Now before I even begin let me point something out. Many of you reading this post will be like, "Why are the mods even letting something like this get posted?!" Well because we griefers have as much right to play this game and voice our opinions as those whom choose to play nice in this game.
For some time I've been bothered about how often the term griefer or thief gets thrown around in game. It seems you are a griefer/thief for one thousand and one different things most of which have nothing to do with stealing or tormenting people.
As the person who literally defined griefing on my home server of Wintersebb I'm going to clarify exactly what it means to be a griefer, and then I'm going to explain some of the benefits and drawbacks of said position in detail. This post is to help people who are confused about the whole griefer taboo.
First off lets define griefing shall we? Put it in solid terms so it's not so easily applied to just about anything we do. Websters New World College Dictionary defines grief as "1. Intense emotional suffering caused by loss, disaster, misfortune, etc; acute sorrow; deep sadness. 2. A cause or subject of such suffering." Being a griefer means intentionally causing emotional suffering to others. I say intentionally because if I accidentaly take one of your kills in BSD, that does not make me a griefer. It's doubtful you are suffering intense emotional suffering from the act, and the term griefer as applied would mean someone who causes grief on a regular basis to destroy the enjoyment of other players.
A good example of a griefer would be a person who follows around a low level noob taking all their kills so they can't level. I've done this on many occasions. Another favorite is when someone asks for a portal to subway I open a portal to Nexus drop and if they are unbuffed chances are good the drop creature has killed them by the time they realize what's happened. Good times, good times.
Now lets look at being a thief. Again I turn to websters. "theft is the general term and larceny the legal term for the unlawful or felonious taking away of another's property without his or her consent and with the intention of depriving the person of it;"
I have a friend in game who purchased an energy crystal for 1,500 plats back in the day when they were still very rare. Well the person who sold her the crystal had his account recalled by the original owner who demanded the crystal be returned without reimbursing her the plats she had lost in the deal. Was she a thief? The answer is no. She did not unlawfully or feloniously take the energy crystal away.
Another instance is the famous mansion incident for which I am widely remembered. A mansion had been put up for auction on Acvault, and sadly I lost the bid. However, I went to the person who held the auction before he gave up the mansion, and in the end paid him enough that he gave up the mansion to me, instead of honoring the auction. I became widely known as a thief after that. Did I steal? Many of you would say yes but the correct answer is no. I did grief. Oh yeah did I grief. But I did not unlawfully or feloniously take the mansion from its current owner at that time.
Now that we've laid out exactly what griefing and being a thief mean lets look at the benefits of turning to the dark side of the force shall we?
Let's be frank. There are times when alot of us would like to plunder a corpse we find open in a dungeon, or keep the items from a body we saw deteriorate in fellowship. But one primal fear haunts us. If we do such a horrible act, won't we be ostracised from the game? Alot of times people on the vault will say, "OMG, griefer no one trade with them or allow them in allegiance!" Scared the would-be griefer repents his act and is once again in the grace of everyone.
Well let me tell you something. In the world of the griefer threats are empty. Understand that the people threatening you with punishment are following the rules. YOU are not. Which means they are afraid of you whether they admit it or not. Recently I was in Lacuna looking to hunt and would not be admitted into the fellowship because of my status as the worst griefer in the world. So what did I do? Cry and leave to hunt elsewhere? No, I set up in the main room right next to them and began what I do best; griefing.
They began losing 14 million an hour to the griefer who was taking their kills. All of a sudden their pride got swallowed real fast and they invited me into fellow after about an hour of telling me to stop griefing, and me mocking them. What other choice do they have? So I got things my way.
When you grief you are the threat. Not them. They want you to play by the rules because then the playing field is level. But when they play by the rules, and you don't guess who has the advantage? Wouldn't it be great to play a game of poker where your opponent had to play by the rules, but you could use 2 of any card to get a royal flush? Bet you'd play really often, and your opponent would most likely tell you that no one would ever trade with you again, or fellow you.
One last thing on this. Don't worry about people not trading with you. At the most hated time in my history I had no trouble going to the trading areas in WE and finding someone who wanted my money. I've never found a goodie-twoshoe who would turn down money because of morals.
The main benefit of being a griefer is simple. When you find that open body in BSD, with its owner a few feet away fighting off tuskers, and you take a peek inside and see rending wands and fully tinked armor, guess what?! You just got some rending wands and tinked armor! I remember an instance about a month ago when I was in market and bandit sight went off like mad. I rushed into the NW room where two trade mules were placing backpacks on the floor. I ran over, and checked the backpacks to find they were filled with salvage! So I helped myself to the screams of, "No! Please no!" I then used that salvage as trading points to purchase the items I wanted later on. And if you have moral implications to doing such acts just remind yourself that it was a charitable donation to the Poor Griefers Fund and move on.
So for benefits you make your own rules, set your own hours, and the dental plan is fantastic. I'm one of the wealthiest men on the Wintersebb server. I have so much wealth my mules are almost full. Did I get it from a monarchy? Yes, alot of monarchies in fact. None of which I belonged to.
There are a few disadvantages to leading the griefing lifestyle. Most of which are PK oriented. Unless you have a few friends that are willing to stick their necks out for you, it's a sure bet you are going to get ganked and often. Most of the time I can go to our main PK city where two hated enemies are duking it out and they both stop mid-fight to join forces to kill me. If you are a really good PK, or if your character has alot of xp you can deal with this. Besides, liberal use of gems and inepts can even just about any odds if you use them wisely.
By far the worst disadvantage is you are lonely. I must admit from time to time I've fallen into the trap of feeling bad about what I've done, and being lonely. Thus I changed my tactics and instead of griefing EVERYONE, I restrict my griefing to people that aren't nice to me. This has left me with a wealth of loyal friends. How wonderful is that? You can grief people, AND have alot of friends.
I would like to regale you all with the story of a friend of mine who recently left the WE server for good. His name was Raiz and sadly he was deemed a griefer. I felt truely sorry for the guy because he didn't deserve the title, and he was trying everything in his power to reverse it. I invited him to join my allegiance since he couldn't find anyone else who would take him, and the pressure everyone put on him on ACvault caused him to completely abandon his account and leave the game. Never give anyone so much control over your feelings that what they say can affect you as much as whether or not you leave the game.
I'll add onto this post as I think of more and more ways for you all to have a little fun livin la' vida' griefa.