mapjabbit on the weird dichotomy in Wildstar between “boobalicious fanservice” (primarily amongst non-player species) and “solid female representation” (the playable species).

One of the things I will say is that, yes Osun and Falkrin women are, um, idealised and not wearing very much… but so are the men of those races. So I think, like mapjabbit alludes to, it’s more of a “pulp sci-fi aesthetic” thing intended to denote that the native species of Nexus are “wild”/”primitive”/whatever, in comparison to the playable (i.e. offworld colonialist/imperialist) species.

(Yes, this has its own problematic coding. That’s another story.)

From the screenshots, it looks like mapjabbit plays Exile (boo, hiss) so I will say, in my Dominion experience, there’s an interesting intersect here with the Draken settlement in Deradune. For those not down with the game lore (or who missed my previous post), the Draken are the newly-obligatory playable species of demon-y/dragon-y looking humanoids.

The story of the Draken is they’re the Proud Warrior Race Guys, who joined the Dominion after the Emperor bested their leader in single combat. As a player Draken, you end up wearing the same sorts of leather dusters and sci-fi hoodies (yes, really) as everyone else, but in one of the early Dominion zones you encounter a settlement of more “orthodox”/”traditionalist” Draken–they’re one specific clan, of which you-the-player-Draken are not a member–who’re busy bringing a little bit of their home planet to Nexus. You know, horns on every building and a bloodshaman on every corner sort of thing.

And their NPCs, wearing what is assumedly the Traditional Draken Cultural Costume, also tend towards the “skin and leather” style of dress generally exhibited by native Nexus species (again, on both men and women). This is in contrast to the NPC Draken you see elsewhere, who’re dressed in the same variety of clothes as other Dominion citizens; from overalls to powered armour to fancy streampunk-esque frock coats.

(Also see: the Pell, who look a bit like the skeksis from The Dark Crystal, who don’t seem to exhibit sexual dimorphism, and who also dress in “revealing” rags… if you really want to get close enough to look.)

This is what makes me think the boobalicious Osun and Falkrin is a stylistic choice intended to specifically evoke a nostalgic trope, rather than gratuitous fanservice.

I mean, it is fanservice… but it’s not gratuitous fanservice, and it extends to the character design of both sexes, and only in one specific circumstance. Which is why it doesn’t bother me so much, YMMV.

Although, with that being said, and re. putting boobs on non-mammalian humanoids, have a photo from the artbook that comes with the special edition of Elder Scrolls Online:

Sssh. No one tell him about the platypus.