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[MMO Quick Thoughts] What are the major factors behind the range of character customisation options?

So, a bit of me assumes there are a couple of guidelines behind the art of designing character models, primarily for customisation by players in MMOs, as opposed to designing a protagonist or antagonist for a storyline. As a non-designer, I’m presuming the following factors.

  1. Design consistent with the art style of the game
  2. Functional shit – skeleton/animation
  3. Something players will be happy playing (‘happy playing’ here covers a range of things from ‘connects to the character’ to ‘likes looking at their butt’)
  4. But not playable options need to be equally as attractive/played by all players (kinda impossible to achieve anyway)
  5. Where you have races, the design of that race communicates multiple bits of information to other players AND the player that picked them
  6. Or possible, no 4 is wrong – in order to justify time spent designing each model/texture/frame/ and animating that stuff, all the models that players can chose from need to be thought of as having a chance of being used a bit? Internal prioritising of resources could easily lead to this?
  7. Building off point 3, customisation is something many players like to do (I know some people who hit random and then create, but many others who will plan their characters out months in advance.)
  8. Something the designers themselves are inspired to create.

This is not the most eloquent list, but a good starting point for discussion. Am I way off base with this? Are there more points I should add?

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