The world of online games and MMOs represents a realm not so different than our own. Without rules and accountability there is chaos, boundaries must be set in order for equilibrium to be maintained. However, the players of these games always make it their primary objective to cross those boundaries and introduce chaos, they are overtly destructive and if some naive programmer gives a player a choice that actually has an effect on the world and it’s inhabitants, you can bet they will try their damnedest to throw a monkey wrench into the virtual society.
Gamers are a pretty creative bunch, especially when it comes to screwing other gamers. The online gamer’s most prominent adversaries are other gamers, so a culture of extreme competitiveness is born. Massacring noobs in the starter zones has become tradition, it’s the generic online game trolling we’ve all grown to know and loathe, if you’re not going to at least try to grief people creatively then try learning how to ask a girl out instead so the rest of us no-lifers can enjoy our sad virtual lives. The good trolls dream bigger. Some people want to pull off the ultimate troll, they want thousands of other players to get screwed over as much as possible. And maybe, just maybe, they can shut down a whole server. Here are their tales.
3. The Assasination of Lord British – Ultima Online
Richard Garriot (more famously known as “Lord British”) is a legend in the world of online gaming and recognized as the inventor of the MMO. He decided to make an appearance in his own creation Ultima Online during beta to hang out and run a stress test on the servers, and he of course made himself invulnerable to avoid any mishaps. However, when he logged back into the game for another session he forgot to set his invincibility flag again. A player by the name of ‘Rainz’ used the spell ‘fire field’ to assassinate Lord British when he was vulnerable, and was soon thereafter banned for exploiting all kinds of bugs during the beta instead of reporting them.
2. The Big Heist – EVE Online
EVE presents one of the best environments for massive trolls because corporate espionage and intergalactic betrayal is a part of how the game works- players are encouraged to make their living in space however they desire, whether it’s mining rocks or becoming a highway robber. The corporation called the Guiding Hand Social Club (GHSC) specialized in assassination and theft, they were hired mercenaries of the highest caliber. Someone wanted CEO of a huge corporation dead, and GHSC was on the job. The events that followed are now referred to as ‘The GHSC infiltration incident‘. The infiltrated the target organization and made their way up the ranks until they were at the CEO’s right hand, a feat that took one year to achieve. And then, in one swift crescendo of beautiful betrayal, the trap was sprung and the CEO was ruthlessly blasted into oblivion and the wealth of the company was stolen. The total value of the items gained from this heist was an estimated $16,500 USD, on top of what the client paid. The whole event is quite interesting, partly because the entire thing happened well within the rules of the game world and everyone was pretty much in character the whole time. It’s astounding what gamers can achieve when their reward is the demise of other gamers.
1. The Corrupted Blood Plague – World of Warcraft
This particular incident is almost eerie in it’s prophetic nature, it’s a brilliant case study of infectious disease and how a few people with enough determination can use the exponential growth trait to bring an entire world to it’s knees. There was a boss in a 20-man raid dungeon named Hakkar the Soulflayer, the ancient Blood God. When battling Hakkar, players temporarily contracted a life-draining disease. It was supposed to be contained in the instance, but it made it’s way out of quarantine by way of teleportation and pets, and soon it spread across the lands like wildfire, the first real World of Warcraft plague. Low level players dropped like flies and the streets were littered with skeletons. Blizzard soon pounced on the problem and contained the disease inside the dungeon, but several players persisted in their ‘typhoid Mary’ antics and found creative ways to keep on infecting the populace, and Blizzard eventually had to give the server a hard reset. Now that’s trolling on a monolithic scale.