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.
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.
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.