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Character Creation In MMOs

Column by columinst Jerrod on 04 Aug 2011. Please click to view other columns.

Character Creation In MMOs

Written By: Jerrod Bacon

 

 In the Massively Multi Online (MMO) games, the biggest issue for me is looking like everybody else that is playing these games. How is it that massively multi means all you get to pick from, to “change it up”, is a character’s hair, eyes and basic clothing options? That doesn’t cut it for me. A MMO gamer should never see a duplicate of their personal character. It is fine to see similar qualities in the outfit, but it should be near impossible for a player to make something that another person has already created. There are amazing games out there that capitalize on character creation for me and they are City of Heroes, Aion and APB: Reloaded. These games take the character creator to a whole new level and allow players to lose themselves in several hours just customizing the look of their characters.

 As I explored the MMO games, my first love became City of Heroes. The character creation was one of the most in depth I have seen, and that was back in early 2000s. I would play characters until they bored me, or something caught my attention and it was back to the character creator to make another character. City of Heroes is the reason I have this obsession for a good character creator. Even when switching to the more popular World of Warcraft, I was still drawn to the want of a new character, but it wasn’t as appealing because the character creator is very limited.

 I don’t know what it is about NC Soft, but they know how to make a character creator. From City of Heroes I moved to WoW, now I am tempted to create an account with Aion. Aion takes the character creator from City of Heroes and implants it into another fantasy world with a very realistic feel to it. I learned that City of Heroes does have an amazing character creator, but it was still very “cartoonish”, only because of the comic book style the game carries.

 The game with the character creator that I am most excited to play is APB (All Points Bulletin): Reloaded. It’s as if Gamersfirst knew what I wanted from a character creator and implemented it into a real-world style game. This game plays more like Grand Theft Auto than an MMO, in my eyes, but the character creator is out of this world! You can create a logo through a system similar to the emblem creator in Call of Duty: Black Ops, but you can turn this logo into various different things: a tattoo, a design for clothes, a car decal and so much more. This is one of the games that I am most excited for, only because I know that I will be losing a lot of sleep within the character creator alone.

 For most players of MMO games, the immersion into the game is the biggest issue games have. Some games don't provide enough stuff to occupy a player’s attention. Some games have way too much and people get overwhelmed. For me, if a game does not have a worthy character creator, I have a hard time getting into the game. I need something there to hold me into the fantasy world I'm immersed in. If a game doesn't give a player something to initially draw them into the world, and the adventure, they will turn the game off.