Prank Or Griefing?

Here’s something that has been going on for a while but has only just appeared on my radar. I have not personally experienced it as of yet, as I play on one of the lower population LOTRO servers and mercifully it has a smaller percentage of assholes. It would appear that one of  the daily Hytbold quests in Snowbourn has the player fishing for an Avanc. If your bags are full when doing the quest you get an envelope that allows you to summon the Avanc, as part of the overflow mechanics.  It would appear that there are no restrictions regarding the summoning of the Avanc, thus there have been incidents of it being released in low level public areas. The Avanc is level 85 and has 22K morale. (Picture courtesy of Yirak).

So imagine the scene. You’re quietly perusing through the listing on Auction House in Bree, minding your own business. Then from out of nowhere a level cap beasty appears and the next thing you know death awaits you with nasty big pointy teeth. At first glance it can seem funny and may even raise a wry smile. It’s just a prank some may claim. I’m sure “Where’s you’re sense of humour” will be trotted out at some point in the proceedings.  However, if you take a moment to consider wider possibilities it may not be so funny.If some one has purchased from the in-game store a buff or a boost and it is active when Mr. Avanc shows up, then that player dies and ends up out of pocket. The prank has now cost you real cash. A sudden and unexpected death in a safe zone may also cost a player a deed title such as “undying”. There may also be repair costs to consider. Suddenly this starts looking like a  case of deliberate griefing.

Now there is a perfect opportunity for people to get bogged down in semantics with this issue. Is it griefing or an exploit? I’m sure you’ll find a legion of forum pedants who will happily debate that point with you. The fun police and the humour liberation front are also currently going head to head with regard to this so called prank. As far as I’m concerned I’d file this activity under miscellaneous assholery. I also think Turbine needs to address it. The key point for me is that this could cause someone to lose money and that is patently unacceptable. Being inconvenienced by an idiot is one thing. Having you pocket indirectly picked is another altogether.

12 thoughts on “Prank Or Griefing?

  1. Jonathan Baron says:

    This sort of thing has happened before I was told. Some bug involving raids enabled people who were in one of the many odd damage over time poison pools to leave instance and find themselves still standing in a pool of poison… their location where they’d accepted the raid invitation. So, some clever members of a raiding kin gathered in the Prancing Pony and….yeah, bug-zapper-fast death for a whole room filled with merry, low level roleplayers. Turbine’s response was to ban the raiders for a couple of weeks. I imagine a similar fate awaits these clever fishermen 😉

  2. Peacemaker says:

    Every time I come here you are whining about something in LOTRO. Why don’t you man up and grow a pair and stop getting a stick up your ass about the tiniest thing. Seems like every MMO has a percentage of pansies, bitchin’ that someone or something ain’t right.

  3. Jon Kane says:

    It’s a known rule never to feed the troll. But every now and again you have to break it.

    Because the above comment is fucking stupid, as are a lot of those on the Reddit link that brought me here.

    This is just another example of how the internet amplifies shitty behaviour from shitty people.

    The Avanc problem is griefing, pure and simple. The fact that people don’t want to acknowledge that it’s an inconvenience and unfair to those it affects, indicates they are more than likely the offenders, or at least of a similar mindset. The sort of people that like practical jokes but would shit an asteroid if one was pulled on them.

    Once again we see people who cannot see beyond their own point of view or who just like to argue for the sake of arguing.

    Because something doesn’t impact upon you doesn’t mitigate its relevance. Also would you go into a cancer ward in a hospital and declare “well I haven’t got cancer so what’s the problem?”.

    LOTRO going free to play opened the floodgates and the game now has fuckwits like any other.

    It often is best to ignore the assholes of the world because if you answer them you know you’ll get a paragraph by paragraph response. Its shame there’s not an online equivalent of a sharp kick in the balls as this would solve a lot of issues.

    So here’s the tl-dr version:

    Fuck off Peacemaker you vacuous cunt. Fuck off smug argumentative assholes on Reddit. If you can’t or won’t debate properly then hit the bricks.

  4. Jonathan Baron says:

    Your tone and language have all the appeal of climbing into a dumpster at Red Lobster.

  5. Jonathan Baron says:

    The most useless folks of all are those who complain about people who complain.

  6. Bill says:

    “Every time I come here you are whining about something in LOTRO”

    So stop coming here. Problem solved.

  7. Adam says:

    Loosing undying would suck, but the store buffs, leastwise all the ones I have used, persist through deaths and such, so you should be alright. I guess I you had a scoll running, but you could log for 10 mins and it’d be fine.

  8. Phil says:

    I have a whole bag of em I was saving to do just this. Pop it in the shire for yucks. The undying thing, sure that sucks to lose over a prank but really, everything else is incidental. Store buffs persist, you may not snipe that auction like you thought you were gonna but other than that its just pure WTF??? fun. I’d consider it more akin to hazing or initiation, doing it once. Doing over and over just to be a dick, that ain’t cool. Once=funny… More than once=I need attention bad

  9. snake_gear says:

    can you please tell me how to store avanc envelopes pls?

  10. SnakeOil says:

    I experimented a bit and here is how I did it:

    Go to Bree and climb on top of the boar fountain. It is hard to get up there but it can be done if you are patient. Once up top type /handstand into the chat window. Make sure you are standing on the left tusk of the middle boar when you do this — any other place and it doesn’t work. Then hold down the “ALT” key and press the “F4” key.

  11. snake_gear says:

    nothing more clever than alt f4 to say?

  12. John Gibson says:

    Something similar could be done in the past with the worms in “Lost Temple”. My kinship and I (on the last day before Codemasters gave control back to the enemy) did this. We started the instance from inside the Pony (through Group Finder) and got to the inside temple part. On the first pull we allowed 5/6 of us to get infected with the little maggots (which when they explode release big 100k worms) and used the leave instance ability to teleport back to the pony with the maggots still attached. A few seconds later all hell broke loose with five of them running around the pony, killing the RP players. This “Event” was recorded and later placed on youtube.
    General consensus of the people who were in the pony was that it was great fun and a good laugh although I did feel sorry for one player who was one level shy of the undying title and was squished rather quickly by a worm.

    A bit of fun on the last day before the server transfer? You bet but I guess at the same time it could have been seen as being trolling.

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