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Gamers Don't Want Grief 177

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-to-argue-with-that dept.
An article at the Guardian Gamesblog looks at the frustrations of online griefers. They talk about some of the unpleasant activities online gamers engage in, and briefly discuss the future of dealing with griefers. Scott Jennings and Richard Bartle chime in with ideas on how things might be handled. From the article: "'I expect we'll see more and more self-government,' says Scott Jennings, game developer and author of Massively Multiplayer Games For Dummies. 'The reason is fairly obvious if not particularly noble: it's less expensive for game companies to have their customers police themselves than hire people to do it. The trick, and why you don't see it generally, is to construct self-policing schemes in such a way that they don't enable unscrupulous players to use them as tools of grief.'" Darniaq disagrees, on the basis that players just don't care about immersion.
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Gamers Don't Want Grief

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  • Art imitates Life (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:37PM (#15550856)

    From TFA:

    The trick, and why you don't see it generally, is to construct self-policing schemes in such a way that they don't enable unscrupulous players to use them as tools of grief.'"


    Yeah...we have the same problem in real life [alternet.org].
    • Wiretapping != griefing.

      G.I.F.T. [penny-arcade.com] is probably more accurate.
    • The problem with self policing in most MMOs is that players have limited resources in dealing with griefers. Atleast in open PvP games anyone can assemble a group and kill a griefer. Although, in an open PvP game griefers have more ability to grief others. In limited PvP games or PvE only games, there is no way to punish a kill stealer, agro puller, or loot thief.

      -Rick
      • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:24PM (#15551236)
        That's why all pay MMORPGS should make the billing address of the credit card they're charging visible when you legend/finger/whois another player. They can even throw in other stats contributed by the community in order to facilitate RL pkills.

        Joe Smith the Hobbit Deathmaster
        123 Fraud St
        New York, New York, 10138
        +5% to the Obesity skill
        +3% to Yu Gi Oh cards skill
        0 points in "Times Laid" stat
        Weak against: twinkies, sunlight, chores. Key to back door under the mat.
      • The real problem is that it's _impossible_ for a game to determine intent, and as such, is impossible to eliminate griefing in a multi-player game where players can influence the environment.

        Sometimes players make mistakes, and their actions would be considered griefing, even though they don't know any better.

        i.e.
        Youre playing a Space Sim, and are dog fighting another pilot. You shot, miss your target, and hit an innocent 3rd party bystander, say like the space station above the planet. Are you delibratin
      • I used to play Freelancer online...and although it is relatively simplistic compared to MMORPGs, each server is a persistent world.

        I'd almost always play a pirate and hunt down random players to give them some excitement. Most of the community was into trading, so I added a little spice to their runs.

        Sure, some of them would whine, but most of them realized it made the game more fun, because there was no loss of status associated with death, just cargo loss. Sometimes I would be on the short end of the st
  • Forget it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Azarael (896715) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:51PM (#15550964) Homepage
    Bah, I have already have enough of online gaming idiocy. Even when you do get the majority of gamers to keep an eye on their peers, you get the exact opposite problem. Pedantic tight asses start running their servers or games like a police state and playing favorites with their cronies. Last time I checked, no one was buying a game called Fascism Tycoon.

    All that I ask is that studios give gamers tools to isolate themselves from having to deal with jerks. You are not going to get rid of them and probably the best that you can do is fence them off where they can't cause as much trouble. Otherwise you will spend far too much trouble on an ineffective solution when that time would have been better spent creating a better game.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:21PM (#15551204)
      Last time I checked, no one was buying a game called Fascism Tycoon.

      Is that like Railroad Tycoon, except the trains run on time? ;-)
    • Yeah brother. /ignore all is a wonderful thing.

      I remember while moo'ing years back being amazed at how people refused to use the ignore commands when they were being griefed. I used it alot and happily.
    • by coyotecult (647958) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:47PM (#15551473) Homepage
      Last time I checked, no one was buying a game called Fascism Tycoon.

      All of the sudden I have an intense desire to acquire such a game.
    • Re:Forget it (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JohnSearle (923936)
      The use of /ignore doesn't solve all the problems related to griefing. In most cases actions speak louder than words. A lot of the griefing seems more to revolve around (at least in my experiences) things like repeated killing purely for annoyance, training mobs, and mob stealing. These aren't things that a /ignore can solve... but they are thing that a governing body can have a great impact on.

      Back in my EQ days I played on a PvP server where such griefing took place regularily. What seemed to have form
  • Check it! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "'The trick, and why you don't see it generally, is to construct self-policing schemes in such a way that they don't enable unscrupulous players to use them as tools of grief.'"


    You mean like moderation or meta-moderation is?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      He's on to us.
    • The trick, and why you don't see it generally, is to construct self-policing schemes in such a way that they don't enable unscrupulous players to use them as tools of grief.

      Because no one ever gets scammed on ebay...

      Just saying it doesn't entirely work. I don't know the answer either, though.
  • And in other news: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Burlap (615181)
    The sky is blue, water is wet, and smoking is bad for you.

    And now, the weather...
    • My sky is grey. My water is frozen. Smoking can help people with Parkinson's.

      Your weather may differ.
      • by Valdrax (32670)
        Smoking can help people with Parkinson's.

        Actually, that's not true. Smokers (and alcoholics and other forms of addicts) have a significantly reduced chance of developing Parkinson's in the first place, but there's no studies that suggest that taking up smoking can reduce the symptoms of PD once you've contracted it.

        It's a correlation and not a causation. Current suspicions are that addiction and reduced risk of PD have a shared root cause -- elevated dopamine levels in the brain.

        At any rate, lighting up t
        • "Current suspicions are that addiction and reduced risk of PD have a shared root cause -- elevated dopamine levels in the brain."

          Sweet!! I always heard that my chian smoking and heroin abuse were bad for me.. well at least i won't be getting Parkinsons!

    • Winds light to variable; lighter in the daytime and darker at night.
      Back to you, Jim.
  • Any influence must come from lobbying the entity running the servers. The griefer you jack today might be the hall monitor tomorrow (or yesterday, or 30 secs from now). Perhaps a bunch of geewhiz posts will follow lauding the joys of community self-government in MMO. Nevertheless, all you'll create is a bunch of lobbyists. As for Darniaq's argument... The thrill of exploring a open-ended world in order to make real-world financial gain must be tempered by the knowledge that if someone at the top decides
  • Griefing annoyance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zerocool^ (112121) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:06PM (#15551070) Homepage Journal
    I play eve, and in the sector of space that I hang out in, there's a highly organized, well skilled, tech 2 equiped group of pirates that fly around looking for kills.

    They're not there to try and claim territory, they're not there to complete a mission objective. They're there to get easy kills. One guy in particular has been playing since 2003 (meaning, almost all the skills he could ever want are trained to the max, giving him lots of bonuses), and is flying the fastest ship in the game. All he does is look for solo miners and people in shuttles and frigates to gank. He always runs when there's any sort of resistance.

    I guess I just don't understand it. I don't get why people would want to do that. Spend all that time in game learning skills and earning money, only to never engage in anything challenging. Only to cause problems for people whom you really have nothing against. It just doesn't make sense, and I can't see how it's fun.

    ~Wx
    • by Dareth (47614)
      You want the Pirate dead bad enough, commission a fleet or another bad ass ship to go kill him.

      He is just playing the game by the rules. You don't like the rules, don't play!

    • by A-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),-, p (982701) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:29PM (#15551289)
      I play EVE and constantly grief people. Why? Because I can truly play out the part of a space pirate. I'm playing the game to have fun -- and living the life of a space pirate... = fun. I suppose in some sense of the words, I'm not a griefer. I don't go out of my way to pick on noobies, nor do I run from a fair fight -- but I sure don't avoid new players and I have a strong sense of self-preservation. There is no reward without risk. And this is where EVE succeeds completely. No other game has such harsh penalties. What EVE brings to the world of MMO's is truly lacking in every other game out there. When you win -- you REALLY win, when you lose, you REALLY lose. On top of that, players are MORE then able to gang up and take charge of a situation. I enjoy this system, win OR lose. If you want your hand held by GM's while you play a cute, safe game -- fine by me. But I want to play something that's *hard* and has a point. Don't like it? Don't play.
      • No other game has such harsh penalties. What EVE brings to the world of MMO's is truly lacking in every other game out there. When you win -- you REALLY win, when you lose, you REALLY lose.

        I have never played the game, and Wikipedia's article isn't much to go on, but does that include losing one's account if one performs poorly in the game?

        • by SirSlud (67381) on Friday June 16, 2006 @07:49PM (#15552599) Homepage
          No, but eve definately has some of the highest penalties ...

          Basically (and I'm sure there are some corrections here, I only have about 4 months playing experience) if your ship is destroyed, its destroyed. You need to buy another one. You can buy insurance, but that only pays for slightly less than a new ship; all the cargo, weapons, hardware, ammo that you had is gone.

          Better yet, once your ship is destroyed, you end up in a pod. You can be 'podded' (ie, the pod is destroyed, and your character dies) and your character is restored to the skill level you had when you last cloned your character. I've had my ship destroyed twice, and both times it takes minimum a few days to get 'back up and running', and its a HUGE pain in the ass.

          WoW has nothing on Eve in terms of the true pvp experience, and guildwars is what many seasoned Eve players would call a 'Carebear' party. A carebear is somebody that sticks to high security space (where pirates generally can't operate because they get hounded by powerful NPC police) and plays the game to avoid as much combat as possible.

          Eve is freaking cool ... it really does create that sense of danger, fear, and paranoia that should be a part of most mmorpgs, if you choose to participate and live life on the edge. Reprocussions for getting your ship destroyed or being podded make keeping your eye on your radar, warp-in message list, etc ... I don't play mmorpgs much, but Eve has easily been the 'coolest' experience because it feels the most real in terms of risk/reward and giving the player real options to progress quickly based on skill and cunning or keep it safe and easy if they're just there for the social side.

          To answer your original post, no, you can't lose your account for playing poorly, but you can essentially fail to progress at all and in some cases lose ALOT of time if you risk too much. Thats a cool concept, and one other games really havn't created a suitable game system to explore in a satisfying manner.

      • See, the thing is you're not being a pirate.

        A pirate would hit someone until they're in structure, and then demand payment to be left alone.

        You just kill people.

        There's games for that - see Counterstrike. In eve, it just ruins it for the rest of us.
    • I don't get why people would want to do that.

      Neither do the other 5,999,999,999 people on the planet.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil [wikipedia.org]
    • by DarkGreenNight (647707) on Friday June 16, 2006 @05:41PM (#15551901)
      Ok, lets explain this for non-EvE players.

      You are in a not-secured zone, it's security rating probably going from 0.1 to 0.4. In a secured zone (security from 0.5 to 1.0) if a player attacked another police would come and kill the griefer (avoiding destruction from police attack is cheating). This does not mean that secure zones are secure, simply that you have lots to lose if you attack.

      The pirate loses security rating attacking you, that means he is not able to enter secure zones. There are ways to improve it, though. Zone security 0.0 would mean that no security rating is lost, but these zones are usualy home of aliances.

      A three year old character, even if it's the only one trained in that account, does not have all the skills he wants to max, but probably he has enough to fly that ship perfectly, it it's requirements are not much, and for what you say it seems an interceptor, a ship that you can more than confortably fly in 6 months if you are focused. Training for all the skills to the max would mean more than 10 years, in real time, training.

      Tech 2 ships are expensive, much more than what they give you when they blow your ship (yes, in EvE you can insure ships). And that is not counting the tech 2 equipment they may have, as equipment is not insured.

      So now we have some competent players, with expensive to replace gear, attacking in a PvP zone, easy kills. Why? because a hard kill could mean their destruction, and that's a good reason not to engage what you can't win. But if they got near you you could jam them (ensnare them) so they could not flee, all you need is some basic equipment. Web (slow) them too, unless you want them to go out of your jamming range and flee. So you have options.

      What can they win? A miner can leave equipment worth as much as a ship of these they are flying, people in shuttles and frigates could be transporting great treasures that don't use much cargo space.

      And they teach you to be alert in a PvP zone, and everywhere too, just in case.

      I am a person who spends all his time in secure zones, because I don't like many risks, but I accept them, and learn from my errors. The most exciting time I had in a game was being pursued by a pirate across a system, he in a big but surprisingly fast ship, me in a small but not so fast one. I barely managed to escape, but that adrenaline rush was so great...

      A last explanation for non-EvErs, a three year old player can lose to a determined small group of newbies. So it's not like those other games were a level 60 can kill hundreds of level 5. Use what the system offers to you and have fun.
    • I guess I just don't understand it. I don't get why people would want to do that. Spend all that time in game learning skills and earning money, only to never engage in anything challenging. Only to cause problems for people whom you really have nothing against. It just doesn't make sense, and I can't see how it's fun.

      Hrm... Maybe it is something called human nature... *flash back* Lets ask people throughout time why the pick on the little guys.

      So guys... Tell us the truth on why you go around killing helpl
    • Hey, that's not griefing. I'm always nice, polite, and usually will sell people their faction mods back after podding them. I'll let people go if they pay a ransom as well. I always stick to my word. What more could you ask for? If you don't like dieing, stick to highsec. Suicide alts, macrominers, and ore thieves are the ones you should be complaining about. Trying to give pirates a bad name, sheesh.
  • by Banner (17158) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:07PM (#15551076) Journal
    Griefers tend really to fall into two main catragories: Children, and people who want attention.

    The first you can get rid of easily enough by putting in age limits. That will get rid of the large majority, but most children aren't very good at griefing unless they have some sort of script they downloaded to help them along. They're really just annoyances.

    It's the ones in the later catagory who are the worst cases, and in many instances their anti-social behavior takes place in real life as well (Any one here know about sibe?) These people do these things online because they know they can cause a fuss, and hopefully even hurt people, without themselves being subject to any penalties or pain. And they gain all sorts of attention and notoriety for it.

    How do you deal with it? Well communities -can't- deal with it if they have no clear and easy method to kick the person off the system immediately, or at least eject them from the area of play. There are ways of dealing with this beyond having some sort of game master around keeping an eye on things, but lets be honest: We're paying for the game, the company should have some sort of GM around to deal with these people!

    It's like real life, we have police and courts for a reason. Grievers can quickly destroy a game and lose you customers. Part of customer service means dealing with them. Yes these people once ejected can come back, but if it's costing money only the most dysfunctional or vicious will keep returning. Then it does become a legal matter, though in many cases those people are going to end up in jail for real life criminal matters unrelated to the game.

    But the sad fact is this problem will never go away, crime is as old as society itself. There are always people who want to steal what you have, hurt you, or just muck everything up for everyone else. When I have to ban these people from the system I deal with it is amazing to me that they often have NO IDEA at all of why they're in trouble, they just can't understand why it's not alright for them to do whatever they want and so what if they hurt and abuse other people in the process. Or worse yet, get pissed at me for having the nerve to stop them. I have also found that if you catch trouble makers when they first show up, and give them a taste of the punishments instore if they continue, that many will toe the line from there on. But that usually only works with the younger players who will still respond to discipline.

    In short, there is no easy solution and trying to pan it all off on the players will never work satisfactorily unless you have a method for giving some of those players power and making sure they don't abuse it. I think this is probably the hardest part of MMO game design today.
    • Age limits are bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. They do nothing but force kids to lie about their age. Look at MySpace for an example of that.
      • by Banner (17158)
        No, if you have to verify with a credit card the age limits work quite well, and if a parent lets their child use thier card to get on, you can sue them for fraud. Seen it done. And while yes some children will sneak through, you can usually quickly identify them by their behavoir and get them kicked out.

        There is a reason society limits the rights of children, and I myself prefer not to deal with someone online who is a child unless I know that upfront. I also do not like to play online games with children
    • In short, there is no easy solution and trying to pan it all off on the players will never work satisfactorily

      sure there is a solution. On-line games should have an ignore list that lets you blacklist players so you can't see, hear, or be affected by someone actions. It's very effective. I am pretty sure Evercack had an ignore list (It's been a few years) that worked quite well. I wish I had an ignore feature IRL sometimes.
    • When they did the beta-test of Sims Online, my ex was a griefer - she used to go around killing off Sims, starting fights, and that kind of thing - mostly because IRL she never did any of that, and she wanted to test the limits.

      She got quite good at it too, to the point where many would just give her what she wanted in hopes she'd go away.

      I think that, if it were like the death experience in Sims - where you just die, but people can mourn over you and you just have to win a fiddle contest with the Grim Reap
    • (Any one here know about sibe?)

      Yes. He has brief periods of lucidity, though. It's too bad he won't get help, he seems like he'd be a pretty interesting person if he weren't such a dick all the time. Almost like maybe he's NPD or bipolar.

      BTW, long time, no see, Banner! Drop by the furry chat on Jabber at furry@conference.ursine.ca sometime!

  • Griefinator (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gryphoness (841454)
    Graph theory has some very interesting applications in controlling griefing. Different companies have used this before, and it's a system maintenance sort of thing... you have to take out griefer networks, not just individuals. But this can be done. Almost everything you do in an MMO is probably tracked -- the people you talk to, the people you trade with, the places you visit. It's all data and it's relatively trivial to run analysis on it that results in a visual network map of connected players. This is
    • Those tools don't account for out-of-band communications. Like two griefers sitting in the same room, or talking on the telephone. As long as they're careful (like the afore-mentioned terrorists) never to use in-band communications, they're much less likely to be red flagged by the tools.
  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:16PM (#15551151) Homepage Journal
    I started playing Warcraft. It was fun. I picked a PvP server. I got to level 20 and every goddam alliance I found killed me and camped me. Guys who were level 60 and elite mounts would stop, dismount, and come kill me. It drove me nuts. I never griefed alliance, I didn't kill half of the ones that I could have for Honor.

    This drove me nuts until I finally realized that I was going to get griefed no matter what, and the answer is to make sure I deserve it. I began griefing non-stop. I'd just hang out in lowbie zones and harrass and grief people. Eventually some 60's would show up and put a stop to it and /spit on me a thousand times.

    And then when my alts got griefed or ganked or whatever, I laughed at the dancing night elf who was /spitting on me a thousand times because, quite frankly, I knew that I really really had that coming. I gave better than I got.

    The fact that I was der uber Shaman only made griefing more satisfying. Run the boards, little boys! Complain that you can't take a shaman 20 levels above you!

    So yeah. Solve griefers with more griefing. The problem doesn't go away I guess but you enjoy the game anyhow. Flame away, I don't care, I cancelled months ago. After PvP grinding to get my elite super dooper PvP set I tried some PvE, but when they announced Necropolis I said fuggit. It's just another treadmill. I think I'm done with on-line gaming of that sort.

    • I don't think you can call legitimate PvP combat "griefing", as such. It's kind of unfair and lame to kill/camp someone 20 levels below you, but you could also justify it under "role playing" or something.

      Griefing, to me, is more like scamming people out of money, putting up auctions for 50g instead of 50s, stuff like that.

      Adman
    • but that's not really the game I wanted to play. self-policing mmogs is ludicrous. It barely works on slashdot and it never worked on counterstrike back when I was playing that. The idea that you'd let players on something like WoW self-police themselves is an invitation to shitfuckery. The best online communities are moderated very closely, and bans are handed out liberally. Companies should take a good look at that.
  • Jesus H. Christ. I read the article and these "gamers" take their recreational time way, way, way too seriously. Look at this example:

    The players of World of Warcraft were left with a similar conundrum in March, when a group of gamers performed an act whose only purpose was to cause emotional pain. The death of a member of the community inspired her fellow gamers to hold a virtual funeral, which was raided by a malicious mob that made short work of the mourners, all of whom had relinquished their weapon
    • Totally agree, every time I see players have a total hissy fit about cheating I wonder what they heck is wrong with them. Over competativeness in a community in a lot of cases is just as bad as people who make it a point to cause trouble.
      • Totally agree, every time I see players have a total hissy fit about cheating I wonder what they heck is wrong with them.

        Games are defined by the rules of that game. If you do not follow those rules... if you cheat... you are no longer playing the game. If you don't want to play the game, go find something else to do.

        Having said that - I could do without the idiots who scream "cheater" every time some encounter in a game doesn't go the way they want or expected.

    • Well, see, by that logic, DDOSing a server is completely fine. After all, a web server imposes a series of rules on you as well, such as what file you can request. If the rules it uses let you take it down, why would it be wrong to do that?

      BTW, Second Life does have actual property and items that cost actual cash
    • You're playing a video game where you can kill and destroy. That's the game. Your virtual character can do anything you want to do in the game that the game allows. Some want to sit around making a political statement, others want to wreck havoc. The only "rules" in a video game is what the programmers write into it. Other than that, anything goes.

      Sure. The mechanics allow you to be a complete ass. Have at it. But don't feign confusion when people point out that you're being an ass.

      WoW is an interestin

    • I'm sorry... but holding a funeral in a PVP area was just an incredibly stupid idea.

      I have never griefed and it made me want to buy the game, log in and grief them.

      You have to ask yourself... WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???
      • I would imagine the zone had some special importance. Perhaps it was the zone itself (I know folks who spend a lot of time there). Maybe it was the look of the place (different zones have very different appearances). Maybe they wanted somewhere neutral. Who knows. I would imagine that someone who put the effort to organizing the event would have had the sense to pick a faction-friendly zone if that particular point was a requirement.
    • The players of World of Warcraft were left with a similar conundrum in March, when a group of gamers performed an act whose only purpose was to cause emotional pain. The death of a member of the community inspired her fellow gamers to hold a virtual funeral, which was raided by a malicious mob that made short work of the mourners, all of whom had relinquished their weapons as a sign of respect. Since the funeral was naively held in a zone designed for combat, few could question the legitimacy of the attack

    • Could you imagine the chaos if your video game character's items were considered real property? Could you get sued for theft if you play a thief and steal the items?

      I should imagine that's quite likely, given that in many MMOGs, items that your avatar owns have real-world commercial value.

      • given that in many MMOGs, items that your avatar owns have real-world commercial value.
        Doesn't the video game company own the rights to the software and all the hardware they host it on and you are just licensing it from them? Isn't that like saying you are renting an apartment from someone, then turning it into a condo and selling it to someone else for "real-world value"? That's not possible since you don't own the apartment in the first place.
        • Isn't that like saying you are renting an apartment from someone, then turning it into a condo and selling it to someone else for "real-world value"?

          IANAL, but I'd guess it's more like subletting. The MMOG owner licenses you to access and have control over virtual property, then you go and sell that licence on eBay to someone else, who then has access and control. But that kind of thing, too, is covered by various laws in most places, isn't it?

          • But isn't there something in the EULA that does not allow you to re-license the materials in the game? Wasn't there an issue with "gold miners" and the game companies wanting to stop it because it is against the EULA? If so, then reselling any "virtual" item in the game is against the EULA. Further, how is that virtual item your "property" which you paid money for? What is the game company decides to shutdown their servers or they go bankrupt. In an instant, all of your "property" (electrons arranged i
            • Again IANAL, but I'd venture a guess that it depends on which game you're playing, what the specific EULA for that game happens to say, and whether EULAs are legally binding in your country. Given an industry worth anywhere up to $3B worldwide, I'm sure someone somewhere wants to take the possibilities you're talking about seriously! -- it'd be interesting to know if there are any laws anywhere governing the economy of MMOGs! (Now there's an idea for a /. article.)
  • by Hannah E. Davis (870669) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:23PM (#15551224) Journal
    I occasionally grief in online games, but it's more of a roleplaying thing for me. If I go ganking noobs as my undead rogue, it's because she's a freakin' undead rogue. What do you expect, hugs and kisses from the walking corpse who just happens to be a trained and specialized thief/killer?

    However, if I play an evil character, I usually have at least a few extremely kind and benevolent alts. I've played MUDs before where I'd strip someone of gear with my evil character but happily re-equip them with better than what they had before as one of my alts. I just don't want to play good characters all the time because it gets boring.

    I don't really understand people who'll spend absolutely all their time griefing, however. To me, that's just as boring as spending all your time helping others as a good character, and while it may be fun to gank a lowbie once, I rarely see the point in corpse camping. There's no challenge in it, and one or two kills are enough to convince the guy that you're evil and dangerous.
    • I got this problem as a thief in Silkroad online. People instantly saw the thief class as an "evil" person, where as I saw it as an option and I could be good or evil.

      I'd jack traders and take half their stuff, which ment they'd make no profit on the trade run, but they'd also lose no money. All they really lost is 20 minutes of their time and maybe a bit of self esteem.

      Other times I'd see dead newbies with loot I could steal and I'd res them and protect them instead of robbing them. It all depended on my m
  • The article overstates it's argument with the hyberloic asssertion that griefing constitutes a "social disease." One gamer's griefing is another gamer's villainous role play.

    I do not have much experience with MMORPGs, but from playing Eve Online a bit, I have to wonder sometimes where the "disease" really lies. Do the pirates who go around blowing up miners and new players in low security space have a "social disease"? What about the miners who spend endless hours obsessively and repetitively dragging th
    • Eve is open-pvp for the most part. It's designed more for player oriented solutions.

      Most people do not play PvP all the time. I rarely will play PvP in a MMO. I am not interested in competing or trying to ruin someone else's night.

      Sane people do not pay a fee to play a game where they will be locked into the role of "victim". That's what griefers are looking for. Not "villainous roleplay", and DAMNED SURE not a fair fight. They want someone to pick on. They want to see how many people they can make QUIT.

      In
  • Griefer's are nothing new. They are every day people and are often just as annoying in real life as in video games. It is easy to avoid them. First, a great way to enjoy MMOs is to get all of your real life friends to play. Then you have a strong alliance. Also, you're always garunteed a group because your friends will run with you even if they have already done whatever quest. Second, just like how you wouldn't click a link that says "virus.exe" in AIM, don't fall for dumb scams.

    Have fun while pla
  • I decided to play some planetside since its free now. You get grief when people ram you or run into your field of fire, then your guns lock for 10 minutes. Its frustrating, and not a good solution to grief. Player policing would work better.
  • (arg, comment wiping slashdot code...)

    again...

    My ideal system would be an MMO with a 'Karma' system, where you could rate other players up or down, and the accumulated rating would be visable to other players, but not exactly who rated who up/down. various systems would expire or cancel ratings, with higher rated people getting more votes, along with long term account holders, or people noted by administrator for being helpful to others.

    Combined with a set of G-mail like invitation only servers, to prevent
    • I would use a system like that (karma) but with a few modifications. For example, people could give you "griefer" tags, enough of them and then wanted signs with your face appear in towns of whatever race you grieved. At that point, if you near a town that "wants" you, the guards start to attack. Also, there could be a bounty hunting system where money is offered for griefers (the bounty hunters might not know your exact location, but hints like "he was last seen near XXX"). Another tweak would be that when
  • ...is that the rules have no real *teeth*. No company running a game is going to set up self-governing abilities that will have worthwhile punishments for violators - that could lead to the violating player *cancelling his subscription*.

    Until game companies are willing to put their money where their mouths are, self-governing in games will always be ineffectual.
    • A Tale in the Desert [atitd.com] does this exactly. Players can pass laws that ban a specific player, or players. They can empower certain players with the ability to ban, jail, or creatively restrict others.

      In ATITD 2 (or maybe it was 1), a high profile player liked to mentor new players. But, he was terrible at it - turned off new players by the dozens (or more). Veteran players passed a law limiting his access to new players via the chat, mentorship, and guild systems. Then, they taught him how to be an effective me
  • In America's Army [americasarmy.com], players who violate the rules are sent to an online prison. "You are in the United States Army Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas..."

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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