February 12, 2013
(my kind regards to nikhamaru for the banner)
When I last checked, there were over 20 custom characters posted on Naruto-Boards each day. It is no doubt that the hobby has been popular for quite some time, and continues to do so. I, myself, am a contributor to this field, and have been for some time as well. However, instead of bragging about my crappy characters, I am here to do something else that every character maker can join in on: a cnc service. Why is that? It’s simple: nobody does it. Are you tired of seeing randomly generated numbers from people who have never even made a character? I for one am, and I’m here to bring whatever change I can, and do what I can to help character makers become better… assuming they want to, of course.
For starters, just to add another helping hand to both colleagues and CC (custom character) creators, these are all topics that I recommend to anyone, even if you have some experience behind your back as a CC maker.
Balance and Reviewing 101 by Enaki_Renraku
Custom Character Creator by stefy96
Easy CC Template + Instructions by Manjji-Puppet ← I recommend this over the CC Maker tool. As easy and convenient as that is, this is a Gimp thing (which is entirely free and safe!), also easy to use, and characters from PS (Photoshop) or Gimp are arguably nicer looking. Gimp can also do many more things and is recommended if you don’t want to pay for Photoshop. Sorry for rambling.
CC Tutorial for Newbies by Rasengan_89 ← Similar to the above, but with Photoshop instead of Gimp.
Now let's get started.
Here’s how this cnc thing works. (For the record, CnC stands for “Comment and Criticize,” or at least something along those lines.) I divide the cnc into three paragraphs. The first paragraph will be a synopsis, or rather, an explanation of how the character works. Why make this paragraph? It’s simple, it’s to demonstrate what I know about the character. You will definitely know whether I understood what the skills are supposed to or not. There will be no opinion in this section, it is just an explanation of what I know. The second paragraph will be the actual cnc, and typically I start by dissecting each skill and commenting on them one-by-one, maybe occasionally bringing other skills into the talk. The third and final paragraph will be the closing, where I comment on the character as a whole, how the skills flow together, its overall appeal, etc and I basically sum up what I’ve said and comment on the miscellaneous aspects, like saying “the pictures are good.” Finally, I will give a score out of ten on your character based on the following aspects:
Pictures – How you cropped them, the quality, and whatnot, even if you did not make them. This is probably the most unimportant part, so it’s only worth 1 point. Pics by someone else will never get the full point for that reason.
Design – The overall idea and creativity that is put into this character. Is the character a strategic powerhouse, or is it just four randomly placed skills? A score out of 2 will answer this.
Skills – Fairly relative to Design; this score judges the way the skills are placed and how they relate to the character’s design. It also judges the skills in their own creativity, whereas Design focuses on the overall character. This is also worth 2 points.
Balance – Basic is how to describe this. You should know what this means. 2 points.
Overall – This is not an average score, because it’s worth 3 points. It judges all of the previous elements as an entire package, and MIGHT also be based on the character maker him/herself, such as whether this character is a big improvement or a step down.
And if you didn’t already predict it, the following scores will be totaled into a possible score of 10. Each score is quarterly, if that’s the word to describe it. Basically, you can get x, x.25, x.5, or x.75 for any score.
Next, some very easy rules and pointers for all.
1. First and foremost, there are absolutely no requirements for submitting a character. This service is 100% free; you don’t have to pay me in Xats, make me GFX, have a certain amount of posts, or even thank me for the comments. It also makes no difference to me what character it’s from, though it should be noted that I may not realize if the character is made how it is in its anime or whatever.
2. I have the personal right to refuse criticism on any of your characters. I won’t be very harsh about this, but if you give a consistently negative attitude about anyone or anything on this topic, or I simply see no sense of improvement from you, I can leave any character without comments.
3. I am, by no means, trying to make my opinion the voice of God or anything. You can choose to listen to or ignore anything I say that you want, and you can express a disagreement with my opinion. After all, it’s just one person’s opinion. However, do be kind about it, or suffer by rule two.
4. I keep my cnc’s unbiased. I will not say “this character is bad” because I don’t like you or say “this character is great” because you’re a friend. I may say “you’ve improved” or something like that, but I remain neutral about these cnc’s.
5. Don’t post anything off-topic. This may surprise some people, but this is ONLY for posting characters, me cnc’ing them, and any related comments made by me or another CC maker. Any off-topic posts can be taken in PM’s, my showcase, NBTPM… basically any topic I run EXCEPT this.
6. Don’t rush me, or you may be affected by rule #2. I typically will not comment right away or even monitor this topic every day. I also am only on a computer during certain hours, so a 24-hour wait can be expected.
7. This should be pretty obvious by now, but this is only for characters. Take your pictures, templates, or even GFX somewhere else.
8. So I don’t end up being overworked by anyone, you can only post one character per day, and three characters per week. That doesn’t mean I’ll only do this amount total, it’s just per person.
9. All cnc’s will be made here. No I will not go to your topic. No I will not be that guy that cnc’s everything in your showcase.
10. You can post whatever character you want! Doesn’t matter if you made it yesterday or 4 years ago, if you post it, I will cnc it. Unless it’s a parody character.
Think I covered everything. I leave you some examples of my cnc’s.
DISCLAIMER: The characters exampled are displayed with permission from their respective creators. It should be noted that these characters were chosen for a reason and that they should not be used as demonstrations of their best works. Therefore, the example characters should not be used as negative examples toward the creators themselves.
CHARACTER ONE: NAMIKAZE MINATO (YONDAIME HOKAGE) [Example provided by Luvixi]
SYNOPSIS: First skill deals incredibly strong DoT affliction, but Minato will die when this skill ends. However, if the target doesn’t die as well, they can’t gain chakra and deal 25% less for the rest of the game. Second skill is an improvement to the third skill. Third skill deals weak damage for its cost but gives full damage reduction and can be improved to deal double damage, ignore pretty much everything, and stun. The last skill lets Minato ignore the first skill for a turn, but this also means that anyone else affected by the ignored attack will ignore it as well.
REVIEW: The first skill seems cool at first, but has so many ridiculous setbacks. At the very least, the random chakra could’ve been removed. Hell, I’m actually even debating whether the nin deserves to be there; 60 affliction for 2 chakra doesn’t seem bad when the caster dies. At least he has some sort of interesting effect if it doesn’t kill so that he gets literally fucked up for life. The fact that you can leave this enemy last and wait for him to run out of chakra seems overpowered even with the setback of killing your own character. It’s just an unfair effect, really. Something else could’ve been done with this skill, but overall it’s pretty weak. Second skill is one godawful improvement, not kidding. Yes, the third skill kicks ass when improved, but I’ll get to it in a minute. You only have one shot with this improvement and it only targets one enemy. Though at least the improvement lets him ignore half of whatever crap he may need to worry about, leaving him at the face of stuns and unlucky chakra draws. It still has an annoying cooldown and cost. Third skill when unimproved is kinda meh; could really use a damage boost. But the DR would be pretty awesome to spam. The improvement makes this one hell of a skill, though getting that improvement isn’t the easiest thing to do. Last skill is… okay, I suppose, though I don’t think it’s worthy of its cost and cooldown. It’s not that great of a “defense”, can only target himself, and doesn’t bring any further consequence to the ignored caster. If it could at least target anyone you want, it’d be a nice skill, but since it only affects one skill and the aforementioned details, it’s not that great.
CLOSING: Here’s a new word. Slapshit (noun): A clusterfuck of ideas that all suck total dick. Don’t think there’s a single balanced skill in this set, and even worse is that they’re all underpowered. First skill needs a cost change, second skill just sucks, third could use a small damage boost, and fourth skill is unreliable. As a whole, the character has nearly zero flow. The only flow is the second skill improving the third on one enemy for a turn. How exciting. Anyway, he has weak defense and weak offense. It’s even worse than the N-A characters. The ideas and creativity put in this character aren’t reflective either; it’s all pretty basic stuff that didn’t seem to have been put together with some sort of brainstorming. The maker did a passable job with the pictures.
SCORE: 0.75/1 Pictures, 0.25/2 Design, 1/2 Skills, 0.75/2 Balance, 0.5/3 Overall = 3.25/10
CHARACTER TWO: YOUNG TEMARI [Example provided by sasuke1vs1naruto]
SYNOPSIS: First skill deals 15 damage to everyone and if nobody cancels it next turn, they can't attack Temari for one turn. Second skill is the same as the first, but targets one enemy and stuns instead. Third skill doubles her damage and makes the secondary effects happen no matter what. The last skill, the passive, deals more damage and decreases the damage they can take if they have active skills on them.
REVIEW: Figures this guy's in the finals again. Okay, so I didn't really get this character at first. It reminds me of his earlier days, like late 2011 and early 2012, when all of his characters were strangely worded. But I managed to figure out what is meant in these skills (which is why I use a paragraph to explain the character). First skill is cool, though I think it's slightly overpowered due to it having a good chance to act as an invulnerability (should say that, really), even though it's situational. It's a typical "this would be okay against THIS team, but against THAT team, this character would destoy," kind of thing. And that's basically how this character works. Second skill is underpowered. Its damage should be 20 at least. Third skill really kicks you in the ass, and I think it's overpowered, personally. First skill deals 30 aoe and makes her invulnerable, second skill deals 30 and stuns. By "interrupted", I also think you mean cancel, and it's a double-edged sword by refreshing the cooldown but also ending and requiring the cost to need a reuse. I dunno, the cost is big, but I still don't really like this skill. Passive is also less interesting in my eyes; it doesn't seem to have much connection with the character but also makes her more unfair, because it easily increases damage and decreases their damage at the same time.
CLOSING: The concept is alright, but I think there's too many balance issues with her. I also don't care much for her passive skill in both design and balance. Pics are alright, though the FP stock is meh. The design is fairly basic, like most of his characters, but done in a more creative manner than one would commonly know. Think that's all, really.
SCORE: 0.75/2 Pictures, 2/2 Design, 1.5/2 Skills, 0.75/2 Balance, 1.5/3 Overall = 6.5/10
CHARACTER THREE: HISOKA (HUNTER EXAM ARC) [Example provided by Enaki_Renraku]
SYNOPSIS: First skill targets all enemies and hampers them according to the nen (energy system) they use by reversing their friendly/enemy effects. Even better is that it’s invisible and can let him attack twice sometimes. Second skill gives him a pseudo-defense by dealing affliction to anyone that attacks him for a turn, but this can also counter or improve the first skill depending on the first skill’s effect. Third skill is a counter that lasts until triggered but can also attack directly. Fourth skill is like Baton Pass in Pokemon, it moves his team around and gives them the effects of the person who sat there last. It also has a bit of a nasty setback to this character, but simultaneously gives a defense to his allies.
REVIEW: I had to rewrite this review to fit it in with the new system. Not that it’s important or anything. Anyway, the character revolves around an AoE move, which was smart. It then focuses on fucking everybody up, in short. He basically fights like a joker. The controversial part is that he has a permanent counter, and it’s also the only way he can directly attack. The direct attack removes a stack of the counter unless improved, in which case it adds another stack. This is probably the only flawed skill in the set, because it’s unbalanced. But this character has a lot of creative effects that all work towards one goal. It also really looks like the character is accurate towards its anime counterpart.
CLOSING: Can you say “strategic powerhouse”? He has an overpowered third skill, but the other skills and effects really show the hard work put in this character. It’s rare seeing a character with this much depth and strategy.
SCORE: 1/1 Pictures, 2/2 Design, 1.75/2 Skills, 2/2 Balance, 3/3 Overall = 9.75/10
Want more examples? Just read any other cnc’s on the topic (when they’re posted, of course!). If you need anymore information, don’t hesitate to ask!