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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Why Gank Newbies?

Posted by MikeB Saturday September 24 2011 at 3:07PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "What makes ganking newbs fun?" by robert4818. Robert4818 understands that some people find ganking newbies fun, but he's asking the community to explain exactly why that is:

"SWTOR announced that you would not be able to make your way to the opponents starting world and gank starting players.  It did not say that they removed PVP, that it would only be instanced PVP, or that once someone left the starter planets (around lvl 20 or so) that you couldn't attack them.  ONLY that you you couldn't go and gank brand new toons.

Nerd rage followed from the PK community.

My question is WHY?

Why is the ability to kill brand new players so integral to the playstyle?  Why does the temporary ability to avoid ganking cause so much hate and discontent?

So, why is ganking newbies fun? Or is it even fun at all? Let's find out!

jedensuscg actually feels it has more to do with boredom and laziness than fun:

"People get bored and lazy, and when this happens, they will go and gank lowbies that have a 0% chance to defend themselves, why?

Because they are bored and have nothing better to do, and because they are lazy and don't want to take the time to challange someone that can...well...actually challenge them back.

It's one thing to go and wipe out a noobie zone once just to laugh and say you did, but truth is, most gankers get the vast majority of there in-game enjoyment doing this, and that is just pathetic behavior.

The irony is, THEY call the people against this playstyle carebears, when in reality they are the ones too chicken-shit to face someone that can beat them back."

Slukjan feels that "particularly sadistic" people get enjoyment out of ganking newbies, but it all goes back to boredom for him:

"If you are a particularly sadistic person then noob ganking is a source of great enjoyment.  Knowing the furstration and pain you are causing the other person makes it fun and worthwhile.  Laughing at them as they struggle, knowing there is nothing they can do but log out to avoid the ganking.  I've done it a few times and have to say that it's pretty fun.  I would get bored of it if it was my only thing to do, however.  But every once in a while, in WoW, when I'd get bored....sometimes I'd hunt down lowbies to squash.  One of my favorite haunts was Duskwood (it's been so long I forget if that is the right name).  There was a building in the town that was close to a hill and if you had a mount you could jump onto the roof and proceed to use your ranged attack to kill the lowbs and the guards could not reach you.  Plus the noobs usually had no idea where the attacks were coming from so they would just run around all panicked.  Like I said, fun for a little while, but not as a regular playstyle.  Except for those moe sadistic types."

odinsrath feels it's more of a 'cat and mouse' thing:

"what makes camping nubs fun?

imo its more of a cat / mouse type thing ..when im playing any kind of pvp server of these days and theres no lvl req. when fighting i just poke at em to get a "being the cat" may shoot sumpin at em or give em a tickle and be about my way..them "being a mouse" come at me full force trying to kill me i put em in their place or leave em near death...but if im pvping / playing a epic game like shadowbane i play to crush whats ever in my path..nomatter how many or who lol

thats the problem i think with pvp in mmo's nowa days..alot of people that want to pvp ..want to experiance the feeling of other mmo's that they played in the past..why? cuz pvp back then was and is epic ..haveing a sence that theres danger around every corner is what makes pvp ..pvp

and ganking..if you like pvp mmo's and you have played many diff ones most people have had been ganked 1 time in another..over and over and over again..hell,even to log off and play an atl till the lil twat moves along to pick on someone else..or to even log on your main char. and hunt the lil twat down..imo its fun..its what pvp is about survival of the fittest

pvp of now is just cluttered with arena type pvp that is plane out cant even have decent fun in them because you got derps that sit in arena 24/7 and think they belong to some elite league of arena pvp..not to mention that most games are giveing either badges or rewards that make that char even more OP ..imo if you want to play CTF or TEAM DEATH MATCH go play COD i really hate these concepts in pvp mmo's now days theres no more open world pvp it has become "you have to pvp here if you want to pvp" or Q up for a battleground"


The only time I ever "ganked newbies" were random instances in Age of Conan involving characters that were "kill on sight" for my guild. I'd say 95% of the time I'd leave them alone, but every once in awhile I'd indulge myself in a bit of asshattery and kill a low level player in an enemy guild. Otherwise, I don't really see the point. I PvP for the challenge of it and killing newbies offers none. If anything, I will target players higher than me to test my own mettle.

Mizzmo writes:

In Shadowbane, yes, I would crush anyone and everyone who I wasn't associated with through Guild or Alliances. But in a game like WoW or ToR, there shouldn't be that option because it's not a survival of the fitest type game. In a full loot setting it makes sence to crush all, but in a thempark game it doesn't have a place because, well, it just doesn't. :)

Sat Sep 24 2011 3:53PM Report
Mufflo writes:

Well, just got out of a game killing loads of either noobs and others with my brother. I have to say that it's more like a mini-game. Something close to that cat/mouse thing. 

You don't get much more out of it than the feeling of being superior. 

Craving this feeling makes me and others seem like freaks, probably only because we've had a stressful day, something simple like our bosses yelling at us, or someone being bullied at school. And from that feeling you need something to look down upon yourself. 

It's not a very good system of passing on the emotional stress and i detest it. Even though, I do gank too, telling myself that I only do it for the lulz. Maybe that's how trolls are born...

Sat Sep 24 2011 7:21PM Report
Farstryder writes:

I  have done it in the past for an entirely different reason. Often old Wow and Eq2 pvp  were sometimes barren  when you go world pvp hunting. In wow all I would often find would be bots or grinders who would not dare touch the ground to avoid pvp ( on a pvp server).So another tactic is to go stir up enough trouble in the lowers zone one of two things would happen. ( this is the part I Love) After camping some lowbies they would  first log on call me some explicit words then  precede to to log on there higher levels  and mains + call in additional friends ( obviously scared). This is when my  2 friends would watch and make sure I wasnt overwhelmed ( two droods of course!). Thats when the fun really starts as the higher levels coem pouring  in and they  begin camping after the numbers are 3-4 to 1 in there odds. I loved it. loved  trying to get to my body and killing that one guy before everyone could jump in to help. Often in dead world pvp  you have to  improvise and bring the action to you. Nothign better than camping a big  guild that is known ( preferably a pvp one) to see them  come force them to test their mettle.  Not all reason for camping lowbies are pathetic and sadistic ( well a little). At least not in my book . Lyric -    (First Field Marshall on Scilla) Grand Marshall Team of Deviant---

Sat Sep 24 2011 7:54PM Report
WSIMike writes:

"Cat and Mouse" eh?

Not much of a "cat and mouse" game when the "cat" is typically far more capable of catching the "mouse" than the "mouse" is capable of escaping.

As long as the gankers are playing the role of "cat", of course they're fine with it.

However, as is usually the case, as soon as a bigger "cat" comes to make a "mouse" out of them... they run of squealing.

As for the "boredom" or "was yelled at by my boss" thing. Really? So, because you lack the imagination to find something to do, or someone gave you a hard time, that's the justification to go harass far weaker players?

If you're bored in-game, log out and go find something else to do. If you're ticked off at your boss, find another way to "vent". Take up boxing. Go workout.

Taking it out by harassing far weaker players that you *know* have absolutely zero chance of defending themselves and/or getting away as a means of coping with your own personal issues is pretty damn pathetic.

As for those who get a kick out of getting players to log out... again.. pathetic. They're not paying a sub fee to be your unwilling victim or to boost your ego over being able to squash helpless players.

But at the very least, to all those gankers/griefers/sad individuals who think it's fun/cool/hardcore/whatever to go after players far weaker.. at least have the balls to stand your ground and fight when an actual challenge shows up. Don't be a chicken shit and run away or log out, like so many of your type typically does.

Otherwise, don't call yourself a "PvP'er". You're not. Real PvP'ers don't hang out in newbie zones killing low level players. Real PvP'ers actually fight competitively against worthy opponents.

Sun Sep 25 2011 12:07AM Report
MrDoogan writes:

I don't see why everone is typing a page for this... why gank newbies? Simple... you are an asshat. Hurting someone in when they are unable to defend themselves and have done nothing to you is wrong. Sorry, there is no excuse for this, you are simply an asshat.

Sun Sep 25 2011 2:33AM Report
xSh0x writes:

Same answer to why we kill mobs.

Because they can be killed.

Sun Sep 25 2011 2:44AM Report
xBludx writes:

I think what Mufflo said explains it pretty well. It seems like the obvious reason. One time in Darkfall, I ganked a guy (I'm a noob and not very good at pvp in that game either) who was fighting some goblins (low level). I had played for a month or so and I guess he had only play a few days, so I was OP compared to him. I felt bad about it after the fact. Besides that, I was pretty much at the bottom of the food chain in that game, so was often on the receiving end.

What Farstryder said...makes me think about flying over to Redridge Mountains to stir up some mischief, tbh. To make it "fair" you could look for those lowbies with BoA shoulders because you know they will bring out their


Sun Sep 25 2011 3:30AM Report
Cacophanist writes:

One word : Freedom. 

I like my games to be free and not have artificial barriers that stop me from killing other players if I so wish. That is why SWTOR is not even on my radar. 

I might never go kill new players, infact I don't think I have ever done this at all, but .... I want the freedom and ability to do it if I choose.

Same way as I hate any game that you can not use any weapon, artificial class restrictions, etc. 

Sun Sep 25 2011 3:37AM Report
neonwire writes:

Ah this worn out topic again. Exciting stuff

Sun Sep 25 2011 7:20AM Report
Ara13 writes:

I've played WoW for about 3 years, and ganking lowbies is the highlight of my day. I don't know why, but everytime I swoop down on some unsuspecting noob and wipe him out while he's trying to escape me, I laugh.

I laugh HARD.

Every single time.

Sun Sep 25 2011 9:34AM Report
uncus writes:

Why gank noobs?  Because you are a sociopath!  Hopefully your behavior stays in game and doesn't spill out into RL  - first with small animals, then small children...

Sun Sep 25 2011 9:54AM Report
Ara13 writes:


Sociopath! I like that one. I'll have to make a macro.

"Excuse the ganking, I'm just giving into my sociopathic urges"

I LOVE to gank. In all my time in WoW, it's not the dungeons, raids, professions, quests or storylines that keep me coming back for more.

It's the GANKING! I just cannot get enough of watching poor, terrified little toons trying to desperately save themselves from their impending doom. Lol!

Sun Sep 25 2011 9:59AM Report
Cameo3 writes:

I for one, had to deal with the SW:TOR forums for a year now. Best believe I'm going to spend a week doing nothing but gankin' the lowbie sith.

Sun Sep 25 2011 10:29AM Report
Morcotulcon writes:

Main reasons for newb ganking:

- Boredom, because most hings you do in most MMORPGs are boring and grinding.

- Kill others by having sure you're gonna win

- Steal stuff

- Make a statement that in order to have your place in the game world you will have to gank too

- Because the game lets me have my freedom and do what I wanna do (although the game has a lot of other restrictions that much worst and you don't care about)


Consequences of newb ganking:

- Worst starting a game experience in all the gaming industry, exclusively to the MMORPG genre.

- The community of the game sucks.

- If you have something more to do in life and other funnier games to play, you will left the game the first time it happens to you.

Sun Sep 25 2011 11:23AM Report
NameWasTaken writes:

Why gank newbies in an MMORPG?

Zero conscience? No fear of reprisal?

In reality, people who gank newbies are too gutless to face a fight in real life.

Sun Sep 25 2011 11:23AM Report
Papamac writes:

"In reality, people who gank newbies are too gutless to face a fight in real life." - NameWasTaken


That pretty much sums it up for me, too. 

Frankly, people who get enjoyment from making other people suffer should be closely watched.  An in-game bully is very likely an out-of-game bully.

Sun Sep 25 2011 2:22PM Report
Thupli writes:

IMO the reason that low level toons are ganked is to draw other high-levels from the opposite faction out to fight.  Open-world pvp is pathetic right now, and ganking noobs is a sure way to draw some people out to help the noobs out. 

Basically it creates open world pvp, which allows the setting to be totally changed up from what you normally see... which changes it up from Arenas and BGs.

Sun Sep 25 2011 2:24PM Report
Taiphoz writes:

Ganking noobs is a lot of fun and it teaches them real fast that there is always going to be some one much stronger than them just around the corner.

All this noob hugging is a joke you people need to grow a set of balls and stop being such pansies.

Sun Sep 25 2011 2:26PM Report
Taiphoz writes:

Oh and I agree with the guy above, when we ganked noobs in wow it was alwasy to draw them out on their mains, and it worked every time. killing the noob is the bait for them to either shout on global chat, "Help" or to force them to log their main and either kick our ass or have it kicked by us.

End result is PVP.

Sun Sep 25 2011 2:28PM Report
kyrawolf writes:

Interesting how the posts from those who love ganking tend to be the most illiterate.

Sun Sep 25 2011 5:48PM Report
ZoeMcCloskey writes:

"In reality, people who gank newbies are too gutless to face a fight in real life." - NameWasTaken


That pretty much sums it up for me, too. 

Frankly, people who get enjoyment from making other people suffer should be closely watched.  An in-game bully is very likely an out-of-game bully.


As state above, I agree.  The only time I have ever ganked newbie or lower level players was in Dark Age of Camelot and in the Darkness Falls dungeon.  But as stated up above it was not for the joy of doing it, it was to get them stirred up so the bigger characters came to defend them.  In fact I would normally only kill a lower character if I was a non-stealther.  As a stealther I'd usually just give them a tap and wait for them to call for reinforcements so I could have a real fight.

PvP is for the challenge or at least it should be imo.  People who get off on foregone conclusions and easy wins and griefing... I just don't understand and never will.  They must have really sad realities to be that angry and pathetic that they feel the need to act out in pvp games.

Sun Sep 25 2011 7:13PM Report
Cameo3 writes:

Maybe Zoe. Maybe there are some of us that have listened to the RPers (carebears) on the SW:TOR for far too long and just waiting for our cages to get opened to unleash hell on people. :)


I been personally gritting at the teeth just waiting to tear up some sith..and for a good zealous cause...being a Jedi and all. ;-)

Sun Sep 25 2011 7:30PM Report
TheCrow2k writes:

People Gank lowbies for similar reasons to people who use cheats in online games.


They get their sad pathetic kicks out of having an unfair advantage over others, wrecking their gameplay experience and boasting about how good they are and talking trash about how bad their victims are.


They are a sad lot and unfortunately in some MMO communities they make up the vocal majority. They are probably also the first people to complain when game population begins to decline which is moronic considering their ganking practices actively drive new players away.

Sun Sep 25 2011 8:02PM Report
tapeworm00 writes:

You guys segregating gankers into a whole separate social category (bullies, heartless twits, asshats, cowards, etc.) are exactly the target they're looking for. If you take things that seriously, you're just exposing yourself to a ton of needless anger.

In my opinion there are two types of gankers: those who are trolling and those who are in it for the feeling of power. I don't really look to gank people but I've had my share of it nonetheless, on both ends of the sword. The times I've done it, I've done it for the trolling, because I find serious people fun to mess with (aka for the lulz). If someone does it to me, I usually call for friends and go for vengeance (the lulz gets multiplied), or if I'm alone, there's not a lot of room to act, and I'm not in the mood for it, then I just try to leave the area or load up an alt. No big deal. 

Usually, the trolls are more persistent than the power trippers, but they're not exactly benevolent either. Power trippers just like the exhilaration of not making an effort and crushing all opposition. They tend to be less persistent because once you get enough power yourself (friends, random helpers...) and kill them, then it's common for them to give up and return to normal. It's also one hell of a satisfaction to bring down power trippers simply because you're reverting the roles, haha.

Either way, trolling or tripping, requires a negative kind of satisfaction. They're not horrible human beings, they're possibly not bullies in real life or have been abandoned by god, they're just people who get a good feeling from a negative action, and before you say anything, it's a completely harmless negative action (hello, videogame!). If a ganker is driving you to tears then it's not the ganker who needs therapy, to put it bluntly. Those of you who say a ganker wouldn't do the same things in real life, well, duh. In real life you really hurt people. In a videogame, your life goes on the moment you log off. It goes a long way to show you that no, they're not terrible human beings, doesn't it?

While I agree that PvP should be a challenge at all times, I also understand the people who want to play bad jokes in the form of ganking or those who just want to feel like they're in complete control. Perhaps one of them is like putting a Britney Spears song in your metalhead friend's playlist and have him put it at a party, and the other is like listening to Britney Spears herself - predictable, something effortless, linear, and unchallenging.

A very personal suggestion to everyone coming into this thread with their head inflamed by justice and vigilance: you should take a moment to calm down and think that gankers are people just like yourselves, maybe coming in late at night from a tiring day at the office, hanging around after school, and so and so on. Don't take them so seriously. If they're affecting you so much you're starting to get angry, just drop it, go play an alt. Otherwise get organized, make a plan, and give them hell - almost every game has enough people wanting to make justice and come help the lowbies getting harmed. If that's just not possible, then don't play to their strengths, get an alt, go to another server, and give them no one to gank.

Take Ara13 above... he's clearly a power tripper. Get someone to mess his face up and he'll stop for a while because the "little toons" have stopped running and are ready to kick his ass :). Leave the area or the server and he'll get bored, he'll stop, and you can return later. In my view, it's really not a big deal unless you make it one, and if you do, then it's you who should stop.

Anyway, I hope that was a better balanced insight into the wonderful world of ganking. :P

Sun Sep 25 2011 8:13PM Report
Suraknar writes:

You would not have ganking if there was no Levels. make skill based Games like UO and there will be no ganking of newbies anymore.

This is such an ironic thread, makes me laugh just by its title.

Also, I know that in a game such as WoW for instance most low level ganking is performed by 14-16 years olds mostly and some sadistic adults that wish to "teach a lesson" so to speak to others, but in reality it is but an expression of their bully tenencies.

I never ganked newbies in my life in 14 years of MMORPGing, I only fought back when attacked. Even in WoW in places like STV I would just quest besides newbies of the opposite faction leaving them alone. Ganking newbies is not PvP for me and I receive no pleausure whatsoever from doing it.

Sun Sep 25 2011 8:48PM Report
KingJiggly writes:

I personally would try to defend them... even if it meant me escorting them around. I think that would be more fun, like a mission.


Sun Sep 25 2011 10:09PM Report
Cameo3 writes:

On SW:TOR I'm personally gunning for every member of


Why? Because I can and they are sith.


Mon Sep 26 2011 12:00AM Report
Gravarg writes:

All killing noobies does is hurt the longevity of the game you so love to play.  Without new players constantly joining, a game will eventually die.  If you harass the new players and make them quit then they'll leave and there goes your game.  It might not happen immediately, but after time you'll notice that there are less and less players around.  Older players will leave to play other games, or because they're bored, and the new players you were killing won't be there to take thier place.

Mon Sep 26 2011 1:14AM Report
Taiphoz writes:

Your all far to sensative to be playing mmo's and naieve if you think people gank lowbie players to feel powerful, those who do are normally under 14 and do not grasp the nature of the game yet.

For I would argue the vast majority of noob ganking, its done as an act to bait and draw out the players high level character or friends, in fact show me a wow player that does not move a level 85 or two into the same zone his low character is in.

What did you think you were the only one that does that ?

Bottom line is were talking about an MMO, persistent virtual world where anything can happen, within the games rules, so if the game does (and it should) allow a level 80 to kill a level 10 then tough !!. on the level 10, its clearly a harsh world in which he will need to grow up fast and learn the ropes and learn to avoid areas with level 80's in it.

Seriously you people and your tree huggin nature is whats wrong with mmo's today, your sucking out the risk and danger from our games, in turn your sucking out the fun and excitiment, my best memories of wow are running through the barrens or hillsbrad looking over my shoulder worried about high levels or big groups of enemy players, without that risk of death hangin over my head those zones would have been boring snore fests.


Finally this is why they give you nutters a PVE server in most games, so you can go huddle away in your little PVE world where you have little to zero risk of death, hell death thats a joke as well in most modern mmo's it makes your complaints of being killed even more ridonculus given how nothing is lost when your killed , its not like its costing you anything.


When it comes to mmo's I have a simple rule, "If its red, its dead" , in short I dont activly look for lowbies, but if I see one, and its hostile, I am going to kill it.

In games hwere war is the factor, be it wow, DAoC or any other game, a player who walks upto a low enemy and says "HI!" or worse helps them kill their PVE mob make me sick, its the enemy regardless of level and they need to be killed, if you wana hug them go join their faction.


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Mon Sep 26 2011 6:51AM Report
Akais writes:

I think it's a ton of different reasons.

When the lone player is doing it, I tend to view it as rampant asshattery. When groups are doing it, they are typically baiting high levels to come fight them in open world.

Ganking is typically only fun for the ganker though... Much like that game of cat and mouse is typically only fun for the cat.

There's a strange mental disconnect when it comes to ganking in general I've noticed over the years.

The players who tend to gank other players the most tend to be the most vocal about "fairness" when it happens to them.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Mon Sep 26 2011 9:40AM Report
GrumpyMel2 writes:

Best advice. Choose to play games that don't allow for ganking and then all the gankers can go "gank" themselves.

You'll see they tend to hang around for all of about 30 seconds when that happens.....because most aren't interested in any sort of PvP...thier just interested in greifing and indulging in anti-social behaviors.

If you want some real PvP like I an FPS or a strategy/wargame..... where you don't have an "I win" button simply because you were willing to grind for 500 hours.


Mon Sep 26 2011 12:41PM Report
Unlight writes:

Hmm, I think people who gank lowbs/newbs mostly do it to compensate for how timid and ineffectual they are in RL.  They're just tired of being pushed around and laughed at by the rest of the world, so they find an outlet for their angst in a danger-free environment where they can pretend that they aren't the scared little rabbits that they actually are.  We shouldn't hate them, we should pity them.  It can't be easy going through life as a perpetual victim.

But hey, at least they aren't channeling their seething misery into bad poetry.

Mon Sep 26 2011 12:44PM Report
Cameo3 writes:

Unlight seems to have confused us gankers with emo teens haha. ;-)

Mon Sep 26 2011 1:44PM Report
jvxmtg writes:

Simply put, if you play in a PvP server, get ready to be served. If you don't want to get ganked, there are other non-PvP server.


If you complain of being ganked, then why are you in a PvP server?


In PvP servers, everything goes as long as the game engine allows it. No whining, no complaining - you are not prepared.

Mon Sep 26 2011 5:24PM Report
FairlyGrimm writes:

LOL i like the whole ive been bullied all day so i become a bully myself thing that mufflo was going on about. I wouldnt call you supirior if you have to stoop to the bullies level just to make your self feel better about your life... However if you roll on a pvp server your asking for this shit if you don't like it just roll on a pve server. Its kind of funny because most people who QQ about this and then roll on a pvp server wind up at some point being just as bad as the people who were griefing them. Its a sad vicious cycle and people can call me a care bear but i am quite content on my pve servers. I just with that the Bord annoying people would stay off the pve and roll pvp if their going to run around trying to duel lowbies because they cant get their pk fix. Oh boohoo their boss was mean to them or some kid picked on them at school everyone gets picked on. Your just as low and bad as they are however if you have to stoop to their level. They probably have some stupid reason why they bully you too. If you were the superior one you would find other ways to deal with the situation then be a part of the problem yourself.

Mon Sep 26 2011 10:36PM Report writes:
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