Character Customization: Give me sliders over slots anyday

  • Everything that is wrong with this system and then some


    Note: I am writing this based off from what I've saw in the alpha, beta, screenshots, images and what more Rare had shed on the matter (i.e. nothing)

    Windows Central wrote in Become a Pirate Legend in Sea of Thieves: Character creation, personal hideouts, 'raid' content, and more:

    The idea is that no two pirates will look the same, even if, like most players, you simply hit the "play now" button and go with whatever design you're given.

    This is a horrendous way to start such an open game- which is ironic considering how the dev wants you to make your own legend / be the pirate you want to be; but it wouldn't let you look like who you want to look like. What is even worse is the fact that there will be no way to change or to back out once you select the core character model. What I hate the most about this system is there is no going back to random character model you've seen X draws ago.

    Rare made the point that in many other games of this nature, players often simply stick with the default skin. In a game world that revolves around player-generated lore and personal legends, encountering pirates that look identical 75 percent of the time would potentially infringe upon that idea.

    I can't sufficiently stress how flawed this argument is and how it fails to understand the motivations behind why players usually skim through the character customization.

    Players usually do not stick with default skins. Look up play-throughs of Fallout 4, Skyrim and Dragon's Age Inquisition and you can see most people had simply used the preset model as a starting point to tweak to their desire.

    The only games that I've used the default models was in the Mass Effect Trilogy, Andromeda and Divinity Original Sin 2. In Divinity Original Sin 2, picking a default character had extra content or unique dialogue (two things that are not applicable to SoT), while the Mass Effect custom characters looks like a sack of potatoes compared to the beautifully rendered default characters and NPCs. Here is the thing, every NPC and character appears to be made from the same character customization system. Meaning your character will not look like out of place nor inferior.

    To clarify, people don't skim through customization out of laziness, it's to skim through disappointment. Rare, this randomization system will spoon-feed us disappointments.

    Instead of asking players to do the heavy lifting, spending hours to design a unique and memorable pirate face, Rare will do it for you

    If the technical alpha and closed beta are signs of the "heavy lifting" the game has to offer, I rather spend an hour of tweaking sliders than randomizing models over an hour and in great frustration end up compromising on something I had no intention of playing only because by then I realise the best draw I had was 8 draws ago. For the love of Kraken, I DO NOT want to go through that after waiting so long time for this game.

    Truth to be told, I suspect Rare is going with the random system because they either could not get it working or did not have the time to finish it - latter of which is worse because of the character being permanent.


    What can be done instead?

    Focus on maintaining uniqueness not through constrictions but through choice.
    I recommend this for example,

    1. Gender. From what I've saw in the screenshots, there is no filter for
    2. All players begin with 8 randomized characters, with the possibility of drawing another 8.
    3. Players can then change major features along the lines from a list of pre-defined assets available:
    • eye color
    • hair
    • nose shape
    • face shape
    • ears shape
    1. This is optional but if uniqueness is the goal, let players pull and stretch out like in Fallout 4 to customize their characters further. Bear in mind, Bethesda didn't add in numbers to these sliders so it'll highly unlikely to completely replicating another character model by simply "eye-ing" it.
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  • I agree.
    This is absolutely baffling and a reason why I have been critical over Rare's unwillingness to share basic information on the game.
    They've been touting this is as a player driven experience where you can customize your character to be anything you want. Now the embargo lifts and we find out that at the core, we'll never be able to design our character to fit our own style. We just have to pick from procedural/random generated characters.

    So now instead of spending an hour fine tuning a character that I will want to dedicate 500+ hours to building up wardrobe and customization options, I have to sit and click a random button until I get one that is "close enough" but will really always be a disappointment.

    Also agree that "running into the Jack Sparrow" character 100 times a day is a bad argument. This won't stop people from clicking random until they get one "close enough" then get whatever Jack Sparrow cosmetics they can. I've played numerous online games with character customization, people like to have their own unique style. People go to great lengths and spend hours customizing their characters to make sure they fit who they want to be and also have unique flair.
    For a game that spent so much time talking up customizing your own pirate, this is just confusing and disappointing.

    Sorry to be so negative, but yeesh.

  • @ant-heuser-kush
    That's fantastic for you.
    Basically every game with a character creator has presets and a randomize option.
    No one is suggesting removing the randomize button.
    This game that markets itself on customization won't even let me create a character I want.

  • @ant-heuser-kush but there is no reason still not to allow. others to customise just because you dont care what you look like. the fact is you can give a random selection and stikl guve the player the choice to adjust it.

  • While it does not give me the choices I thought would be given, it does not deter me from enjoying the game. It simply means I will be clicking that random button a lot until I find a basic load out I can work with.

  • @ant-heuser-kush and so we are!?! thats kinda what this thread is lol

  • I cant wait to try this thing from Rare. Every toon looks so interesting. I guess I'll peruse the candidates until I find one that resonates with my name. I'll know him when I see him.

    I'm glad Rare did this, giving some players options is giving them the option to look like c**p. This way there is a continuity in the characters and the world we play in. Having sliders could enable extremely distorted faces and bodies that clip through facial hair, hats, clothes, etc.
    This way everything continues to look so polished.

  • @ser-pineapples I honestly kind of enjoy the way that this character picker is going to work. You're going to go in with a specific overall character in mind and your not going to stop rerolling until you see someone who looks approximately like the idea you have in your head. This is a very good way for it to be, every pirate is going to now have imperfections and aren't all going to look like a slightly tweaked version of the one of the default bases. Also, who knows, you could always find a character different to what you had in mind and really like the look of them instead.

    Picking your randomized character is almost definitely going to be a couple hour sort of event before the game starts (if you care about your characters looks). I'm content with this because people will never get exactly what they want, but they will grow to like the pirate they end up picking (if they put in the effort of looking for the right one).

  • If not sliders I would say at least remove the random from the equation. Rare has clearly spent some time creating some very unique looking characters, and there is probably something most people could find and be happy with. The problem is that you have to reroll random options until you find something you like. An option that would make it easier for players to choose a character would be just to have filters where you choose different traits such as age, gender, body type, etc. That way you can see all your options without wasting time.

  • Sea of Thieves Launch Play-Through: Days 1-16

    • PgDn ad absurdum.

    Join us next time for our new keyboard unboxing!

  • "The idea is that no two pirates will look the same, even if, like most players, you simply hit the "play now" button and go with whatever design you're given."

    This is false. I've just seen a youtube video of 5 minutes of new characters reroll and the same looking characters are very frequent. Sometimes the only difference is one tattoo or so but the rest is completely the same. Same face, same hair etc. Not to mention scrolling through characters is soooooo slow... This will be very frustrating start of the game for me. I didn't see a single character I'd like. There was always some detail that I wish I could change.

  • They could have made a system that you get randomized characters but can "prefer" some of them for the system to generate more like the ones you've prefered.

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