The subject of luring has been a hot topic recently in Canting Away. But are we all talking about the same thing?
Our clan was targeted by people (or person, on multiple accounts, as some suspect), who sought to take advantage of the famous generosity of Canting members. Alongside inconsistencies in stories, or retelling the same one in private with several different people, it soon became clear what was happening. The guilty party was immediately banned, but the sense of betrayal remained.
It's hardly surprising, therefore, that some Canters are vigilantly watching new members, in case it's the same scammer returned. I've been approached with a request to ban all item loaning and present giving within our clan. I've resisted, because that's not Canting's way. We've survived since 2007 with the minimum of rules (and those largely matters of IRL protection and in-game equality). The family that we've built has been forged around genuine friendship, compassion and kindness. It would be a shame to even attempt to smack a sledgehammer response down over there, just because of one bad egg. Especially since that person was only in the clan for a week.
But that isn't all. These conversations have been using the word 'luring' a lot. The trouble is that no-one has defined what that means within the context. Luring can be a clever PKing strategy, which even I can respect. Or it can be a heinous PKing abuse, which I most certainly do not.
Let me give examples of these two things. Imagine for a moment that Cossack says to Gri3f that he wants to fight him in the Wilderness. They should both bring their best fighting outfits, with spiky bits everywhere, and as much food and potions as they wish to take. Gri3f says, 'Kk!', gets changed and rushes off to the ditch. Coss follows him, but at the 11th hour doesn't jump the ditch. Gri3f does and finds, to his horror, that Warlock and I are waiting with runes and arrows at the ready. Warlock binds him. I shoot arrows at him. Gri3f dies in a screaming fit of pixels and we all share his Bandos and rocktails between us.
Coss would have lured him, but this is fine, because Gri3f is a pwnage PKer and he knew precisely what he was getting into. He was fully aware of the (no) rules of the Wilderness and how to defend himself in it. It would have been his own stupidity that got him killed. (And also the fact that this little scenario is pure fantasy, as Gri3f could PK the crap out of the three of us put together; and there's no way I'd even be in the Wilderness to be shooting arrows.)
My feeling is that PKing is fine for those who want to do it. The story above told sounds to me like PKing strategy. I don't like it, but then again, I don't like PKing. That's no reason for me to want other people to abstain from it. The strength of Canting is that we each do our own thing. This gives us a lot of great in-game expertise to fall back on. Take the Sal's clan wars at Xmas. We'd have been in trouble if Gri3f hadn't been there to help us.
To me, luring is when someone who doesn't know the dangers is being taken where (s)he can be PKed. In my scenario, Gri3f knew from the outset that he was crossing into the Wildy for a PKing session. He knew what the Wildy is. At least that's how I would read it. But then you get the other sort of luring.
When I was a mithril noob, being told to pull the Ardy lever because it takes me somewhere good, I didn't know what the Wilderness was. I had no idea what PKing was. I was told in advance that it wasn't dangerous on the other side of that lever. That is luring in its worst form; and that is what I'd not like to see in Canting.
What happened to us, with regards the scamming individual, is being called luring, but is it that? It was malicious greed, but it had nothing to do with PKing. For the sake of Canting's PKers, I think we should be clarifying exactly what we're trying to say here.
I now want to hand over to Warlock. As a member of Canting practically since its inception, he knows well the ethos there. He's also long been a general of the clan, which is a decision that I have never regretted. He is very used to overseeing queries and complaints, though we get few enough of those in such a laid-back clan as Canting Away. Moreover, he has experience of PKing itself. Personally I think what he has to say is very valuable here.
Consider him a guest blogger hereon.
Warlock's Take on Canting and Luring
Firstly, I'm not entirely certain that I agree with some Canters' view of lurers, While I don't necessarily approve of them, and they try to take advantage of less experienced players by playing off their lack of knowledge and potential greed, there are fundamental differences.
In the vast majority of cases, lures depend on the player being lured entering the Wilderness (or dangerous Clan Wars arena), despite the multiple warning by Jagex that other players can (and, most likely, will) attack them, and not to bring anything at all that they are not prepared to lose. This step is always made by the player being lured, it is always their choice to take the metaphorical 'leap of faith', as it were; it is extremely difficult to be lured if you listen to the warnings, since starting RuneScape in 2004, I have not once fallen victim to a lure, almost solely because I've read the warnings presented to me. and not given other players I've just met the opportunity to do so.
While I'm not necessarily supporting luring, I see it as little different from any other form of PKing, if I were to go to the Mage Arena in level 52 Wilderness to get my God cape back, I wouldn't expect people not to attack me on the way merely because my aim was not to fight with them, the Wilderness is supposed to provide a balance of risk vs. reward, and lurers will almost always use the allure of a massive reward, the player being lured being the one to decide themselves that the risk is worth it.
We have to consider both how banned lurers might react (potentially launching a 'luring vendetta' against Canting members as a form of vengeance?) as well as what any judgement might mean to the message Canting is sending out to other members. If we condemn lurers, do we also condemn RC PKers? What about people who PK KBD killers or Green Dragon hunters? The list goes on.
Ultimately, the line between luring and other forms of PKing is often so thin, distinguishing between them in order to condemn luring often tends to a highly controversial and hypocritical rule being passed. I am aware that Merch Gwyar is not a great fan of PKing, but I'd like to think that even she sees that PKing has its place, and while being killed is often frustrating at best, it is a vital part of the game, and something many players enjoy greatly, training skills or even boss hunting merely doesn't provide the same thrill as PKing, nothing in RuneScape has a higher risk and, potentially, higher reward.
This having been said, I would strongly recommend not taking disciplinary action against luring Canters, mostly because of the effect it could have on Canting's prosperity and growth as a clan, as well as the open and inviting atmosphere we intend to provide, rather than unfounded hostility against those who choose to partake in a perfectly legitimate aspect of the game. It may be worth reminding you that dicing, while also viewed as an atrocity by many people, was something that (a Canting member*) often partook in after his return, and, in my personal opinion, although I am evidently guilty of much bias, I still believe he's one of the greatest members Canting has ever had the privilege to have.
I completely agree with Merch's feelings about diversity within the clan and it keeping us strong. I think what has kept me with Canting for so long is just that, there are no forced requirements, people are pretty much free to do as they please within the rules of the game, joining Canting doesn't mean you have to change your playing style at all if you don't want to, and I love that about it. It was for these reasons that, admittedly, I was initially skeptical about Canting becoming an official clan when the system was first released. I honestly thought that the lack of clan-like structure would cause massive problems within our ranks and that we should have stayed as a friend's chat.
Since then, however, watching Canting develop as a clan has changed my mind. While, in the first few months, I still feared the structural differences from the conventional clan system would prove to be detrimental, having seen the bonds of friendship between our members tried and tested by updates alienating F2Pers or those who dislike skilling such as citadels, I'm confident that the right choice was made. Canting has grown in a way even I could never have imagined, it's no longer just a group of friends chatting, yet it's unlike any clan I've ever witnessed as well; in my mind, at least, it's become more of an international community than anything else, even stretching outside the boundaries of the virtual world with the meetup last year.
While my rambling has deviated somewhat away from the issue of villanising luring, the underlying principle is interlinked. The diversity and accepting nature of our community is one of our greatest strengths, and to take that away would be little short of criminal.
* Redacted by Merch Gwyar, as I didn't know if had that member's permission to include his name. ;)