Since nothing heals shameful memories quite like making them public (apart from alcohol), we decided to invite you to share your most embarrassing MMO stories alongside some of our own.
I've sifted through the 90 comments of cringe to bring back what I think are some of the real gems of the bunch. To reference Illidan the Betrayer, I was not prepared. Some are tales that involve terrible UIs, others are white lies that grew too big, but all of them are pretty damn shameful and those involved should should all feel terrible. That said, let's all point fingers and laugh together.
Lost in translation
Our first story involves commenter Jendryk Gaming who decided, back during the early days of Everquest, that joining a Korean-speaking guild was a good idea. The guild designated him as one of their Korean translators for the other non-Korean speakers in the group "in exchange for perks on loot and platinum." Only there was just one problem: Jendryk doesn't speak Korean.
"I was copying and pasting phrases/sentences from online," he writes. "I pretty much just made stuff up and told the others what I thought we should be doing and what the guild leader might be ordering people to do in Korean. I pretty much just based my strategies off of what I read on the Fires of Heaven and Afterlife message boards. I was still pretty noobish," Jendryk explains, going on to mention that he was able to keep this charade up for months as he exploited the guild for loot and in-game money.
It was a good lie, until the guild decided to bring in an actual translator. "I was called out on it by the guy, who then was not given perks on loot and platinum since I'd sown so much distrust among the Koreans for American translators," Jendryk writes. "After the fallout, I was a laughing stock and couldn't get into a decent guild."
"Still, I got some great gear out of my charade."
Sounds like this guy would do great in EVE Online.
Hunters in World of Warcraft don't have the best reputation. They're like a lead singer who shows up drunk two minutes before the show begins, after the rest of the band has been there for hours setting up and doing sound checks. You can thank players like Christopher for that stereotype of being entitled and selfish—even if his actions were unintentional.
"I didn't understand that difference between need and greed so I'd run dungeons needing everything so I got it all and could later sort out what I could wear," Christopher writes and, as a long-time WoW player, I'm already shaking my head so hard I need to see a chiropractor.
"People never actually tell you the rules for things like that ironically, they just kick you," Christoper says in his defense. But during one dungeon, Christopher opened up the loot chest after the final boss and again swiped everything—even gear he couldn't wear. "Someone finally took the time to scream at me for ninja-looting stuff I couldn't wear and then kicked me and told me I was going to be reported."
But here's the kicker: when Christopher's actions finally caused his poor party member to snap, he was running Uldaman, a dungeon meant for players between levels 35 and 45. That means that Christopher had been ripping people off for weeks as he leveled up.
"I finally learned how loot worked and that classes use different loot and stats that day."
Thank god Blizzard changed how looting works.
Oh, did you need that?
Older MMOs used have very sacred forms of etiquette. In games like EverQuest and Final Fantasy XI, for example, one rule was that, when it came to rare monster spawns, those who were there first had dibs. Unless Brian is nearby.
"There was an item I was trying to get in Lower Guk, a dungeon, but in order to get it, I had to kill a certain patrolling mob," Brian explains. "I had carefully made my way down there alone, and there was a group sitting around resting, doing nothing. I did not realize at the time that they too were there for the same reason."
"I did not realize just how rare this spawn was, so as I traced the mob's patrol pattern and found it down the hall a ways, I didn't think twice… I killed it," Brian writes. "And what do you know, it dropped what I needed! Delighted, I grabbed it and then was promptly attacked by the group for stealing their mob. I did manage to escape, though how I'm not certain. I was mystified why they were so upset, but it wasn't until after I had logged out and did some further digging online did I find out that it was a rare mob. It spawns randomly a set number of times every 24 hours. As best as I can tell, they had been camping that mob for about 12 hours waiting for the last spawn for that 24 hour period. Oops."
A UI that would make angels cry
Authurious writes in with a really special story that deserves extra attention. During the final fight of the Sunwell raid in World of Warcraft, Authurious' group was beginning to fall apart because the main tank couldn't hold the attention of the boss. As a result, the damage-dealing characters were repeatedly dying.
Between attempts at the boss, a fight broke out and Authurious explains he tried to settle the dispute by sharing a screenshot he took of the party chat. It worked, but not like he had intended. "Let's just say the image brought the raid to a standstill for 30 mins because my horrible UI was well, horrible."
Everyone was so disturbed by Authurious' UI abomination, they forgot what they were fighting about.
Just take a look for yourself.
"I've since improved my UI substantially," he says.
A whole new world
DS Wreck's most embarrassing story is my personal favorite, and it's really short too.
"I played my first month of WoW looking straight down at my character until I accidentally click-swiped and then my mind was blown," he writes.
How can you go a whole month without realizing World of Warcraft isn't a top-down RPG?
You've come to the wrong neighborhood
Our final story is easily the best because it has some serious consequences. Commenter Leidan Wing writes in to tell us about the dangers of letting other people share your account in EVE Online.
Back in 2009, Leidan wanted to revisit New Eden after a hiatus and a friend offered to let him play his character since he wasn't playing anymore, but still kept a subscription active to keep his skills training. "It was perfect for me as I didn't have to pay for a second account," Leidan explains. "He had started playing before me and he had never stopped, so he had a much better character than mine."
Eventually, Leidan decided to stop playing, but he never took the time to quit the alliance that he flew for. When his friend decided to start playing that same character again a few months later, he didn't realize that Leidan had been flying with one of the biggest alliances in the game, Band of Brothers. Here's the problem: Band of Brothers had quite a few enemies they were at war with.
Since Leidan's friend was hanging out in high security zones, he assumed the space cops would protect him from any kind of danger. "However, if you are in an alliance which is at war against another group, EVE's police do not act against the assaulter if they are rightfully at war against the person they are attacking."
Leidan's friend didn't know this.
"One day it happened that he was piloting his massive Caldari hauler to move all his stuff from one place to another. Because he didn't move out of high security systems he thought he was safe, until a couple of signals in the local channel caught his attention." Leidan's friend had bumped into enemies of Band of Brothers, and they weren't going to pass up an opportunity to inflict some damage. "A couple of ships quickly targeted him and started jamming his warp drive so he could not escape and started attacking. Massive as a hauler ship is, it took them a while to completely destroy his ship and all the stuff he had inside."
Not only did Leidan's friend lose nearly a billion ISK worth of stuff—which at the time was an enormous loss—he also had to endure public humiliation. "The enemies also uploaded the killmail you receive in-game to a website to keep track of all the kills and loses in a war. The balance between the contendants is measured by the amount of damage each group has dealt to the other in ISK. That one billion ISK at the time was a huge chunk against my old alliance. The killmail was full of comments of my ex-corpmates, blaming him for being so careless."
"I still wonder what face he made and what kind of insults passed through his mind directed at me," Leidan writes. Fortunately, Leidan mentions his friend did (eventually) forgive him. Which, frankly, I find miraculous.
Those were some of the most embarrassing stories from our readers. To find the rest, be sure to check out the article. If you have a story that you haven't yet shared, do so in the comments. Let's keep this shame train rolling.
Comments were edited for length and clarity.