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Reader Comments (48)

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 8:04AM Bri said

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I've deleted characters after playing them for levels because I still wasn't really happy with how they looked LOL.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 11:36AM Suspiro said

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Hate to admit it but I've done the same soo many times and take forever at character creation.
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Posted: Nov 13th 2009 1:13PM Rihahn said

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Same here.

Though, any more I find I'm looking at race selection and armor variation more than the number of sliders available for the avatar's nose... After all, even if you spend *hours* in the character creater getting the perfect look, once you're in the same armor as everyone else, the only thing really differentiating you is maybe height.

I like the games with interesting races, which allow for a lot more variation in backstory or even in-game origin story. After all, I play some random variarion of 'human' for all of my wakign hours every day, so I want my escapist reality simulator to offer something else.

For example, Aion has probably the most detailed character creator out there right now, with maybe the exception of CoX/Champions, but it essentially boils down to an infinite variation of two things; male and female human.

Sure, the Asmodians have claws and glowy eyes, but - yeah, basic human.

AoC was even worse; 6 shades of literal human... I realize one can only do so much with the source material, but...

There is a reason for this by the way; ease of armor modeling. If everything in the game fits the same basic form factor, all you have to do is tweak a few pollys between races and you're done. (Shadowbane had centaurs - talk about an armor-model nightmare I'm sure)

Anyways, this thinking is probably the big reason I was so pro-horde in vanilla WoW - a good choice of races. Once BC hit I switched sides and rolled Draenei (hey, I thought the spacegoat thing was pretty cool) - and now, thanks to this decision, I get access to werewolves *and* heirloom items for them. :)

And to be even further away from short, tall, pointy eared, funny colored - human...
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Posted: Dec 5th 2009 12:10PM Thremma said

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Yes, this. I spend forever making the right look, and usually have many alts experimenting. I've erased characters who had something wrong after fifteen or twenty or thirty levels that just made them no fun to play.
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Posted: Nov 13th 2009 8:07AM (Unverified) said

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Absolutely vital. I've deleted characters after 20+ levels because I decided I didn't like some option as well as another, and if I can't make the character look like I want I usually won't play that race or class period.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 8:11AM Daelen said

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Aye, I have written off entire, sexes, races and some cases games because the character just didn't do it for me. Not unusual for me to have mirrors of myself running around for alts because only 1-2 looks work.

Add to that, options that allow saving character look speed the process once the "me" is found.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 8:26AM Itoao said

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Like the other posters, I feel the avatar is pretty important. I happen to be one of the players that likes to attempt to make some representation of myself in a game. I absolutely cannot stand when the character models fail to offer a wide range of customization.
I won't swear off an entire game because of it but its annoying as hell. In this day and age you would figure the ability to make a character look for example like they are African does not just mean you have to make darker skin tones available.
I think what guild wars did with the series is a great example of increased customization as the series changed.
In the first expansion and original game most of the avatars looked Asian or Caucasian in my opinion but when they got to nightfall and the theme was African characters they really looked African and so on.
I have not played Aion but I hear the customization for your avatar in that game is amazing.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 8:47AM Joshua Przygocki said

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It is Itoao, very detailed, and I agree with the above few, I like to have a character look the way I want it to.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:00AM regn said

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It represents you to everyone else in a game you'll supposedly be spending hours and hours on, so to me it's very important. I agree with an above poster, most of my alts end up looking very similar because only a few of the faces/hairstyles end up being appealing to me.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:01AM Suplyndmnd said

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@Itoao

Aion customization is to the point that I would think it's impossible to run across an exact double. Sure the hair styles are numbered but there are a LOT of options and because it doesn't just use Brown, Blue, Green, etc as colors you can do hundreds of shades of just one color. Throw in the facial and body sliders and you're almost always guaranteed to be creating an original. Only times you can see similar characters are if you make famous people like I did. Ned Flanders and Billy Mays.

How the avatar looks is most certainly an important aspect to a game because we have to like how a character looks like if we're going to spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours looking at it. We may not always see the face but the thousands others who play will. When i take screen shots, I always take them from the front so you see my character then. When i'm flying i'll move the camera around to get good views and such.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:02AM ultimateq said

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Agreed, I must have a good looking character model. That doesn't mean they have to be a super model, they just have to have some amount of detail.

I'd play a fat guy any day, if he looked good.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:03AM (Unverified) said

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I play Asheron's Call soo.... I sacrifice a lot for prefered gameplay :)

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:05AM elocke said

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I agree with everyone else above me. One of the things that makes me come back to a game after a break is thinking about what my character will look like with some of that awesome gear. Warhammer Online does this very well I think, I really like the look of the character models in that game.

Although I can play a game that has bad character models, i.e. LOTRO because the rest of the game is very good, but it definitely alters how MUCH I play.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 10:08AM Arkanaloth said

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character models are *extremely* important to me... like many I have also deleted a character because I wasn't happy with how it looked.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:28AM Blacknimbus said

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If I can't find an avatar I really like, or the animations don't look right, I'll cancel and uninstall.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:28AM (Unverified) said

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I'll buck the trend just a little and say I think the avatar is very important, unless I'm playing from a first person perspective. I never really cared what my character in EQ looked like (I played an Iksar, accepted I was an ugly lizard and moved on). In Borderlands which is a sorta-but-not MMO style game, you have to pick one of the four guys, but I never care because I never see myself. I wouldn't mind the return of the first-person style MMO, simply because of the immersion factor, but that's another discussion.

Otherwise yeah. Avatars are vital. Especially in CoH and Aion. Plenty of style points to be had.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:44AM Minofan said

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Absolutely vital for me also - if I cannot make a visually appealing character (be that good looking, scary, monstrous, etc.) than I just won't play.

Modern videogaming is a visual medium, and I just don't have any sympathy for MMO developers who'll lovingly craft timesinks & balance formulas then mistakenly believe players will take to them when the only visual feedback is a re-colored smock for the mis-shapen wall-eyed avatar they cobbled together.

I'm much more a fan of character model quality over character model choice though; not many dozens-o'sliders creation systems produce output that actually impresses me, and (grudgingly excepting the superhero genre) I heartily disapprove of creators that allow character to be 9' tall and 2" wide or vice versa.

For my money (which they ain't getting), Aion might as well have written quests in text message talk and saved a few bucks dreaming up lore - once they decided to allow avatars modelled on a carnival Hall Of Mirrors any semblence of immersion and atmosphere was discarded. *pout*

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 9:53AM (Unverified) said

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If a game doesn't have a random function, I immediately start disliking it.
Found a nice fix for that tho: my gf loves putting that stuff together, so she'll fix my chars :-)

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 10:01AM swarmofcats said

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If Fallen Earth didn't have such ugly (imo) avatars I probably would have bought it by now.

Posted: Nov 13th 2009 10:01AM kasapina said

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When I see my character almost all the time ( the above poster made a good point ), customization is quite important. For example, in wow, I'd never play a gnome or a dwarf, simply because they are short. And while I do take my time with creating a character ( more complex character creators have me spending more than an hour ), some games just go overboard. I mean, who cares about the nose's bridge, or the cheekbones?

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