Beard and Soul

Last year I wrote a post grieving the lack of beard options in most MMOs. Even some of the most robust character creator systems like Black Desert Online are sorely lacking in creative facial hair expressions. I mean, if an Indie MMO ever set a Kickstarter tier goal to include 30 additional beard styles I would fund the entire game’s production myself. Not now of course, I lack the capital. But once I’ve made my first million having successfully patented and marketed my design for a beard and moustache booger blocker you bet your sweet sideburns I would. Instead I’m left playing busty females or beardless pansies whenever I start new MMO.

Enter Blade and Soul. Sure, it has a linear storyline, a simplistic questing system, ridiculous amounts of inventory clutter, and bosom physics that would confound even NASA’s brightest, but this game knows how to provide its players with some serious beard and moustache opportunities. But why talk about the glorious facial hair theatrics in Blade and Soul when I could just show you?

The Full Beard

First there’s the classic “full beard.” This is for anybody wanting to create that “Island Castaway” look for their character. For each male race Blade and Soul has some of the best full beards I’ve ever seen. The Jin in particular have a marvelous beard specimen.

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This is the one I chose for my Kung Fu Master.

 

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“My Beard-shake brings all the girls to the yard.”

 

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“Yeah, well, that’s just like, your opinion man.”

 

The Beard that Knows Kung Fu

Are you looking for facial hair with an eastern flair? Blade and Soul has you covered. This isn’t my personal taste but if you want to look like a villain straight out of a Bruce Lee film, then you’ve got options. You can even be a child-dog-cat thing with a beard that is simultaneously savage and sublime.

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“I know Kung Fu, but my beard prefers Jujitsu.”

 

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Something clever.

 

The Man-stache

Lastly, we have the moustache. Not technically a beard per se, but the examples below will convince you, these cookie dusters pack enough punch to stand toe-to-toe with a beard any day.

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“My eyes are up here, ladies.”

 

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The Wolferine.

 

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Not your father’s moustache (it totally is).

 

So you’ve got two options in Blade and Soul dear reader, you can piddle around with boob sliders and baby faces, or you can make a real warrior; the kind that can only be described as the unholy spawn of a lumberjack and a ninja, an under-water welder and a sumo wrestler, a professional bowler and a tiger. Make your choice; 99% of the people playing Blade and Soul chose column “A.” Me? I’m sporting a full beard and face-punching pandas.

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.

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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.