Today I had to say goodbye to several good friends who I have spent many good times, excitement and adventures with over the last seven years. We have spent long nights awake till dawn broke, drank, sang, danced and ate together. They were great fun, but they have been deleted out of my life….literally, I ended my World of Warcraft subscription that I have had for 7 of the 8 years WoW has been around.
Why? Why would I do this act to my friends, in a word “trolls”. The Urban Dictionary has a descent definition of what a troll is:
Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.
Yes the bane of the casual gamer of any type is the troll. Some great boogeyman of common decency who leaps upon his victims using slurs, racial epitaphs and general rudeness to make fun of someone they have not met and with the bulletproof mentality of having a screen Avatar and no way to be tracked down and called on their brutality they can transfer their bullied lives to others.
I was a hard core WoW player for a while and worked on getting into raids and working my characters to have the ultimate gear and the right raid groups, necessary add-on’s, read the internet tactics on defeating bosses, scoured videos online to make sure I could reach the pinnacle of the game. Then I took a few months off as work and economic pressures required me to change my life a bit. Then I came back to my sweet second home, to have it been invaded by trolls.
Snarly, mean spirited and now with the ability to have cross server players in dungeons allowed even more “troll” like behavior towards your fellow Avatar characters. Do something dumb because you were not paying attention and suddenly you were being called everything from “n00b” to horrible names, people dropping out of the party because they wanted the left handed sword of death from the 2nd boss of a dungeon and the magical ring of pure energy dropped for a caster class and the trolls would scream about how you sucked, the game sucked and possible incestuous relations between our parents, small animals and Satan.
So you win Trolls, all of you and your snarly, mean spirited, self righteous viewpoint and your horrible attacks on us casual gamers. This is one online gamer who is hanging up his virtual hat for good. Oh I will play some nice online games out there, some still allowing for the occasional troll to raid my peaceful ways, but the fun and thrill of being part of something bigger has finally and forever been changed. I know my characters are still there for me, but they are time-locked in a world where should I even then bring them out for the next expansion they will face a world where they will be shunned, ridiculed and generally hated by their fellow Avatars for not being perfect.
I miss my characters, I miss their adventures and shall miss wondering what is the next adventure is going to be like. Goodbye my friends, goodbye my fellow adventures and for anyone else I wish you good luck with the slaying of the trolls.