<center></center> Now all of us at one point or another have dealt with some form of griefing in one of its many ugly forms. With the large population, especially on a shard such as Atlantic, keeping it controlled is difficult. As time has gone on in game the scarcity of GM's had made this task even more difficult. How often does one get the typical automated response? This can be extremely frustrating when you add the long wait times into the equation. In the realm of Ultima Online I have found that griefing falls primarily into these categories: - What we know as exploits, bug exploitations and so on that constitutes as an abuse of the actual game mechanics.. -The intent of the action is meant to cause dissatisfaction of the game play of the intended victim, verbal (racial slurs and so forth) or physical (the luring of monster/releasing of pets with the intent of harming/killing of another player on the Trammel, Malas & Ilshenar facets). -Impersonating of a guild/individual (this only applies to the roleplay community in my experience). -The inability of the victim to exact some means of retribution beyond utilizing similar unintended game mechanics.* Regardless of the type of game play you enjoy in UO, whether you just hunt, run peerless or role play, griefing tends to be the constant black spot in the game. In the roleplay community this can add more stress to a character or guilds interaction. From events being interrupted to more minor infractions, it still creates what one would call "drama" within the community. Griefing, can be viewed as a form of harassment in the physical sense as well as verbal. Though, per game mechanics tossing insults is not considering griefing, as long as it is not racially charged or in a manner that violates the rules of conduct. Per the roleplay community to go out of character and simply curse at people, especially to bait a conflict, would be just that. With the mechanics of warring and alliances, these action(s) do not just affect one individual, even if only one person is the intended target, but all the parties involved. These things are here for fun and enjoyment, and just one instance, even if just in a moment, it can be ruined for many. This is a nightmare to deal with for guild masters and those that are the victims of this action. Though many will say yes it is only a game, one must keep in mind that the person behind the player does have real feelings and those are still affected regardless. In the role play community, the majority of responsible GM's will handle this in an adult and professional manner. Sometimes even in the non roleplay community a guild master will handle it in the same fashion. However, there are always exceptions to such and it tends to lead to a war of sorts within the either community. In my years of playing I personally have experienced quite a few of these, including guild impersonation, which too this day only one responsible party has atoned for. Though that guild was eventually disbanded, it still did not resolve the situation and resulted in long term animosity, which even now, I still harbor ill feelings about and has created conflict with a guild master I respect and still wish we could have a more amicable relationship. Animosity, as the result of conflict stemmed from griefing in the roleplay community as well as those that are not, if left unchecked and without proper action, can lead to long time feuds that can have major impacts on relationships between guilds and players down the road. For example, tit for tat actions, which I can admit I have been guilty of myself, resulted in a long term issues with another guild. Even though after time I realized it served no purpose and it was better to go along my merry way then keep going back and forth, as on my end it appeared resolved after a talking it out, it still has created a rift with both guilds. It may appear a simple solution would correct such an issue, but add stubbornness and strong personalities and that can go right out the window. I have seen a sincere apology fix many situations, yet sometimes getting one would be like pulling teeth from a shark's mouth. The role play community has an advantage with mediators available to resolve conflicts and disputes, which is a resource rarely used and tends to be overlooked as a positive option. Now, with that in mind, you would think the option would be used more often, sadly it is not. So how does one handle such rude interruptions of their game play? Well there are numerous trains of though in this regard from doing it back to just ignoring it. I recommend ignoring it and contacting the Guild master of the guild causing the issue. Doing it back has very bad results, that I can attest to from my own above admission. One can debate that ignoring such things could be considered the same as taking no action, but adding fuel to the fire so-to-speak, tends to lead to more issues down the line and makes it much harder to settle differences later on. In some circumstances the Guild Master of the offending guild, may be the person creating the problem. In that case, the "ignore button" serves a wondrous purpose here. Though, it may not stop the other party from picking objects up and so forth it can filter any taunting behavior and commentary. Unfortunately, that is about all the game mechanics allow to stop this as the GM's of Electronic Arts have come short in this department when they removed a lot of their programs over the past few years. To live grief free in Ultima Online would seem a near impossibility, but one has to make the most of their situation. The definition itself can be intangible at times, as what one may consider griefing may not be, for example removing rune stones and re-wording recruit books or throwing them away, by the rules set forth in the game are not considered griefing, but would walk a fine line in the role play community. The same would go for blocking common areas, not deemed griefing but rude, none the less. So perhaps, with this perspective in mind, a clear definition should be made as what is griefing in the role play community vs. the non role play community. Though these are only my thoughts, experiences and opinions, hopefully it will shed new light on something that puts a dark cloud on the world of Ultima Online for all. -Ishtar- *Taken from the Wiki definition of griefing.