How To Handle Griefers

I’ll never fully understand it, but it’s a fact of life: in any MMO there will be people who think it’s OK to insult and attack other players for very little reason.

Some of them are deliberately malicious. Others are driven by misplaced anger, or a very limited view of the “right” way to play.

And sometimes, sadly, they succeed in making the game sufficiently unfun to drive people away.

Precious And Soft posted yesterday that she was leaving Azeroth, and aside from the story, the major reason she no longer wishes to play WoW has been just this – unfriendly, unpleasant people

“I’ve also been fighting chronic pain and fatigue for three years. I’ve been shuffled back and forth by doctors. One thought CFS and fibromyalgia were the same thing, that I had that, and that my neurologist would be the one to treat it. The neurologist had to send me to someone else, and the whole issue of CFS and fibro NOT being the same thing was cleared up, but… well, this is a long boring story that finally ends up with me getting a diagnosis today. For three years, I have been living with untreated osteoarthritis. And that explains why it’s been getting worse. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition.

That’s why I couldn’t raid. That’s why running five mans with strangers hasn’t been something I could handle. Not because I’m stupid. Not because I’m a “casual”. Because I have a neurlogical disease that mimics a brain tumor, and I’ve been living with untreated osteoarthritis.

I’m going to say what I’ve wanted to say since before Wrath ended. I’m only going to say it once, but I’m not going to apologize for it.

If you’ve ever complained about the effect people who just don’t play as well as you have on the game… not dps who pulls for the tank, or people who really just STAND in the fire, but people who don’t move immediately or aren’t completely familiar with a new dungeon a month after it comes out… you’re a fucking asshole, and you made the game very unpleasant for me at times.”

Not everyone playing an MMO has the same physical abilities, spatial awareness, or experience playing MMORPGs. They may be playing with a baby on their lap. They may be playing whilst they’re ill. They may be – and this is somewhat close to my heart – disabled. Or an older player. Or need new glasses. Or have been busy since the expansion came out and are playing this dungeon for the first time. It’s important – very important – to remember that, and not to don the Helmet of Flaming just because someone hasn’t quite got the dance down first time out.

But on the other hand, when should you speak out? Big Bear Butt read P&S’s post, and it set him to thinking about how he handles griefers

“In a perfect world, everyone could start fresh together on new content, learn it together, make mistakes together. it’s hard to feel like the outcast moron when other people are making silly learning mistakes too.

When everyone else is the old, experienced hand and you are trying to learn everything and master it in the first shot… it doesn’t matter if logically you know shit happens. Emotionally, you’re letting down the team, and it sucks, and you feel like failure.

How much worse would it be, at that moment, where you feel like a worthless shit already because you keep making small mistakes or aren’t reacting quite fast enough, and then some cockbite starts in calling you what you’re already, in your head, calling yourself?

The TL;DR version would be the same old tired shit we’ve all heard. Everyone makes msitakes, yes even you, so stop being an asshat to anyone that isn’t doing it the way you think they should, because who died and made you the Lord of all creation?

But if you want to screw other people over in groups, don’t be surprised if someone else is going to get up in your case and try to figure out how to really annoy the piss out of you.

If you find those two statements contradictory… yep, they are. ”

BBB’s post is an interesting discussion of Just What To Do. At the end of the day, he’s arguing the same as Jacob at TL:DR yesterday – act with compassion, but fight for what you believe in.

And Klepsacovic at Troll Racials Are Overpowered chimes in today on a very specific subject, and how to handle it – loot ninja-ing. Surely the right response to a rogue who rolls Need on Intellect gear is to kick him/her – or is it?

“Let’s look at that rogue again. Is he a noob? It certainly looks like it. Note that he is a noob, not a ninja, at least it does not appear so. Based on the gear he had and the gear he tried to get, it appears that he does not know that intellect is worthless for rogues.

Either that or he’s obsessed with style.

Whichever it is, the important thing is to talk to him, rather than just shoving him off into a new group of victims. Explain, politely, that intellect is worthless to rogues, that agility is a much more useful stat. If that is unconvincing, invite him to mouse over his character sheet where it describes the primary stats, with emphasis on the part that says “Intellect: Provides no benefit to your class”.”

We get very annoyed by griefing and idiocy in our gaming – it’s important to remember how easy it is to slip over to the Dark Side ourselves.

How do you handle less-able players, outright griefers, and everything in between?