I’ll be honest; on paper, the Au Ra are absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted out of a New Race. The artwork depicts the males as muscular, imposing, powerful-looking warriors, although still having more handsome features (as opposed to the Highlanders, who have some funky-looking Faces).
I love the story — or at least, implied story — behind them, that they are descendants of Saint Shiva, who is said to have laid with dragons, giving them a unique “vibe”. When Yoshi-P was on-stage, describing them, he said all of the words I wanted to hear; they would be large and powerful, but dangerous looking, unlike the Roegadyn, who’ve always seemed too friendly, even “cuddly”, to be considered truly imposing.
Now take a look at this:
The Male there looks awesome. He’s lean enough that he could be quick on his feet, yet solid enough to deliver a crippling punch, or swing a truly heavy Greatsword (and if you’ve seen the new Dark Knight weapons, you can attest to how heavy-looking those things are).
Now let’s take a look at the actual in-game counterpart that was shown:
The Males there basically look like Elezen, but with horns. They look “skinny”, not the proud-looking warriors that the Artwork depicted. I “get” that it might “make sense”, given they seemingly share some Elezen heritage, but no two Races should ever look quite so similar. Now, given that Heavensward is likely still some time away, it’s entirely possible that these are a very early model — given credit by the fact that, as seen in the video, the horns weren’t actually full attached to their heads.
It is my sincere hope that the team will beef-up the Males more, particularly in their chest, shoulders, and neck. Keep the thin waist-size, as in the artwork, but make their torsos much more ripped. I ask this because, in all honesty, Race-selection is the primary reason I’ve not been more committed to FFXIV, as I feel like I’m stuck choosing between three “pretty boy” races, and the oh-so-lovable Roegadyn, none of which feel “dangerous” or “imposing” to me.