Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ category

Gender Roles in MMOs

13/11/2009

This is probably going to come off as a controversial post, but I’d like to ask some questions and perhaps create a discussion. Really just getting my thoughts out.

I’ve noticed in my gaming years that a large portion of the female characters in an MMO are played by males IRL. This is no surprise, and no new development. In fact, I’m sure many of the males reading this blog have or do play female characters. Why is this? I’ve heard various reasons portratyed so far, such as the old faithful, “If I’m going to be staring at someone’s butt for hours on end, it may as well be a woman’s!” What are your reasons for playing a character who is not of your gender? And let’s not leave anyone out here, what are your reasons for playing a character who is of your gender?

Personally, I’ve been roleplaying for years, and I find it very difficult to get into the mindset of a man. I’m starting to do so nowadays for writing purposes (the main character in my latest project is male, and I’m writing from his perspective), but for personal preferences’ sake, I like to design my character to look like a pretty lady. Think Residual Self Image; sometimes I just design them to look how I would like to in that world.

This leads on to my next point. Frequently, a female character is referred to as ‘dude’ or ‘man’ or ‘he’. Is this simply because in general a lot of MMO players used to be male? Let’s face it, while perhaps a large proportion of them still are, there are many more female gamers than there were, say, five or ten years ago. I fall into this pitfall myself; I refer to female characters as ‘she’ all the time. Why? Because I make the assumption that a female character is played by a female player, even when I know better.

To those ladies out there, does it offend you or bother you to be referred to as a guy when you’re not? Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you correct the people who call you ‘dude’ or ‘man’? I used to, but I stopped a long time ago because personally I don’t feel it’s relevant. If it’s someone I’ve befriended, I’ll kindly point them in the right direction, or if a person directly asks me I’ll be honest, but I don’t want to appear to be ‘boasting’ about my femininity simply because there ‘aren’t many of us’ (even if there really are, these days). And to the guys in the same position reversed, what are your thoughts? This is getting awfully diluted, but like I said, just a way of getting my thoughts out. I’m curious!

Blog info & gear update.

11/11/2009

First of all, I finally got around to mapping my domain and am now at wingedrage.com! You can also now reach me at psyche@wingedrage.com. Hurrah! So that was a pleasant update for this morning. I definitely prefer having my own domain, and will soon be hosting my blog myself using WordPress software, but that comes when I have a layout to use.

Also, I think I’m going to attempt the insane. Yes, the insane. When I got my first Daevanion quest done and received the Courageous Breastplate, I was disappointed that it was going to be so tough to get the other four pieces. People said it wasn’t worth the time and effort, as you can only get one piece of armour per level 30 character, but if you have all the characters at 30, you can change each piece of armour into one suitable for, for example, a Gladiator. Anyone predict where I’m going with this?

Since it’s probably not going to be a commonly done thing to get the entire set, I think I might try it. I’m in no rush to get to 50, in fact I’m enjoying taking my time, and Alinys, who is sitting at 23, is making me a lot of cash from crafting (she’s my lucky girl), so the boyfriend and I are really going to give it a go. Any tips for a good combination of classes? We were considering taking Chanter/Glad and Cleric/Temp and just repeating the combination. It’ll probably get dull, but hey, Psyche probably isn’t going anywhere for a little while, so what’s the harm in trying it?

Any comments of ‘lol you’re crazy/stupid’ are also most welcome! I may be slow at progress, but I plan on getting as knowledgable about certain aspects of the game as I can, so that I can make educated guesses and give as many tips and hints as possible for those just starting out. I’m not much of a guide-writer, but I’ll gladly share anything I know, so for now, I don’t think you’ll be seeing me dinging 50 on any of my characters any time soon. I always was cursed with a case of alt-itis!

Eep, silence.

06/11/2009

I’m so sorry for not being around lately. I’ve started a new job, and have been busy as hell with that, and have also decided to put Psyche on the sidelines for a little bit. I’m still Psyche; it’s been my online alias for years so why change it? But I am playing Alinys, my currently 22 Chanter on Spatalos. I’m not sure which of the two will be my main, but honestly I’m sitting back and enjoying it for a while.

I promise there’ll be more detailed posts in the near future, and I’m sorry I’ve been so lazy!

Nochsana’s Training Camp

16/10/2009

First of all, sorry for the lack of activity here, I’m not dead!  Was visiting family til the weekend and then my net decided to die, staying up for only three minutes at a time.  Either way, it’s back up, and in that time I’ve managed to do NTC for the first time, and two more times after that, so here are some thoughts.

First of all, our first party was really great!  We handled the agro really well, and the two guys from Shinigami were great.  I definitely recommend partying with Shinigami members on Spatalos, from my experience so far.  I had read this guide before going in and we cleared it in around the same time as it dictates.  It’s quite an easy instance for those who haven’t tried it, but the drops vary.  The first time we went in, the only decent drop was the blue from the Guardian, and luckily someone in the party could use it!

Second time practically nothing dropped, and the Guardian didn’t put out at all.  The third time we went in the Guardian still didn’t drop, but a couple of decent greens did and I even got some Pauldrons out of it.  I heard that you have to have killed all other mobs in the instance for the Guardian to drop a blue, anyone know if this is true?

Anyway, I definitely recommend this for some great leveling.  Typical party set-up works, but a high-damage party set-up did us really well, and I’ve seen parties do it with only four members.  It’s not too tough to stay standing, just remember to keep an eye out for patrols.

A few things to remember for NTC:

  • You can start at 25 and do it up until you turn 29.
  • I recommend taking the right path when you enter, as do many people it seems.  There is a patrol that comes round from the left composed mostly of regular mobs, but with an elite in there.
  • If you go right on entering, there’s a safe spot by the exit portal where you can sit if anyone goes AFK or people aren’t in the instance yet.

Sadly I don’t know enough to write a coherent guide yet, but that’ll come with time I’m sure!  I’m now 28, and find the XP from NTC definitely helping.  Each elite is worth 15-20k XP, and the bosses are from 35k-60k, depending on level and party members.

Dancing and showing off new armour!

Dancing and showing off new armour!

Either way, I’m now kitted out in some pretty nice Sura’s Plate and have been getting pretty damn lucky with drops lately.  I’ve taken a bit of a break from leveling Psyche to level my alt, a Chanter.  She seems to get luckier with drops than I ever have on Psyche!

Also, just a note, Clan Darkwolf are looking for new members, so if anyone is interested let me know!  We’re just a casual legion out to have some fun but we do some PvE and PvP parties, and most of the members are really friendly and helpful.  Sorry for the crappy content post, I hope to get some more interesting stuff up soon!

Kill Claiming

07/10/2009

I’m away from home, visiting family for a few days, and am inevitably missing the game.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder!  Though that said, I wanted to do an update regarding the current state of kill claiming.

As I’m sure many of you know, Aion does not go with the first-come-first-served method that has been used frequently in other MMOs.  For example, in FFXI, it is impossible for someone outside of a party who have claimed the mob to actually attack that claimed mob.

I understand the theory behind the way claiming works in Aion, but honestly I don’t think that basing it on damage is entirely fair.  I can deal with not getting kills here and there because someone else happened to attack the mob as I was.  Mistakes happen, and I usually try to be the one backing off and leaving the mob to the other player.

That said, in the last few days of play I have been questing in the Salintus Desert and a lot of the quests involve killing mobs and getting drops, as to be expected.  It’s extremely frustrating to have the mob down to 75% or less health and have a higher level ranged class come in and do 50% in one hit, thus claiming the mob as their own, even if I have already been smacking away at it.  I have even lost quest mobs on a long respawn in dangerous zones because of this, where a player will arrive halfway through the fight and claim the mob off me, then smile in chat and run off.

Honestly, changing it to whoever hits the mob first gets the claim wouldn’t prevent kill-stealing and griefing; that’s always going to exist.  This is the internet after all!  But would this alternate method of kill-claiming help the situation?  Many players are against it, but I personally wouldn’t be disappointed to use the old tried and tested method, or even experiment with a few new ones.

Back on Friday for more playing and hopefully a more personal update!