A week ago, I brought up what I thought was a cute story about silliness in game. And I asked you folks to offer your own stories of things that you have seen other players do, both the good AND the bad, since the expansion went live.
And you have had some great stories, both in the comments, and on your own blogs where appropriate.
Little did I realize at the time I wrote that, that I would shortly see a completely different type of asshat. One based not on the usual cluelessness and aggressive confrontational behavior; “You’re a noob!” “No, YOU are!”
No, an asshat that was able to be a complete tool without ever saying a single word.
You know, for the most part, I almost never encounter a true asshat in game. Oh, I know they are out there. I’ve met them, I’ve been guilded with them, I’ve read your stories about them, and I’ve seen the videos made by self-professed ninjas revelling in their antics at Warcraft movies.
But I just… I just don’t see them very much. Not in person. Rare as hen’s teeth, mostly.
But this guy…
This guy said nothing wrong… but his actions spoke volumes.
So, Cassie is fishing at a lake in Dragonblight. Windshadow had just scored the Blackened Dragonfin recipe, a nice piece of future tanking food goodness, and as I am a fish noob, Cassie graciously offered to go get me some fishies to cook.
After dutifully looking up drop locations for the Dragonfin Angelfish, Cassie went out to the lake where they were supposed to be found most often, there to fish, hey-mack-ol-a-derry-o.
Well, yes, except that this particular lake has upon it’s icy shores a plethora of ghostly fishermen, and elementals, and other things that go bump in the night. So it requires clearing the shoreline for a bit, then fishing, then clearing some more shoreline.
Now class, what happens when you are fishing and something spawns on top of you?
Why, you get to whip the bloody hell out of it with your fishing pole, of course.
I sympathize with Berise… I’d love to dual-wield them poles too.
So Cassie is standing there, at the shore, having cleared the area around her. And she is busy fishing for her bear, as a sweet wife should.
Just at a moment when I happen to be standing there, watching over her shoulder, she is actively fishing a Pool of Dragonfin Angelfish when an Alliance Druid in Seal form comes charging across the lake directly at her, bouncing in and out of the water. Directly at her, and at the Pool.
Now, she’s not exactly hiding. She is standing there, fishing. At the Pool. Standing bold as brass on the edge of the ice flow shoreline. The shoreline that she had to clear. You know, with little shells of bodies all around her?
And this Alliance Druid leaps in Seal form out of the lake, to stand right smack on top of her. And turns around, with his back towards her, moves about 1 foot closer to the Pool, blocking Cassie’s view of her bobber… and he casts into the Pool, too.
You know, you don’t only get the Angelfish from Pools. I want to be clear on that. This is not some super rare spawn that omigosh omigosh I gotta get it! No, not hardly. They can be fished out of the lake anywhere. You do NOT have to fight for Pools to get a chance at them.
So I watch, in astonishment, while this person seriously fights to fish from a Pool that someone else had to clear all the mobs for.
And of course, as Cassie tries to manuever her camera view so she can see her bobber again through the Druid… a mob respawns, and as Cassie is one foot further from the water edge… the elemental aggros on Cassie.
Who is wielding her fishing pole.
So Cassie turns and fights furiously, beating holy hannah out of the elemental. Sadly, her Vanish was at the moment on cooldown.
We can clearly see the Druid continue to fish the Pool, a couple casts, until the Pool disappears.
And then the Druid turns around, and watches as Cassie fights the elemental. At that point, the elemental still had over 5000 health remaining.
The Druid watched the fight, without interfering in any way, not saying anything, not moving, certainly not helping in any way whatsoever. No heals, no buff, no Moonfire on the elemental.
Just stood there, watching.
About when the elemental hit 2000 health, the Druid mounted up, and rode away.
Now, your opinion may certainly differ from mine. I won’t hold it agasint you at all. It’s just a game, after all, and you meet all kinds of folks in this crazy world.
But I thought then that it was a pathetic display of casual asshattedness… and looking back on it, I still think the person honestly was a total jackass.
Was it ninjaing?
No, it was a Pool out there for anyone to go after. If we played on a PvP server, it would have been a matter of course for any Horde running by to want to try to take Cassie out, and maybe grind in the victory a little by fishing out the pool.
It’s just fish, after all. And it’s not like Cassie was in mortal danger of dying from the elemental, either.
So, what’s the problem?
Well, let me put it this way…
There was an old slogan from a hilarious movie from the 80s… “Deeds Not Words.” I’ll let my older readers laugh if they remember the horribly cheesy motorcycles from that movie.
A better quote might be taken from the book Armor by John Steakley; “You are, what you do, when it counts.”
When out on your own, you ran across a simple situation. You saw a fishing pool, and someone fishing it. You could see the bodies around, clearly showing the person was not just out on a lark; she chose to fish there. And was there first. And had put forth some effort to fish. Had an actual line in the water.
And you, reveling in your anonymous power, granted you by the wonders of the internet, decided that what you wanted to do when faced with this situation, was to charge forward, interpose yourself between the player and the Pool to make it much harder for the person to see and click on their bobber, and fight her for the Pool.
Fight her for a couple fish.
And when a respawn interrupted the other person, you got the fish from the Pool that you fought her for… and then turned around, and watched for a bit to make it absolutely clear that you were in no hurry. No, you made it clear that you were happy to take a few moments to watch and enjoy. Perhaps, just perhaps, to underscore the point?
For a couple fish? Does anyone really think that the point was to get a few fish? Does anyone truly feel that the fish were the prize to be treasured by this fellow?
Or was the true treasure the knowledge that, for just a few precious moments, you were able to make someone else’s playtime a little less fun?
So to the Alliance Druid named Dryde on Kael’thas (US) that reminded me oh so well of how crappy some folks playing this game can act… thanks. We appreciated your performance.
EDIT: I heard from Dryde, he wrote me an email and we talked things out a bit. He really seems like a pretty nice guy, and I don’t get any feeling at all that he is just some wandering asshat looking to make trouble for others. More, it seems to me like it might have been just a random moment where he did something a little selfish, and wasn’t really thinking anything in particular at the moment at all.
Maybe he was trying to follow a fishing route as fast as he could, was watching the fishing pool indicator on his mini-map, was fending off cats on his keyboard that wanted pettings, and a wife throwing rotten fruit at his head to get his attention, all at the same time, and… well, was a little distracted. Who knows?
Honestly, can anyone here say they’ve never done anything they didn’t regret later, or did something on automatic pilot where you were just going through the motions as fast as you can, distracted by real life and not paying attention to anyone else around you?
Heck, we’ve seen comments from folks ‘in the zone’ with the herbing and skinning and mining before, where you don’t realize what you’re doing until someone yells, “Hey!”
Well, seems to me it might have been mostly something like that. No harm, no blood, no broken bones, no foul. As I said before… on a PvP server, if it was a Hordie, and he had ganked Cassie while she was fishing and THEN fished out the node, nobody would have said boo. It’s not like it was a major corpse-camping excursion.
So do me a favor, folks, and remember; please don’t go and send hateful tells or harass this guy, okay? Please? For me?