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Character Creation, what can CU do better?

TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless ColumnistM, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

In continuing with my question everything concept, character creation, WTF? It's gone from great to garbage. We had better systems 10 years ago! So, what could CU do to take it to the next level of detail, but still function in an MMO?

As always more detail and suggestions are written on my blog

http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/052013/25082_16-Question-Everything-Character-Creation

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Comments

  • ExarchiExarchi BathPosts: 17Member

    If I'm honest I'd much rather the time  was spent elsewhere . As long as there is a small amount of customisation I'm happy.

     

  • TigsKCTigsKC Kansas City, MOPosts: 145Member Uncommon

    Frankly, i do not need especially-detailed models (e.g., sliders for eyebrow tilt).

    However, I would like to see this:

    1. Varied and highly different races.  I like what I have seen to date (e.g., the St'rm as a departure from the norm).
    2. Sizing options that allow for a more realistic spectrum of sizes and builds (musculature), but not largely exaggerated ones.  That is, I would like to see tall, short, fat, skinny models and everything in between.  Not every PC has to look like Adonis!
    3. Enough starter clothing that it does not look like an attack of the clones in the tutorial area.  I realize these will be traded out soon enough.
    4. A wide range of mutable hairstyles.
    5. Varied skin tones.
    Most games do a fairly decent job at these simple things, except for #2.
     
     
     
  • NcrediblebulkNcrediblebulk San Marcos, TXPosts: 137Member

    We've seen the focus shift from having things like stats and racial class restrictions matter to having more focus put on visual aspects of the avatar. Now while this isn't a bad thing because frankly I love being bald, purple skinned, and having a beard of ZZ Top qualities, the best thing we can see be done is a return to where choosing a race/class combo and placing a few starter points allows us to min/max. MJ has stated some classes will be better at certain classes than others. I'm fine with this there will still be people who won't want to play a small raced archer for the ability to be harder to see or maybe have better <stat important to the class>. The purpose of those who chose a less than optimal race will be either a pure love or hate for the race they are choosing or not choosing, or like myself and others in some cases enjoy not following a cookie cutter "this is the best race for this class so it's stupid not to choose them" mentality. I enjoy a challenge. The system we saw in Daoc was pretty decent. There was some level of customization which allowed you to differ your character from others but those who chose the less optimized races for a class (I.E. Firbolg Animist, Half-Ogre Wizard, Troll Bonedancer) and excelled at the class even with the hit in dex they took were clearly skillful players.

     

    Ultimately I agree with you Exarchi. I'd rather time spent being put into more important systems when it comes to visual stuff. I can live with out having purple colored skin. Bald and bearded that's another story. I think CU making Racial choice, and perhaps even sexual choice, an important part of character design will see a return to, as Mark stated, "Having choice matter again."

    "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."

  • TamanousTamanous Edmonton, ABPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    This was briefly covered in an MJ update previously. He simply said that they will be restricted by their "performance first" approach to creating the game but will try their best to put in as many customization options as possible but some slider options  simply won't exist.

     

    The current crop of mmo character creations seem to fall into one of these categories:

     

    1. Very few options.

    2. Many options but so subtle you barely notice them in game

    3. Tons of options where you can spend hours creating a character (i.e. Champions Online)

     

    I'm hoping CU simply finds a balance where a very few options have the biggest impact on your character AND can be seen in game. Typically this means some body size options and scaling and decent differences in facial recognition, lots of nice hair options (unless helmet/hoods dominate game anyway) and custom colour palettes for races.

     

    It takes very few good options to make a big difference. If you can't even notice options in game more than 10 feet from the character than I hope they don't even bother with such options.

    You stay sassy!

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    It's a mass pvp game.

    I don't want a very detailed character creator.

    It will make the game slower.
  • I don't know if it's true that more options makes the game slower, but I personally don't need lots of different sliders like in Skyrim. I would like to see different body type options and plenty of face options. I can even live with there only being one body type, especially if having more means exaggerated stretching of armor pieces. One thing I disliked in WoW was the human faces. There's maybe 10 faces to choose from but 8 of them look like derpy idiots so in reality there might as well be 2.
  • SpeelySpeely Seattle, WAPosts: 861Member
    I personally spend like an hour making my character. I like options. However, if it affects performance, I am willing to let that go.

    That being said, simple customization should be realistic enough. Size, preset faces, hairstyles/colors, etc.
  • EdanyEdany Phoenix, AZPosts: 178Member

    I don't see a need for a slider for every tiny detail of a character. The reality is, I will be staring at the backside of it 99% of the time, and nobody else is paying any attention to the width I set for the bridge of my nose or the angle of my eyebrows. The most I ever pay attention to on another character is their armor, followed by their hair, maaaaaaybe their face. Maybe.

    I enjoyed Warhammer's character creation. I liked the various color palettes in that game.

    I would really enjoy a slider for body types, thinner, thicker, taller, shorter, within limits of course. I would LOVE the option to give my characters a pot belly, or a friar-tuck hair cut.

    Speaking of faces and hair, please, if the slider route won't work, give me more than 8 shitty hair options and 4 ugly faces to choose from.

    Sliders for color of hair, and skin, maybe if they're particularly adept, a slider for age? How cool would that be?! 

    Or a choice in starter armor, as someone mentioned before, so that even if we're all wearing the same potato sack we can at least put a spin on it....

    I usually spend more time on the trivial things, tattoos, piercings, scars, accessories. These things can go an equally long way in allowing a distinguished character to be made without sucking away at too many resources...

  • redcappredcapp brook, NYPosts: 722Member
    I don't give a single shit about how big my pupils and nostrils are.  I think character customization when it comes to races, classes, skills, etc, are much more important.  So long as there are a decent amount of options in the character creation stage to differentiate people from one another, it will be fine.  We don't need to go crazy like Aion did to have personalized characters, IMO. 
  • RictisRictis UnknownPosts: 1,231Member Uncommon
    I think my favorite character creation was in Aion. They had some good options and didn't force you to go through unnecessary options.
  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    I play Fire Pro Wrestling to this day, so in the end if I have to sacrifice graphics for gameplay its is not a problem. But the way I was raised (poor) we didn't have fancy things, but through some creativity we made simple things interesting. That is the direction I think the cc needs to go.

  • TamanousTamanous Edmonton, ABPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon

    Well if CSE were to be revolutionary they could do something completely different ...

     

    For humans (real life talk here) our recognition comes largely from noticing a person's posture and movement. Think of anyone you know very very well and can often pick them out of a crowd a long way away simply by their posture and/or stride. Their basic silhouette also largely plays into this so even if you can't make out there face you can still tell who they are from a distance.

     

    CSE would do best to allow unique characters if their sliders focused what what humans notice from a distance over subtle facial features. Body shape sliders would have the best impact along with hair to fill out a unique silhouette. Options for how your character runs and unique animations for your realm class enhance recognition greatly as well. Champions online had choices for how you ran and how your posture looked. This may be a little excessive for CU but even the most basic options for true world human recognition would impact your presence in game far more than the 30 stupid facial sliders some games have.

     

    In my opinion the greatest failure for character individuality in most mmos is having the same running and combat animations across the board for class/race etc. CSE could focus on key elements only:

     

    1. Unique run per class, realm, gender.

    2. Unique combat animations per class, realm, gender.

    3. Character body scaling options ... i.e. shorter/taller, fatter/thinner.

    4. Optional choice for unique posture/animations or group of emotes per race, realm, gender and class.

    5. Only modest facial options would be required ... but not hair, mmo players often love hair/head options so I would suggest CSE put plenty of options to alter head profile.

    You stay sassy!

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Tamanous
    Well if CSE were to be revolutionary they could do something completely different ... For humans (real life talk here) our recognition comes largely from noticing a person's posture and movement. Think of anyone you know very very well and can often pick them out of a crowd a long way away simply by their posture and/or stride. Their basic silhouette also largely plays into this so even if you can't make out there face you can still tell who they are from a distance. CSE would do best to allow unique characters if their sliders focused what what humans notice from a distance over subtle facial features. Body shape sliders would have the best impact along with hair to fill out a unique silhouette. Options for how your character runs and unique animations for your realm class enhance recognition greatly as well. Champions online had choices for how you ran and how your posture looked. This may be a little excessive for CU but even the most basic options for true world human recognition would impact your presence in game far more than the 30 stupid facial sliders some games have. In my opinion the greatest failure for character individuality in most mmos is having the same running and combat animations across the board for class/race etc. CSE could focus on key elements only: 1. Unique run per class, realm, gender.2. Unique combat animations per class, realm, gender.3. Character body scaling options ... i.e. shorter/taller, fatter/thinner.4. Optional choice for unique posture/animations or group of emotes per race, realm, gender and class.5. Only modest facial options would be required ... but not hair, mmo players often love hair/head options so I would suggest CSE put plenty of options to alter head profile.


    Cool concept. I was just noticing Warhammer did an excellent job of making each race look and feel very different. Posture and gate were huge factors. I hope they do the same for CU.

  • redcappredcapp brook, NYPosts: 722Member
    Originally posted by Tamanous

    Well if CSE were to be revolutionary they could do something completely different ...

     

    For humans (real life talk here) our recognition comes largely from noticing a person's posture and movement. Think of anyone you know very very well and can often pick them out of a crowd a long way away simply by their posture and/or stride. Their basic silhouette also largely plays into this so even if you can't make out there face you can still tell who they are from a distance.

     

    CSE would do best to allow unique characters if their sliders focused what what humans notice from a distance over subtle facial features. Body shape sliders would have the best impact along with hair to fill out a unique silhouette. Options for how your character runs and unique animations for your realm class enhance recognition greatly as well. Champions online had choices for how you ran and how your posture looked. This may be a little excessive for CU but even the most basic options for true world human recognition would impact your presence in game far more than the 30 stupid facial sliders some games have.

     

    In my opinion the greatest failure for character individuality in most mmos is having the same running and combat animations across the board for class/race etc. CSE could focus on key elements only:

     

    1. Unique run per class, realm, gender.

    2. Unique combat animations per class, realm, gender.

    3. Character body scaling options ... i.e. shorter/taller, fatter/thinner.

    4. Optional choice for unique posture/animations or group of emotes per race, realm, gender and class.

    5. Only modest facial options would be required ... but not hair, mmo players often love hair/head options so I would suggest CSE put plenty of options to alter head profile.

    Agreed.  Solid post. 

  • naezgulnaezgul Homer Glen, ILPosts: 374Member
    Having lots of attributes that you must put into at creation.  The more affecting the class the better. Also race choice having decent impact on the performance. Sex also.....maybe most races women have higher wisdom/Piety and charisma.
  • zeroumuszeroumus edmonton, ABPosts: 54Member
    I don't need lots of sliders,  as that could bog down the game.   but I would simply like to see a shit load more pre-made faces and hair styles.  While i don't use them,  a ton of tattoos too.     I would like to see about 25 faces, and 50 hair styles for the human style race alone.   
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Things Like dyes aren't a performance hit much, they should definetly let you dye your stuff and what have you.

    It's when you have lots of different body sizes and what not that his performance the most. Because you have to have multiple sets of each armour item.
  • I think it's actually the best approach to reuse the same animations as much as possible for similar body types and moves. This gives the animators much more time to give quality to a smaller variety of animations rather than having to hurry to make a large amount of mediocre animations.
  • TigsKCTigsKC Kansas City, MOPosts: 145Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ShakyMo

    It's when you have lots of different body sizes and what not that his performance the most. Because you have to have multiple sets of each armour item.

    I see what you mean, but I would like to see enough variety in models (including body size) so that I do not feel as if drowning in a sea of conformity.  In one sense we may be cannon fodder for our Realm, but there is still the desire to feel heroic about your character and its role in the war.  It is difficult to do this when you appear as just one more automaton off the assembly line.  Hopefully, we can find a happy medium allowing for great performance and some distinctive quality about the appearance of your character(s).

     

     

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    Looking at DAOC and WAR MJ seems to really like making each race feel distinct through animations, run, walk, posture etc.

  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member

    First and foremost, having tons of different body types forcing you to have tons of different armor sets is a lie.

     

    It primarily depends on the system you use for your equipment. I've been working on my own "Floating Rigg" system that allows you to "float & morph" gear in certain areas so you have ONE or TWO armor-sets for 30 different races with 20 different body-types.

     

    It's something I've had in my head for the past 2yrs, and what I've been working on for quite awhile :). I've seen similar systems poorly implemented, and i'm sure I won't do much better since I'm doing it by myself.

     

    However, I should be clear that there ARE better ways than making the same armor set for each body-type. You just have to think outside the box :]!

  • BowbowDAoCBowbowDAoC Granby, QCPosts: 470Member

    Once you wear your armor, helmet, hat whatever, there s not much to see left lol.

    Honestly i'd go very simple on that. How we truly have unique looks is with our gears, dyes, weapons,height, weight, races.

    make a lot of Hairstyle, but as for the rest...keep it simple.

    It'll be full RvR, i wont look at how stunning a St'rm is, all i will want to do is cut her wings, pluck her eyes out, grab her soul, and leave her body there to rot :)

    image

    Bowbow (kob hunter) Infecto (kob cave shammy) and Thurka (troll warrior) on Merlin/Midgard DAoC
    Thurka on WAR

    image

  • SpeelySpeely Seattle, WAPosts: 861Member
    Nooooo Bowbow don't pick on my ST'RM like that :(

  • zeroumuszeroumus edmonton, ABPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by BearKnight

    First and foremost, having tons of different body types forcing you to have tons of different armor sets is a lie.

     

    It primarily depends on the system you use for your equipment. I've been working on my own "Floating Rigg" system that allows you to "float & morph" gear in certain areas so you have ONE or TWO armor-sets for 30 different races with 20 different body-types.

     

    It's something I've had in my head for the past 2yrs, and what I've been working on for quite awhile :). I've seen similar systems poorly implemented, and i'm sure I won't do much better since I'm doing it by myself.

     

    However, I should be clear that there ARE better ways than making the same armor set for each body-type. You just have to think outside the box :]!

    ya,   the excuse you speak of is a lie,   as long as the body perportions are reasonable,  this is all doneautomatically.     there should be no reason that having sliders to control body sizes should effect armor.   this only comes into play possible with races that are non-human,  but even then,  expections can be made in the modeling system to prevent needing a new model type,  example being a tail or big ears.    If the body of a differant race is significant,  then yes, it may need a whole model set

     

     

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Ideally
    Around 10 heads per class / race combo
    Around 3 body types per class / race combo
    Around 10 hairs per class / race combo
    Around 10 others per class / race / sex combo - beards, horns, earrings etc..

    (some shared by classes where appropriate) e.g your lighter built human warrior body doubles up as your medium built human cleric body, but you don't have warriors with the body of a frail necromancer.

    Lots and lots of colour options
    Ability to have a primary and secondary dye on each armour piece

    Guild livery on shields / capes / banners

    Cosmetic trophy slots you can fill at like 5000 kills or something.

    There's a balance to be had.
    You can't have the huge variety of say coh in a rvr game.
    I also don't want sliders and people making freak characters in the vein of aion.
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