Ask Pineleaf: Why are most of your characters female?


Pineleaf at 45

I have heard this question on several occasions, so I have decided to take this opportunity to finally answer it

Why are most of your characters female?

This question makes one major assumption: that most of my characters are female. First let’s look at the actual count.

I have nine serious characters on my main server. Characters on my other servers are clones of these nine characters.

When I created these nine characters, I first decided to start each name with “Pine.” This is because everyone in the kin already called me “Pine” (since Pineleaf was already my main character then). I then decided to have one character for each class and that I would balance them on race and gender as much as possible. The final result was:

Burglar Pinesap Male hobbit
Captain Pinecrest Man
Champion Pinestar Male elf
Guardian Pineshield Dwarf
Hunter Pinetrap Female Hobbit
Lore-master Pinestaff Female Elf
Minstrel Pinesong Woman
Rune-keeper Pinestone Male Elf
Warden Pineleaf Female Hobbit

Note that with the original seven classes, we have one from each available race/gender choice (the dwarf is technically male but there is no choice on the character selection screen). For the two Moria classes, we have an additional male elf and female hobbit.

So, technically, I can claim that the premise of the question is not true, but I should address the question of why so many people may have the impression that it is.

This can be traced back to how I used to name my characters.The first step was to choose a class. After that, I will try to devise a fitting name. Only after that did I worry about minor details such as race or gender. The trick here is that I generally found it easier to come up with good female names than male names.This would tip the favor in favor of the female characters.

The oldest of my current characters is Pineleaf, who was created on the day Moria was launched. When I first thought of the name, I thought that Pineleaf would be most appropriate as a hobbit lass. I now think the name would be more appropriate for someone from Bree. Thank goodness there’s a population of hobbits in Bree.

A couple years later, I did look up the name Pineleaf and the only historical use I could find was a Crow woman war chief. So it appears that I at least got the gender right.

Another factor that affects my current set of characters is that I am more likely to assign the males to the melee characters. Yes, the warden is definitely the exception in that case but the heavy-armor melee characters are all male. Since I tend to prefer lighter characters, this means that several of the male characters are more likely to be ignored. Of the characters that I have at cap, three wear light armor, two wear medium (well five if you count my gaggle of capped wardens as four rather than one), and only one wears heavy.

Therefore, to answer your question. If you count by classes, I have more male characters than female. If you count the server alts, then the various copies of my warden would give the females the advantage. Regardless of how you count it, the female characters tend to be in my favorite classes, so I tend to play those characters more often.

Well, except for recently where I have been mostly playing classes that I have not yet capped, and those are my male characters.

May your shield protect you and your spear never break,

Pineleaf Needles


  1. Andang /

    Finally and answer!

  2. Ethelros /

    Don’t forget your Spider Pineleaf! That is also technically female. 😉

  3. Wow. Awesome breakdown of “Pine Lore”

    For me, my answer, if I played primarily female characters; could be found in a Sir Mix-a-Lot song.

  4. Lilikate Buggins. /

    You answered this question very well but I never even wondered why. Lots of people play a variety of characters. Lizzy wants to know, why is your spider pink?

  5. Tapkoh /

    Everyone who has asked me why do I have a female character, let alone play one, has done so because they’re weirded out by the gender mismatch or assume I’m some sort of deviant. I can’t say the same for anyone who’s asked Pineleaf, but come on guys, it’s the 90s, get over it. 😛

  6. Harperella /

    I’ve always liked female heroes in stories, few and far between though they may be. When I first rolled Harperella and Harperiel (my two first characters) I had some very specific stories I wanted to tell. For many years, I kept my true identity a closely guarded secret–I really don’t want MMO trolls following me home to my RL family and friends. But eventually this became extremely cumbersome.
    Playing across the gender line is not the same as going around in drag–though some people still look at it that way. Don’t think I’d ever want to go around in drag, but I’ve got no problem playing a character in a MMO. Of course, I’ve reaped both the benefits and disadvantages of being mostly perceived as female. In general, people tend to be a little kinder and friendlier to a female character. You’ll get more attention and free stuff. On the other hand, you’ll get unwanted attention and sometimes your opinions are dismissed out of hand. It has been an educational experience for me to say the least. A male with definite opinions and vision is seen as a leader. A female is seen as bossy and uppity.
    Whenever I run into this weird discrimination, I am tempted to say something like, “You know, I’m a 6’1″ bald dude.” But I think better of it–getting the special male treatment just perpetuates the stereotypes. So I’ll settle down and let the facts do the talking, and hopefully be heard on my ideas rather than my perceived gender.

    • Long ago, a friend of mine introduced me to MMOs (Asherons Call)

      He told me: “the best tip I can give you is to play a female character”
      Of course I replied with “why?”
      “People give you free stuff”

      I’ll be darned if it wasn’t true.

    • Fionnuala /

      ” A male with definite opinions and vision is seen as a leader. A female is seen as bossy and uppity.”

      Funnily enough, I’ve found this to be true and I’ve found that most often it’s other females who tend to see me as bossy and uppity.

  7. Silfaer /

    I am a female player and have only played female characters— though I rolled a dwarf on Bullroarer and had fun with him!– but I have a guy friend who plays WoW, and he goes with the “make the character you want to look at” philosophy. ; D

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