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The Internet is for Jerks

March 2, 2009

As part of my trying to keep up with the pace of technology in the workplace I read a few news sites, one of them focuses on IT and has some real gems crop up every now and again. Here is one of them.

Now, this can be related to in terms of our favourite online past time, World of Warcraft.

Personally I believe that due to the inherant anonymity provided by the medium of the interwebs people seem to think that they can act like buttholes because there really isn’t a proper route for appropriate recourse. These people act out because they realise that they will not have to deal with the consequences of their actions. If real life were like this I’d hate to think of the state we would be in.

Recently you can read in my various posts that group-fu has seriously been lacking. I’ve entered into a number of PUGs that have fulfilled the various stereotypes that come straight to mind when playing with random people. Maybe all the good players are at 80 already and farming Heroics/raids so I am left with dealing with the tards who lag behind (thereby also putting myself into this category – natch). Yet, after much searching my group karma seemed to pan out. Friday night I was looking for an Azjol-Nerub group to run for the XP, I got invited to the group (as DPS even!) and we filled the group. We had a Paladin Tank, a BM Hunter, a mage, myself and a Disc priest, we rolled through the place without a problem, there were many congratulations and we decided to go pop Ahn’Kahet as it’s right next door and we were doing well. Another successful instance, we had a couple of dodgy moments but everyone acted as a group, I helped out healing when I noticed the Priest struggling we all adapted to what came at us and had a great night of it. After a brief respite we ran Utgarde Keep too. Unforunately the Priest had to leave quite early on but we replaced him with a Rogue friend of the Mage’s I therefore took over the healing role and we got through everything with only one hiccup on the first try at the last boss. For a PUG I was pretty amazed and every one of these guys is now sitting pride of place on my friends list as people I would be honoured to fight with on any future occasion.

Yet, this is not the norm, whether it is merely the fact that the bad stories will be remembered far more often than the good there does seem to be a flood of bad pug stories. I’ve had experiences of this myself so I know it’s not just conjecture or e-peening. The “Internet is for Jerks” theme comes through here I think. I can understand that after you’ve spent an hour or so in LFG that when you finally get to an instance and the rest of the people turn out to be retards who don’t have a clue what they’re doing can be infuriating, however, sometimes patience pays off. In one of the previous pugs we had an appalling Death Knight who tried to tank and failed miserably, the group disbanded even though I was prepared to try and keep them all together and get a new tank (hell, if I wasn’t so hell bent on getting Lekktra to 80 I’d have probably gone back and tried levelling a Druid so I could do any job required of me). He complained how having a group full of casters makes it harder to tank….

Outside of my experience there are the corpse campers and people that generally try and make other peoples gaming experiences unpleasant. I had a Hellfire quest and went to the only area that the quest mobs spawned, there was a Boomkin there and I left him alone and went round doing my thing. As we were both clearing stuff he started targetting the mobs I was casting at and using Moonfire to tag them before my Lightning Bolt finished, not just one at a time but he’d tag every one he could see and AOE them down right in front of me. I’d move on and he’d come over and tag all of them again. I just /facepalmed. I can’t really do anything against him he’s just being an idiot, OK, he was there first but there was only two of us there and the respawn rate wasn’t so low that we couldn’t have both benefited from being there at the same time. Just some faceless guy behind an avatar that I will never meet in this life but I do wonder what was going on in his world. Was I an evil Draenei Shaman invading his quest? Did he feel that my ability to only tackle one mob at a time was a threat to his AOE dominance of pulling 5 mobs? I’d really like to know as I am sure that every single instance of asshattery in this game comes with a reason.

It may be that the vast majority of this is down to age. I can’t say for sure so will not make any sweeping statements but it is considered that the average age of an Alliance player is low teens. I wouldn’t know, I’m almost 30 after all. It’s also considered that the Horde is a more mature faction. I don’t play on that side of the fence with any regularity so have little frame of reference. Remembering my history (I first started WoW on the Horde) I have come across a couple instances of crappy players and general idiocy but as I have much more experience on Alliance the two can’t be compared.

Personally I act the same whether I am online or dealing with people IRL, after all, there is a person on the other end of that avatar too, “Do unto others” etc… perhaps it is a maturity thing. I can only imagine if everyone thought that the whole game should revolve around them and that the only reason that anyone else should play the game is to furnish you with all the loot you so obviously deserve as there is no possible way your uber skills and playing ability could possibly be improved or benefit a group more than your own topping of whatever metre it is you want to be topping. MMOs are not a game to showcase or even try and achieve personal glory, it doesn’t matter if you are the most awesome tank in the game if your healer spams Lesser Heal at level 80 or didn’t realise that there was a skill trainer and has levelled purely off their mace. This game and all games in the same genre require co-ordination between people to get the most out of it and because it is social acting like some complete spaz is going to forge a reputation that is going to stop you from being able to join in with those same people who you’re going to need to proclaim those uber skills. Anonymity only goes so far before it catches up with you and I’ll be damned if I’d be levelling up countless alts across different servers just so I can act like an idiot to people.

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