Please tell me that I’m not the only person who likes to put together non-functional but cool looking outfits for my RPG game characters. This is of course not possible in all games. Some games offer you very linear gear progression. Others offer a very wide variety of armor sets, many of which are purely cosmetic. For example, you can make your character wear an expensive shirt, and fancy boots which offer no combat benefits, but look kinda cool.
I do this every time I go back to play Morrowind. I buy, steal and collect fancy clothes and stash them in my house. Then when a quest requires me to visit a local noble or some high ranking official I strip out of my armor and put on nice stuff to be presentable. This has absolutely no effect in game terms, but it makes me feel like I’m role-playing that character. After all, that’s what you would do in real life, no? You wouldn’t wear your combat gear to a job interview or a fancy banquet.
Actually, I really wish this sort of thing had an impact on game play. I’m still waiting for an RPG that would reward you for wearing situation appropriate clothing, and punish you for running around in your scary combat armor everywhere. But we already had this discussion once before.
I recently discovered that you can actually do the same thing in WoW. I play a Tauren hunter but when I’m hanging out in a town, shopping or crafting I usually look like this:
This is my every-day, non-combat outfit which features a plain shirt, low level leather pants and funky goggles. The goggles are actually quite unique. In WoW most goggles are restricted to characters with Engineering skill who are the only ones that are able to craft and wear them. There are few vanity goggles in the game available to everyone, but they are usually rare drops or high level quest rewards that either can’t be traded, or sell for exuberant prices at the auction house. Mine were freebies. I got them as part of a quest during which I was supposed to use them to detect some hidden crystals underwater, but I liked them so much that I never finished that quest and just kept them.
When I go fishing (which is another skill you can level, and also good source of income since some fish you can catch are sought after by alchemists) I change into this outfit:
I don’t know – it just feels wrong to fish in full combat gear. Which by the way is currently in a state of complete miss-match. My character is currently level 57 and wearing pretty much whatever dropped for him during instance runs. Mostly greens, few blues and an occasional purple. It is the classic RPG hero look:
Everything I’m wearing has a sort of reddish motif to it – except my pants which are inexplicably green. I’m trying to mask this by wearing the red guild tabbard over them and it is somewhat blending in. Still, I’m not entirely happy with this look, and I feel much more comfortable walking around in my two meticulously crafted, minimalistic outfits.
Unlike in Morrowind, Oblivion or Fallout, doing this in WoW does have some meaning. I play on a RP server where this behavior is actually encouraged, and good outfit will get you some positive comments and praise from other players. My outfits are done on the cheap, but they tend to stand out from the crowd of over-geared, miss-matched heroes that you tend to see in the major cities.
Have you ever played dress-up with your RPG characters like this? Which games did you do it in? Do you have screen shots? Let me know in the comments.