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.