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No Character Creation Thread

HypeHype Huntsville, ALPosts: 270Member Common

Okay, so this is the big thing I hear MMO guys talking about. No character creation = no MMO. I hope we've had enough real discussions to throw out the old "it's not a real MMO" vague (and by definition incorrect) criticism. Let's get down to the issue:


Issue: Character creation is a beloved aspect of any vanilla MMO that allows for player investment in advancement, identity and creativity. As such, if we play as Marvel characters, we will A) see lots of clones/lose our identity in the community, B) not advance or grow and C) not express our creativity.


Is that a fair and agreeable analysis? If so, one might naturally ask are there any successful games that do otherwise, and that leads us to the Superhero Squad Online game, made by the same company for the same IP which also, incidentally, lets you play as Iconic Heroes. How does it handle these concerns?


A) Clones are visible in the hub areas, but on missions, the game forces clones to choose a different character

B) Instead of gaining and leveling up abilities on a single character, players advance by gaining and leveling up new characters.

C) Players express minimal creativity.


So, just based on a two year old MMO, we can see how they handle the 1000 Wolverines problem -> only allowing one wolvie per instance and making Wolvie a character that is hard to unlock. In this way, you're less likely to see Wolverine clones in MH as you are in COH. And while certainly we can draw the parallel between new abilites and new characters, so that each player is still as diverse and unique as before, we still have two issues left unaddressed: visual creativity (ala costumes) and Player Expectations (ie it's different, so it can't be good).


Now, I'm not sure player expectations are solveable, or all that important anyway. There's always going to be people who say "It's not a real MMO cuz it's not like WoW in this or that way." I do wonder though, will there be visual distinction available? Obviously players can get new costumes ala SHSO or even MUA, perhaps customize powers, but even though there might be as many choices in distinction available, will it be able, or should it be able to capture the 'making something from scratch' feeling of other MMOs.


Is that a loss worth caring about, with the immense lack of creativity out there and the success of SHSO and it's lack of visual distinction?


What are your thoughts?

The Illusion of Choice


  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,326Member Uncommon

    I don't dwell on whether having character creation is or isn't essential for an MMO.  Matter of fact, I don't really dwell on whether a game that calls itself an MMO is actually an MMO for ANY reason.  But I can tell you, because you can't create a character, the odds of me buying this game went from 80% to about 5%.

    Even TOR takes more of my character's development out of my hands than I am comfortable with.  Now this game is gonna make me play spider man and possibly group with 2-3 other spider men?  I don't think so.

    I'm hoping that I've completely misinterpreted the news that's come out for this game, so far.

    Edit:  forgot it was free 2 play.  I might end up trying it, then, but I suspect it'll be a massive letdown.

  • HypeHype Huntsville, ALPosts: 270Member Common

    Well like I said, you can't group with clones even in the kiddie version, there's no chance they're going to 86 that feature. A lot of the railing against this game seems to come from those kinds of assumptions. ie playing a premade character = no customization of said character. I was hoping this thread could be a place to discuss the actual problems with the game concept instead of crazy misjudgements.

    But yeah, if TOR is too restricted (which, kinda does the same thing, gives you a character with a given story that you can customize - you just get to customize the name), I suspect this will be tofor you as well. Which is the other problem. Even if the game appeals to the masses, it'll still get wailed on on here.

    Another odd point: while for an MMO player, creating from scratch is necessary for attachment to the character's advancement, many people are already attached to these characters anyway. Perhaps that's the target audience for the game? Movie/comic book fans who are casual gamers (hence the F2P?)

    The Illusion of Choice

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