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  #1  
Old 06-19-2011, 05:56 PM
Jengas Jengas is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Default Dealing with arena spammers

It's unavoidable folks. Let's face it. We all face at least one or two people who just love typing our names in the arena blank over and over and over again.

You go to bed and wake up a few cents poorer and a TON of red in your inbox. Unfortunately, none of this conflicts with the T&C laid out for this game. So how do you deal with this? There are a few steps that I've come up with that might help, though not necessarily will solve the problem.

1) When you first start to see repeated attacks, don't return the attacks.

Though this is not a surefire way, it does filter out a good number of spammers since not all of them are so diligent enough to log on notebook a name to cause misery for the following days. If you make sure they don't have your name in their inbox, it's one step in the right direction. If however, you return volley for volley, you'll accomplish two things: one, you'll be adding fuel to the fire and only prolong the spamming. Secondly, you'll also be adding your name into their inbox, and now they won't have to log your name since it'll be in a convenient place for access whenever they want. So, angry and offended as you may be, one of the better choices to make is to not satiate your own anger.

2) Treat all arena mail like spam mail.

This really does help, every time if you can prepare the correct mentality. If you treat arena mail like spam mail, it won't matter who attacked you, whether they attacked you repeatedly or not, whether a level 200 character hit you or not. Just trash all of it and never again give it a second thought.

3) If all else fails, talk it over with the person.

Honestly, I think step 2 works much better than step 3, but if you really can't prepare yourself mentally to actually not take offense at arena spams, you might have to just talk it over with the person. That may or may not work, but just try to make sure to be amiable and keep your email free of anger. If you can reason together with the spammer, he just might stop, so of course it's always worth a try.


I hope this will be of some help to you all. I know none of it's a guaranteed method of keeping spammers off of you, but it will at least help keep it stress free.
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iTZKooPA (06-20-2011)
  #2  
Old 06-19-2011, 08:53 PM
Bullbound Bullbound is offline
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You can also change your rank so they can't gain a thing from you. Nothing says "haha" like forcing them to waste time for nothing.

Or there is the more popular response of getting stronger so they can't beat you and turning those wins into loses. Who wants to attack when they can't win?
  #3  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:13 AM
iTZKooPA iTZKooPA is offline
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Let's not forget the all important saying; "Don't feed the trolls."

Some people just like getting under other's skin. If you don't let them, they'll often just move on.

Sidenote: Please report any inappropriate behavior, such as swearing and namecalling. However, getting repeatedly attacked someone is NOT harassment. It's just part of the game.
  #4  
Old 06-20-2011, 02:24 PM
Charista Charista is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Attackers that target individuals to the exclusion of all others have usually developed an excuse or a goal for such action. They have motivation, and those motivations are varied. If you choose the wrong strategy to deal with an aggressor, you can aggravate the problem, so correct identification of motivation is vital to develop a successful response. These are adults you're dealing with, not children, and their motivations will be mature. Simplifying adults to schoolyard bullies ignores the real problems causing obsessive behavior.

I do not call them Spam Attackers. I call them "target fixated" attackers. They aren't spamming you: they have motives. The term Spam minimizes their goals to a mere annoyance, when they can in fact have far worse motivations.

Zombunny is a frequent target for such people, and I have been called on by my guildmates to deal with these problem players on their behalf, having demonstrated some talent in these types of endeavors. Obviously, we have certain tactics that others don't have access to when things get really bad (and they do), but while others may disagree because they perceive only our most aggressive efforts, we do not use our most aggressive and powerful strategies initially. Most Officers can do what I do, in any guild of any Rank. In order to deal with these individuals, you first need to know what type of player you're talking to. Below are the most dangerous motivations I have identified, This is compiled from 12 years of MMORPG experience, most of it in positions of responsibility.



a) Entitlement -- The Self-Righteous Hero

This is the single most common target fixated attacker, in my experience. This type of player feels his victim has slighted him in some way, and needs "to be taught a lesson." Most common is an accusation of "farming". "Farming" is an undefined term in this game, as I have mentioned in other threads, so any player can define it any way he wants; thus, in his eyes, you are guilty of a crime you didn't even realize you could commit. Phrases this person will use to rationalize their behavior include -- "He needs to be punished so he doesn't do it again!", "He brought it on himself", and "He needs to be taught a lesson."

The punishment is, of course, your "victim" attacking you forever, now that he has the advantage. That you attacked him three times one afternoon when you weren't even looking at the names on the "Arena" button doesn't matter. That was "farming" and it deserves thousands of attacks in response, so you never do it again, right?

No, that is not the lesson the entitled player teaches. He only teaches that he is obsessed, and has no rational sense of proportion. No one in existence needs to be taught that other people can rationalize abusive behavior, and that's the only lesson target fixation teaches.

Some Entitled players are not seriously psychologically flawed, and really think they're doing good by punishing you. These are the easiest to deal with, since you only need to establish a friendly relationship and they'll realize you're not that bad and don't deserve what has been happening.

Our legal system sometimes encounters individuals that intentionally break contracts, knowingly violating the terms and damaging the other party. In a normal, unintentional breach of contract, the breaching party pays for the damages suffered by the other party, and no more. When the party in breach did so intentionally, the punishment (called punitive damages) multiplies the damages by 4. Extending that to this game means that if someone attacks you ten times, you can justify forty attacks, and no more. Anything beyond that is not reasonable. This is the benchmark I use to determine if someone has entitled himself, both as an attacker of Zombunny and for Zombunnies that may be accused of such behavior by others.

Further, the Entitled player assumes you know what the attacks are a punishment for, because you must remember what you did to your attacker. You must be aware when you commit vile and repulsive actions, right? Entitled people are often extremely self-centered, and so the entire world revolves around them: the truth is that they think you will remember because the entitled player should be more important to you than you are to yourself. Of course, you don't remember, because you didn't do what they accuse you of, at least not on the emotional scale they accuse you of. Unfortunately, because of this self-centeredness, they won't feel a need to explain their actions until you ask. Consequently, you hunt around trying to figure out what you did to deserve this, not realizing that you did it six weeks ago and he has probably had four other people do exactly the same thing in that period, but he has been fixated on you for too long to recognize that lots of people do whatever you did.

The Entitled attacker is just rationalizing. Anyone that uses this train of thought in the first place has gone beyond the game and is assigning a personal motive to the person he is about to victimize. Holding a grudge for weeks in order to gain levels to surpass them and punish them later is simply excessive. It's fine for a one-shot rivalry, and that's not unhealthy, but you don't attack rivals 30 times in three days, dumping honor to stay in their range just to drive the point home that you won the rivalry. One embarrassing loss is enough for a true former rival.

I mentioned Zombunny earlier, but in truth, any #1 guild in any game gets the same accusations -- "they don't deserve their position", "they are selfish and abusive", "they flaunt their power", and so on. A thousand excuses, rarely with any real evidence, all entitling people to attack the #1 membership. And it all comes back to entitlement. The Entitled attackers choose the #1 guild to punish because the guild is #1, and the #1 guild gets a reputation by having to deal with these events. Since rarely the #1 guild has a choice but to use raw power to end the event, this gives others rationalization to commit the same actions that caused the "excessive" response in the first place. This creates as endless cycle, for which there is no escape for the #1 guild, and the only thing that works is demonstration of raw power. There are no "good" options in dealing with target fixated players, since they do not respond to rational thought. People want to believe that the #1 guild is behind the whole thing, but it is rarely true. It is easy to victimize people that no one has sympathy for, so beware whenever someone is attacking someone you have no actual evidence has ever done anything aggressive to anyone. Many #1 guilds, having seen this in other games, just start off existence by flipping the bird, because they know it does not matter anyway: they'll get that reputation no matter what they do, so why not just accept it and actually provide real justification?


b) Bottomfeeding -- The Goal-Driven Attacker

Someone that wants easy Victories in the Arena. Not terribly uncommon, but such a player won't persist over the long term anyway. Provide evidence that you're playing, by keeping daily potions up, and this person, who may merely have thought you were retired (caught you on a day your mount ran out and all potions were down, for instance), will move on.

You can also dump honor, if he's in your honor range, by taking your weapon off and having your guildmates attack you to bring you down the ranks. This gets you away from the player in the Rankings, and he's more likely to pick a target in his honor.range than dump honor to follow, if he's a real Bottomfeeder. If he does follow, then he really isn't a Bottomfeeder and he has some other personal motive, no matter what he claims.

A variant of this player is the Goldminer, who claims to want the gold from wins. Much less common as level rises, since Guard Duty reward increases with level much faster than Arena wins. High Level Goldminers are often just some other type that are just fooling themselves with a relatively weak rationalization. But they're easy to deal with, since you can ditch gold and see them go away. Even if it is a rationalization for an unconscious motivation, the player is not dominated by ego, so must move on to demonstrate to himself that his rationalization is the real motive. Ego is probably the real motive, but he is forebrain dominant and will maintain the rationalization.


c) Egotism -- The Punker

This guy wants an emotional response out of you. Egotists usually play other con games to get a rise out of you, rather than target fixate attacks, but it does rarely happen. This is the one you don't want to talk to at all, but you can't avoid it. He'll lie and accuse until he makes you angry, just to feed his ego by proving that he can control you. If you don't contact him, he'll taunt you eventually, and then you'll know what you're dealing with, but you'll probably contact him first expecting an Entitled player. He wants to feel superior by making you do what he wants you to do, which is easy for him because it's simple cause and effect emotion. Reasonable people know that anyone can achieve the same result, so the Egotist is fooling himself into thinking he's better than everyone else only by doing what is socially unacceptable. It's socially unacceptable because it causes exactly these emotions, but the Egotist can't see beyond the fact that only he does it. Since at some point you will contact him, watch for attempts to control your emotional response. He'll try to make you angry, sad, ashamed, beg, etc.

The other danger with this one is that he'll suck you into some other kind of con, just to boost his ego further. Watch for sob stories, or other highly emotionally charged claims. He'll try to draw you into an emotional story that is barely plausible. If he is making you feel, then it's a con. Strangers don't tell you important info about themselves that makes him vulnerable, so if he is, then he's lying to fool you.

Egotists feel the need to prove themselves superior to as many people as possible, so they will move on, eventually. If they got a rise out of you, they may try again later.

Egotists can be controlled, if you correctly identify them. They can't take being challenged, or other people fooling them. Demonstrating that you are a better con man is the ultimate Victory, of course, but the Egotists will let that event rot and find a way to come back to prove their superiority again, later, so achieving this is not for the unwary. If you aren't vigilant, he will get you on the reprise, but it will probably be some weak little stupidity that only impresses himself... something anyone can do, which the Egotist overplays in his mind to being some great evidence of superiority. It's best not to go there, and get it to end without demonstrating any significant ability.


d) The Cyberstalker

He's the hardest to recognize, since he'll seem like any of the others, but thankfully the least common. This person's goal is, simply, to make himself a part of your life. It doesn't matter what the extent is (though in Real Life the Stalker wants that extent to increase), and you don't need to respond to let him know he succeeded in S&F. He knows that if his name is in your mail, you have to acknowledge his existence by deleting it, or by letting him fill your mail and not using it. How can you recognize the Stalker? He, above the others, lacks Empathy. He cannot identify with other peoples' problems, or what he is doing to his victims, and he won't let anything stop him in his goal. That's hard to identify as his victim, unfortunately, so you'll misidentify his motivation initially.

Note that there is a sexual component to Cyberstalkers: they almost always target the opposite sex. 90% are male, so assuming the female is the victim is the best choice, and you should, because women have a harder time actually hurting men if the woman is the stalker. Women, when they stalk, try to get other people to hurt the aggressor. (In one case, a male friend of mine found a very large mutual friend at his door ready to break his legs, when he didn't agree to a date with the Stalker. Fortunately, the leg-breaker gave my friend time to explain himself.) Stalkers want their victims isolated and hurt, so they'll get others to hurt their victim by pretending to be victims themselves. Real victims just want the whole thing over and done with.

Everyone expects to be able to act in self-defense. If you are attacked, the Law permits you to try to stop it, to varying degrees depending on your nation/state/city. The victim of a stalker often attacks back, and that creates a mess where everyone is accusing each other. (Which advantages the Stalker.)

So you'll have two people pointing fingers at each other. How do you tell them apart?

1) Empathy. The Stalker isn't, but the Victim is. If one identifies with other victims, that's likely the Victim. If one doesn't care that friends are being hurt, then that is probably your Stalker.

2) Target Fixation. The Stalker is target fixated, and wants to hurt just one person. The Victim wants it all stopped, and doesn't care how on a rational level. If you propose a plan that does not injure the other party, the Stalker will reject it for any number of rationalizations, but the real reason is that it doesn't target his selected Victim and thus doesn't further his goals. The Victim will accept any plan, even if it doesn't hurt the Stalker, so long as it could end the mess. Yes, even though the Victim is empathic, and the Stalker is not, the Victim will accept that others will be hurt on a rational level, and later discover she can't take the plan emotionally and fight against it after implementation.

If you get a Stalker on you, then just quit the game. He wins so long as he has your attention and is in your life. He only loses when he can't get to you anymore, so do what you have to in order to just get away. I've seen the emotional toll of fighting a Stalker. It's just not worth it. People that have suffered Real Life stalkers often have to relocate and change their name to get away, because Stalkers operate on the edge of legally unprovable behavior. Victims that stand their ground too often wind up dead. It's tragic that the choice is between losing the life you created and dying, but the latter is a lot more permanent.

The big problem with the Stalker is that you'll be tempted to fight back. If you do any study of Stalking, you'll find the police say one thing with absolute certainty -- if you fight back against a Stalker, it becomes harder to prove in Court that you were the victim of Stalking and not just in a mutual conflict, because the Stalker is now a real victim. too. That's part of the tragedy of Stalking, and why governments are trying to create new Laws to fight the problem, since current Law is woefully inadequate.

Further, the Stalker will be waiting for such an aggressive response from his victim. Victims tend to overreact and draw more legal attention than they realized by escalating. He will use the aggressive self-defensive actions as evidence to the victim's friends that she is the "real" problem, in an attempt to isolate the victim from her support network. It is important to note that efforts taken in self-defense occur after the initial actions by the Stalker, and so the chronology of the events is vital to identifying self-defensive behavior by victims. No one should ever expect a Victim to not fight back, so be wary of rationalizations that attempt to justify previous actions by actions taken against the initial aggressor.

Guildmates need to be very careful when dealing with potential victims of Stalkers. There is no proof! That goes for Real Life as well as Cyber. You're going to ask for it because you think you're a TV detective that can figure out what happened from clues, but the victim can't provide evidence, and you will alienate your guildmate (who is very much in need) by making her think you doubt her word. This achieves the Stalker's goal of isolation, by turning all of her friends into her perceived accusers. And this is part of the problem for police, because they need to ask questions, and the Victim feels that the cops are now on the Stalker's side. A Stalker victim is emotionally raw, and your logic will not matter one whit, so don't even bother. I have had the distinct displeasure of dealing with real Stalkers, so I can see the signs of Stalking in the statements of the victims. If you have no such background, you're flopping like a halibut on the deck. Bits and pieces of knowledge that they should not have, activities that they should not be able to invent without knowledge of stalkers -- I cannot give that experience to you. I hope you never have to deal with it. Support your guildmate, but don't try to be a detective like on CSI, or you'll lose a friend that has been victimized and mistakenly accuse the wrong person. (Think more like the profilers on Criminal Mind, because you'll have more behavioral evidence than factual evidence.) Remember: 90% of the time you'll be right by assuming the male is the stalker, so go with that until you've gained the experience you need to deal with this without alienating a victim. If the female is the Stalker, you'll puzzle that out over time without probing for evidence that doesn't exist, since they tend to be less practiced. Female stalkers tend to have anger and hate motivations, and it is very hard to keep those in check.

If the male is your guildmate, then watch especially for the phrase, "She deserves it!" No one "deserves" anything, ever. That's entitlement, and firguring out why the player feels so entitled may reveal further irrational trains of thought.

Instead of grilling the victim, ask the victim to simply describe what has been happening without any prompting. Don't pick at inconsistencies in stories: most people's memories are not that good. It is the emotions that the guildmate conveys that will tell you if they're the victim or Stalker, not the details of the story. Stories can be faked (and practiced stalkers develop the skill to tell plausible, consistent stories), but emotions are a lot harder to fake (and maintaining an emotional lie is much harder). An experienced Stalker will be able to fake emotions, so even that can fail. Yes, Stalkers are a nightmare to deal with. they are chameleons and manipulators that prey on your convictions and your faulty knowledge about the Law, and your foolish belief that you can figure out what's really going on by being the detective.


There are some other motivations, and maybe some will post motives that they have dealt with, but they are not worrisome. These are the most common target fixated players that can be dangerous, in my experience. It can be hard figuring out real motivation, because some have elements of the others. Stalkers always have some Egotism and Entitlement, but they won't stop when they get that ego reward from begging or anger: they'll want more from one person than that apology. An Egotist will always have a sense of entitlement, but they aren't doing it to punish: they're doing it for the ego boost, so if the Victim acknowledges and apologizes, the victimization will continue until the victim gives the Egotist the particular emotion he needs (often with accusations that the apology wasn't sincere). Puzzling out true motive requires conversation, and to get all the info you need to make a judgement, you need to keep your attacker interested and gabbing, so you have to have an open door policy. No accusations, no anger. Mocking works, though, since most people capable of target fixation can't take being marginalized or disrespected. Find their weaknesses and pick at them, until they reveal too much of themselves. Hard to do. Takes practice. And the Terms that limit your language make it harder, but it is not impossible.



How to deal with them? These are in order:

1) For a good length of time, do not respond in any way, especially by attacking back if the attacks are fairly even win:loss. Dump your gold to the guild or bit bucket in order to get rid of possible Goldminers. Let it go for at least three days before you decide this is a personal attack by your attacker. This will weed out most of those bottomfeeders looking for easy wins and the less severe Egotists. It also gives you some ammunition against the more ethical Entitled players later by putting their victory count too high to justify under the "punitive damages" guideline. Ten attacks in one day shouldn't get your ire up, and if it does, learn how to get used to it. Those of us in the top 10 can take 40 per day, just for Ranking.

2) Once you're certain you're being targeted, ask him politely, "Is there some reason why you're attacking me like this?" Be polite. The really dangerous ones are the Egotist and the Stalker, and by being polite, you throw them off their game: they expect other responses. They want emotion -- anger, begging, etc -- because they want to feel in control or superior. Ask them why: do not ask them to stop. The Entitled player will explain what you did and others not listed will explain what they're doing.

The Entitled player will be unapologetic, but he can be talked down, if you are rational and keep your cool. Show him negative emotion, and he'll use that as rationalization for further abuses, because you "haven't learned your lesson." It may take a lot of effort on your part, because he will feel self-righteous and full of conviction so it'll be hard dealing wiht perceived arrogance, but if you can demonstrate that you're not what he thinks, he can't maintain his righteous anger because you're rational and not what he thought he was attacking. You need to demonstrate that you are not emotional, don't take such things personally, and can negotiate reasonably. Above all, try to get him to establish how much of a response he thinks is reasonable for whatever he accuses you of. Entitled players aren't irrational or have any particular mental flaw, just s self-centered sense of right and wrong. And be certain that he understands the difference between "justification" and "rationalization". I've been using those terms assuming you know what they mean, so in case you don't actually know...

Quote:
justification: a reason, fact, circumstance, or explanation that justifies or defends
Quote:
rationalization: to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes
Rationalizations entitle the person to whatever course of action he chooses, which is why I call the most common form "entitlement". He entitles himself with permission to be judge, jury, and executioner. We don't let victims prosecute or judge their accusers for a reason, but the Entitled player will not accept anyone else's version of acceptable justice.

Sometimes, all it takes to get him off your back is an apology. One thing about apologies, though... don't try to spin the apology back on the other guy as an accusation. If you're taking responsibility (even if you're lying just to get rid of him), don't try to justify your actions in the apology. If an apology doesn't work, or he demands the apology and breaks his word and continues attacking anyway, then you're probably dealing with an Egotist that is pretending to be Entitled, just to con you.

You can suggest an appeal to an objective, uninvolved individual to moderate. If the target fixated player refuses moderation, then he is most certainly aware that he has gone too far himself, and has turned into an Egotist without realizing it. While his original motives were vengeance, he has lost sense of proportion and now it is about his own ego. An Entitlement flip like this can still be reasoned with, because the player does not accept himself to be an Egotist, and will eventually see the inconsistency between his actions and his declared motivation


3) Discussions have broken down, the person is irrational and is still targeting you. You've got a real problem on your hands. He's an egotist, or he's a Stalker, since there's nothing left that would be so unreasonable. Someone that goes this far has a character flaw, and those are extremely common in computer gaming. The enemy may still cling to a belief in his self-righteousness, but at this point, it's founded in that personality flaw.

Make certain at this point that you inform ItzKoopa, even if there has been no Terms violation. While there is nothing he can do, you want this attacker's actions and his insistence on continuing his behavior known to someone official, so that if it happens to someone else, itzKoopa knows the player is a problem to multiple people. Also write a support ticket. This can keep the pressure on Playa to do something about Ignore features.

Further, you can change your player name by contacting Itzkoopa: you get one free name change. Quit your guild, change name, description, character picture, and equipment at a non-normal time of day so the other player cna't figure out who you have become. Join a new guild. And become someone else. If you are of high level, this won't work as well because it's not hjard to spot the new player name that came from nowhere.


4) Quitting is not a win for your attacker, though some people will try to convince you of this. The Egotist gets no more fuel for his fire, and the Stalker can't find you. They lose their emotional response. There are many games out there, and many servers for this game.

You can not "defeat" anyone that has this level of disorder. They will convince themselves they "won" by editing their memory, changing their declared goal of what they were trying to achieve, etc. They will never lose, no matter how bad their defeat.

There is nothing anyone can do directly to this person to stop him. Get that thought out of your head right here. He's mentally flawed, so you cannot appeal to his sympathy, empathy, or conscience. He will be unaffected by attacks against him. To him, he doesn't care: he has already gotten the concerns of red mails out of his mind.

Things that do not work:
i) a higher level guildmate attacking him repeatedly
ii) intentionally reducing his rank (higher level guildmate dumps honor and drags him down: he'll just drag you down too, and laugh)
iii) flooding his mail (an Egotist loves the attention!)

So, nothing works if you get to this point, right?

Wrong.

5) Turn the issue over to an Officer of your guild. And get him to read this.

I'm not going into detail here on what an Officer may consider. If an Officer has a problem with a target fixated player attacking a member, and wants suggestions, contact me directly, and not lightly. You can't go further without potential damage to your entire guild, but the consequence of inaction can cost you players, too, so the cost of escalation may be less than the cost of inaction.


And now, if your Guildmate is accused of Target Fixation...

In this case, you have no choice but to at least ask the accused player about what is going on. I know you want to believe that your guildmate is suffering a false accusation, and if he is, asking him about it is contrary to what I said about not accusing Stalker victims above. So there is a delicate balance here, too. You can never know from text whether you are being lied to: most of our cues that identify liars come from body language, so only a fool thinks he can tell that text is truth or lie. And Egotists love to maintain long term con jobs to prove they're smarter than everyone else, so he may have been fooling your entire guild for months. Manipulating entire guilds into betraying their morality feeds the ego more than anything else, so the danger of your guildmate being an Egotist is enormous. Taking control of an issue and forcing your guildmate to obey you is one way of ensuring you do not have an Egotist in your midst. An Egotist can not handle not being in control, and so he'll try to sway you to his way of dealing with issues. If the accused player bows to your position and accepts your judgements without protest, then odds are, he's not guilty. But those are just odds, and there are always going to be exceptions.

The probability of a false accusation rises with your rank. #1 guilds are often so accused in MMORPG's by people looking for a handout as a settlement offer. ("He ninja'ed an item! Replace it!" Been there, smelled that.) In S&F, though, there is nothing anyone can do for a player, so that is far less likely.

Instead of asking about the accusation, you can instead ask about the player that is making the accusation. "Hey, Joe, I just got a strange mail from someone named Pete. What can you tell me about Pete?" And watch for an emotional response, and rationalizations justifying actions. Some of these people will want to prove that they were justified, so just get them to talk about it on their own terms: non-Victims will have no problem expounding and laying on a ton of "evidence" that their accuser is a bad person. Watch for rationalizations, entitlement, and a lack of proportional response.

Him: "Jerk attacked me, so I'm attacking him back."

You: "Oh, cool. So how many times, and for how long?"

a) Him: "As long as I feel like."

Entitlement. Explain you don't tolerate infinite punishment, and so he needs to measure his response to something more reasonable, and bring up the punitive damages example of generally accepted reasonable response to intentional damage.

b) Him: "Until his gold runs out."

Just tell the accuser it should stop and get back to you if it persists when he's out of gold.

c) Him: "Uhm... until you tell me to stop?"

None of the above, just a little entitlement or confusion. Tell him to "Stop" and tell the victim it's resolved and get back to you if it repeats.

d) Him: "Until he cries Uncle."

Egotist. Looking for the victim to beg. Escalate to your guild leader and look for cons he may have pulled inside the guild. Review everything he has been involved in, and see if you can find a pattern of behavior that indicates he has done this before. Reason will fail, and you'll have problems with guildmates suffering Blind Loyalty in defense, or those that believe in "evidence". An Egotist in your guild may have been hurting your reputation for a long time without your knowledge. You'll need to figure out how severe his condition is, but also remember you need to get the current situation stopped. Egotists won't respond to reason well, and won't submit to authority well, so in trying to control him, you'll aggravate him. I can't help much on that side: I haven't had experience in dealing with Egotists in my own guild, since I detect them fairly early and deal with the issue before it can become an external problem.


I can't tell you what a Stalker would say (practiced liars, unfortunately), but continuing the conversation will probably reveal inconsistencies over days. You'll definitely get rationalizations ("He deserves it!". Stalkers have strong senses of Entitlement, but they'll lie about motivations and you may not uncover that.) Figuring out that you have a stalker is a real pain, because they are such very good liars, but they also lack empathy and sympathy. If their guildmates suffer, they will not care. Really good Stalkers can even fake that. So look for a lack of or fake Empathy. But if your guildmate seems to enjoy escalation and not want the conflict to reach resolution, then your guildmate is the problem.


The big thing to look for is an insistence on maintaining the entitlement that permits these behaviors. No one in any guild for any reason deserves to be attacked forever. There is no justification for that, only rationalization. When you see that entitlement, you know you have one of the more severe types on your hand.

Entitled players will take to themselves exceptional power beyond their actions against their victims. They won't accept themselves being bound by the rules applied to other guildmates. That is another indicator of who is at fault, because entitlement like this can reveal strong hypocrisies that permit their own bad behavior but criminalize the same done by anyone else.

The worst response I ever see is the unconditional defense of a guildmate, by refusing to consider the possibility that your guildmate was in the wrong. That's called Blind Loyalty. Blind Loyalty gives over your morality to the least moral of your guildmates, making you no better than your failure to detect a liar in your midst. I reject that concept at its core. Loyalty, once Blinded, is only permission to create victims, and you are now complicit in creating pain in others. Blind Loyalty is, to me, the most vile fault in any guild, and it has become far too common. I have seen it rationalize behavior by middle-aged family members that is far worse than you'd ever see in a schoolyard.

One last thing: I touched on modifying memory. If you have never met someone that can do this, then you may not realize it happens. This often begins as a method of protecting the ego from previous mistakes, by attributing your own mistakes to someone else, until the person remembers the event differently from what actually happened. If you suspect your guildmate is the problem, record everything. Ctrl-Ins/Shift-Ins to write mails in a file you can save, and copy anything you receive. People that modify their memories will not be able to accurately reproduce previous stories, because they will have modified them to exclude their own mistakes and vilify other people. When you see your guildmate's accuser becoming increasingly guilty of things you know the accuser did not do, that's when you know where the problem lies.


I have no concluding thoughts, because sometimes the conclusion has not happened. The only thing I can do is beg for Ignore features for mail, and /w, because those are the best defense against these kinds of abusers.

Last edited by Charista; 06-20-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2011, 04:05 PM
Crazy Harry Crazy Harry is offline
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Or it is not really an issue ?

I have no idea why people find this a problem, it is a game and it is part of the game and it actually causes no issues to be honest.
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2011, 04:12 PM
Jengas Jengas is offline
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Charista, is there anything you don't have down to a science? lol Thanks for this post though. If any of my guildmates have problems with arena spams, I'll direct them to this.

Last edited by Jengas; 06-20-2011 at 04:13 PM.
  #7  
Old 06-20-2011, 04:43 PM
Charista Charista is offline
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Jengas, yeah. How to get a date.
  #8  
Old 06-20-2011, 06:45 PM
Bullbound Bullbound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
These are adults you're dealing with, not children, and their motivations will be mature. Simplifying adults to schoolyard bullies ignores the real problems causing obsessive behavior.
Actually, we have players as young as 13. Not all really are adults nor are they all going to match the profiles portrayed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
I do not call them Spam Attackers. I call them "target fixated" attackers. They aren't spamming you: they have motives. The term Spam minimizes their goals to a mere annoyance, when they can in fact have far worse motivations.
Yes, some do have worse motivations, but not all. There have been more than a few that fight because of a schoolyard or schoolyard-like behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
Some Entitled players are not seriously psychologically flawed, and really think they're doing good by punishing you. These are the easiest to deal with, since you only need to establish a friendly relationship and they'll realize you're not that bad and don't deserve what has been happening.
I think that calling someone, or rather anyone, psychologically flawed is a bit presumptuous and insulting since you don't have any way to perform a psychological evaluation and many that show the mindset you've described are considered mentally stable and healthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
Our legal system sometimes encounters individuals that intentionally break contracts, knowingly violating the terms and damaging the other party. In a normal, unintentional breach of contract, the breaching party pays for the damages suffered by the other party, and no more. When the party in breach did so intentionally, the punishment (called punitive damages) multiplies the damages by 4. Extending that to this game means that if someone attacks you ten times, you can justify forty attacks, and no more. Anything beyond that is not reasonable. This is the benchmark I use to determine if someone has entitled himself, both as an attacker of Zombunny and for Zombunnies that may be accused of such behavior by others.
This varies by country to country, so a bit hard to say all are going to use the same standards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
Note that there is a sexual component to Cyberstalkers: they almost always target the opposite sex. 90% are male, so assuming the female is the victim is the best choice, and you should, because women have a harder time actually hurting men if the woman is the stalker. Women, when they stalk, try to get other people to hurt the aggressor. (In one case, a male friend of mine found a very large mutual friend at his door ready to break his legs, when he didn't agree to a date with the Stalker. Fortunately, the leg-breaker gave my friend time to explain himself.) Stalkers want their victims isolated and hurt, so they'll get others to hurt their victim by pretending to be victims themselves. Real victims just want the whole thing over and done with.
I'm not sure where those figures come from, but according to the United States Department of Justice, male and female stalkers employ the same methods and the gender of the victim is not a factor when the fixation is non-sexual. However, they do almost always have an accomplice, no matter the cause for the fixation. This would indicate two are involved in the attack, not just one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
Find their weaknesses and pick at them, until they reveal too much of themselves. Hard to do. Takes practice. And the Terms that limit your language make it harder, but it is not impossible.
If your words can possibly be construed as insulting or demeaning, you can be reported for violating the terms. Consider this a friendly warning on such behavior.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charista View Post
Make certain at this point that you inform ItzKoopa, even if there has been no Terms violation. While there is nothing he can do, you want this attacker's actions and his insistence on continuing his behavior known to someone official, so that if it happens to someone else, itzKoopa knows the player is a problem to multiple people. Also write a support ticket. This can keep the pressure on Playa to do something about Ignore features.
This does not accomplish a thing. iTZKooPA and Playa Games GmbH are not going to be able to assist you if someone is just attacking you repeatedly. You want to report a player if they say something inappropriate, insulting, derogatory, containing profanity, etc. and you can suffer punitive action if folks feel you are flooding the support line with inappropriate messages.
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2011, 09:42 PM
Charista Charista is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullbound View Post
Actually, we have players as young as 13.
And you'll figure that out in the first mail contact from quality of language and slang. He'll get "their" and "they're" usage confused, but sentence structure and spelling will be correct, where a non-native speaker's bad language will have different flaws. This is one of those types that I didn't mention, because they aren't dangerous. They don't know how to handle real problems because they lack experience, have short attention spans, and move on out of sheer boredom. Target fixation over the long term requires patience that few children have, and those that do have natural patience rarely exclude empathy. Patience and ADD are mutually exclusive. The three day wait will be enough for any 13-year olds to switch targets, but if they don't, then remember that children can have OCD, too. Those rare few will break down into one of the four archtypes I mentioned, but almost certainly will exclude the Stalker archtype.


Quote:
There have been more than a few that fight because of a schoolyard or schoolyard-like behavior.
And again, those are not one of the dangerous archtypes, unless it's just a superficial spin on Entitlement, which I already dealt with. I said specifically that I was listing only the dangerous ones -- the ones that can cause a situation to escalate out of control if correct motivation is not recognized. But I'd love to know how you would suggest someone determine the difference between someone of your schoolyard bully archtype, and one of my four dangerous ones. That information might help people with their problems, but just mentioning that they exist doesn't solve anything.


Quote:
I think that calling someone, or rather anyone, psychologically flawed is a bit presumptuous and insulting
If the other person is not, but I treat him like he is (ie. extremely carefully, like I suggested), how am I going to hurt myself? So what if I'm wrong? The worst I suffer is a little embarrassment, and I can issue an apology for that. But by being careful and determining if the person responds to reason, I can identify the person as not being of the 4 dangerous archtypes. Remember that my process does not assume psychological are always present issues to start, only that they might be present and if they aren't, the person isn't dangerous so you can't screw up. My method only identifies the 4 archtypes if they prove unresponsive to reason. People that do not respond to reason are flawed in some way.

But if I assume he's mentally healthy, and he is not, things can get infinitely worse. because by failing to try to identify motive, one can trigger worse obsessive or compulsive behaviors in someone that is already obsessing on you.

So you make your assumptions, and I'll make mine, but I guarantee you're going to pay for yours, and I am not... at least not any more than you are, but I'll pay less when I'm right and not at all when you are. I'd rather be wrong and embarrassed than right and suffering. Divorcing your ego from your methods definitely helps deal with people that have ego problems themselves. It's a great defense, because they have nothing to claw at or manipulate you with.

Quote:
This varies by country to country, so a bit hard to say all are going to use the same standards.
Canada, US, Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth all use 4x. (Turns out the US does permit more, but 10x is unconstitutional. I'm a Canuck. I'm allowed to be off on US Law.) Every other nation that uses Roman Law as the foundation for its legal system will use something similar, since this is based on precedent not legislation. Since this is a NA server, NA standards should apply. If this were the German server, I'd look up German laws. Either way, when you deal with me, I'm throwing Canadian Law at people, because I don't care if you're in Angola, which may permit you to do anything you want if your daddy is in government.

So, Bullbound, what do you think is a reasonable, measured response for people that want payback when they think they've been "farmed". since you don't like the 4x standard I presented? Not rhetorical. How much do you think is too much before the victim's revenge becomes victimization?

Quote:
I'm not sure where those figures come from, but according to the United States Department of Justice, male and female stalkers employ the same methods and the gender of the victim is not a factor when the fixation is non-sexual.
The link to the Dept of Justice (US) from Wikipedia is broken, so I'll have to use Austria. You can pick it up off the Wikipedia "Stalking" page. 86% female. I honestly don't remember where I picked the 90% figure up (I first started looking into it 20 years ago, so source fades), but remember that men at one point would have reported it a lot less frequently out of embarrassment, so female proportion would be higher in older studies.

Quote:
However, they do almost always have an accomplice, no matter the cause for the fixation. This would indicate two are involved in the attack, not just one.
Irrelevant in a game without group dynamics. But you're wrong on the "almost always" anyway. Again, wikipedia:

Quote:
According to a U.S. Department of Justice special report[17] a significant number of people reporting stalking incidents claim that they had been stalked by more than one person, with 18.2% reporting that they were stalked by two people, 13.1% reporting that they had been stalked by three or more. The report did not break down these cases into numbers of victims who claimed to have been stalked by several people individually, and by people acting in concert.

According to a United Kingdom study by Sheridan and Boon,[18] in 5% of the cases they studied there was more than one stalker, and 40% of the victims said that friends or family of their stalker had also been involved. In 15% of cases, the victim was unaware of any reason for the harassment.
In a grouping game, two guys could get used to roaming red servers and griefing the same people over and over for weeks. There's too little shared enjoyment in target fixation in S&F for that to happen without one person being manipulated into believing his buddy is being victimized.

So at best, 31% have "accomplices", and at worst for you, 5%. Remember that I mentioned that stalkers will recruit help, especially females, but the helper is not himself an obsessed stalker. The helper has been fooled into thinking he is defending the hurt party, just as my friend was nearly assaulted by a third party that had been fooled into believing my friend had abused his Stalker, so the way they worded the US study may have included such manipulated people as accomplices, and not a truly involved stalking ally. Stalkers are manipulators, and practiced ones at that. The victim would not be able to tell the difference, if the helper weren't careful, like in my friend's not-quite-really-bad encounter.

Quote:
If your words can possibly be construed as insulting or demeaning, you can be reported for violating the terms. Consider this a friendly warning on such behavior.
I've been on the front lines communicating with such people, and know that my communications have been carefully examined. I know how far I can go from experience, and never earning a warning.

Quote:
This does not accomplish a thing. iTZKooPA and Playa Games GmbH are not going to be able to assist you if someone is just attacking you repeatedly. You want to report a player if they say something inappropriate, insulting, derogatory, containing profanity, etc. and you can suffer punitive action if folks feel you are flooding the support line with inappropriate messages.
I didn't say flood. I said, "Send 1." And it's for record keeping, nothing more. Itzkoopa, if he wants to build a case against that target fixated player at a later date, can have his own logs checked for the mail, and can include that as evidence of a pattern of behavior when the player does overstep the Terms when abusing some other person later.

At the very least, it cannot hurt you to keep itzKoopa informed, whether he wants to hear it or not.

Bullbound, we don't need warnings about our behavior. We don't need criticism that we might be wrong, when we're talking about measured responses and not overreacting in the first place. We need solutions. Playa has left it to us to figure out how to stop this form of harassment. Help us. Or ban us. But criticizing those that are already staring at leaving the game is only supporting the harassers and adding to the victimization.

So, what's your solution for the schoolyard bully? Is he going to follow you when you dump honor? How will he respond to particular forms of communications? What should you not say to him? What techniques will get him to stop? Knowing he exists isn't enough! This is about trying to stop him!

You mentioned him. You tell us how to deal with him.

Last edited by Charista; 06-20-2011 at 10:38 PM.
  #10  
Old 06-21-2011, 12:12 AM
Jengas Jengas is offline
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lol, wow this is a hotter topic than I ever expected. ^^;
 

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