A lone miner sits in high sec staring at his screen watching the pulsing of lasers play with the asteroids before him. It’s a 0.5 system so there is somewhat a sense of alertness, but not enough to distract him from his coffee and perhaps nudging his cat playing at his feet amongst the tangled web of cords that run behind the desk. While he looks down, a lone Catalyst destroyer warps into the belt and very slowly, non-threateningly, seems to be scouring about the belt.
“Could he be looking for rats? What’s he doing? Can’t he see that there’s nobody here but me?”
Okay, so we all know how this goes down. Destroyer locks miner; destroyer kills miner; miner is podded before Concord blows the griefer into space dust. What follows is usually one of two events – nothing but silence or nothing but tears. When the why’s and public conversation starts, most high-sec gankers usually use this opportune moment to teach the victim about why he got ganked and how he can avoid it in the future. But for some, ganking is a trollfest of “QQ more, noob!” and “HTFU”. But when the attacks on the griefer get personal, that’s usually when things go very badly for the victim. Tentron (for those who remember the videos) was a master at extracting tears to an unreal level. In case you don’t remember:
During my time in Fatal Ascension, I read about the story of SETC’s infamous robbery of over 250 billion from FA. The ensuing hilarity that followed was of false legal claims because FA promptly (and justifiably) blacklisted SETC. The Mittani.com article on this subject back in 2012 contains the information straight to Fatal Ascension’s message boards. The disastrous attempt at bluffing through fictitious legal jargon destroyed many a keyboard with the eruptions of beverages that were spewed uncontrollably.
Recently, we had yet another example of what happens when you take the game, the smack talk, and the meta way too seriously. For months there’s been an uneasy tension on the Podside podcast between Red and the other guests of the show. Now to what degree Red is at fault here is up for debate based on your point of view, but I think for the most part the general consensus was that things were taken a bit too seriously causing Red to fly off the handle at the end of Episode 172. The ensuing rage spilled over to the after show where Red supposedly made a personal attack on Spear and his wife causing Bronya to stop playing nice go back on the offensive. A very inebriated Harri then had enough of the conversation and basically called for the dropping of the ban hammer, which was shortly leveled.
So what have we learned?
Griefers will always be around. The psychological reasons are irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. Whether you participate in it or are the victim of it, you will always come out the laughing stock if you try to play the game on the griefer’s level. If someone ganks you and you spend time trying to extract revenge, griefer claims victory – they altered your gameplay whether you were successful or not. If said griefer simply scams you out of isk and you take to the forums, griefer claims victory – you now look like a gullible crybaby. If you are easily agitated to the point of yelling and screaming, griefer doesn’t have to claim victory – you’re pretty much going to make yourself look like an idiot who probably deserved what he got.
Now, I don’t fancy myself as someone who’d enjoy griefing or piracy. It’s just not in my nature. I do however, revel in the stories of fantastic tears harvested from the eyes of the dirty varmint who probably would just as soon unsub from the game before ever partaking in any kind of PvP. Don’t be deceived: griefing is PvP on, what feels like, a more personal level. It’s personal because you allowed yourself to be put in a situation where not only were you caught off guard, but taken advantage of. That’s what the tear farmer feeds upon, the personal nature of griefing his mark. It may sound inherently evil, but taking advantage of a sucker is just how the world’s always worked. It’s only through the pseudo anonymity of the internet that seems to manifest more people willing to take from someone just because they can without real consequences.
So, how do you win against griefing tactics and scammers? THANK THEM! Seriously.
Show appreciation for their efforts. They may have detoured your gameplay for a few minutes and cost you some isk, but they probably spent HOURS trying to find just the right target. None of this is personal. To them, you are pixels on a screen, isk in their wallet, or an easy target of personal trolling. If your personality is of a sensitive nature and you are prone to being offended easily, this is NOT the game for you. If you exercise just a little restraint to prevent yourself from going overboard, you’ll find that you can have fun at your own expense.
In some cases, I’ve even heard about the victim turning the tables who convo’ed the attacker, smothered them with kindness, then actually made the ganker upset because he wasted all this time and isk…for a compliment? A few years ago, I got blapped pretty hard trying to move some stuff out of null. Lack of due diligence on my part cost me a load of BPCs and a Dramiel. Now since this was back before killboards distinquished between BPC and BPO, the isk loss calculated still haunts my stats to this day. Since then, it’s affected every aspect of my gameplay from a defensive standpoint. I just don’t take those kind of risks anymore.
So never any tears shall be shed from these eyes. Gankers taught me more than I ever learned from playing without PvP. Thank you to all who participate in this meta. May your tear harvest be plentiful…and don’t be afraid to share the stories!