One of the oldest examples of griefing was in the at-the-time state of the art online multiplayer in top-down RPG Diablo 2. Mischievous players would wait for someone to enter the game, then wait until they were in a cornered area and block them in.
They wouldn’t move until the trapped victim showered them with expensive items. In fact, griefing was so bad in Diablo 2 that people would avoid certain character classes altogether as their spells and abilities were easy to exploit.
The Halo commmunity is famous for its griefers, and barely a moment goes by when someone’s not calling you a ‘beeatch’ or questioning your mother’s faithfulness to your father down a headset. One famous incident involved a group called Hidden League Gaming.
HLG's method of winning was immediately hiding after the match begun, then waiting for the timer to run out. To combat this dev Bungie blocked access to a lot of hidey-holes in the game’s maps. But they couldn’t ban the players, because, like in EVE, their wins were done entirely using the tools provided by the game – grenade jumping, brute shot jumping and so on.
Tibia is an online MMORPG that’s been going strong since 1997. It features creaky top-down 2D visuals, but that doesn’t seem to deter its 700,000 or so players. And, naturally, there’s plenty of cheating, even in such an established community.
High level players would get their kicks by luring ultra-powerful monsters towards weaker characters, then looting their pummeled corpses. How unsportsmanlike.
You’d think real-world problems like disease pandemics could be avoided in the virtual world, but a glitch in the code of Blizzard’s obscenely popular World Of Warcraft multiplied across the game’s servers in 2005.
The virus was actually a new ability given to enemy characters that let them infect players with curses that would cause their health to dwindle. And as these players mingled with each other, the game’s public spaces were soon littered with bodies. It’s the stuff of nightmares, and a reminder that you aren’t safe anywhere – even in the jerkin of an imaginary dwarf.
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