Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Will the real Lyriana please stand up?

Lyriana is proud to announce that she hit level 40 (and promptly zipped past it to 41) last night. (She is currently a 42 Jeweler with 33 AA's.)

Those of you who have been paying attention might be wondering what happened to Lyriana's wings and small Fae physique. Nothing serious, level 40 dirges get a spell called "Disguise: Dark Elf" that lets them appear to be Dark Elves. (Actual Dark Elf Dirges are out of luck I suppose.)

Each EQ2 class gets a few similar fun spells. They allow for a variety of amusing tricks, such as non-combat pets, glowing auras, or full-featured disguises that allow you, your pets, or even the rest of your party, to resemble other creatures (sometimes playable races, sometimes beasts, elementals, etc). I'm not sure if I'd call them class defining (the Illusionist may be the exception, since they get so many to choose from that you could easily forget what race you actually were), but they're definitely an amusing perk to play with.

What you see isn't necessarily what everyone else sees...
Another interesting point is that a number of the EQ2 races (the traditional Dungeons and Dragons ones mostly) have alternate models that were made for one of the game's Asian releases. Here's Dark Elf Lyriana using the alternate models.

Because this is an illusion form, I didn't get to customize either version. Players who don't have the alternate models on (they're off by default, and apparently the community is not entirely fond of them) will just see the version that I showed up above. If you actually play one of the races that has an alternate appearence, though, you get to customize your second look.

It makes a fair amount of sense under the circumstances, but it's a bit odd that some players will look at the same character and see a completely different image. Personally, I prefer the alternate version to the default, simply because of the green hair (which may not even be an option for regular Dark Elves). That's a decision that I'm making about my character that the majority of players probably won't see.

Which one is really Lyriana? Well, obviously the Fae version is, and Fae don't have alternate models. But if Lyriana actually was the Dark Elf, which version would be real? The one that that most players see, or the one that I think is the better fit? I guess the bottom line is that each player gets to choose which models they want to see (on a game-wide basis, not character by character) so everyone goes home happy, but it is a weird quirk of virtual identity that I haven't seen in other games so far.

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