A wikian's survival guide to trolldom.
History of the TrollsAh trolls. Pestilential creatures who lurk in the comments sections of various blogs as well as different internet fora. Scientists recently unearthed this ancient Egyptian hieroglyph from the ruins of a lost city depicting the first ever written word of trolling. Often described as the Rosetta Stone in breaking down the barriers to communication with these elusive creatures.
Rather than write out the long and sordid history of trolling and the extensive breeding habits centred on the annual release of a Call of Duty game, I am going to summarize using educational pictures for ease of reading.
Trolling, a new phenomenon to the Assassin’s Creed wiki and series - or, at least, for those who don’t enjoy spending hours combing endless comment threads on YouTube.
Trolling is hard to define, Wikipedia defines it as “A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”
Though trolling is as varied as there are people logged in to the internet, but it usually consists in random ad hominem attacks on other users, masterful diversion of the topic at hand (in a forum), provocative, left-field commentary, visual gags (as in the ever-popular, seemingly omnipresent Rick-rolling meme, where (mostly) Youtube users were lured into watching a video that immediately transformed into Rick Astley’s classic one-hit-wonder “Never Gonna Give You Up”), or (as is 99% of the case with trolls) contradictory, sometimes offensive, nonsense, meant to elicit emotional, heated responses from other users.
Some call it an art; others call it a science; admins call it a reason to use the ban hammer.
Types of Internet Trolls
Ever since the start on this computer thingy, there has been a huge boom in the breeding of trolls. Trolls are posters on Internet Forums/websites that post to get a rise out of a number of people. One of the rules of Internet posting is to never feed the troll, but sadly, some of them tend to be particularly obnoxious, so many people struggle to refrain. Some of them are particularly dedicated to their craft, often breeding with other trolls and devolving into something akin to that guy from Glee that everyone hates. If only they showed that type of dedication to something productive.
Historical depiction of a traditional troll.
Trolls in real life.
Yet trolls come in many varieties. Much like breeding chocobos, one must experiment to get the best results. Acquiring all these subtypes can be a challenge but luckily (or more correctly; unluckily), the wiki seems to have attracted them lately so my job has now been made much easier.
Currently I am working on breeding the common troll types listed below.
- Playtime Trolls: an individual who plays a simple, short game. Such trolls are relatively easy to spot because their attack or provocation is fairly blatant, and the persona is fairly two-dimensional. YouTube is an ideal breeding ground for such trolls.
- The Mistaken Troll: These people are not necessarily trolls but rather in their attempts to fit in, they exhibit behavior that might consider to be foolish. Therefore they are mistaken as trolls. This type of troll is often an new member of a site or forum and unwittingly and without malice will act in a trollish manner but is really just trying to fit in. Such people may use their real names on the internet, and they may not even realise that they are "trolling. This type of troll can be rehabilitated in time and become a productive member of the community. It just goes to show you that not everyone is a troll but some newbies get mistake for one.
- The Part Time Troll: This particular variety of troll is mostly normal in their posting. Every now and then however, they tend to exhibit some trolling behavior. It is a rather fascinating transformation. These particular posters go back to their normal productive posting.
- Bronie Trolls: The less that is said about this type, the better. Often just utter the name may summon them to a forum in droves where they incessantly post images of my little pony pictures…..
- The Rabid Flamer: This troll likes to make trouble for his own amusement. If nothing particularly nasty is going on, he’ll whip out his flamethrower and burn everyone in his path, especially denizens of parenting or site specific forums such as a gaming wiki.
- The Bored Hater: This troll loves to make problems, usually out of sheer boredom. Its posts are vile and hideous for no other reason than riling up total strangers. His arsenal includes racism, sexism, homophobia and religious intolerance.
- The Novice Noob: If someone says something even remotely critical of the Novice Noobs posts or comments, he’ll TYPE IN ALL CAPS, telling you either what a @#$# you are or using caps to get his points across.
- The Spoiler: The Spoiler likes to ruin people’s days. On the IRC, he gives away endings even when asked not to and generally will ruin other people’s experience.
- The Flooder: The Flooder tries to break forums by posting the same lame negative comments over and over and over and over and over and over… No matter how many time staff of member, nicely ask them to stop they just ignore it and continue until they are banned.
- The Predatory Troll: For the most part, this troll seems rather normal. However, they decided to particularly troll one person, sometimes for no reason. Well no good reason at the very least. They tend to a bit obsessive, it is almost a stalker level of behavior. To everyone else they might be a normal poster but to one person or a group of people, this creature is a nightmare.
- The Equal Opportunity Troll: This troll on the other hand does not discriminate. They troll every one, all of the time, no matter what, wherever they go, whatever they do. It almost gets to the point where they might even be trolling themselves, if such a thing is possible. Still they are an annoyance to everyone and often think of themselves as the "Kings" or elites of trolling but nothing they do compares as much as our next troll.
After reviewing these numerous subtypes of trolls I have decided to invest my efforts in the creation of a new troll type known as the BioHudson troll (sometimes known as the Reaper troll). As you know the common characteristics shared by all trolls is their innate ability to complain and bitch about everything and genuinely try and spoil the topic for other users. More so, we have to endure this now as many of the hater trolls seek to diminish the Ubisoft’s efforts and the great work done by the Assassin’s Creed team.
The 3 common types of Reaper Troll, often distinguished from one another via 3 distinct colorings. But don't let that fool you, because it is still the same old Troll no matter the ending... I mean color.
This brings me onto my final type of troll and one no troll breeder ever wishes to breed….
- The Reaper Trolls: A troll who comes beyond the impossible, then even their fellow trolls find their behavior absolutely horrific and appalling. This person has reached new and utter depths of trolldom that were thought absolutely impossible. It is scary how dedicated they are and a lot of the time, they find ways back onto the community after being banned. These trolls have an unconscious psychological need to feel good by making others feel bad. The Reaper troll encompasses all of the negative aspects of the previously mentioned troll types as well as having a unique characteristic of its own. This is that even if they are blocked they will come back, no matter how many times you try they use insidious means to infest the forum or site they were kicked from and no matter how many times you put them down, Reaper Trolls are like the horror movie villains like Freddy Krueger, who no matter how many times they are put down, they keep coming back.
- Personal Observation: Increased breeding post Mass Effect 3 launch, possible due to illogical endings. More info available at: Origin of the Species: Rise of the Reaper Troll.
Hazards of Troll Breeding
- Troll to Troll Combat: When another lesser troll tries to go head to head with a Reaper Troll in an attempt to shame him and drive him from the community. Yet trolls of all people should know the number one rule of dealing with trolls. Do not feed the trolls. It increases their power. Troll to troll combat always ends bad with innocent people wiped out in the crossfire.
There are your different types of online trolls. Now armed with this knowledge go out and breed you own trolls or better yet try and spot them in their natural habitats. But remember, if you see a troll, back away slowly and do not engage it, let the professionals take care of it.