Trolling is a form of griefing that involves a player acting in a particularly obnoxious or offensive way so as to provoke a reaction from others. Trolling is prevalent in most forum or comment-based media, and World of Warcraft is no exception.
The term "troll" predates WoW, and as such is not at all connected to the Troll race. The word comes from a type of fishing that involves pulling lines or nets from behind a slow moving boat to catch fish.
Examples of Trolling
Note that if any player does something troll-ish on accident, then it is not considered trolling.
Any of the following behavior can be considered Trolling:
- Bothering another player by constantly whispering to them while they are busy.
- Purposely acting stupid or reckless in a pickup group (i.e. meleeing as a caster class).
- Asking a purposely obvious or naive question over trade chat (i.e. "Why does Zelda always have to save the princess?"), prompting multiple people to answer in rapid succession and waste everybody's time.
- Joining a Ventrilo server uninvited and being obnoxious.
- Using particularly offensive ethnic slurs or generalizations in normal conversation.
Avoiding being Trolled
It is rarely difficult to spot someone acting deliberately obnoxious or ignorant, so the best thing to do is just leave a troll alone. If they don't get a rise out of others, they will stop.
Ignoring a troll will prevent them from annoying you directly via chat, but it is impossible to keep others from falling into the trap and bothering you with their mass of replies over general chat.
Sometimes it helps to call out a troll if you notice one on general chat. Trolls are almost universally despised, so you will receive help from others wishing to rid themselves of the offending players.