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The Casual Life by Wintyre Fraust

An older, casual player's perspective on MMOG's in general and GW2 in particular.

Author: Meleagar

Why no customizable animations & phrases?

Posted by Meleagar Wednesday November 30 2011 at 9:42AM
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Sometimes it seems to me that modern MMOG developers all evolved from the same universal common ancestor of developers, because they can't think outside of their MMOGenetic heritage.  If we can have virtually unlimited control over our character's in-game appearance, why not let us customize our animations?  Our voices?  Our spoken phrases?

Even if we start with an old-school EQ-style multiple-choice option of voices, phrases, and animations, why not give us that? Even better, let us customize them with sliders controls and option switches.  Let us connect battle actions with phrases or specific effects of our choosing.  When we gain a new skill, give us some personalized, creative input into how the skill is visualized and integrated into our behavioral repertoire. 

Let me decide what phrases trigger which animations.  Let me have control over my walking and running animation.  When I sit, let me pick from a set of styles. When I laugh, let me have some options so that I can flesh out my character.

Sometimes it seems that every new patch to every existing game is about (1) new bosses, (2) new dungeons, (3) new areas, (4) new races, (5) new gear. I don't know that I've ever seen a patch - ever, in any game - that was dedicated to expanding the personality/characterization choices of our avatars. It' s like, after the game comes out, the only thing the development team cares about is satisfying the ravenous end-game or replay (new character) appetite of more hardcore gamers.

One of the most fun experiences I had was with the Champions online character creation interface; it was mind-boggling in its depth. I'd like to see that kind of character creation system, but exponentially increased to include all aspects of my avatar.

acidhedz writes:

I've been working on game concpets similar to what you would like to see done.

A game where the system works as a game master changing your play experience based on your choices. Random starting stats, lots of choosable content. Player centric economy with players being the ones making the items people use in the game for the most part, with the typical fair to middling NPC product vendors.

No end game or specifc story. It will be based on the world of a novel I am writing. Map mobs built the same as players so they are actually dangerous. Scary content.

Elements of second life blended with more general MMORPGs, and some of my own ideas, inlucing a very in depth alignment system that dictates quests and NPC interactions.

A profession, skill and stat based system that allows players to choose whatever path they want.

Like PvP? Become a duelist and moonlight as a bodyguard.

Like wheeling and dealing? Become a merchant and undercut the competition, while sending other players as guards across the game world in caravans and on cargo ships.

Want the coolest weapons? Become a blacksmith and design your own.

Want to have your pants scared off? Take a trip to the Mad House and get stalked by invisible things that use every haunted house trick in the book.

Prefer solo play? The mobs and dungeons spawn randomly based on your level, or your parties level if you prefer group play.

A dynamic MMORPG based on pen and paper games, not console games in other words.

If only I had a couple-three miilion dollars to develop it. Sigh...

I don't like the notion of a 24/7 systen though. I played a civi builder game for a while that had that. It was impossible to really catch up to the older players.

Wed Nov 30 2011 11:54AM Report
Meleagar writes:

I like those ideas a lot.  It makes you wonder why there's so little out-of-the-box thinking going on in the actual development rooms of MMOGs.

Wed Nov 30 2011 1:23PM Report writes:
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