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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syberghost

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.

quark1020
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quark1020

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…..at 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.

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Castagere Shaikura

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

shazanti
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shazanti

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
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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.

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steve

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.

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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

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Johnny

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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PhoenixDfire

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!

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thirtymil

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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PhoenixDfire

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.

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Angel

Not a prank, but in my younger days I fell for an “this icon looks like the icon of similar item I actually want” trade scam in the original Guild Wars. I did report them, they were punished though I never got my ecto’s back :(

I learned my lesson after that, and have been much more vigilant in trades since then.

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Sally Bowls

I would tend to call them as trolls rather than pranks. I don’t think most anonymous, peripatetic strangers deserve much trust so that helps a bit.

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Fervor Bliss

Open world PvP griefers Yes. New to the game learning where things are and get fooled that the game was somehow fair.

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Pandalulz

Prank, scam, grief, whatever you call it, I opened the can outside of Jita that said, “Free Stuff!”

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Robert Mann

Uh… no. Don’t fall for them, don’t do them, don’t like them. Pranks are too often into the trolling territory. I’ve yet to see one that isn’t at somebody else’s expense. Which is on rare occasion a recipe for good humor, but that occasion is indeed rare.

People should stick to being the butt of their own humor, it’s better for pretty much everyone involved 99.98% of the time.

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Jon Wax

anyone remember tabula rasa?

there was a portal someone had set up to help new folks level up quick!! type dealie?

you jump thru the portal and land inside a volcano with level 99 ai everywhere?

man, i miss that game.

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Utakata

I had a Gnome Warlock in my first guild who I used to play a very chilled version of myself. It got to the point where my guildies thought she was being played entirely different person. As a Gnome that doesn’t really like to play practical jokes intentionally…or unintentionally here, I spilled the beans on myself as soon as I got wind of this. And made sure the my colleagues understood it was me all a long. It was a really weird experience though that I presumed two different personas when in fact I was only the one. o.O

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thalendor

I don’t recall ever being the victim of a prank, though I was the perpetrator of a couple of “naked and dancing” type pranks on a guildie who would give me his account info so I could get his character in place for the evening’s raid when he got home from work. Though it was more naked and dancing with a Molten Giant than on a mailbox… :-P

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Schmidt.Capela

Nah. I can’t take a prank in stride, so I double- and triple-check any juicy bit of information that seems too good to be true; my usual policy is to never trust any player I can’t reach with a thrown mouse.

Besides, I’m old enough to know nearly every kind of computer or video-game prank since before disk drives became cheap enough for personal computers.

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Makhiel

Does the hobbit who sends you looking for boars in Evendim (a map that has no boars in it) count?

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Dobablo

I have always enjoyed summoning people to the edge of cliffs. I am glad that WoW’s latest patch lets players swap and drag their fellow raiders into a position where they can be squashed under an elevator of doom.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

No. But I know my dismount option in Rift was broken cause I hit Alt-F4 like general chat told me and it booted me out of the game.

FIX THIS NAO TRINO!

Full disclosure I have fallen for Alt F4 twice but it was a long time between incidents.

shazanti
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shazanti

I remember way back when, trying to keybind just about everything. I have never cared for using CTRL as a modifier, it feels too awkward a stretch for my hand, so I was trying to rebind everything to ALT and SHIFT (something I still do)… including using ALT/SHIFT+ F-numbers (something I no longer do).

I had absolutely no idea that ALT+F4 was a Windows command. I never used Windows commands, so I never considered them. I treated them all as just another key on the keyboard for rebinding. So I found out how ALT+F4 works all on my own long before I saw someone make that statement in a game.

I did it to myself! And was possibly as angry as I would’ve been if someone else had tricked me into doing so.

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Crowe

Technically, I believe that did actually dismount you.

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starbuck1771

See you fell for the oldest prank in the book.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I know.

ashamed.gif
pepperzine
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pepperzine

Maybe I’m just old, but the guilds ive been in don’t really partake in getting enjoyment at the expense of others.

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Knox Harrington

Does a game’s business model count?

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Rick Mills

I remember the goofball warlock in our guild summoning our guild leader right off the edge of Thunder Bluff – he was kicked for a day or two :)

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Dobablo

I was very sad the day they nerfed it. I liked dumping people over the side of Stormwind bridge. It felt more comical.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i was scammed for my gear once by a guy posing as a friend that i’d trade gear with regularly to check out the way it looked (in l2 gear looked diferently depending on your class and race). idk that i’d call that a prank tho.

usually pranks i’m the “victim” of involve guildies shooting explosive barrels when someone is nearby them or other means to PK your team mates in coop/pve modes/games. or in gtao recking each other’s cars or getting into a random PK scrim because the next business owner in line didn’t send out invites fast enough after the previous owner desolved the team.

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Bryan Turner

There was this one annoying ass hat in a guild I was in during Wrath that had an add on that automatically said congratulations depending on certain criteria, so this guy was acting like a real prick one raid so my friend and I kept whispering ding to him using a macro, spammed the shit out of it, until his own add on would DC him; we kept this up for 20 minutes until he logged off and didn’t comeback for a week.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

That just sounds mean (I get the premise is that he was being annoying at the moment, but still)…someone trying to make sure he congratulations people when they achieve something noteworthy and provide positive support, only to have that be used against him…

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Bryan Turner

Consistently a prick, every waking moment, he had it coming.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

to be fair after about 5 minutes in a guild with people with auto gz/greet addon going, all of it comes off as hollow empty and worthless noise.

that being said i agree this does come off as mean.

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Bryan Turner

It was meant to be, he was an asshole. True story before this guy drove us all to our wits end this South East Asian guild I was in because I worked nights in the US made me an officer so that I could placate the yanks and assist in my guild because of the language barrier but mainly to handle this problem child.

This was after months of being this dick heads gate keeper.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

fair enough. as GM i’ve had to deal with such people periodically/over a long haul and it definitely just gets tiring and brings out the worst in me.

try to have not too hardass chat with such people and they usually take offense and find excuses for their behaviour and whining i’m being unfair to them, then lash back regularly at me to the point if i don’t constantly bite my tongue at their rude commentary i’m looked at as part ofthe problem for giving them in return.

most of such people in the guild tho are MIA/left/kicked and not welcome back but two people occasionally get on my case and i have to call them out which i now do in front of everyone else and tell them if they really don’t like me this much they can leave the community and save us all the hassle of seeing this bullshit in our comms on a regular basis. seems to have worked mostly tho the one person freaks out at some pretty random things and i just kind of make fun of her in a super over this shit way and ask if she’s done yet. LOL

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

One main reason i’m not in a guild right now is this, i even asked if there is a way to switch off announcing my own achievements or others, while i’m farming old raids with a new alt, i tell people “achievements coming, sorry, please ignore them” and no one do that … sigh :-)

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Dobablo

I thought that was possible.
You reminded me of the time I spent 4 weeks planning achievement spam and managed to complete 11 achievements in one go (with 3 more about 5 seconds later), just as the guild leader was trying to give out raid tactics in Ulduar.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

we generally ignore in game chat and use discord/mumble to announce to others anything we wish to share/brag about.

in mumble when we get those silly gimme achievements we usually laugh about them and go wtf is that even an achievement for or “idk why i got an achivement just now i’ve just got back from afk” LOL

rarely do we share about hardcoded “achievements’ but generally more things we are personally happy to have achieved.

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