Avatar creation. How do you do it?

I’ll admit it. I can be an altoholic when it comes to MMOs, and I spend a great deal deciding how will each of them look and what armor will they wear. You see, while I like to consider myself a person capable of focusing on the inside, I do want to make sure my characters look awesome according to certain criteria. But what could those criteria be?

Aster the guardian has gone through a lot of changes.

 

How original is it?

For many years, I hated having female characters that looked like your typical, sexy warrior or mage found everywhere, so I tried very hard to stay away from that. Phantasy Star Online provided me the opportunity to create certain female mage (or Force, as they are called in that game) that I simply called Jess.

Jess’ second incarnation in Phantasy Star Universe.

To many players, a character like Jess would have been a joke character, to the point that I was called names (you can imagine which kind) just because she was chubbier than the average character. As I played other MMOs, I tried to replicate this plum, colorful girl, which at some points was impossible due to the limit of some games’ body build selection. Jess isn’t the only character I have tried to replicate; Aster has now become my main choice when I need to create someone.

Aster’s original look in Forsake World

Can you relate to it?

I’ve heard a lot of people complain that they can’t relate to X or Y character in a game, and that’s something that never bothered me. If I cared about a video game character, I did in the same way I cared for my favorite literary or movie characters. I didn’t need to have a personal connection or something to relate with them to like them. However, that changed after I played Dragon Age. I decided to remake my female mage (called Jess, unsurprisingly) into a male elf after finding out I could romance people of the same sex. For the first time, I started making decisions based on what I would do if I was the hero instead of how I think the hero would react. This changed my perspective on character creations, to the point that I rarely create female characters for the sole fact that I can’t relate to them. Well, not completely at least.

 

Kiram the ranger on the left, Xendell the necromancer on the right.

How good does it look?

Touching the subject of boys who play girl characters, a very common response is “If I am going to look at someone’s ass for hundreds of hours, I’d prefer it was a woman’s. Is that a shallow, if valid view? I already mentioned that the few girls I make try to stay away from the typical sexy avatar, but the truth is that most of my male characters are pretty boys, and if I can get them shirtless AND fight for battle, I’ll go for it. And I like it that way.

Warrior, mesmer and norn, oh my!

 

In the end…?

 

In the end, the avatar you create is yours and yours only. It doesn’t matter the reason you choose to make your character look the way it looks, as long as you have fun with your character. Do you want to make it look like you? Go for it. Do you want to make it look like your favorite sayan? Go for it. Do you want to make a character as different from you as possible for the experience? Go for it. Do you want to make a sex symbol that distracts you more than it helps you fight trolls or aliens? Go for it. You don’t care about your avatar and just want to kill trolls or aliens? It’s your gaming experience! Go for it. Just have fun

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2 thoughts on “Avatar creation. How do you do it?

  1. Great post and I can relate to a lot of what you say here. I’m a female gamer and I have characters of both sexes, funnily enough, in light of your preferences, all of my male characters are conservatively dressed, but at least half of my female characters opt for a skimpy look. I like to think that the skimpiness isn’t a distraction to me, but rather a distraction to my opponent – nobody can resist a busty Norn maiden in a thong battle skirt and basque – score 1 to me!

    I think one of the things that I noticed most with my oldest, most played characters is that, even though I have the tools to do so, I can’t change their looks to fix things that I see as flaws. They are fixed in my mind as they are. For example, my main (a sylvari with a long ponytail) can’t wear the majority of back pieces due to terrible clipping. I’ve tried to change her hair style to allow me to wear them, but it just isn’t her any more and it feels wrong.

    Armour and dyes are much easier to adjust, but once I’m used to the face/hair/build of a character I can’t change it.

  2. I can understand that. My human ranger (the oldest character in my account) has kept the same look for the longest time, and now that I “cut his hair”, he seems like a stranger to me. I think I’m letting his hair grow back!

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