Standing Stone Games add more diverse character creation options to The Lord of the Rings Online, including women with beards.
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The Update 35.1 Release Notes discussed the events and changes coming with the game’s 16th anniversary, and the new Gwathrenost, the Witch-king’s Citadel raid. Among these changes was the section detailing how The Lord of the Rings Online “is celebrating the uniqueness of every player!”
“Our latest update celebrates individuality with additional character customization options for the Race of Men (humans) that let players express themselves in new ways,” developer Standing Stone Games boasts. “We want to make as many players feel represented in the game as possible, and we are introducing new character creation options for your face, hair, and body!”
“We know there is more work to do to offer a wider variety of character creation options, and we will be following up this release with additional options in the future.” The blog post goes on to explain existing characters will remain “mostly unchanged” bar updated textures, but “There are now more shared options between genders, including hair and beard styles where applicable.”
In addition, “Body proportion range has been increased” and the new options can be selected via the Barber for existing characters.
YouTuber Aubreytheweirdone discussed the changes to character creation, noting that characters looked better, and lighting had improved. Players can now choose their facial hair and stubble for even female characters. Men have one additional facial hair option than women.
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The character customizer allows players to adjust their characters’ girth via the Body Type slider, and introduces more hair styles for both men and women. Players can also mold the shape of their character’s head and face via various sliders for the crown, nose, jaw, ears, lips, cheeks, and more.
Some of those who had showcased the new Character Customization on YouTube — such as Pontin Finnberry, Louey7, and Ghynghyn — saw a large number of dislikes on their videos (for those who utilize plugins to view dislikes), despite them not being the game’s developer. There may be a bias, as those displeased over the changes may have gone looking for videos showcasing it (with no video from official channels).
YouTuber and comic creator Jon Del Arroz discussed the update, lamenting yet more of Tolkein’s lore being bastardized since his estate was sold out from his family’s care. Noting that middle-earth was an allegory for ancient Britain, he felt attempts at “woke” diversity clashed with a world that was more homogenized. Ironically, he proposed this resulted in it being homogenized in another way.
“It’s always about the represented, everything has to be represented, all the time — to the point nothing is represented ‘cuz of course you turn everything into gobbledygook, because everything looks exactly the same at that point,” Del Arroz lamented.
The idea of being fat and having epic adventures unimpeded was one of the changes Del Arroz, also noting that the image of the 16th celebrations with an abnormally diverse cast of characters for middle-earth was ridiculous.
“It’s so sad, they have to do this to everything and ruin everybody’s experience by making everything exactly the same. So sad about this,” Del Arroz concluded.
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