Massively Overthinking: Random acts of MMORPG kindness

    
27
when yo crush read yo note that say lemme smash

Last week, down in the comments of an innocuous post about gamers being nice in Fortnite, a couple of MOP commenters requested a column where MMO gamers could essentially submit “stories about random good interactions [they’ve] had with other players.” Skeptical me is doubting the viability of a column like that; after all, we already do a lot of positive coverage of charities, events, good deeds, and even obituaries for devs, and that’s just not the stuff most people click on. (Patches are the big ones, although controversies are big too for obvious reasons. And One Shots and WRUP are still great!)

But I’d certainly like to be wrong. “Positive news” websites do indeed exist in the real world and can be truly inspiring, so maybe “Massively Overjoyed” would have some traction too. We thought we’d put it to the test here in Overthinking: I’ve asked the writers to share one story about a great random interaction they’ve had with another player. And then I’ll invite you all to do the same thing down in the comments. How much do you really want to hear about the positive stuff?

Stop.

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): I’ll do two, actually. The first is pretty mundane. I was playing Rend and getting my butt kicked while starving to death. Since the game has factions, some geared-out ally ran up, shot my piggy full of arrows, and ran away, allowing me to chop it up and try to cook up some life-saving grub (it failed). It’s a small thing, but when you play a lot of survival games, you become accustomed to being ignored at best, slaughtered (and maybe even eaten) at worst. To have someone actually save my life and not ask for something in return feels like a big deal in these games.

The other, naturally, is from Pokemon Go. At a recent event raid, a resident of our community and someone who works at the University I formerly attended/worked finally got to attend her first raid. This is also the first time we met her. Not only was she able to get her first Mewtwo, but we then took her down the street to get her Regice, a legendary Pokemon that was literally minutes away from being cycled out. I invited her to join our group, especially since there was another event happening over the weekend. Not only did she turn out for the event, but her adult daughter decided to come out as well. Not only did I enjoy helping out a player in my local community, but I also found out various departments in my University actually have their own Pokemon Go discord channels, with the Engineering department naturally being rather hardcore. I may have to ask some of my former teachers if the Linguistics department has a channel!

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): The most recent story I’ve got happened on the Star Wars Galaxies emulator I’ve been playing on this month. Before I’d finished off my own entertainer, I trucked my bedraggled crafter into the cantina for an experience buff from a live dancer, who granted my buff and then generously refused to accept my tip because I wasn’t max level and was obviously a new player as well as a newbie. She was super nice about it too!

I’d be tempted to think that’s just a product of playing on an emulator for a sunsetted MMO; there’s definitely a feeling of solidarity there, of looking out for the newbies, but I’ve met people just as kind on live servers throughout the years. The City of Heroes taxibots, the Guild Wars runners, the Ultima Online guild that had a whole house full of donated loot for new players, the people who run zergs all over Guild Wars 2 so everyone can participate. That one uberguild dude in World of Warcraft who joined our guild foursome as a lone PUG person and spent the whole time complimenting us on our teamwork and clutch healing – I still remember that guy all these years later. Oh, and the We Drop Stuff people in Glitch, who hid neat things all over the game world for other people to find in a sort of ad hoc treasure hunt. There are so many ways to be positive in MMO worlds.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Oh geez, where to start? There are so many over the years really that I am having a time just picking one. These are often how I happen up great friends that I still have today as well as ways I can hope that gaming isn’t a doomed community. Here’s one involving the game that brought me to MOP.

Back in my early Aion days, I was a lower-level Elyos adventuring and gathering in Eltnen, which is a fairly low -level zone. After getting fairly far from the hub, I happened upon a very red, much-higher-than-me Asmodian who had rifted in. I was sure I was going to die. Instead, this Asmo set up a shop (there is no cross-faction chat but to get around it you could set up shop and type messages into your store banner that showed) and assured me he wouldn’t bother me — he was there for gathering and wasn’t interested in ganking a lowbie. Now, if a higher level came around he was going to be all for it. Using the store mode we chatted for a bit and it was a very pleasant exchange. But what struck me even more was that when another higher-level Asmo came through and was about to trounce me this first Asmo, who went silent for a minute, came back to say via store he spoke with the other and asked him to leave me alone pointing out that it would be far from a fair fight. And the newcomer agreed. Moments like this emphasize the difference between PvP and ganking.

Just a quick other in the same vein: When a friend and I wanted to rift for the first time from Etlnen into Asmodian territory, we shouted out for any who wanted to group and join us. One person did, and we ventured over into the danger. When things got super intense, this newcomer never abandoned us or went every-Elyos-for-himself, but stuck with us defending and helping us try to escape. It was the best experience ever, and that person became and still is one of my closest friends to this day.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): Oh jeez, that column would be amazing… sign me up to collate the feel-good, please! Imagine a column where we had such a splendid pile of evidence of the goodness found in online societies in the form of screenshots and first-person accounts: That’d be a great resource for those who try to analyse those exchanges. Heck, it’d just be amazing to remind players in general why social mechanics are some of the most important in MMOs. It’d sure be a nice change from Guild Chat, right?

More on-topic, I’m very happy to say that the majority of my MMO interactions have been positive and I could ramble on for quite a while about good stories. I feel that my time in Guild Wars 2 is probably the most positive in terms of feel-good interactions with strangers: You only have to hang out for a moment in Lion’s Arch during a busy spell to see people congratulating each other on crafting legendaries, throwing dyes to each other to have everyone’s characters match, or having costume brawls in the city streets. There is fun to be found around every corner, and that’s why it’s such a special MMO.

I’ll share the most recent positive interaction I had in-game. I love to do world boss trains in GW2 because it is a fantastic way to meet new players and encourage them to explore, collaborate, and find more players to help them out. One of my guild slots is taken up by a very large world boss run guild, and its leaders run this squad at reset daily. One member of the guild who regularly joins the squad had taken quite a leave of absence and returned recently, and when she joined chat the first thing she was greeted with was a wall of welcome back messages. She said her inbox was equally filled with messages checking in with her, so she was just blown away that so many people had not only noticed her absence, but had taken the time to wish her well or welcome her back.

Your turn!

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
kalech

I would definitely like a column like this. I feel like these days, we see a lot about the gaming communtiy being toxic. It would be nice with proof to the contrary sometimes.

I think what stands out the most was when I was drifting guild-less in WoW. I wanted to give tanking a go but I had terrible self-confidence/anxiety and I was running normals even though I was overgeared, too scared to go into heroics.
I met a paladin healer who promised she would help me get into heroics and if I messed up, she would just tell everyone that she was lagging. It really touched me that a stranger I didn’t know would expose herself to potential ridicule just to help me out.

I didn’t mess up, we ran a lot of dungeons and she invited me to apply to her guild. We had some really good times running dungeons and 8 years later I’m still in that guild. She herself has since stopped playing, but I will always appreciate that she took the time to help a stranger get their confidence back.

Reader
rafael12104

Hmm. One that comes to mind although there have been others.

Tython. Shortly after SWTOR launch.

I was wandering around aimlessly discovering every room in the Jedi Temple and a bit overwhelmed, if I’m honest, when I see someone in chat welcoming everyone and offering to help. This welcoming person gave a few general tips and then added that he would give away credits to the first 10 players that came by and said hello, in person.

Hmm. My Spidey Sense started tingling. This had to be some sort scam. Some way to take advantage of newbies. But, my curiosity to got the better of me and I went to find this dude.

The guy was easy to find, so that wasn’t it. But as I walk up, I see that he is already level 30. “Aha! Yeah, he is going to try and kill me. A ganker, griefer scum!” But… how. Starter planets are protected. You have to be flagged for PvP….

Nevertheless, I approached and started a conversation. The guy was friendly enough. We talked about the game and he gave me a few more tips etc. And everything seemed on the up and up. He then offered me some credits so I can upgrade to better armor and possibly buy a better weapon. And I asked him point blank, why he would do that. And he simply explained that he is loving the game and decided to pay it forward. He wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and so he thought this might help.

We talked a bit more and suddenly I came to a realization. There are people in this jaded world who are just kind, friendly and have no ulterior motives. So, I friended him and took the credits and declared that I would pay it forward when I hit level 30.

And so, that is what happened. I never saw this guy again. I whispered him once or twice with questions about the game which he kindly answered, but that was about it. And when I hit level 30, I did my part on Tython.

Heh. There are some great peeps out there and I will always remember that.

Reader
Utakata

My pigtails and myself want to note that the person above me here is a good role model for “acts of kindness”. Players should follow his example if they don’t want to viewed as a heel when playing their MMO’s. Just saying. :)

Reader
rafael12104

Thank you. :) It is my pleasure.

And I have to say, your example is just as good if not better.

Reader
Utakata

Yeah…just don’t catch me when my pigtails are being beaten down by some named pirate mob. But thanks! :)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

I’m sure I’ve told this story on Massively before.. but despite not being a PVP’er I used to play EVE online for 4 years. I liked the game and its setting a lot, sadly it didn’t have much to offer a PVE’er like me long term but being asci fi fan I stuck it out for some time.

Anyway I typically stayed in high sec doing missions, only occasionally passing through low sec but in EVe eventually you are forced to go low or null sec as all the rarer materials are there and the better loot etc… but heading out of safe space in EVE is quite a challenge as their are many people waiting to prey on you and your losses can have a significant real world money loss attached to them.

So one day I decided to go mining in null space to get some rarer materials I needed, I jumped around a lot until I found a system that was empty, even flew through a battle around a gate at one point but they totally ignored me which was unexpected and I carried on with my journey thanking my luck to my destination.

Once there I started mining (and scanning) and I was making quite the haul, when I ship jumped in and made a beeline straight for me. I wasn’t going to out run it in a mining ship and had seriously inferior weapons and systems to this obvious pvp’er… when all of a sudden he started taking fire from another ship. A ship I had not been aware of at all and in short order was capsuled (where they destroy not only the ship, but the ejecting capsule too). I was thinking I was next but then the ship stopped and my chat flashed with a message.

“50% of your haul, and you can carry on”. it read.

I wasn’t going to argue, there really was no alternative so I agreed. I then started sending the guy some follow up messages asking how he had been undetected etc.. he said he’d been watching me mine for the last hour and when my ship was full he had been planning to destroy me but then the more appealing fish with better loot had come along.

Anyway the conversation continued and for several hours I spoke to the guy and he taught me all manner of things I had absolutely ZERO clue about in EVE a whole level of tactical and strategic depth to that game from setting nav points off gate in order to see if anyone is camping a gate without being seen, how to scan effectively, which systems to avoid, ideal builds, which systems to use, which to avoid how to use them effectively, when and from what distances.. it was seriously like a dummies guide to playing the game the proper way the game itself does not inform you about at all. The sort of information that is only gathered from many peoples trial and erroring over a long period of time in order to hone it to a fine art.

But the guy went from preying on me, to teaching me SO much about that game that proved invaluable in the time I continued to play it. I even formed a permanent arrangement with that group, 10% of my mining income in order to safely mine their space and be protected from others. :)

He didn’t have to help me, or tell me anything, he could have just capsuled me and took my cargo there wouldn’t have been a thing I could do about it in a mining ship, but instead he chose to help and educate and obviously inexperienced player in that game and for that I was always grateful.

In the end the guy friended me, I can’t recall which of the major groups it was he belonged too now or whose space I wandered into it may have been BoB or someone similar it was definitely one of the major groups of the time.

But when I asked if there was anything I could do to repay the kindness his reply was simply “pass it along”. And I have endeavoured to do that in every game I have played since. Help someone out and tell them.. “pass it along” good karma breeds good karma ;)

TL:DR Good players do exist…sometimes ;)

mystwen
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
mystwen

That is a great story! Thanks for sharing. : )

Reader
rafael12104

Yup. I had a similar experience. They are out there!

Reader
Teh Beardling

The thing i most remember was not really a kindness but I used to prowl stranglethorn vale back in the day on my max level rogue and pass “judgement” on people. If I saw someone of the opposite faction attacking someone I’d look at the levels. If they were close in level, I’d let them fight it out. If the enemy won, they won. I’d just unstealth and pat them on the head and fly off. Gankers we’re judged and condemned to death though :O. I also help people kill elite mobs when I was a tank regardless of faction.

mystwen
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
mystwen

Sir Judge Dredd of Stranglethorn Vale. Cool.

Wonder what you would have thought about the day I was picking flowers there, and a Horde player showed up, looked me over, and started picking flowers as well. We couldn’t talk, and not emote very well, but we were instant friends. When I finally had to go, he emoted “cry”. Very sweet. It was like Romeo and Juliet.

mystwen
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
mystwen

One hubby and I will always remember. It was the fire burning festival in WoW; light your fires, put out Horde fires; try to stop the other faction from doing anything with fires! We didn’t open world PvP much; only wore PvP gear in battlegrounds, if we even had any for a particular set of toons. But we did kill a Horde player trying to put out a fire we had just lit. Didn’t think much about it, and moved on to the next town.

On the way to the next town, that Horde player caught up to us. And he had to have PvP in his bag, because he had switched up and was ready for war. I could do healing, but as soon as he found that out, he came at me, and I couldn’t keep up healing hubby. We were going to die.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a higher level alliance appeared–jumped off his horse–and smashed the Horde into the ground in mere seconds. We were stunned. Thanked him greatly, and then got the heck out of there! I am sure that Horde player thought we had called for guild help, but we hadn’t. It was just a random act of kindness.

Like everyone here, I have many, many stories of kindness. Other players giving bags, gear, money to me as a new player. Me helping out other newbies in turn. It’s the ONE thing I don’t like about BDO; I can’t help anyone or trade with hubby. But I can stop and kill mobs that are attaching someone’s horse that was left in a no-so-good parking place. : )

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Alex Willis

I’ve had many instances of MMO kindness, but a recent one sticks out. When I first joined Warframe, I posted a question on the forums. It was a total noob question, and I expected to get a lot of “l2p, noob” responses. While I got one or two, I got dozens more positive and encouraging answers. I also got invited to a starter’s guild with the express intent of learning the ropes, and they gave me a ton of rare gear and blueprints to craft items from, and full access to their clan dojo to use their resources.

I don’t know what the future holds for Warframe, as it grows in popularity and scope. But part of why I stuck around in the game after joining last year was the generosity and kindness of strangers. It made a huge difference.

Reader
Rick Mills

“and that’s just not the stuff most people click on.”

Please, please don’t tailor your content to this – we have enough buzzfeeds. Your choice of columns is perfect right now. I mean, if you just wanted click-bait, you’d have tailored your articles based on hormone levels. And you’re better than that :)

Reader
Witches

You can’t get any better than a Jedi being swarmed by some mobs and getting help from a Sith that was passing by.

This other time i was trying to get to a datacron and failing bad, and a random player stayed around to give me some pointers on what to do and helped me reach the damned thing.

Reader
Nate Woodard

I’ve had positive vibes in all the mmos I’ve played. It’s mostly been when I’ve been new to the game. There is always a player willing and ready to answer questions. There was a time in SWTOR when I was outleveling my gear so fast that the group I was leveling with all pitched in to get me upgrades from the galactic market.

Reader
IronSalamander8 .

I saw a lot of this in EQ1. Some of it directed at me by more experienced players when I started, like handing me some nice stuff to use or a some coins; some of it was things I did to help, like helping enchanters in the Qeynos sewers navigate that area for their epic, corpse dragging and summoning, etc. It happened a lot in that game.

In CoH when I was playing my Inv/SS Tanker and obviously wasn’t playing it very well at first, I had a hard time with a mission and asked for help got a controller that did so and I ended up hanging with him, his wife, and their friends and ended up playing a lot of the game together.