My Gender Accurate Experiment

originally posted 1-4-17

A few days ago I wrote about being male and playing female characters. I decided after posting that to try to challenge myself to create a male character. It’s been an interesting experience so far.

I had a level 100 boost to use, so I made a male blood elf priest and boosted him. I chose a male blood elf because, quite frankly, despite being a fantasy game I can’t bring myself to play characters that don’t appear predominately humanoid. I just can’t. I tried a male troll. Couldn’t do it. I tried a male Tauren, nope. I tried undead – absolutely horrid. Plus, I had an idea in my head. I named him “Đoctor,” and he would be a discipline priest-  capable of wrecking havoc if he needed to, but also with a decent set of healing capabilities. Of course, my inspiration was Doctor Who (specifically David Tennant’s Doctor).

I ran through the Legion/level 100 boost introductory scenario (which was incredibly helpful because it defaults to Discipline and I’ve only ever played a shadow priest – pre Mists of Pandaria) and got into new Dalaran as fast as I could. I made a blue suit and a brown suit transmog outfit (blizzard, WHY CAN’T I USE THE TUXEDO FOR TRANSMOG?? BAH), and tried to make them as accurate as I could to the 10th (or 11th if you want to go there) Doctor’s signature outfits. I learned that this would be pretty much impossible.

I read some discipline priest guides and cautiously combed the forums for guidance, until I settled on a build and set out to amuse myself and hopefully others. That’s actually where my problem started. I have never made a character that was based off of something that already existed, and within an hour or so I felt a severe disconnect from him. Yes I’m playing a game, but it felt…strained, forced even. In a sense, I was forcing it –  I was forcing myself to do something out of the box for me. I trudged on.

I figured out pretty quickly that I wasn’t sure I could continue playing him. In my post about male player/female character I stated many aesthetic issues I have with the way male characters are designed in WoW. That certainly came into play, they just irk me,  not to mention that David Tennant is a man of slim proportions, my male blood elf is not. Those large arms, puffed out chest and overly broad shoulder structure – it’s not just that the size didn’t fit the character I set out to create, it’s also that I find the male proportions comically large on a level that I can’t commit to even playing the character, let alone gender. If males in WoW were sized more like, say, a Square Enix game, I highly doubt I’d have that problem.

Theres another small part of what I was doing. I really like being out of the norm and it’s a bit of an age-old stereotype in WoW that casters/healers are female characters. I like breaking that norm, and part of me wants to trudge on with my male priest, but that’s the problem. It will feel like slogging through the mud, and that hinders the WoW experience.

So now I have a decision to make. Do I continue on as my male priest and hope that I will eventually settle into it? Do I switch him to a female (cloth transmog look SO MUCH BETTER on and were blatantly/obviously designed for female characters) because I know my issue will pretty much instantly vanish?

I’m still not sure, but there’s always Plan C which is a compromise: change gender, make her a redhead and name her “Đoctordonna.”

EDIT: For the record, I have since switched the Priest to a female. So that’s that.

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