Character Customization Overview

Discussion in 'Guild Wars 2 News' started by Unknown, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Unknown

    Unknown GW2PC Mod - Forever Unknown

    Nov 16, 2011
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    Guild Wars 2 PC Character Creation Overview

    In Guild Wars 2 character customization has certainly evolved since the first game. While many basic features such as hair, face, and build where involved in the original, Guild Wars 2 works to really open up the options to ensure it is easier to create characters that truly look unique and element that feeling that everyone around you looks the same, which is common in many other MMOs.

    To be totally fair, GW2 isn't the first game of its class to aim for really in-depth character creation. This distinction goes to “Aion”, which is known for its extraordinarily flexible character creation system. The customization in Aion was arguably the best thing about that title. The downside with Aion customization, however was that it was easy to make ridiculous abominations due to no restraint in just HOW FAR you could take customization.

    ArenaNet has made it clear they wish to strike a balance, allowing true customization while at the same time putting enough limits on it so that it doesn't allow the creation of creatures that just don't fit the world, either.

    To get a good look at what the new customization features are like, take a look at the video below from Wartower. The video goes through every aspect of race customization in detail and certainly offers a solid look at what we can expect in GW2.

    Race Customization

    From the very start of the video (00:21), we are presented with a basic “race selection screen”. This is pretty standard fare for most games, and from their we choose the class. About ten seconds later, we are into the good stuff.

    Humans and Norn

    The beginning of the video focuses on human and norn, which have fairly similar customization options.

    Guild Wars 2 allows height, hair styles, body builds, and even personal story customization. The hair styles in Guild Wars 2 vary from traditional to unique, and you can even sport an Afro (as seen in 1:33) showing just how much range there really is.

    Outside of hair styles and build, you can even choose unique scars, marks of battle, (as seen in 2:06), and even tattoos that set you apart from others in Tyria.

    The customization goes outside of just the basics too, and allows pretty tight control over character look. In 4:10 we see screen options for the noise that range from length, width at base, and even the height at the bridge. Almost all the features throughout the body have such elaborate detail choices as well.


    Starting at 13:12, we move into the Charr customization options. With the Charr we have hair, teeth, horns and even fur customization options that allow your Charr to really stand out. You can even create a slightly leaner looking charr, or a bulky warrior type as seen at 14:25.


    As with all the races, the Sylvari can change height, hair, nose shape, and more. Sylvari specific customization options include its natural leaf-armor (or skin) as seen at 16:29 when it changes color. The ear shapes and even whether you choice the leaf-like hair or maybe a tree-like stump instead are also unique options to this race.
    While we may think of Sylvari as a plant-like race, it doesn't mean they are stuck being nothing but basic green-looking folk. For a really good view of a colorful almost human-like Sylvari, tune to 18:47 in the video.
    The nice thing about the customization system in GW2, is they didn't focus on just one race while leaving out another. There is clearly balance as far as the depth of customization goes.


    The Asura have basic head, height, and skin color options. The biggest feature that is different with the Asura probably would be how much you can customize the ears (though all the races such as the Charr do allow some customization).

    One thing I do want to point out is that 19:15 they click on physique for the Asura and it informs us that this feature isn't in the demo right now.


    It doesn't appear, at least in this version, to go as far as Aion did with customization. In Aion you could even adjust every element of almost every muscle in the body, which allowed for the most detailed customization you could image. Is the lack of such super-customization a bad thing in GW2? Absolutely not, they struck a balance that allowed the game to keep realistic looking characters, while still allowing us to set them apart for one another.

    Another thing we need to keep in mind that the video was of a demo. This gives us an idea of what to expect from Guild Wars 2 but clearly as seen at 19:15, it is far from the finished product.

    Most Recent video showcasing Character Customization by ArenaNet, you can take a look at the new UI.

  2. Serendipity

    Serendipity Member

    Nov 28, 2011
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    I really like the looks of the customization features - I agree that it seems like they struck a good balance between plenty of options and staying within the scope of the game.
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