AUTHOR: The Grimace DATE: 2:57:00 PM ----- BODY:

Charlotte and I have never played an MMORPG. While her primary reason for this would be the monthly expense, my reasons have more to do with the other players. I sort of keep tabs on the various MMORPGs, and over and over I keep hearing about abuses committed by players for either juvenile or professional reasons. Players who 'gank' lower-leveled characters for fun, players who script 'bots' to level up their characters so they can collect loot and experience, and then sell their characters and items for real world money on auction sites, players who exploit bugs or use hacks to perform better than others. I don't put up with people like this in my real life, so why would I pay to put up with them in a virtual one? Unfortunately, there are very few co-operative multiplayer games for the PC that ARENíT MMOs. In fact Neverwinter Nights is the only good one I can think of. (It actually lets you go through the complete story mode in multiplayer, and- gasp- lets you save multiplayer games!) Also, my very favorite role playing games (Morrowind, Gothic, Gothic II) are single-player only. What I love about them are the huge landscapes and open-ended gameplay. You can go almost anywhere and do almost anything in those games. But Iíve played all of them! No, if I want more of that kind of gameplay, it seems that my only hope, other than waiting for Morrowind II and Gothic III, is going to be signing on with an MMORPG. But with MMORPGs, even though you can play with your friends, you also have to co-exist with some of the lowest scum of the Internet. Well, it seems that Blizzard, developers of World of Warcraft, have made some great strides toward enforcing fair gaming on their servers, and limiting the havoc that disruptive players can wreak. They have banned accounts found to be using bots. They have banned players who are discovered selling their virtual wares on auction sites. They have reduced the frequency of 'kill stealing' by implementing a system where the first player to engage with an enemy is guaranteed the loot/experience from it. Unfortunately, however, there is one rather big problem on World of Warcraft's Player vs. Environment (PvE) servers that is going to keep me from buying the game until it's addressed. You see, even though on the PvE servers, youíre not supposed to be able to fight other characters without mutual consent, some people have discovered a way to force people on these servers into Player vs. Player (PvP) combat. It works like this:

  1. An unsuspecting player engages in combat with a creature.
  2. A malicious player casts the Mind Control spell on the creature, which temporarily makes that creature an ally of the caster.
  3. As a result of the first player being in combat with a creature that is currently being controlled by another player, both players are forced into PvP mode, and the malicious player can now attack the first player directly.
Iíve seen numerous reports of this posted on the official WoW Forums, and many people seem quite upset about it, and rightly so. I mean, people who are simply not into PvP go onto the PvE servers for a reason. It is completely unacceptable that some antisocial Ďgriefersí can force PvE players into combat. I WILL NOT BUY WoW until Blizzard fixes this. To read more about the topic, check the following threads: First thereís the earliest description of the problem I could find. Next, thereís a more detailed account of the problem, where a Blizzard rep noted that the problem would be submitted to the developers for consideration. And finally, thereís another thread where a Blizzard forum representative hinted that Blizzard may be considering a fix. No solid promises have been made yet, however. I will be watching the forums very closely over the next couple of weeks.