New character models

Discussion in 'General Gameplay Discussion' started by Sturmlocke, Feb 17, 2022.

  1. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Edit picture below this text: Drastically changed the hairstyle on the head of both chars, the beard of the male char, added more polygons to both faces in order to make them a bit rounder, tried to cover up neck glitches (see post from Tom in this thread), added more visible wrinkels to the face of the male char, subtle retouch of the female chars face with a mix of matt and shiny finish, added a bit of the ambient occlusion effect to both chars faces, retouched female chars eyes for a bigger impact (enhanced eyelines etc.) and a bit more.
    Edit picture below this text: New hairstyle for the female char, mostly the same changes as seen in the picture above for the female char. Male char untouched.
    Edit picture below this text (wife on mount): Added another example, this time just changing my wifes female character head and hair. Subtle change. New hairstyle, a slight increase of polygons for the face, a bit of better looking "makeup" and a bit of ambient occlusion effect to the face, a slighty better shadowing, added a bit of shine to the top of the head.
    ...versus her original char below this text (unctouched):
    Edit picture below this text: Another example - new hair and makeup customization options would go a looong way. The face merely retouched a bit without changing the original design too much. Same as the pics further above. Made the face a bit rounder and more "cute" looking. This look could be targeted at the ppl that prefer the alternate character models, for example. Simply upgrading the hair and adding more character customization options would allow for players to create their own look and feel.
    Edit pic below this text: In this case, only the hair was changed and everything else left pretty much untouched (sharpened her face a bit). Merely updating the hair graphics and adding more hairstyles already improves the visual appeal of our chars. Minimal change, less work, big improvement.
    Edit picture above this text (blondie): Ofc you could also go crazy and do something cute looking like this, depending on what look and feel you're going after. For comparisons sake, a drastically different face and hairstyle after this text:
    For comparisons sake, an older version of the gal that you see above - below this text:
    And now comes my male wizard, see below:
    Edit two pictures above: Added my own char because my wife bugged me about it. Added more polygones to my bald head, higher-res and sharper face skin with more details, played with contrast and black levels, improved and high-res beard, added a little bit of "shine" to the face since the char is in the water.
    Edit picture above this text: Improved the hair of this halfelf in order to make it more like in Lord of the Rings, improved facial skin and texture a bit, improved facial animation a bit, removed shiney effect on face and changed it to a more matt-look in order to make the char look less like a plastic doll, added a bit of subtle shadow effects to the face and neck, sharpened the upper body and tried to enhance the lowres skin (now you can actually see the rib bones, nipples and more). Very basic and subtle enhancement, huge effect.
    Edit female picture above: Another halfelf with drastic changes to the hair, shading of the top hair part, shadows in the face and neck, improved face details like freckles and facial wrinkles when smiling, added a few more polygons to the face, retouched the facial form and lips, made the eyes much bigger (in order to appeal the alternate model fanbase), added a lot of makeup to the eye and cheek section, played with contrast and black levels on the face in order to showcase the makeup look more etc. This type of char should appeal more to the soga community and could be realised just by adding more customization options in the character creation menu.
    Edit picture above: Only changed the hair and a tiiiny retouch of the face. Added some special effects (sand etc.) in order to give this shot a special vibe. <3 The Sinking Sands, questing there as of this writing. Went with curly hair this time around.
    Yet another edit for the picture above this text: See page 4 of this thread for more details.
    Edit blondie above: Not going to post too much detail from here on. Short version: Subtle change to my wifes character. Added the exact same glasses that she uses in real life. This is yet another interesting idea: We need more and better accessories for our chars. Offer them on the marketplace for dbc, but allow ppl to grind for them ingame too. Here is the original char, if you want to compare the changes.
    Edit waterspa above: Just changed the hair and made the face a little bit rounder + better coloring.
    Edit merc above: Didn't touch the face as it already looks great (most newer and later models do, like the Sirens from Sirens Grotto, for example). Just upgraded her hair without changing the original design too much.
    Edit woman above in the Greater Faydark: Younger version. Change the hair and subtle changes to the face and lighting.
    Edit woman above in the Greater Faydark: Older version. Same as above.
    Edit half naked and funky looking dude surrounded by ice: Added polys to the head, enhanced the original beard without changing the original design, made his chest section sharper and added a few barely noticable goosebumps.

    Hm? :D

    This is what I expect to be done after we get the 64-bit client, which should give the devs more memory in order to implement another set of upgraded character models by respecting their original design and enhancing it a bit (not too much though lol). These character models should be selectable optionally / alternatively and not forced upon anyone.
    Orionza, Jesaine, Rosyposy and 5 others like this.
  2. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    We would then have to support 3 different sets of player models.
  3. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Hey Ttobey, yeah, could be a lot of work, but I for one would be willing to pay an extra dime for these additional upgrades (like the premium races, for example). Either that or maybe the community is willing to tolerate an upgrade to the old models, if done "right", which would reduce the workload and maintenance for you guys. Would love to see a vote on this and a proof of concept demo of how it could potentially be done or how an upgrade might look like. A single screenshot of an upgraded character model says more than a thousand words :) Edit: Oh and I'd love to get more options that allow us to customize our chars a little bit more (beard, hair, you name it).
    Jovie likes this.
  4. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    We have had quite a few plans we wanted to do. A simple upgrade to player characters is actually years of man hour work.
    Just adding VahShir in was nearly 8 months for Covic and I and he's still cleaning up bugs. The amount of assets tied to a player model is pretty staggering in size. But trust me if anyone wanted to do some upgrades it's this character team.
    Things we wanted to do-
    -Get all characters that are almost the same skel onto the same skel. Right now almost every humanoid skeleton has their own skeleton. Even all the elves, half, dark, high, wood all mostly have slightly different skeletons. Why I don't know.
    -Get those dopey soga model heads off the terrible soga skel and put them on regular skeletons. When they built the soga skeletons, they just rebuilt their skeletons. That doubles our work for a lot of tasks dealing with players.
    All these upgrades are the first thing that gets put to the bottom of a list when we have to work on getting the next expansions done. There's only so much time in the day unfortunately!
    Schmetterling, Dude, Skuz and 23 others like this.
  5. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    I wholeheartedly appreciate the openness you are showcasing here, and I completely get what you're saying. In fact, I'm happy that you guys are capable of delivering so much content for this old but beautiful gem of a game, year after year. So for what it's worth, thank you! Well, too bad we can't kickstart an upgrade like this. I'd be one of the first to pay a few coins in advance for an upgrade like this, just to get some development started. Edit: Oh and something that has always kept me wondering, the alternative model set that we have right now, how popular is it?

    And btw, now that I have you here, is what you wrote the same reason why this happend? I assume it is, or is it a "technical" thing?
    Lateana and Aethos like this.
  6. AvenElonis Well-Known Member

    I so do not envy your job.
    Skuz, Lateana, Aethos and 1 other person like this.
  7. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    Soga/Alt models are popular with some players, not with us! But that has been argued back and forth for years!
    Those shader issues I don't really have a lot of knowledge about, more on the code/environment side of things.
    Skuz, Lateana, Rosyposy and 3 others like this.
  8. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    Oh we have a lot of fun here! Just not when we have to deal with player models! haha
    Skuz, Lateana, Rosyposy and 8 others like this.
  9. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    :D Yeah, development work is brutal. My wife is a software developer / engineer and she has been losing a lot of hair due to her work in recent years. According to her, it's a lot of fun, too much fun sometimes, but it's hard work, especially when you don't have enough manpower or deadlines to meet. At least she gets paid well, can't complain there. She actually wanted to get into game development one day, but she never understood how, when and where. Maybe that'll change one day.

    Anyway, I wonder if our current set of alternative models are worth the work they seem to be creating right now. If I remember correctly, the alternative models were meant for a different region, correct? Is it worth keeping them, considering the fact that language support alias localisation was dropped for many languages, or would dropping them + fixing the above (quote) not free up some manpower and make development for future tasks a bit easier, which in turn could justify the effort?

    Hm, maybe I'm overthinking this, ha! Love my char, but he could be so much more.
  10. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    Yeah, unfortunately we can't not support them anymore. People get really angry when we take things away.
    One thing I'm hoping 64bits gets me is more weight influences per vert .Right now EQ2 only supports two joint influences per vert. Even EQ1 has 4! Sounds like a simple fix, but when we recently tried it broke an entire zone on test. So even that is a bigger task than we predicted! So if I get 4 verts, the shoulder skin areas on new characters should move a lot better. I can get a lot better blending between clav, neck and waist3.
    Skuz, Cyliena, Lateana and 7 others like this.
  11. AvenElonis Well-Known Member

    Before my retirement - my whole career - I had a saying - there is always a better, faster, easier, cheaper way of doing something, you just have to open to the possibility. Think continuous improvement.

    Almost very time, I took the time to set up a new system or improve an existing one, it saved me time later on, usually a lot of time.

    So, it becomes a "how much time do I waste on it now" vs " now much time will take to fix it" and "how long will I reap the benefits of that improvement" exercise.
    Aethos, Sturmlocke and ttobey like this.
  12. AvenElonis Well-Known Member

    Who would have thought 2 vs 4 would break the system :)
  13. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Oh yeah, I'm still impressed how much EQ1 has changed and what you guys have been squeezing out of its ancient code. Hm, maybe this discussion gets more ppl to share their thoughts on potentially removing the alternative models in order to free up some manpower for an upgrade to our original toons. I mean, knowing what you guys can really do, I can already imagine some beautiful and upgraded original chars with jaw dropping animation.

    Words of wisdom, indeed. That's why I thought that improving on old issues or limitations could make things easier for future development tasks or at least justify the initial effort.

    All this being said, I wonder how many of us (in the playerbase) would even want an upgrade of this magnitude to our chars. Maybe it's just me, lol. Wouldn't surprise me, I dream about the weirdest things.
  14. Bramdar Active Member

    Put me down as someone who generally prefers the soga models. They're strangely skinny, but the faces are just better in my opinion.

    I had no idea the amount of duplicate work they require, though. Hopefully those streamlining/optimizing tasks will allow for things like additional animations/updated appearance options in the future as well? I personally wouldn't be in favor of another character model upgrade without updating all the visuals, but some new/updated animations can go a long way.
    Juraiya, Skuz, Rosyposy and 3 others like this.
  15. MightyMeaghan Well-Known Member

    Could someone retexture the existing models with higher res, higher detail textures? Textures with things like belly buttons?
    Rienna, Lateana and Sturmlocke like this.
  16. ttobey Makes the Monsters Move

    Someone could.
    Lateana, Jaden, Hartsmith and 2 others like this.
  17. MightyMeaghan Well-Known Member

    Someone at Darkpaw?
    Lateana, Jaden, Breanna and 1 other person like this.
  18. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.

    Hi Bramdar, for me it's actually the other way around; love the original models, but can't cope with the alternate version. It reminds me of hundreds of anime mmos from asia out there and I prefer the more western look and feel, but to each their own. It's all a matter of different tastes and that's ok. Let me ask you this though, would you be willing to give up the alternate models for a fresh and upgraded version of the original characters, if it turns out to be a worthy and beautiful upgrade, or would you still prefer the art direction of the alternates?

    +1 on the idea of new and updated animations and I'd also love to see more appearance options. Heck, if new character models aren't possible the next two to three years, maybe it's possible to give the old ones a very small facelift. The changes to my wifes female character further above are subtle, nevermind my crazy looking wizard lol, but it does make her char look a bit more fresh without changing too much of the original design.

    Are in game polls still a thing btw? I remember seeing polls popping up in game from time to time, asking for game related feedback and more. Could we do one for the this subject, just out of sheer curiosity?
  19. Sturmlocke Linux enthusiast playing EQ2 via Proton.


    Good idea though! Also something I wouldn't hesitate to pay an extra coin for. Tell me how much stuff would have to be bought on the marketplace, in order to compensate for the overtime this additional workload would cause, and I'll use my golden credit card exclusively for this special occasion. Our chars are our digital doorway into this world - I'll take everything that improves that a bit.
    Aethos likes this.
  20. Dogwood Member

    I agree.For me though if they remove SOGA appearance both of my accounts will go to free to play.