Can a Ninja Change their Ways?

There was a thread on our Realm forums from someone running a Lotto recently  ( seems to be gone now – possibly removed)  when the person who was running it was accused of being a Ninja in the past – they responded with  a ” But I have changed my ways”

I’ve seen the ease in which Known ninjas name change,  switch factions,  change servers,  come back and do it all over again.

I’ve seen known ninja’s and scammers boasting on other accounts about their bans.

It is frustrating the injustice of it all.

It’s quite clear that if you are busted you will be punished by Blizzard – but we never find out what would get you a permanent account /membership ban – and that is the only punishment I could see ever having a sustained effect on a player.  24 hours.  No sweat.  Account stripped.  They probably have gold on another account, or sitting with a friend – stripped down to boxers –  they scam/ninja/ behave badly to get the gear they need again.

I pose that Ninja’s and scammers know they will get busted – and live with the consequences because where the stripping of the account, and anything they earned may take away the virtual benefit of such deception.   It doesn’t take away the thrill they got when they scammed/ninja’d from 24 other people.

You can’t take that away.

Ever done something naughty?  How did you feel?  Remember that feeling?

Arsonists usually hang around after a fire to get their ‘high’ afterwards.  A ninja/scammer will sit in trade and watch, and listen and often chime in –  It’s not the depriving you of the goods that gives them the thrill, it’s the aftermath. The trade chat,  the forum posts.

We feed it.

We feed it partly as defence mechanisms – most people want to avoid pain and stress where possible.  So we talk  – Some people try to warn others  in trade, on forums – people share experiences.   I went through my realm ignore list with a friend one time – jogging each others memories as to why they ended up on the list.  ( some people are more memorable than others)

Touching wood – but I’ve never been ninja’d – yet I know of people who have had it done to them 2 weeks in a row. So far my cautious picky approach seems to work.  If in doubt – don’t join.

So my theory – that they are getting their kicks from the actual scam /fraud/ninja – and not the actual benefit from the virtual goods has plenty of holes in it,  but I guess the thinking that they get some form of pleasure out of this explains why they are repeat offenders.  Why they go to such lengths,  server transfers, faction changes,  name changes so they can start fresh  and do it all over again.

How do you change someones behaviour when they derive pleasure, or a thrill from it? Send them on team bonding sessions?  Get victims to make ” I feel this statements?”

I don’t know what the answer is.  But Blizzards punishments isn’t changing behaviour or reforming them.

24 Responses to “Can a Ninja Change their Ways?”

  1. 1 Narx July 23, 2010 at 4:41 am

    I think ninja’s are in the same boat as trolls. Though depending, trolls might just be out and out bored whereas ninja’ing is probably slightly more malicious in that it requires group effort to get to the item to be ninja’d.

    It’s true that ninja’ing is increasing and bans etc don’t seem to stop it. This is possibly part of why Blizzard is getting insistent around Real ID’s though – it enables you identify the ninja in a better light.

    I know my guild has a DO NOT RUN list in our forums for gdkp and other ninja’s. But not every guild is going to do that. And given that guilds are going dime a dozen nowadays it’s hard to keep track of them all.

    Something that is coming along I have seen is achievement stamping. Unique achievements like “Level 80” and “Hills of White Elekk” are being used to identify people from name changes/server changes etc. These kinds of achievements are cross faction/cross server as well so they are harder to disguise.

    I agree with your attention seeking suggestion. But ultimately part of it probably has to do with some retarded sense of entitlement as well, “I carried them, I earned this.” Whether or not that statement is true, the ninja may possibly believe it.

    I suppose the only way to try and rid the games of these kinds of people is harsher punishments. The only problem with that is that it introduces new privacy issues. How does Blizzard tell if the account is owned by who the name on the account says owns it? Without digging they can’t find the people – and then we have the privacy issue all over again.

    I guess the best ‘solution’ is a community based one. How this will work though, is anyone’s guess.

    • 2 Nyseide July 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Thank u for being the only remaining priest blogger outside! i was thinking of starting a holy priest blog, if people have ideas email me at


      Hellscream – US

  2. 4 leah July 23, 2010 at 5:04 am

    once a cheater – always a cheater.

    i know , so trite so overused. But the truth is – someone who chooses to cheat, will not stop at just once. the thrill is too much and it gets easier and easier with every subsequent transgression.

    Can you reform cheaters or ninjas? I honestly don’t think so. the only way to stop them from doing it again and again is to make it impossible from the start – ala frozen orbs or permanent bans.

    I beleive the only people who are capable of being rehabilitated are those that do something wrong out of desperation. ninjas don’t cheat out of desperation, they do it becasue they can.

    • 5 Narx July 23, 2010 at 5:14 am

      “permanent bans.”

      But how do you make sure it’s permanent? What’s to stop the ninja from creating a new account and starting over?

      It’s not like levelling is slow like it used to be. The gear curve is also a lot smaller (thanks gear resets in heroics).

      • 6 leah July 23, 2010 at 5:25 am

        ban IP? honestly, not sure, but the point is it has to be something that makes it not cost effective for them to keep ninjaing? becasue I don’t beleive their attitude can be changed

        • 7 Narx July 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

          “ban IP? ”

          Most ISP’s use dynamic IPs.

          • 8 leah July 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm

            then I guess there IS no solution then?

          • 9 Pugnacious Priest July 26, 2010 at 12:40 am

            Not if the punishment is not severe enough to prevent people from reoffending, Try and to stay aware of current ninja trends. I’ll never block trade for this reason. People talk, some are right, some are trying to make trouble, but it’s still a mental trigger – and more information to add to your own ninja detector.

    • 10 leah July 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

      sorry didn’t occur to me until after I hit post, but ninjas talking about changing their ways remind me of this song

  3. 11 Ngita July 23, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I know probably the worst of the early blackrock Horde ninja’s got a perma-ban. Cant remember his name but it has been 5 years, He created a new account got to 59 or 60 on his new priest and went mad over a weekend.

    I dont know if ninja’ing is increasing, its certainly a lot easier to get away with it.

    Minor stuff? a 6k prot pally rolling need a on a ilvl 200 healer ring etc? Often. But while i have not lost any raid gear to a ninja I have been in 3 raids in the last 6 months where a ninja ruined others day. Probably the worst was a icc where i joined a unguilded hunters raid. I knew he had run a succesful raid(which i had not joined) the previous week, Except this week the dps trinket dropped from saurfang and thats where the raid stopped.

  4. 12 Shiva July 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I think they can. But it depends on why they ninja’d and how much time has past. I believe people can change. Not all people will change, but some can make the jump.

    I’ve had the pleasure of seeing people mature, grow up, and become entirely different people online. So yes, I buy into it.

    Maybe I am just to positive, but I am firm believer that eventually, everyone grows up.

  5. 13 Jayd July 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I agree with Shiva, I think they can change. Most ninjas I know of or have heard of are not malicious at heart, but are just young and stupid and think they’re hot you-know-what. They grab an item and run because they can, and because it boosts their egos. I like to believe that when these people grow up, they’ll look back and think how dumb they were and wonder how they could have done it.

    That said, the only ninja I’ve ever personally experienced was completely opposite to the usual stereotype. She was a mature woman playing a resto druid who had a pair of cloth gloves (or bracers?), iLevel 264, looted to her by accident. She had rolled and won but the rule was MS > OS so she was asked to give them to the second-place clothy. She refused, saying that she thought she had earned them so she was going to take them.

    I honestly think this type of ninja is worse, as they’re not young and stupid and should really know better!

  6. 14 Dunwich July 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    i have to do some naughty things this weekend…

  7. 16 theerivs July 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Naughty? Let’s just say in BC, I had more accounts Permabanned then there’s cans in a 24 pack.

    In Wrath I’ve been a good boy…sorta. 😉

  8. 17 Jaedia July 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Some people do it because they figure, “It’s just the internet, who cares? I get something and I don’t know these people so why not. Guarantees me some epic purplez.” So, in those circumstances, I guess they can realise that it’s not nice, that there are human beings behind the screen.

  9. 18 Bristal July 23, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Why do they do it? Same reason kids do lots of illegal or borderline “illegal” things, for the thrill.

    Cut class
    Sneak into theaters
    Run out on a restaurant bill
    Steal from parents
    Do drugs
    Underage drinking
    Cheat on exams

    and on and on. As adults they move on to:

    Cheating on their income taxes
    Stealing from work
    Flagrantly breaking traffic laws
    Cheating on their spouse
    Dumping trash illegally
    Buying/using/returning merchandise

    and on and on.

    Some people just love to think of themselves as above the law. Change is possible, but not likely.

  10. 19 Cav July 23, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    With the one or two instances were I have been been in a ninja’d raid, I don’t think either ninja will ever change. In both cases the ninja believed that he/she was “in the right” to take that gear. We talk about reforming the bad ones, but what the ignorant ones? When people honestly believe they deserve that loot they will conjure up all kinds of ideas to justify there actions. Beliefs are hard to change(Kevin smith -dogma). We teach ourselfs to stand up for what we believe in but no one teaches us that occasionally we are wrong.

  11. 21 Katherine July 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I’ve encountered a lot of people being accused of being ninjas in low level dungeons when it looks more like they don’t know what gear is best for them. It’s a pity the vote to kick option doesn’t enforce giving a reason (haven’t even figured out how to make it LET me give a reason, though usually it’s someone else initiating the kick).

    • 22 Pugnacious Priest July 26, 2010 at 12:32 am

      I wouldn’t kick someone over a single bad choice – if they were rolling need on everything then there is a bigger problem. LFG’s aren’t really conductive to long diatrades of explainations besides obvious ones like we had to tell a DK in Keep this weekend. “Lose the spellpower and Intellect on your gear.” – I’m avoiding initiating kicks – so I’ve not seen a reason on the screen yet either, and no one has ever added one

  12. 23 Katherine July 26, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    It’s usually 2-3 bad choices in a row, like Staff of Tsol then green spellplate on a ret pally when they had better equipped. I wouldn’t mind if someone would give them some tips, but I don’t really have time for it as a tank – I’d rather they got kicked than me for not being gogogo enough.

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