How do you handle griefers and other undesirables in an MMORPG?
It’s an eternal discussion, and one that is once again in the minds of the blogosphere. Particularly given that many MMORPG companies are more concerned to limit our abilities to kick and otherwise use reputation as a tool in our online lives, just what can we do?
- Stubborn of Sheep The Diamond found himself in a particularly difficult group recently, and since has been experimenting with ways to work against griefers even given his “Vote Kick” function is effectively disabled – “Almost every time, the other players will vote to kick him, proving that the otherwise silent majority do find the bad behavior irritating, but not enough to do anything until directly prompted to do so. Only once did that tactic fail, in an Azjol-Nerub run. It failed because everyone’s vote to kick was on a 4 hour cooldown.”
- Milady at Hypercriticism responds to Stubborn’s writing with a stirring call to arms to defend the civility of our online worlds – “I prefer tools that encourage us players to deal with the trolls with some effectiveness, such as LoL’s tribunal. But since we do not have such tools available to us in our MMOs, we will have to make do with what we have been given: reports, tickets, and being loud about respect and rights. “
- Azuriel at In An Age, by contrast, takes a more cynical view, arguing that the only real solutions to unpleasant community members come from the game developers -“And, let us be serious here, social ostracization only works anyway when both A) the entire community acts as one unit, and B) the target even cares. Your “xxIllidanxx is a ninja” spam might have inconvenienced xxIllidanxx for the 30 minutes you posted in Trade Chat², but what about the rest of the time? Chances are that he still got a group eventually, either because someone was really that desperate or they simply did not know. “
- And meanwhile, Klepsacovic tells a slightly shameful story of a tank who was an ass, and the ensuing “yup, he’s DC, honest” votekick… – “I panicked. I lied. I acted. I ain’t sayin I was the good guy or even a good guy. Not then. No one was then.”
Do you think we can or should stand up to uncivil behaviour? Or are the developers the only ones who can effect real change?