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Wavinator

What's an RPG without the fashion show?

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I rarely notice the lack of costume variety in an RPG. In medieval RPGs that let you customize armor down to individual pieces I'm often wont to wear everything mismatching so long as it gives me proper bonuses whereas I know some players will sacrifice function and safety just to look good. Where do you fall in this continuum, and what would an RPG without the fashion have to offer to appeal to you?

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I'm personally all about the stats. I'll have my character wear the ugliest combination of a mishmashed armor for 0.1% bonus fire resistance or whatever. Sure I notice that it looks like crap, but since most games don't take into account fashion it doesn't matter as much as the bonus points. A lot of the time, it is just a matter of time before you get the rest of that better armor and match again anyway.

Some games give bonuses for "complete sets", which rewards matching and indirectly rewards having a good looking (or at least matching) outfit. Monster Hunter Tri does that, and it surprised me when I got a slightly better helmet (yay armor +2) just to find out I could no longer cook well or automatically track big monsters on the map. That game, however, allows you to install gems on your armor to regain those skills if you have mismatched armor (or other skills once you find the right components). (On a side note, I think it is cool I created a "BBQ Jewel"; I wish I had one of those in real life).

Something I haven't seen but could be done would be having NPCs react to characters wearing mismatched armor. This could be as harmless as them making snarky comments, or it could actually affect the player's ability to perform some actions. I always thought it would be neat if, after adventuring in the dungeons or whatever, the character would have to take a bath and change into some nice clothes if they expect to be able to wander the castle without being chased away; to attend some event with the nobles, you better have some REALLY nice threads stashed away somewhere. Maybe good fashion would open new avenues with some NPCs, while other underworld-y types might not trust someone with shiny matching armor.

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If it's an MMO I'm all about the fashion show. One of my favorite MMO features is the ability to designate two sets of equipment, one for stats and one for looks. I also like being able to dye items different colors.

If it's a single player game one outfit is generally fine for the whole game.

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When i play diablo 2 i dont really care about the fashion. I just want my stats!

But when i play mmorpg's i really like to customize my characters in a good looking way. I dont like it when my character has to wear armors making him a rainbow warrior or something like that.

I dont care if i loose a few stat points. If the Item looks good i buy it.

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If the visual appeal of the character isn't an issue, either because there isn't much in the range of outfits available or the character representation isn't something that is that prevalent (i.e. text description only, ASCII, handful of pixels, only shown in the inventory), then I'll just throw together whatever has the best stats.

If however the character's appearance is a fairly prominent aspect of the game, like most third-person games these days, I'll make some sacrifices for looks. Typically I won't put dehumanising full face helms on my characters, and I won't choose outfits that drastically clash with the personality of an RPG character (i.e. female paladins don't wear chainmail bikinis). If there's any outfits that I think look significantly cooler than one that's only marginally better, I'll tend to stick with the cool looking one. There's also a tendency for inertia in costume choices; if I leave a particular outfit on a character for a while, it tends to stick.

But I don't mind if an RPG doesn't offer any fashion options. For me it's a bonus than a necessity. On the other hand, it does help in letting me define my character's personality visually. For that, I like it best when there's some purely cosmetic range of functionally equivalent or near-equivalent costumes.

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The only thing that really got me into the fashion type was Ultima Online. It was so nice...

But there are other games where I sacrifice minimal stat difference for looks. Where there are ones that add +10 strength but looks hideous, and ones that add +8 strength AND looks awesome. Other than that, it's usually stats for me. Diablo 2 especially, since stats were so necessary and looks didn't change too much. Mass Effect 2 does a very good job of keeping you looking stylish and powerful (for the most part) but their lack of choices hurts... hurts a lot.

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Most people will go to great lengths for wearing better looking armour or clothes, even if they are totally useless. This is a main incentive in many, and even the only incentive in some games.

I'm somewhere in the middle, I do want items to have some good functionality, but looks is equally important.

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kingdom / faction / clan uniforms?

Rarely used but perfectly valid point to use spesific costum.
(Enemy militia insignia can create all sorts of problems :D )

/Tyrian

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I firmly believe in people being able to create their own appearance as much as possible.
I mean, roleplaying is all about player freedom, so it should remain that people will desire a certain appearance to fill a role.
Let the universe decide the rules, but let the player decide how they look.
Not every warrior has to have shoulder pads more jagged than a mountain peak.

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