Global Chat: Why player representation in games matters

Multi-digit division.

The recent flap over Escape from Tarkov’s public pronouncement of “no icky girls” (my paraphrase) as playable characters in its game elicited more than one strong response from the MMO community. Among them, Belghast over at Tales from the Aggronaut made an impassioned plea for diverse player representation in games.

“If I had my druthers pretty much every game experience would feature some sort of an option that allows you to tailor to at least the right gender if not being able to do full cosmetic customization,” he wrote. “For me and many other players that I know, cosmetic options are pretty much the most important system in a game.”

Read on for more MMO blog essays, including a look at Star Trek Online’s 10th anniversary, balancing MMO play, weird EverQuest II crafting strategies, and more!

Contains Moderate Peril: Star Trek Online ten years on

“Cryptic are still remastering older content and although I must admit they’re doing it well, the pace is somewhat slow. Several iconic missions are still conspicuously absent and the game has had so many overhauls and restructurings, the narrative content is somewhat fragmented and difficult to follow due to plot holes caused by absent material. STO still has an issue with a lot of story and game systems being buried in more esoteric portions of the user interface. And then there is the game economy; the bane of many an MMO. Inflation for high end items and ships is rife.”

Dating Sims on the Holodeck: Yes, lore does excuse design decisions

“Getting mad about the gender locking, for this particular reason, is silly. Obviously the devs had a certain sort of character in mind. It’s a really ancient way of designing a RPG, especially for a MMO, but it’s still valid. In the very, very early days of PnP RPG’s, the characters were pretty static. The Wizard, The Knight, The Thief, etc. Even the first modules for DnD were designed with this in mind. Obviously, this design went away pretty quick (because both character and story customization are more fun, and are quite viable in pnp format), but, again, it’s still a valid design choice.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: Leveling up your EQII crafting without actually crafting

“The kicker is, and this wraps us back around to the title of the post, at no time during my advancement through 20 levels of trade skills did I actually need to craft anything that was related to either profession. I have a max level armorer and woodworker.  Not once were the skills for either needed. That makes some sense. These quests are for ALL professions and, as such, when you do craft… and you actually do craft some things now and then… you end up using a set of independent reaction skills with icons borrowed from other skills in order to make required items.”

I'm on a dinosaur.

Misdirections: Bored and surprised in World of Warcraft

“I do not remember ever before having been bored with WoW. Never. I have always found things to absorb my interest, even during the long periods prior to new expansions. That I seem not to be able to do so now is interesting, and I am not sure if it says more about me or about the game. I think, though, that it is mostly a function of the current state of the game.”

Fibrojedi: SWTOR: Onslaught expansion review

“Patch 6.0 which brought about SWTOR’s Onslaught expansion, marked a major turn of events. It sparked something players had asked for — a return to Empire vs Republic. But it is not so black-and-white given your Loyalist/Saboteur choices. I love the storywriting and the fact that three different threads are left open at the end of the main scenario. The planets once again show SWTOR back to creating imaginative and rich worlds (though please BioWare bring in weather on Onderon!). If SWTOR could just make life less stressful when playing healers on their solo content that would be appreciated!”

Mailvatar: What I’m looking forward to in 2020

“One thing’s for sure though: Amazon definitely has the resources to let [New World] dev team get this right. I highly doubt they’ll release a sub-par product just to get it out the door. In fact they’ve already proven that they’ll rather shut a project down than do that. If they in fact do pull off something great I think it’ll be a boon to the whole industry. ActiBlizz and EA desperately need another big player to light a fire under their butts, and we all need a sign that western publishers are actually capable of more than rehashing the same old ideas over and over.”

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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