Is Guild Wars 2 too obsessed with boobs? (We already know TERA is)

New MMO TERA is already synonymous with ridiculous, massively-sexualised outfits for its female characters. But is Guild Wars 2 about to join it in that unwelcome sub-genre?

Amongst the reactions to Guild Wars 2 at the weekend were comments about the outfits for female characters, particularly starting characters. At the time, it might have seemed like a blip. But now, bloggers are really starting to react to GW2’s outfit choices, which appear to be pretty mono-dimensional for many female characters.

Is Guild Wars 2 going to join TERA in the list of “cheesecake MMOs”, or will it actually succeed in appealing to a female audience? Today, we’ve got a number of bloggers explaining exactly what Arena.net appear to have gotten wrong – and right. Plus, Rohan of Blessing of Kings demonstrates just how ridiculously bad TERA’s chainmail bikini problem is:

  • Live Like A Nerd demonstrates, in a heavily pictoral post, just how bad (and one-sided) some of the class outfits in Guild Wars 2 get“Guild Wars 2 is all about the cheesecake and none of the beefcake. Ideally, for me you would at least have a toggle. I would want to be able to wear the male gear or robes in that style. But you can’t. In fact, you are locked into your mini-skirts.”
  • Sunnier at A Sunnier Bear shows that Guild Wars 2 sometimes gets it awesomely right, and sometimes (in a different example to the one above) gets it horribly wrong“Guild Wars 2 has a totally awesome physique selector. You get to choose from around eight body types. For charr, I could choose from a wide range of skinny or super built or thick necked and I loved it. For norn, you can choose between skinny+buff or skinny+not buff. Oh, and giant boobs for every single body-type.”
  • Spinks at Spinksville contrasts TERA, GW2, and PS3 game Dragon’s Dogma, and asks why only one of these game offers female characters the choice of skimpy or non-skimpy armour“See, I’m not against characters fighting in string bikinis or casting spells in belly dancer outfits, but I want it to be thematic and I want to have choices. Despite some of the clothing being quite skimpy, none of the characters actually looked like strippers. They looked like characters from fantasy art. I think that’s a powerful point to take away.”
  • And for your ROFL moment, Rohan at Blessing of Kings has been playing TERA, and offers us screenshots of what truly is an epic dungeon drop“The armor is just hilariously bad. It’s like it’s giving the monster a target to aim for. But somehow, instead of being annoyed at the armor, it just amuses me greatly.”

One thing I really don’t understand in all this is why game developers who want to add massive cheesecake boob armour to their games don’t take the time to actually get the anatomy right. I mean, it’s not like there isn’t a lot of reference material out there for artists to work from. But we still end up with anatomy from the superglued-melons school of character design.

Seriously, people, you couldn’t manage an afternoon of Safesearch=OFF Google Image Search?

Will GW2 fall, crushed under the weight of its own unrealistic mammaries? Or are its developers just being cynically accurate about their market?

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LFR Perspectives: Of Anxiety And Class

LFR will go down in MMO history as the topic of conversation this month, and probably for many months to come. Blizzard have done something audacious and arguably crazy here – build a system which matchmakes 25 total strangers in an environment known to be socially hostile to attempt to cooperate at a task. It’s fascinating, it’s sometimes very fun, and it’s often a trainwreck.

Today, we’ve got two perspectives from the “trainwreck” side of things.

Firstly, The Reluctant Raider talks about something that has been concerning several of my guildmates too – the creeping likelihood that LFR will gradually become a mandatory part of guild play, and just what we can do about that

“When I started to hear rumors of the upcoming LFR system, I thought that this was a great idea for the people who work weird schedules or have kids to take care of or just don’t have a guild to run with. However, now that it’s out, I’m seeing more and more of my guildies say “Don’t forget to run LFR this week and get some upgrades!”

Honestly, this has my heart in a vice grip. The idea of going into a group where I know (at the most) 4 or 5 people makes me want to scream and then cry. I have said “I don’t want to go, thank you” but now I’m sitting on the side lines watching my best friends and my husband get their “Fall of Deathwing” and it’s killing me. In our raid group, the only person who doesn’t have “Fall of Deathwing” is me.

Am I bringing my raid group down because I can’t LFR? If I want to progress, do I need to have a panic attack over a video game? I don’t know. “

There are echoes of the Valor Point Capping debate of earlier in the year here, and indeed a meta-debate that has been going on for years now. At what point does our involvement in a social game force us to do something that may be unpleasant or even actively harmful for us? And how can we avoid or mitigate those problems?

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, Aldous the Boozekin raised one gin-soaked wing for a hilarious account of how he internally translates the activity and dialogue of a standard Looking for Raid run – which rather illustrates the Reluctant Raider’s point

“This next gentleman is far too friendly. What a jolly old chap! Not only will he only be harming you once every thirty seconds, but we’re also going to be providing you with a unique ability that will allow you to completely avoid the damage that he attempts to inflict upon you. It’s almost as if this gentleman wants us to defeat him! Far too simple, I say, far too simple.

Well that first attack didn’t go very well. My friends, please remember to activate your special abilities, lest you wish death upon yourselves…

ok LOL seriously? click button it’s not hard.

ugh okay it’s just not worth the heals. HEALERS PLS DON’T HEAL DPS THAT FAILS AT BUTTON

come on guys almost got it gogogogogogogog

uuuuuuuuungh well of course we hit enrage, not enough dps in this group. L2 NOT FAIL NUBS

What’s in LFR’s future? Amusement, nice feature, or horrible trial by fire?

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How to make “Those” raid nights suck less

[Raid Leader] HealyPally: Ok, guys, everyone ready? Lolelf? Lolelf? Are you there? OMG, he’s DC’ed AGAIN? AAARGH!

[Raid] imbadeeps: Tihs is takin ages, I’m off to buy smokes. Back in 10.

[Raid Leader] HealyPally: What? Wait! No!

[Raid] Lolelf: Back. Sry! But I gotta change the baby in 10 mins, hope that’s cool.

[Raid Leader] HealyPally: AAARGH!

We’ve all had nights like that. And so, from Manalicious comes a fantastic guide to just how to survive them, from taking breaks to perspective-getting to essential oils:

Was your night really all that bad? For our raid night, we didn’t kill all the bosses we would have liked, but the ones we did kill we killed pretty cleanly. I healed a different tank than I usually do on Shannox; our other tank healer got a chance to experience the damage patterns of the opposite tank as well. Beth’tilac went down very easily, and it was again a new tank doing the “upstairs” task. It could have been worse. We could have killed nothing. Or one less boss, or two less bosses. We got some valor points. Trash went very smoothly. I was mostly happy with P1 of Alysrazor as well. We’ve killed these bosses before. We will kill them again.

First up, I must say that it’s nice to see another raid group that takes sensible amounts of breaks. It improves your performance, guys! It’s Proven By Science with numbers and everything!

But moving beyond my efficiency obsessions, this is a great guide. It covers a whole range of options, from learning from your mistakes to mind-body issues that might be making you more tense. (The only thing I’d add, being arguably even more of a hippy than Vidalya, is that breathing exercises are surprisingly effective in improving mistake-laiden performance.) I’d recommend a read before the next time that the DC fairy strikes.

Any other tips? Or do you think all this “take breaks, breathe, think” stuff is a bunch of hippy crap?

_Quote taken directly from Vidalya’s post on Manalicious.

Find Manalicious’s homepage at http://manalicious.wordpress.com/_

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Why don’t people protect healers in PvP? Seriously?

Vidyala at Manalicious has been getting a kicking. In Battlegrounds, that is. Every time she sticks her healing nose out of the door, someone tries to chop it off.

Everyone knows that a healer’s pretty much your most powerful weapon in Battlegrounds. So why is it that random PUG groups continue to fail to, you know, protect them? Vidyala would very, very much like to know, because it’s starting to drive her out of PUG BGs:

I mean, let’s be frank here. I don’t think I’m the world’s gift to BGs. I don’t expect accolades or for anyone to act like I’m a big deal because I’m healing. I like healing! I want to heal. It’s just that, by virtue of what I’m doing – I need a little help from you in order to best help you. When you ignore my existence, I’m vulnerable. You see, the opposing team, they aren’t like you. They know who I am. Believe me – in seconds. They converge on me like a plague of locusts.

I always appreciate a good rant, and this is one. And it’s interesting – and surprising – to learn just how much the role of healer continues to suck in a Battleground. I mean, we all know that PUGs tend to bring out some pretty idiotic behaviour – but you would have thought that in a 15-person battleground, at least a few people would be capable enough to defend the source-o-healing.

Is there a good reason for this? Is there some strategic reason for not protecting healers that both Vid and I aren’t expert enough to get? Do more PvP oriented games like Guild Wars have this? Or is it just a truly epic case of PUG FAIL?

_Quote taken directly from Vidyala’s post.

Find Manalicious’s homepage at http://manalicious.wordpress.com._

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Breaking Now: The Day That EVE Online Died

The guys at Massively do have a bit of a genius for attention-grabbing headlines! But in this case, it’s almost justified, as the EVE Online community and CCP, the EVE online developers, seem to be set on a high-speed collision course:

At around $40 for a basic shirt, $25 for boots, and $70 or more for the fabled monocle, items in the Noble Exchange were priced higher than their-real life counterparts. As players made some noise about the ridiculous prices, an internal CCP newsletter all about the company’s microtransaction plans was purportedly leaked. In it, plans to sell ships, ammo, and faction standings for cash were revealed, plans that strictly contradict previous promises on gameplay-affecting microtransactions. Shortly afterward, all hell broke loose as a private internal memo from CCP CEO Hilmar was leaked to the press.

In the past few days, I’ve been contacted by dozens (if not hundreds) of concerned EVE players who are afraid that the game they love is coming to an end. I’ve even been in contact with an insider who is scared of the risks CCP is taking with the jobs of over 600 employees in four countries, scared enough to leak internal documents and emails.

This is serious corporate-strategy-meets-community stuff, with leaks, internal memos, corporate communications, boycotts, organised unsubscribing movements, the lot. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like this in the MMOsphere, certainly not since the NGE days of Star Wars Galaxies. And it’s directly related to the current bete noir of the gaming world, microtransactions, with CCP being the first company to really see a microtransaction plan backfire.

They should have sold a shiny pony, obviously.

We’ll be watching this story as it develops – keep an eye out. In the meantime, what do you think? Is this the end of EVE, or a storm in a teacup? And will CCP really go through with the potentially game-breaking plans they have?

_Quote taken directly from Massively’s piece.

Find Massively’s homepage at http://massively.joystiq.com/_

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