Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Troll - An Introduction

The first thing to know about trolling is that you should ensure that you are prepared for it. Provided you're a regular forum-goer somewhere and have been for some time you presumably qualify. I, for instance, posted on a random RPG forum for about 5 years in parts of my formative years and now said forum no longer exists so I have no chance of being mocked for it. You do not have to be a respected member of the community to troll but showing yourself to be moderately intelligent is a good start.

Avoid small forums at all costs. Small forums tend to have a hugely slanted opinion one way or the other and people will only laugh if you agree with them completely, it is generally a waste of time trying to effect a consensus of idiots. Therefore a moderately to large sized forum is ideal for trolling, at least if you want to be fully appreciated. Prior to beginning my methods on Raids and Dungeons I had already posted over a thousand times, though in the case of Warhammer it was only a few hundred I suppose. Both places worked particularly well.

Okay, having found your forum and audience where do you start? Another thing to remember is that you personally are generally either funny or good at insulting people, do not try to be both or it probably won't work. I'm a funny enough guy but I'm quite excellent at making people feel like idiots and that's what I tend to focus on doing. When I attempt to be funny exclusively it tends to fail miserably whilst trolling. If you're going to try to be funny then make sure most of your posts are blatantly slapstick and idiots will generally still let themselves look that way with various incredibly dense responses.

Which brings me to my next point: directly insulting people is much less effective than simply making them look like an idiot by baiting a response with a troll post. Assuming you're halfway decent at making morons show themselves you should understand this quite well. Making yourself look like a douchebag will generally lessen your fanbase as a troll, but making everyone else look like a douchebag while you simply look mildly intelligent works wonders. While I might not follow this at all times it's mostly my own occasional mistake. I generally am very apathetic about most everything but occasionally I will get mildly irritated and do something stupid as a result.

If you're posting on a "one topic" type of forum like an MMO forum or a "Fans of X series" forum apart from ensuring that the population isn't a consensus of morons you might also want to know something about the series or the MMO before you start trolling. I know a great deal about Blizzard and predicted much of what happened up until I stopped playing in the first part of Wrath of the Lich King. Doing so garners extra respect and generally makes later trolling more efficient. Provided you always sound intelligent even if you're directly insulting the company you will never get banned or warned (yet another reason to avoid directly insulting people as a matter of fact). On Warhammer's forum basically everyone else who tried to troll got banned repeatedly and while there were trial accounts to replace them I take some pride in keeping FCD's trolling record in tact by avoiding such silliness. Granted they eventually killed my forum instead and thereby killed my soul, but oh well.

Random Trolling Vid: A Troll!?

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