Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rift To Get Appearence Armor Slots?

Rift Junkies reports that some sort of cosmetic armor set/wardrobe feature seems to be coming to the game's alpha server. 

LOTRO's outfit panel, back in the old days
I sympathize with folks who want the coolest looking gear to be saved for the truly challenging accomplishments.  If anything, cosmetics are one of the few places where a developer can save a little something extra to reward the hardcore crowd without keeping the best portions of the game locked away from the majority of its customers.  Also, as Ferrel noted a bit ago, it's very easy for developers to take cosmetic slots as an invitation for cash store abuse... and/or bleeping chainsaws if these Aion shots Chris posted really aren't a belated April Fool's thing. 

That said, the demand for this feature is significant and growing.  Developers can shake their heads at players for demanding it (as Scott Jennings does, to comic effect), but I do genuinely view LOTRO and EQ2's cosmetic systems as big assets to the respective games - even gear that I have no intention of using can become an exciting reward if it happens to be just what I needed for my latest coordinated outfit.  This feature also makes me more willing to grind out seasonal or world events for cosmetic outfits, where in WoW these items will just take up space in my bank since I can't ever wear them without losing massive amounts of stats. 

If Rift really is aboard the cosmetic train, we're probably never going to see another major MMO try to do without this type of system in the future.  On the plus side, this may solve the case of the missing extraplanar pants


Magson said...

TBH, I was very surprised that Rift shipped without an appearance tab.

Mike ... said...

I don't mind if the 'coolest' gear were reserved for the top challenges. Though the definition of 'coolest' varies from person to person.

But why does the regular gear have to look like shi... rubbish?

Blue Kae said...

It seems like such a small thing, but when that's what you're staring out throughout a play-session, being able to separate your appearance from your stats is really nice. I don't think I would have been able to stick with LotRO for long without the appearance tab. My main is a hunter and I've never found a set of leather armor that I liked the look of. For at least 80% of that character's lifespan, he's been wearing a set of ratty robes that I just really liked.

I've skipped several quest rewards in Rift (and other games) because I didn't like the way they looked, so I'm thrilled that they're getting an appearance system. Like Magson, I was a little surprised that they didn't launch with that in place.

czechp said...

LotRO and EQ2 aren't the only MMO's with this. You also have AC1 and DCUO using this system.

Yeebo said...

I consider appearance slots a feature that pretty much any modern MMO needs. A dye system is nice too, but from a design perstepctive dyes don't bring a lot that you don't get just from appearance slots (e.g., purely cosmetic rewards from holiday events being worthwhile).

If appearance slots were added to WoW, all of the old level 60 and 70 endgame content would instantly become useful again, as your could grind through it for neat looking outfits. They could probably also make even more money off of users "sparklepony" style by selling outfits. As for PvP, like in LoTRO they could have gear apearances revert to whatever you are actually wearing when you enter a BG or Arena.

Aracos said...

I find it fascinating what we now consider to be "required" or "standard" features in MMO's. I'm not so old school that I was around for Ultima Online or Everquest (yes I'll admit to being a WoW baby, but in my own defense, I tried Guild Wars first!) But even in the past few years, the kind of things that MMO players have come to expect from their games has changed dramatically. I think MMO's have become far more mainstream than some people think. Otherwise a lot of these features (appearance tabs, automatic dungeon finders, etc.) would not be as popular as they are.