This is just some thoughts on what Zenimax (ZOS) might do with the upcoming Barbershop in Elder Scrolls Online. The barber shop would allow a character to make changes their physical appearance, such as changing their hairstyle, skin tone, etc. Other feature’s might also be added, such as the ability to change ones race – which I think is a highly requested option, as many people weren’t aware of the racial passives when they built their first character, or their chose a race based on the alliance and now they have the adventurers upgrade and can have a different race in the same alliance.
Character Deisgn & Creation
There is not much more that I think needs to be added to the character creation screen, although I would like to see the option for more variation in weight, making fat orc’s actually quire round and having this change the way the charcater moves, but I understand this would require a massive amount of programming and is unlikely to happen. Though, I do think seeing a few rounder players would be okay. One other option I would like to see is the option to choose which hand is your main hand and which is your off-hand, basically choosing whether the character is righty or a lefty – dictating which hand holds the shield and/or second weapon. This again, would reuqire changes past just the barber shop and affects play and combat, and considering its a fairly minor issue, its more a nice addition than anything else.
One of the bigger changes I would like to see added is presets for each particular race – which follow the chosen race lore and might be related to the tribe/clan that each character belongs to. I don’t know too much about each race, but it seems like a nice place to add in a link to tell the story of some of the different races and how they are broken up and why some Khajiits are darker than others and why some Argonians have the frill around their neck and other dont.
It may even be that you can get sligthly different racial passives for different clans, making some Khajiits, which are generally stamina orientated to be more magicka friendly or a different combination for other races, that might make them more appealing to players and essentially giving you more control over your characters final fate.
I can’t see it ever happening, but it would be quite interesting players hair actually grew in the game, meaning you needed to visit the barber shop every now and again to keep it trimmed. I suppose it would have to only be able to grow to maximum, as some people are not interesting in regular visits to the barber but there could be some slight bonus for keeping your appearance maintained. Perhaps each purchase comes with a complimentaty bubble bath, giving you a temp health restoration bonus?
Tattoos & Markings
I like the tattoos and markings that can be added to the players. I am not sure if spellcrafting will ever be added to the game, but I would like to see some spells that use the tattoos on a players body. Either animals that can be summoned from a tattoo or markings that glow and light up when activated. Obviously armour hides many of a characters tattoos and so most of the time you wouldn’t even see if a character has a tattoo, meaning this would be laregly wasted, but on some sets arms might be visible or facial tattoos/marking can be seen. Until spellcrafting is a possibility this is largely mute, so I wont spent too much time discussing it here.
However, another way to make tattoo’s interesting is for ZOS to build an official addon that lets users design their own tattoos and markings, which can be sold to other players. The content of the marking needs to be moderated and its not something everyone would be interested in, which is why an addon seems more reasonable. The items could then be sold through the guild store – and services as an artisan offered in the same way guilds have regualr crafters. The same addon could also be used fto design Guild Heraldy.
Some additional designs related to faction like the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, etc, could also be sold through the Crown store or even unlocked through quests. Some tattoos can grow over time, as you complete more of a quest or a story line.
Vampirism & Werewolves
This may not be directly related to the barber shop itself, but as it ties in quite closely with race I thought it might be worth discussing a few things regarding Vampire and Werewolves here. I know ZOS doesn’t release stats regarding how many players there are or anything like that but personally I would be quite curious to see the demographics – how many players chose to be a Nord and how many chose a female etc. One of the things I am quite curious about is how Vampirism spread throughout the populaton. I don’t know if they track that kind of information, but it would interesting to follow a Vampire bite as it is passed from one player to the next, and see how it branches out. If players did get any bonus from sharing the bites, it could make some players very powerful as they would have a whole network of sirelings to absord strength from. Thankfully there is no bonus like that, but it would still be interesting to see – as a kind of social experiment.
I do think that Vampires should get a slight bonus when it is dark, and/or when they are in dungeons – though I think many people are very wary of making vampires too powerful again. Also, werewolves should be at a little more mercy to the stages of the moon, perhaps giving them a longer time in werewolf form when it is dark or they are in dungeons.
It might also be an idea to add a third morph to many of the class skills, when you have either vampire or werewolf skill line added – bringing in options like necromancer for vampires and beastmasters for werewolf.
Again, its not directly related to the barbershop but since polymorphs can affect the shape and size of a character it is somewhat relevant, and I would like to see more polymorphs which change the characters shape and size more dramtically but still within the ESO lore. Like having a giant polymoph where the character has to bend to fit into buildings and a tiny polymoprh where they are only as tall as the wasit of a regular person. I imagine this would change many of the mechanics of the game though, so perhaps its not possible. Being a giant would certainly make you more of a target.
More important than having huge or tiny skins for your character would be if NPC characters responded to the polymorph, so skeletons might be chased away by guards until they removed their polymorph or you may be able to shift into zombie form to slip past some undead guards in a crypt.
One final aspect of the barbershop I would like to see implemented is the option to 3D print a replica of the character you created or at least print a picture of them in various poses. I am sure there copywight issues about extracting the character as a 3D object you can import into Blender or some other 3D animation programme, but it would be nice to be able to use the character you have made and spent some time growing, elsewhere. This would also be free advertising for ESO in a way.