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Reader Comments (14)

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 3:16PM Space Cobra said

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Your first example seems to be correct, in that a sword that dropped in-game should be cooler than a glittering sword that essentially looks the same, but with glittering effect from the shop.

I do sorta agree that effort should be rewarded with unique looks, but I also subscribe to the other side. One should be allowed to buy something unique at the start. There have been many times, as you seem to point out, that I got a really cool low-level item in early MMOs and tried to continue to wear it, at least socially and not in combat.

I think the problem (or one of the big problems) is that game item-designers either need more creativity or more designers. There really should be a vast array of different looking items that should not overlap. Maybe a design aesthetic. Why should a cooking hat look the same for a fighter or someone from a different region? Maybe a more world view of design. Really, sometimes Limited-Edition items are the way to go. The problem is (and I totally understand) is that designers get lazy and they just re-use in-game elements/items. (Happens in games and animation all the time!). I understand that, but one should not get lazy or, at the least, should not CONTINUALLY be lazy: Once or thrice in use is nice and maybe a color-difference, but at some point, they should RETIRE the design and just make up a new one.

I think that's the key: Stop being lazy about your game world and whip up a new different looking hat/robe.

And really, I couldn't care less about looking like a mage/fighter for easy identification. Should be easy enough if you see me carrying a sword, I am melee. It's not like I can go to a comic book convention and pick out which people are doctors or lawyers by sight. :P

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 3:21PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

Also to add, in a world with many choices and designs, I mean, LOTS of designs, given years of development, the hat that "everyone got when they were Betaing" should give way to the variety so, in theory/essence, less people should be wearing that hat with so many options.

At least, that is the theory of having so many choices, even if you started with so few when a game launched.
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Posted: Apr 11th 2011 3:23PM DevilSei said

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If the game allows for a separation between "appearance" and actual gear, the point of raid gear looking awesome ends up becoming moot. Why bother making the raid gear look amazing, when someone will just use some other piece of gear they like the look of better in the appearance slot.

Add in a marketplace to buy these items, and the negative effect is compounded. You aren't going to waste your awesome art assets on some dingy raid sword, noooo, you'll put it in for that $10 God-slaying Sword of Fiery Rainbows (price point temporary). Sure the stats suck, and you'd end up not even being able to slay a common house rat with it, but they'll be using the stats of said raid sword anyways.

What should be done, I think, is separating the "style" of the cash shop from the game. Let the raid gear have its own artistic sense. And have the marketplace's style be expanded into more... unique styles. Give them pink pimp-style hats and shades and all that fluff. At the very least it would alleviate the issue of "fantasy-based Store gear" looking better than "fantasy-based raid gear" in terms of appearance.

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 3:42PM Apakal said

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This is a stupid problem. It just illustrates how vain and self-centered people are.

I could never tell you who had the best gear or who the best guilds were. I didn't and still don't give a crap. Your shining shield of a thousand skulls all breathing different glistening elements doesn't impress me. But I see in chat that you're a complete d-bag. I'll be sure to remember you now.

Make people carve out their identities with their words and their actions, not their pixels. The more meaningless the gear, the better the community, the better the game. Weeding out everyone who plays an MMO just to get epics is not a bad thing.

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 4:03PM DevilSei said

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@Apakal
That's a rather d-baggish attitude to take as well you know?

There is zero correlation or causation between gear quality and community, or the game. And that player with the shield, he isn't being an ass because of the gear, its because of the person behind the player.
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Posted: Apr 11th 2011 4:17PM Apakal said

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@DevilSei

I don't think its very d-baggish to want a game that creates a community where player identities go beyond the gear you wear and players group for reasons other than just to get said gear.
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Posted: Apr 11th 2011 4:12PM Saker said

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Everyone wants to be a "unique snowflake" (see Lewis Black)! Everyone believes themselves to be. But then it is all just play anyway so, sure why not. I think EQ2 has gone overboard with some of the extremely tacky stuff they've got. 1 of the earlier nice things about EQ2 was that it wasn't WoW over-the-top armor/weapons that every square inch was glowing or shooting off multi-colored lightning bolts, spitting out colored flame/smoke. The comment from "Smokejumper" "it's by oversight, not by intent.", from $oE? Hmm... money, or oversite.... I don't know....

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 4:23PM (Unverified) said

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You are an absolutely unique and special individual. Just like everyone else.

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 4:36PM Tizmah said

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I am always impressed when someone has a cool looking sword I want :)

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 4:53PM pcgneurotic said

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As far as clothes and armour go, I always buy items not that are supposed to look 'cool' or 'awesome', like crazy, jewel-studded armour or shiney silk robes, but rather those items that make me look *less* awesome and more ordinary. Perfect example - in EQ2X, I bought the black Citizen's outfit for my wizard. She looks like a small woman in black cloth rags - but one who kicks magic ass! Also, the gila outfit is similarly awesome for my monk (although as a Froglok, I avoid the hat).

Same thing with CoX and Champions Online; I like to make characters in street clothes. And in LoTRO and DDO, I use the appearance slots to equip ordinary, scruffy or peasanty clothes to mask my True Awesomeness. :D

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 6:19PM winterborn said

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Smokeblower needs to get off his knees.
This is what you get with $oE and Smedbucks and it will not change.

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 7:36PM socialenemy2007 said

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I'm just shocked Smedly hasn't added a way to buy levels on the marketplace by now.

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 11:23PM Araxes said

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Before I add my two coppers, let me first commiserate with you, Karen, and say that I, too, have memories of running up and down that "horrid" chain, over and over and over again, to obtain my class hat -- and then to help my guild mates obtain theirs! Yet, oddly, it's a matter of pride, since not only has that quest been made trivial, but the chain itself is no longer an obstacle. Oh well - fond memories!

Okay now onto the case at hand.

I am of two minds about appearance gear. I enjoy wearing it, and I have made no small amount of purchases from the store over the time it's been available. I most recently purchased the Academy Fieldwear crate (for a second time) as well as the Wand of Darkness ... and a purple clothing crate. For an alt. Because, yes, I am vain -- or rather, my alt is vain, lol -- and I want him to fit the appearance of what I imagine him to look like, the theme, so to say. However, I also recognize that effort should amount to reward - not only in stats, but in appearance. As you mentioned, up through KoS, appearances seemed directly linked to the amount of effort a player put into obtaining gear. Most of the best looking stuff was obtained through raids.

I think Smokie's answer was exactly true: "Okay, you're right. We've overlooked that. We'll see about it in the future." Probably leaning more to the positive than the negative.

As for buying levels ... Shhh. You'll give someone an idea.

Posted: Apr 12th 2011 10:51AM cored said

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I'm definitely an outlier for this type of thing. I'll never understand why everyone wants their sword to glow...all the time...and wear neon-pink armor with giant, shogun shoulderpads that would make a linebacker blush.

I prefer more semi-realistic looking, even understated gear, so I'm often happy when I get a drop that other people think looks low-end.

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