Discussion: What Makes a Compelling Character

90 Draenei Monk
7755
03/29/2013 05:12 PMPosted by Ilcya
I would infinitely prefer a character who chooses to be evil and takes up the mantle wholeheartedly than a reluctant or "corrupted" villain. I say "corrupted" because I don't mean corrupted in the way Arthas was corrupted, I mean corrupted in the sense of old god created insanity, demonic/sha possession, etc. Those things can (potentially, but not even usually) be tragic, but they're ultimately less than compelling because there was no choice.

I cannot agree with this more. Some of the best villains of all-time were people who were consciously committing whatever act(s) defined them as "evil". But too many (and by "too many" I mean "way way way too many") times, the villain just gets the blanket excuse of "goes insane". Deathwing? Goes insane. Grom Hellscream? Goes insane. Illidan? Goes insane. Kael'Thas? Goes insane. Sargeras? Goes insane. It's just a meaningless excuse for us to kill them. I want a villain of sound mind and body who isn't being whispered at by Old Gods, isn't being corrupted by "fel magic", isn't going insane for one reason or another. I want them consciously doing the horrible acts they're doing because they feel that it is the right thing to do.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
5515
Player interaction with the character is important. They should be shown actually doing things, but in a way that does not show them as overpowered.

Also, we should find out about them in small bits instead of showering the player in a big dump of exposition about them.

Look at Taylor. A few badass scenes in Vashj'ir coupled with him and the player following each other through the zone made him an Admiral.

Heck, look at Saurfang. A bug-turned-meme that made that him one of the most powerful orcs on Azeroth made him that in lore. Field Marshal Afrasiabi, once his mirror, stayed put.

Look at Varian. Him becoming High King offscreen and making Tyrande look like an idiot just made him annoying.

He was made the most important without really doing anything, and that is what we found out about him first. He is in charge. He is the High King.

It went from him being the High King to him doing things, instead of from him doing things to him earning the rank. What should have been a badass quest for leadership became a race to justify his rank.

He was admittedly the king of the Alliance since Wrath of the Lich King, but that was only mentioned about twice (by him after the Battle for the Undercity, and by Jaina after Deathbringer Saurfang), and he was the aloof leader of the Valiance Expedition. That worked. No one gushed about him. He was a leader being the leader, and he got back what he gave (a few actions, and a few mentions).

WarCraft III hero units turned racial leaders have it a bit easier. If WoW players played those games, the first thing they would have seen is a non-invincible hero in the thick of things leading an army, improving over time. Even with a bare-bones story, that is what needs to happen.

People (at least me) also like racial leaders because they are the racial leaders. I expect them to either stand around and never be mentioned, or to show why they are the racial leader and be mentioned for that.

Now Thrall and Malfurion and all-powerful messiahs of their classes and the world. I mean really, that is dumb. First, they are overpowered and were in the spotlight too much. That gets annoying (but I will not go into that). Second, no one can question them (and live), even when they make mistakes, because they are just so damn cool and powerful.

Really it comes down to show, don't tell. However, you do not even have to show that much. Use something designed around nostalgia and player reactions instead of forcing a character down our throats.
Edited by Pumlaxer on 3/29/2013 10:34 PM PDT
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90 Human Hunter
11285
Actually, I wouldn't say Kael'thas was insane. At least not up until Tempest Keep. He was doing what he thought was best for his people, and made some really poor choices along the way. Now, being raised from the dead proooobably screwed with his brain a little bit, buuuut >.>
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90 Draenei Monk
3280
The prevalence of black/white characters is the biggest problem. It seems that everyone is heading toward pure evil or pure good, and the good guys will win and bring peace and there's no chance of redemption for the bad guys. Garrosh falls from an orc who wants to bring back the strength and pride of his race to a power-hungry, psychopathic tyrant. Jaina falls from a peace loving, thoughtful mage to a rash, vengeance-seeking lunatic. Perfect Anduin is perfect and Varian is so wise he can lecture a thirteen thousand year old night elf priestess. (Some people will argue Sylvanas has gone too far on her path to become Lich Queen but personally I thought she was psycho in wc3 :P) Save the black and white for the old gods and the naaru.

Consistency is also a big one, and its been missing in MOP. I miss old Jaina, who was one of the only characters who could look past prejudice and bloodthirst. I understand trying to make Garrosh evil to justify his position as a raid boss, but it's been crushing the story in that the things he originally stood for now don't matter because he's crazy. Character change is necessary BUT characters must stay within their core personality and dogma if the change is to be believable. Huge changes like Arthas' transformation were so awesome because his fall from grace was not inevitable (as we saw in the alternate reality when he marries Jaina) but were a result of his choices. He had the potential to follow the light or the darkness, and it was this gray aspect that made him such a fascinating character.

I just feel like the characters people can like are being narrowed down because everyone is becoming good or evil. We want characters we can relate to, characters that share our own traits and beliefs and have their own flaws, and are diverse and "gray" enough to have redeeming and questionable characteristics that in the end makes us love them and become invested into what happens to them.

EDIT:
I would infinitely prefer a character who chooses to be evil and takes up the mantle wholeheartedly than a reluctant or "corrupted" villain. I say "corrupted" because I don't mean corrupted in the way Arthas was corrupted, I mean corrupted in the sense of old god created insanity, demonic/sha possession, etc. Those things can (potentially, but not even usually) be tragic, but they're ultimately less than compelling because there was no choice

This as well.
Edited by Cyara on 3/29/2013 5:45 PM PDT
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90 Worgen Priest
7065
I like characters who are strong. Determined, capable, someone you may not want to hang around with necessarily, but ultimately respect.

Compelling can be several things. It could be following someone on an adventure of a life time. against immeasurable odds. It could be following someone's emotional journey of self-discovery or acceptance. Or just wanting to see justice enacted. Ect, ect.

On females, they need to be like any character who's strong. The ability to face adversity. To be reliable enough to make decisions and hold up against what they face. They know what to do. That's why I like Jaina and Slyvanas and even Magatha. They know how to lead, survive, and they have the ability to see their actions through. Are they "likable" actions? Thats a different discussion. but being strong and being likable are not the same thing. That's important to realize.

As for proper flaws, well that can be weird. Characters shouldn't just fail at stuff there good at randomly. Nor should they just have flaws that easily swept aside into a closet so only there good qualities shine through.
We need flaws because they make characters feel more rounded and not annoying. But we also need characters being super awesome, because that's what we like and look up to. You want Luffy to be beat the piss out of the main bad guy to save the island from the giant thunder bomb/ancient galleon, because that's makes him the likable hero. but we also need to be reminded that hes an idiot, and if he hadn't gathered a group of people with varying skills, his adventure would have ended at volume 2.
We need that reminder, that despite their talent and accomplishments, they have shortcomings developed in their life. The esteemed general with a family that resents him, because he was never there for them in support. Or Thrall's anger issues with Allaince that we got a reminder of in that 4.2 quest. the same experiences in life that made him the leader of the horde where also closely tied with the experiences that made him hate the Alliance. That same anger that propels the Horde vs. Alliance conflict for years. For all his honor and heroism, he's still enough a slave to that anger to keep the conflict going.
I think the reason people soured on Thrall in Cata was because we got too much of him being super awesome (which, again, is what we want. We want that from every major lore character) and not enough of him acting to his established character flaws. There is a ratio that needs to be met.

Enough development is such a varied question. I suppose it depends on what your developing. A simple Character like Monkey D. Luffy doesn't need a lot of development. His actions and talents are simple. He doesn't need much but situatuins to do his actions an dtalents.
Where as someone like Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Envangelion needs a lot of development. Because unpacking and working through his emotional baggage is a big point of the series.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
10880
An emotionally unstable, brooding loner.

...Lol! I slay me! :P

Seriously, though, I think what makes a compelling character is... Other characters. Alone, characters aren't necessarily that amazing. When you have multiple characters interacting with each other, supporting and opposing each other through friendship, rivalry, antagonism, hardship, and mutual goals, you can have an amazing storyline that really draws players/readers in.

Also, the development of personalities can really add charm to characters. Neku Sakuraba (The World Ends with You,) for example, starts out as a grim, unsociable jerk. As the game progresses, he begins to come out of his shell and makes friends with the other characters, eventually developing a compelling protagonist who is willing to do anything to save his friends.
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90 Worgen Priest
7065
Oh, I forgot to mention one of my favorite story moments in WoW. The fight at the Well of Eternity with Illidan. It's great because Illidan and Malfurion are both right.

If Illidan hadn't abused the waters and demon powers, we would have never stopped the summoning of Sargeres in time. We'd all be dead.

But Malfurion is also right in why we shouldn't be abusing that stuff. That exposure is what fueled Illidans and most of the other Demon hunter's corruption. A need for power that would have devastating consequences.

Maybe Illidan would have chilled if Malfurion hadn't basically cut the guy off as a brother, but then maybe he would have dragged done the Kal'dorei into a fel hole. Who knows. Ask Chromie.

But the thing about the situation is that there is no right answer. The morality isn't black, white, not even gray. It's just a hard truth. A truly tragic event. That's a hard thing to do.
Edited by Morrice on 3/29/2013 6:21 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
10880
03/29/2013 05:29 PMPosted by Bobhunkmunk
I would infinitely prefer a character who chooses to be evil and takes up the mantle wholeheartedly than a reluctant or "corrupted" villain. I say "corrupted" because I don't mean corrupted in the way Arthas was corrupted, I mean corrupted in the sense of old god created insanity, demonic/sha possession, etc. Those things can (potentially, but not even usually) be tragic, but they're ultimately less than compelling because there was no choice.

I cannot agree with this more. Some of the best villains of all-time were people who were consciously committing whatever act(s) defined them as "evil". But too many (and by "too many" I mean "way way way too many") times, the villain just gets the blanket excuse of "goes insane". Deathwing? Goes insane. Grom Hellscream? Goes insane. Illidan? Goes insane. Kael'Thas? Goes insane. Sargeras? Goes insane. It's just a meaningless excuse for us to kill them. I want a villain of sound mind and body who isn't being whispered at by Old Gods, isn't being corrupted by "fel magic", isn't going insane for one reason or another. I want them consciously doing the horrible acts they're doing because they feel that it is the right thing to do.

Agreed, to an extent. I think corrupted can be done right (for example, the Nazgul in LotR and Mordirith in LotRO.) However, when every other villain is driven by "the voices in my head," it gets a bit cliche.
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90 Worgen Priest
7065
Neku Sakuraba (The World Ends with You,) for example, starts out as a grim, unsociable jerk. As the game progresses, he begins to come out of his shell and makes friends with the other characters, eventually developing a compelling protagonist who is willing to do anything to save his friends.

Ehh, I don't think we need more protagonists we have to wait to become likable. That's a lazy writing convenience.

I mean, I loved that game, but I much prefer any series where I already have someone to invest with. Not waiting around for them to finally stop acting like a putz.
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90 Worgen Priest
7065
I don't think this is thread where we tell blizzard to copy a popular character from another series.

I think we're supposed to discuss stuff.
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90 Undead Priest
0
03/29/2013 05:12 PMPosted by Ilcya
In general, Azeroth is presented as a world with near gender equality. There are not noticeable in-game social barriers to female characters obtaining power or fighting--indeed, we're as likely to see female npc soldiers as males. This is a valid way for a world to exist, and one that I would personally like to live in, but it is also a source of the problem the game's story tends to have, when it comes to gender.


I would say that it's a shoehorned way for a world to exist, rather than say it's "valid." Azeroth is basically a world with gender equality. Sure, there are more male leaders, but it makes no real difference to what the society views as the role of women and men, which seems to be identical in Azeroth.

The problem isn't a male led development team. They have less to work with for female characters because of the nature of Azeroth - one of total gender parity. Maybe that decision is something that acts as an overall positive for female players (it's not hard to imagine a WoW in which classes also had gender restrictions). But it creates a less believable environment for a female main character writing to flourish, because it's just that much more removed from real world parallels.

The answer is not to write a character without gender in mind. That's just introducing weak writing at the outset. The way I see it, the answer is probably more along the lines of first reaffirming that gender actually has meaning in Azeroth. Without that, all you've really got is a crowd of people wanting to shoehorn in a gender designation on someone who is powerful or a leader without any actual meaning to the gender. In that situation, there's little reason not to just make the character a man, since that's a lot more relatable to actual history and seems less forced.

It also doesn't mean there can't be a reverse situation for a race. Night Elves HAD the reverse situation when they were introduced. And gender roles were also obliterated for them in WoW. I personally think the game would have been better if say, a female night elf could not be a druid, but could be a priest and warrior, and a male night elf could not be a priest or warrior, but could be a druid. That decision's long past, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to maybe reenforce that Night Elf society actually had this gender division for THOUSANDS OF YEARS and show what effect that has on younger night elves today.
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90 Undead Priest
0
Also, one thing I think Azeroth could use a dose of is people with power who are powerful solely due to their political authority. It seems like leaders in Azeroth can only be leaders if they have millions of hit points and can fight anywhere between 5-25 geared to the teeth "champions."
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10 Worgen Druid
7360
You need to write your story to fit your characters instead of your characters to fit your story. Malfurion hating Ragnaros for destroying Hyjal but being cool with the Horde destroying Ashenvale doesn't make any sense. Garrosh killing Krom'gar for bombing Stonetalon and then bombing Theramore himself doesn't make sense. Varian getting mad at the Orcs instead of the Forsaken in Battle of the Undercity doesn't make sense. Too often your writers come up with a plot development that doesn't really fit and have people act out of character to justify it, when instead they should be coming up with plot developments that work with the characters and setting.

Characters should be flawed but those flaws should not alienate them from the viewer. It's okay for Varian to hate the Horde, but when you just have him rant about it with no in-game explanation he comes off as an angry racist. And most people in this day and age don't sympathize with angry racists. Now, had you elaborated more on what the Forsaken did in battle of the Undercity -kidnapping and torturing Alliance citizens while the factions were supposed to be at peace- and how it affected him and the Alliance, I think a lot of people would have liked Varian from the beginning, even if you still presented him as being "wrong" for wanting war with the Horde.


gonna stop you at the Garrosh thing. Yes it does because the tree that Krom'gar bombed had no soldiers what so ever. It was bombed under the FALSE pretense that they had some kind of super weapon in there. So we just wasted a very powerful bomb on a target that shouldn't of even been a priority. Now Theramore is well...was a MAJOR Alliance base of operations that spear headed attacks into Orc and Tuaren territory so bombing Theramore was actually a good move on Garrosh's part from a military perspective because it probably brought all Alliance advances into the barrens to a dead halt.
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I don't think this is thread where we tell blizzard to copy a popular character from another series.

I think we're supposed to discuss stuff.


This is something that needs to be understood.

Technically we shouldn't be using franchises outside of blizzard to describe what is a compelling character. Rather, we should be describing our feelings of what makes a compelling character.

Saying, "Watch X so you can learn how to make Y" is not useful information in the slightest. If you DO reference media, explain in detail why it is that you think that's a compelling character.

Information is the most important tool in a thread such as this. We need to make sure we are clear and concise with our information, or we might get lost in the translation, and end up worse off.
Edited by Seebach on 3/29/2013 6:45 PM PDT
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90 Draenei Death Knight
14475
It also doesn't mean there can't be a reverse situation for a race. Night Elves HAD the reverse situation when they were introduced. And gender roles were also obliterated for them in WoW. I personally think the game would have been better if say, a female night elf could not be a druid, but could be a priest and warrior, and a male night elf could not be a priest or warrior, but could be a druid. That decision's long past, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to maybe reenforce that Night Elf society actually had this gender division for THOUSANDS OF YEARS and show what effect that has on younger night elves today.

Well Torvald, pragmatically speaking, Very large Portions of Male NE society were asleep, with the destruction of the world tree and the loss of NE immortality, you no longer have a few 10000 years to find your significant other and have children. If you look at Fandral Staghelm’s actions of growing Teldrassil replace NE immortality and the gender lines of druids being crossed from the perspective of preserving your races posterity then things make more sense. However Malfurion and Tyrande have never expressed any more societal concern than a (WE MUST SAFEGUARD THE LAND)

That is the root problems of all wow's heroes they represent nothing but current main story objective.
Edited by Dyslexica on 3/29/2013 6:56 PM PDT
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90 Undead Priest
0
You need to write your story to fit your characters instead of your characters to fit your story. Malfurion hating Ragnaros for destroying Hyjal but being cool with the Horde destroying Ashenvale doesn't make any sense. Garrosh killing Krom'gar for bombing Stonetalon and then bombing Theramore himself doesn't make sense. Varian getting mad at the Orcs instead of the Forsaken in Battle of the Undercity doesn't make sense. Too often your writers come up with a plot development that doesn't really fit and have people act out of character to justify it, when instead they should be coming up with plot developments that work with the characters and setting.

Characters should be flawed but those flaws should not alienate them from the viewer. It's okay for Varian to hate the Horde, but when you just have him rant about it with no in-game explanation he comes off as an angry racist. And most people in this day and age don't sympathize with angry racists. Now, had you elaborated more on what the Forsaken did in battle of the Undercity -kidnapping and torturing Alliance citizens while the factions were supposed to be at peace- and how it affected him and the Alliance, I think a lot of people would have liked Varian from the beginning, even if you still presented him as being "wrong" for wanting war with the Horde.


gonna stop you at the Garrosh thing. Yes it does because the tree that Krom'gar bombed had no soldiers what so ever. It was bombed under the FALSE pretense that they had some kind of super weapon in there. So we just wasted a very powerful bomb on a target that shouldn't of even been a priority. Now Theramore is well...was a MAJOR Alliance base of operations that spear headed attacks into Orc and Tuaren territory so bombing Theramore was actually a good move on Garrosh's part from a military perspective because it probably brought all Alliance advances into the barrens to a dead halt.


I'd also agree that Stonetalon was different. Also, at the risk of adding more depth to Garrosh of a real politics sort, I always partially suspected that Garrosh was written as reacting that way in large part because Kromgar burned down and murdered a TAUREN base. I always felt like he was putting on a little bit of a show as to whether he thought the Night Elves shouldn't have been bombed at the school.

Also, I'd disagree with the guy you quoted about Varian being pissed at the orcs. He hated the Forsaken and the Orcs in Undercity. Given that the orcs had allied with the Forsaken and were helping to protect their interests and fighting alliance on their behalf (I mean, what's Arathi Basin about if not that?), why would he not be pissed at them?
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90 Draenei Death Knight
5970
I would say that it's a shoehorned way for a world to exist, rather than say it's "valid." Azeroth is basically a world with gender equality. Sure, there are more male leaders, but it makes no real difference to what the society views as the role of women and men, which seems to be identical in Azeroth.

The problem isn't a male led development team. They have less to work with for female characters because of the nature of Azeroth - one of total gender parity. Maybe that decision is something that acts as an overall positive for female players (it's not hard to imagine a WoW in which classes also had gender restrictions). But it creates a less believable environment for a female main character writing to flourish, because it's just that much more removed from real world parallels.

The answer is not to write a character without gender in mind. That's just introducing weak writing at the outset. The way I see it, the answer is probably more along the lines of first reaffirming that gender actually has meaning in Azeroth. Without that, all you've really got is a crowd of people wanting to shoehorn in a gender designation on someone who is powerful or a leader without any actual meaning to the gender. In that situation, there's little reason not to just make the character a man, since that's a lot more relatable to actual history and seems less forced.

It also doesn't mean there can't be a reverse situation for a race. Night Elves HAD the reverse situation when they were introduced. And gender roles were also obliterated for them in WoW. I personally think the game would have been better if say, a female night elf could not be a druid, but could be a priest and warrior, and a male night elf could not be a priest or warrior, but could be a druid. That decision's long past, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to maybe reenforce that Night Elf society actually had this gender division for THOUSANDS OF YEARS and show what effect that has on younger night elves today.


I disagree with this. Who are you to say that a world with gender equality is invalid? If you were saying that presenting an existing world like our own as having gender equality, then maybe your argument would have some merit. But saying that it isn't a valid way for a fantasy world to exist is pretty ridiculous, especially given that even the one race it has in common with our real world isn't really the same. Humans in WoW are not earth humams; they have their own backstory, history, and culture. And even if you could convince me that it was not valid for humans not to have gender roles, humans (contrary to the belief of certain developers) are far from the only race in the game.

Regardless, I will say this; you can't have it both ways. It makes no sense whatsoever to present the world as generally having few if any gender barriers but then still putting them there for important characters de facto, which is almost undeniably a problem with the writing--or a problem with the writers, if it was intentional. My guess, which is admittedly little more than that, as to the root of this problem may not be correct, but the problem itself is still quite real, and the world -has- on the whole been portrayed as very gender neutral, potentially with exceptions such as night elves in the past.

But I do not think it is weak writing to write a character without thinking too much about gender, particularly in a world like this. It may be suboptimal writing, but I will take suboptimal writing over poor writing any day. And frankly, it seems a much more attainable goal. Earth history is irrelevant to WoW history, and your argument therefore falls flat. If the history and general world on the ground in WoW was more like earth's, then it could be applicable.

One reason it is not is simply magic. Physical strength loses a lot of its meaning against skilled magi, and even if you might argue that men of most races are still physically stronger, it is not the case that they are more magically inclined. And while maybe a warrior can fight a mage in pvp for metagame reasons, lorewise a warrior with no magical weapons or equipment is nothing more or less than cannon fodder when set against a mage of any real skill, or any other user of magic. So, it is far more weak writing to default to making a character male because you are male and happen to feel more "right" with that in a world that does not support that attitude than it is to write characters acting as though they were gender neutral.
Edited by Ilcya on 3/29/2013 6:54 PM PDT
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90 Worgen Priest
7065
03/29/2013 06:29 PMPosted by Torvald
But it creates a less believable environment for a female main character writing to flourish, because it's just that much more removed from real world parallels.

I disagree completely. Like you said, the societal role for men and women are basically the same.

That means they could have as easily have had more leaders as females, and it wouldn't change anything. That would have been fine.

Female empowerment isn't just about a female character "breaking the shackles of gender expectations and defeating bigotry." It's about having women in roles of competency and respect. Showing women can be the fighting bad-az, the masterful tactician, the shrewd deceiver. That the old adage of "with enough hard work and talent, you can be anything!"applies to girls too.

If they want to write more storng female characters, then they just should. It's not actually complicated once you separate all the bs about modern expectations

Which is actually something they are doing in MoP to an extent. Alliance side at least, the three heads of the Kirin-tor campaign are all female.
Technically we shouldn't be using franchises outside of blizzard to describe what is a compelling character. Rather, we should be describing our feelings of what makes a compelling character.

I disagree. Looking at compelling, likable, strong characters from other series and breaking down what makes them compelling, likable, and strong is immensely useful at properly getting across those feelings.
Edited by Morrice on 3/29/2013 6:53 PM PDT
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90 Human Hunter
11285
03/29/2013 06:29 PMPosted by Torvald
In general, Azeroth is presented as a world with near gender equality. There are not noticeable in-game social barriers to female characters obtaining power or fighting--indeed, we're as likely to see female npc soldiers as males. This is a valid way for a world to exist, and one that I would personally like to live in, but it is also a source of the problem the game's story tends to have, when it comes to gender.


I would say that it's a shoehorned way for a world to exist, rather than say it's "valid." Azeroth is basically a world with gender equality. Sure, there are more male leaders, but it makes no real difference to what the society views as the role of women and men, which seems to be identical in Azeroth.

The problem isn't a male led development team. They have less to work with for female characters because of the nature of Azeroth - one of total gender parity. Maybe that decision is something that acts as an overall positive for female players (it's not hard to imagine a WoW in which classes also had gender restrictions). But it creates a less believable environment for a female main character writing to flourish, because it's just that much more removed from real world parallels.

The answer is not to write a character without gender in mind. That's just introducing weak writing at the outset. The way I see it, the answer is probably more along the lines of first reaffirming that gender actually has meaning in Azeroth. Without that, all you've really got is a crowd of people wanting to shoehorn in a gender designation on someone who is powerful or a leader without any actual meaning to the gender. In that situation, there's little reason not to just make the character a man, since that's a lot more relatable to actual history and seems less forced.

It also doesn't mean there can't be a reverse situation for a race. Night Elves HAD the reverse situation when they were introduced. And gender roles were also obliterated for them in WoW. I personally think the game would have been better if say, a female night elf could not be a druid, but could be a priest and warrior, and a male night elf could not be a priest or warrior, but could be a druid. That decision's long past, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to maybe reenforce that Night Elf society actually had this gender division for THOUSANDS OF YEARS and show what effect that has on younger night elves today.

I'm not quite sure why you think a story about a woman can only be compelling if she has to fight against an oppressive patriarchy.

I recall hearing that the creator of Spawn made him black not because of some big statement or story decision, but because "sometimes people are black." Well, sometimes people are women. Half the time, actually. There doesn't need to be a "reason" to make a character a woman. There doesn't need to be some big statement about overcoming the bounds of society. Sometimes people just happen to be women.
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