Mathosian[caption id="attachment_3811" align="aligncenter" width="541" caption="On the left, the darkest female Mathosian Rogue I could make (she is barely dark at all) Her hair is reddish-brown, she wears a leather corset top over a white blouse with her waist exposed. On the right, the same character except with the lightest skin option (very fair) with bright red hair. "][/caption] As you can see, the Mathosian women do not come in many color variations. My choices were either "mousey-tan" female avatar, or extremely pale female avatar. I could not make my character look black or Asian. While one could argue that the character on the left could be of mixed race, this avatar is no doubt Caucasian-based. The breast size is surprisingly not gigantic and there isn't much cleavage showing (at least not in the Rogue costume).
Dwarf[caption id="attachment_3814" align="aligncenter" width="552" caption="On the left, a female Dwarf Cleric in a white cloth skirt and a cutoff blouse showing her waist. She is thicker than any of the other female avatars. Her hair is red, her eyes blue, and her skin is a pale white. On the right, the same Dwarf character is shown as a black female with dark curly hair and dark eyes."][/caption] I was pleasantly surprised by the Dwarves. I was able to make a character that isn't super thin like the others (in fact, I can't really be a super thin Dwarf if I wanted to since there is not a weight slider). I was able to make my avatar look like a black female without much difficulty at all - there even appears to be at least one hairstyle made for black avatars. I think the Dwarves are actually super cute in RIFT, unlike a lot of other games where they are meant to be the 'uglier' race.
Elf[caption id="attachment_3815" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="On the left, a tan brunette slender elf with long ears wears a grey-blue plate-mail bikini top. On the right, a very white elf with blonde hair."][/caption] The Elf women have very angelic faces, and very little in terms of customization racially. On the left is the darkest elf that I could make (not dark at all) and on the right is the lightest elf. These characters are very slender with slight abdominal muscles showing, especially on the more tanned avatars. Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the elf race. They're pretty much standard elven fare.
Ethian[caption id="attachment_3816" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Three female avatars, all various shades of darker skin tones. On the left, a Warrior in a plate mail bikini with caramel colored hair and skin. In the center, a dark black woman with dark eyes and hair. On the right, a lighter woman (but still not Elf-white) with blonde hair and blue eyes."][/caption] The Ethian seemed to be the most racially diverse group. I could make a wide variety of colors and the hairstyles were also appropriate. The women are similar in body type to the Mathosians. They seemed the most "human" out of the races in RIFT.
Kelari[caption id="attachment_3817" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="On the left, a lighter purple skinned elf with a purple mohawk and the Cleric white cloth outfit. On the right, a darker purple elf with light pink punkish hair."][/caption] The punk in me loves the Kelari. They only come in various shades of purple, have breasts that aren't constantly in your face, look stronger than their Elf counterparts, and have a badass feel to them. They're like WoW Night Elves without the annoying bouncing. I gotta respect the 'hawk.
Bahmi[caption id="attachment_3818" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="On the left, a short red haired Rogue with light purple skin, toned abs, and a thicker stature. On the right, a darker purple skinned avatar with dark cornrows on her head."][/caption]
Alright ladies, I'm saving the best for last. Can you say, hawt? Now, this is all personal preference...but the Bahmi look like sexy strong women who I wouldn't kick out of, uh, Telara. Like seriously, if I made a character that looked like the woman on the left I'd have a hard time actually playing the game and not just taking screenshots of her. Anyway....their expression is fierce, they are muscled and larger in stature, and I love them. They are the 'tribal' race, and it appears Trion are trying to buck any criticisms of racial stereotypes by making them purple instead of normal human skin tones. Granted, they're still an idealized body type and I'd love a weight slider, but this is my kind of character direction.
So what do you think? Which race is your favorite? Do you see any glaring problems with the character race choices? Are you going to pick up RIFT in March?