EVE Online – new character creation system
CCP recently release a few videos with their latest character creation system for EVE Online. The system is quite pretty impressive and it’s one of the stages of the development to prepare the game for the huge expansion, Walk in Stations – Incarna. The age of Incarna is nearly upon us!
As stated in that devblog there are quite a few things in this version of the character creator that should be considered work in progress (WIP), this post will attempt to list the things that we already know are not working correctly and what sort of feedback we are looking for at this stage of development. I will do my best to update the OP with useful data so please check it out before posting to see if there has been an update.
Does that mean you are releasing Incarna now?
No, just characters. This is a major overhaul in terms of art and technology, and paves the way for allowing you to explore the corridors of space stations in subsequent expansion. Yes, just to be clear, Incarna, the expansion where you can walk around as an avatar is not coming out this winter, but the first release of it is planned to come out next summer, in 2011. However, in the same way we introduced new planet graphics in Dominion and then Planetary Interaction one expansion later, we are introducing updated avatar graphics now in Incursion.
Redoing the characters of EVE Online is a major task. Not just technically, but also in terms of art and story. We tried to stay true to the spirit and style of each race and bloodline, while improving and refining the style and, in a way, correcting the mistakes of the past. However, we are very much aware that we are changing the face of your avatars. The characters have represented you since you started playing the game, and we realize that many have strong emotional ties with the character or look that they had created. Famous personas from the EVE community will have a brand-new face. We strived to approach the issue with the utmost respect and professionalism, but certainly many players will not agree with the changes that we‘ve made to their races or bloodlines. It will be impossible to create something new that the entire population of EVE players will agree with. We truly hope that, through the customization tools and high-fidelity assets, you will be able to re-forge your favorite characters to your liking and create a new and improved version of your online self. The assets we are replacing are some of the oldest in the game. Most of our avatars were built in 2001-2003. That‘s a very long time ago. Nokia banana phones were still considered cool and futuristic. Some of our avatars have earplugs with wires, akin to bluetooth headsets, as those were considered futuristic as well. Obviously, we need to move on and update these characters.
Do I have to change my avatar?
Yes, all existing characters will need to have their portraits redone. While the new character models are based off the same backstory and mood as the old characters, the new characters are more hyperrealistic, less cartoony, and of course, higher fidelity. They are capable of expressing emotion, animating, wearing a broad range of clothing, and they allow for deep customization and accessorization (if that‘s even a word). They also have feet, which is a huge evolutionary step, made possible due to them having feet.