Being a Woman who Raids

A lot of people have been blogging lately about sort of feminist topics. In particular, Ophelie’s post caught my attention. Not only did she link me (thanks!) but she linked me under “hardcore”. Oddly, “hardcore” is not how I would personally define myself, but that’s a blog entry for another day. (And I don’t take offense, I just find it a curious label. It should be noted that she’s actually changed that heading to read “PvE Progression Focused Female Players” now, though.) Also, I really liked Codi’s recent post about social privilege and WoW and Blizzard being a business.

So in the midst of all these posts (there are so many that I couldn’t possibly link all the ones I’ve read recently), I realized I had a lot of things to say. I don’t really talk much here about being a woman in this game or the strange reactions I get when it’s discovered that I AM, in fact, female, or how I deal with people’s reactions. I also haven’t spoken much about the lack of other capable women at high-end levels. This seems like a perfect time to address some issues and throw my own views out there.

Where I Began

When I started playing this game, and I know I have mentioned this before, I rolled a male toon. I wanted to be an Alliance hunter, didn’t want to be a dwarf and thought Shadowmeld was basically the coolest ability in the universe. (And I would argue it still beats the hell out of Stoneform.) So my choice was to be a Night Elf. But was I going to be a male toon or a female toon? Apart from the fact that the female toon’s idle animation is to bounce (which Jasyla once said was them working their calves!) I probably would have chosen a male toon anyways, just to avoid the extra attention. I’ve been part of online communities since 1985/1986 and extra attention is just part of being a woman online. I’ve had my fair share of people crushing on me, but I’ve also had my fair share of ugly incidents, including one where someone tracked me down and left harassing voice mails because I was exerting my moderator privileges on a specific community and was doing so fairly firmly with regards to this one user. As a result, my number has been unlisted since the late 90s and will remain unlisted. This is something that, as a woman, you might actually have to concern yourself with, particularly if you’re using your real name somewhere.

So, the chance to have a male character, thereby mostly avoiding the vast majority of even virtual harassment? Talk about amazing. I could be as anonymous as I wanted, running around this beautiful world, playing, learning and never have to say a word. (This was before I had any idea about TeamSpeak or Vent, mind you.)

Where Have All The Women Gone?

The Beginning (Fated Heroes – February ’06-January ’07)

When looking back over the last five years that I’ve played this game, I realize that I have progressively moved from the realm of “women are everywhere” to “… where the hell are all the other women?”. In my very first guild, we had Tia, a female warlock who was an officer and who kicked ASS. We had me, as a kickass hunter, we had several DPS and several healers who were women. We even had a tank in training who was a woman. Then again, we had virtually no tanks, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that we had the one, lone woman in a semi-tank role.

Early Burning Crusade (March-May ’07)

In my next guild, we had a female MT, then myself as one of the main healers, another woman as a healer and I believe we had a couple of female DPSers (at least one mage), all in one Kara group. Again, no real lack of women, since that was about 40% women for any given Kara run. The guild stopped raiding after many members of that Kara group were ninjaed by the top guild on the server, and so I went off and formed Apotheosis with Maj and the others shortly after.

Apotheosis (June ’07-March ’09)

In Apotheosis, during Burning Crusade, we were overrun by women! :) We had me (although I was the only female officer), but we also had Shamalah (! I didn’t forget you!) who was an ele shammy/moonkin, Osephala (ele shammy), Darista (arcane mage), Criza (fire, then arcane mage), Lax (arcane mage), Q (resto druid), Aaza (hunter), Legs (holy priest), Myth (enhance shammy), Fallon (rogue), Kam (warlock/warlock tank), Eviil (warlock), Purple (warlock), Becca (warlock) and probably at least a couple of others that I’m blanking on. Everyone I named was a regular raider at some point in the life of Apotheosis during Burning Crusade, most of them all the way through. Yes, there were nights when our casters were all women. Most nights had a minimum of 8/25 raid members being women. Some nights, we did actually outnumber the boys.

What was awesome about it was that it was only remarked upon a couple of times. Everyone just took it in stride, even though it isn’t really all that common. My guild was respectful, for the most part. I did outlaw various words, mind you — but it wasn’t because of the women in the guild, it was because I felt it was important that the majority not make possible minorities feel uncomfortable. My old guild was sort of a haven for me where I didn’t have to worry that my guildies were behaving inappropriately. I didn’t have to worry about being painted with the same brush as some moronic bigot or close-minded ass. We enforced a couple of language-related rules and they rarely needed enforcement.

That we had a lot of women never seemed to me to be a big deal. Until my guild stopped raiding 25s and I struck out on my own, just a few months after Wrath launched.

To Bronzebeard (March-September ’09)

I joined my Bronzebeard guild and discovered another female tank; the first one I’d really seen since my Kara days. There were some other women scattered through the DPS and the healers, but nowhere near the amount of women we had in Apotheosis. And the attitudes towards women were different, too. When I first opened my mouth on Vent, everyone was like “OMG SHE’S A GIRL”. I laughed it off, but at the time, I was inundated with whispers from my brand-new guildmates, telling me I sounded sexy or that I had a hot voice. I knew then that my time with my Bronzebeard guild was going to be very different from my time in Apotheosis.

The Bronzebeard guild, even with the female tank, wasn’t particularly heavy on women when I first joined, but we added to the ranks with some awesome healers (Fad and Carm to join Kal and myself) and some women who were DPS. We had about 5-10 women depending on the raid makeup on any given night and they were spread out pretty well in terms of roles.

Unfortunately, this is where I encountered one of Those Women. You know, the ones who like to try to woo the menfolk, who like to tease them, who think they can get by on their perceived looks? Yeah. And, unfortunately, she became an officer. And even more unfortunately, she became a raid leader, once the gnome raid leader gquit in a huff.

I’ll get back to women and leadership in a little while.

To My RL Friend’s Guild (September ’09-June ’10)

When I joined my previous guild, the one where my RL friend the resto druid is healing lead, I took about ten steps up the progression ladder. Where my previous guild had not downed heroic Northrend Beasts after 36 attempts or something, over two weeks, this guild hadn’t even TRIED TOGC, due to farming TOC25 and TOC10 and, I believe, still running some Ulduar for my friend and her mace.

So I was there for our first attempts in TOGC. We raided on the Sunday and the Monday and got NRB down on the Monday and again on the Wednesday.

I’m looking at a screenshot of us working on heroic Jaraxxas. The MT is yelling at everyone, cussing us out over the previous attempt. In the screenshot, I can clearly see my Grid.

There are precisely two women in the raid. Myself and my RL friend. That’s it. Everyone else is a guy. A month later, another screenshot. Still two women in the raid, me and my RL friend. And here’s us doing Steelbreaker last. Still just me and my RL friend. It isn’t until the former hunter officer was talked into coming back that we had a third woman in the raid, and she wasn’t even regular for a couple of months. Granted, we ran with a pretty tight roster, at least in terms of tanks and healers, but in terms of DPS, we had a bit of a revolving door. Lots of people couldn’t stand the MT’s abuse, particularly when the RL just stopped playing and the MT took over as RL. You would think that SOME of the DPS would be women.

But no.

We only added one more regular woman to the raids before I left that guild; a mage who was pretty good (and is, sadly, in a romantic relationship with that “only thinks outside the box” priest, you may recall from previous posts). We had a couple of female healers in and out over the course of the 9 months I was there, but at most, there were only four women in the raid on any given night. Actually, I should say that there was a maximum of four women raiders in the guild at any given point while I was in that guild.

That’s less than half, even a third of what we ran with in Apotheosis in Burning Crusade. And the two most dedicated women raiders (myself and my RL friend) were both healers.

It was with that guild that I earned Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) and worked on heroic Lich King for two nights before I knew I had to leave the guild to escape the toxic environment there. (How my friend continues to put up with it, I don’t know.)

To My Current Guild (June ’10 – present)

My guild master is a woman. She’s fantastic. She is to this guild what I wish I had been to Apotheosis. She’s also a kick-ass resto shammy who will do healing assignments if the regular healing lead is doing raid leading.

One of my two raid leaders is a woman. I cannot express how awesome it is to have a female raid leader *who is not me* (or that crazy one from Bronzebeard). She’s also a kick-ass rogue.

The roster of this guild is substantially larger than my last one, so I could be wrong, but apart from the GM, the RL, myself, one other healer and one DPS, I think everyone’s a guy. Five raiding women, three healers, two DPS, zero tanks.

We’re 9/12 ICC 25 HM. And we raid with five women, sometimes as few as one on any given raid night.

It doesn’t feel the same as my previous guild, though, and I attribute that to the fact that the GM herself is a woman and one of the raid leaders is. Seeing women in positions of power makes me feel like less of an oddball than I felt in my previous guilds.

Strangely, being a woman in my last guild wasn’t so bad, really — I was treated like anyone else was and, ultimately, that’s what I want. I don’t think that being treated like anyone else is something that requires a lot of women around. By that, I mean that I don’t think women need to be commonplace within a guild in order to “overlook” (or, perhaps more accurately, “not care”) that a player is a woman.

Women Missing at Higher Progression Levels?

However, based on this small sample, it appears likely that the more progressed a raiding guild is, the fewer women are part of that raid group. I’m not saying that the more progressed raid groups are more progressed because there are fewer women, though! Maybe it’s that the more “hardcore” culture doesn’t appeal to women the way it does to men.

Ophelie mentioned in the comments on Codi’s blog that she had trouble finding progressed female raiders (who blogged) to link to: “I found very, very few female bloggers who were progressed raiders.” Ophelie linked to Codi, myself and Dawn Moore’s Disco Priest. Kind of slim pickings, eh? I could point to Avalonna and Derevka (even if Derevka’s a guy, Ava’s a girl) over at Tales of a Priest, since I know they’ve downed LK on Heroic 25. That’s pretty progressed. But I really don’t know of a lot of other progressed female raiders who blog.

Does that mean that there aren’t a lot of female raiders or there aren’t a lot of female raiders who blog? There are a lot of people who blog, even though bloggers still are probably a very tiny portion of the 11.5 million person playerbase.

Just based on my firsthand experience, I have to assume that a lack of progressed, female bloggers is because of a lack of progressed female raiders. This is an exceptionally small sample size, obviously, but I can’t help but feel that progressed female raiders are rare.

My first question is “why?”

As I said, I don’t think it’s because women are just naturally going to bring guilds down in quality. :P I think there’s something about the intensity required in a progression guild that might not be as fun for most women as it can be for guys, if that makes sense. There’s a lot of strategy involved in World of Warcraft, even just as a single player within a group. One has to listen to instructions and perform on cue and basically not screw up. A lot of the decisions one has to make are of the “split-second” variety.

Fortune magazine had some data about men and women’s decision-making styles that I thought was interesting. I’ve underlined the portions that I believe are specifically relevent to progression raiding “culture”.

Men love to lecture; women like to listen.

Men are more likely to act alone, apt to blame others;
Women collaborate, listen, and build teams.

Men are more focused on long-term results, women on short-term goals.

Men put more weight on the how the decision will affect the competitive environment; women consider how it will affect the team.

Men exercise their decision making power, if they have it.  Women want to work through people, even if they have the decision-making authority.

Men are more-likely blindsided by a crisis, where women will more often see the crisis looming (e.g., a woman anticipated the Enron disaster).

Men think men are better at problem-solving or decision-making. Women think women are better at both.  However, if the job is in general management, both sexes think men are better decision makers. The exception is in “female” jobs, such as human resources.

Raiding is a strange activity. You need to do *your* best in your role in order for the team to succeed. But if that involves switching DPS off the boss on to adds, or stopping DPS for a phase change or to move, that switch or the brief stoppage of DPS can affect your total damage. So, acting alone, a lot of DPS will ignore calls to stop/switch/etc. We’ve all seen people “tunnel” (vision) through X, Y or Z and cause a wipe or a near wipe.

The competition between DPS (or even healers — see Suzushiiro from Big Crits for a high-profile example of a healer who humps the meters. Around 2m45 in Week Four’s episode of Big Crits is where you can hear him talking about Sindragosa.) is healthy in some ways, but very unhealthy for your raid group on the whole in other ways.

Healthy: Good competition to be tops on the meters means people want to pull out all the stops and perform to their highest ability.

Unhealthy: Pushing phase changes or not killing adds can totally wipe your raid. (Healer version might include not cleansing or decursing or not swapping to, say, the Jaraxxus Incinerate target. Or not moving out of a Shadow Trap on heroic Lich King.)

Time and time again, the people I see screwing that stuff up — tunnelling — are men. The women respect the assignments they’re given, more often than not, in my experience.

Example:

Picture it. Black Temple, facing Gurtogg Bloodboil’s room.

We reorganized all the groups in the raid so Group 1 would be the first to eat the first Blood Boil, Group 2 would be the second, Group 3 would be the third, Group 1 would be the fourth and Group 2 would be the fifth.

Our fully-holy priest (ie: with Circle of Healing and no Divine Spirit) was seen as our “strongest” AOE-healing priest. We put him in Group 1 and told him he was healing Group 1. The priest who was the best technical healer, who could live without CoH and still heal well and effectively, was put into Group 2 and told to heal G2. They were both men. Our third priest was holy with CoH and was a woman. She was also a bit of a part-time raider, due to work, so she wasn’t quite as geared or quite as familiar with the fights. We put her in Group 3 and told her to heal Group 3, which meant she only had to heal through one Blood Boil per phase.

We told the priests, specifically, to use Prayer of Healing to help heal through Blood Boil. That that was why they were in a group, that that was their responsibility. Our G2 priest (hi, Euphie!) had even found the sweet, sweet rank of PoH that was the best one to use for output and for mana conservation. (I miss downranking!)

For something like four or five wipes, Group 1 kept dying due to Blood Boil. Could not figure out why. Group 3 was fine, Group 2 was fine, Group 1 kept dying.

Our melee officer, whom we called Football, finally looked at his Recount (back when Recount was new!) and was like “Kurn… that G1 priest? Is healing his group using only CoH.”

The female priest had no problems listening to us. She trusted us, she knew what she was doing was for the team.

The CoH-happy priest in G1 was asked what the hell he was doing. “Healing my group?” he said. “PoH is too expensive, I’m oom all the time, can’t heal.”

“Are you downranking to the rank Euphie said to use?”

“No…”

“Do it.”

Once he did, we were able to heal through the encounter beautifully.

To me, it was clear that he was trying to conserve mana by using CoH instead of PoH so that he would have enough mana for the second round, trusting in his CoH to hit his group and keep them topped off enough that he didn’t need to use the mana for PoH. He acted alone. He was trying to stay competitive. He had the decision-making power in the moment when he realized PoH (max rank) wasn’t viable and so he decided to use CoH.

The female priest listened. Did what was best for the team. Didn’t seem to care about being competitive. Listened to us when she had to exercise her own decision-making, in the moment of the encounter.

That’s one way in which it seems women are naturally good at raiding; we listen, we like the team, we like to work through people.

However, there’s another facet I underlined which might very well explain why progression raiding might not necessarily appeal to women:

Men are more focused on long-term results, women on short-term goals.

From expansion to expansion, you’re looking at almost two years. Two years. That is a long, long, long time. That is an eternity. It’s one thing to go on a pug and raid for three hours every once in a while to build up your character. It’s another thing entirely to apply to a raiding guild where they expect you to be there at least 75% of the time for, basically, the rest of the expansion. It’s daunting!

Maybe this is why so many men are GMs; they have a goal, they want to achieve it, nothing stands in their way.

When I was a GM, I had that goal too, but I focused on the short-term. What do we need to recruit? What boss fight is next on our list? Actually, funny story that illustrates that perfectly…

I believe that we had downed Hydross, back in SSC, with only a little bit of concerted effort and then went on to The Lurker Below, which gave us a lot of trouble, actually. So much trouble that I’d basically only glanced at some strats with regards to the other bosses we could attempt (Tidewalker and Leotheras) after Lurker. On a new reset, we got Hydross down easily and most things clicked for Lurker and Lurker died, early in the night.

And I had NO idea what boss to hit next.

I believe my precise words to my officers were: “… shit. Anyone know where to go next?”

Since then, I always research a couple of bosses in advance, but if not for the quick thinking of Football, who had already done reading, I believe, we wouldn’t have even known right away to go for Tidewalker. (Elite murlocs FTL.)

So that’s my guess. I think that women may not like the overall idea of showing up, night after night after night over the course of the expansion. I think we’re more focused on shorter-term goals; getting hit-capped, getting a specific item, downing a particular boss, than we are when it comes to downing, say, Illidan. While downing Illidan might have been a motivator for Majik, for example, even when we were back in Kara, I was thinking more about just getting Shade of Aran down for the teleporter, or getting Curator down to get someone T4 gloves.

I’m not saying this applies to all women, but I think that it probably plays a large part of why women are suddenly almost absent, comparatively, when you look at more progressive raiding guilds.

Your Questions, My Guesses

I asked you guys if you had any questions for me about being a female raider and such and you guys had a lot to say.

Mailynn asked:

Do you think women raiders aren’t taken as seriously? / [D]o you think women tend to avoid tank toons because of the tendency to be, like me, emotional about things?

Absolutely. I have had people be very surprised that I am a halfway decent player. I think that as soon as some people hear a woman’s voice on Vent (or whatever voice communication you use), their interest is picqued but their level of respect drops until proven right or wrong. Just because I have an awesome voice doesn’t mean I can’t play, but it might mean that people judge me to be inadequate until they’ve seen me play.

Do you think women don’t play tank characters because of the preconceived notion that tanks == men?

I can’t answer that for all women everywhere, but I’ll tell you why I don’t play a tank very often. The combination of melee-range (I hate hearing all the hits and blocks and parries, but I like the other noises — heals, for instance), the fact that you’re basically staring a boss in the crotch (or knee or whatever) and the sheer responsibility makes me decide it is less fun than, say, healing.

I initially didn’t tank because I didn’t know how. Now that I know how, I choose not to do so, because I don’t enjoy melee-range — or the view. ;) But I still find that responsibility daunting. Tanks are hugely important in this game and if they don’t perform their roles adequately, you threat-cap the DPS, the healer gets eaten, you hit enrage or you die early and you wipe.

Why, for instance, did Apotheosis have no female tanks? Well, we had lots of people playing as tanks at least somewhat regularly throughout BC – SC, War, LP and B as warriors, Anta and Dayden as pallies, Fin, Poo and Kaiu as druids. They all just happened to be guys. I was the one who was actually the add tank on Hydross for a few resets between losing Anta and gaining Dayden. (God, that was crappy, but not as crappy as murloc add tanking on Tidewalker, which I also had the, er, “pleasure” of experiencing.)

We just didn’t get female tank apps. Plenty of DPS apps from women and a good amount of healer apps, too. It just turned out that all of our tanks were men.

In looking back at my Wrath experience, which now comprises four guilds, if you count Apotheosis, I have raided regularly with one tank who was female.

I don’t think emotion plays into it — perhaps women tend to be a little less reckless than guys? Every male tank I’ve ever played with LOVES running in headfirst and grabbing aggro. I am always much more cautious. “Is my cooldown ready? How’s my mana/rage? How’s my healer’s mana?” It’s like I have a mental checklist I go through before I pull. A male tank (or perhaps just a more experienced tank) may just charge in and chain pull and not give thought to the things I do. That’s not to say that they’re playing poorly, but I am definitely more cautious when tanking. That might play into it. I think a tank probably SHOULD be careful, but not as cautious as me.

Also, do people really believe that the only reason women raid is because their significant other raids/plays? / Does this […] mean that men often equate to two people applying instead of one? / Are women viewed as only capable of minor supportive roles and thus lack the motor skills to do anything other than mash a few buttons?

Some people do believe that the only reason women raid is because of their SO. Actually, I take that back. Some people believe that the only reason women raid is because of their boyfriends. More than once, I’ve been asked why my boyfriend and I don’t raid together. Seriously. (In response: I’m single at the moment and I started playing WoW of my own accord, thanks.)

As to your second question in there, as a former guild master/officer, there was a definite prejudice against the female partner of a male applicant. If a husband/wife team apped to Apotheosis, I know at least some of the guys who were officers were going “Oh God, she’s going to be terrible”. How do I know that? Because I worried about that, too. Far, far too often, women who apply with their husbands or male partners are not appropriately geared/etc for the content their male partners are geared for. As such, one gets used to thinking “oh man, she’s gonna be horrible”. It’s not something of which I’m proud, and I obviously don’t think all women are terrible, but this is a pattern. It makes me want to shake the female players out there and tell them to research their class before applying as a raider with their significant other.

I’m not sure if women are only really viewed as being in support roles (hybrids, healers) because I’ve raided as a healer for four years. I’ll say that people have been surprised that I’m a good hunter, though.

Kaleri asked:

What do you think about women choosing healing classes?

Well, I chose to be a healer because I enjoyed it. It was very different from DPSing and brought my focus off the game field and on to my group members. I like the ability to really contribute to keeping people up. Killing Vashj for the first time was because I popped Lay on Hands on our sole remaining tank and it CRIT for 15k and Vashj died 20-25 seconds later. You rarely get to make that big a difference as DPS, so that’s what keeps me as a healer. Everyone always needs a healer.

I think women in general might choose healing classes because society tells us that’s what we should do. Take, for example the Star Trek series. I choose them because they’re science-fictiony and we’re dealing with a fantasy MMO and I think there are a lot of similarities between the two genres.

In the original series, you only had Uhura, communications officer, as a major female character. She wore a miniskirt.

In TNG, you had Dr. Crusher and Counselor Troi and Lt. Yar. Yar dies in the first season and that leaves Troi and Crusher as the two major female characters and they’re both in the caretaker role.

On DS9, you had Kira and Dax. Kira was the first officer of the station and she was pretty kick-ass, but she was also very religious, which made Sisko uncomfortable and he doesn’t always take all this “emissary stuff” seriously. So right there, you have this difference — Kira, the woman, is religious and Sisko, the commander, the MAN, is not. Ergo, Kira, despite being kick-ass, is relegated to being someone who is not always taken seriously due to her religious convictions. Dax was less seen as kick-ass and more seen as “brainy” and “sexy”, IMHO.

On Voyager, you had Captain Janeway, Lt. Torres, Kes and Seven of Nine. Janeway was shown to be very much kick-ass and strong… until she fell in love with a hologram. Torres was strong… until she fell in love with Tom Paris. Kes… well, she eventually left, leaving Seven as her sort of replacement. Seven of Nine was bad. ass. She was a freaking Borg! In spandex. And high-heels. She wasn’t very emotional, acting very much like Data from TNG or Spock from TOS and while she was very much capable of being kick-ass, as soon as she showed any emotion, she was pretty much helpless.

All of that to say that even in a genre like science-fiction, it’s always the men who are the “strong” ones, the ones who kick ass and take names and even though they have HELP from the women, the women are ultimately weaker than they are. Or at least, that’s my (very basic) reading of gender roles. So if a woman wants to be helpful, useful in this game, she won’t roll a tank (IMHO). She’ll roll a hybrid and be okay with DPS and healing, but the tanking is “for the men”. In my opinion, based on gender roles in our pop culture. And WoW is definitely part of pop culture.

I like what you had to say about your bear. “sometimes I feel like I get less hassle if they think I’m a guy” I agree. I think people are more likely to just think “that guy’s a moron” if I make a mistake and they think I’m a guy, versus “goddammit, girls can’t fucking tank”. :P

thansal said: I do think that being a tank and a raid leader require similar personality traits. Specifically they tend to lean in the direction of the ‘type A’ personality.

While I do think that more raid leaders and tanks (and they’re definitely not always one-and-the-same) exhibit more ‘Type A’ traits, there’s nothing I can find that tells us that men are more likely to be Type A as compared to women. But I do think this is an interesting point in general. Reading the description from the page I linked above is pretty much a classic tank or raid leader.

So. There you go. Over 5000 words of my thoughts and stories. What are your thoughts? :)

20 comments

  1. Apple says:

    I… really have nothing to add. I’ve mostly stayed out of everything because I don’t feel like I’m coherent enough about it to really put forth anything – not to mention that between all you awesome kids out here, there’s really nothing I can think to add.

    Still. Thanks for this. Maybe one day I’ll actually sit down and stop being a ninny about that “my experience being a gay girl in WoW” post that I started… months ago. >.>

  2. Great and fascinating post. Thanks for putting all that out there! I initially started playing WoW just because I loved the adventure. When I formally joined a big guild as I levelled my Main Druid, I really absorbed what I saw the others doing there as they talked about Kara. I levelled to tank. I love tanking, but I really dislike raid leading. I don’t think I have the personality to hog-tie or herd cats. It makes me grumpy, and I’m stressed even after a boss dies. When I’m just tanking, however, I love the challenge and LOVE doing my job well, anticipating the next part of the fight, and focusing on my role. Funny, how our quirks show themselves, even in something as simple as a game!

  3. Enlynn says:

    Whenever my man and I play with a new group of people, someone inevitably thinks it would be cute to ask how he got me to play (like us women gamers must be tricked or some such). I am smug in the reply: I’m the one who brought him into MMO’s (I suppose it’s another story for another day, but as a woman I do feel I have to flash my nerd cred).

    Your hardcore vs. casual female gamer observations are interesting, because I’ve wanted to be more hardcore than I am, but I really do felt held back by the team-app aspect (not to mention, finding a guild that’s got room for both of us at the same time). I know that it’s assumed I’m along for the ride, when I’m not. I understand I’m mediocre until proven competent. And I do it, too, judging those female apps.

    And considering that most of the women I’ve ever ran into in the game are either a) single horny drama queens or b) apathetic casuals dragged along by their men, the stereotype is there for a reason.

  4. Ophelie says:

    You’re daring! I’ve been toying with male gamers and female gamers together in a raid type post (which was my original plan, before I wrote my feminism-type post), but I decided to wait until the hype calmed down out of fear of being told that talking about difference between men and women was bad and dangerous.

    I did consider Avalonna when I was building that list, but I must admit I was very intimidated. I don’t know her at all so I felt a little awkward. It also didn’t feel right to link her but not Derevka.

    Back to your post, I’ll admit I also tend to be prejudiced against women who apply with their significant others. I try not to let it show (I make an effort to never be hastily judgmental), but, yeah, my first impression is usually “oh, dear, another dead-weight”. What enrages me, though, is that I have yet to see good female player apply with her SO. I’ve seen fantastic female players apply on their own, or have their less serious significant other join as a social later on, but couples applying together? Uggg. I wish someone would break the streak because the cliché of the female gamer who doesn’t like the game but tries like a good little obedient pet makes me want to scream.

    On women in Star Trek (and science fiction in general), I find the topic really interesting. I’m no specialist on geek feminism or on science fiction, but it seems the portrayal of women in science fiction is somewhat paradoxal. When I was very young, my mom told me about how, when Star Trek was first introduced, the role of women in the series considered scandalous: there was no way women would ever be able to work on a space ship! What seems like a crappy and clichéed role now was actually quite revolutionary at the time. (Note that my mother was one of the first female officers in the Canadian Coast Guard who actually sailed and therefore felt quite strongly about women on ships.)

    From the little I know of science fiction in the 70s, it seems like other stories followed the same path. Today the roles of those female characters seem very demeaning, but when those stories were written, those roles were quite progressive. It seems like there’s some stagnation now, though. Just as you pointed out with Star Trek Voyager’s women, roles are getting better, but “fell in love and became weak” is still too prominent.

  5. […] I Heal Kurn wrote a post recently talking about being a woman in WoW.  It’s a long ass post – that woman rambles.  (Well, no she makes very long executed […]

  6. thansal says:

    “What enrages me, though, is that I have yet to see good female player apply with her SO”
    That’s because the good ones know that they are NOT their SO, and thus will likely have different goals. Though I will say that the wife of the MT/RL of the guild I run with is a good healer.

    Also, an expansion on my Type A comment:
    I know of no studies that say there is a difference in prevalence of Type A vs Type B personalities in women and men. I was simply bringing it up as what I think really makes a Tank/RL.

    I also now really want to pester Kurn on her thoughts of females in older SciFi (I’m think of Heinlein specifically, who had a thing for making very strong and very sexualized characters).

  7. Cassandri says:

    “But I really don’t know of a lot of other progressed female raiders who blog.”

    Awww I guess I don’t count :(

    We may be ranked 17th on Barthilas but we’re 11/12 H ICC 25. One of the things that I’ve started to notice this expansion is that women seem to flourish in 10 man guilds. Perhaps my readers are skewing the data though :)

    I think that, as in the workplace, if you have women is positions of power (GM, recruitment officer, raid lead etc) then you’re more likely to attract more women to the guild.

    Since Lathere and I have always played together in raiding guilds I’ve never been the sole raiding girl in a guild. And the number of women raiders always increases after we join I swear it. When we joined our current guild a year ago we were the only 2 girls in the raid team. Now I can’t think of any night when there are less than 4 of us (the other spriest and I have 99.9% attendance, our raid leader is a woman and Lath has pretty high attendance too). Then the other girls are: a Ele/Resto Shaman, a Hunter, a Rogue, a Boomkin, a Holy Priest.

    I think we’re closer to 10 girls in the group of 25.

    It’s a situation that makes me feel very welcome, and comfortable, and not an oddity (which I do feel when I PuG sometimes). Is it something that keeps me in my guild when I’d like to move to a more serious/strict guild? Yes.

    I think there are few homes for progression-focused female raiders. And when we find one we stay there.

  8. Larísa says:

    I’d like to consider myelf a pretty serious raider. At the best I think we hold a number 4 rank on our server if I remember it correctly. Currently we’re in a lull since so many players are bored with the game. But hopefully we’ll come back.

    I’m honestly surprised to see the claim that women should be interested in short-term goals and men in long-term. I don’t recognize it. At all. Not only for my own part (being a proud A-type of human being regardless of my reproductional organs). I don’t even recognize it as a stereotype/cliché.
    The long term goal is exactly what I enjoy with raiding. Turning up week after week. I’ve always enjoyed the biggest challenges most. The bosses that took us 100 wipes and night after night of struggling before we finally nailed it. That’s what raiding is about to me. That’s what I enjoy. And I hate hearing once again: “women aren’t like that”. I am a woman. I’ve given birth to two daughters. And I enjoy beating the shit out of evil dragons. Having a long-term committment.

    I wish deeply that I was better at playing melee/tanking stuff because I honestly want to challenge the stereotypes and change the perception of women in RL as well as in WoW. Unfortunately I suck at it. Which hasn’t got a shit to do with my gender, I think it’s more of lack of experience as a gamer. Playing a ton of fps games etc would probably have helped a bit.

    Hm… Don’t know what I’m trying to say with this comment tbh. I guess just “one more woman who wants to raid seriously reporting for duty”.

  9. Pewter says:

    I can’t believe I only just found out about this post! It’s a great read, and thank you for sharing your experience. Currently I’m not raiding for RL reasons, so I probably don’t count as serious (That and we aren’t doing 25m HMs). I’m in a guild with a lot of women and couples, and there are two female officers, and male and female members prefer a neutral, respectful environment.

    Personally I take raiding seriously when I can raid.

    I think Cassandri makes a great point about female raiders preferring a certain type of home – we’re currently less numerous, and we have different preferences and thus have less choices than male raiders. That said, women in Competitive gaming is still in the progress of growing – it’s not just about WoW, it’s about gaming in general. I think we will continue to see the numbers of women in progression raiding grow, through trailblaizers and folk like me who benefit from the hardwork of women gamers who have gone before me.

  10. Kaboomski says:

    I know I’m a guy and therefore really don’t have much of a say in this all. But still.

    If 10 man raids count, my wife is now at 10/12 H ICC 10. That’s pretty progressed, even if they’re not 10 man strict. Plus, she’s an awesome healer imho. And I’m not biased because she’s my wife. She actually does perform very well.

    Personally, I believe some of the stereotypes aren’t there for nothing. In my experience, women do tend to be better healers than most men. But in my WoW environment, women are treated with a lot of respect. Not because they’re female, but because the women that I know in-game are just good players. And they’re treated that way.

  11. Kurn says:

    Apple – I’d love to read that post. I really enjoy hearing about other people’s experiences with the game that may be different from mine. :) Don’t feel like you have nothing to say or nothing to add. Your experiences are unique and will be, at least in part, different from everyone else’s. Your own narrative is just as valid/important/etc as mine or anyone else’s. :)

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    valkyrierisen – Thank you, I’m pleased you liked the post. :) That’s an interesting disconnect between liking the tanking role and not liking the leadership role. Granted, I think tanking is about 10 times easier than herding cats… You ever try to get 30ish people to get their Shadow Resist gear crafted? Yikes. :)

    So good to see tanks who enjoy their role, too! So many tanks I run into these days are “tanks” for heroics only and don’t actually enjoy anything but the fast queues. :P

    Enlynn – Way to go, being the one to bring your guy into the game! Virtual high-five!

    Thank God I’m not the only woman who looks at other women as tagalongs, at least to start with…! I’ve run into both types of women you’ve mentioned as well, but am so very glad that my old guild gave me a basis for hope. We were pretty good players, some better than others, but we all knew, more or less, what we were doing. Even the women who were “tagalongs” at first! :) One of my resto druids and one of my enhancement shammies were both wives of guys who applied. We didn’t REALLY need the enhancement shaman, but she worked hard, geared up to the best of her ability, made the most of the runs we brought her to and became a great raider in her own right. When she wasn’t drunk… The resto druid was someone we desperately needed, regardless of gear, and she did beautifully and worked very well within the team.

    Man, I miss those days. :)

    So you feel held back due to you and your guy wanting to raid together? You app together, I take it, and people are wary of “package deals”? Are you both good players or are you the better of the two? Just curious. :)

    Ophelie – I hope to read that kind of a post soon!

    All of these women who raid and blog are crawling out of the woodwork! So many women I didn’t know of at all (or just plain forgot about!)…

    Yay, another person who rarely sees good female players applying with their SOs!

    I wish someone would break the streak because the cliché of the female gamer who doesn’t like the game but tries like a good little obedient pet makes me want to scream.

    Eek. I hear ya. I haven’t really seen an example of this in a while, to be honest. Pardon me as I go knock on some wood…

    What seems like a crappy and clichéed role now was actually quite revolutionary at the time.

    I completely agree! And that Nichelle Nichols was African-American was AMAZINGLY revolutionary at the time. It’s not fair of me to compare her to Captain Janeway, for example, nor should I encourage the idea that it seems like a “crappy” role, but even if it was revolutionary, we didn’t see Uhura on away missions, we didn’t see her kicking ass. Maybe that was too much for the 60s, but I think it’s important to realize that some roles 20+ years later are still support roles, just like Uhura’s. I mean, really, Counselor Troi? :/ Don’t get me wrong, I liked Troi (I liked all 7 main cast members of TNG), but a counselor? So disappointing.

    And while I’m all for women finding love on my sci-fi TV shows or whatever, it’d be super-nifty if they didn’t lose all trace of authority/kickassedness when they did fall in love.

    thansal – Do you think it’s rare to find a couple who raids together and have both partners be more or less the same in terms of ability? What do you mean by the good female players knowing they’re not their SOs, so they have separate goals?

    re: Type A: Gotcha! I spent a good 20-30 minutes looking for gender breakdowns on Type A/B stuff and couldn’t find anything.

    re: sci-fi: Sadly, this is where I supremely disappoint you. I really like Star Trek in its various forms, but I haven’t done a lot of reading or watching of it outside of that little bubble. (Okay, I love Red Dwarf with all my heart, too.) I could talk a bit about fantasy? For example, Piers Anthony and his Incarnations of Immortality series where all the women are only there to serve the man, basically… Even the really powerful Incarnations (Fate, Nature) are still overly sexualized and everything paints the women as temptresses. Great series of books, aside from that, though.

    Cassandri – No, no, you and Lathere count. I’m just a moron. :)

    I think you’re right about female GMs/officers/etc attracting more women. I wonder how the flipping hell I got so many women in Apotheosis, because I did NOT advertise that I was a woman or anything and I did recruiting and was an officer, then the GM… Sheer dumb luck, perhaps?

    Your guild sounds awesome in terms of female raiders. I’m glad to hear there’s a rogue among you! TM pointed out in my other post that basically all the women I’ve linked to thus far are healers or clothies…

    Larísa – you too were a product of my brain lapse. I knew you were a woman. I knew you blogged about WoW. I knew you raided. I just didn’t think to go look at your progression!

    re: short-term/long-term goals: You know, it didn’t ring true to me at first. I like to think that I have long-term goals that I’m dedicated to achieving both in life and in-game. Then I examined my in-game goals. They’ve all been short-term steps towards achieving a longer-term goal. And I break down my life goals the same way. I’m always, always more focused on “what comes next” rather than “what will eventually happen”. It kind of freaked me out, but hey, learning about one’s self is good, right? :)

    I like showing up week after week, but I don’t think of it in terms of two year spurts. I think of it as one reset, then another, then another… always broken down into chunks. But I really do love the idea of having a solid/strong raid group. It makes me really, really happy to have a spot, you know?

    Obviously, everyone is unique and not everyone will fit into some category someone else has determined to be more common for their gender or whatever, but I thought it was kind of neat for me.

    re: tanking: You know, I sucked at FPS games. My brother used to kick my ASS at 007 Goldeneye on the Super Nintendo. He’d find me three seconds after I spawned and headshot me. I was SO infuriated with him! I don’t have that twitchy mentality to this day that I ascribe his success to! I think it would be very useful in playing a tank or a melee DPS well, without all these things like “cast times”. :)

    re: reporting for duty: Awesome. :D

    Pewter – it’s only a couple of days old, no worries. :) I’m glad you liked the post!

    re: neutral environment: That is a great way of putting it. No environment that’s offensively masculine or offensively feminine. I like that. I may use that to describe my guild when I get it back together. Neutral.

    I wish more people would take raiding seriously when they raid, even if it’s not often or the content isn’t as high-end as what others are doing. I like it when others flask and eat appropriately, tend to their gear and spec and glyphs and gems and enchants appropriately and just really respect one another while raiding.

    re: type of home: Completely agree as well. I knew from day one in my previous guild that I wouldn’t be *happy* there. But I wanted to raid with my friend and I wanted to progress and eventually, I had to leave. So I left. And have found an AWESOME guild and now I’m wondering where the hell these people were last September. ;)

    re: growing: I think female gamers are getting more recognition these days to the point where it’s coming into play in pop culture (Felicia Day’s “The Guild”, for example). I can’t wait for the day when women outnumber men in games like WoW. :)

    Kaboomski – I think that women might (MIGHT) be better healers than men in general because we’re better multitaskers, overall. So we can focus on healing the MT, for example, but then see that someone else needs a heal and, if we can spare it, toss them a quick heal and then return to the MT. It’s interesting and makes me think about how differently I might play if I were a guy.

    I’m glad the women you know in-game are treated as the good players that they are!

  12. Jen says:

    I’m one of those girls who started playing because of their boyfriends. (Actually, he wasn’t my boyfriend yet; he says he didn’t buy me WoW to try to get me, “he just thought I’d enjoy it”; I think he’s lying through his teeth.) Either way, I played alone (or with boyfriend and his brother) until level 60 or so, then I joined my bf’s guild (they were starting Kara), then I raided with them. I pretty much sucked when I started out, but I never heard derogatory comments from the other people. The guild was very nice, even though we didn’t have many women, and the only reason I was embarrassed to talk on Vent was my accent, not my gender.

    (I think I’m a “follower”, but that’s not gender-related. I’m reluctant to try things out on my own, but if someone I trust (i.e. a friend) recommends them, I can become *very* enthusiastic.)

    Almost 3 years later, I think I’m a much better player – in part due to the fact that I found my “calling”, healing as opposed to DPS. Me and my boyfriend have never been the clingy type… which is good, since we’re quite different in what we want from a guild. Or rather, our preferences have changed since our first guild (which we both loved). He’s more “hardcore”, he likes progression and he has a problem with a noisy Vent. I like progression too, but I also like the social aspect, so I’d rather take 2 weeks to down a boss instead of 1, if it means I get to have fun doing it. (Of course, his way of raiding is also fun to him.)

    To compare, this is what we were talking about tonight: he said that our raiders (10 man non-strict guild, 11/12 ICC 10 heroic) are just as good as his (25 man guild, 11/12 ICC 25 heroic, Halion heroic down), we’re just slower, because we chat too much, so instead of getting 20 tries in one night, we only get 15, hence it takes us more nights to kill stuff. He can’t stand our Vent and when he raids with us he puts his headphones away; I *love* our banter and I feel genuinely happy when I raid.

    So it was a good idea that when we left our guild (the one I mentioned in the first paragraph), we went different ways: him to a hardcore guild and me to a social one since I was burnt out (socially burnt out, I might add; the raiding environment had gotten very bad because of an officer and I literally cried when I left). I guess that makes me a typical girl? :P

    Getting back to the post and away from my life story… I think a lot of those male-female differences apply to me… in both RL and WoW. I’m not a leader, I’m a team worker, and I feel very uncomfortable telling people what to do. I would much rather see the raid succeed than get a personal advantage, and at school I did “boost” some classmates on projects. But as for short/long term goals, I think my RL functions differently from WoW. In RL I do focus on small bits, but in WoW I want to “finish” the content. In Wrath, for me that means getting the frost wyrm, I don’t care about LK heroic. That being said… my female RL is the opposite and sounds more like the “male” traits in that list (she’s also a tank, though she has played all roles throughout her WoW “career”).

    I don’t know if I have a conclusion or not. I tick most of the “girl” check boxes, but I don’t have a problem with that. I think you can be a girl (talk about shoes or whatever) AND a good player, and all the females in my guild prove that. Though I have to say I never personally met a girl who liked theorycrafting :) Not even the one with a PhD in Statistics…

    This has been a pretty much stream-of-consciousness post from Jen and it might or not make sense since I kept editing it…

  13. thansal says:

    Re: couples not apping together.
    If both players are good they will likely know that they simply aren’t the same person, and thus there is a good chance they will not fit in the same guild, specifically points 4 and 5 on your “Applying to a 25-man Progression Raiding Guild”. I know Kaboomski is at the very different level than his wife, and Jen is not in the same guild as her boyfriend. Amongst my friends that raid 2 of us have our mains raiding with another guild that our SOs do not, mainly because our SOs were not that good when we started raiding with them (these days I would be confident in them doing ICC, and we are working on it now).

    This is all obviously not to say that couples can’t app/raid together, just that your skill/drives in WoW are not exactly up there on things that most people view as important to be compatible with in terms of a relationship. It’s like a couple that both enjoy playing cards, however one of them is a professional poker player, and the other play Canasta. The canasta player isn’t going to try and join high stakes poker games just to play with their SO. This also isn’t going to be detrimental to their relationship. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t have a couple that are both into high stakes poker, and thus play in many of the same competitions.

    As for female sexuality/characteristics in fantasy:
    Piers Anthony writes for 12 year old boys. I say this knowing that I LOVED his stuff when I was a 12 year old boy. The weird bit is that the only other 2 people that I know who liked his stuff are my current GF, and an ex. None of us read it anymore as going back and attempting to is kinda painful. What’s interesting to me is that you picked out Incarnations of immortality, where I would have naturally gone for the Xanth books, however I now might argue that Xanth is actually less sexist than Incarnations. In Xanth the females are almost all strong, either as flat all powerful characters, or well rounded interesting characters. This is despite the blatant play to the 12 year old boy crowd.

    Incarnations I used to view as better due to it lacking the blatant sexualization of females (this was when I got snobby about books :P), however you are right in pointing out that all of the female characters are weak, both in story, and in terms of realization of the character. This almost makes me want to go back and reread the incarnations (however, the friend who has them all just moved across the country).

    Re: FPS games.
    I used to be a really hardcore (And very good) FPS player. I still enjoy them, but don’t devote as much time, so I’m not nearly as good as I used to be. My GF didn’t play any of them before we started dating. I made her play portal (I make ALL of my friends play Portal), and I’m getting her to play Borderlands with me. In part it’s because I thought she would like it (and I was right), but also because she WANTS to be a better tank, and I think one of the key problems she faces is that she isn’t used to a WASD control scheme, and lacks the twitch ability that helps tanks vs a mage (her main). I think that might really be a good point to the male/female divide on tanking. Not that men are better at FPS games, just that due to culture we are more apt to have played them (seriously, if you think the reactions females get in wow is bad, never hop onto a CS server with your mic on :P).

  14. Jen says:

    While I haven’t applied with my boyfriend for a guild… I have made joint apps in the past. Three of them, actually – me and 2 friends (my tank RL and her rogue boyfriend) left our 25-man guild then joined 2 social guilds and a progression guild as a “package”. And then, for various reasons, including the lack of guilds at our levels of progression that recruited a tank, a healer and a DPS, we ended up making our own.

    As for FPS… well, it might have something to do with that. Or distributive attention in general. It’s a matter of practice, of course, but my brother always kicked my ass in Q3A, and last night I was having a hard time in SC2 without my boyfriend GPS (“Look, a red dot on the map! Kill it! Why aren’t you looking at the map!” – this while I was trying to manage my troops and resources and learn all the shortcuts).Healing is so much more relaxing, it’s just me, my Grid and the red shit on the floor, not me, my threat plates and the 3 mobs trying to eat healer face.

  15. Rhii says:

    It really, really bothers me when people underestimate me as a player because I play with my boyfriend. We’re a long distance couple, and playing together is a major part of how we stay connected, so separate guilds isn’t really an option for us. But it gets incredibly frustrating when people make assumptions about me because of it.

    He did not convince me to play WoW, I played long before I met him. He did not convince me to raid… in fact, *I* convinced *him* to raid. His first 80 was quite happy puttering around rep farming and didn’t even do heroics! And he’s not the leader when it comes to guild choice either. I joined our previous guild first and he joined later, when it looked like falling apart, I stepped up to try and lead it. He reluctantly agreed to help out when the guild asked him. I was the first to leave that guild when it was crashing and burning, and first to find our new guild. Our current guild has a bad healer shortage and too many tanks. If anything, yeah, we’re a package deal: If you want *me* you have to take him too.

  16. Imalinata says:

    In my last guild I was the recruitment officer. Anytime I saw a joint app from a couple I had the same “oh crap, one will be amazing and the other absolutely terrible” thought. Even being the lone female officer, we didn’t ever end up with a large number of women in the guild. I am extremely sensitive to the ewhores and had no desire to have them in my guild. Anytime an app would say something like, “I’m a girl :) :)” they’d instantly lose points in my book and their only hope of redemption was in not acting like a complete twit during their vent interview. And of course, every woman was told that I/we had zero tolerance for ewhores and that trying to get loot or preferential treatment because they had boobs would earn them a swift /gkick. Biased? Probably, but the women we did have in guild (I think there were 4-5 of us) were awesome (and skilled) and I think a lot of that was because we weeded out any of the potential troublemakers (male and female) during the app process.

    I actually applied solo to my current guild after my last guild called it quits since my husband thought he was burnt out and done with WoW. I already had an idea of what I was looking for in my head and posted a blurb on the recruitment forums (although I was careful not to use any gender pronouns so I didn’t get prejudged for being female). After sorting through the replies and talking with the guilds who fit my criteria best I applied to my guild and was accepted. He ended up applying a couple weeks later after realizing that he was burnt out on leading a guild, not on playing and was accepted on his own merits. Even if he had been interested in joining a guild right when ours died, I wasn’t going to just blindly follow him. After leading a guild you really get a feel for what type of culture you want and what you’re willing to tolerate. Sure transferring is only $25 but I’ve never been a guild hopper so it was important to me to get the right fit the first time.

  17. Claudia says:

    Great to read all this, and different point of views.
    All I have to say is that when I decided to roll a healer, I did it because healers are needed and because I feel I can do anything. So after reading all this, I decided to learn to be a tank. Just because.

  18. Claudia says:

    BTW, I play and my husband plays and sometimes we play together, but I was the one to bring him to WoW.

    I feel sad that we all (not just women) fall into stereotypes every now and then. I abhor being predictable, and I love breaking people’s pre-existing concepts. We won’t change people’s minds and I won’t spend my energy worrying about people’s vision of what I should be or not, I’d rather just roll over those silly expectations like a bulldozer, never noticing it, won’t let it drag me down or change me in a way that I don’t want it to. There are all kind of people in the game and many take it way too seriously, I try to keep in mind that I’m in it for the fun and lighten up.

  19. Summergale says:

    Well, technically I blog, once in a while, but I don’t blog about raiding or strategy or my class most of the time. It’s amusing when I’m asked whether or not I still play since I’m now an officer in my guild, and we’re 6/12 H ICC25, 11/12 H ICC10, and #6 on the server (#2 Horde).

    Our of curiosity, I tallied up the active women raiders we have atm. One ele shaman (me), two rogues, a frost DK, a holy pally, resto sham, holy/disc priest, and two resto druids. A lot of healers, but the frost DK is one of our backup tanks, and a couple of us, myself included, have tank alts. I adore my bear, and if we didn’t need me in my current role, I’d quite possibly switch my main to my druid. Only one of the 9 is single, but as a counterpoint to “wow, his girlfriend/wife is going to suck,” every one of the rest is either on par with or surpasses her significant other. My own husband doesn’t even play, though I admit it was a close male friend who got me started in WoW. The women who are on par with their husbands definitely applied at or near the same time and made it no secret that they were applying as a couple, but it sounds like we’ve been in the minority in having equally skilled couples apping together. We’ve had the “OMG pay attention to me because I’m cute and young and female and have boobs!” types apply, but they tend to excuse themselves or snap out of it when the other ladies of the guild don’t tolerate that crap.

    WoW seems to be my only “strong” game, though, and I’ve worked at it for 5 years now. I can’t play FPS games due to a severe motion sickness that sets in, and while I’ve tried to play SC2 with my guildies, it’s frustrating being relegated to n00b (I never played SC 1) and having almost no skills from WoW transferring over.

  20. Verily says:

    I just discovered you a couple weeks ago when I was searching for information on what exactly to do with my poor holy paladin on the Beta. I am thrilled to have you bookmarked now, and even more happy to see all these different opinions regarding this current subject.

    Have to admit though that I was one of those women. The S.O. of the time literally forced me to play Everquest with him. But after a few months I became a main tank, quit his guild and joined a hardcore raiding guild and found my own niche in the gaming community. After launch with WoW I was the one that was bringing this game into the lives of my boyfriends, and I proudly flashed my gamer greek cred when applicable.

    I chose healing back when BC came out and the class that I had always wanted to play became available to Horde ( I was strictly dps before that. First a rogue, then a warlock) . I liked being a core-part of the group make-up as well as having people’s lives in my hands. Like you mentioned, I also relished having the ability to turn things around with a fantastically timed heal, or much needed BoP. I am currently the recruitment officer in our guild and I am happy to be the healer that everyone feels comfortable enough to come to with questions, troubles or theories.

    Our guild has several women players, ranging from completely bad ass players, to S.O. tagalongs, and then a “wonderful” gender representation that told the raid in forums that the only reason she has great gear is because she’s sleeping with a raid leader. I would classify her as one of “those” and I am always at a loss with how to handle her, since she’s just terrible to females. But being the raid leaders girlfriend apparently makes it ok to act like a child (She’s 50). Since I can’t kick her, I am hoping the problem will solve itself soon come expansion. For now we’ve taken a break with raiding, which alleviates the interaction thankfully.

    There is that saying “No one can bring a woman down like another woman.” (I think she lives by that). Glad to see that isn’t happening here! Thank you for the awesome insight :)

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