Dealing with the infected

[note: The following article was reprinted at the request of R.W. Harper from It remains his property and is copyright by the author]

by R.W. Harper

I took some time to revisit World of Warcraft over the holiday break and was pretty impressed with the v3.3 patch which introduced the Dungeon Finder (as well as some other stuff that didn’t seem to register in my observatory).  I will say that this new Dungeon Finder has added some much needed life to an area of the game that I had always thought could have been done better — the Looking for Group (LFG) system.  The basic mechanic of the new system is brilliant but there are still some of the old problems, mostly social ones, that are associated with any random grouping of players.  You do have an increased chance to encounter those players infected with an annoying bug known as:  Retardus asshaticus.

Electron Microscope Scan of a Virus

Upon encountering  the R. asshaticus infected, there are certain precautions that you should take.  The first thing to keep in mind is that not every player you encounter in-game is infected with this ailment but everyone is susceptible and potential carriers.   For those that are infected, there are several ways this virus manifests itself.   To assist in identification, I will share three common categories:

The Twink:  These are the people that have a low level character (the minimum for the random dungeon finder is 15) and have them all decked out in better than normal gear (twinked) — usually providing them with Heirloom gear that their bored level 80’s cashed in badged to buy for them.  These are the people that play the same way you do, in your mix of white and green gear, and ridicule you because you don’t do enough damage or are able to hold aggro (if a tank) due to their skewed DPS or HPS aggro inviting stats.

The Sociopath: These are the players whose behavior is antisocial and lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.  Read that:  The 12-year olds that think it’s cool to cuss and swear and call people cool names such as Fu*k Tard, Dumb Sh*t, Failsauce, and so on.  Actually, even though most of them sound like 12-year olds, many are actually middle aged men (and women) who are compelled to take out their frustrations, in total anonymity, upon other players.   Sometimes they are satisfied in some way when carrying out this behavior — many times, they are not and will increase the intensity of this banter to achieve reactions from their prey to achieve their satisfaction.

The Elitist: These individuals may not always be infected with the R. asshaticus bug but can demonstrate similar symptoms.  People who confuse normal modes of communication and etiquette with abridged modes of speech that relate data instead of meanings.  Gear Score, DPS, and Arena Rating are the common forms of speech mechanics employed by these individuals and the understanding that all games are meant to be progressed and not mean to be fun.   When those few that do achieve a reputable standing with these types, only then can it be determined if there is an actual infection of R. asshaticus.  Those that are considered elitists and do demonstrate ill-behavior, as well as a tendency to identify  ”lesser” players (due to known and unknown rating requirements), are strong candidates to be considered as infected.

There are other similar ways this virus can manifest itself in a player but it’s safe to say that one of the previous three classifications can be used to categorize them in most cases.  Research into this disorder is on-going and new data is constantly being reviewed for validity.

What should a player do when they encounter one of the infected?

The first, and most important thing, that you should do is not encourage them.  Yes, they are annoying and they will drive you to agitation that could result in an outburst.  However, you should refrain.  If you do agitate, quarrel and eventually lash-out verbally — then you, yourself, have become infected.  Sadly, this is the most effective mode of infection that R. asshaticus uses to perpetuate the species.  It’s highly contagious and should be avoided at all cost.

Avoidance methods that I recommend: 

  1. Use the /ignore command.  This keeps them quiet and they can no longer taint your chat window with their spewage and garbage talk.
  2. Never feel like you have to endure being among them.  If there are decent people on your group, talk to them in private and see about booting the offenders out of your group.  If one of the infected is actually the group leader, you would be best served adding them to your /ignore list and dropping group.  Catch up with a new group without this offender as part of it.
  3. Just exercises patience.  Don’t feel sorry for the infected, as pitiful as they may be.  They are incurable for the most part.  However, if you wish to try and advise them in proper etiquette — do this with tact even if you have receive none in return.  However, don’t get your hopes up — not everyone can be cured and short of full blown exorcism — not much can be done to remove the demonic taint of this viral disease.

As a player, take caution when playing in the presence of the infected.  You may feel pity for them but understand that there’s usually not much you can do about co-existing with them.  Take precautions when dealing with them and do not become one of the infected.  Over time, some of the infected are cured of these ailments — most of the time they are not.  That’s the nature of online gaming.

7 Responses to Dealing with the infected
  1. Dear Diary
    May 11, 2010 | 4:06 pm

    [...] are likely to find out that the odds of finding a pick up group in WoW that isn’t infected with Asshaticus are smaller than finding a snowball in [...]

  2. That New MMO Smell
    August 17, 2010 | 4:59 pm

    [...] and I still haven’t burned through all the content. Yes, I will admit to being driven away by the asshatery  but my Fran and I have found good ways to deal with it. To me there is nothing like that new mmo [...]

  3. I have your extra one percent right here
    September 27, 2010 | 4:52 pm

    [...] roles filled between us.  Then, just as I think maybe things have changed, the dreaded disease asshaticus rears its ugly head. My way of dealing with the disease asshaticus is simply ignoring it. The last [...]

  4. Static Cling
    September 28, 2010 | 3:01 pm

    [...] over the insult for the next hour or so. Yet, that is often what happens when the dreaded disease Asshaticus  rears its ugly head – and believe you me the disease is not limited to virtual [...]

  5. [...] months ago, I wrote an article about the bug that spreading rampantly throughout many online games, in particular, World of [...]

  6. Asshats are Stylish!
    March 18, 2011 | 9:53 am

    [...] R. W. Harper wrote Dealing ith the infected we discovered what we had suspected all along – that asshatery is the result of the dreaded [...]

  7. Post BETA Thoughts | Entropy Spoon
    November 29, 2011 | 4:33 pm

    [...] and couldn’t help but enjoy seeing everyone have a good time.  There were the occasional asshats popping into the General Channels, showing their asses like they know how but overall, it [...]