Right. I can't believe some of the models is nearly six years old, according to BioWare! I had no idea ... but then again, I only found the games 18 months ago.
Personally, I love the new textures and looks. Then again, I see your point. Ashley's gone from a good old 'grunt' to some kind of sex symbol, hasn't she? And I don't even like how sex is creeping into everything these days, so I shouldn't like what they did with her. But I do for some odd reason.
I've always operated on a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," ideal.
But I can somewhat understand them changing it - time has passed, etc. I'm not really annoyed when it comes down to it, I just don't understand the reason for changing it when everyone (as far as I can tell the majority of Ashley's fanbase, at least) liked the previous version.
I wasn't overly bothered about her becoming a Spectre, it seems fitting since either her or Kaidan was with you in the first Mass Effect game when you defeated Sovereign. That is, as compared to those who think she's not suitable for the job given that death seems to follow her around, as Allers put it.
Purely as an observation, I was surprised with her jumping four ranks from a non-commissioned officer, Gunnery Chief, to a commissioned officer, Lieutenant-Commander, in the course of about seven months. I was surprised they bothered to put that into the story since her Spectre status outweighs her Alliance rank. Same with Kaidan, but his jump was less in that he was already a commissioned officer. His jump was only two ranks from the first game to the second game (two years), then one more from the second to the (seven to eight months) third.
The only reason for the promotion in either case (Ashley or Kaidan), as far as I can tell, is to make them into a sort of icon, or symbol suggesting capability. But I would have thought making them into a Spectre would have done that automatically.
But that's meta-gaming. Shepard wouldn't have known about Ashley or Kaidan becoming a Spectre until they notify him/her about it. As far as Shepard knows, the Vermire Survivor is whatever rank they are when they at the start of the game.
I liked the shiny new armour (this one we're looking at), but the casual appearance (here) just didn't look right. Not for Ashley, at least. Though I can't say I'm upset or annoyed about it, just a bit jarring from two previous games to see her wearing anything but Alliance fatigues or heavy armour. I'm still not entirely sure what to make of her casual outfit, but I do like this one .