The Escapist Presents: The Escapist On: Griefing

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Lord_Ascendant:
Oh ho! Interesting theories I see here! And nice to see the handsome face of our own CantFakeTheFunk. Although one of these days I'm hoping to see the beautiful face of Queen Susan of Ponyland.

Susan is in this video.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-escapist-presents/628-Escapist-On-Gaming-Addiction

This is a good video about griefing. People who does griefing is like dealing with trolls on the forums. They are pests.

I really am liking these escapist ons. I hope they keep getting made.

Also, Mr. Funk, you sound eerily similar to someone I know. You also sort of look like him with shorter hair.

Landslide:
You're kind of contradicting yourself here. You tell people they shouldn't 'give up' in the face of griefing, because capitulating only encourages the offender. You then go on to say the only solution is to chill out and accept it as a part of the game.

Capitulating and ignoring is two different things. Yes, you should hold your ground against the griefer in the form of total and absolute ignorance. Don't show how angry, sad or riled up you are, because that makes the griefer happy. Just simply pretend he doesn't exist at all. If you can get the whole server to act like the griefer is not even there, he will soon lose interest and leave. It works. But if you react to the griefer in any way, thus acknowledging his existence and enabling him (simply, everything you do because of him, like getting angry, cursing at him, rage quitting...etc, is enabling), he will continue ruining the game until everyone fun is ruined. That's what I meant.

I was the dude in the video, complaining about the EVE douche that got all my ISK. I'm angry at him, sure. I mean, I know what he did, I understand the thinking behind it. He made the price the same as normal, and tacked on zeroes, hoping no one would notice. It's a pretty standard method for people in EVE to snooker others out of extra cash. Like in my case. I was equally angry at myself for not paying attention. Whoops. Buyer beware. People do the same thing on Ebay.

No offense, but that was clearly your fault. You made an error in judgment, simple as that. As you said, "Buyer beware". In a game like this, you should expect scammers and double-checking everything should be second nature after playing as long as you say you did. Making one single bad call can end in a disaster, been there done that. I've been scammed out of quite a lot of virtual currency at the beginning of my online gaming "career" myself. But, as they say "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me", and I guess this wasn't the first time someone tried to scam you. I'm not trying to rub salt into the wound, but this is not griefing, this is textbook "scamming".

Anyway, I maintain the only way to 'beat' a griefer is to log off, or leave the area, or do whatever it takes to get away. It's not cowardice. It's apathy for dealing with some nitwit.

Well, that one way to deal with the problem, I agree, but it's not a solution. It's deflecting. I see you tend to think about online multiplayer games as "singleplayer, but with a talking AI". "If I'm not having fun, than I go, and let the others deal with the problem." I only play FPSs online, I'm not a MUMORPUGER kinda guy, so I talk about small servers here, like in CS:S. I tend to think about it as a community. If a griefer comes in and starts to ruin our fun, then we should do something about it. If the server collectively holds the ground and ignores the hell out of the griefer, he will leave eventually seeing that he won't have much fun, since clearly he can't ruin our game. By defending everyone else's fun, you help the community and will get many friends.

just my $0.02

Psychosocial:

Uncompetative:

Psychosocial:

Uncompetative:

This suggests that the scoring for the game should ideally take note of this sort of behaviour and not award points to people who do this.

i.e. no Flag Capture bonus if you have betrayed a team-mate during the game.

So if I'm shooting rockets at someone and some retard runs in front of them, I'm not supposed to get any points?

If you aimed at them first, yes. If the rocket was in-flight for some time and they moved into its path, tough luck for them. They should have heard it coming. This stuff could be programmed.

Battlefield: Bad Company would be another good example.

I once accidentally got a suicide and a teamkill when I where trying to throw a grenade through a window but hit that cross that goes through the windows in that game so it bounced back and killed us.

Should that also remove all of my points?

I really doubt that it would be easy to do this kind of thing..

If you die as well by your actions, that could be considered an accident - so you would only be marked as a betrayer if you survived.

The only misconseption about griefing is that it's done over self-esteem or game skill.

CaptainCrunch:

Uncompetative:

Psychosocial:

Uncompetative:

This suggests that the scoring for the game should ideally take note of this sort of behaviour and not award points to people who do this.

i.e. no Flag Capture bonus if you have betrayed a team-mate during the game.

So if I'm shooting rockets at someone and some retard runs in front of them, I'm not supposed to get any points?

If you aimed at them first, yes. If the rocket was in-flight for some time and they moved into its path, tough luck for them. They should have heard it coming. This stuff could be programmed.

It's great, in theory, but getting a computer to understand a human's intent is even harder than getting a judge to convict a bad guy with a good lawyer. We humans have a great luxury in our ability to be deceptive. Herein lies the function of the griefer: to force the gaming world to think about solving new problems. Applying a new consequence to a grief tactic will only create a newer, potentially more annoying grief tactic.

I would even go so far as to say a completely grief-proof game would probably be no fun for anyone. In this perfect game, all elements of randomness become useless. A game in any form is a collection of random numbers, and some functions applied to those numbers. Reducing the number of random numbers or increasing the number of functions makes a game turn into a process, which is likely to be as un-fun as it sounds.

So, just relax already. Griefing is a normal part of the world we live in, and in the gaming world too. It isn't as much of a menace as the outspoken whiners would have you think.

You only have to look at Sports like Soccer (i.e. the Offside rule), to see that as players of a game get more expert the game's rules have to be revised and expanded to discourage "gamesmanship". You have a referee handing out yellow and red cards, which affect that player in that game and the next - so the concept of a 'Professional Foul' has to be balanced against the worth of that player being made to sit on the benches in the next match. So many people play Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer (let alone all those MMORPGs) that the issue of balance (or moderation) becomes an issue.

Look at how The Escapist has a 'REPORT' button. Something like this could help the community in an MMORPG, with the game logic only reporting a 'bad' player if many unconnected players all complained and the statistics that had tracked their actions at that time (which may or may not correspond to griefing, as you would obviously get malicious reports), then an analysis could be produced for the moderator to decide upon their behaviour. These moderators may even be elected members of the community (in forced rotation, like jurors).

The thing is the future of entertainment is going comprise a lot more of this multiplayer/social-network/virtual world type of thing and the developers who make a fair and balanced (and relatively griefing-free) MMORPG will gain disaffected users from MMOs that don't bother...

I'm amazed at how accepting the people in the interview were to griefing, and how some of them were fine with what one of them called "griefing" another person - as an example, stomping on another low level person after they got to be high level, because "someone did it to them". The interviewees seemed like nice people, but honestly, did they have to conform so much to the stereotype of "20 some year old guys full of testosterone wanting to prove themselves". (Yes, there were a couple of exceptions). Oddly enough, for being people who look at games, they seemed oddly accepting of the game mechanics that let you grief. I didn't see one idea on how game design can be changed to minimize griefing. That tells me something.

What have I learned - well, I've learned that it's good that I never played the original Everquest, and watch out for FPS games, because people think it's fun to not play fair. I've learned, from another post, that there is some amount of griefing in WoW, in the PvE areas. I've learned that, at least from this interview, it never occurs to some people that there are other people out there who want to play online games, but don't want to put up with this garbage. I've learned that, for the most part, the people in this video think that griefing is something online gamers have to put up with - "that's how it is". All I can say - the game companies have a free ride here!

What I'd like to know
- how can game design minimize griefing? I personally think instancing is a good thing, but then you don't get to meet people, except people you already know. So, what else can be done? Is there a way to report a griefer and get it to work? Is there a way to diminish your griefing population over time? Is there a way to make PvE really PvE and not another name for sneaky PvP? If I wanted to PvP that's what I'd do.

- are there MMO games out there where the game population, in general, is not as much into griefing as other game populations? In Guild Wars griefing is not much of an issue, due to the design. How about LOTRO, as an example - I like LOTRO. Is the griefing less in Everquest 2? How about Runes of Magic? What can you do to have a positive playing experience, particularly when you have very low tolerance for that sort of thing - just not play? That's a pretty sad commentary on the state of things.

Very nice video. Great to be able to attach faces to some of the Escapist guys and get some deeper insight into a topic in a more relaxed way.

Fortunately, I haven't had much experience with griefing - then again, I don't play many online games, and I'm not that great anyway. I do fully support gaming "by the rules", especially online, but I think every gamer has griefed at least once, if you define griefing as not playing by the game's rules.

The Sims is a good example. There's great fun to be had in completely destroying a Sim's life - starving them, having them catch on fire, etc. I think griefers get the same sort of pleasure, just in an online setting.

Oh, and I really dug the music. Whose tunes were used?

This is cool, good job Russ. One of my favorite videos

When I played America's Army online I had a 2nd account for the hackers and griefers. He was my enforcer and I would tk them using him. I lost lots of ROE points but it worked most of the time. I would have rather been able to punch or kick them in game or else butt stroke them with my rifle or else pistol whip them but that was not possible.

I love GRIEFING! xD I used to do it a lot on PvP Muds I even tried it once on WoW which became pretty damn hysterical. Ahh the life of a Griefer is pure win.

Uncompetative:

Psychosocial:

Uncompetative:

Psychosocial:

Uncompetative:

This suggests that the scoring for the game should ideally take note of this sort of behaviour and not award points to people who do this.

i.e. no Flag Capture bonus if you have betrayed a team-mate during the game.

So if I'm shooting rockets at someone and some retard runs in front of them, I'm not supposed to get any points?

If you aimed at them first, yes. If the rocket was in-flight for some time and they moved into its path, tough luck for them. They should have heard it coming. This stuff could be programmed.

Battlefield: Bad Company would be another good example.

I once accidentally got a suicide and a teamkill when I where trying to throw a grenade through a window but hit that cross that goes through the windows in that game so it bounced back and killed us.

Should that also remove all of my points?

I really doubt that it would be easy to do this kind of thing..

If you die as well by your actions, that could be considered an accident - so you would only be marked as a betrayer if you survived.

So if I would've been lucky and survived from it, I should be classed a teamkiller?

Uncompetative:

This suggests that the scoring for the game should ideally take note of this sort of behavior and not award points to people who do this.

i.e. no Flag Capture bonus if you have betrayed a team-mate during the game.

Hoh hoh hoh! Imagine that the system you propose is somehow implemented. Now imagine me constantly jumping into your line of fire -- totally unproductive, but it would totally ruin your score! A very realistic scenario, no?

Note:
I have never been a target of griefing and never griefed anyone, such a lucky and utterly boring person I am.

zoozilla:
Oh, and I really dug the music. Whose tunes were used?

Younnat

I have to strongly disagree that griefers cannot be stopped.

I have a good amount of experience with griefers. From a hl2 mod called Empiresmod. It had some serious griefing problems. There was a game machinsm called 9 mining, basicly you put 9 mines under a tank a HUGE force will push that thing around. No friendly fire, but that force is enough to flip the commander or move it into water where it cannot escape, that is the unit that has to be killed in order to win.

The griefers were abusing 9 mining. For hours the main server was shot down by just 2 of them. 46 other players had to suffer.

The community and the developers put some work against that by:

1. Changing game mechanics. Stuff that was too easy to abuse and did not add anything positive to the game were removed. Mainly 9 Mining in this case.
2. The developers hardcode banned those people from the game. They would need a whole new Steam account in order to continue griefing.
3. The big servers all have a really big amount of trusted and known players as administrators/moderators. If something bad happens its enough for me to type !slay griefername and the problem is solved. There is like always at least one moderator on each server. On full servers we have about 1/3 of the players with administrator/moderator rights.
4. Over powerful units (Commander) can be voted out by the team. And they have to get voted in before the start of the round. This might sound complicated but its really easy.

Just some simple steps and griefing was handled. Especially in a FPS shooter it is not hard to prevent griefing. The biggest Help was from the developers though. Hardcode bans cause people to think twice if they want to ruin a game for 47 other people for several hours.

And another point: Exploiting is not griefing. If someone finds a exploit and reports it to one of our developers. Its fixed in at least 1 or 2 months until the next minor release.
Griefing is playing the game in order to solely ruin the game for others and show no interest in the game itself they are griefers.

Developers shouldn't be so stubborn and players shouldn't enable developers who don't care about their games. I only play games where I know that their devs do listen to the community.

And if you are interested in Empiresmod see empiresmod.com :P.

// Sorry for me being to stupid to use the reload button.

// Sorry for me being to stupid to use the reload button.

Well said Brutos, I play Empires too and I do vaguely remember 9 mining. The Empires community is pretty tight these days, and is open to all kinds of stuff. The heavy punishments are saved for griefers, everyone else gets light and temporary punishments (in a game, there really is NOTHING worse than griefing... so it's only right griefers get the worst punishment).

I have been a long time supporter of "bounty hunter" systems in MMOs. As for FPS, the defense against griefing is in your hands really. I was playing BF2 and some idiot kept shooting people so he could get the helicopter. So I just positioned myself on a hill overlooking the base and sniped him in the head everytime he went in the direction of the air vehicles. He eventually just left the game. On a non-team damage server, you can plant explosives on the vehicles and blow them up until he leaves. It usually works quite well because they think you're a griefer.

Trollin' trolls, as they say.

"So I was drunk and bought 10k of ammo at 400k a piece instead of the regular 400 a piece and all my money I made in 2 years is now GONE, and the GM only said <lol, newb> to me".

Heh.
Sums up pretty much one of the many things that makes EVE great and horrible at the same time, depending on what end you're on.
That game is pretty much an open invitation to "grief", but only as long as it's FOR YOUR PERSONAL GAIN somehow (getting paid to make somebody so angry they quit roaming around some specific area is pretty much ok, since, hey, you stand to make a personal gain from that).

It's a "love it or hate it" kind of game, there's not much room for anything in the middle :)

I didn't know what griefing was as I don't play online , very informative video , cheers.
p.s I like that girl with glasses.

I actually registered just to reply to this thread. This video was just a pure whine. So what if you guys got griefed, it happens. I am willing to bet not a single one of you whiners on this video can say that they have never done a single bad thing to someone else. So what if some guy puts something up for sale that is very overpriced just to rip people off, its your own fault for not paying attention. If you cannot handle being griefed I would advise you to never play a game with another person online ever again.

More gaming companies should take advantage of their inevitable, "We can do whatever the Hell we want with your account" clause. Pull an Escapist and have a heavy hand and deal with the innocent casualties.

And really, the best way to make a greifer miserable is by being kind.
Happiness is the best revenge.

While griefing can be particularly annoying by my experience, I did witness one unique experience.

The griefers had taken advantage of a now fixed bug on the Team Fortress 2 map "Well". Using this bug, they could block the door that opened to release players from the spawn and open it again at will. The "victims" were forced to answer various trivia questions among a wide range of topics a la Jeopardy. If correct, they would be released and allowed to play the game normally.

Though this infuriated many, I suppose it was somewhat admirable in its attempt to bring some education to the game.

The amazing thing about the internet is that it has enabled douchebags to group together and support each other to the point that they actually think THEY are the cool ones.

But you know, one more griefer online playing 3 accounts in some MMO probably means someone isn't spitting in your Big Mac or procreating with their cousin.

Someone linked this vid on the Eve online forums, so I thought I drop by and show you what the player base at Eve thinks of this vid and your emotears.

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1066603

On a side note; I would like to congratulate The Escapist on reaching 200 issues.

In my experience (I know a little TF2 griefing clan) griefers do it to get the feeling of bullying because they don't get that feeling in real life.
Why is it that griefers always seem to be scrawny little nerds? :D
Or wait... in conjunction with the line above, it makes perfect sense.
Kids that got bullied around and because they know they could never bully someone in real life, they have to go online.

The best tactic against griefers is to just ignore them :)
That really pisses them off more than anything, as what they really crave is a little attention, which I assume they lack in real life and need to find it somewhere else.
Log out, or just plain don't acknowledge them and they'll stew.

The other thing I find highly entertaining about griefers, is that if you piss them off in any way - be it ingame or any other way over the internet, they strangely tend to be outraged.
It's the age old way that things go. Easy to hand out grief, but when it comes to you: cry, cry, cry.
"Ha ha I ruined the game you paid for"
and in the next breath
"OMG! who would hack my *insert whatever* account :( !? People are such dicks"
(Yes, there is a story behind that one ;D)
Also if you manage to track a griefer and then mess up a game when they are playing it "seriously" themselves, I've noticed they tend to cry louder than most people.

The description of griefing in this video is a little broad though, in my opinion.
Not logging into a game = griefing? Really?
Also as harsh as Landslide's Eve experience was, I wouldn't call that griefing myself.
Baiting, maybe? But that's hardly griefing.

grenravenlock:
I actually registered just to reply to this thread. This video was just a pure whine. So what if you guys got griefed, it happens. I am willing to bet not a single one of you whiners on this video can say that they have never done a single bad thing to someone else. So what if some guy puts something up for sale that is very overpriced just to rip people off, its your own fault for not paying attention. If you cannot handle being griefed I would advise you to never play a game with another person online ever again.

Noddler:
Someone linked this vid on the Eve online forums, so I thought I drop by and show you what the player base at Eve thinks of this vid and your emotears.

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1066603

Please show me where we whined :) Griefing happens, you deal with it. Or you partake in it.

There's an anti-social section of society which comes out in online gaming thanks to its anonymity, bias towards the experienced player, and lack of actual consequence.

Much of what keeps humans in check are the penalties for doing wrong. Nobody wants to get locked up, or worse. Games impose fines on players which are as *nothing* to what would happen in real life.

You Murder someone: You're going to hang/fry/do life.
You Defraud someone out of 700,000,000 credits: You're going to do hard time.
You consistently harass a helpless 'child': You're going to get a restraining order / do time.
You set wild animals loose on other people: You're gonna do time / get a hefty fine.

What happens in games? nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing respectively.

What is there to stop the griefers when there is no sense of balance or justice? It's almost as if the online games are DESIGNED to promote dick behaviour by the omission of any form of consequence for dick behaviour.

The sad fact is that the griefers think that they're superior for ruining the game for other people. The real truth is that everyone's down the pub, out at the match, or enjoying the sunshine while the griefers sit in their bedroom in their Y-fronts pretending to be cool by posting 'LOL' and 'n00b' on forums, but all the while waiting for their mum to shout "Dinner's ready love", allowing two more minutes to pi$$ off another person who just wants to play the game, before the threat of "It's going cold!" is issued and they have to boast "gtg g/f here, gng 2 da prk 4 a blwjb, l8r d00dz" on their private "pirate chat channel". Losers.

I know they were Escapist staff, but apart from that, I had no ideas who they were. Maybe putting the names at the bottom would help.

EDIT: Sorry, I just watched the whole video.

Griefing is the reason i like World of Warcraft's Normal servers so much. I had a friend at college who switched from a PvP server (Where you can get attacked by any member of an enemy faction when not in a major city or low level area at any time) back in the Burning Crusade expansion. He got to about level 65 (out of 70) and literally started to get sick of levelling, but not because of the grindarific nature of the game.

He got sick of it because every 5 minutes, some level 70 would swoop in on his ultra-fast flying mount, kill him with ease, and then fly back up into the sky so he could dive bomb down and kill him again when he resurrected. This griefing led him to switch to a normal server where PvP combat is voluntary (Unless in an enemy capital city) which let him play the game without douchebags ruining his fun as much.

Whilst WoW does a lot of things compared to previous MMO's before it to make the game seem less cheap and annoying, such as not losing gear or experience for dying and more griefproof gameplay, people still find a way to do it. And i think that since the first expansion gave players uber-fast flying mounts, PvP ceased to exist in the open world. Any level 70 on the ground was there to kill monsters, quest, gathering materials and so on, and the rest were flying around to get to where they wanted to, very easily able to swoop down and destroy anyone who was on the ground occupied with other things.

It's still much better than Diablo 2. I loved the hardcore mode on that game (Once you die, that character becomes unplayable) because it makes you a lot more careful about how you play, moreso than so-called "Survival Horror" games. However, whilst the rules still allowed PvP on hardcore mode, there were things in place to allow you to know when someone had enabled theres so you could easily quit out of the game. I however was killed due to a hacker/glitcher griefer who had bypassed one of these measures to someone enable PvP, jump through a pre-existing portal to my location (Which should have disappeared as soon as he enabled PvP) and then one shot me.

Griefing is the act of getting enjoyment from pissing people off. The guy who got scammed on EVE was not griefed in my eyes as it was totally preventable if he had payed attention. Still sucks that it happened, but it was mostly his own fault for not looking. I've done the same thing in World of Warcraft a few times, i'd fished up a rare fish and accidentally tossed it out because it usually loots the fish without a confirmation box, thus the process is quick and i recast my line. By recasting my line during the confirmation box of the rare fish, i lost it.

grenravenlock:
I actually registered just to reply to this thread. This video was just a pure whine. So what if you guys got griefed, it happens. I am willing to bet not a single one of you whiners on this video can say that they have never done a single bad thing to someone else. So what if some guy puts something up for sale that is very overpriced just to rip people off, its your own fault for not paying attention. If you cannot handle being griefed I would advise you to never play a game with another person online ever again.

Pretty sure everyone on the video who said they'd been griefed said you just deal with it. It's a fact of online play: There are dicks who get their rocks off by annoying other people.

Really, it's quite flattering they take the time and effort to interact with me, when I normally would have given them no attention whatsoever. It's like a 3-year-old who desperately wants his Mommy's attention and approval when Mommy's busy working. Kind of like your signing up just to post. Very cute.

/pats your head

grenravenlock:
I actually registered just to reply to this thread. This video was just a pure whine. So what if you guys got griefed, it happens. I am willing to bet not a single one of you whiners on this video can say that they have never done a single bad thing to someone else. So what if some guy puts something up for sale that is very overpriced just to rip people off, its your own fault for not paying attention. If you cannot handle being griefed I would advise you to never play a game with another person online ever again.

You should pay more attention. Especially to the parts where I admit it was my own fault for not paying attention :) Seems like you have the same problem I do!

Hah, nice vid. Hope to see others.

Eric the Orange:

...[snip]...

The non-gamming term for this is sadist.

Hmm... I think the non-gaming term for that is retarded SoB. ;)

I never really got the whole griefing thing.
I remember when we used to play TDM/CTF's in Q3. There was always one fool who would run around fragging his own teamates all the while totally ignoring the enemy (no accidents there) or the 'guy' who would camp in his base until his teams flag carrier was about to cap, then proceded to bombard him with rockets.
I always assumed that they either were really bored/childish or they just totally sucked balls.

Griefing sucks, Griefers suck as much (if not more)...but why get twisted over it? There's always another server, another game or another day.

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