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In World of Warcraft, as in life, you’re bound to meet people who seem to derive pleasure only from tormenting other people. It’s no surprise, then, that these people have found a way to bring their grief-inducing behavior into the virtual world by developing several now-classic in-game pranks.
Some are simple, like tricking people into quitting their guild or shutting down their WoW client, while others are more sinister, taking on the form of undesired transportation or an unsolicited influx of communication.
Love them or hate them, the fact is that these pranks exist and are actually quite common. Learn about them and ensure that you don’t find yourself the victim of a practical joke.
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The Alt+F4 Prank
This one is quite common, and usually takes place over global channels like trade chat.
Inevitably, some new player is going to have the audacity to actually expect to receive some kind of advice by asking the game’s general populace. This person may be having a technical issue of some kind, or simply be attempting to figure out which button combination to press for a particular feature.
It’s possible that someone may actually attempt to deliver a helpful response to the newb’s query, but it’s equally possible that someone will respond with a message telling them that their problem can be solved by pressing Alt+F4.
As most Windows-savvy computer users know, Alt+F4 is the command to close the current program. So, should the hapless newbie actually attempt the provided solution, they’ll find themselves staring at the desktop and wondering what the heck just happened.
This is one of the simplest and most common pranks in almost any online game. Don’t fall for it.
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Guild Quit Command Prank
This one is also quite common in global channels. The premise is simple: trick an unsuspecting player into keying in the /gquit command and inadvertently quitting their guild. This prank can range from a minor inconvenience (simply ask an officer to reinvite you) to a huge ordeal (guild leader somehow takes offense and refuses to invite you back).
There are a couple different ways that this one goes. The simplest is by simply asking “what is the command to quit my guild?” over a global channel. Unsuspecting Samaritans may quickly type in the command in reply without realizing they are about to drop guild.
The original version is something WoW players have come to know, however, so several new ones have sprung up that can potentially catch you off guard. Someone may ask “/gquit and /gkick are both commands, but they removed /gkick, so what is left?” Again, a fast-typing know it all may simply type in the command without thinking and find themselves guildless.
Another creative variation that shows up on patch day is “sweet, they added a confirmation screen to the /gquit command!” Unsuspecting players, hoping to check out this purported new feature, may type /gquit and find out the hard way that they have just become the victim of a classic prank.
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Warlock Summon Prank
This one is usually more of a retaliatory measure. Warlocks notoriously become irritated when low-level players frequently ask them for summons to major cities or other locations. Travel these days is so easy, it’s understandably irritating, and so Warlocks have developed some interesting ways to deal with these annoying parasites.
It’s important to remember that Warlocks can cast Water Breathing on themselves and any sadistic friends who are willing to help them. Using this spell, the Lock and his buddies can swim to depths normally unreachable without drowning. Summoning the persistent newbie down to that depth results not only in a drowning death, but also in a pretty much unrecoverable body.
The lesson here: don’t beg for summons.
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Mage Portal Prank
Mages are another class with the potential to pull pranks on players who annoy them. People frequently beg mages for portals to specific locations. These same people rarely bother to look at the portal before clicking on them, so an annoyed mage can answer your request for a portal to Stormwind with passage to Darnassus or Theramore, leaving you with a potentially inconvenient journey back.
Another common portal prank: popping up an undesirable portal in front of the Wintergrasp Portal in Dalaran just before the raid zones in. Anyone in the mage’s raid group who isn’t paying attention will be taken far from their intended destination.
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Whisper Spam Prank
This is one most people are familiar with. How many times have you seen someone in a global channel advertising that their friend is leaving the game or giving away a huge sum of money to anyone who immediately sends them a whisper? Chances are, the person is not their friend, and all the speaker wants is to fill up the person’s screen with unsolicited whispers.
This one has many variations. I’ve seen people asked to whisper their favorite Pokemon for 20g or send their guess for a person’s age with the winner receiving 1000g. Typically, people who want to give away their gold will do so themselves, so don’t fall for these proxy pranks.
And there you have it, five of the most common and easiest to fall for pranks in the World of Warcraft. Recognize them, laugh at them, maybe even try them out yourself, just be careful you don’t become a victim.