This sounds so horribly ungrateful but

I hate the new Alliance bear forms. The yellow glowing eyes give a slightly rabid look and I loathe the brightly coloured sideburns. I don’t want to look like some weird experimental cross between Elvis and a polar bear.

bearforms

My biggest issue however is, what if I really like a certain cat form but loathe its corresponding bearform. Am I going to have a pick an acceptable middle ground that I’m not too keen on but at least I don’t get embarressed about having to go bear/cat. Then there is hair colour. My little druid still has the hair colour she was made with, it goes part way to defining her and looking at these pictures I feel shes going to have to hit the hair dye.

briarrose01As you can see from this picture of her taken one frosty morning in the Borean Tundra her hair colour is probably best described as teal. Its a colour I happen to like a lot and one she’s been happy with for the last three years. However looking at the picture above, I can’t help but think the one on the bottom left is likely to be what she will morph into and its my least favourite of the lot. If I had to pick one, it would be the bottom right so already I have a dilemma and we haven’t even seen the cat form ones yet.

Looks like my dual spec will be boomkin/resto.

Edit: The boyfriend thinks she will be the bottom right so all whine is temporarily suspended til the cat ones are released.

One bite of the Apple

Over at Blog Azeroth the age old topic of social exclusion rears its ugly head once again. The topic starter begins with:
A guild I do not wish to name on my server recently came up with a recruitment policy dubbed “no vag”, i.e. no female players allowed. The reason paraphrased is “female = drama, don’t pretend you are different when it comes to treatment, loot etc. because you are not. I’m sick of dealing with all the drama that comes along with females so if you have a vag, do not apply. as well if you are a male but pretend to have a vag, the same rules applies to you as well”
I recently came across another guild on the guild recruitment forum that says the following “Due to our history and experience we’ve had with female gamers, we currently do not recruit players that lack a penis. This can be taken another way but in this case, we mean literally lack thereof. Some of you may think this is sexist, but you have to understand, when you put a female in an organization with a bunch of sex deprived World of Warcraft nerds, their hormones get the best of them. Women in World of Warcraft guilds cause more drama than ‘TNT’ and this is a no-drama organization.”
Whilst I agree its an emotive topic its one that I find fascinating for a couple of reasons.
1.From my albeit hastily done research it seems to be a mainly US issue. I’m helping my own guild mates keep our recruitment post bumped so I often have a quick read of various threads and I’ve yet to see any EU guild openly say no females allowed.
Of course that doesn’t mean they don’t reject applicants purely on gender but apart from rumours about Nihilum  I’ve never heard of women being turned down just because they are girls (and Ensidia has females on their roster now). As far as I can tell all the hardcore guilds on my own server (Kazzak EU) have females on the roster so I don’t see why that shouldn’t be echoed across the rest of Europe. This if true itself is curious, why would one continent approach the matter differently to another? Also despite my best efforts to find e-slut drama on the EU realm forums, all I could come up with was huge amounts of ninja looting and ganking related whine.
2. Secondly, being a female myself, I find other peoples reactions and sometimes stereotypical attitude towards women gamers interesting and sometimes somewhat amusing.
So to answer the questions posed by Xelaeno:
What lead to this extreme measure of completely banning females in these guilds?
Now  Xelaeno refers to a real case, so being a curious little bunny I decided to do some digging (having the server name helped) as well as seeing why other guilds elude people and to see how they rationalise those decisions.
From what I can tell, most e-drama involving sex/gender is caused when two things collide.
1.A woman willing to manipulate, tease and play around in order to collect pixel loot
2.A man/men stupid, lonely or just plain pathetic enough to ignore any sensible feelings he/they might have on the subject and indulge said female.
Not sure how many people this particular server has supposedly offering loot for e-sex but if I’m looking at the right story.. this seems to be the case here. All the usual components, a women supposedly doing weak dps/healing/rubbish tanking (doesn’t matter which), carried by her guild because the GM/one of the Officers wants to keep her sweet for his own selfish pleasure. She gets loot, he gets to jerk off to her voice on vent or w/e and the rest of the guild get screwed. It naturally takes at least two to tango and since neither party are innocent, both should get a fairly equal amount of scorn (shame that’s not how the internet works, its still “burn the witch whilst patting him on the back”).
However its easy to see how these  scenarios could cause drama on a number of levels:
People being annoyed about a weak player receiving loot unfairly
Other females in the guild upset/frustrated about the way this particular female is acting
Any real life boyfriends being rather and understandably angry that their girlfriend is behaving in this fashion
Tensions caused by multiple parties flirting with her and falling out when she plays them off against each other
In the first example given,
“female = drama, don’t pretend you are different when it comes to treatment, loot etc. because you are not. I’m sick of dealing with all the drama that comes along with females so if you have a vag, do not apply. as well if you are a male but pretend to have a vag, the same rules applies to you as well”
The behaviour patterns suggested could easily apply to either gender. Some men are prone to temper tantrums and whine, just as some females are. That however is a personality trait which has little to do with your sexual organs. A fact that whoever wrote that quote then goes on to agree with by including “If you are a male but pretend to have a vag, the same rules applies to you as well”. I do feel it suggests something slightly malformed and sinister about attitudes though that this negative behaviour is associated 100 percent with a woman’s genitalia.
The second example is more interesting to my eye.
when you put a female in an organization with a bunch of sex deprived World of Warcraft nerds, their hormones get the best of them. Women in World of Warcraft guilds cause more drama than ‘TNT’ and this is a no-drama organization.
From an outsiders perspective, all that says is to me is “we are bunch of sad little boys who can’t cope with the opposite sex so we are erecting a fortress to keep ourselves safe from those scary harlots”. On an amusing side note TNT is a relatively stable explosive as explosives go, fairly stable and all that.
I would have to suspect that the men in question already had a dubious attitude towards women and have jumped at the chance to exclude them from their space. My approach towards drama (and I have been an Officer in more than one raiding guild) was always to deal with it on a person by person basis. To discriminate against anyone because you had a bad experience with someone of their gender/race or age group seems a little crazy to me. Good players come in all shapes and sizes. Take my own guild for example, out of our 35 active raiders, 28 are male. Most of them are between the ages of 18 and 30, they come from a variety of countries and can be complete and utter jerks at times, but despite being “sex deprived nerds” manage to control their hormones whilst playing with women.
However since men outnumber women in raiding guilds its obviously easier to ban females than try and reign in the immature libido of your main tank. I’m also pretty sure if the situation was reversed, i.e. most wow players were female, there would be plenty of boys stooping to this level. Sex sells, the media tells us that every time we walk down the high street or turn the TV on so can you blame people for using tactics they see every day, especially if they work? (personally, yes).
Have you experienced the so called “drama” yourself?
Nope. Sadly everyone I’ve played WoW with across 5 servers and both factions has managed to keep their pants on during raids.
More specifically, what kind of people causes the most drama in your guild?
Men :D
The drama I’ve experienced over the course of the four years I’ve played WoW has come mainly under three headings which are semi linked.
Plain old Loot drama –  I deserved X more than Y.. throws tantrum in corner. This then leads to questioning the loot system and trying to bribe/blackmail or generally stir up enough trouble till the rest of the guild sides with them.
Tank whine –  I should be the main tank, no I should, loser throws tantrum in corner. This one is usually linked to the first one, but the need to be wanted features in it as well.
Raid spot tears – I haven’t raided all week but I still deserve a spot on the final boss so I can loot the one thing I want or I went casual when the new content was released but now you have worked really hard getting it on farm content, I’m back and I want all the epics.
Are they gender exclusive?
Nope, both genders are capable of being loot whores or generally immature little brats. I’ve seen it mostly from men but then I’ve played with mostly men so that’s to be expected.
Or rather personality based?
I think personality plays a part but even the most well balanced person can get drama queen-like if they feel something is unfair or that they deserve something over someone else. Obviously there are times when two people just loathe each other at first sight, but that doesn’t always escalate into full blown emoness. Looking around the general forums, there seems to be a lot of raid leader going psycho drama… not everyone likes being treated like grunts for pixels it seems.
Is there any funny, interesting, odd drama cases you wish to share?
I tend not to find drama particularly funny, however I was slightly amused when one of our ex trials accused our Loot Council of being corrupt even though he received a shed load of loot.
Female players are often thought to be “bad at the game”. What do you think lead to this conclusion?
I find that a very broad and sweeping statement. Who thinks women are bad at the game? Certainly in the time I’ve been raiding no one has ever said that to my face and since I don’t cyber I’m guessing I earned my raid spot the hard way. As I said in an earlier post, WoW is not physical nor is it particularly hard. There are plenty of sites out there telling you what to gem/enchant/spec/which rotations are best and so on. With experience and practise I believe that most people can play WoW to a decent standard if they so wish to.
However I accept that there will always be a degree of sexism in WoW. Any environment where one gender outnumbers the other will have that going on to a point. Some females will suck, possibly both figuratively and literally… that’s to be expected just as a similar percentage of men will. Then there will be men who expect women to fail at everything, possibly due to outside influences, perhaps simply because they are pretty closely related to cavemen.
I know females who reached over 2700 arena rating last season and men who struggle to get past 1200. There are hundreds of factors which influence our ability to play WoW well:
Past computer game experience – the more you play, the more familiar you become
Ability to process information and make decisions fast
Reaction time
Not keyboard turning (don’t ask)
The desire and interest in improving that leads to theory crafting or at least reading other people’s theory crafting
are merely a few examples. As a simple illustration in the time my guild has been running failbot on Sarth, neither of the two females in the guild have ever failed a flame wall yet plenty of our male  guildmates have. So that’s a 100 percent success rate for the women on reaction time/the ability to process information/make correct decision concerning that information and a less than stellar one for the men. I have to admit though the new vanishing flame walls make it oh so much more challenging though.
Do you think this is a fair statement based on statistics?
No. Most of the women I’ve played with were good at the game. I would even go as far as to add there are more bad male players than female. Its just that when a man is highlighted as being dreadful, no one brings up his penis… its not relevant or interesting. Take all the applications my guild has received recently, all from men and ranging the whole spectrum from totally terribad to awesome. My personal favourite has to be the resto shaman who believes that key binds encourage bad play and that gemming / enchanting for spirit is what his class is designed for.
However I can’t help wondering at times if I’m treated in a particular way by some (not all) men because of my rather aggressive alpha male boyfriend who has always shared the same guild tag as me. I know I’m a good healer and a decent pvper but sometimes when men encounter me for the first time… you get the feeling you have to play twice as good as a man would have to get a grudging “you’re not bad at this”. But I’ve encountered that mentality in the real world as well.
In what way do you think this can be changed?
As for changing stereotypical attitudes, it will require two things. The women who do blame their gender for poor play and/or are willing to sell virtual or real sex for pixels need to grow up and take a good hard look in the mirror.
Then the  men who believe that having periods hinders your ability to avoid void spawns need to go outside and get a real girlfriend before its too late.
As a player, what do you think is the best way to eliminate drama? How should a player play or act in a raiding environment to be drama free?
For the guild leadership not to tolerate it at all. The second it starts to rear its ugly head, it should be squashed. However from threads I found it seems as if the officers/GM are heavily involved in said drama which obviously means they have failed right out the starting gate. If people have issues with a looting decision or a certain person’s behaviour within the guild then they should seek a practical solution that doesn’t involve creating more issues. I’ve always pushed for that to take place on the forums for two reasons
1.It allows all the guild to join the discussion not just those on-line when the drama started
2.The instigator has to go into windows and write the drama post. This usually allows for a cooling down period in which they can consider their choice of language. The same is also true of anyone responding to any troublesome topics.
And finally, do you agree with the guild’s decision on their recruitment policies? Do the policies justify based on the guild’s past experience?
No. Sexism like racism should never be tolerated. Just because you had a bad experience with one woman, doesn’t mean the next will do the same thing. All women are different, our personalities and abilities formed by different life experiences and being prejudged because of the actions of someone else is a pretty horrible thing to experience in our modern world.
Take the usual attributes guild leaders want when recruiting for hardcore guilds, things like
COMMITMENT, DEDICATION, RELIABILITY, SKILL (stolen from some random guild recruitment page)
none of those are male only. In fact gender plays little part in influencing our individual approach to any of them. Mature individuals of either sex are likely to have at least the first three. Skill in WoW is more about experience and practise than anything you are born with or anything having a penis can help with.
As for specific cases, whilst I will always disagree on principle I accept if the men in a particular guild can’t keep their pants on around women or are extremely susceptible to being seduced then its probably safer for anyone if they stay in kindergarten playing with their action men and staying away from the rest of humanity.
After answering these questions I ended up with a few of my own.
Should single sex guilds exist in a virtual environment like WoW?
I suppose it depends on why you play WoW. I will accept there is a niche for them, but for me part of the fun of playing is all the weird and wonderful (well sometimes wonderful) people you get to play with. Limiting that seems a bit like missing the point. However I accept that all guilds are built around eluding the oh so evil other, its just that the “other” means different things to different people. For some it might be women/men, others people who are perceived as weaker players or based on level, choice of content or a wealth of other things.
What benefits do single sex guilds provide?
There are two possible answers to this.
a reduction in drama as given as the reasons why the two guilds in the example the topic starter provided made that choice.
a feeling of familiarity or safety. A female only guild for example might provide a less aggressive or threatening environment than one with a mainly male population.
Do I have an issue with one sex only guilds in general or does my issues stem from the reasons why these policies were introduced in the first place?
I can’t help but think the latter is the crux of the issue for me. If people want to limit whom they play with, that’s fine as along as they can reasonably argue why. For example, around half if not more of our trials fail their trial due to bad attitude/play/or simply just not fitting in.
Saying that females equal drama doesn’t cut it when most of the drama in WoW is created and nourished by its biggest demographic… men. For every e-slut there are hundreds of lv 1 alts stirring things up, twisting information and playing devil’s advocate and I’d happily bet on the fact that most of them are played by men. For every woman who makes a stupid decision and sleeps with someone she meets in WoW, there are hundreds of men stealing loot and whispering behind each others back. Sure you might have been bitten by a particular type of drama but preventing women from joining doesn’t mean you are protected forever and ever from all strains of drama fever.
What other examples of exclusion can be found within guilds?
Language is a fairly obvious one but its also one that’s hard to argue with. Its impossible to expect someone to raid in a guild where they can not speak or understand the language spoken by the rest of the community.
Time zones for the same reasons as language, although we used to have a MT from Vladivostok who got up early before work to raid with us.
Shared goals, guilds which purely pvp exclude those that only wish to pve and vice versa.
Play ability which I briefly touched on earlier. Hardcore guilds for example have no problem excluding people on a variety of reasons including playtime/attitude and fondness for consumables.
However these are either purely practical, I.e. the language/time zone ones or flexible. For example my impressive 7 words of Russian would currently prevent me from raiding with a Russian speaking guild, but I could learn it if I wanted/needed to. The same is true of play ability, a lot of problems with the level of play come from things as simple as UI issues (how can you avoid Mimiron’s rockets if your screen is covered in rubbish), lack of understanding of talents/items. These things are changeable, gender is not.
Conclusion
In the end it turned into far more of an essay than I expected when I first decided to write my thoughts on the matter down, spurred on I have to admit by my dislike both of the term “no vag” and the concept behind the term.
In conclusion I can’t help wondering if certainly in the examples given by the topic starter, women were set up to fail. The double standards are obvious. If drama is caused by sex as it appears in these examples, then the opposite sex was most definitely involved as well. Why not just remove all guilty parties and then find people who share your guild goals/attitudes regardless of sex, tell them all to keep their pants on and raid?
female = drama, don’t pretend you are different when it comes to treatment, loot etc. because you are not.
So don’t treat them differently? Why bring in a blanket ban on all females? Being female doesn’t mean you are exactly the same as that girl over there. Its possible the only thing two women playing WoW have in common is the fact that they play WoW and their genitals… I admit I hate girly girls who feel the need to join a guild and tell everyone the colour of their underwear, but they are most definitely in a minority and can easily be identified and dealt with/kicked before drama has a chance to bloom just as you would kick a whiny or overly aggressive male. Unless of course, everything in the garden is rosy whilst the officers are getting free amateur porn (but who needs to trade loot for porn or even sex these days?) and the problem only emerges when they are bored of her/tired of listening to the rest of the guild complain. That again is a different story and one that suggests a rather grim and pathetic attitude towards women, one which should have died out right about the time  we stopped belonging to our fathers/husbands and won the right to vote.
However the dictionary defines a “guild” as being “an association of people with similar interests or pursuits”, which in its very definition implies the exclusion of everyone else who doesn’t share those interests. I just can’t escape the feeling that if a guild based its policy on say race, rejecting everyone who didn’t share their skin tone because of a past experience Blizzard would react in a heartbeat.. but it seems excluding women just because they are women is acceptable.

Over at Blog Azeroth the age old topic of social exclusion rears its ugly head once again. The topic starter begins with:

A guild I do not wish to name on my server recently came up with a recruitment policy dubbed “no vag”, i.e. no female players allowed. The reason paraphrased is “female = drama, don’t pretend you are different when it comes to treatment, loot etc. because you are not. I’m sick of dealing with all the drama that comes along with females so if you have a vag, do not apply. as well if you are a male but pretend to have a vag, the same rules applies to you as well”

I recently came across another guild on the guild recruitment forum that says the following “Due to our history and experience we’ve had with female gamers, we currently do not recruit players that lack a penis. This can be taken another way but in this case, we mean literally lack thereof. Some of you may think this is sexist, but you have to understand, when you put a female in an organization with a bunch of sex deprived World of Warcraft nerds, their hormones get the best of them. Women in World of Warcraft guilds cause more drama than ‘TNT’ and this is a no-drama organization.”

Whilst I agree its an emotive topic its one that I find fascinating for a couple of reasons.

  • From my albeit hastily done research it seems to be a mainly US issue. I’m helping my own guild mates keep our recruitment post bumped so I often have a quick read of various threads and I’ve yet to see any EU guild openly say no females allowed. Of course that doesn’t mean they don’t reject applicants purely on gender but apart from rumours about Nihilum I’ve never heard of women being turned down just because they are girls (and Ensidia has females on their roster now). As far as I can tell all the hardcore guilds on my own server (Kazzak EU) have women on the roster so I don’t see why that shouldn’t be echoed across the rest of Europe. This if true itself is curious, why would one continent approach the matter differently to another? Also despite my best efforts to find e-slut drama on the EU realm forums, all I could come up with was huge amounts of ganking related whine and people complaining that some random stole their loot from a VoA PuG.
  • Secondly, being a female myself, I find other people’s reactions and sometimes stereotypical attitudes towards women gamers interesting and somewhat amusing.

So to answer the questions posed by Xelaeno:

What lead to this extreme measure of completely banning females in these guilds?

Now  Xelaeno refers to a real case, so being a curious little bunny I decided to do some digging  as well as seeing why other guilds exclude people and to see how they rationalise those decisions.

eve

From what I can tell, most e-drama involving sex/gender is caused when two things collide.

  1. A woman willing to manipulate, tease and play around in order to collect pixel loot
  2. A man/men stupid, lonely or just plain pathetic enough to ignore any sensible feelings he/they might have on the subject and indulge said female.

All the examples I could find contained these components, a women supposedly doing weak dps/healing/rubbish tanking (doesn’t matter which), carried by her guild because the GM/one of the Officers wants to keep her sweet for his own selfish pleasure. She gets loot, he gets to jerk off to her voice on vent or w/e and the rest of the guild get screwed. It naturally takes at least two to tango and since neither party are innocent, both should get a fairly equal amount of scorn (shame that’s not how the internet works, its still “burn the witch whilst patting him on the back”).

However its easy to see how these  scenarios could cause drama on a number of levels:

  • People being annoyed about a weak player receiving loot unfairly
  • Other females in the guild upset/frustrated about the way this particular female is acting
  • Any real life boyfriends being rather and understandably angry that their girlfriend is behaving in this fashion
  • Tensions caused by multiple parties flirting with her and falling out when she plays them off against each other

In the first example given,

female = drama, don’t pretend you are different when it comes to treatment, loot etc. because you are not. I’m sick of dealing with all the drama that comes along with females so if you have a vag, do not apply. as well if you are a male but pretend to have a vag, the same rules applies to you as well

The behaviour patterns suggested could easily apply to either gender. Some men are prone to temper tantrums and whine, just as some females are. That however is a personality trait which has little to do with your sexual organs. A fact that whoever wrote that quote then goes on to agree with by including “If you are a male but pretend to have a vag, the same rules applies to you as well”. I do feel it suggests something slightly malformed and sinister about attitudes though that this negative behaviour is associated 100 percent with a woman’s genitalia.

The second example is more interesting to my eye.

when you put a female in an organization with a bunch of sex deprived World of Warcraft nerds, their hormones get the best of them. Women in World of Warcraft guilds cause more drama than ‘TNT’ and this is a no-drama organization.

On an amusing side note TNT is a relatively stable for an explosive which lessens the impact of their description somewhat.

From an outsiders perspective, all that says is to me is “we are bunch of sad little boys who can’t cope with the opposite sex so we are erecting a fortress to keep ourselves safe from those scary harlots”.  Now thanks to Google, I discovered which US guild is responsible for that quote and also came across this, a rather interesting article on the same topic. I do however have to disagree with the author’s claim that VANQUISH aren’t doing anything sexist by rejecting women purely because they are women. If a guild just happens to want to play with men, thats fine, but the second they generalise against an entire sex in negative fashion whilst explaining why they only want to play with men, it becomes the definition of sexism. Can’t help but find it amusing though that the most bumped drama related thread on their forums involves a wait for it…… a man.

I have to suspect that the men in question already had a dubious attitude towards women and have jumped at the chance to exclude them from their space. My approach towards drama (and I have been an Officer in more than one raiding guild) was always to deal with it on a person by person basis. To discriminate against anyone because you had a bad experience with someone of their gender/race or age group seems a little crazy to me. Good players come in all shapes and sizes. Take my own guild for example, out of our 35 active raiders, 33 are male. Most of them are between the ages of 18 and 30, they come from a variety of countries and can be complete and utter jerks at times, but despite being “sex deprived nerds” they manage to control their hormones whilst playing with women so I really don’t see why any other men can’t be expected to do the same. Do these men manage to contain their hormones when women walk past them in the street or sit next to them in lectures? Unless prisons allow rapists to play WoW as part of their therapy I’m going to have to assume they manage just fine in the real world, so whats so hard about focusing on raiding not flirting in a game.

However since men outnumber women in raiding guilds its obviously easier to ban females than try and reign in the immature libido of your main tank. I’m also pretty sure if the situation was reversed, i.e. most wow players were female, there would be plenty of boys stooping to this level. Sex sells, the media tells us that every time we walk down the high street or turn the TV on so can you blame people for using tactics they see every day, especially if they work? (personally, yes).

Another reason for excluding women could possibly be due to the atmosphere of some raiding guilds. The idea that we are all delicate little flowers who can’t cope with being yelled at when we screw up. I admit the first time my first hardcore raid leader called me a “stupid little bitch” for dying early on a C’thun try I was taken a back but did I log off in tears? Of course not. These days I just do what I did as a child, switch off mentally until they finish swearing.

Have you experienced the so called “drama” yourself?

Nope. Sadly everyone I’ve played WoW with across 5 servers and both factions has managed to keep their pants on during raids.

More specifically, what kind of people causes the most drama in your guild?

Men :D

The drama I’ve experienced over the course of the four years I’ve played WoW has come mainly under three headings which are semi linked.

  • Plain old Loot drama –  I deserved X more than Y.. throws tantrum in corner. This then leads to questioning the loot system and trying to bribe/blackmail or generally stir up enough trouble till the rest of the guild sides with them.
  • Tank whine –  I should be the main tank, no I should, loser throws tantrum in corner. This one is usually linked to the first one, but the need to be wanted features in it as well.
  • Raid spot tears – I haven’t raided all week but I still deserve a spot on the final boss so I can loot the one thing I want or I went casual when the new content was released but now you have worked really hard getting it on farm content, I’m back and I want all the epics.

Actually having given the matter some thought, tanks nearly always played by men have caused more drama and collapsed more guilds than anyone else in my experience.

Are they gender exclusive?

Nope, both genders are capable of being loot whores or generally immature little brats. I’ve seen it mostly from men but then I’ve played with mostly men so that’s to be expected.

Or rather personality based?

I think personality plays a part but even the most well balanced person can get drama queen-like if they feel something is unfair or that they deserve something over someone else. Obviously there are times when two people just loathe each other at first sight, but that doesn’t always escalate into full blown emoness. Looking around the general forums, there seems to be a lot of raid leader going psycho drama… not everyone likes being treated like grunts for pixels it seems.

Is there any funny, interesting, odd drama cases you wish to share?

I tend not to find drama particularly funny, however I was slightly amused when one of our ex trials accused our Loot Council of being corrupt even though he received a shed load of loot.

Female players are often thought to be “bad at the game”. What do you think lead to this conclusion?

I find that a very broad and sweeping statement. Who thinks women are bad at the game? Certainly in the time I’ve been raiding no one has ever said that to my face and since I don’t cyber I’m guessing I earned my raid spot the hard way. As I said in an earlier post, WoW is not physical nor is it particularly hard. There are plenty of sites out there telling you what to gem/enchant/spec/which rotations are best and so on. With experience and practise I believe that most people can play WoW to a decent standard if they so wish to.

However I accept that there will always be a degree of sexism in WoW. Any environment where one gender outnumbers the other will have that going on to a point. Some females will suck, possibly both figuratively and literally… that’s to be expected just as a similar percentage of men will. Then there will be men who expect women to fail at everything, possibly due to outside influences, perhaps simply because they are pretty closely related to cavemen.

I know females who reached over 2700 arena rating last season and men who struggle to get past 1200. There are hundreds of factors which influence our ability to play WoW well:

  • Past computer game experience – the more you play, the more familiar you become
  • Ability to process information and make decisions fast
  • Reaction time
  • Not keyboard turning (don’t ask)
  • The desire and interest in improving that leads to theory crafting or at least reading other people’s theory crafting

are merely a few examples. As a simple illustration in the time my guild has been running failbot on Sarth, neither of the two females in the guild have ever failed a flame wall yet plenty of our male  guildmates have. So that’s a 100 percent success rate for the women on reaction time/the ability to process information/make correct decision concerning that information and a less than stellar one for the men. I have to admit though the new vanishing flame walls make it oh so much more challenging though.

Do you think this is a fair statement based on statistics?

No. Most of the women I’ve played with were good at the game. I would even go as far as to add there are more bad male players than female. Its just that when a man is highlighted as being dreadful, no one brings up his penis… its not relevant or interesting. Take all the applications my guild has received recently, all from men and ranging the whole spectrum from totally terribad to awesome. My personal favourite has to be the resto shaman who believes that key binds encourage bad play and that gemming / enchanting for spirit is what his class is designed for.

Sometimes I can’t help wondering if I’m treated in a particular way by some (not all) men because of my rather aggressive alpha male boyfriend who has always shared the same guild tag as me. I know I’m a good healer and a decent pvper but sometimes when men encounter me for the first time… you get the feeling you have to play twice as good as a man would have to get a grudging “you’re not bad at this”.

In what way do you think this can be changed?

As for changing stereotypical attitudes, it will require two things. The women who do blame their gender for poor play and/or are willing to sell virtual or real sex for pixels need to grow up and take a good hard look in the mirror.

Then the  men who believe that having periods hinders your ability to avoid void spawns need to go outside and get a real girlfriend before its too late.

As a player, what do you think is the best way to eliminate drama? How should a player play or act in a raiding environment to be drama free?

For the guild leadership not to tolerate it at all. The second it starts to rear its ugly head, it should be squashed. However from threads I found it seems as if the officers/GM are heavily involved in said drama which obviously means they have failed right out the starting gate. If people have issues with a looting decision or a certain person’s behaviour within the guild then they should seek a practical solution that doesn’t involve creating more issues. I’ve always pushed for that to take place on the forums for two reasons

  1. It allows all the guild to join the discussion not just those on-line when the drama started
  2. The instigator has to go into windows and write the drama post. This usually allows for a cooling down period in which they can consider their choice of language. The same is also true of anyone responding to any troublesome topics.

And finally, do you agree with the guild’s decision on their recruitment policies? Do the policies justify based on the guild’s past experience?

No. Sexism like racism should never be tolerated. Just because you had a bad experience with one woman, doesn’t mean the next will do the same thing. All women are different, our personalities and abilities formed by different life experiences and being prejudged because of the actions of someone else is a pretty horrible thing to experience in our modern world.

Take the usual attributes guild leaders want when recruiting for hardcore guilds, things like

COMMITMENT, DEDICATION, RELIABILITY, SKILL (stolen from some random guild recruitment page)

none of those are male specific. In fact gender plays little part in influencing our individual approach to any of them. Mature individuals of either sex are likely to have at least the first three. Skill in WoW is more about experience and practise than anything you are born with or anything having a penis can help with.

As for specific cases, whilst I will always disagree on principle I accept if the men in a particular guild can’t keep their pants on around women or are extremely susceptible to being seduced then its probably safer for anyone if they stay in kindergarten playing with their action men and staying away from the rest of humanity.

After answering these questions I ended up with a few of my own.

Should single sex guilds exist in a virtual environment like WoW?

I suppose it depends on why you play WoW. I will accept there is a niche for them, but for me part of the fun of playing is all the weird and wonderful (well sometimes wonderful) people you get to play with. Limiting that seems a bit like missing the point. However I accept that all guilds are built around excluding the oh so evil other, its just that the “other” means different things to different people. For some it might be women/men, others people who are perceived as weaker players or based on level, choice of content or a wealth of other things.

What benefits do single sex guilds provide?

There are two possible answers to this.

  • an attempt to reduce drama as shown by the 2 examples at the top of this post
  • a feeling of familiarity or safety. A female only guild for example might provide a less aggressive or threatening environment than one with a mainly male population.

Do I have an issue with one sex only guilds in general or does my issues stem from the reasons why these policies were introduced in the first place?

I can’t help but think the latter is the crux of the issue for me. If people want to limit whom they play with, that’s fine as along as they can reasonably argue why. For example, around half if not more of our trials fail their trial due to bad attitude/play/or simply just not fitting in.

Saying that females equal drama doesn’t cut it when most of the drama in WoW is created and nourished by its biggest demographic… men. For every e-slut there are hundreds of lv 1 alts stirring things up, twisting information and playing devil’s advocate and I’d happily bet on the fact that most of them are played by men. For every woman who makes a stupid decision and sleeps with someone she meets in WoW, there are hundreds of men stealing loot and whispering behind each others back. Sure you might have been bitten by a particular type of drama but preventing women from joining doesn’t mean you are protected forever and ever from all strains of drama fever.

What other examples of exclusion can be found within guilds?

  • Language is a fairly obvious one but its also one that’s hard to argue with. Its impossible to expect someone to raid in a guild where they can not speak or understand the language spoken by the rest of the community.
  • Time zones for the same reasons as language, although we used to have a MT from Vladivostok who got up early before work to raid with us.
  • Shared goals, guilds which purely pvp exclude those that only wish to pve and vice versa.
  • Play ability which I briefly touched on earlier. Hardcore guilds for example have no problem excluding people on a variety of reasons including playtime/attitude and fondness for consumables.
  • Race/Gender of your character. I imagine this is more likely on RP servers but my very first guild was one consisting only of nightelf females –  it didn’t last much beyond lv 40 though.

However these are either purely practical, I.e. the language/time zone ones or fairly flexible. For example my impressive 7 words of Russian would currently prevent me from raiding with a Russian speaking guild, but I could learn it if I wanted/needed to. The same is true of play ability, a lot of problems with the level of play come from things as simple as UI issues (how can you avoid Mimiron’s rockets if your screen is covered in rubbish), lack of understanding of talents/items. These things are changeable, gender is not (yes I realise it is changeable through surgery but the chances of someone wanting to swop sex purely because of a guild in a computer game ever being approved for the operation is slight to zero).

Conclusion

In the end it turned into far more of an essay than I expected when I first decided to write my thoughts on the matter down, spurred on I have to admit by my dislike both of the term “no vag” and the concept behind the term.

In conclusion I can’t help wondering if certainly in the examples given by the topic starter, women were set up to fail. The double standards are obvious. If drama is caused by sex as it appears in these examples, then the opposite sex was most definitely involved as well. Why not just remove all guilty parties and then find people who share your guild goals/attitudes regardless of sex, tell them all to keep their pants on and raid?

female = drama, don’t pretend you are different when it comes to treatment, loot etc. because you are not.

So don’t treat them differently? Why bring in a blanket ban on all females? Being female doesn’t mean you are exactly the same as that girl over there. Its possible the only thing two women playing WoW have in common is the fact that they play WoW and their genitals… I admit I hate girly girls who feel the need to join a guild and tell everyone the colour of their underwear, but they are most definitely in a minority and can easily be identified and dealt with/kicked before drama has a chance to bloom just as you would kick a whiny or overly aggressive male. Unless of course, everything in the garden is rosy whilst the officers are getting free amateur porn (but who needs to trade loot for porn or even sex these days?) and the problem only emerges when they are bored of her/tired of listening to the rest of the guild complain. That again is a different story and one that suggests a rather grim and pathetic attitude towards women, one which should have died out right about the time  we stopped belonging to our fathers/husbands and won the right to vote.

However the dictionary defines a “guild” as being “an association of people with similar interests or pursuits”, which in its very definition implies the exclusion of everyone else who doesn’t share those interests. I just can’t escape the feeling that if a guild based its policy on say race, rejecting everyone who didn’t share their skin tone because of a past experience Blizzard would react in a heartbeat.. but it seems excluding women just because they are women is acceptable. I realise now my issue comes 100 percent from the way in which these exclusion policies are couched. Female doesn’t equal drama anymore than 7 minus 3 equals 2. Sure people have the right to choose who they play with, but diminishing and rubbishing half the species is just wrong.

Honey I shrank Dalaran!

It was a normal saturday morning in the city of Mages. People going about their daily business, eating, drinking, chatting on the streets until…..

honeyishrunkdalaran01this monster was spotted trampling everything in his path underfoot,

honeyishrunkdalaran03accompanied by the Forsaken’s latest weapons, a supersized undead warlock and a gigantic cat.

Teasel is jealous, she wants a giant imp to conquer the world with now.

The Ice Man commeth

Last night we did Hodir on hardmode. Fun fight, very crazy towards the end but it left me feeling a bit frustrated. Whatever happened to bring the player not the class, whatever happened to the developers promise that guilds will need to bring more healers to Ulduar than they did to Naxx?

Our final raid make up consisted of 4 healers, 1 tank and 20 dps. A nice and balanced raid which really takes into account the composition of our guild….. . Which leads me to another point, the trash to Hodir is just as easily done with 1 tank and 4 healers. The zerg everything that moves mentality works just as well here as it did in Naxx. Yes, I realise its a guild choice thing, you could wait for however many weeks it takes before your dpsers can carry a more balanced raid, but that equally is not fair. Whichever way you look at it, someone is going to get left out/let down.

Two things did stand out from the blur that was the fight however:

1. As I’ve said before, hog those starlights for lovely fast prayer of healings.

2. Set up Grid to show Storm Cloud as a buff so that if you receive it as a healer, you can make sure you get close to dpsers fast.

Oh and Missy and Sissy Flamecuffs have to be the best named NPCs ever.

There is something fishy about this feast!

fishfeastsThe problem with Fish Feasts in my guild is that they come with a free gnome. Wipes mean gnome infestation.. eek!

Hard like Heroic?

With the Wrath of the Lich King we now have hard modes in our raid instances, a continuation of the normal mode >heroic mode we are already used to in 5 man content. Whilst I and my guild are working our way through the hard modes without too many hiccups I’m still in two minds as to my feelings towards the concept.
Plus points:

  • Content stays fresh longer
  • Better play, harder work produces better items. The risk > reward factor if you will.

Negatives:

  • The risk that normal mode is too easy because there are harder modes to compensate
  • Adding extra stressers to guilds. Is choice always a good thing?

Content stays fresh longer: Whilst this is technically true in the sense that there is stuff to wipe on  longer, most of the fights on hard mode are exactly the same in mechanics just requiring more dps or more healing. An example being Hodir, same fight, you just need to kill him fast. The other types of hard mode seem to be “extra aoe damage” a la Freya but still requiring decent dps just on more targets or Steelbreaker, more aoe damage and you have a distinct window to kill him in.

Better play, harder work produces better items: Fair enough. Better items also work as an incentive and people who invest more time and effort into content should get better items that those who form PuGs once a week to kill Flame Leviathan (yes, they do exist). However, a guild which kills Yogg-Saron every week gets better gear than Mr PuG one boss on a Saturday morning anyway without this extra level added in.

Normal modes end up being too easy because of optional hard modes: I definitely feel this is an issue. When I was reading up about Ulduar before the patch was released, I saw all these comments about how much harder than Naxx it would be. How suddenly CC would be vital again, rather than just aoeing everything… but apart from the trash before the General where our sneaky locks sneak in a banish or two, we don’t cc anything at all. The only times our mages cast polymorph is whilst ganking outside the entrance. With the possible exception of Mimiron (want to buy melee who aren’t overly fond of mines), most of the bosses require a lot less wiping on than say the bosses in AQ40 did. For example, it took us around 3 months from killing Kael for the first time to clear Black Temple and Mount Hyjal so that’s 3 months for 14 bosses, versus less than two resets for 13 bosses in Ulduar.

Guild issues: I can see a couple of possible issues here. Firstly, guilds where its only a minority who want to do the hard mode The rest are happy farming their easier loot/badges and don’t want to go back to wiping for slightly better rewards. Already quite a few of our applicants fall into this bracket.  Then there are the guilds where only a minority don’t want to do hard modes, however those are the ones easiest to deal with. Recruit replacements who do and get on with it. Finally and this is my biggest issue, hard modes for the most part suit particular raid make ups. As most of them have dps races at the core, you end up benching your tanks/healers in order to meet the requirements. Yes, of course dual spec helps bridge the gap slightly, but its unlikely that say a warrior who has been tanking and only tanking since the start of the expansion will have comparable dps gear to the warrior who has only been dpsing. This leads to an issue, do you wait until your dps can carry a slightly more healer/tank filled raid or do you just bench people whilst you push for the achievements now? Either option can potentially cause trouble.

In conclusion, I feel its brought in a two tier raid system which with time will make it harder for people just joining to filter up the top. Also it puts extra pressure on all guild members to be on the same page. We for example spent the whole of last night playing around with the Iron Council trying to find the best way for us to manage Steelbreaker last. Now I can see a lot of people questioning the point of spending 6 hours wiping on something you can one shot if you go for either of the other two bosses last. Whilst I understand that Blizzard want raiding to be accessible to most people who play WoW, I’m not convinced this was the way to do it. I think I would have preferred a more staggered approach to the normal modes, i.e. the first 3-4 bosses were tuned as they currently are… getting harder and harder as you work your way towards the lair of Yogg-Saron rather than make everything fairly easy the first time around. Clear it all the first time around and then decide if you want to bother with the harder bits. It smacks of laziness really, an attempt to cater to everyone with one instance.

What a way to make a livin’

It really hasn’t been Teasel’s week.

First there was the crash course in flying dodgy planes held together with duct tape and milled dead nettle.

hasntbeenteaselsweek03

Then Cilantro suggested a relaxing week in Grizzly Hills would help take their minds off the unfortunate events at the Wrathgate. A spot of camping, a bit of bear hunting and a swim every morning in clear fresh river waters… clear the cobwebs away so to speak.

hasntbeenteaselsweek01

Here she is sneaking up on Cilantro ready for a morning snack.

Sadly the wildlife had other ideas. Cementing Teasel’s loathing of both the great outdoors and all people who dress in lumberjack shirts, a minor bite turned septic. Even now cured, the sight of the moon still makes her feel distinctly wolfish.

The orders sending her to Zul’Drak seemed like a welcome rescue. After all, how could things possibly get any worse? It turned out things could indeed get much much worse, transformed into a ghoul albeit temporarily having to eat bowels and brains is no life for a warlock.

hasntbeenteaselsweek05

The fact that no one thought a ghoul with a pet demon was at all odd says a lot about the quality of the enemy.

She can’t help but think its time to reevaluate her long term goals. Maybe bar work or a fruit vendor somewhere safe like Ironforge.

5 completely pointless but fun things I would like to see added to the game

  1. Fishing Boats: Ideally requiring 450 fishing and perhaps some kind of weird and wonderful quest chain that sends you all over the game world hunting bits and pieces down. Then at the end of the day you can moor your little boat somewhere peaceful, pour a beer and start fishing.
  2. Dogs: The worg pup is not enough. There are 6 different types of cat mini pet yet no real representation of man’s best friend. This, Blizzard is not good enough.
  3. Tikbalangs. Mostly so that my bank alt currently sporting the infallible tikbalang ward could smirk in a gnomish fashion as everyone who has ever laughed at her wearing said ward gets carried off to the treetops.
  4. Tents: Bind to Account tents that you purchase through one of the many badge things currently on offer. What purpose would these tents serve? Simple, when your alt wants to log out rather than go hunting for an inn, you simply put your tent up and pop inside for easily optained rested.
  5. Some form of trinket that turns you into a Vrykul, preferably one of their hulking red haired scary but strangly sexy women.

101 things to see and do: Pay a visit to Stratholme

Pay a visit to Stratholme before it burned. Wander its streets seeing human faces to those poor plagued creatures who still lurk, shadows of their past selves in its darkened and cursed streets.

stratholmelily03

See little Pamela playing with her dolls unknowing of the horrors yet to come at Darrowshire.

stratholmelily05

Wander down to the city itself down a pleasant country lane teeming with wildlife. Nothing more dangerous than a relaxing evening stroll, you could be in Elwynn.

stratholmelily04

Explore the shops and perhaps pick up a unique souvenir, a Lily for a loved one maybe or a memento mori for yourself.

stratholmelily01

Knock on Wood: Freya with Elder Ironbranch from a holy priest’s perspective

picnicatfreyasRan out of pictures of Freya so thought I would use one of us having a picnic with Archmage Vargoth in her garden instead.

The fight is very similar to Freya solo with one notable and annoying addition. She now casts iron roots on up to three targets every so often. The roots have around 38k health and do considerable damage every 2 seconds until they are killed or the person trapped inside them is dead (they are removable with cloak of shadows so if any rogue dies to them, feel free to point fingers).

Before you start, make sure your Grid is displaying the following debuffs:

  • Iron Roots (the full name of this ability is “Strengthened Iron Roots”, but Iron Roots suffices on Grid)
  • Nature’s Fury

as most of the healing will need to be directed at the people suffering from those debuffs, plus the sunbeams. Phase 1 of Freya is always a fairly healing heavy fight and this pairing is no exception. The biggest problem comes when roots meets up with the Ancient Protector as if the imprisoned people are nowhere near a mushroom, the melee can’t free them so casters need to prioritise this and healers should help out if possible.

If as a healer you get caught in this fashion away from a mushroom spawn be extremely vocal especially if you are running with a small number of healers.

Assuming you aren’t silenced, you can damage your own roots but obviously thats a less than ideal solution for healers.

In phase two, you need to keep a particular eye on anyone who gets rooted near the little green bombs she drops (usually the melee) as these will need a lot of focused healing in order to survive (also the other melee shouldn’t be trying to free them, leave that to ranged).

Healers: 6

2 x resto druids

2 x holy priests

2 x resto shamans

Assignments:

1 druid on the maintank & keeping hots on the offtanks whilst the adds are up

1 druid on the offtanks & keeping hots on the maintank

1 priest taking care of one ranged party plus throwing the odd heal on the tank/debuffed people

1 priest taking care of the other ranged party plus throwing the odd heal on the tank/debuffed people

2 shamans prioritising  melee

You could easily substitute Druid number 1 for a paladin and glyph of holy light would help take care of the melee but our only holy paladin is currently slacking due to exams. (Yes these assignments are to make maximium use of prayer of healing and chain heal).

As with most of the Ulduar fights, once your dps stop the tunnel visioned mindless nuking and start prioritising roots, little trees and moving away from other people when they have nature’s fury this is a really simple fight which nets you one extra emblem of conquest and an achievement.

I personally think the easiest add to start out with is Stonebark, he of the ground tremor massive aoe fame, because the combination of roots plus the silence aura can be rather frustating but if you lack huge amounts of aoe healing.. this is probably the one to take down first.

Positioning is everything:

The most important tip here is never to stray too far away from the rest of the raid. Its likely at some point you will need rescuing from the roots and especially if you run with a melee heavy group, you don’t want them to have run miles to save you.

Also don’t all stack under the same mushroom because it goes without saying thats where the sunbeam plus the target of nature’s fury will all end up, forcing the raid to take far more damage than it actually should.

Its also worth making sure your dps are either:

using a macro to target the roots plus the happy little healing trees she spawns occasionally

or

if they are using Grid making sure they have the same debuffs showing

or if they are really after cookies, doing both.

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