The Alien Critic Reviews...
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TAC Reviews...Why do People Grief Online??

Date Posted: 19/08/19


I apologise for this week's review/rant/ponder being a day late, unfortunately I was struggling to think of something to review or even talk about. The majority of things that have crossed my path recently have not been worth bringing to the attention of you, my loyal readers. Game wise I have literally just started playing Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor but it will probably be a couple of weeks at least before I finish that and can review it...thing is I can already tell that I am going to like it. So what do I discuss this week?? As you may have deduced from the title I am going to ponder the question: Why do People Grief Online??



The reason I have not got much to discuss at present is because Abbie and I are slowly working our way through the TV show Lucifer, and I haven't watched any films that warrant discussion in the last week. GTA Online is still taking up a lot of my spare time and thanks to changing the MTU settings to 800 I have been able to play mostly without interference allowing me to grind my way up to $25,500,000 and counting.

I did consider doing another GTA Online update as the Casino DLC has recently been launched, Rockstar have made changes to Passive Mode and I have been able to afford the best toys, partially through being able to grind up to a million dollars within the space of a couple of hours if I feel like it, and partially because I linked my Amazon Twitch Account to the Rockstar Social Club account which has given me access to massive discounts on in-game stuff. I bought a $8,000,000 super yacht last week for no other reason than it was reduced by a whopping 85% to $1,200,000. Dito the Ruiner 2000, the most expensive car in the game was reduced from its $4,000,000ish trade price tag to $650,000 (an amount of in-game currency that I was able to recoup in around an hour or so).

I will admit that I am playing now to acquire more money, my minimum amount of $10,000,000 went to $15 million and now I just keep going whilst still buying stuff I want when it is on sale

The settings that I use in the game mean that basically I will get put in a Solo Public Lobby and occasionally other players join, once more than around half a dozen enter the server, my settings will boot them out leaving me alone to grind away without people griefing me. A wrinkle in this trick is that I cannot join heists or do missions with other players without exiting to Settings and resetting my MTU to 1500, which causes GTA Online to close and reopen in a new session. The other downside to this tactic is that Friends on my console can join a session that I am in, which is fine if those friends are peaceful, not so if they are hostile.

Now you may be asking why I'd have friends that are hostile towards me when they join a session, and the reason is simple, they are people I know in the real world and get shitty if I remove them from my friends list.

These three grief me because they know me and know it irritates me because I am trying to get stuff done, and think I'm a stick-in-the-mud for not joining this snipers Vs runners game that they play over and over again when they are online.

I have mentioned them before in my GTA Online articles and they view themselves as being KD (or Kill-Death) Warriors. They don't use cheap tricks like suicide or passive popping to kill other players whilst avoiding being killed themselves. The thing is that I am not interested in PvP (that's Player Vs Player) and my eyes always roll when I see one or all of them join my lobby knowing that I am going to have to abandon my grinding session and either stop playing or just hang out in one of my many businesses until they get bored of waiting for me to come out so they can attack me. I almost never try to engage them because, one, they always gang up on me and, two, they are much better at PvP than me because they do it all the time whereas I almost never fight other players.

The other day the three amigos (film reference) joined a session and I headed to my yacht which has its own defensive system and hung out on whilst watching them get taken out by its defensive weaponry over and over. This didn't deter them so I hightailed it to my Hanger in the military base. Now I can enter the base without getting a wanted level because I own a hanger there, they don't, so will get attacked by the military if they enter the base.

One on one PvP with any of them always results in me loosing, dito if I try to engage them in the same vehicles as they have. I will be destroyed as they attack en mass. However, they are limited to an Oppressor Mk II and two Deluxos.

Whilst in my Hanger just waiting for them to get bored and piss off, it finally hit me.

I have tonnes of money and can afford to buy the best stuff...something that they cannot do because during their time on GTA Online they have been focusing on KD Ratio. Whilst I on the other hand have amassed a modest fortune, every business the game has to offer, as well as over a dozen of weaponised vehicles/aircraft and every gun I could possibly own as well as their MK II upgraded versions.

Therefore why should I fight them on their terms??

Thanks to my Twitch/Social Club link one of the game's best dog-fighting aircraft, the B-11 was on sale for under a million dollars this week, so as they buzzed around my hanger fighting the military and waiting for me to emerge, I purchased the B-11 and upgraded its weapons, fitted it with bombs and headed out to bring the fight to them.

The first drawback of an aircraft is that it needs time to take off and my first outing resulting in it getting taken down quite quickly. I ran into the Hanger respawned another, and headed out again. This time things went better I was able to dodge around them and target them. My plane was eventually shot down after I got a few kills, but not destroyed, so I parachuted out returned to my Hanger before they could kill me, respawed another jet and resumed the fight.

This went on for maybe 20 minutes or so with me fighting all three of them and when they managed to shoot me down, parachuting back to the Hanger getting another B-11 so I could keep fighting back.

As I was doing this, two of them left the lobby whilst the third remained, and I was able to keep killing him because I was in a fast and manoeuvrable jet, whilst he was stuck on foot.

I was honestly quite pleased with myself (as you can probably tell by the lengthy description of the fight above) because I had turned the tables of my three griefers. Instead of running and hiding, waiting for them to get bored, I had taken the fight to them and I had won. I invested in the Ruiner 2000 mentioned above because it is part of a VIP work free-mode mission and when that is active the car has ridiculous armour, and unlimited missiles so I will use be able to use that against them in the future too.

It seems that griefing is not so much fun when your opponent fights back.

This got me thinking about why players grief others in the first place??

These three do it because they know me personally and do it to be intentionally annoying, plus because they can get some easy kills to add to their KD Ratio, but why grief a stranger??

In GTA Online so many YouTubers have got massive stiffys over the Oppressor MK II complaining that it is too over powered, that it is just a tool for griefing, and yes it is the tool of choice for the griefer but people have been griefing others in the game since the beginning of Online.

Long before there were weaponised or military vehicles, players might simply wait until someone else had gone into a store and park a vehicle across the doors so they couldn't get out. Weapons are disabled in stores so the vehicle could not be blasted out of the way therefore the only thing the trapped player could do was kill themselves so they could respawn elsewhere. When I first started playing, other players charged around in cars throwing sticky bombs at anyone they could find and blowing them up. Cargo is always a target, sourced cars are attacked, and forget about trying to do multiple delivery vehicle sales alone in a public lobby because it is pretty much a guarantee that they will be destroyed before you've finished your first delivery.

The Oppressor MK II is just a tool that the grifers use, before that it was jets which ruled lobbies, and even the Zentorno which was bullet proof from the back was called a griefing tool at one time.

Griefing is not just limited to GTA Online as I was watching a Stream of Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation fame) and his girlfriend Kess playing Dark Souls the other day when another player invaded their game and attacked them.

Seriously what is the appeal??

Later in another of their streamed videos another player invaded but actively helped Kess (who was playing at the time) as she progressed through the level. Both Yahtzee and Kess were amazed by someone helping and I have talked about players that have helped me in GTA Online being few and far between.

I don't see where the fun in annoying someone else factors in to gaming

Does it make a male players balls feel big to be flying around in a jet or other vehicle blowing up other players' cargoes or vehicles, or other players who are just trying to play the game in peace?? Do female gamers get all moist between their legs as they imagine someone weeping at the loss of the cargo they worked so hard to acquire??

Personally I don't see the appeal in griefing from a distance, face to face sure because you want to see the tears roll down the cheeks of the person whose day/life you have just ruined, but in a game?? What the purpose?? You don't get to see the other person shaking their fists in impotent rage as they are attacked so why do it??

Maybe it is a human thing, as it is the ultimately way for massive cowards to make themselves feel important or significant. I mean think about it, who gives a second thought to other players in a game when they are just minding their own business?? No one that's who. But a griefer, some asshole that attacks remorselessly gets some attention from the person they are attacking, YouTubers talk about them and you take note of who they are. I still remember the toxic griefers that have come after me, one in particular who teamed up with another player to get me out of "his" lobby and killed me over and over, then texted me in-game to tell me that he'd keep killing me till I left. Me being stubborn I went into Passive Mode, texted back to say I was sticking around just to irritate him then stayed in the lobby until it was populated just to annoy him

The rise of the Internet has given the nameless morons a way of griefing and trolling other people without fear of consequences. This is not a feature exclusive to gaming as people on Twitter or any other media get trolled when random people can comment on posts made by others.

I can only conclude no consequences is the only reason why people grief or troll, basically they are powerless, unimportant fuck-wits who crave getting attention from anyone just so their worthless lives don't seem so pathetic anymore. If someone, anyone, gives them a tiny amount of attention then it gives them a reason to exist and makes them feel slightly better about their miserable existence.

If you want to ruin someone else's time then why not do it in person?? Because in person they can get punched in the face and must face consequences. Online, however, they can do as they want without fear of repercussions. Griefing is for the new generation of cowards who lack the stones to do anything in person but have the courage of a lion when they are protected by a Username and an Online server.

Maybe we shouldn't be angry at trolls and griefers, maybe we should pity them, because they are longing for some attention so badly that they will take any interaction from another person good or bad just because it means someone has noticed they exist.


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© Chris Sharman