Massively multiplayer online games are virtual worlds in which people do whatever they want. And just like the real world, all they want is to screw each other. We've looked at MMO dick moves twice before, but more time and money have gone into video game assholery than real proctological research. And more people have been shit on in the process.
"Time to put on my Warcrafting gloves!"
If gamers worked as hard on reality as they do on leveling up, politicians would come with ESRB warning labels, and after every school shooting, people would actually blame guns.
#6. Reverse Suicide Bombing (EVE Online)
Socratic was the gamer equivalent of the Iraq War: He was stupid, he wasted huge quantities of money and he lethally hated everyone who actually lived and worked in the area. He harvested real money transfers (RMTs), which is the gaming equivalent of taking steroids, and just as likely to mean that he has a tiny dick. And he was terrible at the game. He had a worse kill/death ratio than an anthill attacking an electric fence, and even less tactical knowledge.
So embarrassingly bad at games, even Pac-Man turns red.
He would brag about his giant fortune to the people who'd just killed him, show up 10 minutes later in a brand new ship, then boast from a second pile of smoking wreckage that the victors just couldn't afford to be blown up as often as he could. No one has pissed on so much money since Scrooge McDuck decided to just start going in the pool.
It still technically counts as golden.
This caused the unlikely team of a mercenary conman and an outraged player to reverse Trading Places him. Zedrik Cayne was already being paid to troll Socratic (yes, professional game troll is a job now, welcome to the future) when Morin Blain set up a classic inside-outside scam. Morin made friends with Socratic and suggested a cunning plan. Morin would attack Zedrik and force him to run to a safe spot in high security space. But Socratic would be secretly teamed up with Morin and waiting with an array of massive kill-everything bombs. Note: It is much easier to frame someone for murder when they're using massive kill-everything bombs. And you're prepared to die in the process. And they're an idiot.
"My revenge is complete!"
When Zedrik arrived and Socratic started the unstoppable detonation of that entire area of existence, Morin broke the alliance. Socratic was now randomly murdering a civilian, and 13 more civilians who suddenly leaped out of nowhere into the burning deathzone. These suicide bombees were other players who'd volunteered to doom Socratic, lemmings of justice leaping into explosions to ruin their enemy in high security space. Socratic was now the equivalent of a mass-murdering terrorist throwing grenades on the White House lawn.
It didn't end well. Those aren't speed lines, those are ALL INCOMING LASERS.
Warships of Concord, the in-game police, instantly appeared and shredded him, and after he was dead, he discovered his real problem: security status. At 0.0, you're neutral. At -2.0, you're attacked by police in the highest security systems. At -5.0, every single player in the game is encouraged to kill you in any secure system, and the automatic police navy will help. Socratic was now -9.8. He was double bin Laden in a world where the police have warp drives and every citizen is armed, and would be shot on sight if he returned to lawful space to collect any of his belongings.
#5. The Level 1 Apocalypse (World of Warcraft)
World of Warcraft has always been a target for hackers (players stealing money or gaining speed advantages), but the most recent attack re-enacted the skull road at the start of Terminator.
Hackers worked out how to one-shot kill everything in the game, then tried to do literally that. They were walking around a world of epic swords and wonderful magic carrying shotguns. Player Jadd strolled into the Baradin Hold, prison of the demon Alizabal, Mistress of Hate, raid boss of 25 million hit points, and killed her with one click. He killed her before she even finished her evil monologue, meaning Jadd had just done exactly what everyone has ever yelled at James Bond villains to do, and also proved why they don't do that. Because it's boring.
It's the hacking dichotomy. Actually hacking something, studying the code to discover exploits, is an incredible puzzle and enormous fun. But using the hacks is boring. The whole point of a game boss is having a hard time beating it. If you're prepared to just make the enemy dead, you might as well write "Horrible Big Scary Monster!" on a piece of paper and then put a line through it.
And with one bold stroke, I defeated the mighty dragon! Truly, the pen is mightier than the sword.
When the trial accounts used for the hack started getting banned, the remaining hackers knew they only had minutes to live. And then we learned that their bucket list was a giant funeral urn with the word "EVERYONE" written on it. They headed for the major trade cities and massacred far beyond the reach of sanity. They killed and they killed and they killed, and in these neutral zones the victims couldn't fight back.
World of Warcraft via Eurogamer
They did every single one of those corpses by hand.
It was insane. They just clicked everything to death, one at a time. It was like playing Minesweeper, but without the same level of gameplay. Doing it once or twice is fun, but going for a full 30 minutes until the very moment they're forced to stop, killing everything without joy or emotion for no other reason that they can? If we'd known people would get this psychotic, we'd still have invented these games just to keep them off the streets.
#4. The Rune of Power (RuneScape)
RuneScape lived up to its name with a real rune, a symbol of such awesome power that it could drive the mind from your body. This glyph made the Cruciatus curse look like LOL and also worked electronically, so we're going to get you all now! Behold!
FEAR THE POWER!
This wasn't an oriental incantation of "No!" an ancient Greek invocation of the power of Phoenician water inscriptions, a mathematical incantation reducing the square free to zero or an attempt to make you permeable to magnetic forces. (All of which are things "mu" really does mean.) No, this broke your brain in a slightly less intelligent way: The computer couldn't draw the little squiggle.
The February 25, 2009 update caused the game to crash if the chat client tried to display the character. The entire program quit out, redirecting you to an Internet help page while your electronic body was being murdered. Which is the plot of all horror movies for robots. It was the exact reverse of a magical fantasy: The spell dumped regular people back in the real world while pretend enemies killed their imaginations.
It's not a pirate gathering, it's a relentless slaughter.
Entire sections of the fantasy world were evacuated and locked down during the outbreak. Other players turned off all their chat clients, so you had noble sword-wielding warriors effectively walking around with their ears plugged to avoid being tricked by evil wizards. If Conan had thought of that, it would have saved a lot of trouble.