Star Stable is not horsing around with its Winter Village update

    
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On this week’s MOP Podcast, Justin and I fielded a great question from a reader about non-combat MMOs. On our (depressingly short) list was Star Stable, the adorable horse-raising/horse-riding social MMO. Eliot and I even virtually arm-wrestled over who got to write this post, and that’s more intense conflict than this game will see in a year. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Anyway! Winter descends on the game this week through the start of January thanks to the opening of the Winter Village, where Santa and his mates preside over quests, snacks, camping fun, ice races, and clothes shopping. You can even morph your horse – of course you have a horse; that is what this game is all about, after all – into a reindeer.

“Ever wondered what it’s like riding a reindeer? Well, now’s your chance to find out! In one of the Christmas Village stores, you can buy magical powders that transform your horse into a cool reindeer! This awesome effect lasts for 30 minutes, before your horse gets its normal appearance back. The powders come in three different colors, in single packs or packs of 5, 10, and 15 that are a little cheaper. You can use these powders on any horse you like, and they will continue to work even after the holidays! There’s also a fourth reindeer color, which those of you who have spent previous holidays in Jorvik will recognize! Get your hands on this color by doing an exchange in the Ice Cave. You can use this reindeer as many times as you like until January 2!”

This is all just so stinkin’ cute I can’t contain myself. How are my kids not playing this yet.

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socontrariwise

I’m horrified to hear there is the opposite of the sexism in games scale too … you MUST play a girl. Now that is empowering, if you can’t have both genders together but need isolation.

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thirtymil

You may find this interesting, which is a Star Stable forum thread from last year about adding male avatars to the game:

http://ssoforums.com/thread/1418/male-characters-game

In it, you’ll find all the arguments used for not adding female avatars to other games (such as: fix the bugs first, these players are only a minority so not worth the dev time, would prefer more content instead, would need to rewrite too much of the game to be worth bothering) except of course, used in reverse.

I’m hesitant to draw any conclusions but I find it interesting that the same arguments against equal representation come up regardless of whether the perceived majority of players are male or female.

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thirtymil

Thanks for the warning – my daughters play this but due to game time restrictions they’ll only find out at the weekend. Now when they say ‘Guess what I can turn my horse into?!’ on Saturday I can somewhat smugly reply ‘A reindeer?’ thus preserving what is left of my street cred.

The real terror, however, is that they actually keep trying to persuade me to play. If I ignore the rather noticeable fish-eye lens effect on the camera the rest seems quite compelling… apart from the fact there are no male avatars and that would make me a middle-aged man masquerading as a girl in a game played by teenage girls… which amongst other issues would make me feel quite uncomfortable.

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Bryan Correll

But there are lots of middle aged men pretending to be teenage girls online. Why there must be……oh. Oh my. Nevermind.

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Utakata

What you don’t know probably wont harm you. As if these hypothetical middle age men are minding their own business, not interfering with others and playing the game because they enjoy it…then there is nothing really creepy about that. And no boundaries have been crossed.

It’s pretty much the same with all games actually. As creepers also come in all shapes, sizes and creeds. And they should be dealt with when those boundaries are noticeably being crossed (ie. reported and removed). It wouldn’t hurt to street proof you daughters regardless though.

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thirtymil

Yeah, you’re right of course. And I have no issues playing female night elves and so on in Warcraft (no dancing on mailboxes mind you) but I think this feels a bit like the issue you had with Elin – the perception of other people’s behaviour has an impact on my ability to enjoy certain races/classes/genders based on the environment.

Ah well, even if I do go for it, I’m not sure my daughters have thought it through… “Hi, is it okay if my dad joins the guild?” lol.

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Utakata

Fair enough! :)

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thirtymil

Update: so I turned to my eldest daughter this morning and nonchalantly said “So, I hear there’s a Winter update for Star Stable.”

“Yes,” she said, “you can turn your horse into a reindeer.”

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Bryan Correll

Eliot and I even virtually arm-wrestled over who got to write this post

And then you remembered who was in charge?

Reader
Utakata

No galloping around on that one! o.O