Warning: This is a rant. Skip if you dislike strong language and intolerance.
There are a few types of people who grind on my personality. Not just the folks who mildly perturb you; these are people who you’d cross the street to slap if it wouldn’t mean jail time.
In “game” the odd/irritating players are pretty easy to stumble upon, and the really painful ones are easy to stumble upon but can’t be silenced by a palm to the head. You’ll see them bouncing around begging for gold, or making asshats out of themselves in trade/general/lfg as you move around them to quest.
Wow has an Ignore list for these people, and I try to spend as little time as possible in the old world major cities. It seems particularly prevalent around any AH, and I think that is less by a conscious choice to target the population, and more because they’ve noticed that they get the most negative feedback in that spot.
OK, they’re kids, and they’re just being immature or bored. For a while thats silly fun, and any attention is good attention. But I get the feeling that some segment of this group (lets call them the powerfully unimpressive gamers) really think that irritating interaction is the normally expected way to interface to other players. And that sucks. These guys populated the barrens with rubbish, can only speak in 1337, and insist on alternating between griefing, begging, and bragging.
What can we do?
Some odd suggestions are:
- Give the ignore list more slots.
- Give us a temp ignore that lasts 15 minutes. This way I can not sit through the spam, but I’m not relegating the guy to Ignore permanently.
- Give us the capacity to Ignore an entire account. For when the person is such a fool that they’re really never worth talking to again, on any toon.
- I think the city guards should tell players to STFU after 6 or 7 yells in quick succession. Imagine that when some fool sat in front of a bank and yelled for 30 minutes straight, the guards slap them around a bit, and place a silence affect on them. If they keep at it they are dragged quietly off to the holding bin, just like any other public irritant. Drag them away!
Whilst watching a particularly inept oxygen thief cry his way through Stormwind I thought where do these people end up in life?
Having their antics noted in customer complaint websites, on talkshows or current affairs shows, or anywhere you can get 2.5 minutes of fame for being freaky or degraded. The talk-show of the future will be hosted by the genetic bastard lovechild of Dr Phil and Ellen, cajoling the inept mouth breathers into spilling all their insecurities in a faux effort to help them realise more of their hidden potential.
Why are these people so hard to avoid?
Well its because in real life the population base is much larger, the personal privacy controls are far more ingrained or law, and we have all sorts of subtle human interaction rules to prohibit or embarrass a stupid indulgence. Which is the opposite of Online where a players inhibitions can fly to the wind (which is a major appeal), you can yell and scream with little ramifications (or even roleplay somebody else), and the types of friendships you have are measured using totally different metrics. Being unknown is a powerful mask for these people. Its also weird when you place a person to a toon in a RL meet-up. Nobody looks like what they sounds like, and they often behave totally different from the way they type. Thankfully everyone I’ve bothered to meet has been cool.
Sadly if you find yourself drained by the quality of the players around you, moving servers, towns, etc is only going to help to a limited degree. Stupidity is almost as common as heart beats.
What I’ll be interested to see is how the multi-user online environments evolve over the next 10 years. We’re in the childhood of massive online communities, and only time will tell what amazing systems allow us to do in the future. Hell I might be the a minority player when I wish to plug-in to escape from reality for a while, where its everyone’s normality otherwise. I hope the 1337′ers are gone by then, or at least traceable.