Thursday, May 20, 2010

Genders in MMO's, how being a hot girl helps.

I have a dirty secret to reveal. It is a horrible horrible thing to do, it is one of the great big mmo-taboos.

When I group for dungeons on my alts, I pretend im a chick. 

I am not at Snottydin's hights at all. I do not even *say* that I am a gurl in real life. I just play a female toon (on the characters in question) that is undergeared, plays well, and is very very non-masculine in their approach to everything group-wise.

It is a strange dynamic, where I would type and do the same things in both my overgeared Death Knight tank, my undergeared protadin and my female dwarf rogue. And the 3 things will be recieved very differently.

On the (male and overgeared) DK
 Usually, my DKs words will be taken in one of two ways:

You are the tank, are the tank in gear, your word is law, sorry that I dared mention that you should have been in frost specc

- This, I might add, would be after me telling a dps off for not getting out of the stuff, or for pulling when I was in my dps talents. The other reaction was from when I did a run with a guildies alt. He got an [this achievement used to be hard, but now we outgear everything so we did it without trying] -achievement. Where I replied with an "grz nab".
Then all hell broke loose. The unguilded hunter went into a pent up-ive-have-enough-of-elitist-pricks-rage. Froth spewing out of every orifice he managed to spell out

Just because you are the tank and you have gear and this is easy for you, you should get of your high horse and effing effing [blank] a horse [blank] while wearing that hat inside [blank] [blank] [blank] on mother day. 

 Whereas both me and my guildie pointed out the similarities in our guild-tag, and everything and everyone calmed down. (I might add that I congratulated "all you nabs" after we successfully had cleared the place, to many /lol's).

On the (male and undergeared) Protadin
On my paladin, the world is a different place. A hostile place. A place filled with snickering bickering mean words and lots of "playing the blame game (much more than playing the dungeon-crawling game)" at my expense. Usually this is how things will play out
/enter dungeon 
/p Hai everybody
/[random] is that your tanking gear?
/[me] yes
Next instance

/enter dungeon 
/p Hai everybody
/[random] is that your tanking gear?
/[me] yes it is
/[random] I have more hp than you on my main, and he is a mage
/[me] 32k health is plenty for non-heroic Pit of Saron
/[random] we are going to wipe because of you, ill tank in my ret-gear and ret-talents
And then I am forced into a 15 minute wow-cock comparison contest, trying to explain to random male huge ego-no-gameplay-understanding that hp is not all that matters, threat, dmg reduction and being able to take hits counts too. (and I've never wiped on my paladin, when tanking. Ever. I still wipe people on my DK). 

This is why I do not tank on my paladin. This is why there are such a huge lack of tanks. People cannot tell the difference between an apt geared/gemmed/echanted/specced tank and random moron dps with two items of tank gear and buckets of stam. There are so many loudmouthes that *prefer* the dps specced moron with loads of stam. 
These are also people who will yet at the healer a lot. 

On my lowgeared, dusty old Warlock [that is a hot looking chick]
/p hai everybody
/[everybody] hai, lets do this.

And then we do this. If there is any complication, or dickheads, I'll be the one going "calm down you two, and lets focus on the task at hand", or "dont yell at the healer, we are fine" "don't yell at the tank, if you did your job right, we would be fine" and even: "/w have you considered using defensive stance?".

And every single advice I give is ignored by the big boys. Even advice like "healing priest is OOM, mana break"  or "could we please buff up before pulling that boss that wiped us before?".
Completly ignored. 
Im the hot BE with luscous lips who are just so darn adorable when she pretends to know the game. 

And on my Rogue female dwarf it is even worse. Because only chicks would play dwarf females (they *ARE* hot), and only UGLY women would play female dwarfs. 

What? No, Calli never said anything about ugly women playing female dorfs. Calli is a good guy (who's main is a human female!!), who has unresolved issues about him being attracted to female dorfs.

True story: Everytime I log onto my rogue, calli logs off. And EVERY SINGLE TIME, I get a /w, two seconds later after he logs, from a female dwarf named "Mrslovesalot" telling me how she/he wishes I was a Dorf female IRL, and if I would pose for him/her for 1000g. Coincidence? I think not! (And I'm owed a lot of gold by now, btw).

Back on track

What I am getting at, is that I am in fact NOT pretending to be a chick, I am, however, being treated as one, and I very much prefer it over having the, "my dad could beat your dad", contests my male mains have to go through.
If I wanted to be taken seriously, I'll log onto my male main, and run a heroic or PuG voa. there, they frikking STFU and the /w I get there are more along the lines of:

/[OT] how do you make so much threat?
/[me, looking at the two rogues and 3 hunter from my guild MD'ing at me at every pull] "Its a little bit my gear, and a lot to do with talent my DK tanking friend."

So there are some things about MMO's being caught in 50 year old sexist issues, that I like, and that is when you can get them to play in your favour. But I do feel sorry for those players who are women on the other side of the screen, and play women, have the gear, and the talent, and the insight almost as much as we human beings do, and yet, are not being taken seriously. 


  1. I dunno, I'd rather have people shout at me than be totally ignored. (My DK is a female dwarf and when I zone in, people are like 'oh cool, it's a dwarf, she'll be fine.' I think there's some notion that because they're not pretty, the bad players will avoid them.)

  2. There are tow things to this for one; I do agree with you, about the female dwarfs, this does seem to be the consensus and men wants to be big and strong and masculine (orcs, tauren, human and nelf), or pretty guuurls. Wheras real women play the wird ones (tauren, troll, gnome, dwarf).
    My wife never wanted to play anything but a human. And for me, there are nearly any race that are as enjoyable as dwarfs. (then again, I cry at movies, and she falls asleep to anything but Iron man II - so maybe that says more about us than anything else.)

    My other point... Will come in a follow-up post. Here is a hint: I hate sexism, no mater who is perfoming it.

  3. *loves female dorfs*
    I always play female toons.. and in 5 years of playing, I don't think I can recall a single incident where I've not been taken seriously *because* I am a girl.. I am possibly just oblivious.
    Saying that, I am almost always referred to as *he* in PUGS...

  4. I really, really have to try to play a male character one day and see if there really is any difference. I always claim that I'm not dicriminated and treated differently just because I'm female. But what do I know until I've actually set my foot on the other side?

  5. I'm a healer, so everybody just assumes I'm a girl anyway ... which might again be connected to why tanks never stop when healers tell them they're OOM ;)

  6. @lar: promise to make a post saying that you only do it because if you have to stare at a ass all day long, it might as well be a hot well-formed male ass!
    (and yes you really really really should)

    @Tam: that and the dress, ehm robe.

    I am also starting to believe that it might be connected to the tank/non-tank issues that seems to be the sore spot in every single dungeon these days.

  7. I'd much rather tank for a group of females than a group of males any day. Guys can be real idiots when swinging their e-peens around. Women, on the other hand, are very good at group dynamics. They are a pleasure to have in any group, be it heroics or hard mode raids.

    Gearing a freshly minted 80 tank can be a real chore these days. The DPS so out gears you that being able to hold threat is almost laughable. I'm looking at you, 8k dps mage casting blizzard right after the pull.

    32k HP not good enough to tank? That makes me laugh so hard I nearly fall out of my chair. I remember our warrior Main Tank being ecstatic when he hit 30k HP unbuffed, while we were running Ulduar... long after we had seen our fair share of heroics.

  8. You should have seen the look on that dps face when I told him, that my main used to tank with 23k health back when wrath hit.
    But I think, you almost sort of hit the hammer on the nail I was trying to point out here (it makes sense), that when I play as a "lets just get this working instead of bringing measuring sticks and blame-pointers" I'm concieved as either an elitist moron (on my male toon) and a silly little guuuurrrrrrrrrl on my female toons.

  9. Threat is never a problem (almost) as a paladin, the naysayers over my gear however... sigh.

  10. Hm, but how much of that difference is simply down to the difference between playing a tank and dps? I wonder if you'd notice as many differences if you had a female tanking character too...

  11. Im starting to believe that a little bit too. trouble is, now im aware of it, so if I roll a tank, would I be compensating for this? would I be so self-aware that I'd act overly feminine (in the "this is how gurls think"-ism, sort of way), or maybe overly masculine? interesting.

  12. Yeah when I played a cute Draenai Pally even Horde dudes wouldn't kill me. They would wave and dance with me.

    The scary thing is I started doing little effeminete things like looking for better looking gear instead of stats, and looking at hairstyles and such.

    I had to man up and drink a beer with my mates, and watch some football after gaming.

  13. I find this really interesting. Admittedly I very rarely say that I'm a girl playing - and most of my toons are human female (and human female or nelf female seem to be the most common for male players) so people just assume I'm a guy.

    The 32k tank "not being well-geared enough" - I'm so tired of hearing that. My main is a warrior tank with really good gear, never get a comment. My alt paladin has 30-32k health in tank gear (since she doesn't raid it's about as much as you can get through emblems until you get enough frost ones) and she's never had a problem tanking - but people still cringe when they see your health.

    I think people are just spoilt. They see all the raid tanks in heroics with their 40k health unbuffed - forgetting completely that when people started doing heroics (early wrath) the tank had maybe 20-25k health if even that. And guess what - they did fine!

    But you're right - that IS why there are so few tanks. Who wants to into a HC as a new tank, having worked hard getting def capped and as much gear as they can beforehand.. only to get people quit on them or tell them their gear is shit?

  14. @River: Yea, and kill a prostitute!!

    @saga: Well I guess that settles it then? Its a tank/dps issue, and not really a male toon/femal toon issue.
    This is for a whole different thread, but I do find it interesting just how few women there are tanks.. or melee dps. At least anyone who ehm.. dares admit.. being female and playing those positions.
    I guess being silent and just let people make up their own mind is best for all purposes. Oh so many things to this.