Giving us a break from the non-stop FeMonk coverage, on Monday Bashiok answered some forum questions on other matters.
I was just joking in the intro to this post—of course there’s more FeMonk discussion! In reply to various comments and complaints about how the character looks, especially in her animation on the official site, Bashiok made a common sense rebuttal.
OR! You can explain it away by saying that she’s actually punching so fast it looks like she’s mostly standing still, but her fingers have broken the time barrier and exist in multiple dimensions.
Regarding clipping: the geometry and animation isn’t final so there’s bound to be some clipping. It would take time cleaning something up for a web capture to then throw away the clean up and keep working on it. So yeah, little things we just have to live with. You too. Aside from that as was said some amount of clipping is fine, because having an animation that looks good from the camera distance is more important than a clipping artifact you won’t even see.
Bashiok also confirmed that they were planning to include the M/F selector on the other character pages (as they did on the Monk page) to allow us to see the resting animation for all the characters. So there’s something to look forward to.
Finally, Bashiok leapt into a long and rambling thread about everyone’s favorite joke from Blizzcon 2009, i.e. “Isn’t a female monk called a nun?” with some semi-philosophical musings about why aliens always look basically humanoid in every movie, and how things in fiction need to be different, but not so different that we can’t still identify with them. Click through to read those quotes, cause they’re long and not exactly game-related.
I think that the notion of wanting to stay within limits of what can be seen as recognizable to us (as humans) is extremely valid. At some point an idea can be completely lost by attempting to do something that is so original that to us it’s foreign of what we know of the world around us. Take sci-fi movies or games, they’re an easy example. The vast majority of aliens in sci-fi are bipedal creatures with a horizontal mouth, usually two eyes, and usually eyebrows and other facial features which we use to communicate emotion (this is aside from the need to slap makeup on human actors). Some do stray into unrecognizable and “original” forms but they’re usually few and the time spent interacting with them is less. You can’t relate to them because we have no basis in our lives that allows us to relate to them. If they aren’t of human construction then they generally at least take on the appearance of a recognizable earth-based life form (cat people, dog people, lizard people, etc). And it’s completely necessary for us to do that because it would probably take generations of our existence to build the knowledge and ability to perceive them properly. Create an alien that exists through multiple dimensional planes and in the range of the light spectrum that we’re able to perceive appears as floating dust and it’s probably not something you’re going to become emotionally invested in.
BUT with that said I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination having a class called ‘monk’ and having a female version of it, or saying that angels are “bad” or at least not “good” is beyond a sense of identifiable realism.
One good example for Diablo III on that point of identifiability (is that a word?) and the work we’re doing is the design and execution of demons and creepy crawlies from hell. It can very difficult to model, texture and especially animate creatures which don’t follow the normal makeup of something that exists on earth that we know and/or can study. Mash up bodies into a twisted wreck that oozes black sludge, walks on three hands, a leg, and drags a screaming head behind it and you run into some interesting challenges. Of course we’re not asking people to sympathize with these creatures or understand their thoughts, feelings, and motivations, just murder them as quickly as possible. So we maybe have an easier time getting away with it.