The Daily Grind: Have you done socially unacceptable things in MMOs?

There are two sorts of cheating in MMOs. One of them, which is outright hacking the game, is capital-b Bad. Back in the days when Final Fantasy XI was a bigger deal, Fleetool was one of the more popular hacks to the game, resulting in many people getting bans for hacking the game to move faster. That was not all right (the hacking, not the banning).

But then there were the groups who jumped ahead of other groups to get into Dynamis zones. This was definitely not a good thing, and it could be argued that it was cheating; the server community agreed about how to use Dynamis and these players were violating that agreement. But it was cheating entirely based upon a social contract, not an actual one; it was rude and indisputably wrong, but definitely not breaking the specific rules of the game.

I think a lot of our readers have done things like this in the past. Sniping resource nodes in World of Warcraft, intentionally standing in things to make healers work harder in Final Fantasy XIV, things like that. So have you ever done something socially unaccepted in an MMO? Do you feel like you were justified, and do you tend to ignore those social conventions most of the time or usually observe them?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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59 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Have you done socially unacceptable things in MMOs?"

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Sajiri

Best I can think of is back in Ragnarok Online days, I was playing a hunter and I thought it was hilarious as I followed some guy around as he was trying to exp and I kept sniping the mobs before he got to them. I dont know why I was doing it, I didn’t know who he was and I wasnt intentionally setting out to annoy him, I just thought it was funny.

A day or two later it clicked with me how much of a jerk I was being though so I tracked him down to apologise, and then got on my healer to help him exp after to make up for it. After that I try to be mindful of what’s acceptable and if I do anything like stealing kills or such by accident I try to apologise immediately.

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Koshelkin

Sometimes I farted during conversations without anyone knowing. Push-to-talk ftw.

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Sally Bowls

My guess is that the number of people who have done rude or socially unacceptable things is much larger than the number of people who think they have done rude or socially unacceptable things.

I question the “the server community agreed about how to use Dynamis” I am sure there were a lot of people who knew what was “Supposed” to happen; i.e. what they thought should happen. But that is different than everyone agreed to it.

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steve

I used to script my tradeskill combines in EverQuest, does that count? It was an obnoxious, RSI-inducing system and I feel no regret over it.

In Vanilla WoW I used the (Then legitimate) mod system to automate the actions of my characters. If you were clever you could reduce your entire character down to two or three hotkeys. I got a lot of flak in battlegrounds from frustrated players, but with TBC WoW plugged that loophole.

The one thing I regret is from my EQ raiding days. We were a “casual hardcore” guild in the pack behind the top guild on the server. Morale was always an issue and there was a constant churn of our better players being poached. Our guild voted in a kid (our guild had an 18+ rule) who just couldn’t handle raiding till 2AM, yet the non-raiders voted this cleric onto our raid team. Night after night this kid would fall asleep and we’d wipe and end up with hours of recovery. This was impacting morale to the point where we would no longer have a viable raid team.
So one night after a particularly frustrating wipe in TOV, a friend and I noticed that this cleric had bound himself on the beach of Cobalt Scar. He’d fallen asleep again, and we took the opportunity to train mobs over his spawn point over and over until he’d lost his raid levels, then left his corpses to rot.
I knew at the time it was the wrong thing to do, but anger got the best of me and I took action to remove the problem. We did go on to have a successful raid season without him.

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Paragon Lost

No, I’m honestly just not wired that way. I never feel right doing something that is against what the game developers intended. That is, if I am aware of it, there have been a few times over the past twenty five plus years where I’d found out later that something was dubious after the fact.

I also just won’t do stuff that will screw over other players like the example listed in the article of standing in the bad stuff to make healers work harder. Again, I’m just not wired like that. I’m not a petty, pissy person by nature. If I don’t like what someone is doing I’ll leave at the first chance I get, sometimes saying something but often not.

I also don’t wish ill of someone who is doing well whether in life, gaming, romance or whatever. I my take is to say and feelings are of this nature, “Well done for them”. Even if I don’t care or actually dislike someone, I don’t wish ill for them. (shrugs)

So no, I don’t cheat in mmos and if I find out after the fact that someone wasn’t what the game developers had in mind, I’ll avoid doing it again if the bug/feature whatever is still there. Hell I don’t like like the concept of killing your character and raising at a graveyard/rezz point in another location, which is something a lot of players do in WoW or was popular once upon a time. I feel it violates the spirit of game and plus I always feel like my character dying is a failure and I don’t care for that.

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NeoWolf

I have NEVER cheated in an MMO nor would I ever…heck I won’t even kill steal, need on all loot, draw aggro to passerby’s, camp nodes, drop a group halfway through because I don’t like or agree with something, join a groupfinder and then leave because it puts us in a dungeons etc.. I don’t like etc..or any of the other typical douche bag MMO player moves we all experience daily from some tool or other.

I do not try to be or WANT to be THAT guy. So no. :)

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DeviateFish

You mean besides genocide, pre-meditated murder, theft and impersonating a hero? Not really.

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Melissa McDonald

a relentless termination of orc/goblin life is simply “ethnic cleansing”, a just and righteous endeavor by any self-respecting Elf. /s

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Ket Viliano

Once upon a time, in a Dungeons and Dragons table top game long, long ago, we had a group we called the “Elf Klux Klan”. We had one Elf of each type, save for Wood Elf, because we were prejudiced against the filthy Wood Elves. Instead, we had a pet Human Ranger.

I played the Drow.

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Robert Mann

The only times I have, were completely justified. Because when somebody resource/quest item snipes me… I snipe back triple. If they are playing a class that has an advantage against it, I call in friends if possible, or just make my own moves sneakier.

My opinion on it is that they should not only ‘Not prosper’ from their crud, but they should feel the pain worse than what they dished out.

On the other hand, I’ve stopped and allowed people resource nodes and the like in many cases, especially if I’m farming stuff on a higher level character for an alt or guild mate.

Er, wait, no… on voice in one I have called out for people to move. Apparently they felt name/shamed, although I was just trying to help them and stop bleeding mana. :(

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Bryan Correll

I like to actually watch cutscenes the first time I play through content. For many players this is worse than taking a dump in a punch bowl.

Estranged
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Estranged

Yes, I chat with people on LFG runs… it ruins their experience. Shut up and just gather your loot, fool!

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Robert Mann

ROFL

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thalendor

Of all the things mentioned, this one is truly unforgivable. You leave us no choice. We must remove all chat boxes from all games. :-P

Estranged
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Estranged

thalendor – that is why I play Destiny 2 on PS4 currently. No chat boxes and I just turn off voice.

Don’t want to offend people!

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Castagere Shaikura

No never had. Because i grew up before home computers and knew how to deal with real people. I just ignore jerk offs and move on. Today online gamers have zero real world social skills it seems. I’VE had rude things happen to me but i just move on or i will quit online gaming.

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Paragon Lost

It’s not just gamers in games, I see it all the time out in the real world and it constantly boggles my mind that it’s the norm any instead of the exception now. :/

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Utakata

I occasionally use /rude gestures at PC’s who kill steal my mobs or ninja tag my nodes…

…as well as my monitor often turns blue with the language I use within those *O/S moments in gameplay. :(

*Note: “Oh shite!”…but with the “e” removed from the “shite”.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I say mean things to bad players

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Hirku

No, never. It really annoys me when some jerk spoils my fun so I make sure to never do the same to others.

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Fervor Bliss

In my early days did “Mods”, not anymore.
MMO’s are art and the art should be allowed to stand on its own.
Worst was i would “mod a game” then say i enjoyed the original. Do not know what was worst about this, lying to others or lying to myself.

In game rudeness, no never my thing.

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roo woods

Was it socially unacceptable to keep sending my pig “Porksw@rd” into Tarren Mill to gank lowbies in WoW until a load of max level horde came along where by I legged it to South Shore and did a little moonwalk while they got themselve killed by guards trying to get to me .

If so yes .

Polyanna
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Polyanna

I’m not a troll, but I play one in trade chat.

Estranged
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Estranged

I’ve had more fun in trade chat than actually playing the games.

Also met many long time online friends.

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thirtymil

I will node-steal off people who have just blatantly node-stolen from me, and I will tag mobs off people who have just done the same to me. That one perhaps comes with a large dose of schadenfreude – not many classes can keep up with a guardian druid spamming moonfire and tank what they pull.

Then, after my fifteen seconds of indignant rage, I will go back to doing my own thing.

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thalendor

Do deliberately not healing or not taunting a mob off from someone doing something obviously irritating count as socially unacceptable? I’m not talking about people who are simply new or not very skilled, but ones who’re doing intentionally irritating things, like that DPSer who, without any discussion or agreement, jumps ahead of the tank and pulls everything, thus causing more work for the tank & healer. ‘Cause yeah, I’ll leave people like that take a death or three every time. And I feel totally justified doing so. The fact that it often works much better than asking them to stop doesn’t hurt either.

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steve

Okay, I’ll admit as a healer I’ve been known to aggressively triage those who weren’t worth healing.

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Robert Mann

Unless you know they are new and don’t understand how grouping works… that’s just letting a fool be foolish.

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Paragon Lost

Hehe… letting fools be fools. :)

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thirtymil

“You pull it, you tank it,” is how I’ve always understood healing to work :)

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Schmidt.Capela

Was kinda fun one time when I did a dungeon with my hunter in WoW. I accidentally pulled a patrol, so since the tank and healer were going by that rule they stayed back to watch me die. But I had some tanky pet out, experience with tanking due to my only characters above lv40 being tanks, and heirloom gear, so I just shrugged, enabled roar, and proceeded to kill the mobs.

Estranged
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Estranged

I tanked dungeons with my old Gorilla, before they nerfed pets. Good times.

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Arktouros

“Socially Unacceptable” is my middle name. I’ve done too much to realistically list it all over the last 20 years. Probably the most recent example is in GW2 taking bounties and then starting their spawn so they reset/disappear and the train will move onto a bounty I’d rather do instead. I don’t really say all that with pride but rather more amusement.

As for the justification I found that part to be more interesting. By acknowledging your behavior as socially unacceptable then you are on some level acknowledging you are in the wrong so anything said is basically “I know I’m wrong but _______.” With that said, I’ll fill in self-gratification into that blank. I want to do something, I can do something, I do it.

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Daniel Miller

In FFXi, i would server hop every month, Taking high end items from one server to others.I did this often, monthly and made millions of gil in profit. Many people hated me, moving items meant they became scarce on the server I took them from. Others considered it like buying gil. Thus i devalued their time to make gil. But besides making tons of gil, it also made me become one of widest known players server wide. Making friends on all servers.

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Schmidt.Capela

In (arena) PvP, I tend to customize my characters to look small, girlish, intoxicatingly cute, and as pink as I can make it. Helps with making people underestimate me, and it’s quite funny when the person with the badass-looking character gets his posterior handed back by what looks like an escapee from kindergarten.

Back before I stopped playing games with non-consensual PvP, I would occasionally use exploits to avoid PvP situations. Nothing too egregious, I don’t think I was ever reported for it, but it’s usually frowned upon by the community. Of note, the only reason I don’t do this anymore is because I flat out refuse to play any game with non-consensual PvP.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

I have and still do if I’m being honest here.

The big ones that I’ve done recently are the “credit exploits” in Elite Dangerous. I put “exploit” in quotes because that’s how many players see it. A good amount of players see it as an incredibly socially unacceptable thing to do. I disagree with that assessment. Specifically, I used the Quince technique extensively. I made somewhere to the tune of 600 million there. The technique worked like this:

-Go to the Quince system
-Get into a Sidewinder (any ship worked but the Sidey was the most efficient)
-Pick up as many scan missions as you can
-All the scan missions had a single point to scan on a nearby planet, so fly there and scan it to complete all the missions at once
-Self destruct to respawn at the station and hand your missions in (you can’t fail a mission after completing it so dying is just a quick trip back)

A good portion of the player base HATE anyone who used this. In the end though all I was doing was flying to a system and then completing missions there. I didn’t use any special tricks or techniques to make those missions appear. They were just there. So I did them. I suppose the only “exploit-y” thing I did was blowing myself up for a quick trip back, but self destructing is literally a function of the game. You open your ship’s panel and hit the self destruct button. Quince no longer works as the devs changed it as they didn’t like it. I should note however that no one was banned for using it and no one had their assets removed.

The last one I used was Rhea. Passenger missions were paying out TONS of money there after the last patch, so I grabbed my Beluga (large passenger cruise liner) and made about 100 million there. That was changed in about 24 hours so that one no longer works either. But again, all I did was fly there and do missions. No special tricks. No one got banned and no one had their assets taken. Still, many players HATE anyone who used it.

If any more credit hot spots pop up like these, I’ll be there. I don’t care if others find it to be socially unacceptable in the least. I’ll roll around in my piles of space cash while they whine.

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thirtymil

In a game as grindy as Elite, I don’t have an issue with players making money where there’s money to be made – even if that includes zero-hop mining missions, open/solo mission board flipping, stacking skimmer kill missions and the ones you’ve mentioned.

Elite, whilst fantastic in the general sound/feeling/atmosphere, has a ton of problems with its mission and economic model and there comes a point where you have to say ‘Actually, this is on the developer to fix’, not for people on the forums to try to make it socially unacceptable for players to play the game as is.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Oh I almost forgot the absolute most EGREGIOUS of sins…I use a docking computer. Come at me bro. Oh wait, you can’t. I play in the Mobius Private Group. My entire existence is socially unacceptable to the Elite Dangerous community haha.

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thirtymil

I love the docking computer. I’ll use it on ships I can’t be bothered to land (e.g. my Anaconda after a long, mind-numbing Sothis run), and leave the high-speed manual landings for ships that fun to do so (e.g. Imperial Courier). The fact the Courier is dirt cheap in comparison is mere coincidence and not a reflection on my manual landing skills.

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Schmidt.Capela

Yeah, when a very vocal part of the ED community thinks playing in a PvE-only group (or solo) is exploiting you can’t take them seriously. More so because being able to exclude anyone from playing with you, for whichever reason (or even no reason), was literally the first bit of information about the game’s multiplayer the studio gave us.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Indeed. The amount of garbage we Mobius players have had thrown at us has been unreal. We’re all a bunch of horrible exploiters that should be banned because we don’t want to engage in PvP. Sigh.

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Pandalulz

Nothing too bad. There were some times in the olden WoW where I’d be possibly a little more aggressive with the node and kill stealing than I should, grabbing a node while that other dude there was obviously fighting the monster to get to it or the time where I spent two hours trying to get eyes off of bears in the Dranei starting area, where there were only three spawn points, and a dozen people trying to get them, and they had a 30% drop rate and you couldn’t get the next set of quests until you completed that quest. It was so stupidly frustrating, I can’t believe it took until now for them to add multi-tapping.
Mostly, my faux pas just include getting drunk and acting obnoxious though.

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starbuck1771

that’s not to bad what was real bad was the Ninja Looting Bosses and needing gear in WoW that you couldn’t use back in the day.

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Pandalulz

Thankfully the dungeoning I did do was with IRL friends so it didn’t really come up very often.

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Melissa McDonald

I am unaware of any such activities, nor would I be disposed to discuss them if they did, in fact, exist. And on the advice of my attorney I will not answer any questions pertaining to bongs, thongs, or figgy pudding.

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BalsBigBrother

Um I wore a matching outfit to the groom in a wedding in FFXI. I know right AWKWARD! I managed to dodge the fashion police lynch posse that was sent after me but the groom wouldn’t speak to me for weeks after.

Ok maybe I am not really taking this topic entirely seriously but the wedding thing is true as is the not talking part. Some people apparently take fashion seriously even in an mmo, me I rolled my eyes and went on with my day :-)

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starbuck1771

Nope never. The worst I have done is farm static spawn bosses but everyone does that so it doesn’t count. The only other thing is I had a character in a game named Trumpster and when Trump got elected a bunch of Liberals claimed the name hurt their feelings so it was force changed. :P

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Tanek

I may have once broken ranks with the Queensdale champ train in GW2 and done a boss out of order. They were VERY serious about the order back in the train days.

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Mithrán S. Arkanere

That doesn’t count. Those were starting areas and in open world players are meant to do stuff as they find it.

The ones cheating here were the train farmers, who were harassing new players who were playing as intended.

The situation got so bad that the developers had to go “this is why we can’t have nice things” and removed the champions from starting areas altogether, then cut the number of champions across the world, and tied almost all of them to events with a cooldown longer than the time the champions used to respawn.

If people want to take over open world maps and have complete control over them, then they should request the developers to create some sort of “private instance” consumable for guilds that allows them to keep a map instance for themselves.

Until something like that is done, all maps are everyone’s and no one has the right to force anyone else to wait to start an event or let an event fail on purpose.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

Nothing like that in the OP. The worst I did was make a character in City of Villains beta that got me a slap on the wrist. I made Helen Keller 2048 who was part cyborg and would spin in circles, run forward until she ran into something, then mumbled something before starting again. I was just in some weird mood I guess. It didn’t take long until a GM PMed me and said it would be wise to discontinue that character. (Speaking of names, I co-worker had a 5th Column-looking female character named Nacht Up, that didn’t make it to L5 before she was generic’d, yet my Spines/Dark Turd Burglar was never flagged, Robble Robble)

Past that, in early CoH, I had a character named Richard Simmons (MC/Emp), who would do jumping jacks underneath Atlas Statue in his downtime. Someone got upset that I was “causing lag” because other people would stop by and start exercising alongside me. I was neither rude nor offensive, but a GM did get in contact with me, said I was doing nothing wrong, but had to make my account that someone flagged me. Richard lasted the rest of CoH’s lifetime and was never reported again.

Those are the only times I got into trouble. The first was probably offensive to someone, the second, I think I just got unlucky.

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Phubarrh

My gnome mage in WoW was basically a socially unacceptable thing.

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Loopy

No. I treat online games as an extension of real life when it comes to social norms, not some alternate universe where concepts of common decency and morality get thrown out the window because “fantasy”. Outside of roleplaying situations, I try to treat people i meet in game the same way i’d treat them in person.

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TheDonDude

I once made a minor, insignificant mistake in a PuG group. Lemme tell ya, that was pretty social unacceptable.

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A Dad Supreme

When I first started playing SWTOR, I was a Sith. I used to deliberately seek out the younglings (noobs) in PvP because I wasn’t good enough to kill the real Jedi (good PvP players).

While it was roleplay acceptable, it was socially unacceptable but so much of the good raid gear for PvE was tied up in PvP so if I wanted to raid, I had to kill them.

But in time, as will happen to Kylo Ren in the next film, I eventually found my way to the Light Side (alts) and made up for my transgressions.

#reyistherealsith

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starbuck1771

That’s acceptable after all they knew the risks going into PvP. Rule of thumb is stay on the porch if you can’t run with the big dogs.

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Paragon Lost

Rocking chair, drink in hand… I’m comfortable on the porch these days. Unleash the dogs.

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Zen Dadaist

Intentionally overworking a healer seems completely stupid and counter productive though. Healer with a brain would hopefully notice and stop healing your soon-to-be-dead arse!

As for whether I’ve deliberately been a poor player… Not intentionally; but accidentally? Probably a fair bit. Sniping a resource node from someone I didn’t even know was there. Same goes for killing a quest mob or whatever that I’ve needed and haven’t spotted someone else who was there before me. Or just AoEing down a whole pile of mobs because I was looking for one specific thing, not realising someone else was trying to kill them and now I’ve taken all the kill credit. Normally I’m the kind of person that will wait if someone else got there first, or perhaps see if we can join forces/merge teams/whatever so we all get what we need quickly.

In other words, I’ve likely been an inadvertant arsehole by not noticing if other people were nearby trying to do a thing when I’ve blown through looting and pillaging it all :p

However: if it’s a direct beef with an individual, in a known situation though – all bets are off. This guy has screwed with my friends, come here to killsteal our mobs, and is gloating about it all in local area chats? Gloves are OFF. I will train that big dragon over the hill on his arse and I will blacklist his guild with my alliance.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

In older MMOs I used to deliberately kill steal when I was younger. Yeah I was that jerk sorry everyone :(

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

That was YOU?

*shakes fist, then marks your name off the ‘People to get even with.’ list*

Since you apologized and all.

*sheepish

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