A while back, an MOP commenter opined that MMOs should always offer players the option to fully block – that is to say, mute their speech and hide their avatars and entire presence – from the game – owing to the supposition that “the worst part of every MMO is the players.” In other words, you’d be able to blink all other players en masse right out of existence, from your point of view, unless you chose otherwise (for example, toggling other people back on for dungeoneering).
I don’t know whether the commenter was being sarcastic, but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion because our writers raised all their eyebrows on this one. I suppose I could understand wanting to block a few specific server trolls from my view forever, but the idea of toggling off everyone all at once seems a bit counterintuitive in an MMORPG.
Let’s break it down. Should MMOs be able to hide and mute other players – individually or as a whole group? Even if your first reaction is horror, would it really make that much difference to your play if somebody disabled you?