Black Mageweave Gnome

There are a katrillion ways to fail at MMORPGs, and I’m pretty sure TG and I have perpetrated most of them. This is the second edition of a series I’ll be updating on a semi-random basis, in which I’ll point out just exactly how not to game in MMORPGs. Sounds delightful, right? Well, let’s jump on in!

In the world of MMORPGs, gear selection can be an overwhelming task. Do you gear to improve your primary stats like Strength or Intelligence, or do you stack somewhat more obscure elements like increased Hit chance or Spell Penetration? In some games, you need to know at what point soft caps or hard caps cause certain stats to stop being useful. There’s also the choice of weapon types and speed and the arguably more important choice between being fashionable or looking like a total scrub.

Some of the gear in these games looks completely terrible. TG and I both agree on that point, but there is one crucial element that we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on: whether awful looking gear should be worn because of its superior stats. Stop looking at me like that. I know I’m female. I know that my shoe wishlist would probably wind up costing more than a sensible house. I still can’t justify wearing lousy gear just because it looks better.

What can I say? TG is a diva. If his character doesn’t look fierce, I guess she’ll lose her chance at being Azeroth’s Next Top Model or something. Okay, I know it sounds like I’m being hard on him. I really do appreciate his quirks, but it’s not like he’s choosing his gear for RP reasons or to stare at a female in the Jade Legplates or Black Mageweave Leggings.

I have to admit though, I would be pretty easily convinced to find an alternative to the Woollies of the Prancing Minstrel purely for their lack of aesthetic value. I really don’t want to find myself prancing around in furry hot pants. Or, are they furry underpants with bright green pockets? I’ve always wondered.

At what point does it cross the line though? I mentioned in my Old School MMO Player Types post that TG once healed for a tank who insisted on wearing a cloth hat for RP reasons. His presence in the group was enjoyable, but there were a few close moments when it might have been a bit easier for healing had he been wearing a plate hat at the time.

Some games have even added form as functionality into their game. Take LOTRO and other games that give your character an Appearance tab, for example. You can wear any gear you want for statistical reasons while still looking however you’d like to. SWTOR will be adding an anti-clash button, where you can match the rest of your gear to your chestpiece’s color. Plus they’ve talked about being able to choose gear that you like and modding it to improve it statistically.

I’m glad that game developers realize that some of us don’t want to feel obligated to look awful just for the sake of not gimping ourselves.

So, what do you think? Is it just fine to choose form over function, or is choosing to look fierce just another way to suck at MMORPGs? And, more importantly, would you wear the furry hot pants?

Missed an episode of A Million Ways to Suck at MMORPGs?
Previous: Failure to Complete: Not Reaching Max Level
Next: The Role of Strength


About Amanda

Amanda is a 20-something flailing gamer. While she loves MMORPGs, the company in them often triggers flare-ups of her social anxiety. Her all-time favorite games include Everquest Online Adventures, Eternal Sonata, the Animal Crossing series, Katamari Damacy, and Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. She lives on junk food, and her favorite books are equally trashy. She doesn't believe in putting two spaces after a period, but she does strongly believe in the serial comma. Unfortunately, she has a penchant for starting sentences with "and" and "but;" hopefully you won't hold that, or her excessive use of semicolons, against her.

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