Default Appearances

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.

: Zubon

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.)

6 thoughts on “Default Appearances”

  1. The SWTOR class videos did show the classes in different gear sets, but I don’t think that the game itself uses the concept.

  2. Good old Aion character creator. They allowed you to change body shape by so much, it was always handy to be able to switch between starter, mid, and end game outfits to see how dapper/daft you’d look as a two foot tall sumo wrestler.

  3. This one’s not quite up there with your “pay to take the pants off,” post, but it’s actually a better idea in terms of implementation. I can actually see someone looking at your post and going, “yeah, I’ll put that idea in my game.” As for half-naked women, adolescent minds will function as adolescent minds – nature of the beast and all (and yes, I’m aware those “adolescent minds” are in their thirties and forties).

  4. Rift left you see your characters during char gen in armor for beginning, mid-level and endgame stages, so it implements this pretty well.

  5. Vindictus does this as well, and though you haven’t done an article on it in a very long time, that might be what you are remembering. You have six outfits to ‘test’ your character on during creation that spreads the level gambit, along with several ‘poses’ and different weapon/armor gear. I remember this standing out to me, as I was impressed my female warrior would actually be fully covered in plate mail if I did so choose. (And I did so choose).
    All-in-all I think the game is under-appreciated from a design standpoint, especially for a free to play.
    (Edit: By ‘you’ I had meant KTR in general. Redelving though the archives shows that Ravious made the actual posts. Did you [personally] ever play as well?)

  6. WAR showed you the end-game armor as well, and yea, it makes total sense. No one cares how they are going to look for the first 5 minutes of the game, especially an MMO.

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