Monday, March 2, 2009

Forum Trolling 101

So, some things have been changed around a bit.
  • New poll, please be sure to participate (since it seems not a lot of people have voted yet, I'll leave it up another week).
  • You'll notice, if you don't have some sort of ad-blocker, that there are ads now. As a starving writer, I figured it couldn't hurt. If they're too much of a nuisance, let me know and they'll be removed. (To be honest, since I have ad-blockers, I can't even see them myself.) Since I can't actually see my own ads, let me know if there are any offensive or questionable ads popping up, and I'll get them blacklisted off. I don't really want to be advertising for gold-selling or anything like that. =X
  • New name! Since I had to change my name when I moved to Gurubashi, Eseten has become my new online moniker. I will miss my old nickname of Pretty, but life in and out of the World of Warcraft goes on... I am now Eseten.
That should about cover it. Onto today's topic: A quick lesson in Forum Trolling.

Anyone who frequents the Official World of Warcraft General Forum probably knows me to some extent by now. I've gained somewhat of a reputation as a regular, though more often late at night than during the day. I'm probably not as recognizeable as the better-knowns, like Zmue, Rizz, or Stabby, but I like to think I'm somewhat infamous.

There's a lot of different kinds of trolls out there. There's friendly ones, outright rude ones, and then the ones who have multiple accounts due to frequent vacations. This is all a bit of a generalization, but that's more or less the gist of it.

Friendly trolls, like myself, tend not so much to be flamers and tend more towards the humorous or sarcastic posts. My toon, Eseten, has sort of developed his own personality as an insatiable flirt with a particular taste for female night elf druids. It was just sort of a random direction I took it in, and now it's become kind of part of my posting requirement: if there's a female night elf druid in the thread, I must let her know how sexy she is. Female blood elves of any kind are also acceptable.

Most friendly trolls have some kind of quirk like this. Waffletime likes her tauren, Sunila likes her male blood elves (we get along, if you couldn't tell), and Korozen likes... uhh... high heels. We specialize in derailing badly formed threads late at night, and running rampant with non-sensical roleplay. This infuriates some posters, and we revel in it. Since we usually post later in the evenings, we often don't get policed for our trollings. Slap on the hand at worst, or the deletion of a thread we didn't really care much about in the first place.

Rude trolls are the flamers. These are the people who enter threads for the sole purpose of telling you how much of a noob you are or how horrible your gear/arena rating/achievement points are. My theory is that most of them are either 20-somethings with no life or your typical 12 year old who's obsessed with his e-peen.

Friendly trolls often enjoy disguising themselves as rude trolls, but usually in the way of parody. In particular, I tend to become more of an insulting person whenever Zarhym, one of the Community Managers, posts. Ever since he altered my signature one evening, I have declared war on him. He's winning right now, but I'm still trying to master the art of being a bastard without getting myself banned. I never mean most of the things I say, it's more akin to picking on friends of yours. Granted, anonymous friends of yours, but friends nonetheless.

Vacationers are the worst of the bunch. They're the ones that do it for no other reason than shock value, and often get banned frequently for that purpose. This behavior confuses me. If you're doing it for attention and you get yourself banned in the process, then haven't you just defeated the purpose?

Some of the worst examples I've seen are the ones that simply don't give up after the first few bannings - there was a thread about a week ago where some kid challenged Eyonix to a fight at Blizzcon. What's funny was that he was trolled harder by the Community Managers than they were by him. 26 pages of hilarity later, the dumbass had three banned accounts. I actually suspect that the person who started another thread to try to continue it wasn't actually the OP, but someone who wanted to ride on the tail end of his glory. Needless to say, it failed miserably.

Admittedly, most forum trolls have to be full of themselves or desire attention to one level or another. Otherwise, why would we do it? I'm definitely one to admit when I'm being an attention whore (read: always), but at least I'm honest about it. I have my own quirks I've developed at this point that people on the forums know me for - if I were to abandon any of them, it wouldn't really be the same. If I didn't enter an Eyonix thread to hit on him, people ask why? If I don't sling a little mud Zarhym's way, people wonder if something's wrong with me. If I don't fetch Nethaera her coffee, she gets grumpy. And we can't have that, now can we?

The long and short of it is that the term "Forum Troll" means multiple things, especially in particular on the official WoW forums. At this point, it really just means a forum regular rather than an abrasive individual looking to cause trouble.

Though, I assure you, no matter how nice we may seem, trouble often follows behind. What can I say? You know I'm a stinker. ;)


General Henry said...

Q_Q no mention of gidgite

Eseten said...

Mostly because I haven't been on the Paladin forums in forever.

I sorry. My love for Gidgite is no less than immense. <3