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Gender locked classes

Yes, for many gender determines the class choice. Having the male/female switch is a must

“Color Commentary” :slight_smile:

I disagree but it’s mainly because you’re playing a character in a story. When you’re reading Lord of the Rings, would you ask J.R.R. Tolkien to make Legolas a girl? When watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer do you want an alternate series where it’s Blade instead (ignoring the fact that that’d be sick as hell)? I understand in RPGs the want for character customization where you are playing as you, like in the Elder Scrolls, Divinity, Fallout, etc. But in games where you’re playing as a character it makes less sense. The classes in Last Epoch have lore to them, they’re storied characters in the world of the game. The Mage has lines referencing the fact that the Acolyte is his apprentice, and the lore states it’s a “she”.

I may just not understand why it’s a dealbreaker for people or what the big deal is in general. I play the games for the gameplay and the story first, stuff like this never bothers me. If anybody has insight outside of this comment by Llama8, feel free to reply and talk to me about it.

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Of course if you really want to go down the rabbit hole a little, why would you only limit it to binary choices? (But I won’t open that can)

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Oftentimes, when a game has gender-locked classes, there’s an underlying component of sexism and gender-essentialism, like… for example: Knights are big and strong, and Men, as a concept, Are Big and Strong, so knights Must be men, and Cannot be women. You’ll usually see the same principle applied in reverse, wherein healers are Only Women Allowed, and so on. That kind of attitude is unrealistic, outdated, discouraging and oppressive, and typically permeates the entire game. People don’t always want to subject themselves to that.

(The same mindset goes hand-in-hand with making “more refined” races of pale skin and “more bestial” races of darker tones, or making every woman exclusively sexy. For the sufficiently wary, or sufficiently weary, one warning flag may as well serve as all of them.)

…That said, your own argument has a few holes itself. On the one hand, you’re conflating hard-coded stories (e.g. the written word) with the sort of manipulable narrative you can construct in a game. On the other hand, while they may not be from official channels, fiction definitely exists where Legolas is a girl, among other things. Since there’s demand for those kinds of stories, why not ask for official support when we can? And on a third hand shooting off from the second, it’d be sick as hell. You can’t ignore that, it’s actively part of the issue.

You say these characters have lore, and that’s true, and it’s good! Or, it’s good that a world exists in a sufficiently complete form where characters can exist in it, and it’s good that these characters are complete enough to exist within that world. But… is their gender, in-and-of-itself, strictly relevant to their role within the world? Is their identity locked in permanently, when the game is not yet even complete? You seem to be taking a lot of things as absolute, that are maybe a little more mutable than that. And that’s fine! Just, don’t assume all closed doors are locked, y’know? Sometimes you have to knock for opportunity to open up.

Edit:
On further consideration, based on the narrative that’s unfolded so far, I don’t even think you can assert that these are characters “inside of” a story. That is, each of the classes, from each of their unique and varied backgrounds… all share the same role within the narrative. Sure, they have their own unique dialogue commenting on the situation, but the situation is identical for each of them. If you can already drag-and-drop these characters with their “unique lore” in and out of the story… does their identity matter, to that story? If the story doesn’t care if I’m Legolas, Gimli or Gandalf, why can’t my Legolas be a girl this time?

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Hi all,

We understand that having a single character which is male or female per class can be disappointing to players who want other options. We would love to do this but it’s just a matter of resources that our indie studio doesn’t have. Creating another gender option per class would require double the animations, character introductions, voice acting, a large amount of work for equippable armor, etc. which is probably more time consuming and resource intensive than some realize. Im saying this so that you guys understand your desire for this isn’t falling on deaf ears and we’re just not tackling this because we don’t think it’s a good design choice. Maybe in the future we’ll have the means to do this - we would love it as much as you guys.

Thanks for your support.

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And when females can be Knights, the armor leaves a lot to be desired in terms of practicality as a defense mechanism. That’s just as annoying. (I don’t mind there being, um, “fantasy” options, but I also want armor that looks like it can save my life, thank you very much.)

Yeah, I’ve hated this in a lot of games where female characters seem to be eternally banished to the back row.

I find myself conflicted with a lot of this. I am a female in real life, and I prefer to play female characters in games. I see an in-game avatar as an extension of myself into that game’s world. It’s a form of escapism where I get to “be the Hero”.

I have no problem playing a game like Graveyard Keeper where the main character is male, because the whole story behind the game is based on a specific person. That doesn’t bother me a bit. It’s like reading a narrative instead of being part of the narrative.

In Diablo 3, I always roll female characters. I like being able to create whatever class I want with the limiting factor being how much fun the class is to play instead of how it looks.

In PoE, I’ve only ever played Witches, Rangers, and Scions. I’ve had build notes for rolling a totem-based Hierophant for 3 or 4 seasons now and I have yet to pull the trigger because I don’t like the idea of playing a male character.

In LE, I’ve only got one character so far, a Necromancer. I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a Sorceror for a while. If playing as a female were an option I’d have one already. I’ll probably still roll one eventually, but it just feels awkward. Escapism is a big part of games for me and it influences my choices in games. (Narrative-style games excluded, as I mentioned above.)

That’s why posts like this are important. The more often it’s asked for, the more it makes its way onto the game development radar, and ideally, the more often it actually gets implemented.

+1 for this as well.

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I very much agree. One of the things I hated about Wolcen is how even in full armour, the women characters have high heels. And the armour they put your sister into at the start for her default… And other games too, where the women look ridiculous in skimpy stuff without options to cover up properly.

I, too, for similar reasons prefer to play female characters, but to me, it’s not so much a big deal if I have to play male to get a particular class. As long as there’s some equality in classes. But I would love to see one of these gender-locked games have the barbarian as a kick-ass warrior woman! And I almost never play a healer, partly because I find it boring, partly because as a woman that’s what people expect I’ll play (while I prefer to tank).

Thank you for bringing this point up! So agree.

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Thanks for the perspective, it makes sense. Like I said I struggle to wrap my head around it since it’s not a huge issue for me.

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D3 does this too with the female Demon Hunter. It immediately makes me assume she’ll die after breaking her ankle ten steps outside the starter area.

I don’t mind heels being a thing but I’d love a transmog that gives me a regular-looking boot. Options are a good thing!

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Here are a lot complaints about female characters looking too sexy in fantasy games. I’d like to know the perspective of a female player. Is anybody here or are only men talking here?

What about male characters looking too sexy? Male characters often are very good trained. And I have to admit that when I have the choice and create a customisable character I would take the options to look more like Arnold Schwarzenegger than Dany DeVito. But this is as unrealistic as a Warrior Princess in high heels.

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I guess you missed this:

To answer your question, I don’t honestly focus on the attractiveness of characters too much. I don’t think the male Barbarian in D3 is attractive at all, as an example, but I do think he’s a great example of what a male Barbarian would look like, and I think he’s plenty badass.

My main ask other than having both genders as character options in non-narrative-based games is that I’d love to see a little more parity between the genders when it comes to armor models. One specific instance that annoyed the crap out of me was during the Cataclysm expansion in WoW - one of the raid zones had an armor set that I thought would be perfect for my Paladin…only for it to feature a chest armor with a bare midriff when she finally got one to equip. On a male model it looked like a standard chest armor.

I’m not a prude. I’ve got absolutely NO problem with revealing armor (for both genders) in games. I just don’t want it forced on me because I roll a female character :slight_smile: I’m including high heels in that (looking at you, D3 & Wolcen).

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That’s definitely a game pitfall that we will avoid. When we’re designing different armor types for the characters, we are attempting to make them logically. There is a comic strip out there that I love which highlights the issue so well. It’s of a male and female character in an RPG each with very exaggerated gear, full plate for the dude and a chain bikini for the girl. The guy says something like, “ugh, that won’t protect you from anything” and walks away. She takes off the armor set and the whole chest, body, bikini, everything is connected as one armor set and underneath is a normal character with normal clothes on. Just cracks me up as the only way it could make a shred of sense.

Katalaeia, we know that people prefer to play specific genders in many cases and we would love to make that possible for you. One day we might have gender options for our characters. I can say that we’ll do our best to keep the armor that we do have out of the range that the comic I’m referencing is like. It just wouldn’t fit with our overall aesthetic and it’s not the sort of game we’re making.

(I can’t find the comic but it was really over the top)

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Male objectification is a problem too, and one easily overlooked (as I did myself). Body type diversity is more common among male characters, but heavyset or properly fat playable characters of any gender are rare,(1) and characters in their older years are rarely frail.(2) It ties back to that idea of Things Can Only Be One Way: Heroes in an action combat games are… active in combat, necessarily, so it’s assumed that they’re fit and healthy.

What is fitness and health, and who is making that decision, with what information? Can people who are not of this “ideal” healthiness not be heroic? Do such people exist in the world at all, and in what narrative and social roles? Who’s making those decisions, and why?

And then of course there’s the adjacent concept of what “beauty” is, why we have to conform to that, why that’s “heroic” to the exclusion of alternatives… and so on, and so forth.

It’s troublesome and exhausting to think about it all, even if you’ve done it before (especially since you’ll do it all again), but that’s why ya gotta bring it up, innit?

…At least Eleventh is aware it’s of concern at all. Guess we’ll just hafta wait and see.


  1. The only character I can think of off-hand in Last Epoch itself that could be described as fat is maybe Admiral Harton? and he:

    • is a villain
    • is inhuman
    • visibly has no actual fat

    which is a little unfortunate.


  1. The specific character I think of when recalling frail elderly playable characters is Diablo 3’s male witch doctor. He’s got:

    • bad posture
    • sunken eyes
    • wrinkly skin
    • the shakes

    and hey! guess what! the female variant doesn’t have any of that! which is a little unfortunate.

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The weird thing is that if you have a system like LE with no option to customise your char and they look athletic or even sexy there always might be people complaining about sexism.
(I don’t say anybody does this here, pls don’t get me wrong) But when there is an option to change the appearance of your char very few people will choose to look fat or ugly or something else.

Whoops… Yes I missed that sentence. Now your comments make more sense to me :laughing:.

I remember a time where I as a male always played female chars. This was when Guild Wars first came out. I played a female elementalist with a very short skirt. The weird thing was that many of the other people treated me a a female. So when I started WOW I chose only male character models.

So when playing a game where I can choose a gender for my toon I always choose male chars because of the reason @Katalaeia mentioned:

But I have no problem to have no choice and play a female necro.

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Don’t mind if my character is female/male but i guess it’s always good to have the choice so everybody is happy !!!

Thanks, Mike, for reading through my rather lengthy post. I did see Mox’s reply and I understand resource constraints. As I’ve stated before, it’s not a make-or-break issue for me (although, as with PoE, it will probably influence the kinds of characters I wind up playing) and I’ve obviously already paid to support the game :slight_smile:

My main motivation for posting at all is that I do feel this is an issue that doesn’t tend to get enough attention overall in the industry, though, and when it’s brought up it tends to get loudly shouted down by (typically) male gamers who have come to expect every female character to look like a cross between a supermodel and Xena the Warrior Princess.

And yes, male objectification happens too, which is why my comments indicated that revealing vs concealing should be an option for both genders. If a dude doesn’t want to stomp around looking like He-Man or Conan, he should have that option.

I’ve actually got one of these saved on my computer. It’s a picture of a dude in full plate but with an arrow sticking out of a small gap in his helmet, and a lady in a plate-kini with about a dozen arrows sticking out of the tiny plate pieces while her skin is unharmed. I chuckle at that stuff too because it’s just so damn prevalent that everyone accepts it as normal (which, honestly, is part of the problem).

Like I said, I’m happy to support LE in its current state. The game is outstanding in so many ways already. If this eventually comes to pass, though, I feel no shame in saying I’d happily buy another supporter pack at that time as a thank you.

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Yeah, I’ve heard of dudes rolling female characters in games like WoW specifically to try “getting free stuff” from people. BS like that gives female players a bad name by association and pisses me the f*** off.

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Yeah, it’s always terrible when bad behaviour of few people affects the reputation of a group.

So there’s hope that some day - when LE is a successful and healthy game - there will be customisable chars. Hopefully not having this at start is not a deal breaker for that many people. :smiley:

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Just as a note that there is at least one other woman here.

I do appreciate the views of Eleventh Hour, from Mike, about the armour. Thank you.

As for the aesthetics of characters, both male and female (which, a bit offtopic! I love that Dauntless just chose to allow people to pick body types, without deciding if specifically male or female, so inclusive of NB), it’s all about options. I do understand that in ARPGs, as opposed to MMOs, it tends to be more about armour customisation rather than the character itself. The existence of skimpy armour does mean that the body type and “beauty” of the character matter more. Armour that covers more makes it more of a moot point, and there’s plenty of customisation options available still.

For character customisation, I’m one of your very few people who does things like make my warrior queens have things like burn scars over half the body and face, and/or lots of scarring from previous battles, and generally chooses non-human races, when available. And they are gorgeous to me, because they are still strong and fierce and have lived through some crap.

The funny thing is that when I see very pretty, skimpy female characters in game who also are fine with people giving them stuff because they’re “a cute girl,” I always assume it’s a guy playing a female character.

Anyway, I did read the thread, and appreciate constraints on the gender-locking, and it’s really not a make or break situation for me (although I always play female when I have the choice, because of her being my hero and representing me), but thought I’d share my thoughts some more on this. And because I do strongly believe that representation is important, I hope that if one day LE allows gender choice, that they also allow skin colour choices. But this is getting more complicated now, isn’t it?