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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The importance of character customisation

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  Findariel

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 216

 
OP  2/10/12 6:13:29 AM#1

Firstly I must admit I´m probably one of the most character oriented players around. I simply love to have characters that can look and dress like I want them to do. For me, immersion stops when my character looks horrible and animations look embarrassing.

Thus there´s not a lot of games to choose from if that was my only criterion (fortunately it´s not):
WAR actually looked nice, I love the warhammer outfits and characters and outfits actually looked good from the start. Too bad the end game is all about an endless PvP grind and that at any given moment there was only 1 best oufit you could wear. What a waste of a very stylish game! My score: 6/10 (for stylishness)
WoW looked reasonable, initially I played humans as I hated the night elves look but I was very happy with blood elves and dranei. Gear looks weren't all that impressive; all the mixed (undyable) gears, you basically looked like a mess. The huge shoulderpads weren't my thing either. The tabards were ok though. My score: 5/10 (including a +1 for the barbershop)
Frankly LOTRO is horrible, customisaton options are very limited and they run very strange. If I were a develeoper I'd be too embarassed to release a game with animations like that! It' s the one reason I quit playing, I really couldn' t stand looking at it anymore. My score: 2/10
EVE has no characters that can interact or see each other, you' re basically a spaceship with a 2D picture as avatar. My score: 1/10
AoC doesn't have nice looking characters and the ridiculous big weapons really look a bit out of proportion imo. My score: 4/10
GW did an ok job in my opinion.  Especially after a few expansions and the unique possibility to mix all the faces and hairstyles and armor sets because stats and looks were not connected, you had quite a choice of decent and unique looking characters. "Toggle off" headgear and capes was another good thing. The possible styles were still a bit limited though, in my opinion most sets for one class (profession) still looked too much alike. My score: 7.5/10
Rift has very stale looking characters and you can only pick one face per race/gender, which is really very, very poor. The clothes are ok but don’t look very spectacular either. My score: 4.5/10

Why can't game designers start to lay some more emphasis on the character their players can make? GW has learned us that a lot of people even want to grind for vanity gear and special looks. I think asian game developers generally do a lot better job and their characters generally looks a lot better, although the options aren't always that extensive either.
 

How important are your characters looks to you?

Extremely important
Very important
Important
Somewhat important
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Unimportant
I couldn't care less about looks
(login to vote)
  User Deleted
2/10/12 6:23:07 AM#2

i think you should have voted rift higher. i dont remeber the character creation part, but i loved the fact that you could dye the armor. they also have a wardrobe feature so you could essentially transfer stats from youre endgame gear to any armor.

  Findariel

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 216

 
OP  2/10/12 6:37:42 AM#3
Originally posted by brody71

i think you should have voted rift higher. i dont remeber the character creation part, but i loved the fact that you could dye the armor. they also have a wardrobe feature so you could essentially transfer stats from youre endgame gear to any armor.

The dying part is indeed a nice feature - hence no 2/10 ;-) But the fact that you can only have 1 face really makes me subtract a lot of  points because if you don't like the standard face you can't make any nice looking character of that race/gender at all, which is really bad in my experience.

  User Deleted
2/10/12 6:43:58 AM#4

do you prefer premade faces or the slider type? i tend to prefer premades, i can never get good faces when i mess with the sliders.

  Findariel

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 216

 
OP  2/10/12 7:10:47 AM#5
Originally posted by brody71

do you prefer premade faces or the slider type? i tend to prefer premades, i can never get good faces when i mess with the sliders.

Premades have my preference as well. Sliders are nice for length or colour depth though - and width. And I'm always hoping thet one day there will be a game that also supports fatter characters. :-)

  Four0Six

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 1069

2/10/12 7:20:21 AM#6

In any gear based game I don't even bother to care about character customisation.

Why? Even if it's dyable, you and all your buddies/strangers will have the same 'clothes'....Ask any kid in highschool if that is cool.

I  L O V E D the character creation in the CIty series ( Heros/Villians/Going Rogue ), this in my opinion is REAL character creation. WIth a likelyhood of you NEVER encountering another who looks like you at all. But, here you have a game with NO gear, so unique characters can be bountiful.

  Zlayer77

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/09
Posts: 846

Start worrying about other players in a game and dont just play

2/10/12 7:20:44 AM#7

EvE actually has a rather good charecter customisation these days.. You still cant interact with other players, but your charecter looks really good when you are walking around in your captains quarters. If they open up stations and you can start Intereacting with others it will open up the game word more for sure... Your Avatar foto can also get very uniqe depending on how much time you waste getting it right...

AION has a really nice charecter customisation option also and Tera onlines looks good also. In Asien Korean games your charecters looks are always very Important....

PS Rift also has alot of options if you slide around the face and pick diffrent things.. I think its alot better then many other games on the market.. not as good as EvE or Aions though..

  FrostWyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 6/11/05
Posts: 1028

2/10/12 7:22:16 AM#8

City of Heroes/Villains, in my opinion, has hands down the BEST character customization out of any MMO I've ever played. I hear the game is F2P now also. You may want to check it out.

 

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16469

2/10/12 7:26:31 AM#9
Originally posted by FrostWyrm

City of Heroes/Villains, in my opinion, has hands down the BEST character customization out of any MMO I've ever played. I hear the game is F2P now also. You may want to check it out.

AIONs is actually better. So is APBs but CoX is indeed pretty good.

I both want to be able to customize my chearacters looks and abilities in a game, I hate being like everyone else of my class.

  Warmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 2233

2/10/12 6:19:55 PM#10

Warhammer Online - I thought the graphics and characters, plus their animations were horrible.  For a 2008 game, it looked like something from 1999.  A big strike against it to me was the lack of customizing your character's appearance.  Simply, there was none, except for a quick dye job.  One Swordmaster looked the same as another Swordmaster of the same level.  Absolutely dull.

Age of Conan - The graphics for the game were very good for its time.  If the animations weren't glitched, they were pretty decent also, not to mention the gore.  As far as character presentation goes though, it had 2 faults.

a.  Horribly few equipment appearance sets.  Meaning there was little to no variety of how gear looked.

b.  Part of the PR and hype of AoC was supposed to be the adult nature of the game.  When I received the Colletor's Edition and browed the art book, t*ts were hanging out like it's a party.  In-game?  Everything got covered up, including parts of the game that obviously looked like it was a good reason to have a top-bare female character there (starting area, chained female prisoner at edge of beach and jungle).  But everything was covered up as if I was stepping into church on a Sunday.  That was pretty deceptive of Failcom.

Lord of the Rings Online - I thought character presentation was mediocre.  Not great, but not terrible.  Graphics were decent, IMO.  But I was very disappointed LOTRO adopted the mentality of "Choose from 1 of 4 different faces" type of character creation.  The only good thing LOTRO did well for character presentation was the eventual implementation of the Character Appearance Tab.

Guild Wars - Same problem in presentation as LOTRO, but even worse with fewer choices to make for appearances.

 

In short, if I see alot of sliders to create my character, a good palette, and a good variety of options, I'm very happy with what's possible with the character creation process.

"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  Findariel

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 216

 
OP  2/11/12 3:40:18 AM#11
Originally posted by Zlayer77

EvE actually has a rather good charecter customisation these days.. You still cant interact with other players, but your charecter looks really good when you are walking around in your captains quarters. If they open up stations and you can start Intereacting with others it will open up the game word more for sure... Your Avatar foto can also get very uniqe depending on how much time you waste getting it right...

Yes but what's the use of a unique avatar when no-one can see you? Next to they use a different engine from the game engine and it severely strains your computer, the forum was full of overheating complaints. As long as no-one sees you, you might as well consider yourself a 2D picture from another game.

CCP also did one unforgivable thing: with the new character creator they changed a lot of blooodlines beyond recognition. Where my Vherikior industrial used to look like a latina girl she suddenly looked chinese. How would WoW players feel if after an update, their elves looked like undead, the trolls looked like night elves and tauren became gnomes just because Blizz thought it would be a good idea? It was very counter-immersive.

  Findariel

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 216

 
OP  2/13/12 3:02:02 AM#12
Originally posted by Warmaker

Lord of the Rings Online - I thought character presentation was mediocre.  Not great, but not terrible.  Graphics were decent, IMO.  But I was very disappointed LOTRO adopted the mentality of "Choose from 1 of 4 different faces" type of character creation.  The only good thing LOTRO did well for character presentation was the eventual implementation of the Character Appearance Tab.

Guild Wars - Same problem in presentation as LOTRO, but even worse with fewer choices to make for appearances.

In short, if I see alot of sliders to create my character, a good palette, and a good variety of options, I'm very happy with what's possible with the character creation process.

Well compared to LOTRO, GW had like 25+ faces and hairstyles after the last expansion. I thought it was pretty neat, also the number of sets was limited but you could combine them all because the stats were independent and you coudl dye clothes - so creating a unique look was still possible. I do agree though that a lof of the gear looked very much alike and I do hope GW2 will bring a little more variety.

Personally I'm not really sure a slider will be the best option in all cases. Lik ein Rift there's only 1 face and although it had some sliders to adjust a number of features, the face still looks quite the same, for instance the chin can't be adjusted.

  Senjinn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/11/07
Posts: 184

2/13/12 3:53:47 AM#13

Vanity has always gotten the best of me. How my character looks has always been extremely important.

 

The worst character creation system imo was in Vanguard. The bodies always seemed disproportionate. Heads were always too big or too small. They had sliders but i still couldn't get things to look right. The best system was probably Aion. I only ever played the trial, but spent most of that time in character creation because the game itself didn't really appeal to me. Favorite character model of all time is definately gnomes in EQ2, the alternate appearance ones. The original models from EQ2 rank down near Vanguard but i thought they really made up for it with the alternate ones.

 

As far as armor goes most games have a lot of variety , so i can usually find something i like. The only game i can think of that was bad is Shadowbane. I only played for the first 6 months. So maybe it got better later on. I remember my bard having to run around in this frilly pink and purple costume , with a big funky looking hat with a feather in it. It made me look like Huggybear.

  Sora2810

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/08
Posts: 566

2/14/12 7:14:28 PM#14

I like how SWTOR's fail of a character customizer didn't make the cut.

Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2

  Laserwolf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 2369

2/14/12 8:41:38 PM#15

Nothing in my mind has surpassed UO, which is kind of funny considering that there was only one race, one facial type, and no body slider. Even with just hair and beard styles/colors to choose from you still rarely if ever saw someone who looked exactly like you. These games need to take the extra time to implement a tailoring and clothing system just like UO. I know it was 2d and clipping wasn't really an issue, but if they could pull it off 15-20 years ago, there is no reason they couldn't include this now.

 

I should add that SWG did it pretty well too. I was actually able to put together the outfit I envisioned for my character to the exact detail before knowing anything about the available clothing options in the game.

 

 

  DJJazzy

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/18/11
Posts: 2074

2/14/12 9:10:01 PM#16

For mmos I'd say this how I'd rate games that I've played

EVE

APB

CoH

Aion

AoC

No other games I can think of would make a list of decent character customizing.

  User Deleted
2/14/12 9:26:10 PM#17

I would argue that character customization is much more directly linked to what you do in a game as well; merely looks won't get you far, but the general look and feel of your character would bring you much further: roleplaying is just one such outlet. In that case, EVE would rank far above LOTRO and others. Vanity graphics are just what they are: vain and useless unless you add an emotional attachment to it.

  Findariel

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 216

 
OP  2/17/12 3:30:02 AM#18
Originally posted by Datarin

I would argue that character customization is much more directly linked to what you do in a game as well; merely looks won't get you far, but the general look and feel of your character would bring you much further: roleplaying is just one such outlet. In that case, EVE would rank far above LOTRO and others.

But in EVE no-one ever sees your character, just a snapshot. You may as well upload an image with a picture that you made with another game. Personally, I don't find that immersive at all.

  djmtott

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/06
Posts: 182

2/17/12 4:05:37 AM#19
Originally posted by Laserwolf

I should add that SWG did it pretty well too. I was actually able to put together the outfit I envisioned for my character to the exact detail before knowing anything about the available clothing options in the game.

I actually think SWG was almost the best. Although now the tech is a little dated, but their character customization options were really good. Add in all of the crafted wearables and the fact they came in a myriad of color options. It puts most other games to shame.

The best game is/was APB. Not sure if it qualifies as an MMO, but I don't know of better character customization anywhere else.

But overall, the lack of customization in most games comes down to an effort to cut down on lag. The smaller variety of rendered items leads to improved graphics performance.

  haplo602

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 150

2/20/12 2:16:30 AM#20

My character should look how I like it to look. It does not have to be unique.

 

Case in point: Ragnarok Online. Not much customisation (barely any) but I do like the looks of the characters. They are not unique, but they have a feeling I like.

 

EVE online is the best for me :-) I do NOT CARE how my avatar looks. The body could not exist at all and I would not care. But I like the ship models a lot. Here the detachment of in-game entity from the player self is a boost to gameplay.

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