One of the design mechanics that all Massively Multiplayer Online games have to figure out is how character customization works and how it affects the leveling system within the game. Often times, an item’s appearance and stats are forever tied together. That has led to systems like transmogrification being created to allow players to transfer their stats to gear they prefer for its looks.
Despite being a more casual experience, The Division, the new MMO third-person shooter from Ubisoft, has to solve that as well. The Division‘s solution is to allow player to customize their character’s appearance with gear that is purely cosmetic. To better illustrate that point, Arekkz Gaming has created a video detailing character customization in the game. Check it out below:
As explained in the video, The Division‘s inventory menu has a tab labeled ‘Appearance’. With that menu, players can equip items such as a jacket, scarf, pants, etc. as a purely cosmetic choice without having to worry about it affecting the player’s stats or level. For those who have pre-ordered the game or seen the numerous pre-order bonuses for The Division, such as a hazmat suit or police office uniform, this is the place they will be selected and equipped. Once again, they carry no statistical value.
The video also shows that multiple cosmetic items can be worn at the same time and layered over each other. For example, a player can select both a hoodie and a jacket with the game engine placing the jacket over the hoodie. As a side note, unlike some RPGs, The Division won’t allow players to take off the undermost layer of clothing, so no one will be running around a devastated New York City in their underwear.
While there are many items that only affect characters’ appearances without touching their stats, items such as backpacks, body armor, and weapons do carry character boosts while also changing the character’s overall look.
Appearance items can be found out in the game world as random drops (highlighted in teal) from killing enemies, inside of chests, or from looting buildings. Civilians roaming the street also carry loot, but they won’t simply hand over their items for free. However, if a player gives a civilian water or a medkit, they may drop a cosmetic item in return. Appearance items are also rewards from some quests in the game, and can be bought through microtransactions. According to Arekkz, the only microtransactions in The Division will be these cosmetic stat-less items.
This looks to be a promising system for The Division, allowing players to control their appearance outside of the gear that they prefer for its stats.
What do you think of the character customization system in The Division?
Tom Clancy’s The Division is scheduled to release March 8 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. A closed Beta is set to kick off first on Xbox One on January 28 and then on PS4 and PC the following day on January 29. The Beta will run until January 31.
Source: Arekkz Gaming