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So far, I've liked almost everything that has been revealed. Everything, that is, except the Character Art. I just feel that in some cases, the art is way too over-the-top for what is necessary.
Please note the exception of environmental graphics in my statement - because I really do like the world engine and think it will age quite well. I think it's important to point this out, because I want to differentiate myself from the threads that seemingly complain about all the graphical elements in the game when my only real complaint is certain aspects of the characters.
Being that I only have an issue with Character Art, I decided to narrow it down: why would I like the environment but not the characters? After all, it is the same art style in general is it not? Actually, it's something a bit different. Because having colorful art with a certain expression is one thing - but it's the exaggerated "heroic" elements that we've seen time and again in modern MMO's that are a beast on their own. And I feel that a significant number of people who are dissuaded by (what would appear to be) the entire Art Style in the game might actually be persuaded to change their minds by a few minor tweaks to characters regarding these seemingly "heroic" features.
Of course, I'm talking about over-sized shoulder-pads, bracers and massively disproportionate muscles, hands and feet. It's the stuff that we all know originates from "a certain" game. I don't think EQN would be compromising the art style whatsoever to pull back on these features. After all, some of the character art shown does look relatively normal. But some of it just looks outrageously overzealous and plagiaristic of another title. Note the the two EQN characters below:
Notice the difference between the two charcters. The wizard on the right actually looks somewhat proportional, where as the Kerran on the left has been exaggerated extensively for dramatic affect. The shoulder-pads alone will be covering a large portion of the Kerran's body. The hands are larger than the characters entire head. We end up with a character that actually has very little "character" - rather, he's turned into a mess of blocky armor pieces and gigantic hands. Also note that though these are only two examples - there have been other characters shown that have the same extreme exaggerations as the Kerran. Even human characters have this problem.
I'd like to hear some thoughts and feedback on this. Would people be willing to consider and/or desire (as I do) a change regarding the exaggerated "heroic" features on the characters without compromising the general theme of the art?
Disclaimer: this is my first post here - but I assure you that I am a passionate fan of Everquest and my intention here is merely to have a productive discussion.
Also, I put "problem" in quotations because I wanted to acknowledge that not everyone agrees that the Character Art is an issue. Everyone's opinion is welcome - just please be civil.