My Lovely Ladies

(As with many of my posts, this one too is inspired by Gee Cee. Amuntoth offered his take on the subject, too.)

I have had lots of experience with MMOs… and simultaneously, I have absolutely none. The number of MMOs I’ve bought is astounding; how quickly I’ve dropped the games doubly so.

  • World of Warcraft: played to the early 20s as a human rogue.
  • Burning Crusade expansion pack: got to about level 28 as a Draenei paladin. I really like the Draenei, even if the whole “hey fantasy world, THIS IS A SPACE SHIP” thing is sorta weird. I tried to play with my sister, but this never materialized.
  • City of Villains: got to somewhere in the 20s as a scientist-turned-zombie-summoning Mastermind. Of any MMO, this is probably my favorite. However, the time I started playing wasn’t conducive to MMOs, and I always felt like the game was just a wee-bit repetitive. Not that I minded – I loved being a villain, trashing both cops and lesser bad guys. Equal opportunity ass kicker, Dixon Aztek was. I never really enjoyed the hero side of the game, though.
  • EVE Online: Torrid affair here, with me subbing and resubbing several times, but never restarting the same character. I eventually used Plex to get me my Drake, which is pretty much the most awesome space ship ever.
  • DDO: Never subscribed. I tried out their free-to-play model. Got past the starting island, and ran a few missions in Stormreach.
  • Warhammer Online: Got to the early-20s with an Inquisitor. Man, was she awesome! However, Tier 2 never was as fun as Tier 1.
  • Tabula Rasa: Man, I really really wanted to play this game. I bought a copy, but my university’s internet blocked certain ports that the game needed to connect. Which is completely strange, because no other MMO was affected in the same way. The game was cancelled before I got a chance to play it – maybe on account of their shoddy network programming, we’ll never know.
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea: played it for less than an hour, I kid you not.
  • Champions Online: Amazon had it on sale for $30 a few weeks after launch. I’d played the free beta, so I thought I’d give it a shot. The game was fine, but it just never clicked for me.
  • Star Trek Online: Have a lifetime subscription, man.
  • Age of Conan: My current hang-up, on a lark I decided to sub to it for a year. There’s an expansion coming out soon, too.

So here are the trends I’ve noticed:

1. They’re all female.

I prefer playing females characters because I’m male, no big surprise there. It’s not for any nonsense like “special treatment” or the free gifts people assume girls must get showered with everywhere they go. I know MMORPG actually stands for “Many Men Online Role-Playing Girls,” and so the fact that I’m a guy-playing-a-girl is to be expected; that doesn’t change the fact that I try to make it abundantly clear that I’m a guy, and that I shouldn’t be hit on or treated like anything other than “one of the guys.”

Like GeeCee has said – I’d much rather stare at a woman’s butt than a man’s the whole time I play. In the table tops RPGs I’ve played in, I’ve never been a female – I just don’t think I’d be comfortable actually acting like a girl. In MMOs, girls just tend to look better than guys, honestly. The boob thing – all my chicks tend to not be top-heavy. Back pain and all that. I prefer more realistic, less fetishized characters, thank you very much.

All this said, I’m starting to regret playing as a female in AoC. I think it’s because I’ve been reading the actual Conan short stories. Conan makes being a badass, crazy, male barbarian sound fun. Oh well, I’m not really interested in re-rolling.

2. I’ve never gotten past the early mid-game.

As a general rule, I don’t play MMOs past the first or second month. I usually quit about ten or twenty hours after the “tutorial” is finally finished – I’ve gotten all the basic abilities, probably started doing some sort of simple gathering and crafting, and maybe I even purchased most of the pieces to a matching set of armor. Then I quit; if I return, it’ll probably be with a new character.

This is probably because, in the past, I’ve not been as financially stable as I am now (single undergrad supported by his parents, versus happily married, financially independent grad student with a good stipend). I’ve felt that I needed to get “$15 worth” of gaming each month – and unfailingly, when undergrad schooling got too hard, I couldn’t justify the expenditure and quit. It doesn’t help that I tried to play alot in the first month (though, when compared to other players, “alot” is relative here), and ended up burning out really quickly.

I’ve also felt that I couldn’t justify the time investment. It seems that MMOs grow more “hardcore” the longer you stay subbed – as you level, you have to invest more and more time into the game. Bosses grow increasingly difficult and require successful grouping. Levels take longer to finish. Rare drops grow harder to get. Basically, to get the same amount of achievement (“I got a new set of armor!” “I gained two new levels!”) you have to invest a proportionately greater amount of time.

Recently, I’ve tried to buck this feeling: I did a lifetime sub to STO, and a year sub to AoC, so that I could escape from the pressure of having to play every day. It also helps that I’ve two strangely complimentary games – STO is about having a space ship, AoC about bashing in peoples’ skulls.

3. I like backstabs and dealing lots of damage.

I don’t want to be the tank. Sometimes, I flirt with being the healer. But what I really, really like? I want to see my enemies die, quickly. I guess I really do take this line to heart.

Honestly, I didn’t even realize this trend till too late. WoW‘s rogue was just… my favorite. I liked to stealth and to have really high DPS. When WAR came out, I liked the sword and gun combo Inquisitors use, and their background fluff naturally appealed to me. In STO, I like melee combat, so I rerolled as a tac officer. When I started playing AoC, I didn’t even realize that the barbarian was a rogue class – and then I found out I could Hide.

It hindsight, it makes sense. I want enemies to go away, and fast. I like the rush of coming out on top, after a short vicious fight that has left me at 1% health. For me, it’s the most rewarding way to play the game.

At times, I think about being a healer. For instance, I think that being a Science Officer would actually be really useful in late-game STO. But that’s mostly driven out of a feeling of civic duty (“Someone should do heals!”)

However, I should also point out that my roguish qualities are tied to a second, even more important, aspect of my preferred game play: to steal a page from D&D/KOTOR, I prefer skills to feats, intelligence to wisdom, dexterity to strength. In BioWare games, I’m always the one that’s hacking/slicing/persuading. That’s just how I roll.

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13 thoughts on “My Lovely Ladies

  1. Interesting. I was wondering why you got a lifetime with STO and a year with AoC if you drop games so quickly, but this gives you the ability to enjoy the game and not feel pressure.

    Also, I LOVED Tabula Rasa and I would be playing it today if it was still out. Did it do MANY things that it shouldn’t have? yes. Did it do things VERY different from everyone else and in a unique setting? yes. Why didn’t it go F2P?

    Good post man, I did my own response to MMOGamerChicks post, but it pales in comparison to yours.

    • pfft, your reply was excellent – and better in keeping with the theme of GeeCee’s original post. It was interesting to read your take on things – it’s completely opposite of how I make characters!

      MAN, I wish I’d gotten a chance to play Tabula Rasa. It looked like just the sort of game I’d have liked.

  2. Haha, nice. Your comment about regretting rolling a female barbarian reminded me of a strange thing a guy once said to me when explaining why he liked to roll female toons — something about it made him feel more powerful because a woman being able to kick half a dozen people’s asses is more impressive than a man doing the same thing. You can think of it that way 🙂

    I also used to have a lot of mid-range characters, but I’m trying to break myself of that habit and push myself to play until max level with each game at least. It’s why I went back to my PoM in AoC when I could have started a brand new character. Guess I’ll wait until the expansion to do that, and roll a brand new Khitan! BTW, I saw the announcement on massively re: the release date for ROTGS as well, but remain skeptical due to the fact I saw nothing confirming it on any Funcom or AoC site. I hope it’s accurate though, and that they’re just delayed in posting their own news.

    • ooohhhh, a new Khitan! I’d try out an assassin, but I think they’re just sneakier, squishier versions of barbs, so f-that. If they have Heralds of Xotli (and they might!), I might roll a Khitan one. But I’ve played through Tortage several times now, in quick succession – I think I’m going to lay off the alts for a while.

      As for the female barb – I guess you’re right. It’s just that I really thought Turoch, Tortage’s blacksmith, was awesome. After seeing him, being a bald, wise-cracking Cimmerian seemed like alot of fun.

      • I guess that’s part of the reason I enjoy male toons. It may be sexist but if I imagine a woman beating up a bunch of guys/creatures, I imagine a lithe, quick and graceful thing. Guys tend to lend themselves more toward “Amun Smash!”

        • Well, Khatri the Barbarian is definitely not lithe or graceful… or if she is, it’s only in the way an unstoppable force of Nature is.

        • Hey, women who smash and beat crap up can be graceful too! My WoW druid turns into a dirty scruffy bear with a humongous ass when she fights, and I assure you she’s as graceful as they come 😀

          • Hey, I know women fighters of all walks can be graceful! And… I guess out of necessity, Khatri has to be.

            But, come on, she’s a barbarian! They bludgeon in peoples’ heads! At the end of the day, it’s very hard to do that gracefully.

  3. I already replied on Amuntoth’s blog, but here we go again! 🙂

    ->

    I find it fascinating that I have “phases”: Usually I start out with a male char, but if a “switch” occurs to another favorite class, it is very often female.

    WoW: Male Human Paladin -> Female Human Warlock
    Guild Wars: Male Warrior/Monk -> Female Necromancer
    LOTRO: Male Human Champion -> no! females are too ugly
    Ultima Online: Male Warrior -> Female Tamer
    STO: Male Alien looking quite human -> no female char, but a harem of female bridge officers

  4. Great read and interesting to see your perspective on the various games you’ve played, enjoyed and still play. The mind of any gamer is never quite as simple to understand why they play or choose to do certain things either.

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