Developers: use the character creation screen to show off the characters at different stages of their careers and in different activities. Instead of having one character model on screen, have three: one in the default starter outfit, one in a mid-game or cosmetic outfit, and one in your most splendid endgame gear. They all rotate when you click and drag. Give each of them different weapons, so you can show off the warrior with an axe, hammer, and sword & shield. Then have an “animate” button that puts them into a dance. This will let you show off your character animations and demonstrate how the character looks in motion. Have a choreographed skirmish between the three: baby ranger sends his/her pet in to fight while level 30 ranger is setting a trap and endgame ranger is using a fiery attack volley.
This will give your players a better idea of what they are getting into. It shows the growth of the hero over time and gives the player something to look forward to. It will give your art team a chance to show off a bit and not force them into picking one paper doll to show off each class, although it will significantly increase the work required if you are using a different outfit for each race/sex/class combination (you already have the newbie outfit, so pick one that looks good for most at mid/end, vary it on a case-by-case basis). It also lets you show each class in simple, sexy, and badass versions so that you can appeal to multiple audiences and avoid the kind of accusations that have been flying about the MMO blogosphere this week. This is how she looks in skull-covered black plate mail and this is how she looks in midriff-baring armor.
I swear I have seen a version of this before, but I cannot place it. Guild Wars 2 seems to approximate it by showing off the characters in spectacular armor then switching them to newbie gear once you actually pick, which feels like a bait and switch. (In terms of that hero’s journey, the human/norn female rogue apparently becomes less modest over time.)