How to Clean Up Your WoW Server One Idiot at a Time

by Wolfshead on February 25, 2009

Chuck NorrisAdmittedly, I’m still playing WoW. After quitting last year, like many people I decided to come back to experience the new expansion content of Wrath of the Lich King. To quote Michael Corleone and more recently Silvio Dante: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…” As expected, as Blizzard is desperate to lure in new subscribers the caliber of the community keeps getting lower as more children and teens seem to be invading the MMO world. Just the other day I politely called out someone in General Chat in Stranglethorn who was flagrantly violating the official WoW terms of service by continually swearing and using various epithets.

For doing my civic duty I was cursed, called a “h*mo” and a “f*g” along with other choice words both publicly and in private tells. His buddies piled on and proceeded to use the same unwarranted language toward me and another person who had also called them out. Unfortunately, this is the kind of abuse and persecution that a conscientious player can expect from the rabble in General Chat channels if one dares to show disgust for repeated violations of the WoW official Terms of Use Agreement.

Unlike Blizzard, I care about my server. My server is my virtual home. I’ve invested a heck of a lot of time there. It’s a role-play server which had the added effect of making the cacophony on public chat channels even more egregious and unacceptable.  Blizzard has an abysmal record on an utter lack of support for their role-play servers. But due to the fact that Blizzard has weak, reactive and almost ineffectual enforcement policy regarding verbal harassment and speech on public chat channels — it’s up to the players to police their own servers. Even the offending players know that Blizzard is lax and will do nothing. Hundreds of millions of profits from WoW doesn’t buy much customer service apparently but $15 a month sure buys a lot of love.

So how can we police our own servers and turn the tables on offending idiots?

Solution 1: Bait Them

baitOnce someone curses or uses an epithet in a general chat channel I go after them publicly with the hope they will dig themselves an even deeper hole. But you need to be clever. Never use a curse word yourself or never repeat the offending word that they initially used or you could find yourself in trouble with Blizzard. Be calm, wise and witty. The goal is to get them so frustrated and off their game that they will keep cursing which is more ammunition for the Blizzard game master and which also makes them look foolish in the eyes of everyone in the zone.

Solution 2: Petition a Blizzard Game Master

While Blizzard is willfully failing to police servers it’s still very important to submit an official petition and contact a Blizzard game master. During the chat violation I use the report “spam” feature so that the Blizzard GMs can review the offending speech in question. It’s important to always fill out a detailed petition so be sure to include the player’s name (spell it properly or the GMs will discard the petition) time, zone, and chat channel. Include the complaint/violation that you believe happened and include the disciplinary action that you want Blizzard to take toward the offender. Always use proper punctuation and be sure to thank them at the end of your petition.

Blizzard GMs have access to chat logs and can verify the claims you are making in your petition. After they do that, they will put a warning on the player’s account and the player will get an email. After a certain number of warnings players are subject to a series of escalating disciplinary account actions such as temporary suspension of a players account up to and including outright banning. The problem is that Blizzard is very lax about this as they do not want to lose revenue from an offender’s precious subscription.

WoW penalty pyramid

If enough people were to petition these troublemakers then eventually the player’s record would get so long that Blizzard would have to ban them.

Solution 3:  Get them Booted from their Guild

bootAt high levels in WoW reputation is everything. It’s also important when you consider you need to have a good reputation to be a member of most guilds. One way to deal with offending players is to find out what guild they are and contact the officers of their guild. Better yet go right to the top and contact their guild leader. If you do this calmly and politely you can help to destroy a player’s reputation by getting them booted from their existing guild. The objective is to tell them about the public behavior of the offender and to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of their guild.

Be sure to mention in your conversation with their guild leader that you were concerned that Little Johnny was reflecting poorly on their guild and you just thought they should know about it. It also doesn’t hurt to let them know Blizzard Entertainment has been contacted regarding this guild member.

Most guild leaders I have contacted are very appreciative of getting feedback like this. In most cases the offending player in question is removed from the guild or demoted. In some cases I have even received heartfelt apologies. In one case I got the excuse “it was my little brother playing my account…it won’t happen again”. Yeah right. Bottom line: it’s worth the extra effort to do this and then in the words of Don Corleone they will fear you.

Solution 4: Ruin their Reputation

If you want to go one step further then try this: once the player is booted from their guild put them on your “friends” list and be sure to contact the guild leader and officers of their new guild to even further ruin this player’s reputation. Eventually the little punk will learn this important life lesson. We can only hope.

Solution 5: Get Their Name Changed

I find that 70% of the time most of the idiots in WoW have chosen a name that is a violation of the official terms of use. Be sure to also include in your petition that their name is breaking the rules and be sure to state why. If their name does not get changed keep petitioning. If this fails ask to speak to a GM supervisor and press the issue.

rotten kid

If you are brushed off by a guild leader in Solution 3 you can take revenge against them by petitioning all of the naming violations in their guild. Trust me, you can cause major chaos in a guild when 30% of the guild suddenly have “new” names. I have zero sympathy for a guild that allows foul-mouthed, disruptive players into their ranks.

Things That Don’t Work

I’m sure there are other ways to deal with troublemakers but over the years these methods have worked rather well in the various MMOs I have played. However there are a few things that really don’t work:

The Ignore Feature

Many people use the ignore feature to deal with these kinds of players. I feel that putting a player on ignore is a cop out. By doing this you are not solving the problem and allowing these miscreants to keep plying their trade. Also if they are on ignore then you won’t be able to hear their chat violation the next time and you’ll lose a valuable opportunity to report them and add another incident to their growing record.

The Mature language Filter

Regarding the mature language filter, I feel it’s also a cop out and is routinely hailed by the offenders as the solution. It’s like a burglar justifying the theft of your property because you forgot to lock your doors. Memo to these stupid players: the mature language filter does not give anyone the right to break the rules.  You can’t go yelling “Heil Hitler” all day long in WoW and expect the language filter to absolve you.

Concluding Thoughts

For a while now I have been talking about how ineffectual Blizzard’s disciplinary policies and procedures are in WoW. It’s a disgrace how Blizzard has given the community on their servers over to the worst players among us and let them run wild with zero enforcement. When this is allowed to happen my play experience is eroded and marginalized. Despite that, we the players who care about our servers need to take action and actively shape the character of our servers.

Never be afraid to confront and challenge the idiots on various chat channels who violate the rules. The reason why they keep getting away with it is the apathy (understandable due to Blizzard’s lack of leadership and enforcement) of our fellow players. If we don’t stand up to them then who will?


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Longasc February 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I wonder how long it takes for WoW to bore you to hell again. :)

But OK, more on topic: I would try to make them dig their own hole, too. Everything else demands quite a lot of effort on your side. I suggest you make your whole guild and many friends report the guy, this seems to work.

It is more work for them to blablabla to every guy who reported the guy than to finally do what they actually should do and ban/discipline the player. Even at the risk that he might quit the game.

You are right, it is hilarious how lax Blizzard is in terms of swearing, but roleplay having Sex on a lonely island where nobody can hear or see you, and a GM will pop up and ban you for 200 years…^^

The ideal solution is to quit WoW. It is not a good game, you know the mechanics behind it, and the community and support are … well.

Take your time to laugh at the selection of possible reasons they offer you why you quit WoW. They are funny as hell and might work for 1/10 persons, for all others they are just a way to provide data for then quite questionable statistics.


Capn John February 25, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I used to have a bald-headed, snarling, very angry looking Gnome Warrior called Knuttjob. One fine day, in his late 30s, I had a Guildmate running Knuttjob through RFD to pick up Knuttjob some of the nifty Plate armor that drops in there, for when he hit 40, when out of the blue, right after we’d killed RFD’s Big Bad Lich dude (and I’d got the Plate I wanted) I was messaged by a GM and told Knuttjob’s name had been reported as inappropriate, the GM was about to log me out, and when I tried to log back in on him I’d be asked to rename him.

This was NOT on an RP server, mind you.

Sure enough within seconds I got DC’d, and when I selected Knuttjob I was met with screen informing me of exactly what the GM had said, and I was being asked to rename Knuttjob. Crazy stuff.


Wolfshead February 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

@Longasc: Some people will think I’m crazy for the amount of effort I expend in dealing with these jerks but I feel it’s worth it in the long run if I can be a part of that player’s eventual banning from the server.

It’s actually an interesting experience quitting WoW and seeing all of the reasons that Blizzard puts forth as reasons why someone would quit — hilarious actually. They’ve even got a “sad peon” crying to make you feel bad. I wonder how many people are convinced to stay by this? :)

@Capn John: Actually I’m very lenient with bad names, as long as they aren’t overly offensive. It’s when people with bad names go out of their way to anger me do I take action.

I do think that it’s a big risk choosing a questionable name as it’s a sword of Damocles hanging over your head; you never know when someone is going to petition you.


Katherine March 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

You forgot the most common excuse: “but everyone else is doing it!” I got that from a guildmate (it was a really good, friendly guild) when I asked them to stop spamming. I mean sure, I called them out in guild chat, but I wasn’t exactly expecting a torrent of abuse.

Definitely the only way is to quit.


Bob24 March 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

meh im not a kid or anything but i do swear at times if something or someone ticks me off pretty bad but blizz does give you the ability to ignore players or /leave general chat if you dont want to hear them cussing which i dont think people should cuss like they do on their but at times some people have the right to do it and if it offends you just /ignore or leave general the only reason you would get them banned is for a sort or revenge instead of the principle


Longasc March 10, 2009 at 12:42 am

If Blizzard would let their GMs DO their duty, not just honeymouth their customers… but is it really better to piss off every player than to piss off an idiot, which unfortunately is a potentially lost customer if you tell him to stop annoying others?

Really, I hate the way Blizzard makes their GMs behave with a passion. I never ever had a GM who helped solve an issue, be it technical or of social/player interaction nature. They are just not allowed to do so, they do not have permission. They are just there to chat friendly with you.

“Is there anything I can do for you?”
(Yes, but I doubt you could/would) – “No, thank you.”
“Remember, health stones are healthy and contain important trace elements!”

The “Farewell” text block for Warlocks on european servers. Roughly translated from German.

Oh my. :(


johnthewower April 8, 2009 at 9:09 am

hi yeah about your complaing on curse words, thats what the mature filter is there for in the interface. the idiots who i want to get off my server are all those in /2 who always use words like “GIEF WTB TANK PLOX” i hate them, instead of sitting in your city and chatting s**t on /2 go and play the game.


Wolfshead April 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Rules Related to “Chat” and Interaction With Other Users. Communicating in-game with other Users and Blizzard representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of the Game and the Service and is referred to here as
Apparently Blizzard policy would disagree with you.

Code of Conduct

B. Chat.
Rules Related to “Chat” and Interaction With Other Users. Communicating in-game with other Users and Blizzard representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of the Game and the Service and is referred to here as “Chat.” When engaging in Chat, you may not:

(i) Transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard, is deemed to be offensive, including without limitation content or language that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, nor may you use a misspelling or an alternative spelling to circumvent the content and language restrictions listed above;


Every player agrees to this policy or they can not log in and play WoW.

Although it’s a great misconception with many WoW players, the profanity filter does not give any player the right to say whatever they want such as using profanities and other offenses (listed above). It’s merely there as a convenience for players who don’t want to have to hear that kind of garbage while it’s being said.


Longasc April 9, 2009 at 3:45 am

I also believe it makes for a better game and also helps me as a person to have more fun in life in general if we treat other players like we would like to be treated ourselves.

Wolfshead is right, we need to protect our society from people who “give a shit” and worse in language and attitude about everyone else. I think the same basic rules apply to the community of a MMORPG.


Anarsonda April 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I don’t see how doing any of the things you suggested makes you any better then them. It’s a large community in which you hold no power. If the mods don’t want to police it, then fine. Hit the ignore button and avoid interaction with the violating parties. Getting them banned, name changed, kicked from their guild, etc. is just as childish as their foul language. Yes it is against the rules, and the rules are important, but be an adult about it. You watch movies and TV, they contain foul language, but I highly doubt you turn it off due to some swearing. As for the insults towards you, What did you expect? In my mind you deserved their insults for paying attention to them.


Wolfshead April 27, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I don’t see how doing any of the things you suggested makes you any better then them. It’s a large community in which you hold no power. If the mods don’t want to police it, then fine. Hit the ignore button and avoid interaction with the violating parties.

No it’s not fine. Blizzard makes $600 million in profits each year yet they fail to police their own servers and enforce their own rules. Those players that continue to violate the rules are affecting the enjoyment of my play experience which I’m paying for. Putting them /ignore is not the answer; ensuring that they get adequate discipline is the answer but since Blizzard who is only interested in padding their bottom line won’t do it then players have no other recourse then to use any and all means necessary to turn the tables on them.

Getting them banned, name changed, kicked from their guild, etc. is just as childish as their foul language. Yes it is against the rules, and the rules are important, but be an adult about it.

I disagree. It’s like saying reporting someone who commits a crime to law enforcement is childish. It’s a person’s civic duty to do so. If more people reported criminals instead of being indifferent, crime would pretty much vanish. The same applies to online games; if everyone would report chat and naming policy offenders to the gamemasters then the problems they cause would be eliminated to a large degree.

So who’s the adult? The person that sees someone doing something against the rules and reports it or the person that puts their head in the sand and ignores it?

As for the insults towards you, What did you expect? In my mind you deserved their insults for paying attention to them.

Are you serious? That’s like saying the person who’s victim of crime deserves the beating they got because they refused to ignore the taunts of the perpetrator.

The fact is that those people violated the rules. I reported them yet here you are accusing me of being just as bad. It’s not bad enough that I was the victim of various epithets, now you feel the need to victimize me even further for standing up for what’s right and reporting them. Nice try.

People can choose to ignore criminal activity or wrongdoing if they want but that does not make it right nor does that make a person more virtuous then the person that refuses to ignore being harassed or bullied and requests help from the authorities whether they be gamemasters or law enforcement.


William Kidd April 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

Anarsonda, your use of playground logic and attacking the person rather than their argument clearly shows you’re a young teenager (perhaps 12 to 14 years of age?), so until you obtain the ability to debate an argument logically and rationally, please go away and die in a fire. Thank you.

That said, I am bored, so I will refute your ridiculous arguments, although they don’t need refuting because they clearly come from a child so they lack merit, and to use your own argument (against you? Oh, the irony!) simply by paying attention to you I lower myself to your level…but sometimes I like playing in the mud with the pigs and today’s your lucky day.

I don’t see how doing any of the things you suggested makes you any better then them. Why do you think Wolf thinks he’s better than those people whom he speaks out against? Is it because Wolf is better, because Wolf actually abides by the TOU & EULA that he agreed to accept in order to play WoW, unlike those other foul mouthed users. Are you better than a drunk driver? If you don’t drink & drive, then yes, you are. Are you better than a murdering rapist? If you’re neither a murdered nor a rapist, then yes, you are. Are you better than a pedophile? If you don’t molest young children, then yes, you are. It’s that simple. If you follow the rules and laws of society, and someone else does not, you’re automatically better than them.

It’s a large community in which you hold no power. Yes, it’s a large community, but you do have power; you can choose not to exert that power, but you do have power. You have the power to report someone to a GM, ergo, you do not “hold no power” but clearly possess a small modicum of power allowing you to report violations of the TOU and EULA.

If the mods don’t want to police it, then fine. Hit the ignore button and avoid interaction with the violating parties. No, it’s not fine, and you’re saying so doesn’t make it so. And to paraphrase Rainier Wolfcastle, “The Ignore button! It does nothing!” The idiots are still out there, spewing their vitriolic hatred, and you can only put so many people on your Ignore list anyway.

Getting them banned, name changed, kicked from their guild, etc. is just as childish as their foul language. Says you! Did you even read the TOU and EULA? I doubt it. You just scrolled down, clicked Accept, then started playing, right? You might want to learn this now, while you’re still young, so pay attention. In a court of law, a contract you signed without reading is still binding. That means it’s not irrelevant just because you skipped over it and hit Accept, you’re still supposed to abide by the rules. How is abiding by the rules, and expecting others to do the same “childish”? I think you actually answer that with your next statement. Let’s take a look.

Yes it is against the rules, and the rules are important, but be an adult about it. That makes no sense. But then, you are a child, and as Bill Cosby said, “kids say the darndest things.” Wait! I think I get it. You mean “be an adult about it” in the same way that all adult drivers obey the speed limit, right? And don’t run red lights? And always wear their seat belts? And never drink & drive? Or murder? Or rape? Or molest children, right? I get it now. When you say “be an adult about it” you really mean, rules are made to be broken. Yeah, I get where you’re coming from.

You watch movies and TV, they contain foul language, but I highly doubt you turn it off due to some swearing. If I watch a movie that says it contains Mature Language and Adult Content, I know to expect cursing and nudity. But if my kids are watching “Max & Ruby” and Max starts screaming “Fuck!” then damn straight, Skippy, I’m going to turn it off, and you betcha I’ll be calling the TV station, too! So when I sit down to play a game for which the TOU clearly says, “When engaging in Chat you may not transmit or post any language deemed to be offensive, unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable…” then I expect to be playing a game free from obscene language. What’s so fucking hard to understand about that, douche bag?! See that right there? That would be against WoW’s TOU, the same TOU by which every single WoW player agrees to abide prior to playing, yet it’s not uncommon to see those words being used in WoW’s General Chat.

As for the insults towards you, What did you expect? In my mind you deserved their insults for paying attention to them. Yes, because as we’ve already clearly established, you have the mind of a 12-14 year old, so we expect nothing more intellectually profound from you than “You deserved it!”

Please, feel free to respond. Your arguments are sad and pathetic, but they do make me laugh. That’s at you, by the way, not with you.


Anarsonda April 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Mk, I lul’d pretty hard. Here it goes. Im 19 and DO understand how contracts work (William Kidd), I’m not an idiot. The ignore button, it does work. It blocks chat communication from that person. Their swearing, you don’t see it. I never said don’t report them to a GM, that I WOULD do if it bothers you. If it bothers others they should do so as well. William Kidd pointed out a good example for me. (thank you) Why would EXPECT everyone to follow the TOU and EULA, people break rules all the time such as speeding, running lights, and driving drunk. Retaliating by “ruining” their WoW is just doing the same thing they are doing to you, but worse. It is being childish. It’s like saying hitting is ok, as long as they do it first. Wolfshead, I was NOT saying you were just as bad as them for REPORTING them. Although, I personally only agree with Numbers 2 and 5 on your list. So my last note here is this: If ANYONE can explain how ruining their reputation is not indeed childish, I will shut my trap and stop posting. Flame me all you want, it shows your inability to act like an adult, and just read and move on. If you let this disagreement get to you that much, I will simply lul some more. Ignore, Report, Matter over.


NoobTalker May 13, 2009 at 7:50 pm

ROFL ROFL ROFL HAH U GOTS PWNED HAHAHA. Ok….. now as an adult, I must say I agree with Wolf. He’s made several interesting points on the simple fact that you do agree to a binding contract before you can log in, and it DOES say that swearing, cursing, ect. goes against the EULA. Its sad that GMs would rather be soft on these 12 year olds then lose potential customers.


Philip May 13, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I don’t swear much at all, I’m definitely against inflammatory language and racism in all its forms, and I think discrimination is one of the lowest things to joke about or do. That being said the best way to combat them is to use reason and discussion. Enforcing censorship based on a bunch of rules that nobody else gave a second thought to, which are terribly arbitrary, is a tad illogical.

How does Blizzard define, exactly, what constitutes “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable” language? An individual has no idea what they will or won’t be punished for. If they’re at least going to discipline individuals because of language, doing it by a catch-all method where it’s up to their “discretion” hardly seems fair.

Besides which, what makes something “vulgar” and something else “sanitary” is based upon convention and little else. Fuck means the same thing as sexual intercourse, but whence its vulgarity? Why will saying “fuck” in trade get you banned, but not “sexual intercourse”?

I guess the point I’m really trying to make is, who’s more immature: The teens who get off by spamming anal in trade, or the adults who can’t get over the spam?


Cam May 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I think “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable” necessarily implies a certain amount of self-policing. In real life it’s illegal to yell “fire!” in a crowded building when there is no fire, because it’s been established that it is likely to cause a riot/stampede and people can get hurt/killed. Other words are recognized as being socially unacceptable on the basis of being racially (“the N word”), ethnically (“wetback”) or otherwise objectionable; some words are recognized as being unacceptable to talk about in a public setting (the F word no matter what the usage, sexual discussion, etc). A lot of speech though, you just can’t make a list because it would depend on the context it’s used in. For that, you as the speaker have to use common sense as to whether it’s appropriate; others as the hearers may have to inform the speaker that it’s not appropriate…and take steps to address the problem if not appropriate speech.

People too easily forget that when they’re in a channel accessible by anyone, they’re virtually in “public”, probably because they’re sitting alone in a room behind an anonymous screen name. However, that doesn’t make one’s behavior necessarily acceptable.

Expecting Blizzard to police their policies is like expecting the police to catch every offender. Come on, millions of people playing WoW, how many GMs are there? There would have to be hundreds of thousands just to police the channels constantly. In the real world, how many police cars do you see compared to civilian drivers? If you see a drunk driver and you have a cell phone on you, do you call 911 and report him or do you just assume/hope that some policeman down the road will have 1) magically witnessed exactly what you witnessed and 2) pull the driver over?

I’m not sure which is the reflection: WoW or society in general, but in both places there is the problem of people feeling like they can get away with anything because people don’t hold them accountable, not wanting to get involved or not wanting to correct someone they don’t know. Such thinking is inherently bad for a society.


Jamei May 13, 2009 at 11:15 pm

“Anarsonda, your use of playground logic and attacking the person rather than their argument clearly shows you’re a young teenager (perhaps 12 to 14 years of age?), so until you obtain the ability to debate an argument logically and rationally, please go away and die in a fire. Thank you.”

Lol – you’ve just done the exact thing you’re bawling him out about. Pretty foolish IMO.


Typewriter May 14, 2009 at 1:06 am

I despise the people you have described in this article, but these methods seem a bit… extreme.

Adding them to your list and getting them kicked from any guild they try to join?

The heck?

That’s kind of messed up…


Mark May 14, 2009 at 2:49 am

I do take offense to William Kidd when he asks someone to “please go away and die in a fire.”

I am not commenting on whether either point of view is right or wrong, but you claim to be adult and you preach the moral high ground yet you start your statement off with such an awful comment.

Pot calling the kettle black?


Wraitholme May 14, 2009 at 5:56 am

@Arsanonda: The kiddies swearing are the cause, and the response from those reporting them is the reaction. Saying that the reaction is just as childish as the cause is exactly the same as saying that the justice system imprisoning convicted felons is just as criminal as the actions of the felons.
Ultimately, reporting them via Blizzard’s systems and to their guild masters is ‘not’ childish since it is a mature, structured approach to social enforcement. The childish response would be to swear etc back at them.
In response to ‘hitting is okay as long as they do it first’… well, yes, it is. This is called self defense, and is a legal defense in pretty much every justice system around the world, right up to and including the use of lethal force.

@ Philip, the answer to your final paragraph is: The teens are evidently more mature. Concerns, and action to address those concerns, about one’s environment is far from immature. The phrase ‘just get over it’ is easily and effectively countered by the quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.


Asmoriar May 14, 2009 at 6:02 am

Possibly a little offtopic but my opinion is that blizzard GMs can be a little heavyhanded with the banhammer. I have been banned twice for comments made in general/trade. The first time there was a discussion about religion (yes I know I shouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole) where some idiot was saying how god will punish gays and the suchlike to which I replied with something along the lines of “So your bigotry is okay because a few million other retards read the same book as you” which I admit was a little tactless but far less so than the comments it was responding to. 72 hour ban. The second time I felt was completely unwarranted. Someone in general in sholazar basin was saying that someone they had repeatedly killed in a BG had made a character of the same faction to call them a Jew and say they deserve to be gassed. I was chatting with the guy for a bit, while questing and when time came to log out I said “g’night mate, I hope noone gasses you” for which I recieved another 72 hour ban.

Also the only time I’ve ever replied to anal spam was with “my [Willy] may be small but [My sack is "Gigantique"]. I don’t like the anal spam and probably shouldn’t have encouraged it but the idea just popped into my head and I couldn’t resist. At least it was vaguely funny.


Tesh May 14, 2009 at 8:00 am

Tolerance doesn’t imply approval, Philip. Adults who “can’t get over the spam” may be nutty zealots, or they may be people who just want the place to be a bit cleaner and up to the standards. If someone has verbal/textual incontinence, and doesn’t understand what profanity is, I see no problem with letting the community help enforce standards.

If someone is simply a troll, there is certainly a call for letting other players slap them down a bit. Self-policing communities are a lot less of a headache for devs and players alike. (Which isn’t to say that players get /kick or /delete powers, but that /mute and /ignore aren’t the only options, as Wolf aptly notes.)


D C May 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I think the *most-missed* point in this topic is that excessive profanity and/or profanity in chat is a VIOLATION of the Terms Of Service. It should end right there. Those that break the *rules* should accept the penalty for breaking those. If you choose to break the law (in real life), then you should be mature enough to accept the repercussions of your actions.
However, if you continually decide to *break* these rules, then you should be banned from the game. As stated earlier, *ALL* players must agree to the ToS before playing. That means that you, as a player, accept EVERYTHING on that ToS. If you do *NOT* agree, then you need to hit the escape button and uninstall the game.

If you want to play football, and don’t agree that you can’t have 20 people on the field at the same time, too bad. You either abide by the rules, or you don’t play.


D C May 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm

EDIT: “…excessive profanity and/or *vulgarity*…” is what I meant in the previous statement.


Longasc June 6, 2009 at 5:43 am

In support of Wolfshead and as a comment to D C:

A lot of things happen in WoW, but GMs are either overtaxed, do not care or whatever.

It is like the police only sometimes arresting murderers. Then it is time for players, the actually non-existing community (yeah, I dare to say that) to enforce some social standards.

Otherwise all MMOs will degrade into a fecal pool of juvenile players. Really, it seems as if every adult or young person is required to educate or just fight the slew of kids and abusive adults that nowadays pollute every MMO.

Blizzard and players need to enforce the rules. Rules are stupid, but if acceptable social behaviour is no longer given, they become mandatory. :(


Rhalan June 24, 2009 at 12:07 am

Found this article by accident, but really enjoyed all of your ideas, Wolf. I’ve actually done #3 and the leader thanked me for helping them keep their good rep. I found that option was the best way to have their actions brought to their attention.
Thanks for giving me some more ideas to help combat these people that believe their actions won’t have consequences. And I agree – if they were held accountable, the game play would be more enjoyable for everyone.


ElitistGeek January 14, 2010 at 4:10 pm

The problem with your suggestions Wolfshead is that they all require almost an ungodly amount of time.

Funny enough I was in Ironforge the other day and the most ridiculous, unacceptable, and most despicable conversation I think I’ve ever witnessed in WoW was going on for at least two hours. I’m talking at least a trillion rules broken every line of text in TRADE chat for TWO BLOODY HOURS. At that moment I remembered your article, but with all the flaming going on and the amount of names I figured I would have to write to down coupled in with GM response times being as long as DAYS, I just didn’t have the willpower to literally devoting my entire night to reporting all these people. Just thinking about all the work I would have to do to “clean” up my server was just overwhelming. But your article does say “One idiot at a time” doesn’t it? Perhaps I should take it individually instead of all at once…

What Blizzard should do is have a right-click “Report Player” function. They have one for spam, but spam doesn’t happen nearly as much as the ridiculousness of using unnecessary profanity and inappropriate discussions in Trade.

Shame on Blizzard for not being on top of this. The reason for the sudden rise of inappropriate language and discussions in chat all goes to back to their utter lack of enforcement. If they had been enforcing their own policies in the first place, people wouldn’t be roaming their mouth free and filling up the chat channels with stupid garbage – and they do so because they know chances are the worst that will happen is they get a warning and go on their merry way continuing anyhow.

Are they so money hungry that they would rather see their community go to the sewers than actually being strict enforcers and (potentially) lose some of their subscribers through banning?

I certainly don’t pay $15 a month to see 12-years old talking about the size of their e-peens.


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