Monday, December 15, 2008

Fashion for clothies doesn’t make sense

In the latest issue of Twisted Nether Fim and Bre asked bloggers to come up with some posts about the new Northrend fashion. What do we think about the latest trends of dressing?

Well to be honest I’ve never cared a lot about my looks. I know a lot of male players who definitely pay a lot more attention to their style of clothing than I do (and I so disagree with Bre, who suggested that fashion is something that mainly interests girls).

Actually I had played at level 70 for quite a while before I heard that the gear you got in Outlands didn’t match and that our toons looked like clowns. I hadn’t noticed; to me the cloths were just something carrying the stats I was looking for.

But little by little I’ve developed at least an embryo of a taste for gear fashion. (In real life I don’t have any taste at all so I mostly stick to dressing in black, boring but “safe” and fitting for my personality.)

Now, after almost two years of playing, I feel that I’ve finally have got a feeling for what I like and what I don’t like in the game. The time has come: Today I’m going to share some of my thoughts about the fashion for clothies. And I’m not going to look at the world through pink lenses. I’m in the mood for complaining!

Shoulder complaint
First of all I’ll complain about the shoulders. Where did the designer get the idea that shoulders have to be huge? I know there was some trend – could it have been in the 80s? – when women were supposed to have the shoulders of their jacked sort of stuffed – the bigger, the better. Most women looked like triangles turned upside down those days. Impressive – maybe. But beautiful? No. I don’t mind women with broad shoulders, but it should be made by real muscles, not by filling your shoulder pads with some silly cotton stuffing.

All shoulders in the game don’t look like that. The T5 shoulders, which I used for a long time, were slender, and glowed nicely in red. Just beautiful. At least if you compare them to the T7 shoulders which I’ve got now. They’re huge, ridiculously oversized for a little gnome lady.

By the way, what’s the thing with all those spikes? It doesn’t make sense to design cloth gear that way. Spellcasters aren’t supposed to get into close combat. We’re attacking by magic spells and we’re using magic shields and other tricks to protect ourselves. To me it makes sense that tanks and melee classes are wearing heavy armor, in strong materials as plate, mail and leather, and with spikes and other stuff that can hurt the enemies and keep them away (hedgehog strategy). But to a caster it’s pointless. We ARE glass cannons and we should look like it too.

Head complaint
My next complaint goes to the head issue. You rarely see female clothies displaying their helms, and that’s no wonder. How could we? Most of them make us look like children, trying silly hats that they’ve found in their grandmothers or grandfathers wardrobe. You can’t take them seriously. Who would like to walk around in a sombrero unless heavily drunk? Give me a break!

The only head I’ve ever displayed was my Mana-Etched Crown. That was a beauty, worthy a mage.

My current helm, Cowl of the Vindicitive Captain, must be the worst one I’ve ever had. What kind of a joke is this? Why would a pink pigtailed, good hearted and innocent little gnome mage walk around as someone with odd taste and dirty secrets (you know what I’m talking about)? I’m just asking.

I think other classes are much better off when it comes to heads. I display the head of my rogue gnome girl without being ashamed. She’s often got masks over her face, which go well with the kind of class she’s representing and make her look cool. But Larísa seems to be doomed to wear invisible heads forever.

Tabard Complaint
In the end of TBC I chose not to wear any tabard or shirt. The reason was the beautiful Scarlet Sin’dorei Robes, which showed some of your stomach There’s no way a gnome girl can look “hot” as a blood elf or night elf, but at least we can look modern and fashionable, and without a tabard Larísa really did.

With the new reputation grinding mechanics I’ve got no choice but to wear a tabard, no matter what. And fashion or not, I pick the tabard from the rewards and not from the looks of it. I’ve just got rid of the Tabard of the Wyrmrest Accord after hitting exalted. I guarantee you I’ll NEVER wear it again. When I look at the picture of a human wearing it at Wowhead I realize that the yellow thing on the chest is supposed to picture a tower. Well on a short gnome you won’t see that. It’s just ugly. However my current tabard, the one of the Argent Crusade, is only a little better. It’s got some skin coloured circle in the middle which makes it look as if I’ve cut a hole in my chest. Not my picture of good fashion.

If I was supposed to wear a tabard, but could choose which one freely, I think it would be the Tabard of the Argent Dawn. Unfortunately I don’t have it on Larísa, but my rogue Arisal has it, and will keep wearing it until she too reaches the level where she’s forced into the rep-based tabard wearing.

Now the tabard demand is only in instances, but knowing myself I don’t dare to take it off between doing instances, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t remember to put it on again. So I just have to wear this pain until I hit exalted and they the tabards will be off for ever.

So we’ve come to the end of this Northrend fashion column. There’s been a lot of complaining, but mind you, the complaints are about how things look at female gnome mages. All in all I think the Northrend fashion is pretty nice, with many dark colours, which fit the instances very well. Not so much of the sf’style of TBC. But is it only me that thinks that everything sorts of looks the same? No clowns around, but not much sticking out either. A little bit more of variation wouldn’t hurt.


Green Armadillo said...

I actually voluntarily wear my Wyrmrest tabard with some outfits (e.g. the Kalu'ak Spell Hit robes) because it clashes less than the rep I'm actually working on (Kirin Tor - who wants that much purple?!).

As to hats, my favorite are the ones where my bushy green eyebrows clip through the brim of the hat. Good times. (See also this post for an old TBC beta screenshot in which my entire beard clipped through a bandit-style facemask.)

AJ said...

Hah, all so true, loved the read :)

Most people that play druids are upset that they don't get to see their character progress with their gear and end up staring at the same old model for 60+ levels, but after the shoulders I've picked up on my druid recently cat form is quickly becoming a haven away from the awful colour schemes that the humans in wow seem to love. Red and yellow? I'm a walking Macdonalds advert at the moment...

Gevlon said...

I love being druid exactly because I never have too look at the clown costume, no ugly gear, just tree (or travel-cat) form.

BTW out of instances you don't have to wear your ugly tabards, and in instances, you don't watch your character, but the surroundings, so it does not matter.

Anonymous said...

Larisa, I must respectfully disagree about the tier 7 shoulders - especially on little gnome mages! :)

As I have told the mages in my guild, I don't think they look hard or pointy but more like soft confectionary - mages with the new tier shoulders, to me, look like some delicious cake or ice cream and your picture above, with your pink pigtails, makes you look doubly sweet :)


Anonymous said...

All three of my helms so far in north rend have looked like some sort of gimp mask.

I do still show them as there quite fun but coming from T5 looks stupid.

The priest tier sets are really nive T5 and T6 look amazing Priet T5 is nicest set in game tbh.

My misses is a priest and says her character always seems to look a bit slutty with crop tops and knee high boots lol.

Anonymous said...

@Green Armadillo: actually I didn't mind the Kirin Tor that much. Yes, it's a bit too much purple imo, but I love to wear the tabard of the mage council itself. It feels appropriate. I ditched the tabard immediately though when I got a good chest - then I didn't need to grind for exalted anymore. Fashion can be fun but will never become more important than stats and practical aspects.

@AJ: I never thought about that aspect - that druids don't see much of their cloths. But I understand you completely - it seems better watch a beautiful animal or tree than looking at Ronald Mc Donald à la Azeroth.

@Gevlon: well sometimes we have mana breaks and then you can look - not at yourself but at others. Of course it would feel better to look good then. And I won't take it off. Would never remember to put it on again - unless there's som addon for it (there probably is...).

@Aurik: awww... thanks! Yes, when I think about she IS quite sweet on that picture. But still - do they need to be THAT huge, the shoulders? And I still think the "spikes" could be softer. More like whipped cream. They could add a bit on the glow effect if they wanted. I think it's appropriate that mage gear looks a bit mystic and magic.

@Esdras: I never thought much about the priest looks - I'm too obsessed with my own char.. But I'll look closer from now on, paying a bit more of attention to fashion. It's quite fun once you start looking I think.

Darraxus said...

For a tank perspective, I like the new gear. Looks a bit more worn and beat up like a tank should. Havent got any tier gear yet, but working on it!

Anonymous said...

In a general sense, I think the Northrend fashion has been better than Outland, but that wasn't hard to beat.

In my opinion, no one has any right to complain when comparing T4, T5, and even T6 pally gear to other classes.

Come on!! Purple?! I like purple, but pastel?!!! And crystals?! Feel like I should be running around with Tinkerbell and party.

Too scared to look at T7 so I've avoided it. :D

Fish said...

I must start by saying I'm a compulsive accessorizer. Both in real life and in the game. When picking goalie equipment its performance #1, color #1A. That being said, some of the northrend stuff I really like, some of it I really hate, there's no middle ground. I will say, they went overboard with the shoulders. My DK is an orc, and some of the lvl 80 plate shoulders are the size of other players, I can only imagine the Tauren version. I will disagree with you on the tabard though. While a hideous tabard ruins the look of most robes, I like the contrast (it also probably helps that our guild tabard is black and gold and matches most anything). I can't wait to enhance my tabard collection.
Oh, and you're right, the cloth head pieces are horrible, why do my clothies all look like executioners? Thats not cool!

Anonymous said...

@Darraxus: yeah, generally I like the looks of the new gear and I see no problem with huge tank shoulders, that's the way they should look.

@Kyrilean: yeah, purple/pink knights doesn't make sense to me. I haven't noticed the pala gear in Northrend yet, but I hope it's more appropriate.

@Fish: the only reason I can think of for the executioner look is that they believe that clothies feel a bit too soft and weak in their dresses. That they want to look more "tough", as melee/tank classes. But then they don't understand the mindset of a wizard I think. We're powerful in another way than scaring little children by our mean looks...

Anonymous said...

I don't like most of the gloves they look like giant tubes on my arms - and footwraps. I hate footwrap style shoes. Do they really think my night elf would be wandering round the cold northrend without souls on her feet..!

Anea said...

I agree with all your points, but mostly about the tabards. I don't know why we have to look like we're wearing sweatervests - would it really be so hard to extend the tabard down robes? It just doesn't make sense to me.

And, like you, I am afraid to take the tabard off between instances. I just know I would forget.