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Thread: Balkoth the Ill-Starred

  1. #21
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    No fire though, and it's not as if 'an uncontrolled talent for the darker sorts of magic' is trademarked by a hero... There can be more then one take on something. I mean, it's not like we only have one fighter or anything...
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  2. #22
    There's certainly room for more than one death-magic proficient hero/champion. And, as it's looked down on by a number of races, mistrust could be a common theme. (Simbey is a High Man, btw.) Half-demon could work, as could child of destiny. Or we could do something almost in-between.

    Maybe the child's mother was the Sorceress queen of a city of INSERT_RACE_HERE. She was a wicked tyrant who made a pact with a demon to bear him a child and then sacrifice the child to the gods of evil for more power. Paladins assault the city, kill the queen, save the child. What do they do with the baby? Well, they can't kill a baby, so they give him/her to some priests. They raise the kid and he/she turns out to be an alright person. Most people accept them, but some scream “Half-Demon!” and crawl under the nearest bed they can find.

    This is probably a little too much for WoM (what with the sleeping with demons and child sacrifice and what have you), but it shows the kind of thing we could do.

    If a prophecy is involved then its meaning does need to be broad enough for a fair amount of interpretation.

    BTW, I love the idea of having a champion only show up during a certain conjunction. We just don't have enough heroes/champions at the moment to have a limitation like that.
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  3. #23
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lintking View Post
    I think actually writing out a specific Prophecy is too... narrow, for our purposes. We need Champions that can feel right working under different Races and for Sorcerer Lords with different focuses. Something that broadly alludes to the appropriate Conjunction offers the amusing possibility of coding him so that he only becomes available in games after such a Conjunction actually occurs in the Random Events, though...

    I really do see your point that the false-prophecy and half-demon angles... `conflict' isn't the right word, but might be piling too much into one concept. They distract from each other. I don't have a strong preference for one over the other, though. Hm... we currently have two Unhallowed, three High Men, and a scattering of not-current-Faction-races (Troll, Treant, and High Elf). And Simbey, who is probably a fourth High Man but doesn't actually specify. With a Dark Elf and Angel in the works.

    ...In that light, I think I lean towards False Prophecy over Half-Demon because it leaves us open to embody one of our many unrepresented Playable Races.

    I still think this is one of our best places to add another female Champion. Alexia brings us up to 2, which isn't really a Grand Total. Note that that doesn't mean she would suddenly have to be stunningly attractive; I really liked that Happery said right away he was OK with reskinning it as a female as long as it didn't become a succubus type. If the physically deformed aspect is part of the character.. that may actually have more resonance with people if she's female. It would certainly be striking from an industry standpoint.
    good points.

    i'm sure i am not the only one that finds it annoying that in almost all fantasy games all females are either radically nonhuman, or hot. don't get me wrong, i like hot women, but every single one being hot gets old. i doubt a strategy game without exclusively hot women would mean much (as opposed to some sort of FPRPG), so it might not even get noticed (just look at the early metroid games and how most people think their hasn't been a video game that didn't sexualize women).

  4. #24
    Well, to be fair, a vast majority of our players are going to be male. And most of us prefer hot fictional women, lol.

    This is actually a very deep subject that I don't intend to go into here. However, I will share a couple of my thoughts to explain the reason WoM will lean toward the "hot female" end of the scale.

    First, you can't "get to know the personality" of a fictional character that has no interactive story. The only time you will actually interact with our non-Sorcerer Lord characters is on the battlefield (and hiring/training screens). That is a matter of a visual and tactical interface. So, the characters need to be visually and tactically interesting. (Some might feel that unattractive females would be interesting, but as we have with many aspects of WoM we're going with what the majority would prefer, as it doesn't hurt the game. Oh, and I like hot women with the best of them. Not indecently hot, as it were, but beautiful, feminine women. In fact, I like them so much I married one, lol.)

    Second, Females aren't going to be the only attractive thing in the game. Males, locations, trees, horses, etc, are all going to be as attractive as we can make them. In many ways WoM is going to be a window into a fantasy world. One of our goals is to make the view through that window spectacular. Women included.

    Now, as I said, this is a very deep subject. I don't intend to touch it here again. If any of you want to discuss it you can feel free to start a new thread about it. (I may or may not weigh in.) I only addressed it in the first place because the theme of "hot females" has appeared a number of times and I thought it would be a good idea to lay my motivations on the table

    I plan to work on this writeup next week. Do we have anymore story hook ideas or have we got them all here already? You have at least until Monday to jump in
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  5. #25
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    I just feel that making Balkoth a hot anything pretty much defeats the point of his basic character idea.
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  6. #26
    Mage of the Lesser Tower
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    I'm much less concerned with the `hotness' issue and much more with just the extremely low ratio of female representation at all. I know that to a large extent it is so much on my mind just because it's a thing people talk about now, but -- there are valid and important reasons why people are talking about it now, and as something we're aware of, I think we should make an effort there. I don't think it's just a fad issue.

    That:
    Well, to be fair, a vast majority of our players are going to be male.
    ...Is very cyclical reasoning - games cater to a male audience on the assumption that their audience is going to be male, and, well, yeah. Now, I don't actually feel like we are "catering" to a male audience -- we haven't done anything particularly silly, and I'm totally good with the, "It's a fantasy world, so almost everybody is `hot'" argument. But I do think we're currently significantly neglecting any potential female audience, and I think that is a big mistake. Maybe even bigger than I think the one about the way spells and spell-slots are arranged is going to be. <grin> I can say that my wife loves MoM as much as I do, and our daughter is actually more into it than our son. Just assuming that the audience for 4x games is male, is false.

    Balkoth may or may not be a good choice to address it... but I think sending the game out with only 2 female Champions displays a very bad `glass ceiling' mentality. In other words;
    One of our goals is to make the view through that window spectacular. Women included.
    ...If that's true, you shouldn't have to look down so far to see them.


    If Balkoth's concept doesn't work to just `make female', and we're running out of room for Champions, I would honestly scrap Balkoth and start over. (Sorry, Happerry!) I would seriously consider the same for Kelithengol, as much as I like him. 4/12 is only a third, and that seems like the smallest fraction you can really have that isn't... dismissive. And I'm sorry, I know that I do keep bringing this up, like, a lot, but in spite of it being discussed and, as far as I remember, agreed wtih at every stage - our Heroes, at 7/25, are already less than a third - that's 28%. Our Sorcerer Lords look to stand at 3/13 (23%), despite a lot of talk about it when we made them. And I know our generic unit figures are leaning heavily male. Leaving our Champions at 16% just doesn't feel... OK.
    Last edited by Lintking; 05-23-2014 at 04:45 PM.

  7. #27
    Mage of the Inner Tower Endless Rain's Avatar
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    +1 to Lintking.

    Does anyone have any actual data on how many 4x gamers are male and how many are female? 48% of gamers in the USA are women, but I haven't seen any data on this topic for specific genres like strategy games. (BTW, strategy games are the bestselling genre for the PC, accounting for over 38% of all PC games sold.)
    I am waiting for the relaunch before playing Worlds of Magic, so I don't check the forums as often as I used to. In the meantime, the main forum I post at is RPG.net, if anyone here needs to contact me.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Well, to be fair, a vast majority of our players are going to be male. And most of us prefer hot fictional women, lol.
    Well, if you remember Planescape there was Ravel, who was definitely not "hot" in a common sense. And Kreia from KOTOR was another example of "manipulative old hag" cliche. Fighter-women are also not always "hot". And lot more, which do not look alike this Boris Vallejo type of girls.

    However, if you excuse me, I would NOT be happy if female character will be made just because of some egalitarian ideas, gender equality and other well... other such reasons.
    Personally I'd prefer to see good old cruel and dark fantasy world (child sacrifices for dark gods included).

    On the other hand IF character fits into all this cruelty and darkness, then I let it be male, female, demon, zombie, plant, little flying talking skull or off-worldly eldritch horror which prey upon nightmares.

    Sorry for some mess in this post, it's a bit emotional.

    Summary: +1 for original post, -1 for making champion female without good backstory an interesting traits.
    Last edited by Aleksey; 05-23-2014 at 09:54 PM.

  9. #29
    Archmage of the Outer Ring jamoecw's Avatar
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    the reason the majority of heroes and champions are male is mainly due to backer heroes and champs. the creation on the backer forum is a bit more mindful of female non presence (not to say the majority of our suggestions aren't male, just less so than the paid for heroes/champs).

    for the record i am all for generic troops/citizens/etc. being hot, and if the lean goes towards all hotness (in general or just women) i'm also fine with that (it is probably the weakest preference i have).

  10. #30
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Personally I'd prefer Balkoth to be a male, I just won't whine to much if he's gender bended.

    Though I have to agree that making champions female just because of basically 'lol gender equality' isn't something I'm willing to support.

    If people want more female champions, then they should go write up interesting female champions like I wrote up Belkoth or Grogar or how Lintking did write up Ixi.
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