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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 10:19AM (Unverified) said

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Height, weight, and physical deformations are things I'd like to see in MMO's character customizations. I remember some of the best characters I ever played while D&Ding were those who usually had both physical and character flaws of some kind. Too often we create Olympian characters who lean towards perfection when it is the flaws (and villians) that often make characters more enjoyable to play.

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 10:47AM (Unverified) said

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This was a hot topic in the blogosphere about six months ago, too. It's really interesting to see how people react when given those options, because 95% of the time people will still make an idealized character. The question becomes whether it's worth the development time and the art resources to make models that most people won't use. Of course, you can say the same thing about high-end raiding.

See the post I did on this earlier this year here: http://random-battle.com/2007/06/07/the-girls-of-wow-cover-model-material/

Posted: Dec 1st 2007 12:47AM (Unverified) said

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I too liked to add 'imperfections' to my characters whenever I played table top RPGs- whether it was something as small as a scar, or something more major like a bad leg. I found that it would help me to create a more interesting background for the character.
While MMOs are fantasy-escapisms, I'd still like to see more options for character creation in MMOs- if nothing else to get away from all the cookie-cutter look alikes. I mean, LOTRO allows you to create overweight characters, but only if you're a hobbit.

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 11:33AM GRT said

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"Even so, there aren't any overweight avatars. "
You guys need to start looking beyond WOW when writing your posts. There're MMO's that let you make all shapes and sizes of character model via sliders.

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 11:47AM Ghen said

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Here's my black and white answer:

Monster Slayers are naturally buff due to their occupation. Fat people can't swing a broadsword, and if they tried they'd eventually become muscular and skinny.

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 12:03PM (Unverified) said

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"It's really interesting to see how people react when given those options, because 95% of the time people will still make an idealized character."

Probably true Cameron, especially for games similar to WoW where very little roleplaying is going on. Where roleplaying is highly active though, I'd bet you see a lot more diverse appearance of characters.

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 12:12PM (Unverified) said

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I tried the Pirates oTC Online and was amazed at the options available to customize the characters, coming from WoW as my first and only MMO.

The difficult part I see to any of them is you go through *all* that trouble to customize the front of your character on the creation screen and that's the last time you see it.

Once you're playing, all you *ever* see is your character's backside.

Kinda makes one wonder what the point is really...

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 2:20PM (Unverified) said

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bollocks :/

when I read the title and saw the picture I thought this blog entry would be about what is (not) between the legs of a male avatar in SL and/or how much the single vertex nipple is good at making a nipple and/or the single-row-of-vertex-crotches SL avatar have....


it is a bit annoying to filter for the second life tag and still have blog entries that barely mention SL show up :\

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 3:16PM (Unverified) said

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I disagree, Tigro.

This issue has a lot of relevancy to SL users, and it goes beyond wishing men and women had anatomically correct genitalia (though that issue in itself also has its part in this argument).

The overall body types made available by MMOs IS of relevancy.

As SL users, we take for granted that we have so many options available to us (though in my opinion there should be more - but that is neither here nor there, since it's not currently something that is possible within the constraints of SL), yet as a society, it seems that a huge percentage of people choose to fall back on societal constructs of idealized figure.

I for one would be glad to see far more control over one's own avatar, and we see that a lot already in SL, while keeping a standard by which content creators can follow to a reasonable degree.

I would also like to see greater variety in figure types in other MMOs, whether allowed by greater character creation flexibility OR as far as overall character design, as these designs in themselves are what shape society's idea of what a 'hero'.. or even the 'self' should be.
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Posted: Nov 30th 2007 2:45PM (Unverified) said

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Body customization is essential to personal identification with your character (as opposed to objectification).

Sure, guys tend to go for exaggerated characteristics, but that's because they don't have the graphical skills to create an avatar from the ground up that LOOKS like their self-image FEELS.

It might be helpful to have a broad list of basic body types available to begin customization from, so that they can pick something that they see themselves as and go from there. Although often an art department will fixate on certain body styles so that all avatars end up looking alike with only cosmetic details.

You need TRUE freedom, beyond even what Second Life offers (for instance). You need to offer the community access to the graphical mesh, skin textures, and the ability to create custom animations.

Then you'll see players making avatars that they want to see themselves as, not just a sexy image on the screen.

p.s. You'd also see a thriving market open up for avatar and animation customization just like in Second Life, so that would be a nice economic community bonus for your game or world.

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 3:34PM elduderino said

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being over 6ft tall and built like a roided out muscle head doesn't quite fit me, but i think its close enough

Posted: Nov 30th 2007 9:24PM (Unverified) said

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The best thing about second life for me was being able to fly around as a 3-foot tall, morbidly obese furry in hot pants dropping out of the sky on top of people and dancing in the strip clubs getting more tips than any other dancer. need i say more?

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