My girls

No matter which MMO I play, I always end up creating a female toon. That’s the case in World of Warcraft, Guildwars and Warhammer. The only online game where my character is a male is Eve but it’s just a face who is never going to leave the ship and walk around. What does that say about me?  That I’m a caring and gentle person?  Hopefully!

My main toon

My main toon

The way I look at it, all it means is that I’d rather watch a girly character run around on my screen than a hairy, bulky behind. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it’s just that, well, if I wanted to stare at a buff, manly, unshaven figure, I would just put a mirror next to my screen, kinda…

It’s a fact of life: feminine lines are more pleasing to the eye than their rough and choppy male counterparts. Curves are prettier than angles and, since  I’m colorblind (protanomal to be precise) I can’t see male Bloodelves…

I learned how to tank on Mount Hyjal...

I learned how to tank on Mount Hyjal...

There also something to be said for the dichotomy of the fragile, “weak” figure nuking to smithereens some random mobs or tanking a huge boss. Take my protection pally for example. I love the esthetics of this frail, pale and frankly sickly looking Blood Elf tanking Prince in Kara or being submerged by a ton of mobs and erupting victorious from the pile of corpses. AOE grinding is more fun when it ‘looks’ like you shouldn’t be able to make it!
The same goes for my Death Knight who is even more pale and fragile looking under her black/purple spikey armor.

As everyone, I rolled a DK

As everyone, I rolled a DK

My only male character in WoW is, of course, a Night Elf Hunter. He was my first steps on Azeroth and by level 4, I had grown tired of him… The Nelf Hunter is the most common race/class combo in the game. I thought that this was only the reflection of most people’s first few hours of game time (mirroring mine) but, when you look at every 5 level brackets from 10 to 80, the statistics are pretty much identical throughout. Just check  the Warcraft Realms Census.

So what makes this combination so popular? I think it comes from several factors. First, the elves are deeply imbedded in our fantasy (sub)culture. From Tolkien to Dungeons and Dragons, they are a reckognisable and familiar token of those universes. On the same level, in my opinion, as dragons themselves, which you can’t roll… yet… You could argue that Drawves are also representative of that paradigm but those exist, in some way, in the real world and that makes them less “mythical”. Players want to have some familiar faces around them in this huge place. It’s only some time later that you tend to challenge yourself by venturing outside of your comfort zone. Keep in mind that the bloodelves were only introduced with Burning Crusade.

Secondly, people like having a pet. Whether it’s to be able to offload the dirty jobs or for the feeling of companionship, which you can often find lacking when you spawn on Azeroth, it seems like a logical/natural path to follow. The Warlock, eventhough a pet-class as well, doesn’t really feel like your playing with “someone”. It could just come from the inability to pick your minions’ names, from the way you can’t raise them or, more likely, from the fact that you can only have one of 6 or 7 different models. Your pet won’t feel special when you go have lunch with your fellow Nether demon lovers. Even if its name sounds like an iPod in a blender.

Obligatory night elf hunter...

Obligatory night elf hunter...

Finally, I was trying to remember why I chose to make a night-elf hunter and what could have directly influenced me at that moment. The original WoW trailer shows a Dwarf hunter launching his huge bear against a Tauren shaman. The bear gets crushed by a single blow but it still looks awesome to able to control such a wild and furious animal.

Then if you look at the user-guide (that I had just read religiously at the time) mentions hunter as deadly marksmen, capable of bringing their enemies down from a distance with bows or rifles. Skilled survivalists, they can track enemies or lay traps to damage and entrap their foes.. On the Nightelf page, you can find this: As a race, Night Elves are typically honorable and just, but they are very distrusting of the ‘lesser races’ of the world. They are nocturnal by nature and their shadowy powers often elicit the same distrust that they have for their mortal neighbors… that and they have Shadowmeld!

So we have, ranged damage dealers with pets which can be used to tank or help dps. They can lay traps, tame beasts of any color, furry or scaly. They are honorable, nocturnal and can vanish. Damn, this is making me want to play one! Maybe  I’ll try it, just for a few hours/days/months…

By the way, I know that it’s illegal to read user-guides or manuals. I usually throw them in the fire like everyone else. It’s just that when you’re waiting for your new game to install, you’ll read anything to make time seem to go faster… Mea maxima culpa, sue me…

Archeology is going to be so much fun!

Archeology is going to be so much fun!

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