One of the more flame-ridden topics on the grid, you've probably seen someone camping at some point or other. Or maybe you were just fooling around and people got mad at you, calling you "camper".
What is Camping
There is a certain amount of disagreement as to what constitutes camping and what doesn't. It is generally accepted that camping is when a player intentionally avoids other players, or prolongs a match. But in some situations, it's considered "ok" to intentionally avoid other players. People who engage in Grid Games are also frequently accused of camping. It is generally accepted that in order for a given behavior to be considered as camping, it must have at least some of these traits:
- Needlessly prolongs the round
- If there's a round winner award, then the player is trying to win those points by not fighting
- Maliciously prolonging the round
- Maliciously trying to prevent other players from playing
- The player never fights, even when someone goes in after him
Classes of Camping
Infinite Wall Campers
In a server with infinite walls a player may box himself inside a large portion of the arena. By sealing himself, he can wait until everyone else dies. In this way, his game is to win the round winner award by outliving the others.
In a server with finite walls a player may box himself in an appropriate size box relative to the wall length. He may travel around the edge of this box indefinitely. In this case, the player is the same as the Infinite Wall Camper, he's just compensating for the fact that the server doesn't have infinite walls.
Running is when a player is too defensive. A common tactic for running is leading to the arena rim wall, then grinding going away from the chaser/attacker. There is some disagreement as to whether or not running in and of itself constitutes camping. There's very little disagreement that running prolongs the match, and it's definitely avoiding the other players. But there are some players who will engage others a bit, and then when the fight starts getting heavy they'll high-tail it. Is this camping? You decide.
In a server with finite walls a player may be boxed in, but the box will be large enough for him to survive indefinitely. If the player who is outside the box does not let the boxed player out then he is inverse camping. The player inside has a few choices:
- Intentionally crash, giving the boxer a point or taking a point for suicide.
- Disconnect, and reconnect (use server bookmarks), losing all your hard-earned points.
- Stay inside and wait for the boxer to screw up and die.
It is not generally accepted that Mazing is camping, but in certain contexts it can be considered camping. Some servers and some players are very hostile to any sort of on-grid behavior that isn't competitive fighting to the death. Most mazers, however, will suicide or fight when the round is down to two players, so mazing is generally not considered camping. Even when players agree that it is camping, since it's generally not disruptive either it's usually forgiven. New players and intolerant players will frequently call "camper" on someone who's mazing, however, because mazing frequently includes the trappings of several types of camping.
How to deal with campers
The standards of the group of players and the server administrator are going to be the ones who determine this. Generally, as with all things, it's not a good idea to kick first and ask questions later. You should start by trying to talk to the person accused of camping and see if they realize their behavior is disruptive. Many campers don't realize this and would gladly mend their behavior if it was brought to their attention in a polite and civil manner.
How to deal with being accused of camping
Depends. If you don't think you're camping, take it with a grain of salt. You may need to find a new server to do that properly, however. If you were camping and you know it, and you refuse to stop doing it, then you should probably find a new server anyway. People get together to play this game and everyone has their own personal thing they want to take from the game. As long as the group is convergent in their desires and interests, there's no problem. But when one person in the group wants something different, there can be problems.