Age of Conan Penalizes Female Characters

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Age of Conan Penalizes Female Characters

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It turns out that girls really are the weaker sex, at least in the new MMOG Age of Conan, which is the target of complaints that female characters in the game inflict less damage over time than their male counterparts.

The complaints originated following a review of the game by YouGamers, which said the game's weapon swing time is dependent on the duration of the swing animation during combat. "Female characters swing their weapons about 25 percent slower than males," the review said, "so every female melee character does 25 percent less damage over time!"

Players looking into the claim have reported different results, but an article on Massively.com states that the "general consensus" on the Age of Conan forums is that female characters are in fact attacking more slowly, resulting in a lower damage per second rating. Response to the player investigations has been unsurprising: "Some players express satisfaction at this discrepancy and make tiresomely predictable sexist comments," the article said. "Several female players react with frustration and anger. Maturity plummets, even by stereotypical MMOG forum standards. Threads are modsmacked."

Rumors and complaints were fueled by FunCom's initial silence on the matter, but the company issued a statement earlier today indicating the gender difference was unintentional. "There should of course be no difference between a male and a female character of the same class (other than the looks)," FunCom Community Manager Oliver Kunz said in a forum post. "But we have gathered the feedback about this and are looking into it."

The exact nature of the bug remains a mystery, however, and may in fact be related to the first character a player uses to log into Age of Conan, rather than the gender being played at a later time. FunCom has not yet released details about when a fix for the problem will be released.

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This is an outrage. Men are only 25% more deadly than women? hogwash.

UpInSmoke:
This is an outrage. Men are only 25% more deadly than women? hogwash.

QFT.

Besides, most RPGS, if not, all of them, don't make any concession between the two genders of mankind to behave differently other than looks (z0mg, wiggling boobies or six packs), and sounds(I had my share of girlish squeals in MH:F series). While I agree, this is a rather unwise gameplay mechanics to have Females attack 'slower' and punch 'harder' (not so sure about that), it's already weird enough to have a female gender for a game like AoC.
Giving one gender a clearer advantage over the other is rather, well, interesting in this case.

Let's face it, If I was punched by Marcus Fenix or by Lara Croft, in which situation I would feel the most pain?

I would be willing to give FunCom the benefit of the doubt on this one and just assume that it was an unintentional mistake. If it took the playerbase this long to figure it out (which can usually spot problems with a game faster than the developers can), I probably was easy to miss for the developers.

Given that Funcom were responsible for the characters of April Ryan and ZoŽ Castillo, I'm inclined to believe it was unintentional. Still, it shows poor quality control, although judging by some of the reports I've been hearing the release version was a bit of a mess overall.

I kind of like it. I mean women are physically weaker then men so when swinging around same size sword should be a little slower. However I would have given them some sort of other bonus such as with a spear or daggers they are a hell of a lot faster.
The Tenchu games did that and they are ages old. The guy was slower and stronger but the chick was faster and had a longer combo legnth.

I'm not buying for a second the theory that this was an unintentional mistake. Plenty of other MMORPGs have made the sexes pretty much identical in combat without much, if any, ado. And other games (especially the Elder Scrolls series) have balanced them by giving males and females differing strengths.

My guess is that FunCom decided to embrace the rather chauvanistic spirit of the Conan mythos and made women simply flat-out weaker. Great for storyline faithfulness; not so good for an actual game that you might want women (or men who want to play as women) to enjoy. Now called upon it, the company is pleading ignorance and promising a fix.

it does seem like a pretty convenient "accident." I don't know anything about the game, but it seems like a seriously poor design choice for an MMOg

cainx10a:

Let's face it, If I was punched by Marcus Fenix or by Lara Croft, in which situation I would feel the most pain?

That's not really a fair contest. Marcus obviously takes bull steroids or "Essence of Locust" or something like that.
Maybe you should have said "Master Chief or Samus Aran" or "Solid Snake or Ayane" (she's one of the Dead or Alive girls).

Anyway you're right, the average man is stronger than the average woman. Women are generally more flexible though (and if Starship Troopers is to be believed, have a higher tolerance for g-forces), that could balance the genders.

Big Barda disapproves greatly.

What the hell? They've never heard of Red Sonja?

Anyone else find joy in the fact that the actual article talks about how the AoC forums erupted into tiresomely predictable sexist comments and lacked maturity, and the very first post in response to this article was a tiresomely predictable sexist comment that lacked maturity and has such continued the trend?

Online forums are fun :D

avykins:
I kind of like it. I mean women are physically weaker then men so when swinging around same size sword should be a little slower. However I would have given them some sort of other bonus such as with a spear or daggers they are a hell of a lot faster.
The Tenchu games did that and they are ages old. The guy was slower and stronger but the chick was faster and had a longer combo legnth.

See, it would be alright if that was the case. As it stands, the girls attack slower, causing them to do less damage overall, meaning they are just flat-out weaker.

Though, your idea holds merit.

The Rogue Wolf:
I'm not buying for a second the theory that this was an unintentional mistake. Plenty of other MMORPGs have made the sexes pretty much identical in combat without much, if any, ado. And other games (especially the Elder Scrolls series) have balanced them by giving males and females differing strengths.

My guess is that FunCom decided to embrace the rather chauvanistic spirit of the Conan mythos and made women simply flat-out weaker. Great for storyline faithfulness; not so good for an actual game that you might want women (or men who want to play as women) to enjoy. Now called upon it, the company is pleading ignorance and promising a fix.

I totally agree. Robert Howard's original Conan stories, while classic adventure fare, were not shy about showing Howard's sexism and racism. Even though I'm female, I think it's kind of funny that it continued to the MMO, but yeah...they probably should fix that. ^^

Women are weaker than men, it's about as sexist as saying they're shorter than men or have larger breasts. I'd believe this was intentional if they warned the players about it and even think that was a reasonable way to add some authenticity to the game. But making it a secret isn't really cool, and I'm sure they know they had to be spotted eventually.

If they hit 25% slower, they also hit 25% harder.
If we go by WoW standards where a slower weapon hits harder.

I personally support a 25% slower attack speed if they attack faster with daggers / knives.

Ehr...since when were game about realism anyways? I don't buy that as a reason for 'women are weaker'.

i say meh!

if its a balanced move (like in elder scrolls, females tend to be better at sneaking, personality or bows... or even magic in some species, while males are stronger and more enduring) then i dont mind

if its just a straight up slower move then its an issue, if its based on how the model is programmed to move than i can believe its a genuine mistake.

Nah, looks like an unintentional mistake to me. It says it was done by animation time, so they did different attack animations for males and females but the guy doing females made it slower without thinking, and then someone else pegged the attack points. I seriously doubt any game would have the gall to penalise the sex. Just because the original writer was sexist and racist, it doesn't mean everyone who uses the material has to be.

But it is a very large bug to have slipped through.

KamikazeSailor:
Anyone else find joy in the fact that the actual article talks about how the AoC forums erupted into tiresomely predictable sexist comments and lacked maturity, and the very first post in response to this article was a tiresomely predictable sexist comment that lacked maturity and has such continued the trend?

Online forums are fun :D

Okay but the second post was literally simply a joke. Not some random chauvenistic remark. But hey, that's kool too.

As for women hitting slower with big swords? Just make them better with small weapons. Seems like it would balance things out. From what I've seen, men are better at being built, while the fastest people I've seen have been women.

Isn't it odd though, women hit about 25% slower than the males... Women also on average make about 25% less then men... Bum bum bummmmmmmm.

Malygris:
Age of Conan Penalizes Female Characters

image

It turns out that girls really are the weaker sex, at least in the new MMOG Age of Conan, which is the target of complaints that female characters in the game inflict less damage over time than their male counterparts.

The complaints originated following a review of the game by YouGamers, which said the game's weapon swing time is dependent on the duration of the swing animation during combat. "Female characters swing their weapons about 25 percent slower than males," the review said, "so every female melee character does 25 percent less damage over time!"

Players looking into the claim have reported different results, but an article on Massively.com states that the "general consensus" on the Age of Conan forums is that female characters are in fact attacking more slowly, resulting in a lower damage per second rating.

Permalink

While I daresay there might be a problem, I find it ridiculous that any real source was the AoC forums. They're unreliable - if you read all the posts you'll find every class is whining about their power, their gender being weaker, class y being overpowered, their main ability being bugged, etc. Personally when I tried a female character I found it attacked at the same rate...Ah well.

TheNecroswanson:

Okay but the second post was literally simply a joke. Not some random chauvenistic remark. But hey, that's kool too.

And you don't think that wasn't the same reasoning for every joke made on the AoC forums?

I know it was just a joke - that's the point! It's always just a joke, but that doesn't make it any less sexist, predictable, or immature, does it?

I'm not saying we should ban everyone who makes a joke. I'm just pointing out that exactly what Massively.com said is wrong with the AoC forums is wrong with the Escapist forums and every other forum.

Hmm...Seems a bit of a cowincidence that a bug would make women weaker...

I don't think its really right to penilize female charcters in any game. Once again, its just realism for realisms sake, not for gameplay. Anyway, if a someone wants to make his warrior a women, but not be at a disadvantage, why the hell should the game penilize him/her for it?

De chick cannot hold de sword. Dat's what it is.

Malygris:
De chick cannot hold de sword. Dat's what it is.

Bwaaaaa ha ha haaaaa...random John Hughes reference ftw!!

I tend to think this is just a mistake on FunCom's part, but I also wouldn't mind if there were differences between the genders. It might actually inspire me to play as a male, which I almost never do if given the option.

I'd rather hope FunCom was doing this to keep male players from playing as chicks.

Seriously, I don't buy the "if I'm gonna play the game I may as well stare at a hot chick" angle. Did you play with Barbie just so you could look at some plastic tits instead of G.I.Joe's plastic six pack? No, you didn't, and if you did then that explains a lot.

As for strengths vs. weaknesses, well, not gonna bother repeating what has already been said.

It will be interesting to see what other controversial errors the 'wow killer' is going to have. You gotta love first releases, biggest fight starters ever.

This might just be me, but if I were making a game with male + female avatars I'd make damn sure there weren't any significant gender imbalances (differences are ok- so long as they're balanced). It's not so much about being PC as not ticking off 50+% of your possible market.

cainx10a:
Let's face it, If I was punched by Marcus Fenix or by Lara Croft, in which situation I would feel the most pain?

Lara Croft. Cause you'd have the psychological pain of humiliation to go along with the physical kind.

But seriously, yes, women are generally regarded as "less physically able", thus why their records in the Olympics and other such competitions are usually lower than men...

... Off course we are talking about a video game where "realism" went out the window 2 minutes after you decapitated your first random hell creature or innocent pedestrian and taking a full arrow to the face without much concern or effect.

UpInSmoke:
This is an outrage. Men are only 25% more deadly than women? hogwash.

33% more deadly. 25% less; 33% more.

If it is true - which i doubt - then it's an unintentional mistake since it would require an effort to gender-separate the chars when it comes to game mechanics.

As far as the "Women are weaker than men" mammoth-dung goes... it's just that: shite. "Women are weaker than men" applies only to the average and median values of the entire population. Noone is an exact clone of the average man/woman. Hence nothing can be discerned about the individual man and woman from this. "Women are weaker than men" does not mean that all women are weaker than all men.

/S

Its ok if girls attack slower if they follow the WOW trend were slower weapons hit harder then the faster one's so 25% slower 25% more damage but I am getting the vibe here that that is not the case.

Heard WoW mentioned twice, so thought I would use that as an example.

Gamers (usually) dont get out as much. As such, the male population of gamers (usually) love staring at tits because they (usually) never see any in the real world.

This accounts for why there are (usually) more female animations in games. Or longer animations.

I think this is just a harmless bug created by making a longer animation length for female attacks to tailor for those guys who want to watch girls skimp around and pound people with axes. They just probably made the animations but forgot they would take longer to happen due to more boob-bouncing and forgot to speed it up to keep it in check.

Just a minor bug really, considering the major ones that came out with WoW.

Like player set coordinates
Races being immune to certain spells
Generic godlikeness
Massive Holes in the earth.....

So if the biggest complaints comeing out of AoC is that female attacks are slower then hell, deal with it till the update, deal with it till they explain.

Or simply go out and get some if the best you can do is animated tits (unless your a chick playing a chick, but in WoW something like 70% of the charecters are chicks on RP servers and less then 20% of the player base admits to being female IRL)

And as for the "Who would it hurt more to be hit by?" Well, certain females in my acquantance have hit me much harder then most guys could. And guys are less willing to kick you in the balls, no matter how angry they get.

Wow! That was a mammoth 1st post!

Joeshie:
I would be willing to give FunCom the benefit of the doubt on this one and just assume that it was an unintentional mistake. If it took the playerbase this long to figure it out (which can usually spot problems with a game faster than the developers can), I probably was easy to miss for the developers.

Accident my ass. It was to fit with the universe.
We're talkinh about a core gameplay mechanic, which is at the top of the combat system, as how and when is damage dealt.
Any designer and coder would know that having a system that deals the damage at the end of the animation would mean lower rates of damage with longer animation.
It's simply impossible such a basic and major rule in the game would have gone unnoticed.

Now, is it wrong? I don't think so. Take man's average muscular mass, compared to women, and you have it. But generally RPGs trade force with agility.

I actually understand their choice. They simply wanted to make a game where men fight on the field.
Gamers are fucking hypocrites. No one whines when the percentage of women composing the legions of humans in LOTR is approximatively worth 0.00000000000001%.
Same for Conan, that's how the universe is.

Same for most frakin' FPSes on the market.
Oh the sexism. Naughty.

cainx10a:
Let's face it, If I was punched by Marcus Fenix or by Lara Croft, in which situation I would feel the most pain?

Because Marcus has the tendancy to spontaneously desintegrate when bumping into somebody i'd say Lara.

The vast majority of what's inside that armor are not muscles but explosives to propel the gibs in the dsired direction upon contact.

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