There’s something I find incredibly stupid with the grind/loot MMO genre - your character is already buff from newbiehood. You enter the newbie tutorial with bulging muscles and tribal tattoos, as if your character spent his entire life being a badass. Then you get ripped a new hole by a group of kobolds who taunt, “do you even lift bro?”.
This state of perpetual buffness is ridiculous, my character should be a scrawny little twig who can barely pick up a sword as a newbie. If you played GTA: San Andreas, you’ll remember how CJ was skinny, but going to the gym increased your character’s strength and made CJ visibly buffer over time. Or in Fable, how you could become fat by eating too much, your character’s belly jiggling with every step.
I’m tired of glowing, sparkling, spikey-covered fullplate armour being the tell-tale sign of a high level character. It’s ridiculous and it’s poor roleplay. Why don’t characters who run and explore look leaner and more athletic than those who sit around the tavern? Why don’t characters get covered in dirt and blood?
As a player of MUD games, I’m used to being able to fully customize my character’s appearance on the fly. I just type DESCRIBE ME (what I want to look like), and then anyone who LOOKS at me will see the appearance I described for myself. For example, this is my character’s appearance now:
(I also designed some of the clothes I'm wearing, like the surgical mask)
At any time, I can completely change this appearance with the DESCRIBE ME command, or I can add to it. So if I get into an epic fight with a dragon, for instance, I could describe a fresh scar on my chest. It’s this freedom to constantly update my character to reflect the persistent world that keeps me coming back to MUDs instead of MMOs.