DDO has changed dramatically since the previous versions of the game. It now allows you to start off by choosing your style of game-play. Do you like to hit stuff up close? Choose Melee. Do you like to burn your enemies to a crisp? Choose Spell. Are you sneaky and prefer to hide in the shadows? Choose Specialist. Choosing your playing style initially will help narrow down the possibilities later.
On the second tab, you'll choose your class. These are merely refined versions of your style, but still not the final product. What's helpful during this process is the character animations and appearances shown as you make your choices. These animations are typical of your chosen character, to let you know what to expect. The same applies to the armor shown. It's not what you'll be wearing initially, but it gives you an idea of what type of armor you'll have access to later on.
From there you will refine even further by choosing a path on the third tab. For instance, if you choose a Wizard class in the Spell style, you can further define your "build" by choosing something like a Necromancer, Ingenious Sage or Elementalist. These paths will adjust your abilities and skill points according to how that particular path would typically be created.
However, these aren't your only options, and you're not forced to follow a certain predetermined path. You can also choose to customize your character completely yourself, allocating you own stat points wherever you'd like. This allocation process takes place automatically before you actually leave the character creation screen itself. A window will pop-up asking you where you'd like to assign ability points, with detailed explanations of what each ability does. You'll then go on to skill point assignment and more detailed customization recommended for advanced players. If you're just starting out though, we highly recommend picking a predetermined path until you're comfortable with the more advanced customization options. You can always go back and create a custom character after you get the feel of how the game, and it's characters work in the environment, and what's needed most throughout your adventures.
On the fourth tab, you'll choose your race. There are pros and cons to each race, so choose wisely according to the role you'd like to play. We found ourselves going back up through several previous tabs after choosing a race, to play around with the different possibilities and checking out the stat changes that are applied with race differences. If you click on the stats tab on the lower right side of your screen, you'll notice that changing the race affects your player's stats dramatically, so be sure to choose one that will correspond with your class well.
Finally, you'll get to the look tab, which lets you customize your character's appearance. This hasn't changed much since previous versions of DDO, but it still offers a healthy dose of options to set your character apart. Many of the options here are very typical of most character creation panels, especially other Turbine games.
Once you've named your character, you're ready to enter the totally revamped tutorial area.