SWTOR players harass a BioWare dev and his family

What do you do when MMO devs mess with your favorite class? If you’re a handful of Star Wars: The Old Republic players, you spam invective at BioWare systems designer John Jarynowski on social media. But you don’t stop there. You also hunt down the accounts of “his family members with the sole purpose of harassing, insulting, and threatening him” because of his class-related forum posts.

BioWare community manager Eric Musco posted a response today on the game’s official forum. “Please understand John didn’t need to communicate his perspective about the class. John and the combat team knew giving their views on Sentinels and Marauders, in some cases, would not be received well, but he did it anyway,” Musco wrote. “The alternative is that we stay silent. If the reaction of this community is to go out of your way to personally harass someone we will stop having a dialog.”

[Source: BioWare forums; thanks Slambit!]
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Fathdris
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Fathdris

Direcrow To be fair, most MMO decisions from Blizzard,Bioware, Sony, and any other company, piss off at least one player. Not every decision is going to prove to be popular… and balancing changes are among those.Doesn’t mean they should avoid doing those changes.

Fathdris
Guest
Fathdris

MMO players are so f***ing immature at times. >.< If you feel the need to do that, then please format your computer.You are scum and should stay out of the gaming scene.

NunayaBiddness
Guest
NunayaBiddness

Don’t you know who I am? Im Da Jugganaught Biotch!

Direcrow
Guest
Direcrow

“We knew it would piss people off but did it anyway” seems to be the team motto over at SWTOR’s developer studios. Seeing as they’ve been doing it since launch. However that doesn’t justify this level of sociopathic behavior. Leave the man’s family out of it. Disgusting. Yes, the guy is a tool like most of Bioware’s lead staff, but that doesn’t mean go after his loved ones.

blackcatcrosses
Guest
blackcatcrosses

Alatar You’re right. You ARE sorry here.

pepinocantador
Guest
pepinocantador

War_Historian Quinnocent The ‘entitled’ part is the social justice red herring used to categorize and devalue a group or person, in order to devalue their position. Does ‘some average people working at a company thought something could be a great idea, but didn’t think of all the repercussions’ sound as totally awesome as ‘the evil, corporate, out of touch, racist, sexist, bigoted, entitled white men in suits in charge of this monolithic house of oppression are once again conspiring to take away everything dear to you’?

Quinnocent speaks of online harassment they suffered, which sucks. However, does everyone actually think only the NSA can obtain your information without your consent? Especially with World of Warcraft; I’m sure I’m not the only one that can fairly easily obtain your personal information with access to only your character name and server. Social engineering, and a little know-how, and you’d be amazed how easy it is to obtain information, totally without realID… Or is the belief here that everyone working everywhere you’ve ever put information into (on the internet, and in real life) is 100% trustworthy? 

Personally, I follow white hat, ethical hacking principals when researching security, but I’m not a person anyone needs to be worried about; there are many, far more adept people out there for whom ethics are not a major concern.

Basically, the only thing you prevent by stopping realID is any form of accountability. Any protection of privacy is illusory.

GratisGaming
Guest
GratisGaming

JimGriffiths NobleNerd Yes, and the folks at Charlie Hebdo just needed to learn not to insult other peoples’ faith. /s
Come ON, man. Do you really think that jabbing at someone’s preferred class in a video game is comparable to doxxing, harassment, or threats?

bardamu1999
Guest
bardamu1999

JimGriffiths Such bullshit.  Tell me when is the last time a dev cursed out a player?  Or doxxed them?  Or threatened them physically?  Or threatened their family physically?  SWATed?  

You have got to be kidding with this fucking moral equivalency shit.  Honestly.  Shameful.

War_Historian
Guest
War_Historian

Quinnocent 
I totally agree with you that it was a “well-intentioned, but . . . ultimately disastrous policy,” but I part with you on the “entitled ignorance” assertion. I think it certainly represented a lack of forethought about the privacy rights that most people (regardless of gender, skin color, religious creed, sexual preference, or socio-economic status) hold dear. For example, I am a white, male, heterosexual, middle-class, Christian, and Anglo-named American, but I was ready to leave Blizzard over REALID because I value my privacy. Hence, I fail to see any connection to the white-privilege nonsense that gets tossed about with reckless abandon. While I imagine their hope was to hold people accountable for their words and actions, it was just a bad policy predicated on a lack of forethought about how much people of all shapes and stripes value their privacy.

Quinnocent
Guest
Quinnocent

pepinocantador breetoplay arcady01 ArbsX 
I definitely didn’t support the lengths to which people went with their response during the Real-ID incident.  Sometimes poetic justice is decidedly unjust.  What was done was unsafe and probably had lasting effects on the sense of security of those in question, and they didn’t deserve that, especially for a well-intentioned decision.

But I also definitely do agree with Bree.  Real-ID was well-intentioned, but it was ultimately a disastrous policy born of entitled ignorance.  It’s a little hard to understand if you haven’t lived it and aren’t vulnerable to it because, when you’re not the usual target or if you have the power to resist, certain issues matter less to you.

I’ve been stalked in MMO’s.  “Just ignore him.”  Then you get his friends asking you why on his behalf.  They think he’s the greatest, most wonderful guy.  And if they can’t talk to you, they talk to your guildmates.  “Report him.”  Ban who?  Ban him?  That won’t be the end of it.  Ban his guild who takes him at his word when he lies about you?  Ban his entire multigaming community?  They’ll back him.  No.  Online stalking isn’t a lone maniac skulking about that just needs to be kicked out.  It’s a gang of faceless bullies, and you can never get them all.  You cannot win.  Your stalker gives up, or you quit the game.  Imagine that scenario with them having your real identity.  Especially if, like me, you have a very distinct first and last name combination.

I don’t need to imagine it, though.  I have lived and still live with it IRL.  Facebook, at least, has privacy settings which allow you to tightly restrict what information goes out, and I make good use of them.  You’re right, though.  Some features automatically publish your identity when you use them, and I can never use those.  I’m excluded from any social media feature which is automatically outwardly facing with my real identity because there are people who like to keep tabs on me.  That’s not my hypothetical paranoia.  That’s a well-confirmed fact I will have to live with, probably for the rest of my life.  You can say “I suppose that’s also a result of the ‘well-off white dude’ cabal forcing the end of privacy” with snark.  Just so you understand, that’s something which, without any exaggeration, scares me.

Quinnocent
Guest
Quinnocent

JimGriffiths NobleNerd  No amount of forum toxicity justifies doxxing and real world threats and harassment.
And as far as I can tell, the developer in question did little more than post specifically about balance issues within a game.  What insult?

War_Historian
Guest
War_Historian

breetoplay Actually, the primary victims of REALID-type decisions are people who value their privacy, and I find it hard to believe that “not-white, not-male, not-hetero, not-wealthy, not-Christian, not-Anglo-named, etc. etc. etc.” value their privacy any more or less than those so-called “privileged” groups you listed.

And for the record, the internet is not all that rosy a place for people who choose to stand for traditional values, but thanks for conjuring up the conspiracy theories that keep certain stereotypes alive and as irrational as ever.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

War_Historian The primary if unintentional victims of RealID-type decisions are minorities or marginalized groups (not devs). The privileged folks pushing for RealID (or for Google’s real-name policy back before Google changed its mind too) had never given it a moment’s thought before because they’d never had to be not-white, not-male, not-hetero, not-wealthy, not-Christian, not-Anglo-named, etc. etc. etc. on the internet. It never even occurs to them how nasty the internet is for other people and that RealID was going to make it worse for them, not better.
TronSheridan I’m not saying that. I’m saying they weren’t harassing the devs the same way in that instance; they were demonstrating how doxxing works (before anyone called it that) to people who had never thought about it before and were themselves about to make doxxing really easy for the scum of the earth. This is not at all the same as doxxing devs over class nerfs. I am not saying it’s right; I think bringing anyone’s children into internet squabbles is gross. I’m saying it’s wildly different and a mitigating factor as well as a poor example in a sea of other examples of dev harassment in just the last few years.

JimGriffiths
Guest
JimGriffiths

NobleNerd Ethics & Morals go both ways. It was not smart going out and insulting an entire sub-community of a game. MMO’s in the past have shown that. Remember the Chris Cao fiasco from SWG? Developers/Moderators should be held to the same standards and COC as every other poster. Games are played by many different types of people and some will over react when Devs & community staff cross the line. The Devs just need to learn not to insult anyone when they post otherwise things like this happen.

Kass40
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Kass40

Ok so I can’t stand the game or the company anymore. BUT…  This is a step too far with the players, that behaviour is unacceptable and bang out of order, there is no excuse nor is there any possible way to support their actions. Just wrong and they should be banned for starters.

pepinocantador
Guest
pepinocantador

breetoplay arcady01 ArbsX I’m actually a little curious as to what the relevancy is in unwittingly vindicating the use of the system by taking the behavior it was targeted at to a family-endangering extreme?

It is a touch silly calling a policy ‘thoughtless’ when you can shuffle on over to virtually any social media site (Facebook being an easy example) to see literally this exact policy having been implemented for many years, although I suppose that’s also a result of the ‘well-off white dude’ cabal forcing the end of privacy (THE END!!!) on everyone else.

Lord Zorvan
Guest
Lord Zorvan

Zennie Maybe I’ll just harass you. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

AngelBlack
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AngelBlack

This world isnt logical, so the illogical does not surprise me anymore.

NobleNerd
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NobleNerd

The fact that some people do not have any moral and ethical compass to go out of their way to harass a developer for his views on a game…… a game, this is a troubling world we are living in. Some gamers need to take a few days or maybe even a week to go outside and smell the flowers, take a walk by the water, go for a ride in the country or something and realize there is more to life and the world than one person’s views on a couple of classes in a digital world.

Darkdrakke
Guest
Darkdrakke

uuuugh I hate when this happens makes all gamers look like A H#les…(

eLdritchMD
Guest
eLdritchMD

Craywulf eLdritchMD I guess we just draw that line in different places then. Because when it comes to anything pertaining to criminality and serious consequences the proof, to me, is paramount as I find it much more aggregious to punish innocent people for crimes they did not commit than to let guilty people walk free. Without due process we might as well resolve to trial by sword.

But I can see where you’re coming from. Reputable sources and all that but even reputable sources can make horrible mistakes and I have seen people lose everything over false allegations of harassment/rape/various other crimes.

Anyway, let’s leave it at that before we start doing laps ^^

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

eLdritchMD you’re right I am projecting….and you’re not? I am not sure where you got the impression that I am uncomfortable asking questions. I believe I started this debate….asking you a question.

Look I see your point about skepticism and proof. You might find this hard to believe but I am a skeptical person. Obviously not as severe as you. I generally trust Occam’s razor when it comes to articles like this. I really don’t see how this could all be a lie.

Even if it is, there’s no shame in expressing anger and justice. If you had the proof you needed to commit to any emotion other than detachment or apathy, you would be joining the chorus. This isn’t a mob, its just a bunch of people with cash shared emotional state. Anger, disappointment, even embarrassment over this is a very legitimate feeling even when there’s been veritable evidence.

eLdritchMD
Guest
eLdritchMD

Craywulf eLdritchMD no I’m not saying they are lying or any of those other things but thanks for projecting. I am saying they are not showing me evidence and I am generally suspicious of anyone who does that. Neither am I saying that this veritable mob right here is actually going to lynch someone, rather that a lynchmob mentality is displayed. There are numerous calls for bans, criminal charges, public shaming amongst other things, you’d just have to look around. If this man and his family, truly were harassed then that is unfortunate and horrible and I am sorry but yes, I am a skeptic, how very evil of me.

You go right ahead and think of me as a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theory nutjob if it makes you happy but I won’t stop asking questions just because it makes you uncomfortable.

Also, this might help in the future:

“claim”  1. state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.

“evidence” 1. the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.

the two are mutually exclusive.  saying “I saw bigfoot” is a claim. bringing its unconcious body into town in a wheelbarrow is evidence. 

and yes I did just compare the case at hand to a bigfoot sighting. the outrage. the horror.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

eLdritchMD So based on the evidence you deem as “claims” you have chosen not to join our lynching of the perpetrator. We are gonna hang him by the balls and stretch his limbs across the interweb! 
Seriously, you’re telling me that your skeptism is good thing because you don’t believe that Bioware is telling the truth. So you’re insinuating that Bioware potentially created this negative PR as stunt to tell its customers off. You’re saying that there potentially was never any harassment and its all just made up. You’re refusing to concede reality because you need hard evidence you can sniff, taste or see with your own eyes. Reading the forum and the articles posted about this situation isn’t enough for your tinfoiled hat, I applaud your craftsmanship.

Ghostmourn
Guest
Ghostmourn

How sad. This kind of behavior makes me move further and further away from online gaming.
If Law enforcement wont pursue this, I guess I think Bioware IT should attempt to identify the culprits by any means necessary.
The problem is they think there are no consequences to there actions here. Probably a very low chance they used best practices and these actions are untraceable.

eLdritchMD
Guest
eLdritchMD

Craywulf eLdritchMD I’m not doubting massively’s reporting. They linked to the SWTOR forums where the claims were made but that’s it. That’s all they are, claims and you can get as angry and belligerent as you want over claims but I’m not going to join in this bullshit. Until I see the evidence for myself I am not going to condemn whoever these players are. Innocent until proven guilty, not Innocent until claimed guilty by a guy on a forum and I’m pretty bloody sure that I spent more time looking into this than you did btw.

and yes you are right, embarrassed was the wrong word, I was being nice… what I really mean is that I pity the fools who will just believe whatever they are told at face value. Not what they are told by massively but who will simply believe anyone who says they are being harassed. Those are serious allegations that can cause a lot of damage if directed at innocent people.

“Do yourself a favor, perform whatever due diligence you need to get your feelings straight because your skepticism is getting in the way of reality and contradiction. ”

What reality? Have you seen the bloody harassment or are you just assuming it happened? Don’t talk to me about feelings, because I’m not the one joining in the outrage over claims and you are the one who just got pissy with me. I was perfectly neutral until now. skepticism is a good thing mate. It keeps crazy lynchmobs in check.

eLdritchMD
Guest
eLdritchMD

wjowski eLdritchMD seventhbeacon not every harassment = death threats… in this particular case, I don’t even know what was said cause noone is willing to put evidence forward and I’m sick of it.

Zennie
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Zennie

So you want to harass human being because of some pixels? Get the hell out of your basement, you sicko.

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

Rebel Engie 
“Disclaimer: this comment is not about condoning harassment.”
Then you should sue your keyboard for slander.

wjowski
Guest
wjowski

eLdritchMD seventhbeacon 
Pretty sure death threats are already illegal in meatspace. The internet shouldn’t be any different.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

eLdritchMD So skepticism of massively’s reporting is the supposed norm? I has no idea that I funded a disreputable blog. So instead of lynching the perpetrator on this blog we should be detached and question the validity of harassment. Are you that skeptical of this article? Do you truly believe that this is a lynchmobbing because people are all expressing the same anger, disappointment, even shame and embarrassment? 

Don’t you dare feel embarrassed, you already told me that’s a weird feeling to have. You’re creating a double standard if you think you can tell me I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about this harasser, but you’re allowed to feel embarrassed by this so- called lynch mob.

Do yourself a favor, perform whatever due diligence you need to get your feelings straight because your skepticism is getting in the way of reality and contradiction. 

Let me be clear, I have total faith in massively reporting, and this is not a lynch mob.

eLdritchMD
Guest
eLdritchMD

Craywulf eLdritchMD emotional detachment is not inherently negative. I mean just look at this particular comment section. It’s full of people who acted on emotion… Not a single person here asked if they could see the evidence of this harassment, instead everyone immidiately jumped to the judgement phase based on their personal stance on harassment, be it pro or con. In cases like this emotional detachment or at the very least emotional distance, is beneficial. This lynchmob mentality is what leads to innocent people in jail and witch trials =/

harassment is bad, there’s no question but where’s the due process? Immidiately half the comment section is screaming for bans and criminal charges and what not… I find that really scary and it makes me feel just as embarrassed as the alleged harassment would.

seemsthatway98
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seemsthatway98

breetoplay I didn’t realize everyone at Blizzard was Caucasian. I am enlightened.

seemsthatway98
Guest
seemsthatway98

TronSheridan I first got into online gaming back in 2001 I think. Loved it. The bad part is that as the years have went on, it feels like players have become more ill behaved. And it’s not a case of me becoming jaded or anything like that. Because I haven’t. I’ve noticed that people, for the most part, seem to behave worse and worse. And it seems to go hand in hand with the convenience most MMO’s shower on people. In the past, when you had to cultivate good reputation on a server so you didn’t get blacklisted from groups, people stayed nice (for the most part). Now that everyone else in game is disposable thanks to cross server group matching, there’s no need for anyone to be nice. And I know someone is going to argue this point. It’s expected.
Just gotta find the right group. I love FFXIV (been playing since 1.0 launch in 2010), but I almost quit a few months back. Got tired of playing solo. Been in my Free Company (guild) now for a few short months, and i’m still playing. It helps that the goal of this group is to have fun without being judged. I find focusing solely on end-game + gear tends to burn one out faster. As well as ramp up their asshole meter.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

eLdritchMD Well I do in fact feel a little embarrassed when outsiders point out the negative things about my local community. I don’t want my local community to be recognized as town of criminals. Chicago is a beautiful city and we are not all gangbangers and crooked politicians.

In general I don’t think the gaming community in a negative light at all. I think there’s a lot of positive. I do think there’s nothing strange about feeling embarrassed when something like this harassment. It brings in a vast amount of negative publicity and does absolutely no favors to anyone who loves gaming. It’s crap like this that creates more restrictive entertainment lifestyle. I think feeling embarrassed is helluva lot better emotion to be displaying than apathy or some emotional detachment.

TronSheridan
Guest
TronSheridan

breetoplay arcady01 ArbsX So you’re saying there are acceptable reasons for personal harassment?  Ok.

TronSheridan
Guest
TronSheridan

ArbsX Then you must not pay attention.  Plenty of cases of entitled WOW twerps personally harrassing Blizzard employees, posting their home addresses, phone numbers, etc.

TronSheridan
Guest
TronSheridan

I’m a long time gamer, back to the 70s table top gaming.  I only got into the mmorpg scene in the last 10 years.  After approximately 3 years I determined it’s one of the most caustic communities I’ve ever encountered.  Yes, I know not all mmo players behave this way, but I never encountered this kind of behavior in my previous 30 years of gaming.  My mmo interest probably peaked in 2008-2009 and it’s be slowly declining since then for that sole reason.  The games are just rife with nasty people, while the majority remain silent and do nothing about it.  So I end up finding that I play alone.  Why play mmos then?  Exactly…I don’t anymore.

Dookii
Guest
Dookii

ManastuUtakata Dookii breetoplay Geneaux KiwiRed eehm.. “the law enforcement experts that were assessing the
threat said that the threat was not real.”

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Lord Zorvan ManastuUtakata breetoplay Geneaux KiwiRed 
I see you are great proponent of free speech. /sarcasm off

crawlkill
Guest
crawlkill

over the past twelve months this has simultaneously become the most depressing kind of thing to run into on the internet and one of the most common

crawlkill
Guest
crawlkill

C4de blast tyrant are you confident of that? I’m sure there’ve been death threats mixed in there.

crawlkill
Guest
crawlkill

Alatar kind of like how when you walk on the street you’re opening yourself for anyone to come start shrieking at you, right? I mean, you could’ve just stayed home. then again, when you bought a house you opened yourself up to people standing on the sidewalk outside and raving at you.

there is no concession to gang harassment implicit in existing, regardless of where one chooses to exist, and you should be ashamed.

crawlkill
Guest
crawlkill

Tridus Lord Zorvan “the internet has recently developed a trend of treating prominent figures terribly so it’s just totally fine and comes with the territory”

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

carson63000 LOL! You win.

eLdritchMD
Guest
eLdritchMD

Craywulf eLdritchMD I’m not suggesting anything, you can feel whatever you want, mate. I just think it’s weird that you would feel this way about this case when you probably don’t do the same in other, similar cases.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

eLdritchMD So what are you suggesting I feel about this?

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

JimGriffiths I bet he walks around at night alone wearing a short skirt too, eh Jim?

carson63000
Guest
carson63000

Come on guys. You call it harassment, but really it’s all about ethics in class balancing.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

Lord Zorvan There’s no reason why harassment of a dev should come with the territory either. Just because a bunch of morons online want to act like entitled asshats doesn’t mean they are entitled to do it.

These people should be banned from the game. We’re better off without them and their mentality.

wpDiscuz