So, this morning I was playing on my son’s main character.
He has been working on the Order of the Cloud Serpent dailies for months, and had finally gotten to within a stone’s throw of being exalted. Just a few more days of quests… or about 6 Onyx Eggs.
He asked me to help him find a few Onyx Eggs, in the hopes he could achieve exalted this weekend, when he’d have some time to look for hatchling pets in the Arboretum. In case you didn’t know, the only way to be able to tame Wild Hatchling battle pets in The Arboretum is to be exalted with the Order of the Cloud Serpent. So it’s not just the beautiful mounts, it’s some of the cutest pets in the game, too.
So, yeah. I decided to be helpful dad, and get him some eggs this morning. I just achieved exalted myself a few days ago, so I know where I had been finding eggs. I thought I should be able to score one or two.
There is a point to this, I promise.
I flew around the isle looking in the usual spots, and I saw an Onyx Egg on a ledge. I swooped down, landed, opened the egg, and mounted up to fly off. Before I took off, someone on a carpet flew up, paused, /spit on my character, and flew off again.
Now, here is where I made the first mistake. And it’s a big mistake, I grant you.
I whispered him with one word. I said, “Really?”
Yes, I did. And it was a stupid mistake. Someone that will /spit on you because you’re looking for eggs too, and you found one? Not someone that will respond well to any kind of response to their behavior. Just… if you /spit on someone in the open environment, you’re too high strung. This ain’t PvP, this is just flying around doing your thing.
So, I screwed up. I was on my son’s character, and I responded to someone that was rude. If I had been thinking at all clearly, or had any coffee yet, I might have restrained myself.
The person, as I should have expected, whispered back. A lot. Not really swearing so much as dumping on me for being childish enough to cry about being spit on. I called them childish for spitting on me, and put them on ignore. I don’t need someone whispering my son, and I seriously regretted opening my damn mouth.
The person then proceeded to swap to each and every character they have on the server, apparently outraged that I put them on ignore.
They kept this up for a long time. They followed me around, /crying at me, /lolling, and every time I’d put them on ignore they’d swap over to a new one. I was talking to them throughout this, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t swearing, but I was trying to get them to stop, explaining that this wasn’t my character that played on my account, it was a character I let my son play, and I was ignoring him because I didn’t want someone whispering my son with this stuff.
That just set him off more.
Now, here is my dilemma.
I took screenshots of everything. As soon as he started swapping characters to continue to harass my son’s toon, I wanted to keep some kind of record of character names, so I could put them all on ignore for his other characters.
I never expected him to go that far, continuing to change over as soon as he found he was being ignored on one.
After I had all of his characters finally ignored, I saw in /1 General he began announcing back on his first original character, that my son’s character, called out by name was a whiny something or other.
I mention this because I was surprised that even though I had him on ignore, I could still see what he said in the General zone chat tab.
What do I do next?
I’ve honestly never had something happen like this, where someone spends over a half hour stalking my sons character. Even after all of his characters were ignored, he kept flying on top of my character, hovering in place, obscuring my view, doing /cry, etc. He even, and this was funny, I was hovering high up near one of the narrow ledges an egg can spawn on, and he did a /duel… and the flag appeared on the narrow ledge, and it dismounted him, causing him to plummet to his death. Okay, I chuckled, that was funny. Whoops!
But seriously, what do I do?
I mean, it was really annoying. While he was ranting at me for all that time and stalking me for having gotten that one egg, I got seven more Onyx Eggs. Not racing him to them, mind you, just flying around and going, “Oh! Another egg! Wow, that’s sweet”.
After I got the seventh egg, I might have announced in /1 that I had found seven Onyx Eggs after he had started stalking me, and that he was very lucky for me. Yes, I was weak. Someone else said “Bonus!”
So I found enough eggs for my son to hit exalted… heck, I found enough for him to have one extra for a souvenir.
But, I didn’t want to call him down until this was resolved in some way, because my son doesn’t need to be harassed.
It left me worried. The guy shows every indication of having nothing better to do with his time than spend a half hour camping my son’s character, even after I explained the situation. And putting him on ignore didn’t stop it, he just posted in general, and physically followed me around emoting.
But if I post all the screenshots of all the chat logs, showing his character names, that seems inappropriate.
Stuff lasts on the blog forever. Four months from now, someone could be reading the archives and see the screenshots, and it will be new to them so there will be fresh wonder at the childishness, and they might possibly whisper him. Months later, mind you, after what might have been just one bad morning they had.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no big thing in any way, it’s not like there would be an army of outraged gamers swarming him. But those of you who do read my blog, friends one and all, would probably be pretty annoyed and want to call him on the BS. Some of you might whisper him about his behavior, and the question arises… is that fair?
This wasn’t griefing a raid group or some other group thing. This wasn’t something that would be a public service to get out. I feel that if I’m in LFR and I find someone in my battlegroup that is clearly intentionally trying to wipe the raid repeatedly, then giving you his character name and server is a public service. You can then put them on ignore and not worry about seeing that one character in your own groups in the future. There is a reason to share it.
In this case, it was harassment on a personal level, and not to one of my characters but the one my son plays on my account. I don’t want my son to have to deal with that because of my actions.
Do I report it to Blizzard? If I do, how do I show that it was multiple character swapping and stalking? Is there a method where I can link screenshots I took to Blizzard, without making the screenshots public?
I could really use your advice on this one.
I talked about this in Guild chat with Trajar, and his opinion was that with stalking/harassment like that, putting it all up on the blog would be entirely reasonable.
In the long term though, what he did to me was a single morning where he might have just been really cranky. He did say early on that he /spit on me because he’d been farming eggs for hours and the one I got was the first one he’d seen. I don’t think that justifies stalking and character swapping to keep up the insults, but it would explain part of why he was so angry.
I have to think that if I had one bad morning, and regretted it later… what a nightmare it would be to have people still coming at me about it for days afterward. Nothing you can do if you regret it then, and even if you tried to apologize it wouldn’t matter. Someone could search for your character name, and there it would be, long after everything was long done.
But reporting it to Blizzard… Cassie thinks that Blizzard takes this seriously, but we both talked about it, and we can’t think of how Blizzard would have any way of knowing if we were telling the truth about what happened, short of being able to provide screenshots, and I’ve never heard of Blizzard having a mechanism in place to have you submit one.
So… post on the blog, report it to Blizzard, let it all drop, what do you think I should do?
Harassment is a serious issue, and we’ve dedicated significant resources toward dealing with it. In fact, we have a large support team, and we’ve (comparatively) recently implemented faster tools to deal with harassment.
If you’re experiencing harassment in-game, there are a few steps to take.
- Don’t respond, or get involved in an argument. Stooping to using language that violates our policies simply opens yourself up to suspension, and doesn’t accomplish anything. Seriously, don’t do it.
- Use right-click Report on their name next to any lines of text that contain offensive language–the appropriate category should be Language.
- Use /ignore to close the lines of communication.
- If your harasser by-passes the /ignore feature and contacts you on an alternate character, immediately place that character on ignore, then open a support ticket to report Ongoing Harassment, and include that phrase, as well as the offending player’s name, realm, the exact phrase that they used to harass you and that they by-passed the /ignore feature to do so. Please be detailed, our Support team works hard, but they aren’t wizards. Mostly.
On the forums, just mouse-over the offending post, then click the ‘downvote’ hand, then select the ‘Report’ option.
You won’t receive notification when another player receives any kind of disciplinary action due to our privacy policies, but rest assured that we like to make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding what constitutes acceptable conduct in-game.