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When AFK attacks

Matthew Rossi

My wife is a hunter. I don't say plays a hunter because that might give you the idea that she's playing and oh heck no. She's not playing. She's very very serious about taming rare or unique skins of pets, to the point where I find myself leveling a second shaman for the express purpose of using heroism to tame a spectral lupine.

The other day, she completed her most recent mission, which was to tame the attractive fellow in the picture above. As you might expect, there were other hunters trying to accomplish it, so we ended up with a two day marathon of sleeplessness, calls from work asking me to check the zone to make sure he hadn't spawned, a mix-up with a hunter who followed her around dropping flares at her feet while she wasn't shadowmelded, and other exciting (and not so exciting) adventures.

The other day while I was gleefully stealing baby wolvar from the still-cooling embrace of their mothers because a walrus paid me to, I heard a strangled gasp from my wife over at her computer. Somewhat distracted by wrangling bereaved pups, I at first didn't process what "I got the spirit beast" meant, especially since she gasped it out as one word. Eventually, of course, the congratulations started (in my happiness that I wouldn't have to camp Shol... er, I mean for her, yes, of course I mean for her success) and then I saw on her screen that orc hunter she'd mentioned before.

He was AFK.

In fact, my wife said, she'd actually tamed the mob out from under him. He had landed, done his usual drop a flare at her feet routine, then after a while (she was busily killing all the mobs in the area around the spawn point, as is her way) he went AFK.

Five minutes later Loque'nahak spawned inside his body. One second there was a hunter sitting there, the next second she couldn't even see him anymore, just Loque. A frenzied execution of key strokes later, Loque was tagged (you want to tag him so that someone doesn't come along and decide to kill him for the achievement) and lured into a trap for proper taming.

This entire time, the AFK hunter remained AFK. He was still AFK, in fact, when I arrived on the scene to examine the pet who had been the source of all this effort. As you might expect by the fact that I don't play a hunter and can't get one past 31, I'm usually more baffled than anything by pets, but I have to give Loque credit for having one heck of an impressive skin. He sounds like the Darth Vader of cats when he attacks, too. As we were standing around discussing what to name it (I still say Pellinore is a good name for a beast she spent this much time looking for) the orc hunter finally came back from being AFK, and was presented with the sight of the NE hunter he'd been dropping flares at for two days... the one he knew didn't have a pet when he left... standing there with Loque. The fact that the pet didn't have a name probably would have clued him in too.

To his credit he wasn't the kind of unpleasant you can so often see in these situations. He didn't /spit or any of that, he mostly just walked around Loque and made gestures that Blizzard has rendered unintelligible. We understood why he might have been upset, after all, but it wasn't like either of us went to his house and made him go get a sandwich either. My wife then proceeded to cycle between extreme glee at having finally tamed the spirit beast, and extreme guilt at having tamed it while that other hunter was AFK. Again, I'm fairly certain I don't have telepathic "You gotta have a sandwich" powers but if I do, sorry about that.

So now I come to you, gentle readers. What would you have done? Waited for the other guy to come back from AFK and get the thing you spent multiple days farming for? Or tame and be damned? You can extend this out to nodes or quest mobs if you like. I assume an AFK player is essentially in a 'you snooze, you lose' penalty box, myself. Sometimes if I see one getting beaten on I'll pull the mobs off to be nice, but that's basically it. Am I callous? Heartless? Or is it just common sense?

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