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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: May 8th 2009 9:20AM Thac0 said

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Thats right damn it! I grief because you need it! But seriously yes it does make the game better and it does create experiences that stick in your mind and makes the game more alive. "remember that time when that guy...."

Posted: May 8th 2009 9:37AM (Unverified) said

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In a word, No. Another case of trying to glorify the anti-social. Griefers are not needed, they're not socially relevant and they're not the digital equivalent of Robin Hood. They're usually attention starved jerks taking the easiest route to get some sort of recognition. Like a spoiled brat screaming in a public place, they don't care if they get attention and hatred for being bad, so long as someone notices them. People generally don't talk fondly of their exploits during or after the event. If it is brought up again, it's mentioned as 'Remember when that person did... Yeah, what a jerk.' and then people go on with their lives.

Posted: May 8th 2009 10:50AM Snow Leopard said

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I agree. Robin Hood and Bonnie and Clyde seem like very poor comparisons here. These are characters who risked their lives in the face of danger, one for the greater good and the others for their own personal gain. It’s that willingness to face mortal danger that’s the appeal here. The myth that Bonnie and Clyde were later killed fighting together (Bonnie never fired a gun in actuality), further cements the romanticism at work here.

However, mmo’s are games. They are there for relaxation, socialization and enjoyment despite how much some people try to make a job out of them. The jerk that exploited a dungeon mechanic or made a great hack is not risking his life nor rebelling for the greater good. He’s just doing it for his own benefit and the most he will risk is his account being banned, at which point he may jus start another account under a different name. Often, what will happen is a lot of other players will be affected by the exploit in minor and annoying but still negative ways all so one player could get ahead in a video game.

Therefore, people need to wake up and realize that although online gaming does have a lot of social elements it still lacks many of the risks and benefits of reality. There’s no actual death, wealth, or physical needs to weigh in. There are no starving peasants to feed and there’s no police officers shooting actual bullets at you. It’s these dangers and harsh realities that many people, having escaped into their comfortable and electronic modern lives, forget dictate the human experience and our reasons for celebrating true heroes and villains.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 10:44AM fzzzt said

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Uh, no, completely wrong. We don't need griefers, though I'm not sure this person is using the term correctly.

Posted: May 8th 2009 10:56AM (Unverified) said

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I both enjoy reading about griefers and had a great time killing and camping people in Asheron's Call to take all their gear.

Posted: May 8th 2009 11:41AM Thac0 said

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I like reading about grievers too. The most fun I had in EvE was killing people and taking their stuff. Piracy ftw!
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Posted: May 8th 2009 11:15AM (Unverified) said

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Perhaps people who grief see themselves as Bonnie and Clyde luminaries, but the rest of us see them as small minded pricks. Leaving aside the steals from the poor of Robin Hood's M.O., most griefers don't rob from the rich. Usually, they're robbing from the poor or weak. Outlaw heroes preyed on the strong, and that's what made them loved even for their violence.

Another thing to note, outlaw heroes ran from the law every hour of every day. In MMOs there is no "Law" set up to harass these people. They largely get away with murder unless a large enough player base can pull together and track them down, at which time they might just log out. Without a 24 hour police force active, griefers might never see any form of "justice."

Suppose there were in-game consequences to their actions. Perhaps you kill someone and, when you die, you end up in jail and have to stay there for 3 hours of in game time. Maybe this time stops being paid off if you go AFK, forcing you to pace or stand around waiting for release. I wonder how many griefers would stop griefing if they had to face that instead of just a simple respawn. Bonnie and Clyde faced more than this, they faced death. How many griefers would risk perma-death for their actions?

Griefers are not welcome in most games, and they would be better games for the absence of griefers. Griefing is not a play style, it is a sociopathic catharsis for the maladjusted to feel like a big deal, and the "popularity" of Darkfall only proves this. They're not Hardcore, they're just jerks.

Posted: May 8th 2009 11:26AM Myria said

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Robin Hood and Bonny and Clyde are names people remember (albeit probably not for anything they actually did). griefers are just some arse who corpse camped someone for three hours but whose name no one can remember.

No comparison at all.

A griefer is not a rebel. A griefer is not an outlaw. Griefers are in no way romantic. Griefers are in no way sympathetic. They don't have a cause, they don't want to make a point, they don't change the world in any meaningful way. They're just pseudo-functional sociopaths who get off on inflicting harm on others and choose to do so (at least partially) in an environment where the consequences of their actions will be minimal to nonresistant.

At best they're pathetic, at worst disgusting.

In most games there isn't the possibility of being a rebel or outlaw, the relatively tight rulesets and controlled environments just don't allow for it. Games that do (Eve being the only one that comes to mind) tend to be shunned by many exactly because they do. Most people feel if they wanted to be held up at gunpoint they'd move to New York.

Oddly enough, most games do allow griefing, with only minimal effort put into slowing it down. It's a standing joke in WoW that most of the PvP that goes on in PvP servers is level eighties ganking lowbies in Stranglethorn Vale. This is true of most games where PvP is allowed or, especially, encouraged -- people rarely want fair and even fights.

Posted: May 8th 2009 11:40AM Thac0 said

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Would you want a fair or even fight IRL? Nope. You'd only fight if you could win; I don't see why anyone expects a game should be any different.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 12:01PM Snow Leopard said

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@THACO
I think you’re confusing surviving a real-life brawl with actual fun competition in a game. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to fight some guy who I knew was going to crush me, but I sure as hell wouldn’t go around beating up weaklings who didn’t do anything to me. That would make me a prick.

If we’re talking about competition here, then let’s think about how people handle competition in reality. If one team is getting creamed over and over again, you put them in a different league with people of their own skill level. You don’t keep them in the A Division and watch people tear them apart. Secondly, you don’t let a 25 year old body-builder join an elementary school wrestling tournament. It’s not fun for the person whose cards are obscenely stacked against them and if it is fun for the player who’s constantly winning, then they need to seriously grow up and look for some better competition.

Overall, preying on the weak doesn’t make either of us a better player.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 12:48PM Brendan Drain said

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There was a fantastic phrase I came across when researching what happened in UO when the Trammel server opened up. It sums this whole thing up quite nicely for me and it goes something like this:

We need the griefers, cutthroats and despicable predators because without villans, we lose our opportunity to be heroes.

Posted: May 8th 2009 1:21PM Dblade said

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Thats a silly idea. It's like saying we need to be mugged so we can heroically beat off the mugger or heroically be rescued by someone.

You don't need the stories griefers tell. You'd think Endo would have enough practical experience with them to realize that some 13 year old with cheats is not bonnie or clyde, and having someone teamkill you or gank you repeatedly isn't something you will look back and chuckle upon.

People who whine about u/o pre-trammel need to be hunted down and ganked repeatedly till they realize why trammel was needed.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 1:20PM (Unverified) said

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The problem with that, Brendan, is that often those "Heroes" turn in to the same jerks that the Griefers were, the way Samurai or Knights treated the peasantry they saw themselves as above.

If griefing is such a great thing, why even bother balancing between classes? Griefing is done by people with an unfair advantage, why not just build a grief-class into the game?
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Posted: May 8th 2009 1:31PM Brendan Drain said

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Shields up! I'm under attack D:

Think of what EVE Online would be like if highsec and lowsec piracy were made impossible. To many people, those are the griefers, cutthroats and despicable predators of EVE. Without them, people would be nice and safe in empire but we would have no anti-piracy. We'd have none of the stories of people fighting back and winning, nobody taking a stand against piracy. In short, the players that would be heroes lose the opportunity to even try.

I would consider that a massive loss. There are plenty of MMOs where you can be perfectly safe but it's the ones where you can be griefed that attract me the most. Not just because I want to gank someone in an unfair fight, but because I want the opportunity to return the favour when it's done to me.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 11:17PM Dblade said

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I'm in ur reply griefin ur comment?

No seriously, I think its shown that EvE is a very niche game where people who play it come in expecting dirty tricks. That's not griefing. If you go into a game of team fortress, you expect to get shot.

Griefing is more like the wow zombie thing where you aren't expecting people to come in and make your entire gaming experience unplayable and a hassle. It all changes when you know going in the griefing experience is a part of the game-its when it shouldn't be and you want to just play some that its griefing.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 11:53PM Brendan Drain said

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Fair points, I can see where you're coming from and I admit the quote I mentioned earlier is less applicable to griefing than it is to open PvP systems in general where some of the PvPers are colossal asshats.

But isn't what you just said a little backward? Surely if it's possible to do something in a game then by definition it's part of the game and players should come to expect it. For example, in a game of Left4Dead your teammates could very well turn around and shoot you in the head for cheap laugh. Shouldn't players play the game fully accepting that this is possible? And wouldn't doing otherwise just amount to being inexcusably stubborn?

Granted, a lot of griefing is just possible through poor game design. If something is possible in a game but it shouldn't be (by the developer's admission rather than the player's), that just shows poor game design. In those cases, is the player justified in stubbornly refusing to accept the potential for griefers to interfere with his gameplay?
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Posted: May 8th 2009 1:40PM (Unverified) said

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Robin Hood is not anti-authority or rebellious. He is in the White House right now - screwing over those who actually make an effort in life, to reward those who refuse to do so. He is the authority now.

Posted: May 8th 2009 1:53PM Snow Leopard said

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Geez, way to be on topic.
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Posted: May 8th 2009 2:10PM wjowski said

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That's a rather rose-tinted way to look at immature, slack-jawed ritalin monkeys.

Posted: May 8th 2009 4:07PM Graill440 said

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The anti hero for me is the Escapist. Full of hypocritical thoughts, actions and ramblings the Escapist will enthusiasticaly call the kettle black whether it is needed or not. The Escapist willingly dives into the dictionary to pull out words a large demographic of this blogsite have no clue as to what they mean, thus negating any lessons.

The escapist is entertainment in it's highest form, capable of witty rehearsed comments there is no non professionalism from this person, only cold calculated deadlines and devious musings that only a person that has been burned multiple times can achieve or appreciate. Sharing the wit and life lessons the Escapist provides is truly something to look forward to.........or is it?

Another cup of nonsense please, extra foam.
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