The Daily Grind: Have you ever fallen for an in-game MMO prank?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: If you fly to the remote Hutton orbital space station in Elite Dangerous, there’s a free Anaconda in it for you. That’s the gist of a viral prank happening in Elite of late, as chronicled by RPS; apparently, multiple people have fallen for it, flying for hours and hours only to realize they’d been tricked by their fellow players.

Pranks seem to come in several different varieties; I’ve seen everything from harmless stunts like guildies logging in each other’s toons only to leave them naked and dancing on a mailbox to “pranks” that rise to the level of outright scams to dupe fellow gamers into trading away their property. I once had a WoW guildie who liked to prank us by pulling bosses by running at them and shouting. On his fire mage. And then there was the guildie in EverQuest who faked his own death IRL and put us all into a panic. See? They run the gamut.

Have you ever fallen for an in-game MMO prank? If not, what’s the best prank you’ve ever heard go down in an MMORPG?

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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42 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Have you ever fallen for an in-game MMO prank?"

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Early in City of Heroes, there was no way to prevent “Teleport Friend” cast by a member of your group from teleporting you. So I used to sit near the edge of a tall building in Atlas park, with a group of the highest-level mobs in the zone under me.

When I would get unsolicited group invites (usually from noobs), I would accept, TP them into the air over those mobs (most had no travel power yet), and then watch them land.

A fall from any height would remove your max HP minus one, so if you were at full health, it could never kill you; but now you’re at 1 HP and you just aggroed a group.

Sometimes I could get a person multiple times before he figured it out and kicked me.


Its annoying, because I know I’ve been pranked, but I can never remember. I’ve never lost anything more serious than my time and dignity, but I suppose I didn’t find it funny enough to remember either.

As for my end:
I’ve teleported people into mobs or lava/acid in city of x and WoW.
I’ve activated crystal laser pointers at people in WoW while out of sight, watching as people bounce around trying to find me.
I’ve wiped the group after a successful Onyxia run by aggroing all the whelps I could before bubble-hearthing out as the raid was passing out loot.
I’ve told a “Huntard” (wow, that brings me back) he should focus on spirit stats when he asked what stats he should stack… level 70. (Less of a prank and more me being a jerk)

I’m sure I’ve done more…

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Peregrine Falcon

While I’m sure that I’ve fallen for a few pranks in MMOs over the years, I can’t remember any right off hand. (I’ll probably remember right after I click ‘post comment’. MMO pranks I’ve pulled:

1) In STO telling people that a cardassian NPC ‘Gul Ibull’ was giving away Rocket Boots.
2) In CoH deliberately not attacking a succubus so that she’d cast confusion on my Brute and then running over and killing one of my party members. Ok, maybe that doesn’t count as a prank, but it sure was hilarious!

And of course I remembered: a friend of mine (the one I kept attacking with my Brute) had a habit of using ‘Teleport Friend’ to drop me from a height into a group of mobs. Of course he claimed he was TPing me to the mission door. I fell for it (literally) probably a dozen or so times.

Castagere Shaikura

Nope never have and never will. I’m to old for that and i don’t take gaming serious enough.

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I can’t recall any that I’ve fallen for. I know I have, OF COURSE, I just can’t remember. I do remember one of my own, however…

Back in EverQuest in 2001 or so, I was a high level Necromancer roaming Lower Guk out of boredom. Checked in on various camp sites (I was bored, but didn’t want to step on toes), and not many camps were taken (there were better places to be by this time), so I freely killed my way around, picking up a few loot items that were still good for alts. Eventually I couldn’t loot any more thanks to all the good stuff being Lore (you could only have one at a time), but I was still bored.

Necromancers can charm undead. I was in the undead side of Guk. I charmed the Ghoul Lord. I ran to the Archmagi room (where a much lower level group was camping for the Shining Metallic Robe), ‘screaming’ for help, that it was after me, help me, help me please…and then I feigned death at their feet, which released the Ghoul Lord from charm, with a nice group of players to be mad at.

I had NOT wanted to kill these lower level players, so I’d made sure the Lord was pretty darn hurt before I did this, and I was ready to hop back up immediately if needed, but they killed him really easily. Oh boy did they panic and freak out over it when it happened, and yes, it was hilarious.

Here’s where I prove I’m not really good at pranking: I immediately felt guilty so I soothed jangled nerves by hauling down various other names for them to finish off while they were waiting on the Archmagi to be nice enough to drop his robes for them… and thus my boredom was alleviated.

Steely Bob
Steely Bob

One of my first MMO experiences was chasing a hafling rogue across the original East Freeport asking him in /say (because I didn’t know what /tells were) to give me my coppers back because he had /emote “HaflingRogue steals 50 copper from you.”, which I was convinced was true and seemed like an awful lot of money to me at the time.

One of my favorite things to watch in both Planetside 1 and 2 was when we’d all climb into a Galaxy and the pilot would fly over the ocean somewhere way off the land and kick one of the players who didn’t belong in the gal or was being annoying, etc.


Pranks I have fallen for:
1. The mage who thinks it’s funny to make the wrong portal. (Always check your portals)
2. The guildies who would drop me from a group portal in EQ, abandoning me at the end of the raid.
3. Healing some bastard who runs up screaming for help, only to have his train round the corner and obliterate me.

Pranks others have suffered by my hand:
1. Mind Control into the lava. Have fun gathering for your Molten Core raid.
2. Mind Vision from hiding in capitols. It’s a fascinating experiment in human behavior.
3. Selective triage. It’s not that I’m a bad healer. It’s just easier for me to heal you if I like you.

Oh, and I may be guilty of abusing Leap of Faith. Lots.

Darasimi Makinde

Ah memories… back when I was new to Runescape I fell for a prank where this guy told me to follow him for free gear… I followed him as he lead me north into the wilderness where he, and a bunch of his friends jumped me, killed me and took my stuff.

Another was the “free armour trim prank” in which people would offer to upgrade your armor’s appearance (wasn’t actually possible at the time) and all you had to do was strip down and hand them your gear. They would consequently log out, and you would never see them again.

Finally, the wine of zammorak prank in which I was told if I go into a special room and took a particular wine item I would get loads of treasure or something. Turns out taking the wine turns all the priests in that room hostile and they attack you. The player who gets you to enter the room waits outside so he can shut the door every time you try to open it and escape, and you guessed it… the priests kill you and the prankster is right there to take your stuff :D


I haven’t been scammed/pranked. But I’m not so sure that isn’t a good thing always. Weird to say I know, but I think it’s that way because I never trust anyone at all. I’m sure it’s worth it to get scammed or pranked here and there as you’re also leaving yourself open to new opportunities. I’m sure I’ve missed out on a few. Ah well, that’s mmo life. Lol.

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I cannot believe that people fall for the Hutton truck run! It’s 0.22ly (which is 1.75 hrs flight time) and if people look at the station stats, it has no large landing pads (which is needed for a big ship) and more importantly it has NO shipyard, so you can’t even buy ships.

Sorry but Cmdr SpeedyBebop just got hit with the Elite:Dangerous equivalent of the Darwin Awards!!

And we’re not even sorry!


If you’ve never owned an Anaconda before then you may not know it’s a large pad ship (the Python isn’t, after all, and that’s most people’s step before the Conda) and Elite is not exactly verbose when it comes to handing out that information – if you can’t get to a shipyard that sells Anacondas to read the stats, good luck on finding that info in game anywhere.

Also, turning up at Hutton without knowing it doesn’t have any large pads is a fairly common event in itself, given the numbers of people who did so during the community event there and had to drop cargo off for others to deliver.

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It says in the description of the ship in the shipyard that you need large pads and if you look at the System map, you can easily see it’s an orbital outpost and they never have large pads.

But the clincher is that if people think its too much effort to look at the list of services provided by Hutton Orbital, which shows there is no shipyard, then they’ve only got themselves to blame.

At least the mission system now stops you from running missions to bases where there arn’t the landing pads for you ship.