Steam Players Make Their Own Justice, Virtually Imprison Troll

Steam Players Make Their Own Justice, Virtually Imprison Troll

Steam’s hottest game has no built-in way to stop jerks from ruining your fun… which means that players have to get creative if they want to maintain the peace.

Ark: Survival Evolved is a dinosaur hunting game where players have to use the environment to, well, survive. You know the spiel: you can craft, you can build, and so on. Think of it like DayZ or Rust, but with dinosaurs. People like it so much that Ark has been tearing up the Steam charts since its release in early access.

It’s not perfect, of course. One thing players seem to agree on is that the game can be a messy hotbed for jerks and arseholes. One of the most top-voted reviews on Ark’s store page says that it is “literally a griefers paradise” because “everything [you build] for can and will be destroyed, killed, and looted…while you’re sleeping ever so peacefully in your bed.” While some players feel helpless to this fact, others are being a bit more proactive when it comes to griefers.

Earlier last week, Ark player Barbaric Seagull took to the Steam forums pictures of what happened to a particularly infamous troll within the game:

“We have an infamous scoundrel and rapscallion locked in a cage,” Seagull reported. “Whenever he gets low health from punching the wall I tranq him and feed him blood until he’s full HP. We’ve had him in there for quite some time.

“This is what happens when you’re a jerk, justice is served.”

Seagull says that the player was imprisoned for ten hours in a virtual prison created by other Ark players. It allegedly took 30 minutes to trap the troll, and after he was captured, the players say they forced him to craft care packages for new players as “community service.”

This digital vigilante justice was met with both support and disgust from other Ark players. A few choice quotes…

“That, is….AWESOME,” one player wrote. “We could use a criminal system like that.”

“Maybe he will learn manners when he is released,” another mused.

“You are beyond the worst scum in the game mister Seagull,” one commenter said. “Like the absolute worst…If the police actively held a man in a 1x1x1 prison and repeatedly tranqed him and force-fed him blood for a reported 10 hours against his will and without trial then yes. I would call them scum and kick them in the nuts.

“The point stands you are effectively banning this player for little more then ruining your pixels.”

One commenter even notes that the developers totally intended for stuff like this to happen. Here is what Ark’s FAQ says in regards to the “unconsciousness” feature within the game:

When you log off your character, or if you suffer serious trauma, or eat the wrong thing, your body becomes unconscious. This will allow other Survivors to interact with you. They can steal your items, kill you, and even feed you! But there’s something else you can do in ARK… you can drag their ragdoll sleeping body around… move it to wherever you want… even move it into a prison cell and enslave it (or just put it in a very dangerous position for when it awakes)… you can force-feed an unconscious person food & water to keep them alive….

and by enslaving, we mean:

You can physically confine them and keep them alive indefinitely if you maintain their health. You can then do such useful things as extracting blood from them to create transfusion items, or using their poop as fertiliser, etc.

Mission accomplished, I guess!

The funny thing about this entire debacle is the final twist. Here’s Seagull, on the fate of the player that was imprisoned:

I just wanted to update this to provide some posterity to the situation and everyone commenting. We did imprison Ricky, for raiding and such, it was fun and we invited him to our TS and we all had a great time.

After getting to know him more, and finding out how absolutely insane (total headcases) some of the tribe leaders are on our server, we now play with him as a member of our tribe. Right now we have become friends and are having fun together and he is not destroying anybody’s stuff.

Maybe that’s stockholm syndrome. Or maybe it’s the brilliance of Ark: Survival Evolved and its players shining through.


  • I was a fan of this until I read that when you log off people can interact with you like that.

    I would be furious if I spent hours collecting and getting my things, only to come back next week and be in the ocean or some other precarious situation because I had the audacity to log out.

    I think it’s a cool idea but it’s just not for me

    • There are PvE servers that you can play on which prevent this. It’s really a great game, definitely something that should be done in groups.

      It’s in Early Access atm and the Dev’s are amazing, consistently listening to the Community and Feedback, tweaking adding things on a weekly basis.

    • This is the same with Rust. It is actually both an amazingly cool mechanic and one that can be heartbreaking.

    • Same here, I hate when I am playing Rust and log off for maybe a full 24 hours or 2 days and come back and my shack which I spent 2 hours building just so I COULD log off safely was raided and destroyed. I mean….Cmon, WTF do I do? I am not a fan of it either.

  • Done a similar thing myself, coincidentally.
    Had built a ‘Raptor Taming Pen’ that I’d drop Raptors and Dilos into if I wanted to tame them, with an Argentavis. We built a Preserving Bin next to it so we could store Prime easily.

    We knock out a level 44 Rex last night, in the middle of farming prime and a Level 2 Player comes up and knocks him out to death as we’re coming back to the Rex. Pick him up with the Bird, drop him in the cage and Tranq him with arrows. He stays in teh cage for about 30 mins before leaving the server.

  • I think the hypocrisy of that 3rd guy is beyond hilarious. Has no problem with trolls, reacts with affronted, disgusted outrage when trolls are punished for their trolling. Because of course the most important part about trolling is never having to face consequences. Dumbass.

  • I remember the review talked about in this article. It was the one that stopped me hitting the BUY button. I love the idea of Ark but if developers are happy, even encouraging through game mechanics, to allow griefing as some kind of social experiment, I just know I will be frustrated by the experience. So, no buy for me.

    • ?!?!?!?!??!?! Are you and @pointzeroone aware that there is a PvE game mode where none of that happens??

      Adding onto that, there are Unofficial PvP servers that have rules set against that kind of griefing/pvp.

      • It goes beyond standard PvP when after you disconnected you can be killed, or stolen from.

        • Which, hello? This is EXACTLY what the people in Patricia’s post got around to doing – giving out a taste of the griefer’s own medicine.

          Let alone my second paragraph which *clearly* states:
          Adding onto that, there are Unofficial PvP servers that have rules set against that kind of griefing/pvp.
          There are servers that are against offline raiding. You just have to look for them.

          If you don’t like that then play on a local server. It’s a great game, really. I don’t get how so many people are salty over this.

  • Yeah the whole shit can happen to you while you’re logged off is what turned me away from Rust.

  • Great spelling. These kids should stay in school.

    Also not hard to change servers and play where there’s no tools just saying.

    • Not really. It’s hard finding a low ping server, especially during ‘prime time’. Dilo glitching is fun.

  • That’s the best part, will you be alive when you next log on? I find the most exciting part is raiding others and finding out ways into bases. You can complain about people raiding but if you don’t want that play style, go pve.

    • Honestly one of the best greenlights I’ve ever played. The amount of updates they pump out are insane. They did release one update that broke the game and was fixed within 10 minutes. Would definitely recommend

  • The whole idea of being able to put someone in a cell and keep them doped up as consequence to ingame actions has a decidedly horrible moral connotation. I thought it was people abusing the games mechanics to do this but the developers actually have it in their FAQ. This whole thing is atrocious. They are saying its ok to enslave someone and keep them locked up by keeping them doped up because its a game. Putting aside the fact its a game, if the cops did this, if any government agency did this publicly they would have a peoples uprising. But its ok, because its in a game. I have been enjoying the game up until i found out the developers actually think its ok for people to lock other players up and dope them to keep them there. PVE servers, your tribe members can do it to you if they think your being a dick, so it doesnt matter what server you are on. In the end the mechanic can best be described as enslavement and torture. Why the hell should it be ok to do that in a game to other people?

    • Your comment ia either bait or its silly, you cannot draw parallel to real life like this. You’re misrepresenting the deal in order to make it easier to attack. This is a logical fallacy. The captured player can switch servers or eventually escape. Or juat go play another game for an hour.

    • Try asking a more pertinent question – why the hell should it be ok for other players to be dicks without consequence ?
      Because it is a game, it bears no comparison to real life. If the cops did imprison and torture detainees, then rightfully there would be an outrage, because the detainee would have no choice but to endure that misery and humiliation without recourse.
      In a game, you can log off, have a meal, watch a movie, spend time with your partner or family, go for a walk, read a paper, have some coffee, sleep in a comfy bed.
      Furthermore, you get to choose when you return to the game, along with other options, such make a new character, apologise for being a dick, or simply go play another game altogether.
      Notice how you keep your freedom and choices in the second example ?
      That’s why your comparison doesn’t work.

      If someone is being a dick, then the protections they used to rely upon in other games no longer provide that shield of comfort, so griefers will also now have to find a very safe place to sleep.
      From a developers point of view, I’m sure they are annoyed that 1) there are tools out there who just want to ruin the fun and 2) these griefers get the same protection in safe areas as the people they targeted – which effectively means the developers condone that anti-social behaviour.

      • Griefing people in this game can be countered by thoroughly destroying the persons enjoyment by continually destroying their base etc. We have already gotten rid of a few a-hats that way.
        Playing violent games in and of itself is not an issue, if you shoot someone in a game the immediate reaction is end of game or respawn. The act of beating on someone then giving blood packs to keep them alive in a cell in such an interactive way surely gives rise to a really screwed up mindset. Its like an artificial way for the kid down the road to torture a dog that it found because the dog growled at him. Could you imagine the uproar if the game was only about capturing someone putting them in a cell and then doping them all day? The griefers that are being caught have also been doing that to other people so it goes both ways. If that mechanic wasnt in the game people would resort to simply destroying the griefers base over and over and being done with it, instead we get a parading of higher than thou “server police” that inevitably act worse than the griefers they are shaming :s

        -I agree griefers should be punished in some way (destroying peoples 4 hour tames simply because it will annoy them is shitty).
        -I agree players should be able to retaliate in a way that will affect the griefers enough so they bugger off.
        -if the game was only about capturing, enslaving and doping other players the game wouldnt get a release in Australia or probably anywhere else, it would probably be used by IS as an instructional tool :s
        -i completely disagree with the developers using enslavement and doping as a selling point.

        I play on a pvp server. We dont do what this mob of idiots did. We simply get everyone on the server and go flaw the base for a couple of days.

        • “The griefers that are being caught have also been doing that to other people so it goes both ways. If that mechanic wasn’t in the game people would resort to simply destroying the griefers base over and over and being done with it, instead we get a parading of higher than thou “server police” that inevitably act worse than the griefers they are shaming :s”

          A thoughtful reply, and I’m actually glad you pointed this out – it is a consequence that I had not considered, but real life examples of similar behaviour, bear this out, time and time again, as well as the very human, elevation of personal status, borne on a crusade for justice/good/deity based punishment.
          It’s also highlights the value of checks and balances, as we have now moved from simple retribution to being able to enact revenge.
          When do we decide that simply razing their bases to dust is not enough ? For bands of griefers, this may not be a real deterrent.
          What measures are taken to control them further, and what limits do we enforce to ensure that we do not go too far ?
          These are questions from a social psychology point of view, and I’m not expecting the answers here, because it’s somewhat off topic, and also because we’ve failed in the past to provide adequate answers, both in gaming and in real life.

          We did imprison Ricky, for raiding and such, it was fun and we invited him to our TS and we all had a great time.
          Re-reading that part again, it’s notable that the happy ending is solely because the antagonist is now one of us .
          In essence, the game appears to be a Lord of the Flies simulator, for want of a better example.

          I’m still not convinced that this in game behaviour is deemed cruel or unusual punishment, given the freedom to escape it, but I take your point that is is not exactly warranted, nor should be a selling point either.

    • So do you play Battlefield? Rust? DayZ? WoW? Anything with Violence, Murder or manslaughter? Why the hell should it be ok to do that to other people? Because they’re NPC’s?! Get real.

      I do not understand the saltyness in regards to this. If you don’t like the interactions with other people, then go play on a Local Server by yourself! If your tribe is being a dick to you (Jokes on you for joining shitheads anyway?) then go join another one. Not every single tribe is going to take the time out just to narc you up and force feed you for shits and gigs.

      • I see where the comments are coming from, i dont care about the griefers being griefed, i care about how its done. The griefer can go suck on a lemon for all i care its the fact that the mechanic is so hideous that annoys me. The servers being, 70 people only, makes it easy to co-ordinate with other tribes and folks to sort out those types of idiots. I dont object to screwing them over, not in the least, but i dont see how becoming them to punish them isnt hypocritical and in this case frigging horrifying.
        Anyway i was merely stating my POV on the mechanic. If people dont agree with it thats their prerogative .

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