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How To Successfully Troll Your Raid Leader in Online Games: the Lag Troll

The lag troll: just one of the many epic trolls a raid leader is subject to on a daily basis.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

Ask Erin, Trolling Victim Extraordinaire

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As a raid leader in World of Warcraft I get hit by far more trolling than I could ever dish out. If you’re looking for some epic trolls, here is a behind-the-scenes look at the kind of grief I take from my fellow beloved guildies on a daily basis, starting with a classic: the lag troll.

Me: OK everybody, phase 2. Dodge and burn. Squel, get out of the fire.

Squelvin: I’m not in the fire.

Me: You’re in the fire. Get out of the fire.

Squelvin: I’m not in the fire.

Me: Squelvin! Get out of the fire!

Squelvin: OMG how did I die?


Squelvin: I was nowhere near the fire! I got out of it as soon as it hit me every time!

Me: Look at your body. Where is your body?

Squelvin: Well, it’s in the fire NOW. That happened AFTER I died.

Me: /facepalm  The boss doesn’t target dead people.

Squelvin: The game hates me.

Maybe the game does hate him. I can’t be sure. He’s a gnome mage. Maybe the game hates mages. Maybe Blizzard has put out a company-wide memo alerting all GM’s to seek out gnome mages for random boss targeting and impossibly teleporting fire patches. Sure, it’s more likely either master trolling or genuinely epic game lag, but I can’t be sure which. That’s the beauty of it. A good troll has to be believable. It has to leave me uncertain whether I’m being trolled in the first place. 

Lag? What’s lag?

“Erin,” I hear you asking. “What is this ‘epic game lag’ of which you speak?” 

I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!!! Game lag is what happens when either your computer or your Internet connection can’t process the graphics elements of the game fast enough to show you what’s happening in real time, so that you end up seeing the fire a full second after it kills you. Assuming you’re not a troll, how can you stop your team from wiping over and over again on elementary game mechanics like fire and boulder dodging?

Upgrade Your Aging Computer

Did you buy your computer at the turn of the new millennium? Do you consider Windows XP to be a “current” operating system? Do you look fondly at your Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer and think, “They don’t make them like they used to”?

If you bought your computer more than three years ago and have not made any upgrades to it, you’re basically playing on a dinosaur. Either upgrade its components, or go get something better.

Hey, don’t yell at me about it, I’m the Guild Master not the Game Master. I didn’t build the game, I’m just playing it, OK? I’m not building and releasing a whole new generation of computers every six months. I’m not upgrading your game’s graphics engine to blazing speeds that your college-ramen-noodle budget can’t afford. (See my article on 5 Easy Ways To Ruin Any Game.) I’m just trying to hold my guild together and kill bosses.  

PUG Troll: My screen keeps slowing down in the big fights.

Guild Master: How much memory do you have?

PUG Troll: Oh, this is a fantastic computer. I’ve got over 500 gigs of space on this thing.

Sigh. Hopefully this guy was just trolling me, but if you don’t know much about computers, make sure to get some help when you’re computer shopping. Suck it up, and admit that you’re a gamer. Don’t let this scenario happen to you…

Gamer: I’m interested in a new computer.

Salesperson: OK, great! What are you going to use it for?

Gamer: I… um… I need it for work. /shifts weight uncomfortably

Salesperson: What kind of work?

Gamer: I’m an accountant.

Salesperson: OK, sure. This model here is a nice mid-level computer. It’s easily powerful enough for any accounting software you can throw at it.

Gamer: Um… OK… thanks.  /marked for death 

Upgrade Your Lousy Internet

Random Guildy: Good news, chief! I know you’ve been complaining about my lag spikes in raids lately, so I got satellite Internet. I’m gonna be awesome tonight.

No, no, no. A satellite Internet connection is not good enough for progression-level raiding. Period.

Random Guildy: But what if…

No, it isn’t.

Gamer: You didn’t let me finish…

You don’t have to finish. It isn’t good enough. Listen, where does satellite Internet come from? I’ll give you a hint: 


And where is the satellite? In orbit, OK? It’s in space. Your Internet signal has to go all the way into space and back to tell the game what you just did, and it has to go back into space and back again to show you what happened next. Your lightning-fast reflexes will not help you dodge the fire if it happened two and a half seconds ago.

And while I’m on lag trolls… Please, the audio streaming… Don’t do it. Just don’t. You can pretend to do it, just to drive me crazy, that’s good trolling. But please don’t really do it.

Me: Zee, why didn’t you run out when I said run out?

Zee: What? No. What?

Me: Can you even hear me?

Zee: Kinda sorta.

Me: What’s that in the background?

Zee: Oh, my tunes?

Me: Yeah, you streaming that?


Listen to anything you want, people, I don’t care. All I ask is that you download it before the raid. It’s bad enough that your brother is streaming some Netflix movie and your mom is watching YouTube videos of sneezing kittens. Don’t be part of the problem. Streaming music is for farming, not for raiding. Period. End of discussion.



OK, fine. I’ll stop after this song…

This is Ask Erin, giving up and signing off. Don’t worry, you can troll me some more tomorrow. God knows I’ll be back for more.

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Ask Erin
app developer, author, rancher, gamer, (and occasional lawyer)