Saturday, February 10, 2007


I read two articles about "ganking" just now. For those of you who don't know, the term "gank" is an online gaming term meaning to attack and kill another player who has no means to effectively defend him/herself. Usually, the attacked player is much, much lower level the the attacker.

In other words, ganking is bullying. A ganker kills other players and griefs them just because. Usually, there are no ingame rewards for such activities. The just do it for kicks

There are many opinions regarding the practice of griefing and ganking in MMOs. Many people don't approve of such behaviour, myself included. Other people seem to think that it's acceptable.

People who may argue for the case of ganking\griefing as acceptable behaviour sometimes use the phrase "it's only a game" to justify their argument.

The problem is, it's not only a game. An MMO like WoW is not only a game, it is also a social construct, There are real people in the game world. So basically, ganking\griefing apologists condone the practise of enjoying themselves at other people's expense? Says a lot about their own personalities I think.

The thing that I sometimes find rather perplexing is that gankers\griefers and their fanboys act all surprised when people complain and condemn them on forums and other places.

They can twist and turn their argument any way they like, but the at the end of it all the truth is ganking\griefing is unacceptable and people who defend\indulge in it are assholes. They can use a million excuses but the fact remains that while they feel quite good after killing and corpse camping a level 8 character with their level 55, there is someone else out there who is getting pissed off and frustrated, and he can't do anything about it.

The entire thing is pointless and is the equivalent of schoolyard bullying. Pointless and a total waste of other people's time. Justifiable?

Obviously, having been camped to death and toyed with myself, I don't appreciate the ganking\griefing. The same way I hate bullying in fact.

Anyway, ever since I went back to WoW I've accepted the fact that if I play on a PvP server, I will probably be regularly killed like a sotong by some piece of shit 25 levels higher than me. It's fine. I'm not going to lose my temper because of something happening in an MMO. Only this time, I'm going to write down their names...

In fact, within 90 minutes of my first log on to my lvl 33 priest character I was attacked and nearly killed by a lvl 51 Night Elf hunter. Thank goodness for Fear...

I have an idea on how to reduce ganking in WoW actually. In WoW, when a player selects a target, he/she will be able to see the targets level. That level is denoted by a coloured number or a red skull. It's relative to the player's own level.

The skull indicates an opponent who's level is so much higher than the player and that combat is suicide.

A red number denotes a much higher level mob\player who is substantially more powerful than the player. A player who fights an opponent whose number is red will lose 99 out of 100 times.

An orange number indicates that the target's level is some way higher than the player and would make a very tough opponent.

A yellow number indicates and opponent that is similar in combat ability to the player.

A green number means a lower level opponent that will probably be easier to kill.

A black number means that the target is so low level, killing it will yield no XP or honor or reward of any kind.

Now, if Blizzard really wanted to control ganking\griefing they could introduce a PvP rule where a player cannot initiate combat in open play with another player whose level is too low in relation to himself (ie. denoted by a green or black number). Combat may be joined if the lower level player initiates combat first.

I'd put this in the WoW forum but I'll be hounded by ganker\griefer apologists who will accuse me of being a "carebear" or other terms like that, so I won't bother.

Besides, I feel Blizzard feeds off this issue and the controversy that it generates.

Anyways, I've made peace with the idea of being griefed in an MMO. It is a social construct and like the other social construct that it mirrors (ie real life) there will be assholes and criminals who prey on the weak and defenseless.

At least unlike in real life, I can eventually avenge myself without consequence...

In other WoW news, I'm also back to playing my highest level character, a lvl 51 warrior on a PVE server. You can't get ganked on a PVE server.

It's so much less nerve wracking.

I can also report that the pings I've been getting are pretty decent and the game doesn't lag quite like it used to.

I'm very pleased.

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