From Azeroth to Middle-Earth: United Colours of Clown Outfits

From Azeroth to Middle Earth logoOne thing that both Lord of the Rings Online and WoW have in common: the garish fashion sense that results from collecting the gear from quest rewards, skirmish tokens and crafting.

To wit: United Colours of Clown shoes
Yes, unfortunately, that live embodiment of a complete lack of fashion sense in the middle happens to be my Runekeeper, waiting for a cooldown to finish to go and dispatch some undead creep. And apparently the undead are also immune to displays of bad taste.

LotRO offers a solution in the form of dyes that can be applied but I’ll have to confess that yours truly is a bit too stingy to spend money on that. The gentleman to my left, a guardian four levels above me at that time, was wearing a set. The lass on the right was level 40, go figure what fashion outlets they get in Rivendell.

Completely mismatched gear seems to be a common trait of several MMOs (and don’t get me started on the Subligar Men in FFXI…), almost to the point of becoming a reassuring feature that transcends many settings.

Food for thought: in the fiction works inspiring our MMOs, the protagonists usually start and end their adventure in the same armour (and often with the same weapons). In LotRO, players eventually get access to Legendary Items, a weapon and a class-specific accessory, which will level, can be imbued with effects and reforged as needed (but, I gather, still get replaced every so often).

I for one would be keen to see a game system where you start by creating the looks of your armour set at toon creation, then keep the same throughout your career, with enhancements no longer in the form of wholesale armour pieces dropping (hey, look, that tiny goblin just happened to have a blue mailshirt that amazingly fits my elf three times the size perfectly!) but rather an expansion of enchanting and gemming systems, where over time you reforge and mend and add in and gradually replace materials to your taste.

One can always dream. In the meantime, walking around like a poor impression of a clown or buying dyes off the AH seems to be the only way to ward one’s innards against unwanted spilling out.

This entry was posted in Altitis, MMOG and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From Azeroth to Middle-Earth: United Colours of Clown Outfits

  1. Longasc (7 comments) says:

    I somehow wonder that you did not drop the word “cosmetic gear”. LOTRO is one of the few games that have it.

    For a new player it is for sure not possible to dress a level 6 char with a cosmetic Helegrod/Barad Guldur set from the Wardrobe, but the option to use another item for looks instead of your levelling gear is given for starters as well.

    The other question is why LOTRO tries to scare away players early on with ugly armor in horrible colors. I once thought they are meant to mimick the nowadays unusual colorful look of the Middle Ages, but actually I think the armors are just crap. They often look like shirts rather than armor. That they can do better is visible in some later armor designs.

    Guild Wars 2 will have something like the enchanting & gemming system you mentioned. Transmutation stones will allow you to transfer (or swap, mechanics are not clear and for sure not finished yet. Also it is unknown if these stones will be rare drops or shop only items) the stats of another item to what you are wearing at the moment.

  2. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    Excellent point about the cosmetic gear, I completely forgot that (among others because so far I haven’t bothered with it).

    The system you describe for GW2 might be intriguing enough for me to have a look at it (completely skipped GW1 in my gaming career).