Friday, 19 June 2009

"SPAM IS MY MIDDLE NAME"

A frequently heard grumble, particularly from players on RP servers, concerns misuse of the player-moderated chat channel Global Looking for Fellowship (GLFF), with "player-moderated", in this case, being a euphemism for "unmoderated". GLFF, on those servers which have implemented it, is supposed to be for people looking for fellowships across all regions of Middle-earth. Being a channel most players keep permanently open, unless they are actually on a quest or raid, in practice it tends to be used for lots of other purposes, including idle chit-chat - irritating, if you are only keeping half an eye on GLFF in the hope of finally catching mention of that quest you've been trying to complete for the last two weeks.

However, what really gets some people wound up is the hijacking of the channel by LOTRO's equivalent of drunken louts, who use it to exchange incomprehensible badinage at tedious length; judging by the palpable snigger which accompanies many of these exchanges, the perpetrators are mostly 12-year old male refugees from WoW. Inevitably, increasingly annoyed requests for said louts to take themselves off to another channel and desist from clogging up GLFF are met by even more frenzied spamming.

I guess that's why the Lords of Creation (a.k.a. LOTRO devs) gave us ignore lists, though they might usefully have increased their maximum capacity. The following brief excerpt from a Chat Log which I saved a couple of months ago and just recently rediscovered gives a pretty good idea of what comes through an average evening. Names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

### Chat Log: General 04/25 08:30 PM ###

[GLOBALlff] Runarfin: 'rofl'
[GLOBALlff] Malethor: 'whats consonants preciouse?!:o whats consonants?:o'

[GLOBALlff] Arandarion: 'well, just don't react when someone starts to spam, or it becomes a massive spam in here :o'

[GLOBALlff] Runarfin: 'con-so-nants!'

[GLOBALlff] Erlo: 'Etten raid up.'

[GLOBALlff] Runarfin: 'b-b-boil em mash-em stick em in a stew'

[GLOBALlff] Thrawneekaran: 'watcher raid looking for burg now, any good out there?'

[GLOBALlff] Malethor: 'xDD'

[GLOBALlff] Erlo: 'God can people stop random spam. I do spam abit but this is just pure silly.'

[GLOBALlff] Candytuft: 'I'm excellent, but unavailable :-p'

[GLOBALlff] Dworim: 'ahahaha Runarfin'

[GLOBALlff] Glewdron: 'we always try to repel em but they always return in greater numbers -.-'

[GLOBALlff] Runarfin: 'spam is my middle name'

[GLOBALlff] Mpty: 'So I see.'

[GLOBALlff] Glewdron: '(speaking about spam)..'

[GLOBALlff] Runarfin: 'you just split my first name'

[GLOBALlff] Mpty: 'Whats the fun of spam if noone listens.
'

7 comments:

binkley said...

Didn't know about /glff -- thanks!

I just setup a new tab for it. Is there a way to type /glff Need fellowship, 2.6.8 instead of /1 Need fellowship, 2.6.8?

Jaxom92 said...

If a person becomes excessively spammy or inane on GLFF, I'll put them on ignore. Unfortunately, if they eventually post a legitimate glff, I won't see it. If enough people ignore the spammers, their spamming habits will have significant consequences to their grouping ease. I don't think enough of us do to make a difference, and only hurt ourselves in the process.

Kairos said...

Don't forget that somebody has to start up a GLFF channel in the first place, although I think that by now, most servers have an equivalent.

There has been a lot of debate about whether or not GMs should moderate GLFF channels for spam; my belief is that they can't and won't ever do so, though they will almost certainly intervene in the case of seriously abusive comments. The best thing Turbine could do is give us a significantly larger ignore list, preferably one which allows you to input a comment or reason.

jdw said...

Fancy words like "badinage" and "palpable" and "snigger" don't elevate you above the spammers, just so we're clear. (As Mark Twain once said: "When you catch an adjective, kill it.") What they do is make you sound pretentious, which makes you an even better target for the /glff trolls. (And I know all about being pretentious -- I just graduated with an English degree!)

For what it's worth, on many of the smaller servers, /glff is really the only server-wide community, because there's not a whole lot of talk going on in local /advice and /ooc channels and such. To me, that makes spamming /glff perfectly understandable, if not always acceptable -- there's certainly a line which can be crossed, but it's not the line between genuine LFFs and a single non-LFF message. What are MMOs about, after all, if not community?

Kairos said...

"Snigger" is a fancy word?

jdw said...

It may just be a regional thing...? I don't know -- I can infer its meaning without looking it up, but I've neither heard nor read it before.

Kairos said...

This debate goes far beyond LOTRO, but is fascinating anyway. Of the three words jdw singles out, I would rate "badinage", a borrowing from French, as an unusual word; "palpable", a latinism, as probably a little below average in terms of familiarity; and "snigger" as everyday or common usage - hence my surprise. All of the above, however, are probably only applicable to British usage. Wikipedia describes "snigger" as "the British pronunciation and spelling of snicker", though I would be inclined to describe the two as synonyms.