High Heels

416px-Tacones_lejanos_poster

(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.

[D3] In which I warm to Diablo 3, but not to the demon hunter stilettos

I have a theory that while female models in games pretty much started out based on underwear models and haven’t moved on significantly from there (depending on whether you think Sonic is female or not), graphic artists are now tending towards two male forms for all portrayals of men in games.

1. Bald space marine

2. The guy from Assassin’s Creed

I think we should applaud this diversity, since some of us like our guys lithe and … err… assassiny. In fact, if Blizzard had only made their original male blood elf model look more like Ezio (which admittedly would have required a time machine since TBC was released first IIRC), I bet none of the beta testers would have whined about them looking gay.

This is a roundabout way to introduce the topic of Diablo 3, which I have been playing some more this weekend as and when the servers allow it. So without more ado, this is the demon hunter.

demonhuntercombo

 

The top two characters are the level 1/ starting male and female demons hunters. The guy at the bottom hunter is the demon hunter from the end of beta, and the other chick is the Vanquisher from Torchlight. I just had two points to make here:

1. You can see that the dude is getting gradually more assassin’s creed-like over time

2. those thigh high stilettos are TERRIBLE. I really wasn’t over-reacting when I said I hated them. That character in the top right looks as though she’s going to strip, or go to a BDSM party, or pose for a pin up. I wanted a female version of the male dude. The comparison with the Vanquisher is fun because the two characters have a similar look and are wearing similar gear. But because the Vanquisher has sensible boots and a stronger pose, she strikes a better balance between sexy and badass. (NB. I think the female demon hunter is a beautiful piece of art if you wanted a pin up model, but it’s oddly over-sexualised compared to every other character in the game. I blame the boots.)

I am looking forwards to playing D3 at release, and have been making more of an effort to note any cool tweaks and updates to the genre that have impressed me particularly.

  • I like the events that you encounter in the dungeons, they make a neat change to standard boss fights and I can see there’s lots of scope for Blizzard to add more of them as time goes on.
  • The achievements work really well in Diablo also. I’m not an achievement minded person, but I was thinking about how to do some of them (like kill 20 mobs in one go) and which build would be best suited for it. There is plenty of scope for fun play there.
  • It feels quite quaint that the characters are so non-customisable, and that the loot will tend to end up looking samish also. I assume unique items and sets will have different looks to them.
  • I love how the game keeps track of your ‘high score’ for things like killing streaks on both mobs and destroyable items, and number of mobs killed in one blow even if you don’t hit the achievement. It gives a good sense for when you’re getting better.
  • I like the voiced lore items and journal entries. I did encounter at least one lore item (skeleton I think) which was not voiced, which struck me as an unusual polish fail.
  • The character voicing is not very good. Some of them are pretty terrible. Particularly the accents. I realise they may be the same actors as previous versions but they’re still not very good. But I feel less waspish about it now, because the male demon hunter sounds very cool.
  • I am not one of the people who complains about lack of talent trees, I prefer not having to think too much about which abilities to take. And the beta only covers the first few levels so it’s a bit soon to judge how well anything is balanced. But this is also Diablo and mobs come at you in packs, so the classes with the better AEs are easier to play.
  • I’ve played the beta through on the barbarian and demon hunter now, as well as the wizard. On the demon hunter I mostly did this in open groups so that I could try out the co op. The barbarian was simple but effective, it wades in and swings around with a large axe (or dagger in my case since the dagger had better dps) and bodies fly around. The demon hunter seemed to be a single target dude in an AE world, but I love that they have a channeled ability to fire the crossbow off like a machine gun. That’s very bonkers, but amusing,
  • Co-op groups mostly consist of people doing speed runs. Even if they don’t say so, that’s what they will do. Many of them will also have speed boosts on their gear so it’s easy to end up running after everyone else through corridors of dead mobs and then seeing the end of quest achievement pop up before you get there. D3 does make everyone zone into boss fights together, so you will at least get to see those. And it’s quick xp. In fact, if you want to level fast when the game goes live, just do co op runs.
  • No one, but no one, is going to enjoy having to deal with lag and server disconnects in the single player game.