The Daily Grind: Outside of superhero MMOs, which game has the best visual customization?

    
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Not all MMORPGs are created equal, and some offer far better fashion and visual customization options than others. Even so, games with more limited fare do bring out the creativity in players attempting to cosplay other games, movies, and television. It’s hard to hold us back — and, in my opinion, MMO devs should give us as many tools as we want to look incredible and then step out of the way.

If we were to take all superhero titles off the table for today’s discussion, which MMO would feature the best visual customization, from wardrobe to dyes to body modification? Which online titles let you craft and mold the look you’re trying to go for with your toon?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Castagere Shaikura

I have always liked rift for this. You can mix and match any type of armor on your character no matter what class you play. And any armor or weapon style you pick up goes into your wardrobe.

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Armsman

Pretty much any MMO by Cryptic Studios has the best character visual customization options/selections be it Superhero themed or not.

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Hikari Kenzaki

” Wow! That’s a great question. Tough one, though I mean, what does one gauge >her< response on? Physical prowess? Keen detection skills? The ability to banter well with supervillains?"

STO is basically a superhero CC (based off of CO's own CC) but better. It lacks some visual fidelity just on the virtue of being old. The main issue with STO is the haphazard way they manage dyes and dye channels. Dyes have letter/number identifiers that don't match. Dye channels don't apply equally to the same materials, even across outfit parts (chest, legs, feet, etc) from the same outfit.

Guild Wars 2 by contrast has dyes, dyes, and more dyes and they generally work the same and look the same across all materials. Obviously, a lot of the clothing/armor choices are locked to armor type, which means it's also locked to your class choice. Still, there are many options available that are independent of armor type. Fashion Wars 2 is a well-known nickname for GW2 for a reason.

SWTOR didn't always have the amazing CC system it has now, but it's always had a good one. Now, you can apply any costume item to a cosmetic slot and save it. There is a drawback that some items don't stack/cover properly. This is usually solved by invisible energy armor, but it's not always a perfect solution. SWTOR also suffers from dye inconsistency and some items have colored sections that simply cannot be dyed.

All three of the above have some significant unlock systems in place that can take quite a bit of time and/or money to get the look you want. Each game has pros and cons in that arena, but they effectively balance each other out.

As for the base character model, no released game comes close to BDO. There really isn't much room for debate there.

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Bryan Turner

Hey folks this is Mordyjuice, finally got my old account back after some rather bad behavior on my part but the folks at Massively OP have accepted that I’ve redeemed my self.

PS I won’t go out of my way to say bad things about Rift like the bad old days.

PSS I’ll try not to argue too much with Elliot over his WoW articles.

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Fisty

For creation, I would say BDO is pretty impressive. For costumes, WoW and the transmog does it for me.

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trekfangrrrl

Star Trek Online, and here is the proof!

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Hikari Kenzaki

Heck, I would argue that STO is better than CO for the simple fact that the bodies and faces are 100x better. If CO used the STO base character models, I’d love to play more of it. As it is, I can’t look my CO characters in the face.

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Duane Roelands

I love how this post admits that every other MMO is competing for second place behind City of Heroes, a game that shut down eight years ago.

But, in the spirit of participation I’ll go with Black Desert Online and Aion as having very good character-creation tools. They to tend towards AngelWaifu, but that’s the target audience.

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trekfangrrrl

I love how this post admits that every other MMO is competing for second place behind City of Heroes, a game that shut down eight years ago.

Actually the pic in the article is Champions Online, which is still running and has even more customization than COH.

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Knecht_Rootrecht

Eve Online had a great character creator when I was last playing the game. Sadly all development of first person avatar gameplay was abandoned and the company focused on scams and spreadsheets for their game.

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Duane Roelands

EVE Online has been spreadsheets from launch, good sir.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

The Secret World.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

ESO doesn’t limit you by armor type unlike GW2, how ever GW2 has everyone beat with their extensive dye selection.

By the way your site has issues letting me log in under my Reddit account while using a Droid device. I was able to log into my old account as Bryan Turner but your automod system kept deleting all of my comments. It might be time to loosen the restrictions on that account since I am me. I sent in a ticket last night.