Experienced Points: Griefmonkeys

By Shamus Posted Friday May 8, 2009

Filed under: Column 38 comments

The topic this week at The Escapist is griefing. Here the staff weighs in on the subject:

But my place as the Friday columnist lets me get in the last word. (Maniacal laughter.)


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38 thoughts on “Experienced Points: Griefmonkeys

  1. Sydney says:

    Interesting take. What about for tabletop games – say, tabletop games at the hobby shop, where griefers can’t be compelled to leave? Obviously, in games between friends, jackasses can just be kicked out, but what about when that isn’t an option?

    (I’m not asking out of curiosity, I’m asking for advice >_<)

    1. Shamus says:

      Sydney: Good question. It’s one of the perils of those sorts of games. I suspect the solution usually comes down to inter-group politics and interpersonal drama.

  2. Rutskarn says:

    Personally, Sydney, I don’t think the RPG rules can be blamed there. In tabletop role-playing games, the player isn’t just constrained by the rules–he’s constrained by a.) his imagination and b.) how much of his antics the DM is willing to put up with.

  3. Sempiternity says:

    I always figured it was far easier in tabletop games – you work out your social contract before/as you play, and if someone is a jerk, you just don’t play with them again.

    Something related, although not griefing (cause it is valid play), that i’ve noticed is that in competitive boardgames you end up with this effect where blatantly backstabbing your opponents usually leads to you being backstabbed or beaten down by all of the other players in the next game – so groups tend to back away from backstabbing.

    I imagine that holds true on the purely social level as well, especially when you aren’t hidden behind a mask of online anonymity…

  4. Blackbird71 says:

    Interesting article. My definition of griefers is about the same as yours, and I too despise that sort of behavior.

    The problem arises when the griefing can’t be stopped by changing the “physical laws” of the game without limiting the intended game mechanics themselves. Take for exampel the spaceship MMO, EVE Online: it’s fully open PvP environment, which opens a lot of options for conflicts. There are areas of space that are more secure than others, but there is no place you can not be surprised and attacked. This makes for some very interesting, dynamic, and innovative gameplay opportunities. However, it has also made the game a breeding ground for griefers. There is one particular organized group of players, about 5,000 strong, whose stated purpose and mission is to drive other players to quit the game. They are happiest when others are miserable.

    Now, the designers will lock down any actual exploits or rules breaking when they can, but the bottom line is that as far as the game mechanics are concerned, most of the griefing behavior is indistinguishable from the normal rules of play. It’s just malicious in nature and applied strategically so as to cause trouble for players. In this case, there isn’t a way to change the physical laws of the game to stop the griefing behavior without changing some of the main characteristics of the game itself.

    Honestly, I don’t know why game developers put up with this type of behavior. If I had a game where a certain group of players openly stated their intent to reduce my customer base and drive off my business, I think I’d be pretty quick to start banning accounts. In some situation, you might not be able to change the physical laws, but you can certainly enforce rules how you see fit.

  5. Mike Oldham says:

    I have to disagree that it is the developers fault. You’re asking the developers to put tons of manpower into fixing a social problem that is not fixable. Some people are just jerks.

    As has been said above just preventing your teammates from hurting you often changes and hurts the gameplay. My favorite game Myth, has a unit that blows itself up. It’s a great gameplay unit. You have to make sure it isn’t next to your other units, and try to sneak it up to the enemy. But if a griefer is in your game all he has to do is blow it up the second the game starts and you lose half your units. There are a million things the developer could do that would make the game less fun for everyone in order to try and stop one greifer.

    One of the easiest ways to grief in team games is to simply drop from the game, or go get a snack during the game. Once you stop contributing your team is on an uneven playing field. They are exploiting the fact that having an odd number of players hurts your chances. Lots of time griefers come in packs too. Maybe losing 1 guy won’t hurt, but losing 3 guys in a 5 vs 5 usually ruins your chances. How is a developer supposed to prevent someone from not helping?

  6. OverlordDan says:

    Great article, as always!

    The interview I was a little confused about, but mostly because, as you pointed out, everyone has a different standard for griefing.

    I will say that I laughed when a griefer is refered to as satan, and then a comment just a little bit later someone says that they kill low level people on sight in World of Warcraft (which I believe is griefing).

    I’ve never had this problem in a tabletop game, mostly for the fact that everyone i’ve ever gamed with has expressed no reservations with murdering thier character over and over again (free stuff is a wonderfull motivator).

    My roommate is what I would call a griefer, and he takes a perverse joy out of ambushing lower level characters in WoW, and then shouts his disaproval when the tables are turned against him (which brings me _endless_ joy :D)

    Online, my only advice would be to be overly sportsman-like. Congradulate them on a job well done, and wish them a merry evening. Drives ’em nuts.

    Ah well, I’ve rambled too much. Good luck on future articles, can’t wait to read ’em. Lurker away!!!

  7. Magnus says:

    Ah, you’ve reminded me why I don’t bother playing online anymore. Just got sick of jerks, griefers and other assorted idiots. The only time I really enjoyed multiplayer gaming was with a Firearms/Counterstrike clan [KOD].

  8. LintMan says:

    I don’t think you can always blame the game developers, either. Certain modes of gameplay (ie: anything cooperative or team-based) inherently require at some level that the players cooperate, at the very least within their team.

    Like Mike Oldham says, even just losing a player slot or two to an afk griefer can ruin the game, but if you add in stuff like them running around attacking/distracting teammates, taking all the supplies, blocking doorways, hurling insults and epithets on team chat, etc, there’s not much the developer can do.

    Even other things seem pretty hard to anticipate before you encounter someone actually doing it, like a griefer engineer building turrets and dispensers blocking spawn room exit doors, or a griefer taking on passengers in a vehicle, then piloting the vehicle to sit at the far edge of the map, or crashing it with everyone on board.

  9. nerdpride says:

    Darkfall should be an interesting experiment for this. Sounds like they’re going to allow an outlaw-griefer lifestyle for players, at the expense of advancement in gear or something.

    I’m not entirely sure if screwing with the griefer is acceptable to me. I hear people say, “I’m more skilled, I’ll kick their keesters anyway, I’m an anti-TKer,” but it doesn’t sound much different from the original source of the problem. Is griefing allowed if you know someone is the annoying, slimy goo on the rungs of the social ladder? I guess fooling around with goo is fun sometimes, but imho it makes the player base generally less fun.

    But yeah, Griefing and the other miserable forms of drama have turned me away from many a multiplayer game, like just about any MMORPG. Probably my special love for RTS (and single-player) games is due to random people not being able to waste your time quite so easily.

  10. Sydney says:


    Yeah, I noticed that when I used to play Risk a lot. Any group – even strangers – who all knew the game ended up being almost timid in their play, in case they should happen to incur the wrath of the whole table at once. When three really good Risk players turn against the fourth, Number Four sometimes doesn’t get to see their next turn.

  11. Gahazakul says:


    Well, Eve is the Wild West of MMOs. The game is structured to favor large corporations running sections of low security space. CCP has always ran the game “Hands Off” for a reason, to encourage this “gang” type game play. It has given rise to some of the most interesting game time I have seen people engage in. Just reading the war report type stuff in forums is so interesting I had to start playing.

    Anyway, griefing is split in to two categories for me. The annoying and the entertaining. Spawn camping in a FPS is pretty annoying, crawling up the outside of a plane to knife kill the pilot in Battlefield 1942 is hilarious.

  12. Wolverine says:

    Wow, it seems, that I have been a griefer myself, at one point. Consider this:

    I was playing Counter Strike 1.6 (the one with the riot shield)at this Internet cafe with people at that cafe. I was not looking to stop anyones fun, I was looking for a clean game. The other players were quite better than me, so the game started to frustrate me. Normally, I would have stopped playing, but they kept telling new players some rules, one of them being “No riot shield”. So I bought one. Now, I was able to kill three players using the shield and my trusted Desert Eagle. The others did not of course like it, but they could not kick me (I think they did not know how, or it might have been a dedicated server), so they just cursed a lot. After a few rounds I dropped the shield and started playing normally, and when I was getting my ass handed to me again, i quit.

    Griefing using flawed game design is despicable, but what about not following arbitrary rules, that keep you from having fun? I guess I did not have the right to interfere with the game, after all, I was the guest, but if I play against a less skilled opponent, I try to cut them some slack – not sniping tham across the whole map, maybe waiting before I start to shoot and so on.
    When changing a server is not an option, people who are keeping you from having fun can be called grievers for simply being better players.

    Sorry for a bit disorganized post, it is 3 AM here.

  13. gorthol says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you here. While adding rules is certainly a way to stop some griefing, it can’t possibly stop all of it.
    For example, in Warcraft III, you occasionally want to kill allied units (to deny the enemy experience, to create a path for blocked units, etc.). There exist some griefers who will join a random team game, and then simply use this ability to destroy all of their allies’ structures. There’s really very little that the game developers can do about this.
    Do you have any thoughts on using some sort of social mechanic to make life harder for griefers? Some way for regular players to mark griefers? Some sort of ostracization?

  14. MNF says:

    There's really very little that the game developers can do about this.
    Do you have any thoughts on using some sort of social mechanic to make life harder for griefers? Some way for regular players to mark griefers?

    A simple “Thumbs up/Thumbs down” rating system after the game ended would fix this problem. If somebody acquires “Thumbs down” marks from every player in the game, in every game they play, auto-ban em.

    Abuse against newbies shouldn’t be much of a factor, given that players are matched by rating.

  15. Zaxares says:

    Too little time tonight to write a proper response, but I’ll just quickly say that my personal favorite method to deal with griefers is a perma-ban. No appeals. I’ve had people play in my table-top games before who just totally ruined the experience for everyone else. They are no longer welcome at my games.

    I’m also not sure I fully agree with your sentiment of ‘blame the developer’ either, Shamus. Obviously, once an exploit is found, it is the developer’s responsibility to fix it so it’s no longer an issue, but neither do I believe the griefers should get off scott-free. Griefing, like bullying, may be an omnipresent, eternal problem, but a good stiff punishment will still serve as a deterrant to people who might be otherwise tempted to ruin somebody else’s day.

  16. Confanity says:

    I don’t see how it’s even possible to place the blame for griefing on the developers rather than the people who, you know, actually do the griefing. In the real world, there is no perfect system; the closest you can come is a self-correcting system. I doubt it’s even possible to make a multiplayer game that cannot in some way be exploited to frustrate or upset other players. Developers who fail to plug an obvious exploit can be faulted, but since when are bullies and bad guys not to be blamed for their own actions? Was it okay for Stalin to murder millions if his mother beat him as a child? What happened to personal responsibility?

    I agree to an extent with Zaxares. While perma-banning may not always be the best response, the bottom line is that people are less likely to make assholes of themselves if they know there are consequences. That’s why we have laws. In response to your closing line, then: perhaps the game developers have unwittingly “allowed” a griefer to do something unpleasant, perhaps because they don’t think like inventive sociopaths. But going after the loophole while leaving the griefer in place is just inviting them to find the next loophole.

    1. Shamus says:

      I explicitly advocated banning people in my article, so I’m not sure where people are coming from.

      And comparing in-game griefing to the purge of millions of human lives is absurd. Let’s keep this in perspective.

      Going after the griefer while leaving the loophole in place just invites the next griefer. And the griefers will show up faster than loopholes.

  17. RichVR says:

    Haven’t read your article yet. But I got halfway through the video and the guy with the long hair and the glasses started to really annoy me.

    What I got from him to that point was that he was beaten up by his big brother as a kid. And now he “experiments” with people in on line games by griefing them. Oh yeah, and he thinks of himself as a leet hacker not a sad jerk.

    Back to your article as soon as I get some coffee.

    Edit: Okay. I agree with most of what you write. But I honestly think that it’s impossible for a game developer to anticipate all of the possible griefing loopholes. Let’s face it, no game is bug free.

    And bugs are often the loopholes that allow griefing. Even questionable game mechanics lead to griefing in many cases.

    Ignoring, for the moment, out and out griefing regardless of bugs; developers can’t eliminate bugs from games so how could they eliminate griefing loopholes completely?

    As far as developers specifically coding to remove griefing from a game, they would have to have access to the API for human thought. As long as people play games (as opposed to games playing themselves) there will be assholes who grief.

    It seems to be (unfortunately) human nature.

    The ratio of players to devs is enormous. The few developers just can’t come up with every possible permutation of grief. It’s a losing battle, if they ever want to ship a game.

    So it’s up to GMs and mods to fight a holding battle and keep things as fair as possible.

    Assuming, as always, that they even care.

  18. halka says:

    I really couldn’t help posting after seeing the EVE player.

    There is a saying out there, which says something like ‘play EVE as you would run a business’, which for the most part is intended for aspiring industrialists. In short, i guess you shouldn’t run a business while intoxicated. There is a difference between being actively grieved (griefed?) and just being plain lazy to check the numbers. One would say that after a few months of play (and one visit to Jita) he would have known better.

  19. Primogenitor says:

    Doesnt this view conflict with previous entries about cooperative games and players playing for fun, rather than as the designer intended? For example, when talking about GTA IV, you could only play it the way the developers intended (blind railroad and all) rather than [er that other similar game, Something 2] which let players solve it whichever way.

    If that was a MMO environment, would GTA2 not have less griefers than Something 2? Therefore, Something 2 could be regarded as the “worse” game, even though its very freeform nature makes it more fun?

    My point: Developers could cut down on it a bit but, like piracy, at some level the anti-griefing hurts more than the griefing itself.

  20. Telas says:

    I agree with your premise (griefing is a bug that can be written out), but I do think that some kind of social penalty should be used as well.

    In tabletop play, there’s no anonymity. You can (in real life) go pop the griefer in the mouth and teabag him right there in the shop. Yes, it’s assault and battery, but the possibility of it is one of the things that keeps people from being jerks.

  21. Winter says:


    In an online game, the guilty party is the one who allowed the griefing to happen in the first place. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at the developer.


    This exactly.

    I’ve been saying that a lot, and i don’t know why people always get super upset when i do (well, i have a theory–see below). The developer sets the stage, and if that stage makes it easy to bully people then bullies will gravitate toward the game. Developers determine whether or not griefing happens. People saying “Oh, well, it’s a social problem and so that’s outside the developer’s control” are just wrong. If i had time i’d dig up counter-examples, but games can be designed to defeat griefing and games can be designed to enhance it.

    Take S4 League–a relatively straightforward FPS. However, at the levels i’ve played, zero or almost zero griefing–even at low levels of play! Compare and contrast that with, for instance, Diablo 2. I don’t think i need to say anything other than “Diablo 2”, either. You know what i’m talking about.

    And in Diablo 2’s case there are some relatively obvious things which greatly enhance the ability of bullies: they can hack their gear easily to be +infinity/+infinity, they can join your game and you can’t get rid of them, they can wait around until you’re almost at a boss and then come in and wreck everyone (thanks to maphack, which Blizzard also refuses to take seriously except in relatively narrow scenarios), and your only defense is to play passworded games.

    Which is what people say whenever i mention D2’s problem with griefing. “Just play passworded games, noob!”

    But that’s not actually a solution.

    You see, Diablo 2 is supposed to be two things: a multiplayer game and a game you can play on the internet. People conflate these to be one thing all the time, but they’re really different. Street Fighter, for instance, is a multiplayer game. (These days you can also play it on the internet–but that was not always true.) World of Warcraft might or might not be multiplayer (you can solo and try to ignore everyone else) but it’s definitely an internet game.

    When you’re playing D2 only in passworded games that means you’re only playing with your friends. So it’s basically LAN. That’s fine, really. I have friends, great, we can play together even over the internet.

    But that’s not an “internet” game. I think there’s real value to having an internet game–and i think Blizzard, and the rest of you, agree. Why have battle.net if you only care to support LAN and LAN-over-the-internet? There’s no need. Having an “internet” game should make it better. All too often, however, it’s worse.

    So why is it that people get upset about me pointing this out?

    I think it’s because of learned helplessness. They say “oh, well, there’s nothing that can be done! We just have to put up with the bullies or play passworded games, it’s human nature!” In reality, though, lots of things could be done to prevent this sort of nonsense. In Diablo 2’s case, two very easy things could have been done: make PK two-way (instead of requiring only one person to PK–leading to baseless aggression “just because you can”–require both people to PK) and/or make it so that you can boot people from the game. Or make it so that people have to accept others into their games, or any number of things. Now Blizzard, and their defenders, will say that the reason those things weren’t done is because they change the game and Blizzard wanted to allow that sort of experience. That’s no excuse, though: just make it a flag to set the game mode (“cooperative” vs. “you gon’ get bullied” modes) and advertise games based on mode.

    You want to know why i think they didn’t? Because if they had everyone would have picked the mode where you’re not going to get harassed–why would you do otherwise?–and nobody would play the game the way Blizzard “wanted” you to play.

    But you know what? I don’t care. I’m not going to play the game the way Blizzard wanted me to play because that way of playing is stupid. No, seriously: it is stupid. So i’ll just play password-only games instead. And so will a whole lot of people–entire communities of people, with special-purpose tools built around enabling you to play passworded games more easily. And we can see that’s what happened in Diablo 2.

    And it’s Blizzard’s fault.

    If you’re going to make an internet-based, multiplayer game that means you’re making a social game. And if you’re making a social game that means you have to consider social problems–otherwise you end up with a Diablo 2, or worse.

    Maybe in D2’s case Blizzard could just ignore the whiners who already bought the game (read: me) but in games like WoW i think they really had to consider social issues or lose a bunch of money, so they finally started taking that sort of thing seriously.

    Well, more seriously.

    Less unseriously, at least.

  22. Winter says:

    Incidentally, Shamus, there seems to be a bug with your comment form. The length of the comment div appears to be calculated based on the length of the comment sans the “click to edit” section, so (at least for long comments) you get a scrollbar. Not sure if you are aware of this or not.

    I’m running Firefox 3.0.4 in Slackware, if you want to know.

    (Edit: happens on short comments too. “Visible” field = comment length, actual field = comment length + “edit” field, with a scrollbar to cover the difference. You probably already know about this though, so whatever. Delete this comment if you feel like it.)

  23. Kell says:

    #23 Winter:

    Well said.

  24. I will say that I laughed when a griefer is refered to as satan, and then a comment just a little bit later someone says that they kill low level people on sight in World of Warcraft (which I believe is griefing).

    Indeed. People like that are the worst of such.

    On the other hand, WoW does have PvE servers where that kind of behavior is blocked. Harassment can get you blocked and then banned.

    Diablo 2/LOD, when I played it, was not easily hacked (other than the maphack). No +infinity gear. What was fun was the way a group of low level characters would swarm a high level griefer like he was a pinata ready to burst — since he would drop gold every time he was killed.

    But Winter is right, a huge pain is designers who want to force people to play a game the way they want it played (or why they refused to force the +/- switch so that you had to agree to be attacked, unlike Diablo 1, which was much too easily hacked).

    Chris Robert’s Freelancer suffered from similar problems (forced game play). That WoW doesn’t have forced PvP only (but is dominated by PvE servers) says just about everything.

    As for passive griefing in multiplayer, hmm, the only multiplayer I played people had ratings, so that a griefer would suffer for losing just like everyone else on his or her side.

    But idiots who just drive-by one-shot lowbies, they deserve much worse than is allowable under current law.

  25. MintSkittle says:

    I personally like the idea posted in one of the articles where griefers would have their UI modified so they could not see other players, only other griefers.

  26. Daimbert says:

    I have to agree that you can’t just blame the developers, because the “best” griefers are the people who use the actual rules of the game in a way that no one intended or hoped that they could be used.

    Let’s take a potential fix to the WoW issue (I didn’t check to see what the real fix was, so this is hypothetical) where a low-level char can become active by catching a high-level char in an area attack. So you fix that by saying that it doesn’t flip your PvP flag if you catch them in an area attack with other non-players in the area. Sounds good, right?

    Well, now I can do this: take my high-level char out, flip the flag off, and follow around a char of the other side who is looking to complete a quest. And I can area attack all the things he’s trying to kill, foiling his quest. AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME! Even if a high-level char shows up, he can’t do anything because unless I directly attack them, I don’t get my PvP flag flipped and they can’t attack me. Ha!

    Get a group together and I can even make it fun for high-level opponents.

    I don’t support griefing — which is one reason why I hate PvP — but it’s really hard to write the rules so that no one can exploit them to make other people’s lives miserable, and the developers cannot be referrees all the time, nor can they ban everyone anyone complains about (because that would open up another form of griefing.) So, yeah, it’s the griefers’ fault …

  27. Warlock says:

    My take is that it’s the griefer that’s at fault, but that in many games the devs make it too easy for them.

    If you get mugged/ganked in a dark alley/PVP zone, it’s the mugger that’s at fault, not the cop/GM that was busy elsewhere or the government/dev that placed the alleyway. (griefing in a PVP focused game).

    If you’re on the main street in daytime and a cop watches you get mugged the cop and government are at fault too. (griefing in Diablo 2).

  28. Confanity says:

    Note: “Absurdity (comma) reduction to” was my purpose, and the target was the apparent underlying thesis “The person who does something bad is not at fault; rather the fault lies with the people who didn’t magically anticipate them and prevent them from doing it.” Did I misread?

    Perhaps it would be more clear if I borrow your analogy: being mad at the developer makes as much sense to me as being mad at Congress over a rape because their system didn’t protect the victim. Yes, game developers a power closer to absolute over their game than legislators do over other humans, but I’m operating on the rule here that there is no system that cannot be broken. And the more complex it is, the easier it’ll be to find a point to break it at.

    1. Shamus says:

      Confanity: The flaw in your analogy is that congress doesn’t control reality itself. You’re confusing the enforcement of breakable laws with physical laws. If congress could make it impossible to rape but refused to do so because they didn’t want to lose the rapist vote, then I think it would be reasonable to hold them accountable.

  29. Confanity says:

    When I say “there is no system that cannot be broken,” I mean that game developers have no more ability to stop griefing than Congress has to stop unhappiness, because people who want to grief will always find a way to do it. As has been noted in this very comments thread, one can grief simply by refusing to play cooperatively. If they don’t care about their ratings, there’s no way to stop them. One can grief by lying to newbies about how the game works, or just plain lying to anyone about anything.

    It seems like you’re thinking of griefing that arises from bugs, loopholes, hacks, and other things that developers can usually deal with. Careful coding and beta-testing are necessary and developers who cut corners here certainly can and should be held accountable for their laxity, as they should in cases where loopholes or exploits are found and not dealt with. But as Daimbert noted, fixes can lead to new loopholes. Should developers be held accountable for not being perfect? Lack-of-omniscience, unlike bullying, isn’t a character flaw to be blamed for.

    The gameworld and its underlying mechanics are a system, just as the physical laws of the universe are a system. But just as people can use physical laws to bring suffering to others (if someone gets dropped off a cliff, let us say, they have been griefed through gravity, despite the universe’s developer supposedly being benevolent and omniscient) — they can also use gameworld laws to bring suffering to others.

    Could Congress make a set of perfect laws that, if perfectly enforced, would prevent anyone from ever making anyone else unhappy? I’m saying there is no. such. thing. as a system that cannot be… would “exploited” be a better term? “Used for nefarious purposes”? If you can point out any complex system that ever existed that could not be used to cause grief, I’ll cede the point. Until then….

    1. Shamus says:

      Confanity: Certainly perfection isn’t possible, but all too often exploits go on for far longer than they should. Very often the “loophole” is obvious initially, and lasts for a long time even after its reported. If they went after exploits and griefing with the same vigor they used to go after security flaws, things would be a lot better. Which is my point: They should treat griefing as a killjoy, the same way they treat crashes like a killjoy. Griefing is often tolerated not just by GM’s, but by the rules themselves.

      I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t deal with individual griefers. (I advocated that specifically in the article.) But that the time it takes to track down, investigate, arbitrate, and punish a single griefer isn’t that much less than the time needed to implement a fix. Chasing down individuals while leaving the hole in the rules is a fool’s game, like bailing out the ship without patching the leak. You’ll never keep up, and end up dragged into the stupid he said / she said stuff you get between players.

  30. Daimbert says:


    The main point of contention, though, is that it isn’t always — or possibly, even in general — easy to fix those holes without ruining some part of the fun of the game that you wanted players to have. This is one reason why it takes so long to close them up; they have to spend a lot of time thinking about JUST the right fix to stop the griefing and keep the fun.

    As I said, that’s the main issue here. No one disagrees that developers should close up obvious loopholes in ways that don’t prevent other players from having fun, but why we’re willing to give the developers major slack is because we understand that figuring that out without ruining their game isn’t easy (even if WE can see a fix).

    See my example for what can happen with a quick fix to your WoW example …

    1. Shamus says:

      Daimbert: Then we’re really talking about two different sorts of problems.

      In the WoW example, they simply made it so that if you aren’t flagged for PvP, your AoE attacks have no effect on targets that would normally initiate PvP combat. That didn’t cripple the gameplay, and it fixed the problem of undesired behavior.

      But the exploit ran for quite a while before anyone got round to fixing it.

  31. Daimbert says:


    That’s actually the solution, then, that I pointed out could lead to a different kind of griefing: that of following a character of the opposing side around and AoE’ing every enemy they want to attack.

    The fact that you can do that already for people on your own side doesn’t really help when before all they had to do was get in range of your AoE and they could at least try to kill you, or get a group of people together to do it.

    And, again, it’s not as simple to fix even to that flawed fix as you think, since they have to examine if that could cause any issues in any instances or shared areas that would impact the PvP gameplay, and then determine how to do that in the code without making it so that no AoE triggers PvP anymore (judging by some bugs in other MMORPGs I’ve played, I’m not sure that’s all that easy coding-wise [grin]).

    Ultimately, I can’t decide which behaviour is worse, since on both sides a claim can be made for people to be more careful/ignore and move away from griefers, but I can make someone’s life miserable with either solution.

    It’s hard to fault designers for being careful when being forced to do the impossible [grin].

  32. Daimbert says:

    Hmmm, in retrospect, I might be wrong that the WoW solution was the same as mine, but think that it might be even worse. Mine was that AoEs that are “aimed” at non-enemies wouldn’t flip the flag even if they hit an enemy. From what you said, it might be that AoEs NEVER trip the flag. That would be REALLY bad, since I could easily AoE enemies to death and they couldn’t hit me.

    I HOPE that’s not what they did [grin].

  33. Jim Profit says:

    I don’t think I’ve encountered much greifing.

    I mean besides the 12 year old mods on halo who don’t like it when you beat them.

    Or the occassional player who doesn’t fucking move or do anything. Especially standing in doorways.

    Diablo 2 wasn’t bad either. Sept for assholes who always wanted to duel, even when you were like “no thanks” and chased you around anyway. But it was bearable.

    I’d take greifers over moralfag mods anyday. “No cussing” “Oh sorry. I must’ve not heard you inbetween the teabagging and the deplorable violence..”

    A simple way to get rid of the “blocking the pathway greifing” would be to just develop the game for team-mates to go through one another. But then that would be too easy. Everyone knows game designers are all trolls developing their shit under a bridge somewhere. (Probably London)

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