High Heels

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(These shoes are more badass that Diablo 3 and everything in it.)

I really felt that I said everything I wanted to say about the demon hunter and her boots last weekend, but it was a post that seems to have struck a nerve. Also it’s way past time I highlighted some of the great blogs who have linked to me recently, whether I agree with the writers or not Winking smile

Liore describes her experiences with the D3 and TERA betas, and also notes that she disliked the heels.

GamingSF discusses the Diablo 3 and the MoP betas, and isn’t overly impressed.

Zubon@Kill Ten Rats talks about the idea of false equivalence, and why a lot of gamers feel that overly sexualised female characters in games are normal, but overly sexualised male characters are ‘gay’. Worth reading for the great note by Meagen in comments:

It’s completely trivial and a waste of our time to discuss and we should be doing something more productive with our time, and at the same time it’s extremely important that no changes be made and extreme effort needs to be made to ensure everyone knows how much of a big deal this totally isn’t.

Tobold exemplifies this last point in an appeal to allow designers to be politically incorrect in the name of artistic integrity. (He doesn’t make that point until the end of the comments.)

Note: Fanservice has minimal artistic integrity, by definition.

Random Waypoint discusses how men are portrayed in video games, given that he doesn’t like power-hungry hunks. I don’t agree that anyone needs to get over it, though. It makes a difference to my choice of games and I see no reason not to talk about it.

Doone posts a very thoughtful criticism of Tobold’s post, and discusses why this issue is so important to so many people. If you just read one of these links, read this one.

Klepsacovic considers sexy characters in games and gives examples of female characters he considers sexy. OK, I admit it, I thought Anders was hot! Tortured blonde academic types with a soft spot for animals/ helping people clearly do it for me :P (Actually I do find kindness to be a very sexy quality in guys, especially if they’re otherwise quite tough.)

What other players think

And finally, I wondered what the beta community thought of the demon hunter look in general so I checked out the official forums. This is a thread where players are discussing whether they intend to play the male or female demon hunter. I’ve tried to pick out some of the comments where people specifically mentioned the heels, sexiness, or badassness. I hadn’t realised the male demon hunter was a controversial model but clearly he brought out the ‘blood elves are gay’ faction.

female cause she’s looking so sexy

Female obviously. The male char looks ridiculous.

what would i rather see? a hot chick in tight leather, or a dude in tight leather? obvious answer, no trolls plz

My obvious answer is probably not the same as his obvious answer.

Male with bow just pure badass, im just hoping most of the head slot armor will be hood-alike.

Female is my choice. I think the female DH is the most badass DH :D

really depends on what toon im playing,but most of the times i prefer males. They just looks tougher and the gear pieces more shiny and biggie :D

Van Helsing? Male of course.

Probably male. I really don’t like the high-heels on the female =/

I’m not going to play a character with metal stilettos *ugly*

Male, ’cause of the resemblance to Van Helsing.

Not really getting the Van Helsing references, did Hugh Jackman really look like that in the film?

The female Demon Hunter is by far the worst from all classes, looks so cheap like it comes straight out from chinese mmos.

The female avatar looks awesome in her heels.

Female, because she looks a lot better than the male, i find that the male looks quite feminine

I dont know but high heels are downgrading to me

I`m all about being a sexy Demon Hutress wering high heels , dual wielding Xbows and having a charming scarf

Yup, co-ordinated (yet charming) accessories are what demon hunting is all about!

Male all the way, cant stand the females high heels

Male DH here. Seems way more badass than the female one ;)

Female for sure – you seen them high heels on them boots !?

Male! I dislike the animation of females, plus the male voice is nice :)

Male, because I think he looks cool, has nice animations and a good voice. :)

That’s a fair point, the male demon hunter voice was great. No one commented on the female voice.

Male looks kind of gay and also picking female just feels right

But isn’t it nerdy to be a female.. i mean she is half naked xD

Male because females are not appropriate for hunting, especially demons.

Male, everything about the Demon Hunter class screams a Male character to me…this isn’t helped by the fact the female DH looks stupid and terrible with ugly armour and silly artwork. <…> Leave the women to classes like Mage and Monk, Demon Hunting is a mans game.

“Demon hunting is a man’s game” – best comment ever?

diablo is not really an rpg and male looks are … unsetting … so yea female DH

Male. At first I was going for female due to male’s buttfugly hair, but after I saw those damned high-heels and her beyond stupid crossbow and bow animations I decided to roll male. <….> females animations just scream: “I’m dumb wench who just got her first bow and I have no idea what I am doing!”

i’d choose male since DH will be my first choice, but he is thin and skinny.. So my vote goes to sexy high heels

male-DH just feels wrong to me even tho there is absolutely nothing wrong about him. Okay, he might remind some of us of Male Elves from WoW or look a little emo/gay, what have you, but that’s just subjective perception.

Seriously, they got it right with an alluringly scrumptious female demon hunter.

OK, what I take from this is that the character designs on this class are quite controversial, with several people saying that they changed their mind after seeing them. (Which is interesting because in the actual game, your character is very tiny.) The heels in particular do get singled out; some people think they’re sexy and awesome, others that they are ugly, degrading or silly. There’s no doubt in my mind that the artists could have drawn the character in a less polarising way.

The comments about her look being silly or stupid are interesting too. Those aren’t qualities that most players want in their characters (although there’s definitely a place for silly in games.) And ‘degrading’ is even stronger language than that. But for some players, a female character who looks highly sexualised is automatically also less competent.

I’m particularly intrigued by the person who said they thought it was nerdy to play half naked female characters. Actually all the female characters in D3 are half naked at the start, but I figure he’s talking about half naked in an overly sexualised, “Hello Boys!” kind of way.

56 thoughts on “High Heels

  1. Considering the gay men I know are more muscular than the male Demon Hunter, what does that say?

    Absolutely nothing, really.

    Sometimes I wonder if people play these games because of the sexualized images.

  2. One comment Spinks – Bayonetta. She was the Demon Huntress turned to 1020 on the 10 grade scale. And it mostly worked. It was fun and charming and silly and Japanese. My personal opinion is that both designs are crap – male and female. Just don’t work. Now I don’t mind that every fantasy game should have its dominatrix. The problem with the demon huntress is that she just does not pulls it off – she lacks the fluidity aggression and flirtation that this kind of outfit requires – in a sense the whole character is way too serious – if you bring high heels on a demon slaying party at least pretend that you enjoy it. And the male is even worse. This whole assasiny outfit – you will never spend time in the shadows, you will never be subtle and you will never have a stealth kill in the game. Its out of place.

  3. You just don’t understand marketing do you? Controversy sells. Sex sells. Video games are like beer in both market and how they appeal to their target audience. Now I understand you are all mad that you are not that target. But them’s the facts. You are in a small minority and they would much rather lose your dollars then lose the big dollars of their target market.

    And no you can’t appeal to both. When you do you diminish the appeal to the primary target.

    • Please stop ignoring what countless commenters have repeatedly brought up in reference to games like WoW, SWTOR or Skyrim; unless you want to call any of these games a flop, don’t tell anyone that great games need to “sell with sex”. because they don’t and they aren’t doing it.

      Your circular argumentation is starting to get rather boring – in this thread as much as in others. just because you say “something is like that” ten times over, doesn’t make it so. defeatism is such a weak attempt at shutting up your audience. the blogosphere has grown out of the “accept it, it is teh holy writ”-arguments made in one-dimensional discourse since yesterday.

      P.S. what you call majority, is at best the vocal majority. guys who only play for sexy female characters and are loud on forums, are as representative for the entire playerbase as the Goons are for Eve Online’s community. it so happens that women are not nearly as active on public, meta-spaces such as message boards as men are. some of the quotes posted by Spinks MIGHT give you an idea why that is….

      • “P.S. what you call majority, is at best the vocal majority”

        You are very correct, Syl! According to the Entertainment Software Association, which is kind of like the video game advocacy group for distributors, in 2011 women over 18 make up 42% of the gaming population and are the fastest growing segment. There are more women playing games than there are boys 17 and under! (from: http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp)

        Anyone who “understands marketing” would agree that ignoring the rapidly increasing demographic that makes up almost half of your total playerbase would be stupid.

        Thanks for the link, Spinks! :)

      • Well said.

        People who make statements like “sex sells” has never read a single article or report from said marketing agencies who know better.

        Would love to see some articles, research, or evidence or an otherwise well thought out response to why “sex sells” is a fact, Goodmongo. As Syl has stated, these statements are boring and downright silly. Opinions will not do on this question.

      • I’ve already countered the Skyrim argument by listing the mods that are available. how many female armor and nice looking face mods are there compared to what you want?

        As for boring is your constant complaining whenever anyone disagrees with you.

        As for WOW you don’t think the females in that game are sexualized at all? NE or BE females for example? Since they are what does listing WOW prove?

        My argument is simple. Don’t buy the game and if revenues drop that will catch the notice of the devs. Then you have an economic argument. As of now you only have a personal opinion on what you like.

      • ” by listing the mods that are available”

        So mods made Skyrim successful? It wasn’t successful first thus generating mods? No one is saying there is no demand for T&A, they are saying T&A is not a requirement for success. Cart in the back, horse in the front.

      • @Goodmongo

        LOL, player-created skyrim mods have NO bearing whatsoever on how the game is SOLD by the company! allowing mods is actually a good way to solve things. so again, you got no argument here.

        and no, WoW is not completely free of sexism; however, there’s a BIG difference between that and your generalist claim that every games needs to “sell with sex” in such crude and one-sided a fashion. WoW does not sell with sex, that is not its primary appeal. neither do Skyrim or SWTOR or many other games.

        as long as you have no example of “diminished profits DUE to missing sexy”, you don’t hold any argument or ‘economic proof’. I’ve already given several to the contrary, you haven’t. hardly a disagreement.

    • Sex is a good way of attracting attention but marketers don’t always use it smartly. For example, I’ve seen overly sexualised advertising where people spent more time mocking the adverts than talking about the product (I’m thinking about Evony for example).

      To some marketers, that’s still a win. But if this were to wind up as being something people mock Blizzard about for years, it’s not necessarily a good thing for the brand.

      In some ways, what they are really trying to sell you is identity. Whether it be an identity as a sexy person, or someone who is sexually successful, etc. But if they cross the line and end up selling an identity which a segment of the population find degrading, then they’re also putting people off.

  4. I thought the “too nerdy” guy meant that to pick an overtly sexualized female avatar would be to conform too obviously to a stereotypical view of non-sports-playing male video-game fans as unable to get girlfriends in real life, falling back instead on imaginary sexual partners in pixillated form.

    Maybe I’m giving him too much credit, though. Assuming it was a “him”.

  5. Did you have some type of drinking game when reading through the forums for this project? If not, how did you make it through?

    • That’s actually very easy. After playing online for any amount of time, you very quickly develop a “jerk immunity” that also conveniently makes reading any kind of forum posts totally risk-free. (And content-free, but that’s game forums for you, right?)

    • The D3 forums were relatively fine! I didn’t see anyone issuing death threats to mods, or anything. Also I was just curious as to whether I have a personal hangup about heels or whether anyone else would mention them as well.

      I was quite surprised at how many people felt, like me, that the heels were a negative.

      • It seems to me that over the past 3 years or so, women gamers (and comic book fans, action movie fans, etc.) have become much more visible, and more than that, have become more comfortable with bringing feminist ideas and critiques into these hobbies. For all the negative pushback that causes, it does influence people, and over time helps the whole community grow up. I’m sure several years ago you wouldn’t have found as many people voicing concern.

      • Wow, what have they done to the players then? ;) Must be something in those health orbs that soothes them.

        +1: I agree that the heels are really silly. I don’t even fully get their reasoning: if they wanted “sexy” I’m sure they could’ve found enough more practical footwear (like the Torchlight comparison you linked in the original post) while staying “reasonably sexy”, with minimal changes.

        I still would’ve played the male one either way, though. Much better-looking. :D

  6. My first thought was that Tobold’s post was being deliberately controversial. He does that sometimes and then hits us with a follow up post along the lines of “I was trying to provoke a reaction with my last post and it worked!!11″.

    That said, his shocking recent post where he tried to justify his views on hardcore gaming by holding Anders Breivik up as an example of it, made me think that he might just not be a very nice person.

  7. Maybe to explain my “get over it” point. I think we actuially agree on the problems, just come to different conclusions.

    Your conclusion is to state the problem, state it clearly and loud, and hope to change things (at least I guess so, otherwise it wouldn’t make much sense except to vent – which, come to think of it, is ok, too). So the classic female and male stereotypes should both go.

    My conclusion is to shrug, say “oh well”, ignore, and move on. Let me state the reasons. 1) As long as I have some choice that vaguely appeals to me, I won’t argue that other choices that don’t should go. I find some of those choices silly and think they’re somewhat tasteless, but others might look at it differently. Knowing that my taste in these things is a minority one, I don’t see a reason to do anything but grumble. And bereaving them of their choices irks me, too.
    2) I won’t change anything by complaining about it. One of the things you learn as a German: always complain, but don’t ever expect it will change anything. ;) So “give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” yadda yadda. The forum posts you cite actually reinforce my opinion on this one. You won’t change any of these. It’s no use arguing with dimwits.
    3) It’s not good for myself getting worked up every time I am offended. I’d literally not stop being offended by other people’s behavior, ever. I’d probably die of a heart attack at 32.

  8. No. Bad Spinks. Don’t use TV Tropes as an appeal to authority. It’s really, really awful and has definitions that have very little to do with what things actually mean except as defined by horrible internet people. Did you even read that page you linked? It’s a terrible place where hope goes to die.

    My problem with sexy in games isn’t about objectification, because at heart that’s a suckers game. If you’re making games about wish fufillment with a strong visual element, people are going to get objectified. Muscles and T&A are more interesting to look at than not. So, odds are they’re going to be there. My problem is that it isn’t sexy. It isn’t fun. It’s just there. That’s why it’s offensive. Because it’s pointless. And frankly, the only people who do it well are the former Grasshopper industry guys, who ended up making things like Bayonetta and Lollypop Chainsaw (The soon to be relased story of a cheerleader with a glitter encrusted chainsaw who keeps her boyfriend still living decapitated head with her. Because of twu luv) and the 9 hour long dick joke that is Shadows of the Damned.

    I don’t give a damn about of objectification. It’s the reflexive, useless objectification I have an issue with and that’s the thing that needs to be addressed. Learn to do it properly or not at all.

    Here’s the really interesting thing though. The games I’ve seen the least objectified examples of the female form in are the Bro games. The ladies in Gears of War 3, for example, are worth having a look at character design wise or Grand Theft Auto 4 and it’s various add ons have, even considering the tendency to go for extremes of personality, better realised female or LGBT characters than any Bioware game.

  9. Normally I enjoy the “sexiness” of female characters in MMO’s. rift started to go a little far, I thought, but then when the vet reward armors came out I was actually disappointed that they weren’t exact analogs of the sexy npc armor that they said they would be and instead covered up everything.

    I do have a Shadow in SWTOR that runs around in a bikini, since it’s light armor. That said, I also have an Assassin running around in Imperial Trooper Armor, and my sages both run around in the Elegant Formal dress which covers everything up too.

    Tera I thought was way over the top, yet the High Elf race didn’t bug me in character select nor in the game itself. I thought the human female looked nice at character select, but didn’t play one. The Castanic female I thought looked simply amazing at character select, but then in-game the animation when running was to bend over double and flash her panties while she ran and flailed her arms in a grotesque caricature of the stereotype “runs like a girl.” It was hideous. Even if I had liked the style of gameplay for that character I would have rerolled off that one just for how horrifyingly bad those animations were. More thoughts here about 1/2 way down the post.

    • Ah yes, Tera. I decided to give it a pass last year, when I first saw a video of the girl running that you describe. Thanks for the link (go read her post if you want to read more about Tera!)

      I agree that it’s important to have these discussions and to be clear that a lot of people do enjoy playing sexy characters. I know the slave girl outfits in SWTOR have been popular, and Arb and I had way too much fun with our skimpy gear in AoC. I don’t want to sound as though I want to stop everyone having fun with their dressing up, but as you say, sometimes there are lines you just don’t want to cross.

      For me, thigh high stilettos and hotpants is one of those lines. (Although in D3 I assume you quickly get more covering armour as you level up anyway, which doesn’t excuse Tera.)

  10. I have encountered a weird gender-snobbery in MMOs where the belief is that everyone has to play their IRL gender or there is something wrong with them.
    The response is usually “Well at least my avatar is sexy to look at”, which appears to make roleplaying the opposite sex acceptable to the mob.

    Incidentally (and I know this is derailing 101 here, please forgive me), I think having only 1 non-Caucasian class available is far problematic than the DH’s shoes. Particularly when that class plays on ‘black magic’ stereotypes and consists of an (arthritic?) old man and a young female counterpart…

    • I agree, and the witch doctor makes me uncomfortable too for that reason. It is problematic and also unnecessary.

      There’s an element of homo/transphobia in guys being suspicious of men who play female characters, I’m sure. I’ve never really seen that level of suspicion directed to women who play male characters, it’s just usually assumed it’s done to either avoid chain bikinis or avoid harassment.

      • It used to be that you always assumed it was a guy at the keyboard, regardless of the sec of the avatar. I guess you can’t do that any more these days, but I would just put it as “you should always assume that there’s potentially a person of the opposite sex at behind this character”.

        The arguments against gender-bending are usually pretty weird. Those also seemed to have died down more and more in recent years, at least that was my impression. It’s for the best, definitely. Maybe people took a long time to realize how widespread the phenomenon is: http://blogs.parc.com/playon/2012/02/24/gender-bending-2/ About a third of all male players gender-bend. Curiously, a lot fewer female players do.

    • I used to be okay with the men playing female characters because what does it matter?

      But I’ve read enough terrible self-serving defences it over the years as a feminist statement that I’ve gradually grown to suspect there is something wrong with them.

      This is also why I hate the Femsheppers.

    • Some (by no means all) of the characters I play are female. By the same token, some of the characters in fiction that I write are female, too. Same difference. THat doesn’t make me weird or perverted, just versatile :)

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  12. “I think having only 1 non-Caucasian class available is far problematic than the DH’s shoes.”

    Comparing the male character classes to RL ethnicities, I would say that the Barb is a Northern European type. The Monk is a Russian. The Demon hunter is southern european. The Wizard is Asian. And the Witch Doctor, african. I would say the cast of characters is pretty diverse. The only major groups left out are Indian and South american maybe?

    Since the majority of the market for this game is caucasian, asian, and latin, I would argue that they didn’t do too bad with diversity. They created characters that their playerbase could relate to.

    • @Degrin

      You make this statement and the contradiction lies within. You named 3 European “races” and then lumped all of Asia and all of Africa into a single race. You don’t see this contradiction? You don’t find that unfair?

      There are several “races” of peoples in Africa just as there are in Europe as you have pointed out. Same goes for Asia. Is there any reason we should be sympathetic to the fact that the game decided to represent more of Europe than, say, any other continent of peoples?

      The 1 non-caucasian class is a fine point worth discussion considering this, don’t you think?

      • @Doone

        I thought my response was clear as to why I think 3 of the 5 were caucasian looking. (Asians are not caucasian and neither are Africans obviously.)

        To quote myself:
        “Since the majority of the market for this game is caucasian, asian, and latin, I would argue that they didn’t do too bad with diversity. They created characters that their playerbase could relate to.”

        I should add that I do not think that Blizzard created characters (nor should they) with a “doctrine of diversity” in mind. I think they wanted a level of diversity in their characters that they felt could fall within the “lore constraints” of the Diablo universe and that their audience could relate to. I think they did this with success. Nothing is perfect, but I think they achieved the goal stated above.

        Do you really want the designers to say… “Well, we have Monk, Barb, WD, and Wiz. That makes 2 caucasians an asian and an african. Sooo, the final character has to be latino despite the fact that it might not fit in with the lore, because people might critisize us for not being diverse enough”

        Sorry but I think that assertion is absurd.

      • This looks like I’m replying to Doone, but I’m actually replying to Degrin below!

        “Since the majority of the market for this game is caucasian, asian, and latin, I would argue that they didn’t do too bad with diversity.”

        What does the ethnicity of the players have to do with ethnicity in a game? It sounds like you’re saying that, for example, Caucasian players won’t buy a game where they have to play a person of color. How many times has an Asian gamer has to play a white character? It’s pretty much all the time. Why can’t we white folks equally relate to playing a different race?

        “Do you really want the designers to say… “Well, we have Monk, Barb, WD, and Wiz. That makes 2 caucasians an asian and an african. Sooo, the final character has to be latino despite the fact that it might not fit in with the lore, because people might critisize us for not being diverse enough”

        Yes. Yes I do. Well, I think your statement is flawed, honestly. Why is the Diablo lore apparently that most players (and all major human NPCs too, I think) are white? In a crazy other world where zombies and demons wander the earth and we all teleport around, I’m pretty sure someone with brown skin tones could be a Barbarian.

      • @Degrin

        Your response is still flawed for the same reasons I appointed out. For starters, Blizzard is an american company (the assumption I operated under in my former response).You’re proposing that to cater to americans is to cater to a caucasian audience? In which case you’re asserting that America is a white audience. Your rationale isn’t leading anywhere good.

        By your own words, to have a majority white cast in a game that’s targeting the american market is poor marketing. You’d have to be assuming that the game is targeting a white audience, which has nothing to do with *where*. Just a matter of *who*.

        This is all kinda beside the point, as Liore has pointed out. Since when does race in a game need to align with the race of the player. Minorities have been enduring white casts forever and I’d wager most who consider themselves gamers have had to identify with being hedgehogs, mushrooms, gorillas …you name it.

        I’m not seeing what your point is.

      • “Blizzard is an american company.” …..”You’re proposing that to cater to americans is to cater to a caucasian audience? In which case you’re asserting that America is a white audience.”

        Not sure where you are getting that from. I never said that catering to Americans is equivalent to catering to whites. What I did mention was that despite Blizzard’s playerbase being worldwide, it is mostly composed of Caucasians, Asians and Latin/South Americans. Not sure where you get (to paraphrase you) “Americans = Caucasians”. In fact I came no where near to saying that….

        Indulge me though….Tell me about your ideal scenario. You are blizzard, you have decided on 5 characters. Each character can be only one race, male or female because they venture from the same part of Sanctuary. How would you go about creating the 5 characters? Then I can tell you why I agree or disagree with your scenario.

      • @Liore

        So you would be ok if Blizzard ended up scrapping the DH and created a separate class that doesn’t fit with the lore just to appease someone that gets antsy about having a larger variety of race in the character selection? And you think my statement is flawed? You seem to want Blizzard to make racial diversity the Doctrine behind their character design formula. I am not saying racial diversity is bad, I am saying that it shouldn’t be the driving force behind character design.

        I think Blizzard’s thinking would be just as flawed whether they were purposely making white characters or purposely trying to make non-white characters. I honestly don’t think either of those are true though. I think they designed the characters with what they think felt “right” in the game and worked the best with the game lore.

      • So wait, are you arguing that it is SO impossible for a Demon Hunter to look Asian that Blizzard would have to scrap the entire class?!

        You seem to feel, from what you’ve said here, that changing the race of a character is a HUGE change when in fact it would affect the gameplay of D3 in exactly no ways. Honest question: what do you think would change about Diablo 3 if the Demon Hunter was Middle Eastern-looking? Because I played the beta, and I can’t think of anything.

      • Read what I said again. I do not beleive that race should be the driving force behind character design…..period. Blizzard could make the DH look middle eastern, they could make it look like a zergling from starcraft if they wanted to. I wouldn’t advise it, but they could do it. They have a character, and they have to decide what to make it look like. The driving force behind their decision is how it fits with the style of the character within the D3 franchise. They felt that a DH in Diablo 3 fits best as an olive skinned fellow. That was their artistic image.

        Do you think they have 5 characters and say….”well we have 5 characters, and we will put all their names in a hat. The first one I pull out will be white, the second one I pull out will be middle eastern, the third will be asian….”? Putting some sort of “affirmative action” style rules on character design would stifle their ability to design because they would be forced to change their designs based on things unrelated to the game itself.

  13. Thank you for reading my article, Spinks. Keep doing what you do here. The way you right has, more than once, made me more self-aware on these issues that affect women. I feel sure a lot of guys (and gals) out there have had the same experience.

    Of the quotes that you linked, the first impression I got was how many responses by those who didn’t choose male mentioned that they did so because he was “disturbing” or weird for them. Imagine that: guys feeling weird about being portrayed as slender demon hunters. Thank goodness we’re not being portrayed in stilettos! We might find that offensive …/sarcasm

  14. As an RPer, to a degree at least, I tend to have a problem with almost all the armor in MMOs. Right, so I’m playing a melee combatant whose arms are locked to his sides by his pauldrons and who has decided that a gorget, or at least a coif, is a waste of time. Who is going to attack my throat? Most unsporting. And that is on the male models. The plate bikini makes my eye tic. The heels are not the worst I’ve seen but they are enough for me to avoid the female DH.

    One of the better aspects of LotRO and RIFT was the ability to have multiple cosmetic sets. The LotRO system was better as you weren’t type locked. So my Guardian, heavy armor, had a set of leather that looked like good traveling clothes, his plate and mail heavy armor for when I knew a fight was coming, and a set of town clothes. It’s minor and very much an RP aspect but I still think it was one of the better parts of the game.

  15. My reaction to high heels on a demon hunter is sort of like my reaction to how the rich white guy is the culprit 95% of the time on Law and Order. “Oh give me a break, that’s just silly!”. I don’t demand realism, in fact I don’t much care for realism as it actually exists, but some departures from the real world are so gratuitous that they can’t help but call attention to themselves. In the real world, flat shoes are pretty much a necessity for anyone hoping to do some demon-hunting or what-have-you. In the real world, white Americans have Scandinavian rates of crime. Give me a break!

  16. Diablo is an RPG, “action-” prefix notwithstanding. And that means that we get to fill in the blanks in our character’s backstory as we see fit.

    One Demon Hunter wears stilettos because they’re the only items that she managed to salvage from her burning home as she fled into the night. They’re reminders of a better age and a powerful symbol of hope that one day peace would return to Sanctuary. More importantly, they’re her anchors that prevent her from slipping into the abyss and turning into one of the monsters she’s hunting. In her mind, to take them off would be to admit that peace and light are forever gone, and there’s nothing worth fighting for anymore other than survival – and what good is survival in a damned world?

    Another Demon Hunter wears them for a completely opposite reason. They’re symbols of her shame and guilt. Before the war, she always strove for maximum comfort and pleasure, and avoided pain whenever possible. This weakness meant that she couldn’t save the ones she loved when the demons came. Now she wears the most uncomfortable stilettos she could find as a penance for past failures. She swore an oath that she would only remove them after embedding each heel in Diablo’s dead eyes.

    Some would say that going into battle on high heels is stupid, impractical and otherwise insane. The third Demon Hunter would privately agree, yet she does not let that stop her. In her travels, she’s seen plenty of people who have taken the most smart, practical and logically correct course of action available in a world overrun by an infinite demonic horde – namely, to kill oneself as quickly and painlessly as possible. To stand heroically against the fiendish tide requires a certain blend of stupidity, insanity and general disregard for common sense. Some call this combination “heroism”.

    The thought of wearing shoes without high heels does not cross the fourth Demon Hunter’s mind anymore. All that fighting, horror and trauma left her with a peculiar mental block. She’s alert and composed when wearing stilettos, and suffers severe anxiety attacks whenever she tries to put anything else on her feet.

    What about you? Why would YOUR female DH wear high heels?

  17. >.> I just wish there were more general options to dress female characters up to look Kate Beckinsale’s Selene type sexy. >.> It’s *just* possible to do that in GW with the female assassin with the right mix and match, without going overly broke, but none of the other primaries have anything close to that. And none of the other MMOs (or games, now that I think about it) have anything close to that.

    Hm, now I’ll have to screenshot my sin to show people. XD

  18. Pingback: Overcoming Objectification « Harbinger Zero

    • Feel free to post. Tobold is kind of full of it on this subject, so don’t let him get to you. (And believe me, even in my clubbing days, the only sorts of clubs anyone would go to wearing thigh high stiletto boots and hotpants would have been fetish clubs. It’s not standard gear, much as he’d like to believe it ;) And it’s perfectly reasonable to not want your character to look like someone who hangs out in fetish clubs.)

      • I spent a good portion of my early 20’s in stiletto boots, fishnets, and miniskirts going to fetish/goth clubs. ;-) There’s a time and place for everything. I’m kind of done wishing for better depictions of women in games; at the very least, this discussion has lit a new fire under my ass to get back to work on making them :)

      • “I spent a good portion of my early 20′s in stiletto boots, fishnets, and miniskirts going to fetish/goth clubs.”

        :) Good for you! I was an indie kid, we went clubbing in jeans and trainers :) I may be a bit biased because the one person I knew who was a goth stayed over at my place once and peed in the waste paper basket in my bedroom. I don’t think she was typical though!

  19. Pingback: I’ll say one thing for Diablo III… « Dale Innis’s Weblog

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