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The importance of character customisation

FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

Firstly I must admit I´m probably one of the most character oriented players around. I simply love to have characters that can look and dress like I want them to do. For me, immersion stops when my character looks horrible and animations look embarrassing.



Thus there´s not a lot of games to choose from if that was my only criterion (fortunately it´s not):

WAR actually looked nice, I love the warhammer outfits and characters and outfits actually looked good from the start. Too bad the end game is all about an endless PvP grind and that at any given moment there was only 1 best oufit you could wear. What a waste of a very stylish game! My score: 6/10 (for stylishness)

WoW looked reasonable, initially I played humans as I hated the night elves look but I was very happy with blood elves and dranei. Gear looks weren't all that impressive; all the mixed (undyable) gears, you basically looked like a mess. The huge shoulderpads weren't my thing either. The tabards were ok though. My score: 5/10 (including a +1 for the barbershop)

Frankly LOTRO is horrible, customisaton options are very limited and they run very strange. If I were a develeoper I'd be too embarassed to release a game with animations like that! It' s the one reason I quit playing, I really couldn' t stand looking at it anymore. My score: 2/10

EVE has no characters that can interact or see each other, you' re basically a spaceship with a 2D picture as avatar. My score: 1/10

AoC doesn't have nice looking characters and the ridiculous big weapons really look a bit out of proportion imo. My score: 4/10

GW did an ok job in my opinion.  Especially after a few expansions and the unique possibility to mix all the faces and hairstyles and armor sets because stats and looks were not connected, you had quite a choice of decent and unique looking characters. "Toggle off" headgear and capes was another good thing. The possible styles were still a bit limited though, in my opinion most sets for one class (profession) still looked too much alike. My score: 7.5/10

Rift has very stale looking characters and you can only pick one face per race/gender, which is really very, very poor. The clothes are ok but don’t look very spectacular either. My score: 4.5/10



Why can't game designers start to lay some more emphasis on the character their players can make? GW has learned us that a lot of people even want to grind for vanity gear and special looks. I think asian game developers generally do a lot better job and their characters generally looks a lot better, although the options aren't always that extensive either.

 

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Comments

  • El-HefeEl-Hefe Yakima, WAPosts: 609Member

    i think you should have voted rift higher. i dont remeber the character creation part, but i loved the fact that you could dye the armor. they also have a wardrobe feature so you could essentially transfer stats from youre endgame gear to any armor.

    I've got the straight edge.

  • FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

    Originally posted by brody71

    i think you should have voted rift higher. i dont remeber the character creation part, but i loved the fact that you could dye the armor. they also have a wardrobe feature so you could essentially transfer stats from youre endgame gear to any armor.

    The dying part is indeed a nice feature - hence no 2/10 ;-) But the fact that you can only have 1 face really makes me subtract a lot of  points because if you don't like the standard face you can't make any nice looking character of that race/gender at all, which is really bad in my experience.

  • El-HefeEl-Hefe Yakima, WAPosts: 609Member

    do you prefer premade faces or the slider type? i tend to prefer premades, i can never get good faces when i mess with the sliders.

    I've got the straight edge.

  • FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

    Originally posted by brody71

    do you prefer premade faces or the slider type? i tend to prefer premades, i can never get good faces when i mess with the sliders.

    Premades have my preference as well. Sliders are nice for length or colour depth though - and width. And I'm always hoping thet one day there will be a game that also supports fatter characters. :-)

  • Four0SixFour0Six Missoula, MTPosts: 1,181Member Uncommon

    In any gear based game I don't even bother to care about character customisation.

    Why? Even if it's dyable, you and all your buddies/strangers will have the same 'clothes'....Ask any kid in highschool if that is cool.

    I  L O V E D the character creation in the CIty series ( Heros/Villians/Going Rogue ), this in my opinion is REAL character creation. WIth a likelyhood of you NEVER encountering another who looks like you at all. But, here you have a game with NO gear, so unique characters can be bountiful.

  • Zlayer77Zlayer77 dPosts: 826Member

    EvE actually has a rather good charecter customisation these days.. You still cant interact with other players, but your charecter looks really good when you are walking around in your captains quarters. If they open up stations and you can start Intereacting with others it will open up the game word more for sure... Your Avatar foto can also get very uniqe depending on how much time you waste getting it right...

    AION has a really nice charecter customisation option also and Tera onlines looks good also. In Asien Korean games your charecters looks are always very Important....

    PS Rift also has alot of options if you slide around the face and pick diffrent things.. I think its alot better then many other games on the market.. not as good as EvE or Aions though..

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    City of Heroes/Villains, in my opinion, has hands down the BEST character customization out of any MMO I've ever played. I hear the game is F2P now also. You may want to check it out.

     

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,001Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by FrostWyrm

    City of Heroes/Villains, in my opinion, has hands down the BEST character customization out of any MMO I've ever played. I hear the game is F2P now also. You may want to check it out.

    AIONs is actually better. So is APBs but CoX is indeed pretty good.

    I both want to be able to customize my chearacters looks and abilities in a game, I hate being like everyone else of my class.

  • WarmakerWarmaker San Diego, CAPosts: 2,231Member

    Warhammer Online - I thought the graphics and characters, plus their animations were horrible.  For a 2008 game, it looked like something from 1999.  A big strike against it to me was the lack of customizing your character's appearance.  Simply, there was none, except for a quick dye job.  One Swordmaster looked the same as another Swordmaster of the same level.  Absolutely dull.

    Age of Conan - The graphics for the game were very good for its time.  If the animations weren't glitched, they were pretty decent also, not to mention the gore.  As far as character presentation goes though, it had 2 faults.

    a.  Horribly few equipment appearance sets.  Meaning there was little to no variety of how gear looked.

    b.  Part of the PR and hype of AoC was supposed to be the adult nature of the game.  When I received the Colletor's Edition and browed the art book, t*ts were hanging out like it's a party.  In-game?  Everything got covered up, including parts of the game that obviously looked like it was a good reason to have a top-bare female character there (starting area, chained female prisoner at edge of beach and jungle).  But everything was covered up as if I was stepping into church on a Sunday.  That was pretty deceptive of Failcom.

    Lord of the Rings Online - I thought character presentation was mediocre.  Not great, but not terrible.  Graphics were decent, IMO.  But I was very disappointed LOTRO adopted the mentality of "Choose from 1 of 4 different faces" type of character creation.  The only good thing LOTRO did well for character presentation was the eventual implementation of the Character Appearance Tab.

    Guild Wars - Same problem in presentation as LOTRO, but even worse with fewer choices to make for appearances.

     

    In short, if I see alot of sliders to create my character, a good palette, and a good variety of options, I'm very happy with what's possible with the character creation process.

    "I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  • FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

    Originally posted by Zlayer77

    EvE actually has a rather good charecter customisation these days.. You still cant interact with other players, but your charecter looks really good when you are walking around in your captains quarters. If they open up stations and you can start Intereacting with others it will open up the game word more for sure... Your Avatar foto can also get very uniqe depending on how much time you waste getting it right...

    Yes but what's the use of a unique avatar when no-one can see you? Next to they use a different engine from the game engine and it severely strains your computer, the forum was full of overheating complaints. As long as no-one sees you, you might as well consider yourself a 2D picture from another game.

    CCP also did one unforgivable thing: with the new character creator they changed a lot of blooodlines beyond recognition. Where my Vherikior industrial used to look like a latina girl she suddenly looked chinese. How would WoW players feel if after an update, their elves looked like undead, the trolls looked like night elves and tauren became gnomes just because Blizz thought it would be a good idea? It was very counter-immersive.

  • FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

    Originally posted by Warmaker

    Lord of the Rings Online - I thought character presentation was mediocre.  Not great, but not terrible.  Graphics were decent, IMO.  But I was very disappointed LOTRO adopted the mentality of "Choose from 1 of 4 different faces" type of character creation.  The only good thing LOTRO did well for character presentation was the eventual implementation of the Character Appearance Tab.

    Guild Wars - Same problem in presentation as LOTRO, but even worse with fewer choices to make for appearances.

    In short, if I see alot of sliders to create my character, a good palette, and a good variety of options, I'm very happy with what's possible with the character creation process.

    Well compared to LOTRO, GW had like 25+ faces and hairstyles after the last expansion. I thought it was pretty neat, also the number of sets was limited but you could combine them all because the stats were independent and you coudl dye clothes - so creating a unique look was still possible. I do agree though that a lof of the gear looked very much alike and I do hope GW2 will bring a little more variety.

    Personally I'm not really sure a slider will be the best option in all cases. Lik ein Rift there's only 1 face and although it had some sliders to adjust a number of features, the face still looks quite the same, for instance the chin can't be adjusted.

  • SenjinnSenjinn Depere, WIPosts: 187Member Uncommon

    Vanity has always gotten the best of me. How my character looks has always been extremely important.

     

    The worst character creation system imo was in Vanguard. The bodies always seemed disproportionate. Heads were always too big or too small. They had sliders but i still couldn't get things to look right. The best system was probably Aion. I only ever played the trial, but spent most of that time in character creation because the game itself didn't really appeal to me. Favorite character model of all time is definately gnomes in EQ2, the alternate appearance ones. The original models from EQ2 rank down near Vanguard but i thought they really made up for it with the alternate ones.

     

    As far as armor goes most games have a lot of variety , so i can usually find something i like. The only game i can think of that was bad is Shadowbane. I only played for the first 6 months. So maybe it got better later on. I remember my bard having to run around in this frilly pink and purple costume , with a big funky looking hat with a feather in it. It made me look like Huggybear. image

  • Sora2810Sora2810 New Columbia, PAPosts: 567Member

    I like how SWTOR's fail of a character customizer didn't make the cut.

    Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
    Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2

  • LaserwolfLaserwolf Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 2,383Member

    Nothing in my mind has surpassed UO, which is kind of funny considering that there was only one race, one facial type, and no body slider. Even with just hair and beard styles/colors to choose from you still rarely if ever saw someone who looked exactly like you. These games need to take the extra time to implement a tailoring and clothing system just like UO. I know it was 2d and clipping wasn't really an issue, but if they could pull it off 15-20 years ago, there is no reason they couldn't include this now.

     

    I should add that SWG did it pretty well too. I was actually able to put together the outfit I envisioned for my character to the exact detail before knowing anything about the available clothing options in the game.

     

     

    image

  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COPosts: 2,053Member

    For mmos I'd say this how I'd rate games that I've played

    EVE

    APB

    CoH

    Aion

    AoC

    No other games I can think of would make a list of decent character customizing.

  • DatarinDatarin SydneyPosts: 164Member

    I would argue that character customization is much more directly linked to what you do in a game as well; merely looks won't get you far, but the general look and feel of your character would bring you much further: roleplaying is just one such outlet. In that case, EVE would rank far above LOTRO and others. Vanity graphics are just what they are: vain and useless unless you add an emotional attachment to it.

    Forums: The best real-time interactive MMORPG you'll ever be in.

  • FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

    Originally posted by Datarin

    I would argue that character customization is much more directly linked to what you do in a game as well; merely looks won't get you far, but the general look and feel of your character would bring you much further: roleplaying is just one such outlet. In that case, EVE would rank far above LOTRO and others.

    But in EVE no-one ever sees your character, just a snapshot. You may as well upload an image with a picture that you made with another game. Personally, I don't find that immersive at all.

  • djmtottdjmtott Phoenix, AZPosts: 177Member

    Originally posted by Laserwolf

    I should add that SWG did it pretty well too. I was actually able to put together the outfit I envisioned for my character to the exact detail before knowing anything about the available clothing options in the game.

    I actually think SWG was almost the best. Although now the tech is a little dated, but their character customization options were really good. Add in all of the crafted wearables and the fact they came in a myriad of color options. It puts most other games to shame.

    The best game is/was APB. Not sure if it qualifies as an MMO, but I don't know of better character customization anywhere else.

    But overall, the lack of customization in most games comes down to an effort to cut down on lag. The smaller variety of rendered items leads to improved graphics performance.

  • haplo602haplo602 Posts: 212Member Uncommon

    My character should look how I like it to look. It does not have to be unique.

     

    Case in point: Ragnarok Online. Not much customisation (barely any) but I do like the looks of the characters. They are not unique, but they have a feeling I like.

     

    EVE online is the best for me :-) I do NOT CARE how my avatar looks. The body could not exist at all and I would not care. But I like the ship models a lot. Here the detachment of in-game entity from the player self is a boost to gameplay.

  • GoodAfternoonGoodAfternoon Aberdeen, NCPosts: 252Member

    Originally posted by Findariel



    Rift has very stale looking characters and you can only pick one face per race/gender, which is really very, very poor. The clothes are ok but don’t look very spectacular either. My score: 4.5/10

     

     

    Did you play the right game?

     

    There's a tool that changes the shape of the face and not to mention 10 preset faces. 

     

     

    Rift

  • Timeout77Timeout77 DarksideofthemoonPosts: 177Member

    Originally posted by GoodAfternoon

    Originally posted by Findariel



    Rift has very stale looking characters and you can only pick one face per race/gender, which is really very, very poor. The clothes are ok but don’t look very spectacular either. My score: 4.5/10

     

     

    Did you play the right game?

     

    There's a tool that changes the shape of the face and not to mention 10 preset faces. 

     

     

    I played Rift free trail. And I kinda agree with Findariel. Im sorry even with the sliders I thought the game lacked a bit in Custimazation. And when the avatars move in Rift it looks awful. Im sorry but that is just how I feel... If you compare how cool Dark elfs Run animation was in Lineage2 and compare that with Rift it dosent even come close..

    That said. It still has much more to offer then most Online games of this "DARK AGE" of MMO gaming..

  • wolfmannwolfmann TerraakPosts: 1,159Member

    I tend to avoid games where you pick 1 of 5 faces and 1 of 5 hairdos...

    For me SWG was best, as you could recognize a friend in the game by his face, and didnt need the flashy hoovering letters over his head. And then on top of the awesome facial/body system, there was a ton of clothes and armors.. Tho everyone wore the same to not be steamrolled by a Durni.

    AOC came a close second, as it had the same as SWG just with better gfx. But lacked a bit on the armor/wearables... I always ended up looking at what the NPC's were wearing and wished for them to improve the loot/crafting.

    Fallen Earth comes in third, despite they having 20'ish SET faces to choose from. This because of the plethora of wearables. I do wish they would improve the character customization tho, and fix and reinstall the wardrobe function so it works and doesnt DOUBLE DIP into your wallet... Yeah, I'm not to fond of PvE and PvP being the holy cow and not be in the cash shops, while RP ends up being the ones that pay... It's not like there are whole patches dedicated to RP now is it.. yet RP who barely gets a scrap from the devs... pays. But thats off topic...

     

    WOW.. well, lets say I did not feel unique for a single second, and I didnt even buy it after the beta. a few faces, a few beards and pretty much the same wearable progress as every other paladin/insert your class here... F That!

    After running into 10 paladins that looked exactly like me, and that in only one day, I decided to not buy WOW.

     

    And pretty much every game since have been like that.

    If I can't create or dress my character into what I envision him to be, then the game is not for me. I don't play to follow a cubicle monkeys fantasy(dev), I follow my own, wich pretty much keeps me out of most themeparks too.

    :P

    imageThe last of the Trackers

  • GoodAfternoonGoodAfternoon Aberdeen, NCPosts: 252Member

    Originally posted by Timeout77

    Originally posted by GoodAfternoon


    Originally posted by Findariel



    Rift has very stale looking characters and you can only pick one face per race/gender, which is really very, very poor. The clothes are ok but don’t look very spectacular either. My score: 4.5/10

     

     

    Did you play the right game?

     

    There's a tool that changes the shape of the face and not to mention 10 preset faces. 

     

     

    I played Rift free trail. And I kinda agree with Findariel. Im sorry even with the sliders I thought the game lacked a bit in Custimazation. And when the avatars move in Rift it looks awful. Im sorry but that is just how I feel... If you compare how cool Dark elfs Run animation was in Lineage2 and compare that with Rift it dosent even come close..

    That said. It still has much more to offer then most Online games of this "DARK AGE" of MMO gaming..

     

    That's not excuse for lying. Despite you not liking the options, they are present and in the game. 

    Not to mention that avatars moving has nothing to do with the facial customization.

    Rift

  • MMOarQQMMOarQQ BoogalululuPosts: 636Member

    APB, hands down: best of the best.

  • RedKatanaRedKatana Philadelphia, PAPosts: 211Member

    I think Aion had one of the best customisations ever in a mmorpg.

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