Thursday, October 28, 2010

So my worgen will be a guy after all

My resto druid Arasil is probably going to get through a major surgery in Cataclysm. She has no idea about it now, but I bet it will be a bit of a shock to her as she wakes up from her digital coma once I've put the order to Blizzard.

She’ll go to bed as a pretty night elf woman, with bluish skin and bouncing breasts. And as she looks into the mirror, she’ll find that she hasn’t only switched race. She’ll be turned into a furry beast. A male worgen.

First time male
If I go through with my decision (I might actually bail out and stay night elf in the end), this will my debut. Believe it or not, but over my 3.5 years in WoW, I’ve never ever come around to play a male character.

I’m not sure what’s been holding me back, but somehow I reckon I’m putting a bit of myself into the toons I play. Maybe I’m just not enough of a roleplayer to break the boundaries. For whatever reason there is, I’ve always felt uncomfortable at the thought of rolling a guy with a neck that is thicker than his head.

It was the recent pictures of the female worgen dance that settled it to me. There just isn’t any way that I can make those moves go together with the image I have of what a worgen should be like. I’m not going to analyze why, or argue whether the dance is too much of a sex show or not. The point is that it doesn't click, because it looks like a senseless and unnatural thing for a worgen to do. Too artificial to fit.

No reason for dancing
“Big deal”, someone might say. “If you don’t like the dance, well, then, don’t dance! Dancing is a pointless activity for socials and it doesn’t affect your performance. As a matter of fact it’s more of a distraction than anything else, so there really isn’t any logical reason to ever do it!”

However I’m not a robot. It happens that I feel like dancing in the game, in the same way as I jump when there’s no reason to jump apart from getting a moral boost, or hug someone nearby that looks as if he needs one, or lit a camp fire because it’s cosy or put up a vanity pet because it amuses me. It’s not the main focus of my game play, but it adds a little something to it that I don’t want to be without.

I want to dance sometimes, but the female worgen dance doesn’t make it for me, so as it stands now, I can't see myself playing one. The male worgen dance isn’t splendid either, but at least it I don’t get embarrassed every time I see it.

The thought of playing a male character feels a bit weird, but hey, it might be an interesting experience. It’s really about time I try it.

By the way, did you notice that the female worgen dances in her bikini in the video from the beta, while the male worgen is fully dressed? You may wonder why.


Rachel said...

Personally I think the dance is hilarious. It's funny -because- it's incongruous.

pitrelli said...

Is this a serious post or a wind-up ? You aint gonna play a race/sex because you dont like the dance ?!
Lets hope blizz save you and add in the dance studio.

As for the fact its in its underwear is it really a big deal ? The fact the model is still being finalised would perhaps point towards armour clipping issues. Or is this a case of being offended for the sake of it ? Im sure seeing a hairy beast in a bra and pants is really degrading to women......

Larísa said...

: Exactly Where did I write that I'm horribly offended or wind-up? I'm just telling you calmly that I thought that the female dance looked strange and that I'll rather pick a male character for that reason.

Is that somehow threatening or offensive to you?

tufva said...

I just had a look and boy does that dance look silly. And not silly as in giggle-worthy, but silly as in stupid.

However, I will still make my worgen female, because I just cannot seem to break through the gender barrier. Playing a male character makes me feel like my skin is on backward. :-)

Jen said...

Like tufva, I can't picture myself playing a male character. My girls are me, to an extent, and I just can't see a guy on screen and connect it to myself.

As for the dance, it's ugly. I don't care if it's degrading or not, if she touches her boobs or not. I love my night elf's dance and I think it's much sexier. The worgen one just looks silly - in a bad way... but that's not the thing stopping me from playing one. (If the dance was a problem, I'd do like on my warrior - never type /dance. Macarena is WAYYYY worse.)

What did it for me is the walk. I played a male on beta for a while and I was getting seasick. I absolutely hate the way they walk, so yeah, no worgens for me. Hello goblin lady!

pitrelli said...

I asked if it was a wind-up because Ive never heard of someone rejecting to play a race/sex combo because they didnt like the 'dance animation'.

And no if you play a bloke it wont offend me at all.

I thought your last sentence perhaps pointed to the fact you were offended /annoyed that the female was in its uber sexy underwear. I apologise if i picked it up wrong ;)

Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem, really, (not necessarily yours) is that people has this mental image of worgen as these super-serious, super-badasses, so the dances, which have generally always been silly and incongruous (see Draenei men and Tunak Tunak Tun or Night Elf males and Smooth Criminal), seem particularly out-of-place to them. Whereas no one raises a fuss about Goblins or their dances because everyone already regards Goblins as a bit silly.

Personally, I don't mind thinking of the male Worgen as a guy who likes to shimmy and tiptoe about in his dancing, or of the female Worgen who likes being more in-your-face with her dancing.

By the way, did you notice that the female worgen dances in her bikini in the video from the beta, while the male worgen is fully dressed? You may wonder why.

Not really, actually, as the two videos were made by different people. Since Allison Roberts, who made both videos in the female Worgen post, was clearly capable of having her Worgen clothed, she presumably stripped her Worgen so as to clearly show off all of the emotes, not just the dance.

Oestrus said...

O was a male Tauren for quite a long time, because I had a weird issue with Tauren females and they just didn't look right to me. Eventually, it grew on me and I changed genders shortly after Wrath came out and that service became available.

I'm actually surprised that your decision was based on the dance and not general aesthetics. I can see people not picking the Worgen females, because they're not attractive enough. They do still overwhelmingly feral - but that's what I enjoy about them. I love how their casting animation is so involved and they really put their whole upper torso into it and comes across as very bestial. I like the sniffing around they do when they're idle. I find that to be more appealing for me to become one.

I'm still leveling her in the Worgen starting zone to see if it really grows on me. And on the plus side, if I end up liking it and do make my priest a Worgen, I could still keep the name Oestrus.


Larísa said...

@Tufva & Jen: yeah, the gender barrier is pretty strong with me but as I said I think it might be interesting. I'll have to check out more about the other animations first. I'm prone to get seasick so that sounds a bit worrying to me...

: I think that's true. The serious part. Gnomes and goblins can have the most silly dances and it just works anyway. But making dances for worgen is tricky business.

About your explanation for the dressed/non dressed video: that actually makes sense. I didn't look close enough to notice. It just stuck out to me since the female was so very nude and the male wasn't.

@Oestrus: I'd totally want a female worgen to be on the wild side, more like an animal/beast than a humanoid. Not necessarily female and "pretty" in a stereotyped way, more on the powerful, dangerous side. But that dance goes so very much against all of that. And yes, you don't spend much time dancing, but it happens and I just know how much I'd cringe at it.

Anonymous said...


I'm playing a drinking game where I take a drink each time you write some twitchy feminist aside, then play the slightly shrill-"I'm fine, it must be you" card in the comments.

Larísa said...

: Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I didn't expect a drink so early in the morning. But please don't get me smashed today. I have errands to run.


Dwism said...

What vid of the female worgen dance are you referring to? The one from mmo champ, looks very much like a dress

...Regardless, I hate the dance too, but for me it is because it reminds me of lady Gaga, and if I find any references to that ehm recording artist, i'll get upset.

Anonymous said...


The one on MMO-Champion is, in fact, clothed and is, in fact, Lady Gaga.

Anonymous said...

Totalbiscuit released a short with the female and fully clothed worgen dancing. I don't think he liked it either.


--G! said...

I wonder if the reason that female worgens don't work is because canines are sort of gender neutral (without close inspection).

The Blizz artists are struggling because they trying to force a super idealized feminine vision of gender on to something that normally isn't obvious and our brains are going: uhhh no.

Sort of like that paradox of the more real CGI human are the more creepy and dead they look to us.

Curious to see what the discussions would be like if worgen form was more gender neutral except for differences in height and build.


I'm also re rolling my druid as a male worgen.

Larísa said...

@Dwism: I first saw the worgen dance video at WoWInsider, so that's where the bikini one is coming from. I've linked to it in the post.

Jaedia said...

Yeah, I know how you feel with dances really, except I can't play male characters. My Blood Elf Priest simply doesn't dance.

theanorak said...

Hey Larisa

You might have a little wait in store before you have a worgen, I think, unless you're going to delete your existing druid and re-level.

I'm sure they said they weren't going to allow race changes to Worgen/Goblin for a while at first. I can't find (quickly) a confirmation of when race changes will become available, but I quick google brings up a variety of posts and forum threads on the subject.

Shintar said...

Personally I just think that the dance looks really awkward in a funny way because the worgen has such large hands. I looked at the same dance in real life, and the "self-touching" comes across as fairly light, but with the worgen's huge paws the impression is very... ahem, different.

I'm also disappointed that none of the new dances are (to me) particularly fun or recognisable, and I felt the same way about the belf dances back then. I mean, I've heard Pokerface about a gazillion times but never would have recognised that. Upon rewatching the video, that particular bit of choreography isn't even visible for very long. It's just another bit of generic music video dancing, which all looks more or less the same to me these days... [/grumpy old woman] :P

Dariush said...

The more I see of the worgen, the more thankful I am for being a dedicated member of the Horde. I only cringe to think of how many furry-fueled fantasies will be enacted over the coming weeks and months. The only thing more ridiculous than a tree with a beard is a wolf with breasts and an hourglass figure.

Shy said...

Every time you write something about the differences between men and women the thought of 'It might be a different culture' thing flashses through me. But IIRC you're from one of the Scandinavian countries?

I didn't think that the whole difference in gender thing was such a big part there?

For me at least every time stuff like that is brought up I just shrug and think, "But I'm a gamer!" To me that's genderless.

I think if I would ever be treated as being less because I'm a woman I might feel differently.

Though maybe because I don't even consider stuff like that to be a factor, I don't meat treatment like that either?

Dunno...*shrug* ? Play how and what you feel comfortable with I guess :)

Nils said...

Why do you want to transform you char?
Start a new one and experience the new low level content! Especially for Worgen.

And don't tell me you want to skip all that because of old 'feats of Strength' !

About the female worgen dance: It is absurd.

tufva said...

This is what inspired me to want to create a female Worgen boomkin:

Larísa said...

: I know, but there's no rush at all. My druid will remain my alt as far as I know of now, so my priority will be to get my mage to 85 and make he raid ready. Judging from my experiences in Wrath, it will take months before I'll come around to level an alt, and by then I figure the transfer will be open.

@Shy: I do think that cultural differences is one of the explanation to the very different standpoints some of the bloggers have. Some women love to stress their "feminine" sides a lot, looking for differences. And I'm more into the mindset that we're all human beings and that apart from giving birth to a child, anyone can do about anything they set their mind to, woman or man doesn't matter. If there's one thing in the world I hate it is to be put into a certain box due to my gender, to run into sterotypes over and over again and if you don't fit into them you're not a "real" woman. I think the stereotyped mindset is very limiting for women as well as men. And it goes both ways. I really don't like the way some women refuse men to take their part of the parenthood, depriving them the experience of being fathers.

Oh, I'm ranting. Anyway: this is my mindset and yes, it might have to do with where I'm raised, although I assure you that not every Swede will agree with me. There are different opinions here like in the rest of the world. I'm not sure I follow your way of reasoning, why my mindset would be typical non-Scandinavian. I wouldn't think so.

@Nils: Oh, I will eventually. But my current priority list looks like this: 1. level my mage to 85 and make her raid ready. 2 level my druid to 85 because I love playing her as much as I love my mage. For some reason I enjoy doing PvPing on her, which I don't enjoy on my mage, and I'd love to make some premade BGs in Cataclysm with the druid, if possible.
Levelling a new toon from scratch comes on third place as it is now. It might come up to second place if I can keep my hands away from my druid. We'll see about it later.
Eventually I'll level a goblin and/or a worgen to see the new areas of course. But it took me ages to come around and do the DK quest line, so I imagine it will be a while this time as well.

Bristal said...

I think everybody should try playing a toon of the opposite sex. It's been an interesting experience for me.

I leveled a female Dranei priest to 60 before I changed her to male. I had leveled exclusively solo prior to the dungeon finder, and I found myself too self conscious (odd, huh?) to group with a female toon. Especially one as over-the-top female as a Dranei.

However I still refer to "him" as "her". I plan to change back to female of another race after Cata (gnome?), because even after 6 months, it just doesn't feel right that "she's" male.

I also have a female human rogue who was my bank toon prior to the mobile AH. I am as fond of her as I am of any of my 3 mains. I plan to start leveling her with the DF in Cata, and I have absolutely no qualms about grouping with her.

The interesting thing about a toon of the opposite sex is that you are truly playing in the 3rd person. They are not avatars of you. My male main and DK feel like "me" when I play them.

My beloved Damanaka is more like my little sister and I feel very protective toward her. I picked up the black dress at some point, kind of randomly, then found a cool hat (dudes, I am NOT any kind of fluff-guy, but, hey, this is my little sister! she's adorable!), and, I'm ashamed to admit, black gloves.

I swear to God, I've gotten FIVE whispers about how hot she looks. Which I find...mostly odd. Especially if I imagine the whisperer to be male. But, in a way, also kind of cool, if I imagine that the whisperer is female and just showing appreciation for my awesome fashion sense.

Perhaps, Larisa, you could suggest to Blizzard that their developement team level a female worgen or Dranei for a little sensitivity training?

SpiritusRex said...

The female worgen dance is just....wrong.

Larísa said...

@Lurker: thanks for the link. I'm basically a fan of Totalbiscuit, even though it happens that we disagree on things. In this case however we're apparently on the same line. "Horrendous" is a favourite expression of TB, and in for this dance it's absolutely justified. I couldn't help hearing a bit of pleasure in his voice as he dismissed the dance. But then he's a die hard horde... Yeah. Just rub it in.

jeffo said...

I have to say I'm not very impressed with the female worgen form at all. I think they would have been better off going with a more gender-neutral look, though I realize that 'gender neutral' typically ends up as 'male'. I just don't think the 'shapely female body' works on a wolf-like creature.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

I never had an issue with what gender I play. It is usually dependent on what the models look like.

Human-Doesn't matter
Dwarf-Doesn't matter
Night Elf-Female
Gnomes-Can't play them, too short
Orcs-Doesn't matter
Blood Elves-Male
Forsaken-Doesn't Matter

For Worgen it will most likely not matter, and for goblins it will also probably not matter.

With that said, I usually pick based on what the character I am making will be. So I always play the game in 3rd person, and I usually invent a personality to go with the character.

devotchka said...

I hadn't seen the worgen dances yet, so I went and had a look. I too dislike the female worgen dance, and the male too actually.

I hear you on the dance thing. I too love to do certain things in game, such as /dance, when the mood strikes me, and my first and oldest character is a female night elf. I hated dancing as her; fortunately she's a druid, and now I dance freely but only in forms! :-)

Personally I haven't ever had a problem with choosing a character of the opposite gender from me; it all just depends on how I like their looks and animations in game. For example, I love both male and female trolls and play both. I love male undead animations and have a male undead warlock; but I don't like the orc casting animations, so I pnly play melee orcs of either gender. I have my female night elf and a female draenei, but I can't stand the look of the males of those races. I don't like what I've seen of male worgen, either, so I guess I'll play a female worgen ... probably druid, so I can dance! :-)

Good luck to you on your worgen decision! You may end up having fun as a male character -- I hope so!

Dyre42 said...


"Upon rewatching the video, that particular bit of choreography isn't even visible for very long"

I noticed that too. Its also done about 3x faster than the worgen females do it. On the bright side it at least resembles the original dance moves better than the Nelf female dance

Redbeard said...

Well, as they say over here, Arasil is going to be going under the knife in Sweden. Oh wait....

By the way, did you notice that the female worgen dances in her bikini in the video from the beta, while the male worgen is fully dressed? You may wonder why.

I'd imagine it's a Furry thing.

Klepsacovic said...

The dance just looks... stupid. I'll have to check out the male dance, but I feel like pretty much any other racial dance works. Maybe it's that the face is so much different than the humanish races and the tauren dance is somewhat slow, so it doesn't look as strange.

spinksville said...

Yeah I don't really think the dance fits. It was fine for belf women to dance like Britney (or this sort of dance would have been fine too) but worgen?

Xaxziminrax II said...

In all these back-and-forth comments, Larisa, I hope you can take comfort knowing here's one more voice that agrees whole-heartedly with this post. *thumbs up*

Ratshag said...

/dismissive voice on
You can't touch this.
/dismissive voice off

Is both mens and wimmenz on Team Ratshag, and we all seem to work along fine. Prolly more wimmenz at the moment, but when Fezziwhig the Goblin and Creighton the Worgen join up in a couple months it'll shift back.

Folks either work out fer ya or they don't, an can be fer all sortsa reasons. Is hopin' the worgen drood is a good fit.

Shy said...

Most researches show the Scandinavian countries as the top countries of equality in the world :)

So theoretically Sweden should surround you with equal chances for men and women.

Now granted, this is only theory. The only thing I've seen of Sweden is a ridiculously cold weekend in Stockholm.

My personal experience (I come from the Netherlands) is that we're treated fairly equally here, and for some reason I just haven't grown up with the feeling that I've had to fight harder for things than men. And while of course men are better in some things than women are, it is luckily recognised here that women have things they are better at than men. (and it's not only the kitchen or raising kids ;))

and now you got me rambling...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I find it hard to understand the constant struggle I see with some blog writers to try and defend women. While, yes, female characters look sexy all the time (victoria secret?), don't most of the male characters look just like 'dumb muscles'?

Leah said...

I don't like worgen female dance either - its such a weird mix of macarena on speed and lady gaga on drugs >_> (that self touching she does is actually macarena that human females do, it just looks weirder and slightly different part of the dance :P )

I do adore though the way their run looks - the one that's substitutes for being mounted. I do hope that they add dance studio eventually as well as possibly maybe add some unique animations rather then reusing draenei female ones, but I'm not holding my breath :/

Zandathor said...

Dances, yes to many it is a so what thing. I've been levelling a character with my long time girlfriend and while waiting for her to finish gathering etc I used to get my Dwarf onto a table or something and /dance, She found it amusing to turn around and find a dancing Dwarf. Recently she discovered her Night Elf dance and it makes her laugh. In fact she will occasional break into dance just for laughs and giggles.

The dance can be important to a player. If it makes the game more fun then pick a race that you enjoy the most and this can include the dance.

I'm not a huge fan of the Worgen mount animation, but that won't stop me rolling a Worgen.

Larísa said...

@--G: I’m a bit disappointed in how curved and sexy and un-wild they’ve made the female worgens. They look like any other stereotyped humanoid in the game. Very predictable and cowardish imho. I know there are others who think otherwise and think they’re too hairy. But I’m the opposite. Not wild enough. It should be possible to have gender distinctions in height and size for instance, without falling into the stereotype trap.

@Jaedia: That’s a solution too… But I might forget myself and will get annoyed every time it happens.

@Shintar: There are millions and millions of pop videos out there. You would figure they could have found something less generic and more appropriate for a worgen..

@Dariush: I think the worgen race was made for alliance players who secretly wish they were horde but can’t make a faction change or reroll for various reasons. I’ve lately started to feel more connected to horde than I have previously. (Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!)

@Bristal: I’ve never quite figured out if I’m playing Larísa in first or third person to be honest. Maybe it’s a bit of a mixture. And yes, it will be interesting to put on other clothes, not the least to see if I can sense any difference in how I’m treated in pugs for instance.

@Jeffo: Well, at least it doesn’t work to pull it to this extreme.

Fallstar: that’s a different mindset to mine, but maybe I’ll change once I explore how it is to play a male character.

: Well, Arasil IS a druid, but unfortunately a resto one. My idea about race switching goes back to the fact that I’m not particularly fond of female night elfs, which wasn’t a problem as long as she was more or les permanently in tree form. If I was to play a worgen female I’d mostly be in worgen form as I imagine it. And turning into a cat or bear or owl whenever I feel like dancing. It sounds a bit weird tbh… but then… yeah. It is an idea… come to think of it I might make a macro where I first cast bearform and then start to dance?

: The male one is so furry that they have to cover him up or we’ll eat him alive?

: Stupid. Yes.

: Maybe we’ll get used to it eventually as we do to so much other things… But just compare it to the cutscene video thing they released. It’s soooo different from the entire atmosphere around the worgen.

II: thanks! Actually there aren’t too many gender trolls around here. I was expecting them to invade the inn, but it seems they’ve given up on this place.

@Shy: well, I think we’ve come far when it comes to equality in Sweden, but this has very little to do with the stereotypes that still rule the gaming world? The real world progresses but sometimes it appears as if the universe of gaming stands still? If we stop talking about it, highlightening things that look a bit absurd when you think closer about it, how will anything ever change? This is an ongoing discussion and I don’t expect to see the world flip over in one night or a year, but maybe the games that my future granddaughters will play in 20 years time will have a more modern way to picture women and men?
I’m really not one of those who speak most about gender issues. As a matter of fact I speak pretty rarely about it, probably because as you say – I live in a progressed country and I’m well off in my own life. So I just don’t see the problems that many others do who aren’t as fortunate.

@Leah: I like the idea of running wild, but the clip in the video wasn’t the way I had imagined it. I’ll have to roll one and look for myself before I’ll make my verdict on it.

: Oh, I love dwarf dancing! I’m not a huge fan of their looks, but yeah, for the dances I could actually roll one.

Copra said...

Quite on the tangential to this, how would the RP people take it if my worgen on RP server was a gay after all?

Would that be insulting towards the gay, guys or RP people?

How about if he was to dance through the instances in his underwear?

Just as stupid as a concept as anything related to not playing a toon which one likes but cannot stand the dance animations...

C out

Wolflore said...

I may be a bit late to the party. Being no fan of lady gaga I know how you feel but this would not have stopped me from rolling any Character, in fact I hate MJ and yet my one and only toon is a Nelf (although when I rolled I didn't even know that you could dance in game).
Would you have been happier if they had gone with Beyoncé's all teh single ladies choreography? That is another very recognizable dance.

Maybe they should have gone with something more ethnic.

Kurnak said...

Ah, it's a pity we won't see you putting a "Poker Face" :D
Yes, the movements are based on Lady Gaga's video and I also think they don't suit the worgen race, but I find it funny (like the male draenei dancing like Daler Mehndi in the Tunak Tunak Tun video, but at least it suits the race).

Redbeard said...

: The male one is so furry that they have to cover him up or we’ll eat him alive?

No, Furry. As in that section of the geek fandom that is attracted to anthropomorphic animals from Anime.

Anonymous said...

I don't think female NE dance is that "innocent" too, and even gnome female dance is suggestive. After all, dance is the only public expression of sexuality the Christian church could not shut down...

Tesh said...

Tangential, but I've never liked that the dance emotes are recognizable from pop culture. Then again, I'm pretty much allergic to pop culture.

I'd have preferred the dances to be unique to WoW, to give the races some in-universe flavor... not some nonsense from our world. Animators, show me you can do something creative and unique, not just rotoscope internet memes.

Chadrassa said...

Am I the only one that likes the female worgen? For some reason I really digg the rabid chihuahua-look. ;)

The dance doesn't bother me, though. Yes, it looks stupid, and I'll have to endure it when I do my weekly dance-out with my friend, but eh. Not important enough for me to get worked up about. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

I can't see how the female dance for Worgan is any worse than the other dances. Blood elf female has Britney spear's toxic, the male humans have a hip thrusting animation, etc...

Are you sure there isn't some hidden resentment for lady gaga slipping into your opinions? That is the only logical conclusion, as the dance itself is not overtly sexy. It actually is very comparable to female blood elfs.

The video you linked of it had the avatar stripped naked while dancing, perhaps try viewing one with armor to see how it's truly not so bad? It fits rather well.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, as a female who is almost permanently a cross player(most of my characters are males-partially aesthetic, partially I've always been a big tomboy and 'one of the guys' I think, with mostly male friends), you might have a lot of fun! I remember how I started my cross played-years and years ago in a tabletop game when I ended up playing a premade who was a male. After that I somehow actually became very comfy with it-to the point my friends tease me about being able to play a guy better than most men. :)

Again, you might find your foray into playing a dude worgen some fun! (In the end of the day, I end up picking whatever looks the best to me, in a game.)

Kauket said...

You may find playing a different gender fun--never know until you try. Just yesterday, the hubby and I were goofing around on some lowbie alts, and he complimented me on how well I RP a blood elf male. That pretty paladin is just too amusing!

Anonymous said...

Yah I agree with you. that dance is seriously uncool.

Its a bit sad that the male dances can be funny or joyful, but the female dances have to be sexy, takes so much from them.

If they had not dumped the dance studio you might have had a choice. I wouldnt have been surprised to see people leaving in droves from the female dances.