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Dev Discussion #34 - Character Creation



  • I usually try to balance race class synergy with looking good but in the rare case I can’t have both I will try to focus on looking good over race class synergy

    The main reason I spent so much money on black desert online and played for so long despite them having no real endgame and not liking the game as much as others And to a lesser extent eso (though they did have endgame didn’t like there crafting system and how heavily the game relied on it) was because both of those games had better character creation then other games out there.

    Character creation is half the fun of the game for me and will usually spend hours of the game on character customization trying to get it to look perfect. As well as possibly spend a lot of money if there are character customization options that I like.
  • AnimeaddictAnimeaddict Member
    edited September 16
    Caeryl wrote: »

    If it ends up like FFXIV where every character I could ever make looks like a mass produced barbie with crazy hair, then I’ll be severely disappointed.

    That’s honestly my only complaint with FFXIV if it had better character customization like bdo then it would be a perfect or atleast a near perfect game to me
    I like the style of the characters they give but the lack of character customization is very disappointing
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    edited September 16
    Catmonkey wrote: »
    Faces, sure. But hairstyles? Nah, people change those in meatspace all the time, and we still recognise each other. Notwithstanding that armour in many games can change a silhouette much more (and hide faces and hairstyles to boot).
    Depends on how unique the faces can get. And also how unique the hairstyles can get.
    Again, especially from a distance, we typically also use height, weight, and posture as cues to recognize people in meatspace.
  • Most of the time, I spend a lot of time to make a good looking character.
    I hope that we will have a "Character Template" option as well, where we can save the character customisation and share it with the community and also load the character customisation from another player, like in BDO.
  • I spend a really short ammount of time for this - in many MMOs you got a Hat and there you go.
    Many opinions are great, but i try to not looking that bad and wanna play the game. When Creating a 2nd chaar. i Spend mort time for this.
  • SevaneSevane Member, Staff
    Quite a few people using BDO's character creator as a comparison/target.

    I'm curious - for those people who are fans of the BDO character creator, what are some specific things that you think could be improved upon or added in that system that would make your experience better? :open_mouth:
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Sevane wrote: »
    Quite a few people using BDO's character creator as a comparison/target.

    I'm curious - for those people who are fans of the BDO character creator, what are some specific things that you think could be improved upon or added in that system that would make your experience better? :open_mouth:

    I listed my indepth thoughts here earlier if you are really curious. My post was focused primarily on 'What could be improved from bdo's cc'.
  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Sevane wrote: »
    Quite a few people using BDO's character creator as a comparison/target.

    I'm curious - for those people who are fans of the BDO character creator, what are some specific things that you think could be improved upon or added in that system that would make your experience better? :open_mouth:

    Apart from what I already mentioned:
    -> If you could let us modify the base shapes/silhouette of the character more than BDO allowed (since classes were gender locked, and had hard limits on certain things (e.g. it's really difficult to make a warrior with softer features - browbone and jawline were forced as the strong features of the face)) For Ashes, I think the question is more like: how beefy/skinny can an elf be compared to a dwarf? (also pls pls find a stronger way to distinguish the elven silhouette from the human one)

    -> flesh around the lips is incredibly complex and all the games I've played have had to simplify this: in Sims4 they mostly don't exist, in BDO they are puffy botox injections. If you can somehow find a way to model this area that isn't overwhelming to use and doesn't make the lips feel like they are pouting or pursed - that would be brand new unexplored territory (THAT SAID I haven't tried the UE5 character creator - so I don't know if there's already progress there)

    -> also will re-iterate1 of my previous comments: Hairlines frame the face as much as the jaw does (it actually defines the size of your forehead relative to the size of your skull, etc.) - and I've only played 1 game (voxel) that gave you 3 options for hairlines.

    -> BDO only offered 4 presets - which seeded most of our designs too. I don't think too many presets is a good idea, but two ways you can expand this:
    • a randomize button - it gives us a truly different seed to work from
    • a few presets randomly selected from the catalogue of player designs that have a few upvotes, for players who don't want to browse through the full catalogue for a unique(ish) look.

    -> final comment: BDO had stock standard expressions and emotes that were the same for everybody, so there was no real way to inject personality into the character you played. I think you can greatly overcome this by giving "personality" choices that set your idle and walking animations - then give multiple options for the same types of emotes (angry1, angry2, angry3, disappointed1, disappointed2, disappointed 3, etc.) and people can use whichever one they feel is closest to the way their character would express those emotions. I found BDO's constellation system useless (found out later it boosts your relationship with NPCs - which is barely personality).
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • Then the most important factor for me is actually the stats! I choose my race according to the most important attributes of the class I want to play.

    I usually spend time enough to go through the options for the main features. I don't care about scars, makeup, ... mostly things that change the shape of the body.
  • Depends what my goal is. If I want a funny character then I'm going to pick a silly name with a funny looking character. Stat allocation will matter to some extent. I'm gonna look into the difference of abilities one might get over another and decide solely on those at times.

    I'm pretty flexible on race. Since I'm sure I could make someone I would like no matter what. If I get sliders I'm going to test the limits of what it can do.

    Very hard to comment on this in general because I'm basically going to wing it. I'm going to wing this more than any other part of the game save for a couple parts I am forced to.

    U.S. East
  • LycancoffeeLycancoffee Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    For a beast race, the eyes are particularly important, as well as the way the hair tufts on the side of the face. Ear style and position, matters, (laid back, perked) not just size. Teeth and position related to the lips, snout length. Nose type and nostrils.... all make unique beasts.

    Also, boob sliders for the elves. Definitely boob sliders.
  • ArtstsMuseArtstsMuse Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited September 19
    I would very much like the discussion to touch upon how MANLY the feminine characters models look. I know you are going for the realistic look -- but it's visually unappealing. I'd rather roll a male character.

    As a CIS female, I would like the ability to customize and mold my character's statistics side to side, back to back, toe to crown. Maybe, I see my character as lithe and slender (top to bottom). Perhaps I envision her as a curvy goddess. I want to be able to do that with most models. I don't want to fight forearms that are too long or rib cage that is too ironclad wide, or spartan ratio thighs.

    I would like the ability to choose more feminine facial features. Softened Jawlines. Someone might want to play Briona of Tarth, but I wanted the option to look like The Lady of Winterfell -- which there were zero options for in Alpha. Frankly, I was concerned.

    I like various hairstyles: INSPIRED BY ALL ETHNICITIES - that have Movement even when long.

    I like to choose eye, make-up, skin, and aesthetics like scars or tattoos. I suggest researching the FENTY line of cosmetics for a plethora of Foundation (skin color) choices.

    I do hope this was helpful, and not overly critical. BDO and Swords of Legend do have very good character/costume skin, artists. What I enjoy about them is the details - and the very realistic movement.

    Thanks so much.

  • SorcresSorcres Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited September 22
    I often spend an hour in character creation but I don't like the slider.

    - Add enough options such as (Hair, Beard, Eyes, Nose) but also (Face, age, body size, muscles)
    - Make options to just click on the numbers 1-50 for the hair and other settings - do not slider 1% -100% It dials me and annoys me that I often ruin the character because of them.

    - Personally, I do not like little things like the inclination of the ears, red cheeks, puffy cheeks, the distance of the eyes from each other, the location of the mouth and nose. These sliders seem exaggerated to me and annoy me when creating the character.

    - In short, I like many options and spend hours finding the right combination, but I don't like sliders and exaggerated options for setting up small things.
  • MuseaciaMuseacia Member, Pioneer
    I will spend HOURS on a good character creator. As a roleplayer, it's a HUGE part of what attracts me to a game and what keeps me playing it. I think most people are in agreement that a plethora of options makes us very happy! But I'll list some keys things I think other creators LACKED and go from there.

    1) Diverse skin tone. It's so simple a thing, but often very hard to find. Inclusion starts right here.
    2) Diverse body types. Slim, thick, short, tall: The more the merrier.
    --- 2B: Sliders capable of supporting androgynous creation.
    3) Diverse AGES. Barring that all characters should likely be 18+ as to engage the environment appropriately, it'd be wonderful to see youthful and aged characters on the same stage.

    Pitfalls I disliked in other creators:
    -- Warcraft diversified later in 'life', but even today their options remain very limited.
    -- The women in Final Fantasy (-and most of the men) are so 'sameface' in body and aesthetic I literally cannot tell certain races apart on first glance.
    -- BDO was involved, but I still ended up having to 'break' sliders (-using their extremes) to be capable of creating a masculine, aged male. Females suffered the same limitations as Final Fantasy, though it was much easier to obtain an androgynous appearance in BDO than other platforms.

    To reconcile between those players that like sliders and those that don't? I simply recommend 'presets' (a 'basic' creator experience) and an 'advanced' mode wherein sliders are available to be utilized.

    Thanks for the time!
    . Here we go again .
    Characters: Grome | Solun
  • I see a lot of focus on character generation delivering the kind of athletic physiques commonly associated with the heroes of Greek mythology. I'm hoping that I can generate a character with a degree of obesity, "built for comfort not for speed".
  • I spend ages in character creation. I barely ever think about the race/class synergy because in most games I played that wasn't important. Even if it was I'd probably still go with what looks/feels the best to me. Someone said they spend more time if there are more options but for me it's quite the opposite. The fewer options there are for me to make something I'm happy with the more frustrated I get and that makes me try even harder even though deep down I know I'm just not gonna be satisfied.

    I don't think I've ever spent less than an hour and a half creating a character. I can't remember how many times I took my sweet time making the character I liked, loaded up the game and realized they looked completely different. Then I'd go back to making a new one with my name not being available because there was a timer on deleting characters. That's why I would like to see different lighting options and backgrounds. Not random ones like in Blade & Soul and BDO but actual game locations with their lighting. Being able to see them walk around would be incredible! Something similar to how some games have an area where you can preview classes with all the max level skills before you actually make the decision and start playing.

    I never understood people's obsession with BDO's character creator. Yes the presets looked way more detailed and realistic than what most other games had to offer when it first launched, but not being able to change body size and proportions was ridiculous. Especially since they were pretty off. Also you couldn't really make a character from scratch so to speak. You could only make characters that look like the preset's relatives. I actually think Aion has a way better character creator. I hope Ashes will have lots of diverse presets which we can edit till they are unrecognizable. Seeing a bunch of clones running around is not fun.

    The thing that lacks the most in all the games is probably hair options. I know hair is incredibly difficult to design so I wouldn't mind if there were no physics involved. I'd actually prefer it tbh. I wish there was a way to angle it in a way that there's no clipping but if that's not really possible I can understand. I would love to see lots of hairstyles where we can change the length and parting, but also the hair structure - stick straight, slightly wavy, wavy, curly, kinky. I'd also love to have multiple highlighting options. Balayage with adjustable height and 2 tone highlights with options to chose the amount of highlights and their width. Also an option for adjusting the root color and length. It would be great to have styles that you can actually see on the street, not only Asian mmo hairstyles, ridiculous looking afros and dreadlocks and razor work buzzcuts only 10 people would wear in real life.

    We also need make up that's in line with current trends. No gender lock, ofc.

    Whenever it's too hard to implement that amount of options just go with the more natural stuff you can imagine real people wearing, not just the 10-15 options every single game has.

    I find it the most enjoyable when you have color squares. You click the color and there you have sliders to chose the right tone, shade and intensity for you. I really dislike color wheels because they are pretty limiting and just not accurate. Same for the body and face options - sliders, please!

    Also, please no race locked hair and beard styles!

    Many people commented some great ideas so I tried not to repeat the same but these are some of the things I wish for every time I start a new game and the whole character creation process. From what you guys have said in the past I know it's safe to expect a lot and I hope the things I listed are also the things you thought of and have already planned on implementing. If not I hope you find them equally as important as I do and not too difficult to implement. I'm not expecting all of my suggestions to make the cut, especially the hair related ones, but one can always hope... :-)
  • RavnoRavno Member
    edited September 27
    I'm not really interested by extra-complex customisation.
    Just one thing, please don't make all characters look like a top model. I want to be able to chose someone fat or someone old.

    About the race/class synergy, well each class should have multiple race contenders and not just once best race for a given class. Due to the racial augments system, that mean a lot of balance work to do.

    Please add a name generator on the creation page and some guidelines about the race naming conventions i mean Kaivek orcs dont have the same kind of name than human, so, make a help tooltip near the name textbox that explain how to make a coherent orc name.
  • Adding one based off another forum thread here...

    It would be cool to be able to select from a list of Death Animations, so you could make your dying moments that little bit more exquisite!
  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Adding one based off another forum thread here...

    It would be cool to be able to select from a list of Death Animations, so you could make your dying moments that little bit more exquisite!

    Which one is you, @daveywavey ?

    "Don't tell Harry"

    "Grasp of the undying"

    "I'm melting I'm melting"

    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • maouw wrote: »
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Adding one based off another forum thread here...

    It would be cool to be able to select from a list of Death Animations, so you could make your dying moments that little bit more exquisite!

    Which one is you, @daveywavey ?

    "Don't tell Harry"

    "Grasp of the undying"

    "I'm melting I'm melting"

    Hahahaha, definitely number 2! With a Wilhelm Scream to finish it off.
  • OdalOdal Member
    edited September 30
    I spend a lot of time on it. Probably an hour and my main focus is looking cool, having a backstory and class that fits me.
    I almost always play RPG:s as the good guy. Chaotic good. I show no mercy to thugs and bullies, im not merciful but im on the side of good. Like in real life haha. No just kidding. A little. Maybe.
    Almost always human. Back in the day my favorite was always the "wood elves" type of elves. Cause I liked archers a lot and I like nature a lot in real life. Today and for a long time I pick the warrior/paladin.
    Dwarves are cool too.

    Anyway. For me having a sliders, many face options, eye color, etc is important. I usually pick a viking looking guy with a beard. Either bald if there are no good hair options or with shorter hair on the sides.

    I mean, what can you say about this topic really. The more options the better: scars, tattoos. Stuff like that is great as well. Head-tattoos can look pretty badass. Different heights and body types. I obviously want to be jacked and a big warrior.

    The worst character customization i've ever seen in recent days is New World and Cyberpunk. Incredibly enough, two huge companies with TRASH tier customization. Plus you could make your character look ridiculous which I think ruins immersion.

    Some games with good character customization (or alright at least) is Dragon Age, Skyrim/Oblivion, Divinity Original Sin 2, etc.

    Having a zoom-in function is important. Having many European looking faces is important to me, as a European. Other than that nothing complicated really.
    Im like the King of Sweden. Except I don't wear funny hats.

  • LethanelLethanel Member
    edited October 4
    How much time do I spend on character creation? It depends of what I'm working on, and what I'm working with.
    For example, If I'd like to make my character with average complexed creator(body, face, hair, skin ect.), then It's like up to 20 min. But only if It's about human character. Race makes a huge difference for me.
    In AOC I want to play tulnar, and even now I'm certain that my usual character making time would double extend or more.
    And that specific race is the one I want to talk about. Because honestly, I won't be much of a help here otherwise.
    Steven said that tulnar's appearance can be arranged between reptilian, mammalian and 4 other races. Is It possible to mix reptilian and mammalian features? Can I make a furred dragonoid?
    I'd like to have that option. I've also heard that depending on the origin(mammalian, reptilian), the perception of characters changes. How does it work?

    List of sugested features below. (I know It's probably too much to expect).
    - Horns(diverse in shapes and sizes)
    - Spikes(along spine line or something)
    - Claws(big, small, short or long)
    - Skin/scales/fur(color and/or pattern)
    - Head/mouth/muzzle(not sure how to arrange this one. Human head and face could be customised like any other race, but for muzzles I see two options: let player chose human/lizard/mammal type to finish with sliders, or prepare some pre-made ones.
    - Tail(the best solution would be having a variety of models known from animal kingdom to be next finished adjusting size and length)
    - Ears(different types (please no neko girls))
    - Eyes(colors are obvious, let's mension pupil shape - round, vertical, horisontal or even covering whole eye)
    - Limbs(I've heard something about inverted knees, so plantigrade/digitigrade legs switch maybe. Digits or hoofs)
    - Others(not really important but some may like it): turtle-like shell, webbed hands/feet, wings(ok, no chance for flying like that but maybe gliding?)).

    That's all from me for now.
  • PaldrenPaldren Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I don't mind highly customizable features that are client side, but I'd like to see a base male/female racial model override implemented to keep my precious frames (or deny possible exploitations). Then go crazy if you want with how you look on your own screen without effecting anyone else should they use the override.
  • Has there been any mention of being able to set a particular emote/action/etc for your character's idle animation?
  • Mountain KingMountain King Member
    edited October 5
    I want to NOT have characters with giant heads and tiny bodies. It's ridiculous and ruins any game it's allowed in.
    Edit: If I see more than two genders, I'm getting a refund immediately.
  • I want to NOT have characters with giant heads and tiny bodies. It's ridiculous and ruins any game it's allowed in.
    Edit: If I see more than two genders, I'm getting a refund immediately.

  • AschAsch Member, Alpha One, Adventurer

    For the creation of my character, I take easily 1 hour and only after I choose the name which can take time too, because the lore will influence this choice.
    I like the function of a complete random aesthetic choice for each race/class, it allows me to visualize possibilities that I would not have thought of, that I can then on this basis modify details that I prefer to see.
    I like the ability to lock choices and rework the unlocked parts. I loved the downloadable save of my character as on Archeage to import it again and rework the visual of my main character or use it for a reroll. If you plan to implement in-game mannequins for armor or disguise crafters in their workshop, I would appreciate it if the visual before the final crafting could be viewed with the buyer or another crafter who will bring another piece of the set to be visible on the mannequin for all in a social exchange enriched by the visual of what can be proposed by the craft, in a role-play and openness to the meeting in an immersive social interaction.

    - The hairstyles should be fluid, especially for the choice of hair with a certain length.
    - I hate it when I choose a hairstyle, an armor, a disguise, a weapon, when it doesn't fit logically. (Example: a braid that half disappears into the shield, a staff that partly disappears into the helmet, the neck of an armor that cuts the handle of the axe etc...
    - I take into account the race/class synergy and the advantage and statistical potential if it is proposed.

    Kind regards
  • DraksDraks Member
    Here's my take on character creation,

    Customization Tools
    Many players want to see a plethora of customizable options, and don’t want to feel limited when making their character.
    Ex. Head-hair, eyebrows, facial hair, nose, eye, cheek, ear shape, makeup, and tattoos including unique race-specific options.
    Ex. Ability to change parting, length, adornments and fullness for beards and hair, as well as color customization for hair, eyes, and skin.

    - I think the more option, the better. I want my Ren'Kai character to be looking unique, not like the one my friend made (looking at you NW).

    Players agreed they want to customize or have many options for their character’s age, posture, body proportions and mass, height, muscle mass, and voices.

    - I will use the Ren'Kai again. When I imagine my character, I imagine a lean muscular shape. Probably that my friend would prefer a more muscular orc looking like the WoW ones.

    Many players expressed the desire for “defining marks” - things that make their character unique and stand out.
    Ex. Battle scars (missing ears, burns, missing eyes), tattoos, piercings, and baubles.

    - Same thing as point one, more option = more unique character.

    There were a number of players who expressed that they want sliders for character creation options.
    Others shared that they do not believe sliders are necessary if there are enough preset options to choose from.

    - If there's enough preset option, its true that you probably don't need a slider, but what is enough preset option? I think for some option it would be great to have slider IE height, muscular, width.

    Time Spent
    The majority of players felt that the time they invest into the character creation process depends on how robust the character creator is.

    - It make sense, I will be putting probably 15-30 min if there's plenty of option to make my character that I will play many hours. If there's isn't many option, I will invest way less time.

    Race/Class Synergy
    Some players expressed that race/class synergy dictates what they choose - for some, it is adhering to traditional fantasy roles and for others, it is maximizing statistical advantage and potential.
    A few players expressed that their own personal character fantasy comes before race/class synergy.

    - Again, the more option there is the better. To me, a Ren'Kai Rogue doesn't have the same size/shape then a Ren'Kai Fighter or a Ren'Kai Cleric.
  • Sevane wrote: »
    Quite a few people using BDO's character creator as a comparison/target.

    I'm curious - for those people who are fans of the BDO character creator, what are some specific things that you think could be improved upon or added in that system that would make your experience better? :open_mouth:

    Not everyone wants their character to be pretty…. That being said maybe have some type of game mechanic that as your venture down the religions you character becomes more “themed” to that particular religion. Especially the “Darker” themed religion… beady yellow eyes and discolored skins to represent your decent into the crueler experiences you may be part of…. Sith will rule the realms of Verra
  • ConradConrad Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Wasn't mentioned in top post, toggle of a tail as well! Tails aren't always cool especially since they clip
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