“Ack, it’s impossible to grief the other damn deers”

“Ack, it’s impossible to grief the other damn deers. You can’t talk to them, and no matter what you do is seen as being ‘friendly’ to the other person.”

Quote by Fie, Barbarian, from a 4 page thread about The Endless Forest on the Age of Conan forums (and that’s not even the only thread about our game.)

We win! :)

The usual homophobia and hunter-fantasies aside, this person, in an attempt to disrupt the peace in The Endless Forest, found out our true secret: without a gun, there is no way to shoot. Welcome to the Forest, Fie!

13 thoughts on ““Ack, it’s impossible to grief the other damn deers””

  1. I love you two, you always provide the simplest, purest solutions to design problems. Same goes for the whole problem of getting people to play more socially with NPCs. Interfaces frame interaction, thats axiomatic, so if you have someone going through the world with a gun hanging in front of them, and they can run, “use” and shoot, of course they’re going to waste the civillians. This medium could grow up if only designers would learn how to use it.

  2. I took the liberty of registering and replying to the thread. I eagerly await their response!

    I think threads/posts like that are really cute… hey, if rallying against something suits their cookies and makes them feel better about themselves, I say let ’em! 😀 Of course, they’re kind of bad at it… I’ve seen far more scathing threads- perhaps it’s just too hard to hate the Forest very much….

  3. pwned that n00bz0r!!!1!!1!!oneone!one!!

    Someone in one of those threads makes a crack about you having “no idea what players want”. Well, if what millions of spotty kids wanted was someone to “grief” (and it’s not just dialog related, cf. WoW) maybe game publishers need to create an AI for an autonomous character that exists only to be tormented, and responds by being frustrated and miserable.

    Here’s a scary thought. One day these kids might lose their virginity. Some of them might even go on to have lives, or heaven forbid, families.

  4. But then again, how real is their behaviour on the forum? It seems like they are already roleplaying the Conan game, behaving like barbaric brutes as best as they can. Maybe they’re just getting into the spirit of the game and they’re actually all perfectly nice and friendly kids offline.

    Great idea for a game, though. I wonder how appealing it would be to torment something that was only created for that purpose?

  5. Probably take all the fun out of it… sadly. Stair Dismount was good for at least a few hours though.

    Age of Conan looks pretty good actually, but WoW scarred me for life, and I doubt any MMORPG could be good enough to lure me in again.

  6. [i]I bet that guy is laying on a bed of 100 dollar bills and crapping in a toilet made of solid gold![/i]

    If only. We might get 8 then. XD

    That thread is HILARIOUS. Half of them like the game, and they’re doing the macho “this game is rubbish, there is no killing, I can’t believe I spent two hours on it” thing. That’s just…so teenaged…

  7. Hmm… something about Nietzsche and looking into the abyss comes to mind.

    It seems akin to pulling the wings off flies. To the young sociopath that was okay because they were just flies. With the Flash games it’s okay because it’s just a game. There’s something primal at play. The current generation are really no worse than any other. There’s just some fascination and fun derived from experimental destruction… like riding a roller-coaster down the collapse from order to chaos. Like plotting a track of dominoes around your house and knocking them down and watching a trail of destruction follow your design. Of course, dominoes don’t bleed, but the concept is the same.

    All this might seem pathological, but I think it’s something fundamental to learning to create. Not everyone LEARNS from these experiments/experiences of course. You can eat a billion meals and never learn to cook. (I like incongruous analogies. They’re fun. Especially when drunk.)

    *reads back over comment*

    Crap… were we aiming for philosophy, social psychology treatise or game concept?

    Hmm…. well, if mistreating a ragdoll is akin to plucking a fly’s wings, then giving it the ability to respond quickly makes it more akin to torturing a puppy. Like every shocking game concept, it seems harmless if confined to the computer. Still repugnant to a lot of people, but it doesn’t actually result in bloodshed. However, if Tamagotchi and Nintendogs have a lesson for us, it’s that not everyone wants to… well… destroy a digital puppy. Some are quite content to pet it and play with it. (That said, there was no scalpel in Nintendogs, so we can’t be too sure, but I digress.)

    I’ll endeavor to say something coherent on the matter one day, but I’m in desperate need of sleep.

    For now, just don’t let those guys get a hold of Drama Princess.

  8. I remember I was always trying to stop people pulling wings off flies…I have a problem with hurting defenceless things.

    Although hitting PEOPLE is perfectly all right, especially if they’ve been teasing you.

  9. Hello all,

    I find it fascinating that this was the first thing they would think of when starting to play in an unknown universe (meaning no experience with it yet). The assumption being that you SHOULD be able to grief, in an MMO, since you can communicate. Have they become conditioned to expect this mechanic or is it something they inherently wanted BEFORE the concept of an shared online gaming environment?

    Maybe if games where they COULD do this had real sociological impact, not only on the target of “griefing”, but the actual gaming environment (NPC, etc…) then things might turn around (for example: becoming a social pariah – NPC’s don’t wants to interact with the player, cost of doing business with world inhabitants goes up because of an “a-hole tax”, etc…)

  10. Nice idea, Stitched, to try and incorporate “natural” behaviour of players into the narative of the virtual world. It’s another way to ensure that players don’t break the illusion (which I feel is the most harmful effect of griefing). Perhaps this is why violent games are so succesful. These boys apparently really like the idea of hurting each other, so the designers give them all sorts of weapons to do so. Clever, really, come to think of it.

  11. Hi Michael,

    I can’t take credit for the idea since, I think, Richard Garriott explored this idea first in “Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar”. Later, it was done in “Fable”, where you could choose to be Evil or Good and the game world changed depending on the path chosen.

    In the context of Tales, or the game I have in mind, the idea of community is stronger than other MMO’s ; I still “World of Warcraft” and other MMO’s as the shared individualistic pursuit of getting “better stuff” to kill “bigger things”. Because of the emphasis of shared environment and community, it’s only reasonable to expect that it follows some of the rules that we have in society; being a jerk and be a pariah (or embraced by other jerks…). You see this a lot in forums with the dreaded “troll” and how an established online community deals with the problem. An interesting problem, no doubt, in a gaming context.

Comments are closed.