Beardonomics

We need to talk about beards. Since my college days as a painter I have wanted a full, bohemian beard. Alas, it was not in the cards as every attempt I made over the last ten to fifteen years ended in a patchy, wiry mess that hardly passed as an artist’s beard. Instead I have kept my facial hair closely trimmed, a weak shadow of the real thing. On several occasions I’ve even grown a handlebar moustache to make up for the loss, but it’s never the same. I want a manly beard. Recently I’ve had some success, but up until then I had only one refuge for building a better beard.

Square Enix, are you even trying?

Come on Square Enix, are you even trying?

Enter MMO character creators. Any chance I get I slap a beard on the face of a dwarf, human, orc, or elf because it is my chance to live the dream. It’s one of the joys of creating a character in an MMO, right? To design a look without limitations? Except even in this world of possibility I find myself limited. Too often MMOs have let me down with their poor facial hair selections. One of the reasons I often chose female avatars is because the customization options are better, but they shouldn’t be and beards are the obvious choice for adding spice to the male characters. We should have a wide range of styles, shapes, and shades regardless of setting—fantasy, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic— it doesn’t matter, beards are always in fashion. As it stands I’m lucky to find one good choice in each MMO I play and that just isn’t right. And don’t get me started on the NPCs I find in those games with better beards than the character creator offers. That’s just cruel.

guardian3

Well done, ArenaNet. But could I have more than one option please?

So please MMO developers and studios, hire a guy whose only task is to create luxurious, exotic beards for me to choose from. Sell them to me in cash shops, gate them behind reputation grinds, place them in chests at the end of progression raiding, I don’t care, just don’t leave my avatar’s chin naked and ashamed. Sure, class balance will be even more difficult when beards start unexpectedly increasing damage output, buffing abilities, and lowering cool downs but that’s an unavoidable consequence of being awesome and I’m willing to live with it if you are. Just give me the beards, and I’ll give you my loyalty.