Other character customization options we’d like to see in Shadowlands
Let me be clear — the character customization options we’re seeing in Shadowlands are wonderful, and I not only enthusiastically support them, I want more, for I am a greedy and covetous soul who always wants more no matter what. And there are more options we could potentially have!
If you’d told me two years ago we’d have the variety of options we’re seeing in Shadowlands I would have disbelieved you. But here we are, and I’m going to say that yes, these are all great — but why settle for great when you could have utterly amazing?
Here are some ideas for other options we could have for character customization in World of Warcraft. Because we’re worth it.
Let me be scrawny or plump as I choose
Okay, so I’ve been playing Star Trek Online a fair bit. One of the things it, and several other MMO’s I’ve played, offer the player is a wide assortment of options in terms of body configuration. I’m not saying we have to go the route of Conan Exiles here — look it up, it’s not PG to link to it — but imagine being able to decide on things like height and build, and even specifics like the length of your legs vs. your torso. My current favorite captain in Starfleet is an extremely tall Vulcan who’d look normal in the WNBA, while my Klingon is short and round because I like the idea of a Klingon who looks kind of like a Pandaren.
I’ve always said I think it’s weird when I tried to play a Human Mage that he was so very swole. Like, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to play a Swolecerer if that’s what you want to do, but for myself, I prefer my magical folks to be on the thin and reedy side. I spend my time reading books, not wearing heavy armor and swinging a sword around.
Imagine the world we could have. Short Night Elves. Tall Gnomes (who are of course still short, just tall for Gnomes), thin Pandaren, chubby Worgen.
All of these and more could be ours. All we need is the vision to make it happen.
I personally love Kul Tiran models, I’m super excited they exist, but why do we only get to be a little thick around the middle on one race? You going to tell me there aren’t any heavy Elves? Letting us control our height and build in more detail would be awesome. And for that matter, there are different ways to be muscular — Dwayne Johnson and Jason Momoa do not have the same body type, and neither of them are built like Idis Elba or Henry Cavill. Letting us have more fine control over our characters and their bodies should remain within certain parameters — the shortest Orc in the world is probably way, way taller than the tallest Dwarf — but it could be a sight more flexible than it currently is.
If I’m playing a Paladin, I want her to look like she could conceivably pick up that gigantic hammer you have her swinging.
Make my body a canvas
I know we’ve got some tattoo and scar options, and a few more are coming in Shadowlands, but I’m literally always going to support more of them. If you’re roleplaying as a pirate and you can’t have any tattoos or scars, what are you even doing? If you’ve ever made a guild tabard in WoW you know the kind of interface for tattoos I’m thinking about — something with a list of locations you could select and images you could get, from the ridiculous (a big heart with MOM on it) to the more esoteric (a series of trefoils, eagle claws, maybe a lion roaring) in a similar interface.
I mean, if you’ve played Dragon Age Inquisition you know how this could go. It shouldn’t be that hard to adapt something like this in 2020. Scars could be limited to a few locations or more broadly added, although I personally wouldn’t mind a more open allowance of the feature I can think of reasons why you’d want to be careful with it at first.
Hair, horns, eyes, oh my
One thing we’re seeing with the new character customization options is a broader need for different kinds of hair. Not just more hairstyles (every single race absolutely needs this) and not just more and more varied hair colors (pink-haired Draenei, bright electric blue pigtails for my Orc Hunter, etc) but things like curly hair, ringlets, and other kinds of hair besides long straight hair. Frizzy hair, wavy hair, thick hair, and of course we’ll need hairstyles that work with that kind of hair more effectively.
I mean, if you have extremely thick and naturally tightly curled hair, some hairstyles just won’t work on you.
Also, while we’re talking about this, races with other features like horns and tusks? Yeah, we need more of those, too. More types of tusks for Orcs and Trolls, different patterns of canines for Worgen, a wider variety of horns and tendrils for Draenei, all that kind of thing. It’s not strictly speaking a hairstyle, but they’re avenues for customization and they should be included in the options here. Letting your Orc decide to have a broken off tusk, or your Draenei to select larger, more forward curving horns, should absolutely be a thing.
While we’re at it? A lot of modern games have various ways to select eye color, and have had since the early 2000’s. Playing Mass Effect Andromeda the other day (yes, I still play and enjoy that game) I was struck by how wonderful the eye color options were, with a ring for hues and a box for brightness and contrast options, and both inner and outer iris options. There’s no reason we couldn’t have those options in WoW nowadays.
There are more possibilities — Worgen, Pandaren and Tauren could all get options involving their fur or hair, for example, and I’d love to be able to choose the older, more bestial forms for my Worgen. But for now this is enough to muse about.
What we’re getting in Shadowlands is great. But like I said — why settle for great when you could have utterly amazing?
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