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Elves, Ogres and Drama Queens: Stories of Digital Intrigue and Drama

Soap operas on TV are an ironic form of entertainment - an escape from the real world into a fantasy that is stricken with constant strife, tension and drama. MMOs in a way extend that irony. Players are both audience and actors in a world that encourages strangers to interact in stressful or sustained interactions. Tension and drama caused by differing personalities and interpersonal conflicts are perhaps most unavoidable in sustained social networks such as guilds where these issues have time to fester before erupting.

Most MMOs play it safe - greatly restricting the likelihood and ability for players to harm each other in the game. The following story revolves around a well-executed murder that was the result of a failed guild alliance in EverQuest - a game in which murder typically doesn't happen outside of PvP servers.

Death by Drowning

Well, this drama was not only within my old guild, but also involved a guild we had been allied with at one time. Actually there were no problems in the alliance between the members, but the leadership of both guilds definitely collided on many different occasions. These were always petty arguments over trade skill items, and other trivial things such as that, brought up by our allied guild's leader.

Eventually the allied guild's leader broke off the alliance pretending it was because we could not see eye to eye on many issues. Really the reason, or what we were almost 99% sure was true, was that once we broke into a certain point in the game through flags and keys and such the allied guild's leadership saw no reason to raid with us anymore, and caused conflicts to hide the truth. Our guild was smaller than theirs, much of the time making up only a third of the raid force, which sometimes exceeded 80 people.

What we lacked in numbers we made up for in skill and talent. Our guild was much more experienced, had better equipment, and all around had better players. We had knowledge of all the raids we were doing, but the other guild had the numbers, so it was a symbiotic relationship, they needed us, we needed them. Apparently they felt they no longer needed us and ended up dropping us like a bad habit, and not surprisingly recruiting some of our members, which is funny now as that guild has for the most part stagnated at the point where they left us.

Now, a lot of the people from our guild were, needless to say, angry at this turn of events. I myself had a strong disliking for the other guild's leader to begin with and this just fueled my dislike even more. So, eventually a little while after our alliance was dissolved I took it upon myself, although others did join in, to exact my revenge upon said guild leader. This guild leader tended to AFK for long periods of time close to water, and in EverQuest you can 'push' characters that are levitating over water, and when the levitation wears off they drown.

So, one night I decided to take some time, about 2 hours, and push his character over the water and drown him. A few people did help me, and I got screen shots of the events as they unfolded. Well, I wasn't satisfied with just that, I felt the need to display this and make it known why it was done. So, I got the pictures hosted and posted them over many guild boards on my server with a nasty little message about the guild leader and in turn causing some massive drama between guilds. Now, this was coupled with tension already between the guilds because our new alliance clashed with their guild many times when we headed for the same target. In fact in a few instances they did steal our targets, but we never resorted to their level stealing their targets.

So, the whole server found out what happened, or at least anybody within the higher level raiding guilds, and on the guild's website there was a huge argument with me about what I had done. Basically everybody from the guild attacked me for attacking their guild leader, which obviously would happen because guilds tend to be fiercely loyal. Well, so as to save face my guild issued a warning to me and I was put on probation for what I had done, but that was just on the surface, behind that mask most everyone congratulated me and the other members involved for doing this. [EQ, M, 19]

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Posted on October 10, 2004 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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