Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) are a psychological test we pay to fail. We've looked at the biggest dick moves in online gaming before, but multiplayer games are just like the rest of the Internet -- no matter how big a dick you've seen, somewhere there's an even bigger one doing unspeakable things to people.
#7. The Falador Massacre (Runescape)
Runescape is a free MMPORG that anyone can access through a browser. Lowering the barrier to entry means that they have to create conditions to keep their game from devolving into a wasteland of constant murder and anarchy. There are various controls around combat -- players can fight each other, but only in designated places or as part of combat mini-games. The system has worked so well that the only real problem is people trying to pay real money for in-game accomplishments, rather than earning them through good old fashioned hard work. In many ways, Runescape had created a less violent, more honest society than the real world.
The Falador Massacre started at a house party that represented everything good about Runescape, proceeded through a wacky accident and ended with the slaughter of hundreds. Like that episode of I Love Lucy where it turns out she's the Boston Strangler.
She's just so clingy they stop breathing.
Player "Cursed You" was celebrating the fact that he'd maxed out on the recently added Construction skill by inviting people to a home he'd built with his hard-won expertise. At this point, you might expect a marauding gang of jealous players to tear his house down, since being constructive is generally not the Internet's thing. But in Runescape, where people apparently celebrate each other's achievements, "Cursed You's" party was the jam of the century. There were even combat mini-games, to provide some controlled ass-kicking to keep everyone entertained.
So many players showed up to the party that the server started to buckle. Eventually the lag got so bad that he had to boot everyone back to the peaceful city. As players milled around, presumably gossiping about who was making out with who before the cops busted it up, the players who'd been in the party's combat ring noticed something. They could still kill people, even if they weren't at a combat location or playing a mini-game. They were the only people who had ever had this ability in the history or Runescape. Of course, these were people who were at a party celebrating another player's achievements. Making use of the power would require them to slaughter innocent people who had put hours into the online lives they'd be ending.
What happened next says worse things about gamers than Jack Thompson.
Any discovery requires repeated trials.
In a way which makes psychologists cry, and necessary, they immediately began killing innocent bystanders. The evening quickly went from a demonstration of online gaming good will, to a vivid illustration of why Earth can't have superheroes. Random people were gifted with amazing new powers and used them to tear through the world like innocence-fueled combine harvesters. Their victims couldn't fight back even when attacked, and within minutes the supervillains embodied the deadly sins of rage, pride, greed and douchebaggery. Some slaughtered low-level players en masse just to get the biggest bodycount, while others hunted suddenly defenseless high-level players to steal valuable items. The devil signed human nature by having this happen on 6/6/06.
This was one of the most valuable items stolen. We're not joking. It's valued at 1.6 billion gold coins, about $1,416 in real money, and we're still not joking.
They kept murdering for a full hour before they got bored. Oh wait, no. They were still going when moderators arrived to stop it. How psychotic would you have to be to keep clicking on real people for 60 minutes when they can't fight back? We're assuming local police departments found out when a moderator permanently banned everyone who did, unleashing them on the real world.
#6. EverQuest Guide Gets Greek On Their Asses (Everquest)
Online gamers are the most ludicrously entitled beings since Caligula made his horse a senator, and at least the horse never said anything stupid. EverQuest employed "Guide" characters to deal with them. Unfortunately, giving special powers to someone, and then ensuring they are exposed to some of the world's most obnoxious gamers turned out to be a better recipe for supervillainy than dropping a criminal mastermind into a tank of chemicals.
The green stuff was a new health drink. It turns out Jack Nicholson is just crazy.
A guide on the Terris Thule server snapped and went full Prometheus on a bunch of players, summoning them to Veshaan's Peak and binding them in the stomping path of a giant dragon. Because eagles are for pussies. Even those that weren't bound found themselves stuck between the dragon and a pack of racnars, aka "Everquest velociraptors," making a rock and a hard place look like a threesome.
Racnar (noun): Original monster design is hard.
They were forced to die and resurrect and die over and over again, enduring more pointless deaths than an entire Corps of Light Brigades. An emergency team of Guides with the same powers were dispatched to take down their rogue colleague, making this the first and only time an MMO dick move accidentally wrote the perfect Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.
#5. The Ecto-Containment Unit (Ultima Online)
Slimes are how designers tell RPG players to screw themselves. "We know you're going to play anyway, loser, so if you want enemies we put effort into you can just level up." But years ago, it used to be standard for slimes to split any time you hit them. This is a bigger problem than you might think. It allowed game designers to get away with even more laziness than they do today, by occupying more of your time with the most boring type of enemy. Plus you had to deal with the psychologically crippling realization that your heroic blows were just the foreplay in the slime reproductive cycle, and that you were probably more sexually involved with the amorphous blobs in your video game than any real person.
Sorry, was this getting in the way of all the oral sex you were having? Didn't think so.
And then one day, Slimes stopped splitting. You probably assumed game designers had decided to challenge themselves, if you noticed the change and know nothing about game designers. But in reality, their hand was forced when a player who went by "Chrae" stood up to make a difference. The first step of his plan was a plague that made God tell Moses, "I wish I'd thought of that." He trapped slimes in a house and started firing purple potions (weak alchemical grenades) at them. Since slimes regenerate health, split when damaged and are able to stack (have multiple enemies in one spot), he generated a house full of exponential slime.
Then opened the door.
It looked something like this.
It was Steve McQueen's worst nightmare. The land was buried in slimes 100 deep, killing everyone on the server and then killing the server too. The next day "Chrae" demanded a ransom or he'd do it again. People laughed at him, which was pretty ballsy for people whose universe had crashed the day before, and so he did it again. The day after that the developers announced that slimes would no longer split when struck. One man's dickery made the virtual world a better place.
#4. Fansy the Famous Bard Isn't Touching You, You Can't Get Mad (EverQuest)
Online gamers are MacGyvers of murder. There is nothing they can't improvise into death and grief, an art perfected by Fansy the Famous when he inverted a rule preventing high level players from bullying beginners into genocide. The Sullon Zek server was an infamous "no rules" haven of exploits until Fansy made it cry uncle. The server was 70 percent evil and 20 percent neutral, turning the usual epic battle between good and evil into a circle-stomp on good's weeping face. Every fight went the way combat between an army of evil and a few lone heroes would actually go.
After being blasted two dozen times it didn't matter if Han shot first.
Fansy was a level 5 good bard -- in EverQuest terms barely potty-trained and so low other players couldn't attack him. His only combat ability was running faster than a group of lumbering Sand Giants. But Fansy had a plan. He realized that his simple, intimidating power could be turned into a devastating weapon could kill everyone everywhere. So in the middle of a battle that he had no right surviving for more than a minute, Fansy provoked two dozen of the Sand Giants into attacking him. This probably looked profoundly stupid to anyone who bothered to pay attention, since Sand Giants can kill everything.
And then Fansy started running. What he'd realized is that Sand Giants can only kill what they can catch. And since he was one of the only things in the game that didn't fall under that category, he could kill everything with Sand Giant while they tried to catch him. Fansy annihilated vast swathes of the server by running away at them.
You'll notice that one giant is 1) 20 times the size of a player and 2) screwing that entire building.
But Fansy's true exploit was making sure his victims deserved it. He'd wandered around the "no rules" server like a fantasy Forrest Gump being nice to people, wearing bright colors, and being called Fansy, ensuring that everyone had called him a fag at least twice. Then he unleashed vengeance with a vast conga line of burly giants pounding everyone's asses. At which point the cool evil players suddenly decided "no rules" was unfair and whined until moderators arrived. The first moderator to show up said "cool," reminded Fansy there were no rules, and enjoyed watching him do it.
The second asked him to stop, based on a rule on the no rules server (which hadn't existed earlier that day), and Fansy acquiesced. All someone had to do was ask nicely! Which no one on Sullon Zek had tried, although they had tried calling him a no-life 12-year-old basement-dwelling homo one million times. It's a little strange that people playing a fantasy game would hate him so much, since he's basically recreated the the exact plot of Lord of the Rings for them: a small, underpowered idiot using unkillable allies to defeat a land of evil. We're sure the irony wasn't lost on Fansy, and that he was just too nice to point it out.