Great Moments in Griefing

I’m doing a little historical piece on creative types of griefing in online, particularly MMO play. I’m not looking for the obvious exploits like spawn camping, or cheats such as see-through-the-walls driver hacks. I’m looking for more creative, and perhaps even humourous, griefing tactics. Such as the carpenter guild in UO that would surround another player and instantly build chairs around him, locking him in. Or “gifting” someone with an enormous amount of coin that exceeds their encumbrance and roots them to the spot and they can’t drop it, only deposit it in a bank they can’t get to.

This doesn’t have to be for games that currently exist or exploits that are still possible, just examples from the truly great jerks that populate online to this day. Thanks.

Back about a year ago, in WoW, there was this escort quest for Alliance in Arathi Highlands. I was a Horde rogue, and I had a friend with a Horde rogue. We were both higher level than the Alliance escort NPC, or most alliance who’d be doing the quest. Also, the quest goes through an area friendly to Horde, so we didn’t have to worry about mobs that would aggro on them.

So we’d stealth (and since we were higher level, the PCs didn’t know we were there), and follow them. When they were almost done the escort quest… we’d jump on their escort and kill him. Which caused them to fail the quest. Then we’d vanish and run off, and wait for them to try again.

Then we did it again.

The third time, they’d gotten clever – they’d called in some friends, alliance rogues and druids who could stealth. When we jumped their escort the third time, they jumped us, and then it was an all out battle.

God that was fun. They’ve sinced flagged the escort NPC so that horde can’t attack them.

In battlefield 1942, I used to fly a plane so well, that I could dip towards the ground and clip people with the tip of my wing, sending them flying. Worked on friendlies as well. So when someone on my team pissed me off and I saw them on the ground, if they were in a good position to push in to the ocean or something, I’d give them a tap.

You have to mention Fansy, I think was the name. The bard that trained the sand gaints though the newbie zones on the PVP servers and couldn’t be killed by the other players.

Killing Lord British.

I win! :)

I never played EQ, but the page on Fansy makes me laugh.

There was an entire comic strip about a couple of UO griefers. Damn if I can remember the name, though.


Adventures of
B0N3D00D and pLaTeDeWd

Myself and 2 guildmates in EQ, “back in tha day”, charmed a Sand Giant in the Oasis of Marr. It was a 15-25 type of zone, but they had high level Sand Giants that used to wander around an occationally end up in the players areas and cause chaos.

So, we charmed the Sand Giant. We buff the sweet holy bejeezus out of him with run speed, attack speed, all stats, all resists, damage shield, gave him 2 fast weapons, then ran him over to the player area. We all camped out to alts that we had parked safely in the zone. Charm broke, and that Sand Giant was just pissed. Sure he slaughtered all the players that he could find, but the fun started when the higher level characters came in and offered to “take care of the Sand Giant” solo. That was when it got interesting. I think about 5 people tried to solo the Sand Giant and lost before a GM showed up and /kill’d it.

/ooc Its OK, I got it, no problem.

/ooc WTF? Who put a damage shield on this SG?

/ooc OMG, this thing is wailing on me!

/ooc Train to north zone line, move it or loose it.

/ooc %$#&^ing dead!

Breaking sheep/hibernate/shackle/root on the mobs that someone else is dealing with while en route to an instance entrance generally counts as griefing if they’re on your team and “being mean” if they’re on the other team.

Me, I only do it when I don’t like the players’ names.

google ‘fansy the famous bard’

probably the most infamous EQ griefer I can think of. the no-rules server made exceptions for fansy.

Was the Great EVE Scam ever verified? If so, it’s certainly a contender.

Yeah, I loved that story. He is definitely my Eve-hero. I keep trying to figure out a way I can pull a similar thing, but money is easy to get in Eve nowadays so it wouldn’t really have quite as much kick to it.

The first public UO alpha test was filled with Ultima stalwarts – everyone wandering around in full-on virtuous avatar mode, etc etc etc. However, they did have a rudimentary pickpocket ability in place, with the risk that the target would generally be notified that you’d stolen from them. On the first night of the test, I did what had to have been one of the first instances of UO griefing to a guy I’ll call “Big Rod”:

Me: Hey, where’d you get that armor?

Big Rod: Orc camp, outside of town.

Me: Cool. Was it hard to get?

Big Rod: The orcs are pretty tough, yeah.

(a group of other people wanders past, heading out of town)


Adventurer #1: Villain!
Adventurer #2: Have at you!

Big Rod: Hey –

wham wham wham

Me (looting all of Big Rod’s gear): Thanks, he stole all my stuff.

Adventurer #1: No problem, we must all fight together against the unvirtuous!

(As far as other stories go, Chet’s adventures as the effeminate sailor are an entertaining read)

I used to play on a MUD that was thoroughly carebear. But PK instincts are hard to suppress.

Often players would log in, run to the in-game message board, catch up on posts, and then idle there for a while. There was also a wand object in the game with multiple random effects, one of which was to summon a small (hostile, rather weak) demon.

So, our intrepid PKer noticed a player idling at the board one day. He grabs his collection of wands, goes to the board, and starts zapping until he gets a demon. Then he leaves the room, and lets the demon attack the idler. He waits. Eventually, the auto-combating idler kills the demon. He goes back in, zaps some more until he gets another demon, and leaves the room again. Repeat until idler - not casting heal spells or using heal items, as no one was at the keyboard - has completely run down his hp and dies.

I always admired that fellow, though most of the rest of the player population reviled him.

Then there was Neocron. I don’t know how things work now, but when I was playing there were two types of city zones: those where PvP was disabled entirely, and those where it was allowed (but likely to get you shot if you did it in front of the copbots). Plaza 1 was the zone where all the in-game player economy stuff tended to happen, and there was an exit from there into a PvP zone. So certain evil people would find someone idling, and run into them, which in Neocron bumps you to the side a little bit. They would keep doing this to the idler until the person was bumped into the zone transition - at which point they would zone. Then the griefer would follow, pull his gun, and blast away.

Nick and Mark have him covered, above.

That is a great story.

I thought it was funny in Diablo the first time I ran into a PKer who dropped a firewall on me and kept casting resurrect. You’d lose half your money each time you died so the money just kept flying out of my repeatedly-dying self.

In the first ATITD, before new laws were passed, “buildings” were irrevocably owned by the builder in perpetuity, even if the guy quit the game, etc. So if you wanted to grief someone you could collect, say 100 wood, and run around his area building campfires at 1 wood each and just not light them. They would never decay or otherwise be taken care of, and the poor bastard could not build his own buildings on top of them. Some ended up moving their entire guilds. This was more like an annoynace than a grief.

The shitty one was building a ton of 1 wood campfires (unlit) all up and down someone’s ore seam. So they finally found aluminum or some rare metal and built a mine… you’d walk up and down it “dowsing” the rest of the ore seam, and cover it so they couldn’t add any more mines.

Something like this cannot pass without mention of the Guiding Hand Social Club, a professional griefing corporation in Eve Online whose members are hired to carry out severe character assassination, theft and destruction of assets in the multiple billions of credits and generally making the entire population of the universe incredibly paranoid.

The tale of their greatest exploit is chronicled here:

This is so far my favorite QT3 thread of 2006.