Sunday 29 May 2011

Looking good?

One of the perennial problems of MMOs is female dress. It started off as a problem in computer games, because the original target market for them was nerdy teenage boys, for whom a glimpse of pixelated flesh was about as close as they were going to get to the real thing, so that was an effective sales tactic.

Unfortunately, it hasn't gone away since MMOs became all growed-up and mainstream. Clichéd chain-mail bikinis still abound, even though the games are played by many women and, well, how can we put this ... men who have seen a real naked woman, so don't need to play the game one-handed people guys who don't get their kicks from pixels.

Game companies rightly get a lot of grief for this, so a popular work-around has been the introduction of appearance slots in the game, to allow the players to choose their look, rather than have it dictated by the designers. Unfortunately, people are still people, so they don't always do what others might hope. Here's an example from Rift today (Rift allows you to have one set of gear for stats and another for appearance).

Monday 23 May 2011

A modest proposal

In that broken game known as "real life" it is possible for low-skill players to obtain the same items as high-skill ones simply by grinding. For example, someone who flips burgers for ten thousand hours can save up for the same fancy car as a top engineer. Surely this can't be right! As many MMO players will tell you, it's  it's skill that should be rewarded, not grind.

Saturday 21 May 2011

Friday 20 May 2011

If the cap doesn't fit...

The cap on raid numbers is something of an established tradition in MMORPGs. The original reasoning was simple: if you don't have it, what's to stop a hundred idiots from simply rushing in and zerging everything?

I've spent quite a while in Rifts recently, where that's more or less exactly what happens (at low levels anyway).
Twenty DPS, one healer (me) and no tanks? No problemo! Just add more DPS and zerg that bad-boy down!

Saturday 7 May 2011


In most sports, bringing in someone else to play the game for you (a so-called ringer) is regarded as cheating. If you got someone from Paragon to play your character for you, so you always got top DPS and hence raid spots, boss kills, loot etc, would that be cheating? Most people would say yes. But we do that all the time with other aspects of the game, rather than the actual button pressing in a fight.