Character customization?


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Goblin Squad Member

Ruse wrote:


I'd really hate to feel like I had to adjust my stats to get my character to look the way I wanted -- rather than build a character to play the way I wanted, and tweak appearance to my whim.

All the people going, "BUT MY IMMERSION" are kinda being busybodies imo. Names I can see because they'll be floating over people's heads (I presume) and it's hard NOT to see them. But why do you care if I want my mage to be built like a refrigerator, or my paladin to be a skinny, flat-chested androgynous lady? Are you really going to be obsessively checking my stats to see if they match my appearance? lol

This is supposed to be fantasy. I can't fathom trying to enforce how others' characters look as long as it's not a truly grotesque creation that looks like it's from another planet entirely, a la Aion.

As for female clothing/armor options which was mentioned in the OP, I always advocate for a variety. I happen to enjoy some of the skimpy options for some of my recurring characters -- but others are very conservative dressers. I notice a lot of caster classes seem to get way cooler options in online games in general, which is kind of a bummer. More diversity for all armor types is good.

Imo the "full plate armor" crowd and the "chainmail...

Agree totally. And I also love variety in equipment choice. My main character in UO ran around in female plate, leather skirt, knee high boots, plate gauntlets and when stuff got tough she'd thrown on a helm and arm protection. She was vain, I loved her, she was great fun to play. I always advocate as many options as possible for appearance, and where you can't give that many, at least give as many colour options as possible, if not reskins, or clothing layers (such as UO's cloak, robe, boots and shirt layers that weren't armor layers that went over the top)

Even when you don't have that many options, little things like being able to choose different colours, skins or combinations gives you a great deal of individuality without requiring months of extra item designs for the devs.

Goblin Squad Member

Ruse wrote:

I'd really hate to feel like I had to adjust my stats to get my character to look the way I wanted -- rather than build a character to play the way I wanted, and tweak appearance to my whim.

All the people going, "BUT MY IMMERSION" are kinda being busybodies imo. Names I can see because they'll be floating over people's heads (I presume) and it's hard NOT to see them. But why do you care if I want my mage to be built like a refrigerator, or my paladin to be a skinny, flat-chested androgynous lady? Are you really going to be obsessively checking my stats to see if they match my appearance? lol

This is supposed to be fantasy. I can't fathom trying to enforce how others' characters look as long as it's not a truly grotesque creation that looks like it's from another planet entirely, a la Aion.

As for female clothing/armor options which was mentioned in the OP, I always advocate for a variety. I happen to enjoy some of the skimpy options for some of my recurring characters -- but others are very conservative dressers. I notice a lot of caster classes seem to get way cooler options in online games in general, which is kind of a bummer. More diversity for all armor types is good.

Imo the "full plate armor" crowd and the "chainmail bikini" crowd should both be able to find something they want to wear.

I agree with the armour/Clothing variety.

But here's the kicker.
The more variety you have in armour/Clothing, the more HD space, RAM and video card memory are going to be required to install and play the game,
as each armour piece has it's own Mesh and and UV maped texture(s).
So A balance needs to be made as too much content means you'll need a beast of a machine, or some compromise on the uniqueness of the variety.
In that some armours/Clothing share the same Mesh, but the UV map is setup so that certain parts are not rendered.

and as for immersion, if the name flying over peoples heads can be turned on/off as well as parts of the HUB, then immersion increases for those that what more immersion.

Goblin Squad Member

A player owned tattoo shop would be awesome. :D

Goblin Squad Member

Ruse wrote:
I'd really hate to feel like I had to adjust my stats to get my character to look the way I wanted...

I don't think that's really on the table.

The idea as I understand it is that your Abilities (and possibly your Attributes) would define the acceptable range of certain sliders. I would expect that range to be fairly wide in all cases. I think they key goal is to ensure that someone who has the Ability to break down thick wooden doors - with their body, not with magic - doesn't look like a gust of wind might blow them away.

Goblin Squad Member

If I'm putting money on door breaking between Bruce Lee and Shwarzanegger in their primes, I'm taking Lee.

This is just a real world example, put this in the context of high fantasy with magical races, enhancements and bloodlines (dragon disciples) and Fo-get about it!


Nihimon wrote:
Ruse wrote:
I'd really hate to feel like I had to adjust my stats to get my character to look the way I wanted...

I don't think that's really on the table.

The idea as I understand it is that your Abilities (and possibly your Attributes) would define the acceptable range of certain sliders. I would expect that range to be fairly wide in all cases. I think they key goal is to ensure that someone who has the Ability to break down thick wooden doors - with their body, not with magic - doesn't look like a gust of wind might blow them away.

But that's exactly what you're describing does. If I want to make a super scrawny character, I can't have high strength. What if my very scrawny cleric draws her great strength from her faith, for instance? Or a slim barbarian whose rage is just THAT potent?

Choosing between looks and stats would be a massive turnoff for me.

Goblin Squad Member

Ruse wrote:
If I want to make a super scrawny character, I can't have high strength.

This is a common misconception. It's not really your "strength" that determines the range of the sliders. It's your "Abilities". Some of us have suggested - and even assumed - that your Attributes (like Strength) would have an impact, too; but that's not the way Ryan described it.

Freedom is the single most important thing in the world to me - in-game and out. If I felt that the game was unnecessarily taking away my freedom, I would adamantly resist it. So, I am extremely sympathetic to your resistance to this idea. And for what it's worth, Ryan was very clear from the start that this was just an idea, not something they were actively planning on doing.

I'm curious, though, if you would have the same resistance to it if it were only constrained in the other direction. Assume the game allows you to have your super-scrawny Barbarian whose Rage abilities allowed them to break down doors. But if you wanted to create a character with large and well-defined muscles, you would have to have Attributes and/or Abilities that accounted for that. Would that be more acceptable?

Lantern Lodge

I am 5'9" and was 120Lbs, and used a 50Lbs buster sword, (one foot wide, five feet long, two foot handle) effectivily and even one handed for awhile. There is no connection between strength and wielding big swords.

@ Nihimon,
I think just affecting the range of options is a good comprimise, but I also get the immpression many of the people here are asking for the looks to be determined by str, dex, con, with perhaps a body type selected.

I think a good idea would to clarify what some of us are actually wanting. Possiblties include,

1 Appearence changes by playstyle
2 Stats determine looks
3 Stats determine available looks, but still have free choice of those available
4 Race determine available looks, but still have free choice of those available
5 Looks affected by play time and environment

For me, I am against 1, 2, and 5,
I am for 4, and
I would accept 3 as a comprimise but would rather go without it.

Of course I don't see any dishonesty in looks either, I think it foolish to make assumtions based on looks, so how can your looks lie to me when I don't make any assumtions based on what I see?

-

Forencith wrote:
Interesting. I suppose that highlights a difference between us, I envision a playstyle and everything else including appearance evolves from that based upon needs and eventually story. You envision an appearance (and story?) and evolve everything else including playstyle from that. I guess it is just a difference of tastes.

I actually start with personality, then appearence, then playstyle. Perhaps we should try to make this work for a variety of tastes.

Goblin Squad Member

I would like to point out in the pathfinder starter pack there is art for a rather skinny barbarian wielding a sword about the same size as her.

Goblin Squad Member

Jameow wrote:
I would like to point out in the pathfinder starter pack there is art for a rather skinny barbarian wielding a sword about the same size as her.

Which annoys the crap out of me.

But I guess that would make the game kind of hypocritical to enforce sliders-by-abilities then, hmm? Oh well.

Lantern Lodge

I am not that barbaric!
Just look at her "clothes" how...artistic?
She needs to meet a real tailor.

:)

Ninja'd

But why does such mimicry of reality annoy you?

Goblin Squad Member

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DarkLightHitomi wrote:

I am not that barbaric!

Just look at her "clothes" how...artistic?
She needs to meet a real tailor.

:)

Ninja'd

But why does such mimicry of reality annoy you?

Ehh... I guess for silly feminist reasons :) Yes, a female barbarian iconic was definitely a good step... But a little more muscle would have been nice. I'm not saying body builder or anything, but something that at least implies she can use that sword. Muscles can be just as sexy as super skinny women!

Goblin Squad Member

I have a question- if such a thing were ability based, does that mean you couldn't have a hulking, thickly muscled wizard?

Does it mean I would need to do some combat abilities first and, if I want to get the capstone or something not get wizardry (the point of the character) for years just so I could get the large appearance?

Goblin Squad Member

@DarkLight

What in gods name would you need a sword that heavy for? My understanding is that most claymore's aren't even over 10 lbs. Not being a jerk, was honestly curious.

I feel that you should be able to customize your look without worry of abilities. It isn't really that relevant to immersion, as with proper strength training and personal build, strength can be very relevant.


Nihimon wrote:
I'm curious, though, if you would have the same resistance to it if it were only constrained in the other direction. Assume the game allows you to have your super-scrawny Barbarian whose Rage abilities allowed them to break down doors. But if you wanted to create a character with large and well-defined muscles, you would have to have Attributes and/or Abilities that accounted for that. Would that be more acceptable?

I'm not even saying I'd definitely want to play a skinny barbarian or paladin or whatever -- my 2-handed hammer gal in both Age of Conan and Guild Wars 2 was a beefy lady that looked like she could realistically bash skulls in with it. If I remade her, she'd likely have high strength, too. But if I DO want to make a beefy, pink-haired gal with low strength and charisma, or a skinny, mousy-looking paladin with high strength and charisma, I want to be able to do that out of the box without having to enjoy my early gameplay less to get there.

Jameow wrote:

I have a question- if such a thing were ability based, does that mean you couldn't have a hulking, thickly muscled wizard?

Does it mean I would need to do some combat abilities first and, if I want to get the capstone or something not get wizardry (the point of the character) for years just so I could get the large appearance?

Yeah, see, this is where I DON'T want to have to go. If we want the option for characters to evolve their looks, put in a barber/tattoo/scar shop and be done with it, so that players can choose.

I realize that abilities/stats affecting appearance is just being spitballed. I'm just saying why I personally wouldn't like it in any form.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ruse, thanks for answering my question. Again, I'm extremely sympathetic to the desire to create your character as you envision her, rather than within the constraints provided by the devs.

But there will always be some constraints...

I will never, ever be able to play Nihimon in any MMO (unless I write it myself) as the same character who inhabits the lore of my imagination.

In WoW, a Mage can't wear Heavy Armor and can't shoot a Bow.

So it's not really a question of whether or not there are constraints. Really, the question is whether those constraints have an internal consistency that doesn't violate the players' sense of the way things ought to be.

Ryan touched on this in Goblinworks Blog: Put It in Writing:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:


In WoW, a Mage can't wear Heavy Armor and can't shoot a Bow.

So it's not really a question of whether or not there are constraints. Really, the question is whether those constraints have an internal consistency that doesn't violate the players' sense of the way things ought to be.

Ryan touched on this in Goblinworks Blog: Put It in Writing:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

I don't quite agree with that when it comes to abilities defining your appearance. I'm reading a book at the moment, one of the characters is a very large gentle giant of a character who lived in a small town, people, except his friends, think he's an oaf, but he's literate and has read every book in the Lord's house (all three of them). He's big, he's muscular from genetics and doing things like chopping firewood, clearing out the stables. He's also training as a sorcerer. He is not a warrior, he is not a lumberjack, he is not a carpenter, he is strong, but he can't fight. Yet he is a sorcerer. How is this in ANY way not logically consistent within any world?

There are plenty of tasks someone could do that have NO RELATION to skills or abilities that could explain a different physique to that which would be dictated by their class abilities, without breaking lore, logic or immersion in any way.

Or is it logical that in the game world horses muck out their own stables and firewood chops itself?

Goblin Squad Member

I seriously doubt Ryan ever intended to base appearance on non-physical Abilities.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

@Ruse, thanks for answering my question. Again, I'm extremely sympathetic to the desire to create your character as you envision her, rather than within the constraints provided by the devs.

But there will always be some constraints...

I will never, ever be able to play Nihimon in any MMO (unless I write it myself) as the same character who inhabits the lore of my imagination.

In WoW, a Mage can't wear Heavy Armor and can't shoot a Bow.

So it's not really a question of whether or not there are constraints. Really, the question is whether those constraints have an internal consistency that doesn't violate the players' sense of the way things ought to be.

Ryan touched on this in Goblinworks Blog: Put It in Writing:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You can't play your character "any way you want". You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.

No lecturing intended

Nihimon is right in that no system you use out of the box will ever allow anyone to build and play the character they want,
They have to live with the limits imposed by that system.
The only way you'll get a system to fit your needs is if you build the system and the content yourself, no if's and's or's but's.

I'm a Game Dev Grad so I have a good idea of what Goblin works has to go through,
and given the fact they are using some out of the box middle ware in the game they have to also live with it's restrictions.

"The analog world has no limits, the digital world has limits" -Unknown
Though the digit world does have negative frequencies

If they implement a Character evolve system like in Fable for example.
You have to live with their choice to use it.
If they don't they don't.
The systems They Choose to use is Their Choice, they may ask our opinion and may make changes.

----------------------------------------
Example
let's say we have no Evolve system, but a poll shows
25% want absolute control over how the character looks
vs
the 75% who want characters to evolve as they play.
Odds are they will have a meeting on it and decide on IF and HOW the system will be made.
If it does go into the game, players will be notified before it is patched into the main trunk of the game.

Now if they take a poll and found
50% want absolute control over how the character looks
vs
the 50% who want character to evolve as they play.
They(Goblin Works) becomes the Arbiter, and everyone has to live with their decision. Whether they use one or not or if they make a mini version of an evolve system.

----------------------------------------

Obviously the closer the split is to equal sizes they more of a headache it'll be for Goblin Works to make everyone happy.
And odds are everyone will not be in the majority of every poll taken,
So everyone should expect to make some compromises in their wishlist about the game when polls are taken.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I seriously doubt Ryan ever intended to base appearance on non-physical Abilities.

Of course not, but that isn't a logical reason that I couldn't do so. Perhaps is just my own perception that what a character IS and how it is represented in game mechanics are not necessarily the same thing. for example, I could play a character that is trained in martial arts because he was raised in a monastery, but is NOT a monk, in order to represent that character, class wise they would be a monk, they would perform the function of a monk in a party, but that does not mean they ARE a monk.

I extend the same thing to physical attributes. Just because I have certain stats and abilities does not mean that those abilities are the sum total of what my character IS.


Azure_Zero wrote:

Nihimon is right in that no system you use out of the box will ever allow anyone to build and play the character they want,

They have to live with the limits imposed by that system.

Lol I kinda feel like I'm being lectured here and I'm not sure why.

I don't expect to make a small race as tall as the tallest race in the game. I would expect a reasonable range of bodytypes, hairstyles and hair, skin and eyecolours. Even better if I can manipulate eyebrows to change expression, or choose from some base faces with differing expressions.

Alongside that, I would be sad if that selection were further limited by stats, class or whatever the deciding thing is. Considering the game is nowhere near being launched, I don't see how giving feedback on my druthers is somehow out of line. Of course I don't expect devs to give every one of us exactly what we want; I WOULD expect them to give us a range of options wide enough that we should all be able to find something that at least doesn't stomp all over our idea of our characters.

Goblin Squad Member

Ruse wrote:
Azure_Zero wrote:

Nihimon is right in that no system you use out of the box will ever allow anyone to build and play the character they want,

They have to live with the limits imposed by that system.

Lol I kinda feel like I'm being lectured here and I'm not sure why.

I don't expect to make a small race as tall as the tallest race in the game. I would expect a reasonable range of bodytypes, hairstyles and hair, skin and eyecolours. Even better if I can manipulate eyebrows to change expression, or choose from some base faces with differing expressions.

Alongside that, I would be sad if that selection were further limited by stats, class or whatever the deciding thing is. Considering the game is nowhere near being launched, I don't see how giving feedback on my druthers is somehow out of line. Of course I don't expect devs to give every one of us exactly what we want; I WOULD expect them to give us a range of options wide enough that we should all be able to find something that at least doesn't stomp all over our idea of our characters.

^This

I'm not saying "if I don't have absolute control, I'll quit" but I am saying I consider an evolving system to be too restrictive. If its in, I'll deal with it, it might mean I make different characters to the ones I want to make, but I'll deal with it. I'm still going to argue against the implementation of such a system in the first place.

Goblin Squad Member

No lecturing was intended or is intended

I would also like to see a wide range of options,
but I would also like to keep a good piece of realism in during Character Creation and when at play.

But this is also something I know they (Goblin works) have to live with is finite memory,
meaning they can not ever provided the widest range of options because
each piece of content comes with a specific amount of memory it needs, and everyone's system memory is a constant size (barring upgrades or fried parts).
And because the memory container is a fixed size you could never fit every possible option, though with a few tricks could make each piece of content take less space.

This is one of the reasons why when WOW released a expansion pack (can't remember which one) the minimum RAM requirement increased as did the recommended RAM amount.

-------------------------------------------------------

For me an evolve system is a great idea, as your character reflects your play style, and your habits when playing said character.

It also increases the immersion factor for some of us.
though I do admit that various HUD elements would require a on/off toggle,
so those that want immersion can have it without impacting those that want to use the various HUD elements.


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Azure_Zero wrote:

But this is also something I know they (Goblin works) have to live with is finite memory,

meaning they can not ever provided the widest range of options because
each piece of content comes with a specific amount of memory it needs

I find it a bit funny that you keep pushing this angle then asking for evolving characters -- which would add to the number of options once we get into scars etc. territory. :) I get the concept of too many options causing too much stress/lag in big gatherings of characters. You don't have to keep repeating.

That said ... modern MMOs have evolved past the sprites we saw in Neverwinter Nights (which actually can work better sometimes, I think, because they're so simplistic that you can project whatever you want onto them). I realize there's a finite limit to what a game engine can handle. I'm hoping some conservative-to-edgy hairstyles, a few different body builds and a range of hair, skin and eye colours isn't out of the question. I don't think that's asking for crazy pie-in-the-sky customization.

EDIT: That said I'd love the option to, as I said, add scars to your character or whatever. I agree that could add immersion and I'd probably even take advantage of it. I just want it to be my choice.

EDIT EDIT: (Sorry, lol) I hope you consider the idea that you can be attacked when you're talking about turning off too much of the HUD. If you don't mind the disadvantages then awesome, just something to keep in mind.

Goblin Squad Member

Azure_Zero wrote:

No lecturing was intended or is intended

I would also like to see a wide range of options,
but I would also like to keep a good piece of realism in during Character Creation and when at play.

But this is also something I know they (Goblin works) have to live with is finite memory,

And BECAUSE of this I think evolving characters is a really bad idea, it means they would need to make the changes very linear and static- everyone looks the same.

What happens when you're on a battlefield with 600 other people and the new recruits all gain a level in soldiering and all change shape while you're trying to render all those characters already?

Goblin Squad Member

I know it's a bit hypocritical ask for an evolution system while pushing limited content.
We are all hypocritical in one way or another.

but if Character Evolution is handled with shaders (Pixel, Vertex and geometry) rendering the results, it won't impact the RAM a whole lot.
The shader could act as a mesh morph on the base character model.

And further more the evolve system should be gradual, over the time they level.
Not, you just leveled up and wham here's your new look.
Ie. not going 0, 1,
But 0.00, 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04, 0.05, 0.06, 0.07, .... 0.099, 1.0.

Goblin Squad Member

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But it would still be a linear process leading to sameness. All the veterans looking nearly identical. And just HOW cumulative is it? If it's stats we have a limit, if it's skills, how are you going to look in 5 years? Are people going to see you coming and mistake you for an ogre? Are you going to have skin with a luminosity higher than the clearest crystal lantern?

Goblin Squad Member

The linear number count was an example,
they could go with a exponential or any of the various logarithmic equations that can exist.

If the shader is handling the skin, odds are the skin will be defaulted to be it's whitest, and the shader will darken it, never brighten it.

And even with an evolve system their might be caps within it so you'll never end up as Arnold on super steroids, or so thin your barely visible.

Goblin Squad Member

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It would mean my red head would tan when not supposed to, and my albino would miraculously be cured of albinism :P

But if scars and things were determined by the environment, eventually EVERYONE would accumulate all the scars.

I have the same issue with muscle mass, either all fighters/barbarians/monks would look the same because of their stats or skills or the difference would be so subtle that they're essentially the same. It's like when some games give you several preset face options that all look almost identical no matter how much you fiddle with the sliders. In which case you may as well just implement class based armor models and be done with it.

Lantern Lodge

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Someone above called it realism, but it's not.

No one can look at me and tell what I am good at, I have never lost a match in the army even against the instructers, but the soldiers always felt insulted because I look like a stiff wind would send me flying (and has with the help of my trenchcoat and a couple of sticks)

It's not realistic, and the idea that people should be able to tell how I play just by looking at me is insulting. It's akin to racism, "I look and I judge you based on your looks."

Goblin Squad Member

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DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Someone above called it realism, but it's not.

No one can look at me and tell what I am good at, I have never lost a match in the army even against the instructers, but the soldiers always felt insulted because I look like a stiff wind would send me flying (and has with the help of my trenchcoat and a couple of sticks)

It's not realistic, and the idea that people should be able to tell how I play just by looking at me is insulting. It's akin to racism, "I look and I judge you based on your looks."

I appreciate you defending the opinion that freedom to self-express (either the character you'd like in game or the character that you'd like to represent you in game) and that is definitely one of the goals of customization. I don't think it's mutually exclusive to suggest an developmental system to appearance: It may even be augmentary the preceding statement?

However, let's take your forum avatar for illustration:

Group: Mammal Feline
Age: Adult
Current Behavior: Warning Hiss!
Notable Feature: ghostlight, pale glowing eyes -> supernatural?
Current Environment: Dark.

Conclusion: Predatory creature of the night; dangerous stalking hunter likely (might be motivated to consume flesh); appears supernatural - could be nefarious?

So, you see, there is a wealth of information in our avatars which if functional are more meaningful in their consequences for us to make our decisions. That's taking the MOST superficial information only.

Now to combine what the other player sees with what you the player see as developmental changes over time with an avatar that is meant to last you years, that sounds like a much more complex use of visual information than most mmorpgs, employ?

Multiply even the above simple eg by many players and suddenly each avatar is an interesting minor story of small details that lead to potential considerations. Mmorpgs already do this to an extent with Class A looks like archetype of archeypes of that class with a paint job or 2. But imagine instead of one composite whole, because of skill training you have a few more different components telling you different things about that character that they might (Key word: Indication) have done - that is imo cumulatively making each avatar more individual, more characterful? IMHO.

To summarise a few reason why I like this idea:

1. Choices a spread across the avatar's development from 0 level and up, instead of a great big blank canvas at the beginning.
2. Creates a visual story that you can identify feedback of the skills you have mapped onto your person.
3. Likewise with accessing indications from other avatars
4. Certain customizations will become apparent as players develop skills and so potentially new nuances might be seen over time, which again is interesting.
5. Adds longevity to an avatar, adds personal value to the avatar, not just the epic loot they have.
6. It's augmentary to normal customization and appears to me to be more thoughtful than other mmorpgs customization.
7. Heads of the escalating demand for more powerful avatar customization tools in new mmorpgs - great for artists, but the "too many choices" at least for me, I find off-putting and arbitrary.

-

That's explaining how I see it. As previously said, I'm not usually a big user of customization of avatars in game - that usually passes me by, so long as the gameplay suits my preferences (small size for hiding in bushes, up trees or behind other characters or rocks, camps on roofs away from danger and runs away at first hint of trouble, never picks a fair fight and prefers to shoot in the back - probably why I picked a raptor for these forums).

Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:


Multiply even the above simple eg by many players and suddenly each avatar is an interesting minor story of small details that lead to potential considerations. Mmorpgs already do this to an extent with Class A looks like archetype of archeypes of that class with a paint job or 2. But...

But do you really think they'd develop such a system with sufficient detail to actually ACHIEVE that? I don't. Most people will have some sort of melee combat skill if they're adventuring at all, you usually need one. So everyone will have at least some tiers of that. Apeearance (all the same) Then you'll have the magical talents, some will be more common than others, assuming all magical abilities don't unlock the same characteristics. (More the same)

By the time you get to a 5 year old av, you have a series of common traits that most avatars of that age have because they've had time to develop them, so you start out moderately distinct and start to look more and more like people of similar class paths. A sort of convergent evolution of characters rather than a divergent one.

If they were optional cosmetic unlocks such as new hairstyles, bodytypes, scars, tattoos, disfigurements, piercings, perhaps even effects like glowing eyes from some magical unlocks or animal parts from druidic ones, I'd support that, but not an enforced system where your appearance is dictated by attributes/skills. If I want that sort of linear progression of my appearance, I'll go back to TERA or something who do it perfectly well with clothing.

And I think DarkLightHitomi's point was that Why SHOULD he look a certain way because of certain attributes or skills, it doesn't apply in real life, why should it magically dictate his appearance here?

Goblin Squad Member

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I'll avoid becoming bogged down as to how such customization would be implemented, as I'm no artist and my previous attempts at drawing word illustrations are proven to be worse than bad.

But in a lot of other mmorpgs, avatars appearance develops into brighter, bigger cartoons at max. level to show the power increase reflected in the avatar eg a 50ft sword and shoulderpads from hell. It's natural to feedback the power and development in any game. But I think a more subtle feedback, such as the developmental sliders (of some description) would be more personal, more timely and more related to the idea of emergent stories as well as not fall into that trap above of avatars turning into super hero look-alikes to inform on level change?

It's also more "organic" change which again I like the idea of and which is closer to understated colors and functionality, YMMV.

Goblin Squad Member

@Ruse, I apologize if I sounded like I was lecturing. I was making a sincere effort to bring up points for consideration without passing judgment on your position.

@Jameow, with respect to your "monk" that's not a Monk, I have for some time now found this an intriguing possibility. The way the Skill and Role system is described, it seems like it might be possible to gain quite a few "monk" skills without every "leveling up" as a Monk. I'm very curious to see how this works out.


AvenaOats wrote:

I'll avoid becoming bogged down as to how such customization would be implemented, as I'm no artist and my previous attempts at drawing word illustrations are proven to be worse than bad.

But in a lot of other mmorpgs, avatars appearance develops into brighter, bigger cartoons at max. level to show the power increase reflected in the avatar eg a 50ft sword and shoulderpads from hell. It's natural to feedback the power and development in any game. But I think a more subtle feedback, such as the developmental sliders (of some description) would be more personal, more timely and more related to the idea of emergent stories as well as not fall into that trap above of avatars turning into super hero look-alikes to inform on level change?

It's also more "organic" change which again I like the idea of and which is closer to understated colors and functionality, YMMV.

Maybe I'm misreading, but I'm still seeing "more organic change" as a point on the same arc as the "brighter, bigger cartoons". It still means at some point my character's appearance will change without my input (perhaps, from my viewpoint, radically so). It's still going to tend to yield the same sorts of changes to people of the same class who have the same experience. More subtle changes than giant honking shoulderpads with skulls on them, maybe, but still unlooked-for changes.

And keep in mind that there are also a lot of MMORPGs that offer transmogrification specifically so we don't have to do the weird, giant armor thing even if it's reflective of our level.

I'm all for a barbershop sort of thing which, over time, might open up options for grey hair (if not available at character creation), wrinkles, scars, etc. I'd actually love to start Chiassa out as a smooth-skinned redhead, and add grey hair, wrinkles and reading glasses as she ages. But I'd like to be the final arbiter of when those changes occur, and how heavily.

Goblin Squad Member

@Chiassa: It seems to me mmorpgs with main customization tool at avatar creation, they use most of their "ammunication" right there and then: So how to feedback progress or change to the player? One familiar way is epic loot and epic mount: You "acquired those things by your glorious actions".

Why not add more customization features from your actions but in a more subtle way?

I'm anticipating more economical customization options leaves more of the canvas blank to fill the story in as you play is one way I'd describe the difference I'm seeing by adding modifications so that skills -> customization slider: "update" options. And yes your character's change does have your input: Directly and indirectly (within a chosen range).

Maybe it's a matter of opinion, for me that sounds like it could be very cool to match times I train a skill with actualisation of that change in a very visual sense, but as I keep mentioning I'm no good as an artist: So maybe I see relief (from art) where you see loss of creative control? ;)

Lantern Lodge

@ Nihimon
I think Jameow was saying that the class Monk, and the lifestyle/religious position Monk, are not the same thing. That he could be of the class without being of the lifestyle, and then he compared this to stats, that having certain stats didn't equate to who or what his character is.

---

Personally, if they made it an optional thing, I wouldn't mind others using it, but I certainly don't play to find out about my character, I know my character, I play to find out about the world.

Changing looks makes my character too much of an unknown, which puts distance between my view of the character and the reality of the character, such dissonence is a bad thing.

The other thing is I speaking about the character herself, not her equipment which seems to be included in what AvenaOats is talking about. Equipment looks progression is a semi-seperate issue, though I do agree with not making the better equipment giant sized and ridiculous looking, there should be a veriety of styles for the best stuff, maybe even allow the community to design new skins for equipment, left to the forums for community approval of course.

Lantern Lodge

Ninjad

Higher level should have more equipment style options available.

I don't like this idea what I want to look like, may not match what I play like, and I shouldn't have to play different to look different.

Also once I get the coolest look for my character, however achieved, your proposal would make such fleeting to be replaced by something less.

As for your lack of artisticness, I wouls say that it's better to have a simple character creation/barber shop, then have an advanced tab with more detailed selections/ change sliders, for those who want to spend more time on it.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

@ Nihimon

I think Jameow was saying that the class Monk, and the lifestyle/religious position Monk, are not the same thing. That he could be of the class without being of the lifestyle, and then he compared this to stats, that having certain stats didn't equate to who or what his character .

Precisely, I can choose all monk skills but not be a monk. That was the point. In what way would I not be functionally fulfilling the role of a monk with all the monk skills while not following any of the religious, or philosophical functions of a monk? What else would I be? Martial arts skills does not make a monk.


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AvenaOats wrote:
But in a lot of other mmorpgs, avatars appearance develops into brighter, bigger cartoons at max. level to show the power increase reflected in the avatar eg a 50ft sword and shoulderpads from hell. It's natural to feedback the power and development in any game.

To explain my position a bit better, I hate it when MMOs do that. I hate it when I have to use a certain look if I don't want to horribly gimp my stats, lol. Maybe that's not particularly surprising given my stance on stats/skills having an impact on looks. My GW2 ele looks like >>this<< at max level (she didn't usually use a staff, but whatever). Except for said staff, all of this look is from a mix of lower-level sets that I overwrote the high-level skins with -- because I plain liked the low-level looks better.

I realize gear in PFO isn't likely to be as ... um ... permanent as in other MMOs, and that's OK, that's not really my point. My point is when you're forced into a function = looks system, then eventually everyone who wants to function remotely the same is going to look alike. And that, imo, is boring.

Goblin Squad Member

Lily Orlovsky wrote:
Every warrior woman running around with giant jiggling boobs might appeal to lots of people, but it seems almost a gaff. I would just like a slider for body type that can let us play something that doesn't look like they've spent all their gp on gnomish inflateable implants.

Since the tech demo had both Seoni and Merisiel I don't think this'll be a problem.

As for Charisma influencing appearance, it already doesn't in Pathfinder. Take Laori Vaus (Pathfinder 9, p.19) and her Cha of 8, or the example android (Inner Sea Bestiary, p.3) with her Cha of 6. On the other end are the qlippoth who tend to have high Cha but are so ugly it hurts.


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AvenaOats wrote:
Maybe it's a matter of opinion, for me that sounds like it could be very cool to match times I train a skill with actualisation of that change in a very visual sense, but as I keep mentioning I'm no good as an artist: So maybe I see relief (from art) where you see loss of creative control? ;)

I think that's the difference. As an option, that's fine, and I'd probably use it at some point. But I don't want to find my character changing in ways that may make intuitive sense to the artists but not to me. I'd feel less connected to my character if something external got to decide how she looked.

Lantern Lodge

+1

Exactly!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
avari3 wrote:
. Just saying that Pathfinder fans will be constantly asking for more classes/races because that is probably the most defining aspect of the Pathfinder brand.

Not really, you get requests for new races and classes constantly on the Warcraft boards.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

I want my first character to become a hulking, thickly muscled wizard.

"Everyone be quiet! I'm trying to prepare spells!"

"..."


I can easily see my char as a sickly pale thin man with long gangly limbs and a short black beard, long black hair, and robes that would look better on a corpse. despite all this his cha is probably going to be higher than most.

Goblin Squad Member

SOrry, I think most of you are missing the point. No, CHA (as an example) does not necessarily tie to appearance...but it does tie to something(s) that makes you more able to influence people. These somethings might be pheromones, voice quality, posture, demeanor, body language, color of tie, or even appearance...whatever this something is, the most efficient way to replicate it (or the lack of it) is through visual markers on your avatar. Your appearance/gait/posture/body type/musculature/etc is a marker for these things. If someone has a better way, I am excited to read it.

For the record, I have always argued that there should be customization within the ranges set by those conditions. I have not (and nor has anyone that I have seen) argued that these features should be the sole determiner of one's appearance. A

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:

SOrry, I think most of you are missing the point. No, CHA (as an example) does not necessarily tie to appearance...but it does tie to something(s) that makes you more able to influence people. These somethings might be pheromones, voice quality, posture, demeanor, body language, color of tie, or even appearance...whatever this something is, the most efficient way to replicate it (or the lack of it) is through visual markers on your avatar. Your appearance/gait/posture/body type/musculature/etc is a marker for these things. If someone has a better way, I am excited to read it.

For the record, I have always argued that there should be customization within the ranges set by those conditions. I have not (and nor has anyone that I have seen) argued that these features should be the sole determiner of one's appearance. A

I could agree with this point. I think anytime you introduce choice /consequences into the equation, it will equal a richer product. If your stats actually translated visually (+/- an additional slider) I would consider the result a win / win.

Goblin Squad Member

As long as its optional, as use of a slider should be. I'm all for unlocking more ways to customize your character, it's the "this star shokc make you look more this way" that I object to.

Lantern Lodge

I think judging people from their looks is bad policy, game or otherwise, therefore I cannot condone encouraging it, much less making systems just for that (and that doesn't even take into account my personal distaste for the proposed system).

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