There was a suggestion put forth on the Diablo 3 forums the other day, encouraging developers to consider altering a character’s appearance based upon their chosen talent tree and skill set. The idea was to help visually define and characterize a player based upon their specialties.
Some examples were: having a stone skin Barb take on a granite-like appearance, a frost wizard taking on an icy-bluish glow and a poison Witch Doctor adopting sort of a sickly green color. Interesting pitch to say the least. I’m all for character customization, even if it’s just simply cosmetic.
However, it appears as if this idea may clash with existing game design. Here’s what Bashiok had to say in response…
Quote from Bashiok
We do have skills that affect the way the player looks, as well as changes based on buffs, or if they’re under the effect of a certain spell/poison/debuffs, what have you. Because of all of these things it’s really important that these effects are very apparent, as well as easily distinguished, as they’re important to gameplay.
It’s obviously a really cool idea, but any visual changes to the look of the character could impair the ability for the player to quickly ascertain the visual cues being given to them. It’s something we have to be extremely mindful of.
This suggests that the basic character model will be fairly devoid of unique auras and what have you, so as to be able to quickly detect buff and skill-specific auras when they proc or occur, etc… Makes sense.