Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Play it Forward.

Are bad people just bad people or are they a product of their environment?

I am not talking about bad players here.  People could be bad players for various reasons which could range from being bad because they are new, being bad because they don't care or being bad because they want to be bad to a range of being bad because of circumstances such as internet connection or physical or mental disabilities.

I am taking bad people here.  You probably have met a million of them while playing and for all I know you could be one of them and so could I.  I've done things I know could classify me as a bad person.  Usually it was just spurred on by people being jerks to me by the things they do and it gets to be too much and I decide to get revenge on them.  But not them as in that person, but them as in, the other people.  This is how the bad person environment spreads.

Like the one time I rounded up a dozen mobs and dumped aggro on someone that swooped in and tagged a rare while I was clearing the trash first.  Sure, it was my own fault, I could have easily taken the rare and all the junk at the same time, I had done it a dozen times before, but I didn't this time for whatever reason and someone tagged it so I killed him.  For me it is about common courtesy and if I see someone working the immediate area of a rare I step off and let them have it.  In many cases I have even waited for them to tag it and then helped them.  Because I am not a bad person, most of the time.

See, the thing is, I was pushed to act just like them, the bad people, because of people being jerks.  I am not like that always, just rarely, but who is to say that the day will not come where I am just pushed too far from others being like that.  So far that I just start being like that normally.

I have a guild mate that was like me, the nice guy, but he has gotten sick and tired of it.  The saying, nice guys finish last, is so true and he no longer wants to be that guy.  He is now one of the bad people.  When he is in a random if the tank pulls before he is ready, he does nothing.  He even tells them, if you pull before I am ready I will hang out and watch you die.  See, he is one of the bad people now.

But there is a thin line there between making a point and being the bad guy.  He is surely on the bad guy side but there are times when that stance is fine.  If you are the healer and have no mana and do the same thing, if you pull when I have no mana you will die, it is fine.  It teaches people to pay attention.

But what about the other end of it?  What if the tank saw the healer had no mana and just did not give a shit.  He had the attitude that the healer just needs to get better so they do not run out of mana and not having mana is the healers problem, not his.  That makes him the bad person.

It goes all around and the more things like this that happen like that the more it pushes people on to be jerks themselves.  My friend, the one that will not attack if the tank pulls in a rush started acting like that because tanks where in a rush.  Perhaps the tank in question, the one that pushed him over the ledge into being one of the bad people, was only pulling fast because he got sick and tired of DPS pulling for him and acting like jerks to him so he became one.   Then that tank does it one day to a healer and the healer has no mana and instead of trying to keep people up they just say screw it, let them die, and it goes full circle.  One person acting badly encourages another to act the same way and then so on and so forth until each person is a bad person and making other people start to act the same way.

Are bad people just bad people or are they a product of their environment?

The way it seems, from the examples I mentioned and the experiences I have had when I acted badly, I would have to say it is because we all are a product of our environment.

The big question here is that how to stop the cycle because sooner or later there won't be any good people left.  I've fought the urge to become one of them but I have been increasingly pushed to the edge and find myself acting out like that more and more often, letting myself get frustrated and starting to dislike the game because of it or just logging off because I am sick of people.  Like I said to someone the other day, I am just getting to old for this shit.  I don't want to play a game where the majority have no common courtesy.

It eventually will come to the point where I become one of them or I quit because of them.  Either way, they win, the bad people win.

Sadly good actions do not spread the way the bad does.  I've helped people kill rares many times and actually love when I see an 87 fighting an 87 rare and I can help.  I figure that makes their day, even more so when they are having some trouble with it.  That act of kindness, instead of pulling mobs to them and dropping aggro so I can get the kill, should be contagious but it is not.  If I do a dick move like pull mobs to wipe them, that will change the person, that attitude is contagious, it will make them more likely to do that to another person but helping them will not inspire them to help others.  So we fight an uphill battle we really have no chance of winning.

We need to start a new campaign in warcraft.

Play it forward.

Make a simple macro like this.

/s Play it forward!

Use that macro every time you act decently.  Every time you show some common courtesy.  Every time you wait for the healer to get mana.  Every time you act like a reasonable person that wants the game to get better and move forward in a positive way.

When you see a level 87 working on a rare and having some problems, help them out and hit your macro.  Play it forward!

When you are about to land on a mine or herb and see someone fighting on it, fly away and hit your macro.  Play it forward!

When you see someone pulled a little to much and is having trouble, give them a hand and hit your macro.  Play it forward!

When you are passing through a lower level zone and see someone asking for help with a quest mob give them a hand and hit your macro.  Play it forward!

When you see someone in trade looking to buy one moss agate, just send them one and whisper it is in the mail, no charge and put a message in the mail. Play it forward!.

Bad people are a product of their environment, one that blizzard can't do or won't do anything about.  We can not change the game over night and most likely never will but perhaps if we can share a little decency throughout the game it might keep the people like myself, that are the decent people, from becoming one of them.  Because I know I've been pushed to the edge multiple times and whenever, on that rare occasion, I run into a decent person, it brings me back to earth and centers me and reminds me, I am not one of them, I am not a bad person.

Play it forward.  Be decent to your fellow players.  We are few in numbers, us blog writers and blog readers and decent players elsewhere, but that doesn't mean we can not make an impact even if it is small.  Perhaps the next person that starts a new character won't reach max level bitter and angry at everyone in the game and become a bad person because somewhere along the line a decent person or two did something nice for them when they were leveling and said, play it forward.

Play it forward:  Be decent to others and hope they play it forward and are decent to another.


  1. finally something I beat you to! :D I have been doing that and saying the same exact thing with a macro for a few years now.

    BUT, good things have come to an end. Feb 26 is my last day and no more WOW. Why? Because of these same types of aholes you are talking about here. I started a new toon last Sat,a gnome monk on a server I had no one on. The amount of lvl 20+ in the beginner zones, farming the herbs, mining the ore nodes and taking your skins was terrible! I couldn't believe it. Where was the "hey, do you mind if I take the skins?" - no where! One panda knucklehead in Loch Modan would stand next to me waiting for me to finish the kill so he could skin - no help, he just wanted to skin without a "thank you or screw you". Did you know that beasts you kill can have no loot and be skin by someone else before you get a chance to do that? I didn't until this last week-end.

    Then for S&G's I went to the AH to look at prices, specifically armor. If it was available lvls 7 to 12, was usually priced 100g to 1000g. Same for weapons. Get real here. Bags forget it - I made do with all the 6 slotters I could find.

    So with the AH being so high, people being jerks, it is time to stop paying for this skinner box and get on with my life.

    Time to see if I can still hold a file and a paint brush and get back to miniature painting. I have a ton of 15mm ACW and ancients that have never seen primer. :)

    So, GE - good post and good luck with it all!
    You too Jaeger, PVP Ananomoose, and all the others.

    roo - "Good hunting to you"

    1. Sorry to see you are saying good bye to us. I hope the day will come when you return but if you don't I just wish you can have some fun with whatever you end up doing. I also hope you are lucky enough not to end up with people like the ones that drag down wow in it in massive numbers as well.

      Be well and have fun painting. Maybe I should join you and get back to writing, its been almost 10 years since I last published something. If you ever feel the urge to play just stop by and say hello and listen to me complain some, I'll make sure you never want to come back. lol

      Make sure that you point out that is one of the reasons you are leaving. Perhaps maybe one day someone will get the idea that there needs to be some in game moderators to take care of assholes because even the little things that are not banable come from the players that do the big things that should get them banned but blizzards ignores them.

    2. Thanks GE! You know I use to write. Had some gaming stuff published and 1 of them even won the HG Wells Award for GenCon 1983. Even published a couple of small short stories but nothing big.

      Iwill come back from time to time to see how the wow world is going. And if you have an inkling, click on me name and go look at me blog. You might be surprised to see something there. ;}

    3. Sorry to see you go, Roo. Best of luck wherever life takes you.

  2. The only way I see to bring back the level of courtesy we once had in WoW is to get rid of ALL cross server, LFR and LFD stuff. Get the populace back to its own server where their actions will have consequences. Also, get rid of paid name changes.

    It is a sad state that the WoW community has become. Just last night I went to Uldum to do the Love is in the Air daily and of course the place was crawling with other players. I found this one spot away from the majority to kill technicians. I noticed a boomkin (of the same faction as me) hoarding 5 spawn points with his ranged spells. I landed at one spawn point and began killing technicians as soon as they spawned. This didn't stop the boomkin from trying to tag them as they spawn.

    I finally got fed up and said something to him like, "Really? You can't give up one of your 5 spawn points?". This didn't stop him. As soon as I would tag something his Moonfire would hit it. He finally started casting Hurricane on top of my location to steal spawns. This really ticked me off and I called him an ass as I left.

    I then tried to gather some guildies to join me so we could take over all 5 of the spots he was hoarding. Sadly, by the time anyone could get to me the boomkin was gone.

    He was an ass and I tried to be an ass right back. Too bad he left before I could.

    1. It is so true that the cross server stuff, paid faction/name/server/race changes have all taken the reputation out of the reputation.

      That is what I mean about common courtesy and why people need to have some. Sure, he is farming charms but you are there to do a quest, how does it hurt him to let you get a few kills so you can get it done. People forget it is a game and anything like that will be back in a second. No need to try and hoard them all for yourself. Sad really isn't it?

  3. I've been tempted to try out an RP PvE server to see if they're any better. But my server is OK most of the time (as long as I stay out of CRZ areas) and I like my guildmates so I haven't given it much thought.

    I randomly help people when I think about it, so I'm going to try and start saying that: "Play it forward!" If I can get it to catch on in my guild, it should spread pretty well since we're one of the largest Alliance guilds on the server (if not the largest). I'll let you know how it goes.

    1. That is the hardest thing about moving from a bad server, like the one I am on, your friends you made there. It makes me feel stuck in a place I would rather not be most of the time. The team is good, the community sucks. And just like you mentioned, it is 100 times worse as soon as you step into the CRZ.

      Funny part is you will get people asking you "what does that mean". lol

  4. Maybe it is just because I am a Paladin by I still hold to a certain code of honor. I don't kill lowbies - I have even saved a few and I dont fight without some kind of reason. A while ago in firelands dailies you all know how easy it was to accidentally hit a flagged opposing faction accidentally. Well I had the misfortune of hitting an Orc in maxed out pvp gear. He hit me back and I sheathed my weapon: I didnt come to fight and wanted him to know i wasnt taking a cheap shot (that is for my rogue to do!). He saw me stop fighting and realized it was a mistake. He stopped attacking and even apologized. He could have handed me my hat if he had chosen to but did not. He had great honor and I will never forget that.

    1. That is a rare occurrence there. Most people would have never even noticed you did that. But I am guessing as a PvPer he is good at noticing little things like that.

      I might be a hunter, but I have that same code of honor and it seemed that in many places others did as well.

      I had a hunter on a PvP server, yes had, it is still there but I will never play it again thanks to CRZ, and I was leveling it and had no problems. I had never died even once to a high level attacking me. Had a few dust ups while questing with near equal players but never once did a skull ever kill me or even trying to intimidate me.

      Enter CRZ and tada, I can not even leave Org. There are tons of people camping outside of it and I can not get outside. Sure, I could fly somewhere else and quest, but I get ganked and camped every step I take.

      Don't give me the PvP happens on a PvP server crap other do either please. I have no issues with PvP. I just refuse to play for the amusement of others just to camp me because they happened to be 50 levels higher and can one shot me. So I will never play on a PvP server again, at least not on a lowbie.

      If only all the people were paladins. :)

  5. We put a group together once and did the airship hijack to Org and they were waiting at the tower. We had some glorious pvp in that tower and outside as well. When it was over we all hung around and dueled for a while and while there were a few rude "spitters" a Tauren saluted me and set up a picnic basket afterwards and a group of both factions sat around eating and burping. Thats was another great memory.

    1. I wish there were more memories that to be had. Sadly it seems that moments like that, a play it forward moment, are few and far between.

      Great story however. I've had a couple of PvE moments while helping a horde kill a rare on my alliance toon and them going out of their way to make sure I noticed they were appreciative. Oddly enough if I help one of my own they do not say a word.