Monday, 5 April 2010
In case it's not immediately obvious, the fragment of an ingame log, above, posted on Codemasters forum yesterday and immediately copied onto a number of private forums, refers to something which took place on the Laurelin server. The player identified as Denwyn was leading a fellowship in the Sammath Gul instance, where the rare Symbol of Celebrimbor dropped after the group successfully took down Gorothul. All six players rolled for the item, with the leader scoring a lowly 7; immediately after the roll, the leader assigned the item to himself and left the fellowship. In game parlance, to acquire loot items by fraud of any kind is to ninja them.
The player concerned, a Hunter once known as Deniro, promptly changed his name once again to "Alitis", arguing a certain amount of premeditation (whether he knows it or not, by the way, his new name is the Greek word for "thug"). Now, Codemasters have rules about naming and shaming which forbid the outing of bad player behaviour on their forums, which means that by the time you look for it, the thread may have been deleted. CM Gamemasters are also under strict instructions not to take any action over player v. player complaints of things like ninja looting. I can see where they are coming from, of course - to do otherwise would almost certainly lead to a flood of trivial or even malicious complaints, quickly swamping the system. However, it strikes me that in a few serious, well-documented cases, or those where the same player has consistently been reported for abusing the rules and/or disruptive behaviour, there is every justification for GM intervention leading to a partial or total ban. The proof is easily available in the form of game logs like the one above, and I believe there are catch-all rules about harassing and inappropriate activity which could certainly be made to cover blatant ninja looting. And it's in nobody's interest to have thugs running around ingame - not even, or perhaps particularly not even the publisher's.