Sunday, March 27, 2016

In Remembrance of Retrodamsel

Heh, I love this: some kid wrote Retrodruid into the urban dictionary. Not that doing so (or using her as a negative example in a blog post or in any other way) would inflict anything besides pride and glee in her at being the topic of conversation. She was, from what I remember about her, a consummate, unflinching and tireless attention whore.

With Leeroyyyyy nnnJenkins finally seeming to fade from our communal memory, I've been getting the oddest impulse to look up some of that good old-fashioned vanilla WoW stupidity. See, while we lacked Leroy and that chick who traded sex for an epic mount (pun intended) Tichondrius server had its own share of jokers, griefers, ninja looters, forum warriors, drama queens and outright imbeciles. For instance, we had Thados, a paladin who would constantly challenge other players to duels, lose yet still brag "I owned you with easy" and followed that up by blindly jumping off a cliff trying to kill a horde mage who feather-fell to safety - an act which he and the other cretin who took that plunge tried to laugh off as intentional. The other cretin being a guildmate of mine whom I already detested.

Yeah, the internet was smaller back then, games included. A bad reputation within a relatively small community usually implied rolling up a new character or petitioning GMs for a name change to hide your shame. Yet one griefer never needed a name change. Here she is still wielding her crowning achievement, Sulfuras, the straw that finally broke the camel's back. Sulfuras was, for the first couple of years of WoW, a big deal. THE big deal, the most powerful weapon in the game, an item assembled from pieces acquired through arduous non-stop raiding. Forty players would dedicate weeks and months of their lives just so one of them could proudly show off this status symbol and "melt faces" as the saying went, with its (for the time) very powerful on-hit fire damage effect. She apparently ninja-looted the main component for it. The real kicker, of course, is that WoW druids didn't even use weapons to hit anything. We carried them around as passive stat buffs, not active damage.

This all happened a little while after I'd already given up on World of Warcraft. However, long before I left, Retrodruid had already earned a routine spot in the chorus of complaints about detestable players. While everyone had their own personal shitlist, you could ask any group of alliance players on Tichondrius for cautionary tales about ever dealing with Retrodruid. My own ran something like this: she joined a team with me in Blackrock Spire and upon reaching the instance entrance /sat her character down and refused to play unless she got a heartfelt apology because, you see, she'd gotten ganked on her way in and none of us had run back to her rescue! Never mind that we didn't know, and even though I don't remember the details such an action would likely have resulted only in one more of us falling prey to the same gankers or that no-one had promised her an armed guard or that the rest of us had made it in just fine, or that she was a freaking druid who could probably have stealthed to the instance entrance instead of dying like an idiot.

Tip of the iceberg. The stories about her spanned half a dozen guilds, endless episodes of drama, ninja looting, badmouthing, unreasonable demands, flirting and crying over voice chat, threats of suicide if she didn't get her way, constantly trying to turn other players against each other, etc. In short a psychopath, or at least borderline personality disorder.

She kept getting groups. She kept getting into guilds. She kept getting second chances, through I believe at least a couple of years of this behavior. Attention-whoring's in no short supply in any persistent online community, yet most others of her ilk either moderated their griefing or were quickly branded pariahs. Thados was rather summarily run out of town on a rail. He was a he. She was a she. Most were he-s and if nothing else, we'd all already seen what happened to most gamers when they start talking about killing themselves, whether in Counterstrike, Starcraft or any of the games of the time. The usual replies ran the gamut from "choke on dicks faggot" to "shut up and jump, loser." Only for someone who could garner instant unthinking sympathy by drawling out a few words in a neotenized feminine whine would such a tactic have worked.

While the image of the drama queen or "fake geek girl" may seem unfair, remember this is how women made their noticeable entry into the medium last decade. Since we didn't put up with any personal harassment by horny teenage boys, the guild I was in while playing WoW actually attracted a good handful of competent and cool-headed female gamers who just wanted to play the damn game without any drama. Many hid being female specifically to avoid any such attention, an action I've always half-deplored, half-applauded in the interest of keeping games separate form the real world. However, for every one of them there were at least one or two running around Tichondrius who had figured out that joining a 90% male hobby enabled them to easily manipulate the hordes of young fools desperate for a kind word from a female voice, whether to profit in-game or just for the rush of power, who basked in lengthy Ventrilo cybersexless marriages and random gifts or other attention from males whom the rest of the female half of the species had already chewed up and spit back out.

Add to that the hefty percentage of gamer couples composed of a skilled, dedicated, involved male and a semi-afk female keeping tabs on his online activities, who he nonetheless insisted be accorded the same rank as he.

Consider also that full advantage has been taken of the taboo nature of criticism of such behavior, that male gamers have had to put up with it or be shunned for hitting a girl, to give all these psychopathic bitches second and third and endless more chances where they would have ostracized each other on the first offense, because somehow the cognitive dissonance of constant favoritism and constant claims of victimization never shatters.

Listen to a bit of this. Try to imagine a male gamer who'd just stolen the most valuable item in the game crying "I fheel unprotected by-y y-you a-a-aalllllllllll!" For a bonus, try to imagine the other men on voice chat gently soothing his tears and reassuring him. Imagine a quarter of the population of a WoW server trying to build one guild after another around catering to this person's constant impulsive screams for attention.
Over, and over, and over, and over again.
Would it take years for everyone to figure out they're being manipulated?


  1. Pretty sure I was that Horde Mage :). Just posted about it here:

  2. Pretty sure I was that Horde Mage :). Just posted about it here:

  3. Amusingly enough I used that second drop you talked about from Tanaris to Un'Goro to dodge Horde gankers as an Alliance druid. Even referenced it in this post.

  4. So underwhelmed by the miss information this presents, I see no mention of the years of Blizzrd Beta testing or how she was an advocate for all inclusive gamers rather then eliteism of the community game play. She has only ever been in one guild and still runs that guild to this day. The recording was taken within 24 hours of the leaders of RoaR who told her to take the eye and went on to lead a RoaR coupe, took 300+ people to join a guild literally called Recoil from Retro, and then proceeded to tell everyone she Ninja the item she was told to take. She was a victim, do you know who she is in real lif or you prefer to perpetuate a false image of a woman who dedicated herself to a community who plotted her demise? She still to this day has never changed her online profile, and still plays by the same name in every game she plays, though tends to keep to solo games after 25 years because the online gaming community burnt her so hardcore a decade ago. You mistook a community leader as a child needing attention, she use to put 18 hours a day when she was not working her day job, always having to micro manage all the details it took to manage a guild in vanilla WoW pre automatic DK systems, She was crushed by a few wicked gamers who saw a way to hijack her hard work, then slur her decades of gaming reputation in the process. She was a Blizzrd gamer since pre-internet and was there since the birth of Warcraft, but no mention of this in any of this hogwash. Elwynn Forest was literally named after her real name, Resto Druids came after Retro Druid not the other way around, she was deep in the Blizzard development community but no one cares to ever mention her true legacy, but rather this hate crime that she is left to bare for the rest of her gaming life. The WoW documentary though did give RetroDruid a nod when they took people deep into a extremely restricted hardware area of the sever room and pulled out one sever's hardrive - it was Tichondrius the one and only server that RetroDruid ever played on. Know that I have the balls to set this misinformation straight.

  5. I was hoping more of these word salads would come out of the woodwork, for sideshow entertainment value. I'd give even odds this is Retro herself posting as her own fan club but can't say I'd be surprised to find she still commands some decade-long cult of personality. The emotional manipulation heard in that youtube video, her split-second emotive gear-shifts between crying jags, soft-voiced rapprochement and sneering condemnation, do actually work pretty reliably on most humans. Note the religious overtones "correcting the misinformation" by simply declaring the Holy One above criticism. She's too important to be called out on her actions, and she's in good with the powers that be (so you'd better watch out!) Note the paranoid persecution complex.
    In Douglas Adams' famous words: "Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!"
    Catharsis, belonging, conspiracy theories, hero worship, all part and parcel of cult indoctrination.
    To top it off, we're told the Holy One has gone into the wastes to fast in isolation. Surely the stone tablets are just around the corner -
    - pulled from the server's hard drive!