This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is Pet Peeves, suggested by myself, of course. See other responses to this topic here.
My personal pet peeve is trolling in trade chat, and its the main reason I keep /2 turned off most of the time when I play now.
What I can't stand is people who blatantly say something controversial or stupid solely to draw attention to themselves or to start an argument. These are the people who bring up Hitler, rape, or suggest that no girls play WoW. These are the people who make general assumptions about other players based on absolutely no true knowledge, calling others bad, fat, no lifers, etc. These are the people who flat out give incorrect information to people asking a question or for advice.
My Personal /2 History
You see, once upon a time I was one of the regulars in trade chat and on the forums for my server, of course this was a long time ago, before transfers were allowed on or off of the server. Trade chat was typically somewhat interesting, if often kind of stupid, but rarely degenerated to anal spam or worse. I'm one of those who actually finds the Murloc movie game rather fun and interesting (until people start repeating things that have already been said). I'm all for a little debate in trade, over, for example, which class makes the best healer and why. I look forward to a little friendly banter in the chat channels.
I have to admit that I miss the idyllic world that I had prior to the opening of transfers. Maybe I'm looking at it through rose-tinted glasses, but I think the overall feel of the community on our server, both in trade and on the forums, was much better prior to that fateful day. The flood of people, both leaving and arriving, was truly shocking. This caused a dramatic change in the feel on the chat channels and on the forums.
Then, because of the change in atmosphere on the realm, I decided to leave for a while too. I transferred my main to a different server for a few months and discovered that the grass was definitely not greener. It's really funny because I'd heard from many of my friends who had left that they found their experiences on other realms to be far superior. I have no idea what their criteria was though. To me, the gauge of quality to a server is its trade chat, and I was appalled at what I found elsewhere. I ended up transferring back to Cairne, and I don't regret it for a moment.
Although the trade chat can often degenerate into horribleness, every so often you run into a semi-intelligent conversation, and that's what makes it all worthwhile. Afterall, part of the draw of playing an MMO for me is that Multi-player bit. Perhaps I take the social aspect of the game too seriously, but I don't think I'd enjoy the game as much without it.
When I am in trade nowadays, I make it a habit to point out trolls to other players. I remind people not to feed the trolls, and sometimes will say things like, "Obvious troll is obvious." Every once in a while a troll will catch me in his trap, and once I realize it, I laugh it off and say, "I gotta learn not to feed the trolls." Hehe. I've even gotten into arguments with people over whether they are trolling or not.
I think maybe some people would say that I am a troll myself, but not by my definition. I know that trade is intended to be used for only trade, but I'm not a stickler for that rule. If I was then I'd be pissy about all of the people LFGing in trade.
What Trolling Says About Society
The amount of trolling I see in game and across the internet frightens me. It makes me doubt my faith in humanity (not that I had much to begin with). It really makes me wonder if our world is really worth fighting for. This is why trolls bother me so much.
I'm one of those people that firmly believes in The Golden Rule. When I see someone trolling it tells me a lot about that person. It tells me that they have no respect for other people at all.
I guess I just can't understand why it would be fun to deliberately hurt others. What would happen to the world if we all behaved like that all of the time? You see it sometimes in extreme cases of road rage. I wonder how far off before we start behaving like that to others in person? Once that happens, how far off is the fall of our society?
Morbid thoughts for a Tuesday morning, I know...