I’m Eri Izawa, Lead Designer of Asheron’s Call continuing content. That includes the dress.
First off, I’m a woman. You know, not a guy.
Second off, I understand Lietgardis’ post. Do I get sick of seeing a certain clothing discrepancy in games? Hell yeah! Do I want to be surrounded by a sexually overcharged atmosphere in a game like AC? Nuh-uh.
Third off, would I wear that dress? My main character is a guy who wouldn’t dream of it. (Oh, you mean in RL?)
But that said, do I know people (men, women) who wear things that are less than completely conservative? Yes. Are they cool? Yes. Are they smart? Yes. Do they like having a choice of what they can wear? Yes. Do I want to give them the choice of what to wear in AC? Yes, within reason. (For example, at my dorm I once saw people wearing only blue paint dancing in the courtyard around a fire, but that’s another story.)
Let me be honest: the original intention for the dress was to make it but one option out of several styles, replete with color variations for serious and not-so-serious role-players. That’s still the intention. Granted, if suddenly AC permanently turns into a giant low-cut dress carnival I’ll have second thoughts, but (aside from those of you who are inspired by ridiculous scenarios in ‘net posts) I seriously doubt that is going to happen.
Yes, I do care a great deal about the social atmosphere in AC. There is a fine line between liberty and license in any community. Do we think this will ruin the community? No. Will we be watching? Yes.