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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 8:09AM Grinstone said

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I'm one of those people for who it either clicks right away or it doesn't. So, sometimes I create a character because I have a concept in mind, other times it's because I'd like to try a particular power set combination or because I think it'd look cool.

Unfortunately, when it comes to costumes, I'm usually a lost cause. Lots and lots of experimentation until I find something I like, or am at least content with.

Man, I really should play my DM/Elec brute again. I really like his concept. Plus he needs a major costume overhaul. Not to mention a respec. Yeah, time to stop being lazy about it.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 8:18AM real65rcncom said

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I spend a fair amount depending on the game. Some games it really doesn't matter overall what you do/pick because the whole game seems generic.

But other games it's very important and even dissapointing. In DCUO I won't play a tank class because I think it's stupid that only fire and ice get to be tanks. It's the rules of the game and I understand dev limitations, but that doesn't make me want to roll that anyways.

I will say I actually did enjoy the skillsets in Champs more (choices, themes) but I like the gameplay and lore more in DCUO.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 8:37AM hereafter said

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In a game like Champions, it's really important to me. Usually I'll start with something general like "short, electric robot" and then the color scheme and pieces just come together as I find combinations I like. I treat it as if I were designing a character on my own, except I have certain building blocks I have to stick to.

In a game like WoW or Rift, the character concept is a lot less meaningful so I just pick a distinct look I like and go with it. I'd love to see a fantasy MMO with a really robust character builder. Like if you took the Champions model and used the body shape section.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 9:08AM Space Cobra said

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It can be most anything with me. I guess even if I Min/Max, I'll think it through and apply a concept to it.

If I have a concept in mind, I'll also spend time to do the same. Maybe Min/Max and/or choose powers that are close to the concept. Also, clothes and such.

And then there is just "brainstorming". Sometimes I'll have only a general idea or none, so I'll click "random" on clothes and look through the skill/power sets. Sometimes and idea will hit me, especially with quirky combos. Many times, I'll have thought of things, even generally, and they'll make their way to the top.

These methods can take hours in character creation.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 9:13AM NeoWolfen said

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I spend a lognt ime on character concepts. Typically months if not years while a game is in development I plan to play i will create and tweak a character concept with regard to basic idea (species, gender, class, role, personality, backstory) and then as more game info is release I will refine it and tweak accordingly.

Once a game is in beta I typically decide on the basic look I will use so that by the time release rolls aroudn I have a fully fleshed out character in all regards ready to play with an established concept and backstory complete.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 9:29AM pcgneurotic said

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I tend to build the concept during character creation; by the time I'm done with that and have made it through any tutorial zones or whatever, the concept is semi-solid. But the real flavour only comes through actual play-time. So generally, with my guys, the higher level they are or the further they've gone in the game, the better I know and feel them. In this way you could say they're reactive - their characters are shaped by the content. But the female characters I make are usually based on women I know who I respect or admire or am in love with, in which case I have a good idea of their characters already, and it's that idea which shapes the content and how I play through it.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 9:32AM Croatoan said

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Usually before an mmo comes out i often spend a while rilling myself up with genre related movies(in the case of DCUO, comics, though it's hardly my thing) and at some point when i have a basic idea I first try to flesh it out on a sketch and if it turns out well, i draw in in photoshop aswell. But there's also the thing about naming. and it's almost even harder ;)

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 11:18AM Heraclea said

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Gotta have a concept to play a character. In City of Heroes, I don't find a character complete unless I had filled out at least the numeric keypad with a set of combat banter binds, many of them referring to whatever mob was targeted. This is at least as important as power set or costume.

Some were oddly random. If all else failed, I'd pick a historical figure and write a character description that explained how they got superpowers. "Betsy Ross" is a spines scrapper. "Madame Nhu" is an Arachnos widow. "William Shakespeare" is a rad defender, and his description begins "It is an underappreciated historical fact that William Shakespeare was able to shoot radioactive beams from his hands....."

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 11:47AM Irem said

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I spend as much time as it takes to get it right.

(Soon™ and When It's Done™ all rights reserved.)

Posted: Oct 9th 2011 2:42AM ArcherAvatar said

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@Irem
roflmao.... nice!
Reply

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 1:02PM dudemanjac said

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HOURS! I've spent stupid amounts of times coming up with back stories and costumes in CoX and Champions

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 1:30PM Dumac said

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I make it up as i go through the creator. It's hard that way in the cases of CoH/CO but for most games it's not a problem, because most gamed don't let you have that kind of depth in character...

The name always gives me trouble. Without exception. If i go through all the options as fast as possible, i will still stare blankly at the name box for minutes. It's hard to think of a name that will stand out amongst thousands, yet not be weird, fit the type of character you want to make AND fit the race and setting. A name generator button helps for inspiration. Sometimes i think of names when i'm not playing games. Sometimes i think of a name in the shower and can't write it down, and forget it later. Hate it when that happens.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 3:55PM Matix said

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Q: "So how much time do you spend on your concepts before you make your character? Do you have a clear picture in your head of whom you want to play before the game launches, or do you just decide at the moment and roll with it?"

A: I always have a picture beforehand. I've spent hours.... days... even thinking up concepts. I've even written fanfiction involving my character before a game released.

At character creation itself I carefully go over the options. Compare the face options with the idea of the character in my head. In games with A LOT of character creation customization like PRe-CU SWG I spent over two hours making each of my two characters. Even in a game with character creation as simple as WOW even an alt character takes an hour.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 3:56PM DarkWalker said

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It really depends on how the time is counted.

I usually start planning a character concept when I first decide to try the game. By the time I have finished the download, I usually already have a quite good idea of which concept I want for my main plus a few alts.

Plus, I might start playing with a half-finished concept if needed - I only need to finish the parts of the concept that reference character creation choices that can't be changed after the fact.

So, I spend a lot of time, but usually little of it inside the character creation tool proper, except for a few games like CoH.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 3:57PM Thorqemada said

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It develops while creating and playing, testing the classes - maybe the game offers the possibility to have an agenda like SWTOR where i will be a BH killing as many Force Freaks as possible bcs they be the curse of the galaxy with their parasitic illness.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 4:08PM (Unverified) said

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Concept is the only reason to play more than two or three toons.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 4:55PM Spacegrass said

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I don't roleplay, and most games have very limited options for customization, so I tend not to spend much time with character concepts. I make the most attractive character I can, come up with a name that isn't taken, and hit play. However I do plan to give it a bit more attention with SWTOR and GW2, because they seem to be more story-focused than other MMOs.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 7:39PM oxlar said

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I find I spend as much time on concepts and options as i do on playing the game. I did this with rifts. I've got tons of builds saved and planned out. EQ2 was fun to do this with as well. Even with CoX, I would spend a ton of time on the character planner.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 9:09PM threetailedfox said

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Generally I tend to focus on the look and powerset first, and base the backstory around them, rather then the other way around. The main exception being if something in the game's lore really jumps out and grabs me, which has only happened a couple times. It also comes down a lot to what's available costume-wise. For example I was planning to have my City of Villains character be an Unseelie fairy, but with no fairy wings available as far as I could see, that plan went on the backburner. Sure I could have just had him be elfish, but I wanted the wings.

I also sometimes shift between ideas in the middle, though in games with a race/class system I'll generally know the basics before I get started; the main issue usually being whether I want to go more for straight-forward cute or creepy-cute. Though there are some exceptions. For example while the Asura are without a doubt my favorite race, I'm also looking forward to making a Sylvari. Hopefully it will have some mushroom based options, as I'd really like to make one based around Cordyceps.

Posted: Oct 8th 2011 9:35PM Utakata said

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...probably too much. :(

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