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Roaming Tamriel in Style with Shadows of the Hist

William Murphy Posted:
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When the next DLC for Elder Scrolls Online launches, Shadows of the Hist will bring with it a brand new Style Parlor to tweak and adjust your characters’ looks, as well as a whole new dye system for your normal armor and the outfits you’ve collected over time in ESO. We chatted with the team at Zenimax Online Studios about the additions and what they mean for every player of Elder Scrolls Online.

MMORPG: First off, can you explain how the Style Parlor will work? Is it actually a physical in-game thing or something else?

The Style Parlor is comprised of several new character customization options and services coming to the Crown Store with the August launch of Update 11. This includes the Name Change, Race Change, and Appearance Change service tokens, as well as several new types of collectible appearance options.

Once you purchase a service token from the Crown Store, you can make permanent changes to any single character on your account. Appearance Change Tokens allow you to alter every aspect of your physical appearance other than race, including your gender and voice, while a Race Change Token includes everything from the Appearance Change, plus you can change one character’s race.

Keep in mind that changing your character’s race will also change your racial passive skill line, but you won’t lose any progress—if you are rank 45 in the Breton skill line, and change your character’s race to Khajiit, you will immediately be rank 45 in the Khajiit skill line.  The Name Change token, surprisingly enough, allows you to change one of your character’s names.

New Style Parlor-related collectible types include Hair Styles, Head Markings, Body Markings, Facial Hair (including horns for Argonians and manes for Khajiit), and Facial Accessories. Each of these collectibles can be enabled at any time in the UI, and will override that aspect of your current appearance.

As an example, if I’m playing my clean-shaven Nord character, I could purchase and enable the “Sailor’s Squid Goatee” collectible—instantly adding a well-groomed beard to my appearance. I can disable the collectible at any time I wish, and return to my original baby-faced appearance.

MMORPG: Are the Style Parlor options limited to ESO Plus members?

All of the Style Parlor offerings are offered for purchase in the Crown Store and are not included in ESO Plus. But, I want to remind you that you do receive an allotment of crowns as an ESO Plus member, which means more opportunities to pick up some of the new collectible appearance options!

MMORPG: Will there be hair and other styles that are only available in the Style Parlor? 

Yes, new appearance options can only be found in the Style Parlor, and we will add more over time.

MMORPG: When a player has collected a new appearance option, will they be able to use it again or account wide?

Once you’ve unlocked an appearance option, that option will be available to every character on your account in perpetuity. However, keep in mind that certain appearance options may not be applicable to all characters—a Breton wouldn’t be able to use an Argonian scale pattern, and an Argonian wouldn’t be able to use Khajiiti ear tufts, for example.

While the Name Change, Race Change, and Appearance Change Tokens are account-wide, it’s important to note that these are single-use items. They are consumed when you finalize your new name / race / appearance.

MMORPG: Let’s switch gears and talk a little about Costume Dyeing. What was involved in getting this feature in? What were some of the challenges?

There are two parts of our Costume Dyeing system – one is for ESO Plus members only, and the other is the ability for anyone to purchase dye packs called Dye Stamps in the Crown Store. A major challenge in getting the dye packs into the game was coming up with a set of pre-made colors that look good across a wide range of costumes.

MMORPG: Access to Costume Dyes requires ESO Plus. What was the reasoning behind this decision?

We’re always looking for ways to increase the value of ESO Plus, and Costume Dyes seemed a natural fit for being a subscription benefit. And a reminder here that anyone can dye their costume – ESO Plus members can use a more full-featured system, but anyone can purchase dye packs from the Crown Store.

MMORPG: The Dye Stamps seem are reminiscent of dye approaches we’ve seen work in other games. Do you see this as a step towards including more and more colors and cosmetic upgrades in the Crown Store?

The Crown Store will feature a cycling selection of Dye Stamps that are updated every week (with some exceptions) – so we’re already looking forward to offering lots of different color combinations. And of course, the Crown Store will be offering new Costumes, Adornments, and Hair Styles in the future.

MMORPG: Will players be able to earn things like dyes and character alterations via in-game play?

Our Dye System already features nearly two hundred different dyes that players can earn solely through completing in-game Achievements. We’ll continue to add new Achievements that award new dyes as we introduce more new systems, more base-game content, and more DLC – as just one example, we recently introduced the Viridian Venom Dye with the Dark Brotherhood update, which players can obtain from discovering all the properties of all the new Alchemy ingredients introduced to support poison making.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.