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Thread: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

  1. #1
    Staff :: Developer Sarsilas's Avatar
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    Default Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Hello everyone!

    Our art team is currently at a crossroads, and we would like your blessing to figure out which path we continue down for the future.

    We cannot reveal too much information regarding this project as it is in its very early, tentative stages, and we do not want to give out information we may have to go back on later. However, I will still answer questions regarding specifics that I know will not change if I can.

    This currently only applies to humans, elves, half-giants, and fiends. It may apply to other bipedal races in the future, but never to dragons. Please keep that in mind with your vote.

    All that being said, I propose to you a question. Please vote in the poll above to answer, and discuss in the replies.

    Given the choice between these options, please tell us what you would prefer.

    1. I would prefer to keep my character's design exactly as is, grandfathered into a new system, at the expense of losing more quality and greater customization options for my character. My character will still be affected by the changes on its model and small details, but I get to keep my exact old textures grandfathered in. I recognise that by choosing grandfathering, I will not get the option to redesign my character.

    2. I would prefer greater options for character creation and higher quality, at the expense of having to redesign my current character. The redesign will be free to all affected characters as if you used a redesign token. You will be able to recreate your current character's design nearly exactly, but there will be minor differences. I am not required to replicate my old design if I do not wish, either.

    My avatar was drawn by the generous Scaleeth.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    I believe option 2 will be the best choice for the future of istaria for biped races.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    I haven't been present for a while in Istaria, but if we do get improved character visuals, its a step in, what i believe to be, the right direction for the game in my honest opinion. :)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Why would anyone vote for option 1? I don't see any positive reason for it.



  5. #5
    Staff :: Developer Sarsilas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    We try our absolute best not to change characters that have been designed. Even if we believe it is for the greater good, we do not want to upset our players if it is in any way avoidable.

    Therefore, we wanted to ask and offer the option no matter how much we felt the majority would be one way or another. We always promise not to touch your characters, so when we do, we let you all choose.

    Essentially, when it comes to changing your characters' actual design, unless it's unavoidable, we are at your bidding.

    My avatar was drawn by the generous Scaleeth.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Why not both?

    If I understand the options correctly, option 1 is "keep my char as it is, I can't redesign it, but I am going to see minor tweak/changes/updates". option 2 is "we will need to redesign our characters with the new tweaks in place, can probably get close to the old appearance should I wish too".

    Give everyone the ability to do the 1 time redesign, but for existing characters, have it "start" at, or default to, the characters' existing settings (positions on all of the sliders for everything like eyes/hair/portliness/etc). Then you can either just "accept" those options (Your option 1), or move the sliders and make changes should you choose to (your option 2), then click "accept" and done.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Agreed with Guaran, option 2 is the better one but if it's a free redesign maybe either do as mentioned or have it so it's simply a free token per character to everyone; we can choose to use it or not and when we can. So even 3 years after whatever revamp happens has occurred, maybe someone would decide they're bored with their old look and want the shiny new things.

    I think I have something similar to this on one of my characters in Realm Reborn; I forget why but there was something that gave an appearance change but I didn't want to. It's annoying admittedly because each time I log in on that character it asks if I want to change appearance but the option is just there for whenever/if I ever want it.
    Shadria: Hatchling 22/24/0 - Intorqueo: Hatchling 5/3/0 - Affina: Saris - Pevil: Ancient Lunus 100/100/57 - Zordraak: Hatchling 5/3/0

  8. #8
    Staff :: Developer Sarsilas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    It's not as simple as inferred, unfortunately.

    The main difference between the two options is a change in UV map that would end up spiraling into changes in how the customization works. For those unaware, the 'UV map' of a model is how the 3D space is mapped to a 2D texture.

    With option 1, we would maintain the current UV map and be locked to some certain customization options. Current appearance choices would be saved in our appearance options like NPC textures - you cannot choose them anymore, but they exist behind the scenes and can appear when manually assigned (or previously assigned). Old characters would look very similar as they would still use old precolored/preset textures placed on a new model. Redesigns would force a full reset and move into the new system, and prevent you from using the grandfathered options in any capacity.

    The new model would be forced to align to the poorly made original UV map, preventing us from adding more appearance options and update the resolution of some sections of the character, therefore sacrificing some quality in exchange for near-perfect grandfathering.

    Option 2 would allow us to be more creative with our update by changing the UV map. We could move things around and designate new areas for new textures, allowing for more creativity, more options, and overall higher quality. However, these changes will prevent us from offering backwards compatibility. If we let people use the original textures, you would end up with something like a big eye texture on your cheek and your eyes would probably be black or some other mishmash of other textures. Therefore, we would have to force everyone to redesign whether they want to or not.

    We cannot simply set your options to what they were before, as your previous options would no longer exist. Instead of having "Face 1", you're choosing "Face 1, Body 3, Skin Tone 4".

    A suggestion was made to save current appearance options in an export of our database so you can look up your character's design, compare it to a reference image of what once was, and then try to replicate what you had before. You should, if all goes well, be able to get very close to the design of your character. But naturally, it will not be exact. (Skin tones slightly different, textures will be updated so they will look a bit different, etc)

    My avatar was drawn by the generous Scaleeth.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Ok if i see it correctly.

    You have two options to go with your redesign. But they will apply to all.

    So the voting now will be If you go for as little as possible. Or give us the more options for redesign what then more or less has to happen. but we all will go one road or the other.

    -------------

    AS for me playing a dwarf it probably doesn't matter ad all. covered from head to tow in chain most of the time. Also I wasn't really to pacticular when i was designing. and the chooise was mostly beard and size any how.

    So for me let try the second option. but show us some pictures before really implementing it.

    oldin on order.

  10. #10
    Staff :: Developer Sarsilas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Effectively, we will be updating the graphical fidelity of the models of bipeds. Adding eyes that can actually blink / aren't painted on, for instance.

    You will be able to recreate your design faithfully, but the character may look a little different due to how the system would work ( ex. textures that are not pre-colored, and therefore slight differences in the skin tone). However facial shape, hair shapes, beard shapes, and so on, would be very faithful to the original design, just higher quality.

    Unfortunately, we cannot really show pictures before implementing it. If we were far enough along to show images of how it works, then that is many hundreds of hours of work done - that is why we are asking very early, before we have much done and nothing far enough along to show. We need to know now whether it is okay in the eyes of our players to force people to redesign, essentially, to, in return, give greater options and quality.

    What I can promise is that any changes we do we will try our absolute best to remain faithful to our current game's design options. Effectively, you are looking at the difference between choosing a preset skin and being able to choose face texture / body texture / skin tone.

    My avatar was drawn by the generous Scaleeth.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarsilas View Post
    It's not as simple as inferred, unfortunately.

    The main difference between the two options is a change in UV map that would end up spiraling into changes in how the customization works. For those unaware, the 'UV map' of a model is how the 3D space is mapped to a 2D texture.

    With option 1, we would maintain the current UV map and be locked to some certain customization options. Current appearance choices would be saved in our appearance options like NPC textures - you cannot choose them anymore, but they exist behind the scenes and can appear when manually assigned (or previously assigned). Old characters would look very similar as they would still use old precolored/preset textures placed on a new model. Redesigns would force a full reset and move into the new system, and prevent you from using the grandfathered options in any capacity.

    The new model would be forced to align to the poorly made original UV map, preventing us from adding more appearance options and update the resolution of some sections of the character, therefore sacrificing some quality in exchange for near-perfect grandfathering.

    Option 2 would allow us to be more creative with our update by changing the UV map. We could move things around and designate new areas for new textures, allowing for more creativity, more options, and overall higher quality. However, these changes will prevent us from offering backwards compatibility. If we let people use the original textures, you would end up with something like a big eye texture on your cheek and your eyes would probably be black or some other mishmash of other textures. Therefore, we would have to force everyone to redesign whether they want to or not.

    We cannot simply set your options to what they were before, as your previous options would no longer exist. Instead of having "Face 1", you're choosing "Face 1, Body 3, Skin Tone 4".

    A suggestion was made to save current appearance options in an export of our database so you can look up your character's design, compare it to a reference image of what once was, and then try to replicate what you had before. You should, if all goes well, be able to get very close to the design of your character. But naturally, it will not be exact. (Skin tones slightly different, textures will be updated so they will look a bit different, etc)
    Thank you for this explanation. This is the information needed to really make an informed decision. (I will vote now :) )

  12. #12

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    I think it would be best if in the character change it would read the current character then the player can choose which parts to change or leave it as it was choosen before. But if you nail me on it i'll choose option 2.
    Chajanum Siamun (Chaos)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    To be honest some of the explanation is hard for me to understand, but if possible it would be nice if my fiend toon had a distinctive body shape so that even if you glance at her and her skin is covered with armor you would see some difference between her and an elf or a human physique. Also the tail is not very interesting :) Just a thought....
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    Option #2, definitely. Any, ANY update to graphics (no matter how small) is a huge step in the right direction. Risking small changes to my current character design is so worth it, I don't even consider it a risk.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    been away a long time but I'd vote for #2
    Cauri BloodBane - Order
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Talk to the Team: Character Visuals

    I would also be for option 2, been hoping for it for a long time. :)
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