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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Do you want to control how your character appears, or rely on gear for that?

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26 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/02/05
Posts: 1667

OP  5/01/11 6:12:16 PM#1

Games seem to fall into three basic camps now on this issue.


In one you look however the gear you use makes you look.  E.g., EQ 1 (though they later introduced dyes and such).


In another you get to design your look, and gear does not really influence it.  E.g., City of Heroes (at least when I played it).


In a third gear influences your look, but you can wear "appearance armor" that let's you look cool, even if your stat gear is not so cool. E.g., EQ II.


Personally I have come to enjoy designing how my character looks, or at least being able to choose from some decent looking appearance armor (if my regular armor is ugly or silly looking).


What do you think?  Is appearance important to you?  Do you want a say in how you look?

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Forum Bunny

Joined: 10/24/10
Posts: 2694

5/01/11 6:21:30 PM#2

Tough choice...I want freedom in making my character but then too much control over it will probably make the game lose immersion.  Imagine SWTOR. Now look back at me! Now see a young Jedi female with a lightsaber! BUT WAIT! LOOK AGAIN!! Shes wearing a bikini and fighting sith!! No go somewehre else! You see World of Wa...Oh nvm that game has modded appearance things anyways that only you can see...


I think the best way to go is to have your armor set the general look of your char but then allows you to alter it as much as you want but limit it so that it doesnt make the  plate armor-wearing, 2 handed mace smashing, big voice yelling, always charging tank look like hes wearing THIS!!! 

So yah! Controlling how your character appears while relying on gear to set the general look of the stuff.

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Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 1120

5/01/11 6:29:17 PM#3

The first choice would be the one I would prefer. I'm not really the type of player that focuses on how I look, I wear whatever is best. As long if it can help me on my daily grind I can care less about how I look. I dont play a game to have brag rights or to make people jealous of what I have.

Although for PvP purposes in many MMOs, changing the appearance of your armor can play a major role in winning or losing. For example in Aion, people usually target players that are weak and poorly geared. But I had a level 30 templar running around in Eltnen wearing what should be level 10-15 gear. People that usually attack me gets surprised at how well I fight against them, and I'm sure its a surprise for them when they lose. So sometimes it can affect your gameplay in PvP situations.

Also, getting these so called armor / weapon appearance change items will make game companies rich. These are one of many items you can acquire through RMT purchases. I for one will never pay extra for any game other than the monthly payments. Whatever is offered through that payment is all the stuff I need.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10959

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

5/01/11 7:42:23 PM#4

My first choice would be to be able to design the appearance of my character, with gear that influences stats, but not the appearance. Having appearance slots where the armor looks like what I want, but has stats for whatever I've collected would be acceptable as well.

I think whatever system is used should make some sense in the context of the game. i.e. if it makes sense for you to just pick out an outfit, then just pick out an outfit. If you should have to "buff" your outfit with stats, then do so. If you have to craft armor with the appearance and stats you want, fine. As long as it fits with the rest of the game.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  User Deleted
5/02/11 12:18:41 AM#5

Depends on the game, I think in a sci-fi or super hero setting like Star Trek, CoH/V, where your character wears some sort of unique uniform, then full customization over that is a much better choice. I really liked STO's method, you customzie your look at creation, but can toggle whether kits and armor effect your appereance once you get them.

I'n fantasy settings I prefer seeing armor that i've equipped. I'm fairly neutral towards dyes and appearance sets, though I really can't stand silly stuff like Tuxedo's or Bikini's.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/07
Posts: 343

5/02/11 12:40:39 AM#6


I think something like the approach Aion did would be good.

You only can put on what you already looted. Let's say you have a complete set of Dark Armor but the stats is not good. You save this armor and then use it on your current gear to make you current gear looks like the Dark Armor. The process costs money AND consumes the armor you had. Which means 1 Armor = 1 Use. The skin remains on the armor and not the character, meaning if you upgrade your armor then you don't keep the Dark Armor look.

  User Deleted
5/02/11 12:50:51 AM#7

"What do you think?  Is appearance important to you?  Do you want a say in how you look?"

I want it just like I had it back in Aion.

In my mind I deduct major points for any new MMO I pick up that doesn't give me more or less what Aion showed us is possible.

Heck, I'm not a PvPer and it's the only reason I enjoyed my time in Aion all through Korean retail, Chinese retail and then our Western version all the way from the very first beta to end of last year.

I'll definitely be back for 2.5.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 1098

5/02/11 1:09:14 AM#8

I'll chime in and say that I liked Aion's system too. Previously, I had never cared about wearing a matching set of anything on my MMO characters and would walk around in whatever hodgepodge of mixed pieces. But in Aion I went through the cost and trouble of reskinning new equipment to keep the look of a set that I liked. It's a cool option.

I couldn't really complain about games failing to include this feature; I don't see it as a must-have and I don't miss it when it's not implemented. In fact, you might say that playing in Aion gave me an appreciation for carrying around a social set of equipment. The fun of walking around in something that looks cool would be diminished a bit if the system allowed you to do that all the time effortlessly. It's probably more fun to do in games where it's a tradeoff because you have to make the sacrifice of carrying around two sets of equipment—one for stats, one for looks.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/21/11
Posts: 140

5/02/11 3:17:16 AM#9

     I absolutely hate games that are gear dependant for good appearance when half of the people who are raiding and getting that gear won't even let you into their raids and such because they think they are all better than you.  So due to this absolutely I want appearance tabs.

    A game that is stat gear dependant for looks is shallow and unfriendly because as soon as someone gets the first piece of that gear they think they are better than everyone else in life and no matter how old they are they act like teenagers adn treat people like they are still in JR highschool.

   A game that has an appearance tab has nice friendly players who help each other instead of trying to keep someone else from trying to get the piece of gear that they want off of a boss because they are going to look better than anyone else in the game.  Also no gear greed as much.  I really can not stand gear greed. 

    I started to have an issue with it on a game once and pretty soon everyone started telling me that I was acting like an elitest jerk.  So I quit raiding all together for a while.  I have since quit that game because that is almost all I see in it is gear greed.  There are a few nice people but not enough to even be able to form a raid group of nice players who do not look downon one another and boot people out because they don't have just what the raid leader thinks they should have on.

    I play a fun game where I can make some awesome looking gear without having to get gear greed and still look really cool and enjoy myself and not feel like everyone is telling me what to do and I get to play at my own pace and not feel like I am getting burnt out trying to make everyone else happy by helping them get gear.  It's an awesome new concept I have found when I don't play games that only concentrate on end content and that is the only way you look good I actually enjoy the game I play and have fun.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/06
Posts: 720

Officium ante Proprium Bonum

5/02/11 4:11:09 AM#10

Ideally, I'd like to see a selection of appearances when crafting a single item be available.  On top of that I'd like color customization on the operator's level to include patterned paints like various types of camouflage and solid colors.

I'd also like to see further customization through crafting system similar to how SWG's optional item components could change the visual appearance of a weapon (i.e. you take a base E-11 carbine that looks one way and then throw on a scope, special handle, extended barrel, butt stock, et cetera and they all uniquely alter the appearance of the item).



Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/17/08
Posts: 629

5/02/11 4:19:03 AM#11

I like the Aion approach (I'm sure it's not the only example, but only this comes to mind right now.). You can put the skin of a gear you love, but is now obsolete, on a new gear, with better stats, but that doesn't look like it fits your style.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3526

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

5/02/11 4:45:50 AM#12

I definitely want full control over my characters looks, and I want them to look extremely cool.

Apperance slots are a good solution for that.

Another would be to have full crafting in your game, i.e. everyone can craft certain things and to get into good gear, you cant help but to cooperate with other players to create and improve your future gear. Thus you can also gain control over how your gear will look like.


P.s.: That Aion solution doesnt sound so bad, either.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 3630

5/02/11 5:05:15 AM#13

My char look should be determined by my gear aka your first example. EQ2 system is neat but it makes absolutely no sense. 

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Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/10
Posts: 1550

5/02/11 5:17:03 AM#14

I'm somewhat between first and third

I want like, two sets of equipment, when the first stat is the gear for stats, and the one with the numbers. Then one set that is the look of your armor, like fashion tab, this includes normal gears and fashion gears, with dyes and decorations to change my look even further.

But I do hope evenually gears will be only for stats, so I don't have to keep grinding for better gears, instead the stats is applied to my character, like tuning or whatever. (something like DCUO or CoH I guess)

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Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/07
Posts: 396

5/02/11 6:03:58 AM#15

the 'appearance armor' i think is a good idea, but only if armors look good in the game.

for example in asian mmos it wouldnt make any sense. i mean you got the 'almost naked' high stat armors already.

they are gonna make it in guildwars 2 which i think is a good idea since gw1 armors looked pretty good and realistic no matter the tier. ofcourse mages were half nude, but i guess it would make sense that they get their protection from enchantments rather than platings lul.

it also kinda made sense in global agenda.

i think designing armor is a good idea, since not everyone likes the armors they are getting or atleast they cant like every armor... maybe they liked the armor which had worse stats?

ofcourse armor is sort of a tool for bragging...

you know people get into town, bring out their epic looking armors, pets and mounts and like 'whoa look at us we grinded this game for months'. not that im envious, but the games are like that are they not?

adding design feature would remove people looking identical at particular tiers/levels and remove a little bit of bragging.

show your experience through your skill and play rather than items!


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/28/08
Posts: 14557

5/02/11 7:28:55 AM#16

Depends on the setting.

Gear changes look for medieval setting.

You customize your look for sci fi and hero settings.


If I'm a superhero, I can have a laster pistol, lasers coming out of my eyes, or my hands, or a floating ball that shoots lasers...

The gear doesn't determine the power, it could just come from me.

IN medieval settings, I'm swinging a magic sword.

Yes, I get good at swinging it, but the magic comes from teh sword.

I"M not flaming, ti's a flaming sword.

So it makes sense that this is what you see, a flaming sword, not me on fire.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 1120

5/02/11 7:40:32 AM#17
Originally posted by yewsef


I think something like the approach Aion did would be good.

You only can put on what you already looted. Let's say you have a complete set of Dark Armor but the stats is not good. You save this armor and then use it on your current gear to make you current gear looks like the Dark Armor. The process costs money AND consumes the armor you had. Which means 1 Armor = 1 Use. The skin remains on the armor and not the character, meaning if you upgrade your armor then you don't keep the Dark Armor look.

You can still have your Dark Armor look. Just reskin your new armor again.

So for example, when you skin your good gear with the original dark armor, it replaces your good gear witht hat look permanently. So when you upgrade your good gear with better ones, the good gear you had on before retains the graphic still and just reskin your better gear with it, if you still wanna keep your Dark Armor set.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/11
Posts: 12

Living in parallel, because life's too short to be serial.

5/02/11 11:31:47 AM#18

I prefer to have my gear determine the way my character looks, as "appearance armor" is misleading and puts me in the mind of those fake coffee-can mufflers on unmodified cars. However, I also feel that in most games there is not enough variation in the appearance of similar gear. Not colors (which I like having the ability to customize), but models. For example, there might be only one style of armor for each defense level, so large swaths of the gaming population will appear identical. Greater variation would benefit everybody, except maybe the art team.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/21/06
Posts: 182

5/02/11 1:06:28 PM#19

I'd rather control 100% of my appearance.  What Blizzard is doing with WoW is wrong.  They want everyone to look like clones.

I at least want a wider variety of equal power gear with different appearances so I can pick and choose.  Dyes should be a no brainer these days.  They were in UO, they should be in every game.

Players create a character, an identity, and that is one of the most important parts of an MMORPG.  Forcing people to look a certain way just so you can glance at them in PvP and know how strong they are just just wrong.  Any developer that doesn't offer more appearance options should be ashamed of themselves.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/11
Posts: 4

5/04/11 2:20:37 PM#20

I would like the choice of having a "stat" armor and an "appearance" armor. Well, it will make the equipment feature of the game  more complex, but hey, different appearances boosts player interests and imaginations right?

I agree to the games that have suits which go with major holidays like holloween and christmas. It gives me the feel to stay playing even though holiday celebrations are ongoing. lol

What I'm thinking about these equipment looks is that developers must design a game that would enable the equipments to be edited before equipping or buying, or whatsoever. It can also be equipped with default appearance. The disadvantage is that it will be time comsuming for players.

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