Heya, thanks for adding your voice Batazin ^.^ It's appreciated.
Today I'll look at spellcasting poses and animations. With spellcasting, we have six unique spell casting 'ready' poses - seven, technically, but one of them is just the 'help' action pose, and doesn't need to be covered again - it has all the same issues as mentioned in its own section.
I'll go through them one at a time, but first off, I'll mention an important detail that the screenshots themselves will not capture: Currently, the poses that female halflings are using for their spellcasting ready poses are all entirely Static - that is, they are rigid and not animated. The delivery animations work fine, but the one we see the most of is static (halfling males are animated normally). Compared to this, many of the poses used by human females are rather more 'bouncy' than really feels appropriate. Some animation is nice, but a couple of them bounce around like they need the bathroom.
I will say to this; I don't mind static poses for the 'ready to act' poses - in away a static pose makes sens,e since it's all supposed to happen in a moment, and we don't 'actually' spin all around trying to find the right angle with our bow before loosing... But, I also appreciate a lightly animated ready pose as well, so it feels alive. Either is fine, as long as the implementation is universally consistent. I'm fairly certain they're all meant to be animated, regardless, but I thought it worth mentioning.
First up, the hands-to-chest pose. This one is used for a lot of our traditionally 'divine' spells, most notably for healing, but also speak with dead. On the human-sized models (male and female use the same pose data), the pose line sup well, though it is very bouncy - too much, in my personal opinion. On halflings, however, we run into clipping issues around the hands and chest. Halfling males have their feet clipping into the ground in this pose - and in relation to this, it makes their stance look different, and narrower. It's hard to tell whether the intention was for them to have a narrower pose, or whether, when their feet are properly aligned with the ground, it will mirror the female poses. Meanwhile, halfling females suffer bad weapon clipping, especially with long weapons. The pose itself looks fine - it's been adjusted for smaller creatures already, and doesn't suffer any distension.
The 'front cross' pose is usually used for illusion-type spells and a few other miscellaneous ones - some other self-buffing and scattered others. This one comes out well! compared to human-sized models, the halfling foot pose is similar and it stands up acceptably well; I feel the foot stance is a little bit more dynamically broad than it perhaps should be for comfort, but it's not bad by any means. No clipping or distension here either. Once again, male halflings have an issue with their feet, which is altering the appearance of the pose, making it look weaker and less table; this will be the same issue as the first pose, and the solution, whichever it is, will be the same.
Alas, the good streak couldn't quite last. The 'self-cross' pose is used for other divine spells, and for most buffing spells. The front leg on female halflings is *incredibly* stretched out. It's like she's trying to do a difficult yoga pose. It's not broken, or infeasible, but it certainly wouldn't be comfortable. I'm torn because the dynamism of the pose looks neat, in its way; I can imagine a lot of people would be unhappy if this changed... but it only looks good while it's static. If the character was bobbing, as per the usual animation, the extremely extended stretch would end up looking off. I'm torn because I like it, but the practical woman in me says that the leading foot really should come in, just a little bit, so she doesn't look quite that hyper-extended on the front foot. Male halflings have their feet solidly on the ground again for this pose, and the leg positions don't actually look bad on them.
The real issues we have here is up top. On human-sized models, the character crosses their arms across their torso, like they're giving themselves a hug. It looks good. On halflings, male and female, this same pose data does not convey accurately, and we're left with them jamming their arms into and through their body or head, even to the extent of having their fingers poking out of their back. This part of the pose definitely needs to be fully refactored for smaller races.
(Image limit, post continues)