Apr 3rd 2012 11:24PM I would argue that your milage may vary in regards to whether or not you are sexually harassed, objectified, etc. in WoW based on the gender you choose to roll and whether or not you speak on vent. I can't recall someone being hateful to me simply for sexism's sake in random groups, guilds, or ventrilo (though someone did refer to me with the name that Garrosh calls Sylvanas because I called them out on ninjaing all of the loot in a lowbie PuG), but if a girl does have to put up with that kind of behavior, I feel sorry for her. I also feel sorry for anyone who has to put up with any kind of harassment in-game; this is not limited to one specific group, and nobody deserves random hate directed towards them by other players.
With that being said, I can't say I agree with the author of this article's stance that Firepaw's gender disparaging comments make Blizzard sexist as a whole. Firepaw is but one of their characters in a busy world of moving pieces; personalities of all types live there, from the impetuous and rude to the benevolent and kind. Part of Ji Firepaw's character is that he makes such odd remarks to people upon first meeting them. Yes, some may feel offended by them, some may like or find his words funny, and others such as myself may just be puzzled at what he says, but we must keep in mind that these statements are the opinion of one character in an entire universe of others. If every character up and down the quest chain was making (what could be perceived as) passes at female pandaren, then we should throw up some red flags.
Ji Firepaw doesn't really come off as sexist to me, but I remember a male orc quest-giver in Orgrimmar who told my character something along the lines of, "I made two mistakes: first, I trusted a blood elf, and second, I trusted a woman!" Can you guess what race and gender I was playing? Yes, that comment is terribly offensive to women, but that orc told my CHARACTER (not my actual person) this sexist remark, and I realize that statement just reveals a notable character flaw in the orc. Do you think anyone was supposed to read that comment and see it as being an absolute truth? No, it was more likely intended to be something that caused one to scratch their head upon reading, and it certainly doesn't mean that Blizzard feels that women can't be trusted. On the grounds that Firepaw's comment ticks you off or gives you the jitters due to its creep-factor, remember that he's looking at your character when he says this comment, not you. Also I hope I can reasonably guess that any woman any day would prefer to be called gorgeous rather than untrustworthy.
As for the armor, I agree that there are double standards. I, personally, don't mind and sometimes enjoy sets that are less-than-covering to my characters (each one a female) because they can be fun and feminine, and some of them look damn good. Thanks to transmogrification, there are now options for every female character to look sexy, tough, majestic, natural, or largely whatever their heart desires in both revealing and covering forms. I'm glad for that because variety is the spice of life; I just wish that male characters had some of that spice, too (though I'm not particularly partial to many of the blocky male models)! We ladies, on average, could stand to be better at taking compliments; which would you prefer: Ji Firepaw tells your character that she looks gorgeous, or Ji Firepaw tells your character that she looks like she'd be good at making him sandwiches?
Apr 1st 2012 9:37PM @(Unverified)
I agree that it doesn't matter if an action is in-game if it's going to lead to out-of-game consequences. Harassment is a bannable offense in many online games, what of EVE? But does the article represent Massively's stance on the issue, or Brendan's? That being said, I feel as though he is licking the Goon Squad's boots in order to keep them from attacking him either online or in life. If so, I feel so sorry for the guy, but couldn't any physical threats be reported to the appropriate authorities, or is the Goon Squad really that influential? I doubt it.
Kudos to Shawn for linking to those tweets, sound files, etc. and truly setting the record straight for us readers! Judging by the comments posted here, it doesn't seem like many people are buying "the Mittani" in his attempts to save face; he only comes across as being a sociopath or scared to have the terms "Alexander Gianturco" and "cyber-bully" come up in a search engine (which they rightly should). That would be really annoying when trying to apply for a job, but he would still be better off than his harassment victim if the poor guy was driven to suicide. Depression is not something to play around with.
Apr 1st 2012 8:33PM @Ehra
I know I liked to see the screenshots taken for One Shots, but I never really thought about sending in my own. I guess it's give-and-take!
Mar 26th 2012 12:27PM From a female perspective, I am not usually inclined to play male characters in an MMO because I do not find the "beefcake" build to be at all aesthetically pleasing. During the time I spent beta testing TERA, I did surprise myself by rolling a male High Elf because I thought they were the best looking of all of the male characters. I've heard other women compliment the male Castanic build, too, which is muscular but not to an overbearing extent. Sadly, males of both races are sometimes stereotyped as being automatically homosexual just because they are not the preconceived standard build. I don't think that a man being skinny, or just reasonably muscular (in the virtual space or no) can indicate his sexual orientation, and I don't think that homosexuality should be defaulted to negativity. Of course, that's another topic entirely.
Mar 23rd 2012 7:37PM @yavo
I wondered why there were so many redundant links! Gullible me thought people were just being (overly) helpful. Now, should I click one or not? ;P
Mar 15th 2012 11:38PM @FinalFantasyXIIIsucks
There's no justification in calling Shakespeare a hack just because you're not into stage plays, and you can't discredit Tolkien as a writer based solely on the fact that you've "never really been a huge fan of the hardcore fantasy genre".
Mar 10th 2012 4:51PM @Tizmah
I agree. Things like that go a long way to turn a game into a world! Too many developers lately seem like they're afraid of creativity, both their own and the players'.
Feb 13th 2012 7:46PM @(Unverified)
I feel like I can sympathize with the Elin to a certain degree (however much one can sympathize with a fictional race in a fantasy game setting). Being a petite woman with softer facial features often gets me a lot of flack since others tend to underestimate my age by more than a few years. As a result, some people feel the need to unnecessarily shelter me, and it's rare for an individual to take me seriously from the start. I feel like something similar happened to the Elin; they're thousands of years old with a forever youthful appearance, but the general populace of the Western world is hardly willing to take the time to understand because they're too busy crying "loli!". I really wish that people would not automatically equate physical appearance to maturity or age, but I'm not entirely optimistic about that happening any time soon. The common perception is that if someone looks like a child, they automatically are a child and must be kept away from the "evils" of the "adult world".
The censoring of the armor disappointed me for a few reasons. The first being an obvious over-reaction from a historically Puritanical society (to some, that may not be a bad thing, but I view it as restrictive. On another note, does anyone know if the Elins of Europe had certain armors censored like NA TERA?), and the second being the low quality of the work. Slapping on a pair of shiny spandex shorts and awkward stomach covers seemed to be the mantra of the day. I am the kind of person who can enjoy armor in varying degrees of style and skin revelation for either gender, as long as the artwork is nice; to be more accurate, I prefer that a game's armor come in varying styles such as those to keep things more interesting (ex: the uncensored version of the mystic's outfit seen in the video at 0:53 was much more adorable in my eyes than the low-quality patch-up; it's still pretty cute, but something was lost. Alternatively, I thought that all of the berserker outfits from about 6:35 on were exceedingly cute without really showing a lot of skin, yet I'm not sure if they were hit with a censor or not, to be honest). A character might logically wear something more breezy in a warmer climate, but seek out heavy and covering fabrics or furs in a frigid environment. In my opinion, the denial of those various types of armor is a disservice to the Elin race when it's apparently acceptable for a Castanic woman to have a greater disparity in her ratio of bodily figure fullness to armor coverage.
This game is rated M, and I was hoping that things could be handled in a more mature manner, but pressure from both ends of the debate did not allow for that hope to become a reality. TERA is on my list of games that I'm interested in, and I'm more tempted than ever to pre-order after all of the good things I've been hearing. If I do play, I think I'll make an Elin tank and turn the tables in regards to this business of who's protecting who. ;P
Feb 11th 2012 10:33PM @MMOaddict
I completely agree! This music is excellent, and I hope that the game turns out nicely as well. Hiring a composer renowned for his quality work is a sign of good things overall, or so I would think. I'm always disappointed when I download an MMO or play any game in general, and the music is sub-par. Remembering my favorite gaming tunes goes hand-in-hand with remembering my favorite gaming moments. Music may not be all that there is to a given game, but dating at least as far back as the days of the Ancient Greeks, humans have known that music has an effect upon its listeners.
Feb 4th 2012 12:39PM I have problems killing the faerie dragon mobs in World of Warcraft, and any MMO that I've ever played with anime graphics, be it 2D or 3D, included mobs that I thought were just too cute to kill. It's enough to give you a complex. :P