Racial appearance

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Artistic style

Ashes of Creation will have a higher graphical fidelity than most western games. It will not be too stylized or "cartoony".[1]

We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art.[1]Steven Sharif

Artistic influences on the races

You will see in the different races that are available from a player character standpoint a lot of different influences that reflect many cultures in the world: Not just European, not just Africa, not Mesoamerican. These cultures are going to be present in many of the races.[9]Steven Sharif

The idea is just to find a base component in the real world as a starting point and then to begin to fantasize.[3]Steven Sharif

Character racial appearance

Vaelune character appearance options.[10]

There is a great variation that's going to be available from a character standpoint when creating your character, especially around the face. Whether it be the shape of the jawline, the cheeks, the ears, the nose, the lips. You know we want to provide a lot of options and an agency to the player to customize their character appearance.[10]Steven Sharif

Vaelune beard appearance options.[12]

We want there to be a lot of room for people to manifest their own identity, to role play how they want to from an appearance standpoint. There's going to be parameters within which you will be able to customize a character. We want the culture and the identity of the races to exist in a range that makes them easily identifiable from other players and other cultures. So, because of that, we have to have a spectrum you can exist on. There will be a lot of hair variants you can do, body art tattoos that you can apply. You'll be able to play with the scales of the facial structure, the bones, the height, width, the body fat percentage. You'll be able to add body hair on different parts of the body. If you want to have hair on your feet, you can dial that up.[13]Steven Sharif

Character appearance can be customized in the character creator (CC)[14] and via in-game salons/barbershops.[15]

  • Character models are focused on realism.[16]
  • A player will see a generic character before customization.[17]
  • Character designs will have influences from a wide range of cultures, such as European, African and Asian.[18]
  • Lolis will not be in the game.[19]

Sliders will offer flexibility in customization.[20] There will be limits to the amount of deformation possible for a character based on their race.[21]

  • Body type.[22][21]
    • Overweight, skinny, muscular.[23]
    • Body fat percentage.[13]
    • Bone structure.[13]
    • Height.[13]
      • You can't have a one inch tall character.[24]
    • Width.[13]
    • There will be "boobie sliders".[25][24]
      • The scale is not going to be ridiculous.[22]
    • Facial structure.[26][13]
      • Shape of the jawline/chin, cheeks, ears, nose, lips.[22][10]

Adjustments will allow a character to appear more feminine or masculine.[22]

  • These are relative to the character's race.[22]
    • Female Dwarven beards will not match that of the male. It will be more of a braided option that is not as voluminous.[13]

Character appearance is able to be saved to hard disc.[28]

A "default player appearance" may be automatically applied during sieges or other large scale battles to improve client-side performance.[29][30][31]

Dünir dwarven appearance

Facial hair is characteristic of the Dünir, not the Niküa.[13]

Female Dwarven beards will not match that of the male. It will be more of a braided option that is not as voluminous.[13]

Tulnar appearance

Outdated Tulnar silhouettes. These do not represent the current state of game design.[32][33]

Tulnar is the only race with the capability to adjust racial appearance in a significant manner.[34]

  • Tulnar race does not have sub-types, instead, players will be able to customize the appearance of Tulnar characters.[35]
  • Players will have dials to adjust the reptilian, mammalian, humanoid, and other attributes of their Tulnar character in the Character creator.[36]
    • Mammalian Tulnar may have snout features, fur and inverted knees.[37]
    • Reptilian Tulnar may have more circular eyes and head shape, and scaly skin.[37]
  • Tulnar do not equal furries.[38]
    • There are bestial components that can be scaled up when creating a Tulnar character.[38]

Tulnar do not equal furries, but there are definitely some bestial components that you can scale up when you're creating your Tulnar character, so you could max that setting I guess. Whether or not that would give you what you would think of as a furry, I guess it's going to be up to your interpretation of what a Furry is.[38]Steven Sharif

Q: Will character creator allow us to make Tulnar that might look somewhat like Kobolds from Pathfinder or DnD?
A: I wouldn't say exactly, but there's definitely elements of Kobolds that you could incorporate in a character creator with the Tulnar, yes.[39]Steven Sharif

Weapon and armor appearance

Armor racial appearances in early Alpha-1.[40]

Violet light and myself are wearing exactly the same armor set right: Same stats, same everything, but it drops for her it looks one way, it drops for me it looks another way; and... a small part of that is gender, but then the other part of it is race. So because I was a Vaelune in that playthrough my armor was in the Vaelune style; and when she picked it up it was in the elven style because she was an elf. So that kind of gives you an example of sort of the breadth of looks that we're going for and how we kind of try to capture like who you are as as a character and kind of allow you to kind of build your look that way.[41]Jeffrey Bard

Weapons and armor are not race locked, but armor will take on a racial appearance.[43][44]

The customization of equipment per race is really focused on Armor sets not Weapon props. Weapon props will, from a model standpoint, will translate pretty one-to-one across the races.[45]Steven Sharif

Let's say for example you have the Eagle set or something, right: The Eagle set has in art, it has a thematic design that's going to include certain attachments to the armor. It's going to include color palette and theme. It's going to have some aspects to it that define it as the Eagle set, right. When a Elf wears the Eagle set or when an Orc wears the Eagle set, you obviously have two different cultures there; and you don't want to stomp out that culture by assigning a de facto 'This is the Eagle set and this is how it looks on everybody.' What we want to have is cultural influences play a role in showing how that set looks.[45]Steven Sharif

When you say, what if I'm an Orc but want to look like an Elf and I want my Eagle set to be the Elf representation? Well the issue becomes there that you know Orcs have a different organic model. You know, their body is different than that of the Elf. So, from a scope-creep standpoint, it's one thing to add different influences that represent the cultures that are donning the armor; it's another thing to adapt each influence as a matrix that can be worn pretty much by everything. From a scope perspective, that's a very difficult task for the character artists to kind of tackle. So instead what we've done is, in order to facilitate a variety of cultural representation between the races but allow for the sharing of assets like different armor sets, we give different representations of those armor sets to each race.[46]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse modular armor

Kaelar base level Ashes of Creation Apocalypse robe set.

You can kind of start to see like some of the components that we put together that we can mix and match and kind of make new armors from. This is kind of like the base chassis for all of that.[47]Jeffrey Bard

This is what we call our t-shirt and pants. So this gives you a perfect example of just how the most basic you'll ever look in alpha. So even our most basic look, we're really trying to bring it and put a lot of detail in it.[48]Mat Broome

Your base look for the character can be pretty boring, but what Steven gave us a challenge with from day one was to make sure even the base look, the t-shirt and pants, looked amazing... This is your zero character, if you will... Then you can go in and customize everything from the shoulder pads to the elbow pads, the belt that goes around them; do you want duel belts, you want to harness the clothes in the front. So every piece you see on here you can actually customize that at the front end. So what we do is we scale that up from zero, ten and twenty... We scale it up and we customize it; and then I want to really stress that each one of those looks as you progress is different. We're not just repurposing the same armor pieces. We're making unique sets that complement each other as you progress.[47]Mat Broome

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse will have three different armor themes: Plate, leather and robe.[48]

You can actually have three different types of themes: You have plate, you'll have leather and you'll have robe. So for every armor set that we're showing at each one of those tiers, you're actually gonna have nine unique looks to pick from.[48]Mat Broome

Racial skins

Racial skins enable a player to change their character's racial appearance.[50][51]

  • Racial skins transform the race of the character to that skin. The original racial appearance of the character is entirely replaced.[52]
  • Racial skins can be toggled on and off.[51]

You're changing your race over to that, which means that you won't look uniquely different if you were a Vek angel or a Human angel.[52]Steven Sharif

Racial skins are not costumes. This means that armor and character customization is possible on these.[53]

  • Skin color customization.[54]
  • Racial skins appear along with any costume appearances.[55]

There are plans to create other racial skins.[56]

  • Some potential future ideas include undead and werewolf (lycan) skins.[57]

Racial influence on node development

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[58]

What has kind of been unlocked is the ability to do things more dynamically and more procedurally so that when a node spawns there is the opportunity to have different layouts and have different buildings and have different architectures; and each node starts to feel like its own place, so it's not the same node over and over again. Now we've got a node that kind of evolves and changes depending on where it's at and what the environment is and what race has procced it.[59]Jeffrey Bard

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[60]

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py’rai would have a Py’rai village with Py’rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py’rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py’rai narrative.[61]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py’Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py’Rai Node.[62]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[59][63]

Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor.[63]Jeffrey Bard

All nodes whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present.[66]Steven Sharif

Cultural influences bring more than just the aesthetic and storyline changes - benefits are granted to the dominant culture within that node's Zone of influence.[62]

  • There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[67]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[67]Steven Sharif

Racial mounts

Characters are able to obtain racial mounts via a quest in that race's starting area.[68][69]

Each starting area will have a different quest line that will yield a different type of starting mount. But by default you don't just choose you know human and here you get a horse, so to speak. Because you can be a human in our game and choose to start in a different racial area- at a different Divine Gateway- and as such then you could follow the quest line that gives you the Orc mount.[68]Steven Sharif

Racial influence on caravans

Personal (Self-directed/player driven) caravans are initiated by the player, who essentially "becomes the caravan". These are land-based and water-based (naval caravans) that the player drives and directs.[70][71]

  • These are currently designed for a single driver.[72]
  • Personal caravans can be launched from any point of storage.[73]
  • Personal caravans are capable of transitioning to/from naval caravans.[70][74]
  • Personal caravans will come in varying sizes and capacities.[70]
  • By default player caravans will have a racial appearance that influences the types of animals that are moving the caravan.[70]

Racial animations

There will be some animations that add flavor to specific races and classes, but generally animations will be reused as much as possible to decrease development time.[75]

We will have things that are known as sort of like racial abilities which will key into the class that you've chosen and those will almost certainly have animations that are kind of like one-offs that are associated with that class. They'll help you get some more like you know Ren'Kai flavor or some more Empyrean flavor but we have to reuse animations as much as possible in order to get to the finish line here so it'd be a super nice thing to do but probably not in the cards.[75]Jeffrey Bard

See also

References

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  2. Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:28:08).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (3:47:17).
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:03:21).
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  28. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (28:22).
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  30. Livestream, November 22 2019 (1:08:05).
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  33. Livestream, 30 May 2017 (16:51).
  34. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (20:17).
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  37. 37.0 37.1 Interview, 15 April 2019 (20:15).
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  54. character colors.jpg
  55. costumes and skins.jpg
  56. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
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  69. racial mounts.jpg
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  72. caravan-driver.png
  73. personal caravan launch points.png
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