I have to confess some things first:

1) I have NOT read the enitre thread. I stopped at page 22 and glossed over the last page.

2) I canNOT see what the big deal is. (Don’t jump on me immediately for dismissing your concern!)

Ok, that second one will induce some controversy. Here’s what I mean.

I understand Leitgardis’ original post, its entire intent, and her feelings about the dress’ addition into her safe environment.

I do NOT agree with it.

I play almost exclusively female characters. Yes. It’s true. I just happen to LIKE women more than men. Playing a female character is NOT some bizarre manifestation of some latent homosexuality, nor some cry of need for a mother I never knew or any such nonsense. I just like women better than I like men. (Sorry guys!)

So from the get-go when dresses were requested by women because they wanted an option to look more feminine at times, I complied. It was a side project, and it took some time, but last month, we had some time, so we did it. I didn’t do the textures, Mike Sheidow did. And he did a great job. However, most of the art team were present during its many stages. We resisted any suggestion of adding “enhancements” to the current design. We made sure it was tasteful.

Let me tell you the history of the dress requests. It had little or nothing to do with bumpfuzzling. Yes, some vocal females (who I happen to KNOW are real feamles (R U a grrl IRL? – YES!) did spend the better part of this year requesting them, but the request goes back. Way back.

To the first wedding I ever attended in Dereth. During a very small Beta, two players got married, and several dev characters attended. The bride’s biggest lament on her happy occasion was that she didn’t have a dress to wear.

I took that to heart. (Yes, the player was female.)

So we designed four dresses. We did three conservative dresses for the women who, while wanting to look female and feminine, did NOT want to look overtly sexual. Then we tossed one in for those who did.

And let me make this clear. THERE ARE THOSE WHO DID!

To eliminate this choice from them made no sense to me, just to ensure that the women playing who did NOT want to be taunted were secure in their non-sexual roles. Please. Go ahead and continue to be secure in your non-sexual roles by not wearing that particular dress.

Let me also say this: I have been harrassed by morons in AC. Yes. I have. I play a female, and have had several people say inappropriate things to me. BEFORE the dress.

We added a wonderful @squelch option to eliminate that kind of harrassment.

If a player seems to think that this kind of behavior will get worse if she’s wearing that dress, do not wear the dress. I think that’s pretty simple, while not dismissing your concerns outright.

Somewhere recently it a great quote came to my eyes “A Puritan is someone who has a deadly fear that somewhere, someone is having fun.” Sorry, but the anti-dress argument seems to be puritanism at its height, if you accept this definition.

If you are not personally being gawked at by some hormonally over-sufficient male, someone else may be. We had better put a stop to that.


What you do is choose not to partake. Let the others fend for themselves. They’re adults after all, aren’t they? (Well, perhaps not, but they are as capable of using @squelch as you are.)

This “tempest in a D-Cup” as my colleague so humorously put it — you really should get to know this guy, he’s a hoot! — will blow over.

I also highly suspect that BECAUSE of this thread and its uproar, more people in-game are now more likely to approach someone in that dress and say “Hey, nice tits.” I seriously do. Because they know they will be upsetting someone. Those people exist. Sad but true. Any hint of controversy brings them out. And this is one STINKER of a controversy – over nothing.

I have not polled all the women at Turbine about the dress. There are around nine women here. Of them, only one I know has seen the dress doesn’t like it. I have not yet discussed it at length with her, but of the ones who have seen it, every one of them likes the dress. All are somewhat taken aback at its reaction.

Some feel that by “hiding” the dress and handing out only one color (red — uh-oh!) we were trying to pull a fast one. Not true. We intended to more widely distribute it.

I’ve heard quotes like “I LIKE the three dresses, I just don’t see the need for the fourth.” Well some do. Hell, I like all four. My character usually wears the Sho dress, as she’s Sho, and it looks very nice on her. But she pulls out the red one at times. And she’s looking for someone who will dye it green for her.

The way leather crafters work we can’t have a dress made to the color of the one handed in. The crafter can only hand back ONE color at the moment. However Eri, the lead designer of AC, wanted to put these dresses in shops alongside the other ones. Which is probably what will happen.

I kind of liked the need to pro-actively alter the dress myself. Like passing in your old Olthoi Helm for the new one, it gave you a bit of something to DO to get this version. It lent a kind of exclusive air. But I also want all colors available, especially the white one for weddings. We seem to have a few of those.

So how the dress will be distributed is not yet fully decided, but it WILL be distributed. Why? BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE THEM.

I have publicly stated that this is NOT the thin edge of some slippery slope/wedge. I will not be adding chain-mail cast-iron g-strings any time soon. Not while I’m the lead artist.

AC was designed from the ground up to be a game that is friendly to women. We actively seek that under-represented market. Yes. We do. We did NOT do so by just wrapping it in a pink box. (Which seems to work wonders for Mattel)

As an aside, let me bring up Pac Man. Not a game played by a lot of women. But guess what those clever programmers and designers did? THey added a BOW to the head, with lipstick, and called it Mrs. Pac Man, (adding some game features as is the norm for the “next version” of any game) and suddenly it’s the most popular video game among women in history to that point. The fact is that more female players will play a role that is overtly feminine.

That said, the dress was NOT a marketing ploy to attract more women, or to piss off “feminazis”. It was not a move AGAINST our female players.

The inclusion of the dress was another step FOR women. Not against them. WOMEN want this dress. For every leering testosterone-overcharged idiot who makes a snide comment about this dress, I’m willing to bet there are far more females who will gladly wear it and smile. IF they want to. For those who don’t, there are three other stlyes that are more conservative.

What I object to, Lietgardis, is your seeming “Me me me” attitude. “I like choice, but only ones pre-approved by me.”

Am I putting words in your mouth? Yeah. But I’m simply paraphrasing your argument as I see it. And as others are apparently seeing it. Your original intent is lost within your reasoning and follow-ups. As I stated before, I fully undersand your original intent, but your words have belied it. There seems to be something far more deep and emotional about this dress that distresses you, not just the fact that you think it’s going to pollute your safe environment.

Why is this thread so long? Because every time you jump in to defend your position, you (and your handful of vocal supporters) simply restate your original argument, adding nothing, but getting more and more upset about it. And people enjoy getting your goat. THey see you are stubbornly unwavering in your resolve, and are just bating you.

And you
ave shown that you cannot support your argument in a way that will sway the other side. At which point you are simply dogging the issue, and getting ever-more frustrated.

To you we have somehow made AC something less than it was. Au contraire! We have ADDED something to it.

This dress is far from offensive in any way. I have shown it to as many people as I can. With perhaps one exception, everyone loves it. I love it. I was in-game last night, and five female characters were wearing it. Not the others, though they had them on-hand, as we did a bit of a fashion show, showing each other the various colors we had found, but when it came down to the end, we were all wearing the red low-cut dress. Why?

BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE IT! I heard nothing but praise for it in a crowd of perhaps thirty people. And not one leering comment.

I think the dress is worthy of discussion. In the same way the heaume was. However, it is certainly not worthy of some of the posts that appeared here. I’m actually rather shocked that we received space on the LUM site. I check occasionally for news here, but rarely does AC show up.

I guess we must be doing something right, if the only news is about a tasteful (yes!) dress.

I’m not here to defend myself or Turbine. There is no need. We responded to a long-standing request from many many players, ourselves included, and I am extremely satisfied with the overall response it got.

When you make a change that can be seen by this many people, I expect not only to get many different types of responses, but EVERY SINGLE TYPE of response possible. That’s just how it is with large groups.

But I have to say this one took me aback somewhat.


— Sean Huxter, artist who designed the infamous Daemondress

Please get over your paranoia that Turbine developers are in the pocket of online temptresses. I can’t believe you’re fixating on .01% of the last month’s content as proof of this wild assertion.

The low-cut dress was a little bit of nothing that took about two minutes of Sean Huxter’s time. We thought it’d be a fun addition. Instead we get this accusation leveled at us that we’re all in the thrall of a small Discussions board clique that moved on from the issue months ago.

Frankly, I find the assertion offensive, ridiculous, and an unwarranted attack on some very smart, hardworking, and dedicated people.

I guess we really have seen the death of common sense.
— Crowley @ Turbine, responding to accusations that the Demonic Dress is a result of improper bumpfuzzling influence, from the LtM HellThread

These are my personal feelings. They are opinions, tastes. According to some, my taste is wrong. That’s pretty neat, I didn’t know that could happen.

I am going to break it down, Reader Rabbit style:

  • I do not like the red dress.
  • I am disappointed that it went in to the game, it feels very unnecessarily sexual in light of the very feminine Kireth gowns. Yes folks, showing half your breasts is generally considered sexual.
  • I do not want the dress removed, since it would be unfair to those who already got one.
  • I do wish it had not gone in originally, but such is life.
  • I firmly believe that Turbine will not add such racy things in the future, because the people asking for them (a small minority or a large minority, it depends on who you ask) got what they wanted, and no longer need to be pleased.
  • I am not mad at Turbine. At all. I appreciate their efforts, even if I consider it a poor choice of things to add.

That’s about it. For the people complaining that “it’s just a game, who cares”. I’d like to throw that right back and agree, it is just a game, so why does this so desperately need to be in it?
— Ely, from Maggie the Jackcat’s Boobie Page

If EQ suddenly gave Female Wood Elves a CHOICE on how they could look, Lietgardis would be falling all over herself to say it was a good thing…..yet AC gives players a choice, and she’s saying it’s a bad thing?

Um, Lietgardis…..people have a right to choose a clothing style that you might not personally choose yourself. It was good of Turbine to listen to players, and it was good of them to give players a choice of clothing styles.

So, Lietgardis should get over this odd fixation she has with in inequity in traditional male/female gender roles, and should congratulate the AC Dev Team on responding to their customers and programming in options for everyone.
General Zang, from LtM HellThread

And why, pray tell, should we insist this game has to be a haven of non-sexuality? How do you know female players even WANT a haven of non-sexuality? The dresses aren’t especially slutty or that titilating; most people who have been playing computer games for any length of time have seen far worse than this and wouldn’t bat an eyelash. The idea that females want a nonsexed environment and males don’t is insulting to BOTH genders; both with the implication that women are perfect sexless beings unless they’re major sluts(madonna/whore complex anybody?) and that men are drooling useless walking bags of hormones (despite the fact that the AC userbase doesn’t have much of a phat lewt crowd to begin with).

You have managed to insult both genders, impose your beliefs on sexuality on your own gender and the other, and argue that not only that people aren’t smart enough to get over it but that female players are too fragile to deal with this potential situation and too rigid to simply play a male character if it becomes a problem. Good job! Oh, and you made us AC players look like whiny idiots.
— Demosthenes, from LtM HellThread

This is the lamest article I’ve ever seen on Lum. And that’s saying a lot.

The “against the dress” people are just whiners who have nothing to do but find *something* to bitch at. I bet they’ve been following AC for months to find something to rant about. And this is it? C’mon!

At first I even had a hard time believing the article was even real, I thought it was a dumb troll. I’ve been laughing my ass off reading this thread. It’s funny, weird, but in the end, lame.
— Dalar, from LtM HellThread

Good Lords, now I have this strange image of some foreign festival…the Festival of the Mammaries. Everybody’s dancing around the streets without shirts, going “Festival! Festival! Viva la Mammarie!” Little children are eating boobie-pops and cleavage candy. Men buy souvenier T-shirts with women’s breasts airbrushed on them. Confetti falls from the skies from hot air balloons that look like huge tits. The confetti gets trapped in women’s cleavage and everybody goes “Huzzah!”
— Slyfiend, from LtM HellThread

So Liet, for all your insinuations that this is about respect and making the world a better place, you have inadvertantly lumped yourself in with all the other “haters” who don’t really hate you see they just want to make the world a better place and that means taking away someone else’s liberties to enhance their comfort. They too are “just disappointed” as they explain that the right to work and hold a job are “special rights” when extended to gay people and single moms.

I’m sorry your feelings are hurt and that you’re disappointed. Life tends to present the same challenges to us over and again untiul we get it right. Fortunately this is your privilege, but maybe also you are failing a recurring life challenge as well.

I wish you’d dig a little deeper into the ramifications of an AC that is only “decent”. Exploring the motives of people who behave badly is focusing on the wrong part of th

e problem. One simply forces them to live with the consequences – only real change, real growth, comes from inside.

Actually my personal opinion is that this entire thread is more click whoring to take advantage of the new banner ads.

The real definition of maturity remains: learning when to clench your jaw and walk away. Insisting that we have the right to impose our will on trivial, even just by being a Disappointed Moderator on a Popular Industry Chat Site, is precisely the best way to lock in society’s ills.

Oh you aren’t using your bully pulpit to effect change? Oh, you are “just disappointed”? Liet, genuinely mature people clench their jaw and walkaway when they are “disappointed”. They don’t run to their employer and use their employer’s facilities to organize a “we’re disappointed too but in a nice way” gang.

I’ve watched you and Arc just plummet into the yellow journalism hole several times recently. Lum somehow manages to present genuine controversy without sounding petty in the process. Myschyf often does as well even if she too has had her moments, and LoH often comes across like Myschyf which adds a nice symmetry to things.

And Hedron bless his heart has managed to provoke significant discussion without once pointing at boobies and snickering about how mature HE is because HE’s not fixated on silly immature things like boobies (teehee boobies “oh I’m so disappointed!” teehee boobies)…

Uh huh… yeah I’m disappointed too.

The downside to being a public figure is that your entire maturation process is laid open to the world – cheap therapy but effective I know.
— Dubious Advocate, from the LtM HellThread

— Lum the Mad, responding to the parenthetical accusation in the last post

Lum! This whole thread was an attempt to whore for a soda? My god man! I mean, I could understand if you were seeking hits for a Guinness, but a Pepsi? The horror!
— Daeven, not quite understanding Lum’s Diet Coke addiction

Whether we acknowledge it or not, in most online games (right now) there is this sub-game that exists. I choose to call this game ‘How much ph4t lewt can i get by whoring myself out as a chick in a l33t skirt’. As people have already brought up, people (men?) will use female avatars dressed up as ‘cute’ as possible to get on the good side of, well, men. Handouts, free portals, whatever… It’s stupid, it’s infantile, it works. (It doesn’t work on everyone, obviously, but there is no denying that it *does* work.)

Will a sexy red skirt automatically start this trend in AC, I would venture to say probably not… Is the red dress a good thing, I suppose it has it’s uses. Will it effect Liet’s gameplay, probably not. Does it lessen the community, barely (if at all). So you would ask me, and rightfully so, why bitch about it if it only effects the person wearing it (if it even effects them)?

Two reasons :

Because it should be bitched about.

To keep it from going any further. As long as it is only a dress with a lower bust line, it doesn’t change much about the game. The problem becomes the direction in which it takes the game. Lower bust line today, Xena armor tomorrow. It’s a large jump, but it could happen with a few lesser jumps in between the two.

So that people in charge of future projects know we dont need (want?) this shit in our games (ok, some of us do… but do those people make your game better or worse?).
— Blain, from the LtM HellThread

I’m a female player and I find comments like this funny. Thank you for speaking for all women everywhere, I especially appreciate the psychoanalysis, Dr. Freud. We all know that men know what it is like to be a woman more than women do. I’m so glad you stepped forward to speak for us.

Women are more than just breasts, and saying that feminity, or even sexuality boils down to cleavage is stupid, and a very simple answer to a very complex question. Being a mature, intelligent, strong woman does not mean that I get off on flashing my breasts to “prove” my power, which seems to be the type of feminism you are branding as “real”.

You’ve also completely missed the point of the article, at least how I saw it.

This industry is sexist, it does pander to the “lowest common denominator” (which I may note is not all men, or even all teenage boys, but a concept the game designers have of the typical “teenage boy”) and frankly as a woman gamer, it’s hard not to notice the fact that all women characters are good for, by and large, is to spread their legs, show off their gigantic breasts, and sell products. It’s offensive. I can see how the author would feel that Turbine was “selling out” in this dress.

I am freakin tired of having to discuss women’s sexuality all the time in the context of the computer game industry. I want to just play a game, damnit, I don’t want to have it thrown in my face what certain men and women think women are all about. It isn’t that I’m too “fragile” to handle the situation, it’s just that I don’t want to, and I get more upset the more I see it. I’m sure more men would understand if it was THEIR bodies and THEIR worth boiled down to their genitals in 95% of the games they played.

I don’t want to have to “hide” as a male character, and frankly, I think that it is ludicrous that this poster even hinted that was the answer to harassment. So it is MY fault that other people react to the sexist image of my character, some flaw in me that keeps me playing a female character (I’d like to note that women almost always choose female characters while men choose 50/50. I would tend to think that reason is because we identify more with our character on the screen)? I think it is more the fault of the developers for creating an environment that brings out these kinds of comments, and the immature players who react to them. I should not suffer for it.

I just want to play a game where I can play a female character and have something other than my breasts/ass/sexuality be my defining factor.
— Aleia, from the LtM HellThread

Ok, so seriously Lum and co., get a friggin grip. If you people are THAT sex obsessed that you see a dress that doesn’t come right up to the neck as a sexual issue, maybe Lum and Leit need to spend a little more time in the bedroom to get their minds off of it.
— Dust, from the LtM HellThread

That this site, which within the last month decried Verant for bannning a player for RP is now “asking” for the player base to be protected from “bad seeds.”

Additionally, this site frequently refers to Tweety in positive tones… and Tweety’s most recent rant makes reference to *gasp* Oral Sex, kind of more risquee than a low cut dress?

I’m sorry, this article and it’s follow up clarification smacks of hypocrisy in many ways.

A RP story with some extreme graphic detail shouldn’t be touched since it occured on an outside forum (and for the record, I was pissed enough at Verant over that and other things to quit EQ), but god forbid a dress that shows cleavage… which is NOT REQUIRED APPARAL is somehow horrid?

Tell the truth, you just got back from lunch with Tipper Gore and some of her absurdity rubbed off on you, but it’s gone now right?
— Nicophorus, from the LtM HellThread

Actually, I think it’s a sad attempt to bring attention to the site since Lum has been occupied with RL responsibilities (which are of course more important).

What I find pathetic is that I expected Lum’s attitude to be more like everyone else’s ins

tead of his weak ass, noncommital comment. This used to be a rant site but it’s quickly becoming a whine site.

For crying out loud, BITCH about something!! Quit with this “kinder, gentler” crap (that reminds me of the “new and improved” Dr. Twister) and actually BITCH about something!!
— Lisset, from the LtM HellThread

Actually, all of the IRL women I know in AC are wearing this, nyself included. We had a guild meeting last night and every female player there (5 of us) had a great time prancing around in the red dresses, holding up mangled pumpkins and wearing tusker masks!

I like being able to choose what sort of clothing my character wears, from modest gowns to conceiling armor to bare-skin harlotry. It’s fun to be sexy sometimes.
— Sorrow, from the LtM HellThread

MMORPGs are not going to become some androgynous nirvana where everyone – not just hermaphrodites – get to be all things with not a nickel’s worth of difference between them. They’re going to get more immersive. They’re going to get more realistic. And the complimentary differences between the sexes and the tension (good and bad) that that causes is just going to become more and more a part of things. I’m OK with that. Pretending that gender and sexual differences don’t exist, that you can have some world where our hardwiring just ceases to exist is playing ostrich. They’re just avatars, after all, and there is a man, woman, or hermaphrodite behind each and every one. Or a skript kiddie, but that’s another story.

In an MMORPG, you finally have an even playing field. Completely equal abilities, and the women’s split of the phat lewt from the last Drolvarg raid (or whatever the heck it is that you people in AC hunt) isn’t 60 cents on the dollar compared to the men’s share. I repeat: You get a fantasy world where there is no substantive difference in ability between the sexes, unless you make one up yourself. In other words, risque formal wear that exposes a little cleavage is not going to change anything for you unless you imagine it does.
— Trelemyst, from the LtM HellThread

Anyone else noticed that the number of posts on this thread will at this rate soon exceed the number of people most Lum posters are willing to acknowledge that play AC?
— Vexorg, from the LtM HellThread

Obviously the majority doesn’t agree with you Liet. So, get Lum to post even more stories telling us how we are wrong and misunderstand you.

Whats tomorrows post? How Liet lost her virginity?
— Necrox, from the LtM HellThread

She gave a pathetic little whine and you [, Lum,] followed it up with a wishy-washy milquetoast response. From here it didn’t even look like your heart was in it and you came across more like the poor schlub of a press person from the pentagon who has to explain that we got our ass kicked in the last military operation but like a good soldier, you’ll take one for the team. That is simply how it appeared.

One thing that I thought set you apart from most other rants is how you combine being articulate with passion. Without the passion you look like a sap. In this case, you had no passion it seemed.

— Lisset, from the LtM HellThread

Lum, admit that if anyone NOT writing for you had started this thread, you would have mocked them mercilously. If verant, in the last patch, put all females into full body suits that covered everything from neck to ankle, you would have written pages about verant caving in to right wing puritanism. Well, you would have tried to blame the left, but you know what I mean.

I don’t know if you are taking up for a friend, or an “employee”, or a girl, but it is pretty obviously that your normal scorn for such things has been colored by something.
— Rhandom, from the LtM HellThread

But, NO, we can’t forget that in the eyes for Lietgardis WHOSE EVERY WORD IS FINAL “choice = bad” because she LIKES enforcing totalitarian beliefs on us.
— Hatedmachine, from the LtM HellThread

Whats next… bikinis and mini-skirts? How about some hot ass leather stuff like those Wood Elf Druids in EQ wear?

I believe that anyone with even half a brain could figure out that Lietgardis is one of the stupidest, most ignorant and overly sensitive fucking cunts on the face of the planet. That is a fact that she makes painfully clear, and requires no elaboration whatsoever from me.
— Greybeard, WTFMan?

Great. I hope you’re really sexy, because maybe it’ll get you laid and you’ll stop bitching about tiny insignificant things that showcase your pitiful sexuality.

Drop the dildo and find a man.
Azaroth to Lietgardis, trolling for a date

I think Lietgardis is being very unfairly targetted with some vicious attacks. Sure she could have presented the argument a little more skillfully, but it was heartfelt and I must say that I agree with much of what she says, if not all.
Maggie the Jackcat, posted to CoD Discussions

— Chris “Stormwaltz” L’Etoile, designer for Asheron’s Call 2: Project Mayhem

Lum = Dr. Laura = Rush Limbaugh. All are just after as much attention as possible. In the DJs’ case, it’s getting listeners. In Lum’s case it’s drawing as many hits as possible. In all cases, these people will say anything to get your attention. They’ll say something they know will be very controversial so they’ll be inundated with opposing views. Here’s a suggestion: Ignore em. That’s right. Remember, Lum’s site (if not Lum) was involved in generating some of the worst nastiness this board has experienced. Why does anyone give him the time of day? He’s clearly not worth it. *vows no more hits for Lum (the obnoxious)*
— Gregor, posted to CoD Discussions

I logged on to AC last night expecting the females I know in game to be all up in arms. What is the first tell I get? From a woman I know in RL asking how to make that dress. So, I have one of them dresses made for her. After about 15 minutes go by, the wife of another RL friend sees the dress. Was she angery? Nope, I ended up getting 2 more dresses for her characters.

And you would think that these would be immature 15 year old girls. Nope, one is 45 with 2 kids and the other is 24 and married. Hell, I’ve seen girls on the street showing more skin then them dresses. Maybe you should just relax, play the game, and stop worrying about some dresses that look like something my prom date wore.
— Adam, in email to Lietgardis

The fact that so many people take issue with your articles on Lum the Mad’s page only serve to better accentuate your points. As a female gamer (which, even as a title, is becoming cliche) I applaud your articles. And yet, I fear the future when an ORPG IS created with the female population in mind. I get the idea that it’d be an Online Barbie world, 10x as offensive as some games already in existence with stereotyping. Blah.
— Katie, in email to Lietgardis

I have written articles similar to this one on another web site and it’s interesting to see how you got so many of the same responses that I did. The minute you start talking sexism all the idiots come out of the woodwork to spout their irrelevant and often offensive ideas
about how women should be. I stopped writing my articles because I couldn’t stand it anymore.

— Farah, in email to Lietgardis

No one understands, because losing isn’t a big deal when you’re on the winning team.
— Rachel, in email to Lietgardis

Finished trolling at lums, lol – NT
— Various authors, CoD Discussions

Climb ev’ry mountain
Search through Nanto
Try on every outfit
till your boobies Show
Climb ev’ry mountain
Walk ev’ry street
travel ev’ry portal
Till you see some teat
A dream that will need
All the love Turbine can code
Virtual Breasts for men
next, scratching and farting mode?
Climb ev’ry mountain
Search through Nanto
Try on every outfit
till your boobies Show

— The Hanged Man, channelling the spirit of Baron Von Trapp