Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Feature, Roleplay
Godmodding and Griefing
comment 116 Written by on March 16, 2010 – 10:49 pm

I very rarely take on other bloggers** around here, especially with bloggers participating in fun things like a new “bloggy” guild that’s sprung up over on Argent Dawn.

Unfortunately, I came across a post today, and (as I’m sure you’re going to notice) it’s made me rather upset.

Anyway, here is the post from the other blog:
(Apologies for the long quote, but I want this to be in full, so that I’m not accused of “taking it out of context”. The post has since been deleted, but the original post was titled “The Single Abstract Noun Bad RP Challenge”. If necessary, I can provide a google cache link for this, but I don’t think it’s needed. The point stands.)

Fun blogger event!
I’ve been hearing a lot about some… indecent or just plain awful RP that seems to be happening at select locations around Azeroth (such as the infamous Goldshire).  Denizens of SAN are both outraged and amused by these incidents.
Step 1 – Mock the RP
Note: DON’T mock poor saps who are minding their own business and really trying to RP legitimately.  Use your good judgment on whether the participants should be mocked or left alone.

Go into one of these locations of ill-repute, and, in character, find a way to confuse and annoy the terrible RP-ers.  Examples:

  • Azeroth Vice, here to break up prostitution.
  • The minstrel whom the paramour hired and then did not pay.
  • Repo man here for the mount (look, I don’t care what you’re currently doing, buddy, you are late on your frostsaber payment)
  • You’re the dude with the 2:00 PM appointment with the lady of ill-repute and you HATE to wait.

Anyway… the list goes on…  Be creative!  The important thing is to stay in character, and totally throw the RP people a situation they aren’t expecting.
Step 2 – Screenshot & Post on blog
Then we can all mock them together!  You might want to redact names or particularly gross bits of text.

And, if you don’t mind, drop me a note or pingback, because I want to see!

I’m going to say this plainly. I’m going to say it in bold text. And then I’m going to explain:

This is griefing.

This is godmodding.*

This is not something that should be going on, ESPECIALLY on an RP server.

I don’t care how bad the RP is. I don’t care if the persons involved are cybering a half-dragon, vampire threesome in front of your eyes. (If they are, ask them to stop OOCly and report them for a TOS violation – cyber in public places is against the TOS). I don’t care if they’re using aol-chatspeak and not using any punctuation. I don’t care if they’re talking about another game and pretending it’s WoW RP.

I don’t even care if they’re godmodding YOUR character and telling you that you now have to deal with it.

This is NOT how you “deal with” so-called “bad” RP.

This is griefing RPers.

It is taking control of other players’ characters and situations without their permission, and it is ruining something that they are enjoying doing for no other reason than that you feel like doing it (because it’s fun and you think they suck).

Ha ha. Isn’t that funny. Let’s mock the RPers.

This is no different than the people that mock/grief “good” RP, because they do the same thing.

It doesn’t matter to me that my friends and I have well developed characters and other people don’t. It doesn’t matter if other people are RPing terrible characters that bend the lore and make me want to smash my face into my keyboard. These are people who are not doing ANYTHING to anyone involved, and they are being targeted simply because they’re bad at something. Something they may very well be new at, have never done before, or are trying out just for grins to see if they like it. They might be very young. Or they might flat out be bad.

None of that matters.

“Using your good judgement” doesn’t enter into it. Those “poor saps” who are just doing their own thing don’t earn the right to be left alone because you think they’re OK, when those OTHER RPers are so bad it’s OK to grief them.

NOBODY gets to be the Good RP Police.

You know something? I started out as a bad RPer. My first RP character was a horrendous, nausea inducing, lore bending Mary Sue of unbelievable proportions.

And do you know why I still RP?

I still RP because nobody pulled this kind of griefing with me. Nobody ruined my play time for laughs because they thought I was bad. Nobody came up and took control of a situation I was RPing by “playing” that they were there to be the RP police and they thought my RP was bad.

This behavior is godmodding, griefing, and a reportable offense.

Just because it is being done in character doesn’t make it any less awful.

You want to reposess someones frostsaber? You whisper them first and get permission to join the RP.

Walking up and taking the situation, dumping it on their heads, and then posting screenshots on the internet for you and your buddies to laugh about? Approaches the point where I want to report you for griefing. And you know what? If someone tried any of those stunts with me? I would be reporting them for griefing, as well as putting them on ignore.

On an RP server like Argent Dawn especially, rules exist to protect people that want to roleplay, and within those rules are provisions that state “if you don’t like it, go away.” Nobody gets to ruin anyone else’s fun just because they don’t like the RP, even if the RP is “bad”.

There is no rule that says you have to be good at RP to enjoy doing it.

The only rule is that other people either ignore RP they don’t like or go somewhere else where it’s not happening.

Step 1 – Mock the RP

Step 2 – Screenshot and post on blog so we can all mock them together

If you want to have a good time and start a bloggy fun project, be my guest. I don’t have any problems with people having fun. (I don’t have any problems with people pointing out that some RPers are just /bad/ either. Because some of them are! I was one once, and I learned and got better!)

Everyone is entitled to the same enjoyment of their $15, as long as they’re not violating the TOS. There is no reason to ruin *someone else’s fun* because you don’t agree with or like it.


*Godmodding is what happens when someone takes control of another player’s (or players’) character(s) for their own gain, without permission – essentially they are “playing God” or “playing as a God.”

**This is an edit. This sentence SHOULD have said “taking on other blog posts” – as it is, it’s a little close to the line of a personal attack, and so I apologize. I’ve refrained from actually changing it, since the original should stand, and I’ll stand by what I said, but know that the intent of it (which doesn’t change what was said at all – and I know that) was “blog posts” and not to attack a person.

(EDIT: It has come to my attention that the blogger who posted the Bad RP Challenge may have done so without actually having any input from the guild Single Abstract Noun. While I don’t intend to change the title of the post on someone else’s blog, I will more than happily remove the links to the guild website if there is a disconnect here that I didn’t know about (not being a member of the guild, I can’t tell if there is anything on the forums). If the SAN leadership wants to get in touch with me, I’m happy to discuss this.)

(EDIT #2, after having spoken with the guild sort-of-leaders from Single Abstract Noun, I’ve done a bit of editing. This post isn’t any attack on SAN or it’s founders or members – many of whom are new and unfamiliar to RP and rolling on an RP-PVE realm for the first time. My issues, as I outline them above, are completely with the ideas presented in this post. As such, I’ve chosen to remove the link to the SAN guild forums – though not to totally remove the name – since there aren’t actually any guild sponsored events and this seems to be a one-off decision by a guild member.

Hopefully nobody takes from this an excuse to be nasty to YOU guys. Because quite honestly, a big part of the point of this post is “Be less nasty to each other”, and going to be trolls in your forum kind of defeats that entire purpose. There will be more in the future on this front, but for now, I think that’s enough clarification.)

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116 Responses to “Godmodding and Griefing”

  1. At NO Point did Anna Grief CH. At no point did ANNA make a personal attack on CH. Anna DID point out how she was encouraging Griefing.

    CH put a bad, no a stupid idea, and then deleted her blog. Those were her choices.

    What is going on now: The attacks on Anna, distorting the facts of what occurred, the complaints of “unfairness,” the totally illogical cries of hypocricy!, is flat out disgusting, ill informed and stupid.

    You’re not making any points or convincing arguments. This is just another example of the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory.

  2. The difference, dear Veritas, is that in-game griefing is [i]actually against the rules of the game and ToSable offense.[/i] CH’s decision to flounce from the internet after getting enough backdraft from her poorly-thought-out idea for “happyfuntimes” isn’t the same as being publicly humiliated for someone else’s amusement. Sorry, but your tender-hearted friend wasted none of that tenderness on the people she suggesting mocking and I have no sympathy for those who want to dish it out but can’t take it, even backhandedly.

    More specifically: I am the sitting officer in change of roleplaying for my own guild on Steamwheedle Cartel US. Had a guildie of mine posted such a suggestion to a website or blog associated with my guild, that guildie would be explaining their behavior before the Guild Council so fast their head would spin and, if the explanation did not amount to more than “but but but IT WAS A JOOOOKE!” or “FOR THE LULZ!”, that guildie’s ass would hit the curb so fast they’d be halfway to China before they stopped bouncing. Not only is such behavior explicitly against the ToS and the rules governing in-game harrassment on RP servers, it tarnishes the reputation of the individual player and also that of the guild that countenances such behavior or attempts to defend it. Perhaps CH should have thought about [i]that[/i], as well as the feelings of the people her little joke would have inevitably hurt, before she posted. Perhaps she’ll grow up, put on her big girl panties, and own the mistake she made. We’ll see. But, as of now, I have no good impression of either her or SAN.

  3. @Veritas: “What none of you have been able to justify in any coherent argument presented so far is why /say in game is different than open discussion on blogs.”

    I’ve been trying to think of a way to explain the difference, and I’m still feeling my way around it, but here ’tis.

    I believe that most players, be they RPers, raiders, puggers, or just plain questers, don’t anticipate seeing the things they say and do in-game screenshotted and reported to the world. I don’t know exactly what to call it — an expectation of privacy, maybe? While it’s absolutely true that anything you do in-game can make its way out to the internet, I’d bet very few people expect that it will.

    So people who are RPing in /say generally aren’t doing so with the idea that their conversation may wind up on someone’s blog, any more than the people acting badly in PuGs expect to end up on the front page of WoW.com. There’s a feeling of “What happens in WoW, stays in WoW,” even if it’s all too easy for that to be proven wrong.

    When I RP in /say, only the people who walk into /say range can see the conversation, and once the words are said, they fade out of the chatbox and that’s it. The only way those words are going to be seen by other people is if someone’s running a chatlogger or taking screenshots.

    A blog’s a different animal. It’s public, it’s searchable, and it can be seen by so very many more people — pretty much anyone with an internet connection. Blog posts can stick around for years and years — even if the blogger deletes his or her material, if it was cached by google, it’s still sort of there.

    I would guess that CH made her post thinking that only a few people she knew would see it and respond, but the truth is that unless someone sets their blog to private, it can be read by anybody. It’s kind of shocking, the first time you realize other people are reading your stuff. (It’s happened to me once, actually.)

    With conversations in WoW, you mostly expect that the only people who will see what you’re saying a) have an active WoW account, b) play on your server and c) are in the same in-game location as you. Which, even if you’re RPing in Goldshire, is probably no more than a handful of people — 20? 30? In most cases, RP is in less-public places — in a tavern, by a lake, at the meeting stone by an instance — and that number drops drastically.

    That’s where I see the difference. A blog post is an invitation to discussion, because the blogger is putting his/her ideas forth on the internet where everyone can see it. A conversation in WoW, even though it can be ported out-of-game, isn’t usually intended to be seen by the world.

    Does that make any sense?

  4. @Veritas

    “What none of you have been able to justify in any coherent argument presented so far is why /say in game is different than open discussion on blogs. If it is inappropriate to mock, scold, shun, grief people in game when they are communicating in public space (ie general chat or /say), why is it appropriate to do the same thing on the blogs.”

    The difference between in game and blogs is an authority. In game Blizzard, the authority, has set a standard or rules by which players agree to act. To the best of my knowledge beyond activities that break actual laws, which this by no means does, the blog community does not have any such authority.

    Regardless if it is “Bad rpers” or gold spammers, in game there is already an established method of reporting these issues. Adding to that, using the activities mentioned by CH are violations of the TOS and can get the person doing them “in trouble” and do absolutely nothing to the person that actions were being taken against in the first place. Blizzard says the way to handle these issues is to report them.

    In the blog community there is just that… the blog community. There are many ways to handle an issue ranging from the way you would have preferred it to be handled in comments and back channels, to handling it out in the open as Anna did. There is no authority to say the way it should be handled. There is nothing short of personal opinion to decide the way something should be done.

    By Zilyanna on Mar 18, 2010 | Reply
  5. This is a good post.

    Regardless of the venom of some folks, this is far better handling of the issue than some may even realize. There’s no name-calling in Anna’s post, no personal attacks, nothing of the sort – simply an analysis of the situation and an explanation of why the approach is wrong.

    It is not an attack.

    Anyone that has been on the internet longer than a year ought to know what an attack actually looks like, eh?

    Keep on truckin’, ma’am. /salute

  6. @Nagaina

    I have actually had to do this. Yva posted a bit she wrote from a guild we both share. The results of the incident in question forced me to confront a guildie over that issue, even if he wasn’t wearing my guild tag when he did it.

    I have a no tolerance policy for crap like this.

  7. If she didn’t want PUBLIC SCRUTINY of a very PUBLIC MEDIUM . . . she shouldn’t have put it on the /internet/. A blogger puts themself out there with every post they make, and that means for better or worse. Veritas, your ‘defense’ is honorable, but incredibly short sighted. “She was griefed for her post!” No, she wasn’t. She was taken to task for something she put out there. Not every blog post is going to be taken as shiny happy bunny fodder. And for all that there are those here saying “Well it sucks that she’s gone and felt the necessity to delete her blog and gquit” . . . I’ll say if she’s gone THIS far over someone reacting to a post she put on the internet, she likely couldn’t /handle being on the goddamned internet in the first place/.

    I’ve just suggested that Anna close the comments for this thread. We’re going around in circles between those who say Anna approached the topic well (which I tend to agree with – to be frank? I’d have absolutely eviscerated the OP. If THIS post made her delete her blog and flounce, what I’d have said probably would have made her swallow razor blades) to the others who are trying to “Support a friend” by playing the U HURT MA FRIEND’S FEELINS ON INTERNETS AND ARE BAD PERSON debates. Neither of those “groups” are going to persuade the other one that they’re right. It’s time to move on with our lives and, in some cases, learn to grow a thicker skin. If you don’t want public scrutiny, don’t put yourself in the goddamn spotlight. Not all attention is good attention. Deal with it.

    By Yva on Mar 18, 2010 | Reply
  8. Alright folks – I need to step in here for a minute. Some of the discussion happening here is good, and I appreciate it. However, some comments have gotten a little close to flamey for my personal comfort level (and not so much flaming me but flaming other commenters). Let’s keep it civil please – discussion is totally fine, even if it’s a little heated. Name calling not so much.

    (And yes, I should’ve probably said this way earlier in the thread. mea culpa on this one)

  9. Okay. Still not looking for a fight, but I think some people need to look up the definition of “griefing,” because it’s being tossed around very casually here. Per Wikipedia, “a griefer is a player who does things in a game to deliberately cause grief for their own enjoyment.” In Blizzard’s definition, harassment “is not necessarily limited to the type of language used, but the intent.” Going by those definitions, it seems pretty clear to me that what was originally proposed in the blog post that’s since been deleted was griefing, pure and simple; the intent was to mock and embarrass “bad” RPers in game for no other reason but fun.
    Anna’s post, by contrast, was a firmly-worded but well-reasoned argument about why that sort of behavior is not acceptable. She didn’t write this post to make fun of anyone, but to address an issue that she clearly takes very seriously and has witnessed happening in game before. Her purpose was not to make someone miserable for her own entertainment. I think it’s a shame that the author of the original post was so upset by Anna’s post that she stopped blogging (and it’s evident from Anna’s comments that she feels likewise), but that does NOT make Anna’s post “griefing.”

    By Corise on Mar 18, 2010 | Reply
  10. Look guys, it’s done.

    As you know, I chose to quit blogging because this post and subsequent comments made me realize that the community itself is not what I thought it was, and I don’t want to be part of it anymore. Guys, gals, blogging is a hobby. There’s no burning reason to “stick with” a hobby you find out you don’t like, any hobby, like book club, scrapbooking, or whatnot.

    Anna has the right to post, and to leave her post up. And I have the right to not post anymore because of what I’ve seen here. With every escalating post, on either side, it makes my choice to walk away from the hassle more clear.

    I have already posted on my blog about this, and the only reason I’m deciding to post here is not to fan the flames but FFS to get people to move on. Whatever lessons that can be learned about researching your topics, roleplay, and interacting with other bloggers have been hammered into the ground.

    By crankyhealer on Mar 18, 2010 | Reply
  11. So, let me get this mess right:

    Someone responded an attempt of naming and shaming fail RP’ers by….naming and shaming first. Sure, that isn’t hypocrisy. Or being a self-righeous ass *rolls eyes*.

    And I don’t know too well WTF godmodding is, but telling people by RP’ing that their RP is fail is not different to tell people that stop making out in public.

    Finally, I LOVED how many of the SAN members that have high readership sticked with anna or covered their asses basically because they have high readership too. That’s with all of you Gnomer, Krizzly and Matticus.

    BTW, the name is Gaussar or Garvious, SAN-US. Any critics can be done here on in game, kthnxbai.

    By Gx1080 on Mar 18, 2010 | Reply
  12. Ok. So this didn’t get any better. Cranky’s responded here, and asked it to be dropped, and so I’m going to close down commenting. At this point, I’m almost not even involved in this anymore, since everything I’m hearing about it is second and third hand, and as such, there’s no reason to leave the comments open. I’m not going to change my mind, and I’m pretty sure that’s not going to change for any of you folks.

    If you absolutely must get a hold of me, you can use the contact form (look at the navigation bar at the top of the blog header), or email me at toomanyannas at gmail dot com.

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