The Daily Grind: How do you style your characters in MMOs?

    
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Nice skirts.

Not every game has housing, usually for bad reasons. But the vast majority of games at this point do allow you to design your character however you want, either through various cosmetic systems or just the City of Heroes-style approach letting you look however you want. All well and good. But when presented with a whole lot of different options, a plethora of different styles and choices, the question becomes how you choose to dress your character up.

Some people just go with whatever looks coolest. Other want a character that looks as sexy as possible and go with that route. Other people have intricate roleplaying ideas and use that as a foundation for character looks, and still others figure out how to make their characters look like a specific other character from other media and go for that. Heck, some people just don’t care and don’t bother. What about you? How do you style your character in MMOs?

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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MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Depends on the game, depends on the styles allowed, depends on if I have to play ‘rags to riches’, depends on lots of things. I’m currently playing Project Zomboid (I’m nearing 500 hours played..soon.) and they literally only let you choose a vest or a sweater (Deepest vibrant blue it has.), and (Always deepest dark black…I love that color or lack of) pants…and alter the color…and I always go with chest hair and a black full beard and short hair.

Many games I end up with the full beard + long hair because I wish I could grow long hair in real life but it grows in too thick so I always have to buzz it off and am perpetually close to scalp because I overheat a lot…so I often get asked if I’m supposed to be Jesus or something in games. Nope, I just like the long flowing locks look. Doesn’t matter in most games, because I’m usually a rogue/sneakthief of some type and they almost exclusively wear a cowl or something to cover their head/face, so you almost never see it. Most games never let me get properly outfitted how I would want to be (I don’t buy cosmetics with RL money, because I’m poor)…so I often just ‘make do’ and run around with the patchwork, or the best I can get. If I CAN, I usually make the best looking visual I can, to me anyway…I don’t particularly care what others think of my outfits…

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Ken from Chicago

Themes.

As an altophile, I find myself not only style individual characters but groups of characters into themes. I often style them after famous characters I like or “tweaks” on said characters.

Eg, in space cowboy is captured by men of two, blue by blue and cloned by men in white, but he escapes and his clone escape into a broken teleporter but who ends up back in the past with powers with the codename “Captain Mister” because he could only remember his initials, “M.R.”–in CITY OF HEROES–and a variation in CHAMPIONS ONLINE. In STAR TREK ONLINE, he and his Number One bridge officer share the same affinity for striped brown uniforms, unlike his Navigation bridge officer who’s more casual, his medical bridge officer who’s more formal preferring vests and his sister, a Tactical officer who is quite skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

In CHAMPIONS ONLINE I have about a dozen characters with a shared origin from 3,000 years in the future after two alien occupations of Earth. Also a handful of characters from the ancient past, a family of psionic warriors, some who wield power swords, mother and daughter, a son, who has betrayed his father and fallen into a … dark path … but has seen the light but has access to dark powers, and revived father and husband who strived to even walk in the light.

In STAR TREK ONLINE, I have an all Caitian bridge crew, captain and bridge officers.

Oh, and following Justin’s suggestion, I prefer my tank characters to be tiny because seeing them put the smackdown on characters, especially big ones, is endlessly hilarious. Thanks, Syp. 👍🤣🤣🤣

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SmiteDoctor

I usually go for anything that makes me look like a heavily armored Edge Lord, or something that embodies the Kink way of life (keep thinking that’s the next thing up for acceptance and tolerance but Liberals keep surprising me, maybe the 2030s).

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I mean, the fact that you think you’re being edgy(To be an edge-lord), when you’re likely not…is what’s kinda sad. Almost like Cyberpunk’s adding sex shops and putting dildos in there, and tittering behind their hands over how ‘edgy’ they were being when they were being pretty damn ‘safe’ for nowadays…like it’s 2021 already and we’re way past people being horrified by the human body and activities people choose to do with them…at least SHOULD BE, but nope, there’s still those types out there who are grossly offended by even any amount of ‘pushing the boundary’. As one of those ‘liberals’ you criticize, I’m actually of the opinion that you sound pretty vanilla. lol

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I tend to make dozens of characters in games that permit it. Each with at least a bit of a unique appearance if possible. But I’ve noticed some specific trends.

– I tend to prefer slender / athletic body types. Not overweight, overmuscled, or over-endowed.

– Usually of average height, or slightly lower. Games like Star Trek Online let you make a character, even a human one, absolutely gigantic. Meanwhile, even my Gorn is “kind of short.” Well, for a Gorn.

– Given the chance, some of them will be cats. Caitians, Ferasans, Charr, Cathar. If I played Final Fantasy 14, it’s actually a tossup whether my character there would be the “cat girl” type or “bunny girl” type. (I don’t know the lore well enough to remember the species names, sorry.) I do this despite knowing full well it’s going to make me a target for people who are psychotically “anti-furry,” and that I will DEFINITELY get random tells calling me a deviant pervert and suggesting I should kill myself.

There will probably be one instance of a really specific look. My icon is actually based on the version I made in Warframe. Short blonde hair, slender build, and heterochromia if the character creator allows it. (Blue/green eyes if allowed, and nearly always green if not.) If the character creator allows scars or face markings, there’ll also be a fairly prominent one on one side of the face. This character is *NOT* how I look in real life, but it’s the closest thing I seem to have to a default appearance online.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

A commission of my character from Warframe. (This time resized so the picture doesn’t take up half the comments section. OnO )

Mag_and_Operator_50.jpg
EmberStar
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EmberStar

And the in-game version, with a different outfit. It’s *really* hard to get decent pictures of both of them, because one or the other seems doomed to be in a really awkward pose.

OnO

If I use the “captura” screenshot tool or during a mission, the Operator is in this really awkward looking combat crouch. But in the Orbiter, the only way to get them in the same picture sticks the Warframe in that “almost T-pose” stance. :(

Warframe0149.jpg
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Hikari Kenzaki

As I said on Twitter, I think I probably tend to expound upon these questions in far greater detail than needed often enough that you don’t need a full write-up this time. :)

My characters tend to come from one of several templates that have built up over the years.
The Hikaris typically dress in white with blue and gold accents. If there are pants and jackets, those are usually involved. There is actually a ‘signature’ outfit for the House of Light that we’ve recreated in a dozen games. I even had the outfit included in League of Maidens very early on. :)
The Deqi/Desiree/Cynthias tend to favor greens with some red accents, usually with heavy green or red makeup.
The Spectra-Lass/Lizzies tend to purposely dress in a mishmash of rainbow colors.
Every once in a while, a game inspires a totally new creation, but they do tend to stick to a theme.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Summary in a single picture :)

Characters.jpg
EmberStar
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EmberStar

I wish I was that good at framing screenshots. The best I seem to manage is still “Yep. That’s definitely a screenshot.” :/

Fisty
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Fisty

I like making old men with solid white hair, a mustache or other facial hair. I usually add up all the wrinkles I can to make em look grizzled. I like the old hardened war veteran kind of character.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

I once in awhile have a specific older character I build like that (Usually for mages, or more ‘wizened/learned’ characters I’m building, but I usually don’t go wrinkled old fart stages with it. I give it more ‘seasoned’ levels of just starting to age.

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

I normally like to stick with the originally designed appearance of weapons and armor, it is rare if I use any vanity gear. Lately more often than not when making a character I choose female for gender, I like a more “conservative” look, I think it looks way cooler (for me anyway) to see a female character kicking ass, especially with a roguish look, and often I go with melee dps type classes.

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Bruno Brito

I make most of them akin to my own characters. I also have a preference for androginous characters, and very few games allow that.

Androginous punk inquisitors.

Yes.

Carlo Lacsina
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Carlo Lacsina

I usually like to keep things pretty simple, I usually only make some slight adjustments to the default character look and I usually just make a simple armor combo from common armor pieces that slightly changes the sillohette. Thats all really.

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angrakhan

Depends on the game. For modern genre games I go for the tactical stealth look if it’s possible. Bodysuit or ghillie suit, night vision goggles. Katana and/or sniper rifle.

Fantasy genre I want intimidating plate armor and a big 2h weapon.