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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 4:50PM Rollins said

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Think of it as an extremely long term investment. They figure they can never die, so that junk you've sold them will be worth a fortune someday!

As far as how they got the money in the first place, I'm not sure about that one.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 6:38PM lizardbones said

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One of the reasons giant spiders don't exist is that they don't have the right kind of breathing apparatus. You need mamalian style lungs.

Another reason is the amount of energy it takes to move around...a creatures volume increases at a faster rate than just their physical size would suggest. A spider that is 4 inches across has roughly 4 times the mass of a spider that is 2 inches across and would need a lot more food. Watch how slow tarantulas move...it's because of the energy required to move their bodies around. It's just inefficient for insects or arachnids to be that big.

So giant spiders wouldn't be crushed by their exoskeleton, but it's really doubtful they could move around in it.

Unless they are powered by magic or some sort of ancient titan technology, then it's all good. They can get as big as they want.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 4:31PM redsolar said

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Not really an MMO but Fallout 3 has a group of children in it that live in a post-apocalyptic setting. In fact, you even start out the game as a little toddler learning your first moves which is the first time I've ever experienced such a thing in gaming. Although, with Fallout MMO in works, it makes me wonder if it will be reintroduced.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 4:45PM Anatidae said

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For the sheer geek of it all, I find myself forced to write a rebuttal.

1. Giant Spiders: This one harks to a further point yet to be made. There are more type of magic - one being the magic that creates giant creatures. The simple fact of a fantasy genre allows, nay, demands for gigantic everything.

2. Skimpy female armor: In a fantasy realm, every creature is really a nerdy boy who will never, ever, truly have a fantasy woman. Even the most crewel of creatures are governed by this hormone raging boy-brain making them unable to mar the pristine skin on display. The safest female avatar is the one who wears no clothing at all. Even the gods of the world dream of getting a piece of that and will bend the world physics to make snow warm, rocks soft to sit on, and the thinnest and sheerest of fabrics unbreakable, as long as they are part of a thong or bikini.

3. Kill 10 rats: Come on, that is easy. I am so busy thinking about how I would f--k the s--t out of my female avatar there is no way I can do complex math. 10 fingers, 10 rats. I even need arrows, highlights, and anything else I can get to tell me where to find the 10 rats too. Because if I don't then I will... wait... what was I saying? I got distracted by that Terra picture. Boy I'd like to grab on those horns and... *ahem* sorry there.

4. Cloth wearing mages: Out of all us nerds, the mage can attract the smartest of us. There is hope to this ultra intelligent nerd that the challenge of welding powerful magics will offer more dynamic gameplay than a dull tank. As for the cloth, well, we still have fantasies about the women avatar from point 3. Let me tell you - virtual cloth takes way less time to remove than virtual plate. Every good mage knows that if the walls of reality between gaming and real life break down, the mages will be the first ones to disrobe (yeah, pun indended).

Oh, on a side note. Many "real" female players tend to play healing classes. Which is interesting as they are often the most clothed female avatars in the game.

5. The four elements. Uh, you took this too literally. But hey, there are iron mages - they are called blacksmiths right? However, there are more magics. There are the magics of healing, the magics of plants, and even the magics of giant creatures and items.

6. No psychological damage from death: Memory loss from severe trauma. Ironically enough, the trauma isn't from the death itself, but the fact that by dying you looked like a moron which further hinders any mythical chance of having sex with the female avatar from #4. I can't even bear to think about it more. Must not die, must not be a fool. Why won't that avatar just come out of the screen like the weird science movie?

On that topic ... what in the world were those geeks doing anyway creating their own woman so intelligent??? Look, the function is pretty simple: if (visual_input == "Gary Wallace" || visual_input == "Wyatt Donnelly") { have_sex_with(); } Seriously guys. Clearly these two never played a MMO in their life.

7. Health Potions: Ironically, this additional magic (see #5) is actually the cause of a continual feudal society. Pretty much behind every war is the supply/demand of health potion materials. Come on, Deathwing isn't returning to Azaroth to find weapons of mass destruction. A dragon that size needs a serious supply of heath potions and with the subscription rate in WoW - supplies are thinner than ever.

8. Merchants, farmers, workers, and most other NPCs are immortal and invulnerable. You just don't need many of them. Just try and become a NPC yourself...

9. No going to the bathroom: The symbiotic relationship with the gamer and the virtual world gives the gamer the physical sensations of eating, drinking, etc... One might say this magical connection is because gamers like their Mountian Dew so much and to take away that sensation would be too crewel, it is really because if in-game characters had to deal with the bodily functions instead of the gamer, then the gamer wouldn't feel the experience of masturbation. Let us refer again to point #2.

10. Kids exist in MMOs, they are mostly hidden away. Female armor is far too inappropriate for children, virtual or otherwise. Also, children? What a buzzkill when enjoying the benefits of #9. Sheesh.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 5:34PM Dumac said

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I know all this stuff and i don't want to think about it while trying to enjoy my games. You're not helping. :P

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 5:41PM aillas said

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Asheron's Call did a few things differently, IIRC (I played from 2000-2002 so it has been a while).

The four elements there were fire, frost, acid, and lightning. Mages could wear armor - the game was skills based not class based, so there were no restrictions on armor/gear and the collection of skills you took. It was very popular for mages to wear a two piece set of armor (Amuli, maybe Greater Shadow Amuli if memory serves) since it was great protection and only two pieces to buff. And the armor in that game covered up pretty well, no female bikini sets as I recall.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 6:02PM pixledriven said

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Except that hooded robes were also very very common, because they were only 1 piece to buff. =)
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 7:41PM aillas said

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I used a hooded faran robe myself, because I came after hoary mattekar robes were gone, and didn't grind for GSA. But I would have used GSA instead if I had that option because at least you had some armor if you forgot impen or were fighting hollow mobs. :)
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Posted: Nov 10th 2010 8:52AM (Unverified) said

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Those elements are still ripped from D&D, as while the four "elemental planes" were fire, water, earth, and air, the four "elemental damage types" were fire, acid, lightning, and cold.

Everything pulls from something.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 6:01PM GusSin said

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Ha ha thanks that was amusing. Bit too many people took it too seriously though.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 6:17PM pcgneurotic said

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8 is brilliant, I totally dig that. Great, great article all around. You know it's a good one when it generates this many interesting replies.

My own tuppence worth, about the cloth mages thing, is that the trad. D&D explanation of heavy armour restricting complicated hand gestures (and presumably arm movements) is a bit stupid, since pretty much anything except plate or heavy layers of chain wouldn't have any effect on what your hands are doing. In fact, in my PnP campaigns, I always let spellcasters wear breastplates if they like (although they do retain a chanve for spell failure from the metallurgical aspect).

Great read Justin, thanks man. :)

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 6:56PM (Unverified) said

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I thought it was universally understood that the protection that female armour provides in a fantasy game is inversely proportional to the amount of skin shown.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 7:49PM (Unverified) said

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What game is the chain bikini screenshot from? That race looks familiar but I can't place it.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 10:14PM VioletArrows said

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You mean TERA, the game we playfully (sortof) mock on a weekly basis because this is basically all it's known for? :p As for the race name, they're Castanic (I think that's the name).
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 8:38PM DataShade said

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I really have to agree with you on the female armor thing. Not only don't I want to encourage the 'r u a girl' boob-spazz losers, not only am I tired of the unrealistic body shapes, there's a certain stark hypocrisy at play: you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of western development studios that have even attempted to include any kind of actual sex/romance in a game. Most games with boobs on the cover are just offering a tease to sucker in horny losers or staffed with artists who, apparently, only read bad comic books. Hmm... actually, maybe more than one hand's worth of studios, which might be a good thing, because I'm tired of seeing how many games seem to have been optimized for one hand. Let's make a list!


BioWare sort of leads the way here, but the romance options in the Baldur's Gate game didn't come with jiggling titties; they were 2D sprites in an isometric fake-3D world. Dragon Age and Mass Effect had the potential for jiggle, but eschewed bikinis in favor of (admittedly form-fitting) spacesuits and heavy armor, and limited boobage to side-boob; even The Consort showed less skin than some TV news achorwomen. Morrigan dressed like a hussy, but she was sent along with a seekret mission to SPOILER get a grey-warden darkblood baby put in her SPOILER and so she gets a pass. Then there was Wynne. Her ankles showed with disturbing regularity! And Shayla, she was naked the whole time except for those runes. Still, aside from a few signature NPCs, romantic interests during love-scene cut-scenes, and *actual lust demons,* the women of BioWare are all dressed like real women. Win.


Kratos had his goddess-harem, but the Greek gods, male or female, seemed to run around naked and sexing everything all the time, so I'm unsure as to if I can even count that against the artists responsible for the ... assets ... in question. It seems historically accurate, so I'm willing to abstain from a win/fail vote.

The GTA games had plenty of simulated sex (can we count Hot Coffee since it wasn't an official release?), but most of the women in those games aren't running around in halter-tops and miniskirts, and the ones who do are designed as almost comical cariacatures of prostitutes or mafia molls, so I feel like GTA gets a pass because it's not a tease to lure you in. You have a sizable majority of sensibly dressed women playing the role of innocent bystanders, and then there are the minority who don't just look like hookers - they actually are hookers. So, no hypocrisy there; Rockstar passes.


I think the Fable games fall into the same category. Lots of women and, with no exceptions I can think of, those women *are* hookers. Plenty of sex, option to get married then have sex with another woman (right in front of your wife? I never tried to bring one to my marital home and have sex with there, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could), but no hypocrisy, no weird obsession with cleavage, and, eventually, birth control and a chance to actually raise a child. Lionhead wins.


Weirdly, I think it'd be remiss of me to not include ... The Sims. Romance was one of the possible aspirations for your characters, and the game's all about simulating a family line, so there's plenty of sex and love ... and yet, not a lot of built-in T&A. Maybe because Maxis/EA built the game with an eye towards *stable familes* instead of one-handed gawking. Regardless: solid win.


The Witcher is a little hard for me to guage accurately; I didn't beat the game so I can't be sure, but I got the impression that any female NPC who wasn't a dirty old woman or nameless low-texture-resolution peasant, was a busty, nubile young woman you could seduce; I also seem to remember that the game made a point of clarifying that all witchers were sterile and immune to disease and suggesting that you take advantage of that. I also got the impression that sleeping with a woman was treated as the pinnacle of your interaction with her - that, by the time you'd done so, you'd unlocked all possible conversation options, quests, etc. Not only was there no reason to continue interacting with her, you were given a ... trading card, basically, with a soft-core erotica portrait instead of batting averages, and basically told to go along your way. I'm sure there's some sort of social statement there - how young women with curiousity or an impulse towards danger, in closed-off settlements with strict social codes, in an overarching culture that places little emphasis on learning or empowerment for women, might find a man immune to STDs who cannot possibly impregnate them a valid outlet for release of all sorts of physical or emotional needs - but from what I saw, the game doesn't try to have a conversation about that, here's your baseball/boob card, move along. Fail.


The Saboteur struck me as somewhat worse; it had a burlesque show or gentlemen's club or something, but nobody I know played that game so I can't really be sure on the details, but the previews/reviews I read indicated it was just a way of interrupting the blood-and-greyscale world with some pink eyecandy. Whoo, I'm a freedom fighter, I kill Nazis and look at titties, I'm not an insultingly shallow escape from reality! Fail.


I'm not sure if Bethesda belongs on this list. Daggerfall had skyclad witches and topless court dancers and a few Thieves' Guild-affiliated naked prostitutes (amazing what you find when you're trying to rob every Inn on the Bay), but they weren't advertized, they weren't shown on the box, and, during the long wait between TES2 and TES3, as people made the case for more nudity, Bethesda got nervous and dialed it way back. It's almost like they made what they thought was a Conan cover, checked the forums and found a thousand squicky slash ships (did I say that right?) and freaked the hell out. I can't make a solid case that they ever actually went over to the dark side of selling sexuality for cheap marketing points, they never had the balls to actually confront any part of sexuality in their games up until Fallout 3, and even there it seemed like there were a lot fewer hookers and brothels than in FO1 or FO2. Still, when they saw a vocal minority of their fans formign into a zombie hoard and start shuffling and moaning towards fan service, they broke out the flame throwers and shut that crap down. Undead boob armageddon averted: win.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 8:47PM DataShade said

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Hmm. I lost a phrase out of the Fable paragraph. Should have read: "Lots of women dressed like hookers, and, with no exceptions I can think of, those women *are* hookers."
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Posted: Nov 7th 2010 9:17AM Rimeshade said

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Except the "ideal" body shape is not objective. Everyone's "ideal" body shape will differ (even if only slightly).
In the Victorian era the "ideal" female body shape was plump and fleshy. In different cultures the "ideal" body shape differs. Between different people the "ideal" body shape differs.

Ideally (hur) the best option would be to do like Phantasy Star Online / Universe and have a morph slider, or at least go the SW:TOR route with 4 body type options (small and slender, average, muscular and big and beefy).

I understand some other males view the ideal body type as being large and muscular, I'd rather play a small, slender male character as I can relate to that better. Same with females, some females may like the borderline anorexic models (e.g. female blood elves) and others may like a stronger, stouter figure (e.g. female dwarves, who I personally find the most attractive looking of the female options in wow).

So be careful flinging around terms like "ideal", it's nebulous, subjective and don't claim that just because lots of people share a similar ideal its therefore "right"; it's completely illogical.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 8:16AM Rimeshade said

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"Know what?
Using historical instances to say "see, this was true before" is pretty stupid because we've proven them wrong."

Sorry, this is simply faulty reasoning. You cannot "prove" a subjective ideal "wrong". Ideals differ both temporally and culturally, in fact there are tribes (Native Amazonians iirc) who find the plump female to be the ideal female shape and view thin females as "wasp-like" and unhealthy.

You are conflating the term ideal, we are discussing aesthetic ideals which cannot be proven "right" OR "wrong" now you're shifting the goalposts to talk about the healthy "ideal" in order to suit your own argument. This is faulty logic.

To put it another way, the healthy "ideal" for males would be tallness (as shorter males are more likely to suffer from heart problems - http://www.livescience.com/health/heart-disease-short-people-100608.html), however, for me the ideal male aesthetically is below average height or short, does this mean I'm somehow "wrong" in my aesthetic ideal due to it conflicting with the healthy "ideal"?
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 8:39PM DataShade said

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Someone said Terra?

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 8:41PM DataShade said

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DataShade said on 8:39PM 11-04-2010
that was @42. I clicked "Reply," dunno why it didn't sort.
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