Chimeraland – Creating Weird and Wonderful Characters

Chimeraland is a game that wasn’t even on my radar until a few weeks ago. That’s when I started reading Bhagpuss’s recent posts about it. It sounded like there was a lot of fun to be had with the myriad of systems in the game and the huge world in which it takes place.

At first I thought the game was region locked. I was under the impression that this was a mobile only game. So when I went to try and download it on my android tablet I got an error that it wasn’t available in my country. A quick return to the game’s web page showed me I missed the big “Download on the PC” button . The mobile version appears to be only available in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines while the PC version had a global release. Which is just as well, I’d much rather play on PC.

It didn’t take long to download or update the game. I thought the launcher crashed at one point while it was trying to patch but, it turns out, I was just being impatient. Once the game launched I had no issues making an account and getting logged in.

There are currently 14 servers in Chimeraland to choose from. All but two of them were flagged as busy. The last two had a “recommended” tag on them. The first one I couldn’t register a character on because there wasn’t enough room so I went for the other recommended server. Then it was time to create my character.

There are 16 races to choose from in Chimeraland. Well, more like 12 since four of the races are different flavors of Human. I’m not sure why anyone would want to play a human when there are so many other weird and wild races to choose from. I mean just look at some of these!

The character creator has two different modes, free and precise. Free has you choose your race, age, and gender through a wheel interface. I found this pretty frustrating to use (maybe it’s better on mobile?) so I switched to precise which is your typical character creator.

I love a game with non standard race selections. When the opportunity arises I will go out of my way to pick something I’ve never had the chance to play before. So after looking through all the races I settled on the Octolow, a little, jacked, squid man. But as I started playing through the tutorial I realized that I had held back a bit and I could go weirder. I wanted to explore that a bit more. I deleted the squid man and went back to the character creator.

There are two things I learned from deleting my first character. You get one character per server and after deleting a character you can create a new one but have to wait 48 hours to delete the new one if you’re unhappy with it.

Back to character creator, I chose the one race that I knew I had never played before and might, possibly, never get the chance to play again. The Mudrake, the giant, only vaguely humanoid, fish woman. So started my hour long fight with the character creator to make this thing look good enough to play it.

Chimeraland has one of those character creators with a lot of sliders. I’m not a fan of these because they give the illusion of a lot of customization but in reality it’s really hard to make anything look good. You can have a million sliders for different parts of the face but when there’s only one face model it’s going to be either just slightly different or horrific nightmare fuel.

Case in point:

I’m not brave enough to use this as my character model

With a lot of finagling the sliders I was able to get the legs proportional to the body, and the body just small enough that it wasn’t clipping through the preview clothes. The real challenge was the tail which is a separate “accessory” and not part of the character model. No matter what I did it never quite looked like it was part of the Mudrake. More like it was glued on to the back. Also, the body, “hair”, and tail are different parts that don’t share colors so I had to match the colors on all three. These colors are on a slider and there’s no hex code or match button so I had to do it by sight.

Once I thought I had her looking pretty good I started the game. After I spawned I realized a glaring mistake: the head was too big. I looked like some sort of rubbery fish mascot and I just knew I couldn’t play looking at that, always thinking about it, having to stare at it…Unfortunately, I couldn’t play on the recommended server for 48 hours since this was my second character in 48 hours.

The in-game name generator ladies and gentleman

I chose a busy server and created a Cowdoo just so I could play the game this weekend. Sure, the Cowdoo isn’t as exotic as some of the other races, but I’ve never played a tiny, bipedal, cow in any game thus far so I’d call that a win.

I haven’t decided if I’ll keep playing on the busy server or re-create my Cowdoo on the recommended server when my timer is up. I’m really not sure if it’s jut recommended because it’s new or if there’s another reason for it. I did play for a few hours yesterday to get acquainted with the game but that’s a post for another time!

One more for the road!

Creature Creator

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A few weeks ago my friend Jay decided that he wanted to play Perfect World International. He had heard from someone that it was actually not that bad and that he should get into it. I was surprised the thing was till running but I said I’d download it and check it out with him. All I really knew about Perfect World was how prevalent it’s micro transactions were throughout the game and that it was the epitaph of Pay to Win.What I didn’t know was how great it’s character creator was.

In general, character creators in games leave you with a bunch of options to make strikingly beautiful people with no flaws. Even if your character has a nasty scar running through his face it just looks badass instead of the remnants of a gaping wound. If it lets you choose a body type it’s usually a choice between Large  Musclebound Meathead, Medium I’m in Shirtless Movie Star Shape, or  I run 5 miles a day before breakfast skinny.In a lot of MMO’s I’ve played, even if there are sliders, it’s pretty hard to make something look ugly whether it’s because there are preset faces you choose from or the sliders don’t change anything drastically enough to make you look anything less than perfect.

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Of course there are exceptions. I’ve seen some horrifying things people have made in Bethesda games. I also really enjoy the character creator in Dark Souls 2 where I can be a green skinned mustachio’d bandit. And then there’s Perfect World International whose character Creator enables you to make very “unique” characters. After 10 hours of running through the game before we go bored, I never quite saw another character that looked like me. It was actually so much fun making characters that I put another couple of hours into my steam play time just fiddling around with it.

Elder Scrolls Online is another game with an interesting character creator. Unfortunately the face sliders don’t do as much damage as other Elder Scrolls titles but the body sliders are different. If you put them to the maximum or minimum, the character looks pretty unhealthy. I have an Argonian sorcerer with a beer belly who looks like he can hardly jog for more than a minute. I also have an elderly Nord Nightblade who looks like he hasn’t eaten in weeks.

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I’ve always played the weirder looking races in games if I can. I If I’m playing in a fantastic realm I don’t want to be a boring old human. I’d much rather play an Asura or a Charr in Guild wars 2, I’d rather be a pink thing with horns or half an orc in Neverwinter, and I’d rather be a sentient talking cow or a space alien in WoW.  But no matter how weird they look , I can’t bring myself to be a lalafell in Final Fantasy 14 so I’ll stick to my giant mountain of muscle.