WoW Insider publishes a guide to griefing. WTH?

by on July 21, 2011


We have a rule on MMO Melting Pot – we build people up, we don’t tear them down. We never feature an article unless we love it.

I’m about to make an exception to that rule.

Because either WoW Insider’s rogue columnist, Chase Christian, has just published a spectacularly awfully judged attempt at a joke, on the largest MMO blog in the world…

Or WoW Insider has just published a detailed guide to griefing.

Yes, their rogue column today is a guide to “world PvP” – read “ganking” – in the Firelands daily quest area. You know those total assholes who keep making a painful grind even more painful and even longer? This guide is aimed at helping them ruin your day even more effectively:

Your only objective here is to throw a wrench into your enemies’ plans. You don’t have to kill them to succeed. If you’re doing your job properly, there will be a handful of enemies camping the ramp on the edge of the safe zone, waiting for you to slip up. There will also be a parking lot of enemy players up the ramp, trying to pull mobs into the sanctuary zone so that they don’t have to fear your wrath.

When there are multiple players hiding at the sanctuary out of fear for your blades, you’ve done your job. Every minute that they’re delayed is another minute you’ve stolen of their time.

As we say at the bottom of every MMO Melting Pot article, “this is a direct quote” – from Chase Christian’s article. WoW Insider is now in the business of assisting griefers.

I really don’t know where to begin. If you enjoy PvP, more power to you. But if you enjoy fighting players who don’t want to fight back, who offer you no challenge (and the guide actually goes into detail on how to avoid anyone who might give you a fair fight), and who you’re only killing so you can have the pleasure of bullying them, you are a fucking asshole and I want nothing to do with you.

(We don’t usually swear on the Pot either. I’m making an exception.)

Many of the commenters on the post have gone into full-on apologist mode and are claiming the article’s some kind of joke. I really can’t see any sign of that, and even if it is, it’s still full of useful information for the idiots whom the joke is supposedly on. I play a rogue, have done some PvP, and to the best of my knowledge, the information’s accurate and useful. If this is a joke, it’s the equivalent of publishing a parody article about car theft that includes usable instructions for hotwiring.

Otherwise, I’m afraid that for this one particularly unfortunate day, WoW Insider has joined an extremely small and unfortunate list. That being the list of MMO blogs that are actively involved in making the game worse for many players through griefing. Assuming there’s no retraction from them, we’re going to have to carefully consider if we will ever link to WoW Insider again.

I’ve been reading WoW Insider since it launched. I’ve occasionally been very proud of them. I’ve never before been this disappointed in them.

Really bad call, guys.

In responsible journalistic fashion, I intend to contact WoW Insider and ask for their comment on this article. I’ll post any responses I get.

We’re not linking to the article in question because we don’t want to give them traffic or Google rank for this article. However, if you really wish to check it out you can find it at http://wow.joystiq.com/2011/07/20/encrypted-text-how-to-run-the-molten-front/ .

Quote taken directly from Chase Christian’s article.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: Editorial Feature,World of Warcraft

{ 68 comments }

Derevka July 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Yeah, gotta admit it does seem in poor taste. Particularly the “Every minute that they’re delayed is another minute you’ve stolen of their time.” part.

Yes yes QQ, PVE Carebears…. but really? From a “community” website, it is a bit disappointing to read.

BiscuitUK July 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I generally have a lot of time for Mr. Christian – his Pally blogging and contribution to the World of Matticus podcast are generally good – but this is definitely on the wrong side of the “acceptable” line.

I play on a PvE server because I choose to avoid world PvP, but I’m also of the opinion that if you roll on a PvP server you do so in the knowledge that you can and will be griefed at some point, so griefing within the Molten Front does not strike me as an immoral thing to do. That doesn’t mean, however, that there needs to be guides on how to grief people on high profile blog.

Bolder63 July 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

If you’re playing a max level character on a pvp server getting ganked by the opposing faction is nothing new to you. If you don’t want to pvp, play on a pve server.

Rogue ganking it’s not a bug it’s a feature! Would seem to be remiss of Chase to not write about pvp once in a while it’s not all 5 mans & raids you know.

Rilgon Arcsinh July 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

WoW Insider is a terrible “blog” edited by terrible “editors”. This surprises you, coming from the site that made Guildwatch, a.k.a. “lol, let’s glorify loot thieves and laugh at the plight of guilds undergoing internal turmoil!”?

The fact that their brainwashed community comes out and damage-controls for Chase is pretty hilarious, though.

Matticus July 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Not speaking on behalf of WI on this one.

But speaking as myself on a PvP server, my players will do whatever it takes to defend themselves even if it means going on offense first. We’re not going to wait around and be ganked. There’s no such thing as a fair fight. There’s been times when I’ve been shut out by a good hour under overwhelming opposition. I’d just log off and go read for a bit or do something else productive.

The Guildwatch column was cancelled and completely reworked a long time ago. It’s now called Classifieds which continues to promote guilds looking for players.

Rades July 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I actually didn’t have a problem with the article. First of all, it clearly emphasizes the #1 fact to remember – it only works if the targets are PVP flagged. Whether this be a PVP server or because they have flagged themselves, it really makes no difference – PVP flagged is fair game. And you have to remember the people who live for PVP, who love the thrill of World PVP and never knowing when you will be thrust into combat – they’re as legitimate a customer demographic as anyone else. Some people play for lore, others for raiding – some play for PVP.

Let’s face it – if you play on a PVP server, this is nothing new, and complaining about being killed out in the world is pointless. Honestly, if you’re on a PVP server and you DON’T expect this regularly – and know how to combat it – it’s no one’s fault but your own. And if you are PVP flagged on a PVE server…well, why? If I walk in there PVP flagged, I am willingly and knowingly taking that risk.

The article DOESN’T tell players how to cheat and gank people who never signed up for PVP, such as tricking them into flagging themselves. THAT would be unfair and reprehensible. All the article does is take a situation that players have knowingly entered, and offer advice on how to perform.

As a player on a PVE server, this article doesn’t bother me at all because it doesn’t concern me whatsoever. I’ll never be in a situation to be ganked in the Molten Front, and if I am, it’s my own fault for being there while flagged. And if I were on a PVP server, I couldn’t regard being ganked as bullying or griefing, because of the simple fact that it’s a PVP server.

Verados Windsong July 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Originally Posted By Rilgon ArcsinhWoW Insider is a terrible “blog” edited by terrible “editors”. This surprises you, coming from the site that made Guildwatch, a.k.a. “lol, let’s glorify loot thieves and laugh at the plight of guilds undergoing internal turmoil!”?

The fact that their brainwashed community comes out and damage-controls for Chase is pretty hilarious, though.

@Rilgon Arcsinh

Ril and I agree on this.

Hugh Hancock July 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm

@Matticus – I really can’t see how you can consider someone in full PvP gear tearing apart a clothie in greens with her back to you “defence”. There’s another word for that, and it’s not a nice one.

And whilst you may have the flexible schedule to simply log out and wait for a better time, many people don’t. When you gank, you might be ruining someone’s only chance to relax for the day. That’s actually fairly serious. I’ve seen people close to tears after being repeatedly ganked whilst they’re just trying to have fun. This stuff has actual effects on real people.

Rilgon Arcsinh July 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm

@Rades – I know when I choose an audience to cater to, it’s sociopaths.

Zosima July 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Dying to PvP from another same level character is not Ganking or Griefing (just like losing a /roll doesn’t mean you got ninja’d). Chris Metzen himself has said that in Cataclysm he intended to put the “war” back in “Warcraft.” There’s nothing wrong with Chase’s article. If you don’t want to engage in PvP combat, don’t flag in a public area or don’t play on a PvP server.

Sure, sometimes it sucks when the opposing faction sits flagged a quest giver in order to force you to unintentionally flag. In that situation either report the offending player, wait it out, or come back with a militia of your own and solve the problem with good old world PvP.

Chase’s article isn’t teaching “griefing.” He’s explaining tactics to do what one does on a PvP server. I would take issue with him if he was teaching players how to sucker players into flagging when they didn’t choose to, but that’s simply not what is going on here.

MMOMP, you have embarrassed yourself on this one. You attempts to “shame” Chase and WI have simply made you look silly.

Rilgon Arcsinh July 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Originally Posted By Zosima If you don’t want to engage in PvP combat, don’t flag in a public area or don’t play on a PvP server.

Yes, because that’s always an option. It’s not like people ever have to choose between playing with their friends and not rolling on a PVP server. People NEVER end up on server rulesets they don’t like due to their friends being there and (maybe) liking them. People never end up having to move to PVP servers despite not liking them due to limited/lower-caliber raid guild possibilities on PVE servers. None of that ever happens.

Oh wait, it happens all the goddamn time, and Chase encouraging the harassment of people that are more than likely at the Front just to get their goddamn dailies done and log off is nothing short of sociopathic.

It’s also no better than what I’ve come to expect from WoW Insider, so you’re right in that trying to claim that this is a dramatic departure from WI’s normal standards is incorrect.

Rebecca Judd July 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

“Yes yes QQ, PVE Carebears…. but really? From a “community” website, it is a bit disappointing to read. ”
- Derevka, first comment.

This. This is the nail on the head, my hat off to you Derevka.

A couple of other points to drop into the pve/pvp server discussion…
a) when I first rolled on a PvP server, I was a newbie. I didn’t have the first clue about what being on a PvP server meant. So no, being on a PvP server doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you’re getting yourself in for.

And before you suggest “transfer server then” – think twice. Why should I bow down to someone else’s ruleset and have to use my (real) money to move away from it?

b) if you do know what being on a PvP server means, then yes; perhaps expecting to be ganked now and again is reasonable. However, as a non PvPer myself I will stretch to saying “ah, I’ve been killed once, ok, fair enough.” That is me compromising my preferred playstyle to accomodate other people and the things the server rules allow (and just because the rules allow them doesn’t make them law to carry out).

But if I’m killed repeatedly – no, that’s not fair or reasonable. If I’m not engaging in a fight back with you, Mr. PvPer, what on earth makes you think I want to play like that, and what on earth makes it interesting for you to keep killing someone who’s just standing there?

Ian July 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

The PVP-server griefing/not griefing debate is a near-endless one.

My position in that is that, regardless of the server settings, if your efforts are purely directed towards wasting someone’s time and detracting from their enjoyment of the game, with little or no actual gain or challenge, you are griefing. No two ways about it.

While it can be argued that the onus is on the victim to gear and skill up for PVP if they want to stay on a PVP server, this is a weak argument given that griefers of this sort don’t want to compete. As with the article quoted, they actively avoid competitive situations. They assert their supremacy over casual players and keep them down by wasting their time, actually reducing the likelihood that the casual player will become capable of putting up a fight. It’s a contemptible practice.

The server settings allow for world PVP, and I signed up for RP-PVP servers for that reason – PVE servers create a problem in situations where, for RP reasons as much as anything else, you want to PVP. I didn’t ‘sign up’ to grief, or be griefed, any more than someone posting on a forum ‘signs up’ to be flamed viciously. It happens, and there’s ways of doing it without breaking the rules, but that does not make it right.

Rebecca Judd July 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

…what Ian said. Very, very well said that man. I’m going to bow out for now and watch the discussion continue :)

Hugh Hancock July 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

@Ian – Thank you. That’s a supremely eloquent way of putting it exactly.

hordemaster July 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I don’t have a problem with players ganking others. MMO Gamer even had an entire series on ganking “squishys” and other topics. If you are on a pvp sever, isn’t it just taken for granted that there are players out to do this?? Just saying.

Sunnier July 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm

As unimpressed as I was by that WowInsider article, I am even more disappointed in this one. Really, a whole article devoted to shaming another? I thought MMO Melting Pot was supposed to encourage blogging, even if it was an opinion you disagreed with. This is not the spirit I like to see in the WoW Blogosphere.

Rades July 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Rebecca, I know exactly what you mean, as my first character was on a PVP server because I had friends there, and I greatly – GREATLY disliked the PVP element (just the ganking, I was fine with legitimate World PVP.) But I have to disagree with you when you say that you shouldn’t have to “bow down to someone else’s ruleset and have to use my (real) money to move away from it.” If you go to another country, you have to follow the established rules, like them or not. If you start playing a new game, you have to follow its rules, even if they aren’t to your liking or aren’t what you’re used to. And if you (the metaphorical you, not “Rebecca” you) are a PVE player on a PVP server and you don’t like it…well, the problem isn’t with the server.

Sometimes you just have to realize that you made a choice that was the wrong choice for you. And pay to transfer off, or (this is what I did) just reroll and leave it all behind.

Zinn July 21, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I agree that even if it’s a joke, it’s a really bad one. It’s about one of the worst behaviors in the game, and I don’t think it is funny at all to joke about how to ruin other players game time. It’s “only” a game and all that, but we’re talking about abusing other people for your own fun. When did that become fun to joke about?

Zosima July 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm

People never end up having to move to PVP servers despite not liking them due to limited/lower-caliber raid guild possibilities on PVE servers. None of that ever happens.

When has Blizzard ever force moved a player from a PvE Realm to a PvP Realm? If a player is on a PvP realm, he made a choice. That’s right, he’s dealing with the situations that develop from his choice. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If you don’t want to play with PvP rules, play on a PvE realm. It’s arrogant or at best naive to expect an entire server, no an entire type of server to bend to your thoughts of what it “should” be, no matter what the well published rule set is for that type of server.

a) when I first rolled on a PvP server, I was a newbie. I didn’t have the first clue about what being on a PvP server meant. So no, being on a PvP server doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you’re getting yourself in for.

You’ve been an a PvP server from 1-85 and you are just now figuring out what it’s about? Come on now. You chose to roll a toon there and you are choosing to stay there. The rules haven’t changed, just your acceptance of them.

Hugh Hancock July 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm

@Sunnier – It’s the only time we’ve ever done so and likely the only time we ever will. But we were all frankly appalled at a site the size and importance of WoW Insider deciding to support ruining others’ enjoyment of the game.

We had a long discussion between the Pot staff before posting this. We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think it was really, really important to stand up and say “actually, bullying is not OK, nor is enabling it”.

Zosima July 21, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Originally Posted By Hugh HancockWe had a long discussion between the Pot staff before posting this. We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think it was really, really important to stand up and say “actually, bullying is not OK, nor is enabling it”.

Please don’t try to use the anti-bullying movement to cover for your attacks on Chase and WI and a serious job in your professionalism. Bullying is a real problem in the real world. This is playing a video game by the rules established in that game. While there is bullying in the online world, this certainly isn’t it. World PvP in a VERY populated area is certainly not bullying.

Rilgon Arcsinh July 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Originally Posted By ZosimaWhen has Blizzard ever force moved a player from a PvE Realm to a PvP Realm? If a player is on a PvP realm, he made a choice. That’s right, he’s dealing with the situations that develop from his choice. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If you don’t want to play with PvP rules, play on a PvE realm.

Woo, a Just World fallacy! Come on, what other logical fallacies can you invoke? Gonna go for Godwin’s Law too?

Hugh Hancock July 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm

@Zosima – We disagree on this point.

(cutaia) July 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm

“Gonna go for Godwin’s Law too?”

You know who else made straw man arguments? Hitler.

Hugh Hancock July 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Out for a few hours. I’ll reply to and if necessary moderate comments when I get back around midnight GMT.

Zosima July 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Originally Posted By Hugh Hancock@Zosima – We disagree on this point.

You believe that engaging in simple Player vs Player Combat on a Player vs Player Realm is bullying?

Linedan July 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm

The quote from the article that gives me pause is: “Every minute that they’re delayed is another minute you’ve stolen of their time.” That’s not the mark of somebody looking for some PvP fights, or even a few honor points via ganks. That’s the mark of somebody who’s just out to, pardon my French, fuck with the opposing faction for no other reason than to be a jerk. They’re not out for kills. They’re out to keep the opposing faction from getting their dailies done. That’s where it starts to become a little bit more than just “PvP happened.”

That having been said, it IS a PvP server. And you should expect PvP to happen at any point. Rebecca, your comment about “Why should I bow down to someone else’s ruleset and have to use my (real) money to move away from it?” is wrong, IMO. We hear this a lot on RP servers. If you rolled on an RP server, then you’d damned well better at least respect other people’s roleplay if you don’t choose to participate yourself, and if you don’t like it or think RPers are “lol” then get off the server. Same thing goes for a PvP server IMO. I started on a PvP server and left because I didn’t like getting my level 20ish self constantly ganked by level 50+ characters. The PvP ruleset allows for people to be dicks. Yes, it sucks when they avail themselves of it, but that’s the way things are on PvP servers and that’s the ruleset Blizzard has implemented.

Tesh July 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Seems to me that Blizzard has always winked away griefing. PvP in a level/gear game like WoW, where a level capped character is order(s!) of magnitude stronger than a newbie character will always invite griefing. This is especially egregious when playing in a sub game, where time wasted directly correlates to money spent. Maybe that’s just “part of the game”, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea, or something worth encouraging.

Zosima July 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Tesh, this is level 85 on 85 in a very populated area on a PvP realm. If Chase was explaining techniques for level 85 to kill level 10s it would be a different matter, but he wasn’t. He was giving advice on how to engage in World PvP with other same level players.

Zinn July 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

@Zosima

But still with people who are in a position not to defend themselves. In fact he points out ONLY to attack those. It’s still not about fair game, so don’t say it is.

Daniel Friedman July 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

The molten front daily quest zone is a tiny area, and the graveyard is right next to it, and the quest-giver area is a sanctuary zone where players cannot be attacked, even on PvP servers. This is also an area that only max-level characters have access to. This is an area that funnels a lot of max level players of both factions into a small space where flying mounts cannot be used. A lot of players like to pick fights out in the world, and they roll on PvP servers to have that option. The Molten Front is designed to facilitate that kind of player interaction.

WoW is a pretty mature game, and there’s no significant reward for time spent ganking, so there aren’t really any well-organized ganking squads running around. The novelty wears off pretty quickly, and people get over it, especially since anyone who is really equipped to just crush other max-level characters probably has lots of other stuff they need to be doing to maintain a competitive edge.

If you’re so undergeared that you’re dying inside a single player’s stunlock, then there are other places you can go to progress your character where you won’t be ganked. If you’re running into this meatgrinder in quest greens on a PvP server, and you’re unhappy that people are killing you, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you.

Ben Sanders July 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Well, thanks for bringing my attention to the article, it was an interesting read (although not linking it was just being awkward).

My pvp with the firelands quests normally happens during the quest in sethiras roost; everyone is hitting the same elites, then ones helps decide to attack someone elses helpers, and the fastest way to finish it involves killing them.

Although there was a rogue who had a couple of kills on me yesterday.

Grorin July 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Being on a PvP server is a choice. Enjoying a PvP server when you are have the advantage does not give you licence to complain when the tables are turned. Transfer to PvE or suck it up. (I play PvE specifically so I don’t have to worry about this crap)

Carson July 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm

“But if you enjoy fighting players who don’t want to fight back, who offer you no challenge..”

Why on earth would such players have chosen to roll on a PvP server?

Hugh Hancock July 22, 2011 at 12:22 am

@Ben Sanders – The reason I didn’t link to it was a policy decision – inbound links are actually quite valuable and help up an article’s Google rank. I don’t want to make that article any more accessible than it already is – if someone’s griefing I’d rather they didn’t get help with it.

Velidra July 22, 2011 at 1:13 am

There’s a difference between “world pvp” and “griefing”. World pvp usually resolves around players going back and forth, not a one sided slaughter designed to piss of other players and waste their time.

Rilgon Arcsinh July 22, 2011 at 2:09 am

Originally Posted By Carson“But if you enjoy fighting players who don’t want to fight back, who offer you no challenge..”

Why on earth would such players have chosen to roll on a PvP server?

There are a host of reasons, as I’ve already mentioned.

Dinaer July 22, 2011 at 5:46 am

I don’t pvp. I dislike pvp immensely.

However, I don’t agree with your blog post at all. Your judgmental tone is way out of character.

I remember when I first signed up for WoW. I had never played any other MMO or online game at all at that point. The tooltips and guidance in the initial setup made me realize the difference between PvP and PvE servers. I chose a PvE server. It was quite obvious what would result from playing on a PvP server.

Yet people continue to sign up for PvP servers, and then complain about the PvP there. It boggles the mind.

From a game perspective, the opposing faction is attackable targets. But you shouldn’t get attacked?
From an RP perspective, the horde and alliance are not on friendly terms. But you shouldn’t fight?

I know that I would hate trying to quest on a PvP server. That’s why I’m not on one. But then I don’t try to get all indignant about what goes on there, either.

Lufitoom July 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

First, as I state quite often, those who can gank… do. Let’s get honest here. I gank there. I gank there a lot. I target PvEers and PvPers equally but love to see 50+ k crits on targets without resilience. You know what else? I get attacked there… even die sometimes. I do another daily, and it goes back and forth.

So anyway, I’ll keep ganking and doing my dailies. Knowing I’m smart enough to wear resil gear there (since it is stupidly easy to get for ANYONE now… no reason for anyone not to be wearing it in that hostile environment). I wouldn’t wear my pvp gear in your raids and expect to be successful, don’t whine about getting blown up in my world for wearing the wrong gear.

If you want to get into immersion, we are at war. I am going to kill my enemy no matter if they are picking flowers, dancing or turning in a quest. If I wanted to be all snuggly cuddly with Hordies, I would roll on a carebear server where leveling is easy. (My friend has her 5 year old at level 70 now on a PvE server and he is doing it himself lol!!!).

Did none of you ever visit the plateau in BC? I mean, talk about a gank fest! This is nothing.

As for them posting it on a community. KUDOS TO THEM! I am THRILLED that they really ARE a community (I love CAPS btw). It wouldn’t be a community if they excluded those of us WPvPers..

Anyway, wish I was on your server. Just sayin’!

Lufitoom July 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

Originally Posted By VelidraThere’s a difference between “world pvp” and “griefing”. World pvp usually resolves around players going back and forth, not a one sided slaughter designed to piss of other players and waste their time.

I do it for the rage tells. Still love me?

Mex July 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

That’s got to be one of the [edited - keep the tone civil, please - Hugh] I’ve ever read.

PvP happening in a PvP zone on a PvP server? Did you forget that you’re playing an MMO? If you want to do the same goddamn content two hundred times in a row without ever being bothered then go and play pokemon. MMOs involve player interaction, for better and for worse, and the fact that you’re so oblivious to that is exactly what’s wrong with WoW these days.

Syl July 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

Odd thing to find such a ‘guide’ on WI surely… on the other hand I am with Rebecca on this. this is exactly the reason why I personally didn’t choose to play on a PVP server even though I enjoyed battlegrounds in WoW – PVP servers mean to be ready for it everywhere and all the time. my game time was limited and I couldn’t have put up with silly kids corpsecamping me while questing or ganking my quest hub, so I went for PVE.

Maybe I’ve just accepted that’s how things are. I am also rather against too much regulation on PVP servers; you play there because you like strife, chaos and anarchy and yeah, that also means it attracts childish and stupid people. then again, the idea of the real anarchist / very open world MMO is one I endorse (for example the recent ‘everything goes’ server that was launched in AoC), I just never felt WoW was really that. so, luckily we can choose how and where to play.

Lufitoom July 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

Originally Posted By MexThat’s got to be one of the most [edited - keep the tone civil, please - Hugh] I’ve ever read.

PvP happening in a PvP zone on a PvP server? Did you forget that you’re playing an MMO? If you want to do the same goddamn content two hundred times in a row without ever being bothered then go and play pokemon. MMOs involve player interaction, for better and for worse, and the fact that you’re so oblivious to that is exactly what’s wrong with WoW these days.

I think you are fantastic. We should cuddle.

But seriously, this post got them traffic. I know my response on twitter was: “@Mmomeltingpot lol. Biggest qq post ever. Pvp happens in contested area… news at 11. Reroll carebear server or stfu. /hug”

Jaedia July 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

You saw my two cents on twitter.. I would have posted them here but I wanted to get my point across and I was pretty angry. Know why? Here’s my life story. Or, my WoW life story in a nutshell anyway.

When I first started playing wow, I was a newbie. I hadn’t gamed before. I didn’t know what the different was between “pvp” and “pve” and “rp” and “rppvp” I asked, and I was told: “If you want to pvp, you have to be on a pvp server. Pve servers are boring. We’re on this server.” So I listened, still not knowing what it meant, and rolled on the server I knew people on. My then boyfriend and our friend, who would help me out a bit to begin with. This was toward the end of vanilla wow. I’m still on that same server.

I’ve grown up in this mmo on that server because I made friends on the server I played on. *SHOCK HORROR* I levelled my warlock, joined a crap guild, kinda enjoyed myself and fit in but hated my warlock so I rerolled, levelled a priest, made some more friends in a levelling guild, then joined a new guild at 70 (ok, 67). A couple of months later my boyfriend broke up with me and it was in that guild I met my current boyfriend of 3 and half years now. I hated the ganking more than anything, but sure I knew it happened. I was part of this server now.

I’ve joined guilds, made friends, levelled characters, made gold. All along the way, I hated the ganking and the griefing. It’s part of a pvp server, I know that, but it doesn’t make me hate it less. IT IS BULLYING. No more no less. Fair enough, you try once. But if you’re purposely being a tosser to get your own way because you find it amusing that another person is annoyed or upset – HOW IS THAT NOT BULLYING?

I tried to leave once. Transferred my Hunter to another server but it didn’t work out. I didn’t enjoy myself without the other half and he wouldn’t, and couldn’t, move. So I had to abandon the Hunter for a while to be able to enjoy myself properly. Back on that first server that sure I hate, sure I want to get off, but I can’t. It’s not affordable. I don’t enjoy myself. And people who think it’s so easy to just put up and shut up or not play there… you have NO idea how bloody stupid that sounds.

I know I should play on a pve server if I don’t like the bullying that goes on. I know. I wish I could. But I can’t. And it’s not fair to expect me to shell out the money to be away from it when I’m living hand to mouth every week or abandon everything I’ve worked so hard on these past years to reroll.

Not everybody who plays on a pvp server likes it. And those same people will have reasons for being there. Grow the fuck up and realise that not everything is as simple as you bloody well think it is.

PS. Sorry for the rant, that was a heck of a lot milder than it would have been if I commented last night. The article annoys me, but it’s there. The attitudes of the mass of morons however, they just downright piss me off.

Aralosseien July 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

For me, a PvP server would be a nightmare. I suck at PvP and general awareness. I’d be a perfect target for gankers, which would eventually upset me, especially if it got in the way of limited gametime and completing what I needed to during it. PvP servers are meant to be about combat though and the victim doesn’t get the luxury of choice. I don’t think the problem is a lack of understanding – there are intelligent, thoughtful people who have commented about their situation on PvP servers and I don’t believe they ‘don’t get’ PvP servers. What it seems to be is a situation where people want to have their social circle without the PvP ruleset – sadly this isn’t the case for them. Guys, don’t take me wrong on this. I feel really bad for you and I can only try to empathise with the situation. It’s just…it IS your choice, however hard or seemingly impossible the situation.

Now corpse-camping, repeated ganking, holding up quest nodes…these aren’t things I have experience of. Hands up on that one. They sound frustrating, upsetting and juvenile. But this article isn’t giving advice on how to corpse-camp. It doesn’t, at any point that I saw, advocate the repeat targetting of one enemy. That might have been the impression people took but it isn’t written down anywhere. What it does talk about is holding people up and preventing them completing their tasks. This seems mean-spirited to me but I wasn’t surprised when I read it. My thoughts went roughly along the lines of “Ah, PvP servers. Glad it’s not me!” before I got on with my day. I think a lot of the emotional response to this comes from the pent-up frustration of people playing on a PvP server that don’t want to. The article itself isn’t the end of the world, even if you find it distasteful. I did too, as I’ve said. What seems to be riling people are the three awful practices I’ve mentioned above and to me, it seems unfair to lynch Chase Christian for writing one article that isn’t to the taste of all when the issue is obviously so much bigger than this.

As an afterthought, I can’t quite understand why so much venom is being directed at WoW Insider for publishing this. They are a blog after all, the same as any other, just with a much bigger setup and audience. If I find a blog is not to my liking, I simply don’t read it again (i.e. Gevlon, who just makes me mad). They aren’t obliged to publish only the articles that are non-controversial, helpful and humorous. Losing subscribers that have read this themselves and disagree is one thing, but I’d be disappointed to see a smear campaign started off the back of this, against WoW Insider as a whole or Chase Christian. 

Rebecca Judd July 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

@Syl – sorry, I think I didn’t quite get my point across. I’m gonna try to re-explain, hope it helps (though looking at it it’s now turned into a very rambly comment so for the TL:DR version, please read Ian Mulliner’s first comment which I agree with completely and is written very succinctly and elegantly :) )

I don’t think that by just being on a PvP server means you have to either have to accept or want world PvP to be an option at all times. I do think that being okay with the odd random encounter is reasonable – for example, if you and a member of the opposite faction are questing in the same area, if they engage you once, that’s reasonable.

But as Ian says, I don’t sign up on forums to be trolled, and I don’t sign up specifically on PvP servers to be PvP’ed. (especially if they’re not pure PvP servers).

What I don’t think is reasonable is the types of world PvP which are a) pre meditated; b) repetitive and gaining neither the attacker nor the defender anything (if the attacker is literally corpse camping you and jumping the moment you res, while you’re at half health and vulnerable and/or c) jumping you when you have mobs on you and/or are otherwise preoccupied/at 15% health. All of these forms of world PvP are, in my eyes, nothing more or less than bullying and that’s not acceptable anywhere.

Sorry for the crossed wires Syl, hope that puts it more clearly =)

Jaedia July 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

@Aralosseien

Actually, the choice, on my end at least, is either put up with griefing, which admittedly isn’t that bad on my server because there are barely any Alliance these days but I still can’t condone it as anything other than bullying, or quit the game, because if I wasn’t on the server that I am on, I wouldn’t be having any fun at all.

Also, my issue isn’t necessarily with the article directly, but the, “Don’t like pvp servers? Don’t be on one.” mindset.

I just don’t see why griefing, sexist comments, prejudice against the mentally disabled, and all of those issues that crop up is seen as, “Eh, it happens, get over it.” *shrug*

Anyway, I’m finished here. Still <3 you! :)

Jaedia July 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

@Rebecca Judd

Can I also add something?

People don’t expect everybody on RP servers to roleplay so long as they’re respectful. It’s the same for PvP servers. You don’t mind that people like world PvP, sometimes they’ll even approach you and give it a try, but if they keep trying to engage you, that’s not cool. You wouldn’t like it on a roleplay server, so why accept it on a pvp server?

Hugh Hancock July 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

@Aralosseien – To restate my main point: choosing players to attack on the basis that they won’t be able to defend themselves (as the article advises), and deliberately aiming to “steal” (Chase’s word) as much of their time as possible is bullying. Or harassment. Pick your preferred word.

I believe that both bullying and harassment are repugnant, and I find supporting and enabling those acts deeply inappropriate and offensive. And publishing advice to enable them on a major, well-read blog is irresponsible. Hence this article.

Hugh Hancock July 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

@Jaedia – Quite.

I would have a similar problem with WoW Insider’s publishing a guide on how best to drag unwilling people in RP, how to pick people who won’t be strong-willed enough to say they don’t want to do that, and how to ensure that you RP in such a way as to upset them as much as possible. I imagine that would be a sentiment many people, including most serious RPers, would share.

Rebecca Judd July 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Now a general response. First of all, thanks for the comments guys.

As to the feeling from some people that we posted this for traffic, or other underhanded motives… that’s simply not the case. I mean, come on, if it was for traffic we’d have been singing their praises and trying to deck the article out with halos.

Yesterday Hugh brought this WI article to my attention and said he was thinking of breaking our informal rule that we don’t give people a bad spotlight, and he asked my opinion. I was surprised he was thinking of doing this given it’s WI and they have are, quite literally, one of the biggest pillars of the WoW community outside of the game, and generally have a decent reputation.I was also surprised given Hugh’s featured a lot of WI posts in a good light in the past – moreso than me – and I know he generally really likes them.

So I looked at Chase’s article as Hugh had asked. I only got halfway through it before I had to stop reading and tell him that yes, I thought he should give it a negative spotlight, because to my eye WI had just posted a long and detailed guide enabling people to more effectively bully other players.

Given what I’ve just said about WI’s reputation, I was both appalled and shocked that a site with a responsibility to promote and protect decent behaviour and standards in the game, would instead promote something that enabled bullying.

That is why we posted this. It was a joint decision by everyone here at the Pot. Yes, we posted it because WI is a big site. No, that doesn’t mean we’re trying to ‘take down’ ‘competition’. No, we probably wouldn’t have featured it if it had been on a smaller site. The reason we featured it because it was on WI was because of the influence they have on the community, which is larger than anyone else, and they had dropped the ball on the responsibility. And we were shocked.

Perhaps we should have retained a neutral tone. It’s just really hard to do that when something you feel so strongly about – bullying – is being promoted by a person or organisation whom you feel has a responsibility not to do so. We wanted to stand up against something we thought was very wrong.

We realise that WI has many other writers who post good and innocent posts, and we’ll continue to feature them; we’re not trying to slander all of WI. But that something like that would get posted there was just so very… shocking, to our eyes.

Anyway. There it is. You can either believe it or not, now; it’s up to you. We’re not going to say another word on it. But before you decide we’re underhanded rogues who’ll do anything for traffic, consider giving the integrity we try to uphold – and expect other big community facing sites to uphold – some more credit. After all, our traffic hasn’t gone up from this and we’re actually pleased about that.

Syl July 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm

@Rebecca Judd – No worries Rebecca, I hear what you are saying here! :)

Aralosseien July 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Darn work internet – I can’t hit reply to anyone, so I’m sorry.

@Jaedia – I’m sorry to hear that for you, the choice is not a choice. I hope your friends and partner appreciate what you do for them by staying! I also hope that they’d be willing to roll an alt on a PvE server with you for a break sometimes, if you asked them :)
I think it’s a tad too emotive to lump in-game griefing in with the very real issues of sexism and prejudice against mentally disabled people – but I know you’re only saying that to illustrate a more general problem of human apathy when confronted with something that isn’t easily changed.

@Hugh – To clarify my own ramble, I don’t think I said it WASN’T bullying. As I mentioned, I found the article distasteful. I just believe that a PvP server will have these issues, whether they are acceptable to the non-world PvPers or not. I agree that articles on any website that provide help in genuinely trying to ruin other players gametime are malicious, despite the author’s intentions. But whilst the overwhelming opinion here is in agreement with you (myself included), your site is also a major, well-read one and putting a rare negative focus onto WoWInsider purely because of their pageviews seems unfair. If this issue means so much to you (which is a great thing, because passion about changing something that isn’t right is never bad!), maybe it would be fairer to continue to point out articles that are equally irresponsible, regardless of their audience size. I’m not saying that the risk of negative influence on playstyle isn’t bigger when it happens on a large blog, but every blog that advocates these practices is guilty of the same offence.

Hugh Hancock July 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

@Aralosseien – I see what you’re saying. To be honest, I very rarely see these kind of articles on the blogosphere, which is one of the reasons I was so shocked. (Outside of Gevlon’s blog, anyway, and we’ve covered that particular can of worms before.)

I’ll think about your comment. I wouldn’t want to consistently feature posts that we don’t like, because that’s no fun for us, and if we were to harshly criticise a much smaller blog, I think there would be some argument that we’re bullying ourselves. But nonetheless, there’s clearly an issue to consider here. Thanks!

Aralosseien July 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

@Hugh – I admit, I haven’t seen many around either but after this, I’ll be making more of an effort to comment on those I do see. There definitely has to be a balance so that disagreement =/= bullying though. Thanks for seeing my point through the wood of words!

OutOfFocus July 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Did you ever hear the “just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should” expression? That applies to the article in question, and to all the people here and there who keep saying “it’s a PVP server, of course this is OK”. No it is not. Just because it is possible to do this on a PVP server in a mostly PvE zone, you really shouldn’t. Mainly, because this is the behavior of a 6 year old who still didn’t learn the concepts of honor, bravery and decent social interaction. And to the writer of the text, who apparently thinks this makes people afraid of him: *snicker*. Really? People he does that to are not afraid, they are annoyed. They are upset because he is ruining their game time (of which the people with families and jobs have only limited amounts). This doesn’t make somebody a big, bad, scary man who demands respect, it makes them a coward and a few more choice words which I decided to skip. So if that is your goal, I guess you succeed. That says a lot about you as a person, though.

Lufitoom July 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

This isn’t griefing. It isn’t by Blizzard’s own standards: This taken from Wowwiki sums up everything Blizz has said:

“PvP Griefing – These actions, although some may see them as dishonorable, are considered legitimate PvP tactics and will not be addressed by gamemaster staff.
Bluewalling
Corpse camping – Not considered griefing on servers designated as “PvP”
Graveyard camping
Ganking – Not considered griefing on servers designated as “PvP”
Kill stealing
PKing repeatedly
Twinking
Training mobs
Blizzard isn’t against griefing behavior when there’s a PvP remedy (if you can get together a group of allies to trounce the offending party or simply kill all the mobs quickly, the problem is solved), but when the griever is impossible to attack (is not set PvP, or is of the same faction as his targets), there is no such PvP remedy.”

I will gank anything red, regardless of level. I am at war. My enemies do not deserve to live or enjoy the spoils of success.

Again, people attempt to gank me… and are successful. I don’t go whining, crying and looking like a complete bitch to everyone because some big bad pixels killed my pixels. I rez, go try again.

Kaelynn July 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm

This isn’t the first time Chase has encouraged ganking, so his article came as no surprise to me. At one point he actually encouraged killing lower-level players. I used to get angry, as I played a rogue and I felt he was representing “my” class with a display of behavior I considered reprehensible.

As time has gone on, I’ve realized that players like Chase and others who have commented in support of him here and on his article, view PVP in a completely different way from us “carebears”. It’s not about honor, or the challenge of taking down worthy opponents. It’s not about the great World PVP battles of yore. To them, playing on PVP server is more like a First Person Shooter such as Counterstrike – kill everything that’s red. Killing unsuspecting, weaker players who don’t even want to engage in PVP seems like an asshole move to us. They see it as just part of the game. Video games allow us to do lots of things that are considered “evil” in the real world. The reason this is such a tension point is that their actions affect real people, not just NPCs. They are able to justify this because they truly believe that being on PVP server means that all players are willing participators, and those that aren’t need to leave, no exceptions. They see the game in a completely different light from us, and nothing we say will change their mind.

I appreciate the post, and your passion. I remember all too well how frustrating the heated debate on this topic can be.

Hugh Hancock July 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm

@Rilgon Arcsinh – Hope you don’t mind, I’ve removed those posts because they no longer made sense in context. Let me know if you’d prefer to have them up.

mhorgrim July 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm

@Rades
I have to agree on all points with Rades.
- Don’t like pvp, better to do the questing and stuff for content on a pve server. I respect this and don’t denegrate those who choose not to partake.
- New to pvp, roll in packs. Numbers is a wonderful thing. If your guild won’t back you on a pvp server to get your stuff done, find a different guild that will.
- On a pvp server, guess what it’s the risks you take. I take the risk all the time and have been camped at times. It’s part of that world. Ganking is a reality on pvp servers.
-Personally I do not condone rude behavior from pvpers though. I hate those that make rude or crude jestures after a kill or taunt out of hand. The kill is enough for me. If I think someone is questing, after a couple of kills I leave them alone.

I do remember trying to get the Thrall quest line done and getting locked out hard from it for a day because a pvp guild had locked the place down. Since there was a choke point, no one could get in there to finish the quest line that night. I don’t begrudge that guild, they were good, no doubt about it. I just waited till they got bored and then came back later. This is what pvp servers are like. I was also doing dailies in the Firelands and it was an ugly mess, but by seeing how people were hunting, I was able to counter their tactics, get my dailies done and get out relatively unscathed. The thrill of it was figuring out a way to get it done without getting nailed myself.

From the point of view of a hardcore pvp’er, understand those things are simply tactics in their mind. If that was a bad thing, think how it would be in a total open pvp server where no one except those in your party could kill you. Age of Conan was brutal like that. If you got on one of their pvp servers, well…that’s the world they lived in. It taught me alot about tactics and being able to counter those hunting me. It also taught me sometimes when a zerg run came, you ran or you died repeatedly. But that is the inherent risk.

When I’m in a BG and I camp a graveyard till someone quits, am I wrong? No, its a battleground. I’m there to win. I’m not there to be nice. I accept that as I give no quarter, I ask for none either. I am not rude by nature and will not humiliate someone, but I will fight without mercy in contested zones and expect my adversaries to do the same in return. If this isn’t to one’s liking, don’t go on the pvp server. You can still give your cross server friends Real ID to do your dungeons and what not.

mhorgrim July 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

@Rebecca Judd
I understand the reasons for the thoughts indicated Rebecca,
I think more to the point, how come no one has come up with counter tactics to deal with the strategies presented by the nefarious sort? Biggest of course is not be on a pvp server that gives the player a chance to become a victim of the predatory attitudes. But what about thinking to beat those predators at their own game and post that for those still a little squeemish about getting into the pvp world?

Cynwise July 23, 2011 at 1:34 am

@Hugh: Since the new site I’m trying out probably isn’t on the Pot’s radar yet, and I don’t see a trackback from Posterous, it’s only fair to ping you that I wrote a response to this post. (I’m unable to get a comment through with a URL, I will send it to you via twitter.)

I might not personally prefer to engage in world PvP all the time, but that’s why I play on a PvE server. I choose when and where I PvP this way.

Interesting article. I don’t agree with it, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Rilgon Arcsinh July 23, 2011 at 7:13 am

Originally Posted By Hugh Hancock@Rilgon Arcsinh – Hope you don’t mind, I’ve removed those posts because they no longer made sense in context. Let me know if you’d prefer to have them up.

Oh no, no worries at all. Like I said, mixing up blog staffs (and a sincere apology for conflating MMOMP staff with WI “staff”).

Carson July 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

@Rilgon: your list of reasons makes repeated reference to reasons for players being on a server ruleset that “they don’t like.”

So you choose to play under a ruleset you don’t like. Then complain about those rules. Then expect those who chose to play there for the right reasons to change their behaviour to fit the ruleset that you prefer, despite the fact that neither they your you chose to play under those rules. Then you accuse THEM of griefing when they don’t.

Do you see the irony? Griefer.

Hugh Hancock July 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

@Cynwise – Thanks for the ping. It’ll be interesting to read something well-thought-out from an opposing point of view.

Shintar July 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I’m afraid I have to agree with the naysayers on this one. I just don’t see that article as really offensive.

World PvP is a game of its own. The fact that it’s chaotic and often unfair is part of the whole appeal. One person might gank another, then a third party joins in and so on and so forth. Trying to give PvPers lectures about how they should fight “honourably” or “play nice” is very much missing the point I think.

PvP servers are meant to appeal to people who like world PvP. I appreciate that players might have reasons to play on a PvP server even if they don’t like PvP, but at the end of the day it’s still their choice, not some sort of natural disaster that just happens to them and they can’t escape it.

As such I think it’s rather strange and entitled to complain about the rules while playing in someone else’s sandbox, sort of like picnicking in the middle of a football field and complaining that there are people disturbing you by running around and kicking a ball about. It doesn’t matter whether you think that football is a stupid game, it’s still you who’s out of place, not the players.

I’m a total PvE carebear myself by the way.

Hugh Hancock July 24, 2011 at 2:13 am

OK, I’m closing comments on this one. I think everything useful has been said.

Thanks for all your opinions. I’ve just spoken to Rebecca about this, and I can say with some confidence the Melting Pot’s stance on this issue won’t be changing.

I have contacted Dan O’Halloran and Chase Christian and asked if they wish to reply – neither of them have accepted as of this writing.

Now I return you to your regularly-scheduled FailPUGs,arty LoTRO events, nerf QQing and excited waiting for Guild Wars 2…

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