Is armor appearance customization the end of gear, or merely the next step?

| Friday, August 19, 2011
If your armor looks like [this]. then it is very powerful and you should be worshiped for having it. It is this need to show off stats that has driven gear design, the need for everything to be 'distinctive', for shoulders to grow ever-larger, and for nothing to ever look like anything else.

That is no longer the case. Blizzard is finally allowing armor to look like something other than the original model. Is this possibly the end of stat-worship?

Under this new system, we can parade, not our latest gear, but our oldest. Stats and appearance have been separated. This could mean that the game does not need to be driven by stats, but by something else. Aesthetics? Personal choice?

I'm not actually optimistic about this. If anything, it can be the opposite. Devs can add stats more easily, adding gear faster and faster, since now new armor doesn't need to look good or distinctive. If we don't need to see it, they don't need to make us want to see it.

This will probably trigger a brief rush into old instances and content, effectively adding content back in, temporarily. But that will end soon and will be unlikely to have any major change on player interaction. The instances could all be soloed. Some of the raid bosses as well. So we'll see some more people flying to instances and making a few more raids, before everyone has the appearance they want or give up on it. Then it's back to the stat grind.

7 comments:

Syl said...

What I don't understand is the negativity about a potential old instance rush - as if that hasn't been done before, as if we could tell if someone with a Benediction REALLY got it in vanilla or not, let alone whether the person got it in time of that tier level or whether he/she "deserved" it. the whole whining is ridiculous, I do not respect you for having a full T2 now either...duhhh.

I remember how I waited for months farming Bloodboil for that staff in TBC, I coordinated raids, I actually did them when they were "supposed to be done", but loot luck simply screwed me over. then, towards the end of the expansion, one guy in lousy gear entered a BT PuG winning it on first go. now, just how much does wearing that item say about him? achievement? trophy? I don't think so.

Gear is overrated. and it hasn't been a "trophy" to recommend a raider in ages. it's shiny and fun from a cosmetical and individual PoV - that's it.

Andy said...

I don't think it'll change much for the stat-obsessed: they'll still want the biggest numbers on their gear. The newest, highest-level gear will have those numbers, so there's still some epeen-embiggening to be had by showing off that gear, same as ever.

For people who don't particularly care about following the latest fashions, there's the customisation. Beware the rise of the hipster WoW player, wearing armour you've probably never heard of.

Hana said...

If I'm not mistaken, they have artists dedicated to modeling equipment. It's not as though pulling them off of making new armor lets them stat stuff faster. The stats would come from a number crunching on the design team.

Anonymous said...

When I'm putting together a PuG raid, it will still be stats that matter. If you show up looking like a T2 set, the first thing that I'll do is inspect you. If you're really wearing current raid gear, that's one thing but if you're really wearing that T2 set, you're out. The stats do actually matter.

Blizz will still create new looks for new tiers. There will still be some prestige in running around in the top gear instead of the freshly-dinged-85 look.

hound said...

I don't give a rip about raid gear, I want to wear the first "set" I ever had while leveling my first toon...BattleForge mail. I still have it sitting in my bank.

And I might have to try to find a set of Jadefire mail for my hunter...

Anonymous said...

"When I'm putting together a PuG raid, it will still be stats that matter. If you show up looking like a T2 set, the first thing that I'll do is inspect you. If you're really wearing current raid gear, that's one thing but if you're really wearing that T2 set, you're out. The stats do actually matter."

If you have to inspect someone's gear because you can't tell simply by glancing at their HP, please stop leading raids. You are part of the problem.

-Ben

TyphoonAndrew said...

For me it means not having to stare at an item which is really dislike, when I could switch it to another style. I don't think I'll go the full replace, but I will switch some gear to suit an overall theme.
Like having one black helm, with a Red set - just Transmog the helm to another Red helm and you're matching...dandy.

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