Okay so I play an online massively multiplayer game called Ragnarok Online (RO). It's a mythology clusterfuck, admittedly (blends together Norse, Christianity, some Eastern mythos and all sorts of other stuff) but hey, it's a Korean game with cute little chibi characters and monsters that run the gamut between cute and unbelievably creepy, so not so bad. I do kinda dislike that one of the classes is named after a slur for the Rroma people, so I'll just etch that one out.
Well except for the Hydras (tentacle monsters) that attack with tentacles from the ground up. That's just the ridiculous kind of creepy, but I try to ignore stuff like that.
No, see what twigs me is the silly armor for the girl characters. Yeah, sometimes I play guy characters (the guy knights have this ridiculously cool armor, while the girl knights wear... bikini armor. *facepalm*) just to not deal with the silliness. Except that the guy characters' hair is ugly so meh. The silliness goes far beyond just the fact that the women have the most impractical armor I could ever imagine. It goes way beyond that.
You see... well background first. There are melee classes (thief type, sword type, merchant type, ninja type, martial artist type, etc) and then there are range types like the archer and ranged magic types (mage, healer). These various archetypes have a base class (1st job) that goes on to more advanced jobs (gets other skills, better bonuses, looks different). Each base class can split off into two different jobs. You can't go down more than one path though. Once you're on a path, you get stronger jobs down that path. I'll give you a run down:
1: Thieves can do some magicky poison things, and rogues can go ranged with bows, but for the most part these ones are melee)
----> Rogue ---> Stalker ----> Shadow Chaser
---> Assassin ----> Assassin Cross ----> Guillotine Cross
2: Swordies (actually swordmen/swordwomen) are all melee, even the paladin's spells are up close and personal
-----> Knight -----> Lord/Lady Knight -------> Rune Knight
------> Crusader ------> Paladin -------> Royal Guard
3: Acos are a caster class, but the monks turn to melee, they aren't so bad in this entry, although shura goes off the deep end, it makes sense for the design and the guy and the girl have the same clothing reduction. This one is my favorite for that reason. Also, omg insta kill attack that blows away your mana/sp: Asura Strike. It's wild.
-------> Priest/Priestess -----> High Priest/Priestess ------> Archbishop
-------> Monk ------> Champion ------> Shura
4: Archers are a ranged class and their relative nudity stays the same throughout, with one exception. The bard branch off. x_x And holy wow do the dancers go off the deep end with the impractical armor.
-------> Hunter ------> Sniper ------> Ranger
girl only--> Dancer ----> G. (slur name for Rroma people) ----> Wanderer
guy only--> Bard -----> Clown ------> Minstrel
5: Merchant is the seller and buyer, they get fairly cool skills and one of the lines (the alchemist line) can do some stuff fairly close to magic. But overall these ones are still melee ish and go the same way as the others in this entry. Also, wtf is with the Whitesmith? And why is it more advanced than the blacksmith? I keep on getting the feeling like there's some sort of racism stupidity going on in there. x_x
----> Alchemist ------> Creator -------> Genetic
-----> Blacksmith -------> Whitesmith -------> Mechanic
6: Magician is the explodie type. Far away and making things die. I always expect the mages to wear something stupid, especially the girl mages because then you aren't dealing with the cognitive dissonance in trying to wrap sex appeal around a character that fights with swords and likely gets stabbed a lot if she doesn't wear good armor.
-----> Wizard ------> High Wizard --------> Warlock
------> Sage --------> Professor --------> Sorcerer
There's also a few other classes that don't advance much. The martial artist class can go to a caster called a Soul Linker and a melee class called a star gladiator. All of them wear surprisingly large amounts of clothing and are fairly new. The gunslinger doesn't change at all and the girl is wearing an open jacket and a freaking bra underneath. *facepalm* cuz gunslinging requires not wearing a shirt. And the ninja doesn't get new jobs either and is fairly silly dressed as well. But that's the regular old sexism armor stuff in video games, not the extra silly thing here.
Btw I'm not discussing any of the guy characters here. It's all girls.
So basically, the melee classes above, thief, sword, merchant, technically the Dancer too (because whips are up close, just like the Bard's guitar is.) wear clothing that for the most part makes sense. The merchant is fully clothed (if a little frilly and goofy looking) which makes sense for a respected seller of things, the archer is a little underdressed (midriff, but the shorts make sense at least) and the swordie is wearing a sort of battling dress, which is kinda sexist and old fashioned but it is armored so there's that. The thief is a little nonsensical (although it is the agility dodging sort of class) in what is basically a fashonable bra and low slung hip pants, but she's at least wearing pants
The acolyte is a weird exception, in that she doesn't change much and is fairly demure. Somehow they got sex appeal into the priesties without stripping them half naked, I suppose that's a start, I guess.
The mages on the other hand are basically wearing bikinis, with a loincloth thing that goes off the bottom of it. Yeah. Not practical.
Onward to the second job class!
The knight is a little bit odd, in that she's wearing an armored skirt that isn't quite long enough, but okay the rest of her is covered and armored well. I can live with that. The crusader looks much like the guy crusader, making a nicely equal warrior with his, with the exception of the lower armor robes looking more like a dress. But oh well. The assassin is wearing a bathing suit with cleavage exposed, and a butt cape. Kind of stupid yes, but she is an agility class. Made for speed. The rogue is practically wearing lingerie and high heels, but she is supposed to be the strumpet of the crew I guess (and the guy is looking particularly fab in an open shirt so it's fairly equal I suppose, with him as the guy strumpet). The merchant gets a little ridiculous. The alchemist girl goes the same way as the knight, except that she's got a cleavage slit, so not too bad. But the blacksmith becomes a country girl on par with a Dukes of Hazzard sex symbol. Clinched white t-shirt showing cleavage and cut off jean shorts. This is a freaking melee character? Wtf, mate? The Monk goes pretty well, she's just got an odd little cleavage hole in the front of her frock, which is kinda odd but nothing unsurprising I guess. The dancer is wearing a lot of flimsy clothing, so apparently she's a stripper or something. *shrug*
The mages go the opposite direction. The sage stays mostly the same, still in a bikini, I bit more loincloth though. The wizard actually gets a one piece bathing suit and cape/robe! She's slightly more clothed now!
So, the third job class is where things get... really really really silly.
The Lord/Lady Knight stays stable with the miniskirt bullshit so that's fine. But the freaking Paladin, the ultimate tank of this game? She's wearing a midriff exposing armor. Yes. That's right, a melee character has an exposed midriff. You know what? If you're gonna expose skin, do it like the warriors of old. Go mostly naked, carry a big giant shield and a spear or sword. Like Spartans or something. This? This is just stupid. And okay, I'm attracted to women and all, but that armor? Not attractive. It's stupid. The G. is about the same as the dancer, and that's the last I'll say on that so I don't have to even write the letter of that slur again. The whitesmith is just... wtf? Now she's a cowgirl Dukes of Hazzard Sex symbol, and the shirt covers less of her top if that's even possible. Buh. The creator starts going the sex appeal/stupidity route too but not very far, just with a shorter skirt and slightly more cleavage exposed. The assassin cross breaks the bounds of reason by increasing the size of her cleavage slit in her shirt to levels in which her top is no longer a shirt and more of, "two strips of cloth that barely cover breasts". Good job, designers, I'm still trying to figure out how the hell she doesn't just pop out of that stupid outfit. The stalker's lingerie doesn't change much, gets a little fuzzier in spots and the guy gets more naked, so that's the only one that's making sense so far. The champion is doing fine. The girl gets a smaller cleavage slit, and most of the changes are just designs and extra clothing added on. Most equal out of all of them if you ask me.
Caster types are doing well now. The High Priest stays demure, maybe gets a higher slit in her dress but beyond that, she's still wearing a good amount of garb. And here's where I get confused. The High Wizard's one piece bathing suit becomes a somewhat high skirted dress with an open bodice and a fur coat drapped over her back. She's gone to more clothing. o.O A caster class. Far away from the enemy and she's wearing more stuff. I'm not complaining, but in comparison to the melee classes getting more and more naked up there, this is nonsensical. And then there's the professor, and she's wearing a full dress, with high leg slits, long sleeves (really long, they drape) and no cleavage.
That's right, she's wearing a fox scarf and has no cleavage. Holy crap she's actually dressed like she's not porn.
Fourth job class, the newest ones released recently continue the trend of wtf on top of the normal sexism of girl armor vs. guy armor.
Rune knight breaks the trend of not sucking at life for knights and she's now wearing a long jacket with a steel bikini underneath. Okay well that's not fair of me, the bottom of it is more of a boy shorts bathing suit bottom. The top is a bikini top. And giant arm/shoulder armor. Because you know, they'll never stab for the midriff. *facepalm* Oh look, here's the Royal Guard. What was once just an odd exposed midriff is now a complete outright bikini. With a cross. And shoulder armor. *more facepalm* The wanderer is even worse than the rest of the Dancer line, even though her feathery outfit is pretty, it's also completely a bikini now too. Basically feathery underwear. Which sounds weird and chafing and itchy. The Shura breaks the Monk's trend and goes topless. Now, this might be my monk bias speaking, but this actually makes sense. These martial artist types are about the awesomeness of the body and beating things down just by being a badass, no swords, no armor, no shields, no bows. So the girl wearing a strip of fabric over her boobs and the top part pulled down like a jacket tied around her waist (with the old Champion pants on) is fine, mostly because the guy is doing the exact same thing (minus the fabric because guy chests are apparently allowed to be exposed. Bah, sexism). So that one makes sense. But the rest of them are completely stupid. The Guillotine Cross gets ridiculous too. She's wearing a thong now and a super lowcut shirt thingie while the guy is covered from head to toe. The Genetic breaks the trend and goes for exposed midrif and miniskirt as well. (to be fair the guy has exposed midrif too, both with this cool toothy mouth shirt, so I'm not so upset here). The mechanic just gets stupid, going the bikini route (what is with all the bikinis?) and the only one who doesn't go down this path? The Shadow Chaser. She actually gets more clothing, but this doesn't help because the Shadow Chasers get a lot more magical and weird effects, making them less melee and more ranged, befuddlement, and magic users.
For casters, the Archbiship hikes her dress up a bit, but for the most part doesn't expose anything her robe's leg slits didn't expose before. And get this, the wizard goes from miniskirt, bodice and fur coat to.... pants.
Yes, she has exposed midriff and a little bit of a lowcut thing over her top but she has sleeves now and PANTS. She's actually wearing significantly more clothing than she was before (also that outfit is so stylish that I honestly think it actually has sex appeal, if they had not made it have exposed midriff? I'd love that outfit, both for wearing and for cuteness). And the Sorceror's dress just gets more fancy. Yes she gets a little bit of cleavage exposure, but the leg slits on the dress get closed off a little and the central part of it widens a lot. Overall, her exposure balances.
If you want to see the outfits yourself, go to this site
So what I'm saying here is that for the most part, the melee classes, the folks that get up close to things and hack at them or whip at them, the ones most likely to get stabbed or jabbed or sliced or beaten, wear less and less armor as they get more advanced (and consequently go up against tougher things that can hurt them more). This in comparison to the far away explodie classes that stay far away and blow things up and therefore can look more fancy and wear less practical things with less problems, who as they advance wear more covering and more armor like clothing. This is silly and stupid.
Of course the whole thing is silly and stupid. Adventurers are not gonna do the sex appeal thing while fighting monsters. They're gonna be armed to the teeth. It doesn't make any sense to fight stuff in a bikini. I mean, come on, I don't even like walking back from the pool in a bikini because cold winds get my stomach and make me go all shiver mode cold brrrr. I'm not going to fight monsters in one. That's just stupid.
Sexism is total ass. Why can't video games be a little less about making nerdy guys more able to masturbate alone in their basements and more about the fun of killing monsters and getting exp/items and getting stronger?
Too bad I'm not going into game design permanently, that it was a one time thing. Cuz I'd work on projects that actually appealed to more than just the horny dude demographic.
Okay, rant over.