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Reader Comments (82)

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 4:18PM Squidsnthings said

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Sliders are nice because they give you an insane amount of control, but I always find myself not being able to control the slider as much as I would like to be able to. I always end up with wonky looking faces.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 4:51PM DarkWalker said

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My answer is both a yes and a no.

I explore each and every option available at character creation, and strive to find the combination that looks just right for me. If I can't finish this process in half to one hour, there's a chance I will leave the game due to feeling overwhelmed with the options. So, yeah, there can be too many options.

On the other hand, for anything that can be changed after character creation, I don't have that problem. For example, I don't need to find the perfect combination of hair cut, facial grooming, and hair color, if I know I will be able to easily change them after character creation. So, I like anything that I can easily change after character creation; when I'm not forever stuck with whatever I picked up at character creation, I don't have any problem with huge amounts of customization.

BTW, I hold the same true for non-cosmetic customization. If I'm not able to go back and change some character creation or leveling choice, I will thoroughly research it before committing to a choice. If there is too much information I feel like I have to analyze to find the choice that beat matches with my specific play style, I might as well just leave the game - as has happened before, mainly with games that don't offer respecs, or put too many restrictions on them.

If I can change the option reasonably easily, though, I don't have any kind of problem. While I will often still do a little research, knowing I can change the option at any time I don't have any problem doing a snap decision or picking the wrong choice. In fact, when it's easy to change my choices, I will often try all of them to find the one I like best - and have fun while doing so - instead of stopping playing doing research on game mechanics.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 5:35PM Verus said

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You can certainly have too many sliders. That happened with Aion where one could creater characters that were too short and too tall as that also had an impact on gameplay something a character creator should never have.

There is also the problem with something like cryptic games where you can make characters that donĀ“t belong in the game universe at all. A certain amount of restrictions have to be in place to make the game feel right.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 6:15PM Lionhearted said

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@Verus

Why shouldn't character creations be able to have an impact on game play? That sounds like a feature, not a problem, to me. Going all the way back to Everquest, players have used what options are available to them to impact their character. There were raiding guilds that wouldn't allow players to tank if they weren't an Ogre, because Ogres had the innate bonus to avoid stuns. Then there were pure bonuses/hindrances to size; there are advantages to main tanks if they're large and other characters if they're small in raid settings, etc.

To be honest, giving players more options at front can make for more dynamic game play. The only drawback to it would be for newbies who wouldn't understand the game enough to be able to make use of those options, and therefore good 'defaults' should exist.

I don't understand why anyone would demand pigeonholing in games so easily. It's a great method to ensure that every game plays almost exactly the same, which makes for the stale genre we currently have, where every game since WoW has tried to be play like WoW. /snore
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Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 5:36PM Doran7 said

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it depends. You can never have too many ways to distinguish your character from others. In EVE online you can create nearly any face and character type.. It's interesting to note that I recognise players be face and no only by name. yes for now they are only a picuture but someday this will change and I am confident that I will be able to recognize friends I see walking in stations.

On the other hand, if the setting/stat does nothing to make the character unique in game it's worthless. my character wears earrings.. and has long hair. can't see the jewlery. In eve making my ship a slightly different color is going to be pointless if no one can see the difference... because no one will be able to see it nearly 100% of the time.

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 12:39AM DarkWalker said

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@Doran7
Facial customization is never going to allow you to recognize a character over long distances, no matte how good it is - the face becomes just too small.

In real life, we recognize other people not only based on physical appearance, but based on a large number of other clues - such as the way a person moves - where games don't even try to allow customization yet.

It's one of the reasons I wasn't really interested in WoW's proposed dance studio. The animations I wanted to be able to customize were never the dances. It's the walk cycle, weapon swings, casting animations, jumps, etc. It would be really cool being able to differentiate the main tank from the off tank just from the different ways they swing their weapons.
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Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 6:10PM Lionhearted said

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Just because a game has options, doesn't mean you have to use them. The options are there for the players who enjoy putting a character together as much as they enjoy playing them. People can always hit "random" until they get the basics of a character they could be happy to play. They don't have to go in depth with character creation.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 6:17PM (Unverified) said

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One thing that amazing about Aion, they have the best customization; gear skinning (transgmog), dyes, most detail character models, and gear. If Aion wasn't a PVP game, it would have been the top dog, over taking Wow. I'm not downing your game if you love Aion, it just breaks your heart for the people that want to get into it, but hate the forced PVP.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 7:01PM Graill440 said

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I grudgingly give Aion the best character creator bar none, that, and skins, etc, all goodness. If they liscensed their character and skin mechanics to other MMO's, they might be able to get back into the black hehe. A totally crusty game with one very important redeeming quality, it brings a tear to my eye....but just one. (Grin)

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 7:20PM Yukon Sam said

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I like a creator with basic/advanced levels, so I can either do a quick-and-dirty pass with simple features or custom-build everything.

Never settle for either/or in a design when you can have both.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 7:21PM (Unverified) said

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but even with all the options in AION all the characters end up looking more a like than in games with fewer options. Too Anime too japaneese IMO

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 7:48PM KDolo said

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i hate having a million options but only 1 or 2 look good so that's all anyone ever takes.

And yes, APB did character creation the best of any game so far. In fact, im kinda disappointed it didn't go public domain, game companies everywhere would do well to dissect it.

Posted: Oct 2nd 2011 11:20PM dragonandante said

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Nope, the more options the better.

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 12:03AM Space Cobra said

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Nope. Give me more and afterwards, continue even if my senses explode.

And even then, push the envelope in giving us more unique options. By that, I just don't mean faces, but races. If a game allows such for their setting, I should be able to use a Penguin model or even a cow one (or chicken).

Devs really need to push that creative ceiling higher!

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 1:38AM tythimo said

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Facial features I want lots of options, but body sliders I prefer minimum to none, unless it's a super hero mmo.

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 3:47AM (Unverified) said

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"So is it possible to have too many options at character creation?"
No!

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 7:33AM Haldurson said

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You can't have too many options, so long as you present those options in a helpful way so that those who want them, can drill down into the interface to access them, while those who don't care, can do less (or no) customization and get into the game quickly.

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 8:53AM Avernus said

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The more options the better. I have never found it to be often abused. Been playing Age of Conan lately and you can really make some alien looking faces if you try, but I've seen very few.

(Based on some conversations in the new player channel, I actually think a lot of people miss the 'advanced' button on the character creation screen.)

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 9:37AM Lorell said

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Never too many! Tho some options (like high, arm/legs length, head size) should be limited to fir to games lore or race lore instead making some... monsters >.>

Posted: Oct 3rd 2011 10:02AM (Unverified) said

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Yes and no.

Having 5-10 eye colors, or a gradient is fine. Having 20-30 hairstyles is fine. But having 500 hairstyles is a lil ridiculous,. Or having 200 types of eyebrows or lips.

These characters are supposed to be a representation of yourself or a character in your head, not the exact duplicate (which would be impossible)

So yes there can be too many options, but NO, there arent many games that have gone too far.

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