ATTRACTIVE WOMEN CHARACTERS and massively multiplayer roleplaying games (or MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft have gone hand-in-hand for years now — so much so that people sometimes joke that the genre’s acronym actually stands for “many men online roleplaying girls.” That’s not so surprising, though, when you consider the beautiful women characters who inhabit them. None of them are worth passing up a date with a real flesh-and-blood woman, of course, but that’s not to say that we don’t have our favorites:
1. Sylvanas Windrunner (World of Warcraft)
Expressing appreciation for World of Warcraft’s Sylvanas Windrunner runs dangerously close to necrophilia — after all, she’s technically dead, having been transformed into a banshee by Arthas Menethil way back in 2002’s WarCraft III. But while Sylvanas might ramble on a bit too long about how much being dead sucks, we have to say, she’s looking pretty good for a 10-year-old corpse. The dragon queen Alexstrasza isn’t far beyond Sylvanas, but with that thong and see-through cloak, she’s simply trying a bit too hard.
2. Castanic Females (TERA)
While there’s some attempt at hammering out a story in the Korean MMORPG TERA (which landed on North American shores last May), the rest of the MMO is mostly eye candy wrapped around a fairly innovative action combat system. As such, it’s hard to pinpoint a specific character to single out. But the showcase here is undoubtedly the women from the demon-like Castanic race, who manage to make it on almost every last bit of TERA’s marketing. Sensuality and fan service oozes from Castanics to an occasionally uncomfortable degree (such as when you watch them run from behind, which is, well, almost all the time), but to be fair, it’s never quite so uncomfortable as playing TERA’s sexualized childlike Elin race. That’s just wrong.
3. Eir Stegalkin (Guild Wars 2)
Eir Stegalkin might be wearing an outfit that proves you don’t need to be wearing bondage gear to look stunning in leather straps with buckles by the dozen, but her characterization goes far deeper than her shock of red hair and the tribal tattoos lining her toned huntress’ body. Eir is actually one of the more thoughtful characters in the Guild Wars universe, and when she’s not using her arrows to perform acupuncture on crazy minotaurs, she creates sculptures out of wood and ice. If you’d like to see more of Eir, level as a Norn character when Guild Wars 2 comes out next month.
4. Asha Catari (Rift)
Compared to the revealing outfits most MMORPG female protagonists wear, Asha Catari’s simple breastplate and tight, sparkly pants are almost Amish in their conservativeness. As the second-in-command of the Defiant forces and the head general of its armies, Asha is a no-nonsense woman, and much of her attractiveness rests on the respect her presence commands from her legions of followers. She’s also one of the more interesting characters in Rift’s self-made universe, and it’s worth following her story in Rift’s Telara Chronicle series of comics.
5. Circe (DC Universe Online)
Ah, Circe. So beautiful. So diabolical. So comparatively obscure. Circe’s known as the arch enemy of Wonder Woman to fans of DC Comics (and as that witch who slept with Odysseus to mythology buffs), but she might as well be playing Pete Best to the Beatles when compared to her buddies Lex Luthor and the Joker. Still, supervillains of a magical bent can’t go wrong in aligning themselves with Circe; not only does she have one of the most stunning bodies in MMORPGs, but Michelle Forbes’ voice acting strikes a pleasant cord between sultry and menacing.
6. Shae Vizla (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
It’s more than a little disappointing that Shae Vizla, a fiery Mandalorian bounty hunter, doesn’t actually make an appearance in Star Wars: The Old Republic proper—or, at least, in what’s been released of the game so far. That’s odd, especially considering that her likeliness was plastered on much of the promotional material for SWTOR and she even made an appearance in BioWare’s first cinematic for the ambitious MMORPG. To judge from those, her beauty and intelligence render her perfection personified, which is what makes her homely appearance as a recent Kenner action figure all the more disappointing.
7. Firiona Vie (EverQuest)
Long before there was World of Warcraft, there was 1999’s EverQuest, and, let’s not deny it, the sight of Firiona Vie’s pristine midriff and seductive smirk on the original box art was what drew a lot of us to the genre in the first place. Since then, she’s made her appearance on the majority of covers for EverQuest’s 18 expansions and maintained her status as one of the most iconic figures in gaming. The EverQuest series has since produced other women who arguably rival Firiona’s beauty (including EverQuest II’s Antonia Bayle), but Firiona will always be first in our hearts.