The Daily Grind: When did you last humanize an opponent in an MMORPG?


It’s that time of year, dear readers. As it says in the holy book of that one deity (probably Lawful Good), “Peace on earth and good will towards your fellow gamers.” Or, well, something like that.

But seriously, even as a non-religious person, I know this is the time of year to reach out to my fellow humans. As a gamer, I know we get worked up over the unfair ganks, the auction house snipers, the whales drowning in skins… but at least today, try to reflect on a few times you were put in a situation that humanized your opponent. I’ve talked about past instances before, but I’m still working on it. In fact, just this month, I finally met my long-time Pokemon Gym rival in person. And she was so nice. We’d both noticed that we’d been trying to ease up on the other and even talked a bit about custody terms for our turf. Meeting her face to face (and finding out her husband instigated a lot of the battles!) made me glad I kept an open mind about the nature of game-enforced factions, and now my group’s got a new, active raid partner.

What about you, readers? When was the last time you considered your MMORPG opponent’s perspective or met your enemies in a neutral area and bonded?

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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This is the main reason I will only ever play fully consensual PvP where the loser isn’t punished; it’s impossible for me to not humanize my (non-NPC) opponents, so if I cause them actual setbacks, of if I think I caused them grief, that makes me feel bad enough to stop playing.


As I’ve generally avoided PvP for a lonnng time, this is going back to 2010 or earlier…

I once did a quest as Horde on Warcraft called, I believe Helcular’s Revenge ( It involved a trip down to Southshore from Tarren Mill, which was always a favourite PvP ground even on a PvE server, and as the place was pretty devoid of opponents at the time I started laying waste to the place alongside the eponymous Mr Helcular.

Shortly thereafter, a high-level Alliance chap came along and mopped the floor with the both of us. As I was on a PvE server, I hopped across to my alliance character on the same realm and complained: “Hey, I was having fun until you turned up! :)” We had a little chat, he said “Pah, the Horde have all the good quests” and we had a good laugh together about the whole thing and he wished me well on my future levelling.

I think, following that, that I believe PvP would always be improved by the opportunity to shake hands and have a laugh together afterwards. Me and the internet seem to disagree on the general use of post-match communication however.

Robert Mann

Player wise, a couple weeks ago. NPC wise? NEVER.

NPCs just never have been done well enough to inspire that in me, period.

Bruno Brito

If it’s red, it’s dead.


All the time. When I kill someone in pvp in WoW I try to give them a hug. Some of them don’t like that though.

Rolan Storm

Good for you!

I do not think I dehumanize my opponents, but I have cold and distant attitude towards those with bad attitude. If I lost to finesse and skill I try to keep an eye on that player because – as you very well described – it may lead to online comradere of highest order.

I generally like and befriend generous people with artistic streak and they are generous as winners (and loosers) too. Self-centered and/or rude players make me either ignore them or sigh as my sergeant did. You know that deep, sad sound that a mature person exhales witnessing someone being dumb to a point of stump? Yeah, that one.

Kickstarter Donor

Not sure about the most recent time, but our old PvP group had a main rival.

We loved our battles so much that we queued against each other and had a channel for them on our Vent server.


All it is for me is the Big Ho-ho-ho Day! Where,”Peace on earth and good will towards your fellow gamers,” should be an everyday occurrence for anytime I log on.

As for the humanizing targets, not really. Only when the mobs/quests/instances become obscenely difficult, do my pigtails start to inserting the respective game’s upper management in effigy instead. :(

…and yes, Happy Ho-ho-ho Day! <3

Bryan Correll

I finally met my long-time Pokemon Gym rival in person

I imagine this meeting taking place in an Italian restaurant with all the other customers nervously leaving as the two of you face off at an itty-bitty table in the middle of the place.

Rolan Storm

That’s a classic picture you painted. :D Kudos!




The Iconians of STO spoke to me on a surprisingly deep level. They still sit at the center of my metafiction for the game, years later.