Okay, I wasn’t expecting what appears like hostility to be given in response to what I said above, as to why I preferred and elaborated my agreement with the direction to replace the old knight model with a prototypical male figure. I wasn’t even saying I didn’t want a female character as that class. I’d actually like it, only if they made her figure more robust and, yes, ‘realistic’ for her role. I want narrative realism in my unrealistic fantasy environments.
My point was there is a consensus idea as to what attributes a warrior-like, brawler figure represents in a medieval/fantasy-esque hack-and-slash. Unless you are going for the sex appeal trope where nothing of the characters visual makes sense, and it is just there to arouse the players.
The argument you are taking this in would lead the paraphrased statements, 10 year old kids play this game, why need realism, they use magic, to why not consider then having aliens, futuristic robots, and lasers. Anything goes. Why can’t the Sentinel be represented as a giant baby? Why does the game use swords and maces when I could rather equip an umbrella or lollipop. No realism there, and can be explained away by magic. Maybe some people would actually like this, but it would be immersion breaking to others as I was trying to explain in my first post. A bulkier build simply gives the character an identity in this role that they are accustomed to wielding heavy armaments, and physical exertion.
Also, a bulky character doesn’t imply the character model needs to be ugly or big. The proportions are what matter. Again, being drawn to Heroes of the Storm and World of Warcraft for my example. Alexstrasza is a much bigger female and certainly has a fan base. Ironically her character however is an example of an equally improbably beauty standard as to a barbie.
I have no objection to a female Shaman (or any class being female.) In this case it would embody in my mind the example I used of Sonya more closely. According to my reasoning, the character would still have a bulkier model as the class still uses significantly physical demanding skills in the base class Primalist, and the ascended master class Beast Master.
Anyway, my conception of why the model was replaced is probably not even close to the mark to why they did it. This was just my theorizing. They stated the change was due to some canonical reasons arising from differences between a Knight and a Sentinel. Really they chose a male model now because Magic.