Archive

Archive for April, 2010

Site Navigation Issues

April 28, 2010 Leave a comment

For some reason, and I have no idea why, there have been some alterations to the theme currently used on the blog. These alterations cause all categories of post to be displayed along the header at the top. Previously, only parent categories would be visible and sub-categories would display in a drop down menu.

I’m hoping for now this was an unintentional change by wordpress and things will return to normal. Failing that, I’ll look at switching themes to something that makes site navigation more workable :p For now, please use the sidebar to find whatever you’re looking for.

Apologies, but I honestly didn’t touch anything!!

Update:- Evidently it was something at their side and everything is back to normal

Advertisements
Categories: Misc Stuff

More Cataclysm Changes, Icecrown Citadel Buff Increases and New RaF Mount Live.

April 28, 2010 1 comment

After the epic news about the changes to twenty five and ten man raiding earlier in the week, there have been a couple more announcements regarding system changes for Cataclysm.

Emblem Changes

The emblem system featured in Wrath of the Lich King is being simplified a lot for Cataclysm. This is a much needed change in my opinion as the number of emblem types you could potentially earn was becoming ludicrous. More confusing was the conversion system in place to change the higher emblems into the lower tier versions.

There will be four sets of emblems in Cataclysm; two for PvP and two for PvE.

PvE Emblems

  • Hero Points – These are the lower tier emblems and should be easy to obtain. There will be a cap on how many of these emblems you can have at any one time, but there won’t be a limit on the speed with which you can earn them. They’ll be earned from most dungeons.

  • Valor points – These are the higher tier emblems which are harder to obtain. There will be both a cap on how many of these emblems you can hate at any one time along with a cap as to how many you can earn per week. They will be obtained from the daily heroic dungeon and from raids.

PvP Emblems

  • Honour Points – These are the low tier and easily obtained PvP points. There will be a cap on how many you can have at any one time but no cap on the speed at which you can earn them. These will be rewarded from most PvP activities.

  • Conquest Points – These are the higher tier PvP emblems. Much like the highest PvE emblems, there is both a cap on how many you can have at one time and a cap on the speed at which you can earn them. These replace the current arena points system and will be rewarded from both arena games and from winning rated battle grounds.

It’s worth noting that to prevent you stock piling emblems, every time a new tier of raid content is released or a new PvP season commences, your highest tier emblems will be converted down to their lower tier variants. There will be a system in place to convert the PvP emblems to PvE emblems and vice versa. However, you will pay a penalty or “tax” for doing this, it will not be a 1:1 conversion.

The good news for some (myself included) is that you can earn the highest level PvP rewards without needing to take part in arenas.

I have to say from a personal point of view, I really like these changes. I enjoy battlegrounds but not arena matches, so the ability to still aim for the highest level rewards without needing to take part in an area of the game I don’t enjoy is a huge plus. The limit to the number of higher level emblems you can earn per week has been met with a degree of scepticism from the community, with some people arguing that again, Blizzard are rewarding more casual players who don’t want to invest as much time in the game. I can understand their argument but on the other hand I prefer the idea of choosing where you earn your x number of emblems a week from. I enjoy raiding. I have less interest in running random daily dungeons every day. Yet I felt obliged to do so at the start of Icecrown Citadel as I saw it as having a responsibility to my guild to gear up as fast as was possible.

In Wrath, we have seen people using alt characters to run the daily multiple times and use the emblems to buy the higher materials for crafted items for their main characters. We’ve also seen the limited attempt system causing some guild’s to practice encounters on their alts before attempting them with their main characters. (Though fortunately, the limited attempts should be a thing of the past come Cataclysm). Many people have suggested that the changes to the raid mechanics, with ten and twenty five man raids sharing a lock out, will result in more people turning to alts to satisfy their lust for raiding. I confess that I think if the most expensive crafting materials are still available from emblems, capping the rate at which we can earn them will merely serve to reinforce this alt mentality.

Icecrown Citadel Buff Increased

We all knew it was coming and this reset it arrived, Hellscream’s Warsong and Strength of the Wyrnn have been increased in strength to 15% from 10%. As a recap, these buffs now increase healing done, damage done and hit points by 15%. In addition, the number of attempts for the wing bosses in heroic modes has now been increased to 45.

X-53 Touring Rocket is Live

This was promised some time ago but then delayed. Finally, the x-53 touring rocket is live and replaces the zhevra as the new “recruit-a-friend” mount. This mount signifies the first, multi-passenger, flying mount. Like the celestial steed from the Blizzard store, the mount scales in speed. That is to say, if you have already earned a 310% speed mount in game through the achievement system, this mount will take the same speed.

For anyone disliking the raid changes for Cataclysm or simply wanting a new alt character (or are predicting a main change perhaps), this is the perfect time to buy yourself a second account and do just that. Linked to your first, you’ll gain additional experience, have the ability to summon your characters to each other and earn the mount for your main account. It’s well worth noting that you can buy upgrade the account online via the Blizzard store and you can also buy digital game cards here. If you want the mount immediately, you’ll need to use a game card.

Overall, it’s been an exciting week of Cataclysm changes announced. While there is an understandably mixed view amongst the community, specifically related to the raid lock out alterations, I’m thrilled so far with all of the information released. With the implementation of the mastery system, the raid changes and the caps on how fast you earn emblems, Cataclysm is shaping up to be an expansion about choices. The mastery system should allow people more flexibility in how they spec as opposed to the cookie cutter PvE specs that have dominated tBC and Wrath. The choice between which size of raids you participate in is huge for me. Generally MMOs make the mistake of pushing ambitious players into joining large scale guilds if they want to truly maximise their character’s potential in terms of gear. Realising that smaller groups of players can be equally dedicated and skilled is a huge step forward for the genre in general, allowing smaller groups of friends to still see the highest level of content without being pressed into big guilds. Frequently, friends are separated and unable to enjoy the highest PvE experience together. Even assuming they join the same guild, there are often rotations for spots and people can’t raid together. The changes cater for exactly this scenario as well as allowing players with more obscure real life commitments to still compete.

The one aspect I’m really keen to hear a few more details about now is the Path of the Titans. Once again, this adds a further element of choice to the game.

Categories: Cataclysm

Advanced Apologies and Off Topic

April 26, 2010 11 comments

A little personal indulgence time but this will also serve as an advanced apology in case the updates to this blog slow down. On Saturday night, a new addition came to the family.

Mojo is an 8 week old Siberian Husky puppy who came from the Bedarra Kennel in Sweden. He’s the second husky in the house and to say they’re a handful at this age is an understatement.

For now, he’s up at 6am every morning and needs to go out once an hour and I’m exhausted already. That said….. he’s soooo cute!

Categories: Misc Stuff

Cataclysm: Raid Progression Refinements

April 26, 2010 7 comments

Today, in another round of blue posts announcing game changes for Cataclysm came the news that the differentiation between ten and twenty five man raids would be all but removed with the third expansion.

The source of the information can be found here. In summary:-

  • 10 man and 25 man raids will share the same lockout
  • 10 man and 25 man raids will share the same loot
  • There will be no difference in difficulty between 10 man raids and 25 man raids
  • Heroic versions of both 10 and 25 man raids will be activated on a case by case basis; exactly as Icecrown Citadel currently works
  • 10 man and 25 man heroic raids will share the same loot
  • To acknowledge the logistic difficulties in organising 25 man raids in comparison with 10 man raids, 25 man encounters will drop more loot

Rather than reword the entire blue post, I’m copying it directly here. It reads as follows:-

We’re continuing to refine the raid progression paths in Cataclysm, and we’d like to share some of those changes with you today. Please enjoy!

The first of the refinements being made is that we’re combining all raid sizes and difficulties into a single lockout. Unlike today, 10- and 25-player modes of a single raid will share the same lockout. You can defeat each raid boss once per week per character. In other words, if you wanted to do both a 10- and 25-person raid in a single week, you’d need to do so on two different characters. Normal versus Heroic mode will be chosen on a per-boss basis in Cataclysm raids, the same way it works in Icecrown Citadel. Obviously the raid lockout change doesn’t apply in pure Icecrown terms though, as this change goes hand-in-hand with a few other changes to raid progression in Cataclysm.

We’re designing and balancing raids so that the difficulty between 10- and 25-player versions of each difficulty will be as close as possible to each other as we can achieve. That closeness in difficulty also means that we’ll have bosses dropping the same items in 10- and 25-player raids of each difficulty. They’ll have the same name and same stats; they are in fact the exact same items. Choosing Heroic mode will drop a scaled-up version of those items. Our hope is that players will be able to associate bosses with their loot tables and even associate specific artwork with specific item names to a far greater extent than today.

Dungeon Difficulty and Rewards

10- and 25-player (normal difficulty) — Very similar to one another in difficulty; drop the exact same items as each other.

10- and 25-player (Heroic difficulty) — Very similar to one another in difficulty; drop more powerful versions of the normal-difficulty items.

We of course recognize the logistical realities of organizing larger groups of people, so while the loot quality will not change, 25-player versions will drop a higher quantity of loot per player (items, but also badges, and even gold), making it a more efficient route if you’re able to gather the people. The raid designers are designing encounters with these changes in mind, and the class designers are making class changes to help make 10-person groups easier to build. Running 25-player raids will be a bit more lucrative, as should be expected, but if for a week or two you need to do 10s because half the guild is away on vacation, you can do that and not suffer a dramatic loss to your ability to get the items you want.

We recognize that very long raids can be a barrier for some players, but we also want to provide enough encounters for the experience to feel epic. For the first few raid tiers, our plan is to provide multiple smaller raids. Instead of one raid with eleven bosses, you might have a five-boss raid as well as a six-boss raid. All of these bosses would drop the same item level gear, but the dungeons themselves being different environments will provide some variety in location and visual style, as well as separate raid lockouts. Think of how you could raid Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep separately, but you might still want to hit both every week.

We do like how gating bosses over time allows the community to focus on individual encounters instead of just racing to the end boss, so we’re likely to keep that design moving forward. We don’t plan to impose attempt limitations again though, except maybe in cases of rare optional bosses (like Algalon). Heroic mode may not be open from day one, but will become available after defeating normal mode perhaps as little as once or twice.

In terms of tuning, we want groups to be able to jump into the first raids pretty quickly, but we also don’t want them to overshadow the Heroic 5-player dungeons and more powerful quest rewards. We’ll be designing the first few raid zones assuming that players have accumulated some blue gear from dungeons, crafted equipment, or quest rewards. In general, we want you and your guild members to participate in and enjoy the level up experience.

We design our raids to be accessible to a broad spectrum of players, so we want groups to be able to make the decision about whether to attempt the normal or Heroic versions of raids pretty quickly. The goal with all of these changes is to make it as much of a choice or effect of circumstance whether you raid as a group of 10 or as a group of 25 as possible. Whether you’re a big guild or a small guild the choice won’t be dependent on what items drop, but instead on what you enjoy the most.

We realize that with any changes to progression pathways there are going to be questions. We’re eagerly awaiting any that we may have left
unanswered. To the comments!

Obviously, as someone who is already a member of a ten man strict guild, this couldn’t be better news for me. When I (and some friends) originally made the decision to switch to a ten man guild, we did so for a number of reasons.

Firstly, an issue for many mediocre twenty five man guilds out there is the skill of their players. Most guilds have a strong core of active, skilled and dedicated members. However they still need those twenty five people to fill the spots and frequently they will recruit less skilled players in order to do so. They get caught in a catch 22 situation. If they raise their expectations, then they may have to wait a significant period of time before raiding; thus running the risk of losing their core. If they lower their expectations in order to raid, they are doomed to “carry” a certain percentage of players on a daily basis. This is all well and good for some encounters, for the harder ones where everyone’s performance is vital, they hit a brick wall on progression.

Secondly, the atmosphere in smaller guilds is friendlier. With so few members, everyone gets to know each other on a very personal level.

Thirdly and somewhat related to the above, it’s logistically easier to organise ten people and their schedules. You can generally fit raids to accommodate all your members. Due to this, you don’t need as many excess members for rotations when others can’t make it. Thus your team becomes more adjusted to playing together, perform better together and, as above, know each other better.

However the problem for ten man guilds have been widely publicised on this blog in the past. If you want to compete for PvE progress with your equals (that is to say, other ten man guilds), then the only way at present is to follow guildox.com’s ten man strict regulations. This prevents your members from being able to pug twenty five man raids. It also limits recruitment, both for raiders and for social members. In addition, we pay a penalty on our loot. This extends further than just the actual stats of an piece, but runs to mounts and other vanity items. Mimiron’s Head? Invincible? Both come from twenty five man raids only.

I’d love to hear the thoughts of readers who are currently active in either ten or twenty five man guilds. It’s certainly a big change for Cataclysm but it also remains faithful to their ethos of bringing raid content to the masses.

When Addons Step Too Far

April 23, 2010 15 comments

I’ve always had a peculiar relationship with addons. The game I came from had none. We didn’t have boss timers. We had members of the raid sat at the other side of their PC’s with stop watches timing the AoEs and announcing them in game. After a certain amount of time, people were expected to handle this themselves and as with most things, you gained an inner feeling for when things were due to occur. No warnings, no boss timers, just your own knowledge of the encounter and your own ability to react to what was happening around you.

When a new MMO, Aion, launched last year, there was uproar on the forums when a discussion began about whether the developers should allow addons to be developed (and used) in game. People were very split on the issue but there was a strong feeling from some of the community that they did nothing but dumb down the play experience.

A few years ago when Nihilum were still the top raiding guild (and yes, I know I mentioned them yesterday), I read an article about their recruitment. One thing mentioned was that their GM, Kungen, particularly liked old Everquest players. For reference, this is the game mentioned above. Why? Because he believed that raiding there made more reactive, responsive, alert players.

WoW is a little different these days and boss encounters are more complex and undoubtedly designed with the idea in mind that most people use boss mods. They work by providing us advanced warning that an ability is about to happen. This allows us to move, stop DPS, spread, stack, switch target or otherwise respond in whatever way is appropriate.

Today I had this addon linked to me.

What Does it Do?

Essentially, it adds additional visual effects in game to aid with certain boss mechanics. There are a number of examples on their wowace page, ranging from displaying where Malleable Goo will hit on the Putricide encounter (and it’s “splash” area) to where to stand with your tombs on Sindragosa. I’ve taken some stills from their youtube movies. Apologies for the quality, but they’re directly from videos. You should get the idea however.

Sindragosa

Below we see the addon running on a Sindragosa 25 raid. It’s visually displaying where the players marked for tombs should stand.

Obviously, these positions are perfectly calculated to prevent any splash damage between the players, as is shown below.

Professor Putricide

Below you can see it displaying where the Malleable Goo is going to hit on the Putricide encounter. Again, it takes into account the splash damage from these and marks the “danger” zones with red circles

On the heroic version of Professor Putricide, one of the key mechanics that your raid has to learn is the tracking, monitoring and passing of the Unbound Plague. This addon clearly marks that person, again with a circle, signifying precisely how close you could potentially be before passing it.

The screenshot below shows the player with the debuff marked clearly.

The next screenshot shows the plague being passed over to the next person.

I’ve blogged a few times in the past about what I believe makes a skilled PvE raider. One core trait for me, is the ability to concentrate. It sounds very basic but so many players watch TV while raiding or perhaps have a second monitor playing movies or just browsing the internet. The skills required to be a good raider are not something that you’re born with, they develop through practice.

Consider when you first level a new character to 80 or when your class is altered in such a way that you need to master a new spell rotation. This will feel awkward at first. A great deal of your concentration is sucked away by trying to keep the rotation perfect whether this be not clipping a dot, not letting a dot fall off a target entirely, or ensuring your cooldowns are used in a timely fashion. The more you practice, the better you become and the more natural your rotation comes to you. Before long, you can perform it in your sleep. This frees up more of your attention resources to focus on other things – such as what is happening in a boss encounter.

The same thing happens in reverse. When you first learn a new encounter, there can be various environment effects occurring that you need to react to. Until you’re comfortable and familiar with these, they will take up most of your attention and your DPS will likely fall. As you become familiarised with the encounter, your reactions to the stimuli (the events in game) becomes more natural too. Your DPS rises and ultimately, the boss will die.

This is how we learn. For most of us this takes form through repetition. Some people learn faster than others, that’s just a fact of life. However once all your raid have mastered the mechanics, your kill will come shortly after. Most subsequent kills happen with a great deal more ease because you have developed the skills and the reactions to deal with the encounter.

Lets return to what does make a good player? Attention is part of it for sure. DPS who aren’t concentrating and are slow blowing cooldowns or slow moving into DPS increasing effects (think the shadow crash on General Vezax in Ulduar) will put out less damage than the ones who are 100% focussed on their job. The ability to play dynamically is also vital. There maybe times, as a shaman for example, where something needs interrupting or purging. An add could be slowed if you throw a frost shock at it. Most classes have a range of skills that they bring to a raid and the better players with utilise all those skills without someone needing to prompt them. They can see what is going on around them and they can react to it. A good raider isn’t the one who tops the meters while standing in fire and ignoring that everyone else is needing to interrupt to cover their personal unwillingness. A good raider is the one who does all the small things that make a kill smoother (or make it possible) whilst still maintaining a good level of DPS and not stressing the healers by taking unnecessary damage.

Where am I going with this? Simple really, all these skills come from practice. They come from paying attention to what is happening around you and learning how to play your class to it’s fullest potential. If you start to depend on addons to draw circles around “danger areas” or to visually tell you where to stand, then what is left to think about? This kind of play doesn’t help to develop or create truly skilled players. It encourages people to not think so much when they play and allows lazy players to continue. All encounters are difficult when you’re first learning them but it’s through practice that we become better players and progress together as a team.

There is a reason many cutting edge guilds will ask potential members whether or not they can play without addons. This is precisely the environment that can occur on PTR testing. Raids can’t grind to a halt because someone’s addon didn’t get updated or stopped working for another reason. The reality for most of us is that we don’t play in those guilds either by choice or otherwise. Never the less, should we not be aiming to still be the very best that we can personally be? A dependency on addons to be able to perform doesn’t help you to become this.

For those who are wishing to give this a try, you can download the addon here. It works alongside BigWigs, Deadly Boss Mods and DXE (you will need to keep your boss mod as it doesn’t include timers and the like).

Categories: UI and Addons

Elemental Boss Guides – Icecrown Citadel – Lord Marrowgar Heroic

April 22, 2010 2 comments

This guide (and all following heroic or hard mode encounter guides) will assume that you are familiar with the fight on the normal level of difficulty. You can read my tactics for this encounter here.

Lord Marrowgar gains a significant increase in health on heroic mode:-

  • 10 Man Normal – 6,972,500 health
  • 10 Man Heroic – 10,500,000

Aside from the obvious differences in health pools, Lord Marrowgar’s abilities also deal more damage:-

  • 10 Man Normal – Coldflame – Deals 6,000 Frost Damage per Second for Three Seconds
  • 10 Man Heroic – Coldflame – Deals 8,000 Frost Damage per Second for Eight Seconds

His bonestorm ability now causes additional damage over time in the form of a bleed effect.

Phase One

We use identical positioning to the normal mode encounter.

It is vital that everyone stacks under Marrowgar. This allows for very fast removal of players from the bone spikes without your melee needing to run around the room. When correctly positioned like this, the coldflame will cause no problems in this phase of the fight. One thing to note, particularly when you begin to regroup after a bonestorm phase. As you’re in melee range it’s vital that you do not stand infront of Lord Marrowgar, his saber lash ability hurts. If marking the tanks ensures that your DPS always find the back of Lord Marrowgar then do so to avoid unnecessary DPS or healer deaths.

We use heroism as soon as every is in position and burn as much as we can in this first phase. The priority for all DPS should remain the bone spikes.

Phase Two

Due to the significantly increased damage of Bone Storm in heroic mode, it’s vital that your raid move away from Marrowgar just before phase two begins. All the boss mods provide timers for the incoming Bone Storm phase. He also emotes just before the transition with:-

  • Lord Marrowgar creates a whirling storm of bone!

Aside from the increase in damage dealt by Bone Storm and Cold Flame in this phase, there is one primarily difference between heroic and normal modes of the encounter. Throughout phase two on heroic mode, player will still be impaled by the Bone Spikes. As healing will be pushed due to the increase in damage from other sources, it’s vital that the DPS burn these spikes down fast.

Positioning in Phase Two

We make one slight difference to the positioning in the second phase of this encounter from the normal mode. Due to the increased damage taken by the entire raid, healing becomes very pressed. We have a lot of problems in our early tries with people running out of range of healers and thus dying.

In the centre of Lord Marrowgar’s room is a circle pattern on the ground. We stay within this during phase two. This ensures two things. Firstly, the bone spikes don’t occur on people so far away that the DPS have no chance of hitting them before the impaled person dies. Secondly, no one should be out of range of your healers. (For reference, we use three healers on this encounter.)

You will still get coldflame in phase two. Your melee DPS can’t always be expected to reach the bone spike due to flames and because of this, it is essential that your ranged DPS are fast and bringing down the spikes.

As with the normal mode, phase one and two alternate until Lord Marrowgar is dead.

Totems

As with the normal version of this encounter, no specific totems are required. For elemental shamans that are free to use fire DPS totems, the advantage of this positioning is that you don’t have to worry about range to the boss.

Summary

There is a lot of incoming raid damage on the heroic version of this encounter and it’s vital that you’re aware of this, even as a DPS. If you’re used to being able to continue DPS despite the bone storm on the normal version, be ready to move on the heroic version as it does a lot more damage. As an elemental shaman, your primary concerns during this encounter are:-

  • Being correctly positioned during phase one
  • Switch DPS to the bone spikes as soon as they appear in both phases
  • Avoid the bone storm during phase two
  • Avoid the cold flames. During phase one, these shouldn’t be much of a problem due to the positioning. In phase two, you’ll find them a much larger problem, particularly as you also need to be in range of the spikes to DPS them

At the time of writing, Decimation have just two more heroic modes left in Icecrown Citadel; Sindragosa and the Lich King. Never the less, this is still the hard mode that causes us the most stress (and annoyance) on a weekly basis. Be aware that while the mechanics barely change, the increase in raid wide damage is considerable and as a DPS, you should be doing as much as possible to avoid excess damage to ease the healer stress.

Categories: Heroic Mode

Girls in Gaming

April 22, 2010 6 comments

I’ve touched on this subject briefly in other articles before. I’ve also begun writing this numerous times before but felt in danger of coming off very feminist, which, I’m not.

I’ve been a gamer for a number of years and when I first started raiding in MMOs there were very few other female gamers around. In my guild of around 80 people, I was the only female raider. For the first few months, most other members presumed I was male. This was before the use of voice communications becoming so wide spread. All our interactions occurred in game, through text. Amusingly, once rumours spread that I was indeed claiming to be female, one member argued with another that I couldn’t possibly be. His reasoning? Girls didn’t play games. Unfortunately for the arguing party, the other member was my dad, the person responsible for introducing me to MMO gaming.

Over the years, I’ve seen this trend shift to where we are today. Female gamers are in much higher prevalence than when I began, though the genre of gaming tends to dictate the approximate percentage of female gamers that you find. Specifically related to MMOs, there would appear to be a high percentage of female players. Most raiding guilds however, particularly as you climb higher up the ladder of PvE success are male dominated.

There was some famous controversy a few years back when Nihilum, then the crème de la crème of the raiding scene, posted a recruitment topic including the line “girls need not apply.” After the initial outrage, they claimed that it was a mistake and the wrong recruitment post had been published. Never the less, it created a lot of debate at the time. Obviously, Nihilum, or indeed any other guild were or are, well within their right to exclude female gamers if they so wish. The worry was that firstly, other aspiring guilds may follow their policy and secondly, that they were, undoubtedly, the most “famous” WoW guild of that time.

The tradition problem with girls in guilds has been two fold. Firstly, the belief that they are inferior players (though I think by large, this is becoming a dated opinion). Secondly, that they are disruptive and distracting in male dominated communities. In the case of a guild like Nihilum (or many other cutting edge guilds), the ability of members to concentrate, for often hours upon end, is of paramount importance to their performance.

Is it wrong to believe that girls can be so disruptive? The problem I have here is that I’ve seen first hand that they can be exactly that. Prior to my current server, I was in the leading alliance guild on another realm. There was one particular individual there who’s behaviour ranged from flirtatious to outrageous. Certainly on one occasion she insisted on mentioning her underwear (in great detail) over ventrillo during a Sunwell Plateaux raid. There were numerous other incidences, more than I care to remember, where she shifted the entire topic to her sexual preferences. Not only did this disrupt the raids severely, but it didn’t win her many friends amongst the other, few, female guild members. As tends to happen in life, it’s the bad memories and poor encounters that stick in your mind.

It can be very difficult to be the only, or one of few, female players in a guild. You have to tread a very fine line between integrating into a male dominated sub-culture while still setting clear boundaries and maintaining levels of self respect. Some men have an annoying habit of labelling girls as over-sensitive or hormonal if they become offended by jokes or certain behaviour. “Over sensitive” – it’s a great term that can cover all manner of sins for the offending party. How we respond to such claims can merely strengthen their argument. If we act offended, we’re just confirming the label. If we back down, then we’re possibly allowing behaviour that was indeed inappropriate to suddenly be acceptable.

Sometimes guild chat can positively ooze testosterone and make it very hard to not feel segregated or isolated. In this case, it is neither parties fault but rather a bi-product of a male dominated community.

The sad thing for some female gamers is that regardless of their own behaviour, they can still cause problems within a guild, particularly amongst younger male members. However, when unwanted (and un-encouraged) attention is received it is not the girl at fault but the male player that should be dealt with. The same intolerance to harassment that should be respected out of a game, should be respected in game. There is a theory in psychology that states people will more readily insult each other or act otherwise inappropriately online because interactions lack the physical social cues that we receive in real life. That is to say, it’s easier to ignore the other person’s emotions or feelings when you aren’t faced with their physical presence. This can be either deliberate or accidental (such as mistakenly offending someone with the way you phrase a statement.)

Yet the great thing about gaming is it’s potential to be a hobby that can break down the bias or prejudice we may live with outside of the game. For a raiding guild we have the joint goal of downing hard PvE content. In that sense we should all be judged on our ability to play. We can be free from gender, age, race, physical disabilities and the like and purely be a part of a team. Gaming can throw people together from all walks of life that most likely, would have never had any reason to interact otherwise. Through gaming I’ve played with people from more countries than I will ever visit.

On a closing note, it’s hard to break down the prejudice that exist towards female players when large organisations merely reinforce it. Take a look at the icon used for the Gen Con SPA (spousal activities.)

Gen Con is without doubt, one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. The activities for these none gaming partners? Knitting, crocheting, scrap booking and jewellery making. For the more physically inclined, there are dance classes (belly dancing to be precise). Oh yes Gen Con, you have done so much for the image of gaming and the place of the female within that.

Categories: Misc Stuff