Amber Muses on Empathy and Stuff

I read a very interesting article over at World of Matticus today.  Naturally the bleeding-heart in me that lurks beneath the veil of bitterness and sarcasm was…distressed.

In essence: someone found what, in WoW terms, would be an exploit and used it to harass other players.  In City of Heroes, when you die in a PvE encounter you get what is termed “XP debt”.  It is not a XP loss, as is seen in other MMOs, but rather a period of time in which your XP gain is halved.  You can still level…you just level slowly.  As you can imagine, that is really fucking annoying.  Leveling in CoH is already slow.  While he was in a PvP zone, he used a teleport skill to move players into NPCs that would pretty much insta-gib them.  Not only did they have little to no chance to defend themselves, but they incurred said XP debt of suck and annoyance.  He even used it against one of his own guildmates.

I must ask you people: why the hell do some people think it’s okay to be an inconsiderate dick?

“I can do it so it’s okay” is not sufficient reason.  Alright so in a PvP zone (or on a PvP server), you expect to die.  On the surface, this is fine.  You know what you’re getting into.

But there’s always the ones who have to toe the line, or outright dart across screaming.  You see me Frostbolting my way through Yetis on my mage.  I’m low on health, and mana.  You think it’s funny to kill me.  Alright, fine-I look at my combat log, see that I was killed with SMITE and HOLY FIRE, and after WTFing all the way back to my body, move on (true story, btw).  That’s fine.  I was able to go back to my leveling unmolested. 

But let’s say you kill me…and kill me again…and again, and again, and again.  I rez and die almost instantly and have no chance to defend myself.  We’ve now gotten to the point where you’re keeping me from enjoying the game. 

…why is that fun?  What’s the big deal about two shotting a disc priest with wrath anyway…was there some challenge in hitting that button twice that I just don’t understand? 

Why is camping summoning stones and stalling raids entertaining?  Wow, now you’re fucking up the nights of 10 or 25 people.   Or more, if you’re screwing with more than 1 raid.  I’ve had Naxxs locked down because people would cluster on the platform and with all the AoE effects and whatnot, guildies would lag and be killed…over and over and over.  People are just trying to play.  They are just trying to have fun.  Yes they may be flagged/on a pvp server but that doesn’t give you free license to be a douche.  

The thing that most interested me about the article on WoM was the fact that the guy came across to the author as confused as to why people were so upset at him.  He was even startled when, after pulling his trick on a guildmate, he got gkicked.

Confused?  Do some people truly lack ANY empathy?  Hi, you’re fucking with the shit people are trying to do for fun.  Do you want hugs and kisses for it?  We pay money for the privilege of being here, too.

I just…I don’t…what

Some days I feel as if my standards-you know, to live my life in a way that makes other peoples lives better, not worse-are totally out of left field.  That’s where a lot of my rage expressed here stems from, actually…this strange desire for people to not make things harder for everyone else.  Even if your showing up late/unrepaired/without ammo/with the wrong gear set doesn’t impact me a lot, I’m upset on behalf of the guy who wants to be done on time so he can still watch TV with his kids before bed, or whatever. 


…okay I can’t even take myself serious anymore.  I’ve derailed my own post!

Just don’t be a fucking douche, okay?


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  1. #1 by Light on July 22, 2009 - 11:06 am

    I thought being on a PVP server gave you an open license to be as much of a jerk as possible. Call me a carebear, but this is why I play on a PVE server.

  2. #2 by Kestrel on July 22, 2009 - 11:06 am

    A-MEN. “It’s just a game…because I can…they’re only pixels…I’m not like this IRL.” Bullshit you aren’t.

  3. #3 by mediumsizedrobb on July 22, 2009 - 11:11 am

    I generally agree with most of what you’re saying. One thing to keep in mind is that they’re not all just dicks who do things like that. Some people (especially old-school MMO’ers) actually immerse themselves in the game world and do stuff that their character would do, regardless of the fact that IRL it’s seen as being inconsiderate and ruining the nights of 25 normal people. This is really offensive to people for whom WoW is their first MMO, but it helps to keep that in mind and makes the game more enjoyable. It does suck to think that you’re just surrounded by jerks at all times.

  4. #4 by Grimmtooth on July 22, 2009 - 11:15 am


    Don’t even get me started on that scourge invasion. Or Blizz’s lack of vision regarding that. I mean, not even a penalty for attacking your own faction?

    Yeah, yeah, I know. Boo frakking hoo. I’ll go cry in private now.

  5. #5 by euripidesoutdps on July 22, 2009 - 11:17 am

    I love your tag cloud.

    Douchebags are douchebags. If an action can be done, and it will cause a reaction, there will always be some idiot in line to do it. That’s part of why I switched to a PvE realm- pvp realms are filled with low-brow former counter-strike players.

  6. #6 by Taldarion Shatterbound on July 22, 2009 - 11:20 am

    Funny enough, I find this kind of thing to be a great example of Plato’s “Ring of Gyges” story in The Republic.

    (Sorry to get all philosophical on you, but mmos provide a unique insight into this dilemma.)

    Essentially, the question is whether a typical person, having no real consequences for their actions, would be a moral person. In the story, Plato argues that ultimately, they will.

    Although I would love to believe that the majority of people are genuinely good, I have to disagree with Plato on this one. When there are no consequences to actions, people give in to their basest desires. In WoW and other mmos, this means the asshats are going to grief.

  7. #7 by Ambrosyne on July 22, 2009 - 11:26 am

    @mediuimsizedrobb: Even when I RP, I adjust my playstyle for others. Would Lyestra cheerfully slaughter every orc she could get her hands on? …well, yeah, ICly. But am I really going to slaughter the level 13 flagged orc that runs by…and then kill him a few more times when he rezzes? No. The whole killing the same person repeatedly thing is sort of a strain to “IC” anyway. So is wiping out a lowbie town over and over, or any of the other annoying things people do.

  8. #8 by Ambrosyne on July 22, 2009 - 11:30 am

    @euripidesoutdps – Back on my RP server, one intrepid Horde player found ways to grief unflagged Alliance in Ogri’la. Remember the Simon Says daily, where you have to click on crystals? Well he’d stand on TOP of the crystals, either forcing you to stop, or forcing you to flag-and he’d then kill you. He would also train fel cannon fire on you, which if it killed you cost durability. The asshats are eeeeveeerywheeereeeee. I think that particular one ended up banned, though.

    I played TFC Classic, myself. ENGIE CAP LOL.

    Coming up with fun tags is one of my favorite things about blogging!

  9. #9 by Zalgosh on July 22, 2009 - 12:59 pm

    Just to let you know, I started reading this blog today and I love it.

    As for my thoughts, I play on a pvp server because thats the server my brother and his friends were on when I started, so I thought it’d be nice to know someone. I don’t particularly mind world pvp, but I agree to at least not to be TOO much of a douche.

    I have been known to occasionally gank someone, but that’s usually only if I’m in a bad mood/had a bad day. After I kill them, I get back on my mount and go on my way. I just don’t see any reason to camp somebody (annoying for them and boring for me).

    For the most part though, I leave the allies alone until provoked. A few weeks ago, I did Naxx, and the allies just wouldn’t stop killing hordies as they showed up. Since our warlock was stranded in org for ~20 minutes, we had to use the summoning stone or wait. I got tired of it. Since I was on my dual specced resto shaman, I switched to ele and said byebye to the allies with a thunderstorm. Then we summoned real quick and ran in.

  10. #10 by Zalgosh on July 22, 2009 - 1:11 pm

    I just remembered this tip. If you’re grouping with asshat dk’s that think its funny to use path of frost at the end of UK (because he’s angry you let him die while he was standing in the spinny axe even after the boss went down, cause he wanted to see his ‘phat loots’), if you hold the camera angle so you’re looking down, you’ll land into (and not onto) the water and not die.

  11. #11 by Ambrosyne on July 22, 2009 - 1:13 pm

    @Zalgosh: My boyfriend accidentally killed us both that way once. Snerk. Silly DKs.

  12. #12 by Light on July 22, 2009 - 1:15 pm

    Get your shaman to cast water walking on someone before taking that jump. Nobody notices when I cast it on them. ;)

  13. #13 by Oasic on July 22, 2009 - 1:16 pm

    The problem with douchebaggery is that it only takes one douche to start a cycle:

    You get ganked trying to level by a ??. Later, you see a lowbie of the opposite faction and repay the favor (maybe slightly hoping that the person you ganked is actually the ?? on an alt :-P). Then that person does the same.

  14. #14 by Duht on July 22, 2009 - 1:20 pm

    I spent some time on a pvp realm. As a prot pally it didn’t really bring me much joy. Typically I took a long time to die, and may have been part of the reason I wasn’t camped very often. I can count the times on two hands, and of those times only a couple people were camping me for no other reason than to be a dick. Hariethotped, I’m looking at you. (Amazing I can pull that name from over a year ago)

    In everything that you do, and everywhere that you go where will always be that small percent of people who are sociopaths. They make it seem like there are more than there really are because they go above and beyond the call of douchebaggery.

  15. #15 by Kiramaren on July 22, 2009 - 4:44 pm

    Me and some friends (fellow officers), started horde characters on a different server to have a place to distress to after hard raid nights we would just goof off and have some fun. We would quest together and 4 man instances (that we were a lil low for the lvl requirements, lol) on the grind up, it made everything fun, a lot more fun than i can ever remember from lvling up on my other toons. We wanted to try a pvp server and see what its about.

    So, on my lvl 33 Horde Sham-sham, my buddies and I went out questing in Strangle thorn, its always fun and we can plow through the mobs fairly fast when we quest in groups, I was finishing a quest that they had done the night before, and they said its simple you’ll be fine. So I water walk myself and mount up and ride to the island, I am a little paranoid on the pvp servers I always glance around so I don’t get jumped to often, I didn’t see anything and topped the little hill and head over to the mob, I lay my totems and start attacking… and I get one hit off and I’m dead… I’m like wtf he didn’t hit me, I pan my screen and there is a lvl ?? drood named waterlilly or something… for the next 2 hours (cause I am that stubborn) he repeatedly ganks me, and my friends and any other low character he can find. We enlisted 2 80s lvl 80s that were in the zone to come to our aid please, this drood is a justicar… he ganked the 2 of them… it was soooo frustrating I finally had to log before I threw my keyboard after 2 hours of cat and mouse :s he was ruthless… we were lvl 30s common man doesn’t it get old… I wasn’t even a challenge L

  16. #16 by Paldasan on July 22, 2009 - 5:08 pm

    @Taldarion, I have to disagree with your conclusion there. Most people on pvp servers don’t turn into douches because they are living in a virtual world, camping graveyards is kept to a minimum. The people who take liberties with other people in a virtual world do exactly the same thing in RL, they just disguise it better.

  17. #17 by Silk on July 22, 2009 - 6:41 pm

    I read Spinks article and the actual study itself (well bits of it). Its clear that the guy simply doesn’t get it. No-one can justify the RL death threats the guy received (newsflash – teenagers lack perspective, I’ll call Ripleys), but he set out to disrupt the game play of as many people as he could. Then he genuinely couldn’t figure out why people didn’t like him.

    Warping players into unkillable guards is pretty close to an exploit, most of the other stuff he did was just run-of-the-mill jerkiness. The “unwritten” rules are important in any MMO. For example, the raid leader can set himself master looter. As master looter he could simply loot all the gear to himself. Doing so would not be an exploit but that doesn’t make it RIGHT.

    I play on a PvE server because being corpse camped would make me want to tear my face off lol. I know this cause I tried to start a new toon during the scourge debacle (apparently Alliance 80’s repeatedly ganking Northshire Abbey is fun).

  18. #18 by Ron on July 22, 2009 - 8:00 pm

    I had these same thoughts for a very long time. I decided to spend some time gathering PvP gear and learning to PvP just to see if it would be useful, and sure enough its made my life a lot easier. Fact is if you’re on a PvP server expect shit to happen that you don’t like and expect to get ganked/camped. I can’t explain human nature so I won’t even begin to explain virtual human nature.

    There’s no better feeling in the gaming world than taking someone out who was planning on taking you out. It’s even better when done with friends. Ultimately though, if you get a large group of people it’s best to just walk away and come back later.

  19. #19 by Zalgosh on July 23, 2009 - 7:47 am

    I’m really liking the Argent Tournament area, since it puts that buff on you, letting you not be attacked by the opposite faction while you are in mild proximity. That makes doing those quests much easier/funner than the hell that was IQD if you weren’t doing dailies in pvp gear.

  20. #20 by korenmolen on August 2, 2009 - 5:04 am

    Ok, I’m a carebear – I’m on a PvE RP server out of choice. If someone from the other faction is flagged, then I stay away as much as possible.

    Annoyed the hell out of me when I got flagged by a rogue stepping into my consecrate when I was fighting 2+ mobs in ungoro – he was 5 levels above me – wow- what a challenge for him to fight a healadin in PvE spec…

    I don’t get why it is so much fun to beat the &^%* out of low level other-faction – gets you no honor and is no challenge. And killing questgivers and flightmasters? Oh if only you could have “honor loss” for that…

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