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The List: Top 5 Ugly MMO Races

Column By William Murphy on December 08, 2010

Character creation in MMORPGs is becoming more and more advanced. Looking at the defunct (and soon to be resurrected) APB is a prime example of just how far developers’ skills have come in terms of avatar looks and the options therein. But that doesn’t mean all of our characters will be pretty. In fact, I’m shocked at just how many player races there are which seem utterly unappealing to me. If I’m going to spend hundreds of hours looking at a character, I really should hope that he or she is aesthetically pleasing to my eye. And maybe that’s the case.

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People have different ideas of what’s pretty and what’s not, right? Either way, this week’s list is all about the ugliest races in MMOs today. Sure you can say that differences promote diversity, and I won’t disagree. There are certain races which are ugly, but designed so well that I find their looks rather appealing (WAR’s Greenskins for example). You just won’t catch me playing any of the following races in the games they’re tied to. There are probably plenty more to add in, but keep in mind this is a list subjective to personal taste. So feel free to add in your own down below.

5.) Undead – WoW

I know it’s cool to love zombies. Frankly, I get why the Undead are so popular in WoW. Heck, I get why the entire Horde faction is so beloved. But aside from one other race in the game (and I’m shockingly not talking about the Trolls), the Undead are absolutely wretched looking. Partly because of just how aged WoW is becoming, and partly because they’re dead… but still, I find nothing (short of their dance) to be redeeming. I love zombies. I love all things macabre. I love the humor behind this sick and twisted MMO race and that there’s nothing like them in any other game. But I hate the way they look, so I’ll just appreciate them from afar, thanks.

4.) Rodian – SWG

I feel a little bad bringing Greedo’s people into this, especially because it wasn’t SOE who made them look so incredibly ridiculous, but LucasArts. Still, the poor tribal folk will get no love from me. You just won’t catch me playing them in SWG, or pretty much any Star Wars flavored game where they’re selectable. I attribute this to the MMO “butter-face” effect. The body is entirely human, and looks rather normal… but that face. Who decided long ago to give it that scaly, stretched out look? I don’t think anyone expected Greedo to become such a pivotal part of the SW universe, otherwise I suspect the makeup team would have tried harder. Instead one of the saga’s most beloved ancillary characters comes off looking like Alec Baldwin in Beetlejuice when he tried to scare the inhabitants of his home as a ghost.

3.) Gnome – WoW

Worse than the Undead. Can I just leave it at that? They’re too short, trying to be too cute, and more annoying than just about any of the late Jim Henson’s worst creations (no disrespect to the man who created The Dark Crystal). I’m wary of hating too much on the Gnomes for their short stature, but I think that’s what does it for me in this game. It’s not because they’re short, but how they look in the game’s armor due to this height difference that bugs me. In other games, especially EQ2, I find the gnomes pretty cool looking. I just hate seeing the little buggers swing swords and axes that are twice their size in WoW. Gnome Death Knights? Please. I get the appeal. They’re the underdogs. They’re the little guys taking on dragons and all manner of gigantic foes. But I once tried to play a Gnome Warlock… when I realized I’d have to be staring at that tiny little butt in robes for a couple hundred hours I went back to my Dwarf. Yes, Dwarves are much better than Gnomes. Even the women. You heard it here first.

2.) The Shar – DAOC

There are honestly a lot of terrible looking races in Mythic’s prized gem. The Lurikeen, the Sylvan, the Kobold… the list can go on for a while. But it was the Shar which initially made me want to switch factions. Once I realized that I’d have to fight alongside these guys, I felt the sudden urge to join the tide of Midgard sweeping my server. I played a Celt… lame? Yes. But I was young, impulsive, and into my Irish heritage. Now that I’m thinking about it, Hibernia also has the Firbolg. Those buggers look like brownish Shreks. Good Lord, I just realized I was on the ugly squad in DAOC. Way to ruin my memories of a great game, Shar. With your silly horns and ridiculous tribal tattoos. You look like a bad Prodigy video, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

1.) Froglok – EQ2

Still, no other race has made me shake my head more than the Froglok. They’re a hit with the EQ crowd. I mean, who doesn’t love Kermit? Giant frogs that hop around appropriately sounds like a cool idea on paper… until you put them in the game and they wind up just looking like a further-malformed version of Quasimodo. Don’t get me wrong, I think the animations that EQ2 has managed to work in for the Frogloks are fantastic. I just think their version of an anthropomorphic frog is a lot less appealing than Jim Henson’s (redemption for an earlier insult to a dead man).

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The List
Sometimes less than serious, in this space, we look back at the genre's history and far into the future to bring you a new list each week. Our countdowns are written by assorted members of the MMORPG.com Staff.
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