MMORPG and Body Types

DabOnThemDabOnThem Member UncommonPosts: 78
So MOBA titles contain characters with non-bipedal body types. What do you guys think, will there ever be an mmo where the player can customize a character that may be quadrupedal/etc? Maybe there are devs whom read the pub. VO stated this was in the works for them, but I stopped following that project some time ago.

Resources and time, but I think we have evolved past humanoids us cartridge gamers have been using for decades.
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Comments

  • VrikaVrika FinlandMember RarePosts: 4,193
    Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted allows you to play dragon.

    Crowfall will have centaurs once it's finished.


    But as graphics get better and better, I think exotic races are getting rarer and rarer. It's too expensive to create the required number of equipment and animations for an MMO if the race must have unique everything due to how different it's from other races.
    DabOnThemreybear
     
  • ScotScot UKMember RarePosts: 6,510
    edited November 11
    Most players in a MMO play humans. If they can't do that most players will pick the most human looking avatar. So this is a very tricky development route for a game to go down. Considering the 'one size fits all' ethos on which so much development takes place I see only a limited future for such design.

    Which is a shame, because anything that adds something new to the mix is to be applauded. But you will always get people who like playing Taurens or the like, so at least I can't see such races dying out in gaming.
    Post edited by Scot on

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,066
    edited November 11
    It's a topic gets around occasionally, I can only repeat the same as I did last time: in CO you can make any kind of beasts, and walk around on all four. Or less, if you take something off - which reminds me, if you crave so much for "non-bipedal" body types, you can create a one-legged character and hopping around :wink:  True, the base character model is still 2 arms - torso - 2 legs, just all flexible and removable. But even the shark-themed characters are "running" around on legs, so to speak.

    Oh, and in LotRO you can play as a big ugly spider, or a warg. Only in pvp, but has quests, progression, customization, etc. (that's 4 and 8 legs, you know)
    Post edited by Po_gg on
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member UncommonPosts: 250
    Vrika said:
    Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted allows you to play dragon.

    Crowfall will have centaurs once it's finished.


    But as graphics get better and better, I think exotic races are getting rarer and rarer. It's too expensive to create the required number of equipment and animations for an MMO if the race must have unique everything due to how different it's from other races.
    For largely humanoid races or humanoid amalgams this shouldn't be an issue. The centaur should have been particularly easy, with the torso and above essentially human, and if there are horses for mounts the animation for the lower body would be in place as well.

    For races more removed from human they could also choose not to display conflicting armour parts, which was done for some of the more exotic races in Asheron's Call way back when.
    VengeSunsoar
  • AUNE2018AUNE2018 Member UncommonPosts: 24
    I think there's room for mmo quadrupeds in 'the entire future of gaming.' Given the massive progression of game tech and design over the past few decades, I could see unique customization being the next era of game progression - getting out of cookie cutter characters and more into DIY avatars. Even if it's just an animation thing and doesn't change the functionality of the character. I mean there's not even female avatars in most games, soooo I'd say there's room for all kinds of improvement. 
    reybear
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,680
    This subject often makes me think of this:



    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,907
    Heck, today you can't even make an old bearded mage anymore which used to be a standard fantasy archetype.

    Today almost all characters looks young and good looking no matter what you do in the character creator not to mention almost all races tend to look very human like.

    We certainly need more variation both with different races and within a specific race. Just making a fat merchant or an old witch seems impossible in  todays games.
    anemoTarzanGreenGorwe
  • DabOnThemDabOnThem Member UncommonPosts: 78
    Scot said:
    Most players in a MMO play humans. If they can't do that most players will pick the most human looking avatar. So this is a very tricky development route for a game to go down. Considering the 'one size fits all' ethos on which so much development takes place I see only a limited future for such design.

    Which is a shame, because anything that adds something new to the mix is to be applauded. But you will always get people who like playing Taurens or the like, so at least I can't see such races dying out in gaming.
    They go with humans because they have no other choices but humans.

    Interesting stuff, some of these games I have never heard of. 
  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJMember UncommonPosts: 1,212
    I very happily played a dragon in Istaria.  Exotic races are definitely missing from modern MMOs.  Thing is they had flight so very nailed in Istaria.  Laircrafting was also quite good, but it became a massive massive grind at the high end.
  • t0nydt0nyd Evansville, INMember UncommonPosts: 296
    The only reason I played lotro is because I loved my spider.  Imo, devs have failed on the creativity from for a long time...
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,954
    Looking at my group of gamer friends - the prevalent body type is ehm... round
    KonfesscameltosisGorwe
  • TarzanGreenTarzanGreen Member UncommonPosts: 23
    Loke666 said:
    Heck, today you can't even make an old bearded mage anymore which used to be a standard fantasy archetype.

    Today almost all characters looks young and good looking no matter what you do in the character creator not to mention almost all races tend to look very human like.

    We certainly need more variation both with different races and within a specific race. Just making a fat merchant or an old witch seems impossible in  todays games.
    I agree completely. I think having a character creator with a staggering variety of choices for creating, even just humans would work wonders.  Just that point alone helping to set it apart from the competition. 
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,907
    DabOnThem said:
    They go with humans because they have no other choices but humans.

    Interesting stuff, some of these games I have never heard of. 
    Humans and human like races like elves and half elves are more popular in pen and paper games as well and they generally aree far less restrictive.

    You are certainly right that more people would play other races if they had more choices though and to have the choice makes the gameworld more interesting.

    However it also depends on the games setting. A low fantasy games would have mostly humans (or only) while high fantasy certainly should have far more choices so it depends on what you are going for.

    Cyberpunk 2077 and Shadowrun for instance have many similarities but since Shadowrun is fantasy cyberpunk having many races just fits the world. For a 2077 setting that just wouldn't be true.

    Another example is Game of thrones Vs Wheel of time Vs Shannara. GoT is only focused on humans. WoT have Ogiers and a few other demi humans but they should be relatively rare to get the right athmosphere while Shannara would be really mixed.

    And devs often have races with far more options and cooler armors/clothes. You can use that to encourage players to play the more common races to get the right mix.

    Options is generally a very good thing but sometimes it gets silly, if elves are lore wise incredible rare having half the players playing them makes little sense.
  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXMember RarePosts: 1,614
    edited November 12
    Data.  Each and every art asset is a data file.  Data that must be read from a hard drive and stored in memory, then moved around memory to a video display device.  Each character can have 30 or more animation sequences, hopefully they are common to both sexes.  Next we can have 10 bipedal races, each with unique movements. Now add character models, armour sets, textures, landscapes, mobs, special effects, and sounds.  That's a lot of data.  People are often asking, when is a "EA" game going to be optimized?  Well realize that Optimized often means playing around with the data, when it gets loaded, how, what, and how often or how Little.  

    Bipedal, most artist understand that, and can animate it.  Quad and more, not so much.  Oh they can animate a dog or a horse.  But a Crabanoid?  Not so much.  That takes time and effort, then it also costs money.  Why even spend the money, to satisfy a handful of gamers who will only play for a few days.

    So what have we learned?  Memory Space and Money, that's why we can't have complex nice things.

    It's also believed that, that if any creature was to evolve to an intelligent life form they would become humanoid.  Meaning bipedal, with two hands for tool use and development.  An endoskeleton, and live birth may also be requirements.  If it's only a game, why let science be a constraint?
    Post edited by Konfess on

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.
    Even telemarketers wouldn't think that.

  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    Konfess said:
    Data.  Each and every art asset is a data file.  Data that must be read from a hard drive and stored in memory, then moved around memory to a video display device.  Each character can have 30 or more animation sequences, hopefully they are common to both sexes.  Next we can have 10 bipedal races, each with unique movements. Now add character models, armour sets, textures, landscapes, mobs, special effects, and sounds.  That's a lot of data.  People are often asking, when is a "EA" game going to be optimized?  Well realize that Optimized often means playing around with the data, when it gets loaded, how, what, and how often or how Little.  

    Bipedal, most artist understand that, and can animate it.  Quad and more, not so much.  Oh they can animate a dog or a horse.  But a Crabanoid?  Not so much.  That takes time and effort, then it also costs money.  Why even spend the money, to satisfy a handful of gamers who will only play for a few days.

    So what have we learned?  Memory Space and Money, that's why we can't have complex nice things.

    It's also believed that, that if any creature was to evolve to an intelligent life form they would become humanoid.  Meaning bipedal, with two hands for tool use and development.  An endoskeleton, and live birth may also be requirements.  If it's only a game, why let science be a constraint?
    Actually, as someone who has done animation, a crab or spider is way easier to animate than a dog, horse, cat, or worse, a dragon or griffin.  They key is what the viewer is familiar with.  Everyone has a subconscious impression of how dogs, cats, and horses move because they are common and familiar.  So if the model and the animation aren't both good, then people immediately know there is a problem.  But with spiders and crabs, people will accept anything plausible because they haven't spent time watching spiders and crabs walk.  Plus, although they have more legs, each leg is structured more simply.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,923
    waynejr2 said:
    This subject often makes me think of this:



    300 Credits!
    That's nuts!
    waynejr2

    Once upon a time....

  • BloodaxesBloodaxes ZabbarMember RarePosts: 3,690
    I miss my undead :(

  • laxielaxie UK - Leamington SpaMember RarePosts: 849
    I agree with @Konfess - making many sets of animations will cost a lot more, both in time and money. Fitting clothing items would also be a pain.

    @sunandshadow makes a good point about humans not being necessarily the easiest to make. You could theoretically make an MMO that only has spiders - therefore only having one set of animations. The question then is, whether people get as attached to their character if it is a spider, in contrast to a human. Character attachment is probably something that matters a lot in MMOs, less so in MOBAs.

    The other thing that comes to mind is motion capture. I'm not sure how common this is in MMO production. But unless you are able to instruct spiders to make specific movements, they don't make great MOCAP candidates.
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 1,693
    laxie said:

    @sunandshadow makes a good point about humans not being necessarily the easiest to make. You could theoretically make an MMO that only has spiders - therefore only having one set of animations. The question then is, whether people get as attached to their character if it is a spider, in contrast to a human. Character attachment is probably something that matters a lot in MMOs, less so in MOBAs.

    The other thing that comes to mind is motion capture. I'm not sure how common this is in MMO production. But unless you are able to instruct spiders to make specific movements, they don't make great MOCAP candidates.
    There are pretty cheap spider/crab robots available that you could do motion capture from, but personally I'd have a human use their hand to do half the spider/crab and then use software to mirror to the other half.

    Anyway the issue with animal avatars is not attachment; people easily get attached to any kind of avatar.  The issue with animal avatars is twofold: 1. getting players to try it 2. having game mechanics that give the animal a lot of things to do that are logical and aren't frustrating to people used to controlling a humanoid avatar.  Like, my little pony could make an MMO with no human avatars, they'd have no problem drawing in a lot of people to try it, but the MLP IP is totally illogical about how ponies use tools and appliances and stuff without fingers, so it would be impossible to present logically in a game.
    laxie
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • cameltosiscameltosis ipswichMember EpicPosts: 1,651
    As others have said, there are two main aspects to this:

    1) Cost

    You have the extra assets plus the animations to deal with. We don't really seem to have reached a point where we have tools to make this easier. An animator must always sit down and manually animate each action for each character model. If you aren't race-locked, this can mean creating new animations not just for general movement, but also for all class actions, cutscenes etc. 

    The cost is just phenomenal. It would be worth it, except....


    2) Player attachment

    The goal of a developer is to get you attached to your character. It is a strong motivation when it comes to retention. But, we're human. This makes it very difficult for us to become immersed in non-humanoid characters. It is just a psychological block, one that is hard for us to overcome. Developers in the past often told us that uptake of non-humanoid races was low, so they've simply ditched it. 

    Even those games which do have non-humanoids in them, you notice a big difference in the way people talk about their characters. With humans, we often refer to them in the first person "I'm going to do this quest, I'm going to clear this dungeon" but with non-humanoids, we change to the 3rd person "I'm taking my wargy to camp this trail". We start thinking of them in the same way we view pets, rather than ourselves. 

    You also have issues with expressing personalities. What the fuck does a happy spider look like?!?!



    I would love to see more non-humanoid playable characters in MMOs, I'm just not hopeful. I think if a big company invested money in the tools to support it, we could reduce the costs a lot, but I think player uptake would still be low. 
  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJMember UncommonPosts: 1,212
    edited November 13
    As others have said, there are two main aspects to this:

    2) Player attachment

    The goal of a developer is to get you attached to your character. It is a strong motivation when it comes to retention. But, we're human. This makes it very difficult for us to become immersed in non-humanoid characters. It is just a psychological block, one that is hard for us to overcome. Developers in the past often told us that uptake of non-humanoid races was low, so they've simply ditched it. 


    We play a person every day in real life version 1.0.  I tend to find myself more attached to characters that are vastly different from the human pc I was stuck with than a human with pointed ears. 

    At any rate, in games I tend to play characters as far from the human form, and human culture as I can and it only enhances the gameplay. 

    Of course I am a roleplayer -- that puts me in a minority. 

    Post edited by centkin on
  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnMember RarePosts: 4,212
    DabOnThem said:
    So MOBA titles contain characters with non-bipedal body types. What do you guys think, will there ever be an mmo where the player can customize a character that may be quadrupedal/etc? Maybe there are devs whom read the pub. VO stated this was in the works for them, but I stopped following that project some time ago.

    Resources and time, but I think we have evolved past humanoids us cartridge gamers have been using for decades.
    The way I see it, besides obvious attraction to familiar, is the difference between MMORPGs and MOBA games. In MMORPGs your character is a protagonist and even in WoW or a Korean MMO it'd be hard to explain being able to play as a Centaur(let alone other things like Gorgons or Scylla type creatures). Meanwhile you can do that in a MOBA just fine because in MOBA, a character requires only some basic fluff and that's it. Example:

    -> Let's take Star Wars as an example. We'll take two races as an example: one apedal and one quadripedal. Hutts and Colicoids. For those who don't know what Colicoids are(http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Colicoid/Legends). Creators of Droidekas if you will.

    Hutt: The only way I can see it working is if the game was some kind of a Strategy where your goal is to eliminate competition and become influential in The Cartel. Almost Monopoly like, just with added benefit of sending your agents out. It wouldn't work in an MMO. Meanwhile, in a MOBA, just have Wraids carry you around on a shield or throne or whatever. Like Vercingetorix in Asterix.

    Colicoid: I was referring to feral Cols from Balmorra tbh, not the ones from Colla IV. No matter, they are not really built for battle and outside of having a Battlesuit(Droideka or something), this wouldn't work. Meanwhile in a MOBA, you could have a mad scientist who turned himself into a Feral Col or you could have a Robotic Col.

    ///

    The problem lies with the genre as well.
  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJMember UncommonPosts: 1,212
    Gorwe said:
    DabOnThem said:
    So MOBA titles contain characters with non-bipedal body types. What do you guys think, will there ever be an mmo where the player can customize a character that may be quadrupedal/etc? Maybe there are devs whom read the pub. VO stated this was in the works for them, but I stopped following that project some time ago.

    Resources and time, but I think we have evolved past humanoids us cartridge gamers have been using for decades.
    The way I see it, besides obvious attraction to familiar, is the difference between MMORPGs and MOBA games. In MMORPGs your character is a protagonist and even in WoW or a Korean MMO it'd be hard to explain being able to play as a Centaur(let alone other things like Gorgons or Scylla type creatures). Meanwhile you can do that in a MOBA just fine because in MOBA, a character requires only some basic fluff and that's it. Example:

    -> Let's take Star Wars as an example. We'll take two races as an example: one apedal and one quadripedal. Hutts and Colicoids. For those who don't know what Colicoids are(http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Colicoid/Legends). Creators of Droidekas if you will.

    Hutt: The only way I can see it working is if the game was some kind of a Strategy where your goal is to eliminate competition and become influential in The Cartel. Almost Monopoly like, just with added benefit of sending your agents out. It wouldn't work in an MMO. Meanwhile, in a MOBA, just have Wraids carry you around on a shield or throne or whatever. Like Vercingetorix in Asterix.

    Colicoid: I was referring to feral Cols from Balmorra tbh, not the ones from Colla IV. No matter, they are not really built for battle and outside of having a Battlesuit(Droideka or something), this wouldn't work. Meanwhile in a MOBA, you could have a mad scientist who turned himself into a Feral Col or you could have a Robotic Col.

    ///

    The problem lies with the genre as well.
    It doesn't work as well with stock IPs because in general the hero in stories like Star Wars is human and the special effects guys want to be able to make the oddball creatures and they end up as villains or comedy relief. 

    It is just as easy to create a world where the bad guys are human and the good guys are the aliens.  We very rarely get to see things where neither the humans nor the non-humanlike race are good or evil.  That is where good science fiction springs from.

    Then again when it comes to MMOs, evil doesn't mean unplayable.  Everquest had good and evil races.  So long as a creature type actually has some form of society, it can work.  I mean the Iksar were a valid race in the EQ world.

    Would WoW have been much different if the tauren were cowtaurs instead of the other way around?

    Project Gorgon curses have cow, spider, deer, etc player characters. 

    I could see a D&D type game where driders were a playable race. 

    If the fae are a part of a world, why limit it to elves?  There are tons of other fae races.




  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnMember RarePosts: 4,212
    centkin said:
    Gorwe said:
    DabOnThem said:
    So MOBA titles contain characters with non-bipedal body types. What do you guys think, will there ever be an mmo where the player can customize a character that may be quadrupedal/etc? Maybe there are devs whom read the pub. VO stated this was in the works for them, but I stopped following that project some time ago.

    Resources and time, but I think we have evolved past humanoids us cartridge gamers have been using for decades.
    The way I see it, besides obvious attraction to familiar, is the difference between MMORPGs and MOBA games. In MMORPGs your character is a protagonist and even in WoW or a Korean MMO it'd be hard to explain being able to play as a Centaur(let alone other things like Gorgons or Scylla type creatures). Meanwhile you can do that in a MOBA just fine because in MOBA, a character requires only some basic fluff and that's it. Example:

    -> Let's take Star Wars as an example. We'll take two races as an example: one apedal and one quadripedal. Hutts and Colicoids. For those who don't know what Colicoids are(http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Colicoid/Legends). Creators of Droidekas if you will.

    Hutt: The only way I can see it working is if the game was some kind of a Strategy where your goal is to eliminate competition and become influential in The Cartel. Almost Monopoly like, just with added benefit of sending your agents out. It wouldn't work in an MMO. Meanwhile, in a MOBA, just have Wraids carry you around on a shield or throne or whatever. Like Vercingetorix in Asterix.

    Colicoid: I was referring to feral Cols from Balmorra tbh, not the ones from Colla IV. No matter, they are not really built for battle and outside of having a Battlesuit(Droideka or something), this wouldn't work. Meanwhile in a MOBA, you could have a mad scientist who turned himself into a Feral Col or you could have a Robotic Col.

    ///

    The problem lies with the genre as well.
    It doesn't work as well with stock IPs because in general the hero in stories like Star Wars is human and the special effects guys want to be able to make the oddball creatures and they end up as villains or comedy relief. 

    It is just as easy to create a world where the bad guys are human and the good guys are the aliens.  We very rarely get to see things where neither the humans nor the non-humanlike race are good or evil.  That is where good science fiction springs from.

    Then again when it comes to MMOs, evil doesn't mean unplayable.  Everquest had good and evil races.  So long as a creature type actually has some form of society, it can work.  I mean the Iksar were a valid race in the EQ world.

    Would WoW have been much different if the tauren were cowtaurs instead of the other way around?

    Project Gorgon curses have cow, spider, deer, etc player characters. 

    I could see a D&D type game where driders were a playable race. 

    If the fae are a part of a world, why limit it to elves?  There are tons of other fae races.





    This'd have to be balanced pretty strictly. Because, I feel like a Dryder would have a huge advantage against same level human character.

    Also, Hutts. How would they move? Would you get a Skiff just like that? lol
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,066
    edited November 14
    Like, my little pony could make an MMO with no human avatars, [...]
    Could? http://www.mmorpg.com/legends-of-equestria/videos/first-impressions-thehiveleader-1000005572  :wink:


    @laxie ; "The question then is, whether people get as attached to their character if it is a spider, in contrast to a human."  while just a few posts above you:
    t0nyd said:
    The only reason I played lotro is because I loved my spider.  Imo, devs have failed on the creativity from for a long time...
    C'mon, nobody reads back, just in write-only mode? :wink:  As for CO, I just assembled this one in maybe 5 minutes specifically for the thread (since there's the Malvan sky race event, I was in there anyways)
    https://i.imgur.com/hEoj6og.jpg
    Yay, sharknado. A flying shark in a robo-suit. Sure, it's quite humanoid with the legs and arms, but you can remove one from each - sadly at least one is needed for the NPC interaction cutscenes, and also for a few cutscenes with item interaction what @sunandshadow mentioned (which they can do with paws too).

    Same is behind the beast characters' behaviour as well, while they run around on all four, at NPC cutscenes they're standing on the back two, and when interacting then they use one of the front paws. Usually the right, unless they only have a left one.
    Sure, you might say too restrictive, but it is still the most open character creator out there. Except when furry roleplayers step in to stretch the mechanics...  :open_mouth: 
    Post edited by Po_gg on
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