Regular Models or Alternate Models or ?

Written by Flourchild on . Posted in Art, Appearance, Housing, Commentary

We all know about the Alternate Models. Some of us love them, some of us hate them, some of us just don’t care. But which is used more often? Do people use one over the other or a combination of both? Are people really happy with the way the models are set up right now or would they like to have a third option? If you’re one of those hoping for a third option, you may get your wish…or maybe not.

From Holly “Windstalker” Longdale:

We discuss the issues around having two sets of models often on the team.  We’d all like to get the options down to one set of models, either the main or the Alternate Appearance (which I and others call SOGA).  It would be better overall in terms of being able to create assets, animations and so forth as doing them for all races over two model types is an insane amount of work.

We have also discussed doing a whole new set and abandoning the old ones.  Also, in terms of all the armor, animations, etc. also many months of work for several artists rather than creating new assets for armor, etc. in game.

But we don’t want to make changes for the sake of them and we’re not sure there’s any way to do this without a negative impact. Some people love their SOGA models, some people love their original models.  We can’t disable one without upsetting those who enjoy the other.

We may put it to a vote to the players pretty soon though.  Might as well ask so we’re not making assumptions that half the players prefer one or the other appearance.

Maybe we’ll run that as the next poll?

And certainly, as the OP asks, we have looked at forcing the appearance you choose on those around you, but as it is set up now, it’s based on the user’s preferences as you know in terms of which model type to display.

This is being discussed on EQ2 Forums.

Would it actually be better to simply have one model? And if so which one? Or should we just abandon the ones we have available now and go with something completely different?

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Comments (57)

  • Dark

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    Both models look horrible, they should just make a whole net set until the majority of the population is happy with them and force them.

    If I was forced to pick it would be soga or normal with soga hair.

    Reply

  • Vester-guk

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    Seems to me like their should be more pressing matters at stake then …. The thumb is not on the pulse.

    Reply

  • ragefighter

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    I would like new models.

    If I have to play as a SOGA Dark Elf I might just have to change race to Iksar or something =p

    Hate that look…

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    Whole new ones would be nice as both the old sets are quite dated. I despise the SOGA ones though. Tried deleting the SOGA files once, but the launcher just downloads them again. It got so bad that I started only making characters of races that didn’t have SOGA models.

    Reply

  • Tarb

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    My god the SOGA models are so fugly in my opinion,
    New Models > Original >>>>>>>>>>SOGA

    Reply

  • Metashadow

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    I can’t stand the totally unproportionate SOGA models.

    Reply

  • Steve

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    Ooh…a poll. I have nothing but confidence that the outcome and actions take as a result of that poll will accurately reflect the true feelings of the customers.

    Reply

  • Julie

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    I can’t stand the fat Legacy models. They need liposuction badly! They also look very outdated.

    As much as I prefer SOGA models for my own characters, I’d REALLY like to be able to see whatever the player chooses to use for theirs. Right now, I have guild members have the same race of characters but they designed their appearances in two different models. So setting one means I don’t get to see what the other intended. And that sucks. I want to see both!

    Coming up with entirely new models for the ones we have two sets of would go a long way toward solving the whole thing. At least then, you would irritate everyone equally, rather than have one group (anti-Legacy or anti-SOGA) ticked off and screaming “unfair”. But the new models would HAVE to look fantastic – no putty-looking humans with fat thighs and too much junk in the trunk (like Legacy), and no permanently scowly-faced elves (like SOGA).

    I have hope that there IS a happy medium somwhere!

    Reply

  • Magar

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    Well, you can all call me a heretic for vastly preferring SOGA over the original clay models. The original models were light years ahead of the EQ1 models, and I certainly enjoyed my preorder character customizer. Recently, however, I tried swapping out of SOGA since so many people I’ve talked to said they saw their character in the original model or never set SOGA. After about 20 minutes, I swapped back. Say what you will about SOGA models, the original models, especially on elves, look like they were shaped out of clay rather than made with modern 3d modeling tools.

    At this point in the game, however, I can’t see them making a real change. If they did they need to completely recode the character customizations so you can shape your character a lot better – which would let you stay near the original models, or get somewhere near the SOGA models, or put yourself somewhere in between. A new set of models with only the existing character customization sliders, however, would make nobody happy, and until they have a new product waiting in the wings they simply cannot afford to do that.

    Reply

  • Szah

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    Heh, I’m just the opposite — I prefer the SOGA dark elves to the original ones — To me, the original elves look like pinched prunes. I don’t much care for the SOGA ogres though, so I play with mostly SOGA except for gnomes and ogres, I think.

    Reply

  • Jerdo

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    I think the SOGA are much more interesting, especially the Wood Elves. My enthusiasm for EQ2 would drop if forced to play the original models.

    Reply

  • Taka

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    New models with new animations, loyal to both don’t get too crazy! but the art tools available to the team now judging from what’s been coming out seems like it could go long way, especially fixing some of the lighting issues on barbarians.. :)

    Reply

  • Cristamir

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    We need updated models. So many of the choices, both in Legacy and SOGA, make the characters look seriously constipated.

    Reply

  • Dragonhearted

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    New models and animations would be nice, personal preference having played since launch are the originals. If they do nothing, that is ok too, although it would be nice to have your appearance set and displayed to others as you would them to see you.

    Reply

  • Beefeater

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    I think the only races I switch to SOGA are humans and gnomes…the rest are original. As someone mentioned, most of the SOGA models look ridiculously disproportionate – and a little too “anime” for my tastes.

    Reply

  • Argond

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    I don’t use SOGA because the customization options are significantly inferior. My main character is an old man, and SOGA has no way of making a human male appear to be over the age of 25.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    I would love new models if they give us options of using all the hair and other options. Right now they are both just so dang limited.

    Reply

  • Anaogi

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    I use a mix of models. I recently switched most of my human alts to standard from SOGA because the limbs were just a bit too spindly…but now I’m unhappy with the faces on the female models. I prefer SOGA to standard on elves, but prefer standard on gnomes and halflings…it’s a patchwork mess to be honest.

    Of course my ‘co-mains’ have only one model each–fae and sarnak don’t have ‘alternate’ models, so they look the same no matter what…

    Reply

  • Onorem

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    When soga was new, it was interesting enough to play around with. That has passed.

    Reply

  • camelotcrusade

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    Sometimes when you find a pot of crazy it’s best not to stir it.

    Forcing a change to something so fundamental as what you’ve looked like for the past 6+ years will definitely create character detachment issues for those who don’t get the option they know and love.

    What with all the mechanics, class vision and balance changes, what I look like is the only thing that’s remained constant. Take that away and my detachment will be complete, and then I will cancel and have no regrets.

    Reply

  • Trueflight

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    if you want soga models, go play World of Warcraft where they stole… Borrowed them from

    Reply

  • anditron3000

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    Everquest1 had a character graphics overhaul after a few years. I wouldn’t mind seeing some new models if it meant more new armor appearances, because lack of options for armor is frustrating.

    Reply

  • Hissakar

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    The question is why mess with something that isn’t broken? Every time SOE “fixes” something that’s not broken we end up with a much more buggy game.
    As it takes forever for most bugs to be corrected (if they ever get corrected).
    Leave the models alone and fix what’s broken with this game.
    Once the bugs are out and I can play with out getting kicked zoning or Mobs don’t reset mid fight or chat isn’t lagging 3-15 seconds behind me hitting enter. Then just continue to leave what not broken alone.

    Reply

  • Drishs

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    Ok, i’m confused…

    first, is she for real? animating, assets, armor etc. takes too long now with two models, but creating a whole new models for characters, and switching everything currently in the game over to said new models wouldn’t be time consuming? Not that the dev team is a model of efficiency, but there are multiple other things i wish they would spend time/resources on, say… some sort of long term plans instead of getting a combat revamp with every expansion.

    Second, i thought i remember pretty early on in development they said that all toons are essentially the same model, with very slight variations (helmets being an example, even then very minor differences), this would allow them to get armor modeled faster, and allow them to spend more time on making things look appealing, rather than making sure it hangs on all the characters properly. and if i remember right, this was one major reason why frogloks weren’t put at release as they had a model different from the others, as a result they took considerably longer to model/animate/accessorize than the other races.

    If my second point is true then where are they spending all this time? because currently to me generic robe #1 looks the same on my halfling as it does my half-elf, just a different size.

    Reply

  • Gealaen_Gaiamancer

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    I’m already on record with my overall feelings for SOGA models, and it’s fair to say that I’m generally happy with the original models. Generally happy doesn’t mean ‘totally excited’, though. I would be very interested in a total character model reset, a la what EQ1 did all those years ago. Especially if character creation tool has a wide range of customization options–look at what EVE did.

    I had a blast creating an EVE character a few months back, and would love to do the same with my EQ2 characters.

    Reply

  • murfalad

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    I don’t mind either models, although that’s only due to all of my characters being Frogloks :D

    Seriously though both character models need to be replaced (the original at least have more character though). But with a fur/hair renderer they will be limited, also only supporting Shafer 1.0 will greatly limit any new models quality.

    Unfortunately while shader 3,4,5 support would be best for the longterm health of the game, shorter term priorities trump it…

    Reply

  • Drish

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    why was my post deleted?

    (It wasn’t, it just wasn’t approved yet. -Dethdlr)

    Reply

  • Ayrid

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    First off – out of all the MMOs I play and have played – IMHO, EQ2 models are 1000% better than than any other game that seem to use either the Bryce type models or the LoTR model (running looks like you have a stick up your a__).

    I think the Devs should just keep doing “insane amount of work” that they GET PAID for and leave the options as they are and change nothing. If it ain’t broke – it don’t need fixing!

    Reply

  • Twyxx

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    @ragefighter completely agree. i’d have to change races if i had to look at the soga dark elf models all the time. they’re hideous.

    Reply

  • zijan

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    Pretty much a joke they are even discussing this, this far in to the game.

    Reply

  • Karith

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    New Models ftw

    Reply

  • bob0builder

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    I didn’t even know I had two different models; how do we switch between them?

    The current Freeblood model I use has messed up hair… when she casts her hair comes off her head… and I hate the way my mages put their two-handers through their breast plate in order to put it on their back ..

    New models !!!

    Reply

  • Slaarti

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    Ok, what does SOGA stand for… i can’t keep up with acronyms.

    Reply

  • ragefighter

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    Sony Online Gaming Asia IIRC

    Reply

  • bhagpuss

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    I’ve never really been able to tell the difference. That is, I can tell the difference if I see two side by side (in an illustration) but I’ve never been clear on which is which. If you asked me which I use on any given character I’d have no idea.

    I don’t really care which they go with at this stage.

    Reply

  • ragefighter

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    What the problem is, I think, is whenever they make anything new in this game they need to make all the animations and make sure stuff fits onto all the regular models Male and Female than do the same work all over again for the SOGA models. if it was just 1 NEW set of models it would make content creation twice as fast (in respects to gear and mounts and animations, etc).

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    You are right on Rage. The problem at this point would be how much work would it take to redo the models and would they have to redo all gear models as well. Would love to see if they can just combine the soga and normal form options into one new model. That would fit everyone and would allow a lot more options.

    Reply

  • Landiin

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    Either one is ok with me really with the exception of the Ogre and Barbarian SOGO models.

    Reply

  • Jester

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    I prefer the SOGA models to the “clayman” models. If SOE is really going to go any direction with this, they should just look into updating the models to a new form overall, not force us to pick one or the other existing models.

    I know a number of folks who prefer the older ones, and state such in the bios for their toons. Liekwise for the SOGA. To me, it feels like the SOGA has a few more options available for those races which allow them, and feel a bit more “real” than the clayman models.

    Reply

  • Tuscan

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    If this is important, they should make completely new models that are better looking than both current sets.

    It would certainly give a freshness to the game.

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    For me I don’t like either of them. I usually play as a Ratonga anyway because I find myself more in kin with being an anthro creature and they are the best looking for my particular taste. The only time I’ve turned on a soga model would be because one of the people I used to raid with was a halfling and said he preferred the soga version of that race. Otherwise I think Soga always looked out of place for the theme of this game. But the original models look like they’re made of play dough. Eyebrows and other facial hair looked like the play dough was being squeezed out of the head like that kids play dough pasta machine. So I would have to agree with the above posts desiring new models. As long as they don’t change ratongas.

    Reply

  • XK

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    I’d prefer new models. I play with a mix of models, as some look better in the original form, and some look better in SOGA (like human females). I wouldn’t be happy with being stuck with either of the current sets.

    There’s no chance they are going to blow the time and money on creating entirely new models though.

    Reply

  • Avianna

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    I feel there should be one model with more options such as hairstyles and such. I worked hard on my toon to have her look exactly the way I want her and if someone else has soga on then I look like a big nosed troll instead of what I spent quite a deal of time creating. So I am for the one model idea weather that is new or existing I do not care but more choices within that one would be a must.

    Reply

  • Vortix

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    Female Barbarians with chest hair vs Japanimé prepubescent adults

    Ok, so maybe that’s not a true comparison.

    Honestly, the customization options need to be updated across the board. Merge the hairstyles, hair colors, eye colors, piercings, and whatnot. Fix the disproportionate body types so that people can choose varied levels of lumpy vs skinny, flesh-eating skin disease original vs smooth cartoonish SOGA.

    We need more variety in our models, but needing to create armor graphics for both models was a very poor design decision. The models should have been created with similar body shapes so that the application of armor graphics were able to morph to fit the body types and not cause development problems.

    Check out the differences here: http://eq2vault.ign.com/screenshots/?category_select_id=subcat_16

    Reply

  • Sands@AB

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    Halflings in SOGA look like pedo-fodder. I want my halflings to be very rotund and jolly looking.

    Reply

  • Electri

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    I have, what I consider, the perfect soluction…

    Leave it alone. Why not focus on other things like, oh I don’t know, let’s say,…. MAKING NEW CONTENT!! 8 yrs in and we still only have one path (in the form of zones to play in) from level 60-92.. Really?

    This whole debate has nothing to do with the players. It has everything to do with trying to make even less work on the designers. We are down to 2 now. I think one of them maybe searching for a new job very soon.

    My sarcastic 2cp,
    Electri

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    @Sands@AB
    To me they look like little midget moe howards (3 stooges). lol

    Reply

  • badcat

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    Perfect solution is to leave both, why do we need a new model. Some folks like soga, personally I hate soga. It is funny as we had folks in the raid talk about how good they look and I still see them as the original model.

    If they take out the original models I would probably just give up. I had these toons since 2004 hello, I only used the barber shop once or twice, why in the heck would soe think it would be ok to remove the way my toon looks now.

    Waiting for the servers to get back up so I can give them my 2 cents worth.

    Reply

  • Ithilwynn

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    If they took out the soga models, the wife and I would probably quit. The original humanoid models faces are so atrocious, it made it extremely difficult to play. In fact we had several of our friends refuse to play after seeing the models… “Seriously? Every human has down syndrome in this game? Good luck with that”

    I could play without soga, but no way am I paying to play the original models. New models it is!

    Reply

  • Elderon

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    I play a Human, Wood Elf & Barbarian and all 3 I play with the SOGA Models. Call me strange but the other models look cartoony and pinched. SOGA models look much better imho.

    Reply

  • Sharann

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    For some races I prefer Soga (i.e. original human females look like they’ve got only 1 braincell and they share it with next door’s cat), for others I’d rather select the original (wood or dark elf for instance). And the in-game vampire npcs looked good so why in heaven did they have to create a botoxed-looking female?

    So I definitely would love to see a complete set of new models. And please make them look good (not bland-looking like in Lotro) and with a bunch more options than what we currently have (as an example several faces with feature sliders like in Aion). Currently we have only one face per race/gender to play with.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      I use a mixture of soga and original. Some of the originals are pretty lumpy.

      Reply

  • Ruatta

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    I am another that has a combination of original and SOGA models for my alts. My human males are SOGA, but my human females are original. My elves & half-elves are SOGA, except for my Teir’Dal (Dark Elf) as I prefer the original model. My Ogre alts all use the SOGA model (the look makes me think of large green Klingons).

    Keeping in mind that not all character options have a SOGA model (Kerra, Iksar & Trolls) I hope that SOE will continue to allow the players the option to choose the appearance they prefer.

    Reply

  • Striinger

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    If I wanted to play WoW…I’d be playing WoW. Since I’m not, I go more for the original models instead of the hyper long limbed, horn-like eared, bright berry colored SOGA models. If you put enough armor on them I suppose they look okay (since you can’t really see them).

    IF they wanted to take a stab at building all new models, they’d have to change how the models work to make them much “better” (has to do with the number of attibutes per node they can use and the number of deformers they can use being low…if I recall). If they start with one of the models (doesn’t matter which set, but it’d make most sense to use the ones with the highest node density) and retarget those nodes to a new model…it shouldn’t require armor set changes. So, a new set that replaces the others shouldn’t (if they do it right) require asset redesign.

    EQ2 allows more character appearance customisation than most (not talking faces, but what your toon looks like fully geared running around). Rift is a prime example of “looks good on paper” customisation…until you’ve run around a few times following a stranger because they looked so much like your buddy.

    So, would I like to see them spruce up how pretty the toons are (especially facial stuff to make SoEmote less…pointless)? Sure…great…give that a go, BUT it’s not my highest on my list of stuff that I’d like to see done. Unfortunately, what *I* would like to see done requires them to replace a few artists with a few programmers (e.g. authentication fixes to prevent voice and zone dropouts, server code optimization to reduce/remove “lag” when my client is still pushing 70 fps, fix a few more gameplay “annoyances” like dropping through the world, or even extend the abilities for players to create content…if that’s what their plan says they want to do!).

    Reply

  • Eschia

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    One thing I know is possible, and all it takes is a little texturing work, which could easily be done in photoshop, gimp, or paint tool sai, would be to take the original models and UPDATE THE TEXTURING, so they don’t look like silly puddy. If SOE don’t have time or people to do that, then what are they doing?

    Reply

  • Trevyn

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    Like Feldon I use a mixture. While some (!) SOGA are nice – others are far from. SOGA caters a certain audience (and was done for them obviously because they didn’t like the regular models).
    For my liking most soga models are too – well – asia-grinder like. If I only wanted that kind of model only I would continue to play Lineage :-)

    Reply

  • wintersblade

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    Are we all forgetting that there is already a third option set to play our toons in…./cutemode /cutemode2 /cutemode3…..cutemode3 for pvp all day loooong. Teapot, out.

    Reply

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