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Ask Massively: I don't get the point of character customization in a first-person shooter edition

Eliot Lefebvre

Seriously, I just don't get it. I'm not knocking the gameplay style -- yeah, it's not my preferred style of game, but I totally understand why people like it. But why spend a whole bunch of time deciding on what your character looks like in a game where you're never going to get to see it? I'm impressed with what they're showing off with this Gotham City Impostors video, but I just don't see the point in this particular setting.

Obviously, I'm in the minority.

In totally unrelated news, it's time for this week's installment of Ask Massively, which covers the matter of games that don't require the wholesale slaughter of wildlife. It also addresses our notorious and persistent spammer. (You know the one I'm talking about.) If you've got a question for a future installment of the column, you can leave it in the comments or mail it along to

Rob asked: I think my Mom might enjoy an online game that has a good community, but she's not into killing things at all. I saw Beau's Free Realms recap, and I think that game has possibilities. I was just wondering if there are any others you might recommend?

Unfortunately, we as a community are a bunch of violent, sociopathic curs, so it can be hard to find a game in which killing things isn't a major component of gameplay. That having been said, Xsyon and Wurm Online are both games that focus more around the living aspect, and A Tale In The Desert, while small, features only community-based gameplay during each of its iterations. Final Fantasy XIV also allows players to advance without ever requiring you to kill anything, but it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. Last but not least, Wizard101 does ask you to kill things, but in the most benign fashion possible while offering several other options.
Resurge asked: Wow, five posts and two are ad-spam... [what the heck] is going on around here?
We've had a persistent spambot whose antics are such that immortalizing was deserved. Keep reporting the comments and we'll keep working on shutting him down for good.
Bramen asked: Wait, hats are uncommon but shoulder pads are normal?
For better or worse, yes. No, it doesn't make any real sense -- look at some actual plate and you won't find protruding shoulders for the same reason that you don't find capes. But somewhere along the line, someone decided that cool fantasy armor is halfway to something that can be used to play football, and here we are. At least they usually look remotely cool.
Looking for some advice on which class is best for soloing in Aion? Not sure who this Raph Koster fellow is? Curious about the release date of NCsoft's newest MMO? You've come to the right place! No one knows MMOs like we do. If there's anything you'd like to know about the MMO genre or the site itself, Ask Massively is here to help every Thursday afternoon. Just ask!

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