Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

MMOs, or Massively Multiplayer Online Games, are some of the most popular video games of this era. Some, like the World of Warcraft or Everquest have economies and populations larger than some countries. That's pretty damned impressive. With all games, especially online ones, there's a certain amount of adjusting that needs to be done on a regular basis. Sometimes there's a goal or a monster that's insurmountable, other times they're too easy. Sometimes it's the players themselves who have to be adjusted and balanced. And there are always plenty of software bugs and exploits that need to be found and eliminated.

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For the most part, most MMOs operate pretty smoothly on a day to day basis, which is good, since they're active 24/7, and most times bugs and exploits are stopped before they become big problems, but those big problems do happen, make no mistake. Crashes and glitches can be devastating to an MMO's subscription base, and enough of them can drive players away from the game.

But sometimes it's not a problem with the programming that causes huge disasters in an MMO. Sometimes it's the players themselves, being jackasses that can bring an MMO to it's knees. It's in this spirit that I present the Top 8 MMO Catastrophes Caused by Players.

And yes, I do realize that if it weren't for the games' programmers, most of these list items wouldn't exist, but it's the players involved in these sordid tales that actively sought out ways to make their fellows' lives a living hell, at least as far as the game goes.

8. You Can't Has End of World - The Matrix Online

Ahh, the Matrix Online; a game where you play a person who is living inside a computer simulation. If you managed to find a copy of the Matrix Online while playing in the Matrix Online you could have potentially set in motion a series of events that would lead to you spontaneously combusting IRL, or was that in the game...I forget.

Seriously though, the Matrix Online was released in 2005 and really failed to catch on. I guess those two shitfest sequel films really turned people away from the property or something. By the summer of 2009, Sony decided to shut down the servers for good and finally put a bullet in the brain that was the mortally wounded playerbase.

Isn't this the beginning of Smooth Criminal?
Isn't this the beginning of Smooth Criminal?

What better way to end a game than to throw an End-of-Game event right? The developers of the Matrix Online decided to give everybody a huge number of abilities for a short amount of time before killing off every player simultaneously. The downside? The Matrix didn't really have a huge number of active players, but everybody who did have subscription was on that night, and they all had access to the most powerful, and graphically intensive abilities in the game.

The end result was chaos. Computers became unable to process the huge amounts of information coming their way. The chat log became clogged with last minute insults. Griefers ran around killing people with a single hit. It was anarchy, and what's worst of all, everybody experienced it as a slideshow.

Still, it beats The Matrix: Revolutions.

7. Thanks for Supporting Us, Now Go Away - Darkfall

With an 8 and 1/2 year development cycle, Darkfall was one of the most anticipated MMORPGs of 2009. It boasted lush graphics, intense PVP action and a robust system behind it all. What people got was substantially less than advertised, but that's not why they're on this list.

Darkfall's problems started even before the game was released. It was just too damned popular for it's own good. Mind you, that's not a terrible problem to have. People found themselves unable to preorder the game and if you couldn't get a copy of the game before-hand, you were out of luck.

There is nothing wrong with Darkfall's servers.  People should only play games when nobody else is playing them to enhance the experience.
There is nothing wrong with Darkfall's servers.
People should only play games when nobody else is playing them to enhance the experience.

Unfortunately, the creators didn't anticipate that every person who bought Darkfall would want to play it, and despite having full knowledge of the number of copies that were floating around out there before launch day, there just wasn't the server capacity to hold all of them. The result was a disaster. Every player coming on to try out the game on launch day was another person causing problems on the server.

One at a time goddamnit! This is an MMO, not happy hour!

6. Shut the Fuck Up Already! - PlayStation Home

To say that PlayStation Home was anticipated is an understatement. It had been hinted at and teased out in such a way that when it finally did see release, most PlayStation 3 owners hopped right on. It was a wonderful experience to begin to build a room and head out into the detailed (albeit small) world that had been created for players to interact in.

And Sony took security very seriously. Curse words and racial slurs were censored automatically so they wouldn't appear in the chat bubbles that began popping up all over the place. One problem though.

Sony couldn't censor what people were saying through their microphones.

This can only end well.
This can only end well.

It's safe to say that the vast majority of assholes in online games play first person shooters, and most of those games encourage the use of microphones to help develop group tactics. So it came to the shock of absolutely nobody when these people began hopping on PlayStation Home and bringing their particular brand of trash talk with them.

After about a week of seeing crudely typed curse words and hearing 12 year olds with amplified microphones and huge distortion screaming the word 'fuck' screamed at the top of their lungs for hours on end, Sony decided to finally do something about it and began banning troublemakers. Now PlayStation Home is no longer Mos Eisley bad, it's now just Chuckie Cheese in New Jersey bad.

5. Being a Prick 101 - City of Heroes

Being an asshole comes easy to some people. Others have to work at it, and what better way to learn how than from a University Professor. David Myers of Loyola University decided to find out just how much of an asshole he could be while playing City of Heroes, and then, likely in a bid to get the university to pay his subscription fees, made a behavioral study out of it.

Calling himself Twixt, Professor Myers began playing by the rules, killing villains (other players) using a teleportation power to relocate them directly in front of a firing squad. Understandably this made him extremely unpopular.

According to a bunch of basement dwellers this is the true face of evil.
According to a bunch of basement dwellers this is the true face of evil.

Villain-characters would attack Twixt in large groups to attempt to drive Myers from the game. When that failed, they began attacking him with *gasp* words! They sent him threatening messages, attacked him on forums, and when Myers took a short break from the game, reported that he had been banned permanently for using a racial slur.

The professor used the abuse he received from angry players to publish a paper: Play and Punishment: The Sad and Curious Case of Twixt (doc file).

The name Twixt still drums up butt-hurt feelings from City of Heroes players to this day. Not bad for a professor.

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