisturbed.

So, the crucial point to me is that: them all knew that this point was something "problematic", they had LOT of different solution to the problem (fight against him, avoid the zone, go in the zone when he wasn't logged etc.), yet they preferred to act as we read.

I'm inherently optimist, so i'm confident this painting isn't really representative: the majority of the players actually DID what i just suggested, finding and applying a solution to the problem instead of merely complaining.

This researcher think he has written a paper about the gamers community, but i think he hasn't: he has written a paper about a sub-category of players, the so-called munchkin (or violent, obsessive munchkin in the worse case of real-life threater).

Yazilliclick said...

You don't like PVP then don't play on a PVP server or in a PVP zone of another game. It's not that hard. By choosing to play in those areas you chose to accept the consequences. In MMOs they're always and only about ganking and griefing due to simply how MMOs work.

The 'law' in MMOs are the rules and consequences built into the game by the developers. If you wanted to equate this to real life then it's more like people complaining that somebody had more money than them and outbid them on ebay and that it's unfair even though perfectly legal and within the rules accepted by all.

Wooly said...

This is not an easy social vs logical dilemma. I see many valid points for both sides, but I do feel the social part does have as little stronger value here this time. The simple reason being that the group that is subject to these gmae rules, are not the ones making them. If they were like sheep, they would blindly follow these game rules and look upon the others as their given enemies. Yet they chose differently and made their own rules. I think I like that.

In wow I often see a different behavior btw. Some people actually despising the other faction, taking these game rules (way too) serious. There is absolutely no reason at all to hate the other faction, yet they do, just because they belong to their faction. I think that's just as senseless as hating fans of another footbalclub, or being a fan not because you like the playstyle, but because they're from your city.

BTW, I never read your post about helping the city leaders from an alliance attack. I'm surprised that you actually care for some NPC that respawns some time later anyway. Personally I think going out of your way to prevent an opposite faction raid is even more silly as doing one, as there is nothing to gain at all. And if you do it for roleplaying sake: the true goblins chose to remain neutral in the horde/alliance feud.

BTW, in the beginning of wow, people could talk cross faction, but they removed it because apparently the adult language filter server couldn't handle it.

Anonymous said...

This is why I play on a PVE server for wow. I really don't want to pvp most of the time. If I want to pvp I'll go and do something specificly for it.

Now using the guards though thats pretty lame. There is no reason to do that other than annoy the other player. griefing is when you delebratly use a game mechanic to annoy another player.

In most contested zones in wow this isn't a problem. Death Grip them -- neutral guards attack you for being the aggressor.

There is no defense for the dishonorable. Corpse Camping is dishonorable. Getting the guards to kill people for you is dishonorable. Tricking someone into flagging pvp is dishonorable. Using game bugs against a player is dishonorable. All of the above are against the TOS in wow. And should be in the other MMO.

Now there is a iffy part what if the person is fighting NPCs and low on health. My rule is if they helped me when I was in trouble I help them, or if they are grey I ignore them. Otherwise red == dead. And then I don't kill them again when they res. If I see them somewhere else I'll kill them. Probably send a custom emote to tell them to unflag and wait 5min to res.

Heywood Djiblomi said...

Using the guards... 'Tis reminiscent of the Snake Trap trick, getting the NPC to trigger it, thereby freeing the snakes to gank nearby lowbies.

Creative use of game mechanics - Brilliant!

Yaggle said...

I don't know....I mostly agree with you. However there is a type of "griefing" that I cannot bring myself to accept. That is the type that can happen on any WoW server where somebody else attacks your quest mob, and then you have to start the quest over. Sometimes this involves a lot of lost time. People from your own faction can even do it to you. Blizzard has tried to change things so this doesn't happen, for one, having you tag a job as soon as it aggros you, so maybe I am beating a dead horse here, maybe it's been fixed. But in outland quests I had this happen at least 2 times I remember. One of those times it was in Terrokar Forest where you need to gather the 30 skulls and then summon the big bone dragon mob. My GF and I were doing the quest together and we were pretty unhappy campers gathering up those 30 skulls again. Worst thing is, it's not a PvP server so I can't attack them afterwards. I think these people are psychopaths who think it's my own fault for letting them do it. Maybe that makes me a crybaby or maybe that's not really the same thing you are talking about, not sure. I agree with the incident you are speaking of, reminds of of Everquest when people would complain if you killed their guards and then the guards would not protect them. They did not understand that their guards were enemy mobs to me.

Joe said...

I've been thinking about this griefing malarky for the best part of the day.
MMO's are a place where people come to play. Tick.

Based on the setup Blizzard has issued on WoW, factions throughout lore fought, then became allied, and fought again.. Tick.

Unless you tap it first, the mob, the node, the shiney object you want isn't yours. Tick.

Applying a RL social/morale concept around these things puts you in a place where you will get grief'd. Tick.

The goblin way ignores these community driven morales, in most given situations in order to play the game and be succesful, and sure, a little greedy. Tick.

To surmise this, anyone left whining about a node-ninja or mob pull or pvp death, are in a sense, deluding themselves from the actual game, but rather sheltering themselves in a comfy "fake" social network of players that take turns and share.

Since in the game these kind and safe social ideals can't be forced onto everyone, I do sometimes wonder why they bother even blogging about it in teh first place.

Its an opinion on how players should play, true, but so is the the ninja steal, but its not the one you play by or want to hear about.

So you form two social groups, those that play "fair" and those that play to "win". I'd rather be a player that earns/wins/and gets that node, than the wet loser that keeps claiming what ever I took was theirs.

It wasn't because I have it.

The goblin way also promotes competetivness in this way, therefore bringing the game play back to the game, and not just making a game a new form of facebook.


Anonymous said...

The only person not wasting their time on this is the professor, who got paid for doing the research. Someone was a douchebag and some kids got mad at him. It's the internet, so the societal norm of "if you act like a douchebag then someday, someone's going to be strong or pissed enough to beat you up." doesn't work as well. Many 14 year olds have discovered this, and some dude with a PhD found a way to get paid for it so that other d-bag kids could lol.

Big deal, move on, it doesn't prove any of your autist theories.

Unknown said...

I think you need to put down Rand and pick up Hobbes or Locke, something about the social contract perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking one of the things going on here is people playing with different win conditions.

The game was set up so that players could all benefit by not fighting in the PvP zone and instead farming for achievements. So most players, like good gamers, saw this immediately and headed off to do it. The rewards from actually PvPing were small in comparison.

Twixt wanted to win the zone (and annoy people). It didn't really benefit him but maybe it was fun, and the rules of the zone encouraged it.

So who was really playing to win?

plutosdad said...

You are completely ignoring how laws get created in the first place, which is common law. How do you think people decide on what should be illegal? It's that very social order you deride as non existant. Certainly a certain amount of ignoring it is tolerated, but if too many people ignore the social conventions, or one person exceeds it by a great amount, the rest of society will take action against them.

Anonymous said...

I never grief, because I don't get anything from it. I can either corpse-camp the M&S for one hour or sell glyphs for 2000g (to the same group of M&S who need to grind so they can pay me, if I prevent them from grinding elementals, I would lose double).

If someone is grieving and cannot be stopped inside the game-rules, then chances are, the game-rules are broken. Basically he is cheating and that should be stopped by the devs (or law enforcement). If you can spam a single move in a beat-em-up game to win, go for it.

Gevlon, you might like "Playing to Win" by Sirlin. Great articles.

If you want to grind the elementals in Wintergrasp and some idiot tries to kill you, you should just kill him instead. That solves the problem.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, you are truly the Jack Thompson of the online world. Anything you support must, by definition, by totally f'ed up.

Afalach said...

So I farm in Wintergrasp alot on a PvE server. The titanium is rich, and the competition for nodes is low. The daily quests are easy, and can be done in a single pass around the map.

There are two areas designated on the map, one for horde and one for alliance. If your faction does not own the Keep, then you start the battle here and your flight path is located here.

One of the many common things to farm in Wintergrasp is fish. Many high level fish that can be cooked into useful raid food spawn here, and you merely have to get your pole out and grab them. Little time, alot of profit.

So, in my oh so wonderful horde ways, one of my favorite things to do is start at my flight path, work halfway across the map to where the alliance flight path is, and look for anyone that was foolish to afk at the flight point or are fishing for profit.

They are in a pvp zone, they are flagged and so am I. So if I catch an alliance with his fishing pole equipped, effectively with his pants down, I'm going to kill him. He's there, he helps me complete my quests, there is no reason why I shouldnt. If he doesnt like me killing him, then he shouldnt be there with his fishing pole out.

This even has the side benefit of decreasing the already small competition in the zone. If I see some random alliance member swooping in on a particular mining node, I wait til he's close and not expecting it and fall on him from above and collect my quick kill. Then I take the ore. Hopefully while my victim hasnt released yet and is sitting there watching me do it.

And the kiddies will whine about it. It's like was said so many times on my old rp-pvp server, "PVP ON A PVP SERVER? NO WAI!!!!"

MyName said...

As long as the ones who were killed by NPCs aren't stuck in a situation where they end up in a rez->get killed->rez->get killed cycle, I don't have that much sympathy for them. That is, as long as the guy doing the griefing isn't rolling up honor points while letting the NPCs do the real work for him. That would be a bad system.

On the other hand, I agree with one of the previous posters that what he is doing is the actions of a dumb kid, not a true goblin or social. The way to approach this is to get a group of like-minded players who are good at PvP and just beat the snot out of the other guys. That way you get whatever the rewards are for PvP and the other guys still "lose". What the griefer is doing is not true competition but using an exploit for his own twisted sense of accomplishment.

MyName said...

Just to clarify, what the kid is doing is like a lobbyist who gets the government to give them free money. Only, the lobbyist isn't actually getting any money (honor), so it's an even bigger waste of time.

Andy said...

Well said Gavlon, I'm sort of on the opposite side of this arguement, but I respect your opinion.

I don't mind griefing, as long as I am not involved in any way.

Townes said...

It's been too long since I took a sociology class to say anything too academic, but I think the players made the customs of the game in the article you linked, and that it isn't surprising that someone who violates the group norm gets a negative reaction. The strength of the reaction doesn't make sense to me from my WoW experience, where even we PvE sorts expect to be attacked when we're fishing in Wintergrasp or after we desecrate the fire. I didn't whine when the level-80 players ganked my level-40 player doing the fire quests - I expected it. Apparently it wasn't expected in this other game.

What you say about cross-faction communication makes sense, but sometimes common sense and reality are not identical. I have read that before my time, there was cross-faction communication in WoW PvP, and that Blizzard removed it because all the cross-faction insults created too much drama. Instead of seeing each other as humans, as you'd expect, people were just more vocal about seeing the stupid opposing faction of cartoons.

I think people want some kind of fairness, and that in this CoH game, they had an idea that PvP in a PvP zone wasn't fair. Why? I have no clue. From what I read the game evolved that way - it was basically PvE and the developers were trying to introduce some PvP but it wasn't working.

This is why I gave up a PvP server in WoW. I thought it would be fun to PvP while questing. I think I had one fair fight in the 20-30 zones, leveling 2 different characters. Mostly it was high-level players roving around one-shotting me or the questgivers. I thought of it more as "stupid" than as "griefing" and went to PvE servers where I can usually level in peace and can PvP any time I want.

Even if it's for that stupid mount from For the Alliance/Horde.

Bristal said...

The very fact that a game can elicit a (albeit immature) response like "I will kill you IRL" is indicative of what makes the MMORPG gaming experience so engrossing for so many people.

The unexpectedness of random PvP, even in a limited area adds drama. I play on a PvE server only but have still been ganked a few times walking through areas or killing MOBS that I didn't realize would flag me. That's part of the damn game. You take on the role of a character with weapons and armor who's main role is to KILL THINGS!!!

Whining that your tentative "truce" in a PvP farming area was upset by an aggressive, clever player is just idiotic. Get angry and fight back. That's the point of PvP!! There does not need to be an ingame "reward" to justify player behavior. If it amuses you to take out a flagged player from the other faction while he's farming, the game rules support that.

I agree with Gevlon's point, that whining and badgering the developers to "solve" the awful little annoyances we all experience because not everyone agrees with the definition of "griefing" will turn (is turning) this game into a simple, boring slog. Don't kill the drama!

That said, THREE HOURS of 1/2 experience gained from getting ganked would unsubscribe me in a heartbeat. Somehow I doubt that's really the case, though.

Unknown said...

I'm constantly amazed at how many people don't understand the Number 1 rule in this life.

Might Makes Right.

Jack Sparrow said it best - "Out here, the only things that matter are what a man CAN do, and what he CAN'T."

And some humans will do anything that they can get away with. Including 'griefing.'

YOU have to take some action if it happens to you. At the most base level - this might mean fighting back, or simply avoiding the offender completely. (Fight or flight.)

Just don't whine. That's just pathetic. Running away is more respectable than whining.

Might Makes Right.

It applies to everything - business, law, religion, politics, friendships, social ethics... yes, even PvP computer games.

Oh wait - what about strength in peace? By being humble, caring and nice to everyone, we can set a good example which will eventually be followed by all, right? After all, the meek are destined to inherit the earth, no?

Bullshit. The meek are only successful when they're backed by something mighty (eg, powerful law enforcers or sheer numbers).

Might Makes Right.

Does that mean we all need to be a$$holes?

No. I'm very peaceful by nature. Even in WoW, I regularly give away large sums of gold, give up my time to teach my friends, and insist on tipping without being asked.

But if something mightier beats me down (eg repeatedly ganked by a Furious Gladiator mage), then I'll accept that he's won that round, and brush it off. What's the point in whining, or even being embarrassed about it?

However, if my mates are in the area, I'll happily recruit them to hunt down the offender, and corpse camp him until he logs off.

Might Makes Right.

The sooner you accept it, the sooner you'll adapt to life's challenges.

Orgalia said...

Very interesting arguments on both sides. I actually have toons on both factions on different servers. Some on PVP some on PVE. I enjoy all aspects of the game and that is what it is there for. Using the AH as a mini game to make bank. Using battlegrounds for pvp to build honor. PVP server to have fun and world PVP. All these aspects were built for a reason. The question is why do you play the game if it isn't fun? Games are inherently entertainment. They must be giving a person entertainment if you are playing. If you are getting upset go outside and play in real life so you aren't stressed.

Kitha said...


"I see no reason why a group can't enforce social standards into somewhat enforceable forms of behavior in a video game environment."

First off players have no "power" in changing the rules, terms of use and actual code of the game. Also being in the majority is not always make you right. Your view point is your own, and getting in a group to enforce your own's a mod, large neough it is a society.

Kitha said...

"Griefing is not PvP. In PvP, there are rewards for overcoming your opponent - honor, badges, arena points, etc. Griefing is just killing people because you can."

Is that the actual definition or your own personal view point on it? I played WOW before a badge system, before an "honor" system, before a little reward besides bragging rights. Was that just grief servers and not player verse player servers? I like how unless you get a pixal reward, something tangible in game then it is not PVP. It couldn't be any other view points out there, couldn't be a roleplay or lore value, couldn't be to just do what someone enjoys?

There was a great post on the WOW forms a long time ago, on a PVP server about higher levels killing lower levels. Everyone knows the rules and the "laws" for PVP servers, shouldn't be a surprise to you if you are killed by surprise or not in a zone for no real "prize". The other faction jobs is to kill you honestly, that is the goal of making zone contested and ability of combat between players. Not to mention that in WOW it specifically said corpse campin is not griefing for sending tickets awhile ago.

That alt, that new player will one day be on par with me. Possibly equal in skill if not more, possibly equal in gear or more. Possibly I might see them 2, 3, 4 months or so later in my PvP bracket fighting me. It is my duty if I want to just PvP to make their leveling as slow and painful as possible, since that is the rules of the game my friend. War is not fair.

Kitha said...


"I fail to see how being polite is an unwelcome trait in a person. "griefing" and "node ninjaing" are jerk moves, kind of like being loud and obnoxious in real life. No real way to legally enforce it, but you can ostracize the person or refuse to associate with them. Nothing wrong with that action as a reaction to their poor behavior."

I think being poliete is a great trait...but in a video game, it is the same as drivers on the road and people on the phone. They are all super UFC fighters all of a sudden...some people just suck, some people are just rude, some people are the cowards and weak. Some like to cry if things do not go their way.

From my understanding of the article he never became "rude" except by people who believed he was being cheap. He was social before and was polite in his conversations and dealings. I find it amausing he used a tactic to win a fight; which in dealing with hand to hand combat in the military my Drill Instructor told me that there is no rules when dealing with someone who is trying to kill you. Break a finger, poke his eye out, etc....

In arena is it fair and not polite to run behind a pillar to get out of line of sight? Same type of game mechanic in my mind.

As for ninjaing...I am sorry the game has pre-defined loot rules implemented in them. Same with "node ninjaing", I am sorry that I do not agree that I see someone fighting near a node and must assume it is their. Big business care about one thing and that is profit, cold ahrd earned profit. If I am wanting a ndoe and mining, I have my own time, my own play style and should nto bow down to you if you feel you somehow claimed a node with your personal flag like it was the moon. Otherwise you were not quick enough to get to it, or smart enough to not let it happen.

Molinu said...

Heh. I'm glad I chipped in on this one. The bizarre, outlandish justifications I'm seeing for griefing are more amusing than the actual article. Griefing and PvP are different, unrelated activities.

In PvP, there is a challenge involved. You fight players of approximately equal level and gear, and there is a good chance you will lose. There are rewards involved for winning - honor, badges, and arena points.

Griefing gives no challenge and no rewards. It's pointless. It wastes your own time, it wastes your target's time. It's the MMO equivalent of vandalism.

I'm not arguing the in-game legality of griefing, since clearly such things are permitted. I'm not arguing the morality of such things, because I have found that trying to argue right and wrong on the internet is a sure recipe for a headache.

I'm arguing that it's STUPID. There's no challenge involved. There are no rewards involved. It's a waste of time. I never see a griefer wearing full arena gear, because griefers are not PvPers - they waste their time hunting down lowbies instead of learning to beat foes their own level in arenas.

I assumed at first that there was some sort of mystery fulfillment to it, and when I got a chance, I took 15 minutes and went off to gank a few lowbies in Stranglethorn. It was about as exciting as watching paint try. I click on them. I attack. They die. The end. Whoop-te-freaking-do. I had more fun playing Frogger in Naxx.

Why people gank will remain a mystery to me, much like why people follow certain celebrities or why they buy my overpriced gear off the AH instead of buying mats and tipping a crafter.

Side note, I still think that threatening IRL violence was stupid and absurd (as well as illegal, although rarely enforced). It's a freaking game. Grow up already.

Thunderhorns said...


As for ninjaing...I am sorry the game has pre-defined loot rules implemented in them. Same with "node ninjaing", I am sorry that I do not agree that I see someone fighting near a node and must assume it is their. Big business care about one thing and that is profit, cold ahrd earned profit. If I am wanting a ndoe and mining, I have my own time, my own play style and should nto bow down to you if you feel you somehow claimed a node with your personal flag like it was the moon. Otherwise you were not quick enough to get to it, or smart enough to not let it happen.

Are you really this stupid? Not quick enough or smart enough?

No one plans to get aggro. And even if you plan well to avoid it, you get it sometimes. If you tell me you never have, you can add liar to your name because there isn't anyone in this game that hasn't landed near a node and gotten aggro at some point.

"Node ninjaing" is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. Blizzard made "node ninjaing" fairly rare now that mining nodes take only one hit.

But it was pretty lame before when you were mining a node, got a hit or two on it and then something aggroed on you and some jackoff would come and take the last bit of the node knowing full well you had the node but got aggro.

In those instances if you feel like being a selfish, self-centered piece of garbage, then you go ahead and do it. I don't do it because I don't think it's right. I think it's what thoughtless, selfish people do. When I see a person starting to mine a node and they get aggro, I'll help them dust the mob and let them get back to their business.

If they're just faster to the node than I am, I don't bother them. Doesn't bother me to lose out to someone who hits the node faster. That's competition. I don't worry about competition.

But node ninjaing a person who has accidentaly gotten aggro is total BS. I don't do it and I don't like people who do it. To me that's typical of a selfish jerk.

Corporations as a comparative example to WoW is pretty stupid. There are no corporations in WoW. Just a bunch of people playing a game behind a computer. They can choose to either make the game world a pleasant place to play or pursue selfishly their goals. It really doesn't matter, no one forces them to play a certain way. You play the way you do and respect the social standards you respect because of your personal moral codes.

Luckily for us players Blizzard has made "node ninjaing" and "griefing" much harder to do than it used to be. Back when it took a few hits to mine a node, "node ninjaing" was very irritating. Now it's an occasional loss of a node.

And "griefing" requires you to wait 5 minutes to rez. Not a big deal for anyone.

But it was and still is the behavior of a selfish, self-centered piece of garbage. I do not do it nor do I care for people who do.

If you fight for a node because a mob was standing on it or you had to clear to get it and some jerk takes, it doesn't have anything to do with intelligence or quickness. It has everything with the other person having no respect for another person's efforts. No matter how you try to paint that, it's the behavior of...I'll say it again...a selfish piece of garbage.

Thunderhorns said...


Anyone who whines about "griefing" or "node ninjaing" in a PvP zone is a ridiculous fool. You step into WG to do your mining and fishing, then it's open season on you. PvP zones are out and out war. It's the purest competition WoW has to offer competitive gamers.

Wanderer said...

It is my duty if I want to just PvP to make their leveling as slow and painful as possible, since that is the rules of the game my friend. War is not fair.

It's not a war, though. It's a game. Games are a formalized competition which is supposed to be fair. That's one of the things that makes it a game.

As for your your idea that it is your duty to make the game as unpleasant for other players as possible, consider this: You say you're a PvPer. If so, you want the chance to test your skills against someone of equal strength, so that you can enjoy winning by virtue of your superior skills. That's why you're doing PvP, not poking Hogger with a stick. So why, then, would you want to reduce the number of possible future opponents you could play against? Isn't that counter-productive?

For the people who say "if the game software doesn't prevent something, it's perfectly okay to do" ... would you also say that it's okay to move some chess pieces around when your opponent's back is turned, because they're not physically locked to the chessboard?

It's called "the law of the jungle" for a reason. The history of five thousand years of civilization has been an effort to relegate that law to the jungle where it belongs. "Might makes right" and "if I can take it from you, it's mine" are the words of the criminal, not the civilized man.

Look at it another way: if, as some of you have said, any tactic that achieves victory is legitimate, then meta-gaming is perfectly legitimate. If using an exploit to get an opponent killed is perfectly fine, then using the forums to get an opponent banned is equally fine. You can't draw the line where you want it and then deride others for drawing the line where they want it. Either, as you say, there are no rules outside those which are enforced by the software, in which case those people who reacted angrily to Twixt did nothing wrong and you have no reason to condemn them, or there are social rules, and the only difference is whether those rules include "don't use exploits" or "don't use forums". You can't have it both ways.

Remember, again, that we're also not talking about someone who was trying to win for the sake of competing or winning. We're talking about someone who was trying to be as big of a douchebag as possible in order to see how other people reacted -- and then went whining for the waaaaaambulance when those people reacted as expected. It's not really about PvP, or about competition, at all.

Anonymous said...

I've read a bunch of stuff about this and I'm glad to finally get a kid's perspective on it.

Kristine Ask said...

@ Wanderer

Great point! Cant have one without the other.

Seems alot of people think that griefing is just killing people in PvP. Its not. Griefing is about making the game less enjoyable for other players. Twixt just happened to do it in a PvP zone.