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The latest Elder Scrolls Online trailer from ZeniMax gives us a peek at the MMO's character creation tools. It seems that players will have as much control over their character's appearance as they would in any of the single-player Elder Scrolls games.
"We have a dedicated team of character artists who have spent a considerable amount of time and energy developing this for the players because we understand how important it is," said art director Jared Carr in the trailer. "I think you can really see that dedication when you create a character."
Many MMOs give you very little control over your character's physique. For example, all the male human characters in World of Warcraft are body builders with six-packs while the females are busty supermodels. ESO, however, lets you make skinny or overweight characters. The height for every race is adjustable as well. If you're a very meticulous designer, you can even change more specific dimensions like the thickness of the character's arms, the width of their shoulders or the size of their hands.
I'm sure a lot of players will still opt for idealized bodies. That seems to be the case in other MMO's with powerful character creators. Still, I like knowing that I can make a warrior named RefrigeratorPerry and give him the full physical resemblance to the former Chicago Bears great.
The character creator provides plenty of options for customizing your character's face as well. You can decorate them with several hairstyles, markings and other adornments. Again, the option to adjust individual dimensions and parts of the face is there as well. Adjustable attributes seen in the trailer include cheekbone height, chin size and even age.
ZeniMax has clearly created a very powerful tool for players here. My only issue with character creators this robust is that the feature gets overlooked when I'm rushing to jump into the game for the first time. I spent a good ten seconds making my Skyrim character. It would be great if ZeniMax took a page from Saints Row 4 developer Volition's playbook and released the character creator tool as a standalone product before the game's launch. It would allow players to perfect their looks and then import them into the game itself. Unfortunately, ZeniMax hasn't announced any plans of that sort.
If you've got any strong opinions about character creations, ZeniMax says you should share them on their Facebook page.