The Antisocial Epidemic

posted by on 30th May 2011, at 8:08pm

This guest article is from YakHunta. We thank him for his contribution to Informer. If you’d like to write a guest article, check out this helpful page.

‘Ello there, ‘akHunta ‘ere. Hopefully you’ve already deducted that I like using apostrophes, although I’ll hopefully shed some light on the situation in alerting you that I only do so occasionally, o’ course!

Darn, there it is again. Nonetheless, let’s look past this and address a much more serious issue that I’ve been noticing more and more of as of late- the antisocial epidemic. One of RuneScape’s major selling points is being able to play the way you want, albeit it to a certain extent. Believe me, being able to buy lower-cost Dungeoneering rewards at 81 instead of going with the crowd and getting a Chaotic weapon gives quite the sense of freedom.

Another plus about RuneScape is that it’s mean to be a social game, like most others. The chat system isn’t there for show! Unfortunately, it seems as though an overwhelming amount of people aren’t interested in meeting others or making friends anymore. Has Jagex overloaded the game with too much content? It’s easy to counter that argument because most of the newer content is not instanced. With the almost-guaranteed chance of seeing other people in areas like the Artisan’s Workshop, Livid Farm, and Clan Wars Free-For-All on a majority of the available servers, one could even go so far as to call these social updates! Have we just been overcome with so much XP to earn, and so many new names on the hiscores gaining oh-so-much experience on a regular daily basis? It’s probably come to that point indeed. Just last month after switching from one world to another after trying my hand at the King Black Dragon with a group of RSBandB members, I noticed an old friend I had met at another friend’s 99 skill party standing at the bank passively fletching. I shouted her name out in public chat in joy of seeing her after a very long time of not saying hello, and she never replied, but she did keep on skilling.

There’s been more “extreme” cases, of course. Some have gone the distance to change their display name to different things pertaining to the antisocial theme. Others skill “off the grid” and have all of their game settings tweaked so that their account is as private as possible. Looking past these groups of people, there’s the portion of the community that’s sensitive towards Dungeoneering and finding a team of players to explore with. Although some don’t have the intention of being antisocial when they want to finish a dungeon, others aren’t open to playing with “idiots” who “can’t do anything” and don’t “bring anything to the table” inside of one, so most create their own microcommunity of a small group of players that are almost always the only ones they dungeoneer with. It’s unfortunate because one of the main points of Dungeoneering is to get the community together and to find niches and roles that can be filled to have a successful, fast dungeon that everyone in the group can enjoy. The current situation is really a shame because there are too many people being judged by their combat levels instead of what they can bring to a dungeon with their skill set. I myself have been turned down countless times by leaders that judged the value of a team member by their combat levels.

I can understand where some of these people are coming from, wanting to have a smooth and relaxed experience, but sometimes the actions that are committed defeat the purpose of the social aspect of the game, even of the Dungeoneering skill itself! Just about every large dungeon I’ve completed has taken an hour or longer because I usually do them on world 117, largely regarded as the server for Dungeoneering castoffs. However, I’ve had more fun than I could ask for, from making friends I still chat with to this day thanks to an uber-successful boss fight, to Dungeoneering with a drunk player, which is ironically now one of my most treasured memories. Again, it hasn’t always been fun and dandy, I’ve also had my fair share of failed dungeons, and those are the ones that hurt the most. The feeling of working hard inside a dungeon for so many minutes, which all too often turn into hours, then to have it all crash down in a matter of seconds is an unpleasant one, but it shouldn’t be reason enough to completely abandon a major portion of the community in favor of experience.

Such events as the aforementioned do point back to the main problem- the antisocial epidemic is making us as a community worse in the long run. Why can’t we just try to allocate our time and resources to help those without as much knowledge of the game so that they too can become good team members and partners? Why limit the amount of fun you have while grinding for experience and not have even more partnering up with others? The community is here for everyone, there’s just not enough of us taking advantage of that.

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  • Uncle Dano Says:
    6th June 2011, at 9:50am

    ‘ere ‘ere!! Well said! RuneScape is supposed to be an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). Massive – A huge game with many things to do. Multiplayer – Many players to interact with. Online – Realtime interaction. Role Playing – Immersing yourself into the game and becoming a character that other players enjoy interacting with. Game – To achieve levels.

    Sad really that, as you have described, many players have become focused on just grinding their skills (massive + game) and have placed the other aspects (multiplayer + online + role playing) much lower down the priority list. Almost as if the multiplayer interaction is only to serve their ego when they show off their levels. For those types of players, they might as well play a PC based game in which they can just post their highscores somewhere. What they truly miss is the interactive part of the game, which I find to be as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable, than actually playing the game itself. This is because the interactions are different everytime.

    Fear not, there are still some of us who are a strong part of the RS community that love helping and interacting. Once found, these players can become your best friends in-game and can really make your time playing RS so much more enjoyable.

  • YakHunta Says:
    6th June 2011, at 8:23pm

    Hey Uncle Dano, thanks for the comment! I should’ve focused on ego a little bit more than I did, but I sure love your breakdown! I’m glad we have the same views on the subject- from one social player to another, hurrah!