20 year old pretends to be woman to go after 16 year old high schooler in WoW

Now this story merits a double post today. Judging by the source, it occurred down south in Tacoma, Washington (not far from Vancouver, I don’t think). Allow me to provide you with a shortened version. If you have time to read, here is the long version.
This guy travels across the US/Canadian border to go to a high school to meet this 16 year old girl. What she doesn’t realize is that they’re Guild mates in the game (A Guild is like a recognized group of players who play together like a team).

When the student arrived at school that Monday morning, she was called to the front office and told a man was waiting to talk to her about college. It was Gregory-MacIntyre. The girl had no idea who he was.

“ustin introduced himself as Greg, and told her he was Vera’s best friend, the affidavit states.

The student knew Vera. Vera was the Canadian college student she’d met on Warcraft and MySpace, the social networking Web site. Vera was in her Warcraft guild. She was the friend who talked about fashion and Calgary College and how much fun it was to party there.

So the guy hands her a bunch of gifts which includes his car keys, a tank top,”The OC” season one DVD box set and a brand new laptop computer.

It turns out the guy masqueraded as his friend Vera. His Myspace picture is that of a woman. That’s a pretty stark deception right there, if you ask me. It was one hell of an elaborate deception. It’s been done before in the past in various stats involving IRC, chatrooms, and other forms of sociality.

Furthermore, Vera had problems with someone pretending to be her on such social web sites. Go figure, eh?

My Response

I don’t think there would’ve been a problem if the guy comes out in the open and says who he was honestly. If they wanted to meet, that’s okay as long as it’s in a public area with a lot of people (like a shopping mall). It would have been even better if the girl went to meet the guy with a few of her own friends who might be football players or wrestlers.

Hell, if I wanted to meet a female player in real life, I’d say lets go get some coffee then hit up a LAN center or something. But that’s just me.

But to pretend to be a girl? What the hell is wrong with you? Is he really that desperate? Way to make us all look bad. By us I mean Canadians and WoW Players. No, not just WoW Players, ALL GAMERS. The media already seems to have a negative stereotype of gamers. NOT ALL OF US ARE TWENTY YEAR OLD GUYS WHO PRETEND TO BE GIRLS TO PICK UP OTHER GIRLS.

Two years, less a day, in my opinion. But honestly, society has some serious wackos out there. There’s a reason why I’m studying Criminology. There’s a reason why I chose the path I did. I could’ve gone into sciences or business. There are three things in the world that seriously piss me off:

  • Sex predators
  • Child stalkers
  • Pathological liars

A few days ago, I read a few posts by Kestrel about girls existing on the internet. That’s fine and dandy. We live in an age where male dominance over the IT sector is slowly beginning to dwindle. Dungeons and Dragons just ain’t for guys anymore. But even if you have a picture of yourself on the internet, I will still cast serious doubt. With the existence of social networks such as Myspace and Facebook, it is no longer difficult to rip off a friend’s picture and use that in a deceptive fashion.

In my Criminal Justice courses, we learned about the concept of the presumption of innocence. In a nutshell, you are innocent until proven guilty. It’s one of the few foundational principles in most western democracies. Similarly, I operate under a gaming doctrine of the presumption of masculinity. You are male until proven otherwise. Unless I can HEAR your voice and compare it with your actions in game, you’re still a man. I think most people can tell the difference between an 8 year old kid and a 22 year old female gamer. If you want more credibility, put it on your facebook profile or Myspace that you’re a WoW Player along with your character information. Frankly, the more evidence that leads to your femininity, the more likely skeptics will be convinced.

Why is gender such a big deal anyway?

I think it’s because of this dominant belief that not a whole lot of gamers are women. Ten years ago, games used to be the domain of men. Arcades would be flooded with male gamers playing street fighter. Counterstrike and Quake 3 public servers would be filled with guys fragging each other.

Until a girl would say something in game.

Then it seemed that the world stopped. Guns dropped to the ground. That all of a sudden, there was this goddess that was sent by the heavens to help light the way for all geeks in their never ending quest for supreme nerditude.

Then some guy would walk up to a female gamer, open trade, put in 20 Large Prismatic Shards, and hand it over free of charge.

Why?

Cause he wants some.
That stuff (Prismatic Shades) doesn’t come cheap anymore. To offer it so freely, I think, is akin to buying love. Even when I played Guild Wars, I’d get whispers saying “Hi, I’m a girl, can I have some Platinum?”

I don’t care if your reproductive organs are on the inside or the outside. You’re not getting my gold. I don’t think there should be any special treatment allowed of anyone because of their gender.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against girl gamers. I absolutely LOVE girl gamers. I think it’s great that girls are getting into gaming. But what I DO have a problem with is girl gamers who use their sexuality to exploit other players and Guilds. I can see why Nihilium doesn’t allow women into their Guild because it would cause too much drama. Hmm, guess that wasn’t true after all. Thanks for the correction MK.

Look, I treat all my friends and guild mates equally with respect and dignity. Treatment should never be based on gender because it’s not fair. Why does she get her repair bill paid for when she was AFK for half the fight while I have to some how come up with 35 Gold on my own busting my ass for flasks, pots, and ensuring the MT was alive? If I were to show favoritism or special treatment of any kind, I would base it solely on performance. Nothing more and nothing less.

Thanks for reading, and I know that this sounds a lot more aggressive than usual, but nothing gets me more riled up than reading stories like this. I also want to reiterate that not all female gamers act in such a manner. I’m in no way trying to paint them with a bad brush.

My Nightmare as a Priest

I’m reading Leiandra’s post on the different types of healers and their functions. After reading some of the comments there, I felt like this merited a direct post reply on it’s own instead of a comment. I wager I’m one of the few players to have rolled all four healer classes. I’ve only raided with three of them (Priest, Shaman, and Paladin while my Druid is on the backburner somewhere at the early 50 level). Some of the comments I’ve read made me raise my eyebrow.

Elinor

I know my comparison is somewhat simplistic, but taking away +healing gear (should be the same for priest or paladin) a paladin’s biggest heal with appropriate talents is a 2.5 sec cast for 2740(840 mana). A priest with appropriate talents has a 2.5 sec cast for 3062(825 mana).

Of course there is a talent for paladins to reduce that cast time by .5 for the next 15 sec, and the 3062 for priest doesn’t include the talent to increase it by 25% of spirit.

Also a druid has a 3.0 sec direct heal for 3517 (935 mana).

Firstly, that’s an unfair comment to make. If you’re going to compare healers, the assumption should be made that they are talented to the best healing spec available. There’s no point in comparing supposed healing classes without full and complete talents because there isn’t a player in WoW who raid heals with no talents spent in their appropriate healing trees. Don’t compare base heals or stats either because certain races and classes have a higher advantage over the other. If you’re going to compare healing output, then add an arbitrary base healing number that seems fair (like +1500 healing). Please, if you’re going to compare one class with another, make realistic comparisons.

So here’s the million dollar question. Is there one healing class better than another? It depends entirely on the encounter and on the situation. Let’s hypothetically say that there’s a 25 man raid team about to engage a boss. It’s your standard tank and spank encounter. Nothing special about it. Except for the fact that Crosbane, our boss, hits like a freight train for 30 minutes. Most healers would run out of gas long before those thirty minutes are up. Pally’s, not so.

They’re the energizer bunnies of WoW. They keep going, and going, and going. It’s true that as a Priest, we have the 5 second rule to fall back on and we would gain a crapload of mana back. Realistically, we don’t have that kind of option. If we don’t heal for five seconds, our assignments are dead. I suppose the best we can hope for is to light up a PoM, a Renew, and a Shield. That would us a few precious seconds to regen our mana. Then the boss crits.

Pally’s own us Priests, period. There’s a reason why many high end raiding Guilds no longer run Holy Priests as healers. We’re a dying breed. Sure we bring a lot of specialist skills like PW:S and Prayer of Healing, but well timed spam heals from Paladins keep everything going. The reason I agree with your assessment about Paladins being the King of Healing is because they would never run out of mana in endurance fights. I’m busy struggling and blowing my potions, yelling for Innervates, Mana Tides, using my Shadow Fiend, and theres Joe Paladin in the corner just spamming Rank 5 Flash of Light over there. Couple 3 Paladins, a Shadow Priest, and a Resto Shaman with buffed mana spring totems and you have a group that can heal indefinitely.

My WWS in Carnage shows our Healers with four Paladins constantly on top all the time. Master Harth, High Priest that he is, leads the way in over all heals so there is hope for us yet.

But you can’t expect WWS to illuminate the numbers for us all the time. It only shows us one side of the story. Different Healers are best suited for different encounters.

Take an encounter like Fathom-Lord in SSC for example. There are four bosses that need to be tanked. The Hunter boss spawns a pet every now and then, and the tank that’s tanking him needs to draw aggro on it as well. So here is this one tank that’s getting his ass handed to him by two Ford F-150’s. On top of that, there’s a freakin’ Whirlwind type thing that comes around and throws me in the air every once in a while. I’m so focused on my raid health that I always seem to miss it coming by. If it weren’t for my instant spells, he would be dead. Thankfully, the Hunter boss is the second boss that needs to die. With the damage input that Thor (my tank) is taking, it’s impossible to sustain it for more then a few minutes. Eventually, I would hit a time where my potion cooldown is used, my shadowfiend timer is down, and all the innervates have been used. In this short period of time, I would excel in my role no problem. I don’t have to keep him alive for an abysmally long time. Just enough to weather the storm.

Compare this to the last boss, the Fathom Lord himself. Initially Lang is over there with a Paladin. This Boss is last on the food chain. Paladins need to be able to keep Lang alive for at least seven minutes. Oh, and they have to heal themselves too. Lang may not be taking as much burst damage as Thor was, but he’s taking a beating for a longer amount of time.

Do you see the point I’m trying to make here? It’s nearly impossible to compare all the healing classes together. Each brings a different set of skills to the table. With the encounters in end game, I suspect that Paladins are better suited and utilized more often then not. As a Priest, I have enough spells at my disposal to react quickly enough to salvage a raid in case anything goes wrong. A Paladin won’t be able to recover as much. But their long term efficiency is so good that there is little reason for raids to go in the crapper.

Sooner or later, our class will go the way of the Dodo bird. Aside from broccoli, that is my greatest fear with Holy Priests rendered inert, useless, and outclassed in every aspect. I guess I better start accumulating Shadow Gear. Good thing I have a Paladin and a Shaman to fall back on.

+81 Healing vs Spellsurge

A special big worldofmatticus.com shoutout to Netherlord who was kind enough to give me the recipe for Spellsurge at no cost at all. Thank you VERY much sir and welcome to Carnage!

Here is an important question that needs to be answered. You’ve hit 70 and you just got that ultimate 1H mace or that ultimate healing staff. What enchant do I put on it? Do I want an additional +81 Healing or Spellsurge? Neither of them are cheap to begin with but both will really benefit healers. But, let the analysis begin.

81 Healing

This enchant increases the amount of healing you can potentially do by 81. It’s sold by a vendor (Almaador, at the center of town) and requires you to be revered to learn how to perform the enchant.

Spellsurge

This enchant offers a unique mechanic in that it does not offer a constant benefit like 81 Healing does. It’s a random world drop so you might have a better chance of winning the lottery instead of getting it. The tooltip suggests that it has a 3% chance of proccing the effect which provides 100 mana over a period of 10 seconds to your entire party. But for the effect to occur, your party members need to be within 30 yards of each other.

Analysis

So which is the better one to get? 81 Healing will increase your healing by that amount. Assuming you heal for 1000 points without any modifiers, then 1000 casts of that same flash heal will net about 1,081,000 healed. But Spellsurge restores mana over time. Furthermore the effect stacks from multiple players who have that enchant on their weapon. So, if 5 players had it and all 5 procced, you’re looking at 500 mana over 10 seconds to everybody in the party. I’ve seen on the WoW Forums as well as WoWWiki that the actual proc percentage is approximately 15%. If you’re in the raid environment, it wouldn’t work if all 25 players had it. It applies strictly to your party within the raid. It’s important to keep in mind that Spellsurge has a hidden cooldown of approximately 50 seconds. That means that if you kept spamming any kind of spell, the Spellsurge effect can only happen once every 50 seconds assuming it does proc.

Ideally, I’d be able to test this in a lab setting with three groups: An experimental group with all 81 healing, an experimental group with all Spellsurge, and control group. But alas, I don’t have access to such resources.

The Argument for 81 Healing

If you don’t see yourself raiding very often or if you are placed in a group that does not have a whole lot of other casters in it, then you will want to augment your own heals and add that extra power. Who needs Spellsurge if you’re going to be the poor guy who has to sacrifice 81 healing so that everyone else in your party can get that extra mana back?

The Argument for Spellsurge

On the other hand, as you progress through the game you will begin to encounter bosses that will test your endurance. If you can work with four other spellcasters and agree to get this enchant, your longevity will increase by a lot. You will see a lot of mana returned. More mana means you last longer, right? Utilitarianism is the the concept of the day.

The Middle Ground

Get both. All you really need is two weapons. Don’t forget that you can switch weapons while in combat. So slap Spellsurge on a mace that as mp5 or Spirit or something that helps you regenerate mana. Keep your 81 Healing on the weapon that you use most of the time. If you start running out of gas, switch from your Healing mace to your Spellsurge mace and let the rest of the group know. Now if you really want to be fancy, pick up another mace or staff which has high intellect and put 30 Int on it. Equip it before the encounter so you have a high starting mana pool. Once you get a spell or two off, switch back to your healing mace. You will essentially be getting an extra flash heal or two. That’s my personal opinion. Be flexible, adapt your enchants to your needs.

Anyways, back to Fathomlord now. We were able to take down the Shaman and the Priest. Pretty good progress… 3 more hours left. I love my macbook. It lets me blog and raid at the same time. Doing it in windowed mode will lag. I’m tempted to install WoW on it and see how it performs, but I purchased my Macbook purely for academic reasons.