Monday, April 6, 2009

Ninja versus Pirate versus...


While my server has been inundated with "ninjas," some legitimate, some not, it's gotten me thinking about labels. Why did people who take loot that doesn't belong to them come to be called "ninjas"?

When I think of Ninjas, I think of stealth. In, out, no one knows they're there until it's all over. If anything in WoW would be a ninja, it would be a successful steal of a raid ID. However, taking items when the entire raid/group is aware of it and can see it happening, is not stealthy or subtle. It's not really a ninja.

It's more like a pirate. A pirate's in it for the booty anyway, so their motivations are clear. However, pirates operate outside the law and are subject to punishment by it. So, that doesn't seem to really fit either, due to Blizzard deeming "ninja" type activities as outside the realm of punishment. So, perhaps, Privateer would be better. A fancy kind of pirate whose only real difference is their government sanction.

I suppose, in the end, though...they're all just names for "jerk."

8 comments:

Ron said...

Its funny you wrote about this. I was trying to explain what a "Ninja" was to my fiance, who has just recently started getting back into WoW.

She asked me .. "So why is it called Ninja?" Best I could come up with was that "They've taken your loot and left before you had time to react or do anything about it"

Morane said...

Plus, the few people I've seen 'ninja' stuff disguise their motives in order to get into the group.

They roll normally on loot until a suitable piece drops. In that case they wait for everyone to roll greed or pass, they roll need and make off with the goods.

Vndead said...

hey.. i'm also on DI.

I think it just means that someone "quickly took/steal" (ninja = fast, rogue-like and stealthy) something not theirs.

Ninja is not only for need/greed/pass roll but also an quick action performed by Master Looter to give it to his buddy or himself.

Brent said...

If everyone knew you were a pirate and your intentions where clear that you would steal all loot, nobody would go anywhere with you.

A ninja uses stealth and misdirection (by acting like a normal person in this case) hiding in plain sight until the time comes to grab the item and then disappear in a flash of hearthsmoke.

Bell said...

Aye, but Pirates would do much the same thing, by running up friendly flags until the ship got close enough that they could ransack it for all it was worth. They didn't always go in guns blazing.

The difference here is that people attacked by pirates can see they're being robbed, while people being ninja'd from shouldn't be able to tell what's going on during the act.

Lissanna said...

the real answer is... because one random person started saying it and it stuck.
:)

Button said...

I wish a master looter would Ninja a 2hander to my pally....

....not that my guild didn't suggest that I do it myself, but there was something absurdly obvious about being given master looter right as Maexxna died and dropped the Jawbone....

Kring said...

Not every game has a concept of tagging a mob. In some games the loot just drops to ground and whoever picks it up first, gets it. (e.g. even Diablo)

Therefore, you wait in stealth for another group to kill a boss and then loot it and disappear.

The term is older than WoW.

In WoW ninja looting is only possible of ore nodes, flowers and chests but not mob loot.